Take a peek Tuesday

 This week I am going to share another snippet from my current WIP. I am nearly done with this read through making notes and getting ready for fixing it to send to my beta. Remember it is very rough yet and still going through rewrites and edits.  I am skipping down to a heartfelt story from TJ grabs a tissue.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats Copyright 2016

TJ

I had barely dozed off when the door slammed open in the back of the house.  I jumped up not knowing what to expect. Grabbing a baseball bat  I slowly slink to the back. Peering in the mudroom door, I saw Annie throwing her boots into the pile like a bowling ball. Boots and shoes flew every which direction. She continued to kick and curse under her breath.  I suppressed my giggle as she bent to pick up the boots then suddenly tossed them again. She was like a mini tornado kicking, twirling, cursing. And the team calls me Taz? Finally, she dropped to the bench and panted breathlessly.

I slipped into the kitchen and started loudly opening cabinets, getting a glass, opening the fridge. Trying to make enough noise she would hear someone was in the next room. My plan was to bring her to me, hoping she didn’t take off out the back door.

My plan worked. In a few minutes, a slightly more composed Annie walked into the kitchen.

“Hi. I didn’t expect you back so soon. I was just getting a glass of tea.  Do you want  one?” I asked.

“No.Thanks.” She said through clenched teeth.

Her face was still flushed from her beating up the boots in the mudroom.  She clenched and unclenched her fists as she watched me.  I wasn’t sure if I should ask her what was wrong or not.

“How long have you been in the kitchen?” She asked warily.

“I just walked in. Why?” I lied.

Then she spied the ball-bat I had leaned on the workstation.

“Someone left their bat out. I guess I need to address this tomorrow.” She walked toward the bat.

“It’s mine. I’m sorry. I thought I might go out and practice some swings.” I lied again. Now I backed myself into a corner and will have to go out and practice. My shoulder twinged at the thought of more work.

“You have worked enough for one day. Chores this morning, your workout, plus your practice. You can practice your batting tomorrow.” She took the bat and placed it back into the small closet designated for our equipment.

Suddenly she turned to me her eyes glossy. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound bossy. I have this bad habit that I get a little protective over people I care about.”

Does that mean she cares about me? I want to jump for joy and shout Yes! But I compose myself.  Don’t  want her to think I am a lunatic.

I stepped close placing my hands on her shoulders. “It’s nice to have someone looking out for my wellbeing. It’s been a while.” I pull out one of the stools at the workstation for Annie. She looks at it a moment then hops up. I pour her a glass of tea even though she said she didn’t want it, top mine off and joined her.

“Don’t you hear from your mom? I am sure she worries about you.” She picks up the glass swirling the caramel colored liquid around before taking a long drink. I figured she would be thirsty after her little outburst in the mudroom.

I swallow back that knot that rises every time I think of mom or my family.

“Mama passed away a few months after I started college.  She hadn’t been right since Papa’s death.  I think she hung in there for me, but once I was out on my own, she let go. I wasn’t even there. She died alone. She didn’t answer the phone when I called. I called my aunt that lived across town from us. I waited and waited for her to call me back.  She called back a couple of hours later and told me mom was in bed sleeping with the angels.  She had a heart problem I didn’t know anything about, and that night she left me to join Papa and Enrico. The Dr said she went peacefully.”

“I am so sorry TJ. You have had such a rough life for such a young man.” She slides off the chair, pulls me up and wraps her arms around me.

I suddenly found myself in heaven. It smells like flowers, leather, and horses. Exactly how I would want it. She is only a few inches shorter than I am. We fit perfectly. I felt a warm tear on my shoulder. I lifted her face, brushing the tears with my thumbs. Her skin is silky smooth.

“Don’t cry for me, Annie. Mama always said ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’”

“You must be Ironman or the Hulk already.” She whispered. Her breath whispered across my lips. My mouth began to water. I must channel this superhuman strength she thinks I have. Parts of me certainly felt like iron. I shift my hips back a little. I don’t want her to get freaked out over my reaction to her,  Yet I don’t want to break the hold she has on me. I could stand here in her arms forever.  I run my hand through her hair. My body thrums with need. Now is not the time. One last stroke of her cheek and feel of her hair and I channel that inner strength and gently move away.

“Would you more tea?” I grab both glasses, turning my back to her. Then it hits me. The reason I sat up waiting for her.

“Wait what are you doing back so soon? I thought you had a date with Caleb?”

That’s one way to break a mood. But I wanted to know why she was back so early and madder than a hornet.

***

So what do you think of TJ? Is he totally swoon worthy? Do you like Older women younger men romance?

Take a Peek Tuesday~~Please don’t panic.

Welcome back to Take a peek Tuesday. This week I am sharing a bit from chapter three of my current WIP BaseBall Bats and Cowboy Hats. It is still the frist day and Annie is overwhelmed.  I am hoping this shows a bit of their personalities and how they also compliment each other plus the reason Annie thinks she shouldn’t be looking.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  copyright 2016

Chapter 3~Annie

My first instinct is to tell him to go inside and do as I say; then I remember these aren’t my sons. I have no right to order them around. Even though I came out here to be alone and catch my breath, I could use some help with the chores.

Checking the animals and talking to the chickens always calm me down. I don’t think I will speak to the chickens in front of this young man. I need to try to get my head clear and put names to faces, etc. Lunch was like a rock concert,  a din of noise. Well, maybe not that loud, but I didn’t get to talk to them one on one yet. At dinner, we may get more formal, and I’ll ask them all to tell me more about themselves. Heck, I don’t even know if they all like chili, and I have one vegetarian. And meat in my chili. Darn, what do I do? I start to freak out again.

“I can hear you thinking way over here” A voice soft and decadent as his eyes, shocks me out of thought.

“I’m sorry this is all so new to me. I just needed a few minutes to myself.”

“Maybe it’s a good thing I followed you. Looks like a panic attack to me.” He takes my arm pulling me close to him.

My breath becomes harsher. I can’t tell him that he is the primary reason for my panic. Luckily he doesn’t hold me. We begin walking. His arms still protectively around me. It feels so right. I know it’s so wrong.

When we reach the fence, he hauls me up and sits me on top. Man, he smells good. Manly. Clean. Minty. A soft hint of deodorant but not much cologne or aftershave. I always hated strong cologne. They seem to overwhelm the pure scent of a man. I don’t wear a lot myself.

“Now sit here and breathe in and out. Wanna talk about it?” His voice is hypnotic,  the small circles he is rubbing are mesmerizing. I could fall asleep right here. Gazing over my pasture, trees green, wildflowers blooming. Animals are braying and snuffing, the hottest man I’ve seen treating me so sweetly. I feel myself relaxing into his touch. Wrong. Wrong! Wrong! He is too young.

 

Chapter 3 TJ

Once she calmed down, she was very nice. It was cool that she listened to me and even seemed to like my ideas. I am going to like working here.

She leads me to the large barn. It’s a charming one. It’s clean, but I can see a few places it needs minor maintenance.  One side has a row of stables and a smaller section that is a pen. Behind the entrance doors on each side. I saw a door that looks leads to another room.

The other side has sections with hay bales, feed bags a work table, tools and stuff hanging neatly beside and above it, next to a large pen. This woman is very organized.

“As you see it’s not much. I have three horses right now. This is Sally.”  She rubs the mare’s nose lovingly.

“This one is Sam. He belongs to my youngest son though he never messes with him.” She gestures with her hand. This horse seems oblivious to us.

“This big stallion belongs to my friend Caleb. He pays me to keep him here. Well, he supplies the feed for all three horses, goats, and my cows in exchange for me taking care of him. I don’t think I could keep Lucy and Sam without his help. His name is Dream Lover. We call him Lover Boy. He may look big and bad, but he is a real sweetheart. Much sweeter than Sam.” Lover Boy comes over and nuzzled into Annie’s midsection. I wish I could do that.

She giggles.” Sorry, big boy. I forgot to bring you out a treat. Later. I promise.” He snorts and tosses his head again, bringing it back down into her hand. “Ok Ok! I will pet you!” She strokes his head gently. I can’t keep my eyes off her hands wishing she was running her fingers through my hair. Oh shit. My jeans begin getting tighter. Without thinking I jerk my hat off and hold it to my midsection. She turns to me, her lips part as if she was about to say something, her face turns crimson. She quickly turns back to petting Lover Boy. I guess she must have an idea why I have my hat pressed to my groin.

Remember this is still a rough draft I am self-editing at the moment. It has not seen professional eyes(it will).

What do you think about Annie and TJ so far? 

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