It’s a warm mid-August evening and I sit at a picnic table at the Norwich Haven Marina with Reynolds Stanford right across from me.
Oh boy, if I weren’t happily married, I’d totally fall for his rugged good looks. I wouldn’t mind a little outing away with him on his trawler, which I see swaying gently in the sunset at the edge of the docks.
The fine lines of his handsome sun-kissed features are a sure sign that he’s no longer a young man. But his strong muscular limbs are certainly not old.
No. While I know he’s in his mid-forty, because I created him that way, he’s as fit as a thirty-year old.
I watch him poke at his carton of fried clams and finally find the courage to ask.
“Rey, do you think you’re fit because you’re a warlock?”
“Uh?” He lifts his gaze at me and I’m hit with the intensity of his denim-blue irises.
“Well, it’s possible, isn’t it?” I insist. “You Black Oak Warlocks don’t really get sick, right?
He shrugged with a dismissive look. “I’m not really one of them, though.”
“Right,” I tell him. “You got rid of your warlock’s bracelet. It was your father, you know?”
“I’m sure he’d understand,” Rey grumbled as he pokes again at his fried dinner.
“What about Diesel?” I insist.
“My nephew? Why would he care?”
“He is the leader of the Order.”
“Yeah, sure. But he’s a good guy. He doesn’t pressure me to rejoin. He knows I’m happy here.” Peace settles on his face as he takes in the local seaside evening scene.
Lively patrons are sharing quahogs and haddock rolls from the clam shack, while a few seagulls battle a couple of discarded fries left on the boardwalk.
“Fishing?” I say.
“But what about Rose Point Manor, your big estate in Seaport? Your mom is there all alone.”
“She’s well looked after. I took care of that. She knows…”
“That you left because of the wedding.”
“Yeah,” he croaks but doesn’t add on.
“It wasn’t the warlocks’ fault,” I tell him.
“No. Not really. But that kind of life…” he takes in a deep breath,” It attracts the wrong kinds of people.”
“So no women for you then.”
He stares at the summer people crowding the docks and admiring the yachts and sailboats tied up in the marina.
Then he chuckles. “Oh I have plenty of women.”
“No supernatural women,” I correct myself.
“You got it.”
“Not even if one was to appear right here?”
“Are you crazy?”
“Maybe a little.”
“Look,” he says. “Nice chatting with you, Ms. Author, but I got to get ready for tomorrow. The big storm is coming and I got one more shot at some catch before I’m docked for a week.”
“Sure,” I tell him, knowing exactly that what is about to happen in the next twenty hours might change is entire life. “You go ahead and do that. Good luck!”
“Okay, bye.” His wide body blocks the settling sun for a second as he stands up from his bench.
As he turns and strides down towards his boat, I watched appreciatively as his backside flexes under the well-fitted jeans and feels a small smile warming my face.
I hope he likes my surprise.