№346; an excerpt.

I don’t often share my works in progress. I tend to write and write and write until it’s time to edit and edit and edit. But in my quest to finish this damned manuscript, I’ve started re-reading it and trying to plan out the rest of the story. I’ve been writing it for literally years. I am done making excuses. So, here I am, with a short excerpt (mostly unedited, my apologies) in a most-likely-vain hope to motivate myself.

I will finish this manuscript in 2020. If I don’t, I will abandon it, because enough is enough either way.

He sent a small, thoughtful smile my way and I asked, “I meant to ask, was anyone else joining us tonight? I mean.. I just...” I didn’t really know what I wanted to convey, but I felt awkward sitting alone with him. With the exception of walking me to my car, I had never been truly alone with him outside of the office. I was in a dress that hugged my minimal curves and slid just a little bit more above my knees than I was totally comfortable with - a dress that had made my husband give me bedroom eyes as I left our house - and to anyone else watching, we looked like we might be on an awkward first date. Well, anyone who hadn’t noticed my wedding ring, at least. Then again, maybe the waitress thought the wedding rings were his - that we were a husband and wife out for a night in the city, though she seemed to be familiar with Ari, so I doubt she thought he was married. Then I wondered, did he bring dates here? Had he brought Lila when they were an item? Out of nowhere a flash of concern and anxiety - might I call it jealousy? - flitted through my mind and across my vision I saw red. I shook my head to clear the treacherous thought and looked back to him, “I just mean, I hope I wasn’t intruding on you and Andrew, a guys’ night or something.” I smiled apologetically.

“Not at all, I asked Andrew if he’d like to come out so that he could get to know you better. He agrees with me by the way.”

I cocked my head, “Agrees with you? About what?”

“You play the political game well, and you’re exceedingly competent. You could have a real career in this.” Was that a compliment? From the most mercurial boss I’d ever had? I laughed and thanked him.

“I don’t know that I agree with you guys, though. I’m not in this for the politics. I just want to help, and Jack is so good, and he believes in the right things, and he deserves this. I think he’ll be a great Mayor - he’s already a great man.” He was watching me speak with some sort of tenderness in his eyes, his whole demeanor suddenly softer, somehow.

“That’s it - there. That’s what Andrew saw. He said you remind him of me when I was your age - still idealistic enough to believe this work matters, that it actually can help people. And you joined the campaign for the same reason I did. Coming back was not in my plans.”

Our drinks were set down on the small side table next to our sofa and I thanked the waitress, but his eyes didn’t leave my face. After taking a sip - oof, that was a strong Sidecar - I looked back to him and asked, my heart fluttering in nervousness for some reason I didn't want think too deeply on, “Are you glad you did?”

Something about the conversation had suddenly turned intimate, though I couldn’t pinpoint what. Maybe it was the way his walls seemed to have come down, maybe it was how he slid just a fraction closer to me on the leather, but when he spoke again, his voice was soft, barely above a whisper, and he said, “Yes. Very much so.”

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