Welcome to Mid Week Tease. Thanks to the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, who created this weekly fun, myself and other author friends post a little something for you, the readers, from some of our published works, up-and-coming releases, and WIP (Works in Progress).
Here's a little tease from Confessions of a Chocoholic. Hope you Enjoy!
Like countless single mothers, Lexi Collins wears many hats. Loving daughter. Big sister. Sole breadwinner. Freelance photographer. Graphic designer. Best friend. But while those roles are fulfilling, the one thing that eludes her is finding the right partner in life.
When Colton Westmore, the sexy owner of the popular dating site LoveMatch.com sweeps Lexi off her feet, her chances of finally grabbing that golden ring increases exponentially, but a bleached blonde bombshell threatens to put an end to Lexi’s new found happiness.
Are her assumptions about Colton wrong? And if so, there’s only one woman who can ruin the magic between them, and that woman is Lexi herself.
Even in October the California sun can be brutal, and today was no exception. High in a cloudless blue sky, it beat down and bounced off the sun catcher displays, sending refracted light over the shimmer of Bailey’s blonde hair. She twirled the petals of a pinwheel flower with little fingers overtaken with plastic bejeweled dime-store rings.
I lifted my camera from around my neck and snapped a picture of her before I started complaining.
“We should find some shade,” I said, feeling the sweat trickle the length of my neck, but neither the hot sun nor the lack of a cooling breeze stopped the crowds, Jessie, or Bailey and I from continuing our stroll down Santa Fe Street.
Bailey tugged at my hand, whining. “Come on already.” She should have been wilting. Instead, she was totally eager to see everything the five block street fair had to offer as fast as possible.
While it was fun to see the clown on stilts, the jugglers, and pig out on kettle corn and cotton candy, I was actually there in an official capacity, shooting photos of the various activities and booths for the Valencia tourism board.
“Look, Mommy,” Bailey said with peaked excitement, pointing. Just past the tie-dye shirt stand, a gaggle of girls were walking out of a white tent with their faces painted like cats, fairies, and even rainbows, donning balloon animals as crowns. “I wanna do that.”
“All right,” I said.
“Ooo, I do too,” said Jess.
I sniggered. “Seriously, Jessie?”
She hip bumped me. “It’ll be fun.”
I couldn’t tell who was more excited about the prospect of having bright colors slathered across their face and latex on their head—my six-year-old or my BFF.
“At least we’ll get out of the sun,” I commented.
We zigzagged through the crowds, making our way toward the opening of the tent, when I thought I heard my name. “Hang on,” I said to Bailey and Jess. “I think I hear—”
My entourage of two stopped, as did I. I looked around, trying to see who was calling out to me, but there were too many people I didn’t recognize.
“Over there,” Jess said.
I glanced to the right of us and saw Colton. He held up his hand and waved. I waved back. When he broke through the throng that was gathered to watch a dance troupe on one of the cross streets, we met each other’s gazes and smiled simultaneously.
“Hey there,” he said.
“Hi,” I said.
“It’s good to see you, Lexi.”
Jess did this throat thing.
“Oh. Um. Colton Westmore, this is Jessie Callison, my best friend.”
He gave her his full attention. “Nice to meet you, Jessie.”
She twirled a piece of her hair around her finger. “You too.”
“This is my daughter, Bailey.” I maneuvered Bailey to the front of me.
She crooked her neck to look up at him. “I have a fish named SpongeBob.”
Colton chuckled, bent down to her level, and held out his hand. Bailey took it. As they shook hands, he told her, “I have a dog named Patrick.”
“You do, really?”
“Cross my heart,” he said as he ended the formal hand shake to make the gesture.
“We can’t have a dog ‘cause Mr. Tanny says they poo on the carpets.”
Colton glanced up at me.
“Mr. Tanny is the landlord of our building,” I explained.
“Ah,” he said. “Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m happy I got to meet you, Bailey.” He straightened, looking down at her. “Your mom has told me a lot about you.” He looked at me. “She is just as beautiful as I suspected.”
I tucked a curl behind my ear. “Thank you.”
“Come on, Busy Bee,” Jess said. “Let’s go get our faces done and let Lex and Colton talk.”
“Yeah!” Bailey started jumping in place. “I wanna do the kitty cat whiskers.”
Jessie waggled her eyebrows at me. “Bee and I are outta here.”
“I’ll see you guys in a little bit.”
“No hurry. There’s a line from…” She covered Bailey’s ears with her hands. “Hell,” she said then released Bailey’s head. “We may sweat our tookuses off, but we’ll be fine.”
They walked away hand-in-hand with Bailey saying, “You said a bad word, huh, Jess?”
“I didn’t mean to interfere with your day,” Colton said.
“You didn’t interfere. I’m really glad to see you.”
“I enjoyed our dinner last night.”
A sea of people churned around us, but it felt like we were the only two on the earth.
“I have to say, watching you eat that Brownie Tiramisu was a huge turn on,” he said.
I swatted his arm playfully. “You’re not serious. You’re teasing me.”
“I am serious. When you wrapped your plump, petal-pink lips around that fork, I couldn’t take my eyes off you. I’ve never been jealous of an inanimate object before.”
“After you took a bite, you made this little noise and closed your eyes, savoring the moment. Trust me. I was turned on.”
“I couldn’t help myself,” I admitted. “That dessert tasted so sinful that I had to close my eyes.”
“Any time you want to sin with chocolate again, I’d love to be there,” he said.
“I’ve never told this to anyone, but I confess.” I cupped my hand around the side of my mouth, leaned in, and whispered, “I might be a closet chocoholic.”
“It’s not a true confession until you know for sure that you are what you confess to be.”
Stepping back, I laughed. “I see. So I should only confess when I come out of the closet.”
“Yep,” he said.
I fanned my face with my fingers. “I’m melting. How about you?”
He nodded. “What do you think about having a cold lemonade with me?”
“You do know how to tempt a woman.”
His mouth quirked up on one side, unleashing his dimples. “I sure hope so.”
When he intertwined his fingers with mine, my heart skipped a beat.
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