FREE right now at these eBookstores!The Bird Day Battalion, as they try to navigate the “And then what?” of a Happy Ever After.
Please consider adding it to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads:
Please consider adding it to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads:
For the month of February you can download a FREE copy at Smashwords using this coupon code: DL84N!!!
(Coupon expires Mar 1, 2014)
Dominic Valentini is a man with a plan. Katelyn Anderson is a woman with her own plan: avoid whatever Dominic’s got planned.
It’s two days from Valentine’s Day, and Katelyn’s sister Kandace wants Kate to help her catch her estranged husband cheating. Katelyn’s just fine with this as it gives her another excuse to avoid Dominic, whose only crime is being Practically Perfect in every way possible. Dominic just wants Katelyn to stand still long enough to give her a Valentine’s Day to remember. The only problem is, Katelyn hates Valentine’s Day.
Join Dom & Kate, from The Bird Day Battalion, as they try and navigate the “And then what?” of a Happy Ever After.
Please consider adding it to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads:
My last question, do you want me to read from Third Time’s The Charm got very little response so I’m just going to table that idea for now. I know everyone’s been busy with the holidays and getting back into the swing of school, etc.
What did get a nice response was posting The V-Day Aversion here chapter-by-chapter. Tons of new Bird Day fans came out of the woodwork! THANK YOU so much! It warms my heart that Dom & Kate have brought a smile to so many people. I’m still writing on the novel, The Good Life, in which you’ll get Dom & Kate AND a romance for her brother Kyle (Tommy Gates’ detective partner).
Speaking of Tommy and the Downey-verse, I thought maybe I’d do a similar thing, post a chapter at a time of First, I Love You. While I’m not sure I’m comfortable posting the entirety of that novel on the blog, I would be happy to post a very significant sample of it, say at least half of it–that’s around 150 pages of the paperback book. I think this would give people a feel for the different style of writing I have in that book, which is written almost like a third-person memoir and each chapter is from the point of view of one of the six main characters. That’s tough for some to swallow as a concept, but a significant majority of those who’ve read First, I Love You have said they ended up enjoying it.
I really wanted the reader to get to know the thoughts and personality of these people in the first book before I hit the ground running with the story I had to tell. Second of All (Downey #2) and Third Time’s The Charm (Downey #3) have their own “feel” and “tone” but the chapters are not constrained to each person as in First, I Love You. Second of All contains a lot of flashbacks, and is more introspective and romantic than First, I Love You. Third Time has a more suspense feel to it. First, I Love You was the first book I ever wrote and telling that story was both cathartic and emotionally wrenching. As many authors have found out, there is a difference between having a story to tell and actually writing it. I have learned a great deal since the day I sat down to write First, I Love You in January 2012.
ANYWAY, that’s enough blither-blather. Suffice it to say, I’ll start posting a chapter at a time of First, I Love You starting tomorrow January 5th, and see what kind of feedback/traffic I get. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up posting the whole thing for a limited time like V-Day Aversion. 🙂
As always, THANK YOU for your wonderful support!
The following is a short holiday scene featuring Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson, and is set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. It is G-rated and fluffy.
Originally published in A World of Joy by Grey Mouse Publishing.
by Genevieve Dewey
Dominic Valentini dropped his Steelers bag next to the front door inside his parents’ house. He sucked in a deep breath, coughed a bit at the overwhelming scent of Christmas potpourri, then locked the door behind him. If he was lucky, he’d be able to catch a few hours of sleep on the couch before anyone woke up and wondered what he was doing in Nebraska instead of Pennsylvania.
After all, big shot pro-football players fly their parents over to see them; they don’t slink home with their tail between their legs… even if they were legs with blown-out knees. One season as a fourth round draft pick and he was already on injured reserve. That was demoralizing on its own, but Dom suspected being on reserve was a mere courtesy on his way to ‘released from contract’.
He grimaced, thinking about how he was going to break the news to his parents:
Hey, Mom, Dad, won’t be getting you that fancy mansion I promised. I’m soon-to-be unemployed and I filed for divorce. Merry Christmas!
Dom wrinkled his nose as he stretched out on the couch. He cupped the back of his head and crossed his ankles.
Nah, better to lead with worse news.
The loss of a football career was nothing compared to the fact that Dominic would be the first person in his branch of the Valentini family to ever get a divorce. To a Valentini, the ‘D’ word was way worse than unemployment, back taxes, and a proctology exam combined.
“Yay, go me,” Dom whispered at the ceiling.
He never should have married Isabel. She deserved better than a husband who was still hung up on his childhood crush. Even more ridiculous was the knowledge he and said unrequited love, Katelyn Anderson, had never been more than friends. Who left their wife for a friend and neighbor they had never actually been in a romantic relationship with? Especially one who seemed determinedly oblivious to his feelings?
Tap, tap, tap.
Dom crooked his head to look out the living room window. He could see movement, but the rainbow lights reflecting from the Christmas tree made it hard to distinguish what had made the noise. He looked around the room for a security bat then stopped and chuckled. What would be the point? This was Small Town, America. More than half this town never locked their doors, yet still left the living room drapes open so everyone could see their tree.
He got up from the couch and winced as his knees briefly buckled. He yanked the door open dramatically, expecting to shoo off some bored kids.
Except it was Katelyn Anderson, frozen mid-knock.
“Hey,” she whispered, her breath caressing her face in the frigid air.
She smiled and rubbed her hands together. “Can I come in?”
When he continued to gape at her, she poked him on the chest, and nudged her head towards the house.
“Uh, what are—I mean, yeah,” Dom replied and tugged her inside. “What are you doing here?”
“Saw you pull up and wondered why no one knew you were coming home for the holidays. Or is this a Christmas present for your folks? I mean, of course, it must be, no one in their right mind takes a flight in the middle of the night unless they want to surprise someone or there’s an emergency. Wait,” Katelyn paused.
Her eyebrows contracted and she suddenly grabbed his arms, “There’s not an emergency is there?”
He couldn’t help but grin; he’d missed her tendency to babble.
Her worried frown deepened.
“Naw,” Dom finally said and shrugged. “You were right the first time.”
“Was I?” Kate asked in a concerned tone.
When he didn’t answer, she tilted her head and narrowed her eyes.
He sighed and walked back over to the couch. Knowing someone your entire life had its drawbacks; they tended to know when you were lying.
“Not that I mind visits from pretty women at three in the morning, but I could ask you the same question; what were you doing spying on the neighborhood in the middle of the night at your mother’s house?” Dom deflected.
“You haven’t heard?” Kate asked, her eyes suddenly alight with enthusiasm. “I bought the house from my parents after they retired! I’m moving back.”
“Huh. There’s a lot of that going around,” he mumbled, enjoying the flush that excitement brought to her cheeks.
She raised her eyebrows and pressed her lips together. Then she walked over to the couch, sat next to him, and rested her head against his shoulder.
“Spill,” she coaxed.
Just rip the bandaid off, Valentini, so she can be disappointed in you, too…
“I’m getting a divorce,” he replied, trying to sound cheerful about it.
She took a deep breath then patted his leg.
“I’m sorry…” she said with a long sigh. “I’ve been a terrible friend, so focused on my Thesis and school… I’ve barely kept in touch. I didn’t even know you were having marital problems.”
“We weren’t really,” he answered honestly.
It was the truth. He and Isabel got along great, but it was a hollow sort of rapport. He had never felt so empty in his life than when he was living his perfect life with her. There was no reason for it, except his heart seemed stubbornly addicted to the girl-next-door with wild curly hair and an unnatural fondness for libraries.
“I don’t think you came home just because of that,” Kate prodded. “Does this have to do with the game last month? You looked pretty hurt when they took you off the field. Are your knees starting to feel better? I thought for sure you’d play in the last game but…”
“Nope, that’s the joy of being injured reserve on top of special teams.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means… there’s a very good chance I’ll be released from contract.”
“Oh, Dom… I’m so sorry. To have it end over a stupid torn ACL,” Katelyn replied.
Her tone was certainly more genuine than her expression of sympathy regarding his divorce.
She rubbed his knee.
His brain jammed and his heart clutched. The rest of him tried desperately to remember she had friend-zoned him ages ago.
“I didn’t realize you watched my games, or knew what an ACL is—”
Katelyn pulled away, raised her hand, and smacked him on the forehead.
“Ok, a), I’m an anthropologist; if I don’t know human anatomy, I need a new career. And, b), I watch and record every single game of yours including the pre-season clips and the highlights on ESPN. That’s what people do when they’re proud of their loved ones.”
She looked genuinely astonished and affronted that he could doubt her devotion.
Loved ones? How am I supposed to kill these feelings when she said stuff like that?
“All I want for Christmas is my two front knees,” he sang, in an effort to cover his sudden confusion.
“As opposed to your two back knees?” she countered sarcastically with an eye roll. “It’d be more like your middle knees, anyway. And please don’t try to sing again. You seriously stink at it.”
“Ok, a),” Dom mimicked her, “Why you gotta be such a know it all? And b), you seriously stink at football, yet you insist we play in the back yard every major holiday.”
She scooted on the couch until she was fully facing him.
“That’s for your sake!”
“My sake? You think I enjoy playing with amateurs who sulk when they lose?”
“Maybe if the winner didn’t enjoy rubbing it in…” she said with a glare.
She crossed her arms and pursed her lips, eyes so narrowed her lashes joined at the edges.
He chuckled. It was hard to take Kate seriously when she got upset. She looked like a freshly toweled kitten, more prone to eliciting a desire for kisses than ire.
He loved getting her riled up.
“I guess playing with amateurs is something I’ll have to get used to now,” he conceded with a rueful smile.
Her face cleared. She tilted her head again and clicked her teeth in a sympathetic manner.
“Forget professional football. You have a degree in Physical Education, and a great family, and my huge family by extension. Not to mention, selfishly, I’d be glad if you chose to move back here. I’ve missed you… crazy lots.”
Kate’s voice broke a bit at the end and Dom’s heart started galloping in response. He’d no idea she felt that way, even as just a friend. In truth, it was his fault they’d lost touch in the last few years. She thought it was her myopic tendency for studying, but he had made a concerted effort to create distance out of self-preservation.
“I’ve missed you too, Skate,” he confessed.
“Ugh, that dumb nickname…” she responded.
She pushed her unruly hair behind her ears and rolled her eyes. Then she slapped him on his thigh in an impatient manner.
“Pittsburg and Isabel didn’t deserve you anyway. If you move back here, you could consider it a public service. You’ll be raising the Good Men per capita of Nebraska. It’s our slogan and all.”
“Huh,” he managed to say around the growing lump in his throat. “And here I thought it was ‘The Good Life’.”
“Same difference,” she said with a cheeky grin and a quick shrug.
He looked down at her hand still resting on his knee. She snatched her hand back with a quick, soft huff, like an unformed laugh. He looked back up. Her cheeks had flooded red but she didn’t drop his gaze.
He deliberately turned his head and studied the Christmas tree; cheerful yet lonely with just a few presents underneath. There was something different in her eyes, and paired with her affectionate words, it gave him the stirrings of hope. Hope was something he hadn’t allowed himself in years. And if he was being honest, he hadn’t made it clear since they were teenagers that he wanted to be more than friends. Now that he thought about it, maybe moving back to Nebraska wouldn’t be about hitting bottom. Maybe it could be about new beginnings.
He looked back at her and grinned, not one of his we’ve-known-each-other-for-years friendly grins, but one of his how-you-doin’ grins. It always made the ones who were interested flustered, and the ones who weren’t, at least snort in good humor. He had never actually tried it on Kate.
Her flush deepened and she sprang up from the couch. She rubbed her hands on her legs and laughed slightly. Then she looked around the room in an absentminded manner.
Huh… how about that, he thought.
“I better get back next door before we get the local tongues wagging,” Kate said breathlessly. “You coming over for Christmas dinner?”
His grin got wider and he nodded.
Her brows contracted briefly. “Why are you smiling at me like that?”
He just shrugged, saying nothing. He was enjoying her discomfort. She looked not just flustered, but confused, and confused was something he could work with.
Yeah, there just might be reason to hope, after all…
He walked her to the door and indulged himself with an extra-long hug. Then he relaxed on the couch again and let his mind mull over Katelyn’s tell-tale flush. Maybe she didn’t think of him as boyfriend material yet, but there was definite potential to change her mind.
“So you’re moving back home, huh?”
Dominic rolled over so quickly he fell off the couch.
“Fmpblllltsh!” The carpet muffled his curse; a good thing since his father didn’t tolerate cursing in his home.
“Haaaah,” Dom finished his moan of pain as he rolled over. “Hey, Dad. What, uh, what makes you say that?”
“Well, that’s what the little Anderson girl was saying.”
“Yeah, Dad, she hasn’t been ‘little’ in quite some time,” Dom countered.
“Ok, youngest of the gaggle. Whatever,” Vincent Valentini waved a dismissive hand. “Guess if there’s gonna be all this yakkin’, might as well start the day.”
He walked towards the kitchen, flipped the light on, and started brewing coffee. Dom limped after him.
“Hey, son, what a nice surprise. Good to see you,” Dom muttered under his breath.
As soon as he sat at the kitchen table, he said a little louder, “I haven’t actually decided to move back. Exactly how much did you hear?”
“Enough to offer my congratulations.”
“I’m glad you finally saw the light. Would have preferred it to be before the wedding, but, hey, better late than never, eh?”
Vincent turned around and popped Dom on the shoulder.
“So… you’re ok with it?” Dom wondered.
“I’m ok wit’ it,” Vincent said gruffly.
He handed Dom a coffee mug.
“I was thinking you and Mom were going to freak out about the divorce…”
“Oh, your nonna’s gonna freak, sure, but me and your mother? Nah. You know what’s disappointin’, son? Watching you let your dreams slip away.”
“What do you mean? I was playing for the Steelers! Most college players don’t even make it to the Draft. I didn’t choose to have a knee injury—”
“Don’t be dense,” Vincent interrupted. “I don’t care about that. I’m talking about that girl who just left. The one you’re never able to keep your eyes off of. I don’t understand why you’re content to moon after her like a martyr instead of just puttin’ a ring on it already.”
“Put a ring…” Dom paused, pinching his nose.
He took a deep breath, reminding himself his father was from a very different generation.
“Dad, Kate and I are friends. Even if I were to—”
“No, here’s what you do,” Vincent interrupted again. “You take this week to start laying the ground work with her and then you get your affairs in order, and move back home. It’s not defeat if it’s something you want anyway.”
“Dad, I don’t even have a job lined up…”
Vincent clapped Dominic on the shoulder and chuckled.
“Son, the world’s full of signs if you’re just open to them. This is a sign it’s time to move back home and go for it with her, I’m telling you.”
Dom opened his mouth, but his reply was cut short by the sound of his mother’s voice.
“Vinnie? Who are you talking to?” Ramona shouted from down the hall. “Turn the oven on, would ya? I have to get started on the casserole I told Bridgette we’d bring for Christmas dinner.”
Vincent and Dominic shared a grimace and got to work. Valentini-Anderson joint holiday dinners were a tradition of chaos, overeating, bickering and insanity—insanity because they all kept doing it year after year despite the first three components. Everyone by this point knew never to stand in the way of Ramona Valentini and Bridgette Anderson’s deeply competitive friendship.
Dom managed to make it through his mother’s fussing and nagging in the morning, and the crazy Christmas dinner next door, all on zero hours of sleep. Feeling punchy and mellow, Dominic ducked the rest of the guests and waited by Kate’s back door for her to try sneaking out as she did every year.
“Going somewhere?” he asked, grinning at her guilty flush.
“Just to my office to take advantage of no one being there and fight through this stupor. I swear our mothers always feed us like they’re going to eat us later.”
“Yeah, nothing says ‘tis the season’ like gluttony,” he agreed.
He grabbed a football from a box in the mud room, tossed it up briefly, then tucked it under his arm. He stepped so close she had to tilt her head up to keep his gaze.
“Wanna help me burn off those calories instead?” he asked with a suggestive tone.
She flushed and blinked. Then her eyes dropped to the football and she laughed.
“Dom, honestly… you’re such a flirt. A girl might accidentally take you seriously,” she replied with a finger waggle.
Dropping her satchel, she snatched the ball out of his arms, and walked out the door.
He shook his head at her back. It was looking like getting out of the friend zone was going to be harder than getting into the end zone.
She stopped abruptly and pivoted back around. “Are you sure? Are your knees up to it?”
“If not, you can always nurse me back to health…” he bantered.
She snorted and rolled her eyes before heading out into the yard.
As soon as he shut the door, his phone buzzed. He fished it out and saw a text from his old high school coach:
Hey Dom, heard from Mrs. D you were back in town. Can you come over later? Have a job opp. next fall here at the school I wanted to float by you. Before you say no, just hear me out, OK? Dave
Dom raised his eyes to look out across the yard at Kate, squinting from the glare of the snow reflecting the sun.
The world’s full of signs… he heard his father’s voice whisper.
It would take him time to sell his place, but if he played it right, he could be here for the start of the school year. Then he could begin his campaign to win the Girl Next Door’s heart.
“Ready for the sweet taste of defeat, Valentini?” Kate asked. She had an adorable and not at all intimidating sneer on her face.
He shook his head with a chuckle. “My first order of business when I move back will be teaching you how to talk smack properly.”
Her face lit up. “So you’re coming back for sure?”
“For sure,” he answered softly.
“Eee!” she squealed, tackling him.
He deliberately let their bodies hit the ground, hugging her tight and enjoying the feel of her pressed against him.
“Best Christmas ever!” Katelyn continued breathlessly.
Snow speckled on her hair like tinsel in the bright sunshine. Her cheeks had a rosy glow against her porcelain skin.
He smiled and tucked her hair behind her ears.
Sweet taste of defeat, indeed.
“Merry Christmas, Skate,” Dominic said. “You realize, of course, even without my two front knees, I’m going to kick your—”
He broke off as her delighted laughter filled the yard.
No, the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ is yet to come, babe. I promise, he thought with a grin.
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
~~You can read a flashback to teenage Dom & Kate here on my website: Spin The Bottle. (Rated PG)~~
“You sneaky bastard. I straight up asked you and you were all ‘duurr, I dunno’,” Dominic said as he grabbed Kyle’s arm to stop him.
He was torn between amusement and irritation. Penny and Kellie walked back over to them in obvious impatience.
“Yeah, well,” Kyle drawled, scratching his belly and looking like he was about burst from smug self-satisfaction. “I got top marks in Sneaky 101 at the Police Academy. Was thinking about going into undercover work once I make detective but I’d miss messing with you two too much.”
Katelyn dissolved into gales of laughter. She and Kyle stood there and just looked at each commencing with their usual habit of conversing entirely through facial expressions. Then Kyle shrugged and Kate cupped one of her hands on his cheek, and kissed his other cheek. Not one word was spoken, but an entire conversation was had.
Dominic shook his head. Twin-speak was a weird fluke of nature. One would think he’d be used to it by now.
“When did you orchestrate this?” Dom asked.
“He called me last week,” Kellie answered. “After the first time he heard Katie’d been ducking you.”
“Yeah, and note, that was before you even said anything about the other thing,” Kyle said.
“What other thing?” Katelyn asked.
“Nothing,” Dom answered.
“And he already filled me in about that,” Kellie said. “I can’t tell you how hard it has been this week keeping—”
“Shush,” Kyle interrupted. “He obviously hasn’t yet.”
Dominic rubbed his face. Katelyn was looking back and forth between her siblings with a look of deep suspicion on her face. Kellie looked positively gleeful and way more relaxed and human than he had seen her in years.
“He hasn’t what?” Katelyn asked.
“Taken you out on a date. We had to bail remember?” Dominic covered.
Kellie laughed softly.
“On second thought, Penny, you want to go help Kandace while I show them their room?”
Dominic looked pointedly at Penny who was watching the whole thing like they were dinner theatre. His initial awe that a human being could be so many incongruous things at once had worn off long ago, and now she was just one of three people standing in the way of his Valentine’s proposal to the woman he loved.
Penny cleared her throat.
“Sure. Before I go, can I get you two sweethearts anything? Extra lube? There’s Princess Leia and Bounty Hunter outfits hanging in the closet, his and hers for each, and I can get you the Darth Vader mask that changes your voice.”
“Oh, wow, um, no, that’s, uh…” Katelyn mumbled at her toes, obviously trying hard not to laugh.
“Not necessary; we’re good,” Dom said.
Penny made some thumbs up gestures at Katelyn while she walked backwards across the lobby. As they walked back to room 169, they could hear her husky loud laugh ring out and echo in the lobby.
Dom and Kate both stopped at the door and turned around to face Kellie and Kyle.
“You guys, I mean, this room, have you seen it?” Katelyn asked.
Kyle and Kellie shared twin looks of mischievous glee.
“Yep,” Kyle said.
“Come on, Kyle, let’s get out of their hair,” Kellie said.
She was starting to get a flushed look.
“I have a lot of pre-planning to do.”
“Carts. Horses,” Kyle said. “She might say no.”
“Shhh,” Kellie hissed and dragged him down the hall.
“What cart, what horse, and what are you two up to now? I’m not stupid, you know! I know you’re up to something,” Katelyn called after them.
Dominic grabbed her hand and pulled her into the room. He locked the door after them and released the tension in his shoulders. He leaned back against the door and just stared at the sight of Katelyn in a sea of pink and red.
“So…” Katelyn said in a sweet and endearingly shy way. “Who knew Kellie had so much sneaky in her? Kyle, we knew, but Kellie?”
Dom smiled and shrugged. He walked forward and cupped her face in his hands.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Katelyn.”
She reached up and covered his hands with her own and smiled in return.
“This is the best Valentine’s date I’ve ever had,” she said facetiously.
He snorted and leaned down to give her a soft kiss then moved to kiss the tip of her nose the way she liked.
“So you’re not mad?”
“Not even remotely.”
“So it was about the house?”
“Sort of. I still don’t get the point of the holiday. But you and Kandy are right, it’s just a house.”
He smiled at her as her eyelid twitched. He kissed her nose again.
“It’s just your house. I understand. But, let’s just forget about that for tonight and let me show you the point of the holiday.”
She scrunched her nose and let out a soft laugh.
“Dom? Do you really want to use any of this stuff?” she asked.
She didn’t sound averse to the idea, but not particularly eager either. He let go of her face and scooped her body flush up against his.
“Skate, since when do we need props to get ‘er done? But, the bed is still useful.”
She slowly smiled, somewhere between a smirk and a grimace.
“That’s true,” she whispered.
He could feel her hands tug at his shirt and he started leisurely undoing her top. They kept each other’s gazes as they undressed.
“And I’m not saying it wouldn’t be fun to try out the Boba Fett outfits,” he continued.
She laughed softly as her hands moved to his belt.
“You mean you don’t want to try out the his and hers Princess Leia outfits?”
“Only if I get to use the paddle,” he countered.
Her eyes widened and her mouth formed a shaky ‘O’. Her hand stopped and her eyes searched his face.
“I’m kidding,” he said.
Sort of, he finished inside his head.
Her eyes narrowed, but thankfully, she looked more amused than anything.
“Let’s try it old school first,” Katelyn finally said as she dropped his pants. “Just you and me.”
“Just you and me is my favorite way to be,” he whispered against her lips.
She started to shimmy out of her panties and he stepped back to watch. When she was naked, he ran his hands along the length of her. Her breasts rose up and down with her quickened breath. He bent his head and kissed each one before moving his mouth along her collar bone. He felt goose bumps rise along her skin.
Her hands ran lightly along his ass then one finger teased at the V of his spine and pelvis. He licked the half-moon at the base of her neck while he reached up and pulled her head back with her hair. She let out a moan and her knees gave out a little. He used his other hand to cup her ass and press her against his erection.
Her fingernails dug into his back and he worked his mouth up her neck to her jaw bone then opened his eyes to look in her face. Her eyes were shut and her mouth was parted and glistening as if she had recently licked her lips. He let go of her hair but she kept her head tilted back and the edges of her lips tilted just a bit as if in a smile of anticipation.
So he gave her what she wanted.
He took her bottom lip in his mouth, lightly nipped it, and then sucked on it. He stuck his tongue in her mouth, kissing her slowly and deeply then tracing the outer rim of her lips with his tongue. She made a noise somewhere between a whimper and moan. He’d learned this was easily one of her favorite forms of foreplay.
Just kisses. Slow, teasing kisses.
He could limit himself to just kissing her and she’d be good to go, but he never stopped there. As far he was concerned, a man wasn’t worth his salt if he hadn’t made his woman cum at least twice before taking his own. Tonight, he was hoping to break their personal record of four to his one.
He traced his lips along her cheek, then to her ear and nibbled on that for a while until her hands – more precisely, her vicious fingernails – had made their way back to his ass. He stopped kissing her earlobe and bent to one knee so he could tease the underside of her breasts and her stomach.
Her hands moved to his hair.
“Dom,” she whispered. “Let me pleasure you.”
He smiled a little as he moved up to take the tip of her nipple and bite it as gently as possible. She gasped. He liked it when she asked to suck his cock, even if ‘pleasure you’ was a little too flowery a way to put it. There was something about a woman asking if she could get a man off that made it even hotter. Of course, what man in his right mind would ever say ‘no’, but still…
“Not just yet,” he answered then pressed a quick kiss to her other nipple.
He got up and walked over to the music console and turned the system on. He could feel her gaze on his and he smiled in anticipation. Bruno Mars’ Locked out of Heaven started playing and she laughed a little. He figured she was remembering the way it had gotten stuck on repeat at his house on New Year’s – coincidently on the night they’d made their personal record for how many times two adults could have sex in one night.
He grinned at her and started dancing the White Man’s Overbite. She laughed even harder, and it was a good thing he had a fairly healthy ego, or he might have felt a little self-conscious dancing naked in front of a laughing woman. But he knew his Katelyn. Laughter and soft kisses were the key to her heart and soul.
She sat on the edge of the bed, shaking her head.
“Dominic! You complete dork—” she broke off as he skidded to a stop right in front of her on his knees.
“You bring me to my knees, you make me testify—”
“Stop… It,” she said slowly and fiercely, as she cupped his face and kissed him.
Her entire body was shaking in laughter.
“Cuz your sex takes me to paradise, yeah, your sex takes me to paradise…” he sang and ignored the burning in his knees from the carpet skid.
He stood up and dragged her to her feet then began dancing her around the room.
“Can I just stay here… spend the rest of my days here…” his breathless singing ended as she started kissing him in an almost painful manner.
Her hand reached down for his cock. Obviously, Kate was all about wanting action tonight but he wasn’t quite done yet with the wooing. She was going to get a romantic Valentine’s night to remember whether she wanted it or not.
He dropped back to his knees, wincing a bit at the sting.
“Oh, no, no—”
“Oh, yes, yes,” he answered with a quick chuckle.
Then he spread her thighs apart and half sat, half crouched to begin licking between her legs.
“Uh, uhhhh,” she gave a little wail.
He took two of his fingers and stuck them in her as he licked her clit. Her thighs began to tremble and she let out that sort of keen of a woman that didn’t know which end was up, or whether she wanted him to keep going, or stop. He knew Katelyn had a love-hate for this particular position; on one hand, she loved getting eaten out, on the other, she was completely unable to control her hips and the level of penetration he got the way she could on the bed.
Yeah, his Kate had some control issues, and yet, she seemed to have the best orgasms when he completely took it away from her. She had always been contrary that way. Good thing he had plenty of patience.
In fact, he thought he might try something new tonight. He got her just to the edge of a peak then he stopped. Her face showed her consternation and frustration as he stood up. She made a grab for his dick again but he caught her wrist, wrapped her arm around his neck and scooped her up off the floor.
She laughed in a flustered manner then shrieked as he tossed her on the big, gaudy bed. He crawled over her and gave her one long kiss then quickly flipped her over.
“Dom!” she exclaimed in surprise.
He squished her into the mattress with his body and rubbed his dick against her ass while he nipped lightly at her shoulders. She was panting into the satin pillow beneath her. He moved to kneeling, trapping her hips between his legs. She started to push herself up but he pushed her back down and began massaging her back. She groaned in obvious pleasure.
He worked his way down her back and scooted down a bit to massage her ass cheeks. He teased the crevice with his thumbs every time he squeezed, dipping a little further in each time. She started to rise up again, but he took one hand and lightly pressed her neck back down on the bed. He could just barely make out her expression under her wild hair flopped over the side of her face. He was worried she wouldn’t like it, but she seemed mesmerized and definitely not upset. He took his other hand and reached under to work her clit again while his thumb went in her pussy.
She sighed a long ‘ooh’. He could tell she was good and wet so he stopped and spread her legs wide, moved to kneeling, and raised her hips up enough to enter her. She raised her self on her hands enough to move to kneeling so he could finish doggy style.
He had no intention of finishing here, but he wanted her first cum.
“Touch yourself,” Dom demanded.
She reached under with one hand and beat off while he pounded into her. It only took a few strokes before he could hear her groaning her release into the pillow. He took a few more deep strokes, enjoying the tremors of her cum, then withdrew.
He nudged her now lax body so she would roll over. Her hair was all over the place and she had sweat all over her face. Her eyes were glazed and satiated. He smiled and moved to sitting.
“C’mere,” he said, helping her into a sitting position as well.
He lifted her up so she was sitting on him and he entered her again. She wrapped her legs and arms around him and nuzzled his forehead. He ran his hands up and down her back and started moving. One of his hands bunched in her hair and he kissed her teasingly.
He started moving their hips slowly at first then increased in speed. He knew he wouldn’t be able to come in this position which made it perfect for bringing her to another peak. He gripped her hips and moved them counter to the rhythm his own hips were making.
When he was sure she was nearing another orgasm, he stopped and took her face in his hands. She pushed against it but he held her still until he had her full attention.
“Marry me,” Dom asked.
She blinked and her eyebrows contracted. She stared blankly at him for what seemed like an eternity.
“What did you say?” she croaked.
“I planned to do it the right way at the restaurant on our date but—”
“That was why you wanted to go out?” she asked in a trembling voice.
He frowned more.
Why was everything a discussion with her?
She raised her hands and ran her fingertips lightly all over his face, which felt strange and yet comforting. She traced his lips and tilted her head. One single tear came out of her eye and he held his breath hoping it was a good female crying sort of tear.
“What took you so long?” she asked in a cheeky way, echoing his question on Thanksgiving.
He barked a short humorless laugh.
“Not the answer I’m looking for, Skate.”
“Ask me again,” she said with a bright, teary smile.
He took a deep breath. Yeah, it was a good thing he’d developed such a thick skin with her.
“Katelyn, will you please marry me?” Dom asked firmly. “And have six or seven babies with me, and move in with me, and—”
“Woah,” she laughed. “Yes, to the first, half to the second, and let’s just table the third and anything after for another day. Where we live will work itself out.”
He squeezed her into a tight hug and buried his head in her wild, fluffy hair. He wondered if she could hear or feel his racing heart. He couldn’t believe she had said yes. Of course, he had hoped she would say yes. He had even sort of expected her to say yes, but one never knew with Katelyn.
He also knew ‘where we live will work itself out’ meant she expected to win that conversation, but he didn’t much care at that moment. To think he had almost given up on them ever being together right before Thanksgiving and now three months later, they were engaged. He felt a little lightheaded from getting so many wishes answered in such a short time.
“Dom,” she squeaked. “Dom, I can’t breathe.”
“Sorry,” he mumbled as he let her go a bit.
She smiled that lopsided smile he loved so much and kissed him. Her hands moved to his hips and she ground her hips against his one quick time, squeezing his cock with her pussy muscles. He bent his head and pulled her close but she pushed him back and got up off his lap.
She flashed a quick naughty smile and bent her head to his cock. Another thing to love about Katelyn; she was one of those rare women that loved giving head. His eyes were beginning to roll back when she lifted her head abruptly.
“Did you bring the ring with?” she asked in an adorably girlish way.
He chuckled and pushed her backwards onto the mattress and disentangled himself enough to move on top of her.
“You haven’t finished earning it yet,” he answered.
“Oh, ho, earn it, my ass,” Katelyn said in mock outrage.
Her eyes were twinkling with leftover tears and happiness.
“Mmnn, that’s an option. But let’s try it this way first,” he said and swallowed her laughter.
He gave her a fast, deep thrust intent on teasing her, but the way she moved her hips in response, and stuck her hand between his legs under his ass, quickly killed his self-control. So, maybe he wouldn’t be able to make it to four in one session this time… but they had all night.
Hell, they had the rest of their lives. And Dominic was more than happy to spend the rest of his life showing Katelyn just how sweet being his Valentine would be.
~~~~ THE END ~~~~
Still need more Dom & Kate?
Never fear, a full length novel “The Good Life” is on the way!
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
Did you like The V-Day Aversion?
Please consider rating it at Goodreads!
Katelyn tried to calm the twirling butterflies in her stomach. She wasn’t sure if it was from excitement at seeing Dominic handle those contraptions like it hadn’t been the first time he’d seen or used one, or simply from the worry they were running on borrowed time. She knew her sister, and there was no way Kandace would remain in that car much longer. When they got to the empty front desk she rang the bell several agitated times.
A petite, yet curvy, woman came out of the office adjacent to the front desk with a huge welcoming smile on her face. She had shoulder length jet black hair pulled back with two sparkly barrettes. It highlighted the shocking pink streak of hair over her right temple and the pearl choker she wore around her neck.
She had on a black, shiny leather skirt and a cashmere pink top that stretched across her well-endowed bosom. On her legs were knee high striped socks and black patent heels. She looked like a Fifties housewife fused with a Goth girl. It should have been too incongruous but the woman pulled it off somehow with an effortlessly sensual flare.
Pinned to her sweater top was a name tag that read “Penny”.
“May I help you?” Penny asked in a Jessica Rabbit voice.
There was silence and Katelyn looked to her left waiting for Dom to speak. He always made reservations or ordered at supper; he never waited for her to take the lead. But Dominic was staring at the woman with a dazed expression.
Katelyn stomped on his foot.
“Hey!” Dom protested and looked over at her.
Kate spared him only a brief annoyed glance.
“We’re looking for a couple that might be staying here,” Katelyn addressed Penny. “The man would have sandy brown hair, be about six feet tall, wearing a business suit, and the woman – girl – would be, oh, about here.”
Katelyn paused and put her hand up to her ear.
“And she would be wearing a completely ridiculously out of season dress,” she finished.
Then she flushed, realizing too late that Penny was as well.
Penny’s black eyebrows rose daintily. She nodded vaguely a few times then slightly tilted her head.
“Listen, I’d love to help you, but I can’t give that sort of information out unless you’re law enforcement or something,” she ended the sentence looking at Dominic.
She slowly licked her lips and winked.
Dominic made some choking sounds and Katelyn gritted her teeth.
“No, we’re not law enforcement. He’s my brother-in-law and she’s…”
A husky, infectious laugh startled Katelyn to a stop.
“I’m just messing with you,” Penny said. “I really couldn’t give you their room number if they were staying here, or I’d get fired, but I could totally tell you they’re in the dining room over there.”
She stopped and looked side to side then leaned forward over the counter, inadvertently giving them a full view of her cleavage.
“And between you and me, I don’t really need this gig. It’s just something to pad the customer base, you know what I mean?”
Katelyn’s mouth dropped open.
“You mean… are you saying you’re… I mean… I’m not judging or…”
The infectious laugh rang out again, surprisingly loud from such a feminine and petite woman.
“No, no, don’t be silly! I’m a relationship counselor.”
Katelyn shared a look with still-silent Dominic.
“Like a marriage counselor?”
“Oh, honey, I don’t restrict myself to monogamous state-sanctioned relationships. There’d be less clientele that way. There’s some seriously messed up people come to a hotel like this,” Penny continued. “I mean, there’s obviously vanilla folk like you—”
“I’m not vanilla! What does that even mean? Whatever it means, I’m not it,” Dom finally interjected, sounding offended.
Penny smiled and winked again.
“Sure, whatever. Don’t get me wrong, there’s all sorts of people come here, regular folk, experiential folk, and weird folk. I’m not talking the normal kind of weird—”
“Isn’t that technically an oxymoron?” Katelyn interjected.
Penny blinked and smiled.
“I like you. You and the boyfriend ever need any helpful advice, you just give me a ring,” Penny said with a deep chuckle.
She took a business card out of her bra.
Katelyn gently took the slightly moist, warm card from Penny and read it.
“Love Aversion Therapy? What’s that?”
“My partner and I specialize in counseling couples towards reaching their full sexual potential with each other. We believe in embracing the power of one’s own sexuality, and that starts with understanding and overcoming one’s aversions, as well as embracing one’s fetishes. Communication and trust are essential to a harmonious relationship.”
The words were all so clinical, but said with Penny’s husky phone-sex voice, it sounded incredibly naughty. This woman could probably read the phone book and make it sound sexy. Katelyn looked over to see Dom had that slightly parted mouth look again. Only now, he also had a light frown between his brows like he was concentrating hard on a math problem.
Katelyn gritted her teeth in irritation at his continued unhelpfulness and tugged on their still clasped hands. It seemed to snap him out of his fascination with the uniqueness of Penny.
Dom smiled at Kate, dropped her hand and raised his arm to her shoulder in an embrace then hitched her closer.
“Thank you, Penny,” he said with a calm, business-like voice. “While we’re here, we could actually use some help on another matter. Every year, her sister and brother-in-law stay here to celebrate Valentine’s Day and their anniversary. She said that she stayed in room 169.”
“Ah, yes, the Lover’s Lash Room, recently renamed The Red Room,” Penny interrupted. “It’s our entry level BDSM room. It’s for people who just want to spice things up a bit but don’t actually know what they’re doing.”
Penny stopped again, sighed, and looked side to side.
“Don’t tell the regular manager I said that. I’m
supposed to hype it up that we have it, what with the whole Fifty—”
“Don’t say it!” Dominic interrupted. “You will only invoke a long rant.”
Penny blinked and she looked like she wasn’t sure if she wanted to laugh or not.
“Well, with the popularity of this rhymes-with-Schmitty-Schmades thing,” Penny continued, “We’ve been asked to hype it, but it’s a total joke. I mean, if you were to actually use the restraints you’d have to be, like, six feet long. Not to mention, they’re fur lined which sort of misses the point,” Penny stopped again and rolled her eyes.
“And the complimentary toys we get from Dr. John’s are like… amateur hour,” she sang out in a playful way then started snorting in laughter.
Even that seemed endearing and oddly sensual at the same time.
“Well,” Katelyn cleared her throat and tried to bite the smile off her lips. “Between you and me, I’m a little tired of hearing about Fifty this and Fifty that, but I understand people like what they like.”
She turned to Dominic and raised her eyebrow.
“See? No rant.”
His lip twitched a little in humor.
Penny chuckled and raised her hand for a knuckle bump. Katelyn gave a short laugh as her knuckles met Penny’s.
“But, on the other hand, it has been good for my aversion therapy business and I’m always happy to hear couples are keeping things fresh and exciting. So, there’s that,” Penny said cheerfully with a shrug.
“Umm,” Dom cleared his throat. “Not to be picky, but, I don’t think Aversion Therapy means what you think it means.”
Penny raised one eyebrow and sent him a cold look.
“You telling me how to run my business?”
“So… the room’s always been like that?” Katelyn interjected.
“Mmnhmn. Well, it used to be less red, and mostly just bondage-themed with a heavy Star Wars emphasis. But, it’s always been designed for honeymoons with a little extra spice as long as I’ve worked here, which is five years this June,” Penny replied.
Katelyn and Dominic shared a look.
“And what’s the chance that is where the man we mentioned is staying?”
Penny moved her lips in a sort of upside down smile and her eyes twinkled, but she said nothing. Then her gaze shifted to something behind them.
Katelyn turned around and saw Kandace trying to sneak off towards the rooms.
“Kandace Marie! You stop right there!” Katelyn shouted and Dominic groaned.
They could hear Penny chuckling behind the desk.
Kandace sauntered over to them, twisting her long brown hair in front of her.
“I’ve waited long enough. I am not going to sit in that car like some child—”
“Here’s a thought: stop acting like one,” Dom said.
Katelyn gave him a quick swat on his abs. He didn’t even seem to notice.
“Kandace, he’s not there. No one was in that room when we checked just now,” Katelyn said.
She figured it was probably best to leave out the part where Penny indicated Steve was in the dining area only fifteen feet away.
Kandace let out a wail and gripped the top of her head.
“How could he do this? How could he hurt me this way?”
“Do what? Who hurt you?” Steve demanded.
Everyone turned as he walked briskly across the lobby. He grabbed Kandace by forearms, his face a picture of concern.
“You!” Kandace gasped.
Dominic grabbed Katelyn’s hand and yanked her back before she could interfere. She sent him an irritated look.
Kandace was looking at Steve in shock. Her gaze shifted to the young blond standing just behind him and her face twisted in fury. She yanked free of his hands.
“And her!” she said, pointing at the girl.
Katelyn started wringing her hands in trepidation, since Dominic had locked his arms around her waist to prevent her from moving. This was the second time in a week she was genuinely concerned about the possibility of her sister facing assault charges.
“You mean Caroline?” Penny asked in a deeply entertained voice.
Katelyn turned her head to gawp at her. Penny was leaning on the desk again with her arms crossed, looking like she was watching her favorite soap opera.
“Who?” Kate wondered.
“Caroline, Kellie’s new assistant,” Penny replied in a nonchalant manner.
The little blond waved perkily at Penny who crooked a finger at her.
“Kandace,” Steve said slowly. “You were supposed to call me. I mean, I was going to call you, and explain everything, but Kellie said I had to wait because there was some sort of complication—”
“The complication meaning your mistress!” Kandace shrieked.
Both Katelyn and Penny winced. Several people turned around. She could hear Dominic heave another irritated breath.
Caroline looked very concerned, but not at all guilty.
“This is my fault,” Caroline said calmly.
“You bet your ass it’s your fault!” Kandace said.
Katelyn could practically feel Dominic’s impatience with the whole situation behind her. Caroline put up her hands in a calming manner and sent a quick look at the main doors.
“If you’ll just be patient, I can explain, and it’ll all make sense. You just got here earlier than you were supposed to and so we weren’t ready for your surprise.”
“Mmnn, I would just like the record to show, I called that,” Dom said, his voice tickling in Katelyn’s ear.
“Doesn’t explain the strawberries,” Katelyn stage whispered back to him.
“What strawberries? What is going on? Steve, how could you take her to our spot?” Kandace asked.
“Kandy, I wasn’t taking her here to sleep with her if that’s what you’re implying. We’re here because we needed to lure you here, so they could lure them here, and then we could go away,” Steve replied with a head nudge towards Katelyn and Dominic.
“Who here? What now?” Dom asked.
“You here,” they heard Kellie’s voice call out accompanied by the clack of her heels on the floor.
Katelyn and Kandace stopped staring at each other in confusion and looked at the entrance. A very exasperated looking Kellie was standing there with a very amused looking Kyle right behind her.
“Sup, Valentini,” Kyle said.
“You lost, Officer Anderson?” Dominic replied. “Omaha’s that way.”
He nudged his head eastward. His tone had lost some of his arrogant smugness and sounded just as confused as Katelyn felt.
Kellie continued the rest of the way into the lobby and dropped an envelope in front of Penny, then turned back around. Kandace was looking at Steve with her head tilted forward and deep suspicion on her face.
Kellie put her hands on her hips and pointed at each of them in turn as if she were a teacher taking them all to task for various infractions.
“Caroline, you were supposed to make sure that Dom and Kate were still at supper when Penny made that call to Kandy so she would come alone.”
“I tried to call Kate! She turned off her phone, so then I called Steve—” Caroline stopped as Kellie gave her an impatient wave.
Kellie pointed at Steve.
“You were supposed to head off Kandace before they got here—”
“She didn’t show up until just now!” Steve said.
Kellie ignored him and turned to Katelyn and Dominic.
“And you two were supposed to stay on your date like any normal couple does on Valentine’s Day so Kyle and I could surprise you with your hotel vacation.”
“I don’t understand,” Kandace said softly. “If the room wasn’t for Caroline, and it wasn’t for me, why was there a reservation for Steve?”
“It was supposed to be for us, Kandy, but the plan changed at the last minute. Kellie’s assistant called and asked if I would mind giving up the room in exchange for a trip to Key West,” Steve answered.
“Key West?” she squeaked.
“Just like you wanted for our honeymoon, only we’ve never had a chance to go with my schedule and the kids, and then we were having problems, so when Kellie proposed the switch, I jumped at the chance. Only, trouble was, last week you weren’t returning my calls. Then you moved in with Katelyn, and please, I’ve known you long enough to know there is no such thing as a private phone call in the Anderson household.”
“Steve – you – you did that… for me?” Kandace asked, eyes filling with tears.
Steve nodded solemnly. The blond assistant came and stood next to Kellie who had a self-satisfied smirk on her lips.
Kandace rushed forward and gripped the front of Steve’s dress shirt like a life raft.
“Steve, I’m so sorry about everything,” she said in a babbling rush. “I know I’ve been acting stupid and I’ve thought a lot about what you said and what the marriage counselor said and I miss the kids like crazy and I miss you like crazy. I promise I’m going to work harder. I put in five job applications today—”
“You don’t have to look for a job. I was just trying to make you happy. You were always going on about wanting to get out of the house, and I just figured if you really looked for a career, and not just what you thought people wanted you to be… Well, I just wanted you to decide what to be, and go be it. Even if it means you want to go do it without me,” Steve ended gently.
Kandace made a choked sound and shook her head. Tears streamed down her face.
“I don’t want to be without you. What I wanted was more time with you. Don’t you remember how it was in the beginning? I know having kids means more responsibility, and I promise I’m ready to settle down and be responsible, but I never thought it would mean we’d lose each other.”
“Um, maybe we should leave these two al—” Katelyn started to say.
“Shhh,” Kellie hissed.
Steve had looped his arms behind Kandace loosely and Kandace had her hands on his arms.
“We haven’t lost each other. Not yet,” he answered. “It’s going to take some work, I know. We both have things we need to work on. But I meant what I said at the counselor’s office. I’m willing to put everything behind us and start over. What about… what’s his name?” Steve asked with a grim, pained look about his mouth.
Kandace seemed to deflate like a balloon.
“There was no other guy. Brian was just a friend I met at the gym. I’m not even sure he likes women in that way. I literally just spent the night at his place. I just implied we might’ve gotten together because I thought you had been cheating on me, and I wanted to make you jealous so you knew what it felt like.”
Everyone stared at Kandace in horror. Even Penny looked dismayed. Katelyn saw her reach inside her bra for another business card.
“You made everyone think you cheated—” Katelyn started.
“Shhh,” Kellie hissed again.
Katelyn leaned back against Dom’s chest and he tightened his arms around her front. She could feel his chest moving in silent humor. She didn’t know what was so funny; in her opinion it was utterly outrageous what Kandace had done.
“Can you ever forgive me?” Kandace squeaked in a soft plea.
Steve frowned. He looked torn between vexation and relief.
“I’m sorry you had so little faith and trust in me. I know I travel a lot. But it’s just meetings, long flights, skyping in hotel rooms with committee members, lather, rinse, repeat. Hell, I wouldn’t have time to cheat even if I wanted to, Kandy.”
“I’m so sorry,” Kandace whispered.
Steve expelled a long breath and they stared at each other.
Kyle slapped his hands together and startled everyone.
“Welp, that’s settled then. No one cheated. Steve and Kandy still love each other. And everyone here is going to need a lot of therapy. Can we get on to the main course?”
Kellie snickered and Dominic finally let Katelyn go. Dom walked towards Kyle, and Kate walked towards Kellie. Steve and Kandace still seemed lost in each other’s eyes.
Penny grinned. Katelyn narrowed her eyes in suspicion at both Penny and Kellie.
“Main course?” Dom asked Kyle.
“The reason we lured you here,” Kellie answered with a brisk tone. “Let’s leave the love birds to their reconciliation. My assistant has their flight and bags and so forth. Penny would you like to lead the way to Kate and Dom’s room?”
Penny popped out from behind the counter like a bunny rabbit and hooked her arm in Kellie’s arm.
“Just hold up a second! Didn’t I just two second ago suggest we leave them alone and she shushed me?” Katelyn asked Dom.
“Yep,” he answered.
“Oh, get over it,” Kyle said with a poke. “Let’s go, love birds 2.0. I haven’t been putting up with Kellie’s bossiness all week to not get my pay off. It took a lot of work just getting you two on a date, much less here for your Valentine’s Day surprise.”
“Urrrgghh, noooo,” Katelyn wailed as Kyle tugged her by the arm towards room 169.
“Urrrrggh, yes,” Kyle replied.
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
Come back for the smexy conclusion… CHRISTMAS EVE!!
The Bird Day Battalion is a short, sweet and sexy little Thanksgiving story.
“Loved it! Very cute, very short, but great book! No holes, just want more.”
– Apple customer review
“I just loved these two. Sweet & hilariously hot.”
– Barnes & Noble customer review
“This is a slow tease, flirty, fun romance. It’s light, quick and funny…Touching short read that is sweet and realistic. Thoroughly enjoyable, very steamy.”
– Goodreads Review
“I absolutely loved this. It’s a classic boy next door book. It’s funny, light hearted, and with a hint of erotica. A definite keeper!”
– Amazon customer review
Bird Day is FREE at all major eBook retailers!
“This is not going to work,” Katelyn said as she set her fork down with a long, drawn out sigh.
Dominic set his jaw and slowly breathed in through his nose and back out again. He attempted to smile but it wobbled a bit. They had made it through the antipasti and she had even drunk the wine he ordered, even though he knew she didn’t like red wine. But she was the one who wanted veal and everyone knew you had to order red wine with veal.
He had wanted to make it through at least half the meal before bringing out the ring and popping the question. But true to form, here she was backtracking. Again. One step forward, two steps back.
“I’m sorry Dom, I really tried, but—”
“No, no, it’s alright,” Dom interrupted and tried to keep the high level of irritation he was feeling out of this tone. “I realize you only came out with me tonight because of your sister.”
“Which is why,” Katelyn stopped, scooted her chair forward, and made a grab for his hand on the table. “That’s why I can’t concentrate. It’s not about you—” she halted and laughed. “Stop with the menacing eyebrows thing.”
He hadn’t realized he was doing the ‘menacing eyebrow thing’. He tried to make his face be as emotionless as possible. Whatever the result was, it sent Katelyn into a gale of laughter that had heads turning.
“The ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ has got to be the most over-used excuse in the history of female excuses,” Dom responded.
Kate laughed some more.
She actually had the gall to laugh? he wondered.
“That’s not what I was going to say. I was going to say it’s not about you, it’s that I can’t stop thinking about Kandace sitting home alone tonight while Steve is doing whatever, and I did promise her I’d see if he was cheating, and—”
“Stop,” he interrupted.
He stood up, fished out a hundred, and laid it on the table.
The waitress was going to have a great tip night, Dom thought.
Then he went around and pulled Katelyn’s chair out from the table and raised her up by her elbow. She looked into his face in a questioning manner.
He held his hand out for hers.
“Let’s do this. Screw tradition. We’ll spend our Valentine’s date hunting down cheating husbands. It can be a new tradition. We can start our own company called The DomLoKater—” he stopped as she jumped into his arms.
She kissed him several noisy times.
“I love you,” she said in a breathless and schmoopy manner.
He grinned. A breathless and schmoopy Kate meant many great – largely sexual – things were in his future. Maybe he’d have to wait a little longer to ask her to marry him, but given how the moving in together discussion had gone over, maybe that was a good thing.
She all but bounced in her seat on the car ride to her house.
“So, tell me again why you think we’ll find clues as to where and if Steve’s cheating at your place?” Dom asked.
“I don’t really, but I figure if we swing by and pick up Kandace, it gives her something to do other than stew, and we prove that we’re working on it. Which is part of the whole bet to get her out of my house.”
“Well, not to be picky or anything, but you’re sort of welching on the go out for Valentine’s part of your end of the deal.”
“No, I said I’d agree to go out with you, which I did. I never stipulated what I’d be doing.”
“Way to split hairs, Skate.”
“All part of being an Anderson. It’s survival of the fittest. I’m one of five kids from parents who had six siblings each. Finding loopholes to get out of things is practically a family past time.”
Dominic chuckled then cut off abruptly as he noticed Kandace running from the front door to her minivan in the driveway. She yanked on the door handle in an agitated manner then kicked the door when it didn’t open.
Dom and Kate shared a quick look. He sped up and got to the curb just as Kandace bleeped the alarm on the car.
“Kandy,” he called out the window. “Need a ride somewhere?”
She turned around and it was obvious from the mascara streaking down her face that something had set her off again.
“Uh, oh,” Katelyn voiced his thoughts.
She started to get out of the car but Kandace came hurrying up to Dom’s window.
“Perfect. Just perfect. You two can be my witnesses. And then we can just be done with this once and for all,” she said manically.
“What’s happened?” Dominic asked in that authoritative, yet calm way he used when two of his kids got into a fight in the locker room.
“I just got a call from Kellie’s assistant. She said the hotel as a courtesy tacked an extra day on my Valentine getaway reservation at Castle Corner.”
“The theme hotel Steve and I stayed at for our honeymoon! He’s taking his little tramp there!” she half shouted, half wailed.
Katelyn looked out her other window and Dom knew she was worried just how much Mrs. Dickerson was witnessing.
“Ok, you don’t know that,” he said calmly. “All you know is for some reason Kellie’s assistant—”
“Duh, Dominic! What other explanation could there be? I didn’t make a reservation! She must have just called me when she couldn’t reach Steve. Both our names are on the file from the last time we stayed there,” Kandace stopped and buried her face in her hands for a second.
Then she growled a bit and wiped furiously at her eyes.
“I can’t believe he has the gall to take her to our spot. That’s our spot!”
Her eyes had lost their hurt and sadness, and now they look slightly murderous, tinged with a bit of crazy. Dominic swallowed and silently thanked God they’d gotten here in time.
Katelyn made some soothing sounds and got out of her seat to drag Kandace into the car.
“We’ll go check this out together, Kandy. I’m sure it’s just a mistake. Kellie said she just got a new assistant, so maybe she just made a mistake.”
“Huh,” Kandace scoffed and crossed her arms.
“I have a question. Why would you and Steve go to Castle Corner when you could stay downtown at the Marriot or The Cornhusker?” Dom asked incredulously.
It wasn’t as if the theme hotel was a dingy dive or anything, but a guy with Steve’s money could stay at way classier joints.
“Where they stayed on their honeymoon,” Katelyn finished for her, looking at him like he had lost his mind.
Women, he thought.
It had seemed like a perfectly good question to him, but he didn’t say anything else. The car remained completely silent on the ride to the edge of Lincoln.
“Alright, what’s the room number?” Dominic asked as he pulled up to the hotel.
“Room 169. We stay in it every year! I just can’t believe he’d take her—”
“Kandace, what if he made the reservation for you and—”
“Katelyn! I was sitting at home dateless, he didn’t ask me. You were on the phone with us yesterday. He didn’t ask me then.”
“I was going to say maybe he made the reservation a while back for you two and just forgot about it,” Katelyn suggested.
“Yeah, that’s a possibility,” Dominic agreed.
In fact, as far as he was concerned, that seemed like the most logical conclusion. On the other hand, he half hoped Steve was there so that Kate wasn’t doomed to repeat this adventure every time Kandace got insecure. It would just rip the band aid off once and for all.
Of course, as Kate’s boyfriend and Kandace’s future brother-in-law he was going to have to have words with Steve. The thought perked him up. That’d be a great release for the frustration he was feeling tonight.
“Why are you smiling?” Katelyn hissed at him.
He shook his head.
“Stay here, Kandace. It’ll just take me and Kate a second to see if the room’s booked and if anyone’s staying there.”
Katelyn nodded her head.
“Good idea,” she agreed.
She reached out and made a grab for Kandace’s purse.
“Give me your ID, Kandy. I’ll just pretend to be you and it’ll save time.”
“Oh, come on, that stopped working in college. My hair’s darker than yours and completely straight. No one’s going to believe you’re me.”
“I dunno, that might work,” Dominic said. “She could just say she got a bad perm or something. You guys don’t look alike when you’re standing next to each other, but to a hurried hotel clerk, close enough.”
“It’s at least worth a try,” Katelyn said breathlessly as she yanked the proffered Driver’s License. “Stay put, Kandy, please?”
Kandace sighed, crossed her arms again, and looked out her window.
“Fine, but you have to promise to text me whatever you find out,” she answered without looking at them.
Dom grabbed Kate’s hand as she met him at the door, and they walked in to the front lobby. There was a young boy at the front desk. He looked barely old enough to be out of high school, and Dom figured he was probably a freshman at UNL working off his student loan debt. Perfect for their plan.
The kid wore a wrinkled red polo shirt with a name tag that read “Taylor”.
“Help you?” he drawled in a bored tone.
Katelyn smiled brightly and batted her eyelashes. The desk attendant swallowed and smiled back, his previously soporific expression replaced by marked interest. Dominic tried not laugh. Kate didn’t flirt often, but when she did, she had a tendency to dazzle her victims.
He counted himself lucky she would rather play with ancient pottery and dirt than socialize. She never had quite grasped how pretty she was. Thank God.
“I’m Kandace Cheney. My husband and I book reservations every year through Anderson Adventures. I’m just running terribly late and haven’t picked up my key card. Room 169, please,” she said and flashed her ID quickly.
The boy didn’t even look at it.
“Ah, um, yeah, it’s uh…” Taylor looked through a file of envelopes. “The key card’s right here, Mrs. Cheney. The paperwork’s already taken care of through Anderson Adventures.”
Katelyn pursed her lips.
Dominic could tell she was starting to get a little outraged again on Kandace’s behalf at Steve’s supposed gall, but he still had that gut feeling Steve had just forgotten about the reservation.
“Is there anybody already in there?” Dominic asked.
Taylor parted his mouth and seemed to flush a little. He looked between Katelyn and Dominic then he blatantly looked Dominic up and down. Then he shook his head in an incredulous way.
Dom sighed. It probably did seem like an odd question if the boy had assumed he was Mr. Cheney. Still, he had wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be interrupting anything, just in case.
“You know what? Nevermind,” Dominic said and patted the counter. “Uh, just let us know if we get any calls.”
“I’m about to get off shift here but I’ll leave a note for my replacement,” he answered in a way that had Dom knowing he would do no such thing.
But he didn’t have time to argue because Katelyn was already headed towards the room. He caught up with her just as she opened the door.
They both stopped and gaped in astonishment.
“Wow,” Kate said.
“Wow is right. It looks like a Pepto Bismol bottle exploded all over a murder scene in a Star Wars porno,” Dominic said when he could get his brain to stop screaming in horror.
The walls were entirely painted red with pink-framed pictures of artfully posed, mostly naked, women and men in various states of bondage on the walls. Most of them contained recreated scenes of Princess Leia chained to Jabba the Hutt, or sultry female bounty hunters pinning Fabio-knockoffs to the ground with their stiletto heels.
All of the curtains and the bed coverings on the large heart-shaped bed in the center were shockingly pink. There was a buffet table with chocolate covered strawberries and chilling champagne on it. In a basket full of goodies behind it were two red light sabers with a pink velvet heart dangling from the middle.
“Wow,” Katelyn said again. “This is… I just…”
Dominic walked forward and bent down slightly to examine the silver and black thing that was hanging from the edge of the bed.
“Yep, restraints. Ooh, and lookie here,” Dominic said with a grin.
He turned around and showed her the wooden paddle that was lying on the bed. On one side was a Darth Vader mask on the other, a Boba Fett mask. He enjoyed the fire-red flush that streaked across her cheeks.
She held up a hand and started backing up towards the door.
“You come near me with that thing and you better sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life!”
Dominic grinned wider at the way her wide, shocked eyes kept making their way to the bed.
“What’s the matter, babe? You like it when I smack your butt while we’re—”
“That – that’s different, it’s – it’s in the middle of – when we’re – and that’s—”
He doubled over in laughter at her flustered babbling.
“And you liked it that time on New Year’s when I tied your wrists together with your pantyhose—”
“Well, that’s above your pay grade, Mister,” Katelyn interrupted, pointing at the bed and wall full of contraptions.
Then she stopped, covered her eyes with one hand, and put the other hand on her hip, with a short ‘tuh’.
Dominic chuckled at the way she kept peeking out from her fingers at the bed. He set the paddle down on the couch by the wall and wandered over to the music system next to the shelves of brand new, unopened, sex toys.
“Wow, this is pretty slick for a hotel like this,” he said, trying to distract himself from the sudden image that had flashed through his head of Katelyn over his knee in nothing but a teddy.
“Actually, Kellie said lots of people use it for their honeymoons.”
“And this is really the room they stayed in?”
“Well, maybe they’ve changed the themes around, or maybe the boy was confused.”
“I guess. I mean, I know Kandace is a wild child and all, but I seriously can’t picture Steve throwing it down in kinky town.”
Katelyn started giggling. Then it morphed into chuckles so deep she snorted.
Dominic came towards her and grabbed her hand.
“Let’s go down and ask for the manager. Maybe Kandace remembered it wrong.”
“Doesn’t explain why this is the key we were given if so.”
“You know, the more I think about it, isn’t it a bit odd for someone to remember the room number they stayed at on their honeymoon?”
“Not if you’re in the habit of returning to it on a yearly basis.”
“Still…” Dominic trailed off.
He was trying desperately to get back the fantasy of Katelyn and the paddle, to replace the sudden image he had of Kandace and any of those toys on the wall. Worse, Steve and any of those toys.
“Let’s go down and see if they changed themes or room numbers.”
Katelyn was frowning intently at the strawberries.
“You ever have one of those feelings where you think, something’s not right here?”
He waved a hand at the room.
“Uh, where to start?”
“No, I mean, there’s just something weird going on start to finish and I can’t quite put my finger on it. First, Kellie’s assistant makes a big mistake like that? You know Kellie doesn’t tolerate stuff like that. And second, Kandace hates strawberries,” Katelyn said, pointing at the plate. “Which I suppose could go to support the cheating theory but, then again, if Steve was going to carry on an affair why on earth would he use his sister-in-law’s agency and the room he likes to go to with Kandy?”
Dom frowned and looked around the room.
“These are good points. Like I said, let’s go back to the beginning. Besides making sure this is the right room, we need to figure out if Steve’s even been here tonight or if he’s been seen with someone other than Kandace. If they make a habit of coming here, surely the manager should know them.”
Katelyn squeezed his hand in agreement and they headed back to the front desk.
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
Read on in… CHAPTER SEVEN.
A World of Joy is a free holiday anthology from Grey Mouse Publishing.
In A World of Romance, you got a spicy James & Kiki short, but this time it’s a sweet and totally G-rated Dom & Kate short! My story is called “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Knees” and features Dom & Kate on the Christmas BEFORE they got together in The Bird Day Battalion.
Katelyn waited about five seconds after shooing the Valentinis out of her home to grab her sister, drag her to the dining room table, and sit her down.
“Uh…” Kandace began.
Katelyn snatched the Omaha World Herald from the basket by the kitchen and rolled it out in front of Kandace.
“Jobs and Rentals. Conveniently, both located in the Classifieds,” Katelyn said sarcastically then stormed out.
She could hear Kandace’s laughter long before she arrived at the door of Katelyn’s home office.
“Quit using me as an excuse, Kate. Why don’t you want to move in with Dom?”
“I’m not using you as an excuse. Dom isn’t going to consider moving in here with me if you’re here, is he?”
“Even if I weren’t here he wouldn’t move in with you. Maybe you were distracted by his schmooothe mooves,” Kandace drawled, “But I could hear every word of your argument from my bedroom. He’s got a point, Katie. Here he would live in a house that’s next to his mother, across the street from the neighbor from Hell, and full of memories of the past when he had to watch you go out with every guy but him. In Gretna, he’s got a full time job teaching and coaching at a high-school. You have a part time job in neither town that you telecommute to half the week. This does seem like a no-brainer.”
“I’m not moving to Gretna,” Katelyn said implacably.
Kandace dramatically heaved an exasperated breath and sat on the corner of Katelyn’s desk. She didn’t even bother to move the reports and notes before she sat, so Katelyn started whacking her thigh with her Marshalltown trowel until Kandace moved enough to let Katelyn liberate her things.
Kandace just grinned wider.
“I’ll make you a deal—”
“Uuuuuugh! What is with you and the constant bet making? You know, maybe you ought to consider a career working at the track,” Katelyn suggested disingenuously. “Bookies make a lot of money, but you’d have to hire some muscle for collection.”
Kandace popped some M&Ms in her mouth from Katelyn’s snack dish.
“I make bets with you because you always, without fail, rise to the bait. And I’ve found it’s sometimes the only way to get your slow as molasses butt off the damn starting line.”
“So can that work in reverse? Can I bet you something to get you to focus on your own life?” Katelyn countered.
“Maybe you should let me finish. I promise I will seriously look for a full time job and a place large enough so I can get custody of the kids if you agree to look for a place for you and Dominic.”
“I haven’t even agreed to move in with him regardless of the location! Don’t you think moving in together after only three months of dating is a little bit rushing things?”
“Not when you’ve known each other your whole lives. And let’s be real, it’s not about moving in together, it’s about you’re not ready to let go of this house because it’s your security blanket. But you can own this house, and still try living with Dominic. Frankly, I think if Steve and I had lived together for a while first maybe we could have avoided a whole lot of problems.”
Katelyn sighed and sent her sister a sympathetic look.
“Getting married was the right thing to do when you found out you were pregnant with Alex.”
“Says everyone but me. Why does it feel like I never get a vote in anything? I swear sometimes I feel like the only mother on the face of the planet that feels tied down by having kids. I mean, I love them with everything in me, and I would fucking kill anyone that so much as gave them a paper-cut. But I feel like ever since I got pregnant, I got stuck in this box of the good little wifey. Playdates, school functions, boring dinners with other parents. I can’t remember the last time Steve and I just did something crazy or romantic together. Anytime I bring up going away, he just dismisses it saying he’d rather stay home. That’s easy for him to say, he’s always traveling. I’m the one stuck at home with no place to go, no damn break in the routine, and when I bring that up he just suggests I go hang out with one of my mom friends for a few hours. But all they ever want to talk about is kid milestones, and who’s the best babysitter, and how to get stains out of fabric. I’m sick of it! And I’m sick of feeling guilty because I’m sick of it!” Kandace stopped and started crying.
Katelyn’s mouth dropped at the unexpected diatribe. She got up from her chair and dragged Kandace into a hug.
“But, isn’t that why you were seeing a marriage counselor? What does Steve say about all this?”
“He says I’m acting like a child and the therapist practically agreed with him saying that I’m exhibiting midlife crisis behavior. Bright side? He called Steve ’emotionally closed off and controlling’. But we’ve only had one session, so there’s still hope to win him over to my side,” Kandy finished with a wet, wry chuckle.
Then she disentangled herself from Katelyn’s arms and went around the desk to steal Katelyn’s desk chair. She stuck out her tongue in victory like a petulant child and forced a laugh out of Katelyn.
“You are such a goofball, Kandy,” Katelyn said softly.
She went around to hug her sister one more time from behind the chair. Then she quickly yanked it back with a tilt so Kandace would drop to the floor.
“Alright, so, I’m changing the deal—”
“You always do,” Kandace mumbled as she brushed herself off.
“If I seriously consider moving in with Dominic, you have to seriously consider moving back in with Steve. Now, listen,” Katelyn said in a rush at the heavy sigh from Kandace. “Listen, I know that deep down you want to patch things up with him. And I know you guys have major trust issues you’re going to have to deal with, and frankly I wouldn’t put up with him controlling everything if it were me—”
“And this is why I’m supposed to go back to him?”
“No, I’m saying you should consider working on it with him, because he’s the same stick in the mud older man you fell in love with. Not one thing about him has changed. The only one that’s done any changing is you, Kandy. I remember when you got engaged and everyone was like ‘oh, he’s so much older, you’ll get
bored in no time’, and you’d laugh it off, saying you didn’t mind being his trophy wife. But here you are, constantly flitting here and there like a butterfly, and I say that with love, but seriously, you’ve only been expressing unhappiness with his job and worrying about supposed girlfriends since he started pushing harder for you to pick a career and stick with it. I think in his own way he was just trying to encourage you, not show you the door. If the root of your problems is about not having time for each other, then that’s something you can work on. If it’s because you don’t love him anymore, or you’re tired of him making all the decisions then that’s different. So right now, cards on the table, do you still love Steve?”
Kandace was silent for a long time. She wrinkled her nose looking off into the distance. Then she put her hands on her hips and nodded. She didn’t look happy about it, but she looked sure of it, at least.
“Do you feel like him owning everything and making decisions is about controlling you or because you haven’t actually made any effort to make your own identity? Do you really think he’s asking you to get a job because he wants more time with another woman, or because he knows he spends too much time away?”
Kandace blinked then furrowed her brows. She opened her mouth a couple times then shut it firmly and crossed her arms in front of her.
After a minute, she let out a long breath.
“I never thought about it like that before,” Kandace answered softly. “No… no, I don’t think it’s about control. I don’t know. I guess you’re right, I never actually asked him… hmmn…”
Katelyn watched her frown and stare pensively at the book shelves.
“And last but not least… are you afraid of him? Afraid he’ll use his name and money to keep you from the kids?”
Kandace’s head whipped back to Katelyn and she looked shocked.
“Steve would never do something like that. He’s a good man!”
Katelyn tried to stop the little smile from forming at Kandace’s knee-jerk defense of her husband. She looked down at her sneakers and bit her lip.
Kandace made an impatient sound.
“Alright, I’m changing the original deal—”
“You always do,” Katelyn interrupted.
“If you can prove that Steve isn’t cheating on me, I will go back to him. Either way, I will look for a job and I will even help you move when you move in with Dominic after you agree to go out on Valentine’s with him.”
“This seems like a lot of sacrifices on my part.”
“Kate, only in a screwy universe would it ever be considered a sacrifice to have a hot dreamboat like Dominic Valentini lavish you with adoration on a holiday, and want to spend every day forward with you. The way I see it the sacrifice is all on my part because there’s a chance Steve is cheating.”
“I see absolutely no reason to indulge the Valentine’s Day thing since it’s all out in the open that he wants me to move in with him. No need for a date now.”
“No, now there’s no need to avoid the date. Only in your mind was him asking you out ever about the moving in together discussion. Normal people who love each other go out on dates on Valentine’s.”
“And only in your mind was Steve ever cheating on you, regardless of how it seems.”
Kandace sighed heavily.
“So do we have a deal?”
Katelyn started to answer but stopped when she heard Dom’s voice calling from the living room.
Kandace raised her eyebrows and held out her hand for a shake. Katelyn wrinkled her nose and clasped her hand just as Dom stuck his head around the door frame.
“Am I interrupting?”
“Mmmn, nope, not at all,” she said.
She let go of Katelyn’s hand. Dom’s eyes followed the motion. His expression suddenly went from wary curiosity to full on mirth.
“Are you two making bets again? Can we add a codicil where Kandy grows up and learns how to be a big girl? I’m still waiting for those Thanksgiving pictures proving she knows how to do housework like the rest of us working schlubs. Must be nice having a spouse that hires other people to do everything for you,” Dominic said in a playfully caustic tone.
Katelyn winced a bit, knowing that Dom was just teasing like they always had since they were kids, but after the raw conversation she and her sister had just had, she worried how Kandace would take it.
Fortunately, when Katelyn looked at Kandace she only looked thoughtful, not hurt. Then Kandy perked up and smiled a cheeky smile.
“Have fun on your Valentine’s date, Dom,” Kandace said.
She sashayed past him into the hall, pausing and leaning backwards to stage-whisper in his ear, “And you’re welcome.”
Dominic’s mouth parted slightly, and he squinted his eyes at her retreating back. Then he turned his suspicious look back at Katelyn. He entered the room, pushed the door slightly shut behind him, and crossed his arms.
“Exactly what did she promise you to get you to agree to that?”
Katelyn raised her eyebrows and gave a carefree shrug.
“You and I have our work cut out for us.”
“Oooohh, yeah. We,” Katelyn responded then walked up to him.
She raised herself up on tiptoes and lightly kissed his jaw, just the way he liked it.
“Tell me something, when a man cheats, where’s he the most likely to do it?”
Dominic stared at her like he was witnessing a crime scene.
“Is there a right way to answer this question?”
Katelyn chuckled and hooked her hand around his neck then pulled his mouth down to hers. His hands gripped her rear painfully as he kissed her. She never knew if she liked that or not, but since he always started kneading it right afterward, she’d never bothered to complain. And, frankly, it was extremely difficult to think rationally – or at all – when Dominic was kissing her.
She felt his hands leave her bottom and then she heard the snick of her jeans zipper. She suddenly remembered her sister was only a few
“Dom, mmff,” she managed to get out before his mouth was on hers again.
She tried pushing at his chest, but his hand had made it inside her pants and – oh, Lord – she forgot what she was stopping him for.
She released a rush of air as his mouth met her neck, and she could feel his chuckling along the entire length of her. She also wondered if she should be offended how smug he always was about his ability to make her weak in the knees.
And weak in the knees was exactly what happened as his finger entered her.
“Ahh, Dom… don’t stop,” she whispered, gripping his shoulders tight.
“Never,” he whispered back and sucked her bottom lip into his mouth.
His finger started a mastering stroke, the base of his palm rubbing against her. Then he stopped and yanked his hand out. He pushed her jeans down quickly and then he put his hand back on her, this time with two fingers.
She moved her hands from his shoulders to his hair and kissed him frantically. He was working her to a peak when…
“Dominic, baby, are you still here?”
Dom’s hand left her crotch so fast she stumbled. He turned around and looked at the door frame then back at Katelyn as if paralyzed. She hurriedly pulled her jeans back up and zipped them. She had just snapped the top button when Ramona cracked the door open and stuck her head inside.
Dominic was still straightening his hair and looking boyishly guilty. Ramona pursed her lips, one edge slightly trembling in what almost seemed like amusement, but her eyes appeared more irritated than amused.
“Dominic, you took off before we could finish.”
“I know, Mom, I was just coming over here to tell Katelyn I’d have to see her later.”
“Mmnhmn,” Ramona hummed in disapproval.
Dominic turned to Katelyn.
“So… I’ll see you tomorrow? Pick you up around seven?”
Katelyn nodded and tried to look cool and collected. After all, they were both adults in their late twenties, not naughty teenagers. They had nothing to feel guilty about.
Ramona raised her eyebrows and gave them both a long look. Dominic walked towards the door and his mother followed him. Katelyn stayed in her office a few minutes to calm her racing heart and cool her flaming cheeks.
There was a light knock on the door and Kandace peeked back in with a smug look on her face.
“Face it, Katie, if you two live here that’s what you’re dooming yourselves to for the rest of your lives.”
“I just took out a mortgage less than a year ago. Does anyone get how hard it is to sell a house? Maybe we can get Ramona and Vincent to move in with Mom and Dad.”
Kandace rolled her eyes.
“Come on, since Dom had to go next door again, help me look for some suitable apartments. Then I’m going to call Steve and try and see if he’ll tell me what he was doing last night. I want you to listen in on another phone to see if he’s lying, and so I won’t lose my temper.”
It was Katelyn’s turn to roll her eyes.
“That has got to be the most juvenile thing you’ve asked me to do all week and I thought lurking in bushes was a new low for you. Why is it that I am a year younger than you and yet I’m always in the big sister role?”
“Because you are an eighty year old shut-in trapped in the body a twenty-six year old woman,” Kandace replied in a deadpan voice.
She waved an impatient hand at Katelyn’s outraged huff.
“But I’ll give you one victory already, Katie. This you and I living together thing, is seriously not going to work. So you better get crackin’, sister.”
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
Read more… CHAPTER SIX.