Saige Ingalls just broke up with long term boyfriend, Ben. Taking refuge with her mother, she’s trying to deal with the idea that she’s single again.
Her phone rang. Looking at it absently, she saw it was Brodie calling her. What could he want? It was nearly seven o’clock on a Friday night.
“Where are you? Did you forget dinner?”
“Oh, shit! Yes, I did. I’m so sorry. Ben and I….”
“Had a huge argument. Yeah, he told me. I was just at your place to pick you up.”
“Dinner completely slipped my mind, Brodie. I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay. I can wine and dine these clients without you. You just make me look so damn good and your memory for details is incredible.”
“You don’t need me to look good, Brodie. You’re gorgeous.”
“Okay, wrong word. Impressive, on the ball, in touch with the pulse of the fucking city. What do you want me to say?”
“You’ll pick me up after you wow the clients and take me out for a cup of coffee and a shoulder to cry on?”
“Sure thing. Um, where are you?”
She giggled, smacking herself in the head. “My mother’s. She lives in that quaint cedar cabin across the lake from Lita.”
“Oh, yes! Ooh, does this mean I can get a tour? I’ve always wanted to see the interior of that house. It fascinates me.”
“If Mom’s awake, sure. If not, another time, I promise. Can’t have my boss lusting after my mother’s home without satisfying him, can I?”
“Absolutely not. I should be done by nine. Nine thirty at the latest, so see you about ten?”
“I’ll be here. Thanks, Brodie.”
“Not a problem, Saige. See you soon.”
Her phone rang again almost immediately. Thinking it was Brodie again, she answered without looking at it. It wasn’t Brodie, it was Ben.
“Your boss was here,” he said simply, his tone petulant, hurt and still very angry.
“Yes, he told me.”
“Yeah, well, I thought you should know. Something about dinner?” He hedged for details.
“With clients. It wasn’t a date, Ben, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
“What does it matter? I’m a stupid, selfish, inconsiderate, insufferable prick.”
“Are you fucking Brodie now? That’s it, isn’t it?”
“Benjamin! I told you it was dinner with clients. I’ve never slept with Brodie.”
“But you want to. I can see it in your face whenever you’re around him.”
“You’re out of your mind. You were the only man I wanted, Ben. Don’t you know that? It’s only ever been you.”
Saige could picture his brown hair tousled from his exertions throwing her things out. He thought she wanted Brodie? Had he sunk so low that he could ever doubt her love?
“Ben, I loved you so much. How could you even think…?” She couldn’t finish the sentence. It made her chest hurt.
“I’ve got absolutely nothing, Saige. Why wouldn’t you want something more?”
“I can’t do this right now, Ben. I can’t go through all this again today.”
“Never mind. Forget I called. Go have dinner with your rich, jacked, successful boss boyfriend.”
“Fine!” She screamed. “Fine! I will. I’ll go out and fuck his brains out. Would that make you happy? Do you want to be right that badly?”
“No,” he whispered and hung up.
Saige screamed and threw her phone across the room. It landed with a clatter, the back flying off. Both pieces whirled in opposite directions. She didn’t even pay attention to where they landed.
Her mother tapped on the door, leaning around with a sad smile. “Darling, dinner’s ready if you’re hungry.”
“Thanks, Mom. I don’t feel much like eating.”
“I made your favorite.” She paused to gauge her daughter’s reaction. “Roast Pork Caesar Salad with homemade croutons. Sure you aren’t just a teeny bit hungry?” Her wheedling tone got a smile from Saige.
“Actually, yes. I’m starving. I didn’t get any lunch and breakfast seems a really long time ago.”
“That boss of yours doesn’t let you eat?” Her mother frowned. She wasn’t sure sometimes what to think of Brodie.
“Yes, he lets me eat. It’s my own fault. I went shopping for an anniversary present for Ben.”
The tears threatened to fall again. Rubbing her eyes angrily, she followed her mother to the dinner table. The house was situated in such a way that the combined living and dining room had a magnificent view of the lake. Surrounded by weeping willows and an ethereal stand of bamboo, it was magical. The stress and anger flowed from her muscles as if washed away by the lake.