Authors: Kirsten Osbourne
Making Me Believe
By Kirsten Osbourne
Cover Art by Shaina Richmond
Published by Kirsten Osbourne at
Copyright 2011 Kirsten Osbourne
Edition, License Notes
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Table of Contents
Rose shoved the last load of her laundry into the dryer and climbed onto the counter of the small apartment laundromat. She picked up her novel and opened to the page she’d left off on. Another Friday night, another three loads of laundry. Rose always did her laundry on Friday nights. She didn’t have to work the next day, and no one else was ever there to fight her for the washers and dryers. It was a great situation for her.
She was halfway through her chapter when she heard the door open. She hadn’t seen anyone in there for the past three weeks, so she immediately looked up to see who else could have such a sad lack of a social life that they would be doing laundry on a Friday night.
Her eyes opened wide as she stared at the gorgeous man who’d just walked in. He must have been at least six foot three with broad shoulders. Rose grinned to herself as she watched him over the top of her book. He had black hair, and it looked like brown eyes, but it was hard to tell from here. He was trim and muscular. Rose tried not to drool.
He was carrying two huge black trash bags that were apparently full of laundry. He was either married with six kids and doing the laundry for the whole family, or he had waited way too long to do his laundry. Rose lifted her eyes again to check out his left hand, but there was no ring on his finger. He must have not done laundry in forever.
He opened the garbage bags and started to dump all of the laundry into one washer, not paying any attention to what he was mixing together. Rose cringed and put her book down.
“You can’t wash all that without sorting it,” she told him. “Let me help you.”
He shrugged, “I always do. It takes longer if I sort it.”
“Are you late for something? Most people who do laundry on a Friday night are sadly lacking in the social life department,” she said. “So unless you have a hot date that starts sometime after midnight, then you may as well do it right.”
“No, I’m not in a hurry. I just have to work in the morning, and don’t want to be at this all night,” he said. He shrugged. If she wanted to help him sort his laundry, he was game. There were worse ways to spend an evening that with a pretty girl in a laundromat. Of course, there were much better ways to spend an evening as well!
“It’ll only take an extra five minutes if we work together. Put some money into five washing machines and I’ll start sorting,” she said. She immediately started pulling the clothes he’d packed into the first washer out and spreading them across the first four washers. She put jeans in the first one, colors in the second, whites in the third and towels in the fourth. If he was anything like her, they’d put more colors in the fifth, but whatever it was that needed to go in there, she knew they’d need at least five washers. They ended up needing eight.
Once they had everything sorted, and the machines going, she settled back down onto the counter with her book. He walked over and hoisted himself up next to her, taking her book from her hands. “Hey this is sci-fi! I figured you for a romance reader.”
She shrugged. “I do read romance. It’s my secret pleasure. I only read sci-fi in public.”
He laughed. “I see. I think I do at least.” He looked down at her, liking the way she looked. She was wearing a pair of faded warm ups and a t-shirt, which was a smart choice for laundry on a March night in North Texas. Her long blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Her eyes looked green, but it was hard to tell from this angle. “Do you always do your laundry on Friday nights?”
“Of course, I do,” she grinned. “I have no life!”
“Okie dokie. I can understand that. I don’t really have a life either, but I never do my laundry until it threatens to swallow my apartment whole. I hate laundry,” he said.
“I do too. That’s why I do it every Friday night like clockwork. It never piles up and I never have to do eight loads in one night. You do realize we just started eight loads of laundry for you, right?”
“Don’t remind me. I don’t even want to think about it,” he told her. “Thanks for the help, by the way. I’m sure I’ll be thrilled when my socks stay white and don’t turn pink from my red t-shirts.”
“No problem. I had nothing better to do while I sit here and wait for my clothes to dry,” she said.
“I’m Alex,” he said holding his hand out to her to shake.
She took his hand in hers. “I’m Rose. Please don’t quote
Romeo and Juliet
He looked puzzled. “Why would I quote
Romeo and Juliet
? Oh! I get it. That whole “a rose by any other name” or something like that.”
“Yes and every literate male I meet quotes that to me. You seem literate, but don’t do it. It gets old fast.”
He laughed, “I can understand that. No one ever quotes Shakespeare to me. Does that mean that there’s something wrong with me?” He had his head tilted to the side as if he was genuinely worried about the fact.
“Nope. It just means your parents didn’t name you after a flower.” Rose sighed heavily. She’d always hated her name. She’d thought about going by her middle name, but that was Lily, which was just as bad. Her mother had a gardening obsession.
“I have to say, I’m really glad they didn’t.”
She grinned, “I don’t know. It could have been a good conversation starter. Do you mind if I call you Tulip?” He loved the impish grin on her face as if she was daring him to agree to her suggestion.
“How about I just come up with a conversation starter instead?” He sat thinking for a moment. “Okay, I got it. Are you ready?” His brown eyes twinkled down at her as he asked.
She tried to suppress a giggle. He was crazy, but in a fun way. “Wait, let me brace myself.” She grabbed onto the counter tightly. “Okay, I’m ready.” Rose couldn’t believe a total stranger could make laundry night fun.
“Hi, my name is Alex, and I’m making a bid for world domination. Would you be my follower?” he asked.
Rose threw back her head and laughed. “That’s a good one. I don’t think anyone would ever talk to you twice, but it’s a good conversation starter!” It sounded like something she might say herself.
Alex looked at the pretty little girl sitting next to him on the counter, trying to figure out why she had no social life. She was sweet, had a sense of humor, and was cute as a button. He loved the way she laughed. So many women seemed afraid to laugh heartily. Why was she in a laundromat on a Friday night?
He grinned down at her. “How about this one? What’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this on a Friday night?”
“I already told you that, Alex. Try to pay attention. I hate laundry so try to finish it first thing on the weekend, and I have no life.”
He shook his head slowly. “That’s not going to cut it. There’s got to be a reason you have no life. You’re fun, pretty, and outgoing. Why do you have no life? And did you just tell me to try to pay attention?” She was not like others girls; that was for sure.
She shrugged. “I don’t put out. I’m very vocal about it too. I think that sex should only take place within the confines of marriage. Call me old-fashioned. Call me boring and ridiculous. I don’t care.”
He nodded slowly. “That would explain it. Are you a religious nut, or just a girl with standards?”
She smiled at him. “I’m a girl with standards. I think that if a guy loves me enough to do me, he needs to love me enough to buy me a ring, and walk down the aisle. If not, there are lots of girls who put out in every bar in town. He can go find one of them.”
He nodded again. “I can respect that. So you’re holding out for a ring, because there’s no reason to buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”
“There’s no point in locking the barn door after the horse is out,” she replied seriously.
“Guys rent used furniture, but they only buy new,” he responded.
She laughed. “I haven’t heard that one before. I love it!” She had always loved idioms, and was pleased to add another to her repertoire.
One of the dryers buzzed and she jumped down off the counter. “You can’t be finished,” he complained. “I need you to stay and talk to me!” He wasn’t ready to let her go yet. He had to get to know her better. Maybe he could talk her into giving him her number before she left. He didn’t care if she didn’t put out. She was fun to be around.
“I’m probably not. They usually take two cycles to finish.” She glanced at him. “You should bring a book so you don’t get bored.”
“Why? I’d rather talk to you,” he responded.
“So you’re going to start joining me for Friday night laundry,” she asked with a grin. She didn’t expect him to do it, but it would be great if she had a laundry buddy. Of course, the real reason she wanted him to do laundry with her was so she could get to know him better.
He shuddered. “Not if I can avoid it!” he said. “Although, it’s a whole lot more fun with you here.” He winked at her.
“Thanks. I think.” She restarted her three dryers again, and walked back over to him and her book. She put her bookmark in the book and closed it. There was no point in even trying to read when she was entertained far better by the man sitting next to her.
“So I get you for a little bit longer?” he asked.
She just laughed at that. “I guess so. Probably another thirty minutes, and then I’ll fold my laundry, and head on back to my lonely apartment. I need to get a goldfish. A goldfish would keep me company.”
“Dogs are better,” he responded quickly.
“I’m away fourteen hours a day half the time. That wouldn’t be fair to a dog. No, it’ll have to be a goldfish.” She definitely would have preferred a dog, though.
“Too bad you don’t put out,” he said jokingly, “I’m sure you’d never be lonely again.”
“I’m sure,” she laughed.
“Do you clean your bathrooms on Saturday nights?” he asked.
“Nah, I usually get that done on Saturday mornings. Every Saturday night, I make a date with my TV, and catch up on watching everything that I DVRed the week before.”
“You really are a wild woman!” he said.
“I know. I can barely stand the crazy life I lead. Do you know that last week, when I mopped my kitchen, I turned the music up loud, and actually danced with the mop? It was just scandalous!” She said it with an air of secrecy, like she was almost afraid to admit she’d done something like that.