The Letter (Bedtime Stories)

The Letter (Bedtime Stories) by Rosemary Gunn

Book: The Letter (Bedtime Stories) by Rosemary Gunn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rosemary Gunn
Chapter One
     
    “Oh, for the love.”
    The muttered words sounded loud in the quiet apartment, even as Emily tore the cushions off the sofa, shuffled through stacks of magazines, and peered under furniture. She had already been over the entire apartment – a half dozen times, but returned to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Not that she really believed the letter would be there, but she was getting desperate.
    As she ’d already known, the little folded paper was not to be found among the milk, fruits, or leftover pizza. That left only one possibility. Emily groaned. The absolute worst possibility.
    “Stuart.” Thoughts of her friend brought a flush to her caramel colored cheeks. Friend? Was that what they were? More like two business professionals who simply made a point of taking the time to enjoy each other’s company. Kind of. She raised her hands to her heated face as her heart pounded beneath her breasts. Breasts that even now tightened and ached at the thought of Stuart reading her note.
    Why had she even written the silly thing? It was that creative writing exercise . The instructor had suggested free writing as a means of unleashing the inner muse or some such crap.
    If Stuart had found her note, something was definitely going to be unleashed, though Emily was fairly certain it wouldn’t be her muse.
    The room seemed to shrink, becoming claustrophobic. Her skin tingled and itched at the idea of Stuart reading over her most secret desires.
    To him, Emily was just one of the guys. Okay, so maybe not that platonic, but certainly not someone who interested him sexually. In the six months he’d been coming into the coffee shop, there had been several different companions. All tall, slender, elegant. And blonde.
    They had conversations. She would take her lunch break among the books in his shop, nibbling on something and working on homework.              
    Maybe she’d dropped it on her way out of class. Embarrassed at the thought of a stranger reading it, Emily knew her name wasn’t on it. Only someone who knew her well would be able to identify her handwriting. Or someone who had given her a ride in their pickup.
    The butterflies in her stomach turned into giant flapping blackbirds.
    She would simply retrace her steps from yesterday. Easy enough. She pulled the antique bicycle from beneath the stairs, and toss ed her green and yellow tote into the basket on the handlebars. Usually dependable, yesterday Emily had gotten a flat.
    Stuart had seen her on the road outside of town pushing the bike, coming from the community college. He’d spun his pickup around, and put the bike in the back. Her tote and notebook had gotten tossed into the extended area of the cab. She recalled that the bag had tipped over and it was a pretty good bet that her letter had slipped beneath the bench seat.
    She rode through the quiet streets of her small town, and then parked her bike in front of the Stuart’s book store. His big red truck was parked in the alley between his store and the coffee shop that Emily managed. She would love to just open the door and take a peek in there before confronting him, but even in a small town, that wasn’t a good idea.
    She screwed up her courage and entered his shop. S everal people brows ed and Stuart was behind the counter ringing up an older man.
    There was a millisecond of hope that he hadn’t discovered her secret yearnings, but then her muse looked up, golden eyes snagging her breath. Fuck. Busted.  
     

Chapter Two
     
    Stuart’s eyes met hers directly and the gleam she saw there made her breath catch in her lungs. She felt like the proverbial deer in the headlights, unable to move. As the customer reached for his wallet, Stuart held her gaze, almost daring her to run. Or stay.
    She looked away first, darting between the shelves , her heart in her throat . The bell chimed and before she could even try to figure out what to say to him, Stuart was behind her . His

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