Gwen took in a sharp breath, there he was in front of her. "Hank?"
"Hello Gwen. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you, like this." He corrected. ‘Stupid mistake!’
He chastised himself.
"That’s alright, I wasn’t looking where I was going. Would you like to join me? I was just sitting over
there." Gwen asked, standing. ‘Please say yes.’ she thought.
"Sure, let me get my drink, and I’ll meet ya over there." Hank smiled. Gwen nodded and walked away,
silently singing praises that he said ‘yes’. Hank walked to the counter, and ordered a simple black coffee.
‘She asked me over! Ah, stop kidding yourself, she was just being friendly. Nothing there.’ Hank thought as
he waited for his coffee. When it came, he walked over to her table, and sat across from her. ‘She’s so pretty.’
He thought, noting her sharp navy blue woman’s business suit, her brown hair wrapped in a tight French twist,
and her glasses. He had never seen her in glasses, and thought she looked so sophisticated.
"So, you look happy today." Hank said, trying to make conversation.
"Yes, well I’m now employed at the District Attorney’s office. I have always wanted to be a D. A., but instead
took a job with my father at his company. Can you believe I’ve never seen a courtroom since law school?"
"No, so basically at your father’s company, you were a paper pusher. That’s gotta suck." Hank commented.
"It wasn’t fun. That’s why I’m celebrating, sort of. Speaking of celebrating, I want to apologize for my
behavior last night. I can’t remember all the details, but I thi-"
"Don’t trip about it. It was an understandable incident. I’m just glad your not hung over. I thought for
sure you would be after all that alcohol you consumed."
"No, one thing us Hotchkiss’ can do well is hold our liquor." Gwen sighed.
"Oh." Hank noticed her change in attitude, and decided to change the subject. "What’s that you
got there?" He inquired, nodding at the paper.
"I’m moving out of my house. I was looking for a new apartment or condo."
"Really? Me too!" Hank said, surprised at what she was doing.
"When were you planning on going house hunting? I was going to go today?" Gwen asked, excited that
they were doing the same thing.
"My afternoon is free. Do you, we could go together." Hank suggested, tripping over his words.
"Sure! That’s great." Gwen said. ‘Now I’ll know where he lives!’
"Fantastic." Hank commented. ‘Now I’ll know where she lives!’
"So, inquiring minds must know, why are you looking for a new place?" Gwen asked.
"Well, if you must pry." Hank said, reciting a line from ‘Blazing Saddles’.
"I must, I must." Gwen replied, laughing.
"Alright Lily." Hank joked, calling her the name of a character. "The FBI is establishing a post
in Harmony. With all the recent activity, it’s needed. But, anyway, they asked me if I wanted the job, and I
said yes. So in about a week, I leave for a few weeks of training. And when I get back, I’ll have more authority
then my brother. Won’t he like that." Hank mused. He looked over at her and noticed the sad look on her
face. ‘Is she upset because I’ll be gone for a few weeks. She was happy before.’
‘He’s leaving. Just when we’re starting to get to know each other, he’s leaving. Oh well, I still got a week.
And he’ll be back.’ Gwen thought.
"So, do you wanna start house hunting?" Hank asked, breaking her concentration, and bringing a smile
back to her face.
"So this is the condo?" Hank asked as they entered the condo. It was the first one Gwen had seen when
she was reading the paper earlier that morning. After spending all day looking for a house, neither of them liked
what they saw.
"Yes, it is." Gwen said, admiring the spacious living room. The high wood ceilings made her voice
echo. She smiled from ear to ear. It had been a fine place to read about, but now that she saw it, the ad didn’t
do it justice. She had found it, this was her place.
"Let’s look around." Hank suggested. He, too, was admiring the beautiful condo. It was a little bigger
than what he needed, but he was in love with it none the less. He lead the way as they walked through the state-of-the-art
kitchen and to the bedrooms. Both were identical, and had doors the bathroom which they shared. The other rest
room was of the living room.
"I’ve found it." They both said aloud. Each stared at the other, surprised that they were thinking
the same thing.
"Oh, you want it. That’s alright, I’ll find another one." Hank said, even though he had searched high
and low for a suitable place, and found none like this one.
"Nonsense. I’m a lawyer, and great at compromising. It’s got two bedrooms, and the rent is a little high
for one person. We can be room mates." Gwen suggested, before fully realizing what she had said. After
an awkward silence, which she assumed was his way of saying ‘no’, he spoke.
"If you really don’t mind. You’ll have it to yourself half the time." Hank stated, trying to feign
his excitement. ‘She really invited me to live with her. Oh, knock it off, she just thinks of you as a friend.
It was a friendly offer.’ Hank scolded himself.
"That’ll work fine. I get the left bedroom!" She said, pointing to hers. Hank laughed and nodded.
"C’mon, let’s go talk to the landlord, and find out when we can move in." Hank remarked, turning on
his heal and heading towards the door.
"Wait for me!" Gwen yelled as she ran to catch up with him. It was dusk out, and the sun setting cast
a beautiful glow across the small river that was near the condos. As they began to walk outside and towards the
main office, Gwen tripped on a stick carelessly laying on the ground. She began to fall forward, until a pair
of strong arms reached out and grabbed her. Carefully, they put her back to standing position, the only problem
was, the gap between the rescuer and the rescuee was slowly disappearing.
Gwen looked up into his deep, brown eyes, and felt as if the world didn’t exist. She could see the need, the
fire in them, and wondered if her eyes betrayed her as his did to him. Slowly his head began to descend, until
it was an inch away from hers. ‘If he doesn’t kiss me soon, I’ll die.’ Gwen thought.
"Hey you two! Did you like the condo?" The manager’s voice called out. He was standing in the door
The mood was broken, and both knew it. Hank released his grip on her, and they reluctantly parted. Smiling at
the manager, Hank walked towards him, as Gwen stayed behind, thinking about what had almost happened. They entered
the office and signed the lease agreement. Gwen said little, still mesmerized by what had ‘almost’ happened.
Hank detected it, and did most of the talking. Finally they left the manager’s office, and walked back to her
The drive back was somber. Hank explained about when they could move in, and it was decided that they’d do it
the next day. Gwen dropped him off at the Book Cafe, where his car was parked, and began her ride home. ‘Almost!’
She screamed in her head once again.
She pulled into her driveway, and exited her car. The light’s were on in her father’s study, but she didn’t want
to talk to him now. She’d tell him in the morning that she was moving out. She went up stairs, and changed into
her pajamas. Laying down in bed, her thoughts were plagued by what almost happened.