Another Woman on My Mind

“You’re leaving already?”

Garrison stopped tying up the lace on his work boot. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Isabel propped against the headboard, nude from the waist up. There was a time when he would lie in bed with her talking, sometimes drifting off to sleep just before the sun broke through the sky. Leaving her warmth so he could creep in while Alex and Maliah were still sleeping.

There really wasn’t any need for him to leave now. Alex had texted him earlier informing him that she and Maliah would be staying the night with Maliah’s paternal grandparents, the Castros. He’d be alone and that was okay with him.

“Yeah, I’m heading out. Got a busy day tomorrow.” It wasn’t a lie. Not exactly. With five projects simultaneously going, in addition to scouting out locations for Joey, his plate was overflowing. Though this was the case, his crews were dependable and capable of managing the sites without him being there. The truth was he felt uneasy in Isabel’s bed. And he didn’t know why. Well, maybe he did.

“Is everything alright? You seemed distracted tonight.”

He finished tying his boot lace before turning to face her. By being distracted, Isabel meant that it had taken him a minute to get it up. That had never happened to him. Ever. The only thing he could blame it on was the captivating woman he’d spoken with earlier in the day. Distracting the hell out of him, the soft lilt of her voice refused to leave him alone.

How was he going to answer? Garrison had never been one to play games with the women he casually dated. And he wouldn’t start now.

“I was,” was all he murmured.

“Another woman?”

Garrison chuckled. “Possibly.” He appreciated Isabel’s directness.

Isabel pulled the sheet up to cover her breasts. “Garrison, we both agreed no attachments. If it’s something you want to pursue, by all means do so.”

He searched her features for any hint of deception. “We did. The same holds true for you.”

Her laughter was light. Shaking her head Isabel replied, “I told you after twenty years of being in prison with a man, I’m never settling down in a committed relationship. Now you, Garrison, you’ve experienced true love and I believe once you give yourself permission to love again, you’ll find the right woman.”

“You think so?”

Leaning forward, Isabel gently kissed Garrison’s full lips and he knew it was for the last time.

“I do. Now get out of here if you’re not gonna get back under these covers.”

Chuckling, Garrison rose from his seated position. “I’ll let myself out.”

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