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"I did have a reason for stopping by without calling." He turned to look at her. "What are you doing next weekend for Valentine's Day?"
"Well, Hugh Jackman called me and wants me to fly to New York to be with him," Jack joked. "I told him I would have to get back with him because I might have something important to do like get my nails done or wash my hair." At his look, she smiled. "Not a damn thing. I'm off on Friday because it's a professional development day. Thankfully, since I've already been developed professionally this year, I have the day off. I'll probably spend the weekend getting caught up on grading and complete my lesson plans for the following week. Why? What are you doing?"
"I was hoping you would go with me."
"Go with you? Where?"
"There's this bed and breakfast Claire went on and on about. It has this small cottage behind the main house, and she was all excited. I made reservation at the end of the summer, you know, as a surprise. Now, I have the place reserved from Thursday evening to Sunday..." He trailed off.
"And what?" Jacqueline asked, unsure of where the conversation was headed. "I don't understand."
"Yeah, I'm not making myself real clear." He leaned forward to place his hand on her knee. "I want you to go with me."
"Me?" She was stunned. What the hell? Why would he ask her?
"Yeah, you. Jacqueline, you and I have been friends for going on two years now. Just because Claire and I broke up doesn't mean we need to do the same. I think this might be a nice way to build our own relationship. We can spend some time together without the day-to-day shit." He reached in his pocket and pulled out a brochure. "Why don't you lookthis over and let me know. The town it's in is small, but the place sits right on a lake. They even serve tea, which I know you're into. Think about it. If you agree, we can leave as soon as you get out of school on Thursday. It only takes a couple hours so we should be there around six."
Jacqueline took the brochure from him. The picture on the front showed a beautiful home with the name Willow Creek underneath. She knew this place. She and Claire discovered the website for it and instantly fell in love. Claire must have mentioned the place to Caleb, hoping he would take the hint. Obviously, he had. Only now, Claire wouldn't be the one going, Jacqueline would. If she agreed.
"I'd like to think about it, okay?" She finally looked up to find him watching her.
"Call me on my cell." He stood and took his cup into the kitchen. "I'd better go. I told Jason I'd meet him to go over a bid we're working on for an office building."
Jack walked him to the door and opened it to the still falling snow. "Be careful. The weather guy says the snow's going to stop, but he missed the ten inches at Christmas too."
"I will." He leaned over to brush his lips against her cheek. "Call me."
Jacqueline closed and locked the door behind him. She sagged against it in disbelief. Oh my gosh, Caleb had asked her to go away with him for the weekend. Shivers ran up her spine before she could clamp down on her emotions. As friends, she told herself. They were going because he had the reservations and didn't want to waste them. Why not give them to someone else, a little voice whispered.
"Because everyone probably already had plans," she spoke aloud. She walked over to the couch and picked up the brochure. Sitting, she began to look through it. The cottage, where he had the reservations, looked to be a house in miniature. It had a living room, bedroom, large bath and tiny kitchen. More than enough room for the two of them to stay there comfortably. The brochure even made mention of the couch rolling out to a bed. Each of them would have someplace to sleep without bothering the other.
Bothering? The tiny voice was back. You'd love if he bothered you. Bothered you right out of your clothes and right into bed. Jacqueline shoved those thoughts aside and began to reason as she always did.
"Caleb is a handsome man, at least I think he is. He's got an amazing body and even better personality. Of course, you would be attracted to him. You'd have to be dead not to. But he's a friend."
But why, the voice asked. He's not engaged to Claire anymore. Why does he have to be only a friend? Why can't he be the kind of friend you take your clothes off with? The kind of friend who licks your--
"No!" She stood up and hurried to the kitchen, pretending to clean up. "Besides what would he want with me? I mean, hells bells, I'm not tiny, cute and blonde. That's what he goes for. If you need any better example look at Claire. Look at the girls he's dated since breaking up with Claire. All of them have been petite, blond and cute as hell."
She looked at herself in the mirror to find tall, dark and wouldn't be petite if you paid someone. She laughed out loud. Now that the Friday night tequila insanity was over, she would sit and grade. It did no good to create fantasies around Caleb Sinclair. He was a friend. Tucking the thoughts away, Jack went back into the living room and pulled out her grade book. Way less fun, but definitely safer.
Caleb sat in his car staring at the dimly lit house. Fuck, his life was a mess. First, his engagement to Claire had been broken, which he didn't feel as bad about as he felt he should. Now he was inviting a friend to spend the weekend at a bed and breakfast. If he were smart, he would invite Stephie or whatever the hell her name was. But no, he had to go and ask Jacqueline. What the fuck had he been thinking? There was only one answer. He hadn't been. Or at least not with his mind. His cock twitched in his jeans. He wanted her. The breakup with Claire had only made it more obvious. Did she want him? He shook his head; he knew he was going to try to find out. No matter what he told himself, he would. He wanted Jacqueline spread out before him. Naked and submissive, open to his every whim. He shook the thought away. He had to get a hold of himself. What if she didn't agree? He clenched his teeth. She would, she had too. If she didn't, he knew he could convince her. Or die trying. Either way she would be going with him to the fucking bed and breakfast one way or the other.