If you enjoy sweet romances, be sure to check out W Parks Brigham's latest book!
Shelly Roberts and Joffrey Matheson have watched friends fall in love and take that giant step—marriage—promising to share their lives together. Now it’s their turn. They’ve been paired as the perfect couple, according to Allanville’s Matchmakers Committee. Yes, their friendship has developed and grown. Yes, they are compatible, enjoy each other’s company, and want the same things out of life. Most importantly, they’re both seeking a meaningful relationship. Family and friends are excited as they cheer them on. Everyone is anticipating and waiting for the big news.
Humph, that’s a joke!
Instead, they keep getting sickening, whining excuses; there are no sparks…no chemistry…we’re just friends…you know, a yummy peanut butter sandwich but with syrup instead of jelly. The million-dollar question, how can you develop a serious relationship when you’re still carrying a torch for someone from your past? Where they do that at? In the small town called Allanville?
WE BELONG TOGETHER
Shelly and Joffrey
“Isn’t this a lovely and peaceful night?” remarked Shelly as she looked out at the colorful waters reflected by the outdoor lights. “Joffrey, I had a great time tonight.”
“I’m glad you did,” he said, placing his arm around her shoulder. It was true that they’d had a fantastic time with dinner and dancing, but very little conversation, which was fine with them. Now they were sitting and enjoying the gardens and the lake. Although it was late and they both had to report to their respective jobs in the morning, neither put forth any effort to move. The serenity of the grounds was peaceful and relaxing in spite of them being surrounded by other couples.
“Shelly, what do you consider a meaningful relationship between two people?”
Wow, what a loaded question. She turned to face him. Fluttering her eyelids while thinking carefully before speaking, she began to give her point of view. No doubt, that was what he wanted to know. “Joffrey, I think becoming friends is the beginning of a relationship. Having the same purpose and desires would also play a major part for it to develop into something more meaningful…love, understanding, trust, communication, compromise, and compassion should be some of the key elements followed by intimacy, only when the two people are ready.”
“I see you’ve really given this some thought,” he commented with a smile.
“What woman doesn’t have the desire to fall in love, get married, and have children? That’s what we’ve been taught from the time we were old enough to understand the true meaning of love and marriage.”
“Is that what you were taught and want Shelly?” he asked, taking her hand in his.
She looked into his tender but expressionless face and said, “Yes. And you?” she asked.
“I feel the exact same way, but I have to be honest. I’ve done the complete dating scene, which included satisfying my physical needs as well.”
“So, what are you saying, Joffrey? Are you ready for us to become lovers?”
Hesitating for a second, he then spoke, “Only if you’re ready.” Reading her face, he knew she wasn’t. He took her hand and kissed it. “I know baby, and you don’t have to worry about me pressuring you into doing anything you’re not ready for.”
Oooo, that was close. She had a million thoughts running through her brain. He’s just not the one. She leaned over and kissed his lips. “Thank you, Joffrey.”
“You’re welcome, beautiful lady. Come on, it’s getting late. We better be on our way.” He signaled for one of the outside attendants to give his ticket to…
Deidra and Cullen
“We’re going to have to do this again,” said Cullen, holding Deidra’s hand as they strolled down the sidewalk.
“It’s just as nice on the outside as it is in the inside.”
“Yes, and next time we’ll have dinner on the terrace.”
“Is that a promise?” She asked, smiling.
He stopped and held her chin up. Gazing into her amber eyes, he asked, “Can I kiss you?”
She answered sweetly, “Yes.” Their lips touched and then with a mutual consent, their tongues sought each other while savoring a passionate treat.
“Mmmm, I’ve wanted to do that ever since I first set eyes on you tonight.
“I’m glad you did,” she said and they continued their stroll in comfortable silence. They’d already had an extensive and interesting conversation on relationships and what they were expecting. Surprisingly enough, they had pretty much the same views on love, marriage, and families, not wanting to rush into anything heavy at the moment. They did agree to consider themselves a couple. Deidra didn’t bite her tongue in saying she had been a teenage mother and her son was her main priority. She didn’t mention anything about his father which was probably best for the time being. One thing was for sure, at twenty-six, she had done well.
Cullen pointed to a couple getting up from one of the benches. Deidra smiled. They did a fast-paced walk over in that direction. He thought it would be nice to sit for a while to just enjoy the scenery.
“Too late.” Deidra laughed as they watched an older couple take the spot.
He liked the sound of her laugh. She was always so serious, but tonight he saw another side of her and didn’t hesitate to say so.
“Oh, there’s another one about to be vacant; come on, let’s not lose this one,” announced Cullen. This time, they did a slow run trying not to draw attention, but they did anyway. The couple who were now heading to their car looked back as they sat down laughing their heads off. The woman turned back around, but the man stared for a second and then turned as well…
Shelly and Joffrey
Shelly asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he said and helped her into the car. Going to his side, he gazed at the couple once again and shook his head. He was not going to start that again, thinking every honey-colored woman in these parts could be her. He’d done that for too long. It was time he put an end to that foolishness for good.
Shelly noticed he was extra quiet once more, and that solemn expression had reappeared. Not only did they have a wonderful dinner, but a soul-searching heart-to-heart talk about relationships and what they wanted. His attitude didn’t change until they glanced back at the couple that took the bench they were sitting on. “Did you see someone you know?”
Man, she doesn’t miss anything. “I thought I did, but as always, I was mistaken.” And he left it at that.
Shelly knew exactly who he thought he saw and realized his feelings for her were intense after all this time. There wasn’t anything for her to say; she understood too well. Like any couple who had someone else heavy on their minds, they rode home in silence. They arrived at her home in no time. She had the car door open before he could get around to her. He took her hand and they walked to the door.
“Shelly, I’m sorry.”
She put her finger on his lips. “There’s nothing to be sorry for. Trust me, I understand more than you can imagine.”
Like he’d said before, Shelly Roberts was a beautiful, special woman. And he was happy they’d become good friends. He held her in his arms, kissed her good night, and then told her to have a pleasant night.
Shelly locked her front door and went to her room and called Ryane to keep her promise. “Hey girl—” nothing but moans and groans were on the other end. Shelly hissed, “Why did you answer this phone? Bye.”
Cullen and Deidra
“Cullen, I had a wonderful time,” declared Deidra. She then reached up to give him a quick kiss. Not this time, he said to himself and caught her around the waist, surprising her with a lip-locking treat. Not giving her a chance to respond verbally, he said good night and skipped down her four steps.
Cullen Davis left her stunned but in a most pleasant way. Deidra closed her door and quietly looked in on her mother and son before going to her room. Both were sleeping soundly. And the way she was feeling, she would, too.
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