I hope everyone enjoyed the Fourth and got to see incredible fireworks and eat great food. I'm lucky enough to have another grand extravaganza to attend next weekend. Really looking forward to an awesome show.
Tonight's post is from the short story, Lover's Day. In sticking with the fireworks theme, the main characters have been friends forever and finally have a chance to make some sparkly firecrackers go off. J
Here's the tagline:
Maxie Yearns is a woman on a mission who wants things with Nate Northampton to go back to normal. Without Martin Comico to act as their buffer, they struggle to find their footing again, but with Lover's Day fast approaching and a lucky draw at the card table, Maxie has just the plan to test the waters with Nate.
And a sneaky peek…
Nate Northampton couldn't believe his rotten luck. His four on a quad had been trumped by Maxie Yearn's full ride. He pulled the most incredible hand he'd had in years and his best friend, otherwise known as the new bane of his existence, topped it.
Seriously, how did she do it?
Maxie had a nasty habit of always ending his hot streaks. Until she'd entered the game, he'd been up over everyone. At least he'd achieved his main goal of letting off steam. He'd accomplished that and then some. The fact Maxie now had every last bit of his bounty couldn't take that away.
He watched her scoop up her winnings, accept a round of congratulations, and down a freshly poured shot. Nate decided to take his leave before she started crowing about coming out on top. They'd both had enough to drink that the innuendo wouldn't stop if it got started. And that could take them places they didn't need to go. They didn't have Martin to keep them on the straight and narrow anymore.
He'd learned that lesson a long time ago. Never get started with Maxie if Martin didn't have his back. One would think he'd have remembered the other important bit…never, ever bet against Bombshell…no matter how great the cards in his hand.
The woman had more good fortune at wagers than anyone he'd ever met. Whatever looked out for her in the universe did a damn fine job. Nate almost wished she didn't have a buttload of skill to back up the rest.
He'd almost escaped to the hatch when Maxie cleared her throat to get his attention. "Hey Slapshot…you still have to pay up."
Damn. He'd almost made it out, too.
Turning around, Nate raised an eyebrow. "You're wanting all ten favors now, then?" He had a sinking feeling she'd be very creative with the debt he owed her.
Maxie pretended to ponder the thought then smirked. "Nah, just making sure you didn't forget what the bet was." She grinned, listing out the terms. "Anytime. Anyplace. Anything."
Nate snorted. "Don't worry. I won't forget." As if she'd let him.
Turning, he made his way toward the hatch. He needed to get out while the getting was good.
Maxie grinned at Nate's retreating back. She could have so much fun with the wager. Poor Nate. He'd bet against her with a kick ass hand and lost. How she ended up with a full ride, she'd never know. Possibly some type of divine intervention.
Chuckling, she waited until someone topped off her glass again and Nate had just reached the exit before delivering a parting shot. "Be prepared, Nate. Remember, you have to do anything and everything I ask." He raised his hand in acknowledgment, but didn't look back.
Maxie tossed the shot down, a thoughtful look on her face. She and Nate had been doing a slow tug of war for equilibrium since they'd lost a third of their trio. Martin Comico used to act as a balance beam between her headstrong impulsiveness and Nate's stubborn fastidiousness. Without him, she now tended to bump heads with Nate and didn't like it.
They'd lost the intimacy they used to have. Sure, they were still friends. Not like Nate went out of his way to avoid her. But he held back and Maxie missed having fun with him. She'd given him ample opportunity and openings for the banter they used to toss back and forth, but he didn't even nibble at the obvious bait.
And she knew why. Martin wouldn't be there to rein them in. He'd always kept her and Nate from doing or saying anything truly stupid or irrevocable. But there had to be a way to draw Nate back, get closer with him again. Sometimes it felt like she'd lost two friends, instead of one.
She wouldn't be above giving him a big ass nudge. But she'd have to use a soft touch. Nate did not appreciate a hard approach. No, he always went for subtlety if he could. Finesse, he called it.
Not really her thing, but she could probably pull it off.
Ten favors wouldn't be a bad way to start.
Maxie and Nate get to discover what crossing the line from friends to more can do for them. Let the fireworks begin!!
That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.