The time away had been way to kind to each of them. Paul looked even more darkly dangerous, and David simply looked hot. His arms looked bigger than when she was last here.
“Do you think that’s a good idea?”
What, getting wet over you?
“Huh?” They couldn’t see what she was thinking, surely.
“Going into town. You’ve not been back long.”
Anna laughed. “This is CapeFalls. Nothing ever happens here.” She drank the last of her coffee, kissed David and then Paul on the cheek, then picked up her clothes and left.
She had lots to do, including getting ready for her party.
“Wait up, Anna,” David shouted.
Turning, she saw him dangling car keys from a finger.
“Last time I checked, you didn’t have a car,” he said.
“I was going to walk, but seeing how you want to be all capable, I’ll let you drive me.” She placed the last clothing inside the bag and walked behind David to the car. “Isn’t Paul coming?”
“He’s making some last minute preparations for your party.” Anna clapped her hands. He gave her a funny look.
“Sorry,” she said. “I’m trying to get back to normal. This distance between us shouldn’t be here.” Her cheeks must be bright red from the blush she felt spreading up through her body.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m glad to have you back.” He opened the boot of the car, and she dumped the bag of clothes.
“Do you want to get some breakfast in town?” he asked.
“I’ll see. Thank you,” she said as he opened the door. Anna got in and buckled her seat belt. She glanced up at his office window and saw Paul staring out. Giving him a wave, she didn’t to see if he waved back, and she settled down.
The sun was shining bright in the sky. “Has CapeFalls changed much?”
“From being judgmental and full of women who like to gossip and men who like to pretend they know everything? No, it’s pretty much the same.”
“So the same old town. Why doesn’t it move forward?” she asked. When she’d been living here, the way the people acted had never bothered her. She’d grown up in CapeFalls, and she’d accepted their way of life. Leaving had made the town seem more old-fashioned.
“I don’t know. I think they’re happier not knowing what’s going on in the world. Makes everything easier to keep in control.”
Anna rolled the window down and let the fresh air run through her hair. “I’ve missed this.” The town might be stilted in its growth, but the fresh air and mass of greenery was refreshing after a life of living in the city.
“Do you think you’ll miss your old life?”
“You don’t know what happened in my old life.” She knew he was talking about college.
“Tell me about what you did.” He turned a corner, and she saw the town coming into view.
“I studied. Literature, mostly. I found a passion for reading, which wasn’t a big surprise.”
“Well, everyone here knew my business and left me alone, apart from the gossip and whispers. In a city or my college, people want to know about you. When they found out my parents died, I became like a tortured soul they wanted to constantly talk to. If I had a book in my hand, they left me alone,” she said.
“Sorry you had to go through that.”
“Don’t be. Even though it drove me crazy, it was nice to see other points of view. To be asked about it and get to tell them what happened. They didn’t have a blow by blow from their dad or mum.”
Anna fell silent and stared out of the window.
“What else did you get up to?”
“Nothing much. I did party some. My friends took me to a night club for my twentieth birthday. I get drunk and ended up throwing up round the back. A nice man who owned the club was kind enough to send me home.”
David was entering the town. Anna glanced all around, surprised that nothing had changed.
“Would you drive around so I can see everything?” she asked.
“Here we are on the CapeFalls tour, hosted by David Steer.” She burst out laughing as he deepened his voice. “On the left we have the diner. They still serve greasy burgers and fries. However, they added a caramel sauce to the desert menu. Very risky if you ask me.”
Anna laughed at his sarcasm.
As they passed each shop, he added some dialogue. After ten minutes, Anna was laughing so hard she was begging him to stop. “And here we’ve got the library where the books are. I don’t know if they’re vetted anymore, but last time I checked there were only tame romances allowed to the female populace.”