Excerpt from The Paris Notebook

 

Deena Smith leaned against the door of the office she shared with Jack Karris, watching him work. Instead of his usual button-down shirt, he wore a black t-shirt. As he entered a grade into his laptop, his cut biceps flexed, tightening the material.

The stack of papers in her arms started to slide. She rushed to dump them on her desk, and a few flopped to the floor. The donut she’d snagged from the faculty lounge rolled out of its napkin and onto her mouse pad. She grabbed for it, knocking the coffee cup full of colored pens over. She righted the cup and stuck the pens back into it. When she turned to retrieve the wayward essays, Jack handed them to her. He stood so close she saw the glint of the tiny diamond in his ear.

“Hey you,” Jack said.

Deena took a step away from temptation.

“Music?” She asked, moving to the corner where they kept an ancient P.C. for streaming internet radio.

“Sure,” Jack said.

She brought up their favorite station, keeping the volume low in deference to the rest of the English department.

When she turned back toward the desks, Jack stretched backward, showing an inch of rock hard abs. Even over the music she heard a loud crack when the kink in his back straightened out.

Refusing to be flustered by her flirty office mate, she tucked herself into her chair, grabbed a purple pen and and essay and started grading.

A new song came on the radio, catching her attention. She parked her pen behind her ear and focused on the music, listening harder. The guitar stuff sounded like Ian. When the words started coming through, she recognized Ian’s voice.

His voice brought it all back. She’d finally gotten over the jerk and here he was again, filling the room. Her gut tightened and her throat swelled. She looked up and blinked, holding back the tears, listening to the song. Familiar but not from the album. If this song was new, why did she know it?

Gradually she realized. The words were hers.

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