Home > Return to Virgin River (Virgin River #19)(15)

Return to Virgin River (Virgin River #19)(15)
Author: Robyn Carr

Now, what was this about? he wondered. She never showed any interest in these small town fairs or the people. She admired his work but in all the years he’d lived in Virgin River, she’d only visited a few times and took no notice of the town or the people. The only time she’d mingled was at his father’s funeral.

He had to pack up his things at the end of the day. He put them in the trailer he’d brought along, put a padlock on it and left it in the parking lot. He didn’t get home until ten o’clock and there, in front of his house, was a strange car. A rental, he assumed.

A light was on in the kitchen but Laura was nowhere in sight. Otis briefly greeted him, then went back to his pallet in the living room. Landry went to the bedroom to see her in his bed. He turned on the overhead bedroom light and she sat up, startled. It was very bright.

“Landry! You scared me!”

“What are you doing here? I told you it was a bad time.”

“I told you, I wanted to see you!”

“And I told you I couldn’t break away until November.”

“So I came to you,” she said, as if that resolved the issue.

He turned and left the room. He went to the kitchen and put four ice cubes in a glass. He got down the Crown Royal from a high cupboard and poured himself a generous drink.

She came from the bedroom, tying the sash on a black satin robe. She stood on the opposite side of the counter. “Can I have one of those?” she asked.

He didn’t answer but merely got another glass, added ice and some liquor and slid it across the counter.

“Thank you,” she said. “Can we sit down?”

He pulled a bar stool around the end of the counter and sat looking at her.

“You certainly aren’t making this easy. I’ve been wanting to have a serious talk with you for a long time,” she said.

“You’ve had ten years, Laura.”

“And so have you,” she replied. “Yet here we are. So, did I interrupt something romantic between you and your friend?”

“No, she’s my tenant. We’re neighbors; we’re friendly.”

“She’s very pretty.”

“That wouldn’t intimidate you,” he said.

“Look, this is hard for me. Be kind, at least. Things are not going as I had hoped they would. I’m not getting the parts I want or need anymore. I’m being cast more often as the mother of the bride than the bride. Or the disgruntled sister or the other woman.”

“You’ve had some good parts. Some good films.” And he knew this because he’d paid attention. When she was in a TV series or feature film, he made it a point to see it.

“The truth is that at my status the work is very hard and doesn’t pay well enough. I’ve aged out at thirty-five. I’m getting character roles and TV commercials. Ads. I’m burned out and ready to try something else. I’m thinking of giving up acting.”

“Really?” he said, lifting an eyebrow. “After all this time and dedication? There are plenty of good acting jobs for women over thirty-five.”

“Not plenty,” she said. “There are some, but they’re hard to get. I have to be honest with myself. It’s not going to take me where I always wanted to go.”

He rubbed a hand around the back of his neck. “I have to admit, that surprises me. I thought you had the stamina for the long haul.”

“But not the enthusiasm,” she said. She took a sip of her drink. “I want us to try again.”

His head jerked up in surprise. “Try what again?” he asked.

“Marriage. Our marriage. That year we had together was the happiest year of my life.”

“And yet you left it,” he said. “You chose acting. We fought it out and you chose acting and career over marriage. For a while there you wouldn’t even admit you were married.”

“That was just PR bullshit to make me seem more desirable, more available, to convince people I wouldn’t flutter off the job and leave them all hanging. That didn’t last long. We’ve had a long-distance marriage, but—”

“We’ve had no marriage,” he said. “We haven’t slept together in almost a decade!”

“Well, that was your choice,” she said.

“Yes, it was,” he said. “When I realized I’d seen you for less than twelve days in a year, it was very clear that you had no investment in our marriage. I didn’t want to be a booty call. That might’ve been enough for you, but it wasn’t enough for me.”

“And yet we never divorced,” she reminded him.

“There didn’t seem to be any pressing need,” he said. “I had no interest in marrying again. I figured you’d file for divorce.”

“But I didn’t want a divorce! I wanted to be married!”

“To a man you saw for less than a month out of every year?”

“I loved you,” she said. “I always loved you! And you loved me. We were good friends.”

“We were friends,” he said. “I don’t know if we were even really that. We got along. We talked on the phone regularly but it was more like talking to a cousin or sister, not a wife. Take a trip down memory lane, Laura. After two years of your chasing stardom we had a blowout. I drew a line in the sand—we had to either find a way to live together or call it quits. You argued that there was no way to live together, that your work was either in Hollywood or on location, that it was your dream, that you worked hard for it and couldn’t give it up without at least giving it an earnest try. I said I was done with the trying. I offered up every compromise I could think of but you wanted me on the sidelines. That’s when I came back here to live and work.”

“It’s not like we’ve ever been out of touch,” she said.

“We talk on the phone!” he said. “We meet in San Francisco if I’m visiting the galleries. We don’t even share a hotel room on those occasions. We’re not even good friends!”

“We’re very good friends! You’re my best friend! I’ve always loved you!”

He took a deep drink. “Laura, you need to raise your standards. Your idea of friendship is really lacking.”

Her eyes got teary. “I’m sorry, Landry. I failed at everything. I never should have wasted so much time on acting if it was going to come to nothing. I never should have given you up. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I want us to be together. Please say you’ll try again.”

“I think that ship has sailed, Laura. No matter how I feel about you, the trust just isn’t there. I’d be waiting to see you get out the suitcase every day.”

“But wait,” she said. “Remember when we used to go to the outdoor movies, to the foreign films, to the galleries and street vendors? Remember our picnics in Union Square? Sitting on a bench and people watching? Our drives up the coast to the fish house? To the Russian River? We were young and carefree and so happy. We can’t be young anymore but—”

“I think too many years have passed,” he said.

“We can start over,” she said. “We have the love. We just need the time together.”

“I have a different kind of life now,” he said. “I’ve lived alone for ten years. I’m solitary and you need a lot of people. I agree, there was a time we had fun; it seemed we were compatible. But Laura, you walked away. And you didn’t want me to tag along.”

“It was a practical issue,” she said. “And maybe I was foolish but I thought once I landed a really good role and didn’t have to sell my soul for work, then we could get it together. Please, I’m ready to give it up for us. Will you at least think about it?”

“I can’t help but think about it,” he said. “But I don’t think it would benefit either one of us.”

“Take a week,” she pleaded. “Please.”

“Where did this come from?” he asked. “Did something happen? Are you in some kind of trouble?”

“No, of course not, unless you call complete failure to achieve my goals trouble. This just isn’t working. I’ve given up, Landry. I want a sane life again.”

“In a little house in the mountains with a dog? And a guy and his pots?” He shook his head. “There are no theaters or spas or fancy restaurants here. You wouldn’t last a month. And it would probably leave me scarred. Again.”

“Think about it? For a week? Give me a chance?”

“Are you listening? The last time you decided acting was more important than marriage, you walked away and it hurt. You said you’d be back in a few days and it was months. When you ask me to think about us, what do you think comes to mind? Maybe the guy in the towel who you passed off as a roommate you weren’t romantically involved with? I never bought that...”

“It was true! There were men and women sharing that house. There were lots of different houses and roommates; there were lots of starving artists who doubled up because that was the only way I could afford to stay in LA. It can’t hurt anything to think about putting it back together.”

“I’m exhausted. I can’t talk about it anymore tonight. I need some sleep and so do you.”

“All I want is for you to give it fair consideration.”

“Don’t you have a job to get to? A play?”

“It’s not even a good play,” she said. “I’d give it up in a heartbeat.”

“I’ll be honest with you, Laura. There’s about a one in a million chance I’m going to try to resurrect a dead marriage.”

“I never thought of it as dead,” she said.

You have a funny way of showing it, he wanted to say. Instead he said, “Time to sleep. I’ll take the couch. I have to leave early tomorrow for Grace Valley. I have to set up my booth.”

“Kiss me good-night?” she asked.

“Oh, come on,” he said. “Love and a desire to be partners isn’t a switch you turn on and off! You don’t sashay in here and declare you’ve changed your mind after about ten years and expect me to fall in line! Everything isn’t all about you, Laura. All about what you want. I have feelings, too.”

Most Popular
» Magical Midlife Meeting (Leveling Up #5)
» Magical Midlife Love (Leveling Up #4)
» The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash
» Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
» A Warm Heart in Winter (Black Dagger Brothe
» Meant to Be Immortal (Argeneau #32)
» Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3)
» Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland #2)
» Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland #1)
» The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club
» Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #
» Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
romance.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022