One of the things I adore about book series is that when you fall in love with the characters you don’t let them go right away. That’s why I decided to give away my newest release Stranger in my Bed which is the second book in the Hello Again series. This is your chance as a reader to fall in love with David and Lexie all over again as they try to do the right thing, even if it means keeping them apart.
This book also introduces Charlie and Criss as they begin a new relationship. Below is a preview featuring the two of them.
Charlie had heard the train whistles about an hour ago for the first train’s evening arrival. She knew that was a good time to get ready to go downtown. She’d had things pretty much set the last few weeks that she would be sitting at the same table, in the bar, working on her laptop when he would come in for a drink.
She had a simple pink sundress on, everything she wore became simpler as the days and weeks in Durango went by. She was starting to catch on and grow comfortable in the casual clothing even though she still felt overdressed at times. She pretended to read through a paragraph, though she had finished this post already for it to go live in the morning.
She could feel the shaking of her foot as time passed. She took slow, small sips of her drink. She studied the menu, wondering if she should order something to eat. Maybe tonight would be the night he wouldn’t show up. Perhaps this was the night he would go to a different bar; hang out with his co-workers, changing up his routine. He never really talked about his own stuff much. Maybe he didn’t like his co-workers, hadn’t bonded with them just yet.
The door opened with the warm summer breeze sweeping in against the air conditioned room. She could feel the chill on her bare arms as she looked up. There he was that smile, those twinkling eyes, the skin that was dirty from coal dust and a day of hard work. Something about him though was pure sexy. She smiled, waving to him with her fingers before she returned her attention to her laptop. Yes, as long as he had no idea she was actually waiting to see him, to spend an hour or some with him this was a good plan, wasn’t it?
He took the empty seat at her table without asking. “You know, I’ve been wondering why you’re always here when I get off work.”
She looked up, as she stopped typing, “It’s easier to write my blog posts here, rather than back at the house. I adore Lexie; she has a lot of drama however.”
“Everyone has drama; they just react to it differently.” He reminded her just as a waitress came over; he ordered his usual local beer while Charlie placed an order for appetizers, “So have you checked your stats lately?”
She shook her head, “Not yet, I’m nervous.”
He picked up her laptop with one hand easily and placed it in front himself. “I don’t think you have any reason to be nervous.”
“You have nothing to lose, I do.” She tried to look at the screen, yet couldn’t get a clear view of it.
He kept his eyes on the screen, even though he wanted to look at her, the way the soft lighting of the bar hit her skin, reflected in her hair, and he couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to sit with her by a fire in the winter. “True, but neither do you. Check out the numbers.”
She felt butterflies ripple through her stomach as she turned the laptop around. She took a moment for her eyes to focus on the numbers, for it to all make sense. “Are these for real?”
He nodded with a smile, “As real as can be. Looks like your blog is going to be a smash hit.”
Before Charlie could even think she had sprung from the seat and was hugging him, “Criss, I never could’ve done this without you. How can I ever repay you?”
“Wow, you actually said my name.” He had his arms around her; he didn’t want to let her go.
“Oh come on Criss, I saw your name all the time.” She slipped out of his arms just quickly enough and back into her seat.
“I guess your right Charlie. I just like the way you say it.” He leaned forward just a bit.
Charlie was blushing, “I think you’re being silly. I don’t say it any differently than anyone else. I mean really how many different ways could you pronounce Criss?”
“Maybe I just like your voice, the way you seem kind of happy when you say my name.”
Charlie sucked in her lips, trying not to smile, not to show any emotion besides friendship. She couldn’t screw up whatever this was she and Criss had going on. “Well you are my only real Durango friend. I mean the only other person I know around here is Lexie and she’s always busy working.”
Criss looked down at the cherry stained table, “Oh yeah, I guess that’s true.”
“I mean I would hate to ruin our friendship.” She was going to kick herself later for this, she knew it, and she already was.
He was silent for a moment before he finally looked up at her, “I don’t want to be just friends with you Charlie. I come here, every night just to see you. To run into you.”
The waitress put his beer down on the table and quickly left as Charlie closed her laptop, “Really? I thought you came here every night to unwind after work.”
He took a sip of his beer, using it as an excuse to not speak and gather his thoughts. “I can drink a beer at home, but I can’t run into you there, well unless you were to just drop by which I doubt you would.”
She felt guilty and stupid; she’d been doing the same thing. “I usually have my posts for the next day written by noon, if not earlier. This is just an excuse to be here, and not seem like I’m waiting for you to show up. Well it’s also an excuse to get out of the apartment but it’s mostly to see you.”
Criss smiled, “Oh but you don’t want to ruin our friendship?” His head was tilted just a little bit.
Charlie felt a playful energy start to flow in her veins, “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to say when you think you’ll get shot down?”
Criss felt himself relaxing, “You think that I would ever shoot you down? I don’t think it’s possible. Not at all.”
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