For the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge, I’m writing a story, aiming for 1000 words a day (every day except Sundays). Continuing today with the next part of the story about the character Codie Snow.
If you’re new to this series of posts, you might want to start here:
Codie didn’t realize at first that she was holding her breath—why, she didn’t know. Matthew marched with zest to the front door and Codie leaned against the kitchen counter, letting it hold her up.
As if trying to distract herself from the agony she was beginning to feel, she pursed her lips. She hated the fact that the first room in the apartment was the kitchen. In a way, that was a blessing, because they had to keep the kitchen clean at all times for visitors, and Codie knew she’d prefer to be lazy on occasion. But who was she kidding? Her roommate was a neatnik. No way would he ever allow their apartment to get out-of-control messy, whether Codie was motivated to help or not.
She frowned as she watched Matthew’s hand wrap around the doorknob. Feeling nervous was stupid. She and Slade were broken up, had been broken up for several weeks now. Making love with Pete had not been cheating on Slade because she wasn’t with Slade anymore.
No…it didn’t matter that the breakup was part of a pattern with them. Maybe Codie’s actions were breaking the cycle.
It didn’t matter. She had butterflies in her stomach and there they would stay until Matthew and Slade left the apartment. So now she could only wish for short and sweet. And, realistically, she knew she couldn’t avoid Slade forever. Dalton was a small town. The only way she’d be able to miss seeing him entirely would be to move—far away. Like Grand Junction far away. Or maybe Salt Lake City. Because anywhere on Colorado’s Front Range would put her within his reach.
God, she made it sound like he was a stalker who would track her down. No, that wasn’t Slade’s thing, but damn, he did manage to be in the right place at the right time more times than she’d like to remember. But with Matthew still being his employee and Codie still living in her hometown, there was no way she could go with never seeing him.
So…brace herself it was. She’d have to get it over with sooner or later, so why not now?
She blinked as Matthew opened the door. She’d half expected Slade to make immediate eye contact with her, so when he didn’t, she felt even more anxious as the tension built in her core. She took a deep breath while she watched the two men interact. “That didn’t take you any time at all!”
Codie could barely see Slade past Matthew’s shoulders, but she saw the two men shake hands. “I want to thank you again, Matthew. This win belongs to both of us.”
“You need to know you’re an asset to my practice. Your research helped. That’s why we’re celebrating tonight—and you get to choose where.”
By this point, Matthew had stepped inside the apartment and was holding the door for Slade to enter. Codie watched the two and could tell by looking at Slade’s face that he saw her. The man’s peripheral vision lost nothing. Moms with eyes in the backs of their heads had nothing on her ex.
He came into full view and Codie felt her engine start to rev. This man—no matter what they’d gone through over the past few years and no matter how much she’d swear they were done for good, as soon as she’d lay eyes on him, all bets were off.
In full view now, Slade took up all of Codie’s line of sight…and she didn’t look away. He still wore the suit she knew he must have donned for court. In the office, he tended to be a little more casual—lots of times, the tie and jacket were gone, leaving him in a dress shirt and slacks—and leaving less for the imagination. Codie felt saliva pooling in her mouth as she pictured him in a white button-down shirt—not tight or even snug but close enough fitting that she could almost see the definition of his pecs and abs. She hadn’t forgotten what his body looked like. But the suit. She needed to focus.
The suit was black, an indication that he had gone into court not sure if he’d win the case or not. When he was positive he’d win, he’d stray from the black-and-white look, but when he had doubts, there was one look and one look only. There were lots of reasons, and Codie could only remember a few of the ones he’d given her, making her wonder if he really had a reason or if it was merely a superstitious thing the man did. He was highly intelligent which was why Codie suspected superstition—because coming up with other reasons would mask his real intentions. She could remember one time he said he wore black and white to lull the opposition into a false sense of security; another time, he’d said he kept it simple because the focus needed to be on the case, not the lawyer.
But damn. The guy’s charisma leapt off him like a tiger. It wasn’t just Codie, even though Slade’s presence always had a profound effect on her, but she’d seen it happen time and time again—in the courtroom, in public…even in the gym. Men and women alike couldn’t help but notice his commanding presence.
Codie couldn’t even now while leaning against her kitchen counter and trying to fade into the background.
Her heart ached as she took in the details—his black hair slicked back reminded her off all the times she’d woven her fingers through it while demanding he give it to her roughly. His sharp brown eyes looked as lively as ever, especially because she knew he was taking in everything, even details about things he’d never look directly at. The past year, he’d grown facial hair too—it was shaved close, but he had a full beard just the same, and it made him looked just a little rugged in the midst of the city suaveness he’d always oozed. Codie could picture the cute cleft in his chin just the same and it was almost as though her heart clenched in her chest cavity, pining for something she knew she shouldn’t have.
She and Slade were shitty together.
But as he turned and focused his warm gaze on her, she knew they probably weren’t over yet. In that regard, she supposed, the man was like a drug—and she was most certainly an addict. “My lovely Codie,” he said, striding across the room as though he owned it and her. “How have you been?”
The answer was not Lost without you…even though her heart sounded to her mind like it was singing that tune…
UP NEXT: S is for SLADE