Hope pulled her already packed suitcase from the closet and wheeled it to the front door. James was due in less that ten minutes and she still hadn't trained her body not to get all out of whack at just the thought of being in close quarters with him. She kicked her suitcase and frowned when the pain didn't distract her from her impending panic.
A sharp knock on the door beside her made her jump. A quick look through the peephole and her lungs began to deny her air again. After a few quick breaths, she pulled open the door and attempted to smile.
James walked into the house and smiled. "Val said you need a ride," he said glancing around the living room.
Hope bit her lip as she memorized his appearance...she'd learned imprint him on her brain in a matter of seconds...years of practice. He wore a fitted gray t-shirt, worn dark-washed denim jeans, and slender chocolate-brown loafers. His hair was wind-blown, falling into his dark eyes. The late afternoon temperature drop had put some red in his cheeks.
"So," James continued in her silence, "are you ready?"
"I just need to get my coat."
"I'll take your bags to the car." He picked up the suitcase and glanced around again. "Just this one bag?"
"Uh...yeah...just the one." Hope hurried over to the coat closet and pulled out her wool pea-coat.
James left with her bag and she let out a groan before tossing the coat over her arm and making sure the house was locked up.
James was holding the passenger's door open when she got to the end of the walk.
"Let's hit the road," he said putting a hand on her elbow to help her into the black Chevy Tahoe Hybrid.
"Yeah," said Hope watching his trek to the driver's side through the windshield. "Let's hit it."