The Obsession Page 35

Before pictures also attached.

Miss you, love you,


Once she sent the email off, she ordered herself to work. She had to update her Facebook page, do the Tumblr thing, the Pinterest deal, and write something for the blog. All chores she’d have put off for the rest of her life if they weren’t part of the job.

An hour later, she took her laptop back to the desk to plug in the charger. And saw the moon riding over the water.

She grabbed her camera, filters, a second lens, and went out on her deck in the deep night chill.

She caught the moon along with its reflection in the water. Mirror Moon, she thought, already composing as she took more pictures, changed filters, angles. She’d make a series—cards, which always sold well off her site. If they turned out as well as she thought, she’d set up her mat cutter and board and start sending some art to the gallery.

But she was doing one for herself. She rose, drew in the quiet, the light, the sense of lovely, lovely solitude.

She’d hang the best of the best on the wall she’d painted herself.

Her moon over her inlet.

It didn’t get better than that.

Three weeks after demo, Kevin stayed late to finish installing the hardware on the kitchen cabinets. Overwhelmed, Naomi grabbed tools and worked with him while Molly napped by the doors.

“I can’t believe how it looks.”

“It’s coming along.”

“Coming along? Kevin, it’s amazing. I didn’t make a mistake, right, changing up from the idea of the dark cherry cabinets for this sage green?”

“They’re classy, have character, and don’t look like a showroom—in a good way. With the gray granite, those veins of green in it? You’ve got an eye, Naomi. The beveled glass fronts set it all off.”

“I think so. I guess I’m going to need something better than paper plates and plastic cups to go in them. I’ve never bought a set of dishes in my life.”

“Didn’t you have like an apartment or something before?”

“Oh, here and there, but mostly I stayed on the move. Have camera, will travel. And it was paper, plastic, or secondhand. I never intended to settle.”

Overwhelmed definitely, she thought, glancing up at her empty cabinets. “It looks like I have, so I’d better think about dishes and glassware. I don’t know where I’m going to find the room in my head for that with faucets and light fixtures and tile.”

“You should talk to Jenny. That woman loves playing with new dishes.”

“Maybe I’ll just go with restaurant white, so I don’t have to think about it.”

“You should talk to her. You know what?” He nudged back the bill of his ball cap. “You should come on out tonight, have a drink with us at Loo’s.”

“That’s the bar, right, off Water Street?”

“Yeah, it’s a nice place, though. Good food, friendly. Music tonight, too. Jenny and I have a sitter, so we’re going for a while. Why don’t you meet us?”

“That sounds like date night to me, Kevin.”

“Yeah, sort of. The thing is, Jenny’s been after me to ask you over to dinner, and I figure you’ve had enough of all of us by the end of the day.”

Good instincts, she thought, because truer words.

“You come out tonight, have a drink, talk dishes with her some, it’s a compromise. Seems like you could use a night off and out, too.”


He didn’t push, so they fell back to companionable silence as they worked. When it was done, they bumped fists.

“I’ll see you at Loo’s if you make it,” he said, and she just waved him off.

She didn’t intend to leave her nearly finished, wonderful kitchen with its empty cabinets and pale gray (hinting toward green) walls. She had dozens of things to keep her busy, including reading the owner’s manuals on her new appliances.

Settling in, she reminded herself. If she really meant to settle in, no matter how innately unsociable, it required minimal doses of friendliness.

Otherwise she was that weird woman up on Point Bluff. That just asked for talk and attention. Normal people had a drink with friends now and then. She didn’t really know Jenny, but she definitely considered Kevin a friend.

Harry would have deemed them simpatico.

So why not? She’d throw on some halfway decent clothes, slap a little makeup on, and drive into town. Have a drink at the local bar, talk with her friend’s wife about tableware. She’d stay for one set since there was music, and consider any and all social obligations met for at least a month.

Good deal.

She opted for black jeans, and because it ran cool at night, a sweater. Not black, she ordered herself, as that was her first choice. She chose the one Seth and Harry had given her for Christmas—worn only once—and in nearly the same shade as her kitchen cabinets. She considered changing her habitual silver studs for something more fun and frivolous, then decided that worrying about earrings was too much for a simple drink with a friend and his wife.

She took some trouble with her makeup mainly because those needs could come calling—and maybe there was a local boy who could meet them at some point.

No reason to scare him off, whoever he might be.

Night had fallen when she set out, so she left the porch light on—new fixture yet to come—and locked up. Alarm system, she thought, installed very soon.

When she glanced back at the house, she nearly went back inside. It looked so appealing sitting there, so quiet. One drink, she ordered herself, and pushed herself to drive away from solitude.

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