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Old 05-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #26
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Jonah watched the battle go on behind her eyes as she tried to think of a reason to go, with or without the ring. All she had to do was to leave. He had truly done nothing to keep her from doing so. Aside from holding her hand while they walked through the sand, and his removing her sandals before they ventured out onto the beach, he hadn't touched her. The only thing that kept her from going was his spoken insistence that she remain, and truly, what force did that actually bear?

Quite a lot, apparently, because once again, the war inside her was decided, and her slender hand placed itself in his. Without meeting his eyes, she mumbled, "I really do appreciate this," as they started back toward the restaurant and their shoes.

During the walk, she seemed inordinately self-absorbed. Jonah kept his gaze turned toward her, admiring her looks, marred only by the consternation that obviously raced through her mind.

Within about twenty yards of the verandah, she finally glanced over at him and was taken aback by the fact that he was watching her as they strolled. Moments later, she began to babble, ""You know, you really don't need to drive me home. If you lend me cab fare I could pay you back. I would hate to take you out of your way."

Then, she stopped short, another thought intruding on her protests:

"Oh goodness, John never paid the bill."

Jonah couldn't stifle the laugh that bubbled up inside him. Finally, he turned to her and said, "The bill? It's taken care of. Don't fret about it. And whether it's clear on the far side of the state, or right next door, it isn't out of my way....

"I want to take you home."

He didn't elaborate, but let the potential implications stew...
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:18 AM   #27
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Suddenly she heard Jonah's rich, deep sounding laughter and she raised her face to look at him. She was astonished that he thought all of this was so funny. She began to feel her anger boiling when he suddenly turned and looked down at her and said, "The bill? It's taken care of. Don't fret about it. And whether it's clear on the far side of the state, or right next door, it isn't out of my way....

"I want to take you home." Her anger was crushed as her mind raced wondering what he meant by taking her home. She frowned as she thought of every possible reason why he would want to take her home and came up with sex. She looked up at him and asked as she tapped her toe in the sand, "Whose house do you plan to take me too." She raised and eyebrow just waiting for his answer. She was ready to slap his face. Her mind raced again afraid of his answer. She also wondered if she could walk all the way home.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #28
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Jonah watched with amusement when the woman asked, with not a small amount of attitude, "Whose house do you plan to take me to?"

Her challenge again caused him to laugh. That she was still able to dredge up defiance in his presence made him like her that much more. He wanted, in that moment, to simply throw her down on the sand and fuck her, but that wasn't who he was. He could have just thrown her over his shoulder and carried her wherever he wanted, but again, it wasn't what he was about. It was why he still hadn't asked her name. He knew she'd surrender it when she was ready.

In answer to her question, he simply kept silent, letting her draw her own conclusions by that silence. He just led her to their shoes and once more knelt before her.

Again, he slid a hand up her calf, gently caressing, going a bit higher than he had previously, but not so high that the gesture might seem more forward than it already did. She had lovely skin, and he looked forward to the possibility of getting to touch it more.

Soon, her shoes were back on, and Jonah slipped his on as well. Turning once more to her, he offered, "Are you ready to go?
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:09 PM   #29
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Crystal got a quizzical look on her face wondering why he was laughing. It was a perfectly good question after all she really didn't know this man. When he kept silent she frowned and decided she had to find another way home. She was not sure if she should trust him. She bit her lower lip as he let her to the spot where there shoes were. She watched him kneel before her again and felt a certain amount of panic.

She felt his hand on her calf and had to stay perfectly still while he caressed her there. She wobbled a bit as his hand went higher on her leg. She didn't like the chills she got from his touch. She was relieved when he finally placed her foot back on the ground but than she had to go through the same thing with her other leg. She looked around to see if anyone was watching. To her relief they were still all alone as he caressed her other calf.

She was surprised to see him standing when she turned toward him. She looked up at his face as he asked, "Are you ready to go" She thought about that for a moment trying to come up with some way to avoid getting into his car. She trembled a bit and realized she was afraid of him. Logic finally won out as she knew she had no choice. She needed to get home. She finally said, "yes."
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:07 AM   #30
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Once more, Jonah patiently waited for the war within to be decided. Finally, she agreed, defeat evident in her voice.

Again, he ignored that part of her response, instead only acknowledging the affirmation. He led her around the corner of the restaurant to his car, a slick Jaguar.

Still being as polite and cordial as he could, he helped her into the passenger seat and buckled her in, then got in behind the wheel, himself.

As they smoothly glided out into the evening traffic, Jonah asked, "Where is this young man's house? You have something to give him, I think."
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #31
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Crystal walked as if she was going to her doom as he led her around the corner of the restaurant to his car. She was impressed by the beautiful Jaguar that he led her to. It spoke of money and good taste so she knew at least he wasn't a gold digger. She could have done without his assistance getting into the car. He made her feel like a child as he buckled into the seat. When he close the door she wondered what she was doing getting into a strange man's car. She watched as he moved around the car and stepped in as graceful and assured as he had been when they first met.

The car moved slowly and effortless into the traffic. She felt cradled in its luxurious seat. She was almost calm when he asked, "Where is this young man's house? You have something to give him, I think." Relief flooded her as now she knew he did plan to drive her to John's house. Once there she was home free as her ranch house was right next to his. She smiled broadly and looked into his eyes happily. For the first time she was calm in this man's presence. She told him, "124 Willow Road."

She relaxed into the luxury of the car seat.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:53 PM   #32
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At his request, she gave Jonah an address, relief evident in her voice. Without a word, he drove to the neighborhood indicated, then pulled up in front of a nicely appointed, middle-class home.

He drew the ring from his pocket and held it out.

"You have a choice. Either you give it back or you accept it.

"I'll be waiting here."
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:38 PM   #33
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She was even more relieved when she saw her own home when Jonah stopped the care. She watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring. He was all business as he told her,
"You have a choice. Either you give it back or you accept it. She reached for the ring but he withheld it and told her, "I'll be waiting here." She frowned when he said that and was about to tell him that he didn't have to wait as she was home. She thought better of that as she took the ring from his hand. She opened the door and reached for her purse and saw his hand on it. She frowned, "I need my purse."
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:31 AM   #34
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Jonah had a feeling that she lived in the vicinity, because she suddenly seemed very at home. When she claimed she needed her purse, he knew she lived not far from where they were, and figured she intended to just disappear once she was out of the car and out of his sight.

He'd rested his hand on her purse when she took the ring, but he now lifted it, chuckling, "Of course. Take it with you. We all need our security blankets, no?

"Remember: accept it or give it back. You've had plenty of time to truly decide.

"As I said: I'll be awaiting your return."

Last edited by susurrus : 05-17-2014 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:59 PM   #35
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Crystal waited for him to hand her the purse wondering if he was going to hold it hostage when suddenly he chuckled again and said, "Of course. Take it with you. We all need our security blankets, no? She held the ring securely in her right hand as he handed her the purse. As she reached for it he told her again, "Remember: accept it or give it back. You've had plenty of time to truly decide." She nodded her head and refrained from saying she was not going to accept John's ring when he spoke again, "As I said: I'll be awaiting your return."

She gazed at him feeling strangely guilty for planning to leave him out here without thanking him and disappear. After all he had helped her and all her misgivings might only be her own overactive imagination. She was too suspicious and he probably didn't answer her questions because he thought she was being ridiculous. He was just a nice man helping her. She nodded her head and headed for John's house. It was a split level house, well kept with a lovely green law. She walked up the pathway and rang the bell and waited.

Melissa, John's mother opened the door and smiled at her, "Hello Crystal it is nice to see you." It was obvious that Melissa did not know about John's intentions. She smiled at her and asked, "Is John home?" When Melissa said no, Crystal told her the whole story omitting that Jonah had driven her home. Melissa was surprised as Crystal handed her the ring. Crystal told her, "The staff found the ring for me as you can see it is very expensive so I had to find it and give it back. I am sorry that I had to tell him no but I am too old for him." Melissa nodded her head and said she would take care of the matter. Crystal said her good byes and headed back down the path.

As she closed the gate she saw Jonah's car, she knew she could easily rush across her lawn and be safely in her house but that would be wrong she reasons. Though he made her nervous he had been almost a perfect gentleman and she needed to pay him back. She headed for his car and stood in the street by his window and smiled at him. "He is not home but I gave the ring to his Mother and told her what happened. I feel very relieved that the ring is in her hands. Now I need to ask you how much I owe you for paying for the dinners and for your trouble. I can write you out a check if you tell me the amount I owe you." She smiled again as she looked into his eyes.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:07 AM   #36
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Jonah sat in the car and watched as the woman walked up to the door and waited for someone to answer. Another woman came to the door, and the two of them spoke, the ring was passed on, and the two women parted.

For a moment, it appeared that his companion for the evening was debating just taking off to whichever of the homes in the neighborhood was hers. However, instead of heading off to somewhere else, she walked back to the car and around to the driver's side, where Jonah brought the window down to see what she wanted.

Without his prompting, she explained, her earnest eyes gazing directly into his: "He wasn't home, but I gave the ring to his Mother and told her what happened. I'm relieved the ring's in her hands.

"Now, I need to ask you how much I owe you for paying for our dinners and for your trouble. I can write you out a check if you tell me the amount I owe you."

As she reached into her purse for the aforementioned checkbook, he assumed, he took her hand in his, stopping her from what she was doing.

It was against his typical policy of letting the woman give her name when she was ready, but he replied, "Forget the dinner. I already told you, it's taken care of. And the ride was a pleasure. It's been some time since I've had a beautiful woman in the passenger seat.

"Tell you what. " He reached into the pocket he'd tucked the engagement ring into earlier and pulled out a card. "If you want to repay me, I want you to do two things.

"First, your name. Second, meet me at the same restaurant Tuesday night around eight." He pressed the card into the hand he still held, then released her. "Feel free to call that number any time, night or day.

"Now, I assume you live somewhere nearby, or else I further assume you would have gotten back in the car. The only other explanation I can think of is that you're running away. I'd truly hate that to be the reason."
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:08 PM   #37
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Crystal reached into her purse for the keys to her house. She would need to give him a check and that was in there. She looked up into his eyes surprised when his strong hand took hers in a strong but gentle hold. She looked into his eyes again with a quizzical look on her face. His hand was warm and steady as he spoke to her, "Forget the dinner. I already told you, it's taken care of. And the ride was a pleasure. It's been some time since I've had a beautiful woman in the passenger seat.

"Tell you what. " She felt strangely calm as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a card and pressed it in her hand. She listened as he spoke, "If you want to repay me, I want you to do two things. First, your name. Second, meet me at the same restaurant Tuesday night around eight." He let go of her hand and continued to say, "Feel free to call that number any time, night or day.

"Now, I assume you live somewhere nearby, or else I further assume you would have gotten back in the car. The only other explanation I can think of is that you're running away. I'd truly hate that to be the reason." She blushed when he said the latter as she knew she had thought of being a coward and running away. She cleared her throat and told him, My name is Crystal Bennett and I live right there," she pointed at the big ranch right across the street where he was parked. She was feeling foolish for being afraid of him. He had helped her and yes he was a bit touchy feely but he had not forced himself on her so she asked him, "Would you like to come in and have a cup of coffee or some lemonaid?"
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:18 AM   #38
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Jonah was surprised but pleased regarding her invitation. All evening, Crystal had acted like a rabbit in the presence of a hungry dog. Of course, he did know that he'd rather imposed himself on her, uninvited, but she did appear rattled after what had happened on the beach between her and the young man, John. He very much liked her looks, and her voice fell musically on the ear. Her smile was lovely, and her spirit lively. He wanted to get to know her better.

However...

"Thank you very much. I truly appreciate the invitation, but I think I've imposed myself on you enough for tonight. I daresay you probably need to think about your evening, and you'd do that best in the comfort of your own home, without the interference of someone who is, essentially, still a stranger to you.

"No, I think I will leave you for tonight, but you'll be on my mind quite a lot until I see you again... At least, I hope to see you again.

"Good night, and thank you."

Jonah held Crystal's gaze as he smoothly eased the Jag out onto the street and into the night. At the end of the block a glance into the rear-view mirror revealed that she still stood where he'd left her, lit by the overhead streetlight.

Then he turned the corner, and lost sight of her.

It was arrogant of him, he knew, but he was confident he'd see Crystal Bennett again, and soon...
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:30 PM   #39
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Crystal was surprised when Jonah refused her invitation. She felt both relief and disappointment and couldn't figure out why she was having such mixed emotions. She took the key out of the hidden compartment of her purse as she watched him drive away. She knew he wanted to see her again by the things that he had said but at this moment she decided not to go to the restaurant again.

Each day that passed she found herself changing her mind over and over. One minute she was going the next she was not. She knew she was fearful but not the reason why. She had managed to keep all men away from her through the years. She had never felt that John was a threat and that had been her mistake but Jonah was different she felt attracted to him and that frightened her. She didn't want to lose her nice comfortable quiet life and she knew she would if she met this man again. She went through her days switching back from going to not going which played havoc with her deadline of finishing the new children's book she was contracted to submit.

When Tuesday rolled around the intensity of her need to go battled with her need to stay home. In the evening it got worse and she got angry with herself. She even said out loud, "I am not a coward I will go as I owe that man that much. She was determined to prove to herself that she could be in his presence without wanting to be with him. She took a shower and blow dried her hair. She was lucky that her long wavy blonde hair always fell softly into style. She put on a minimum of make up as she noticed she was pale and put on the blue dress that was slightly loose so that her body was not so distinct. She hated her big breasts but in this dress it did not look so bad.

She looked at the clock and knew it was time to leave. She felt a wave of fear and that she stood up straight and told herself, 'I can do this." She made sure her door was locked, grabbed her purse and left her house feeling calmer than she had all through the days that she had last seen Jonah. She relaxed even more as she drove to the expensive restaurant. When the boy greeted her, she smiled and handed over her car keys without a second thought and took the stairs regally. When she entered the restaurant proper she looked around for Jonah and when the man asked her who she was with she realized she did not know Jonah's last name. She felt instantly stupid and said, "I will wait here for him." Her eyes scanned the room but she did not see him as she stepped to the side to let others be escorted to their tables.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:35 AM   #40
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In the intervening days, Jonah went on with his business as normal. Occasionally, Crystal's face would insinuate itself into his mind's eye, and it would cause him to stop and smile.

His confidence that she would make the date he'd set was high. She may debate herself silly in the interim, but he knew she'd be there.

Come Tuesday, he arrived at the designated place around 7:45, to find his table - the one nearest the large window overlooking the ocean - already prepared, with two wine glasses and candles waiting. At two minutes to eight, he went to the host's office, where he took a seat that gave him a view of the entry.

At 8:01, she stepped through the door. She exchanged a few words with the host, then waited. Jonah let her stew a bit, watching her uncertainty grow, then just as she appeared ready to walk back out, he got up, quietly stepped behind her and whispered in her ear, "You look spectacular... and you're late."
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:47 PM   #41
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Crystal shifted her weight from one foot to the other as other couple's arrive and were led to their table. Her mind was racing with all kinds of thought but her last thought was she was a fool to come here to meet a stranger. She was about to turn and leave gathering her dignity when suddenly his voice whispered in her ear and she jumped startled by his words, "You look spectacular... and you're late." Her hand went to her chest as she spun around and loudly said, "You startled me and what do you mean I am late." She was ready to leave now annoyed by his sneakiness and his words. She glared at him and took a step toward the exit.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:00 PM   #42
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The quick ire that rose in Crystal at Jonah's unexpected appearance simply endeared her to him that much more. If things all worked out properly, that energy would get channeled elsewhere, into much more pleasurable attitudes and endeavors.

He didn't react to her quick anger, though. That would have simply encouraged it. He also didn't bother apologizing for having approached her from behind. That had been calculated, intentional. However, the second part of her protest, he could and willingly did respond to.

Flatly but firmly, he stated, "I said to meet me here at eight. It is now..." he looked at his watch, "Eight-oh-three-and-fourteen seconds.

"Oh well, nothing to be done about it now. Next time."

He turned and held out his elbow. "Come. The table's ready. I hope you aren't allergic: I'm told the shellfish this evening is incredible."
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:31 AM   #43
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Crystal stared at Jonah expecting an apology when he suddenly told her in a stern voice, "I said to meet me here at eight. It is now..." She was beyond words as he looked at his watch and told her, "Eight-oh-three-and-fourteen seconds.

She began to sputter as several answers flashed in her mind as he said, "Oh well, nothing to be done about it now. Next time." She was fit to be tied, she had been her on time. She watched as he held out his elbow and was ready to turn around and leave as he practically demanded, "Come. The table's ready. I hope you aren't allergic: I'm told the shellfish this evening is incredible."

She was about to tell him she was leaving when she looked around and saw people staring at them. She did not want to cause more of a scene so she hooked her arm into his but she wasn't very happy about it as he led her away.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:58 AM   #44
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Crystal appeared to be upset by his telling her she was late. Apparently her clocks were set differently than his. Jonah set his timepieces by Greenwich Mean Time, and therefore, they were as accurate as accurate could get. Next time, she'd arrive sooner.

She was ready to storm off, but looked around at the crowd in the entry. Employees and regulars knew Jonah, and were always interested in the company he kept, because they were typically smart and beautiful. The fact that there were so many people about and paying attention unnerved Crystal, so, instead of venting her anger and leaving, she set her mouth in a tight line and thrust her hand into the elbow Jonah offered.

Jonah didn't acknowledge her anger; instead, he pretended as if nothing had happened. He made small talk as they threaded through the tables to the one at the window.

"I wasn't exaggerating, you know, when I said you look spectacular. You light up the room with your beauty. Practically everyone here is jealous of me right now."

By this time, they were at the table. the candles were lit, and wine was in each glass.

Jonah led Crystal to one side of the table and pulled the chair out for her and indicated she should sit. Grudgingly, she did so, and he then went to his place and joined her.

Though it was a round table, the seating was arranged so that both diners could both view the ocean outside, as well as observe the room inside, without turning in their chairs. It also offered the diners the possibility of conversation with relative ease.

When the waiter came, Jonah didn't hesitate.

"Taylor, two of the lobster and scallop entrees, with the salad of the day." The young waiter nodded and left.

"So," Jonah turned back to his dinner companion, the current business taken care of, "how have your last few days been?"
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:07 PM   #45
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Crystal felt as if she was on display as Jonah led her to a table by a window. Her eyes wondered a bit and she knew for sure that people were looking at them and she blamed Jonah for that. He kept speaking even though she was not answering him. She knew if she did she would make a scene. She was sorry she had come. She felt she should have known better. She was seething with anger as Jonah seated her.

She was struck speechless as he suddenly told her, "I wasn't exaggerating, you know, when I said you look spectacular. You light up the room with your beauty. Practically everyone here is jealous of me right now." She could feel a blush burning her cheeks so she turned her head and looked out the window at the ocean. She realized this man was too experienced for her and that she should have not come here. She decided she had to make some sort of excuse and go home.

She was about to make her excuses when the waiter came to the table and before she could say a word, Jonah told the waiter, "Taylor, two of the lobster and scallop entrees, with the salad of the day." She watched as the waiter nodded his head and left. She looked quickly at the other patrons and was relieved to see that they weren't watching her and Jonah any more. She was taken back when Jonah looked at her and asked, "So, how have your last few days been?" Without thinking she told him, "Its been good, I finished my book and sent it to my publisher." She frowned when she realized what she had said.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:54 AM   #46
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Just as Crystal divulged what she'd done over the few days they'd been apart, it was obvious she hadn't intended to share quite so much information with him. It was something he hadn't expected of her, yet it delighted him.

"An author, eh? How fascinating. Talented as well as beautiful. Please, tell me, what kind of things do you write?"
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:14 PM   #47
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"An author, eh? How fascinating. Talented as well as beautiful. Please, tell me, what kind of things do you write?"

She really didn't want to tell him what kind of books she wrote. Strangely it seemed to personal. His eyes seemed to capture hers and she couldn't seem to break away from him. Finally she said, "Nothing that you would be interested in." She hoped that would stop his questions as she turned her face and looked around but when she turned back to him he was still looking at her.

She could feel her face burn from a blush as she cleared her throat. She suddenly told him, "I write children's books." She lowered her eyes and played with her fork and knife.
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:52 AM   #48
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It was obvious Crystal wasn't comfortable with having shared such information about herself, but what one did for either a living or a hobby was the kind of thing that was discussed at gatherings such as this one, wasn't it? It was considered the most innocuous, and therefore, the safest subject to converse about, at least until people got more familiar with one another. Why Crystal would have rather not mentioned that she wrote might mean that it wasn't the kind of thing one could talk about with just anyone.

Still, the mention of it piqued Jonah's interest. He'd assumed she was a secretary or a schoolteacher. As far as he knew, she still was. There was nothing saying she couldn't write when she wasn't at her "day job."

Regardless, at his expectant look, she mumbled, "Nothing you'd be interested in."

He wanted to tell her he didn't care what she wrote. It would interest him, no matter what the subject. It could be the most inane self-help book, or the crudest pornography, and he wanted to know about it.

However, before he could insist that he truly did want to know, Crystal's face went red, and she blurted out, "I write children's books." She then fell silent and suddenly found the tablecloth and cutlery quite fascinating.

Jonah waited a couple beats before he reached out and placed a finger under Crystal's chin and lifted it gently so their eyes once more met.

"It sounds delightful," he told her earnestly. "You'll have to bring one of your books for me to read."
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:24 AM   #49
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Crystal did not resist him when she felt his finger under her chin. He gently lifted her face up and soon she was looking into his eyes as he told her, "It sounds delightful," he truly sounded sincere but she found herself laugh as he told her, "You'll have to bring one of your books for me to read." When she realized he really wanted to read one of her books she shook her head no. "My books are for children between 5 and 10. Past that age their relationships become to complicated for me to handle. You see I write about the simple things, usually with animals, cartoon animals that in my stories run into situations that all children find themselves in. Making friends, sleep overs, losing a pet those kinds of things. When they become 11 some are already into boyfriends or girlfriends and I don't feel qualified to handle that kind of thing.

She realized what she had said and blushed and suddenly found that the tablecloth had an intricate pattern. She was trying to think of something to say that would change the topic of conversation.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:01 AM   #50
susurrus
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Jonah listened intently to Crystal's dismissal of her stories, then with more interest as the explained the reason why she kept the relationships at a very fundamental level.

Once more, the realization came across that she'd intimated more than she'd originally intended, and once again, her gaze left his in embarrassment.

That her moods swung so quickly from intense, impotent rage to this guilty sheepishness made her even more interesting.

Again, Jonah reached over and lifted her face so their gazes met. He could tell she wanted to look away immediately, but it seemed that his wanting her to look at him kept her from doing so.

"Is that why you turned down your friend John? Because you didn't know how to handle a relationship of the type he wished to enter into?"
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