They Say Love Is Blind

By: Pepper Pace


I must thank Hugo Morais for his contribution to the editing of this story. Being Azorean, Hugo was able to give me wonderful insight into the lifestyle and language of these beautiful people. It is due to his wonderful insight that I was able to put a breath of realism into this tale.


I have countless versions of this story, created in the attempt to tweak and perfect the beautiful couple described here. Those of you that are familiar with my work may remember one such version of this story that appeared on

I am often asked if the story that appeared in print ‘for free’ is the same story that is being sold. The answer to that is absolutely not. While the characters and storyline will remain true to the online/free version, you will find that my stories are completely re-edited when submitted for publishing. In this particular story it has tripled in size, which means that the characters are exploring situations never presented in any other version of this story.

With that said, I hope you enjoy Tory and Lee’s journey to love.

-Pepper Pace

July 2012


It seemed like every day Tory was late for work. She'd already missed the first bus and was about to miss the late bus. She called the second bus the late bus because no matter what, she was destined to walk in to the office at least one minute late. But at least if she was only one or two minutes late it meant that she might be able to slip in unnoticed.

She saw the bus rounding the corner and was forced to break into a run. Her neatly pressed hair was going to end up a mass of nappy curls.

Tory sprinted, hoping not to twist an ankle, trying not to think about how embarrassing she must appear to the other commuters. She wasn't exactly small, but despite her extra weight she moved with a speed born of desperation and managed to reach the bus before it pulled off.

Breathlessly she searched for change and then almost fell when the driver began to take off before she was settled. She was forced to sit down in the handicap, elderly section so that she could dig through her oversized purse for her wallet. Her purse doubled as a lunch bag, overnight bag, and sometimes even a trash bag. It held everything from a doo-rag, old bills, a snack cake to a bottle of hairspray.

"Do you need change?" A man's quiet voice asked.

"No." She said absently, trying to catch her breath. "It's just all over my bag-" Finally she came up with the coins. She stood up and reached for the pole, but the bus took that particular opportunity to lurch forward and Tory lost her balance before she could grab hold. She found herself falling into the lap of the man who had offered the change.

"Oh!" His hand came up reflexively to her ample hips. She leaped up. "I am so sorry!" This was a day from hell. She heard the snickers of several commuters. She was really putting on a show today. She felt embarrassed beads of sweat sprout under her arms.

"It's okay," the man replied facing forward stiffly. He did reach down to retrieve her sweater. He handed it up to her absently still without looking at her. She flushed realizing that she must have embarrassed him too, and bearing all of her weight might have even injured him.

"Thank you. Sorry again," she murmured then paid her fare and hurried to the rear of the bus.

If she could, she would have sank into her seat and turned into plastic. No wonder most people wore running shoes until they actually got into the office. It wasn't that she was trying to be cute or anything, she literally had no time to lace up running shoes.

Tory peeked up to the front of the bus at the man she'd become unintentionally familiar with. He was a good looking white man with short hair. It curled despite the fact that it was only about an inch in length. Brown hair matched his olive skin. Italian, maybe? Well he was fine as hell. Not that many white guys appeared this early in the bus ride. Usually the whites didn't appear until the bus moved closer to the center of town where there were more white-collar jobs and the shopping was more upscale. Her neighborhood was definitely more Urban, though not a bad part of town. No, Tory had a nice apartment on a nice, predominantly black street.

Her face felt hot. Why did she have to fall into a white man's lap?! He continued to stare forward watching the scenery go by, though he had relaxed now that she wasn't assaulting his lap. She dug into her purse again, this time for a mirror. She examined her makeup and gasped.