Thursday, December 29, 2011

The break-up plan

With resolutions flying out of everyone’s mouth like the F word, it is almost inevitable to make a few changes. Why not start at the start of a calendar year and work your way onward. Day by day. Month by month. Or let’s face it, hour by hour.

Because honestly, if someone said give up text messaging--that alone would be on an hourly timeframe. Sadly I’ve hit that point where the phone is somewhat connected and calendars are filling. It’s a busy time.

Instead of creating these crazy lists about having to lose such and such amount of poundage and strut this body like Giselle. Or better yet, aim to save one million pennies for a down payment—or installment on property taxes. Pushing the holiday bulge and the budget aside, I’m mixing it up a bit this year.

A resolution (s) in the form of a break-up plan.

It’s easy. Painless. Completely guilt free. Hopefully.

We all have good habits and also bad habits that we tend to mull over more. This isn’t about mulling, or swearing to do something and letting it all fall to the backburner because the rebel in us says forget about it.

Resolutions tend to bug me in general because it strikes a red flag that somewhere in my mind gets short circuited and rather than saying, ‘Okay, we aren’t going to do that right?’ It’s says, ‘Forget that, that promise is moot-pass the wine.’

But I must digress that statement because that is just me. Some people are great with resolutions and that is fabulous.

For right now, because it’s not really a resolution it’s just a statement….I am breaking up with a few things because it needs to happen. It’s for a better day, a happier person. Or maybe it’s out of boredom because the morning is quiet and the sun is keeping me cheery. In any case, er goes.

DIET COKE – you are a bastard and god only knows how you have made it into my diet over the past few weeks. The sugary duds are bidding farewell.

JEANS – This is debatable. As much as I don’t wear you unless it’s a day for loafing, it’s time to keep to the leggings and dresses.

SNACKY TREATS – It’s about to get orange in here. Carrots are getting back on the plan. Cookies you are OUT.

WORK – I’m breaking up with YOU…as soon as a certain group has an offer--which is in the forecast.

BLACKBERRY – iphone or bust.

– Building roots is far more important than moving on the fly. Please brain stop sending mixed visions of Manhattan and Toronto. Thanks much.

DRUNKEN CALL/TEXTS – I seriously doubt he thinks they are fun. Interesting, but not fun at 3am. And why do I answer them when they come my way? Either way—they are out.

….leaving the biggest for last

GIRLY BEHAVIOR [aka self-doubt] – This is being pitched on so many different levels. I am breaking up with eyeing of the telephone waiting for that message to come through. Texting him when he should be the one texting me. Forget that, I wouldn’t do that with a friend so I’m breaking up with that on edge feeling. He will call, as if we didn’t already know that. It's the behavior that I loathe most and cannot believe it has taken up shop in the recesses of my mind. But, as I am a woman--it was bound to happen at some point.

And so that is where it all lays out for now. A master plan that isn’t really a plan at all. It’s merely a statement of letting go. Letting go of a carbolicious drink that seriously needed the boot in the first place to set a reminder in my planner for messaging someone for getting the ball rolling with that job. Simple, silly little things that creep up and we don’t realize are a part of our daily routines. For now, it’s time to get on that detour curbing any inclinations to fall back to these habits and get on with it.

As I sit in jeans and riding boots. Hmm, fashion forward.

Cheers to a new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happiness is a journey not a destination

With the year rapidly approaching an end and a new set of months filled with unknown possibilities is about to begin, it comes the time to sit back and sort of take in everything that has happened over the past three hundred and sixty five days. It’s almost when you say it out loud that you realize that is a lot of days of change, of happiness, sadness, excitement, frustration, advancement, travel….

This has been one of those years where sitting here now it is easy to look at life as anything but a journey. Each day filled with anything and everything that can only add to the beauty that is where a day can take us. There has been such stress on certain things that looking back now, is completely laughable. It created time wasted, weeks and even months filled with worry of personal upset or confused about how to move forward. Life and chance opportunities were masked in that worry. Some of the concern and hours of lost sleep turned into unexpected meetings with people, conversations of a lifetime and even a glance at how perfectly fitting and precious every single moment is.

Rather than being a time of reflection, it has been months of enlightenment. It’s funny how you know deep within your bones when something goes right. Every ounce of you tells you that once you have made a step in that direction, everything will work out.

So much is going on around that it is hard sometimes to take a step back and breathe. Taking a moment to soak in that breath of fresh air that fills your lungs with such joy and fulfillment. That is where today is. That is where I am right now. Which feels like a phrase that has been run to the ground, but it is the truth.

This year has been everything and then some. There have been so many ups and downs, but it is through each that a positive doubly outweighs the negatives. And there aren’t really any negatives at all, for they have all been part of the process. They may have been roadblocks at the time, but have done nothing but add depth to that day, to that moment. They have added a sense or level of character that is unmistakable.

As the days are passing, they do not seem like days anymore. They are merely parts to a puzzle that I am anxious to piece together when the time is right. For now, the pieces are all blending together on the carpet in front of a fireplace fully lit (yet still ornamental) like a sea of notes. They are the notes of a lifetime.

So from surviving a snowstorm that got a booty shakin’, listening to a calling and following the gut with a natural gift, to letting go and being free of any personal limitations; this has truly been a year. A year that wouldn’t get traded for anything. Sure there were days where I have to laugh and say, ‘what the fuck was I thinking?’ But in the end, it’s simple and easy. I was thinking…

‘it was pretty fucking hilarious at the time, so why the hell not?’

Cheers to your life, where you have gone and where you continue to go and grow within. Own what you do and where you are.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sexy Sundays….

For love of rumpled sheets….

It’s a quiet Sunday, one where all you want to do is curl back up into the duvee. So many things can be said for something so very simple to make this absolutely enticing. However, for this particular day; I will leave that up to the imagination.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


As much as I would love to start singing to my ever constant girl-crush of David Bowie, this is not that time. Nor is this the place for my voice to break any windows in the vicinity. For the first time in probably my whole life, the need to flee, runaway…move--is not pressing in. Usually every few months the urge to jet set and get away or start fresh begins to creep up my neck. It starts with the little notices in magazines or in television shows, my eyes pinpoint a destination and I crave to go. That craving turns to yearning, which turns into the impulse to get out of town. And move.

Why this happens, I honestly do not know. Maybe it stems from wanting to explore the world, maybe it’s a fear of staying in one place to actually build roots? Either way, this particular urge hasn’t hit me but others that lead up to it have. In one of the many daily reads, I came across an incredible article about how someone’s life changes drastically once they have made a serious life ‘alteration.’ I couldn’t help but see the truth in this statement. Since dropping everything and moving east, it has forced me to really break out and live according to the day. The moment.

After an incident the other night, something happened that felt like a splash of cold water in my face, waking me up from a deep haze I apparently had fallen into. Forcing me to really see someone. That spontaneous person who always challenged herself; the one who decided to bartend only because she wanted to learn how to make one specific cocktail. The same lady who gave up early education as a major and chose Cinema—just because.

I need a change. That rich trait is something that is so comforting, so near and dear to my soul. With the weather shifting into the winter months, there certainly can be no time wasted by sitting on my rump and baking cookies—despite how delicious they are. Well, that is an understatement. Baking cookies for a cookie exchange—well now that is completely okay in my books.

Yesterday, I called out of work. This is something I rarely ever do. Not because I was sick, but because I wanted to take the day and plan. Evaluate and Tackle. Music got turned on, the medusa wave didn’t get straightened, lululemon and I were best friends. As I was putting a picture away, crumpled up in the corner of a box was a sheet of paper that I had filled out years ago. On it was a running list of all the things I had been wanting to do. A wishlist.

I curled up on the floor next to my bed and skimmed through it and immediately started crying.
-Buy Flowers weekly (done)
-Send cards out to friends regularly (done)
-Train for a marathon (done)
-Move to Chicago or NYC (done)
-Buy a flat in Paris (still wishing)
-Get a Kitchenaid (done)

With the exception of about three (out of more than one hundred) everything was something that over the course of four years was accomplished. I stared in disbelief, shock and awe.

Where did that woman go? Who was always rushing to do something wild and crazy? She got drunk. But in all seriousness, reading that sheet of paper brought back that warm feeling that this lady needs a list. And that list is not getting crumpled up and tossed into a box like a time capsule. No, it’s going straight onto the calendar, or is being turned around into registration forms for classes on god only knows what.

Here I was slowly beginning to get nervous about the winter months and turning into a hermit, but that is not the case. These changes are coming hard and they’re coming fast, the days are getting filled with yoga and floral arrangement courses. Classes on how to do facial make-up so we don’t look like hot tranny messes to others that coach you through ‘Doing him, Dumping Him or Dating Him.’ Secretly, openly here, I’m excited for this one.

So in the light of Mr. Bowie, even though that song doesn’t even come close to meaning the same thing….I’m making some changes and getting some fun out of life.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sexy Sundays....

While us ladies are dawdling with our freshly manicured nails, there’s the other sex to think about. This one goes out to the fellas. I can’t even begin to comment on how many men I have dated that spend more time in the washroom getting ready for going out than myself or women I know, so who knows, maybe a mani and pedi may have been equally as satisfying. But not for today. Today is yet another simple feat that when worn, makes a dressed up look seem so casual and vice versa. It’s easy, simple and a crowd pleaser for yourself and for whoever you are walking toward.

The un-tucked dress-shirt

There are so many reasons that this look is an instant winner for sex appeal. The shirt appears classy regardless of it being wrinkle-clad—or just hanging out over a leather belt. It’s versatile. Whether it’s to wear a shirt with jeans or with dress pants, it works either way. Hands down, this is the most common look that I have experienced on dates and with partners. Some guys stay clear of fashions while others watch it closely. While most of the men I have gone out with are not glued to Project Runway, one must assume they are wearing the clothes for a specific reason. And to each of them it was always the same thing, they felt good in it. Granted, only one of the guys has ever actually said that out loud, the majority shrug off any questions and sit confidently snug in their chairs or walked with a clean stride. Body language indicator, regardless of the wrinkled mess from a shirt that was found at the bottom of a hamper. Clean or dirty—we don’t really want to know.

Unless you are David Beckham, I seriously suggest veering away from the half-tucked shirt because we can forgive him for any potential faux pas. It rarely comes across as stylish and more-so tired and lazy. With shirts of this kind, it’s either in or out. The un-tucked is widely acceptable, which honestly isn’t all forms of clothes acceptable. They’re material covering your skin, and to be blunt-this isn’t a fashion blog. This is merely stating the obvious. Confidence. A man who can wear his clothes with confidence wins that round.

So this now becomes a game to play, how many guys do you often see walking around that aren’t wearing jeans and an Iowa t-shirt tucked into the tops of the pants? Sorry, the Iowa t-shirt--all I can say is well welcome to the the locale of the greater mid-west. If anything it’ll be a fun game nonetheless.

I do partially blame the current writings for these little sunday missives. It's through them that certain characters are being crafted, so bear with me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Steamy sex and nano what?

November is quickly approaching and with that string of thirty days, comes a project that seems impossible yet completely capable. Nanowrimo.

November is the National Writing Month and what better than to have someone create a sort of push of sorts to see if one can pen out an entire first draft to a novel in that time period. Anyone who knows, this can be done, but is slightly difficult due to the many phases for writing. You’re dealing with: outlines, research, editing and simply finding the time to sit your ass down and actually write.

I am partaking in this madness for a couple of reasons. The first one being that I am currently half-way through a project that is taking longer than expected and is going for publication so most of my time is focused on that right now. Writing sexy kisses is not easy, no matter what someone tells you. The second project (intended for Nano) is a follow-up story that has been requested on numerous accounts and is itching to get penned out. Work has been unusually slow, and nightlife—well that is a whole other animal that won’t get tackled right now. Lately it feels like I’m racing in along the autobahn and there’s no offramps. It’s crazy, time is flying by, important dates are getting passed…and yet there’s always time for sitting down and getting a few things straight.

So far from what I gather, you have to get a synopsis up and running on the nano website and submit mini submissions throughout the entire month. This is something I have yet to do and thankfully there are 5 days left to complete. Eventually each submission get clumped together and wham, you’ve got (figuring the base amount of words) a completed by day thirty. All you need to do is get it to your beta or editor and you’re good to go. Easy, right?

Easy. Being busy is what gets me motivated, gets me all excited about finishing a project. Something I have faith and belief in. Did I mention what I have faith in? Oh, it involves kissing and a few naughty scenes. That-if done correctly, are not so naughty and more swoon-worthy. Which is exactly what I’m going for. I’m not a balls-to-the wall type of woman. No thank and you. I firmly take hold of the girly parts of me and like all things romantic. Flowers, holding a door open…making an apology in the pouring down rain.

Which brings up Nano. While I’m aiming to finish the ‘Summons’ novel by mid-December, it doesn’t qualify for this project. It’s a manuscript that is currently in progress and halfway done. Nor would I want to be rushed on this story because the characters and plots are flowing beautifully right now. I wanted something that could keep the momentum of writing up-regardless of either project.

That something which makes sleeping feel like a distant thought, and coffee a burning liquid pulsing through my veins as opposed to a glorious liquid that fuels the morning. So I’m writing for the free publication site and keeping the nerves pulsing for an entire month.

Officially embracing my inner ‘geek’ badge for this project, something that is few and far between but still…embraced.

Why do I think that the month is going to drag or I’m going to be reverting back to old tendencies and pulling men rather than waiting for substance? Because of the damn dirty side of things.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sexy Sunday....

Taking in a Sunday has always been part of some of life’s more decadent things. Things that don’t really get done when you’re fussing about during the working week, escorting kids from school to sports or dance, arranging meetups with girlfriends that you haven’t seen in four days…

It’s the little things that for a few short minutes, take us away and make us feel ultimately sexy. I love this. I am first to admit, Sundays are bonafide ‘Days of Luxury.’ This is no secret, so to devote a posting each week in response to this day, well it seems pretty damn fitting. To begin this, I thought really hard about some of the things that I do to primp and prune. Spruce to sexify, all to add a little extra bounce in a typically upbeat strut. So many ideas came to mind and for this week, it’s an obvious.

Manis and Pedis

How can anyone deny the time it takes to have your nails doted on to perfectly vanished perfection? It’s a hard one to debate. Imagine going into a nail salon for a pedicure, you walk in and are served champagne, ushered to a giant massaging chair and a bath of warm water that has floating petals. For that short period of time you can let loose and just relax. Forget about remembering to transfer funds from one account to the next covering the mortgage. Nope, not there. The atmosphere doesn’t allow it, the massaging of your calves won’t even suggest a glimmer of a thought of anything but silence.

What is it about having freshly painted toenails, whether it be the darker hues of the winter months or the neon (s) and bright pink (s) for the heated summertime? The first time I went and had a pedicure, I about died. I was that nervous nelly that looked like a deer in headlights. You want to dip my feet in what? Why are you massaging my back when my gnarly toes need a touch up?

Oh, but I would like another glass of champagne though. Oh that color looks good with my eyes, you think matching sets for my fingernails too?

Hook. Lined. Sunk.

{HAND JOB, San Francisco, CA}

Now, I am more of a pedi type of a lady and will always be the one shooting out text messages for a ladies day get together at a nail salon. It’s basically like meeting up with friends at a bar or getting coffee, only you’re being pampered in a different sort of way. Rather than indulging on the caffeine or that extra cocktail for the week-the budget gets forgone and you leave a salon feeling like a million dollars. A very sexy million dollars.

My latest obsession is Shellac. It’s an incredible process that allows the polish to last for several weeks. Imagine that! While your toes are rubbing in the boots (because lets state the obvious-it’s now boot season) the polish is staying nice and shiny. Perfectly un-touched. Slinking away for a manicure and pedicure is an instant mood booster, de-stressor and automatic given for making you feel a little more confident about what’s going on inside of the socks.

Staying in or going out, Sundays are a day for anything. And for this lady, it means to head out for an appointment in a couple of hours. With the cooler air, the deep purples with a touch of shattered glass are in the forecast.

Are you craving an appointment yet?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who needs blush?

Yesterday, as I was at the market picking up odds and ends and fully noticed that my lacy dress was completely transparent in the chest (and the fact that nobody had said a single word ALL day) got me thinking about when to spice things up, and when to shut them down. The last post got me thinking about certain things that get you feeling good about yourself, things that add a little bounce to your step.

Those little nothings that make you bring your very own sexy back.

For some it could be dancing to Katy Perry in the front room, wearing a pair of red stilettos—by themselves, or adding a little extra curl to a rather straight bob.

The other day I got a text message from a good friend asking what would look good with jeans. Laughing, I text back and said bra and panties. This of course turned into a serious texting match, eventually ending in a phone call and an outfit that ultimately got it in for a night. The lady was ecstatic. All over the small things that she never thought about that made her feel good.

So of course, then I started thinking about all of the things that I love that just add one more punch to the day. A pair of bobby pins, snowflake pink nail vanish, tanned skin….the list goes on and on. Looking at yesterday and that silly dress, I’m almost glad I didn’t remember that the lace trailed down a little more than expected. By wearing that dress, the red belt got brought out, which caused for a little extra glitter to be added to the eyeshadow and crafted a whole range of delectableness.

Everyone has their own preferences for what makes them feel good, and let me first say that lounging in a pair of yoga pants and a cardigan is way up there on my list. But even so, when it comes to making the cheeks a little rosier than usual or sleeping a little longer. Sexy is as sexy does.

There’s been a few ‘Themed’ blog topics but this one, I’m sticking to my guns and actually going to pursue. Because who doesn’t want to add a little spice to their step?

So with that, every Sunday I’ll be posting a bit of this or that on something that can add to this sexiness. God knows that by writing this novel, it is only fueling the need to cure a little bug that is biting me. Whatever the case may be, this will be fun. Exciting, and who knows maybe even a little informative!

I’m off to do a little research because lord knows, the first post has got to be good. I may have been slacking in posting which is natural when times get busy, but I’m motivated and excited to try something different. Who needs blush when you’ve got something else that will add a little color to your cheeks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I’m sexy and I know it…or at least with heels and lipstick I can be

It’s October, and the detox is officially over with a capital O. For the past several weeks I have been going back in forth between spending more time away from my house and out with friends or just clearing the mind and trying not to sulk. Or to be completely frank--wasting the night away sipping one too many cocktails and forgetting my own personality. Because it was about regrouping and finding something out of your comfort zone (s). And that personality, is me, but she was hurting and needed to get drunk and scream. And eat lots of gelato that is now making crunches so much fun.

It’s over, and god only knows I never thought these words would ever come out of my mouth. EVER. Everything is good, every day is filled and that is a sweet deal. Granted, this little period of getting back to ‘who you are’ felt like a refresher course for Calculus 405 in college, but still. It was needed for everything to be washed out of my confused mind. Which is the always present and never now ending theme.

And yet, here it is. The simple truths that are blinded behind everything and everyone around. They’re over, forgotten and forgiven.

Maybe it’s the fresh color on the hair, the tanned skin, or the red stilettos that seem to be attached to me right now because they scream ‘outrageousness is here.’ Whatever it is, it’s fully embraced and it’s about god damned time.

…or it could possibly be the writing that is amping everything up and building the excitement about potential freelancing. About penning someone else’s story which makes me not think and allows me to just go with the flow each and every single day. The chance of being able to quit a job that I do not enjoy and do something that feels right in my bones and makes my skin sing. I’m leaning toward the writing setting everything on fire. There’s no shame.

The other morning I went out for the day. Put on a cute dress, slapped on the purple heels and just went with it. Every day for the past few months, I’d been eyeing that dress, rolling my eyes at the shoes wondering why in the world it had not been worn in ages. Funk be bygones.

It’s understandable, and it happens. And you know what, you have to get over it. If you sit around and mope about it, time is still getting wasted and a chance at god only knows what could be slipping off in the distance. That dress was like a fire alarm going off inside of my head. This woman, she had partially joined the witness protection program. Though, not really because I’m not socially inverted and actually do go out, but things had been slipping off of the radar that are as much a part of me, as well anything else.

It was time. Time to clean out the wardrobe of clothes that hid a body that needed to shape up just a tad, dye the locks but steer from an emo-clad color and go with something a little on the sultry side. To wear the purple heels.

I feel like it’s been a serious complex of personal issues lately, and it has been because of reasons that will go unannounced on this forum. That’s for Dr. Drew to address and I’m still waiting for an available appointment. It is very hard to see all of the people around you and not judge yourself for your 'shortcomings' or acknowledging your accomplishments. Even so, breathing is easier today. It’s better than it was a year ago. It’s definitely easier than sixty five days ago and because of it, my heart is bigger and I’m saying adios to certain thoughts. Expectations that had quietly become my own. I’m saying goodbye to the lost hours and shouting a big hello to all of the time that lay in front.

So this is my last post on dating. On feeling down and out because honestly, a Kleenex and crappy made for TV movies can help this one. Crying with a box of sour patch kids in my lap and a crystal light stain on my lips. And taking a peripheral vision and turning it into tunnel vision and forgetting about the world that exists all around. A world that I am part of and am no longer missing out on.

Amen, to that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do you think romance is dead....

It’s officially begun, the road of staying the course and putting everything on the line in a professional manner. The race to get published is on. Last week, a very good friend of mine forwarded a link to a writing competition. She had come across an article about a woman who had always been interested in writing and decided to enter a specific publisher’s contest in all hopes of potentially winning the Grand Prize. To get her work published.

When she saw the article, I am more than touched that she automatically thought of me. But, let’s take that one back for a second. Who in the hell else is writing a romance piece? Still completely gracious, always, to have someone looking out for our interests.

The contest is simple. You and the likes of several other writers are competing with a total of three chapters assuming that you get through the first round. It's not always unusual to see this type of competition from a publisher, but the fact that she saw the article at just the right time, is how the universe works sometimes. The publisher has opened it's arms to up and coming writers alike for what is being called 'New Voices.' I previously mentioned completing a short story for a girlfriend, that story sparked something inside of me that has been dormant for far too long. It sparked a love affair with the written word, with the endless ideas that go crazy in my muddled brain; it sparked a way to keep envisioning the way things could be within my hopelessly romantic heart. I am a new voice, and this voice is itching to be heard.

I entered the competition.

What better time than now to really push myself and follow a gut instinct? I know how I get the minute I have made a life decision. Determination fuels me, I become driven by an unknown force and ultimately have never failed. I’m not saying that roadblocks have not been a very uncomfortable friend all along the way, but certainly the minute I start to focus on one particular accomplishment or multiple projects-they move seamlessly and success typically follows.

This is not a bragging room, but was a reminder that we really can do whatever we want. There are no limitations, everything is within our grasps. Everything. Reading through the other submissions, it’s clear that the competition will be go either way but I’m honestly not bothered. It took a huge amount of courage to post on a publisher’s website, reach out to friends, family, and unknown people through social mediums to ask for support.

To support not just myself, but all of the writers. At the end of the day, this is not about winning a competition. It’s about understanding that you can do anything you set your mind to, regardless of the situation. I’m excited to see where the first chapter goes, and if it even takes off. Of course, I’m going to be stalking the mess out of the Mills & Boon website tracking the progress, but also sending out words of encouragement to all of the other writers.

Because that is what I would want. To be supported on one of the passions that we all share. To write, to share a story that was not meant to be published for monetary reasons. It was only meant to be written for others to take into their homes and enjoy.

So with that, if there is free time to spare and someone is craving a bunch of starts to stories—or rather the start to a certain one in particular….Please follow the link to the Mills & Boon site by clicking on the title 'Summoning Mr. Right' and rock the vote.

Summoning Mr. Right


With seventy-five cents to her name and no way to pay the bill should her date bail, Emmerson Nichols has hit rock bottom. With a wasted degree and a slew of temp jobs she finds luck in filling her bank account but not in her life.

Despite his booming career, Derek Westcott can’t warm the city officials with his broad shoulders and sexy grin. Not by a longshot. When fate plays with a woman trying to find herself and a man trying to hold his business together, who will win?

Monday, September 19, 2011

How I met your husband….

I am in a dating detox. For another forty five days I am getting back to the basics by listening and taking action in contrast to my heart. From one Romeo to the next, it has been a tumultuous ride over the course of almost ten months. And in that amount of time—it has become a period to shun your eyes, drink a bottle of wine and take a long hot bath. Or laugh and thank god you are living a life different from this.

I met a man, this man was outrageously funny and enthusiastic. He was cute, but also only available at certain times that always seemed to be the same. Strike the Red Flag immediately. It turned out, and I found out almost two months in of talking and going out, that he was married. We were ‘flinging.’

As in fully married, probably father of year and oh so very attached.

How does this happen?

One would think this was the Maury Povich year up in my neck of the woods, but honest to god I did not expect him to be, let alone think I could ever partake in such a predicament.

Well I did, and it happened. It was an affair and so because of that, I am in a dating detox.

At first I was only going to take thirty days to clear my mind, body and soul but realized that this one—like a shot of Jack Daniels, burned all of the way down. I still hurt from the betrayal of someone I was beginning to like, and so for that I decided on taking a full sixty days to recoup. To relax and get my groove back.

Of course, this is when I start to pay extra close attention to what has been lacking over the past few months. From workouts to dressing up I have been taking it way too easy lately, because I was excited that for a change someone was thinking about me. Calling to check in and see how my day was, coming over. I felt attached, how silly and obtuse as that notion may be now, considering the fact that the guy was already attached--but that is all changing. I’ve been re-reading books to gain lost confidence, meditating in order to clear the clutter in my mind and working out to sweat off the softer parts of my body that could be trimmed down.

What is it about the dating process that is so difficult to some, and so easy for others. I have covered this topic one too many times over, but it seems to be reoccurring which makes me believe the problem lies within me. Am I trying too hard in capturing this one guy out there? Have I romanticized too much, or is it really possible?

It’s possible, so I’m taking the time to kick back and find the beauty deep down my single woman’s body. I was talking to multiple friends over the past several days who all keep quiet but say the words that they think I want to hear. Words that I don’t want to hear because it’s repetitive and I’m simply tired of hearing them one day after the next.

For the next forty five days, it’s my turn to be a selfish bitch. To shop when I want to shop. Read Cosmo or Jane Austen, whatever my brain is craving.To detox my body and kick the angst out through kickboxing and circuit training. To drink all the coffee I want and slink away into the city for as many hours of my liking for whatever reason. To plan unnecessary trips just to get away, because I can.

In the first set of the detox, I cleaned up my telephone, email and threw out little notes that had been left behind. I re-started saying three things I am most thankful for at the end of each day, and also envisioned ways of changing a day around in my mind had anything gone differently as expected. A workout regime was re-activated and a health plan was put back into place. The next stage is inner and outer beauty-for this I’m working on the entire forty five days on. From my approach to people and personal demeanor to changing up a wardrobe and sprucing up to accent not only my body but my personality. Enter new dresses and platform heels, flip flops to the back.

The detox is about reclaiming what we lose, when we are in that search for the Prince Charming (s) of the world. That endless and silly search. But no more, this time I am serious about it taking the time and letting go. I’m not saying the search is over for a lifetime but for now, it’s not about a search but about connecting with myself on a higher level and letting all of the other business move to the side.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well that was to be expected.

Coming back from a weeklong trip out visiting with family can go two ways.

Considering I had already cried like a baby the minute I saw my sister, her house, the baby and just about everything else I figured my body was pretty much cried out. The need to strangle anything or turn to the bottle never crossed my mind.

Sometimes it takes a trip like that to make you see the real you. A real understanding of yourself as a person, a woman (or man), lover, partner, etc. I am not a large crying person, unless I’ve bashed my foot in or knocked the knee out when running through the prairies pretending I can still run, but being there and with so much emotion, I swear I cried for more than a lifetime.

Apparently that must mean I am growing as a person, because it made me realize that certain emotions had been dried up for so long that it felt like Niagara Falls for a few nights. Thank god for the privacy of personal rooms, but it was more than laughable to realize that it felt good to let everything out.

On the flight back, I was talking to the couple next to me on the flight and as the woman started to fall asleep during the flight something occurred to me.
There are introverts and extroverts all over. Type A and Type B. Hands down, I am an extrovert. Unafraid to talk randomly to people, will put myself out there in any given situation which can lead to good experiences and crazy ones. Strange happenings have always popped up in my life, hence the full meaning of this blog:

Living in that blonde moment

My life is one big blonde moment, for which I embrace fully. Whether it be a slip to the floor, crying in public over some stupid advert or simply experiencing something out of the typical and monotonous day.

On a flight that had been delayed, we’d been stuck on the tarmac for about a half an hour, I was exhausted. The week was emotionally draining, my body was beat, but I still needed to get to my car. Flying is a fun and simple process, and the only real part that I get anxious about is parking my car. Normally I would have hired a car service or call for a cab, but with this particular trip the flight times were all over the place and I hate to even ask anyone about doing a favor for me. I’m the ‘get in, get it done’ type of traveler.

My car was parked in the long-term side of the airport and while I just made it outside of the doors from the baggage claim, luck reigned down and a shuttle was right there waiting. Thank god! Seamless so far, apart from the many bathroom trips from the people sitting next to me and the long tarmac wait.

Excited to be one inch closer to the car, my eyelids started to droop and before I knew it the bus was parked outside of a garage. I did not remember parking in a garage. Where was the driver. Where the hell was I?

Not good.

The driver came back onto the bus after he had taken a break—and completely left me there. What an idiot I am for closing my eyes for a second. Turns out, there are multiple routes for the long-term parking. One for each section, which seems completely ridiculous to me but who am I to judge. After talking it over with the driver, I in fact was in the wrong bus, and was going to be driven back to the airport.

What a shame, so much for getting home at a decent hour. Instead of getting angry or frustrated I laughed it off. The driver laughed right with me, this would only happen to me.

The first time I rode public transportation-I caught the wrong bus and ended up on the wrong side of Seattle.

The first time on the freeway, I exited too early and drove in a neighborhood that I will never return to. Scary.

Just that week, I was at the market buying fresh flowers and talked with the vendor—after a few laughs he gave me a bunch of extra stems.

While we were laughing, he asked where I was parked so of course I told him. Before I knew what was happening he was pulling the bus to a stop and we were right outside of my car. Door to door service.

A surprise right before your eyes. I expressed my huge graciousness to the man as I got off of the bus and loaded up my car. I couldn’t believe it, could you honestly expect anything less?

No. At least, that is what I thought and when I told other people—what they thought as well. But it got me thinking not only about the emotions and growing, but had I been a raging tired bitch-he would have made me walk. But I laughed it off, talked with the man and sure enough got first class service.

Who knows, how these things happen. Or why for that matter, but they do. Living in the moment, or being susceptible. I fully embrace the moments and take them for what they are. Whether it be something fun, exciting or even helpful it couldn’t be any other way.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One down, how many more to go

One year ago today, everything changed. From the land I had grown to know to the people I had grown up with.

One year ago, I made the journey of a lifetime and since that day everything has changed--ten fold.

It almost seems fitting that this time last year I was in Seattle for a very near and dear friend’s wedding. I had just sent all of my belongings off with a mover in San Francisco that could not speak a word of English and flown up to Seattle for a whirlwind weekend. Only to fly back on the only delayed flight and race like made to pack up my car and start the journey east.

Yes, it does seem fitting that this past week I had traveled back to Seattle to see that same friend who had gotten married, now fully pregnant and ready to give birth any day. It did seem fitting to tie up hardened ends with my family and try to put shattered pieces and bruised emotions back together.

This year has been the most challenging I have ever experienced. From moving so far out of my comfort zone, into an area where nobody is around where you can crash on a couch and cry your eyes out over the fact that the job market was still falling. Over the fact that you can’t figure out where a relationship went wrong, or just to pass out from debauchery activities.

While sitting on a creaky wooden bench out along the chilly Canadian waters of the Pacific, I sipped wine and finally took it all in. How these spontaneous moments hit us, still shocks me, but for this understanding it hit as the sun set and the pier lights went on.

This year has been a mean, gnarly, nasty bitch but I wouldn’t have had it either way. When I walked along the sidewalk leading up to Pike Place to get flowers-to then sitting and looking out at the mountains, I realized that life and each day happens regardless of our breakdowns.

Regardless of whether we go out on a Friday night.

Regardless of the fact that you hit the gym and are looking svelte or not.

Regardless of whether you decide to get out of bed to experience the day or not. It is up to you.

The year has taught me in more ways than one, that despite anything you can conquer any given situation. The choice is really yours, and that choice takes action.

This year, I have moved to an area where I knew nobody and now a year later it’s safe to say that I have a family close by. I have been taken in, invited into a whole new area of experiences that had I stayed in bed—would never have gone through with.

Like go to New York on a whim for a weekend. Walk a runway and let a friend dye my platinum blonde locks deep brown, decide to publish a ‘naughty’ story—and turn that idea into a full on career, watch friends grow in ‘reality’ fashion and get a full design perspective of material artwork, make friends that are strictly positive and give back just as much as they take.

I may have hit rock bottom, and it’s been a bitch to claw my way back up, but that’s the main point. Moving up, moving forward. Every day has brought some kind of crazy revelation, that more and more people keep laughing at me because I’m starting to sound like a broken record…but still—they know. I know.

Over the week, a friend had asked. ‘I wonder what it would be like if you stayed in San Francisco?’ I can’t answer that question, because I’ve come so far into just the right element that it would be hindering the step forward.

I don’t know where I would be, but I can guarantee that I sure as hell wouldn’t be living in a foggy apartment, listening to the constant screams of my neighbors above, let alone the planes that flew to SFO every five minutes from the North.

I do also know, that I wouldn’t be me. Right now, today. While waiting to meeting up with this good friend, I was in a bookstore and for some reason I was directed to this one book. It was strange, but I didn’t fight the guide. I walked over and in an hour I finished this book, I related to every part of it. Every thought, every action, every shift in emotion moves us. Of course it was a self improvement book, because lord knows when you’re flying back to see your new nephew and meet up with a pregnant friend….you’re going to get broody and wonder. What the hell happened with me?

The book resonated in every word, life happened with me. A different type of life that may not work for the person next to me, for the person standing across the hallway, but it has come together for me. Sure there are hard times, but those hard times have crafted a better understanding, created another opening and opportunity for something different.

This is a good place to be. This is where I am successful right now, in happiness, in relationships, in life. It’s just right-who knew all that would happen in a year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When to pitch something or keep adding to the plate

On this new and fierce journey to follow a dream of writing, of publishing works already completed and new works that are in the process and coming along; I have been faced with a question that is jamming like an eighties Clash hit.

Should I stay or should I go?

For the past month I have been busting ass, trying to talk to different people. Find an outlet, whether it be through writers’ sites, social mediums (Twitter/Facebook/Google+, etc); I’ve been introduced and talking to multiple people within the literary field, fellow writers who are published, some that are posting on free sites, some that are just writing and they’ve all said the same thing.

Get a site.

Ugh, I must digress. But this is coming from someone who is new to all of this. I am the most non-tech-savvy person you could possibly meet. I don’t do codes, I don’t do graphics. Don’t is a very repetitive theme. I like things simple, easy, that won’t make me cry at the end of the night—even if it is over something fabulous like a fake advert for Louboutin stilettos. Come December, I will own a pair and not even bat an eyelash at the $800 cost.

Over the past few months I have been terrible about blogging, but part of me believes that is a good thing. I have not needed to vent as much, I am happy, in a good place, have been busy with people around. Who in the hell wants to read about my random daily business of going to the markets-even if I happened to trip? Even so, I write for me, as a place to just let go and free-write. But it is one more thing that I must keep track of.

Which would be the case of a website. To promote. Promote a book that I am in the process of researching to print and put out electronically independently. With this book, comes a glitch. Marketing would be involved.

I am torn on this, mainly because I know I should technically set up a site if I am dead serious (which I am) on moving forward into a publishing capacity, however this is where I have to stop and think.

Do I want to merge this blog with the website? Do I want to completely cut this avenue out, and mainly post updates on the website? Though frankly speaking, I honestly do not need to have my personal thoughts broadcasted on a website for which I am trying to promote, and not have a big vulgur sign screaming out….

{courtesy of google}

On the other hand, the website could have a link to this blog, or to a section for a ‘faux blog’ where I could write much like here, because I’m not here to prove anything to anybody. This is what it is, and I am sticking to it. I am not conforming or following anyone. The purpose of these entries are as an outlet, it is not always warm and fuzzy, it is not always crazy and eclectic—thank god, but I would like to think that should someone read something, or if I were to look back as reference--it is a place that offers something or even solace to any person who is dealing with similar moments in their life.

Like turning thirty and having a nervous breakdown. Like dating 1,560 men and waking up to an empty bed looking like hell--or feeling like hell while dealing with having an affair with a married man unknowingly(a post for a new day). Or simply just getting by in life without wanting to run to your car and scream and cry or laugh and dance along the sandy beach overlooking the sunset.

I’m not too sure about this one or where I fully stand right now, and thankfully have time to consider what could survive knowing my erratic schedule; and work with someone who knows all of the technicals for creating a website (sweet jesus, this penny pincher is going to have to cough up the dough for site design). But for now, all options are being kept open.

Because I am not sure I am ready to give this up, as little as it is. As basic and simple as it is. As comforting of an outlet it has become, I want to hold onto it for now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where is this now?

As the cool fall winds tease the evening air, it makes stop and think about where the time has gone over the past several months. Where I have been, and what all has been keeping the days full of events or empty with the sun.

Hours of work in an office that behooves me in every form, outings with friends that has comforted and protected-even if it comes in the form of SPF for them and baby oil for me, dates of misfortune that makes me understand the reality of wants and needs. I am pushing something that may not be. All of this is simply filling time, stealing it and gesturing for more. Whether it be for laughter, love and wholeness.

I have noticed that my time during the week is shortened and I’ve become void to ideas and hopes. Through the work comes a stress, which leads and fuels the fire to staying true and persistent for what I want to do. Sitting behind a desk taking orders, being a job lackey feels more degrading than working a fast food lane. At least there, someone is grateful rather than unappreciative and demanding. What is so fundamentally a part of my life, is calling in different tones. It reminds me to never lose focus and to keep trying to get it just right, to find a way of being stable in your niche. Your claim to economic happiness. Money is money, and it is crucial-but to remain true to me, my heart and soul-I’m willing to make a sacrifice. But what is it? Or do I already know.

The people that have become the closest, see and read through me. They know where I want to go and push me to make those futile steps further into the right direction. Even if my mind is forgetful, they are not. With family it is entirely different. There is always a judgment against actions, a prejudice against you. Not with these friends that are my family, there is no rudeness or cold behavior-only encouragement. And for that I've latched on and have been soaking it up building a confidence to step out of the typical norm, step away from what is expected-to do what is just right within. To follow dreams and make them into a reality, even if it means saying ‘fuck it’ to everything else.

Forcing something that may not be is a realization that is now acceptance. I do not want to go further alone in this life without the deep rumble of someone next to me, to feel that warmth curled into the sheets. To be a couple. This is the hardest part. For months I've been going back and forth, playing games that I am way too old to be playing, trying on new men for size and its emotionally draining. I know it’s part of the process by I am beat, and with that beaten. By the end, I'm left bereft, tired and don't want to give up the fight for hopeless and endless love-but the light is extinguished for now. I love the independence that I have, but want to be dependent of someone for a change. I'm hurt--but not broken, sad--but still happy. It is only a roadblock and will come into my life when the timing is right, or so I'm told. I am staying positive but am no longer searching, because it’s in the search that I lose sight of who this woman is. I lose sight of what is all around me.

For days I thought the quiet would be soothing, but it was in the chaos, the rubble of laughter that I am listening to, that I am relaxed. It makes it clear that when I'm trying to achieve certain things, I'm focused and the chaos is still. I am missing pieces, missing other things that may be passing by. For a change, I'm reverting and doing something so out of character. I'm not caring anymore. Letting go of the wishes, the prayers, the 'let me please' thoughts. To just go in the direction of those winds.

For right now, I just want to be. Be, wherever this draft is taking me, be happy for the people around, be available and optimistic for tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I {heart} NY

There is something about the written word that frees my soul. It is a part of my life, the days, the hours; it allows me to feel full and complete—within your creativity. When I started writing the short story for a friend, that love, that sort of intoxicating feeling you get after being introduced to something that interests you…consumed me.

I have finished the story. Thank god. It took a couple of months to pen out the 100+ pages, but I am proud of that story. My friend loves it, and it was something that I needed to do. It was a wakeup call for something that has been missing for months.

Writing comes naturally, it’s a love, but to take so much time and invest it into characters and a plot and actually post it out for thousands to read opened up my eyes and opened the doors to opportunities.

It has opened the doors to fresh ideas, new people that I honestly never thought I would talk to, people that have become daily contacts with conversations I look forward to. All because of a few words that were penned out.

The story Reading the Defense is in total six chapters, after the fifth chapter I clammed up and didn’t get writer’s block…but did get a sort of ‘conclusion block.’ I had become emotionally invested in the characters that had been created, emotionally invested in the people who it has been reaching out to since the end of May. I knew that in writing the ending I would have to really step up my game and put everything into it. But I had stalled, for nearly a month. I received emails from people wondering what was going on.

Would I finish the story?

When would the final piece get posted?

Stress consumed me, over a short story. A very good friend that I am eternally thankful for, has a house in New York. On the Pennsylvania border, in the woods. It is secluded and on a private lake, where coverage for your phone and email is non-existent. The land is rich with history—literate history. Playwrights once lived on the lands, current writers live there, artists have homes, etc. It is a prime area for the creative mind.

She and her husband knew I was writing and trying to wrap up the story, knowing this they invited me to come out for a weekend getaway. To get lost in words. I hesitated at first, because I am obligated to my job. Obligated to my work ethics and morals.
Forget my work ethics and morals. I slept on it and decided to listen to my soul.

Listen to the words that were taunting me. Dreams that were begging for me to pursue.

I went to New York. I spent three long days taking in the raging sun, dipped into the lake, watched everyone play bags and drank a few too many drinks. And wrote.

Wrote the conclusion.

Amidst the wooded bliss, I was able to listen to the ideas freely and pen the final pieces down. It was like I was possessed for those few days.

It was the exact place I needed to be, and the fact that friends saw and knew that warms my heart. I got home and transcribed my notes, rushed it out to my editor and…posted it. Online first and then converted it over to send to my friend.

The response has been overwhelming. To some people it may be nothing; to me it is the world in gaining enough confidence and networking the most out of something to make a go of this story. Of future stories. There have been requests for an epilogue from several readers, because they too are invested in the characters.

It has been a tumultuous couple of months getting this story locked down, it has come miles from the first section when I didn’t have an editor to the last chapter where the writing expanded and my editor made less marks and praised the work.
I am proud of the little story that could, and am going to keep writing for the site that is hosting it for now. Until I find another site for another genre,until I get fully published, though I must say, writing Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit…is fun.

If not a little racy at times, but still fun nonetheless.

A part of me thinks that I would still be twittling my thumbs trying to sort out the conclusion had I not gone to New York. Had I not been sitting amongst the high trees and gentle breeze, sweating and drinking. I’d like to think that I owe New York for that, that I was in a state of mind that can only be visited when there for this one story. And for this story, it was perfect.

For a better look as to what this post is about, follow the link to Reading the Defense. As a general note, the piece is romance/erotic in parts.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hi, my name is Morgan...and I write porn

Women's literature has gotten a nasty little wrap over the years. Maybe it's due to the cheesy Fabio-esque book covers circa 1987. Maybe it's the soap opera stories that are like trainwrecks, where you can't wait to turn the page and then take a breather.

I am not afraid to admit that writing a romance of sorts with a few risque scenes has been a little difficult--but fun nonetheless. It's allowed me to talk with fellow writers and see how they got past the roadblocks. The heatwaves. Past the parts that make you frown.

It's time to turn a frown upside down for now. Without fully releasing the story, here is the first two chapters of Reading the Defense that has been nothing but a joy to write so far.

A young woman slips right into the arms of a gridiron and gets swept away by a deep laugh and a curious dimple.

I am currently wrapping the final installment and have been overwhelmed by the responses. From my pen begins.

*For Erica


Chapter One

Samantha Morrison was running late. Which explained the loose strands that had fallen out of the clip at the base of her neck. All morning she had been trying to organize her classroom and get through training the teacher aide that would be helping her out through the upcoming school year.

Unfortunately the assistant seemed much more interested in text messaging and snapping her gum than educating third graders, causing Samantha to dart around the classroom stapling and taping posters to the walls, forgetting about taking a break for lunch let alone paying any attention to the state of her unruly wavy tresses. An angry ring blared from her purse as she started crossing the street to a trendy sports bar on the north side of the river.

Without needing to look at who the caller was, Samantha answered the phone without a greeting. “Where the hell are you, and why the hell is it taking you so damn long?”

She laughed at the mock anger on the other end of the phone. “Hello to you too Liz, I’m just outside.”

“Thank Christ, Jenna is already buzzed and thinking about calling Kevin. Who does that after two drinks? It’s busy in here so what do you want? We’ll order up for you.”

“Hmm, I don’t really know. Maybe just some wine?” She really didn’t feel like drinking much since she had an early morning meeting with the principal and the dean of students to go over the first quarter of assignments. Somehow showing up with a hangover didn’t seem like the best thing.

“Okay, see you in a few.”

Tossing the phone back in her bag, Samantha walked up to the entrance of the bar and tugged on the heavy door. The immediate smell of cologne was almost intoxicating, if not overbearing at first. She forgot that the bar Liz had gotten everyone to meet up at was a stomping ground for many to watch sports games. It was still earlier on a Tuesday evening, but the crowd was thick. The highlights from the city’s beloved football team streaming on the many flat screens scattered throughout the masculine interior. It never ceased to amaze her how the fans could be so fanatical over a sports team. Making her way through the sea of business suits and a full assortment of people wearing jerseys voicing their opinions of the latest draft pick to how the team had better make it to the Super Bowl, someone bumped into her from the side causing her to lose balance.

In the blink of an eye, her ankle turned and her body started to fall. Two quick hands from next to her reached around and grabbed her before she completely made an ass of herself by falling to the floor. One strong arm wrapped itself around and rested comfortably if not tightly onto the small of her back while the other hand gripped her side.

“Oh!” All Samantha could do was laugh before looking up to say thanks to the owner of the hands that seemed to be man-shackling her body. As the focus started to return to her eyes, she raised them high enough to look into the darkest pair of brown eyes she’d ever seen.

“Thanks, I have no idea how that happened.” Her eyes blue eyes twinkled as she realized how that must have sounded like a joke.

The man looked down at her then smiled, a small dimple popped out high on his cheekbone. Samantha’s eyes riveted on it for a quick second before focusing on what he was saying.

“It’s crowded in here and someone wasn’t paying attention to where they were going.” He straightened them both, releasing his arm from her back but keeping his grip on her side.

She glanced around as if to confirm what he’d said. “I guess, who knew for a weeknight.”

Nodding toward the television screens that were flooded with commercials, “It’s a perfect night for a game.”

She rolled her eyes, “Every night is perfect for a game in a sports bar.” The man chuckled, a deep rumble that hit her belly to the quick.

The temperature of the bar seemed to have gone up at least twenty degrees since she’d walked in; nervously she shook her head giving off a breathless laugh. Glancing back up, her eyes got locked into his curious gaze. After what felt like several minutes of going mute, her tongue decided it could work.

Just above a whisper she leaned forward and said, “You can let go of my jigs now.” Her fingers lightly grazing his hand as each word fell from her lips.

His brow furrowed, as if he’d heard her wrong. “Your what?”

Smiling she confessed. “My jigs, the handles that you’re hanging onto above my hips.”

The man barked out a laugh, “Are you serious? Why do you call it that?”

“Please, as if men don’t have names for their body pa-“Heat flooded her cheeks, Samantha stopped herself but it was all too late. This man who seemed almost larger than life lifted an eyebrow and grinned looking sexy as hell doing it and putting all GQ models to shame.

Leaning forward, he spoke close to her ear, his breath brushing across her skin lightly. “Well now, that’s not something I’d expect a sweet lady like yourself to know anything about.” He released his hand from her and cocked his head to the side.

This time it was she who laughed outright; after calming herself and taking a deep breath she knew she had to make her way to the group waiting for her. Or get to the nearest washroom and splash cold water on her face and all over her body.

“I really should get to my group before they call a search party.” She started to step around the man.

Nodding, he paused before speaking. “They must be waiting.” Samantha started to step around him, his brooding eyes following her every move. Only a few steps ahead she turned back and gave him a wicked grin.

“Thanks for the save, short stop.” With that she turned and weaved her way towards the back of the bar.


Gabe watched Samantha disappear into the crowd and turned back to sit with Ernie Devlin, the Offensive Line Coach. The two had come to Bandios to kick back a few and go over their game plan for the next day’s practice.

After spending most of the day reviewing game film and talking with the other coaches, Ernie had suggested that they get out of the Cougars’ compound and talk strategy over a few beers. A couple of the younger players Gabe had been working with during the off-season were showing improvement but were still arrogant on the field and forgetting their train of focus. He needed to figure a way of getting into those guys’ heads to get the plays to stick. It was when he’d chewed through an entire package of gum and snapped at the two front office secretaries did Ernie tell him they were heading out.

As he seated himself back down on the stool, all thoughts were directed to the brunette beauty that just swept passed him. A smile crossed over his lips as he recalled her nicknaming her body.

“So what was that all about?” Ernie asked, shifting his bulky body as he turned toward Gabe. Ernie Devlin, a once great running back for the Jets back in the prime of his playing career, retired ten years earlier and had decided coaching was better than playing. With coaching there were no injuries.

Gabe shrugged at the question, “Nothing, some lady almost fell. I just helped her out” He helped her out but got caught up in the bright glitter in her eyes forgetting to ask what her name was let alone see if she wanted to get a drink. Gesturing to the television screens Gabe’s attention turned from Samantha back to the team as the coverage onscreen was showcasing that morning’s practice from the Cougars’ practice field outside of the city.

“He’s quick but he doesn’t listen, look at his feet. Even from here you can see he’s dragging. Why doesn’t he tap?”

“Maybe you should take him dancing?” Gabe scoffed. “Jesus, Russ, it’s still the pre-season, keep working on him. He’ll get it sooner or later.”

Gabe picked at the label on his beer bottle and spoke under his breath. “Let’s just hope it’s not later.”

For as long as he could remember, teammates and coaches had always called him Russ. Gabe could never figure it out because his name wasn’t long, but he figured he’d rather have everyone call him his name rather than a nickname. A nickname. Gabe ran a hand through his thick brown hair as he thought about the woman who he just met. He had never been someone to forget his words but the minute he’d looked into her light blue eyes speech eluded him.

He noticed her while walking back to his seat after talking to a few of the fans in the bar, answering their questions and casually taking their ribbing about Dillon Velesques not knowing how to spell the word team. She struggled with the door as it closed behind her, but once she got passed the entrance and made her way through the crowd he saw how her pale yellow summer dress swayed above her knees with every step. Strands of her dark hair framed her face and itched to have fingers run through them. She seemed to be looking for someone and looked around the bar with wide eyes.

When she fell into him he grabbed onto her and was able to get a better look into her face. Whatever make up she must have applied earlier in the day had seemed to have worn off which probably was an all right thing considering the fairness of her skin. The brightness of her eyes, had given her a look that was sexy and very appealing.

“You coming out for Camille’s dinner thing on Sunday? She’ll be real hurt if you don’t?’ Camille Devlin loved a good cookout, especially before the season started and she became a football widow for a good seven months.

“Yeah I think so. I was going to head up to the cabin and lock it up for the summer but I should be back in time.” Gabe glanced around Ernie toward the back of the bar in search of the pretty woman in the yellow dress. Her jasmine soft perfume stuck to his nose, a thought ran passed him and he soon found himself calling out to the bartender.


“Welcome to detention Ms Morrison!” all of the ladies shouted, led by Liz, her closest friend since university, who hugged her as she sauntered to the group. They all scooted together in the booth giving space for Samantha to sit down, lifting their half filled glasses in the air in a loud toast.

“To work and all that other bullshit!” A few other people around their booth raised their glasses to join in the toast.

The table was littered with empty glasses. Tossing her bag under the table, she beamed to her friends. “Oh you ladies have been so bad. I guess aspirin is going to be my best friend tomorrow if I have to catch up to you.”

Samantha still felt flushed after having an encounter with the man at the front of the bar. His thick dark hair seemed to fall between short and a little overgrown, perfect for giving her a second to see the slight curl at the ends. His cream knit polo didn’t hide his muscular chest nor did the jeans that seemed permanently worn out lose the definition of his legs.

One of the ladies spoke loudly over the scattered cheering throughout the bar. “So what took you so long anyways? Erica was getting tired of waiting and took a few sips of your wine.” Erica giggled from the corner of the booth and shrugged her shoulders slightly. Samantha took a few minutes to explain how she walked in and almost fell, finding herself being manhandled by some random man at the front, not glossing over the fact that she put her foot in her mouth. Something that happened all of the time with her. All of the ladies gasped and encouraged her to go back up to the front and take up residence at the bar. Getting to know that mysterious man a little better.

“Yeah right, he was just being nice. It’s not like he suggested anything anyways.”

A very unconvinced Liz was the first to respond. “Sam, give us a break. You are gorgeous, maybe he was flirting with you.” Samantha’s eyes dropped down. “I’m serious, you’re always telling me I need to look up every once in awhile. You tell me to step up whenever I think Dave is seeing something and he never is. Maybe you need to look up too.”

Samantha’s eyes flicked back up and for a minute she was at a loss. Liz’s words distracted her and her eyes nonchalantly darted out towards the front in search of the man. “I don’t know, it was probably nothing.”

“Sam, you’re twenty eight and in need of sex.” She gasped at Liz’s choice of words. “Come on, how long since you and Brian broke up? Five months?”

“A year,” Erica piped up as she placed her empty glass on the table, her eyes looking out for the server.

“That’s right. A year. A vibrator and romance novels are poor substitutes for an entire year. You need a man.” The table dissolved into giggles, Samantha knew Liz was right. When the man had caught her she immediately wanted to blow off her friends and stay close to him. His hands felt so incredibly warm against her body, causing her to almost whimper aloud as he tightened his grip on her side. Something inside of her exploded and she wanted to explore it.

Forgetting about the man at the front, the women fell into easy conversations about their lives. Erica feeling the stress of all the wedding planning for her dream winter nuptials. Jenna’s failed attempts at calling her latest conquest, a college senior she met at the local coffee house. And of course Liz’s escaped night out where she can pretend she’s single for a few hours before returning home to her husband and nine month old son. Two drinks into the night, Samantha glanced down at her cell for the time. Knowing she was going to have to drive back home only added that much more time, she reluctantly grabbed her bag and gave hugs to all of the women before she left.

The server had taken her credit card to open a tab earlier and so she made her way back up to the bar to cash out.

“What the name luv?” A gorilla with no neck shouted out to her from behind the well.

Leaning her palms on the deeply varnished wood, she called back out to him. “Morrison.”

The man came back and gave her the credit card. “Tab’s been paid out, it’s no charge.”

Samantha stared at him. “What do you mean it’s been paid, I haven’t signed anything?”

“It’s no biggie, really.”

Getting annoyed she decided the gorilla needed to cough up some answers. “I’m the kind of woman who likes to know who’s floating the bill.” Instead, he looked behind her and nodded his head. Samantha didn’t have to turn around. She felt the heat of his hand as it settled into the small of her back. Twisting, she turned her head to give him a sideways glance only to be greeted by that sexy dimple.

“Looks like I’m bumping into you this time.” His voice was deep but somewhat quiet. Without thinking, she tossed the credit card into her bag, subconsciously knowing that in the morning while getting coffee she would be ripping through the purse on a desperate search for that card.

She turned to face him head on, drawing in a ragged breath mentally telling herself not to undress him with her eyes. “I can pay for my own drinks you know.”

“I’m sure you can, this just gave me an excuse to talk to you before you left. Are you really leaving for the night?”

“Yes, I have a meeting first thing in the morning.”

“Oh yeah, what do you do?” Gabe hoped she would keep talking to him for at least a couple of minutes. He had spotted her when a few of the players had stumbled into the bar. Bandidos was one of the few bars where players and coaches could go without being hassled too bad from the fans. She had been sitting with her friends, at some point during the evening she’d taken the clip out of her hair and let the long locks fall around her shoulders. He had wanted to approach her then but knew he could get her by holding her tab hostage.

“I teach third grade out near Hinsdale.” When she announced her profession, Gabe picked up on her pride instantly. “You must love your job.”

“I do, it’s funny. When I was younger if anyone ever asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say a teacher. Now I’m grown up and I can’t picture being anything else. It’s very rewarding, and being around kids all day keeps me on my toes.”

He chuckled softly, Samantha found herself warming to the sound. “I’m sorry I’m being so rude. I’m Samantha, but I’m sure you already knew that since you somehow figured out which tab was mine in this crazy place.”

“It wasn’t that hard to find out. I know a few of the people who work here. I’m Gabe. Gabe Russell.”

Samantha leaned toward him and he could have sworn he heard her sigh. “Can I tell you something?”

He regarded her closely. “I was trying to figure out your name while I was with my friends. So now it’s my turn. What do you do?” Samantha leaned her hip against the bar and noticed a man sitting next to Gabe who seemed to be half listening to their conversation and adding bits to an ongoing conversation with a younger man on the other side of him.

Despite the genuine question he always tensed up when people asked about his career. He’d lived in the public eye professionally for so long, it had made him cautious when he met new people. “I’m a football coach.”

Her eyes widened in shock. “Really? I wasn’t expecting that.”

“What were you expecting?”

“I’m not sure, something active for sure but. Wow, really? Do you like what you do?”

“I do.” His voiced dropped a little lower. “I’ve been with the Cougars since I retired as a player a couple of years ago and coach the wide receivers. “

It was no secret he was trying to keep his voice down to avoid other people in the bar from listening to their conversation. For a moment she was glad that she decided to stick around for a few extra minutes. The man sitting next to Gabe twisted in his stool and turned toward Gabe.

“My lady’s calling, I’d better go. Don’t forget its back to back tomorrow.”

“Samantha this is Ernie Devlin. Ernie this is Samantha Morrison.”He rose from the seat and nodded at Samantha. “Nice to meet you Miz Morrison.”

He shook her hand before leaving. Gabe saw the wonder in her eyes and answered her question before the words escaped her mouth.

“He’s another coach for the team. The players have two practices tomorrow to get ready for the game against New Orleans on Saturday.”

“Oh, right. That makes sense.” Samantha stifled a yawn as it tried to force its way out but failed to hide the moisture that fell into her eyes from the act. “It’s getting late, I really should be going.”

“I guess it is getting kind of late, I should be heading out too. You don’t mind if I walk out with you do you?” Samantha’s gaze dropped to his mouth before she smiled sweetly to him.

“That would be nice.” Gabe followed her outside and asked where she was parked. For some reason he couldn’t explain, he felt uneasy at the thought of her walking several blocks so late in the evening alone. After telling her his overly exaggerated concerns of her being mauled by bears and racing cars she burst out into laughter only to give in and let him walk her to her car. They walked along the sidewalk amidst the constant clatter of oncoming traffic. The August night breeze keeping the air comfortably humid. While waiting for a few cars to pass through the second street, Gabe reached down and entwined his fingers with Samantha’s. The breath caught in her throat, he squeezed her hand and they both fell quiet until reaching her car. He was impressed with the newer model that seemed a little out of range for a teacher.

“Thank you for walking me to my car Gabe, I had fun talking with you.” Nervousness crept up her neck because this was exactly what Liz was talking about earlier. She needed to be more aware and go with the flow.

He released her hand and reached up to push a sole strand of hair away from her face. “Me too. Can I call you tomorrow?”

For a moment she said nothing but stood there looking deeply into his eyes trying to read into them. Where had he come from? Why was he walking her back to her car? After living in the city for years very few things including walking a few blocks scared her. And yet when he asked to walk her, she never would have considered saying no to him. Something about the way he was standing next to her, about the way he had been looking at her so intensely was beginning to have an effect on her insides. It took all of her strength in holding back and not throwing herself against his strong body, rubbing up and down like a cat in heat. Giving into the pressure in her belly she gave him her telephone number and then moved to get into her car.

Before she could slip away from him, Gabe reached out and ran a finger lightly down her cheek. “I’m glad we bumped into each other tonight Samantha.” God help her, all she could do was nod at the man. All she wanted to do was raise up on her toes and kiss that tempting dimple that seemed to appear at just the right moments.

The streetlight caught the glitter in her eyes as she turned back to Gabe after tossing her bag into the passenger seat. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow, coach.”

With that, Gabe closed her door and watched her speed off in the direction to the expressways. Yes, she would talk to him tomorrow.


Chapter Two

It wasn’t quite seven o’clock the next morning as Gabe made his way back to the practice field for the second time, only this time he held a clipboard. A day he would like to forget three years ago in Indianapolis took the breath from his lungs and pulled him from the game forever. In the second quarter against the Colts he was taken down by a bone crushing hit damaging his knee. As one surgery turned into three, for the sake of his body the hit caused an early retirement at the age of thirty three. Despite being told that he would never put on his cleats again, San Francisco hired Gabe without hesitation and he started his career coaching the first season as a non player. The uproar with their management brought him to Rockford where he finally found a groove that was manageable, and a budding team itching to claim a spot in history. The club was new but that didn’t change anything. Gabe made a vow when he started coaching, he would never push a player to do something he couldn’t do himself, even if that meant getting up at the crack of dawn running lines to the comfort levels of his knee and lifting weights until exhaustion. He understood the strength and determination it took to get the job done; he also knew when to listen to his body. If the players complained it was too much, he could fight them on it or tell them to take a break. In his second season with the Cougars, Gabe was finally finding a good place as a coach.

Up ahead near the thirty yard line, Tony Soliano was already setting up so the players could start their drills after warming up. The coach was a tall and thick man in his mid-fifties. For the practice, he donned a knit polo embroidered with the Cougars’ logo on the right breast. Soliano retired before Gabe entered the league and he could remember how the ex-quarterback played even if they weren’t working together. He had been in a freshman in high school when Soliano played his last season for New England. Gabe had been sitting in the front room of his parents’ house, shouting at the small screen with his father as he broke Len Bowman’s passing record by twelve yards.

“Mornin’ Russ, you stop by your desk yet?” Tony tossed a roll of tape to the turf as he spoke to Gabe.

“I dropped off the folder on Jennings this morning before working out but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Should I be looking out for something?”

The man shifted slightly and folded his arms across his chest, looking beyond Gabe he shrugged his shoulders and waited. On the side of the field, Gabe saw Deitrichs running sprints and remembered the post it note Tony had left on his phone.“He’s fast I’ll give you that, but I don’t know if he’s ready yet to take it from the bench...”

Tony interrupted whatever else Gabe was going to say. “Put him in and see if he can take it, you’ve been pushing him hard this week. I think he could fill in the gap.”

Gabe’s eyebrows shot up, he stared incredulously at the man next to him before his mouth twitched at the corner. A rusty smile denied for the rough playing fields showed itself for the shortest of moments. The man was no fool and completely agreed with Soliano, he saw Deitrichs’ potential and was glad he wasn’t the only one.

“Was there something else I should be looking for?”

“Game film came in. I was watching it pretty late last night and think there’s a break in the defense that we can work with.”

Gabe rubbed the back of his head, his watch rattling as it moved along his wrist. Several players made their way out onto the field to stretch but Gabe didn’t see any of it. In his head he was running plays and figuring positions, clipboards be damned. “I’ll take a look after we’re done and see what we’re looking at.”

Soliano rolled his eyes and blew out a gruff laugh. “You already knew didn’t you? Damn it, sometimes I think you eat and sleep football.”

Gabe grinned broadly. “It’s my life.”

Tony smacked his shoulder before throwing his head back and laughed. “Yeah it is, if Maggie didn’t have her set of rules I’d prob’ly eat and sleep football too but seeing as my wife is the ruler of the household, it’s not allowed in the bedroom.”

Gabe had to laugh at that. A few of the players turned in their direction surprised to hear the sound rumbling from his chest and he quickly sobered. He remembered when he was married to Bree, something that was an afterthought of a misguided view of growing up. She would always complain about his shuffling papers while in bed studying up on plays, or how the flickering of the television bothered her. He should have known that the day she bought a mask to wear at night, the honeymoon had ended.

They married young at the start of his career. He was in love or so he thought. She wanted the lifestyle she thought would be automatic. Only to realize two years into their marriage that Gabe was a quiet man, he didn’t need the bright lights. Looking back, he married her because then he would have had it all. A career, a wife and a home. When she didn’t fight him over the cottage they’d shared, he knew he’d made the right decision in moving on. The last he’d heard was that she had attached herself to a defenseman in Indianapolis, wherever the ball landed he supposed, which was in the hands of much younger player.

Just then the rest of the players flooded the field and the athletic trainers started running the first thirty minutes of practice. Gabe tugged the hat low on his head and gripped the clipboard tightly to his side. As much as he should be focusing on the guys on the field, he started to get flashes of Samantha from the night before.

“Someone had a good night.” Ernie smacked Gabe’s back as he stood with the rest of the coaches.

Gabe nodded his head. He did have a good night, probably one of the better ones as of late but he was not in the mood to discuss that with Ernie considering where they were. Chalking off his time with Samantha, he focused on his break from the meetings. “Thanks for getting me out yesterday, I needed a break.”

Ernie shook his head in disapproval. “That’s not what I meant and you know it. Who’s the lady?” The two men started to walk around the players as they were listening to the instructions from the trainers.

“Just someone who was meeting up with her friends.” Ernie tossed a sideways glance at Gabe before hunching down next to Jamal Wallace, putting a hand on his back and pressing the player forward a little further to really stretch his muscles.

“That’s interesting,” Ernie said, as he stood back up and walked on with Gabe. “I’ve never seen you pay the tab for ‘just someone’.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothin’, just seemed a lot like she wasn’t just some lady you met in the bar.”

“I told you, she fell and I helped her out. There’s nothing more than that. ” Gabe started to feel flushed in his cheeks and hoped that the change in his tone only made it look like they colored in frustration.

Ernie saw right through him but decided to play him and push a little further. “So what does she do?”

Gabe answered casually as his eyes were trained on Jennings and Phillips who were making their way to the lanes. “She’s a teacher out in Hinsdale. Third grade. She said that her students last year made her throw a party for when the Cougars made it to the playoffs as long as they passed one of their tests.” He smiled, remembering how her face had been filled with embarrassment when she told him how she’d rather them celebrate for the sake of them passing their tests not for some football team winning a game.

Ernie’s mouth twitched before turning and heading out to the other side of the field. “Just someone.”


What do you mean he walked you to your car? Oh my god, please tell me you had sex!

Only Liz could be this obnoxiously fun. Samantha stifled a laugh as she stared into the screen of her cell. Their messages had been going back and forth for the past fifteen minutes. The first messages had been filled with simple morning banter, saying thanks for the invite and complaints of a grueling hangover. As her assistant asked a question about yarn, Samantha thought she had said yard and started thinking about the man she stumbled into the night before. With her thoughts drifting to the memory of his warm and strong hands as they enfolded around hers, her own fingers glided over the pad of her phone. Not realizing what she was typing, the last message had included Gabe’s name. Naturally her phone started to vibrate with an incoming call from Liz. She ignored it and placed a hand in front of her lips, catching her breath. Work was her life; she prided herself for being dedicated to her students and their work. The man with a sexy dimple had shaken her to the core; she was enjoying the feeling, but wanted to be smart about it. Before pushing through the back door to call Liz, she glanced up to make sure the aide was occupied and wouldn’t need help.

“I want details, like right now!” Liz lived for the stories of other people’s lives. She was a stay at home mother to a nine month old boy, so getting out took a lot. Gossip did not. “Hold on, Trent needs his bottle.” The sounds quieted almost immediately, Liz cleared her throat before charging back into the phone. “Okay, I want it all.”

Her voice held a ‘do not make me count to three’ tone to it, even if it was exaggerated. Giving in to her need of sharing, she started to tell Liz about how she started to leave. The skin on her chest warmed as she mentioned Gabe, reaching down she tugged at collar of her dress to get cooler air to the skin. She glossed over how he held her hand as he walked her to the car, but could not hide the sound of her breath as it faltered.

“I wonder if paying someone’s bill is the newest way of picking them up? I mean it beats having someone say, ‘Do you come here often?’”

“Yeah, but he did say something about him bumping into me when I grabbed the card. That fits the cheesy pick up line Liz.”

“He said that? That’s actually kind of cute. You know what makes this even better?“

“If it involves future plans to trip in a bar for free drinks, you need to pick another girl.”

“No, we picked the bar at the last minute. That place over on State was packed; I mean the drinks were pricey as hell, but worth it. Don’t you think?”

“I guess so.”

Liz laughed at the nonchalant way she felt about things sometimes. “You know so. You’re the only one who walked out without losing anything last night.”Except my sanity, Samantha thought to herself.

She blushed furiously, thankful that Liz could not see her. “I don’t know Liz, he was probably just being nice. “

“Being nice or being male. I would die if Dave had done something like that when we dated. I was lucky if he would walk me back to the dorms, he practically lived in the library. And forget about him buying my drinks. I’m still buying his!”

Both women laughed together at the thought of Liz’s husband. Dave Travers was tall and lanky, a man’s man in the world of environmental services. To Liz he was her very own Captain America with a green heart. Until he found a way to build communities on eco efficient properties, she would be firm to their budget. In order to graduate, Samantha had been forced to take a class on the fundamentals of tears in the layers of the atmosphere. Science was not her forte; luckily she had been teamed up with Dave, who helped tutor her way through the course. One day, Liz had been rushing into the library in search of Samantha and found her studying with Dave. When she first heard the passion behind his words as he helped her friend, she knew he was someone she was interested in. After her third visit to the library, Samantha took the hint and told Dave she had somewhere to go leaving him alone with Liz. The next day they became a couple.

Caving to her obsessive control over her classroom, she peered through the window to see how the assistant was doing. She need not have bothered; she too, was attached to a phone. “He was really sweet.” Talking about men should not be difficult, she had every right to. “And sexy as hell there’s no denying that. I don’t know it just threw me off. I mean where did he come from?”

On the other end, Liz shifted her son and sounded slightly breathless. “Well that’s easy, we called a service.”

Samantha couldn’t hold the bubble of laughter as it left her mouth. “You’re terrible Liz.”

“That is true, but I’m telling you right now you’re not going to see my credit card statement next month. I’m really proud of you Sam, you’ve been guarded lately and talking to you now, I don’t know. You seem different.”

“Different, bad?”

As Liz smiled on the other end, Samantha could almost hear it and she relaxed a little. “Absolutely not, you seem happy, and excited. I haven’t heard you talk like this in a long time.”

She was happy. Last night something sparked inside of her that she didn’t understand. When she was falling into bed, her body felt light with anticipation. She hoped that Gabe would call her; but if he didn’t, his presence alone stirred a desire within her that was in need to be unleashed.

“Look Liz, I’ve got to go. I’ve got a meeting in a few minutes.”

“Okay, don’t forget Sunday. Dave has been talking non-stop for the last week about how excited he is you’re bringing that D-A-M-N salad. Mama doesn’t swear Trent, promise.”

They both fell into giggles before disconnecting. Samantha walked back into her classroom and tossed her phone into her purse. She wasn’t going to be one of those women that stared at the phone waiting for a man to call on her. She’d wait until three thirty to check her phone next to see if Gabe had called. If he hadn’t, well then she would find something to occupy her time.


A grumble rippling through his stomach broke the heavy concentration that stole Gabe’s attention. Rubbing his stomach, he looked away from the previous day’s practice as it played on a small screen next to the bookshelf in his office. Punching the button on the remote, the screen of the television turned to darkness. He hadn’t had much more than coffee and peanuts all day. Glancing down at his watch he noticed the dials read six forty five.


He was going to call Samantha and completely forgot. One of the people from the front office had brought him reels of game film, and for the past six hours he’d holed himself up in the screening room taking in each reel. Play for play. His contacts were starting to dry out, each time his eyes closed the lids felt like sandpaper.

Rubbing his thumb and forefinger across the bridge of his nose, he stepped out into the hallway of the Cougar compound. The majority of the staff had left a couple of hours before; because it was the pre-season, evening meetings weren’t in order yet so only a few of the coaches stuck around. His office was relatively small from an aesthetic view, but suited him perfectly. He’d rather be out on the field where he was at home, rather than boxed in an office attached to a telephone.

Tossing the notes in his hands aside, he grabbed the cell phone and decided enough time had been wasted. He enjoyed talking with Samantha more than he would like to admit and was looking forward in hearing the sweet sound of her voice shortly.

Gabe dialed up to her and waited.


“Hey short stop.” He was greeted with a soft laugh that was as warm as that August evening. His body started to stir at the sound.

“Hello Mr. Russell. You obviously didn’t get marred by bears last night.”

Trying to keep his body temperature under control he thought about release techniques and body control, which was not helping. “No I didn’t, and I think I can sleep better tonight knowing you made it too. How did your meeting go this morning?”

Surprised that he remembered what she said the night before, it took her a second to respond. “Good. I don’t think the principal takes me seriously because of my age. I don’t want to be bothered but I hate to say it, it bugs me.” She laughed at her own statement.

On the other end, Gabe ate up her words. He wished he was there to see her face as she spoke. Last night, as he asked if she had a favorite moment of teaching yet, she thought about it before responding but beamed at him with her pick. Not knowing he was going to hear a story that made him laugh harder than he had in years, she told in great detail how hard it can be to hold your tongue around young children. One of her students had written a dirty word on the whiteboards while she had stepped away from her desk. When she came back in the ugly word made her laugh, causing her students to laugh. Ultimately she had to explain, really mean roosters that bite should not be called ‘cockheads.’ When he asked her what the rooster should be called, she blushed furiously.

I told them that they should call it, Mr. Rooster. So when they speak in a harsh tone, the rooster would know who the boss was in that house. God, that’s awful. But so true!

“I’m sure they respect you more than you think Samantha. From what I saw last night, you seem pretty dedicated.”

Dedicated didn’t even describe it. She was married to her job and had no qualms about it. For as long as she could remember, she had wanted to be a teacher. There was something about educating others, getting them to see that a bigger and brighter future was out there and she could help seemed like the perfect gift.

Gabe pictured her rolling her eyes at him. “Dedication doesn’t get you the golden ticket now does it?”

“Hard work and determination Samantha. Hard work.”

“Yeah, yeah. Oh, I’m rambling, you must be completely exhausted with two practices in one day.”

Gabe scoffed at her playfully. “It’s not so bad, you get used to it after awhile. I’m sorry I’m calling so late, one of the other guys gave me some film to look over and I lost track of time.”

Secretly, Samantha loved that he’d even thought of her during his hectic schedule. “It’s late?” He laughed at her mock question.

“Gabe, your job is demanding. Just you wait; as soon as my students start their book reports and dissecting plants, their projects will take over failed interceptions any day.”

Gabe couldn’t hold back his laugh at that. As they talked last night at the bar to just now, Samantha seemed to understand how easily something could sweep you away from all of the plans and hours of the day.

“Ouch, I think I spot a scorned woman on the other side.”

Samantha tried her hardest to sound stern but Gabe could hear the break in her tone. “You, sir, are a tyrant if I’ve ever seen one.”

Absentmindedly, Gabe pushed the same set of papers on his desk a little further in the corner until some fell over. He was curious about her and decided to dive in. “So, are you from around here?”

“No, I’m from Seattle. I went to college here and kind of fell in love with it all and haven’t left.”

“Seattle’s a nice city, they’ve got a great football field that I’ve played in a few times. It’s pretty in the northwest. Do you miss it?”

“You would know about that field! I do miss it, all of my family still lives in Washington so the distance gets to me sometimes. I go back whenever I can to see them, especially now that my sister has kids but I love being here and can’t really picture myself living anywhere else.”

Samantha settled deeper into the couch and sighed at the thought of her family. “What about you, where do you live in the off-season?”

“I have a cabin up in Michigan, it was the first big thing w-“He quickly stopped himself before mentioning his ex-wife. “I bought it when I turned pro. Its only a few hours away in either direction to all of my family that live in the area. I was actually going to go up there this weekend to lock it up for the season.“

“You know, I’ve only been to Glen Arbor and it was gorgeous up there. “

Gabe laughed and filed that away, his cabin wasn’t too far from there. “You are a Northwesterner. I know football stadiums and you know evergreens.” On the other end, Samantha smiled. She had thought the same thing.

One of the other coaches walked past the door to his office and peered in. Gabe threw up a hand and casually waived off the man, everyone else was heading out for a dinner break but Gabe forgot about the grumble in his stomach and would rather stay on the telephone with Samantha.

“Can I ask you a personal question Samantha?”

Her belly began to tie itself in knots as she listened to Gabe. “Of course.”

“Are you seeing anyone?”

Silence fell between the two of them, Gabe was the first to break it. “I’m sorry. I just thought I’d ask, before I have some guy coming out on a search and kick ass mission to find me after talking to you.”

He was greeted with a hearty laugh and a deep inhale. In whispered tone she answered. “You’re outrageous. No. No I’m not seeing anyone.” She hesitated. “Are you?”

A huge grin split across Gabe’s face, oh he was really glad she answered her phone that night.

“ No, but I’d like to see you again.”

“Me too.”


“Wrap a belt around the dress.” Liz shouted out from her perch on the bed with Trent, who was sitting in her lap.

Samantha dashed out of her closet past them to grab a belt from the dresser. She and Gabe had talked for a little over an hour the night before and she’d felt a little sad when they hung up. Sad for all of two seconds. Before she tossed her phone on the floor and fanned her body, she had given him her address and they agreed on a time that he would pick her up at tonight.

Tying a thick leather belt with black beads encrusted in an elegant floral design, she turned to Liz. “Better?”

Liz nodded and Trent squealed with delight. Samantha walked over and gave the baby a kiss on the top of his head and then leaned against the wall.

“Just breathe Sam, J-E-S-U-S.“ Liz’s eyes looked down at her son, the boy completely oblivious and perfectly content with the ends of a blanket. “You’d think you were going out on your first date or something. Oh wait.…” Liz chuckled.

Blowing out the air in her lungs Samantha just smiled at her friend. “This is completely ridiculous. It’s dinner. Food!” Samantha started to blush and Liz started laughing at the nervousness that was creeping up in her friend.


“There is no way I am going to eat anything!”

“Oh, you can eat something.” Liz snickered.

“Oh my god Liz, that is the last thing I should be thinking about.”

The two women had been friends for years and Liz wasn’t going to take her answers for anything. “Stop thinking and just go with it.”

Samantha knew she was right, knew she was acting silly. “You’re right.”

“I know I’m right. God I love this, and I am so glad I’m married!”

Trent decided he’d had enough of everything and started to get fussy. Taking her cue, Liz gathered everything up and started to make her way home. Samantha stopped her before they headed out the front door of her townhouse.

“Thanks for everything Liz.” Before they could leave, Samantha reached over, grabbed one of the tulips that was in a bunch by the front door and placed it inside of Trent’s diaper bag.

Putting the carrier down on the ground for a moment, Liz pulled Samantha into a tight hug. “Have fun and just be you. He called you and wants to go out with you. Remember that.” Pulling away she picked up her son and walked outside.


True to his word, at seven o’clock Gabe rung her doorbell. Taking one last look at herself, she went and opened the door.


With the first sight of her, all he could do was smile at her beauty. Samantha was dressed in a sleeveless black dress that had a flattering collar and flared out above her knees. It was flirty and fun, accenting her hair which was much wavier than he’d remembered from meeting her at the bar. Gabe held the glass door open. Stepping forward, he slipped his hand around the small of her back. Leaning close he kissed her cheek then leaned back to take her in more closely. “You look beautiful.”

Her cheeks warmed at his compliment. “Come in for a minute, I have got to grab my bag.”

Gabe walked inside and looked around at where she lived. The spacious townhome was nestled in a smaller neighborhood close to the downtown part of town. The walls were painted in creamy pastels and filled with framed artwork and metal sconces. As he walked up to see one of the pieces of art, he noticed the fresh scent of flowers and saw that there were bunches scattered all throughout her home. The house was utterly feminine, the further he got inside the more relaxed he felt. Everything inside was soft and big, the couches were overstuffed and he could almost picture Samantha curled up on it grading papers.

“One of my students made that for me last year, I just got it framed.” She said from behind him, Gabe hadn’t heard her come up to him as she spoke to his back. Looking closer, he saw a note at the bottom of the paper.

I love Miss Morrison because she laughs

Turning to face her he raised his eyebrows. As if on cue, she burst into laughter. “There’s no denying it.”

He gave in and joined her laughter. “Are you ready to go?”

“Hmm, let me think about that one.” Looking around her flat, she turned back to him and beamed. “Yes.”

Gabe took her to a restaurant along the river, with the warmth of the night surrounding them they were able to sit outside and enjoy the scenic views and privacy. Just after they were seated, Gabe asked what she would like to drink that evening and then ordered a bottle of wine to share. Samantha wasn’t used to the gesture, her last boyfriend would always drink beer. Regardless of where they went, he had a beer and would ask for it in the bottle. The glasses had always been forgotten.

Gabe was looking at Samantha intently after the waiter left them behind, his gaze was beginning to make her nervous. Giving in to the stare she laughed and spoke breathlessly.


“I was just thinking.”

“That’s a good thing.” She smirked at him.

He raised an eyebrow and tilted his head toward her. “Not all of the time.” His voice held a definite diabolical tone; he noticed her eyes widen slightly before darkening. All of the sudden he no longer felt hungry for food, the state of his arousal made him glad they were both sitting. What in the hell was wrong with him? He needed to get control and calm the hell down.

“No really, I was thinking about your place.”

“Oh, what about it?” Samantha couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed.

“I noticed the flowers that were kind of all over the place.”

She smiled, thinking about the flowers and was surprised he noticed them at all. He really was observant.

“I can’t help myself especially when out at farmers markets. It’s terrible, at least my bank account will tell you its terrible but I can’t resist. I don’t know what it is but it could be the dead of winter and I’ll still have a bouquet on the kitchen table or cups filled with whatever flower is in season in the washrooms and my bedroom.”

Gabe gazed at her and enjoyed hearing the wistful way she felt about the simplest things. “Don’t you have something you can’t help yourself with?”

He cocked his head and she laughed at his shrug of feigned innocence. Samantha was really beginning to like his amiable confidence. “Football doesn’t count.”

“Well, then I guess that’s for you to find out.”

She licked her lips, Gabe’s eyes following the motion and had to fight the urge of pulling her from her seat and sealing his lips with hers. Just as she was about to say something the waiter came over and took their orders, breaking the mood. He asked her about her friends and found out that she was planning a birthday party for a friend’s husband; she found out that one of his hobbies was wood work.

The meal was over before both of them were ready and Gabe asked if she’d like to take a walk with him along the river.

Clasping Samantha’s hand, they fell into comfortable silence as they walked on the pale stone. The sound of the rolling waves and wind rustling through the branches of the trees surrounding the path brought a sigh from Samantha’s mouth.

Leaning her side against him, she brought her eyes up to look at him. “Thank you for tonight Gabe.”

His fingers tightened around hers, stopping for a moment he bent his head and brought his lips to hers. Samantha’s lips remained closed and Gabe ran the tip of his tongue across her lower lip, then to the crease where it had fallen open slightly. Tightening her grip on his hand, she made a small moan and opened to him.

Taking his time, his tongue moved gently against hers. Gabe ached to run his fingers through her hair, releasing their hands he reached up. The hair felt soft in his hands and he could swear it smelled of fresh roses. His other hand rested in the small of her back, silently begging her closeness. Samantha tasted the powerful flavor of him and lost herself in their kiss. Her hands clutched his sport coat tightly, she tilted her head to take his tongue deeper and realized she needed to feel him. Dimly she heard a sound in his throat as one of her hands moved from his jacket and slipped to rub his side.

Heat shot straight to his groin, he knew if he didn’t step back he was going to pull her dress up around her waist and take her against one of the trees lining the path. With great reluctance he released his mouth from hers. She pouted, while Gabe ran a hand through his coarse hair and gave a nervous laugh.

Eyes locked on her swollen lip, he tried to regain some form of control. It was Samantha who spoke first.

“I think I found something you can’t help yourself with.” She smiled coyly at him and then walked ahead to catch her breath.

Shaking his head ruefully he caught up to her and once again reached for her hand, lacing their fingers together. They started walking back to his truck.

“What are your plans for this weekend?”

Samantha could hardly remember how to spell her name let alone what her plans were, but somehow her brain started functioning.

“My friend Liz is having a barbecue on Sunday so I’ll be going over there. Do you have a game?”

“Yeah, Saturday.” She looked over at him, her eyes encouraging him to talk about his work. “We’re playing New Orleans, they’re a good team. There’s one kid I’ve been working with that has the sweetest gift. I’ve been trying to figure the best way to play him and I think after watching their defense, this kid could be our surprise in taking them.”

Gabe continued to talk about his coaching methods and managed to bring up a few of the people he tried to coach like to his players as they got to the truck. Samantha lived practically in the center of the town and they arrived at her driveway in minutes. He shut off the engine and glanced over at her; she was digging in her bag for the keys but stopped to look back at him. Smiling, he just shook his head and got out to walk over and open her door.

As Samantha stepped out she held on to Gabe’s hand. “I had a really good time tonight, thank you again.”

“You don’t ever have to thank me.” He reached up and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. Sweet breath escaped her lips, Gabe’s mind short circuited from keeping cool to wanting her. Pulling her close he crushed her lips with his in a devouring kiss. She responded with fervor and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Her breasts were pressed against the front of his jacket and he could feel the softness against his chest. His tongue was aggressive and she matched his passion with her own. Gabe’s large hands reached down grabbing her bottom urging her closer. Samantha groaned into his mouth as she felt his hot and thick arousal pressing into her. She wanted to push her hands into his pants and feel him, feel the weight of what she’d done to him.

Gabe broke the kiss when he felt Samantha rub up his body. It took him a minute for the focus to return to his eyes. Her lips were swollen from his bruising kisses; he couldn’t resist taking a little nip on the bottom lip that glistened from the light of a nearby streetlamp.

Samantha brought her arms down and placed her palms on his chest. “Oh, I really want to do this. “ The heat from her palms was driving him crazy.

“Me too, but I think I need to go back to my truck.” He stepped back a little and tried to adjust himself as casually as possible.

Her eyes snapped up to his. “What?”

Gabe saw her confusion and laughed. “It’s a school night ma’am.” He leaned down and kissed her nose. “And now you owe me.”

A breathless laugh swooped over her. God this man was impossible Samantha thought to herself. “How do you figure that?”

“Well see, I’ve gone out of my way twice for you. Now you have to take me out.” The corner of his mouth kicked up and he gave her a wicked grin. Something that did not help the burning in her belly.

Samantha nodded and turned toward the path leading to her front door. Before she got to the curve of the path, she turned to face Gabe.

“I owe you more than a drink coach.”

Turning back, she disappeared to go inside. Gabe stood back for a minute, standing like an idiot in her driveway staring at the space she just left afraid he heard her wrong. He shook his head until he slipped into the driver seat, looking at the garage door he threw his head back and laughed.