Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sample Sunday: from Love After War



She thinks she’s so slick.
That was what Drew was thinking as he entered the Lillian Hotel-Fort Worth.
She thought she’d been quiet enough to sneak out of the house without him noticing. But he’d heard the moment her feet hit the floor when she woke up. He’d heard her when she went to the shower. That sound had set off all kinds of visions in his head. Her soaking wet body in the shower, washing herself. Images of him in the shower with her.
Then he heard the sound of a vehicle pulling up and he got up to look out the window to see a cab waiting. He shook his head. He’d told her how expensive it would be to have a cab come all the way here, and then drive her all the way to Fort Worth, but she hadn’t listened. He figured at this point it was mainly because of that kiss the night before and now she was trying to avoid him. That was the only reason that he didn’t open his bedroom door when he heard her ‘tiptoeing’ past in the hall and down the stairs.
She was avoiding him. For some reason that didn’t sit well with him. 
Constance Johnson never backed down from anything or anyone. Especially him. 
And that’s what had gotten him up and out of the house to Fort Worth to the hotel.
He knew it was probably a bad time and that he could have waited until she returned to the house later that evening, but he had a feeling that if she had her way, she would only be returning for her things. 
That wasn’t an option. Well, technically it was; he most certainly wouldn’t keep her against her will. But he wanted to get to the bottom of whatever it was that had caused them to no longer be friends all of those years ago and he had a feeling that would be much easier if she were staying at his place.
He scanned the lobby and saw her immediately standing at the reception desk. He’d intended on sneaking up on her, but the receptionist recognized him and lit up.
“Welcome back Mr. McAllister!”
He saw Connie’s shoulders tense up. He nodded at the receptionist. “Orara, how are you and how is your family?”
She answered well to both and he nodded again saying, “I need to take Miss Johnson away from you for a moment.”
Orara waved her hand and said, “We were just finishing up! Feel free to take her!”
He cupped her elbow. “Can I speak to you for a moment Miss Johnson? In private.” As he turned and led her toward the conference rooms, he leaned down and whispered in her ear. “Nice try Barb. Did you really you could just slink out of the house and I of all people wouldn’t notice?”
Instead of answering his question, she said, “I’m surprised any of the staff even knows that you’re a McAllister.”
“Of course they know who I am,” he shot back.
He knew she was seething, but that was just fine with him, because he was just as ticked off.
They entered the conference room and she immediately jerked her arm away from him.
“How dare you?” she said through clenched teeth. “You have the nerve to show up here, while I’m working, for what? Why are you here Andrew?”
“I think you know why I’m here Constance.” He crossed his arms. “I never would have figured you to be someone to run scared.”
“I’m not running from anything.”
“You’re running from what happened last night. You wouldn’t even let me apologize.”
“Look, don’t waste your breath on an apology Andrew. It was just a kiss. It happened, it was a mistake. Let’s just forget it.”
Sometimes he wanted to shake the woman. Instead he just said, “Fine, consider it forgotten.”
“Fine.”
“Fine!”
He turned to leave then looked back at her. “Have you eaten?”
She stood there, looking confused by his seemingly random question.
“What?” she asked.
“You were in such a hurry to get away this morning, I imagine you didn’t have time to eat.”
She shook her head. “Why do you care Andrew?”
“I’d rather not have you passing out while you’re here. Pops would never let me hear the end of it.”
At the mention of her grandfather, he noticed an odd expression flash across her face, then she seemed to relent. 
“No, I haven’t eaten yet.”
“I’ll be back around noon to pick you up for lunch.”
“Just like that? You don’t ask? You just come in here barking orders like some Neanderthal.”
He blew out a frustrated breath. “Constance, I’ll be back here around noon. Would you please allow me to pick you up and take you to get some food?”
“Now that wasn’t so hard was it?”
“Constance?” She was pushing his buttons again.
“Fine. Yes Andrew, I’ll be ready. Don’t worry, you won’t need to club me over the head and drag me off to lunch.”
He shook his head and turned to leave. “See you later.”

Love After War, coming Valentine's Day Weekend. Now availalbe for preorder.

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