Starting Over (Treading Water Trilogy)

Starting Over (Treading Water Trilogy) by Marie Force

Book: Starting Over (Treading Water Trilogy) by Marie Force Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marie Force
see.”

    “I’ll pray for your family.”

    “Thank you. I’m actually in your school neighborhood right now.”

    “Really? Doing what?”

    “We’re the contractor on the new restaurant at the intersection of 28 and 6A.”

    “I know just where you mean.” She paused. “Um, Colin, I feel bad about the way we left things the other night. I don’t want you to think…”

    “What?”

    There was another long pause during which he wondered if she was still there. “That I didn’t want to see you again,” she said in a small voice. “It’s not that.”

    “Then what is it?” he asked, relieved by her confession.

    “It’s nothing to do with you. I’d like to see you again. It’s just that I don’t, well, I don’t date or anything.”

    “Why not?”

    “Let’s just say once burnt, twice shy.”

    A new level of understanding settled over him as he got his first clue as to what might’ve brought her to Al-Anon. “It doesn’t have to be a date. We could just call it dinner and leave it at that. You do go out with friends, don’t you?”

    “Well, yes, I guess I do.”

    “I’d like to think we could be friends.” Colin felt almost deceitful since he already knew he wanted to be much more than friends with this woman. There was something so sweet about her, and the clue she’d given him only fueled his desire to know more about her.

    “I’d like that.”

    “So then would you like to have dinner with a friend on Saturday night?”

    “That’s date night.”

    He laughed. “How about Sunday, then?”

    “That’s a school night.”

    “I haven’t heard that expression in twenty years,” he said with a chuckle. “Which is worse? A date night or a school night?”

    “Date night, definitely. Sunday it is.”

    “I’ll call you,” he promised.

    “Okay. Are you coming to the meeting on Friday?”

    “I’m planning to.”

    “I’ll see you then. I’ve got to get back to class.”

    “See you Friday.” Colin ended the call and let out a whoop. It wasn’t a date, but it was a start. He looked up to find his employee, Ray, watching him from the door of the restaurant. His face heated with embarrassment as he got out of the truck.

    “Everything all right, boss?” Ray asked with amusement. The men had called him that since Dennis announced his promotion at a meeting Monday morning.

    “Let’s get back to work,” Colin grumbled as he put his hard hat back on.

    Ray laughed. “After you, boss.”

     
    Brandon groaned when he pulled up to the house on Old Queen Anne Road. The rambling Victorian had been added on to over the years, and Dennis said it was structurally sound but needed some major aesthetic work to bring it into the twenty-first century. There were six apartments in all, five of which were rented.

    As Brandon walked up the cracked front walk, he surveyed the overgrown landscaping and faded yellow paint peeling off the exterior. The wooden front steps sagged under his weight, and he found more peeling paint, gray this time, on the front porch where an ancient swing hung from the ceiling at the far end. “You’d be taking your life in your hands to sit on that thing,” Brandon mumbled.

    Dennis came out the front door. “Hey, there he is!” He clapped his son on the back. “The man of the hour!”

    “More like the chump of the hour. Sorry I’m late. I ran into Coach Coughlin in Harwich this morning.”

    “How is he?”

    “He’s great. It was good to see him.” He pushed a finger into the rotted frame around one of the front windows. “What the hell were you thinking buying this place, Da?”

    “It’s a great tax write off, and it has real potential. Come on, I’ll show you.”

    An hour later, Brandon had been given a tour long on low points and short on highlights. The place needed everything. But while he grumbled to his father, inside, Brandon felt a spark of excitement at what he could do here. As he and his brothers had assumed more

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