I am so excited about being a part of ACED: A Charity Anthology! It’s for such a great cause, and for someone who didn’t enjoy reading while growing up (gasp! I know), it’s even more special. It’s a back to school theme, perfect for this time and to alleviate a bit of the stress currently going on with our real back to school.
I was never good at reading, and I was very self-conscious about it. Even when I was older and we’d have to read out loud in class, I’d count to see which paragraph or page would be mine so I could read it to myself as many times as possible so I would choke and be embarrassed. And if there was a word I had no idea how to pronounce? Geez, I’d freak while waiting for my turn.
Being able to come together with some author pals and create a collection that will support literacy in children and adults is an honor. I hope you’d help us support such a great cause. 100% of the proceeds will go to charity.
I wrote a novella for this anthology, brand spankin’ new couple, and I’m so excited for you to read it! It’s a small town single dad romance.
I’m sharing the prologue below so you can meet Ada and Sawyer, or… Oops, I can’t say until you read the prologue! It will all make sense then.
I sit back with my buddy and drink my beer, watching the woman who’s been moving to the electric beats coming from the speakers since I arrived. She laughs and dances as if no one were watching her. Shaking her hips, luring me in. My eyes follow her as she shimmies to a group of women I assume are her friends and drags two of them by the arms.
Her long hair sways to the beat, and her smile is infectious.
“You’ve been staring at that woman for twenty minutes. Go dance with her.” My friend, Emmet, says with a cocky smile.
“Nah,” I shake my head. I drink my beer and keep watching her with curiosity. “I’ll be moving soon anyway,” I add as an afterthought.
“So?” Emmet’s eyebrows dip as he stares at me as if I’m crazy. “It’s just a dance. Besides, it’s not like Springville is that far from here.”
It’s not about the distance from Nashville, my current home, to Springville, where I’ll be moving to at the end of the summer, but more so the fact that I have a seven-year-old son, River, who counts on me to be the stable one in our home. A relationship, hell, a date, at this point, would just add to the current of change flooding our lives.
“Too much going on to think about a woman,” I finally reply.
“One dance.” Emmet holds up a finger. “As a farewell. We both know you won’t be out again before you leave.”
He’s right. This is a rare night out for me. Usually, I’m with River, spending Friday nights together, watching sports recaps and eating pizza. Doing guy stuff, as he calls it.
I smile as I think about my son, and then abruptly stop when the woman I’ve been eyeing looks my way. Her eyes lock on mine. I can’t tell the shade from here, but I suddenly have the urge to know what color they are.
Wordlessly, I drop my beer on the bar and walk over to her, hands in my pockets. She watches me approach, appraising me from head to toe before a slow smile curves her lips, and she moves her hips in front of me.
I smirk, staring into her eyes, discovering they’re a hypnotizing blue, and begin dancing with her. My hands on her hips. Her hands on my shoulders. We move together as if it weren’t our first meeting.
“What’s your name?” I lean in and whisper, smiling when she shivers.
I look back at those baby blues with a grin.
The woman chuckles shyly, a contrast to the seductive smile she was giving me a moment ago. “Amanda Bynes,” she throws out.
I laugh and shake my head. “Hell, then I’m Justin Bieber.”
“Must be hard going around town without getting some hate thrown your way.”
“Could say the same for you.”
“Eh,” she shrugs. Spinning around and coming back to me, she continues talking. “It’d be an odd pairing.”
I nod, wrapping my arm around her lower back to bring her closer, and we move together to the beat spilling from the speakers. When the song changes to something smoother, I keep her close and guide the dance to something more sensual.
Amanda Bynes’s lips part as her eyes stare into mine. I lean in, feeling her faint breath on her chin before tipping my head down and kissing her, stealing her breath, taking what I can from this stranger who lured me in.
Her hands scrape my scalp, and I cradle her jaw, sweeping my tongue against hers. Her kiss is sweet and tempting, a deadly combination as I scramble how to get some time alone with her while warring with myself that I have a son to get home to soon.
My mystery woman leans back, cutting the kiss shorter than I’d like and leaving me hard. Her body pressed against mine gives me a preview of how good we’d fit together if I could take her home. One night to satisfy this need burning through me.
Suddenly, everything turns chaotic when her friends approach, laughing and eyeing me as they drag her away. It happens so fast, I don’t realize I’m standing alone on the dance floor until Emmet comes up to me, clapping my shoulder.
I’m pretty sure her real name is not Amanda Bynes. That would be a horrific coincidence. I could just imagine people’s faces when she introduces herself.
“Ready to head home?”
“Fuck, yeah.” I run a hand through my hair. It’s probably best this way.
©2020, Fabiola Francisco
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