Promises to Keep. Linda Hudson-Smith
“I’ll be fine, Darius. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He got to his feet and walked toward the men’s room, looking back at her with every few steps he took.
Courtney suddenly had a numbing, cold feeling surrounding her. She always felt overly warm when Darius was around. He’d already had a profound effect on her. She tried to force her mind into thinking of him as nothing more than a friend, but her heart wouldn’t cooperate. It was as if her mind, body and soul had all turned against her. She looked over at the exit. If only she had the nerve to get up and leave. A disappearing act would more than likely lose her a client, but it would surely save her virtue.
Wasn’t that better than losing her heart to someone who was unable to accept it?
Outside of Club 21, Darius took Courtney’s car keys from the attendant’s hand and then opened her door. “Thanks for meeting me here this evening. I hope you had as good a time as I did. That band is something else. I haven’t heard music played so well in a long time.”
“Yeah, it was just great. They took us back to the days of our parents’ music, but I couldn’t even identify where all the sounds came from. There was a time it sounded like someone was whistling across the top of a soda bottle.”
Darius laughed. “You picked that up, too, I see.”
Courtney reached for Darius’s hand. She started to shake it, but instead, she lifted it up to her mouth and planted a light kiss on the back of it. “Thanks for a beautiful evening. Drive safely. Good night.”
Darius’s words had been ambushed before they got stuck in his craw. Saying something clever would’ve been nice, but his brain wasn’t coherent at the moment. The kiss to his hand had completely stunned him, giving him an inkling of what might’ve happened had she kissed him on the mouth. The silly notion to never wash his hand crossed his numbed mind. No kiss had ever affected him the way Courtney’s had, a kiss lighter than a whisper.
As Courtney’s car drove away, Darius stood stock-still for several seconds. When he moved toward his car, a snail could’ve bested him had it been a race. In less than two months, he had nearly become a fool over a woman. He shook his head to try to clear the cobwebs from his mind. He shouldn’t be thinking this way, but he had to find a way to keep their relationship from coming to an abrupt end on the third Saturday in May.
If friendship was all they could have, so be it.
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