It’s not a hard decision. You know what you want to do. The handsome poetry-reading outdoorsman turns slightly, ready to leave, and you feel your chance slipping away.

“Want to join me?” you blurt. Actually, who are you kidding? You yelled. You totally yelled.

The man looks surprised (probably by the volume of your invitation), but then a pleased smile touches his mouth—the very mouth you’d like to touch too. (Good grief, you hope he’s not a poetry reading mind reader!)

“Yeah, that’d be nice actually,” he says smoothly—and at a normal human’s volume. “Thank you.”

“I’m sorry for shouting,” you mumble. “Some people get quiet when they’re nervous. I get loud—and share way too much personal information.”

The man’s smile deepened into a grin. “No apologies needed. And nervous? Are you kidding? It’s not every day I get invited to lunch in the woods by a pretty maiden. I’m honored.”

It doesn’t slip your notice: you are the pretty maiden he’s referring to. Sexy and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Your kind of guy!

“I guess if we’re going to eat together, we should introduce ourselves,” he continues. “I’m Daniel.”

Why do you like it so much that he’s a Daniel, not a Dan? You smile and tell him your name too. As Daniel extends his hand and your palm slides against his, a current of heat surges through your whole body. Is it just you or was that simple handshake electric?

The way Daniel’s eyes darken slightly and one of his eyebrows arches quizzically, you think not.

You smooth the blanket and set out all your cheeses and strawberries and chocolate.

“Wow,” Daniel says, adding a container of plump olives to the fray and unwrapping a loaf of wonderfully fragrant bread. “We’re pretty amazing at this impromptu date stuff.”

This Impromptu date stuff . . . Is that what he thinks this is? A spontaneous date? Even as the question forms in your head, however, the answer does too. It is. It absolutely is.

You settle beside Daniel, aware of just how close he is—it’s really not that big a blanket—and take a sip of wine, then offer him the glass. His gaze holds yours and he lifts the glass in a toast. “To new friends.” He takes a drink, seems to enjoy your favorite ten buck vintage and sips again.

“To new . . . friends,” you agree as he passes the glass back and you take another sip.

Daniel has just ripped off a chunk of the yeasty, still warm bread and is handing it to you when your blasted cellphone rings. What the heck? You don’t even have service here.

You must look confused because Daniel laughs. “Don’t worry, it’s not a ghost in the machine. There’s the odd spot here and there in the bush where the location must be just right for the cell tower to reach.”

You nod, but you’re already distracted by the caller’s name flashing on your screen. It’s your boss, Grant. Normally, the object of your fantasies, it’s been days since you’ve even thought of him. The office, him, even your best friend Lucy, feel thousands of miles away—and they are, literally, in fact.

The phone is still ringing. Why do some seconds seem to stretch on for minutes or even longer? You glance at Daniel. He’s smiling but seems disappointed by something.

He motions at the phone. “Do you need to take that?”

That is the question, isn’t it? Do you need to take the call? Do you even want to? Nothing Grant’s calling about will be life or death, so basically it comes down to this: who or what do you want to focus on most? Grant’s immediate needs (again, as ever) or your “impromptu date,” Daniel?

OPTION 1: You answer Grant’s call.


OPTION 2: You let Grant go to voicemail and concentrate on enjoying your romantic lunch.

*Voting is now closed. Tune into Part 7 to see what you decided. 🙂