Short Stories

#asmsg #bynr FREE READ: The V-Day Aversion, Chapter Six


For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The V-Day Aversion

by Genevieve Dewey

valentinescover

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

(CHAPTER ONE)

(CHAPTER TWO)

(CHAPTER THREE)

(CHAPTER FOUR)

(CHAPTER FIVE)

CHAPTER SIX

“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.

He sighed.

“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.”

“Isn’t that—?”

“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.

“Because it’s—”

“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.”

Taylor shrugged.

“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.

“Is that?”

“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?”

Katelyn frowned.

“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.

He shuddered.

“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.

Did you know there are free Dom & Kate flashbacks and a sneak peek at the Dom&Kate novel The Good Life, right here on the website? Check them out!

FREE from Grey Mouse Publishing and #asmsg authors: A WORLD OF JOY


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.

Grab your FREE copy today!

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Did you know there are free Dom & Kate flashbacks and a sneak peek at the Dom&Kate novel The Good Life, right here on the website? Check them out!

#ASMSG #Dec #BYNR Free Read: The V-Day Aversion, Chapter Five


For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
thCA82U60G thCACNXHNIthCA2WYIQ9 thCAHYUWN0 thCALCVTPI thCANYKKFJlogo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The V-Day Aversion

by Genevieve Dewey

valentinescover

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

(CHAPTER ONE)

(CHAPTER TWO)

(CHAPTER THREE)

(CHAPTER FOUR)

CHAPTER FIVE

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.”

Katelyn laughed.

“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?”

Kandace smirked.

“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.”

“We?”

“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
rooms away.

“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.”

Katelyn sighed.

“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.

Did you know there are free Dom & Kate flashbacks and a sneak peek at the Dom&Kate novel The Good Life, right here on the website? Check them out!

Dom and Kate fans! Read a never-before-seen Christmas short! #asmsg Dec


My short holiday 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. It’s smooshy and totally G-rated (sorry, lol)!

Grab your FREE copy today at Smashwords!

aworldofjoy

(Edited to fix the fact that apparently the link wasn’t working! It is now!)

#ASMSG Dec #BYNR Free Read: The V-Day Aversion, Chapter Four


For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
thCA82U60G thCACNXHNIthCA2WYIQ9 thCAHYUWN0 thCALCVTPI thCANYKKFJlogo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The V-Day Aversion

by Genevieve Dewey

valentinescover

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

(CHAPTER ONE)

(CHAPTER TWO)

(CHAPTER THREE)

CHAPTER FOUR

Dominic ignored the metaphorical daggers he knew Kate was aiming at him and continued on into the kitchen to make a quick sandwich. He’d missed lunch because his mother had raised him with some sense of decency, so he hadn’t ordered anything without Katelyn. Now he was starving, which lowered his patience and yet did nothing to lower the horny, a counterproductive combination if there ever was one.

“Dom,” Kate sighed, with one of those woman tones that somehow said fifty-jillion things and nothing at all.

She dropped her keys on the counter with a clack.

He didn’t say anything as he got out the sliced chicken and cheese. It was a testament to how much he loved Kate that he was suffering through a chicken sandwich when his mother lived next door. She always had the best salami and prosciutto wrapped around fresh mozzarella… the extra drool that this thought elicited helped him get down Kate’s dry 12-grain bread.

Dom hated 12-grain bread.

“‘M not schtupid y’know,” he mumbled around a bite.

Katelyn blinked, but remained mute.

“You’ve been doing the avoiding thing you like to do ever since I started hinting you should move in with me,” Dom continued after he swallowed. “I’ve watched you do this with every boyfriend you’ve inadvertently tortured me with over the years. True, maybe it was a little arrogant to think it’d be different with me. But, if you’re not ready to move in together, just say so. I just figured that, you know, we’ve known each other our whole lives, so there’s no need for the getting to know you dating period and, obviously, sexually speaking, we are very compatible—”

“Ugh, please stop,” she said, holding a hand up and looking towards the hallway.

“Ugh?” he asked.

Really, what was wrong with this woman? Dom wondered.

First, she keeps him waiting for years, and now she was backtracking faster than a politician at a debate. If she wasn’t ready to move in with him, what would she say when he asked her to marry him?

He frowned at his sandwich.

“Dominic,” she said in that annoying ‘I’m about to lecture you’ tone she had.

He looked back up and narrowed his eyes at her.

She smiled that sheepish, just-been-caught smile. She had no idea how sexy she was when she did that. Or how much he wanted to just give her whatever she asked for. But Kyle was right; he had to put his foot down at some point. First, it was 12-grain bread, and no Valentine’s Day. Next, she’d be asking him to get up and run with her in the morning. Or wear her mother’s knitted sweaters. A guy had to have limits.

“Dom,” she said in a much softer tone. “Dom, I’m not opposed to the idea of us moving in together, but you know how much this place means to me, and every time you bring it up you imply it’s me who should move—”

“Well, excuse me for not relishing the idea of living next to my mother for the rest of eternity,” Dom interrupted. “Not to mention, you never changed the locks, so your parents have keys to this place and could walk in whenever they like. It honestly never occurred to me to move in here.”

Katelyn’s eyes darted towards the direction of next door and she winced a bit.

“First, I hardly ever see your mom, or dad for that matter. They spend more time visiting people than they do here. And my Mom and Dad wouldn’t show up unannounced,” she said, but her eyelid twitched the way it always did when she wasn’t being truthful.

It probably wasn’t normal that he found even that to be sexy.

Dom shook his head and stuffed his hands in his pockets to keep them from touching her. It was a habit he’d picked up somewhere around puberty when all he did was think about touching her.

He took a deep breath.

“You and I both know that my mother would be over here all the time if I lived here. And you hardly ever see her because you hardly ever leave the house.”

Katelyn gave him an affronted huff and dropped her purse on the counter by her keys. She glared at him in silence for what felt like an eternity in man minutes, but was probably not nearly enough in female minutes. Then she walked over to the kitchen island and started making herself a peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich.

He stifled a shudder of disgust at all the sugar in the thing.

“I have a job in Lincoln now,” she finally said, chin in the air.

“And I’m happy for you, babe, but you do telecommute half the week.”

“To save gas!”

A little dab of honey came down the side of her mouth and her tongue darted out to catch it.

He felt himself harden, and instead of distracting him from their argument, he felt a sudden panicked urgency to get her to see reason. Like that last drive in the fourth quarter of a game, this wasn’t the time to get complaisant. He knew Katelyn Anderson like the back of his hand, obviously not all of her grown up quirks and philosophies, but the basic core of her. And he knew the more she felt pressured, the more she was inclined to run from any decision at all.

“Skate,” he said softly in that low, husky voice that always made her mouth part and her eyes glaze. “Babe, I love you, and I’ve loved you for so long that I just want to get started on our happy ever after. I’m sorry if I’m pushing you into something you don’t want, but you’re going to need to tell me what you do want if this isn’t working.”

She tilted her head to the side and sighed. A curl of hair stuck in the honey on her lips and he wanted to liberate it with his tongue. But she reached up and pushed back her wild brown curls behind her ears. She stuck her hands on her hips, then she smiled that spunky little crooked smile he had fallen in love with at the age of thirteen.

“You’ve been talking to your sister again, haven’t you?” Kate asked. “You always start speaking like a Hallmark card after you’ve been talking to Demetria.”

“I do not!”

“Um, ‘get started on our happy ever after’?” Katelyn repeated in a faux male voice.

“Fine. I’ve been talking to Demi. Is that a crime now, too? My girlfriend’s been avoiding me for the last two week. Desperate times, babe.”

“Just as long as you don’t start talking about the universal collective or whatever Zen stuff she’s into these days in Boulder. I’ve always thought Demi and Kellie should write travel brochures together. They’d sell like hot cakes.”

“You could use a little more Zen in your life, and you’re deflecting again, Skate. Why is it so hard for you to discuss our future like two rational adults? If I bring it up lately you either bolt or you try and distract me with sex. I definitely preferred the sex tactic to this one, just so you know.”

Katelyn sighed heavily and came forward.

“I’m sorry, Dom, I just… you know what this house means to me,” she repeated.

“What I know is it’s your security blanket because you hate to take chances.”

“I took a chance on you.”

“Exactly. So, I know you have no trouble changing your mind about something when you want to. You didn’t want to do that thing in bed until I showed you how good it could be and now it’s your favorite thing to do.”

She blushed crimson and stuffed some sandwich in her mouth.

“There’s a difference between taking a chance on a person and ignoring an obligation,” she said around a mouthful of food. “I took out a thirty year mortgage, Dom.”

“And you are not the first person in the history of house buying that is allowed to change her mind. It’s like, almost paralyzing for you. The rules say… the rules say…” he said in a mocking voice. “To hell with the rules, Kate! It’s just a house. Live a little.”

She stared dull-eyed at him and leaned on the counter, mouth in a straight line.

“First, why is it that you and everyone else says that when they want me to do what they want? Second, I don’t want to change my mind. It’s not just a house. It’s my house.”

“So is this just about the house or about moving in with me in general? You understand why I might be confused, because you loved outdoing me exchanging candies on Valentine’s Day when we were kids, and now apparently I’m not allowed to take you out and give you a gift.”

“You are allowed to give me gifts. Anytime. Just not because the calendar told you to. And it’s different with kids. When kids celebrate it, it’s about observing rituals and communal solidarity and teaching kindness like any other holiday. With adults it’s about obligation—”

“God, please don’t start on the lecture again. I get it. You hate the concept of Valentine’s Day. But I like the idea of taking out the woman I love and showering her with gifts. I don’t like the idea that the guys at the high school are going to ask me, ‘so what’d you get Kate for Valentine’s?’, and when I say ‘nothing’, I look like a jerk.”

“Well, that’s their problem,” Katelyn said with her chin in the air again. “We’re already going to go out for my birthday to Lo Sole Mio. I talked with the manager who’s friends with Mom and they’ll save us a nice table, and I’ll even wear a nice dress and heels, and… what?”

Dominic continued to stare incredulously at her for a beat before replying.

I am supposed to get us reservations, not you. The man is supposed to do all that not the woman!”

Katelyn put her hands back on her hips, and her mouth parted as wide as her eyes narrowed.

In the back crevices of his mind he could hear Andrew’s warning buzzer, err, err, err

“That has easily got to be the most sexist thing I’ve heard you say since that BS at Thanksgiving about taking care of a woman so she doesn’t have to work.”

“Well, you wouldn’t have to work if you lived with me.”

She glared at him for so long he was beginning to wonder if some guy somewhere had worked out the math conversion chart for the length of the stare translated into the degree of stubborn irrational female mad that would follow. She picked up her sandwich and slowly took a bite, all without releasing the predatory glare.

He took a deep breath in and out, and started over.

“What I mean is, if you wanted to not work you wouldn’t have to, but if you wanted to work, you could. That better?”

She slammed her sandwich back down on the plate and walked right past him into the living room.

He followed her.

“See you’re doing it again, first you change the subject to Valentine’s…”

You changed the subject, Dominic,” she sneered.

“…and then you leave the room.”

“I left the room because you said I should curb my habit of smacking people when I’m upset. And I’m not going to get rooked into giving up my home, and then my job, like Kandace did and the next thing you know, I’m lurking in bushes and squatting at my sister’s house!”

“What on earth are you talking about?” he asked, thoroughly confused.

“Nothing! Never mind. Just forget it. This is not the time or place to be having this discussion.” She turned around as she said it and stopped.

He didn’t.

Her eyes widened and she started backing up.

Dom hooked one arm around her and the other in her hair and kissed her with everything he had. He was so damned confused at this point – houses, jobs, Valentine’s – all he wanted was to make her happy and to figure out what would make her happy with him.

When Kate’s hands had made their way into his hair, and she started making those sexy pre-surrender mewling sounds, he pulled back. He grinned at the dazed and aroused look in her eyes.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you, too,” she said, her eyes softening even more.

When she leaned in for more kisses, he leaned back.

“At least say we can celebrate Valentine’s here at the house.”

“I told you—” she cut off as he squeezed her tighter.

“Dom…” she sighed.

He could sense weakness of resolve, but then the doorbell rang.

“Ignore that,” Dominic said as his lips dipped to meet hers again.

“Wait, Dom, there’s something I need to tell—mmpff—”

He kissed her until her leg wrapped around his and she started doing that thing he loved with her hand on his…

“Dominic! Sweetheart, I saw you sitting on the porch. Open the door! I need to talk to you about your father,” Ramona Valentini called through the door.

His brain screeched to a halt.

“Annnd, I rest my case,” Dom said.

Kate grimaced and dipped her forehead to his chest.

He reluctantly let her go and walked over to open the front door. His mother quickly cupped his face in her palms and bussed him on the cheek before brushing past him into Kate’s home.

“Hello, Katelyn, how are you?” Ramona asked, then without waiting for an answer, turned back around to face Dominic.

“Your father is being completely unreasonable about Nonna and her beaux again, so I need you to go next door and make him see reason.”

“Mom, Kate and I were sort of in the middle of something…”

Dominic looked over at Katelyn and saw she was scooting around the couch about to escape to the kitchen. He tried to side step his mother to stop Kate, but Ramona grabbed his ear.

“Ahh, Mom!”

“Go next door and talk to your father. You can play hide the salami with your girlfriend later.”

Dom could hear feminine laughter coming from the hallway even as his eyes locked on the extremely embarrassed gaze of his girlfriend standing by the door of the dining room. He looked to the right and saw Kandace leaning against the wall of the hallway.

She raised a finger and waved it at him.

“You’re totally right about the hitting thing. She really goes all violent when she gets mad. We’re always ‘use your words, Katie’,” Kandace drawled in a sing-song, “… but no dice.”

Ramona turned and gave Kandace a confused look. Katelyn looked like she wanted to melt into the floor.

Dominic sighed. An overbearing mother, potential random in-law visits, and apparently a run-away flighty sister all in the same house…

And Kate really wondered why he didn’t want to move in here?

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

Read on… CHAPTER FIVE.

#ASMSG Nov #BYNR Free Read: The V-Day Aversion, Chapter Three


For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
thCA82U60G thCACNXHNIthCA2WYIQ9 thCAHYUWN0 thCALCVTPI thCANYKKFJlogo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The V-Day Aversion

by Genevieve Dewey

valentinescover

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

(CHAPTER ONE)

(CHAPTER TWO)

CHAPTER THREE

Katelyn put the brochure back on the rack by the front door of her sister Kellie’s office and tried to stifle another irritated sigh.

“Sorry, Katie,” Kellie said breathlessly as she entered the office. “I just got a new assistant last week and it’s crazy this time of year, everyone wanting to go on romantic cruises. You know how it is.”

No, actually, I don’t, Katelyn thought.

She would rather poke her own eye out with a dull spoon than be stuck on a large boat with thousands of strangers, and no escape route, or way home, or…

“I’ve got you penciled in for fifteen minutes but I’m sorry, that’s all I can spare today. So if you could just briefly outline what this is about?” Kellie tempered her bossy tone with a quick smile and a pat on Katelyn’s back.

“I was thinking we could pool our resources and send Kandace and Steve on a trip together. You’d know the best package being a travel salesman.”

Kellie looked taken aback. She walked around her desk and sat down before answering.

“It’s salesperson, Katelyn, and I’m actually an event planner, not a—”

“I know. Point is—”

“And I own Anderson Adventures – a highly successful travel and event organizing business, I might add – which technically makes my title CEO and—”

“Kellie, can we just, please, focus here?”

Kellie raised her eyebrows and clasped her hands in front of her on the desk. She had on her Bitch-in-Heels face, but Katelyn could recognize a little twinkle in her eyes. She took that as license to continue.

Katelyn sat in the little chair in front of Kellie’s desk and mirrored Kellie’s body-language.

“I think if they could just get away from the kids and the routine of their everyday lives they might, you know, be able to recapture what they had and reconcile.”

“And I think it’s best if we both just butt out and mind our own business. Kandy is a big girl and she can make her own decisions. If she wants a divorce then—”

“But she doesn’t! I know she doesn’t! It was all his idea.”

Kellie raised her eyebrows so high they almost disappeared under her platinum bangs.

“It was his idea she should cheat?”

“That was just… she over-reacted because instead of reassuring her he wasn’t cheating, he suggested counseling, and a trial separation—”

“And instead of doing that, she just files for divorce because he stayed at his parents for an extra week.”

“Over Thanksgiving! Who does that?”

“Someone who’s trying to give his wife space to think about what separation means.”

“The point is, she only did it after she filed for divorce and because she thought he already had someone on the side, and he did nothing to reassure her. What’s once compared to many times?”

Kellie scoffed and sat back in her chair.

“Mature adults don’t cheat just because they think, maybe, possibly, the other person did first,” she said, looking at Katelyn like she’d lost her mind.

“She just got insecure, that’s all,” Katelyn defended, even though she secretly agreed. “He should have stayed and reassured her, instead of ‘giving her space’. Everyone knows Kandace and ‘space to think’ is a bad combination. Especially after he just got done calling her flighty and irresponsible and reminded her she would need a job if she left him.”

Everyone calls Kandace flighty because she picks a new career every year,” Kellie responded.

She clasped her hands on her chair handles and swiveling it back and forth lazily. Her facial expression was somewhere between completely unconcerned and mildly amused.

“Where is your sisterly solidarity, Kellie Ann!?” Katelyn spit out.

Kellie heaved a long sigh and leaned forward again in her chair. She looked at her watch pointedly. Kate pursed her lips and continued to glare. Kellie’s eyes softened a bit and her lip hitched a little like she knew just how much she was pressing her little sister’s buttons. She chuckled and reached her hands forward to grab Katelyn’s hands.

“Tell me something, baby sister. This sudden desire to help Kandace patch things up with her husband wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact she just moved in with you, would it?” Kellie asked.

Katelyn flushed and squirmed.

“How do you know about that? It just happened yesterday.”

“Mrs. Dickerson.”

That woman was a menace to society, thought Katelyn.

“What would you do, if she insisted on staying with you and Andrew?” Katelyn asked, going for the best defense is an offense approach.

“Helping her helps both of us – all of us. As a family,” she ended weakly.

Kellie raised her eyebrows again and her eyes sparkled in humor.

“Look, Katie, I do think that Kandy realizes she made a mistake and wants to patch things up, but just doesn’t know how. But I also think it’s really not our place to interfere, even as her sisters. Sisters are just supposed to be there for each other, not micromanage each other’s lives.”

“This coming from the biggest micromanager out there!” Katelyn couldn’t stop herself from saying.

Then she sighed in defeat.

“Sorry, Kellie, that was mean. It’s just… it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and I figured it would be the perfect time to play a little cupid.”

Kellie laughed and stood up. She went over and opened the door in a very unsubtle ‘time to go’ way.

“I’m sorry to kick you out, Katelyn, but my assistant will be back any minute and we have a big project to discuss.”

As Katelyn made her way to the door, Kellie continued, “Does this mean you’ve gotten over your aversion to Valentine’s Day? Me, personally, I think it’s fun watching Andrew try to surprise me every year. He never does, but he tries, bless him.”

“I didn’t think you listened when I said that. It seems like nobody in this family takes me seriously about V-Day. But I’m willing to take one for the team because it’s Kandy’s favorite holiday and their anniversary this weekend.”

“Good to know,” Kellie said mysteriously.

She smiled gently and she suddenly appeared more like the girl Katelyn used to play Barbies with, rather than the battle-axe she had become.

“And I always listen to you, Katie-belle. I just don’t always agree.”

Katelyn smiled and walked over to hug Kellie. When Kellie pulled back, she grabbed a brochure from the huge rack against the wall and handed it to Katelyn.

“Here. If you won’t take my advice and butt out, this is the hotel they stayed at on their honeymoon. It’s a theme hotel in Lincoln. Each room has—”

“A theme?”

“Yes, like the middle ages, or space adventure—”

“Oh, I remember her talking about that! She went on about it for weeks!”

“Probably to cover her disappointment they didn’t actually leave the state for their honeymoon, or at least stay at a casino across the river—”

“But she doesn’t even like gambling.”

“Do you have a pathological need to interrupt or is it just rudeness?” Kellie asked in her bossy, older sister tone.

Katelyn rolled her eyes and walked through the door, sending her sister a prune face over her shoulder.

Kellie laughed a bit and continued, “Anyway, you might just accidently-on-purpose lose that in front of her to remind her of the good times.”

“Let’s just hope it doesn’t remind her of the bad times,” Katelyn mumbled.

“Hmmn,” was all Kellie said in response.

She poked her head out the door and addressed the secretary in the lobby.

“Next time my sister visits, don’t make her wait fifteen minutes before calling me, understood?”

Then she shut the door smartly.

Katelyn gave the secretary a superior look and thought, well, maybe Kellie had a little sisterly solidarity left in her.

Just as she made it to her SUV, her phone rang with Dominic’s ring tone. She sang a few bars of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire before answering it.

“Thought we were meeting for lunch?” Dom asked without even saying hello. “It’s a good thing I took the day off, or I’d have to be back in class by now.”

She slapped her hand to her forehead.

“I’m sorry, Dom! I was downtown visiting Kellie and—”

“You used that excuse yesterday, babe. Might want to dust off a new one, or several.”

“What? I mean, I know, I’m sorry. But, I have to get on 180 just now and you know how I hate inner city traffic. I’ll call you back as soon as I get home,” Katelyn said in a rush and hung up before he could reply.

She swallowed the guilt again and started her car. As Katelyn made her way to the west edge of town she tried not to think about the fact she’d just given him more ammo for the ‘flighty’ comment yesterday. It wasn’t like she didn’t want to live with Dominic, it was just that she loved that little home. And now he wanted to use Valentine’s Day to ask her to give it up? It was like he was ignoring everything she had ever said about hating it!

Ok, true, maybe she didn’t actually hate it as much as she said. It was more in the realm of general apathy. And it was also true it might have been a little overkill to say he couldn’t get her anything at all, but she had hoped he would take it as a hint to drop the idea of them going out. Then it would give her a little more time to work up the courage to tell him she had no intention of moving.

She frowned. That seemed even a little convoluted to herself.

But, even so, she was reasonably certain she had a right to be annoyed that he was showing such disregard for her feelings about the holiday and her home. Everything was always on his terms and his turf. He had just assumed she would move in with him without even discussing it with her. She ignored the little Kandy-sounding voice in her head that said, ‘duh because you’ve been avoiding him‘, and told herself it was perfectly natural to want to put off an unpleasant confrontation with the man she loved.

She was still endlessly repeating this in her head (and almost had herself convinced it was true) when she pulled into her driveway.

“Just because he’s used to having it his way in every other aspect of his life doesn’t mean he can push me into this decision,” Katelyn mumbled to herself as she fished her house keys out from her purse.

“That’s cute, two and a half decades of knowing each other and I never noticed you talk to yourself,” a voice said from the corner of her front porch.

Katelyn dropped her keys and jumped.

“Dominic!”

She clutched the front of her sweater.

“You scared the piss out of me!”

She glared at him then narrowed her eyes even more at the sight of him looking perfect and dashing as always.

How did he do that?

Every day he pulled off some irresistible combination of dangerous, disheveled, and delicious. She knew for a fact he just got up in the morning, took a shower, sprayed some man-stink on, and that was that. She had to spend an hour getting ready, and still her hair always frizzed out and looked like she had done nothing to it.

“Not my problem you’re so unobservant you didn’t notice the guy sitting on your front porch,” Dom replied.

He waggled his eyebrows and got up from the porch swing. She turned around and picked up her keys to unlock the door while he continued speaking.

“First, you leave me hanging last night for supper—”

“We never had formal plans, and something came up, and—”

“Then you don’t even throw me a bone and come over after the game—” Dom continued.

“Oh, please, you only invited me over so I could help you clean up after my brother and brother-in-law—”

“Now you stand me up for lunch—”

“I told you I honestly lost track of time,” she said and turned back around.

He was lounging against the railing on the porch by the steps with his hands in his pockets.

She sighed. He was like sin in a man-shaped package. And her sister wondered why she was avoiding him? A nun would have no willpower around Dominic Valentini in full flirt mode.

“And I haven’t gotten any nookie since practically New Years…” Dom continued in a soft purr.

“Oh, what a load of bull! It was last week, ok, maybe the week before that, but I had my period, and that totally doesn’t count—”

“I got blue balls, babe, it’s not pretty. Maybe you could put on that sexy nurse outfit you wore on Halloween and tend to my—”

“Oh, for God’s sake, Dominic! And who says nookie any more, I mean, really?” Katelyn spit out and crossed her arms, but she couldn’t help laughing a bit.

He had always been able to get her out of a bad mood even when they had just been friends. Now that they were dating, he had even more ways to cajole a laugh out of her.

Why am I avoiding him again? She wondered. Oh, yeah, the house.

She frowned at him. He stopped lounging against the railing and sauntered over to her, all the while grinning and clearly unfazed by her menacing look.

Oh man, not on the front porch, Katelyn thought as she recognized the mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

She backed up until she hit the door, fumbling behind her for the handle.

Mrs. Dickerson was going to have a field day with this, her panicked mind continued a beat before he squished her against the door.

It seems like he’s always squishing me against something, she thought in irritation. Then Kandy’s voice in her head mocked, probably because he knows you secretly love it.

“I’m starting to think you’re avoiding me, Skate,” Dom whispered against her lips.

He had one hand flat against the door above her head and the other against the door next to her waist. The entirety of him was pressing against her.

The entirety of her was now gooey and fuzzy headed.

“Are you avoiding me, babe?” Dominic asked while trailing his lips, without actually kissing her, along the edge of her jaw.

“Ahhhh… ummm… Why… um, whhhhy would I be avoiding you?” she managed to get out feebly.

His lips moved to her neck and his hips ground against hers.

“Dom-Dominic… there’s… there’s people out here!” She squeaked out the last word as his tongue licked the lobe of her ear just the way she liked it.

Dom’s head lifted and he raised his eyebrows. His hand above her head lifted from the door and looped behind her, scooping her flush up against him as he stepped back. His other hand turned the door knob, opened the door, and twirled her out of the way of it opening – all in one swift move.

“Exactly why we should take this inside,” Dom said with a grin. “Great idea, Skate.”

Then he let go of her abruptly and walked right into her home like he owned it.

Katelyn gritted her teeth and glared at his back. It was a good thing she was so madly in love with him, or she might actually hate him for the way he always seemed to get his way.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

CHAPTER FOUR will be posted 11/30/13 at 9am Chicago time.

#ASMSG Nov #BYNR Free Read: The V-Day Aversion, Chapter Two


For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The V-Day Aversion

by Genevieve Dewey

valentinescover

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

CHAPTER TWO

(Read CHAPTER ONE here.)

“So, she’s joking, right?”

Dominic Valentini tossed the remote down on the couch in disgust. He got up to grab some more beers from the kitchen while he waited for an answer from Kyle and Andrew. They didn’t say anything even after he handed them the beers, so he deliberately shook a beer and opened it right under Kyle’s nose.

“Hey! Jackass,” Kyle said caustically, wiping his front.

“This is serious. Why d’you think I invited you jerks over in the first place?” Dominic retorted.

Andrew looked over and shared a look with Kyle.

“Because Katelyn stood you up again and we wanted to duck our girlfriends and-or wives for a few hours?” Andrew answered disingenuously.

“Kyle,” Dominic said slowly. “This is your sister I’m talking about. Your twin sister. Surely you should know the answer to this question.”

“Sister… so, you have a twin sister…” Andrew began in his Darth Vader voice.

“Obi Wan was wise to hide her from me,” Kyle and Andrew finished in unison.

Dom sighed in irritation. He had obviously waited a few too many beers in to start this conversation.

“To reiterate—”

“Oooh, fancy pants words,” Kyle interrupted. “You’ve been hanging out with Katie too much, dude.”

Dom pinched the bridge of his nose and continued.

“Katelyn claims that she doesn’t want to go out for Valentine’s Day. I only brought it up once, and ever since, she refuses to even allow me to finish my freaking sentence. I either get the ‘commercial exploitation’ speech or she changes the subject. This is the first I have heard of this date aversion. I knew she disliked Valentine’s, but I had no idea she took it to this extent. I mean, when we were little—”

“Hey, speaking of, remember that time when Katie had that huge crush on what’s his name – we used to call him Booger?” Andrew interrupted.

“Humphrey,” Kyle said.

“Who in their right freakin’ mind names a kid Humphrey?”

“Mnnnn,” Kyle said. “Damn shame.”

Kyle and Andrew took a second and shook their heads in mutual disgust. Dominic clapped his hands to get their attention. He was starting to get that panicky feeling in his gut. He only had a couple days left to figure this out, and it was seriously pissing him off how un-seriously these two were taking this subject.

“Gentlemen, can we please focus here?”

“I was focusing. I’m agreeing with you,” Andrew said, leaning back on the couch and crossing his legs on the coffee table. “Katie made this really huge papier-mâché heart and gave it to Booger right in front of the whole class. Embarrassed the hell out of him. She obviously hasn’t always hated it.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t know she doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all anymore,” Kyle answered in such a perfectly bored voice that Dominic realized he was serious.

Worse, he realized his problem was more serious than he had initially thought.

“Why on earth would I know that?” Dom asked. “There’s a difference between expressing a dislike for a holiday and being a complete scrooge about it.”

“Wrong holiday,” Kyle interjected, now with the bored cop face to match his tone.

Dom glared at him and continued, “We’ve never dated before. Since friends don’t get each other candy and flowers, I had no idea that a general disdain for a holiday meant I’m not allowed to take my woman out on a date or get her a gift.”

“Just so you know, she’s fine with all the holidays that have some sort of historical or religious context to them,” Kyle answered patiently, looking cross-ways between amused and unconcerned. “That way she can bore us all to death with a lecture on the true roots of the holiday. Like last Easter—”

“Forget why, Kyle, and answer the original question,” Dominic interrupted.

What was it with these Andersons and their constant love of deflection? he thought.

He took a deep breath and continued, “Is she really serious that I can’t take her out anywhere, and absolutely under no circumstances, should even think about getting her a gift, especially not jewelry?”

“It’s a trap!” Andrew said in his Admiral Akbar voice. He leaned forward and started laughing.

Kyle laughed too, and grabbed the bowl of peanuts.

“You ask me, it’s really about the fact our birthday is right after and she’s gotten tired of getting stale pink candy and heart shaped gifts. Yes, she’s serious.”

He mirrored Andrew’s previously relaxed pose on the couch and smiled grimly, the rest of his face inscrutably blank.

“Alright, then, game plan,” Dom stopped, let out a long breath, and scooted to the edge of his chair.

He clapped his hands together.

“How about, she and I just celebrate at home and I get her something nice, but make it practical—”

“Err, err, err,” Andrew started making warning buzzer sounds.

Dom picked up the remote and threw it at him without breaking eye-contact with Kyle. Kyle’s cop face slipped a little and his lip twitched like he was struggling not to laugh.

“I get her something that I know she wants like a book or something to soften her up,” Dom continued. “But then I can still surprise her with—”

“You can’t get a woman a book for Valentine’s Day. Even I know that,” Andrew interrupted again. “Kellie and I always—”

“Yeah, I don’t think he needs advice from a guy who hasn’t seen his own balls in at least a year,” Kyle interjected. “And it’s bad enough I got him asking me how to romance one sister, I don’t need to know about what you and my other sister do to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

Kyle got up and started arranging the beer cans for another round of beer bowling.

“This is not like you, Dom. Since when do you need to consult us on what to get a woman? If Katie doesn’t want to go out, what’s the big deal? Money saved.”

“It’s different with her! I mean, this is Katelyn! You know how long I’ve wanted to be in her—”

Kyle held up a hand and shuddered. “My sister, dude.”

Life. The point is, this is our first ever Valentine’s Day together and I want it perfect.”

“Am I allowed to speak? That is, if you two morons would like some advice from the only married person in the room?” Andrew asked in such a perfect imitation of his wife Kellie’s lofty, bossy tone that both Kyle and Dominic laughed.

“Shoot,” Dom said.

“You always gotta keep them guessing, so things don’t get stale—”

“They just got together three months ago,” Kyle interrupted with the patented Anderson eye-roll.

“Sheddit,” Andrew replied then turned back to Dominic. “She says she doesn’t want something, fine. I don’t believe it, but fine. Get her something she can’t give back, something more symbolic. Like a trip or something.”

“And the fact your wife’s a travel salesman has nothing to do with this, right?” Dom interjected.

“Salesperson. And she owns an event planning company. But no, I’m not talking about anything fancy. I’m talking about a night at a hotel or something. I was going to say earlier that’s what Kellie and I do every year. I surprise her with a new restaurant and a night at a hotel.”

Kyle looked surprised then shook his head. “If she doesn’t want to celebrate the day then it won’t matter what he gets her. She’ll be pissed anyway. This ‘I hate V-Day’ thing has stuck around a lot longer than any of Katelyn’s other soapboxes she stumps the hell out of.”

“‘A man and woman should show appreciation for their mate all year long, every day’,” Dominic said in a falsetto voice.

Andrew curled his upper lip in disgust and Kyle started laughing again.

“Yeah, I’ve been listening to the whole diatribe a lot longer than you have, Valentini.”

“‘And it’s totally sexist’,” Dom continued in his faux-Katelyn voice. “‘Why is it always the focus on the woman? Jewelry, chocolate, teddy bears, why nothing for the man?’ she says.”

“Uhhh, because “Ladies, time for the annual blow job” wouldn’t pass the censors?” Andrew said.

“You only get it once a year? Shit, don’t answer that,” Kyle said in disgust and shuddered again.

He clapped Dom on the shoulder.

“It’s either ‘Do, or do not. There is no try’. You’re going to have to go all in and change her mind about it, or accept you’ve got the only woman on the face of the planet that doesn’t want a date on Valentine’s.”

“But… come on, Kyle, how am I supposed to know if the no gift part is something she’s serious about, or just something she’s saying, but totally doesn’t mean? Because in three short months I’ve learned ‘oh, I can’t possibly decide on dessert’ means ‘you order dessert and I’ll eat half’. Maybe she just really means get a gift, but not a particularly Valentiney-type gift.”

“This must be an Anderson woman thing,” Andrew said. “Took me a full four dates to realize ‘Men paying the tab is so antiquated’ didn’t mean Kellie wanted to go Dutch. It apparently meant I was to let her offer to pay the bill then say, ‘no, let me, please’. Because then I gave her the choice or such feminist shit. But, notice, I’m still paying the tab… which is some pretty clever female trickeration if you ask me… I’m just sayin’…” Andrew trailed off at Kyle’s dark look.

Kyle turned back toward Dominic.

“You’re both morons. I don’t understand the big deal. Just take her at her word and don’t get her a present then go whole hog on the birthday present. Problem solved,” Kyle said slowly in his passionless cop voice again.

Dominic could tell he was going to be of no further help so he played his trump a bit sooner than he wanted.

“The big deal is, I wanted to ask her to marry me and it seemed like Valentine’s would be the perfect way to do it. In my experience, chicks dig that sort of stuff.”

Kyle spit out his beer.

“Way to bury the lead, Valentini,” he said.

“I mean, you never hear women talk to each other and say things like, oh, he asked me on this random Tuesday in March,” Dominic continued. “It was so romantic.”

“Hey, man, that’s great,” Andrew said, reaching over and shaking Dom’s hand. “Welcome to the family. Or their family, whatever.”

“But I suppose, her birthday could work, also,” Dom finished as he shook Kyle’s hand too.

“I’ve changed my mind,” Kyle said, back to his ebullient self. “Since she’ll be mad either way you should definitely pop the question on Valentine’s. If anything could change her mind about the holiday, it’ll be you asking her to marry you. Unlike Kellie, Katie’s not uptight, she’s just—”

“Shows how well you know your sister!” Andrew interrupted. “I’ll have you know Kellie really knows how to let loose in the—”

“Arrgh! Stop with the speaking about my sisters and sex!” Kyle shuddered.

Andrew chuckled.

“I was going to say, before the baboon interrupted,” Kyle continued cheerfully, “that Katelyn sometimes needs a firm hand. She needs a take charge person in her life. It’s part of why I’m glad you two finally got together. It comforts her or something to have someone else make decisions for her, no matter what she says otherwise. When we were little I was always the one that had to try something first and tell her it was ok. But as soon as she had some structure, she was all about having fun and being wild.”

“So I should just go ahead and plan something, and ignore it if she gets mad that I surprised her on Valentine’s,” Dominic proposed. “We all know how she hates surprises.”

Kyle nodded enthusiastically, practically bouncing on his heels.

“She won’t get mad this time, I guarantee it. Just put your foot down.”

Dom narrowed his eyes. “You guaran—”

“Plan something and get her a really big ring,” Andrew interrupted. “If that doesn’t work then screw the mad right outta her.”

Kyle lost his mischievous grin and started pounding on Andrew.

“Police brutality!” Andrew half shouted, half laughed then started punching back.

Dom chuckled and flipped the channel to the Red Zone to check scores.

Come to think of it, that wasn’t a half bad plan… Dom thought to himself and moved further down the couch to avoid the flying fists and feet.

He fished his phone out and texted Katelyn:

Done at your parents? Game’s at half I can kick the guys out and you can come over.

Can’t. I’m babysitting Kandace’s kids.

He frowned and texted back:

Thought they were staying at Steve’s?

Kandace said she wants to talk. She’s staying the night. Sorry!

Dominic released a frustrated breath.

Then come over later.

It was silent for so long he set it down on the coffee table. Finally it beeped.

Don’t wait up. Love you.

Dominic stared at the read out.

Don’t wait up? What the hell kind of answer was that? At this rate, it would be Valentine’s next year before he got the woman to stand still long enough to ask her.

Andrew and Kyle had gotten bored punching each other and moved on to mocking the hair piece on the commentator’s head. Dom grunted, propped his feet on the table, and joined them.

He could put his foot down tomorrow.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

Read more… CHAPTER THREE.

#ASMSG #BYNR Free Read: The V-Day Aversion, Chapter One


For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The V-Day Aversion

by Genevieve Dewey

valentinescover

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

CHAPTER ONE

Out of all the ways Katelyn Anderson had planned to spend the evening, hiding behind a giant juniper bush hadn’t even ranked in the top twenty.

This was taking procrastination to new levels, the tiny voice inside her head mocked.

You’re just being a good sister, the other voice enabled.

“This has seriously got to be the dumbest thing you have ever convinced me to do,” Katelyn said while trying to prevent a branch from poking her in the rear.

“Yeah, well, we’ve established you need to get out more,” Kandace replied, unfazed.

Kandy scooted a little further down along the house behind the shrub. Kate gritted her teeth and tried to follow her. It was extremely awkward since she refused to get on her hands and knees like Kandace. Instead, she sort of duck walked in her bulky snow gear after her older sister.

“Kandy,” Katelyn whispered. “Kandy, do you at least have a general time frame in which we can expect his arrival? Because I am freezing my ass off and Dom said he was going to come over, so I should at least call him and cancel—”

“Shhhh,” Kandace hissed and waved her hand at Katelyn to silence her.

She ended up smacking Kate in the face with her dirt and snow covered glove. Katelyn stared in exasperation at her profile and reminded herself how many times Kandace had her back over the years. She turned her head to try and see what Kandace was shushing her about.

A car door slammed and she heard the clack-clomp of high heeled boots on cement.

“Well, that was certainly an adventure. I appreciate you going with me,” a male voice was saying from the general proximity of the front porch.

“Oh, no problem, Steve,” a high pitched, breathlessly sweet voice chirped out. It was followed by a quick giggle. “It was really my pleasure.”

Then another quick giggle.

Katelyn had no idea who the girl was, but she hated her already. It wasn’t just because the other voice belonged to her currently suspected of cheating brother-in-law. Perky, effusive people bothered Katelyn on principle alone, and doubly so on chilly February nights when she could be sitting in front of a fire with her not-at-all-insanely-perky boyfriend. Just the thought of Dominic’s large, calloused hands holding her warmed her a bit.

She smiled until she remembered she was currently avoiding him. Not because he’d done anything wrong, unless being practically perfect in the boyfriend category was a crime, she just didn’t trust her will-power around him. Sort of like avoiding the snack aisle while one was PMSing; less chance of giving in to temptation leading to regret, but sadly… less pleasure.

Katelyn’s thoughts were interrupted by a sort of growling, mewling sound. When she realized it was her sister making that sound she thought,

Oh God, please no, I didn’t bring any bail money…

Katelyn grabbed Kandace’s arm and yanked her until she turned her face to look at Katelyn. The hurt and brewing tears in Kandy’s eyes had Katelyn letting out a defeated breath. She grimaced in commiseration.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, then,” Steve said and they could hear the jangle of his keys.

The girl clomped away in an almost skipping manner.

Katelyn tried to move some branches aside to get a better look at the supposed interloper. All she could see in the dark was that the girl was wearing a wool pea coat, a short skirt, and high heeled platform boots. In February. In Nebraska. Katelyn’s insta-hate ratcheted up a notch. People who had no regard for proper seasonal dress also bothered Katelyn. Her sister’s potential competition was a perky, skipping, flaunter of the rules. In other words, Kandace 2.0, with an extra side of bouncy.

Katelyn reached up and absentmindedly ran her hand up and down Kandace’s back in sympathy.

“Well, that doesn’t prove anything. I mean…” Katelyn’s whisper trailed off as Kandace sent her a death glare.

Kandace started pushing through the rest of the shrub towards the front porch. Katelyn frantically tried to stop her, but her glove covered fingers couldn’t get a grip on the back of Kandace’s parka. Kandace came out the end just as they heard the bolt snick on the front door.

Katelyn fell out of the edge of the bush and tackled her sister before she could make it to the steps.

“No! No, you can’t.”

“Katie, butt out!”

“Butt out? Are you kidding me? You’re the one who dragged me here! And it is my duty as your sister to stop you from doing something stupid right now. This isn’t proof of anything,” Katelyn hissed in a fervent whisper.

Kandace’s mouth dropped open and she stared at Katelyn incredulously. She put her hands on her hips.

“I’m serious, Kandy,” Katelyn continued. “If it was a date, wouldn’t he be dropping her off, instead of the other way around?”

“Maybe they’re taking turns driving,” Kandace said with her chin in the air, but looking a little less certain. “If it wasn’t a date, how come he left the kids with his mom when he knew I was available?”

“I don’t know, but if it was a date, wouldn’t he have invited her inside? And it’s barely past suppertime. Usually dates don’t end until much later.”

Kandace started wringing her hands and looking back and forth between the now dark porch and the street.

“Maybe he just wasn’t ready to introduce her to his mom. I mean, you’ve met her. Darth Vader has a more charming personality.”

Katelyn expelled a quick huff of amusement then she sobered.

“Kandace, I don’t want to be cruel here, but you’re the one who moved out. If you want to know what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with, maybe you should consider moving back in with him. Technically, it’s not cheating if it happens after you’ve left him,” Katelyn said.

“Uh, duh, yeah, it is!” Kandace hissed and started angrily walking towards the sidewalk. “We aren’t divorced yet, and my kids are in that house! I have every right to be concerned about who he’s bringing around them.”

Katelyn tried to hurry after her, but it felt like each of her toes had turned into miniature popsicles. Her breath plumed out in front of her as she spoke to her sister’s rapidly moving back.

“Kandace, like I said five times on the walk over here, and at least twelve times on the phone since you left him last month, I sincerely doubt he’s going to bring anyone around your kids when you haven’t even formally divorced.”

Kandace abruptly stopped walking and turned around. Tears were running down her face and her eyes sparkled in the faint light of the street lights.

“That didn’t stop him from cheating the first time, did it?” she squeaked.

Katelyn sighed and reached out for Kandace’s gloves. Their hands slid out from each other at first, and they both let out a slight laugh at it. Katelyn smiled a bolstering smile.

“Kandy, you only suspected him of cheating. You have no real proof, and it was his idea to go to marriage counseling with you. That’s not the sign of a guy wanting out.”

“Says the woman who didn’t even notice her best friend was pining for her for years. The hottest guy in town, no less. Gee, it really sucks to be you,” Kandace said.

Katelyn didn’t take it personally. If there was anyone in the Anderson family that could outdo Katelyn in the fine art of deflection, it was Kandace.

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you moved out, not the other way around,” Katelyn said.

“I moved out because my husband spent more time on business trips – where he did God knows what with God knows whom – than he did at home with me and the kids. And believe me, I tried to kick him out, but as he so kindly pointed out, the house belongs to him. The car belongs to him. The credit cards belong to him. The damned dog belongs to him. Well I don’t belong to him!” Kandace practically screamed the last sentence out.

A light went on in a room across the street and a dog started barking. Katelyn grabbed Kandace’s arm as best she could with her gloved hand and dragged her down the street quickly. They didn’t speak anymore even after they got into Kandace’s mom-mobile parked two blocks over.

Halfway down the interstate drive to her house, Katelyn dared to bring up the Forbidden Topic.

“Ok, again, Kandy, I don’t want to be cruel or anything, but, can I just point out—”

“No.”

“Kandace—”

“No!”

Katelyn sighed a frustrated, long, pointedly drawn out sigh.

“We don’t know if he cheated for sure but we do know you did,” Katelyn said it anyway.

Kandace growled a bit and sent her sister a furious glare.

“I spent the night at Brian’s house once and after I found lipstick on Steve’s shirt. What am I supposed to assume? He’s always gone—”

“The lipstick could have been from his mother, and he’s always traveled a lot—”

“And he said he wanted a trial separation if I didn’t pick a career and stick with it—”

“Well, that is a little harsh as far as ultimatums go, but, Kaden is already in kindergarten so I can see why he would want to encourage—”

“Then he took the kids and stayed two whole weeks at his parents without me—”

“But wasn’t that Thanksgiving trip your idea?”

“Why are you taking his side?!” Kandace screamed.

Katelyn winced as it reverberated in the car.

“I’m not,” she countered softly. “I’m just trying to play devil’s advocate. That’s all. I’m one-hundred percent on your side. I promise.”

Kandace started sobbing and Katelyn dug a tissue out of the console.

“I know I screwed up, OK? I don’t need reminding I’m a screw up. A jobless, husbandless, flighty, stupid, screw up! It’s two days from Valentine’s Day and he’s already got a new woman to spend it with, and I’m going to be all alone! I don’t even have my kids. Errr!” Kandy squealed out at the end.

“You’re not a screw up and you’re not stupid, come on,” Katelyn started to say.

“I’m a Beauty school, Nursing school, and Interior Decorating school dropout!”

“Well… but, again, you got straight A’s in all those classes,” Katelyn parried with a wobbly smile. “And, technically, you haven’t dropped out of Culinary school yet.”

Kandace laughed in a shaky, self-deprecating manner and looked down at her hands.

“Besides, you’re not employed because you’ve been a stay at home mom for the better part of a decade which is not the same as being jobless,” Katelyn continued with a cheerful smile. “As far as the kids go, you still see Kaden and Alex almost every day. And Valentine’s Day is way overrated anyway. It’s a completely manufactured holiday designed to support the greeting card industry and jewelry stores. It’s for suckers and lovesick fools.”

Katelyn’s phone buzzed on the console. Kandace released a tear-filled chuckle as Katelyn looked at the read out on her phone. Dom’s abs showed on the screen. Kandace raised her eyebrows and Katelyn flushed. Dominic had put that on her phone the last time he’d stolen it and she couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

“You shouldn’t talk and drive, y’know,” Kandace mumbled as she reached for the phone.

“Well, I think it’s slightly less dangerous than you driving in your state,” she answered as she swatted her sister’s hand.

She pressed speaker phone to answer it. Kandace made a ‘tuh’ sound.

“Hey, little girl,” Dominic voice filled the car, all deep and sexy. “Wanna get in my van? I got candy if you show me your underwear…”

“Dom, honestly, what if someone else answered my phone?!” Katelyn asked.

She sent her sister a reproving look as Kandace covered her mouth to muffle her laughter.

Dom chuckled and Katelyn couldn’t help grinning in return.

“They’d learn their lesson, wouldn’t they? And why would someone else answer your phone? Seriously, Skate, where are you? Thought we were going to order Chinese and mock MacGyver together at your place.”

She winced and glanced at Kandace again. Kandy raised her eyebrow.

“I’m sorry, Dom! I was running errands downtown this afternoon and I thought I’d pop in and visit Kellie and it took longer than I expected before I got to see her. My own sister! You’d think she was the Pope or something the way her secretaries block for her. I’m just leaving Omaha now.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Kate could see Kandace’s mouth drop open at this blatant lie.

“It’s cool. You can just stop at my place on your way—”

“Ahh, can’t, I just passed the exit and I forgot I have to stop by Mom’s.”

“Okaay,” Dom drawled out. “We’ll do it another night then. But as your boyfriend and oldest friend, I feel compelled to point out you’re getting to be almost as flighty as Kandace the last few weeks.”

Katelyn winced and sent another guilty glance in her sister’s direction. Kandace rolled her eyes, but she didn’t look offended.

“Hey! You don’t get to call her flighty. I get to call her flighty, because she’s my sister, but my boyfriend does not get to call her flighty,” Katelyn said in a falsely cheerful tone.

“I think I’m exempt from the boyfriend clause because we’ve known each other our whole lives. We’re all practically family.”

“Ha! I don’t let family members do to me what you do,” Katelyn paused as his deep laughter filled the car. “And if we’re ‘family’ then you won’t mind when I say I’m throwing out the stinky socks you keep leaving at my place. Leaving them with me does not automatically equate with me washing them.”

Dominic’s laughter turned into a chuckle.

“I resent the implication I would be so underhanded,” he replied in good humor. “If I wanted someone to wash my stinky socks I’d drop them off next door to you at my mother’s. Besides, I wouldn’t have to remember to search for my socks if you lived—”

“Ah… hold on I have to merge in traffic. I better call you back,” she cut him off quickly, and hit off.

She swallowed the guilt as Kandace stared at her in open mouthed confusion.

“You gonna to tell me what that’s about?” Kandace asked.

“Nope.”

“So, I’m supposed to listen to you poke in my life, but I don’t get to know why you’re lying to Dominic about where you were, or why you got off the phone so fast?”

“Ok, let me first point out – again – that you dragged me out to Lincoln to spy on your husband, not the other way around. And what am I supposed to say? I’ve just been lurking in bushes spying on my not-at-all-flighty sister’s husband like a teenaged stalker?”

“That might be an excuse I’d buy for lying about where you were, but not for getting off the phone so quickly,” Kandace pointed out. “You were all keen about him coming over earlier tonight and now you’re avoiding him.”

Katelyn sighed.

“He’s been hinting rather heavily lately about me moving in with him.”

Kandace moved in her seat abruptly to better face Katelyn.

“That’s great, Katie! Wait… isn’t it? Why is that not great?”

“Well… I just didn’t want to be all happy when you’re going through your troubles because no one likes it when you’re unhappy and someone is all in your face with their cheerfulness.”

“Like Tits McGee back there on my front porch? It’s not the same, Katie! We’re family and you know what a huge supporter I am of you and Dom as a couple. Need I remind you if it weren’t for me, you might not even have gotten together at Thanksgiving?”

Katelyn rolled her eyes. Kandace was always taking credit for anything positive that ever happened in Katelyn’s life.

“And also, I’m not buying for one second the reason you’re avoiding Dom is because I’m staying the night tonight,” Kandace continued. “Please tell me you’re not torturing the man again with that bad habit you have of changing your mind every two minutes? For a woman that likes lists and rules so much, you sure are fond of indecision.”

Katelyn sighed again and glared at her sister.

“It’s… complicated.”

Kandace snorted.

“No, Steve and I are complicated. You and Dom are an open book. You’re both single, no kids, and crazy about each other. The only true wrinkle in your relationship is you live a town away from each other. At some point in time it would be inevitable that one of you would move in with the other.”

“Well, why does it have to be me that moves in with him? I just got that job at MWAC in Lincoln. Ashland is closer to Lincoln than Gretna—”

“Oh my God, by like, a handful of minutes! Are you kidding me?” Kandace argued with an eye roll.

“Why are you always mocking me?”

“Why are you always saying stupid things?”

Katelyn stuck her tongue out.

“Oh wow, are you two years old? For real?” Kandace laughed.

Katelyn smirked because at least her sister was smiling and laughing again. Then she allowed herself an irritated huff.

“He’s been trying to get me to go out with him for Valentine’s Day,” Katelyn said in disgust.

“Gasp! The horror,” Kandace drawled mockingly. Katelyn shot her another dirty look.

“You know I hate that holiday. He should know I hate that holiday and yet he’s insisting on asking me every two second what I want, where should we go out, etcetera, and I just know it’s so he can officially ask me to move in with him!”

“Again… the horror,” Kandace said.

“Earlier, I figured if you were there he wouldn’t bring it up, but now I’m not so sure.”

“First, that really was dumb of you since everyone knows I’m all Team Dom & Kate For Evah,” Kandace said in a teeny bopper voice.

Katelyn snorted and rolled her eyes.

Kandace continued in her normal voice, “Second, no one in the family takes your ‘I hate V-Day’ thing seriously, so why should he? You only say that because you’ve never had a boyfriend in February before.”

“I do not!” Katelyn replied fervently. “Even if I had had a boyfriend I would hate the commercial exploitation of romantic relationships for the sole purpose of selling things!”

“Which is what dateless shut-ins all over the world tell themselves to make themselves feel better that they’re home alone watching the Lifetime Channel and eating candies they bought themselves.”

Katelyn glared at Kandace again. Kandace just grinned unabashedly. She turned full in her seat and ticked off points with her finger on her palm:

“So, Dreamy Valentini is choosing to ignore your inexplicable hatred of the lover’s holiday and shower you with attention. Instead of tolerating this show of affection, you’ve decided it has to be because he wants you to move in with him – which, again, I’m failing to see the problem with – and, instead of just dealing with this, you’ve decided to give the man mental whiplash while you avoid a confrontation. As usual.”

“Kandace,” Katelyn smacked the steering wheel. “I like living in Mom and Dad’s house. I just took out a mortgage on that place. Responsible people don’t just bail in the first year of their mortgage. And I like our small town feel. Gretna is practically like living inside Omaha these days. I don’t want to give Dominic an opportunity to officially ask me because then I’ll have to say no, and it will make things awkward between us. You know I fear the awkward. Honestly, you’re going to sprain an eye muscle if you keep rolling your eyes, Kandy.”

“Whine, whine, whine, avoid, avoid, avoid…”

“For crying out loud, I was all on your side with this Steve business. The least you could do is…” Katelyn trailed off as she recognized their mom’s car in front of her house.

Katelyn and Kandace shared a quick look.

When they walked through the door, they saw their mother sitting on the couch with packed bags next to her. Katelyn’s heart jumped to her throat.

“Oh my God, don’t tell me you left Dad!”

Bridgette blinked in confusion then scoffed.

“Of course not, these are Kandy’s bags. If she’s going to carry on with this tom-foolery then she can stay with you. We simply don’t have the room at our retirement village,” Bridgette stopped and turned to an opened mouth Kandace. “I’m sorry sweetheart, when you first showed up we thought it would just be for a few days. It’s been almost a month. Don’t you think you ought to at least try and patch things up with Steve? There’s children to consider.”

Their mom smiled a fond, though slightly condescending smile. Kandace’s mouth remained open but her eyes narrowed. No one spoke. After a long moment of pointed silence, Kandace walked forward, grabbed her suitcases, and marched down the hall.

They heard a door slam loudly and Katelyn met her mother’s chagrined eyes.

“Oh, you’re joking, right?” Katelyn said to no one in particular.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

Read more… CHAPTER TWO.

Shenanigans, and love scenes, and flashbacks, oh my!


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I put up this poster on Facebook the other day to mixed reviews. What do you think? Some think it is too soft for the series, and they have a point. I was thinking that at the heart of the series (no pun intended) is love and family, so that was the theme I was going with. I’d really love more opinions before I go to the expense of making posters to give to fans. Thanks!

On a related note, have you read all of the supplemental scenes? If not, here are the links that can always be found on this website. I hope you are busy reading Third Time’s The Charm; I cannot wait to hear your opinions!

Downey Series Missing Scenes:

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTime   .    birddaycover   valentinescover

NEW BEGINNINGS (A young Tommy Gates Flashback)

This short scene features a young Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson (from Bird Day Battalion & V-Day Aversion) and is set shortly before the flashback scene in the first chapter of First, I Love You in which Mickey finds Mary & Tommy.

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HER PRINCE (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This scene features a nineteen year old Mary Gates, freshly arrived in New York, talking with her new best friend Claire (Anderson) Underwood about the mysterious new man she started seeing, Michael…something or another.

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CONVERSATIONS AT 30,000 FT (A Maeve Downey & Ginny Sommers Missing Moment)

This is a quick missing moment from Second of All set aboard the flight to Dublin that both Maeve and Ginny are on. Don’t read if you don’t like spoilers!

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LETTERS FROM MICKEY DOWNEY (Letters Mickey Downey wrote to his loved ones)

These are the letters referenced in the Downey Trilogy that Mickey wrote to his loved ones over the years. In the books, the reader rarely gets to see the contents of these letters so I have begun sharing them as Wednesday blog posts. Check back as I add more.

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THE GOOD LIFE (A Dominic Valentini & Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

Right now this flashback is the prologue to the Dom & Kate novel “The Good Life” but it is possible it may not make it in. It will stay here in any case.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY  (A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman Missing Moment from First, I Love You)

A love scene shortly after James and Kiki first “hook up” as Kiki puts it. — Warning! 18+ For Sexual Material!  Published in A World of Romance Anthology

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SECOND CHANCES (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This is a flashback to when Mary tells Mickey she is pregnant with Tommy, and Mickey persuades Mary to be his mistress. — Warning: 18+ For Language and Brief Sexual Material!

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Get your ~FREE~ copy of #ASMSG’s A World of Romance! #sep #bynr ||


ASMSG is a group of authors (and poets and artists and editors) who help each other navigate social media and publishing concerns. This year we’ve introduced free anthologies to showcase the diverse talents of some of our authors (not all at once, of course, there are over 600 members!). The first anthology was a collection of cross-genre shorts. The second, a collection of poetry.

This one is a collection of Romance vignettes, some tame some steamy. I will go ahead and put mine “Special Delivery” on the steamy category. 🙂

Grab it, it’s FREE!!! Click on the cover to go to Smashwords where you can download a digital copy in whatever format you choose or search for it at Apple and B&N. (I’m sorry, no Amazon–kindle users download the .mobi file at Smashwords)

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