Nice picture! I like your hat. I always wanted to meet a real cowboy. I guess since you’re in Texas, you are one. I’ll attach a picture of me to this message, but your assumption about my beauty may be a little exaggerated. I consider myself a little above average. I clean up good and people always compliment my wardrobe. I can see by our photos that we aren’t exactly a fashion match. Most of my closet is filled with power suits, but if I look hard I may be able to find a pair of jeans somewhere. *smile*
I would really like to get to know you better, and I’ve changed my mind about giving you my number. This old computer of mine might die before I can replace it, so if you still want to chat, give me a call. My number is 960-555-2525.
She turned off the computer and stood. She just gave a complete stranger her phone number. Her hand flew to her throat. What was she thinking? Despite her uncharacteristic behavior she felt a smile tug at the corner of her lips. Those shadowed eyes peering out from beneath his cowboy hat intrigued her. What could it hurt?
Cassie bounded up the stairs with newfound energy and changed into her nightgown. Not quite sleepy, she stood at the vanity and brushed her hair. With each stroke she pictured herself with Evan, happy and content after so long. In the mirror, she noticed her blossoming smile had fully bloomed.
She put her brush away and climbed into bed. A glance at the clock as she turned off the light showed it was only nine-thirty, but she was beat. Settling down on her pillow, she pulled the blanket up to her chin and got comfortable. She was just dozing off when the ringing phone pierced the peaceful silence.
Who’s calling at this hour?
Cassie grappled in the darkness for the receiver and answered. “Hello.” Her voice showed her annoyance.
“Is this Cassie?” An unfamiliar voice inquired.
“Yes, who’s this?” The intense thumping of her heart said she already knew. Who else would have such a twang to their voice?
“It‘s Evan. I hope I ain’t calling too late. I know there’s a two-hour difference and I hoped you’d still be up.”
“I just slipped into bed. I wasn’t asleep yet,” she lied in a much softer tone. “I’m glad you called.”
“Do you always go to bed so early?”
“On weeknights, I have to get up before sunrise to catch the train to work.”
“You take the train?”
“It beats the commuter traffic and gives me time to catch up on my paperwork … or just unwind.”
“I ain’t never been on a train. Seen lots of ‘em though.” His boyish chuckle sent a shiver through Cassie.
An awkward pause ensued. What did one discuss with a stranger? She didn’t have a clue.
“I got your email and saw your picture.” He finally spoke, which helped her relax. “I just wanted to tell you how purdy I think you are.”
“Well, thank you. I liked your picture, too, but I wish you hadn’t had your hat on.”
He laughed. “I only take my hat off to go to bed, so…. ”
Uncomfortable, Cassie quickly changed the subject. “So…do you live alone?”
“I did up until recently. I just moved back in with my surrogate mother. She’s not in good health and I look after her.”
“Surrogate?” Curiosity forced her to repeat the word.
“Yeah, my real mom died when I was young, and Marlene took me in and raised me. She’s a wonderful lady and I just love her so much I figured it was the least I could do.”
“I’m impressed. I don’t expect there are too many men out there who would make such a sacrifice.”
“Oh, it’s no sacrifice. Marlene put up with me all these years, I figure I can give her a little of my time. How ’bout you, you live alone?”
“I wish sometimes I did, but no, I don’t. I share a home with my mother. We just moved here not too long ago. We both sold our homes and pooled our money to get a place together. She’s getting along in years and I didn’t like her living alone”
“Sounds like we just found somethin’ we have in common.”
“What about other family?” Cassie asked. “Do you have brothers and sisters?”
“I have a sister and two brothers. See my sis pretty regular but ain’t seen one of my brothers for a spell. We got into it a while back and decided it best to avoid one another.”
“That’s too bad. I have two sisters and a brother and I love them to death. Family is very important to me.”
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