Thursday, 16 September 2010

Excerpt Day - The Band’s All Here © Caitlin Pompero

Excerpt

 

Claire rummaged through her purse, fingers trembling and heart beating with such fervor, she was sure the whole room heard it hammering in her chest. If only she could locate the five-dollar bill she'd spotted earlier that morning before she left for work. Carrying cash was a rare occurrence, a habit her mother chided Claire for often, insisting women should always have money in their pocketbooks in case of emergency. She didn't need emergency cash; she needed to support a habit. No, she needed to support her obsessive urge to leave cash tips for the girls who waited on her.

 

This café was halfway across town at an undisclosed location in an obscure little cul de sac. Claire found it strange that like her, the place attempted to hide itself. She'd been deceptive to the people she cared about, telling her assistant the early departure had been due to shopping for forgotten dinner items, then calling her mother, asking her to stay at the house a little longer because Claire had wandered into yet another auction.

 

"Ma'am."

 

"Yes!" Claire jumped at the sudden return of the waitress with the ordered cappuccino. "I'm sorry, you frightened me."

 

"It's no problem," the young woman said with a knowing grin and a wink.

 

Claire handed her a twenty, no doubt placed in her purse by her mother along with a five-dollar bill. I'm thirty-eight years old and my mother still treats me like a teenager. Claire managed a nervous smile as she looked up at the young woman who quickly departed with her fifteen-dollar tip. Claire shivered as realization resonated within her.

 

Today it would happen. After several weeks of waiting, she'd meet him, the man she knew only through online social networking.

 

They'd met in a forum on Internet marketing and caught one another's attention with their numerous mutual interests. Their interaction started out as platonic, but he soon revealed himself as the man she'd waited for all her life, someone she often wished her husband could be. His thoughtful messages greeted her every morning and bid her goodbye every night. He instinctively knew what she wanted and needed to get through the day—just one of his many qualities she found impossible to resist. Their online relationship escalated, and before she knew it, they'd discussed sex and what they'd love to do to one another. Claire blushed as she felt her pussy grow moist followed by a flood of heat rushing to her ears. He'd promised her things that would make the most liberal person turn red with embarrassment, yet the mere prospect of having those experiences left her with a delicious, anxious feeling in her loins.

 

"Claire?" A woman asked. Claire stiffened, afraid to turn around and meet the gaze of a suspicious friend or an associate. How could anyone she knew have bumped into her here, of all places? Muscles tight, she made a gradual turn, not in any rush to recognize the owner of the voice. She relaxed when she saw her waitress instead.

 

"Yes?" she answered, her voice reflecting her relief.

 

"That man said I should give this to you." The waitress handed Claire a note while motioning with her chin toward a black oxford-shirt-clad back of a man just outside the café.

 

"Thank you." Claire took the piece of paper from the girl's outstretched hand and unfolded the note while staring out the window, gaze still steady on the man's back.

 

On the delicate parchment lay a hand-drawn picture of a floating rose petal and a message written in intricate calligraphy.

 

Follow my trail . . . . S.

© Caitlin Pompero

The Band’s All Here

Author: Caitlin Pompero

Publisher: Noble Romance

Genre: Contemporary

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Sometimes our indiscretions follow us home . . . .

It's a lesson that Claire will not soon forget. Being a squeaky clean wife and mother, Claire rarely ventures out of her comfort zone. But when she agrees to meet a man she flirted with on a social networking site, the end result is a little more than dirty laundry. Her mystery man dominates her, binds her, and leaves her begging for his brand of first impressions, all while keeping his face hidden. She doesn't regret the encounter, but how will she go home and face her family?

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