GENRE: Women's fiction.
“I love you.” He looked into her eyes when he said it.
Charlotte blinked. Against her will, her lips formed words her brain knew she shouldn’t say. Words quite different than the ones he was likely expecting.
“Why would you do a stupid thing like that?” Was he expecting her to say it back? Of course he was. Why else would he say it?
He smiled and touched her cheek. She hadn’t crossed that line with him yet. But she knew she would. Eventually. Not because she wanted to, but because she couldn’t help it. Something inside her turned nasty and bitter when she was scared, or sad, or unsure. And she was all three.
This was their last summer together. When she returned to Arizona, she wanted to find an apartment and a full time job so she could go straight into the Master’s program after graduation. Her uncertainty about their future led her to pick fights, most of which she couldn’t remember the reason for anymore. Stupid fights. He could usually see past her insecure tactics. Even when her words were particularly venomous, he was quick to open his arms and forgive.
Last night she had taken it too far again, asking if he had any students with promising talent who might keep him busy while she was gone. It was a stupid thing to say. But she hadn’t apologized. And though they’d slept in the same bed, he’d kept his distance.
Until those three words this morning.