Love Spanks 2014 Is Here! Excerpt from This Time Now, A New Adult Lesbian Contemporary Novella
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My story is one I plan on publishing later this year, titled This Time Now, a Lesbian New Adult Novella.
Here’s a small taste of what to expect (unedited)…
The back patio stank of stale cigarettes. This was where the majority of the smokers snuck off to. I really didn’t really mind the smell. I was used to it. Currently this area was empty, and I could understand why. It was like a sauna out here. But by the abundance of clouds in the sky, there would be rain tomorrow. Hopefully by then the week long heat wave would be over.
I sat in one of the plastic chairs and tucked my hair back into a clip, trying to settle my nerves and not think of Billie who probably searched for me. I laughed and rolled my eyes. Why would she go out of her way to even want to talk to me? Too many years had gone by without any form of communication between us.
A piece of my hair stuck to the side of my neck. I hated sweating. This weather did a number on my hair. It ended up too frizzy and unmanageable, and always had. It was a dirty blonde, but also had some lighter shades people assumed I had professionally highlighted. At least I had that going for me, unlike my lack of height that gave me stubby legs and cankles. I took a swig of my water, silently grumbling about my ugly, fat aching ankles when some of the water missed my mouth and dripped down my chin and dampened my top.
“Great,” I sighed and brushed over my chest. I usually ended up with stains on my shirt and jeans at one point in the night. At least it wasn’t beer or rum or puke. Yes, I’d been puked on before. Too many times to count.
The door opened and the sounds of loud voices and music broke through the quiet. When the door slammed shut, I glanced up and exhaled a shaky breath at seeing Billie.
She took a swig from her beer bottle. Her eyes stayed on me the entire time. I sat back and drank from my bottle. We continued drinking and staring, not speaking.
I finished first and slouched in my seat. Billie finished her beer, threw it in the garbage can and leaned against the wall next to the door. If I wanted to leave, I’d have to walk past her since the patio was enclosed by a wooden fence. There was no other exit. I made no move to get up. I was afraid if I stood my knees would lock and my legs would wobble.
“I’ve always liked your hair up,” Billie said softly and hooked her thumbs into her belt. Her fingers tapped once, twice and then stilled.
I studied her hands instead of her face. Her nails were short with maroon nail polish and silver rings on both thumbs. Her other fingers were bare of any jewelry.
I spread my palms across my jeans and glimpsed at my bare fingers with no nail polish or rings of any sort, and their ragged cuticles. I was in dire need of a manicure. At least I had a pedicure a week ago. Funny, my toenails were almost the same color as Billie’s. We used to do each other’s nails and shared the same color polish.
“Thanks, I guess?” I asked and studied her face. More than half a decade later, Billie didn’t look much older. Not that she had any plastic surgery or Botox because she was still young. I would have found surprising if she had some type of procedure since she wasn’t a fan of doctors or needles. But as I examined her closer, I noticed strain lines around her eyes and mouth that weren’t there before. Also her intense stare, aimed solely at me with her smoky brown eyes had something else floating in them. Either my brain was fried from the heat or it was the shock of seeing Billie.
“That’s all you’re going to say?” she asked and scraped the toe of her boot on the pavement.
“The first thing you say to me after all this time is a comment about my hair. What’s up with that?” I asked and rubbed my palms over my knees.
She charted my movement with her eyes and moved away from the wall. “Where are my manners? How have you been, Mandy?”
I stood up as she took a step toward me. I refused to sit down, waiting for her to come to me. She would touch me and then I would break apart.
“Don’t call me that,” I spat and moved behind the chair.
“Why do you have a problem with me calling you Mandy? It’s your name,” she said, grinning wide. She then did something I wasn’t expecting. She sat down.
I stared down at her head and hugged my arms to my chest. It would be so easy to press my hands on her shoulders or wrap my arms around her. I walked in front of her. She sat back and crossed her legs with a sleep eyes stare.
She’s proud of herself. I snorted and peeked at the door. I could make a run—
“I’ll stop you before you even open the door, Mandy.”
I cleared my throat, which sounded more like a growl, and stared down at the irritating woman. “If you want me to stay, stop calling me that stupid nickname. I go by Amanda now.”
“You’ll always be Mandy to me,” she whispered and the corner of her mouth tilted up.
“I wonder what your fans would say if they found out you’re a closet Barry Manilow fan?” I shot back, ignoring the sad yearning in her voice. I had to be hearing things. Again I would blame the heat.
She twirled one of her thumb rings around. “You know I only like one Manilow song. Maybe Copacabana, but when I’m drinking and there’s karaoke.”
My mother was a big big fan of Barry Manilow. I’d never forget the time Billie came over one afternoon after school to study. We were alone in my house and she flipped through my mom’s CD collection and found Barry’s Greatest Hits. For fun she popped in the CD and sang Copacabana to me. I ended up singing with her, and when Mandy played, we started dancing. That’s the first time she kissed me.
That’s when I started falling in love with her.
“I’ve never sung your song to anyone else,” she said and pushed aside her bangs falling over her forehead. There were beads of sweat lining her brow. Could it be from the heat or maybe she was nervous like I was?
“You sing your own original songs you’ve written to your adoring fans. No covers for you,” I said and settled back against one of the tables behind me. I could sit, but I wanted to have the upper hand.
“Some artist will do a cover of one of my songs one day. Maybe The Lady Pearls. They’re really good.”
I nodded. “They’re one of the best things to come to out of Hillsboro.”
“And what about me? Would you say I’m the best thing from Hillsboro?”
Billie sounded cocky, but the way she gripped the arms of the chair told me otherwise. She wanted me to agree, to give my approval for her success since I never had. All I had to do was nod or say, yes and admit how I’ve bought all her albums and read any magazine article or interview about her rise to the top. But I was hurting, angry at her sudden appearance after all this time. She didn’t deserve my praise.
“Why are you back now?” I asked.
“I got tired of the West Coast scene and decided a vacation was in order. Also Aunt Leah and Uncle Felix wanted me to visit them. The last time we saw one another was two years ago before I went on my European tour.”
I nibbled on my thumbnail. Billie had no problem keeping in touch with her aunt and uncle, but not me. It stung. I had a million questions rolling around in my head I wanted to ask. She stared at me as she expected me to ask her them.
“Marc, the bartender said you were coming to visit in order to check out The Lady Pearls and Alana, the lead singer. They may do a song on your next album or open for you when you go on your next tour?”
“I’m taking a break from touring. As for my next album, that’s up in the air, although Ivy thinks we should at least record one song with the Pearls before it’s too late.” Billie smiled. “Ivy’s not too happy with me taking a ‘sabbatical’ as she calls it.” She lifted two fingers and made a quotation sign.
It was obvious Billie cared for Ivy by her tone. The way she said Ivy’s name was enough proof they were close friends, and at one time had been something more, which I already was aware of.
“You and Ivy are still together?” I asked, digging my fingers in the wood behind me. That was one of the questions floating in my head ever since Billie walked in Sisco’s as if she had never left.
She crossed her arms and stuck her legs out. “We’re only friends and business associates. What Ivy and I had never came close to what you and I shared together.”
“Did you tell her about me?” I asked in a steady voice. My stomach was jumping all over the place and my heart was drumming so hard against my chest I could taste it.
“Ivy knows all about you. I had to tell her because of what I have planned.”
Planned? From the concentrated look Billie shot my way, I had a good idea I was going to be a part of those plans. But how?
I moved away from the table and shoved my hands in the back pockets of my jeans. “What are these plans of yours?”
She leaned forward and rested her elbows on her knees. She smiled wide, showing teeth. “They involve getting some much needed rest and catching up with you.”
“Catching up with me?” I asked tentatively.
She rose from the chair and stepped toward me. “Yeah, I hate we lost touch and I want us to be friends again.”
“Just friends?” I inched over to the door.
“Not just friends.” She followed me. “I want what we had before I left for Los Angeles. Now that I’m back, we can work on mending—”
“Stop right there! There will be no mending between us.” I lifted my hands and halted. Billie gave me a questioning look. There had been only one other time I’d raised my voice to her and that hadn’t ended well.
She snorted and stared up at the sky. She mouthed something I couldn’t catch and then looked back at me. Humor floated in her eyes and it made my temper rise.
“You can’t just waltz back here and think I’d fall over you like one of your fans.” I jabbed my finger at her face. “I have a good life here and I refuse to have it uprooted because you’re looking to get laid.”
She grabbed my finger, and I tried pulling away, but she was too fast and captured my wrist. I tugged and landed back against the door. I seized the doorknob with my free hand but Billie dropped her palm against the door and had the audacity to link our fingers together. I stared down at the ground. My breath was choppy and my body tight with strain and a deep ache that had expanded in my belly. I was surrounded by Billie’s scent, a combination of her sweat and something clean, like the smell of the ocean or the woods. I was tempted to ask her what perfume she used if any and a nervous giggle climbed into my mouth.
This Time Now, a New Adult Lesbian Contemporary Novella.
Blurb: Twenty-three year old, Amanda Barkley works as a kindergarten teacher and part time server at Sisco’s, the most popular bar in town where most of the bands who perform there go on to become some of the biggest names in music.
One day a blast from Amanda’s past arrives back in town. Her former next door neighbor, Billie Layne, one of the biggest rock stars of the decade has returned home. The one person she wants to see most of all is Amanda who she hasn’t talked to since she left six years ago after a big fight between them. When Billie was offered a recording contract, but had to move to California to accept, she wanted Amanda to come with her. Amanda was more than willing to follow Billie anywhere, but then her mother almost died in a car accident and is paralyzed, never to walk again. Amanda refused to leave her mother’s side. Billie left without a backward glance.
Now that Billie is back, she wants to renew their friendship in the hopes they can become lovers again. Billie will do whatever she can to get Amanda back, even though Amanda fights knowing Billie could break her heart and leave her again for the promise of even bigger stardom.