Here's a little sneak peek of my next release, The Design of Everything perfect:
Rose hadn’t envisioned celebrating with a $150 champagne, but so be it. She pulled a chair for Payton who carefully sat down in her tight black and burgundy dress. She was once again wearing heels with a height that made Rose dizzy to look at.
Proceeding to open the wine and pour a glass for each of them, she said, “Enjoy. I hope you like what’s on the menu today.”
Payton looked her up and down unabashedly. “I’m sure I will.”
Rose laughed. “I’m flattered, but let’s have some food first? I’m starving too.”
* * * *
Halfway through the meal, Payton sat back and studied her curiously. “Since we’re here now…I guess it would be appropriate to do this. You know my name. I guess with the last name being Smith, my parents had to come up with something more original…anyway. I saw yours on the doorbell, and I have to ask. Daisy Dumont, the politician’s fiancée?”
“Oh.” Of all the subjects, Rose hadn’t expected this one to come up. After all, she’d ended up in bed with Payton trying to escape from family matters. “She’s my sister. How do you know her?”
Payton shrugged and took another sip of her wine. “I’m working for her on some things for the wedding. Wow, I’m not sure if this is an even bigger coincidence, or no coincidence at all.”
“She might have mentioned me. I’m the sister who’s not invited.” That didn’t sound bitter at all. Time to change the subject.
“That sucks,” Payton said, leaning forward to place her hand over Rose’s. “I’m sorry for bringing that up. I hope that doesn’t change your mind about me…us…because there’s no way I can get out of that contract now. Wow, and she even invited me…what a b—sorry,” she said, blushing. “I’m digging myself deeper, and we haven’t even finished the first course. Are you going to throw me out?”
“No, not at all.” In fact, it did her some good to have someone approach the situation with some reason and humor, someone who was on her side in this. The short trip to New Orleans and its fallout had almost made Rose feel like she was the one at fault, that she couldn’t keep quiet, and that she was the one making it hard on everyone. “You’re right, it sucks, but let’s talk about something else. First of all, you look amazing. How you can make it more than two steps in those heels without breaking something is beyond me, but I admire it.”
Payton laughed, happy with the praise. “It’s not that hard. Even if you don’t usually wear them, you’d be fine with a little practice.”
“Maybe, but that wouldn’t be such a good idea in my job.”
“Speaking of which…there was something I wanted to ask you. Have you ever considered modeling?”
“Modeling? Hell, no.” Where did that come from? “Honestly, I never thought about it. I don’t think I’d be good at it, and besides, that industry isn’t especially fond of women.”
“That depends. I think you’d be very good at it, but it’s not for everyone. So, what do you do?”
“I’m a cop. A detective, actually.” Rose braced herself. On occasion, this piece of information was followed by questions about whether she’d ever shot someone—she hadn’t—or if she’d be willing to use cuffs in bed. It had happened one time.“Really? My Dad was a cop too,” Payton said, looking tense all of a sudden. Rose hadn’t missed the use of past tense. She did the math quickly, before Payton elaborated.
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