*adult language excerpt*
“Told you I can’t sing.”
Her head shook. “You’re crazy. You sing better than I do. Much better.” She brushed at the moisture. “And you play beautifully. Even...”
“Even with the wrong hand.”
“Yes. But... Your touch. Oh James, you are so much more a natural than I am. I’ve had to force every bit of it. Technically I do okay, but you, you’re a natural. It’s inside you.”
He felt his jaw clench and gave it back to her. “Was.”
“No.” She took it but didn’t seem to want it. “Are. You are. I wish...”
“You wish you could have heard me before?”
“Yeah. Sorry. Should I have said that?”
“I wish I would have met you before, before you gave your child away.” Shoving up from the cement, he jumped down off of it and treaded up the stone steps partly filled in with weeds.
A natural. Yeah, so he’d been told. What did it matter now? He didn’t want it anymore. He’d stopped wanting it. He had to stop. And if she’d given up her child, she should just get the hell over it and stop letting it interfere, since she apparently hadn’t wanted it to interfere.
She was out of breath by the time she caught up. “James...”
“You’re too out of shape for a singer. That’s your biggest issue, you know. I mean other than the fact you’re mourning things you should really let go. You made your choices. Fine. Deal with it and move the f*** on.” He knew how bad it sounded as he said it, but truth was truth.
She stared a moment, then walked away, up the rest of the stone steps, through the small space at the top corner that led to a gravel parking area.
His heart tightened hard in his chest. What in the hell had just happened? Why in the f*** would he say that to her?
Crouching low enough to pull weeds coming up through the cracks in the stone, he heard a car door slam, heard the engine start, heard the crunch of tires on gravel; she was leaving.
F***. Knowing he’d gone way too far, he pulled out his phone and hit her number. Four rings. Five. Messages kicked in. She wouldn’t answer, not that he blamed her. But damn, why did she have to be so damned touchy? He was the one fighting... and he wanted a drink. He wanted to go down to Sam’s where he’d first seen her and...
Shit. He texted Bruce: SOS. At the park.
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