Urban Cowgirl 2C

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It’s the smell of breakfast that wakes me up the next morning. My mouth is watering before I even open my eyes. When I do sit up, I am fully reminded of how much wine I’d drunk the night before. My head pulses and there’s a dull ache behind my eyes, but nothing too terrible. I doubt I’ll be spending the morning curled up next to the toilet with a bottle of soda water like I did after last years Christmas party. Boy, was that a hard lesson learned.

The wine and the company of last night did wonders for me. There’s still an ache in my chest over Peter, but it feels more like a punch now, rather than a stab wound. I’m grateful for a friend like Monica and talking to Ben was an excellent distraction.

I get out of bed and tug on the cashmere sweatpants I’d packed. With only a slight sway in my step, I pad across the room and open the door. From the guest room, I can see straight down the hallway and into the kitchen where Ben is making breakfast. Shirtless.

There’s no bathroom in Monica’s guest room but there is one just up the hall. I can feel a layer of grime on my face from tears and smudged make up and I just know my hair is in a despicable state. I walk on egg shells down the hall and sneak into the bathroom just as Ben turns around with a skillet in hand. I don’t think he saw me.

I give my face a quick splash with cold water and rearrange my hair into a strategically messy bun before stepping back out into the hallway and making my way to the kitchen.

“I didn’t expect you up so early,” Ben says cheerfully.

“It’s there a saying about cooking bacon with your shirt off?” I reply. He’s made coffee. I help myself to a cup.

“Probably,” he laughs. “But I haven’t run into any problems yet.”

“Famous last words.” I add cream and sugar to my coffee and sit at the island counter.

“Do you work today?” He adds a sprinkle of cheese to the eggs he’s frying.

“Yes. First day in the new position, actually.” Despite everything that’s happened with Peter, I’m still excited over my promotion. That’s one thing Peter can’t take away from me.

“Do you have to dash off right away or can you stay for breakfast?”

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