A Moment for You
She’s known him forever . . . but finally meeting him is better than she ever dreamed!
It’s me,” Carla sang out as she entered Bells & Bows, the shop owned by her best friend, Veronica. “Want me to grab us coffee from across the street?”
The party-supply store was full of festive decorations for the holidays, but Carla was here to discuss taking photos at Veronica’s parents’ anniversary party tomorrow.
“V?” Carla called, moving toward the back room that Veronica used for storage.
A man came through. He was nice looking with brown hair and a surprisingly rich tan for late autumn. He wiped his hands on a cloth as he offered an engaging smile.
“Veronica ran to the bank. I’m her—”
His gaze made a bubble of happiness rise in her
“Bobby!” Carla blurted as she recognized him.
“I go by Rob these days.” He gazed at her before dawning recognition warmed his eyes. “Carla?”
She touched her hot cheeks, not able to contain her huge smile.
“I can’t believe I’m finally meeting you.” She’d had a crush on him in her preteens without ever meeting him. Every summer, Veronica had gone to her grandparents’ farm, returning in September with stories of her cousin Bobby. He always sounded funny and kind, and he lived in the most exciting places.
“V always talks about you. How’s Gary?” he asked as they shook hands.
“Still alive!” She chuckled at his knowing the name of their adventurous family pet. “Goats aren’t supposed to live this long, but he’s going strong.”
“At one point, I thought he was your boyfriend.”
“Gary?” Carla laughed. “No, but there might have been times I thought he was my best bet.”
He released her hand, but the glimmer in his eye made her think of love at first sight.
“Did I get you dirty? I’m working on the compressor.”
He was a mechanic in the army, she recalled. “I’m fine,” she said. “You’re in town for the party? On leave?”
“For the weekend, yes. I’ve always wanted to see Cranston. I’m glad they’re holding it here.”
“Really?” Her disappointment that he wouldn’t be here long was overshadowed by astonishment. Cranston was a small, pretty town, but tourists rarely made a point of stopping here.
“You always post such nice pictures,” he said. “Is it weird that I follow you online? V likes them, and they show up in my feed.”
“It’s totally fine.” She’d seen him like her posts but never got the nerve to reach out to him even though her youthful curiosity had never abated. “You must see far more exotic places. I envy your travel. It’s a huge dream of mine.” “Oh? What’s stopping you?” “I could make the jump to full-time freelance and should do it while I’m unattached, but I also want to share the experience. I’m waiting for the guy who wants to go with me before we settle down.” She covered her mouth, embarrassed at oversharing, but he was so easy to talk to. “I haven’t said that aloud to anyone. Not even to Veronica.”
“Your secret’s safe with me.” The way he held her gaze made a bubble of happiness rise in her. “But it’s ironic. I’ve always envied you and V for growing up in one spot. I’m an army brat. My only constant was my summers at our grandparents’ farm.”
Did that mean he was looking for a woman who wanted to stay in one place?
“I guess we always want what we don’t have,” she said.
“Or maybe we know what we want when we find it.” He was looking at her in a way that made her pulse race. “How about I text V to meet us at the coffee shop? I’ll buy. We can get to know each other properly.”
“I already feel as if we’ve known each other forever,” she murmured.
He paused as he held the door, crooked smile pulling into a wider grin. “So do I.”