Chapter 1 She’d had enough. There is only so much a person can take. No more lies, no more cheating, no more period. It was well past midnight when Julia finally decided to pull off at a roadside motel on the two lane highway. The pink and blue neon sign flashed “Vacancy” and that is what she needed right now. Her eyes were red and swollen but dry now, “finally, all cried out” she thought. As Julia pulled into the dimly lit parking lot she began to feel relief. She had left him. They had been together for 15 years and finally her marriage was over. She parked in front of what looked like the front office and went inside. It was well lit with the older style lamp shade casting a yellow glow about the room. The old fashion bell chimed as she walked in. There was no one there. Tentatively, Julia pressed the button on top of the silver bell on the clean counter. “Be right there,” a deep male voice came from somewhere behind the counter and through a door. Julia glanced around the office while she waited for the voice. It was neat and clean, but in need of a serious decor upgrade. The furniture looked well cared for, but from the 50s. The same could be said of the wallpaper. She wandered to a display near the door and rifled through the brochures Anadolu Yakası Escort of tourist attractions in the area; Visit Beech Mountain, Nantahala National Forest, DuPont State Forest, and more just like it. She picked up the one for Nantahala National Forest and began reading it when a voice cleared behind her. “May I help you miss?” Julia internally smiled to herself. “Miss” she hadn’t been called that in ages. While only 35, she had noticed a few crinkles at the corners of her dark green eyes and she couldn’t remember the last time she had been carded when picking up a bottle of wine. Her auburn hair still held up without needing to be dyed and only a gray strand or two. Julia turned to the voice and found that her mouth immediately went dry. He had to have been at least 6’2”, chestnut hair with a few grays of his own. He looked as if he hadn’t felt the need to shave in a day or two. His sharp jaw lines lead to a quirked smile. The smile was ultimately in his baby blue eyes, so much so that Julia found herself smiling in response. He wore a well-loved red flannel shirt and blue jeans. “How can I help you miss?” As much as Julia wanted to read more into that statement, she decided that Anadolu Yakası Escort Bayan what she needed right now was just a place to shower and crash for the night before hitting the road again. “Just a room for the night please.” “Sure thing, Miss. That will be 63 in cash please.” “Cash? And don’t I need to register or sign in or something?” “I only deal in cash, Miss. And I figure that each guest here has a personal reason for stopping in and it’s none of my business or anyone else’s.” The subtle power he put behind his words made Julia take a step back. This man, this stranger, exuded confidence. Not taking her eyes from his, Julia pulled her simple black wallet out of her purse and took out 80, all the cash she had on her at the time, and handed it to him. As he took the money from her, his rough finger grazed the back of her soft hand. Julia gasped as goose bumps appeared up and down her arms. She was the first to break eye contact, looking down at the connection. He quickly made change and set it on the counter instead of placing it in her stretched hand. Turning to a peg board on the wall behind him he grabbed a key with a room number tag on it, no key cards here, and beckoned her Escort Anadolu Yakası to follow him out the front door. “This way Miss.” He politely held the door for her and allowed her to go through first. Once outside he took the lead and began walking up the row of rooms. “How many rooms do you have here?” Julia questioned, trying to make small talk. “Just 12. No need for anymore out here really. And I can manage it on my own.” Well, at least he was up for some talk Julia thought. “Here we are Miss, room one,” He smiled down to her. In heels Julia was only about 5’4” and for some reason, she was glad she had some on now. He unlocked the door and once again held it for her. The way he held it was a bit awkward and Julia had to brush her body past him to get through. She nearly shivered as the goose bumps reappeared. “If you need anything, just give me a buzz. My name is Brian.” Handing her the key, he bade her good night and gently closed the door. Looking around she couldn’t help but notice that this whole situation felt a bit familiar to her. ********************************************************************************* Julia stood staring at the door. She blinked a few times and shook her head trying to shake off the eerie feeling. Shower. God yes, she needed to shower, time to wash away her past. Julia turned the hot water on and it immediately started steam up the small bathroom. Unpacking her toiletries from her suitcase she grabbed her razor. “Dammit!” she noticed, she forgot shaving cream. Ah well, soap it is. Luckily she did remember her shampoo and conditioner.