Nothing Like the First Time(2)

By: Keren Hughes



“Carly,” came that lilting voice that never failed to send shivers down my spine.

I looked up but couldn’t speak. My breath was lodged in my throat.

“Greyston,” I managed to gasp out and immediately regretted the sigh that came out at the end.

“How have you been?” he asked casually.

“I’ve been fine. You?” I stumbled over my words. He’d always caused me to be a little nervous, even when we’d been together. He was so good looking. Every woman noticed him. It wasn’t just his looks, he oozed charisma. Every woman in town swooned over Greyston Sterling.

“I’m good, too,” he said as he gestured to the chair, a question to see if it was okay that he take a seat opposite me.

I nodded at the chair and he took this as his cue to sit down.

“Good to know. What are you doing back here?” I asked quietly.

“My Aunt Lizzie is sick. You remember Lizzie, don’t you?”

“Yes, I remember her.”

Of course I remembered every member of his family. I still saw a few of them from time to time.

“I’m sorry she’s been taken ill. Is it serious?”

“Hopefully not. She’s been having tests at the hospital. I was planning a trip home anyway,” he said as he looked round the small room. The girl he’d come in with was still chatting at the counter.

“Oh, well…umm… It’s good to see you. You look well,” I said as I took my cup to the trashcan.

“Thanks. So do you,” he said as he stood, scraping the chair against the tiles.

He looked at me and I saw myself reflected in those beautiful eyes. I was transported back to the time we shared and I had to blink back tears. It might have been ten years but I’d never gotten over Grey. What we’d had wasn’t something one got over easily. He was charming, charismatic, and so very handsome. But he was also kind, thoughtful, and honest; everything you could want in a man. I’d been so lost when he left.

A coughing sound brought me back to the present. I looked at Grey and saw that dazzling smile he always had when he found something amusing. Annoyed at being thought of as amusing, I didn’t return the smile. We stood there saying nothing for a moment. Then a girl’s voice broke the silence.

“Oh, Greyston darling, there you are,” she drawled as she put her finely manicured hand on his arm.

“Hey, Maggie,” he said, not looking at her. “Carly, this is Maggie.”

“Hi, Maggie,” I said as politely as I could.

“Hello,” she said a little abruptly.

“Well, it was good seeing you, Grey, but I have to run. So many things to do today and here I’ve been avoiding them,” I said and made to move past the two of them.

“It was good to see you too, Carls,” he said as he leaned over to kiss my cheek.

I looked at him one last time and offered a small smile before walking out of the coffee shop into the frigid morning that somehow seemed colder than when I’d entered.



***



As I walked through my front door that afternoon, I was greeted by my constant companion, Millie.

I’d had Millie since Grey left. I found her at a rescue center. She’s the cutest thing you ever did see. Someone had been cruel enough to leave her by the roadside, tied to a lamp post. The center had rescued her and needed to rehome her. She was only a puppy and I couldn’t believe how poorly she had been treated. When I went that day, she won my heart in an instant. She’s the most beautiful little dachshund with the sweetest eyes. She loves me for who I am and she doesn’t run away to the other side of the world.

I had some paperwork to catch up on so I booted up my laptop. I had a quick look at Facebook and saw that I had a new friend request, Greyston. Part of me wanted to accept and part of me didn’t. I couldn’t help but feel like being nosy, I wanted to look at his photographs and maybe piece together what he’d been up to in the last ten years. He’s a photographer and so there would be many pictures of the places he had been. Then the other part of me didn’t want to see that girl, Maggie, in all his pictures. I left his friend request unaccepted—just sitting there in cyberspace waiting for me to make up my mind.

I caught up on my paperwork and cooked a quick supper of meatballs and tagliatelle. Millie was lying asleep on the sofa next to me and I curled up with my Kindle to catch up on the latest release by my favorite author.



***



The next morning I woke up to a text message from a number I didn’t recognize.



It was good to see you. I’ve missed you. G xx



I didn’t know how Grey had managed to get hold of my number. I decided to just send a very short message in response.

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