A Valentine She’ll Remember

From the corner of her eye, she saw a black Lexus SUV park across the street. A tall man got out and walked towards her. He appeared a few years older than her but not by much.

He seemed distracted, and so she pretended to ignore him. Too bad he was such a good-looker. Draped in an expensive suit, he moved like an athlete and bore a resemblance to a high-paid movie star. Her interest peaked. Sadly, it wasn’t reciprocated. Lost in his own world, not a hint of a smile colored his expression.

Ruby decided the guy must be a neighbor, although hopefully not the one she’d be sharing the duplex with. Her real estate agent had little information about the person she’d be living just a wall away from.

As the man approached, he continued to ignore her presence. It was like she wasn’t even there. She didn’t recognize him either, but in a small place like Carlton Grove that happened more than one might think. Ruby had a feeling that if he could’ve walked past her without sharing a greeting, he would have.

Before she had a chance to say anything, a distraction in the bushes on her side of the property grabbed her attention.

The house had been split down the middle, and the porch that once would have surrounded the full front now had a louvered wall inserted, breaking the space into two equal parts.

Under Ruby’s section, a large white animal disappeared through a hole. Its whimpering caught at her heartstrings and without thought to her safety she started forward. Once closer, she recognized the same dog she’d noticed earlier in the day who’d been running free, loping awkwardly across the park area in front of the house.

“Don’t get too close.” The snooty dude had a voice after all—and a nose too because he was sticking it in her affairs. This was exactly the reason why she’d left her childhood home so people couldn’t tell her what to do anymore.

She threw words over her shoulder as she continued to approach the space where she’d last seen the dog. “Are you talking to me?”

“Don’t see anyone else around here looking for trouble.”

Really! “Excuse me?” Ruby stopped and swung in his direction. Since he’d followed, by turning she was now staring into a face that was surprisingly close. “Is this your dog?”

“No.”

“Then why are we having this conversation? I would think it’s my business, since she’s just disappeared under the house I recently purchased and moved into.”

“Our house.”

“Pardon me?” Why didn’t the man talk in whole sentences?

“My place.” He pointed to the opposite side of the building. “Looks like a stray. Call SPCA.”

“No! They’ll put her in a cage, and if she isn’t picked up by her owners within a few days, they’ll put her down. They did that to my friend’s old dog.”

“Probably best – if she’s sick. Doesn’t appear well to me.”

“Look, why don’t you go away? I’ll take care of her.” Ruby crouched at the side of her porch where an opening appeared in the louvered wall. Strange sounds hit her, and before she could decipher them, a growling form appeared and began to rush her.

Thinking quickly, Mr. Snooty pulled Ruby behind him and stepped in front in time to take the brunt of the attack. The dog didn’t bite him. Instead, it used its fangs to frighten and warn, and its huge bulk to push the enemy away.

As quickly as it appeared, it faded back under the building and only warning growls were heard.

The weight of the dog shoving from behind had propelled him forward. And with Ruby blocking his way, the guy was forced against her. He landed on top, bringing them both down. Thinking quickly, he’d maneuvered himself by bracing his hands on the ground to protect her before they landed.

Within seconds, Ruby twisted under the weight of the man’s body and stared into blazing green eyes full of reproof and an I-told-you-so glare. 

 

From the corner of her eye, she saw a black Lexus SUV park across the street. A tall man got out and walked towards her. He appeared a few years older than her but not by much.

He seemed distracted, and so she pretended to ignore him. Too bad he was such a good-looker. Draped in an expensive suit, he moved like an athlete and bore a resemblance to a high-paid movie star. Her interest peaked. Sadly, it wasn’t reciprocated. Lost in his own world, not a hint of a smile colored his expression.

Ruby decided the guy must be a neighbor, although hopefully not the one she’d be sharing the duplex with. Her real estate agent had little information about the person she’d be living just a wall away from.

As the man approached, he continued to ignore her presence. It was like she wasn’t even there. She didn’t recognize him either, but in a small place like Carlton Grove that happened more than one might think. Ruby had a feeling that if he could’ve walked past her without sharing a greeting, he would have.

Before she had a chance to say anything, a distraction in the bushes on her side of the property grabbed her attention.

The house had been split down the middle, and the porch that once would have surrounded the full front now had a louvered wall inserted, breaking the space into two equal parts.

Under Ruby’s section, a large white animal disappeared through a hole. Its whimpering caught at her heartstrings and without thought to her safety she started forward. Once closer, she recognized the same dog she’d noticed earlier in the day who’d been running free, loping awkwardly across the park area in front of the house.

“Don’t get too close.” The snooty dude had a voice after all—and a nose too because he was sticking it in her affairs. This was exactly the reason why she’d left her childhood home so people couldn’t tell her what to do anymore.

She threw words over her shoulder as she continued to approach the space where she’d last seen the dog. “Are you talking to me?”

“Don’t see anyone else around here looking for trouble.”

Really! “Excuse me?” Ruby stopped and swung in his direction. Since he’d followed, by turning she was now staring into a face that was surprisingly close. “Is this your dog?”

“No.”

“Then why are we having this conversation? I would think it’s my business, since she’s just disappeared under the house I recently purchased and moved into.”

“Our house.”

“Pardon me?” Why didn’t the man talk in whole sentences?

“My place.” He pointed to the opposite side of the building. “Looks like a stray. Call SPCA.”

“No! They’ll put her in a cage, and if she isn’t picked up by her owners within a few days, they’ll put her down. They did that to my friend’s old dog.”

“Probably best – if she’s sick. Doesn’t appear well to me.”

“Look, why don’t you go away? I’ll take care of her.” Ruby crouched at the side of her porch where an opening appeared in the louvered wall. Strange sounds hit her, and before she could decipher them, a growling form appeared and began to rush her.

Thinking quickly, Mr. Snooty pulled Ruby behind him and stepped in front in time to take the brunt of the attack. The dog didn’t bite him. Instead, it used its fangs to frighten and warn, and its huge bulk to push the enemy away.

As quickly as it appeared, it faded back under the building and only warning growls were heard.

The weight of the dog shoving from behind had propelled him forward. And with Ruby blocking his way, the guy was forced against her. He landed on top, bringing them both down. Thinking quickly, he’d maneuvered himself by bracing his hands on the ground to protect her before they landed.

Within seconds, Ruby twisted under the weight of the man’s body and stared into blazing green eyes full of reproof and an I-told-you-so glare. 

Available from Amazon