Tommy rode up on his sky blue bike, he was all sandy—haired, sun—kissed and a full twenty minutes late from the agreed—upon meeting time. It was a semi—blind date arranged by Cara, a mutual friend who was insistent we would hit it off.
I was none too wild about blind dates — because something always went wrong. But Cara pointed him out to me from across a restaurant one night, he was cute, and she said he was nice, so I agreed to meet him for a walk at the lake.
“You’ll love him!” she squealed.
But now he was late and would have missed our meeting spot altogether if I hadn’t flagged him down.
“Tommy!” I yelled and waved my arm.
Only one wave, though, I didn’t want to appear anxious.
That, and I wondered if he had decided to ride by first to see what I looked like. I would have been mortified if he’d looked at me and driven the other way.
But he rode over when he heard me call out his name. He was even more handsome than I remembered.
“Hi,” he said and rode a circle around me. The tick, tick, tick of his wheels slowed to a stop.
“Hi,” I said. “I thought maybe you’d forgotten. Or decided you disliked blind dates more than I do.”
“Oh,” he said.
Cicadas sang their song into the Southern stillness and I wiped a bead of sweat from the back of my neck.
“I must have had the time wrong,” he said. “My mistake.”
He smiled his sweet surfer—boy smile and I decided to forgive him. He did seem contrite.
“Well, that’s okay. Shall we?” I said and gestured to the path.
“Sure,” he said.
We talked nonstop as we trekked the three mile lakeside trail.
And though I’d once considered Cara to be one of my most beloved but flakiest of friends, today I regarded her as pure genius.
Tommy was the quintessential triple threat — intelligent, handsome and funny. He loved the outdoors as much as I did, was slated to take over his father’s successful restaurant business and had nothing but positive things to say about his mother.
“I’d love to see you again,” he said when we returned to our original meeting place.
“I’d like that as well, Tommy,” I said.
I was so smitten I may have blushed.
“There’s just one thing…”
“My name is…Donnie. And I don’t know who Tommy is, but he’s an idiot for standing you up today.”
My mouth slipped open, and stayed there as an eternal summer moment slugged by.
“When you called out, I thought you yelled my name. When I figured out that you had the wrong guy, I chose not to bring it up. I hope you don’t mind that I took his place today,” he said. “I really would like to see you again.”
“I … would like that, too,” I finally said.
* * *
I have no idea what happened to Tommy. But Donnie and I dated till summer’s end, when he moved to take over his father’s restaurants. He was the perfect gentleman and I’d have to say this was the best pickup experience!
The Fine Art of Deception: Undoing Time Blurb
Art appraiser Adeline Montgomery just wants a normal life. One where she can ignore the ghosts who follow her, where she’s free from her “gift” of touching an object and seeing the owner’s deepest secrets, and where she can fall in love without all of the above getting in the way. But when tall, dark, and dangerous gallery owner Blake Greenwood enters her life, normal is the last thing she gets.
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About Alyssa Richards
Alyssa Richards writes romance and mystery books with a paranormal twist. She lives in the South with her husband and two boys and recently published her first paranormal romance mystery called The Fine Art of Deception: Undoing Time. The sequel, Somewhere in Time is due out in October. Alyssa loves magnolias and gardenias, nurturing her herb and rose garden and holds the world record for taking two dogs from homeless to pampered.
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