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Years old: 24
Smooth talking stranger, p. Smooth Talking Stranger, p. Call it a premonition, paranoia, but something about that sound severed every comfortable feeling I had managed to stitch around myself. Dane was a vegan, which meant we used soy protein in place of ground beef in our chili. Those three digits were enough to start me hyperventilating. Most of my advice was posted publicly, but I also sent private paid-for replies to those who requested it. You always tell people to face their problems.
Listen, I made a couple of calls to Eternal Truth this morning, and I want to bring you up to date. Why don't you meet me for lunch at the restaurant?
A slight smile rose to my lips. I was glad he couldn't see the color that swept over my face. Since I was still wearing my pajamas, I dashed to the closet and grabbed a beige twill jacket, a white shirt, jeans, and sandals with wedge heels. I spent the rest of the time getting Luke ready, changing him into a fresh onesie and baby jeans that snapped along the insides of the legs. When I was certain we were presentable, I put Luke in his carrier and slung the diaper bag over my shoulder.
We went up to the restaurant, a contemporary bistro with black leather chairs and glass tables, and colorful abstract artwork on the walls. Most of the diners were business people, women in conservative dresses, men in classic suits.
Jack was already there, talking with the hostess. He was lean and handsome in a dark navy suit and French blue shirt. Ruefully I reflected that Houston, unlike Austin, was a place where people dressed for lunch. Jack saw me and came forward to take Luke's carrier.
He disconcerted me by pressing a brief kiss on my cheek. I was annoyed to discover that I was embarrassed and breathless, as if I'd been caught watching an adult cable channel. The hostess led us to a corner table by the windows, and Jack set Luke's carrier on the chair beside mine.
After seating me, Jack handed me a small blue paper bag with string handles. I reached in the bag and pulled out a small stuffed truck made for infants. It was soft and pliant, sewn with different textured fabrics.
The wheels made a crinkling noise when you squished them. I shook the toy experimentally and heard a rattling sound. Smiling, I showed the toy to Luke and placed it on his chest. He immediately began to grope the interesting new object with his tiny fingers. Our gazes held, and I found myself smiling at him. I could still feel the place on my cheek where he had kissed me.
I was going to say something flip and funny. But as I stared at him, I considered the question seriously.
I think you'd be at a cottage at the beach. And the cottage is rustic, by the way. No cable, no wireless, and you've both turned off your cell phones. The two of you take a morning walk along the beach, maybe go for a swim.
And you pick up a few pieces of seaglass to put in a jar. Later, you both ride bikes into the town, and you head for the outfitters shop to buy some fishing stuff. You and the woman have dinner. You sit with your feet up, and you talk. Sometimes you stop to listen to the sounds of the tide coming in.
After that, the two of you go on the beach with a bottle of wine, and sit on a blanket to watch the sunset. I had thought Jack would be amused, but he stared at me with disconcerting seriousness.
The waiter approached us, described the specials, took our drink orders, and left us with a bread basket. Reaching for his water glass, Jack rubbed his thumb over the film of condensation on the outside. Then he shot me a level glance as if taking up a challenge. I smiled, having fun. That's too easy. All it would involve is earplugs, blackout shades, and twelve hours of sleep.
Taking a bite of the dense, delicious bread, I decided to humor him. You stop and buy a couple of dusty used books, a pile of handmade Christmas ornaments, and a bottle of genuine maple syrup. You go back to the hotel and take a nap with the windows open. At the table next to yours, there's an old couple who looks like they've been married at least fifty years.
You and the guy take turns guessing the secret of a long marriage. He says it's lots of great sex. You say it's being with someone who can make you laugh every day. He says he can do both. After dinner, the two of you dance to read smooth talking stranger online free orchestra music. I forced myself to take another bite of bread, chewing casually.
But inside I felt stricken, filled with unexpected yearning. And I realized the problem: no one I knew would have come up with that day for me.
Or did you talk with his secretary? Do we have a meeting? Jack smiled at the abrupt change of subject. I spoke with his secretary. When I mentioned maintenance contract issues, she tried to switch me over to another department. So I implied that it was a personal matter, that I might want to the church.
I regarded him skeptically. I'm a public sinner with a ton of money. Any church would want me. Jack shook his head.
With the result that I've never been sure if it's okay to dance in public. And for a while I thought Lent was something you brushed off your jacket. I gave him an innocent glance. Second, getting to a higher spiritual level is like increasing your credit score. You get a lot more points for sinning and repenting than if you have no credit history at all. Reaching over to Luke, I played with one of his sock-covered feet.
The main pastor, Noah Cardiff, read smooth talking stranger online free a handsome man in his forties, married with five children. His wife, Angelica, was a slender, attractive woman who wore enough eyeshadow to recoat an RV roof. It quickly became apparent that Eternal Truth was more of an empire than a church. In fact, it was referred to in the Houston Chronicle as a "giga church," owning a small fleet of private jets, an airstrip, and real estate that included mansions, sports facilities, and its own publishing company.
I was astonished to learn that Eternal Truth also had its own oil and gas field, run by a subsidiary company called Eternity Petrol Incorporated. The church employed over five hundred people and had a twelve-member board of directors, five of whom were Cardiff's relatives. He was charismatic and charming, making the occasional self-deprecating joke, assuring his worldwide congregation of all the good things their Creator had in store for them.
He looked angelic, with his black hair and fair skin and blue eyes. In fact, watching the YouTube clip made me feel so good that if a collection plate had been passing by at that moment, I would have dropped twenty bucks in it. And if Cardiff had that effect on a feminist agnostic, there was no telling what a true believer might have been moved to read smooth talking stranger online free. On Friday, the babysitter arrived at nine. Her name was Teena, and she seemed friendly and competent.
I had gotten her name from Haven, who said Teena had done a great job with her nephew. I was worried about leaving Luke in anyone else's care—it was the first time we had ever been separated—but it was also something of a relief to have a break. As we had agreed, I met Jack downstairs in the lobby.
I was a few minutes late, having lingered to give a few last-minute instructions to Teena. Self-consciously I reached up and tucked a lock of my hair behind my right ear. I was wearing a slim-fitting black suit made of summer-weight wool, and black high-heeled pumps with delicate straps that crossed over the front. I had put on some light makeup: shimmery brown eye shadow, a coat of black mascara, a touch of pink blush, and lip gloss.
I bit back a grin, realizing he had never seen me dressed up before. And the suit was flattering, cut to show my curves to advantage. Casey: Ryder Slater Brothers 4 E. Robb: Immortal in Death In Death 3 Copyrights by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. : [ protected]. Meet me there in twenty minutes.
But you're my favorite option. Jack seemed to know exactly what I was thinking.
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