Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 45

Annie

“So, how much trouble did the girls get into once Ben found the notebook of swear words?”

“He showed Leslie the book, she laughed, and Ben got mad at her for it. It will be interesting to see what happens between those two.”

“Yeah, I know he’s interested because of his actions towards her after, Jerry. Are you still doing okay with everything, sweetheart?”

“Yeah, after I got his letter, some of the scariness left me about him. His sister wrote me one too, explaining his mental health problems since childhood. I sent a note back to her, saying I accept their apology. It all happened so fast, Jack, and I didn’t listen to the voice inside me, warning how something felt off.”

“Don’t. Stop. Don’t go there, sweetheart. Tell me about your day today with Brenda and Josie? Will you wear your new dress for me tomorrow night for dinner?”

“Hmmm, we’ll see.” I turn on my side to get a better look at him lying beside me with his glasses on, going over some papers. It’s late, and he has to work tomorrow morning. He’s been thinking about me being here, and my heart fills with joy, you can see it in this massive bedroom. He has it set up like we have it at home. There’s a TV area for me and a table by the bedroom window, where he likes the light of the day to work, but also he can watch me veg out on TV. “We need to go to sleep.” I yawn. “What time are you leaving for the office?”

He takes his work and glasses and places them on the nightstand, and turns off the lights. “The sooner I fall to sleep, the sooner it will be morning, my favorite time of the day. My mornings with Annie.” He kisses me goodnight.

I feel those words to my soul, “It is the best time of the day. What time do you leave for work?” I ask and yawn again.

I snuggle down into his chest. “Alarm is set for five-thirty, and I’m not going into the office until nine.” He answers me with a half yawn. I kiss his chest. Perfect, I close my eyes, and then it hits me that I got permission from Leslie this morning to tell Jack about the hookup, but I got sidetracked. I pop up on my elbow.

“What, sweetheart?” He’s looking at my face with his usual straight, serious, intense expression. I watch his eyes, then feel his finger trace the lines of my short bangs across my forehead. I break out in chills when his fingers trace down my jawline and stop at the bottom point, on my chin. “What did you just remember to tell me?”

“Two days after I moved up to Ohio and into my apartment, Sarah Jane spent the night with me.”

He rubs my bottom lip. “Okay, Sara Jane spent the night.”

“That night, Leslie went out and picked up a man in a bar. They went to a hotel and had an explosive night of sex.”

“Okay, that’s good, right?” He arches his brows, questioning where this is going.

“Yeah, that’s good, that is great for her. I just wanted to tell you, Leslie gave me permission to share. Uh, that man turned out to be one of SJ’s friends’ father.” I smile when I see it smack him in his face. “It was Ben.” I laugh because he scowls.

“That fucker never told me, it makes sense, the asshole.”

I kiss his scowling face.

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