Epiphany from Bank on Love a Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes

Sometimes, couples will have known one another for a while before taking it to a different level. For whatever reason, they don’t see that they’re in love. Several of my couples are good friends, often involved with other people. However, the bond between them is strong. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, completely by surprise, they realize that they’ve been in love for ages, and didn’t see it. I’ve decided to call these Epiphanies and I’ll be sharing them in and among the First Meetings.

“Thank you for the meal. I hadn’t even thought about lunch.”

“I bet you had breakfast. I imagine you have a perfect omelet every morning.”

“You think so?” She giggled, rolling her eyes. “Toast and coffee. I’m not terribly domestic, either. I have six types of crackers, some cheese and three bottles of wine. Oh, and a loaf of bread from the bakery downstairs.”

“We’re pathetic. Though you do have more in your larder than I do. I have the essentials, coffee, creamer, sugar—and beer.”

Violet laughed, tossing back her head. Some of her satay fell out of her mouth, landing on her face. Claude wiped her cheek with his thumb, licking it off with the pointy tip of his tongue. Violet’s breath caught in her throat. Why was that the sexiest thing a man had ever done around her? Probably because he was the sexiest man she knew. He could be shaving and still look hot and studly. His coffee brown eyes were ringed with the blackest lashes she’d ever seen. One side of his mouth quirked up before the other, every time he smiled.

“Do I have something on my face?” He wiped with the back of his hand.

“No. Sorry. I just—why are you here?”

“I brought lunch.”

“I mean—do you know what I’m asking?” She squinted, hoping she didn’t have to supply words, because there weren’t any.

He touched her cheek. “It felt like the right time. In case you haven’t noticed, Miss Masgay, I happen to like you—just a little bit.” He held his finger and thumb an inch or so apart, then let them drift further apart. “For a while now.”

“I noticed.” She did the same thing with her fingers. “A little bit.”

“Go out with me,” he blurted. Blushing slightly, he dropped his chin. “Way to make it sound like an order…. Would you, Violet Masgay, agree to go out with me tonight?”

“Where did you have in mind, Claude Meredith?”

“There’s an amazing street band playing in the plaza. Or, if that fails to entice, a very cool laser lights show at the planetarium at nine.”

“That sounds fun. I’m very picky about the music I listen to, though. What’s playing?”

He whipped out his phone and looked it up. Holding it up so she could see the screen, he pointed to it. “There’s the playlist. Does it appeal?”

“It’s like they looked at my Pandora and copied it—in order. Honestly, I listen to these songs all the time.”

“If you want something different….”

“No. I’m thrilled. I listen to them because they’re great songs. I’m a music freak. I’m a sucker for a sax player. Or a bass player. Or—”

“I think I should take up an instrument, so you’re a sucker for me.”

“You don’t need the help. You’re hot and sexy all on your own.”

It was his turn to laugh and hers to blush.

“Did you mean to admit that?”

“What do you think? I’d love to blame it on alcohol, but I haven’t had any.”

“I think you’re beautiful and sexy, so we’re even.”

“Why now? We’ve worked together over two years.”

“Because of your rule about not dating men you work with. And I understand that. But when I opened that door, and you flung yourself into my arms, sobbing, I knew I had to make a move. Only so long a man can look at what he wants, and not go for it.”

“I’m glad you did.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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