Just a few more days until ONCE AND AGAIN is out in trade paper!
Petal, Georgia: ONCE AND AGAIN by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2011 Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Feeling like an idiot, he looked at himself in the mirror for the dozenth time. He’d actually changed clothes already. Twice. This was approaching utter fail status and he needed to get his head into the game or he’d blow this chance.
Beth breezed in like he didn’t have his front door closed for a reason. “Hey.” She looked him up and down, ignoring his annoyance. “Nice. Don’t wear that jacket. You look like you’re going to a funeral in that thing.”
“Is your hand broken?”
“I don’t need to knock on your door because I’m here to give you some advice.”
He looked at her warily and she laughed. “Is this like that time you came to the movies and sat behind me and my date and kicked my seat the whole night?”
She grinned again. “Ah, good times. Not tonight. Look, as annoying as you are and all, you’re a good guy and Lily is a great woman and even though you screwed up big time you both deserve a second shot. If you mess it up I’m telling Tate on you.”
“Mmm hmm. So what’s this advice then?”
“It’s that you never tried to talk to her. After she caught you with your floozie.”
“She wasn’t my anything.” He glared but she was a Murphy and therefore made of sterner stuff. Her response was a bland, bored look. “Thank you for telling me that.”
“Don’t wear that shirt.” She headed to the closet and tossed him the one he’d been wearing first. “This one is nice on you. Makes you look handsome in that non-threatening way.”
“If I wear it will you stop pestering me?”
“Hell no. But I will for now.”
He snorted and took the shirt, changing quickly. “Now go or you might see something you’ll have to tell a therapist about.”
She snorted. “Your scrawny chest is nothing to write home about. If you mess this up I will be so mad at you.”
He pulled the shirt on quickly and then hugged her. “I’ll try not to be a dumbass.”
“Big challenge but you do have that big city diploma and all.” She looked him over. “Nice. Handsome. You have all your teeth. Also a plus. I’m all about these little glass half full moments, Nathan.”
They walked out to his car and she gave him a look and another warning before he drove away.
It wasn’t his first date, for god’s sake. He’d had unlawful carnal knowledge of this woman. More than once.
Heat flashed through him at the memory of what they were like together. Of what she’d been like all curves and valleys. So pretty naked. The kind of woman who liked to laugh when she had sex.
He really needed to stop thinking of that. He walked into the diner’s front door and waved at a few people in that way you do when you don’t want to be interrupted. Thank heaven none of his students was in the place.
He grabbed a booth fronting Main and waited, totally not thinking about how he’d been the first to teach her all sorts of things.
When she came in his heart sped and he sat up, caught in her pull. She looked like a freaking movie star off the set of an old movie. A fitted skirt to just past her knees, a blouse and then a belted coat to match the skirt. Pumps that made her a good four inches higher. That sway as she moved toward him was like magic.
Bam, bam, bam, her hips switched. Her hair was done in those big forties style waves. Deep red lipstick. Holy shit.
But her look was apologetic as he stood while she slid into the booth.
“I’m sorry. I meant to go back home to change but things ran late.”
“Wow. What is it you’re apologizing for? Sugar you look amazing.”
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