Hey, it’s Wednesday again! How does that keep happening?!
All is well in my world! We are down to fewer than TWO WEEKS!!! to the release of Brunch at Ruby’s. I’m WAY excited about it and at this point I need a distraction from looking at my countdown timer and tracking the arrival of the paperback version of my book. How’s about a snippet? YAY!
This is a snip from a challenge I did at the Fiction Archive for Secret Santa– so it was a gift to someone else. It’s called Ghost of Christmas Past about a pop star who comes face to face with someone he met a long time ago… and then forgot. Read the entire story HERE.
JC pulled into the same driveway he’d pulled into hours before and cut the engine. The night was murky, leaving the moon as the only light available to guide them to the front door.
“Sorry,” she said, slowly picking her way along the sidewalk. “I forgot to turn on the lights outside.”
“That’s what iPhones are for,” he said, pulling up the flashlight app. Suddenly the walkway was bright and luminous and they easily made their way to the front door, where she also found her key and slid it into the lock.
“Handy,” she commented, as he turned off the flashlight and stepped into the condo.
“I have a million more apps that do nothing but stupid shit.”
She led him inside and down the hall to the living room. “Can I get you a beer or some wine or a Pepsi…I could mix you a drink, if you want something stronger.”
“What, you got like a full bar in here or something?”
“Something. Come on.” He followed her to the kitchen and stood back when she opened the right side of the enormous stainless steel refrigerator. Two brands of beer, what looked like a case of Pepsi and a few gallons of different flavors of juice filled most of the interior. On the bottom shelf and in the drawers were a few food items, as if they were an afterthought.
“Your fridge looks like you live in LA.”
“Help yourself to whatever you like,” she said, opening the freezer. It was packed full of frozen dinners and frosty packages of meat. “I just don’t keep much in the fridge. I buy fresh fruit and veggies every morning at the farmer’s market. I eat what I cook and toss the rest. I don’t like the idea of food slowly rotting in my fridge.”
He grabbed a bottle of beer and twisted the cap off, offered it to her and then grabbed another when she took it.
They settled into the deep, soft cushion of an overstuffed couch covered in a microfiber in a stylish slate grey and drank the first few sips of their beers in silence.
“So…” JC started, mindlessly wiping the lip of his bottle. “When I asked you out yesterday, you were hesitant. Any reason for that?”
She smiled. “Not used to hearing no, are you?”
He laughed, long and loud. “I’m actually plenty used to that. I hear no all the time. I wonder now if it had something to do with the guy you don’t want to talk about.”
“A little,” she admitted. Sheepish, she bowed her head and ran her fingers through her hair, pulling it forward to hide her face. “I haven’t been with anyone since him. I hadn’t had an interest in dating, not even for a casual night out, in a long time. It scared me a little that I was ready to jump when you said you wanted to take me out.”
“Because I do have a therapist. And she tells me that I’m not interested in the easy guy, the guy that’s willing to lay everything down for me, right here and right now. I want the guy I can’t have. I want the one that would willingly walk away from me.” She lifted her head and finished softly. “I want the one that forgot about me.”
He sucked in a breath. “Maybe you want to conquer that experience. Maybe you want to conquer him?”
“Maybe.” She sighed. “At any rate, it’s not exactly healthy.”
“Maybe not. Or maybe that’s a conformist way to look at it. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with having to work for something. Worth going after what you want, knowing you might not get it, but really relishing the fight for it.”
Elizabeth grinned, chuckling. “You like that theory because it ends up in me jumping you.”
JC laughed along. “I like any theory that ends up in someone jumping me. But that’s been my whole life. Reaching for things I don’t think I can get. Some things I got. Some things I didn’t. I liked the fight.”
“So you’re saying…” She paused, a mischievous grin on her lips as she slid closer to him on the couch. “You’re saying that you think it’s a good idea for me to do this?”
He was ready for her as she tipped her head toward him, mouth slightly open, breathing at a standstill. They collided in a rush of deeply inhaled breaths and guttural, sensuous moans. He crawled her body with his hands, moving slowly upward until they were buried in her hair. They kissed, breathlessly, endlessly, like they’d been waiting fifteen years to do it.
When they came up for air, JC tipped his head to one side and nuzzled her just below her earlobe. Elizabeth gave low, sultry chuckle. “You don’t remember that tickles.”
“Yes I do,” he murmured, nipping lightly at the fragrant skin of her neck. He toyed with the thin strap of her bra before moving down into the deep ‘V’ of her blouse and slipping his hand inside the shirt, and then the cup of her tiny lace bra. Her nipple stood at attention, taut. She shuddered when he fondled and flicked it, then nibbled her earlobe a little more.
“Uh… so I think I’ll take you up on that offer to get a little more comfortable.”
“The one you made the last time I saw you.”
She sat up, then stood and grabbed both bottles of beer. “Come on,” she chirped, leading him down a hall and around a bend to the corner bedroom.
Spacious wasn’t the word for this room. It was more like two rooms combined into one, a bedroom and a sitting room, complete with fireplace and window seat, giving a cozy perch from which to watch the ocean just feet away. A set of sliding glass doors covered by sheer drapes led to the wrap around patio, just wide enough for a bistro table and an oversized umbrella. The waves were louder in this room. It was soothing, relaxing as they climbed up onto the four-poster bed with the intricately carved headboard and lay next to each other. Listening. Waiting.
“I suppose you do this a lot, huh?”
He rolled his head in her direction. “This?”
“Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m a big girl. I know average men who do one night stands. Don’t pretend your famous, celebrity ass doesn’t do it too.”
“Yeah, my famous celebrity ass does them. That’s how I lost my girlfriend.”
“Oh. Forgot about that.”
“You never had a one night stand?”
“A couple,” she answered, shrugging a shoulder. “Meant nothing.”
“They’re not supposed to mean anything. That’s why they’re one night stands.”
She smiled, though it was thin and weak.
“Are you worried about how you’ll feel afterward? Even though, if we’d have had sex way back then, it still would have been a one night stand?”
“Even if we’d have had sex way back then, I already liked you too much for it to not mean anything. And this… tonight… will mean something to me.”
JC was quiet for a few seconds. Then he asked, “Are you trying to fight for something, here? Trying to conquer me?”
She giggled once. Then again. “Oh my God. Probably. That’s why I’m so turned on right now.”
“Are you really?”
“I’m really turned on right now.”
He laughed. “Smartass.”
“What do you want me to say?”
He rolled to his side and reached for her, slid her across the bed until she was right up against him. “Tell me what you’re feeling. How you know you want me.”
“I didn’t know I wanted you until I heard your voice yesterday. I knew it was you. I couldn’t even see you and I knew it was you. My body knew. I’ve been on high alert since yesterday. My… my heart beats out of control and I can’t breathe when you look at me. When you touch me, all sorts of things happen to me, like volts of electricity shoot through me-”
“Like that?” He asked, brushing his fingertips down her arm.
“Fuck,” she responded, closing her eyes, doing her best to hold back a shudder but losing the fight.
“Did you just come?”
“No.” Her eyes opened and fixed on his. “I want to, though.”
He bent over her and pressed his lips against hers, gently until she welcomed his tongue and he claimed her mouth with an impassioned moan. He rolled toward her, then settled in the space between her legs as her arms circled his neck.
“I want you,” she whispered between frantic kisses. “I don’t care if it’s a bad idea or if it’s a one night stand or if it’s unhealthy. I’ve been waiting all this time for this moment. I want it.”
“Me too,” he whispered, shaking with desire. “I want it. I want you.”