February has long been associated with love and romance, thanks to the fine folks at Hallmark, who have made Valentine’s Day a month-long shopping event. In that spirit, I wanted to send some early Valentines to my good friends at Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas. Here are some brief excerpts from a couple of my books.
From “The Sweet Distraction”
George walked up the wooden staircase, feeling alternately eager and nervous. Okay, smart guy, he thought. You can’t write your way out of this jam. This is for all the marbles and you’ve really got to sell it from your soul.
When he reached Cookie’s room, he knocked.
“Come in,” she called from inside.
George opened the door and entered. Cookie stood at the window, gazing into the courtyard. The early afternoon sun filtered in, outlining her shape with a soft glow, one that made her freshly washed hair take on a luster. “Hi,” he softly began.
She turned to look at him with slight surprise and offered a tentative smile. “Hi.”
“How have you been?”
She turned to look out the window. “Fine. Did you lose the dialing instructions for your phone?”
“No, I didn’t.” He took a few steps closer and rested his butt against the vanity table. “I wanted to apologize for not calling.”
“Thank you. You may go now.”
“Back to being a princess?”
She shrugged, her back still to him. “You have to go with whatever works.”
“Don’t you want to know why I stopped calling you?”
“I know why. You’re so damned arrogant you thought I couldn’t possibly fit into your little world. You assumed that I couldn’t adjust to your lifestyle and wouldn’t be happy. You got what you wanted. You’ll have your best seller and the career you’ve always lusted after. You can go on being in charge of your fate.”
“Okay, maybe I am a little too independent for my own good sometimes. Maybe it gets in the way of my better judgment and makes me pass up good things when they’re staring me in the face. But I’m not arrogant enough to think I can live this way for the rest of my life.” He paused. “Cookie, what I am is honest enough to admit when I’m wrong. I loved being with you and I’ve missed you. It’s just that I was beginning to feel like I was being crowded.”
She turned to look at him. George detected the sorrow in her eyes. “If I made you feel like that, I’m sorry. You’re the first man I’ve ever met who wanted me for who I am, and not because of my father’s wealth or reputation. That meant something to me.”
George pushed himself to a standing position and approached her. He placed his hands on her upper arms while peering into her eyes. “I still want you for who you are, if you’ll have me.”
Her face dimpled into a smile. “You mean it?”
“Yeah, I mean it. Cookie, I don’t give a damn about this book or the next one or the one after that. They can all be best sellers, but it won’t mean anything if you aren’t there to share it with me.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“A wise man told me that a man can only be successful it he has the support of a strong woman who believes in him. He also told me I should think about that.”
“And I remember another man who said this is who I am, take it or leave it.”
“And I remember someone saying they’d take it.”
“I haven’t changed my mind.”
From “The Bundle” (Vic Fallon Number 1)
Kimberly took Vic’s face in her hands and kissed him. “Goodbye, Vic.”
She smiled. “I’m going to miss being called by my real name.”
“Do me a favor and call me when you get home so I’ll know you made it there safely, okay?”
“Still being protective?”
Kimberly and Pasta put their carry-on luggage on the conveyor belt and ran the security gauntlet. When they were on the other side, Kimberly retrieved her bag, looked at Vic and waved. He put on the nicest smile he could muster and waved back at her. His smile slowly faded as he watched her walk toward the departure gates. When she was out of sight, he turned to leave the terminal.
Vic walked slowly through the parking lot with his hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket and his eyes cast down. He kicked a pebble in front of him and tried to ignore the ache in his gut. So do I go home and let the silence drive me crazy? he thought. No, I think I’ll go to Freighter’s and drink so much that Charlie will need to call me a cab. Sounds like a good plan.
Vic didn’t realize how much he would miss Kimberly once she was gone but now it hit him like a tsunami. All his other affairs had involved sex without the bother of emotional entanglements, but not this one. When they were over, he had moved on to the next encounter. No strings, no broken hearts, no tearful goodbyes and no bruised feelings – until this time.
When his cell phone rang, he took it from his pocket and answered it.
“So you promise I’ll see you again?” Kimberly asked.
Vic smiled at hearing her voice. “Yes, I promise.”
“Maybe sooner than you think. Turn around.”
Vic turned and saw her standing ten feet away, her carry-on bag at her feet. He approached her.
“What are you doing here? You’ll miss your flight.”
“There are at least a dozen flights to LA every day. I’ll catch another one.”
“What about Pasta?”
“I wouldn’t worry about him. He’s already made a new friend in the VIP lounge. Cute guy. Looks like a fun date.”
Vic laughed. “Okay, what about your handlers at home?”
Kimberly placed her hands on his shoulders. “They can wait until I’m damn good and ready to go back into the recording studio. I’m not through yet.”
“Through with what?”
Her look softened as she ran her palm along his cheek. “Being Callie. Think you could stand having your precious bundle around for a few more days?”
He gently kissed her. “For as long as you want.”
* * *
Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.