Temptation Tuesday – Forbidden Crush

This is a really rough draft of something I’ve been working on. There’s no release date. No cover. Just a work in progress for now. Forgive the typos… But do enjoy…

“Roxy.” I whispered the word, the name, the dream, the fantasy. I hadn’t seen her in five years, but there she was, strolling into the tavern, heels clicking on the worn, wooden floor, looking for all the world as though she owned the place. For all I knew, she did.

I’d spent the last year of high school and the first year of college living in the same house with her after my mom married her father. They’d been divorced for a while now and my mom was on her fourth marriage.

“Corey? Are you listening, man?”

“Yeah, yeah,” I agreed that I was, but waved my hand at the annoyance. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, my ex-stepsister. Or was it former stepsister? I had no clue.

“He’s not listening at all. Look at the chick he’s staring at.”

Rick, one of my closest friends leaned in. “Hey,” Rick started softly, “Is that…?” I only nodded. I didn’t trust myself to speak.

“Damn,” Rick continued. “She sure has changed.”

Yes. Rick was right. Roxy had changed. Her auburn hair was in a tight bun on top of her head. Her teal and black pant suit was tailored and professional. Very little make-up that I could see, small, simple gold hoops in her ears, and glasses that hung on a chain around her neck. She had that librarian thing going on, and sexy as it was, something was missing.

She was all buttoned up. Where had my Roxy gone?

I stood suddenly, forgetting the guys I was with, and strode toward her. She was smiling at the bartender and handing over a credit card as the man placed a paper bag on the matching worn wooden surface between them.

Inexplicably irritated, I curled my fingers into fists at my side. The urge to hit the guy for even looking at Roxy made no sense. We were no longer step-siblings. I had no claim on her. I never had.

I waited until she was done with her to-go order and followed her outside the restaurant. “Roxy?” I called after her, only a couple of steps behind.

She stopped short, nearly stumbling over herself, but I reached out. My hand on her arm helped steady her. Her eyes widened when I stepped in front of her. “Corey?” she asked, her voice uncertain and breathless.

I nodded and opened my arms out to the side, cocky grin on my face. “In the flesh,” I answered with my old catch phrase.

“It’s been a while.”

“Five years,” I confirmed. I’d been graduating college when Roxy turned eighteen. It was the same year our parents divorced.

“Wow. It doesn’t seem that long at all. What are you doing back in Cincinnati? I heard you moved to Indianapolis after college. I…I’m sorry about your injury. I know you wanted to play professional baseball. I should’ve called. I should’ve written, at least. But with the divorce and how bitter it was, I just… I’m so sorry, Corey.”

I shook my head. Which part should I answer first? Her question about what I was doing back home or her kind too little too late words about my baseball injury that sidelined me from playing at more than a recreational level? It had however led to my current job and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. “I…” I chose a different direction altogether. “What happened to you?
She also didn’t seem to know what her father had done. Should I be the one to tell her? I didn’t want it to come as a shock on her father’s wedding day.

She looked down, scanning her outfit, then back at me with a puzzled expression. “What do you mean?”

I smiled, trying for lightness. I wanted to see the carefree spirit that used to light her eyes. Even just a brief glimpse would do.

“You were less buttoned up. Wore your hair down and didn’t wear as many clothes.”

She shrugged. It wasn’t the cute, little shrug I used to get from her when she had secrets she didn’t want to share. What had happened to my pretty little stepsister? “Rox?” I prompted.

“Some of us have to give up the daydream, Corey.” The sad statement didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to inquire further, but her next words kept me from doing so. “It really was nice to see you, again, but I need to get back to work. There are some big weddings happening in town this weekend.”

“Weddings? Is that what you do?”

“Yes. I work in a bridal boutique not far from here.” She kissed my check, her full figure lightly brushing against my body as she stood on her toes, using my shoulder for balance. Her heavier curves, much more defined than when she’d been in high school weren’t my usual preference. Back then, she’d been slender legs and all top. Now though, she’d completely filled out and while it might not be what I normally went for, I couldn’t deny it looked good on her. It looked damn good on her.

“Yeah, Rox.” I didn’t want to let her go. “It was great to see you, too.” I wanted to continue talking to her, find out what was going on in her life. At least find out if she was happy. But, I did let her go and it stung, in all the regions of my body it shouldn’t have.

She hurried away, her head high and the sway of her hips… God. I had to bite back the moan that rushed into my throat. I watched her as she crossed the street, my hands stuffed in my front pockets. I—

“Did you at least get her number?”

I didn’t turn around to look my best friend in the eye. “C’mon, Bax. You know that wouldn’t have been a good idea.” He’d known all about my crush on Roxy way back when. All the guys I’d been sitting with inside the tavern had known about my crush on her because they’d all had crushes on her too.

She’d been forbidden to us, then, and I’d always figured that was why I wanted her so much. Forbidden fruit and all. But seeing her now? When she was no longer forbidden to me? I wanted her even more.

“You could’ve gotten it for me. I’m still eligible.”

My face was devoid of emotion, save for the raised brow, when I turned to face Bax. “Really? You think I’d get my stepsister’s phone number for you? How much have you had to drink?”

“Not enough, but that’s beside the point. I still need a date for the wedding. You told her, didn’t you? That her father invited all of us?”

“No. I didn’t.”

“Why not?”

“No idea. Seemed kind of… Springing it on her, you know? I thought she would’ve known, being that it’s her father.”

“You don’t think she knows?”

“No. She asked why I was back in Cincy. It seemed more of a shock to her that I was here t all, not that I was part of the guest list for a family wedding.”

“Well, I need a date for this shindig. You should’ve gotten her number. I can be a gentleman.”

Again. A raised brow was the only facial expression I felt comfortable showing. “Bax, you’re no more gentleman than I am. You’re not asking Roxanne to be your date to her father’s wedding. I’m sure she already has a date.”
I didn’t like the sour taste on my tongue from those words. I didn’t like the thought of her getting all dressed up for some other man and holding his arm, letting him touch her, dance with her, hold her.

And I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. I’d known it was likely that I would see her and thought I had prepared myself for it. But this reaction? This was all wrong. This wasn’t how I was supposed to feel after seeing her. I wasn’t supposed to still want her.

“Still got a crush, huh?”

Bax’s words mirrored my thoughts and I shot him a look of irritation. I shook my head and stepped around him. “You’re full of shit.”

“Maybe, but you still have a crush. All these years later, and the one you couldn’t have is still the one you want.”

Sunday Speeds

I am in super deadline mode. It’s great and it sucks all at once…

This week we saw the loss of so many people and it’s heartbreaking. Many to cancer. #fuckcancer

I’ve tried to add content to the blog every day. It’s a struggle, but I’m also enjoying the challenge that it is. I’m going to have a guest blogger from time to time on Friday’s. Sometimes to talk about books. Other times to talk about whatever. Next week, my friend Pauline Allan will be guesting and talking about the taboo nature of her new book, In His Bed. I can’t wait. The cover is phenomenal and I know the story will be, too.

And in February, Delilah Devlin will be on the blog, talking about craft therapy and the link to her writing and creativity. I am beside myself with excitement. I mean, truly… Delilah Devlin. She’s a hero of mine in this business and I simply adore the way she’s built her business. No ads. No gimmicks. While others are marketing 24/7 and spending thousands in Facebook ads, Delilah is doing her thing, her way. A lot of hard work and it’s all about the books and a steady stream of them.She’s fearless in what she writes, doing whatever she wants.

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She’s organized. She teaches workshops. She edits. She’s always doing. And she truly is a hero of mine. She’s one the sweetest, most open women I have ever met. She will sit with you, talk writing, talk whatever with you, and she gives her whole attention.

She’s not trying to keep up with anyone or copy anyone. She’s her own person, strong and incredible. There are few people in this business I would emulate… And she’s at the top of the list.

And in all this, I’ve been watching how other authors conduct their business online. Tons of giveaways, tons of always in your face ads, very strategic planning, drama, always a lot of If you’re not doing it my way, you’re doing it wrong’ along with ‘If you are doing it my way and you’re not seeing my results, you’re doing it wrong’. There is no one right way in this business. Intense business plans. Even more intense marketing plans. And while I understand both are important, the books, always the books, should command the MOST attention from us as authors.

I’ve learned a lot the last year or so and there’s so much more to learn, but one thing, y’all… I don’t want to be a sleazy salesperson. And if it ever comes across that way, someone slap me. I want to write excellent books and put them out. I want to spread the word in a way that is right for me, not the rest of the universe.

And to be truthful, it’s been nice talking to y’all again. Just getting stuff out of my head, sharing things with you, opening up again and feeling lighter… Y’all are awesome.

I have coffee and writing to get to. Have a great day!

~lissa

From Me Out Into The Universe…

On behalf of those we’ve lost…

On behalf of those who are battling now…

On behalf of those who’ve ever suffered from it at all…

On behalf of those who’ve been left behind, grieving…

#FUCKCANCER

…with a spoon. “It’s dull, you twit. It’ll hurt more…” Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

On January 29th… In just a 13 days, it’ll have been 9 years since my grandfather passed away from a 9 year battle with cancer. He was the very best man I knew.

And if it continues to take the very best of us… What does that say for those of us it leaves alone?

But that’s just it. It doesn’t leave us alone. We’re all touched by it. We’re all pulled down into the fight, in one way or another, because we’ve all known someone, somewhere who’s lost their life to it. We see it more. It’s in our face more. And just this week, with David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Grizzly Adams… Millions around the world were touched and affected by it. Felt the loss of those who’d been on our movie screens, in our ears, on our television sets for more years than we could count. It wasn’t just a woman who watched a man, in his bedroom, take his last breath, surrounded by other women who, too, loved him best and most.

I miss him daily, sometimes hourly. He was a good man. Strong and capable. He didn’t deserve that way to go. He didn’t deserve the pain and suffering. And it’s personal. Cancer made it personal for many years, but most especially that morning, just after 7am, on his 60th wedding anniversary. Cancer made it personal by taking him.

Cancer makes it personal…It takes away our brightest, our most beautiful, our most amazing… And to that, I say… Again…

#FUCKCANCER

10K Weekends For Writers – Week 2

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Are y’all ready? Do you have 10K words in you? Do you need to do some hard and heavy writing over the weekend? This is the challenge for you!

Beginning at 7pm on Thursday night (tonight) and ending at 10pm on Sunday night, the goal is 10,000 words. If you come in under that, it’s cool. Maybe it’s something to work up to. Maybe you’ll get it right out of the gate. You may write 10,000 words in a day. Whatever your ability and timetable, you have a whole weekend to get in as many words as you can.

Check in with the Linky below. Keep track of where you started with your word count and where you ended, then come back on Sunday night and leave a comment on this post about your progress.

So, let’s get writing! Feel free to grab the 10KWeekendsForWriters badge for your site or social media and be sure to use the #10KWeekendsForWriters hashtag so we can all check in over the next few days.

Any questions, leave a comment!

Are you ready? Let’s get writing!

~lissa

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