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The Sunday Squirrel: Valentine’s Day

My ideal Valentine’s Day. Macie sighed and stared at the keyboard. Hardly anyone even read her pathetic little blog anyway. Just a few anonymous readers who never commented.

But somehow, putting her private thoughts out into the universe—anonymously, of course—made her feel like someone cared.

A long walk on the beach. Then we—she never named the mystery man in the blog, but in her mind it was always her roommate, Hunter—would collect driftwood and build a fire to keep us warm as the ocean breeze chilled and the sun set.

A light picnic, a nice wine, and a warm blanket…

She stopped there. She didn’t write everything she imagined. Her blog was PG after all.

Happy Valentine’s Day. She clicked PUBLISH and sank back against her headboard, not quite ready to face the database project her client wanted by next week.

A sharp knock broke the silence and Hunter opened the door, a grin on his handsome face. “Hey, I gotta run. You have any plans tonight?”

She held back an unladylike snort. “I have a hot date.” As if.

His face sobered. “You do?” He looked surprised. “With who?”

“The DVD I got in the mail yesterday. What about you?”

Relief flared in his bright green eyes and he smiled. “Yeah. I have big plans.”

Great. Did he expect her to help? She’d never seen him so jumpy, and her gut burned with jealousy. When the lease was up, she needed to move out because living under the same roof with this man was going to kill her. “Good luck,” she managed to choke out as he left.

Two mind-numbing hours of programming later, the front door opened. “Macie?”

She met Hunter in the kitchen where he’d plopped down four canvas grocery bags. “What happened?”

“Nothing. I just needed some stuff for my date.”

Her heart sank. “Are you bringing her here?”

“Yeah. In fact, I have a favor to ask. Can you go check on Old Bob’s dog for me? I promised to feed him tonight.”

“Sure.” She could check on Rex while Hunter prepared for his hot date. In fact, she’d probably end up spending the night with Rex while that inconsiderate jerk romanced his new girlfriend.

When she returned after feeding and loving up the aging German Shepherd, Hunter met her at he door with a sheepish look.

“Now what?” she snapped, no longer caring if he realized how much he hurt her with his indifference.

“I have another favor to ask.”

Of course he did.

“Grab a sweater and come with me.” The gleam in his eye made her nervous. If he tried to set her up with one of his old fraternity brothers again, she’d kick him out.

He took her hand, and her traitorous tummy fluttered as he led her to the stairs.

“Where are we going?” she asked, following him up and out onto the roof. The setting sun painted orange streaks across the indigo sky and reflected off the tall buildings of nearby downtown.

A cool breeze ruffled her hair as Hunter took her hands and faced her. “It’s not the beach…but maybe next year when I have more time to plan.”

Her heart kicked and she stepped back. “What?” She bumped into a chair and turned, noticing for the first time a large blanket spread beside a raised fire pit, a picnic basket and a bottle of wine resting on the fringe.

For a few seconds, she stared in disbelief. Then she spun to face him. “How did you know?”

“I didn’t at first. I saw the blog name over your shoulder when you were working at the dining table a few weeks ago.”

“And you didn’t have a date for tonight so you thought, ‘Hey, let’s find out what happens after wine and a warm blanket. She hasn’t been with a guy in ages, she’s probably desperate.’”

“Macie, it’s not like that.”

Disgusted, she stepped around him toward the stairs. She’d poured her heart out, believing her thoughts were safe and anonymous, and he’d let her continue writing, never letting on that he knew about it.

“I was scared,” he said, as she reached for the door.

She stilled. Hunter was the most confident man she knew. Nothing fazed him.

He moved in behind her, gently holding her shoulders. “I’ve loved you for so long, but I didn’t think you felt the same way. And then I read your blog and finally realized you were talking about me.”

“But you let me keep writing.”

“I’m sorry. I wanted our first date to be perfect, and I didn’t know how to tell you. But when I saw your post today… Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea.”

She faced him. It might have been the red glow from the sun, but she could have sworn he was blushing.

He lifted his hand and gently stroked her cheek. “I’m sorry. I should have told you I knew. I never meant to hurt you.” His voice vibrated with sincerity and his green eyes gazed at her with adoration that she’d never noticed before.

She took a deep breath and smiled. “Did I hear you say something about love?”

The tension eased from his shoulders and he pulled her tight against him. “I love you, Macie. If you want, I’ll announce it on your blog for all the world to see.”

“I’m done putting my thoughts online.”

He gave a mock frown. “Then how will I know what you’re thinking?”

She threaded her fingers through his dark hair as she’d dreamed of doing so many times. “Come here and I’ll show you.”

And she kissed him.

0 Comments

  1. Reply

    How adorable! It makes the girly girl inside me go SQUEEE!!!! I’m thinking I might have to go order one of your books, actually.

    Isn’t it interesting how our idea of a perfect Valentines day changes with age and the longevity of our relationships, though? When Rob and I first started dating, he took me out for a beautiful night and it was the most wonderful thing. But now, a couple of years later, we’re just staying in and I’m making him a nice (if uncomplicated) dinner – no fancy clothes, no live musicians, no candles unless I go buy some – and I wouldn’t wish for anything else.

  2. Reply

    Aw, thanks, Kali. Unfortunately, I don’t have any books published yet. But I’ll be sure to let you know!

    It’s so true about Valentine’s Day. I’m just happy if my husband and I are together, and I don’t need a big production, though an occasional production is nice. 😉

    Enjoy yours!

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