Today we have a smooch from Helen Lacey but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Mary Preston!
Can you please contact Barbara DeLeo ....... barb (at) barbaradeleo (dot) com to receive your copy of Dishing Up Desire
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Date With Destiny by Helen Lacey........
Financier Grace Preston did fourteen-hour days in New York City. She didn't do small towns
Scene set-up: [Cameron and Grace are living together for the weekend, helping a friend, and they have a conversation about their teenage romance]
He nodded. “She’s got ambition.”
“Which isn't a bad thing.”
“I didn't say it was.”
She fingered the stem of her wine glass. “No, you didn’t. But…”
“But what?” he prompted.
“You didn't always feel that way.”
He pushed back in his chair. “You mean about ambition? I was young and had ideas about the kind of future I wanted. Just like you did, Grace. Only mine were small town and yours were big city.”
She looked at him. “You were angry.”
“I was dumped,” he said bluntly. “What did you expect? Roses and violins?”
“I guess not. I didn’t deliberately set out to…to hurt you.” She drew in a tight breath. “In hindsight I shouldn't have started anything knowing how I felt about wanting a career. But I was young and starry-eyed. Even career girls get swept away sometimes.”
His heart pumped. “By what?”
Her shoulders rose fractionally. “By romance, I guess. By that first kiss when I was sixteen. By the way you didn’t rush me to sleep with you, even though we were dating for a few months.”
“I thought we had…” He stopped, remembering how much he’d wanted her back then. “Time.”
She looked into her glass for a moment, and then glanced upward. “Well, for what it’s worth—I’m sorry for the way I behaved back then. These past couple of months I've had a lot of time to think. It sounds cliché, but there’s something life altering about facing your own mortality. When the car crashed I had about thirty seconds to consider all the mistakes I've made, all the people I've hurt in one way or another. It was a sobering half minute.”
She offered a bittersweet smile and stood, scraping the chair back. “We did have a nice three months though. Life was way less complicated then. Do you think anyone ever suspected?”
Cameron stood and moved around the small table and took hold of her hands. “My mother figured it out. I’m not sure about anyone else. Noah’s never said anything to me.”
“I told Evie a long time ago,” she confessed. “Did you know you were my first kiss?”
He rubbed her hands with his thumbs. “I kinda guessed.”
“Was I that bad?”
“Not at all,” he said gently. “But you seemed a little surprised.”
“I was,” she admitted. “At school I was into books and not boys. It didn’t exactly make me Miss Popularity. And you’d never shown any interest…I mean, before that night of my birthday.”
He chuckled. “Oh, I was interested. But you were too young and my best friend’s sister.”
“So what changed that night?”
“Seeing you standing in the doorway,” he said and reached up to twirl a lock of her hair. “When I arrived everyone else was by the pool, but you were inside, and alone. You looked beautiful in that little blue dress. Before that I just…” He shrugged and smiled. “I just wanted you to grow up quick so I could kiss you like I’d imagined doing so many times.”
He bent his head and kissed her softly. It wasn’t like the night on the beach. This kiss was gentler, sweeter somehow. He wasn’t sure how long they stood like that—just kissing, just holding the back of her neck tenderly with his one hand while the other lay against her hip. Grace gripped his arms and held on, and he enjoyed the feel of her mouth against his own and the soft slide of her tongue.
When the kiss ended Cameron laid his forehead against her. “Well,” he whispered hoarsely. “That seems pretty natural to me. Good night Grace,” he said softly and released her. “Go and get some sleep. I’ll lock up.”
She rocked on her heels. He knew sleep wasn’t what either of them wanted. But he was offering her an out and he knew she’d take it.
She said good-night and walked from the room without saying another word.
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Love Deception by Jennifer St George will be posted!