Authors: K. Larsen,Wep Romance,Wep Fiction
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Romantic Suspense, #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense, #Romantic Comedy
By K. Larsen
Edited, Produced, and Published by Writer’s Edge Publishing
All rights reserved.
© 2013 by K. Larsen.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system in any form or by any means without the prior
written permission of the publisher.
All characters in this book are fictitious, and any
resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Other Books by K. Larsen
Table of Contents
Dedicated to Jenny. I couldn't have done any of this
without your support
and love and numb thumbs. I LOVE YOU.
“Uuunnnhhh,” I groan and slap the bed next to my head. What
is that noise?
“Seriously?!” I cry out to myself.
I pry one eye open and reach for my phone. Eight in the
morning! It’s Saturday for Christ’s sake, kid-free Saturday at that! I get four
days a month to sleep in and enjoy it. What the hell is going on out there?
I hop out of bed and rub the sleep from my eyes. Can’t I
just sleep in one day?! Just one day. I pull a tank top from the pile of
clothes teetering on my dresser and throw it on while grumbling down the hall.
I make the right-hand turn for the entryway and slam my feet into my Dansko
clogs. The sun is beaming through the storm door, blinding me. “Ouch!”
Something stabs into my heel as I start to push the door open. I hop on one
foot mid-stride and reach a finger into my clog to sweep it out. I squint at
it: gross, cat food. I flick it away. My foot comes down and I stumble through
the doorway, starting to call out to my mom as my face slams into a hard wall
? My hand shoots up next to my face. Yup, that’s a
well-muscled chest. Maybe this is a dream. A really awesome dream. Two strong
arms come to my shoulders and steady me. “Whoa! Watch where you’re going,”
comes a deep, husky voice.
What?! I’m at my house, okay, well, my parents’ house, but I
live here so…I look up to see who the chest belongs to and find the most
attractive man staring down at me, grinning. If I had underwear on they would
have spontaneously combusted already. Why is the most attractive, tall,
dark-haired, dark-eyed, well-built man standing on my porch? Men don’t stand on
my porch--ever. He drops his hands from my shoulders now that I’m standing on
my own but now I’m unsteady for a different reason. Holy hell. I
dreaming. My hand comes to the corner of my mouth to check for drool. None.
“Men aren't usually lined up at my door at eight in the
morning on a Saturday,” I grumble at Mr. Attractive. His lips twitch at my
response. I am so out of my element right now. Focus on the task, Delaney: find
“Mooooooom!?” I shout around him.
“What is it, sweetie?” she crows, coming around the side of
the garage. Ugh. I’ve been sweetie’ed.
When Mom calls you “sweetie,” it’s in a saccharine, sweet
voice that is meant to hide her irritation at you but really it just magnifies
it. As I ponder why she could possibly already be irritated with me, my sister
comes up behind Mr. Attractive towards my door. When she sees me her eyes bug
out, she snorts, and tries to hide a laugh. What is going on this morning?
“Sorry,” she says to Mr. Attractive. “We try to keep her
inside,” she says in a deadpan tone.
She turns to me and says, “Time for your meds!” She brushes
past me into the house. Mr. Attractive starts chuckling. Damn her.
“Time for you to stop...” I search my brain for a witty
comeback, “being dumb,” I yell over my shoulder. She doubles over with laughter
before disappearing down the hall as Mr. Attractive starts full-on laughing at
me. I never was great with comebacks.
“Delaney Peters! Get in the house and put something
appropriate on!” my mom scolds.
“What?” I snip as I look down at myself. Oh. Shit.
Clogs, ratty worn snowflake print pajama pants with holes,
and a multicolored striped tank top with no bra on. My arms instantly cross
around my chest in embarrassment and I groan. I turn and stomp through the
door, stopping at the mirror. My hair is a rat’s nest from sleeping and there’s
mascara smudged under one eye, complementing the sheet marks still etched in my
face. Great. Embarrassment washes over me as I take in my reflection. Welcome
to my life.
“Sorry about that,” I hear my mother tell Mr. Attractive as
they step off the porch towards the garage. Whatever, I give up. I’m going back
to bed. Hot guys and I just don't mix anyways.
I push into my bedroom and Amelia is sitting on the bed
still laughing at me and looking proud of herself.
“Whatever!” I crow at her and flop into bed, pulling the
covers up around me.
“Who’s the man candy outside?” she questions.
“I have no idea,” I tell her from my hiding hole. “Why’s Mom
“Probably because your ass is still in bed when you’re
supposed to be working on the barn right now.”
“Uuuuggghhhh,” I moan. “I totally forgot we were starting
the dormers today.”
Now the noise makes sense. The saw
is going and everyone’s outside ready to get to work. Well, except me.
“Guess I’d better get up.”
“Yeah and shower and change... you know, so you don't look
like a hobo the next time you see that hot beefcake.” She laughs.
“Oh my god, Ame, I totally face-planted in his chest and
then stood staring at him like an idiot,” I complain and she bursts out
laughing even harder. “I even checked myself for drool!” I squawk and pull the
covers over my head so she can’t see the blush creeping up my neck.
After I picked up the cat poop that Wilson had left for me
in the tub--stupid cat--I climbed in and let the water beat down on me. I had
hoped the water would wash away the embarrassment of the morning. I step out,
wrapping a towel around myself and sigh. Will I ever pull it together?
* * * * *
I sidle up to my mom and shoot her a look. “This better?”
She puts on a smug smile and cocks her head at me. “If
you’re ready, Jake probably wants to get started,” she clips, still annoyed.
“I’m here aren't I?”
She doesn't answer but instead leads me up the stairs to
what eventually will be my second floor.
For the past year my dad and I have been converting my
parents’ garage barn into a house for me and my daughter, Claire. The first
floor is done, but to complete the two bedrooms upstairs we need to put dormers
on both sides of the roof, and Dad and I decided we couldn't do those ourselves
so we finally broke down and hired someone. I really wanted the barn finished
so that Claire and I could finally
share my parents’ house with them
anymore. I’d love to have my own house, of course, but after my divorce four
years ago, I just haven't been able to save up enough, so this was the next
best thing. At least my “mortgage” payment is going to my parents’ instead of
some giant corporation. Hell, if I’m late with a payment, my credit still stays
intact, so living on the premise with my parents at thirty-three years old is a
small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. We’ve done an amazing job,
too. I’ve learned a ton and am much more confident in myself having built most
of the house thus far with my own two hands.
Mom stops on the landing abruptly, causing me to slam into
“Jake, this is Delaney. She will be your point person for
the dormers,” Mom says as Mr. Attractive himself turns around and grins at me.
He has dimples. Two perfect dimples. Two smoking hot dimples. I can feel warmth
start to creep up my chest from staring at him again. I feel the urge to check
myself for drool but somehow manage to refrain this time.
“I almost didn't recognize you,” he says while letting his
eyes roam the length of my body. Is he actually teasing me? What a smartass.
“Yeah, I clean up well,” I say and plaster a sarcastic--I
hope--smile on my face.
“I can see that.” There is a mischievous glint in his eye.
“So, Delaney, what do you envision?” he asks.
“I’ll leave you to it,” Mom interrupts before turning to
head back downstairs. I kick a lonely screw on the floor before looking back to
Mr. Attractive, also known as Jake. Get on with it, Laney, I tell myself. I
clear my throat once and yank the drawing from my back pocket to show him.
“So... I was thinking on Claire’s side I want the double
dormer wide enough to fit her bed in against the window with a built-in
bookshelf on either side.” I stop and point to the sketch. He nods his
understanding so I continue on. “For my side, I’d like a full dormer; you’ll
have to figure out the roof pitch because I’d like to make the dormered wall as
close to eight feet tall as possible so I can fit bigger windows in for more
light...and the view of course. And I’d like a built-in bookcase around this
window here.” I point again.
“I can see why Sue made you point person,” he smirks.
“Oh?” I ask hesitantly.
“You seem to have it all well thought out...not many girls
your age would consider roof pitch and wall height,” he counters.
My irritation flares. I’m not stupid just because I have a
vagina and we’re talking construction. I mean, hell, the entire rest of this
renovation I’ve poured my sweat into. I dug a frost wall and poured concrete
footings for crap’s sake!
“First of all,” I start, “I’m a woman--not a girl--and I’m
not sure what my age has to do with anything. Secondly, this used to be a
garage barn, so everything you see done has been done with these two hands.” I
hold up my delicate girl hands. “I’ve done a lot of research over the past year
to get all this to happen the right way and without screwing up!” I finish in a
He looks me up and down. “Feisty, aren’t we?” he laughs.
“Are you serious?” I bark and throw my hands up. His face
sobers and he runs a hand through his hair. I watch his tricep flex as he does
it. He just insulted me, I don't need to be drooling over a tricep, but...it’s
a really nice tricep.
“I wasn’t trying to offend you before. Sorry.” His apology
sounds sincere enough, I guess. I swallow the rest of the rant I have lined up
in my head and opt for ending the conversation. “Right, so, is there anything
else we have to discuss for you to get started?”
“Nope,” he says, looking down.
“Okay then,” I say as I turn to leave.
“Where can I find you if I have questions?” he calls after
me. I pause two steps down the stairs and look back to him.
“I’ll be around the house... just knock or holler.”
“Sounds good,” he smirks.
I continue my descent to the first floor and back through
the house. I need coffee. Lots of coffee. Amelia is in my kitchen now poking
around the cabinets aimlessly.
“Where’s the good stuff?” she whines.
“Define ‘good stuff’? Cause you clearly avoided the bowl of
fruit,” I joke.
“Not good-for-you stuff, I need gummies or something, where
are Claire’s snacks? Mom has nothing to eat at her house.” I smile at Ame’s
back. She’s always trolling around picking at food but somehow manages to stay
“Why are you here anyways?” I tease.
She turns to face me, stuffing one of her man-hands into the
Cheez-It box. “Borrowing Mom’s car,” she mumbles through a mouthful of the tiny
“Big plans today?” I ask.
“Not unless the laundromat and grocery shopping counts,” she
says in a deadpan tone.
“Want company? Mr. Attractive up there irritates me; I need
an excuse to leave for a while,” I complain.
“Mr. Attractive?” She laughs. “That’s fitting, but nope, I
stick around today... maybe he’ll irritate you into
bed.” She chuckles.
My mouth drops open and I gawk at her. “Jesus, Ame.”
“Oh please, he’s hot, you’re perpetually single and in
desperate need of hot sex,” she explains as if it’s commonplace.
She’s not wrong. I’ve been divorced for four years now and
though I go on dates here and there, I just haven't found anyone that really
does it for me. I only have every other weekend without Claire, and since
moving in with my parents a year ago, I’m seriously limited in the ability to
bring someone home and get some. Not that I would. I’ve never had a one night
stand. I prefer to be in a relationship with someone if I’m going to have sex
with them. But at this stage in the game it’s been so long that I might try
something new, although being a writer doesn’t make it easy to meet people. I
work from home, alone. There are no co-workers, no holiday company parties or
daily interaction with people to branch out to or meet new people through. I’m
not complaining, though. I have a comfortable life that I like. I’m content.
All of my friends are married or coupled off so there’s
really no hope for meeting someone I don't already know in that pool of people,
either. Not that I mind, really. I’ve been content enough with my life the way
it is, but every once in a while I miss having someone to snuggle with...or get
frisky with. My sister is constantly trying to hook me up with people but at
three years younger than me, her choices are not exactly the same as my
choices. It’s not as if I’m young enough to hit the bars and pick someone up
anymore, plus anyone I’d pick up at a bar that
my age is probably not
a person that I’d want a relationship with. Jesus, my mind is wandering
today--enough on that. It’s a lost cause and I’ve come to terms with that fact.
“I can't just, you know... do him,” I point out.
Laney, but yeah, you won't, even though
your vagina might as well have an out-of-business sign hanging on it at this
point,” she grumbles at me.
“Whatever, Mr. Attractive is the kind of attractive that
isn't interested in the looks of one thirty-three-year-old single mom anyways.
Did you forget my amazing outfit this morning? Did you
him? He dates
models. I’m sure,” I cackle at her.
Amelia chuckles and throws a Cheez-It at me which I narrowly
“You’re pretty,” she says and shoots a pointed look at me.
“I’m not a supermodel though,” I chuckle.