Home > The Remake (Second Chance Flower Shop #4)(4)

The Remake (Second Chance Flower Shop #4)(4)
Author: Noelle Adams

Otherwise, he hung out, wandered around town, and talked to people.

As far as lives went, it was a perfectly good one, free of any stress or responsibility. But seeing Belinda was his favorite thing.

On Saturday morning, Fitz was sitting on a bench in the town park, drinking coffee out of his old travel mug and wondering what she’d been up to this week. She’d seemed distracted the few times he’d run into her, and yesterday she’d been in Richmond most of the day. He’d hinted around with Ria and Jacob, hoping they’d clue him in about what she was doing there, but they hadn’t.

It was frustrating.

He usually knew what was going on in this town—and especially with Belinda—but he didn’t know right now.

She sometimes worked in Anna’s Diner in the mornings, but she hadn’t been there today when he’d stopped by. Since he had his own mug, they gave him a cup of coffee for a quarter. He’d chatted with a couple of people and waited around, but she hadn’t made an appearance. He didn’t have any jobs lined up today, so he’d left eventually, not wanting to wear out his welcome at the restaurant.

Now he was here at the park, and he still had no idea what was going on.

He told himself it didn’t matter. The point of his life in Azalea was to avoid worry, grief, or pressure. It was working for him, and he wasn’t going blow it with an irrational attachment to a woman who would never dream of seeing him as anything but an obnoxious pest. For now Fitz was allowed to enjoy watching her go through life with her focus, organization, seriousness, and generosity. And he was allowed to tease and argue with her as long as he made sure not to go too far. But eventually she’d take a new step in life. She’d move, or she’d fall in love and get married. And the best part of his days would be over.

It was fine. It was life. Change was the only thing the world would inevitably offer. He’d never expect anything else.

But he still wanted to know what had been going on with Belinda this week.

When the joyful barking of a dog distracted him, he looked over to see Matthew Jenkins, throwing a ball to his dog, Theodore. The dog was a mix—more Shepherd than anything else—and Matthew had rescued and adopted him last year. He was happy, healthy, and well-groomed now, and Fitz chuckled as he watched the animal gallop wildly after the ball, managing to catch the ball but then do a couple of awkward flips as he came to an overly abrupt stop.

“Hey!” Matthew called when he saw Fitz. He headed over to the bench.

Fitz waved back. He liked the other man and was always happy to talk to him. Plus Matthew was Madeline’s brother and Skye’s fiancé. Maybe he’d have a clue about what was going on with Belinda.

“Kind of cold to be hanging out here this morning,” Matthew said as he approached and sat beside Fitz on the bench.

“It’s not that bad. I don’t mind.” Fitz reached out to pet an ecstatic Theodore, who had collected his ball and his limbs after his tumble and then recognized Fitz as an old friend and came racing over. “Hey, buddy. You’re a really good boy, aren’t you?”

Theodore panted blissfully in what was clearly an affirmative.

Matthew reached over to scratch behind the dog’s ears before he threw the ball again.

“Where’s Skye this morning?” Fitz asked.

“Oh, she and Madeline and Ria are over at Belinda’s. It’s all I’ve heard about all week.”

“What is?” It bothered Fitz that Matthew had evidently heard a lot about something he was completely unaware.

“The big makeover.”

“Makeover?” Fitz was frowning now.

“Yeah. They’re giving Belinda a big makeover or something. I don’t know.” Matthew shrugged, obviously both amused and clueless on the topic. “Anyway, that’s what they’re all doing this morning.”

“A makeover? Why are they giving Belinda a makeover?” Fitz was only vaguely aware of what a makeover consisted of, but it sounded unnecessary and intrusive.

“She wanted one, I guess.”

“For what?”

Matthew suddenly looked uncomfortable, as if he knew the answer but didn’t want to tell Fitz.

Fitz might act laid-back and disinterested in the world, but he’d never been stupid. He was still as quick and observant as he’d been when he’d been a powerhouse businessman ten years ago. It only took a few seconds of witnessing Matthew’s suppressed discomfort for him to understand what was going on.

It was Charles Kensington. The new man in town. The one he’d caught Belinda eyeing more than once.

She was interested in him. So much so that she was going through some kind of entirely unwarranted makeover to impress him.

The clench in his chest hurt. It hurt a lot. For obvious reasons, he’d done his best to avoid any hopes in her direction. As far as he could tell, he’d never entertained even the faintest dream of her having feelings for him. But it still hurt. This proof that she was already slipping away.

Fitz stared down at the sidewalk, took a couple of long breaths, and came to terms with it.

It was fine.

Just fine.

Probably good. Good for Belinda anyway. She deserved a happy life with someone she loved. And it was better for Fitz not to have anything that he wanted to hold on to.

“You okay?” Matthew asked. Very softly.

Fitz glanced over and saw the other man was giving him a look of reluctant concern. As if he was worried but wasn’t sure what to do about it. Matthew had always been a good guy but was also one who didn’t express emotion easily.

With a huff of dry amusement, Fitz shook his head. Then realized the gesture might be misinterpreted, so he said, “Of course. What else?”

“I think she likes... someone.”

“Of course she does. I don’t know Charles very well, but he seems like a decent sort.” Fitz was relieved that his tone was casual. Uninflected.

“Yeah.” Matthew winced slightly. “Sorry.”

“What are you sorry for? It makes sense. They’d fit.”

“Yeah,” Matthew said again, this time sounding almost tired.

“She really thinks she needs a makeover?” Fitz hadn’t intended to say that, but the idea really bugged him. Belinda was beautiful and intelligent and sexy and amazing exactly as she was. Why would she need to change for some guy?

“I don’t know. Women do that kind of thing, don’t they?”

Hot Books
» A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorn
» Anti-Stepbrother
» Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
» Twisted Palace (The Royals #3)
» Sugar Daddies
» Egomaniac
» Royally Screwed (Royally #1)
» Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone
» The Hating Game
» Ruthless People (Ruthless People #1)
» To Hate Adam Connor
» Wait for It
» How to Date a Douchebag: The Studying Hours
» Managed (VIP #2)
» The Protector