Today’s clip is from my current WIP, Til Death. It’s still a mite rough, but go with it. As a little background, Miss Ada is a neighbor who has some dementia issues and sometimes gets confused. Marin is the heroine, who owns the B and B (which is where they are), and Wyatt is the hero, the private investigator she hires to investigate a cold case murder.
Copyright 2007 me, subject to change, don’t steal, be nice, etc.
The scent of bacon hit her as she reached the first floor. Had Tate come in to cook even though there were no guests? Curious, Marin wandered through the dining room and pushed through the swinging door to the kitchen. She started when she saw Miss Ada at the stove. Had she left a door unlocked or did the elderly woman still have a key? And how the heck was she expected to deal with either notion without coffee first? It wasn’t the caffeine, but rather the ritual that gave her brain a chance to wake up.
“Oh good morning, dear,” chirped Miss Ada. “Would you like some eggs with your bacon?”
“I…uh…wasn’t expecting to see you this morning.”
“Oh, I get up early and make breakfast for my Henry. He likes a good breakfast before he goes to work. Oh don’t sit there, dear, he’ll be down any minute.”
Oh God, she’s confused again. Marin struggled to snap her brain into gear and moved past the table to make coffee. Courtesy of her years as a barista through college, she could perform that task on autopilot.
“Um, did you take a walk this morning, Miss Ada?” asked Marin, opening the back door to let Moose out for his morning constitutional.
“I did. A lovely day for it too. All misty as the sun rose. Then I decided to come in and make some cinnamon rolls as a surprise. You like cinnamon rolls don’t you, dear?”
“Everyone likes cinnamon rolls.” She leaned back against the counter as the coffee dripped behind her. “Will Isaac be joining us for breakfast, Miss Ada?”
“Oh, no he’ll be at home with his mama getting ready for school. He does love cinnamon rolls though. Mostly for the icing.” Miss Ada winked.
Okay, so she thinks it’s the past again. Yet she still seems to know me. Marin was never sure how she ought to deal with her friend in such a state. Should she play along? Should she try to correct her? Marin was afraid of agitating or upsetting her in case that addled her even more, so she opted to go with the flow and try to take her home after breakfast.
Marin jolted again when she saw Wyatt standing in the doorway. What is it with people just materializing today?
“Oh Wyatt! Good morning. I was just making some cinnamon rolls and bacon!”
His smile, so rarely in evidence, broadened, and Marin felt her stomach flutter. Why did he have to have such a damn gorgeous smile?
“You must’ve been talking to my Nanna. I love me some cinnamon rolls.”
Miss Ada’s cheeks pinked.
He strode in, heading directly for the coffeepot. “Morning, Duchess,” he said, then glanced at the still dripping coffeemaker.
“It’s not ready yet,” said Marin, just to have something to say.
“I did notice that,” he said. He looked amused, damn him.
“Now is that any way to greet your wife?” asked Miss Ada. “Kiss her good and proper. My Henry always started the day with a kiss before his coffee.”
“Your Henry is my kinda man,” said Wyatt, turning the smile toward Marin.
Her mouth went dry as he leaned in. Then he reached past her and opened the cabinet behind her head to retrieve a mug. Marin exhaled a little, willing her brain to stop short circuiting at his nearness. She began to edge away but bumped into his other arm, which he’d settled on her other side, effectively trapping her against the counter. Heart galloping, she turned her head and found his face hovering mere inches away. She had time for only one hissed breath before he settled his lips over hers.
He didn’t move any closer, didn’t close the small distance between their bodies, but she was aware of every inch of his height. Shock gave way to heat. Marin swayed toward him, bringing her hands up to frame his stubble roughened cheeks. She trembled as his lips played over hers, tasting, savoring, devastating.
When Wyatt pulled back, she instantly felt bereft.
Again, she thought, opening her eyes.
“Good morning, Duchess,” he said huskily.
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