AUTHOR: D.E. Haggerty
GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
I’m having the suckiest day ever. First, my father, aka Mr. Grumpy Pants, calls to say his nurse just walked out on him. Likely story. I rush home to pack only to walk in on my husband getting it on with his young, skanky secretary. Unfortunately, my quick weekend trip home to fix Dad’s problems turns into a stay of a few weeks. Luckily, I’ve got Danny, the neighbor boy I had a crush on when I was a dorky, braces-wearing, nose-buried-in-a-book teenager, and a brand-spanking new blog to keep my mind off things. Before I know it, I’m writing product reviews of vibrators and getting questioned by a store rent-a-cop at the world’s worst date ever. All while trying to figure out how to take things with Danny to the next level. Not to complicate things or anything but my boss decides to give me an ultimatum – come back in four weeks or don’t come back at all. How in the world did my life get so complicated?
As the waiters roll out a cart covered in pasta rollers, my nerves kick into high gear. It can’t be that we’re expected to make fresh pasta dough now? Shit! Instead of fantasizing about what Danny’s hiding in his pants, I should have been taking notes. I look down and notice the flour and eggs on the table in front of us. I really should have paid attention.
I lean over and whisper in Danny’s ear. “I hope you were paying attention.”
He chuckles and nods, as if making fresh pasta is no big deal. He’s obviously not spent any time in a kitchen when I’ve been behind the stove. Using a packaged mix to make waffles or pancakes is totally not on the same level as making something from scratch with fresh ingredients.
Danny stands and grabs an apron from the table. He unrolls it and places it over my head. “Turn around, babe.” I turn, and he ties the apron right above the curve of my ass. He ghosts his hands over my ass before leaning in and kissing me right behind my ear. “Don’t worry. It will be fun.” Easy for him to say.
I let Danny mix the flour and eggs, which is a mistake. He pours the dough onto the surface and turns to me. “Your turn.”
“My turn for what?” I squeak.
“Knead the dough.”
I roll my eyes. “Knead the dough,” I mutter. “Sure, no problem.” I start to play with the dough; not having a clue what kneading really means.
Danny stands and comes up behind me. He plasters his front into my back and reaches around to grab my hands. “Like this, baby,” he whispers into my ear and I shiver. Oh yeah, I’ll knead the dough all right. I’ll knead that freaking dough all night.
Once the dough is wrapped into plastic, I head off to the restroom to make room in my bladder for more champagne. I do my business and walk to the sinks to wash my hands. I look up at the mirror and let out a scream. There’s flour streaked across my forehead. Is that dough in my hair? I clean up as best I can as quickly as possible because I’m supposed to be helping Danny make sauce for our pasta instead of having a meltdown in the bathroom.
I march to our table and confront Danny. “You could have told me I had flour all over me,” I grit out between my teeth.
He shrugs. Shrugs! “You looked so cute.” He winks as he says at it. I deflate. How does that man know the right thing to say all the time? “Come on, stop moping and help me with this pasta sauce.”
Danny doesn’t need any help with the sauce. I sip on my sparkling wine as he chops, stirs, and tastes. When he’s satisfied with the flavor, he offers me a taste. Man, that’s good. I moan. He leans forward and whispers into my ear, “I want to hear you make that noise while I’m in your pants.”
I stop breathing for a second. When did Danny go from boy next door to tease extraordinaire? I watch with satisfaction as he reaches down and adjusts himself. He catches me watching, and I raise an eyebrow at him. He just winks again and turns back to the sauce.
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner, and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.