Sara's Promise(85)

By: Deanna Lynn Sletten

She had been one of the longest relationships he'd had, and she had been the last of the string of women. After her, his life changed overnight, without warning or preparation. He was forced to change his ways and clean up his act as responsibility was dropped into his lap.

Michael placed the half-empty carton back into the refrigerator, walked to his bedroom and slipped between the sheets. He had an eight o'clock meeting in the morning and he had promised Catherine he'd be at her place by eleven o'clock for lunch. She was expecting an old college roommate of hers to visit and she wanted Michael to meet her.

He smiled to himself at the thought of Catherine. At forty-four, he was seven years her senior, but he looked much younger than his age. His build was strong from regular workouts and even though his dark hair and full beard showed a few strands of silver, it only added to his rugged good looks. His deep gray eyes and golden brown skin could not deny his Portuguese heritage, although he had given up his true first name of Miguel for the American version. Women were attracted to him easily, but he'd been out of the market for a long time while he worked hard at the business and raising Vanessa. Only with Vanessa married and gone did he begin to allow himself the pleasure of women in his life again, and along came Catherine, beautiful, softly rounded, energetic yet easy-going. He enjoyed her company, especially in bed, and they had a few interests in common, like racquetball and tennis, along with working in the coat industry. Unfortunately, he wasn't interested in much more from her than just fun and companionship and lately he'd sensed from her an eagerness to commit. He wasn't ready for that now, and maybe he never would be.

This time when Michael finally fell to sleep his dreams were not filled with smoke and heat and death, but instead with the face of a young, blond, blue-eyed woman telling him he was okay, everything was going to be fine.

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