“You’re a hard girl to find,” Sam whispered, pulling up a chair beside Leanne.
“How did you find me then?” She set down her yellow highlighter and turned to him with annoyance at being interrupted, scraping her chair on the wooden floor. She likely thought the third floor of the library tucked into a back corner was probably a safe bet to have privacy and a quiet escape from the busy university and the bustling city of Jerusalem.
“I have connections,” he said, tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear.
“Do any of those connections happen to be married to any of my sisters?” she asked.
“Maybe.” Sam bit his lower lip, gaging her level of annoyance.
“What do you want, Sam? I’m a little busy right now.”
“You mentioned a few days ago that you were looking for a new study partner.”
“That class is next semester,” she reminded him.
“That gives me plenty of time to read up on the class materials, so I’ll be able to provide the required level of tutelage.”
“I’m pretty sure the earth sciences section of the library is on the second floor,” Leanne said. “Knock yourself out. I need to study for my anthropology midterm. Go away.” She turned back to her book and picked up her yellow highlighter.
“I don’t want to move back to Jerusalem,” Sam said.
“I don’t really care where you live,” she answered. “Your residency status doesn’t affect me.”
“It does if we’re married.”
“Well, we’re not.”
“But we’re going to be.”
“You’re being presumptuous again.”
“I’m being realistic.”
“You’re being stupid.” Leanne finally turned again to look at him. “You just said you didn’t want to live in Jerusalem, so there’s no reason we should be having this conversation.”
“I feel very strongly that we need to be together.”
“Then move to Jerusalem, you idiot.” She turned back to her book.
“We need to follow Nicholas and Adele,” Sam told her.
“What?” She turned to him with a gaping mouth. “Follow them where? To Dubai? I told you; I don’t want to live in Dubai.”
“Not to Dubai. Somewhere else.”
“You’re not making any sense, Sam. Go away.”
“I’m here to be your study partner, remember?”
“I don’t need you as my study partner until next semester, remember?” She spoke through gritted teeth.
“That’s okay. I’ll just be your husband between now and then.”
“We’re not getting married, Sam,” Leanne said much louder than is acceptable in a library. That got the attention of students three tables over. “And I’m not moving to Dubai. And I’m not following my sister or your brother or anyone else. I’m finishing my master’s degree and then I’m getting a PhD. Deal with it.”
Leanne stood and gathered her books, shoving them into a designer backpack.
“I’ll see you after I graduate.” With a flip of her hair over her shoulder, she slung the strap of her backpack over one shoulder and stormed away.
A guy at the next table made a noise like a plane crashing and exploding then laughed with his buddy.
“Thanks, dude. That really helps.” Sam took a deep breath and leaned back in the hard, wooden chair.
The girl sitting across from the guys at the next table gave Sam a sympathetic look then a bit of advice. “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Just sayin’.”
“Diamonds?” Sam whispered, then gazed into space. That’s it. That’s what he needed. He hopped up from the chair and glanced over at the girl almost as an afterthought. “Thanks. That really does help.”
Sam hurried from the library, scrolling on his phone to find the nearest jeweler.