What? You want a taste of this novel I've been working on for over a year? A snippet? An excerpt to whet your appetite? Oh, well...you talked me into it. Read on!
The vendor came with their ice cream cones and Lauren took a good, long lick, letting the mint settle deep inside her. A slow smile spread across her face. “Is there anything better for the soul than mint chocolate chip?” she commented.
“I can think of a few things,” John answered her, taking a long lick of ice cream, twisting the cone around in his fingers. Yet his eyes never left hers, reading her body language far more easily than she read his. He had to. Lauren knew she was no good at hiding her emotions after the crisis had passed. Right now she felt safe, secure…and sexy in his eyes. She lifted her chin and took him up on his offer.
“Oh, really? Name one.”
“Tying a woman down and making love to her all night long.”
Lauren choked on her ice cream. Of all the answers she’d been expecting from years of bad pickup lines, John’s answer came out of the blue and smacked her right in the pussy. She felt herself grow warm all over despite the ice cream she tried desperately to swallow.
And it didn’t help to have him stand there, looking nonchalant, gallantly offering her a paper napkin as if they were discussing the weather. Her eyes watering from swallowing too much ice cream too quickly, she tried to look up at him, but the sun was behind him.
“No fair. Can’t see you,” she muttered and pushed him to her other side so she could give him the glare he deserved.
Except he took one look at her and laughed out loud. A good, hearty, infectious chuckle. When her glare turned to puzzlement, he reached over with his own napkin and wiped the green ice cream off the tip of her nose. She rolled her eyes and relented.
“Okay, so your answer wasn’t quite what I expected…” she started.
“But you’re intrigued enough that you’ll go out to dinner with me tomorrow night,” he finished.
Lauren opened her mouth to demure, but Beth’s voice superimposed itself over hers. “Of course she is, and she’d love to. What time?”
“Beth, I can arrange my own calendar…”
“Seven o’clock.” John spoke directly to Beth. The conversation continued as if she wasn’t there.
“Here’s her address. I took the liberty of writing it down for you.”
“That was kind of you, ma’am. I appreciate it.”
“Casual dress? Or something a little fancier?”
John paused and gave Lauren a once-over. She took the opportunity to interject her own thoughts on the matter. “I’m right here you know. You can talk to me and…”
“A little fancier.”
“Perfect. I know just the outfit she should wear. It was nice meeting you, John.”
“Nice to meet you too, Beth.” He shook the hand Beth offered and once again tousled Ian’s hair. “And you too, young man. You make sure these ladies get home safe now, you hear?”
“Yes, sir!” Ian snapped a salute and Lauren couldn’t help smiling. His arm was all akimbo and his fingers at the wrong angle, but his posture was straight and his grin infectious.
“Come on, Aunt Lauren. Beth says its time to go home.” He took her hand and pulled her toward the exit.
“Just a minute, Ian…” She turned to talk to John, but he’d already moved away. Instead, she took her frustration out on her best friend. “Beth, how could you? We don’t know anything about him.”
“And if we did things your way, it would stay that way.” Beth pushed the stroller over the uneven ground, making her way toward the sidewalk that led to the parking lot.
Lauren shook her head. “I know, Beth. I know. I just need more time, that’s all.”
“Time and a date with Big John.”
“Beth!” Lauren pretended shock and playfully hit her friend on the arm.
“Well, you do.” Beth dropped her voice. “And if you’re smart, you’ll let him get lucky on the first date and ride him all the way to mindless fucking!”
There you go...your first glimpse into SERVICES RENDERED. I don't yet have a release date (heck, I'm still in edits with this puppy!) but faithful readers know to watch this blog. You'll be the first I'll tell!