Speaking of Petal…

How about some excerpty type goodness? Say, where it all started with GIVING CHASE

Copyright 2006, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing

Friday night in Petal. Half the town—that is, those citizens sixty and under—were gathered inside The Pumphouse seeking refuge from the rain and enjoying three dollar pitchers of beer and burgers. The crowd noise was so loud, whatever song playing on the jukebox was indistinguishable. Still, Maggie, Dee and Liv sat at their usual table—the one by the window—so they could watch the goings on, They’d sat there, every Friday night, for the last four years. It should have seemed mundane, boring, but it was the time when each of the friends got to reconnect after a long week and it was a bright spot instead.

But the usually happy Maggie sighed into her beer before taking the last drink and setting her empty glass down on the table.

“So, I finally broke up with Sam. It’s definitely over.”

With an inelegant snort, Liv tried to catch the server’s eye to order another pitcher. “Maggie, honey, it’s been over for at least a month now. You just haven’t been willing to admit it to yourself. And heaven knows our manners were too good to break it to you.” It was Maggie’s turn to snort at that.

Stifling a grin, Liv continued. “Anyway, he’s an ass. He’s been an ass since the fifth grade. You’re too good for him.”

“Way too good for him. He needs a momma, not a girlfriend.” Dee’s nose wrinkled in disgust.

“Well, the problem is this town is just too damned small! Who’ve I got to choose from? And let’s keep it men between twenty-two and fifty who aren’t married, living with his mother or gay.” Maggie handed a five over to Patrick for the beer and began to pour out for everyone. “Keep thechange, sugar.” She winked, getting a cheeky grin in return before he turned and headed back through the crowd to the bar.

“It really is a shame he’s gay. He looks as good going as he does coming.” Dee’s voice trailed off as she watched him disappear into the crowd.

“Yeah, a shame for our team.” Liv sighed. “But you know, you’re failing to mention the hottest real estate in town. How about one of the Chase brothers?”

Maggie snorted. Yeah right. Those boys were mouthwateringly handsome. Tall, broad, boy–next-door gorgeous. The women of Petal had been lusting after them since preschool.

“Sure, why not! But no. I’d rather have Brad Pitt, he’s about as available, although I suppose I’d have to fight Angelina for him.” Maggie rolled her eyes. “Liv, everyone wants those boys. Even if a girl like me could catch their attention—I have no desire to be a notch on someone’s bedpost. Maybe I just need to lower my standards. Roger Petrie has been asking me out for years. Maybe I should say yes. After all, he has a job, lives in his own home and has all of his teeth.”

Liv and Dee burst out laughing. “Yeah but he’s creepy! I mean, he’s got like, what, fifty cats and a goat living in his house?”
“On the other hand,” Liv said, breathless from laughing, “an animal lover can’t be all that bad.”

“Question is, how much of a lover is he? I mean, he sleeps with the goat!” Maggie’s words dissolved into laughter.

“Eww! Time to change the subject. You don’t need to lower your standards, Margaret Elizabeth Wright! There are plenty of decent men in Petal. You just have to be patient.” Sweet as she was, Dee didn’t know she said it in that way women do when they have a boyfriend.

“And what do you mean, a girl like you? Are you suggesting that those Chase boys are too good for you? Because you are dead wrong. My God, Maggie, you’re beautiful! It pisses me off that you can’t see it. I blame your mother.” Liv shook her head as she looked at her oldest friend.

Petite and blessed with fine, almost delicate features, Maggie had a head of gorgeous strawberry blonde hair. She usually wore it in a tight knot at the back of her head but when she let it free, it hung past her waist. Tortoise shell glasses often hid the big amber-brown eyes fringed with long lashes. Hell, Maggie was pretty when she looked like a buttoned up school teacher. But Liv knew Maggie had a knock-out figure lurking under those clothes and itched to cut and style the hair, get rid of the glasses and show a bit of skin.

“Liv, those Chase boys are out of my league. Men that handsome and well—manly—don’t notice high school history teachers.” And she had to admit that they were all so powerfully vital and masculine that it intimidated her.

“Speak of the devils…” Liv nodded her head and the three turned to watch the Chase brothers stroll into the bar. In fact, every single woman—and even the not-so-single ones—noticed the four impossibly handsome brothers.
“My, my, my. Those boys sure are fine.” Maggie’s gut tightened at the sight.

“Yepper.” Liv fanned her face with a napkin.

“Mmm hmmm.” Dee nodded.

Once they’d disappeared into the back where the pool tables were, the women turned back to their conversation.

3 comments to “Speaking of Petal…”

  1. Diane Sadler
    July 29th, 2011 at 7:25 pm · Link

    I have the book though haven’t read it yet! What is taking me so long you say? More books!

  2. Christine
    July 30th, 2011 at 6:21 am · Link

    Loved it the first time I read it and now I just reread it again on my kindle. Can’t wait for Once and Again. One of my all time favorite series.

  3. Mary
    August 1st, 2011 at 2:19 pm · Link

    Love the Chase brothers books, read the first one and then bought the rest. Really enjoying them and can’t wait for the next batch of Petal books. 😆