She let herself drift off in thought, remembering the last time that she saw him 9 years ago. When she closed her eyes she could almost feel the breeze off the lake and hear his deep laughter. It took all her focus to pull herself out of her day dream, but she knew she had to get some work done.

She wiggled her mouse, as her screen saver had come on while she was enveloped in her thoughts. She had a few new emails and browsed through the subject lines. One caught her eye. “JH countdown, meet at TLR at 3”. It was from her best friend Valerie (or Val as everyone referred to her) Brooks. Alexis knew that meant Val had heard about Jackson coming back into town and wanted to see how she was handling it. She hit reply, and entered “Be there, beer waiting plz” in the subject line and hit send. The girls had stopped writing actual emails years ago; they talked via subject lines and text messages. “TLR”, or “The Long Ride” was Valerie’s restaurant, rather her family restaurant, but her father had left it to her when he decided to retire and take her mom to travel the country. Valerie had turned it from a local dive bar to the local hot spot, where by 3pm Friday it was filling with an array of Rakesford’s best. That included everyone from lawyers and construction workers to nurses and teachers. Valerie always kept fun and attractive staff (both men and women) which meant that flirting was a common occurrence. The girls rarely went to flirt as they were both too busy to really date.

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