Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Another Excerpt From Something Different - A Second Chance At Love Novel

Driving down her street Peyton saw Jason’s truck parked outside her house. She pulled into the garage and got out of the car. Unlocking the house door, even though she knew Jason was inside and the talk with her mother had her hesitating to open the door.

I know he’s not an ax murderer.

Peyton trusted her gut instincts, and her instincts were to trust him with the keys to her house but not her heart—but lately she wasn’t sure she could trust herself.

She opened the door, lowering the red flags waving loud and clear in her mind. She had no idea why her palms were sweating or her heart beating so rapidly. Yes, she did, she had a touch of a crush on Jason Green. Ever since she learned Celeste had an interest in him, she began to realize Celeste had the ability actually to lure him away.

She was sexy, cute, and let men know up front what she expected them to do for her. Celeste was also not afraid to use her womanly ways. Although not as curvy as she, Celeste could hold her own. The two had similar taste is style and did shop together often.

Once she decided to dress better for Stoney, she turned to Celeste for fashion tips and advice on how to keep a man happy. She felt she was learning from the best since she didn’t have any sisters to guide her.

She stepped into the kitchen and felt her cheeks flush at the sight of Jason, sporting a lazy smile as he looked up from the laptop at her. Sensuality rolled off his solid muscled body wrapped tightly in loose-fitting jeans and a t-shirt that hugged him like sprinkles on a sugary treat.


Like everything about Jason, his voice was deep and easy. “Hi.”

She felt her steely resolve slip away like melted butter. “I didn’t expect you to be here this late.”

He closed the laptop. “I wanted to see myself the surprise on your face when you saw the kitchen. What do you think?”

She hadn’t even noticed the kitchen. Jason’s presence was so huge he took up the entire space. But now that he mentioned the kitchen, she saw the work was done. The island had been installed. The floors were done, and he had installed the new cabinets.

Peyton was in awe. She couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked. She walked over to the island and ran her hand across the cool white quartz admiring it. She touched the back of one of the swooped-back stool that sat under it. The soft gray walls worked much better with the white cabinets than the mustard-yellow color that was there before. The engineered hardwood floors looked like real wood.

“Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe how beautiful my kitchen is,” she said.

“Did you notice the appliances?”

Her hands went to her mouth. “You got them to fit. I’m at a loss for words,” she touched the stainless steel stove and then the side-by-side fridge. “This the kitchen I envisioned. When did you get it done? None of this was done this morning when I left for work.”

Jason smiled. “I know magic. I snap my fingers and the work is done.”

“I just might have to believe that,” she said choking on her words. Expressing her feelings used to be easy, nowadays it was harder, unlike Jason who was naturally easy and relaxed. Her nerves tied themselves into a hundred different types of knots, and she envied that about him.

“Peyton, I wanted to give you a dream kitchen. I hope you like it.”

“I love it. I absolutely love it.” Without thinking, she hugged him.

He placed his hands on the small of her back. A wave of heat pulsed beneath his touch. Peyton’s body was already humming with desire at the sight of Jason—and embracing him caused his masculine, musky scent to wrap around her and spark fires in all the right places.

This can’t be happening.

“I’m happy you’re pleased with the work, Peyton.”

Why did everything he say sound sexy? If someone else had said that to her, there would have been nothing sexual about the words or the touch.
Abruptly she moved away from him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that,” she said with a slight stutter.

He lifted a brow. “Don’t be sorry; I enjoyed it.”

“Jason, I don’t want to lead you on with the impression I’m looking for romance or anything like that.”

“Have I done anything to give you that impression? I feel I’ve carried myself in a polite manner when I’m around you.”

Peyton put some distance between them and moved to the other side of the island. Her eye caught the farm sink with the stainless steel touchless faucet and the white subway-tile backsplash lining the wall behind it. She turned in a complete circle and saw the backsplash was behind the stove as well.

She lost her train of thought. “Oh, my God, I didn’t see the sink! I saw those at Home Depot and fell in love. How did you know I wanted one?”

“Not my first go at remodeling a woman’s dream kitchen.”

“I can’t wait to show it off.”

“Do you cook or is the kitchen just a showpiece to go with the rest of the house?”

Peyton raised her brow. “I know how to throw down in the kitchen, thank you. I don’t do a lot of cooking since it’s just me. Anyhow, I don’t want to dirty up the newness just yet.”

“I understand not wanting to use anything just yet. So, may I have the honor of taking you to dinner tomorrow at Ja’Nell’s? I hope you haven’t been there before.” He brushed thick curls of hair from in front of her eyes with his index finger.

“I actually haven’t been in years.” The intimate gesture took her by surprise, as did his choice of where to go for dinner. She didn’t expect him to take her to a fancy restaurant own by a prominent local black family. Or was he taking her there in hopes of impressing her and getting laid?

At this point, she didn’t know what to think about Jason. She judged him unfairly based on her anger that night. If anyone should know better than to judge someone unfairly, she should. She never once judged Stoney; the man she should have kicked to the curb moments after meeting him.

“Is that a yes? I don’t want to read your mind and get my feelings hurt when you say no.”

“Ja’Nell’s is a very nice restaurant and patronized by predominately black people. Why did you choose that restaurant if I may ask?”

Jason shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “I like the food and atmosphere they provide. I take a lot of my clients there to eat there—black and white. Is that a problem for you?”

“If you had answered differently, maybe. I’m going to be upfront with you. I have never dated outside of my race. I don’t have a problem with interracial dating but don’t try hard to show me you aren't prejudiced; I can make that judgment for myself.”

“Thank you for pointing that out to me. In the future, I’ll take my clients to restaurants that only white people use.”

She sighed. “See, this is why we can’t be friends. We twist each other’s words and end up arguing. Maybe you should ask Celeste out; she’s less argumentative and subject to give you what you’re after anyhow.”

He frowned. “Exactly what am I after?”

Not wanting to say it outright she shook her head. “I don’t know what you’re after, but I’m not the woman you want, Jason. I have too much baggage.”

“We all have baggage, Peyton. It’s how we carry it that defines us.”

“If I had to define how I carry mine; I’d be dragging it.” Turning her back to him, she ending their conversation by saying. “You need to keep looking.”

Copyright 2016 BooksbyToye 
(Unedited text)

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