Tuesday Tales/Secrets

The writing prompt is “secret.” From wip Undivided. Oh, the many ways secrets can get us tangled up…

Grocery shopping for a church. Garrett experienced a flicker of amusement at the changes his life had taken. It had been a long time since he’d done any sort of grocery shopping. Even between missions, he had tended spend his time with accommodating women friends and they had usually ordered in.

The shopping cart he pushed now grew fuller and heavier with each aisle they traversed, as Edith overloaded it with an unreal amount of foodstuffs. She was talkative as they walked, and just as content to chatter nonstop as Garrett was to keep his mouth shut.

He half listened to the chatty secretary in case a response was required, but his mind kept wandering back to Anna Jeffries. Every so often, a phantom twinge of electricity flashed where she had placed her hand on his leg the day before. If things were different with his life, if he wasn’t keeping so many secrets, or if he thought she might be the friends-with-benefits type, he would have responded differently, maybe even talked her into taking him back home with her.

He permitted his thoughts a little freedom and found himself imagining what she would be like as a lover. Tender and caring, but with that spark between them, it wouldn’t take long for them to hit flashover. Without a doubt, she had untapped passion he would love to discover and unleash. Recalling where he was, he reined in his lascivious thoughts and forced himself to concentrate on Edith’s monologue once more.

“I don’t get to do this very often. Reverend Jeffries usually likes to do the shopping for the community supper.”

“I’m sorry,” Garrett interrupted, holding up a hand. “Did you say Reverend Jeffries?”

Edith nodded with happy enthusiasm.

Garrett frowned, trying to get his thoughts around the new wrinkle in his plan. “As in Anna Jeffries? Is she a minister, too?”

Now Edith looked mildly confused. “Anna? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think she’s a social worker. Though I suppose she could be a social worker and a minister.” She stopped and picked up several restaurant-sized cans of green beans, setting them in the cart before she continued with her answer. “But I was talking about Pastor.”

Garrett shook his head, trying to think clearly and make the connections he was somehow missing. “Pastor Allen?”

“That’s right,” Edith confirmed. “Pastor Allen.”

“Allen’s his last name?” Garrett asked dumbly.

She shook her head. “Pastor Allen Jeffries. Allen is his given name.”

“And Jeffries is his last name?” Why did he feel the insane need to confirm?

Edith looked at Garrett as though he had suddenly gone wonky. “That’s right. I thought you knew that, being you’re friends with his daughter. Not like it’s a secret or anything.”

Garrett clutched the handle on the shopping cart to catch himself from falling when his knees buckled, not from pain this time, but from sudden weakness. He’d been lusting after the preacher’s daughter? There was a joke in there somewhere, he was certain, but just now he wasn’t getting it.

Blowout sale at Astraea Press–no title over $2.99 at all sites: Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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