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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 33

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DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.

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The movie credits scrolled across the screen. Laurel announced that she and Garrison should probably get going as they did have to be at school for eight o'clock classes. Mr. Kaylor and Trina saw them to the door and offered to go with them to the lobby. Garrison and Laurel insisted the newlyweds not go to the trouble and found their own way out.

As they walked to Garrison's house, Laurel asked her boyfriend what he and his father talked about before getting caught by the storm.

"My father was very lawyer-like in laying out the case for not believing he'd actually seen Friday but admitted she could not be a hallucination since we've both seen and spoken to her."

Garrison took a deep breath of the damp, warm night air and continued. "Once he accepted - for argument sake as he said - the fact of Friday's appearance in my pool, my father told me a bit more about what happened the week they spent together before she drowned."

Laurel listened carefully while Garrison related the story his father told him about Friday and their brief summer love.

"What a sad story," Laurel commented. She squeezed Garrison's hand and added, "And it had such a tragic ending. I understand why your father didn't know what to do when he found her there in the pool."

I have guest rooms

They reached Garrison's house and passed through the pedestrian gate.

"Go in and get your things, and I'll pull the car around," Garrison directed Laurel as they walked up the walkway to the front porch.

Laurel consulted her phone. "I didn't realize how late it was. I hate you having to drive me home and come all the way back."

"Well," Garrison said, expecting Laurel to nix the offer as soon as he made it, "I do have three extra bedrooms upstairs. You could stay in one. I can drop you off at your house in the morning on my way to campus."

"Do the doors on the bedrooms have locks?" Laurel asked while Garrison typed in the code to unlock the front door.

"As a matter of fact, they do," Garrison assured her. "Are you worried I might try to sneak into your room?"

Laurel laughed and looked away. Color rose in her cheeks. "You mean you wouldn't?"

They stepped through the doorway into the main hall. Garrison closed and locked the door behind them.

"The idea occurred to me," Garrison admitted. Then he looked down at his feet. "You're going to think I'm a Puritan or something."

Laurel reached out and touched his cheek with her fingertips. "Why would I think you're a Puritan, Garrison?"

Garrison took her hand and held it against his face. He turned his head and kissed her palm. "Look, Laurel, I like you, a lot, and I'm attracted to you, a lot, but I - you'll think this is weird - I want to wait to do IT until, well, not necessarily until my wedding night, but until I'm with a woman I'm truly in love with and want to marry."

setting-friday-free-a-buzby-beach-story-chapter-34

Laurel sniffed. Her eyes grew wet with tears. "Why do you think I wanted to make sure there were locks on the bedroom doors? I feel the same way. I'm not locking my door just to keep you out. I'm removing the temptation to go too far too fast from myself, too."

Garrison pulled Laurel close and held her tightly. "How did I ever get lucky enough to meet you?"

Laurel snuggled her head against Garrison's shoulder and replied, "The universe must have planned it this way."

She looked up at Garrison. He looked down into her eyes. A feeling he'd never known warmed his heart. Garrison saw in Laurel's eyes that she felt it, too. He lowered his head until their lips met.

When the kiss finally came to an end, Laurel rested her head against Garrison's chest.

"If we're going to keep this promise to ourselves, and now to each other, you should probably show me to my room and then go to yours."

Garrison reluctantly lowered his arms from around her. He took her hand and led her up the stairs to the larger of the three bedrooms - the one with the four-poster queen-sized bed, the matching dresser, and chest of drawers, and the secretaries desk by the east-facing window.

"Oh, Garrison, it's beautiful," Laurel exclaimed.

"The door to the right leads into a private bathroom," Garrison explained. "The other opens into a walk-in closet. There should be towels and soap and stuff in the bathroom. If you need an extra pillow or blanket, look in the closet. Oh, and there should be a robe in the bathroom, too, if you need it."

"You weren't kidding when you called this a guest room," Laurel noted as she walked around the space admiring the furnishings and decor. "This beats the suite your parents are staying in all to pieces."

Garrison was so pleased he didn't think about correcting Laurel for referring to his father and Trina as his parents - plural.

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"There's an intercom button on the phone," Garrison said and showed her. "My bedroom is 111, in case you need anything."

Laurel, who'd stuck her head in the bathroom, came back into the bedroom and said, "I think I'll be fine. I'm going to take a bath and then go straight to bed. What time should I set my alarm for in the morning?"

"Class is at eight, so we should leave here by seven if you want to stop and get breakfast," Garrison said. "Or I could cook breakfast. There's probably some eggs and sausage in the fridge."

Laurel's eyes popped wide open. "You cook?"

"I cook," Garrison replied tersely. "You don't think I eat out every meal, do you?"

"Then you can cook breakfast for me," Laurel challenged him. "Do you know how to make an omelet?"

"Omelets are my specialty," Garrison responded, accepting her challenge.

"I'll be the judge of how special your omelets are when I taste one," Laurel informed her host. "Now, scoot so that I can get ready for bed."

She hurried over to give Garrison a goodnight kiss before he closed her door.

"Call Denver and let her know you won't be home tonight," Garrison told her as he pulled her door shut.

Laurel worked the locking mechanism and said through the closed door, "I'll call her before I get in the tub."

Garrison made his slow way down the stairs to his room while a picture of Laurel in the tub formed in his mind.

Garrison's story continues in Chapter 34

© 2021 DW Davis

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