I wanted to make my participation in the event easier for me (and more user friendly for my readers), so I’ve set up a brand new page on my website dedicated just to excerpts of Believe in Me. Here you’ll find both the previous weeks’ excerpts, which I posted online plus a very special video excerpt where I myself am reading from my own work. I just love hearing authors read something they’ve written themselves, don’t you? So I wanted to do my readers (and future readers) the courtesy of providing that to them. I hope you enjoy it.
Here, though, I’ve decided to post the start of a love scene in Believe in Me. It is, after all, a contemporary romance novella. I hope you enjoy it, and remember: the Kindle version is only 99 cents. The paperback version is only $4.99. Check them out! 🙂
Kurt grinned again. “I know. I remember. How many times did I sit through your VHS copy of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir?”
Trina nudged her shoulder into his as they both stepped onto the bottom step. “You know you loved it. You thought Gene Tierney was smokin’!”Kurt laughed then, and the sound was infectious. As Trina laughed with him, she remembered how much she’d always loved the sound of his laugh. He put a hand on her shoulder as they rounded the corner into the formal dining area, and Trina didn’t even flinch. It felt natural, like his hand belonged there.
Dinner at the B&B was always a formal affair, so the two were surprised when they walked into the room and saw that the table wasn’t set. There wasn’t even a cloth draping Mim’s prized cherry table. The casserole dish rested on a multicolored ceramic trivet. There was a jumble of silverware next to it on top of a handwritten note on yellowed memo pad paper.
“You two kids have fun. I had to go to a friend’s house,” Trina read as she picked up the silverware and handed some across the table to Kurt.
“A friend’s house, hmm? Sounds like Mim has a hot date tonight,” he said.
Trina frowned and slowly shook her head. “I don’t think so. More likely, she went to Mom’s house to talk about me.”
Kurt pulled out a chair. “You? Why would they be talking about you?”
“Because I’m refusing to go home and talk to Walt.”
“So? Why do you need to talk to Walt?”
“I don’t!” The words came out more forcefully than Trina meant for them to. She felt her cheeks flush and lowered her eyes to the table in front of her. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “I’m just a little touchy about it. Still.” She saw that there weren’t any plates on the table. “Mim forgot the plates. I’ll go get some.”
Kurt glanced down at her still wrapped ankle and reached a hand out to stop her. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get the plates. You just sit back and relax.”
Trina smiled at him, trying to hide the pain she felt. Except now the pain was more emotional than physical. Mim was really upset with her for not running immediately over to make up with Walt.
But why didn’t Mim understand? She’d been married and divorced at least three times. Why was she being so judgmental? Why is everyone pushing me to be with Walt? Trina closed her eyes and sank down into her chair, wishing that she could be back in her nice, quiet apartment in the city, getting things ready to go back to work the next day. She was ready for this vacation to be over.
A few minutes later, Kurt returned, carrying a couple of vintage blue-flowered Corelle dinner plates under his arm. In his hands, he held an unopened bottle of red wine, a corkscrew, and two wine glasses. Trina sat up and raised an eyebrow. “Wine?” she asked.
“Yeah. I had some stashed in my suitcase, and I thought it might be a nice addition to our meal. It will definitely help you relax.”
That’s what I’m afraid of, Trina thought, but she said, “I don’t drink. Not anymore. I gave it up a couple of years ago.”
It wasn’t really a lie, but it wasn’t exactly the truth, either. She and Walt had been talking about trying to start a family, and Trina read everything she could get her hands on about fertility and pregnancy. Alcohol was never highly recommended as part of the process. In fact, everything she read told her it would be best to abstain completely, so she did…except for an occasional glass of wine here and there.
After six months, the conception attempts proved to be unsuccessful, and Trina gave up all hope of getting pregnant. Instead, she turned to making the most out of her career as she could, and she worked her way up to the higher echelons of the station. Sure, it meant more commitments and more time spent away from home, but it was also more money. And it gave her a sense of accomplishment and security that she hadn’t really ever felt before.
Walt said he understood, but Trina never really believed him. He was always complaining about how she was not spending enough time with him. She knew she wasn’t. The truth was, she just couldn’t help it. He was part of the unsuccessful baby making team. She didn’t want to spend much time around him. He reminded her of their failure.
‘“Come on. Just one little glass. It won’t hurt, and it might help.”
Kurt’s voice startled Trina out of her painful memories. She glanced up at him in alarm. His bottom lip was stuck out in a mock pout as he uncorked the bottle and poured.
Trina sighed and gazed into Kurt’s green eyes. There was something in them that she couldn’t place—some hint of what he was thinking and feeling. But what was it? Trina shook her head slightly. I am a little too tense, she thought. Maybe a few sips of wine will do me good.
She smiled her best, most confident, smile and took the glass from Kurt’s hand. After one sip, she felt the tension in her neck muscles easing away. After three sips, she knew that she needed to eat something. Her tolerance wasn’t as high as it used to be. She reached for the old silver serving spoon that, she knew from experience, Mim polished on a weekly basis. The casserole was a broccoli and cheese with little pieces of baked chicken breast thrown in. It looked and smelled amazing. Her stomach grumbled noisily and she flushed, embarrassed.
Kurt laughed. “Don’t worry about it. Just eat.”
They chatted while they ate. Trina felt herself relaxing more, and she didn’t think it was just the wine having that effect on her. Being here with Kurt like this just felt so natural. So right. That was why it didn’t feel at all inappropriate when Kurt leaned over, grabbing her thigh under the table, and said, “Do you mind if we skip the movie tonight?”
“Oh. Are you not feeling well?” The wine was dulling Trina’s mental processes.
“No. I’m just not so much in the mood for it now. I’d rather stay here and spend some time alone with you.”
Trina felt a flash of heat run through her body at his words. She raised her eyebrows and gave him a nervous half-smile. “You want to stay here?”
“Yes.” Kurt grinned. “I’m sure there are plenty of old Christmas movies on TV right now.”
“TV.” Trina sighed in relief. The only television in the house was in the parlor—the nice, public parlor, into which Mim could walk at any moment, even though Trina knew she most likely wouldn’t. That note she’d left was clue enough. Mim was going to leave the two of them alone. If Trina knew Mim at all (and she did), she might not even come back to the house that night. She would, however, be back in plenty of time to fix breakfast in the morning. Mim would never leave her guests hungry, no matter how irritated she was with them.
Trina followed Kurt into the parlor. She sat down on the steel blue Georgian loveseat, tossing one of the matching throw pillows on the ground at her feet. Kurt turned the TV on at the set and then sat down beside her, setting the remote on the raised arm on his other side. He shifted her body slightly and pulled her injured ankle up on his lap, rubbing it gently with both hands.
“See. I told you I could find an old movie for us to watch. Miracle on 34th Street, it is.”
The movie was already well underway, but Trina didn’t mind. She’d seen it enough to know what was going on. She wasn’t that focused on the movie, anyway. The motion of Kurt’s hands on her ankle was sending her into a hypnotically erotic state. The pain of the injury melted away.
“You’re good at that,” she murmured.
“That’s not the only thing I’m good at,” he replied with a wicked grin, lowering her foot to the floor and scooting in closer.
The loveseat was just big enough for two people to sit thigh to thigh and shoulder to shoulder. Trina felt the warmth of Kurt’s body next to hers and longed to sink herself into it. She leaned a little closer and sighed.
Kurt tucked his right arm around her shoulders and pulled her in tight, shifting his body slightly so that Trina’s left shoulder was up against his chest. Gently, he placed his left index finger under her chin and turned her face toward his, claiming her mouth with his a second later.
The kiss sent electric shockwaves of desire and need coursing through Trina’s body. She turned her body toward him, encircling her arms around his neck, pulling him in even deeper. Kurt’s hands moved down her shoulders, to her arms, and around to her back. He rocked his body into hers with a passion that she remembered from their high school days. All the old feelings came rushing back to her in a flash. Trina wanted him as much now as she had then. All thoughts of restraint vanished in the engulfing fire of passion that coursed through her.
“Kurt,” she breathed, breaking away slightly from the kiss.
“Yes, Trina? My beautiful, beautiful Trina,” he murmured, running his lips lightly down her ear and neck, sending pleasant shivers down her spine. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she knew she should have balked at his use of the possessive, but she pushed the thought aside. This wasn’t the time to quibble over word choice. There were no words necessary to describe what was happening between them. So, then, why did Trina felt the need to say something?
“I want to go upstairs. To your room.”
He drew in a breath and released it in a relieved huff. “I thought you’d never ask.”
They raced up the stairs like a couple of horny teenagers, caught up in the excitement of reconnecting with an old flame—one that neither one of them had ever really wanted to let die in the first place.
Mishael Austin Witty