. To go along with my new look, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the story that recently appeared on
. Hope you enjoy it!
Josie pulled her laptop toward her, but peered out the corner of her eye. Shit. They were sitting right up at the bar. Probably waiting for a table for dinner. Six o’clock, too. Why didn’t they make reservations? Losers. She saw Gary shift in his seat, opening his view to the room. Then, as he glanced around, acting casual, he caught her eye and grinned ever so slightly. A twinge poked in her belly. She quickly shifted her focus back to her laptop. Ignore him, Josie. Your club, your friends, not his.
She looked up. It was Shawn, grinning from ear to ear. She smiled back, “So…did you work it out?”
“Better.” He plunked down in his seat and picked up his wine. “Guy was kissing my ass.” He tossed back the last of his glass. Josie grinned and leaned in to hear the scoop, but before Shawn could say any more, they were interrupted.
“Shawn, Josie, how are you two?”
Shawn answered for both of them, “Gary. Is there something we can do for you? Josie and I are in the middle of a very important meeting.”
Gary brushed the top of their empty wine bottle with his thumb. “Looks like it.” He turned to Josie, “Shawn tells me you’re getting married soon. Kind of hoping I might get to meet your fiancé. Oscar says he’s a real swell guy. Nic, right? Not gone to South America again, is he?”
Pins and needles started pricking the back of her neck. Why was Gary asking about Nic? How was it he cared enough to remember Nic’s name and where he was from? An image flashed in her mind of the day at the airport, of Gary watching Nic load his bags in the trunk of the car. Was he going to do something to Nic? Try to get back at her by hurting him? Not while she was alive! Josie looked up and faced Goldman as she hadn’t before. Stupid sardonic grin. Ice cold green eyes—nothing like Daddy’s. She looked Gary in the eye and answered him, “None of your damn business.”
Both Shawn’s and Gary’s eyebrows shot up. After a second, Gary recovered and reached out toward her, running his finger along the top edge of her computer. “Well now, that wasn’t very friendly.”
Not very friendly, is she? Three guys standing around her and one behind—surrounded!
Huh? What was that? What was she thinking of? Josie felt the color draining from her face.
Before anyone could say anything else, Gina suddenly reappeared at the table. “Josie, hun, sorry to interrupt, but would you taste test these for me? New recipe I’m trying. It’s called chocolate covered golden hearts. See, it’s these little flaky pastries with a layer of…”
But Josie wasn’t listening. Chocolate covered golden hearts. Chocolate covered. Chocolate covers. Gold hearts. Josie could see it—a bed with a chocolate brown coverlet. Windows with chocolate brown drapes. A bathroom with chocolate brown towels. All with gold accents. Where? When? And Gary Goldman. Huh? Why was all this stuff floating around in her head today?
“Josie? Will you, hun? Will you try them for me?”
She tried to focus on Gina’s face and her pretty red hair, but Gina was standing right next to Gary, who was still grinning his stupid grin and no doubt seeing the confusion on Josie’s face. The voices in the room were pulling away, sounding distant. Someone had lowered the lights. And turned up the thermostat.
“Jos, you okay?” Shawn’s voice.
“What is your name? Where do you live? Do you know who I am?” Gary’s voice. But the words didn’t match his lips. How was he asking that? Why was he asking that?
“Doctor, should I increase the dose now?” Gina’s voice. But her lips weren’t moving at all. And why would she call him ‘doctor’? Well, he was a doctor—of finance, right? But Gina didn’t know that.
The room was getting darker still, and the voices in it further and further away. Crap—she was losing it. No, no, no. Not now. Not right in front of world’s biggest jackass. Not right after she’d finally stood up to him. Josie pushed herself up from the table…wobbly as shit. Just need to get out of here, get some fresh air. She backed away from the table, knocking her chair down as she went, and ran toward the veranda door.