A few weeks ago I realized that the scene I’d been writing wasn’t going to work in the second book in my upcoming series (still unnamed) which will be set in Texas. This scene has been cut!
Would you like to read it in all of its unedited glory?
Enjoy Myles and Karen and a taste of my new series! Coming in 2020.
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Myles held the door for Karen as she swooped into the diner, claiming a booth against the wall. She slid against the vinyl seat, facing the door, hands folded on the tabletop. Myles slid in across from her, moving the salt and pepper shaker further to his right. He could still taste her minty breath from the kisses in the storage room.
Sitting face to face, he hoped he could keep up with her thoughts and, after seeing her neat list, that she wouldn’t ask him to scratch it all down for them. It was a bit do-or-die in terms of saving the library and it was time for action.
Mrs. Fisher came by, pot of coffee in one hand. “Coffee or supper, hon?”
Myles looked to Karen since it had been her idea to come here.
“I’ll have the peach cobbler, and herbal tea,” Karen said.
Mrs. Fisher nodded and turned to Myles.
“I’ll have the same. Heated with vanilla ice cream. And make mine a decaf.”
“Ice cream on mine, too, please.”
It was a little after four, and the diner was fairly quiet, the modest vases with a spring of babies breath and two daisies cheery on each table. The phone resting on the wall behind the back dinging counter rang. Mrs. Fisher answered it and promptly began telling her husband, William, to hire someone to deal with the lawn because she was working as hard as she could and if he didn’t like the way she did the lawn to lump it. The phone was slammed down moments later, causing Myles to wince.
“I still think you should create a great big event,” Myles said, watching Mrs. Fisher storm around the back kitchen area.
“We don’t have the money to float an event,” Karen said.
“So?” he asked.
“So then what’s the big idea to discuss?”
“I didn’t say there was one. We still need to dream big.”
Mrs. Fisher came by with a cup of coffee and a small metal teapot for Karen. Her hair was a bit flatter than usual and Myles briefly wondered if she was planning to bring her hairstyle into this millennium.
“Mrs. F. you are looking fine today,” Myles said. “Did you do something different with your hair?”
“I ran out of hairspray this morning so don’t start with me, Myles Cameron Wylder unless you want me to take you by your ear. You hear?”
“Now. What do you need?”
“Do you know if someone in town still has that dunk tank?”
“Dunk tank?” she asked with a frown.
“The one that used to be in the fair when I was a kid. You now. Somebody sits above a tank of water and people pay to make them fall in by hitting the target on the lever target.”
“I know in a dunk tank is,” she said. “I’m just trying to recall who might know what happened to it.”
“I love you, Mrs. F.”
“I know you do.” She patted his shoulder, her gaze distant, already thinking. She called to the local DJ, Davis Davies, who was sitting at the back counter. “Dave, where did the dunk tank get off to?”
He shrugged. “Let me think on it.”
“We’ll think on it,” Mrs. Fisher promised, hustling back to the kitchen to collect their desserts.
Karen was watching Myles with a strange expression.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing.” She shook her head as though to confirm she was truly thinking nothing.
Oh, it was something. He just wasn’t sure if it was good or bad. She was assessing him.
“I’m the muscle, you’re the mind. You come up with the plan, and I find a way to make it happen.”
“Is this how it works? You’re my minion?”
He didn’t think she had it in her to boss him around.
“Boss me around, Kitty.”
She raised an eyebrow as though bored.
“Right now. Give it to me.”
“Show me your inner dominatrix. Cracked the whip.”
Mrs. Fisher had arrived with the peach cobblers and she raised her eyebrows wordlessly, setting them down before backing away.
Karen’s face turned a delicious shade of red, and Myles broke out laughing. “You going to survive there, Kitten?”
“It’s Kitty, not Kitten.” She primly removed her teabag from its paper wrapper, dropping it in the steaming water.
“Kitty.” It was all he could do not to poke at her buttons, go too far.
“Thank you.” There was a slight twinkle behind those dark framed glasses and he knew he’d won a point somewhere despite embarrassing her.
“I make birdhouses.”
“I read books,” she said, her tone dry.
“Since you’re not being the brains or bossing me around like a little dominatrix, I thought I’d be helpful and get the brainstorming sessions started so you didn’t accidentally find yourself on a date with Mr. Football Cowboy Won-a-Prize-You-Don’t-Want-to-Claim.”
“That’s a long name.”
“That’s why I go by Myles.”
“You want to go on the double date with Ryan and Nicki?” She looked so unimpressed.
Myles stared at her for a long moment.
“I was thinking I’d make some birdhouses, and the proceeds could go toward the library.”
“I know football players aren’t always the best at math, but it’s going to take a lot of birdhouses.”
Ouch. She was really busting his chops. Had it been the kitten comment?
“Fine. Let’s do a carwash. Get out your white shirt and pink bikini.”
“My bikini isn’t pink,” she said, giving him a direct look with those dark eyes of his that made him imagine what color her bikini might possibly be.
“Talking isn’t getting us anywhere. Let’s go do something.”
“We are. We’re eating peach cobbler and brainstorming so this doesn’t become a date.”
Myles wondered why he had ever agreed to this. She was impossible.
“Fine.” He stuffed a spoonful of cobbler in his mouth.
“Birdhouses aren’t going to cut it.”
“Neither is a garage sale.”
“Fine. We’ll think bigger. Like your dunk tank.”
“Don’t be like that.”
“Patronizing. I’m trying to help.”
“Because honestly, what’s there to lose at this point? Get fired if you fail?”
“I have a reputation to uphold.”
“If you fail, you’re leaving town anyway because there are no jobs here. What will it matter what anyone here thinks?”
“Why do you care about this so much? I’ve never seen you in the library.”
“I know a lot of people who love that library. My mother, for example.”
“You’re doing this for your mom?”
“There are a lot of benefits.” He focused on scraping the last of the ice cream from his bowl. Sometimes he wondered if he’d been involved in some of those library programs as a kid if things would have turned out differently for him. “It’s good for kids to be around books growing up. Helps their grades, test scores. Sense of community, too. For everyone. Not just kids.”
Karen had finished her cobbler in record time, and was leaning back, arms crossed.
“You really think we can raise enough?”
“I know we can.”
She stared at him for a long moment, finally she looked away, her expression one of giving in. “Fine.”
“Is that a yes?”
“To more than garage sales. To something bigger?”
“Terry at mechanic shop, has it,” Mrs. Fisher said, coming to the table, smiling in triumph.
It took Myles a moment to catch up with what she was saying. “The dunk tank?”
“Looks like you’re going to need to get your white shirt out, Myles,” Karen said with a sly smile that would pretty much guarantee he would agree to anything. Including a dunk tank full of freezing water.
“Be prepared to raise a lot of money for the library, Kitty.”
* * *
What did you think? I do adore Myles. He’s so full of trouble. In the best possible ways!