Saturday, February 04, 2012

#SampleSunday: Guy Falls in Love - or something from "Waiting for Lindy"

Continuing with a selection of samples from My Last Romance and other passions, what could be a more perfect Valentine than this collection of eight love stories? On February 12, 13, 14 this collection will be free for Kindle. It is also available in a lovely little paperback and at $10.20 it's not much more expensive than a card and packed with romance! And don't forget to enter our Valentine Blog Hop and register for prizes -- candy, jewelry and Amazon Gift Cards!
Waiting for Lindy is one of eight stories in My Last Romance and other passions. In this Guy, a 50-something widower has given up fishing and open a tourist shop in a small town on Cape Cod. He's reconciled to his lonely life until a lovely woman walks through his door: 

The big question is what does a woman like her see in an old fart like him anyway? It’s his favorite question to torment himself with ever since the day she first walked into his shop and knocked him off his feet.

The first time—well, that was easy to understand. It was Spring and the air smelled like desire. She was indulging herself in a weekend getaway—meandering down the street in a loose white shirt that fluttered in the sea breeze. And those kind of strategically tight and faded jeans that made men glad to be alive. He noticed her first when she stood looking in the window of the batik shop across the street. He must have been impressed—he spilled iced tea down the front of his pants and was swabbing idiotically when she entered his shop. She looked at him sideways, smiled slightly, tossed her hair. Of course she tossed her hair—she had to have. Well, even if she didn’t, in his mind she tossed her hair and that was good enough for him.

"Pretty clumsy," he mumbled, "grown man and still spilling things all over myself."

She laughed but it was a sweet laugh. She was the sort of woman who knew how men reacted to her and loved them for it. He tried not to be too obvious watching her as she moved around the shop picking up seashells and turning them over, tracing the swirls of a nautilus shell with her finger, holding bits of coral up to the light. The breeze wafting through the harbor-side door carried the scent of jasmine and lilacs and female warmth to him—made him light-headed and giddy. When she reached up to tap the bronze wind chimes above the window the sunlight seeped through her blouse and the silhouette beneath made his knees weak. Girls like that, he thought, girls like that should be locked up—but thank God that they weren’t.

He was dying to say something witty. He was damn clever when no one important was around—down at the Legion hall he had a reputation for his quick comebacks. Right now his tongue was being a traitorous bastard.

"Is this your shop?" she asked turning toward him.

"Yeah." He swallowed and tossed the tea-soaked tissues toward the waste basket. Naturally he missed. "I quit fishing when my wife got sick a few years back. After she passed away I opened this place—never felt much like fishing again." Well, that sounded pathetic—now she’d think he was a love-lorn old fool.

"That’s too bad," she said.

"Oh, it’s been a good enough living—lots of tourists these days."

She smiled softly. "No, I meant it was too bad about your wife."

"Oh." Christ. "Well, that was awhile ago. Are you on vacation?"

"Sort of—yes." She picked up a curtain of mussel shells and held it up to the light. "I live in Arlington. Woke up with Spring fever this morning and just called in sick and got in the car." She turned toward him. Her eyes were teasing. "Sometimes you just have to do something crazy, y’know?"

Up close he realized she wasn’t as young as he had thought—late thirties maybe. Possibly forty. And the Spring fever was contagious. The fever was rushing through him and pounding in his head. Pounding in a lot of places.

"Like that?" he asked as she toyed with the shells hanging from a long, slim piece of driftwood strung with fishing line. "The Wampanoags make those. They’re good in windows—give you a little privacy, make a nice sound when the wind blows, and turn the sunlight blue."

"Wampanoags?" She tilted an eyebrow—she was damn good at that.

"Local Native tribe," he said relieved they were finally talking about something that didn’t make him sound like a moron. "‘Course these days they make more money with their casinos than crafts. Interesting people. I like hearing their dune lore stories."

She smiled as she put the screen on the counter and opened her handbag. "Dune lore? What’s dune lore?"

"Sorry," he said finally managing to smile back at her, "I don’t tell dune lore stories on company time. You have to be out in the dunes after dark for them to get the effect, y’know?" What the hell, he thought, there’s no fool like an old fool and he’d been down this road before.

She lifted an eyebrow—she could kill a man with that eyebrow. "That so?" The rest of the conversation was hazy after that eyebrow trick but the point was he had wound up offering to take her for beer and cuyhoags and a walk in the dunes that evening. Her name was Lindy which had a lovely lilting sound on his tongue.

He knew she was just looking for adventure. Well, he thought, if she was looking for adventure he wasn’t above letting her use him for that purpose. He’d misused himself for worse purposes. Read the rest....

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