Special thanks to Sandra Bunino for rallying authors together to share teases every week.
This week’s tease comes from STIRRING UP DIRTY, book 1 of “Stirred by Love” series — and connected to DARE.
I’ve been blessed with great friends in my life, sharing the joys, the ups and downs, and I have a few friends going through some huge uncertainties and changes right now. So I thought I’d share a bit from this story, the bond of friendship.
© Kacey Hammell, 2015
Her cell phone rang on the table beside her.
For the first time in days, joy filled her and she grinned happily, knowing who was on the other end.
Pulling the accept button across the screen, she lifted the phone to her ear. “Hey, lovely momma. How are you?”
“I’m a tired, two-hundred-pound whale who needs to pee every twenty minutes. Am lying in bed right now, wishing my best friend was here with some ice cream and interesting conversation.”
Candy moved over to the sofa and piled pillows on the one end, then laid back.
There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her best friend, Olivia Shalvis. It sounded like she needed to talk and she might as well get comfortable.
“You’re the one who decided to get pregnant again, ya know. The docs told you after the second one that having another one would be risky and you’d be in bed a lot during the last trimester.” Candy closed her eyes, thinking about Olivia in a lot of pain. Her first pregnancy with Molly had been a breeze. But the second with Sheri, the weight gain and inability for Olivia to push during delivery, had made things a lot more difficult. Having a third was a risk. Knowing the love Olivia and Dare had to give to children, and the desperation to finally have a boy, Candy prayed they’d made the right decision. She couldn’t fault them for their dreams.
“I know, but I have great news, Candy.” Olivia sniffled. “I had another ultrasound yesterday. We didn’t want to know the sex, but guess what? We’re getting our boy. It’s a boy, Candy. A baby boy.”
Candy gasped and tears of happiness fell down her cheeks. Such wonderful news. Prayers had helped. “Oh, honey, I’m so happy for you.” She kicked her feet happily against the cushion. “I wish I was there with you. How’s Dare? I imagine he’s grinning somewhere at the moment?”
In the beginning of Olivia’s relationship with Dare, Candy hadn’t been all that impressed with him. Olivia had been wrongfully accused of something out of her control, and Dare hadn’t stood by her best friend. He’d automatically believed their employer had just cause to kick her to the curb without looking into the matter. Candy thought he was the wrong man for her best friend, but now, eight years later, she was glad they were happy and tighter than ever. She’d even become friends with Dare. There were moments she liked to give him a hard time still, and remind him of when he’d been an ass, but he made Olivia happy. There was no fighting the love and happiness the two shared.
“He’s with his brother, celebrating. He is over the moon.”
“I can’t wait until the little one’s born. Everything is okay?”
“Yes. The doctor advises I stay in bed as much as possible. The girls and Dare made sure I’m following her orders. But I’m already tired of it.”
Candy hit the speaker button and laid the phone on her stomach. “I bet. But it’s best for my nephew, so you’ll do it.”
Olivia’s laughter filled her heart with joy. She missed her friend and hoped she’d get to see her soon. “Do you think you’ll make the trip home before my due date? His godmother should be here, you know.”
Candy’s heart jumped. That Olivia and Dare had named her godmother to all of their children filled her with warmth. There were very few times when she ever considered having children, and knowing she could care for her best friend’s babies and watch them grow up was all she needed.
She mentally went over her schedule. Her stay in St. Albert was the unknown. She did have to get back to Boston in two weeks for an important interview with the local news station, but helping Melissa was in the back of her mind.
“Once I’m done here, I have the news interview, so I might be home for your delivery. You still have four weeks, right?”
“Yep. I have a feeling this baby boy plans to percolate as long as he wants.”
Candy chuckled. “Well I have a feeling he’s going to be as stubborn as his father.”
Olivia laughed. “I agree. But enough about us. What are you up to? How are things going?”
“Well that doesn’t sound good. Does Melissa no longer want to sign with you?”
“She’s more eager than ever. I’ve just run into a roadblock with her family. Her oldest brother, actually. Talk about stubborn.”
“Doesn’t he want his sister to be happy?”
“Of course he does. He just thinks her happiness is his decision and what’s best for her is to stick to law school, then settle in the other brother’s law practice here in town.”
“Ah, I see. Well, I guess he’s being protective.”
Candy scoffed. “Controlling. A pain in the ass. Egotistical. And did I mention controlling?”
There was a long pause. “You don’t like him much, do you?”
Memories of his hands on her ass, and his back pressed against her, came rushing back. Candy ground her teeth together, angry with herself all over again. Like had nothing to do with how she felt about Eric. She’d never fall prey to him ever again.
“He’s an obstacle I hadn’t realized would be so difficult. He’s a tough nut to crack.”
“Very much so, the bastard.”
“Ah-ha!” Olivia’s shout filled the sitting area and startled Candy.
“Jesus. What’s with the shouting?”
“You’re not all pissed off at him because he’s a roadblock. You’re attracted to him, honey, and you hate that.”
Olivia knew her so well. “Do you need anything for the baby before he’s born?”
“Don’t change the subject now, and no, we don’t need anything. I know you, Candy. You’re having a hard time with this guy because of attraction. Is he gay?” Her eyes widened. “No, he’s not gay.”
“Are you sure? Have you gotten to know him so well? Jesus, have you slept with him already?”
Sitting up, she set her phone on the seat beside her and crossed her legs. Damn it for Olivia’s insight and rambling questions. She didn’t want to think about Eric right now. But her friend was nothing if not relentless.
“Your silence speaks volumes. Obviously the two of you have gotten close.”
“Not in the way you think. It was a momentary lapse in judgment.” Candy waved a hand dismissing her friend’s notions.
“How hot is he?”
“On a scale of one to ten, a fifteen.”
“Holy shit! He’s not falling at your feet, is he? And you can’t stand it, can you?” Olivia laughed.