One spurned editor, one groveling prodigal artist and one hundred thousand eavesdropping fans.
“I’m a guest.” Kent grinned. The expression seemed to crackle across his face. He’d anticipated anger and accepted it as penance, but this was much harder to do in person than it had been to plan. Now, in the middle of it, he wasn’t sure he had the guts to carry it out.
“Oh I can’t tell you that or you, my Queen of Hearts, would just yell, ‘Off with their heads.’ Tell me, could you really get an army of playing cards to do your bidding? Or would you just appropriate hers?” Kent gestured to the tarot reader.
Kent noticed the woman look up in alarm, and silently apologized for dragging her into this. So far so good. He needed to get Lindsey worked up beyond reason. Her white hot fury could translate to red hot passion in the bat of an eyelash. And once she burned herself out, she would listen.
If he didn’t break first.
This morning, seeing her in the convention center with her hair twisted up in a way that just about begged him to pull it down, his whole body had tightened. As he’d walked down the aisle to the booth, he’d been caught in a time warp and imagined that four years ago he hadn’t chickened out on the best thing in his life.
How she managed to be so damn hot in jeans, a crisp white blouse and a black velvet blazer, he couldn’t fathom, but he hadn’t been at all surprised when he couldn’t keep his hands off her for five whole minutes. She made the
competition’s booth bait look like yesterday’s mealworms.
But as he’d gotten closer, he’d heard the sharpness in her voice and noticed her blouse was buttoned all the way up. Even then the hardness in her eyes surprised him. It had also done nothing for his hardness. She might still have a core of molten passion, but she was hiding it well. She’d turned into a shrew. He owed a heartfelt apology to everyone in this room, everyone left behind at the office, all the artists, writers, letterers and colorists she worked with from a distance, and most of all to the sacrificial lamb sidling between them.
“Um, hello Mr. Farrington. Kent Farrington. Mr. Kent Farrington? I was, I mean I’m a big fan of you, um, your work? I was wondering, could you, um, spare a minute? To talk? To me? Um, over there?” Amy twisted her hands together until they looked like an Escher drawing. She glanced over her shoulder at Lindsey. “I’m really, um, honored to meet you. Maybe I could, ah, get you a drink?”
Kent watched Lindsey tense, ready to lunge at him if he so much as breathed in a derogatory manner at her assistant. For a New York City girl, she was as transparent as a shop window.
“The pleasure is all mine. I’m glad you like my work. I’d love to talk to you, but I have a previous engagement.” Kent took Amy’s hand and shook it. “I will be happy to chat with you tomorrow afternoon if you’re available.”
“I don’t think I will be,” Amy said. “I mean, I’ve got to work at the booth. I’m going to be busy all day, and if I don’t get to talk to you tonight I’m afraid I can’t, I can’t, I—” Amy sputtered to a stop. She looked back at Lindsey for help.
“It’s okay, Amy,” Lindsey told her. “You can have the whole day off tomorrow if you’ll keep Mr. Farrington out of my hair.”
“Would that be figurative or literal?” Kent reached past Amy toward Lindsey’s French braided hair.
Lindsey jerked backward, spilling the remainder of her drink. “Oh lovely. Now I need a refill.” She hurried around the other side of the platform, but Kent darted around and met her next to the tarot reader’s table.
“Look, it’s your turn,” he exclaimed, grinning at the awkward youth who had been about to sit down. The kid, who penciled two of the company’s least selling books, conceded to Kent and held out the chair. Kent slapped a twenty on the table. “Here, do the whole shebang, past, future, Freudian slips.”
“I don’t want to do this. I’m sticky,” Lindsey hissed as he pushed her into the seat.
“Mmm, good,” Kent whispered against her ear. “I like you that way.”
“My emotions swung from crying to laughing and back again.” ~ Manic Readers
“One Ring To Rule is a refreshing story that spells thrills the minute it starts.” ~ Coffee Time Romance
“McClain throws in all the necessary ingredients whipping up a delicious novel, making it a delectable read.” ~ Red Roses For Authors