Only You (Red Hook 5) - Page 20

“Any more nightmares?” Jasmine asked.

Alicia shrugged. “Some. Not every day, but every once in a while I have them. Ray thinks maybe something triggers it, but what, I don’t know.”

“Try keeping a journal. Write about your day. If you have a bad dream, you can go back and check to see what happened,” Jasmine said.

“That is a smart idea.” Alicia liked it. She used to keep diaries when she was a teen but had stopped the practice. Maybe it was time to start it up again. Even though she was glad Novak hadn’t shown his face in Red Hook, she wanted this all over with. She was tired of worrying. Maybe then Tony would have time to sit down and tell her how he felt about her.

* * * *

Alicia was walking to her car after work with Alana. The day had been long and tiring. John had come by to see how she was recovering. She felt a little bewildered. What did he care after all this time? They had not parted on good terms. He had not been there long before Ray showed up and kicked him out of the restaurant. Alicia let him because she had no desire to hash out her past with John. It had taken time to get over it and she wanted it to stay in the past.

“I am so glad Noah got off of work early today. He picked up Carlos from Papa’s house for me,” Alana said tiredly with a yawn.

“Aww, I wanted to play with him.” Alicia pouted.

“You can come by anytime and entertain him,” Alana said. “I can nap on the couch.”

“What an old lady you’re turning out to be,” Alicia teased.

Alana laughed. “I can’t deny that. Putting in a full day here and taking care of Carlos and the house exhausts me. Noah has been throwing hints we should add to our family like Adam and Faith, but honestly, I am not sure.”

“Be honest with him,” Alicia suggested. “Carlos is just over a year old. You have plenty of time.”

Alicia wished she had someone to cook for and snuggle with at night. She felt kind of lonely. Maybe Holly was right. She should be brave and just ask Tony how he felt. If all he felt was friendship, it would hurt, but it was better than being in limbo. She wasn’t getting any younger and someday she wanted a husband and a family, too. She waved to her sister and got in her car. The house was dark and she knew her parents were asleep. She went around the back door. Her room was at the back of the house and completely private. After showering and changing, she picked up the house phone by her bed. She hadn’t replaced her cell phone yet. She dialed Tony’s number.

He answered right away. “Alicia?”

“Yes. I just got home from work.”

“Me too. We met with the sheriff of Green County. They think Novak is out of state or maybe even out of the country.”

“What do you think?”

He didn’t answer for a few seconds. “I want to agree. It would make our lives easier.”

“But?” She heard the hesitation in his tone.

“He didn’t give up last summer. Why give up now?” His answer made sense to Alicia. She didn’t like it, but it was true.

She sighed. “You’re right. It would be easier, but life is hardly ever easy.” She leaned back against her headboard. “So what happens now?”

“We just wait and see, I suppose,” he replied. “I will have a more normal schedule now. I was hoping you’d go out with me tomorrow night.”

“Like a date or as friends?” Her pulse picked up speed as she waited for the answer.

“A real date.” He spoke with confidence. “I know I am a lot older than you, and maybe your parents won’t like me, but—”

“I am over twenty-one, Tony. I like you. I have liked you for so long now. That is all that matters,” she insisted, not wanting to hear a lot of excuses. “So yes, I would love to go out on a date with you.”

“I will pick you up at six.” He sounded happy and that made her smile.

“Yes.” She pulled the blanket over her lap and turned off the lamp. “I love the sound of your voice, Tony. I feel warm and secure. Can we talk, or are you tired?”

“I am never too tired to talk to you, baby girl,” he assured her. “What should we talk about? Our favorite color or favorite song? I have never been one for phone conversations.”

“Me neither. My sister was, but not me.” She laughed. “With you, it’s different. I want to know you.”

“Ask away.”

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