“Life doesn’t always go according to plan. In fact, it has a nasty habit of veering off the map. So when my job led me to New York City, something extraordinary happened…her script merged with mine.”
Hadley Theater, New York City, New York - Night
ENTER STAGE LEFT-Rowan Townsend, a twenty-nine year old Broadway starlet, strolls onto the dark, ominous stage. The bright spotlight finds her and she smiles broadly, her body buzzing in anticipation.
Serendipity is a funny thing, isn’t it? It jumps out from behind the bushes and offers an unbelievable chance at happiness. It’s hopeful and intriguing, and maybe even a little terrifying.
ENTER STAGE RIGHT-Lark Hawthorne, a striking twenty-nine year old FBI agent and self-proclaimed liar, marches to Rowan and grabs her arm, coaxing her off stage.
Rowan, what are you doing? We need to leave. It’s not safe here.
Rowan and Lark look out into the audience and a menacing shadow in the back of the theater catches their attention. Her eyes expand in panic and he grips her hand tighter, offering reassurance.
It’s now or never. Are you ready?
EXIT STAGE RIGHT. Fade to black.
My heart rate begins to thump erratically and I know he sees the panic in my eyes. I pull away from him, ashamed of my reaction to his admission.Danger, Rowan. Danger. The last time I allowed myself to like someone, I mean really like, he broke my heart. He jumped on another train and took a detour to a new place, leaving me in the broken boxcar. I was stuck with the task of finding the parts to make a new train. It’s not easy to allow yourself, one hundred percent, to like someone who you know is bad.
Landon was bad. He radiated playboy and I didn’t see it until I was in too deep. But with Lark, he’s mysterious. I saw it right away. And in some ways, he could be more dangerous.
I begin to open my mouth to explain that maybe we should take things slow, but he cuts me off. “I see it. I see it in your eyes. You want to run.”
My eyes skirt to the side and I don’t answer. I can’t. I’m ashamed. Hell yes I want to run. He actually admitted to liking me. This just got to a whole new level of intense. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to handle all of this.
He unlaces his fingers from mine and pulls me to my feet. Once we are both standing and facing each other, he embraces me in a strong hug. It’s fierce and full of emotion. He has this way of making a simple gesture mean so much more. Very slowly, his head dips to the crook of my neck and his deep, easy breathing fills my ears. “We don’t have to do this. We can go our separate ways when this is all over and you don’t have to see me again. But I know one day we will meet up and it’ll be completely on accident. You’ll be forty and divorced and I’ll take you out to have dinner. We’ll smile and have this same connection. And I’ll look into your eyes and you’ll be reminded of all the years lost between us. And then, at the end of the night, I’ll wait outside and hail you a cab and you’ll wonder why we wasted so much time.”
Cassie Graham is the author of Unable to Resist and Anyone But Him. She also hates talking about herself. It makes her nervous and somewhat sweaty. So, she’s going to make this short.
While writing is her true passion, her family is even more important. Her ultimate happy place is sitting in her house with her husband and daughter while writing stories about lovers who are meant to be together. She’d live in that world forever if she could.
She lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and two crazy puppies.