Chapter 8

"Are you happy with the way your life turned out?" was an essential question that Bizz wasn't sure how to answer adequately so he shrugged.

"I knew I was going to end up at the hardware store," he said. "I like this place." He motioned toward the 'villa' behind them.

"How come you're not with anybody?" Prudy asked.

"I've been waiting for the right one," Bizz answered truthfully. Then he peered at her. "What about you?"

"I don't want to live with my roommate anymore," Prudy said, standing from her chair and walking around the edge of the patio to stretch her legs.

"Did something happen between the two of you?" Bizz asked, following her with his eyes.

"No, I just think thirty is too old to be living with someone like college dorm roommates," Prudy said, stopping and staring at him. "It's time for me to get my life back on track."

"I didn't realize it was off-track," Bizz remarked as he stood.

"It got derailed about twenty years ago," Prudy confessed honestly.

"Oh." Bizz stared at her, waiting for her to say more.

"Would you be willing to forgive me without asking any questions?" Prudy wanted to know.

"There's nothing I need to forgive you for, Prudy," Bizz assured her.

"You never liked Julius," Prudy accused.

"No, I didn't," Bizz confirmed. "But that was a long time ago."

"It was a month ago," she pointed out.

"Maybe we should just leave the past where it belongs," Bizz suggested.

"Could I stay here?" Prudy asked, glancing toward the Villa.

Without even thinking about it, Bizz nodded his head affirmatively. "For as long as you want," he said.

Prudy didn't say anything, heading for the cabin instead. Bizz waited a beat and then followed her inside, finding her standing in the large bay window staring out at the woods. He started supper but they didn't talk much and she was still silent when they sat down at the kitchen table to enjoy the meal. She helped him clean up when they were done and then they sat on the couch watching television until it got late.

"I'm going to bed," she said, climbing the stairs to the overhead loft that served as Bizz's bedroom. He waited until he heard the toilet flush and then joined her, finding her wearing one of his long tee shirts as she slipped under the sheets.

Bizz stripped down to his skivvies and joined her in the large bed.

"I'm going to need some time," Prudy informed him.

"Take all the time you need," he replied. "I'm not going anywhere."

"It's just that…"

He put his hand on her mouth. "You don't have to tell me."

Her eyes watered up. "Good night, Bizz," Prudy said, kissing him on the cheek before rolling over with her back to him.

Well, this was definitely weird. Bizz turned off the light and settled down in the bed wondering what was going on between them now. He fell asleep and when he awoke the loft was dark. Prudy's backside was pressed against Buzz's stomach and he felt his erection rubbing against the back of her thighs. But he felt strangely relaxed and comfortable, enjoying her welcomed presence in his bed and he contently fell back to sleep.

He was jostled awake in the morning by Prudy's movements as she left the bed. He opened his eyes in time to see her peel off his tee shirt and he marveled at the sight of her naked backside as she disappeared into the bathroom. His heart beat in his chest and his member went stiff again just at the thought of her nakedness.

Bizz knew Prudy was the one he had been waiting for all this time and he knew there had been a cosmic shift in her attitude toward him after all this time of restrained and constrained distance. He knew it had to do with Julius Tyler but he had no interest in asking any questions of her. He didn't care about Julius. The guy was gone and Bizz was certain he was never coming back.

Bizz heard the shower water running. He needed to take a leak so he went into the bathroom and saw the naked form of Prudy on the other side of the cloudy shower curtain. She was washing her hair and he could see the curve of her hips and the crack of her buns through the material.

He slipped out of the bathroom without saying anything and sat on the end of the bed waiting for her. Prudy emerged from the bathroom a while later, wrapped in a towel, her wet hair sticking to her head.

"I love you," Bizz told her.

"I know," Prudy replied.

"For a very long time," he insisted.

"For a very long time," she verified, taking a seat next to him on the bed. "I always knew. Thanks for waiting."

"I'll keep waiting for as long as you need to figure it out," he let her know.

"I need to know you'll forgive me," she whispered.

"Forgive yourself," he whispered and she burst into tears.