Monday, March 12, 2012

Excerpt from DATING A SAINT

This is not Chapter 1, but rather one of my favorite scenes from Dating A Saint, Book Three of the Never Too Late series.

Lauren smacked both hands hard on the table top, making dishes, glasses, and silverware jump, as well as Regina and Alexa. “Stop calling me a saint! I hate that, Regina! I-Am-Not-A Saint.”

Regina bit her lip so she wouldn’t laugh and merely lifted her hand in surrender. “Never again,” she promised, crossing her heart with an X to emphasize.

Though Regina hadn’t cut loose, Alexa couldn’t help laughing. It was the most inappropriate thing she could do in the face of her friend’s obvious distress, but it was flat out amazing to see Lauren McCarthy win a verbal smack down with Regina Logan.

“All that emotion over the no-follow-through James Gallagher,” Alexa said, looking pointedly at Lauren. “I warned you it wasn’t going to be pretty or simple. I warned you he was going to leave more than a physical mark. Now you can’t even kiss another man.”

“And I bet you just love saying I told you so,” Lauren replied sarcastically. She was so freaking mad about Alexa being right, she lifted her middle finger and gave her smirking friend the bird. She winced at the snickering and giggles from the tables around them, which made it all even worse.

Unable to restrain herself any longer, Regina burst out laughing at Lauren’s aggressive actions and had to use her napkin to wipe away tears. It was just too funny to see the mostly quiet, usually reserved woman being so downright ugly in public. She had always known there was a passionate woman in Lauren, but she’d never seen her before today.

“Do you two Amazons know how many patrons in here would love to see a good cat fight?” Regina asked, continuing to laugh and wipe her eyes.

Alexa studied Lauren’s embarrassed face with a kind of awe. It never ceased to amaze her how the right man could push every hot button all at once. God knew Casey made her livid about every fourth or fifth time he opened his mouth. She had learned to think of her anger as foreplay. Maybe the same might work for Lauren, she thought, amused at how her friend might react to that piece of advice.

When their knowing, amused stares finally wore her bravado down, Lauren put her face in her hands and groaned. “Oh, hell,” she said, drawing out the word. “No man is worth this emotional crap. I’ve managed to avoid it for almost seven years. Why now? Why him?”

Alexa and Regina both just shrugged.

“Gee, thanks for the support,” Lauren said, finally laughing herself. She pulled her hands from her face and put them on the table again. “Can you believe Kenneth actually asked me if I was lesbian just because I wouldn’t kiss him goodnight?”

This sent Alexa and Regina into another round of laughter which drew even more attention to the three of them.

Lauren leaned back in her chair and sighed. Her face could not get any redder, so there was little else to do. If she’d had a white flag, she would have waved it in surrender. If she had been in the dojo, she would have pounded the mat. Instead, she had no choice but to wait out their amusement.

Regina dabbed her eyes furiously with her dinner napkin, noting with dismay her mascara was starting to rub off on it.

“I’m surprised you didn’t kiss Kenneth senseless just to prove him wrong,” Alexa said to Lauren, her laughter finally stopping.

“I’m surprised you didn’t just give the ignorant ass Jim’s phone number for a reference. That might have fixed both your problems,” Regina declared firmly.

Lauren’s eyes grew wide at Regina’s suggestion. “Do you think it’s too late?”

Regina looked at Lauren and raised her chin. “It’s never too late, honey.”

Lauren sighed, but dropped her gaze from Regina’s before the woman talked her into being brave enough to do it.