Counting Down to the Big Day

Or big days, since the birthday and release day happen in the same week. Less than two weeks to go! I haven’t given much thought to cake yet, but I’ll find something. Something delicious that doesn’t involve me making it myself. I have some goodies ordered for release party day, too, and they’ve started arriving at last, so I hope you’ll pop over to Facebook to join us that day. You may wind up with a present.

Today, though, is for wrapping up the weekend to-do list. And hopefully for finding some writing time. It’s grey here, but finally cooler after yesterday’s storms, so it feels like a lazy day. Too bad I didn’t get more of the chores done yesterday, and too bad the cooler temps are only here for today before it gets hot again tomorrow.

The first round of thunderstorms yesterday did some damage to a couple of tomato plants, but I’m hoping not enough to stop the plants from working on the tomatoes they’ve started. I’ve been waiting impatiently for my tomatoes, and a couple look like they might be ripening up. After last summer’s disappointing harvest, I have high hopes for this year for the bigger tomatoes. Cherry, grape and Roma tomatoes are fine, but I love the great big ones I can slice and eat for lunch with just a little salt and balsamic vinegar. There is nothing like a good in-season tomato right out of the garden. Yum!

I could probably ramble on here the rest of the day, but that won’t get me writing time or the rest of the chores done, so I’ll leave you with a snippet from the third shifter story, which is what I’m working on this month.

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Vivi stifled her sigh of relief when she sank onto the stool beside Carol. After being on her feet all day, sitting down might not be a good idea–she didn’t want to get back up, and it had only been fifteen seconds since her butt hit the seat.

Carol slid a martini glass toward her. “Here you go. I don’t know how you do it.”

“Do what?” She picked up the glass and took a sip. “Mm.” Something with berries. Perfect after today.

“Keep a smile on your face all day, between the kids, the parents, the donors. And in those shoes,” Carol teased. “I had flats on all day, and my feet are killing me. Yours must be aching.”

“They are, which is why this one drink is it for me. Then I’m going home and putting my feet up.” Vivi sighed and glanced around. The lounge and restaurant were filling fast, and the hum of conversation grew steadily. “Don’t you have a date tonight?”

Carol grinned. “He’ll be here soon.”

“Which is why we met here.” Vivi shook her head. “Of course.”

“I don’t know why you won’t let me fix you up–”

Before her friend could continue, Vivi held up her hand. “No. We’ve had this conversation. I’m good right now.”

Carol’s eyes narrowed a little. “You ruin all my fun.”

“I highly doubt that.”

The other woman laughed.

Vivi relaxed a little. She’d managed to head off that conversation for a change. Good.

“Carol.”

She glanced up at the deep voice behind her, and her co-worker’s smile turned sultry.

“Dan.” She tipped her face up so he could brush a kiss on her cheek. “This is Vivi.”

He nodded, but his gaze went right back to Carol’s face.

“Vivi, do you want to join us?”

“No, thanks. You guys go ahead and enjoy.” That meant she wouldn’t have any reason to feel guilty about not even finishing her drink before she headed home to put her feet up for the rest of the evening.

Someone brushed against her shoulder, and Vivi turned to see a man settling onto the stool beside her. “Sorry,” he said, glancing over, then away.

Then his pale blue gaze swung back to her face, and she couldn’t look away.

Holy hotness!

Even though she couldn’t pull her gaze from his sky-blue eyes, she still noticed his rumpled white-blond hair brushed back from his face, the sharp angles of his cheekbones, and the width of his shoulders beneath a red polo shirt.

Wowza.

Vivi swallowed and dragged her gaze away finally. It landed on her drink, and she picked it up, taking a sip to wet her dry lips.

A tiger.

She needed to go before her hormones got any stupid ideas. She put the glass down and sat back in her seat.

“Don’t let me chase you away,” the blonde said, his voice a low rumble that made her stomach clench.

She glanced toward him but didn’t meet his eyes. “You’re not. I’ve just had a long day, and it’s time to go.”

“Without any supper?” He turned his stool a little to face her.

Oh Gods. Vivi felt the flush in her cheeks. The red shirt stretched over a broad, muscled chest, and it took her a few seconds to force her gaze up to his.

At least his mouth wasn’t curved in a smirk. Though if he’d been smirking or appeared as if he knew exactly what was going on in her head, she’d have found it easier to get off the stool. “I didn’t actually come in for supper, just a drink with a friend.” She inched to her right.

“Have dinner with me.”

She froze. “What makes you think I’d be a good dinner companion?” she asked after a second.

His mouth relaxed a little, as if he might be on the verge of a smile. “Just a hunch. I’m sure you’re a far better dinner companion than I am. Sorry I bothered you.” He picked up his glass and took a sip of the golden liquid in it.

Vivi studied his profile for a few moments. There was something familiar about it. And something very appealing about him, aside from the face and physique. Especially that, aside from not pushing her to stay, there was something lonely about him. “You know, telling a woman what a terrible date you are isn’t really the right approach. Probably going to bring your success rate down a little.”

He finally smiled, a slow, wide grin that revealed dimples.

Gods, she was a sucker for dimples, dammit.

He met her gaze again and stuck out his right hand. “I’m Boris.”

“Vivi.” She tamped down the little voice in the back of her head shrieking this was a Bad Idea. When his warm fingers wrapped around hers, she shivered.

“Vivi, would you have dinner with me? You can give me some pointers on how this should work.”

“What the hell.” She was certain she’d regret this later, but it had been a long time…

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I have to say, when I started writing this series, I had no intention of Boris getting a story. But I really love his story. Really love it.

Now have to work on the to-do list. What are you all doing this week? Besides staying cool, that is. I have a busy day-job week ahead, but will still be working on party prep in the evenings. And thinking about birthday cake.

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