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Here is a short sample from the book:
Liam winked at her and started to work on his own plate. For a little while, the only sounds were a flock of distant birds and the tinkering of forks against plates.
Audrey ate greedily, but as good as the food was, she found that her thoughts were elsewhere. Between bites, she glanced up to her chiseled companion and wondered about him. Where did he come from? Who was he, really?
Though it made her nervous, she couldn’t stop herself from asking.
“So where are you from?”
Seeming surprised, he looked over the yellow chunk on his fork and flung the messy hair from his eyes.
“You really want to know the details?”
“Of course I do.”
He set the utensil down and folded both arms onto the small table.
“Well I was born and raised in Colorado. And I use the term ‘raised’ very liberally. My folks gave me up when I was almost 3, so I spent a lot of time bouncing around foster homes.
“When I was like 15, me and a couple of guys that I’d managed to maintain contact with started dicking around with instruments in the park. We did it for a long time just for fun but managed to land a gig a couple of years later. I think I was just a hair over 18 when we played.
“Anyway, a label manager stumbled across the bar and, well,” he took a quick bite and swallowed it down. “The rest is history.”
“Wow,” she said softly. It never crossed her mind that he had been through more hard times than her until he told his story. Right off the bat, Audrey was both sad for him and intrigued. “So what happened to the band?”
“We lasted like 3 years and put out a couple of albums that did quite well. Unfortunately, young people and money don’t mix. Our drummer overdosed on smack while we were recording our third album and things were never really the same after that. So I took my money and eventually ended up here. Honestly,” he said with a melancholy look in his eyes, “I don’t even know what happened to the other guys. It’s been such a long time.”
By then, Audrey was already done with her breakfast and sat with her elbows on the table. She was entranced by him and his story. It was the first time that he opened up to her.
“I had no idea you’ve seen so much shit.”
“It’s not something that I like to put out there for everyone to see, you know?”
She suddenly felt guilty.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.”
Liam shook his head and reached over the table, brushing a chunk of golden hair off of her shoulder.
“I said everyone. I’m more than happy to talk about it with you.”
Audrey’s cheeks and forehead blushed under his caring touch. She was flattered by his willingness to open up, but it also made her even more crushed by the guilt of the life that she was hiding from him. Still, the moment was too good to ruin.
“You can talk to me anytime you want,” she said and finished her juice, making sure to maintain eye contact over the rim of her glass. When she lowered it back down, she asked, “You want some help with the dishes?”
“From you? Always.”
A familiar kind of excitement tickled the back of her tongue as she got up, took both plates and eventually started toward the kitchen. Just she turned her back to Liam, she caught sight of him as he got up to follow. Audrey could hear the thumping of their bare feet against the wood deck. Their differing speeds sent distinct vibrations through the boards that she could feel with her naked soles.
He was getting closer and Audrey could sense him. She struggled to force her shaking hands to keep the plates steady. On top of each, their empty juice glasses started to slip and slide to one side and then the other. It took everything that she had to just face forward and walk. She knew what was coming and though she realized that she should resist, there was no more fight left in her. She needed him, probably more than he needed her.
As she passed the threshold back into the kitchen, Liam grabbed her from behind and jerked her body against his. It forced her to stop in her tracks.
“Liam,” Audrey said and tried to sound surprised.
He didn’t respond; not with words. Instead, he pushed aside her loose, golden locks with his nose and started to kiss the side of her neck. With both hands, he ran down her arms, took the plates and heaved them onto the counter. The cups on top slipped off and shattered against the flecked marble, sending sparkling pieces into the air.