“Why do you know all this?”
“He and I have known each other a long time, Saige. He lives in my building. He thought I should know in case anything ever went wrong and they came after him at home. He thought it was important for me to know he wasn’t a criminal, since I helped them get the place.”
“I’ve gotten myself in a mess, haven’t I?”
“Kind of a big one, yes. But he really cares about you. It’s funny, I just remembered he used to talk about you. He didn’t always call you by name, but he’d mention this beautiful girl who lived above his Gran. He helped you move in.”
“He and his brothers, but mostly Romy. He figured out how to get my grandmother’s piano upstairs. I was so excited, I gave him a big kiss and told him he was amazing. I’d forgotten that.”
“Brodie, what makes me so special? There are prettier girls with better figures, better everything. Why me?”
“You really don’t know?”
She shook her head, wide eyed. Brodie huffed into his fist, leaning his elbow against the window as he sped around another car. He didn’t answer right away and Saige began to wonder if he would.
“I can’t speak for everyone, only myself. But it’s the way you get so excited about everything. You throw yourself into a project and and don’t stop until it’s done. Or you laugh at me and don’t take me too seriously even when I am myself. You have this energy that pulls a guy in and makes him feel as if he’s the most important person in the world…. The last few months though, you haven’t been yourself. It’s good to see that sparkle back in your eyes.”
“Thanks, Brodie. It’s good to be back.”
He laughed sardonically. “I wish to God I could take the credit. You’ve no idea how much.”
“So, what happened between you and Amanda? I know you broke up and she’s seeing someone else, but you were never specific.”
He gave her a sidelong glance as they drove up and parked by the lighthouse on a small peninsula that jutted into the lake. “You won’t say anything?”
“Of course not.”
“Because not everyone knows and I’d just as soon they didn’t ever find out.” He continued as if he hadn’t paused. “She left me for a woman.” He said so quietly, she almost didn’t hear him.
“Oh, Brodie! No wonder your confidence is shot to hell.”
“Thanks for the upbeat commentary, Saige.” He snorted, laughing into his knuckles.
“Can I tell you something from a woman’s point of view?”
“Sure, why not?”
“Forget whatever she said to you. You are an incredible man and any woman would be lucky to land you. If circumstances were different, I’d have snagged you ages ago.”
“Really?” He sounded so hopeful. “We keep missing one another. Timing, I suck at it.”
“The timing is bad because we aren’t meant to be together. If we were, it would all have worked out.”
“You really believe that, don’t you?”
“Look at me and Romy. Through an odd and random series of circumstances, we got together. When you meet the right woman, everything will line up for you too.”
“I hope it’s soon. I can’t begin to tell you how much being celibate sucks.”
“I have a pretty good idea.” She smiled, laying her hand on his.
He squeezed her fingers and kissed her hand. “Yeah, I know you do.”
“Where’s the old Brodie confidence?”
“Amanda smashed it into infinitesimal pieces, trampled what was left and hurled the rest into outer space.”
“You’re letting her win.”
He chuckled softly. “Yeah, well ….”