“Won’t Last Long” by Heidi Joy Tretheway
Setup: Joshua and Melina are on their first date in Seattle, and while Melina has her first-date routine down pat, Joshua’s easy humor and sharp disarm her. Melina’s used to being in control—she cultivates it—but in Won’t Last Long her carefully guarded façade is about to come crashing down.
Melina had a lot of rules about dating.
If they don’t call, don’t bother. Men will walk through fire to get in touch with a woman they really want.
If they’re more than fifteen minutes late or if they stand you up, don’t go out with them again and don’t return their calls.
Don’t go out more than three times per week, or with more than three men at a time. Four or more make it hard to keep track of the conversations you’ve had previously.
Melina’s rules for a first date were specific.
Always be early. Make it your turf.
Always choose the location. Your choice speaks volumes about you, so it should be hip, expensive, exclusive and a little mysterious.
Always drive yourself. It’s easier to leave a date.
Always have drinks, not dinner. It’s acceptable to leave after one drink, and OK to stay for two.
Never eat. You could get caught with your mouth full when he asks a question, or get something stuck in your teeth.
Always leave them wanting more.
One of Melina’s tried-and-true rules was to ask a man what kind of car he drives as soon as he asks her out. The answer was important, of course—Melina couldn’t see herself dating the kind of guy who drove a lifted pickup truck or a sedan that looked like it came from a rental car fleet.
But Melina asked the question not only to size up her date, but also to watch him size up himself. The answer, either with pride from the owner or with stuttering explanations, spoke volumes about his confidence.
In Melina’s book, Joshua’s confident answer was spot-on.
Despite her rules, Melina wasn’t doing a good job of keeping up the sophisticated façade she usually maintained on a first date. Caramel apples? How lame is that?
She surprised herself by letting him order her wine. Does that make me look like I don’t know my way around a wine list? She caught herself nibbling on the appetizer he ordered.
And she felt her mind wandering back to that first touch—it was as if he’d found her “on” switch. Now all of her senses were on high alert, watching, anticipating, and considering this man across the table from her.
**About author, Heidi Joy Tretheway:
Heidi Joy lives in Happy Valley off Sunnyside Road. She swears she did not make that up.
Heidi’s obsessed with storytelling. Her career includes marketing, journalism, and a delicious few years as a food columnist. Media passes took her backstage with several rock bands, where she learned that sometimes a wardrobe malfunction is exactly what the rock star intends.
You’ll most often find Heidi Joy with her husband and two small kids cooking, fishing, exploring the Northwest, and building epic forts in their living room.
She loves to hear from readers via messages at facebook.com/author.heidi.
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