» For Old Time's Sake

For Old Time's Sake cover

Blurb

Description: At home for a month’s vacation before dedicating herself to her new career as a corporate attorney, Linda Harper sees Wade Preston, her teenage lover, and thinks a little fling with him might make the time go by faster. One night in Wade’s bed turns a flickering flame into a raging fire. Her problems are compounded by the interference of the nosy residents of a small southern town and the discovery that her much respected father is harboring his own scandalous secret. How will Linda deal with her conflicting desires?
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Excerpt

As she got out of her car, his door opened and he stood silhouetted against the light. Tight jeans and a fitted polo shirt showed his physique off to great advantage. Her pulse rate went up. Whoa! She better slow down. At least wait until they were inside before jumping him.

"Hello," his deep voice called out. "I see you didn't have any trouble finding the place."

The thought of being sexually aggressive caused her to smile a little more broadly than she had intended. "No. I used to come down Monroe Street all the time to go shopping."

He stepped aside so she could enter. "Back in the old days when there were stores downtown," he said.

"Ah, well, Harperville's gone to the suburbs like everywhere else."

"And thank heaven it has. I make a living off all those suburbanites."

She paused and glanced around the room, surprised by a wall honey-combed with a built-in plasma TV, stereo equipment, and shelves filled with tapes and disks. "That's some home-entertainment center."

"After working all day, I like to come home and relax." He gestured toward the overstuffed, leather-covered sofa that faced the TV and nearly filled the room. "Sit down. I'll get you a drink."

She accepted his invitation to sit and the crinkling as she sank into the cushions told her the covering was vinyl not real leather. Bookshelves against the wall and a low table in front of the couch were the only other pieces of furniture in the room.

"I've got beer and white wine. What can I get you?" Wade asked.

"The wine, thanks."

He smiled as though pleased by her choice and headed for an open archway on the far side of the room. She settled back on the couch, glad she'd worn slacks so her legs wouldn’t stick to the vinyl. He returned, carrying a stemmed glass in one hand and a beer can in the other. After handing her the glass, he popped the top on the can.

She felt ill at ease, not knowing how to start the conversation. She took a sip of the wine and nodded at him. "This chardonnay is good."

He sat on the far end of the couch and took a long swallow of his beer. Then he held the can up and said, "So's this."

"Since you obviously prefer beer, I hope you didn’t buy wine just for me."

"Some women don't like beer, so I keep wine on hand."

Before taking another sip of her wine, she said, "Oh, yes, I've heard you know a lot about what women like."

He looked puzzled. "You've heard — about me?"

She chuckled. "Someone told me just today that you're quite the — ah - womanizer."

He shrugged. "That shows you how little the people here have to talk about." Turning more fully toward her, he leaned against the arm of the sofa and waited, as if for the next jab of their sparring match.

Linda didn't know exactly why she was here, but it certainly wasn't to fight. "I'm just kidding around, Wade. Don't get your nose out of joint."

He continued to frown at her. "Is that why you came here tonight, to kid around?"

"Well — like you said, to talk over old times. We used to be good friends, and we haven't seen each other in a long time."

"Friends? Is that all we were?"

She sat her wine glass on the coffee table with a sharp clink. "We became lovers, but we were friends first."

He grinned lopsidedly. "Well, I guess that old saying is true. Love ruins friendship.”

He almost sounded like he regretted their breakup. “Can’t we still be friends?”

“Can we? You’re on your way to becoming a big-time lawyer and I’m just the lawn guy.”

“We still have a lot in common. We both grew up in Harperville and went to the same high school. Of course, in school you were the star running back on the football team, and I was so shy that I barely spoke to you.”

"Shy? I thought you were stuck-up." His teasing grin softened his meaning. "But that was the first summer I worked for your dad. As I recall, you were a lot friendlier the second."

She reached for her wine glass and took another sip to cover the jolt of excitement his reference to their summer of love caused her. "I had to be after all my friends found out you were working at our place and started showing up every week. They said they wanted to use the pool, but they really wanted to flirt with you."

Wade hung his head in an unsuccessful attempt to look modest. "Those girls embarrassed me."

"Huh! You loved it, never missed a chance to pull your shirt off to make them drool even more."

"That was hot work and also dangerous. It was hard to keep my mind on mowing grass while the best looking girls in town jiggled around the pool in bikinis. I'm lucky I didn't cut my foot off that summer."

They both laughed. Then Linda grew serious and asked, "With all those girls to choose from, why did you only date me?"

"You were the classiest chick in the flock."

Was that just another line or did he mean it? "You liked my class?"

"That too, but remember I was a teenager. You held your own in the bikini department."

He was flirting with her. But he was good at it, and she wanted the game to go on. "Thanks for not saying you picked me because I was so eager."

"Were you? I couldn't tell. Asking you out was one of the scariest things I ever did."

His remark surprised her. "Why? Wasn't it obvious that we girls were all crazy about you?"

"I always felt the girls from your side of town liked to look, but didn't want me to look back."

"Such thinking cut you out of a lot of action that summer."

"I had all the action I wanted," he said, as he stared into her eyes like he really meant it.

She stared back, trying to gauge his honesty. His expression and his manner seemed open and up front, but she reminded herself he’d fooled her with phony sincerity when he was a lot younger and less experienced than he was now. She needed to take everything he said with a grain of salt. "We had some wild times. I can't believe the chances we took."

"I'll say!" He shook his head as if in disbelief. "I'm lucky as hell your old man never figured out what was going on between us."

She drained her wine glass. "One of the advantages of having a captain of industry for a father. He was hardly ever at home."

"That damn housekeeper was. A couple of times I got splinters shimmying down the tree next to your bedroom window."

They both laughed, and then Wade sprang to his feet. "Let me get you more wine."

Before she could decline, he was back bearing the wine bottle and a bag of chips. "I forgot about these," he said as he sat the bag in front of her. "As you can see, I'm a host who spares no expense." He sat beside her, near enough to refill her wine glass and make her aware of the muscular arm he casually draped over the back of the sofa. "Now where were we?"

"Talking about what wild and crazy kids we were."

He stared into her eyes. "I figured you’d have forgotten those days."

She chuckled as she shook her head. "How could I? Every time I hear John Cougar sing 'Jack and Diane' I think of us.

"For me it’s Bob Segar's 'Night Moves'."

"You're kidding."

His hand lightly fell on her shoulder. "Why do women think they're the only ones who have sentimental memories?"

He was trying to sound like what had happened between them had been important to him. She couldn’t let him get away with that. "You were my first. That made you a lot more memorable to me."

He leaned so close that his breath caressed her ear. "You were my first love."

She couldn’t think of quip to throw back at him. Had he really loved her even for a little while? What difference did it make now? She shrugged. “We were just teenagers experimenting.”

His hand began to massage the back of her neck. “Those were some pretty hot experiments.” Moving gently but relentlessly, his hand sent warm surges into her body.

Nobody ever turned her on this quickly. Was it his technique or her memories? He slipped an arm around her and pulled her shoulder against his hard chest. The spicy scent of his after-shave distracted her attempts to think rationally.

She did manage to turn her face away from his as she said, "That happened a long time ago."

"How about a stroll down memory lane?" His tongue lightly toyed with her ear lobe.

A shiver ran down Linda's spine. The sensible side of her brain whispered warnings, but the sensual side held a ticker tape parade. This was Wade, the boy who had made her a woman, the boy she'd never forgotten. Down through the years, she'd told herself her memories of him were exaggerated. He hadn't been so much better than the men who came after him. Their youthful exuberance had just made it seem so. Well, here was a chance to settle the question once and for all.

She turned her face toward his. He placed his hand against her cheek and stared into her eyes, just stared, until Linda couldn't stand the suspense any longer and gave him a light kiss of invitation. When he didn't respond, she whispered, "Remember when we used to drive up to Ridge Road and park?" She kissed him with more force and then traced his lips with her tongue.

His arms went around her and pulled her chest against his. His voice dropped to a near whisper as he said, "Remember the night a car pulled up behind us when we were both naked?"

She started laughing so hard that she had to rest her head against his chest. Finally she managed to say, "I can still see your bare butt in the headlights as you dived back into the front seat."

Their bodies rubbed together as they both laughed. "You didn't think it was funny then," he said. "You were screaming, 'Get us out of here. Get us out of here.'"

"I was afraid it was some killer coming after us."

"I was afraid it was you old man."

As the laughter between them dwindled, Linda realized Wade had leaned back into a vertical position on the couch and she was on top of him. He had one foot resting on the floor and his legs widely apart. She could feel a familiar bulge pressing against her thigh. If she were going to stop, she had to do it now. But the exhilarating combination of familiarity and excitement coursing though her body convinced her she didn't want to stop.

She pulled herself up until she could look down on him. "We're consenting adults now we don't have to be afraid of anyone."

"Are you consenting?"

"Yes."

His hand cupped the back of her head and he pulled her into a kiss that quickly developed into a battle of their tongues. His other hand moved to her butt, pulling her more tightly against him. She deliberately squirmed against his arousal and he growled, his sound waves vibrating in her mouth.

She didn't know what happened then, maybe Wade tried to get on top, but they slid on the vinyl and off the couch, bumping into the coffee table so hard that her nearly full glass of wine tipped over and splashed them. Linda squealed and Wade shouted an expletive.

She started laughing again, trapping him under her in the narrow space between the couch and the coffee table. When she finally crawled back onto the couch, making it possible for him to get up, he said. "I do have a bedroom."

Between giggles, she replied, "Thank goodness."

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