TITLE: A Fine Mess
AUTHOR: Kelly Siskind
PUBLISHER: Forever Yours
RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2016
Book Excerpt . . .
The last person I want to see is Lily. But the plane lands. We disembark. Then we’re approaching the arrivals area. I drape my coat over my carry-on bag, which I’m dragging at an injured snail’s pace. The closer we get to the doors and the throng of people waiting for their loved ones, the tighter my gut twists. Maybe it’s food poisoning. Maybe it was the lamb on the flight.
Sweat slicks my palms. Swallowing is painful.
Definitely food poisoning.
Kolton’s strides get longer. Purposeful. He hasn’t seen Shay in a month, and he’s been a cantankerous asshole. By the time he makes it to the door, he’s ten paces ahead of me. I exit as he drops his bag and closes the distance to her. Her curls fly as he picks her up, and she buries her face in his neck. They kiss as he lowers her to her feet, practically grinding against each other. It’s like watching the end of a romantic comedy filmed by Hugh Hefner.
I avert my eyes and spot Lily.
Her white-blond hair is tied up in a messy bun, a thin headband taming flyaway pieces. Her pale, freckled cheeks blush as she watches our friends maul each other, and my heart skips a beat. It flat-out stops. I almost pound my chest to restart it, unsure when I developed an arrhythmia. When the rhythm regulates, I take the moment to soak Lily in.
Where some hipsters look like they spend hours perfecting their image so everyone knows they listen to bands no one’s heard of and eat organic food washed in purified water from Nepal, Lily’s style is effortless. Her three-quarter-length jacket hangs open over a cream sweater that hits her thighs. Her tight jeans are ripped in a few places, her feet turned in slightly. She may not be the type of girl I’d have envisioned during the Masturbation Olympics of my youth, but she’s all the inspiration I need these days.
Her hand floats over her heart as she watches Kolton devour Shay, then her gaze lands on me. It, of course, happens when the chick from the plane appears at my side. She slips something into my pocket, her perfume circling me like a boa constrictor, and she presses her lips to my ear. “If you change your mind, call me.”
My food poisoning worsens. As does my arrhythmia.
I haven’t puked since I downed enough tequila on my twenty-fifth birthday to fill a hot tub. I’d have happily converted religions that night: Judaism, Buddhism, Scientology…if you stop my head from spiraling, I will be your most devoted subject.
I’m about to become a praying man again.
Lily’s eyes flare as she watches the brief interaction. Either the lights hit her face wrong or tears gather. She shakes her head. She looks down. She sticks a finger in her mouth and chews her cuticles. I swallow the bile creeping up my throat.
I should march over, grab her, and show her how much I’ve wanted her since Aspen. How much I want her right now. Suck her bottom pink lip between my teeth and worship her like the goddess she is. But I smell like another woman, and my idea of a relationship is swapping spit at thirty thousand feet. She’ll get over me. I’ll get over her. This is just a glitch.
Kelly is the author of CHASING CRAZY and MY PERFECT MISTACE, the latter being the first of her Over the Top series, all published through Grand Central’s Forever Yours. A small-town girl at heart, she moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.