“Where are we?” Zora looked out the window of the car as David drove down a slim dirt road.
“You’ll see.” He pulled into the cove-like area and killed the engine.
“Oh my, it’s beautiful.” She exclaimed as she climbed out the car.
David made it around the car to help direct her towards the trees with hanging tree limbs that blew in the wind. “This was my mother’s hiding spot. I come and visit her here all the time.”
Suddenly, they came to a halt. “Is your mother buried here?” She said with uneasiness.
David laughed as he tugged her to continue. “No, but we sprinkled her ashes into the river a little farther back.”
Zora wrapped her arms around his waist, looking up at him longingly. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I wouldn’t have brought you here if I was going to be an emotional wreck.”
“I know you’re teasing but don’t be afraid to show me that side of you. I want to be the one you’re vulnerable with, the one you need when your emotions are high.”
“This is where I usually stop.” He sat down on a huge stump that was beside a massive tree that he used as a backrest. He pulled her into his lap, where she leaned back against him.
“Tell me about your mother.” She whispered as she looked upon the still waters.
“I didn’t get to know her like my brothers did, but they tell me she was sweet and loving. Tell me about your family.”
“They’re nothing like Thomas and your mother, for sure.”
He laughed. “I don’t think there’s anyone like Thomas Tucker.” She joined in with him before getting serious.
“My parents had a gambling problem. My mom would play the numbers and my father loved some high-stakes poker. They had very little time for a kid. I would go days without seeing them.”
“Tell me someone came and checked on you.” David tone was worried for young Zora.
“My mom had this stripper friend who she would send over. She would bring me food and give me motivational speeches.”
“Did they motivate you?”
“You better believe they did. I busted my ass in school to get a scholarship. Can you believe they guilt-tripped me into staying in the state? They claimed they wanted to do right by me.” She chuckled. “I can’t believe I fell for that.”
“You just wanted love from your parents.”
“I didn’t get it, and I think that’s how I ended up with Isaac. Searching for love in all the wrong place.” She turned to him. “I’m scared I’m making that same mistake.”
“Let me prove to you that you’re not.” He caressed her angelic face. “Can I kiss you?”
She nodded her head and closed her eyes, waiting for that magical moment. David’s head descended, taking her mouth with his. The kiss was slow and tantalizing, awaking the imposing desire that always filled them when they were around each other.
“Friends don’t kiss like that.” She said once they pulled back for air. “You’re breaking me down.” She whispered against his lips.
That was the point. “We’re more than friends, Zora. We both know this.” He was done running.
“Let’s go.” He helped her stand. “I’ll race you?”
“Okay.” She screamed go as she took off. He laughed at her cheating ass, but he wanted her to take off so he could say his goodbyes like he always did.
David turned and looked over the water. “When I can’t be honest with myself, I can always be honest with you. Zora is everything I ever really wanted. She’s just like you.” He lowered his head. “I miss you, Ma.”
“David!” Zora called out from the car.
“I got to go. I’ll see you later.” He jogged off.
“Thomas! I’m glad you found time in your busy schedule to come and see me. I know you’re tied up these days looking for those thugs who jumped David. Any luck?” Governor Steve spoke as they walked into his study.
Thomas looked around the study and found himself unimpressed. His office was better. “Not much, but we’ll get them.”
“I offered some agents to David to help, but he declined. He only needs the one and the only Thomas Tucker.”
Funny, he didn’t take Steve as the ass kissing type, but he peeped the undercover sarcasm. “What can I do for you?”
Steve walked over to the bar and started making them a drink, starting with grabbing two glasses. “I was at the house when David and Summer had their minor disagreement. Listen, we’re old-school, we don’t break up for every little thing so I assured her he would be back, but he hasn’t. Do you have any idea where his head is? I’m sure things could be worked out if they just sat down and had a talk with no outside influences.”
Steve laughed as he pour brown liquor in both glasses. “They just need a little nudge, then we can set them free.”
“David and I haven’t talked much about the situation. He’s a grown man who can make his own decisions and if he’s decision is to not get married, then I support that.”
“Our families are supposed to come together for the Women Renewed charity event tomorrow. We should all be there, and who knows what that would do? Maybe bring us closer together.”
There it was. Something was up with the charity event. Thomas would have that looked into. “Maybe you’re right.”
Steve smiled, handing him a drink. “To family.”
“To family.” His family. He vowed he would take the man down in front of him if it was the last thing he did.
Once Thomas was back in his truck and down the street, he picked up his phone and dialed Terry’s number. “Meet me tonight and bring a tux.”
David’s stomach was in knots as he got ready for the event. Each step he took down the stairs was like going down the stairway to hell. His face was warm and his palms were sweating. The plan that he had come up with to break up with Summer was crashing down on him, making him realize it wasn’t one of his best decisions.
Spending weeks with Zora had been the highlight of each day. He got to know her in ways he knew no other woman, including Summer. They spent hours just talking and getting to know one another like they said they would. He knew with Zora he was where he was supposed to be. That’s why he felt like shit now.
David moved to the mirror in the foyer to check his tie. When his phone rang, he had a feeling he already knew who it was.
“Hey, you. Where are you? I thought you would be here by now.” Summer sang in his ear.
“I’m at my father’s house.”
“Yes, still. I’m going to meet you there.”
“You want me to walk in alone. What are you trying to do to my reputation? You promised you would be my date for the event.”
“Like I said, I’ll meet you there, Summer.” He hung up the phone and shoved it in his jacket pocket.
David swung around to see Terry stepped from the kitchen. “Hey, Mr. Terry.” He was dressed in a tux. It was clear he was going to the event as well, but couldn’t stop him for asking the obvious because he was caught. “You coming to the charity event tonight?”
“Yes. Your father invited me. I didn’t know you still talked to her.”
“Talked to who?” Thomas asked, coming down the hall from his room dressed in a tux as well.
“Summer.” Terry answered before David could say anything. He huffed. That was just what he needed his father to hear.
“Can you give us a second, Mr. Terry?” Telling by his father’s expression things were about to get ugly.
He nodded and walked back into the kitchen and David heard the back door slide open then close.
“What are you doing talking to her?” Thomas frowned.
David sighed. “She thinks I’m her date for tonight.”
“And why does she think that?” Thomas folded his arms over his chest.
He thought he knew that answer, but he really didn’t. David dropped his head.
“Are you crazy?”
“I don’t know how to break it off. I know you guys don’t like her but she was going to be my wife up until a few weeks ago. ”
“You just do it! Summer, when I said we were over the first time, I meant it. Get your shit and don’t come back.” He fired off. “Did you think how Zora is going to feel when she finds out about this and she’s going to find out. Where’s your brain?”
David watched his father shake his head and walk off.
He was right, as always. Hadn’t Zora always been one step ahead of him?
Well, not tonight.
He grabbed his keys and raced to his car. He had to catch Summer before she left for the event