[Siren Allure: Erotic Contemporary Romance, M/F, HEA]
Tim Smith wants a second chance with his first love, Susan Nealson. Convincing Susan he’s worth a second chance isn’t going to be easy. Given his on-again-off-again ex-boyfriend past with her, he isn’t sure how to proceed, due to the apology he believes he owes her, and his divorce.
When Susan agrees to be a mutual friend’s maid of honor, Tim might have the incentive he’s looking for. Susan isn’t anticipating being paired up with the dateless best man, Tim. She wouldn’t turn down a chance to revisit their past sexual chemistry. Beyond that, she’s unsure taking a risk on Tim is in her best interest.
Giving first loves a second chance requires letting go of the past and embracing what today offers. When their chemistry ignites into more than sex, can they move past their botched history and embrace their second chance at love? Or will they remain stuck in the past trying to correct it?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Tim stood. He leaned down and kissed Susan’s cheek before heading toward the back door. He turned, smiling, and asked, “How do you want your steak cooked?”?”
Susan pushed back from the table, making her way quickly to where Tim stood. “You don’t want to know if your apology is accepted?”
“I brought you here to have dinner. Talk about recipes and help me get them written down.” Tim cupped her cheek, continuing where he left off. “I planned to apologize in addition to dinner.”
“I’m unsure what to say.” Susan moved back to the table, sitting down again.
“Understood. How about you think on it while I get the charcoal started?” Tim reached for the doorknob, hesitating. His actions let her know he waited for her answer.
Susan inhaled, drumming her fingers on her leg, contemplating what to say. Telling him no way wasn’t exactly fair. He hadn’t said “I got you here on false pretenses.” Could she let go of the angst, anger, and hurt from the past? She looked down, pressing her lips together. She thought she’d done just that, left the image of the young immature male named Timothy, who later decided Tim suited him better in the dust of the bygone times of junior high like when he walked up to her at a dance and demanded she dance with him. As to high school, some of that shaped who she was today. His fashion comments left her wondering about his sexuality until she heard about him scoring with one of her friends. Where he learned about clothes she didn’t know, but his tastes went garish and loud for a couple of years. At least someone had shown him about coordinating outfits better by their junior year. And he had the nerve to talk to her about her makeup and clothes. His actions today had spoken louder than his words of yesteryear. Her view of men came from her taking time to understand them better and not from her father’s viewpoint. God knew his jaded descriptions and examples came from his haggard past and relationship failures. Strength came with maturity and knowledge. Self-knowledge mattered for maturity. A click broke the silence engulfing her and her thoughts. She looked up. Tim stood holding the door open as if he kept waiting and hoping.
If she said yes, was she willing to let it all go? Every past indiscretion? Each anger and hurt? Even if some had been worth it? There were parts of her that wanted closure and needed to understand why. One thing neither of them had been good at back then was talking. They said words and mimicked understanding. They hadn’t really gotten the full view. They’d come close a few times like today and so far this evening. Maybe more was in the offing if she said she partially accepted his apology.
Susan stood and walked over to Tim. She laid her hand on his shoulder. He turned his head toward her. She spoke as his gaze met hers. “Partially accepted.”
Tim moved his lips, ready to reply. Susan pressed her finger against his lips. She leaned closer, kissed his cheek, and whispered, “Unfinished business. We’ll talk after dinner is served.” She turned and walked to the sink where the yams and salad fixings lay. She didn’t look up until a soft click of the door sounded. Tim wasn’t in sight. He’d gotten her unspoken message. She washed the yams, dried them and scored them with crosscuts, and then rubbed brown sugar with a pinch of cinnamon on them. Her mind raced with how she was going to start the conversation with Tim. She took the aluminum foil out of the drawer Tim had shown her earlier, and she wrapped the yams. Susan wondered what specifically Tim felt the need to apologize for.
* * * *
Tim pulled the door shut behind him, standing still until he heard the soft click of the latch. He closed his eyes, slowly inhaling and exhaling like his life coach taught him. Shudders and shivers roared over him. Susan had said she partially accepted his apology? What did that mean? Had he screwed even that up? Her even-keeled tone and pitch reminded him of Karlene… He shuddered again. Susan wasn’t Karlene—nowhere near her. He took another deep breath and exhaled. He unclenched his hands and focused on the moment at hand.
Throughout his marriage, he prepared for the worst with great vigor. Karlene had her explosive moments during her pregnancies. With her second, he’d learned enough about female physiology to get him a reprieve from time to time. Truth was they probably married too early or had kids sooner than either of them were ready. How did he explain this to Susan? Was it necessary? Maybe not right now. His need to apologize came from wanting another chance. A way to show he’d changed and yet say what he’d felt back from the time they’d gone to their first junior high dance together. Matched up by a couple of friends, he hadn’t known her name at first. Now he did and he was ready to give them another shot. Talking was going to take time and effort. Would Susan agree? Yes, maybe things were looking up.