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Dave's Place Chapter 7 - Kay

I texted Susan a few times, but I didn't want to scare her away so I kept it to pleasantries. She hadn't offered much of herself in the weeks she had been coming in, and I knew pushing would be a bad idea. Still, it made me smile every time I got a reply. I got really excited the next time she came through the big front door late one evening. It was a weeknight, and only a few customers were left. I was closing.

"Hi, Susan. It's so good to see you again," I said as she walked gracefully to the bar. There's a woman that knew how to walk in heels. One table of men appreciated it as much as I did. I watched their heads turn as she went by. She pretended not to notice.

"Hi, Dave. How are you?" she asked a bit cooly. Her trademark smile wasn't present, and I got worried.

"I'm good, thank you. Are you ok?"

"This is just all a little weird. I am prone to run when things get weird, and yet I'm back here." I think she was sending me a message as much as allowing me a bit of insight.

"It is a little weird, but there's no pressure or expectations. I just enjoy talking to you. I assume it's the same with you since you're here. It doesn't have to any more than that. Do you want your usual?" I think I was trying to talk myself down as much as Susan.

She nodded and said, "Yes, and tell me about Kay."

I poured her gin over ice, added three choice olives and proceeded, "Kay and I got together very young. I hadn't had many relationships, and she had had none. She was and is my best friend. We starting dating and it was great. We had no money, but we were together and we were on our own."

Susan said, "I sense a 'but' coming."

"Sort of. For the first 3 years I worked a lot of nights, sort of like now, so we weren't together all of our free time. When I switched careers the first time, that changed and we were home together every night. It became clear she needed more space, and I was just the opposite. I needed to be entertained." I smiled self-deprecatingly.

"I thought this was about Kay."

I laughed. "Yes. You did ask about her. So, it came to a head one evening, where I couldn't take it any more. After I laid out that I needed more attention, she simply said I should chat online. That's when the no touching rule started."

A look of disbelief crossed Susan's face. "Wasn't she jealous?"

I shrugged, "It was nearly 20 years before I believed her when she said she wasn't, and worse, I had a tough time believing she loved me if she didn't care with whom I was flirting."

Susan nodded. "How does she deal with it?"

"I can only assume. We've talked about it, but she just says I give her what she needs. Part of that is space. Part of that is trust in the life we've built together. She says she knows where I'm going to sleep every night."

Susan suddenly looked hurt, "Wait, 20 years? You've been asking out women that long?"

"No, no. In all that time I've only been interested in one woman besides you."

"Elaine," Susan assumed.

I shook my head. "Elaine and I are or were, I guess, just friends. The pictures and texts were just fun. There wasn't anything romantic. No, one time there was a lady that I fell hard for even though it was very short. I was hurt when she disappeared, and Kay told me that if I was going to act like a high school girl, we had to come up with a new plan."

Susan laughed that beautiful laugh of hers, while I continued. "But she still held me tight and said she was sorry, and it hurt her to see me upset. I haven't felt that intensely though until recently." I looked into her deep brown eyes.

"Dave... "

"I know. No pressure. No expectations."

"We'll see. This is a lot to take in."

I nodded, escorted her to the door, and hugged her enjoying that she let me hold on longer than I ought.

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