Saved By The Lumberjack

Page 18

“You know, I was surprised when you called to say you wanted the apartment.”
“Why?” I ask, confused.
She smiles at me over her cup. “I offered you the apartment because I wanted to help you out, but…”
“Well, I admit I had an ulterior motive. I’m nosy.” She shrugs. “I wanted to figure out if you two were just friends, or something more. I thought if there was something going on between you, you wouldn’t take the apartment. But…” She shakes her head. “Something tells me you’re more than just friends.”
I chew on my bottom lip. “We are.”
“Then why did you decide to move in here?”
I grip my cup tighter, and the plastic makes a crinkling sound. “Well, when I told him you’d offered me the place, I thought… I thought he’d ask me to stay. I hoped he’d ask me to stay,” I admit.
Annie raises her eyebrows. “He didn’t?”
I shake my head. “He just asked when I could move.”
She lets out a hissing breath. “Fool.”
“I just—I thought we had something special. And then everything went to shit, and I don’t understand why.” I sigh.
“You know, a friend of mine mentioned seeing Sylvia in town yesterday,” Annie says thoughtfully. “I wonder—”
“—if he ran into her?” I finish her sentence. She nods.
I tap my finger against my chin. “That would explain why he was in such a bad mood. Yesterday morning, everything was perfect, and then…” I shake my head. “I tried to talk to him, you know, but he was so…”
I nod.
“Burke isn’t exactly a man of many words,” she says and sighs. “He bottles his feelings up. And he can be a grumpy asshole.”
Despite myself, I let out a laugh. A fleeting grin passes over Annie’s face. “I know he likes you. He never would’ve introduced us if he didn’t. And I’m pretty sure it broke his heart when you left.”
I clear my throat. “Well, it broke mine too.”
Annie purses her lips. “He’s an idiot when it comes to talking about his feelings. He was never good at it, but after what happened with Sylvia…” She gives a sad shake of the head. “He’s not been with anyone else, not before, and not after. Only you.”
I swallow, mulling over her words. Only you. Maybe, just maybe, what we had felt as special to him as it did to me.
“Look, I know it’s none of my business, but I really think you should talk to him.”
“You’re probably right, but…”
“But what?”
“I care about Burke. I think I’m even in love with him, as crazy as that sounds. But…” I swallow. “I can’t bear to be with another man who just gives me the silent treatment when something’s wrong. I can bear arguments, and I can bear us being angry at each other. But I can’t handle him not talking to me; ignoring me. I can’t go through that ever again.”
Annie reaches over the table and closes her fingers around my hand, an understanding smile on her beautiful face. “No matter what you decide, I’ll have your back, Daisy. Burke is my friend, but us ladies have to stick together.”
“Thanks, Annie.” I’m sad and exhausted, but I feel better having talked to her.
She finishes her drink and stands up. “You’re welcome. I’ll leave you to get settled. I’ll see you tomorrow at seven?”
I nod and bring her to the door. Once she’s gone, I get ready for bed and lie down. I don’t know what to do. But I know two things: I’m in love with Burke. And I’m not sure if it’ll be enough. And that hurts worse than anything I’ve ever experienced.