I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was taking part in this fun book event, and my post will be up this week, on Wednesday, 9/23 (fun coincidence, that is my oldest son’s birthday!). I’m really excited about this. Celebrate Autumn all month long at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s second annual Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon. 47 books, 34 authors. So much fun! I have a link to the general promo page here, but will have the direct link to my post on Wednesday and will share on my Facebook page. Hopefully you’ve been checking out the new posts daily, though, and have entered the giveaway. There are gift cards up for grabs to some big bookseller websites, and the hostess will be doing the drawing on October 1st, so make you get entered before the end of September!
I passed the midway point of the accountability challenge I joined for the month and my tiger shifter revisions are rolling right along, though the past couple of days it’s been a little slower going because the section I’m working on needs complete rewrites, not just fixing the crap that is already on those pages. I’m so glad I joined it. I feel like I’m making good progress for the first time in ages, and it feels really good.
So, since I’m working on tiger shifters, I have a little snippet from the third story in this series for you today.
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.
“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 put 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.”
Vivi relaxed a little. She’d managed to head off that conversation for a change. Good.
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. 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.
Even though she couldn’t pull her gaze away 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.
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.
She needed to get away before her hormones got any happier. She put the glass down on the bar 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 on his stool a little to face her.
Oh Gods. Vivi couldn’t help the flush burning 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 of 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. 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 her hand, 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…
His grin widened.
“I don’t think we’re going to get a table here on a Saturday, though,” she said, tugging her hand free. The place was packed, and more people were waiting.
“How do you feel about Baker’s, down the block?”
“I hear it’s good.” Her fingers still tingled from their handshake.
He fished some money from his pocket and put it on the bar beside his glass, then rose and held out his hand. “Shall we?”
She could still change her mind. “Sure.” She put her hand on his and eased off the stool. Even on her wedge-heeled sandals, he towered over her, and she wasn’t petite. She tipped her head back to look up at him–just in time to catch his gaze sliding up from her chest. Vivi felt the flush following his gaze up her throat to her face.
His eyes darkened when they met hers, and her pulse quickened. One corner of his mouth inched up, just a tiny bit. “Are you good to walk down the street in those shoes?”
“Now that I got to sit for a little while, I’m fine.” She thought she’d be forgiven for that fib. They’d be sitting again soon. She could ignore the aching a little longer.
I have two insanely busy days at the day-job to kick off my week this week, and then (hopefully!) a quieter day Wednesday before I have a four-day weekend. We’ll be celebrating with birthday dinner and cake for my oldest, and I’ll keep working on my revisions for the first tiger shifter, plus a couple of appointments, and hopefully I can knock out some household chores from my long-term to-do list.
What are your plans for this week that includes the first day of autumn on Tuesday?