**Here’s another installment of Sean and Hunter’s story! You can find the buy links for Love at Roades End in the books page at the top. Enjoy!**
The couple checking in were two of my frequent flyer guests. Ever since the first time they’d stayed in the Red Room six months ago, they’d been back every six to eight weeks. They usually only booked for one night, but this time it was two. I loved seeing them show up because they were clearly so in love. They had an air about them, a familiarity, which spoke of a deep and long lasting relationship. I didn’t know how long they’d been together, but I would have placed my money on years. Probably from a young age. Seeing Travis and Noah return yet again made my heart happy.
I didn’t bother to show them to their room, just checked them in and handed over the key. Noah took it with a grateful smile while Travis tucked his credit card back in his wallet. Then they picked up their bags and headed up the stairs toward their room.
I was still gazing after them, with that contented feeling in the pit of my stomach, when suddenly Sean was filling my field of vision. His sudden appearance made me startle, and I started laughing before I caught sight of his face. When I did, the laugh died off. He was upset.
“Sean?” I asked tentatively. I glanced around, and saw there was no one lingering nearby. I knew all the guests who had pre-booked rooms were checked in. I stepped around the chest high desk, took his hand, and tugged him over to the wing back chairs in front of the window. “What’s wrong?”
“I saw the way you were looking at them.”
I blinked. Wait. This was about jealousy? Sean was jealous? How was that even possible? He knew he was my dream man. His looks, his personality, everything about him worked for me. How could he think I’d want anyone else? More than that, how could he think so little of me to think I’d stray?
“I wasn’t ‘looking’ at them,” I bristled. I didn’t even try to keep the irritation and hurt from my tone.
“No?” he asked, a bit of incredulity creeping in. He looked me right in the eye. “I saw the smiles and the staring and the…” he flailed about. “Swooning!”
I scowled. “I wasn’t swooning. I was admiring their love and their relationship.” I stood fast. “I can’t believe you would think I was…swooning!”
“Can you not say that word anymore?” he winced. I’d crossed the room and was behind the desk again. Sean got up and came closer. But I zeroed in my attention on my work and refused to look at him. How dare he?
“Come on, babe,” he pleaded, dropping his voice and leaning on the counter. “I’m sorry. It’s just that, they’re your type and I worried—”
“They are not my type!” I was indignant and my voice got loud. I cleared my throat, and I could feel myself turning red. I lowered my voice but I didn’t back down. “How can you even think that? You trust me so little?”
“No!” The denial came fast, and the sincerity in his eyes went a long way to soothing my irritation. “Hunter, I just…. The way you looked at them, and if you put them together and they are exactly your type. So I sat there, watching you watch them, and wondered if, you know, fantasy and all…”
He let that sentence peter out to nothing and I thought it was good he hadn’t said it out loud. I was pissed, but I could understand where he was coming from. At least in the abstract. We hadn’t had much interaction with other couples, other men. Our relationship, though solid, had thus far been played out in front of our family and friends, or in the confines of the Inn. I took a deep breath and tried not to let things get carried away.
“That’s ridiculous and don’t ever think it again” I snapped. Then sighed. So much for cool and collected. I was better than this. So I took deep breath, let it out slowly, and tried again. “I love you. I’m committed to you. And I have no intention of even thinking about someone else. All right?”
Sean took a second, then breathed out and looked at me with utter relief in his eyes. “Yes. Sorry. I let my imagination get the better of me. I love you.”
The way he always said it, like those were his favorite words, made my heart soften and he was easily forgiven. The kiss he gave me, when I allowed, felt like a physical manifestation of that love. So much feeling was packed into that joining of lips that I nearly melted right then and there. Sean wasn’t prone to jealousy in general, so this had simply been a little test. We passed with flying colors. I had no doubt we’d weather whatever life threw at us.