Silver Creek time is getting closer! And I wanted to share some little random snippets. Cowboy Appetizers, if you will. Hope you enjoy them!
UNBUTTONED, June 18th -
“Thank you,” Carly said. She dipped her fork into the dressing and started flicking it over the lettuce leaves. She was so meticulous in everything she did. Every movement a practiced routine. She was tied up so tightly inside that even eating a salad was a ritual. He’d never seen anything like it.
He picked his burger up, in defiance of her restraint, and took a bite. He noticed that while she ate her salad, she kept her eyes pinned to his french fries.
“Do you want one?” he asked. She looked at him like he’d just asked her to come to the Dark Side.
“Do you ever do anything you shouldn’t do?”
She frowned. “No.” Her denial was followed by another bite of salad.
“Doesn’t that get boring?”
“It’s not boring. It’s stable. I had all the unstable I could get growing up. There’s a reason for restraint, you know. A reason for . . . behaving a certain way.”
“So you always behave?” he asked.
“Yes. Always. I’m a representative of the people of Silver Creek. I can do nothing less.”
“You’re twenty-four years old, Carly. This much self-control can’t be healthy.”
“The lack of it certainly isn’t healthy, I don’t care what age you are,” she said. “Look at our parents for your example.”
“Granted”—he picked up one of his french fries—“but eating a little fried food is hardly equivalent to being an alcoholic.”
“Slippery slope,” she said, eyeing the offered treat.
“Come on, Carly,” he said. “Eat a fry. Live dangerously.”
“You’re such a pain,” she said, taking the french fry from him and making quick work of it.
“Do you regret it?” he asked.
“No,” she said around a mouthful of potato.
“See? The world didn’t even cave in. Living dangerously didn’t hurt you at all.”
“One french fry isn’t going to entice me to change the way I live.”
“That would be pretty ambitious for a french fry.” She snort -laughed again, turning her focus back to her salad. “Is that why I bother you, Carly?”
Her head snapped up, blue eyes meeting his. “What?”
“That I don’t play by the rules of what’s safe to you?”
Her forehead crinkled, eyebrows drawing together. “You think I’m jealous of you, is that it?”
“Well, is it?”
“Am I jealous of you, Lucas Miller, who changes women like most people change their socks? I am in no way jealous of that kind of behavior.”
UNEXPECTED, August 20th -
Cole nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw Kelsey. She was dressed in a slinky black dress that hugged her curves, and reminded him that she was so much more than simply the woman carrying his child. She was a woman. An attractive woman. One he was having a very hard time keeping his hands off of.
“I’m ready. So is there a local greasy spoon we get to go haunt. I brought a cloth napkin to spread out on the bench. I can use it in your truck too.”
“You’re funny, city girl,” he said. “But we’re not driving my truck. And this is a tourist trap, remember? We have a lovely bistro that serves locally grown, organic cuisine and I am taking you there.”
“So no steak? I was promised steak.” They stepped off the cabin’s porch and started down the trail, back to the lodge.
“Organic, grass fed, local steak,” he said, putting his hand on her lower back, his fingers tingling as the heat of her body seeped through the dress and into him.
“Fancy,” she said. “Not unicorn meat or anything, but fancy.”
“I didn’t think you’d want unicorn. The glitter gets caught in your teeth.”
“Mean,” she said. “You would eat a unicorn. You’re the kind of guy who names his ranch a haven for elk and then eats them.”
“But then, you could pick the glitter out of your teeth with the horn.”
“Unicorn bacon seems like it could be some kind of rare and magical delicacy.”
“Great, now you have me craving unicorn bacon. Do you know how cruel it is to make a pregnant woman crave something that doesn’t exist?”
She stumbled slightly on the crooked path, and that was when he noticed her shoes. Spiky and black. The kind of thing that gave a man very interesting fantasies. And made him want to call a woman ‘mistress’ and say yes to whatever she asked of him. He shifted and tried to relieve the pressure in his jeans. He’d never had that particular fantasy before.
“Those shoes probably weren’t the best option,” he said, his voice rough.
“I love these shoes. They’ve pretty much been languishing in my closet. This is my first date in…a long time.”
“Me too,” he said, tightening his hold on her when they trail sloped downward before turning into a flat, open expanse of dirt.
He wasn’t going to think about anything right now. Nothing except how good Kelsey felt pressed up against him. He was on vacation from logic tonight. Just for a couple of hours.
“So what vehicle are we taking?”
“Cade’s premature midlife crisis. He bought some of it with the money he got from his insurance after the accident. He came out of that pretty nicely since one of the organizers was potentially liable for the dangerous situation.”
“Yeah. It’s been hard on him. He jokes about…well about everything. But I don’t think he finds much about the situation very funny.”
“I can imagine.”
“But,” he pulled a set of keys out of his pocket and hit the unlock button. The headlights on Cade’s imported Italian sports car blinked. “We get to use his car.”
“Very nice. I am impressed. He has taste. Garish, obvious taste, but sometimes a girl likes that.”
“He spent most of his money in one chunk. But I think he was a little too pissed at life to care. I occasionally wonder if his original intent was to drive it off a cliff.”
“I can imagine that too. Sometimes I wonder if that was part of why I…No. That wasn’t it.” She waved a hand and walked to the passenger side of the sleek yellow car.
He reached past her and opened her door, holding it until she got inside. When he got into the driver’s seat, she was buckled, facing forward, a serious look on her face.
“What do you wonder?” he asked, turning the key over, a little thrill racing through him when the engine started to purr. He loved this car. He loved it even more with Kelsey sitting in it. Kelsey and her long, sexy legs…
“I wonder if I was just so mad at life that I pushed back. That I wanted to laugh at fate and say ‘I don’t need a husband, see? I can do this by myself.’ See where my taunting got me? Ass bit, that’s what my taunting got me.”
“You consider me a bite in the ass from life?” he asked.
“A little bit.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more flattered. I need a t-shirt that says “Cole Mitchell, Ass Bite.”
“My mom could embroider it on a pillow for you. Of course she could never, ever embroider the word ass, so it would lose impact. You’d become a tushie bite or something.”