Follow My Heart (The Wrestler's Heart Book 1)

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Chapter Nine

(Hillary)

P.M. from Ethan Hart:

Well, here I am. Sending a private message to a woman I met on Chatter. Our normal conversations are barely a couple sentences shared with anyone with a computer, or phone, or device hooked up to the internet. I think it might offend, cross a line, or anger her, but I’m going to send it anyway. Because some days I want to say more than what will fit on a Chatter post and sometimes I want to say something from the heart or personal. Something the public wouldn’t understand.

***

I opened the message from Ethan and raised a brow. Was he asking permission? Did he mean to send it to me?

***

P.M. from Velvet Rose:

If a man wants to send a woman a private message, he should do it. Even if the response is not what he’d hope, at least he tried. Actually, I can say that about many things we want to do in our lives.

“You never know if you don’t try.” My mother always said that. It’s what gets my foot out the door every time. But how many times should you try before giving up? Don’t you already know after the first couple of times?

P.M. from Ethan Hart:

I don’t believe in giving up. There’s always an option. Something new to try. Eventually, something will go right. If it’s in your heart and you want it bad enough, it’s worth the risk. Like dating. I’ve danced the dance several times. Thought I knew the steps, and fell on my ass every time. It hurt like hell, but I’m still going to get up and try again.

***

And it went on like that all day and the next morning, I found myself contacting him before I did anything else. Soon, a week had passed and we were still talking. Sometimes he wrote to me first. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Each message beginning as if we were in the middle of a conversation.

***

P.M. from Velvet Rose:

Every message feels like I’m talking to someone I have known for years. Even if it’s been days since our last reply, I feel as though you are always here, in my life. Maybe it’s because you enter my thoughts so often. Isn’t that silly?

P.M. Ethan Hart:

No. You’re right. Every time I send a reply, I find myself constantly checking my phone. Eagerly awaiting your next few lines. What will you say? Will you tell me about your day? Or share a random thought that popped into your head? Whatever it is I know it will bring a smile to my lips and it will stay there for hours.

***

“Hi, Tori!” I sang out, settling on a bench beside her in the outside smoking area and laid my head on her shoulder. “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

Tori gazed at the sky, as if seeing it for the first time, and squinted her eyes to shield them from the light. “I guess so.”

“Don’t you love how everything smells after it rains?”

“No, I’m just glad it’s gone.” She giggled. Rain in Jenithiyah came down fierce and hard, flooding the roads, and making closing stores. The wind gusts blowing at speeds that knocked you to the ground … which explained Tori’s quizzical, ‘She’s gone mad,’ expression. “What’s going on with you?”

“Nothing.”

“Did Brad die?”

“Uh … NO! Tori!” I slapped her arm playfully. “That’s a horrible thing to say.”

“I wouldn’t cry.” She snuffed out her cigarette in a nearby barrel. “Something’s put you in a good mood.”

“It’s Ethan.”

“Ethan Hart? You’re still talking to him?”

“Mmmm … hmm,” I let out a contented sigh. “We send each other private messages.”

“What do you talk about?”

“Everything … and nothing.”

“I think you’re in love!”

“What? With Ethan? No … I don’t even know him. But I love reading his messages. Sometimes it’s silly. Sometimes short, and sometimes I feel like he’s sharing a part of his soul … is this cheating?”

“Online? I don’t think so. It’s just a conversation. It’s not like you’re having cybersex with the guy.”

My eyes grew wide and I choked on the air I sucked into my lungs. “I am not going to do that!”

Tori laughed. “Then it’s not cheating.”

“Anyway, it’s a mute question. We’re not like that. We just message and tag each other on Chatter. We don’t flirt or talk about being together. We just share … stuff.”

“Stuff?”

“You know … What we like, what we don’t like. Food, movies, music … Just little tidbits that we probably wouldn’t say to anyone else. Actually, it’s more like writing to a diary. Maybe I should stop.”

“Hill,” Tori, stood up and opened the door. “You shouldn’t stop doing anything that makes you smile like this.”

My phone beeped and I nearly squealed, grabbing the phone from my scrub’s pocket and squeezing as if I’d been giving exactly what I’d wanted for my birthday.

“The guy’s got great timing.” Tori sang and returned to work.

***

P.M. from Ethan Hart:

Iglue is insanely cold. The company sent us to this region for the first time ever this week. Their biggest town, Snowflake, (Yes, it’s really named Snowflake, LOL) built a huge arena. Sometimes they host concerts, or some kind of sports – mostly ice hockey – and now they want us.

It takes double the time to travel. You never know where a spot of ice may be, but that slows us down only because we are fearful. There’s no snow anywhere else in Jenithiyah and we’re not used to it. They constantly dust the roads here with a mixture of salt and sand. And the trucks that pour it out, are the only things that halt the momentum. We’re stuck behind one right now and have been for an hour on this narrow road. He’s driving down the middle of the road, so we can’t pass him.

But it does give me a moment to enjoy the view outside the window. It’s snowing heavily, yet it falls softly, slowly, as if in slow motion, gliding to the ground so gracefully, that it doesn’t seem like much at all. A white blanket covers the ground. The trees are white. And it’s breathtaking.

I’ve traveled to almost every region in Jenithiyah and I can’t recall another place that looks like that. Not that I honestly pay attention. I’m so preoccupied with obligations and getting to the next one on time that I never take in the scenery around me. From now on, I’m setting aside at least five minutes to just sit and take in the view.

P.M. from Velvet Rose:

I hope to see more of the world someday. I’ve spent most of my life in Coeur de’ Lile. I’ve traveled to Demora once, and I’ve lived in Beau Reve. I’ve never seen Bermuda Falls which is silly because it’s only an hour away.

Maybe I’ll do that. This weekend. I’m just going to drive out, sit on the sand, and leave all my worries in Coeur de’ Lile. It’s an impossible task, right? Troubles reside in our mind and we can’t or shouldn’t leave that behind.

P.M. from Ethan Hart:

You should see the world. In fact, you could tag along with me anytime you want. We could make it a yearlong vacation and by the end of it, you’ll be able to say you’ve stepped foot on every soil, walked on every beach, and tasted every taste in Jenithiyah.

P.M. from Velvet Rose:

That would cross the friendship line, wouldn’t it? I warned you about that.

P.M. from Ethan Hart:

Don’t get ahead of yourself, Beautiful. I just happen to have a job that requires me to travel. Most of the time these rooms are suites and there’s usually an extra room no one is using. I’m rarely in the room. I spend most of the day working, so you are free to tour the town as you wish and you can bring whomever you want with you.

You’ve said your pay sucks, so I assume you have little money set aside for traveling and I thought I could help.

I’m just a friend offering a spare room. For you to assume it meant more must mean you’ve had a few thoughts of crossing the lines yourself. (Wink. Wink.)

***

He’d caught me. What could I say? We both knew the other had romantic thoughts about the other. That’s when it should have ended, yet I didn’t want to give it up. It didn’t mean anything as long as we never acted on them. Right?

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