Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tripped Up Love by Julie Farley

Chapter 2

The next few days were a blur of activity and before she knew it, Heather found herself on her own. She got up early and got dressed for a run. Her mom still had the kids, so she had some free time. She hoped the run would offset the popcorn and junior mints she had eaten by herself while she had watched Love Actually for the 700th time last night. Coco was thrilled to see her leash in Heather’s hand as walks seemed to have taken a back seat lately. The heat of the day wouldn’t come for a few hours, so Heather started running. She ran to the corner of the busy street and waited for her turn to cross. The first part of her route was uphill. It was her favorite part. The uphill allowed her to justify adding some walking to her run. The peace and quiet gave her the sanity she needed to get through her day. For some reason, as soon as she was pounding the pavement, writing ideas popped into her head easily. Her ‘memoir,’ in its scattered state, was printed out and lying on the kitchen table waiting for her to find some inspiration or dedication.

Heather’s run was going so well she decided to extend it and go down to the river. She got to the corner to cross the street. Leash in one hand, bag of dog poop and cell phone in the other. There was a break in the traffic, and Heather took off. Straight into a pothole and smack down into the middle of the street. A navy blue Lexus slammed on its brakes and pulled over.

Fuck, thought Heather. She ran on this route so no one would see her. It was her few minutes of anonymity. Now she had fallen crossing the road every PTA mom traveled. People would be writing on her Facebook wall in a matter of minutes asking her if she was ok. All of her friends would wonder what else could possibly happen to this poor widow. Heather didn’t want to look up. She knew a perfectly coiffed blonde would be getting out of the car in her workout clothes. She tried to get up quickly and realized she had messed up her ankle. Coco was licking her face when she noticed there was a man grabbing her arm and pulling her up. He put her left arm over his shoulder and somehow half dragged her and half carried her over to the car. He opened the door with his free hand and effortlessly sat her in his passenger seat. Heather was still holding onto Coco, who was looking at this stranger quizzically. He bent down to pet Coco and look at her ankle.

That’s when she got her first look at him. He was wearing a short-sleeved v-neck t-shirt and jeans. Tight well-fitting jeans. And he had tattoos on his arms. Beautiful tattoos. For a minute, she thought he was the guy on The Voice or maybe his older brother. But then she remembered where she was and knew he would never be hanging out in her neck of the woods. He looked up at her with his big blue eyes and asked if she was hurt anywhere else.

“No. It’s just my ankle. I think I twisted it in the stupid pothole.”

Shit, she thought, realizing she was still carrying the bag of actual shit. She held it up, smiled and tossed it into the woods next to the car.

“Let me drive you home. There’s no way you can walk and hold your dog at the same time.”

“No, really I’ll be ok. I just live on the next street.”

“I insist. Put your legs in. Your dog can go in between us.”

Heather gave in. Her ankle was killing her, and she didn’t want to be seen hobbling home. She could only imagine the questions and texts that would conjure up.

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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG13

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