by M.A. Stacie
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
After a terrible start in life, Asher Harris picks himself up and manages to carve out a fairly decent future. Content with living alone in his bookshop, he shies away from relationships and keeps trust to a minimum.
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Asher nodded. They both sat down on the cushions, staring out at the horizon. The sunset had the sky turning a brilliant orange, with waves of pink rippling across the sky. Emma leaned back on her hands, her fingertips touching Asher’s. He turned his face, watching her while she looked at the sky. Colour bloomed in her cheeks and he could see her throat constrict as she swallowed. “I know you’re watching me,” she said softly.
She faced him. “Will you stop apologising? This is so thoughtful.”
He scanned the roof. Besides the blanket and cushions, he’d brought up a projector, hoping they could watch a film when the sun went down. He planned to play it against the far wall. It wouldn’t be the greatest image but it would be good enough. There was a small basket next to the projector; he’d brought up some wine, chocolate treats and popcorn. Inside were also a few menus for local takeaways.
When he’d set everything out, the idea had been much more romantic. That was why he’d placed tiny candles around the roof. He’d hoped Emma wouldn’t see it as a cop out.
“Are you sure?” He pulled the menus from the basket. “You get to choose.”
She looked at him through hooded eyes, taking her bottom lip between her teeth. The woman had his knees quaking…and he was sitting down. She’d appeared in his life out of nowhere, slid into his daily thoughts without invitation, and she was now consuming his dreams. He didn’t have a fucking clue how to deal with her. If he was being truthful to himself, right now he was flying by the seat of his pants and doing whatever entered his head. After setting the scene on the roof, he’d questioned whether it was too much? Too romantic? Or even not enough for a date, after all that’s what they had agreed to.
“How about Thai?” she asked, holding up a menu to one of his favourite places. “Perfect. I’ll order; you open the wine.”
Emma agreed, allowing him to take his phone with him as he walked to the edge of the roof. He dialled the restaurant and ordered a selection of dishes. He took a second to breathe, to gather himself again before he needed to get back to her.
The streetlights began to switch on, the little globes popping orange as they illuminated the pavements. The swell of people grew as they made their way to bars and clubs. The noise of their chatter echoed off the walls and up to his roof.
Tonight wasn’t the first time he’d been up here. In the summer he spent most nights listening to the conversations while he read a book. He felt far less lonely when he could pretend he was a part of it all. Rarely did he take Ben up on his offers to go out. On occasion he wondered why the hell the bloke stayed around. He wasn’t the easiest of friends to have.
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M. A. Stacie is never without a book or her eReader. A voracious reader, with a love of sexy, yet angst ridden novels, she adores getting lost in new worlds. Her need to write did not grip her until after her second son was born, when her previous rambles became fully fledged stories.
She describes herself as one huge contradiction, and though not the most conventional of hobbies, she counts getting new tattoos as one of hers. Running keeps her sane, along with knitting and listening to loud music.
M. A. Stacie lives in the UK with her husband and three sons.
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