Sunday Sample ... The Long Game

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Long Game is coming this week ... 

I pushed away my plate and made room for the Shih Tzu I'd taken home a couple of days ago. She'd come to me through a customer who had a litter. For months, my client kept offering me one of the pups. I'd wanted the puppy, but kept procrastinating because I didn't have the ideal home situation.

Not that I was in any better position now, but I'd finally taken the little cutie pie after I'd seen a digital image of her last week and after I had a talk with Mama. Kiki was now five months old and very cute. She put her paws on the table and sniffed at my leftovers.

I moved the plate farther away. "Nope. That's not on the menu, girl."

Vance continued eating while he watched us.

"You're not leaving her locked up here during the days, are you?"

I shook my head while scratching Kiki under her chin. "Mama will keep her."

He closed the knife and fork, finished his orange juice and then asked, "So what's the point of getting the dog?"

"I've been thinking about it for a while now."

"You never mentioned it."

Playing with Kiki's silky ear, I said, "I don't talk about every single thing with you lot."

"Understood, but it's just weird you never mentioned Cookie before."


He folded his arms and cocked his head. "Cookie fits her better."

I wouldn't admit I agreed with him, but her black, tan and white coloration did remind me of a slice of marble cake.
"Whatever. Since when are you interested in my household affairs anyway?"

His wide smile said it all. When he poked out his lips and then pursed them, I knew he had something to say that I probably wouldn't like. "Does this dog have anything to do with Brianna?"

I looked at him like he was crazy. "You're comparing a baby and a dog?"

"Well, Brianna is cute and the dog is too."

"I don't know what you're implying and I'm not even going wherever with you."

Now, he grinned. "Don't think I don't see the way you and Anna-Lise look at that little girl, as if the sun shines out of her. I think the two of you would pop one out if pregnancy wasn't so long and complicated."

I was speechless. After cutting my eyes at him, I shook my head. "You're so vulgar."

"It's not like you didn’t know. But anyway, you know I'm not lying."

When I didn't say anything for a bit, he added, "Like I said, being a mother would suit you."

"All in good time, I guess."

Kiki barked as if she agreed with that I'd just said.

"Isn't she going to complicate your life?" Vance said, pointing at Kiki. "Especially since you're now going to the gym."

"Man, you're all the way into my business."

"As your man, it's my business to know what's going on in your life."

His declaration sucked my breath away. He'd put into words what had been lingering on the edge of my mind. If I had a doubt about what we were doing, Vance had just blown my doubts away.

For reasons I hadn't clarified with myself, I'd started the gym at the beginning of the week. This thing with Vance had me shaking up my life, which wasn't a bad move since I'd fallen into a crater and hadn't climbed out except to go on that date with Lawrence. I could have told myself I didn't need to work out, but I knew better. I was fit enough, but there was room for improvement and if I was to keep up with Vance, yeah, I needed to step up my endurance.

Kiki squirmed in my lap, so I got up to give her a snack. She didn't eat much, but until I learned her habits, I didn't want to run the risk of starving her. In the kitchen, I doled out a bit of kibble and put fresh water in her other bowl. Kiki dipped her head in the neon-pink bowl and got busy with her snack.

When I stood straight, Vance was behind me carrying our breakfast plates. He went to the bin, emptied the leftovers and moved to the sink. Watching him washing up brought a smile to my face. He was trying, which pleased me. Although he lived alone and was used to tidying up after himself, when we got together, Ayisha, Kathy and I tended to clean up after the guys.

I paid attention when Vance stood before me. He looked at his watch, a big old thing that had smart features, including measuring the yardage on the golf course. It was the only thing he wore that was obviously expensive and he hardly ever took it off.

A sly grin twisted his mouth and he gripped my waist with both hands. "We have some time before we head out to the course."

Sliding my arms around his shoulders, I mumbled against his lips. "Don't you ever get enough?"

"Not with you," he said, easing his fingers under my tank top.


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