Devour

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Chapter 18

Briar

I leaned back on the beach towel that I laid out on the porch. I gave a relaxed sigh and closed my eyes against the Hawaii heat and sun. The ocean waves can be heard from the rented beach home I was currently staying at. This was exactly what I needed. A good tanning and some ocean weather.

Chase has texted me several times at the beginning of the week, but his text began to die down. A part of me believed it was because he had finally given up and moved on. Another part was crying out, begging me to go back and see him.

I’m not going to lie, I miss him terribly. I want to wake up in his arms again. I want him to hold me to sleep.

No.

I must forget him. This was why I am here. I needed space.

With my eyes closed, I moved my left hand around to feel for the bowl of grapes that I bought and washed earlier. When I felt it, I popped one in my mouth and chew with my eyes still closed.

This vacation was for me. A time for me to focus on myself and my life. Possibly even get my act together before I go back home.

I finished chewing the grape in my mouth and moved for another succulently sweet grape again.

After tanning under the sun for a while, I got up and walked inside the beach home. It was a simple built beach home with open windows and white shades. It had one bedroom, a kitchen, one bathroom, and a living room. Outside the home was painted turquoise to match the morning sky.

I walked inside and tossed my towel on the living room sofa before reaching behind me to untie my swimming bra. I untied the ties behind my neck and moved to tie the ones on my back.

I have been meaning to go out and do some shopping and since today I have nothing else to do. I decided I could go using the rental car that I rented.

Hawaii was much different from the state. I chose a silk tank top and a pair of ripped light blue shorts to wear for today.

It didn’t take long before I was on the road. I did some shopping around some stores. Got me some new clothes and some souvenirs to take home.

After I was done shopping, I headed to a small café around the corner on the block I was shopping on. When I got inside, the waitress seated me in a window seat. I picked up the menu to look over what I wanted to order.

Someone cleared their throat a few minutes later. I glanced from my menu to see Logan standing in front of me with a grin on his face. He was dressed in his business suit.

“Briar, it is nice to see you here in Hawaii.” He smiled impishly.

It was nice to see a familiar face, “Logan, are you here on a business trip?”

He chuckled, “As a matter of fact, I am. There is a business deal I needed to settle here.”

“Well, did you have lunch yet? I was just about to order.” I waved to the seat in front of me.

“Actually, I wouldn’t mind having lunch with you. A beautiful woman always lightens up my day.” He smirked before slipping into the chair across from me.

I smiled at his compliment. Logan is nothing like Chase. Chase was more-naughty. Logan is a little less naughty and more on the reserved side. I figured it had to do with his daughter.

Logan is what Molly would say to me-perfect husband material. He is serious, has a daughter, has a steady job, and he doesn’t own a club.

The waitress walked up to us and asked what Logan wanted to drink. After taking our orders, she walked to the back of the counter and hooked out orders on a metal circle for the cooks in the back.

Logan leaned forward, propping his elbows on the table, “So, are you here alone?”

I smiled sheepishly, “Yea. I figured I could use a break from reality.”

He smirked, “I can’t say I am not happy to hear that. My business trip here will be for a few days. Maybe you and I can hang out.”

I eyed him warily with a smile on my face, “Are you asking me out, Mr. Hawkings?”

He laughed, the corner of his eyes wrinkled.

“I’m not going to lie, Briar. I like you. I think you’re an amazing woman and from what I hear from my daughter. She thinks you’re an amazing woman who is kind and sweet.” He replied.

My smile slipped a little when a picture of Chase appeared before me. I remember the contract I had with Chase. I couldn’t see any other person.

Logan must have noticed my reaction because his smile disappeared to.

“Was I too forward?” He asked.

I shook my head, “No, it’s not that. It’s not you. It’s just that it’s complicated.” I mumbled.

He sighed, “I get it if you don’t want to go on a date with me.

He chuckled a little dejectedly, “After all, I have a daughter. Most of the time, women are intimidated by that fact. As if a child is an obstacle to what my relationship will be with her.”

“What?” I exclaimed. “That’s not what I meant. I told you, it has nothing to do with you.”

He looked up at me and I can see a little hope flickering in his irises, “Then you will give us a chance?”

I laughed, “You don’t give up do you?”

“Not when it comes to someone like you.” He replied.

~ ~ ~

A few days later and Logan and I have been talking to each other. He has come over and spent dinner with me after his business meetings. We have gone shopping and ate out at places.

I discovered many things about him. He was perfect. A perfect father and husband to be. He has life goals and family goals. His ex-wife left him to marry her acting manager. She wants nothing to do with their daughter. Logan is her only parent.

Again, he was perfect. A gentleman at heart and is one of the kindest men I have met but he wasn’t Chase.

I couldn’t help but constantly compare the two. I couldn’t stop my heart from screaming Chase’s name and I couldn’t stop myself from missing him every second of the day. Even with Logan here, it wasn’t the same.

Tonight, Logan and I had just finish some Chinese take-out in my beach home. We sat around in the living room eating and laughing. He was a funny guy and I often catch myself laughing so hard at the things he does.

When the night was nearing to an end, he got up and stretched from his seat.

“Well, I got to go. Early meeting tomorrow and then I have to board the plane and go back home.” He smiled down at me. I got up and placed my cup of Chinese food on the coffee counter before standing up with him.

“Thank you for having dinner again with me tonight. I had a lot of fun.” I told him while walking him to the front door. I opened it and he turned around to face me.

“The last few days that I have spent with you-I have never been more relaxed. You have this comforting vibe about you, Briar.” He smiled softly at me.

I saw him take a step forward, bringing him closer to me. When I saw him lowering his lips closer to me, I knew he was going to kiss me. I backed away immediately feeling slightly panicked and like I was being pushed to do something I was not ready yet.

He blinked and pulled back. I looked back at him, but he didn’t look upset. He only smiled at me.

“It’s okay if you’re not ready. I am willing to wait, Briar.” He told me honestly.

I sighed, “I’m sorry, Logan. I don’t know if I am ready yet.”

“I understand that, and I am perfectly fine with it. Just know that I won’t stop pursuing you. You are a woman worth pursuing.” He replied before pulling me into a hug. I hugged him back and felt his lips grazed the top of my head before he pulled back.

“I’ll see you back home?” He asked.

I nodded, “In a few weeks.”

He chuckled, “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too.”

I waved goodbye to him and closed the door. I started cleaning the food off the coffee table and putting the leftovers in the fridge. After I was done washing the dishes, I glanced at the clock and saw it was almost midnight. I hurried and took a shower before changing into a thin silk nightgown and slipping into bed.

I snuggled into my sheets and pulled my blanket over me. I closed my eyes waiting for sleep to consume me when I heard a knock at the door.

Thinking it must be Logan coming back for something. I pushed the blanket aside and walked out of my bedroom, down the hallway, and to the front door. I opened it and Logan’s name slipped from my lips but when my gaze lifted to see who it was--I went speechless. My heart accelerated and my body came back to life.

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