|French Postcard from the Graphics Fairy|
August has not been a good month for my blog. I apologize. I’ve been caught up finishing my next book, The Supermodel’s Best Friend, due out in early October. I’ve got a hero in it that is so wonderful I almost want to give him a sequel. But he’s got his HEA with Lucy and he’s way too loyal to ever give her up.
As I prepare The Supermodel’s Best Friend (TSBF) to go to my editor, (the snazzy and charming Rhonda Stapleton Helms), I’m trying to get back into my world here online. Summer is almost over, the kids are back in school, the weather will cool and the days grow shorter – all conditions ripe for reading. Though TSBF would be a great beach read, I think most readers will glom onto it during the colder months. A cozy romance with a lot of laughs and heat.
I’ll be posting teaser scenes as I prepare for publication in October. These have not yet been through my editor or proofreader, so keep that in mind. If you’re an altruistic sort, feel free to mention any typos or grammatical mistakes you see; I’m in the Make It Perfect stage. (Later, when it’s on your Nook or Kindle or iPad, I’ll be in the OH GOD I HOPE THEY DON’T NOTICE stage. Though I’d still need to know so I can upload a correction.)
Anyway, I hope you like it!
The Supermodel’s Best Friend
© 2011 Gretchen Galway
This was not in the plan, Lucy thought, staring at the handsome face on her phone. Her fiancé was supposed to be standing by her side, pen in hand, not using video smartphone technology to dump her from another state. I don’t love you enough to let you ruin the plan.
“I’m still in Seattle,” Dan said, his voice as small as he was.
Lucy looked around the empty living room of the spacious three-bedroom California bungalow with original plank hardwoods and walnut built-ins. “You said you’d kill to have this house,” she said, wondering if the real estate agent, laying out the pages for their revised offer on the granite breakfast counter in the kitchen, could hear them.
“It’s a great house,” he said, sighing. “A perfect house. But now I see that it would just tie us down, drag out the inevitable.”
She blinked, not sure what she was hearing. “We’ve been planning this for almost five years.”
He hesitated. “I met someone.”
“When? This morning?”
Licking his lips, he said, “Why don’t we talk later, after you’ve had a chance to calm down.”
She frowned. “I’m hardly hysterical, Dan.”
“Yeah, I noticed.”
“You’d like me to be hysterical?”
“Forget it. Of course not. It makes everything easier.”
She nodded, belatedly piecing together some clues he’d dropped over the past few months. “Your six-month assignment in Seattle wasn’t the opportunity of a lifetime, then.”
“Well . . . ”
“Ah. A personal opportunity, you meant.”
“I wanted to be sure. For both—for all of us.”
“Very considerate of you,” she said.
“Damn it, you don’t have to be sarcastic.”
“You’re hardly in a position to tell me what to do. I’m the wounded party here, wouldn’t you agree?”
He moved his head outside of the screen’s range and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, “I wish you were.”
Lucy dropped the phone to her side and noticed that Robin, the real estate agent, had come up behind her. Her face was pale.
This was really going to screw over the older lady, the two of them walking away from the deal now. She needed a sale badly. Typical of Dan to think the world revolved around him and his feelings.
Lucy lifted the phone. “We’ll have to call the mortgage broker.”
He jutted out his chin. “I already have.”
“You told Inez the mortgage broker before you told me?”
“She kept after me to sign the latest thing. It didn’t feel right to string her along anymore—” He stopped and cleared his throat. “Look, you’re getting digitized. I think the connection is breaking up . . . ”
“It didn’t feel right to string her along?”
He sighed. “So much of our lives together is what you wanted. Not me. I felt . . . superfluous so much of the time.” He tilted the screen of his laptop so she was staring out the window of his suite at the Extended Stay America. It wasn’t supposed to be sunny in Seattle. It looked sunny. She wondered if the new girlfriend was there, listening off camera. Dan came back into view with a coffee cup at his lips.
In Berkeley, outside the house she wasn’t going to have, the sky was as gray as lint. “Our relationship was always shaped by what you wanted. We talked about marriage years ago. I hoped to have my first child before I turned thirty. But you wanted to save up for the house first, so we did, even though that was third on my list.”
“You and your lists. That’s one thing I’ve learned from Brittany—how to trust my heart.”
“Ah, so she’s one of those.” She took a deep breath and peered into the phone for a glimpse of her. “What else did the little ho say?”
Dan’s mouth dropped open in shock.
She said, “You wanted hysterical; this is my version.”
He looked away, then back at the screen, his lips popping up and down like a broken garage door. “Brittany is not—” He shook his head and stared off to the side, made an apologetic face, then jerked his head.
So she had been there. “Thanks for making this such a private moment.”
“I can’t believe Brittany had to hear you call her a—a—I can’t even say it.”
“What? She’s been sleeping with my boyfriend. For months, apparently.”
“Brittany has nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Does she know about me?”
“Of course. She knows everything.”
Lucy snorted. Her college advisor would’ve broken out in a rash to hear her insult a woman for exercising her sexual liberties, but to hell with it. She was under a lot of stress. “Ho.”
Dan’s eyes went wide as he leaned into his laptop camera. “She is completely innocent. Brittany’s not in such a hurry to take her clothes off. Unlike you.”
Lucy felt an odd snapping inside her, the last of her grip on reality disengaging from the voice in her hand. “We lived together for five years. You think we should have waited until we were, what, forty?”
“It’s not how long we waited, it’s how often you wanted it. And how much you wanted to do it. I’m a man, Lucy, and I didn’t need half as much sex as you did.” Then he seemed to regret the outpouring, because he ran his hand over his eyes and said, “I’m sorry. I never intended to talk to you about this.”
Her throat suddenly felt tight. She realized Robin the real estate agent was hanging on every word. “Did you talk to her about this? Brittany?”
His sheepish look grew sheepier; he leaned away from the camera. Faintly, she heard him say, “That’s how we—how we knew we were perfect for each other. She was avoiding her boyfriend, and I—I was taking a break, too.”
“And where was this? Her convent?”
“Lucy,” Dan said, shaking his head, looking so disappointed in her.
Humiliation didn’t feel right so she tapped into the rage, breathed it like oxygen. “I’m just trying to get the full picture here. I deserve to know the details.”
“Information isn’t knowledge, Lucy,” Dan said. “Knowing everything doesn’t make you wise.”
“And having a penis doesn’t make you a man,” Lucy said.
Pardon me for saying this, but: I love Lucy. Don’t worry, she definitely comes out ahead with Miles. Miles ahead?
Sorry. Been writing like a crazy person for weeks. Bit nutty at this point.
The Supermodel’s Best Friend. Coming in October!