I’m a journalist—Adam Kincaid, BBC reporter, to be exact, so I’m not going to bury the lead. I’m about to see the woman I never got over.
I know that because I’ve been back in America for years now, and I still don’t date American girls. My dad would say I’ve come to my senses, sticking to my own British patrician kind, but that’s crap. Mum, the psychologist, would more wisely say it’s my unresolved issues around Nicki. My teenage years are long behind me, yet my guilt over her remains. So I’ve avoided all things Nicki, though the irony is she’s the one avoiding me.
Maybe if we see each other, we can both move on. Could she ever forgive me? Can you forgive yourself when you hurt someone you love?
But please, don’t answer yet. I’ve jumped ahead of the story, and as a reporter, I should give you more background to get to the root of it all.
So let me tell you my story. Then you can be the judge.
David had always had a way with women, so I humbly asked for direction. “So what do you think I should do next?”
“Oh, you’ve got to take this one slowly. This is delicate. But not too slow. Not like last time.” Puffing his chest up and sitting a little straighter in his seat, he acted like the cocky bastard he was. “Don’t make me have to step in again and get things going for you. I can’t guarantee I’d stop this time. I remember she was a little minx and—”
I punched his arm hard. “Don’t even think about it.”
“It was a bloody joke,” he said, rubbing his bicep.
“It wasn’t funny.”
“Come on, Adam.” He shook his head. “You should be prepared that she’s probably seeing someone else. Pretty little thing that she is, she’s probably got a boyfriend. Someone like her isn’t going to be single.”
“I know.” I looked at my beer, contemplating the thought I hated.
“And you’ve got Felicity. Whatever the status is of that relationship.”
“On hold while I’m out of the country.”
“You haven’t lived in the UK for three years.”
“It works for us right now. She can date whomever she wants.”
“But when you’re in London, you fuck like rabbits.”
“We see each other sometimes.” I tried to say it with a straight face, but a smile betrayed me.
“I try not to let that happen too often. It makes things messy.”
“There’s a reason why we’re cousins,” he said with a laugh. Then he leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “Back to Nicki. If I were in this situation, I’d play it cool but not cold.”
“How does that work?”
“You need to approach her casually…take the pressure off. You’ll be seeing her every day, right?”
“Professionally, yes. Every day. And when the president travels, we’ll be on the same trips.”
“All that time together makes it even more important that you don’t rush things.”
“Rush things? I can’t rush things.” I lowered my voice. “Remember, it isn’t ethical that I’m even thinking of doing this.”
“Thinking of doing this? You are doing it.”
About the Author
Mary Whitney blames Laura Ingalls Wilder and Margaret Mitchell for her obsession with romance novels. At an early age, Mary fell in love with the Little House series and its dreamy hero, Almanzo Wilder, who only wanted Laura to be Laura. Like many women, Mary later graduated to the ultimate, tall and dark bad boy, Rhett Butler, who loved Scarlett despite her flaws.
Mary has lived around the U.S., and after a first career in the non-profit world and politics, she’s settled in Northern California with her husband and daughters. She spends her days writing characters she hopes somehow capture the romance of Rhett and Scarlett and Almanzo and Laura. She’s a firm believer in what Rhett says to Scarlett: “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.