Chapter 1.25

A/N: Enjoy some delicious fluff.



Shirley and I were getting ready to have Hadley over for dinner when I caught myself fussing with my hair in the mirror. For years and years, I’d loved my short hair, but lately, I felt like I wanted a change.


“Shirl, what would you think of changing up my hair?” I asked as I walked over to the couch where she was sitting.

“It’s funny you say that. I was thinking of doing something new with mine too.”


I laughed and sat down, pulling her into my arms. “Why don’t we go to the salon tomorrow? We’ll see if there’s something we like for ourselves.”

She kissed me, smiling. “Sounds great. I’m always game for something new with you.”

“I just have one question.” When she raised a brow at me, I grinned. “Do you think I’m too old to pull off purple hair?”


As it turns out, I just loved my short hair too much to change it. Except for one thing.

Shirley laughed as we walked into the house. “I still can’t believe you dyed your hair purple.”

I grinned. “I was due for a bleaching anyway. I figured, why not try purple for a while?” I wrapped my arms around her. “I love your hair.” The longer look suited her just as well as the short one had.

“I love yours, too.”

We smiled at each other before parting ways. I went to spend some quality time with Loralee while she disappeared into the gym. I smiled in contentment. Life was good.


I looked across the table at Carter, a smile permanently attached to my face. “I can’t believe he did that. A whole sandwich?”

Carter laughed. “He did! Just dropped it in and kept on walking.”

“Some tip,” I chortled. Dating a musician was full of crazy stories, as I had come to learn in recent months.

Dating a musician. That wasn’t a phrase I ever thought to apply to myself. It sounded like something a young woman would say to her friends. I hadn’t even told Shirley about Carter. Frankly, I had no idea how to even go about starting that conversation.

So, sis, how’re things? By the way, I’m dating a guy half my age.


I suppressed a snort at myself and continued listening to Carter. He had a way of making anything sound exciting, even a day of playing for tips in the park. I’d gone to see him play many times since we’d begun seeing each other and was always amazed with the way he poured himself into the music. If I didn’t know that he’d played those songs over and over again, I wouldn’t have been able to tell. He played them like it was the key to life. I felt that way sometimes when I was at my easel.

His eyes sparkled at me from across the table as he described the emotional new song he was writing. His vigor for everything was infectious. I’d found myself throwing myself more into my artwork recently. More than that, being with him made me feel young; I felt lighter than I had in years. Freer.

“I should get a violin for the kids,” I said when he quieted. “Joshua, I think, wouldn’t be too interested in learning violin, but Nora will be old enough to start the basics soon.”


“That’d be great.” He smiled and drew me up to my feet. Together we left the Solar Flare and strolled down the quiet sidewalk. It would be time for us to go to our respective homes soon, but neither of us seemed ready to let the date end yet. “Haddie,” Carter started softly then hesitated.

I looked up at him. “What is it?”

He looked down into my eyes. “I’d like us to be official, Hadley. I want you to be my girlfriend.”

I felt the warm, happy bubble I had been cocooned in all night burst. “Girlfriend? Carter, I – we can’t. This is – is just fun.” Even though I hadn’t wanted a fling. Even though it felt like a lot more than just fun.


“Don’t say that. We have a real connection. I can feel it.” He leaned down and kissed me in the deep kind of way that always took my breath away. “We spark together,” he murmured.

“Maybe we do, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re – “

“I know how old we both are. We’ve been over this. I don’t care. I want to be with you.”

The connotations of that last sentence sent pinkness rushing to my cheeks. Though I had gone into this with a “just for fun” mentality, we hadn’t done more than kiss. “Carter…”

“I’m not asking for a grand gesture. I’m not even asking that you start telling people. I understand why you wouldn’t want to. I just want to know that I’m not the only one who is serious about this.”

As I looked up into his eyes, I knew there was only one answer I could give. “Oh, Carter. Yes, of course.”

A/N: I know I made Carter and all, but I really like him. I think he’s adorable.

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5 Responses to Chapter 1.25

  1. kaffepigen says:

    It’s so nice to see haddie this happy with another, better guy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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