Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 18


“No one called off tonight?” I hear Annie asking Karen, her manager, on her phone. I smile. Good, I hated that she worked last night and left the house shortly after Derek and Maranda. Throughout the day yesterday, I barely managed not ordering everyone out, to leave the house so I could have Annie all to myself. Derek and Maranda smiled when we walked in together on a Saturday morning. I forced myself to work, but as soon as they left for the day, I fucked Annie on the kitchen island before she left for her job at The Stardust.

“All right, thanks, Karen. I’ll see you Tuesday night.” She hangs up the phone.

I picked her up from work last night and took her out to the house. Unfortunately, today, I needed papers from my office, and we needed to come into the apartment. I hated to go back into the city because I knew once we got here, Annie would try to go home. She lives only fifteen minutes away in an up and coming but still shitty neighborhood.

“So, I get you again tonight?” I take my glasses off and look at her sitting across the room on the couch. She gets up and walks over to the table. Unbidden, I react; I turn my chair and open my arms. My sweet Annie walks right into them, and her hands go into my hair.

“Jack, I need to get going.”

I try hard not to show how unhappy that makes me. I know I fail when she smiles. I say, “Do whatever you need to do here. Stay here with me tonight.”

She laughs, “Jackson, you swept me out of my apartment, unexpectedly, two days ago. The only time we’ve been apart has been when I’ve had to work. I need to go home and get organized for this week, that's how I spend the Sundays I don't work.” She kisses my forehead. It’s a sweet, soft, kind, heartfelt, and loving little kiss from Annie to ease away my feeling towards her refusal. “Will I see you this week at the house?”

I know I need to let her have some space. I can’t believe I don’t want or feel the need for space myself. I have the biggest project of my life right now at work; I have shit I need to get done. But I don’t, I don’t want her to leave. I’d be happy if she would stay, but I know I need to slow myself down and plan a path forward that will give us a chance. If I was obsessed with thoughts of her before, Christ, after spending most of this weekend and having her in bed, I’m now totally fucked. I know whatever is happening between Annie and me is something different. It’s something I’ve never experienced or wanted before.

“Yes, you will see me at the house. Come to New York with me next weekend.” I brush her hair away from her neck. I take a little bite, then kiss away the sting.

She giggles. “What? You’re a crazy nut. I can’t go to New York this weekend.”

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