Pretending Chapter 1 © 2009 All rights reserved “Simon, would you get that?” Connie called from her bedroom after she heard the knock on the door. Her date was probably here and she wasn’t quite ready. “No problem,” came the reply. She turned back to the mirror and decided this was the best she could do. Her black hair was swept back into a braid, and she wore dangly silver earrings. She wore a flower-print blouse with black slacks. She wished she could have worn a dress, but the scar on her leg always stopped her. She studied herself once more and wondered if perhaps she should have worn one of her longer skirts. She sighed; too late to change now. x-x-x-x Simon shook his head as he went to the door. Connie Davetsky was his roommate and his best friend, and he wanted it to be more. However, he chickened out every time he intended to tell her that, and instead, here he was going to let in her latest Ataşehir escort date. Simon hoped he was nicer than the last guy. It wasn’t that Connie had bad taste in men, he thought, it was just that she somehow seemed to find the ones who offered a bait-and-switch. “Hi, I’m here for Connie,” said the man at the door. He held out his hand. “Ron Cutter.” Simon shook his hand. “Simon Banks,” he said. “Come on in.” Simon sized Ron up as he walked into the apartment and wasn’t impressed. Everything about him put Simon off, from the possible start of a beer gut to the thin brown hair that needed a trim. Simon would admit that he was not in peak physical shape–it was too easy to avoid the gym in the cold weather–but Ron looked soft. He has a weak chin, too, Simon thought. And beady little eyes. Simon managed to control his annoyance when Ron walked in and threw himself down Ümraniye escort bayan on the couch as though he’d been coming there for ages. In truth, he’d only been there a couple of times, though not when Simon was around. He could at least wait for an invitation, thought Simon. “Got a beer?” Ron asked. “Sorry, we’re out.” Simon tried not to sound curt. Simon’s opinion of the other man fell further. He was not about to give Connie’s date a drink before they’d even set off. As far as Simon could see, there wasn’t much likable about Ron Cutter. He forced himself to calm down. It was his own fault that Connie was going out with this–this guy. He’d had plenty of chances to tell Connie how he felt, but he kept backing down. He should give Ron a chance, if only for Connie’s sake. “Connie will just be a minute.” Simon took back his seat on the sofa, where he’d been Escort Bostancı watching the news and turned off the TV in an effort at politeness. “You’ve been friends with Connie for a while, right?” Ron slouched on the sofa and put one foot on the coffee table. “She’s mentioned you a lot.” “Since high school.” Simon tried to ignore the foot. “I’ve gotta ask you something, then.” When Simon nodded, Ron continued, “Have you ever seen the scar on her leg?” Simon felt himself tense up but tried not to show it. “I saw a little, once. I was with her when it happened.” Ron gave him a conspiratorial grin. “I gotta say, I hope I don’t see all of it. I accidentally saw her leg the other night, and my God, it looked like alligator skin or something.” Simon tried to keep his teeth from grinding together in anger as Ron went on. “Don’t get me wrong, Connie’s pretty. I’m not against things happening, if you get my drift. But I think I’ll have to keep the lights out and watch where my hands go, if you know what I mean.” Ron laughed to himself, oblivious to Simon’s reddening face. “Get out.” Neither man knew Connie was in the living room until she spoke. Her face was pale, and she crossed her arms to hide her trembling hands.