Myra’s childhood in a prepper bunker facilitated her self-sufficiency, but at twenty-four, she’s tired of being a lone mitten. With her business keeping her busy, she’s not sure when she’ll find Mr. Right, but hopes he likes long walks in the park and princess movies. Oakes Willowbee, just starting his prepping, needs all the help he can get. Former military and in over his head, he’s trying to get his life in order to be ready for a worldwide catastrophe, but he’s having a hard time getting past sheep. With Myra’s help, Oakes gets a taste of prepper life, but his fascination with preparedness might kill their budding relationship. Despite the attraction between them, finding a balance between living and surviving could be anything but easy peasy.
Myra looked around the space as the generator kicked on the next level of lights. Two sets of dishes waited on the small wooden table along with two sets of towels. The door to the bedroom stood open and she peeked in to find the bed freshly made, with reading candles and lamps on each bedside table.
“I understood why you sent me that last book when your father said you were coming with a boyfriend,” she said. “You were gently telling me to start thinking about how I felt about you and Wesley entering mature relationships.”
What book had she sent? Myra couldn’t remember such a book.
“I did some soul-searching,” she continued. “I want my home—the home I have ready for my kids and their families—to be one of openness and love. That means making a sexual safe zone. I am not going to be a prude on relationships—I’d never get grandkids, right? So, you two will have your privacy down here, just like Wesley will when he brings a mate home one day.”
She looked so proud. Myra fought to keep her breathing even and the smile on her face. The last thing she wanted to ever do was make her mother feel bad or embarrass her. She rarely took this kind of initiative. Myra didn’t know how to respond. She hadn’t even kissed Oakes, let alone shared anything that required the privacy of a bedroom.
“I know your father has drills planned and we’re going to do them,” she said. “But I’ve also let him know you two need privacy and down time so Oakes doesn’t get overwhelmed. So, you’ll have time to decompress, reconnect and…shoot, what was the last one? I’ll check later, but you’ll have time to do it. I’m going to give you that privacy now so you can settle in and discuss things. I’ll be upstairs if you need anything. Oakes?”
He had a bemused look on his face, like he was enjoying the horror show. “Yes, ma’am?”
“I’d like you to call me Naomi.” She offered her hand. “I’m very happy you’re here, and I hope you feel welcome.”
“That’s really kind of you, Naomi. I can see where Myra gets her beauty and charm.”
Her mother chuckled and elbowed Myra gently. “See, now I like him even more because he’s willing to put blinders on and see the best. Myra is the spitting image of my mother-in-law and has the same giving, loving spirit. Dinner will be when Wesley arrives, which should be another hour.”
She turned and headed out of the apartment, making a special note to shut the door. Myra finally looked up to Oakes, though her mortification made that extra hard.
“So, your mom is nice,” he said.