Time to Love Again

Time to Love Again by Roseanne Dowell

Book: Time to Love Again by Roseanne Dowell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Roseanne Dowell
return the next day, though he wasn't scheduled to work. He wanted to see how she was doing. "Where are you going when you leave here?"
    "I hadn't given that any thought." Rose walked to the window. "I guess a motel."
    "I have an extra room if you'd like to stay with me and Sarah." He hoped she'd take him up on the offer. He wanted her near him. Wanted to show her she what a passionate woman she could be again. But he saw the fear register on her face. Of course, she's afraid you old fool, she doesn't know you. Just because she lived next door, up until yesterday she never even talked to him. Why would she stay with him?
      "You think about it. They'll probably release you tomorrow. Sarah and I would love to have you." He wrapped his arms around her, dwarfing her with his height. He brushed his lips along her temple. Resisted the urge to move them along her cheek to her mouth. Resisted the urge to crush her to him and kiss her the way he wanted to kiss her. Deep lingering kisses.
    Take it slow. Don't rush her. God, it was hard to hold back. She looked so vulnerable. But he knew if he continued she'd pull away. For now he was content just to hold her for a minute. He hated to let her go, but didn't want to overstep his bounds. He pulled away and backed up. "I'll be back tomorrow," he said and left.
    * * *
    Rose had relished the strength and security she drew from him. The heated rush of hunger startled her when he held her. A wave of sadness overcame her when he pulled away. Where could she stay? Certainly not with Louise, since she was in the hospital, and she wouldn't stay with George alone. Besides, she wouldn't intrude on Molly or Philip.
    Where could she go until her house was back to normal? It was nice of Stephen to open his home to her, but the very thought of living in close proximity with this man that so attracted her horrified her. Bad enough she lived next door to him. Nope that wasn't an option. Besides, she had to discourage this friendship. Discourage him. She couldn't allow him to pursue her. It wouldn't work. Not now, not ever.
    Or could she manage to live in the same house with Stephen and just remain friends, she wondered? Something told her not. Nope, she couldn't continue the friendship with him, and she certainly didn't want to build any other kind of relationship with him. She couldn't let herself love again.
    Why not? She liked him. She was even attracted to him. Why couldn't she at least take the friendship he offered? It wouldn't hurt.
    But it would hurt. Rose knew there would be more than just friendship if she allowed Stephen to get too close. No, no, no. She wasn't going down that road again. She gave her heart once and look where it got her.
    "It got a lot of happiness, years of it. And two great kids, that's what it got," Emma said. "Think back, remember how happy you and Frank were? He wouldn't expect you to go on like this. He wouldn't like it. Frank only wanted your happiness. What would he think seeing you like this? Living like a recluse, going out only to the grocery store, to church, or to run other errands. Only visiting with Louise. No, you know Frank wouldn't like it. Give Stephen a chance."
    Rose closed her eyes. Maybe Emma was right. Maybe she would.

    Chapter Nineteen
    The next day Sergeant Pilsner came to see her with a few more questions. "You can return to your house, but I suggest you contact your insurance company as soon as possible." He stood near the foot of the bed.
    The quicker to make his escape, Rose thought. She saw the discomfort in his face and in his actions. He shuffled his feet and looked everywhere but at her.
    "They're going to have to replace most of your stuff. You didn't see the bedroom, Mrs. Asbury. I wanted to warn you before you went home."
    Maybe he was afraid she'd go hysterical on him again. "The mattress is torn. Lotions and perfumes spilled out and ruined the finish on your dressers. Your clothes are damaged and are

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