I'm 28,000 words into I WANT YOU BACK, Book Five in the Stafford Brothers series. Here's another UNEDITED excerpt:
Following a long sigh, she rested her fork on the edge of her plate and looked as though she were contemplating her answer. “We were together for two years, Nick. That’s longer than a lot of people stay married, but we had gotten into such a routine. You’d come here after working a God-awful shift at the hospital. I’d feed you. We’d watch TV until you crashed, which was usually about twenty minutes after you ate; then I’d wake you up and we’d have sex then you’d go back to sleep until you had to get up and go back to work.”
He twirled his fork into the spaghetti and hesitated before raising it to his mouth. “Sounds pretty monotonous when you put it like that. I saw things totally different. I loved coming here because I have a roommate, and there’s no such thing as privacy with him and all of his friends traipsing in and out. You gave me the three things a man needs–good food, good sex and quiet.” He smiled. “Coming here and spending time with you was the best part of my week, but I understand how you felt you were getting the short end of the stick. I didn’t take into consideration what you needed. I’m sorry, baby.”
“It was my fault, but if we’re going to be together, things will be different. No more spending the night. No more doing your laundry here. If you want me, you have to date me like you should’ve been doing all along.”
Nick mulled over her words for a moment then nodded. “That’s fair. It’s what you deserve, but don’t expect any gourmet dining or weekend trips to South Beach on a resident’s salary.” He added with a mirthless chuckle.
“Oh, my God! You make fifty thousand dollars a year, more than half of the households in this country. I know that doesn’t compare to what your brothers make, but please stop acting like you’re poverty stricken.”
“I do, but I’m also two hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt, and if I ever plan to get out from under, most of what I earn has to go toward repaying my student loans. I don’t want to still be paying them off ten years from now.”
She crossed her arms and shook her head. “Think about it this way. If we were married, my salary plus what I make from giving lessons on the side would go into the family pot. We would only have one rent payment instead of two and only one set of utility bills.” She gave the ceiling a brief glance. “I’m just saying.”
He grinned. “You’re right. I have to stop imagining this anvil hanging over my head with 200K written on it.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Am I ever going to get to enjoy your cooking again?”
“We’ll see,” she said with a smirk.
“Let’s finish eating, because you need to be on your way before it gets too late.”
Nick had the distinct feeling he was in for a fight. Cher had never been a pushover, and that was one of the things he loved about her. She wasn’t going to make this easy for him. On top of that, when the word got around about what happened at the wedding, his name, as insignificant as it was, was going to be mud in the Atlanta medical community. So many of his father’s and his brother’s colleagues were sitting in the salon at The Estate this afternoon, and it was just a matter of time before the rumor mill started churning.
After they finished dinner, he helped Cherilyn clean up. She kissed him goodbye before he left and said, “Call me if you want to see me again.”
“Stop it, Cher. Don’t play like that.” He kissed her lips, which tasted like powdered sugar and cream from the cannoli, and left with thoughts of where would take her on their date. He shook his head as the word echoed through it as he drove back to his apartment. She was right, not since they had first met would he consider what they did as dating. The first few times, he’d taken her out to dinner and a movie or they visited one of the popular clubs in Buckhead. What they had was a relationship, one that was more like a marriage than he cared to admit.
COMING LATE WINTER 2016