In celebration of the completion of When First They Practice to Deceive and the fact that Christmas is only three weeks away, todays #WIPWednesday excerpt is from this new story.
The heard the back door slam then Trey appeared in the dining room. His cheeks were red. Jessy caught sight of a cell phone sticking out of his shirt pocket. Trey rubbed his hands together.
“It’s mighty frosty out there tonight. Was just taking out the trash. You need something, Dix?”
“How many times have I told you not to call me that? It sounds too much like dicks.” She swatted at him but Trey sidestepped the hit.
“Aw lighten up, Dix, no one is going to think that of you.” Jessy experienced an annoying twinge of jealousy as Trey ran a long, lazy glance over Dixie’s body, making the woman flush a deep crimson that just made her look sexier. Jessy glanced down at her own, curveless frame and frowned. Life was so unfair.
“Just take this stuff into my office so I can sort it.”
“Sure thing. What’s in all these packages anyway?” Try flipped open a box lid. “Christmas decorations?”
Dixie shrugged. “Well, yeah. It’s December.”
Trey rummaged around and pulled out an ornament of a tiny ballerina. “Shattered dreams going on the tree this year, Dixie?”
“Gimme that!” Dixie snatched the figure from Trey’s hand.
“Okay, so which one of us is the angel supposed to represent? Knowing all of you like I do, I have to go with the only logical conclusion. Me.”
“Yeah, ‘cause you’re a real angel all right.” Arnetta gave Trey one of those heat searing looks they write about in romance novels.
“You know nothing about my angel status.” Trey returned the angel to the box as he winked at Jessy. “That is a mystery that remains to be disovered. Oh wait, maybe this will help.”
“What is it?” Jessy, intrigued by the contents of the box as much as she was interested in just how much Arnetta knew about Trey’s status, stepped forward. Trey whipped around to face her, his hand on his head.
Only it wasn’t resting on his head. It held a little sprig of green vegetation in his hand and a grin on his face that rivaled that of the chesire cat. Mistletoe. Aw, crap.
“Oops, I’m stuck under some mistletoe. You know legend says I have to kiss the person nearest to me.” His eyes burned into Jessy’s skin as he cheeks heated to new proportions never before experienced.
“I don’t think that’s quite how it goes,” Arnetta said.
“Shut up! He’s about to have his meal!” Surrey whispered loudly behind Jessy.
“I think the legend says someone is supposed to kiss you.” Jessy looked into Trey’s chocolate eyes without blinking.
“Breaking legend is bad luck. Very, very bad luck.”
“I think you mean, tradition. It’s bad luck to break tradition.”
“Legend. Tradition. Whatever. All I know is you are leaving me hanging and potentially exposing both of us to years of pain and suffering.”
Jessy could feel three sets of female eyes on her but she only cared about one male set and they were so warm and so welcoming and doing things to her insides that made it so she couldn’t think straight.
“Well, I guess we wouldn’t want that.” She rose up slightly on tip toe, closing some of the height gap between them.
“No. I guess not.” He leaned forward, closing just a little more of the distance.
“It’s never a good idea to tempt the fates.” Jessy heard three breaths sucked in as one.
“Nope. Definitely not.”
Freezing air wrapped around them as the sounds of laughter and chatter suddenly filled the diner.
“Show’s over, folks. Time to make some money.” Dixie grabbed a few bags and headed to her office. “Trey! Get the rest of those boxes for me then get in the kitchen!”
Trey stepped back and lowered the mistletoe, never breaking eye contact with Jessy. “Yes, ma’am! I’m right behind you.”
He stepped to the counter, scooped up the boxes and was gone before Jessy could remember to breathe.
Surrey was the first to grab up a notepad and take a table but not before she whispered in Jessy’s ear. “Just like I said. Looks at you like his next meal.”