After the events this week in both Boston and Texas, we all need a little tenderness. With the events in the world in general, tenderness is something every man, woman, child, and animal could use. A hug, a kind word, a smile… It’s not too much and it’s not hard.
In my contemporary erotic romance, Keep It Together, our hero Colt, offers tender concern for Chrissie after she’s been left at the altar…
The sunshine streaming in through the windows seemed a little out of place to Chrissie’s way of thinking. It should be dark and overcast with thunder rumbling in the distance. That would fit her mood better than birds chirping and clear skies and bright sunlight.
There shouldn’t be someone knocking on the door either. It was only fuck-you-o’clock in the morning. Didn’t whoever it was know she’d been jilted at the altar? ’Cause her whole damn hometown of Pembroke, Georgia, a mere thirty miles to the west of Savannah, had been invited and had been there to witness her humiliation when her groom decided not to show up.
She fumbled with the locks, and for good scare-the-shit-out-of-her-unwanted-guest measure, grabbed up her brand-new rifle, and threw open the front door. She barely stopped it from banging against the wall and shattering the leaded glass front. “Damn it’s cold out here,” she muttered, shielding her eyes from the early morning light.
“Good morning, Chrissie.”
Her visitor was in shadow, and she had to move to the left a little to get a better look at him, though she’d have known that voice anywhere. It was deep and warm, smooth like molasses. The first time she heard it, and each time after, her brain had latched on and committed it to memory. It flowed and caressed and wrapped her in comfort.
Colt Fisher was the last person she’d expected to show up at her door. And that little thrill spreading through her at the fact that he was there? It was inappropriate, and for the moment, she was going to chalk it up to the whiskey still affecting her. “Colt? Do you know what time it is? What the hell are you doing here? How’d you know where to find me? I’m mad at you.”
He nodded. There wasn’t a hint of his usual easy smile on his way-too-perfect lips, and she felt bad about her outburst. She— Wait. Too perfect lips? Why was she looking at his lips anyway? That little thrill was growing.
“Yeah. I do know what time it is, and I apologize for waking you so early. I‘m on my way to the airport and… Well, I was concerned for you. I dropped by your parents’ house in Pembroke last night to talk to you, and they said you’d come back here to Savannah. I didn’t even know you lived here. It was important to me to see you and make sure you were all right. When you left the church yesterday, you looked…I don’t know, brittle I guess. And yes, I know you’re mad at me. You have every right to be.”
What the hell was she supposed to say to that? “My place is a bit far from the airport,” she remarked, touched that he would go out of his way like that for her. They had almost been family, and standing there on her porch, she realized they hadn’t known each other as well as they should have for the commitment she’d almost made to his brother.
And now Colt was being agreeable and kind and sweet and she was being a pill. She lowered the rifle to rest against her hip, and smiled a little at the way his gaze followed the move. “Don’t worry. I’m not planning to shoot you.”
Colt nodded and his blue eyes once again met hers. “I suppose you were thinking I might be Russ.”
“I won’t say it didn’t cross my mind.”
He nodded again. “When Russ didn’t show up at my hotel Friday night for the bachelor party and didn’t return my calls…” He shook his head and turned the cowboy hat he held by the brim in a circle between his fingers. “I honestly thought he was just out with guys from his law firm and blowing off what he thought would have been a boring way to spend his last night as a single man. I figured he’d show up yesterday morning at his place with a hangover, and that’d be it. I never imagined he wouldn’t show up at all. I am so sorry.”
Chrissie was stunned at the apology. Colt was a nice man and obviously cared deeply for the people in his life, even those on the edges and those he never need see again. “Crap,” she groaned and stomped her foot. “How am I supposed to stay mad at you now? You just ruined it with kindness.” She sneered for a split second and gave a huge sigh. “Apology accepted, but honestly, it’s not your place to apologize for your brother.” She didn’t like seeing him feeling bad for something that was not at all his fault.
“All part of my charm, I suppose. If it’s all the same to you though, I’d rather you not be mad at me because Russ was stupid.”
Now, after you procure yourself a copy of the book 😉 please take a few minutes and read through the following blogs for more tenderness snippets:
Mandy M. Roth