Saturday, August 8, 2015



Cleaning waits for no one.  That's right, cleaning.  I've got to get my house cleaned so the dust and clutter doesn't take over again. With the outdoors full of pollen and it coming inside, sneeze city has hit the Spice Homestead.  So I offer for you a couple of excerpts from my Cascade Bay series. Covers included with a buy link through Amazon for Kindle or Paperback.  Now I'm off to wrangle a few more dust bunnies and pollen monsters into the corral.



“Torrey, I’ll admit I’m anxious. I don’t think you want me to say out loud what I am uneasy about.” Holt pulled out the chair closest to her and sat down. Stuart rounded the table and sat next to Joanna.
“You’ve gained more manners, I see.” Torrey’s flushed cheeks told him she’d rather not continue in the direction his thoughts were running.
“Always had them. You just never saw them enough to realize how polite and courteous I am.” Holt reached across Torrey, snagging a handful of oyster crackers. He tossed several into his mouth.
“I didn’t know you hadn’t eaten,” Stuart offered, nudging Joanna. “We got here earlier, figuring we’d meet you for dinner.”
“Depends on what you call eating and dinner.” Joanna’s emphasis on eating and dinner left little to any of their imaginations as she continued. “Don’t know about you and Torrey, Holt. I know who Stuart is eating for dessert, or his second course.”
“Water,” Holt coughed. Blast Joanna and her punning sense of humor. The cheesy grin she wore set ripples off in more places than Holt liked.
Torrey slid her glass of water in front of him. “Crackers a bit salty?” Her arched eyebrow and rolled eyes didn’t help.
Holt gulped water, swallowing. He reached for a napkin. If his eyes kept watering, he’d have to leave for fear of losing a contact. Dabbing his eyes, Holt kicked Stuart under the table.
Stuart startled. Sitting upright, he glared at Holt. “What the hell was that for?”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to, you know.” Holt hoped he plastered the best innocent grin he knew how to fake across his face. “Now that I have your attention, though, we could use a couple of fresh drinks. How about I buy and you get them?”
Holt tossed a twenty on the table. If Stuart didn’t pick up on the non-verbal signals, he deserved another kick, a well-placed kick in the seat of Stuart’s jeans if Holt could reach them.
Joanna claimed the twenty and rose. “Come on, Stuart. We’ll get the drinks. Torrey needs a fresh one. I know I do.”

* * * *

Torrey glanced over her shoulder as Stuart and Joanna threaded their way through the crowd toward the bar. She turned back, facing Holt. “Why are you here?”
She kept her hands below the table. Clenching and unclenching her hands did nothing to relieve the new flutters her stomach did each time Holt’s gaze ran over her. The heat rolled off him in huge waves, threatening to overwhelm her if she didn’t keep her icy shield in place. Problem was her hormones had different ideas. The man knew how to read her. He’d learned how to turn her on and keep the heat going. Chemistry didn’t need a catalyst with him.
“I’d ask you the same thing. Except I probably know why you’re here.” Holt laid his arm on the table and leaned forward. “Things didn’t work out, did they?”
Torrey scooted her chair further away. Even a bit of space might allow some air in to help cool down the blasts boiling up between them. “I’m here because I want to be. What do you mean it didn’t work out?”
Holt toyed with his napkin before his gaze met hers. She swallowed hard. His eyes smoldered like they had when she’d cried out his name as multiple orgasms claimed her. He wanted her just as he had then. She couldn’t deny her attraction either. This time she wasn’t going to jump in bed with him. Acting upon lust worked great if all she desired was another fling. Those were easy and came with a premium she wasn’t buying. Short and intense brought a slack in need but no long-term emotional connection to complement the physical satisfaction.
“If things had worked out, would you be here?” Torrey cringed at Holt’s emphasis on the word had. Damn, could he read her that easily? How much did he know?
“What if it hadn’t? I remember you saying that no woman would tie you down. You wanted to be free to pursue what came your way. You said I could do the same.” Torrey paused. Rubbing her lips together, she watched the glint in Holt’s eyes dim. She gripped her hands together under the table. Apologizing would only tell him what he said was true. Before he’d started dating another woman, he’d come close to taking a good chunk of her heart and sanity. Rumors flew hot and heavy concerning his involvement with the other woman. He’d never denied the juicy tales nor did he answer her e-mails and calls asking for clarification. What right did he think he had to sit here and challenge her?
Holt leaned closer. His hand reached for her. “Torrey, I know I said some dumb things in the past. And that line was the lamest. Truth is, two years ago I lived in the heat of the moment. The flash of passion ruled my libido.”

Tina couldn’t resist either’s infectious smile and wit. Neither one acted as though they had a vain bone in them. Each spoke with confidence and appeared at ease with themselves as well as the night’s festivities. Tina wondered about their and Rodger’s friendship. Prior idle chatter about themselves revealed some of how connected they were. Before she let her guard down any more, Tina wanted to know if anyone else was keeping score for the dragoness and the old bat.
“Aunt Helen? I didn’t know any of Rodger’s other groomsmen were related to him.” Tina picked up her roll and tore a piece off. As she popped the piece into her mouth, Drake angled his chair toward her. He pushed his plates away from him.
“Only one of Rodger’s attendants is a blood relative. His choices caused a nasty battle between his mother, grandmother, and him.” Drake leaned back in his chair, picked up his wine glass, and drank. “Jon and I are the closest to family he allowed otherwise. The rest are old friends.”
Drake paused in his conversation as servers reached between them to clear plates. Coffee cups and saucers appeared next with silver coffee pots. Cream pitchers and sugar bowls came next. Each table received a duplicate set up.
Tina held on to her seltzer drink until the table was cleared and the servers moved on. Setting her glass down, she glanced at Jon. “Care to elaborate on Drake’s reply?”
Jon copied Drake’s action, angling his chair so he faced her as well. He sipped his wine twice before he answered.
“Neither Drake nor I are related to Rodger. We’re high school friends who attended the same college. My family lives four hours away. Drake’s in another state.” Jon sat his glass down. “We figure we spent enough time here as cousins would, so Mrs. Daniels became Aunt Helen. The mother hen neither of us wanted or needed.”
Tina quickly sat her glass down, swallowing to keep from spitting her mouthful all over her. Jon’s description of the head dragoness couldn’t be more spot-on. She wondered if Rodger knew what astute friends he had. Tina smiled as she turned her coffee cup over. She reached for the pot close to her.
Drake stayed her hand. “That’s decaf. Is that what you want?” He pointed to another pot close to Jon’s elbow. “That’s the real stuff. Both are vile to me. I asked for tea.”
Tina slid her hand down Drake’s arm until her hand covered what she could of his. She heard movement from Jon’s side. Lord, were the two trying to outdo each other? Tina lowered her lashes and tried to sneak a sideways look to see what Jon was up to.
Warm breath caressed her ear and neck as Jon spoke. “Maybe a cup of half each is what you prefer. Which one gets the bottom and which one gets the top?”
Tina gulped, unable to get her tongue to move as images of Drake and Jon sandwiching her between them flickered to life and dimmed as rapidly as they formed. She blinked, hoping to catch the last one for later on as she drifted asleep, sated from breaking in her new vibrator. At least her dreams wouldn’t be so cold and lonely.
Before Tina could reply, a throat cleared in front of them. Tina looked up. Merde! The old bat stood there glaring at them. Tina swore Mrs. Addams’s eyes moved over Drake and Jon as though she was sizing up how to skin them and offer them up as steak tartar for the evening snack post cake-and-coffee course.
Drake entwined his fingers with Tina’s. He smiled, placed his napkin on the table, and leaned forward. “Yes, Grandmother Addams.”
Jon laid his napkin on the table and stood. “Do you need help Ma’am?”
Tina bit the inside of her bottom lip to keep from chortling. Mrs. Addams nodded, pointed to both Jon and Drake, and walked off. There was a tinge to the old woman’s cheeks that suggested embarrassment or her own memories had ignited a fire that the old bat wasn’t sure how to quell.
Drake raised Tina’s hand to his lips. He slowly worked his fingers free from hers. As his gaze locked with hers, he dragged his fingertips across her palm, scratching lightly as he moved toward her wrist.
Tina clenched her legs and ass as Jon matched Drake’s moves except his fingers trailed down her arm, lingering in the fold her elbow made as she tried to raise her arm. Goose bumps rose from the top of her shoulders, down her arms, and across her chest until they reached her breasts, tightening around her already aching nipples. A deep breathe wouldn’t help. The bra she wore chafed her tingling skin with every breath she took.
How much more she could withstand and not be obvious, she wasn’t sure. As Drake rose, Tina looked around him. Janet and Rodger were nowhere in sight. As she looked around the room, breathing as deeply as she could, Tina caught the two pairs of eyes glaring at her, Mrs. Daniels and her daughter. Crap! Double crap! The old bat must have spilled what she thought she saw.



Pat C. said...

Yuck. Cleaning. I guess I'd better vacuum. It's been a few months.

Savanna Kougar said...

I've been doing hit and miss cleaning... or cleaning something on the way to doing something else... it's crazy!