So this holiday, I'm going to share an excerpt from my recent release, "O, Come", released through Whispers Publishing in November. It's also included in the Wonderland print anthology, which includes stories from authors Yvette Hines and Aliyah Burke.
Since I'm in a giving mood, I'm also giving away this story. The first person to e-mail me at Contest@bridgetmidway.com will receive "O, Come" in e-book!
Now enjoy this excerpt. Merry Christmas!
Cynda paused before answering. She tiptoed toward him. “Can’t a friend want to see another friend for the holidays? Does there always have to be a motive?”
Reid chuckled. “With you? Yes.” He raked his fingers through his hair and paced in front of her. “What in the world am I going to do with you?”
“I can think up a lot of things we can do together.” She chewed on her lower lip and tugged the hem of the shirt she wore. “Why are you talking about me like I’m some baby left on your doorstep? I’m here. Isn’t that great?”
Had Reid imagined this moment when he would be alone with Cynda again? Absolutely. Now that he stood in the middle of that situation, he didn’t know how to proceed. He’d envisioned a long life together with her. Did she want that?
He stopped. “Do your parents know you’re here?”
“You mean my father, don’t you?” Cynda put her fists to her hips.
She shouldn’t have done that. Her shirt rose about a good four inches, nearly showing off her pussy again. Now Reid wanted to recall whether or not she kept that area completely shaved or did she have a cute landing strip of hair.
“Who knows you’re here?” Reid asked more directly this time.
“Let’s see. The woman at the front desk, Josie, Harold, and you.” Cynda crawled on the bed again and sat on the edge.
Cynda cocked her head. “Believe it or not, I don’t invite those leeches to follow me. I just want to live my life. Because of my last name, the media chooses to document my every move.”
Reid shook his head. “And you parading around naked and jet-setting across the globe has nothing to do with their interest, right?”
The smile returned to Cynda’s angelic face. “Have you been watching what I do, Reidy?”
He released and exasperated sigh. “Stop calling me that. Between you and Josie, I feel like I’m sixteen again.”
She giggled. “Did she call you Monkey?”
“All the time.”
Cynda did a full laugh this time.
“Luckily she only does it when we’re by ourselves.” This time Reid laughed with her. He hadn’t laughed like that with anyone in a long time.
“Wow, so you haven’t lost your sense of humor. I was starting to wonder.” She stretched her shapely leg out and tapped her toe against his knee.
That slight connection accelerated his heartbeat. He imagined himself holding her ankles and spreading her legs. From the way Cynda reacted to him now, it looked like she wanted to resume their relationship, at least their physical one. Could he be happy with that?
“No, I didn’t lose my sense of humor. But I did lose something.” He glared at her.
Cynda must have picked up on what he implied.
Reid continued. “Over the next couple of weeks, there’s a lot going on here. The Christmas tree lighting will be in a week. Not only are we doing a special holiday package for families like normal, but Graham proposed this new singles’ package that’s gone over like gangbusters. The place is packed. I’m working sixteen to eighteen hours a day to make sure everything is running the way it should.”
Cynda jumped off the bed and approached him. “Hey, look, I’m not here to cause you any problems. As a matter of fact, I would like to help you. You tell me what I can do to help run some of the events and I’ll do it.”
Reid snickered. That would be all he needed for Donald Richmond to hear that he couldn’t handle the holiday crowd and needed help from his most irresponsible child.
“I know what you’re thinking.” She drew an imaginary X over her chest above her right breast. “I promise not to get you in trouble. You can handle the family side since you’ve done that before. I’ll take care of the singles.”
Reid shook his head. “I can’t ask the resort owner’s daughter to work during the holidays. It’s bad enough that I’m working during the holidays.”
Cynda reached for Reid’s hand. “Hey, I’m sorry that you can’t—”
Not wanting to touch her right now, he pulled back. “Look, just stay out of my way and let me do my job.”
She shook her head. “Nope. Can’t do that. I’m here to help. I will not take no for an answer.”
“If the media catches wind of you working here—”
“They won’t. I’m not going to say anything. The guests might blab about me being here, but I’ll try to keep low-key.” She took a step closer to him.
“Low-key wearing that?” He pointed to her hair.
Cynda’s flashy nature didn’t appeal to his public sensibilities. In private, it drove him nuts. If they were still in a relationship, and she came to bed wearing one of those flamboyant wigs, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself.
He never saw himself as someone who would be into role play. Cynda brought out a different side of himself, one he didn’t want to explore.
Cynda brushed the hair from her eyes. “I won’t wear the pink, green, purple or blue one. Not in public anyway.” She smiled. “But I have to be me.”
Reid kept his position. “What if your father finds out?”
“I hope he does find out. Maybe he’ll be proud of me then.” She lowered her gaze to the floor.
For a woman who had ripped out his heart at one time, his own heart ached for her apparent pain. “Your dad loves you. He’s not ashamed of you.”
“You mean like you?”
Reid furrowed his eyebrows. “What are you talking about? I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of you.”
“Except you keep no pictures out in your home. You keep me in a drawer.” She pointed to his dresser.
“You snooped through my personal belongings? You had no right to do that.” His head pounded. Now he wanted her out of his home, out of his life.
“I’m standing here telling you that I’m trying to get to know you again. Just let me in.”
He crossed his arms over his naked chest again. “Yeah, because that worked out for me so well the last time.” Reid walked away from her. “I care about you.”
When she smiled, Reid knew he had to clarify his statement.
“As a friend. You and your family have done a lot for me. But I can’t do this with you again.” He looked at his rumpled bed. “You can stay here for tonight. Tomorrow night you move into the guest bedroom. If you’re here beyond that—”
“I will be!” She moved in closer to him.
Reid swallowed hard. “If you’re here beyond tomorrow, I’ll find you other accommodations.”
Cynda’s smile melted. Before speaking again, she regained intense eye contact with him. “Leaving you to travel was the hardest thing I ever had to do.”
Reid studied her eyes and her expression. Oh shit. This time she told the truth. Reid connected a bit to her pain, but refused to drop his guard around her, not just yet.
“I have no plans to leave. Not just yet.” She reached out to touch him. “While I’m here, I do want us to clear the air and reconnect again.”
Reid had no idea what Cynda meant by reconnecting and why her desire to do so had to be done now. Maybe she’d seen too many holiday movies. Either way, he couldn’t have her distract him from his ultimate goals.
“Get some sleep.” Reid stepped into his bathroom where he found Cynda’s bra and panties on his bathroom floor. A quick image of him snatching off those items from her body and throwing them on the floor flashed in his mind.
Reid really had to get away from Cynda or he’d do something he’ll regret.
He grabbed his toothbrush and toothpaste before he retired to his spare bedroom. “Clean up my room.”
“Yes, sir.” She saluted. “Wait.”
Reid turned around at the doorway.
“It’s been a lot time since we’ve seen each other. I don’t even get a hug?” She held her arms out.
He had imagined this scenario in his head for years, what he would do if he saw Cynda again. In one version, he would grab her into his arms and would refuse to let her go. In another, he told her how much she’d hurt him and refused to see her again. Right now, his feelings lay somewhere in between.
Reid approached her with great caution. He gave her a loose hug using only one arm, and tried pulling away from her, like mouse daring to take a chance snagging a piece of cheese from a trap. Then she held him even tighter.
The light aroma he’d caught earlier now overwhelmed his senses along with the warmth of her body. He felt her nuzzling her face against his chest. All at once, heat engulfed his body.
On instinct, he embraced her like his life depended on it. Maybe it did. Maybe in order to move on, he had to have a tough conversation with Cynda and let her know his true feelings. Or maybe sleeping with her again would help put a period on whatever they had between them.
As though she could read his thoughts, she brushed her lips against his collarbone before fully pressing her lips against his neck. Although he didn’t want to, he let a moan escaped from his lips.
Reid rubbed his arms over her back, feeling silly that he still held onto the tube of toothpaste and his toothbrush that he’d grabbed from his bathroom. His body told him to drop the items and pick her up instead. His mind attempted to keep him grounded in reality.
She raked her nails down his bare back, and his cock responded. Cynda pressed her breasts against his chest, and the memories came flooding back. That night. The sex. His disappointment when she refused to come with him.
Reid panted. His damn traitorous body betrayed him. His foot without a shoe took a step toward his bed. The foot in a shoe remained grounded in its spot.
“Come to bed,” she whispered. “Come.”