It seems like I’ve been waiting forever to write Next Game I Play. I left young Maximilian Wade in a terrible state trying to get reluctant older woman, Taylor Baird, to date him. For those of you who keep checking in, I wanted to let you know for certain this story is the contemporary book I am currently working on.
There is no release date yet. My mother fell and had to have surgery in January. That shifted my priorities away from my writing for a couple months, but things are looking up with getting back to full time shortly. Spring seems to be finally coming and that makes me hopeful as well.
To hold you over, here’s a short snippet for your reading pleasure.
Max waited until he thought the cowboy hopeful guy was completely out of earshot before continuing his argument. “Now that we’re alone again, I want to go back to the jock question. No, let’s be more specific. What was your problem with Mr. Wish-I-Was-A-Real-Cowboy when you dated him?”
Max stood there watching Taylor ignore him again and with no visible remorse whatsoever for doing so. Walking around her desk, she sat down in her office chair and starting removing her sneakers. He walked around the side to get a better view of what she was doing. He snorted when he saw he’d been right.
Opening the bottom drawer of her massive desk, Taylor pulled out a pair of jet black four inch skyscraper stilettos and casually slipped them on. When she stood and straightened her clothes, Max’s gaze traveled up her legs to the skirt and back to the floor. Red painted toes peeked out of the ends of the shoes. What the hell had he asked her? Oh yeah—he’d asked why wasn’t she still dating the damn bragging cowboy.
“Time for you to leave too, Max. I have work to finish before a meeting,” she said.
“Okay—look. Maybe your dating past is none of my business since we’re not sleeping together yet, but at least answer this for me. Do the men in your life always leave when you dismiss them? And if so, what kind of wimps have you been dating up to now? I’m not that easily discouraged.”
Taylor gave Max the look she usually reserved for her ex-husband. “Well, I have had to call the cops once or twice. In your case, I would just call your brother. . .or Sam.”
“Sam?” Max was surprised to hear the name rolling so easily off Taylor’s tongue. “How well do you know Sam? He uses the gym at the hotel.”
“I am not discussing how I know Sam because it’s none of your business.”
Taylor bit her lip at the flash of pain in Max’s eyes, but wasn’t about to admit that Sam had sought her out to talk about her resistance to dating the younger man. Wicked Wad’s ego was already large enough. He didn’t need to know that both his brother and Sam thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.
“My question about Sam is rude—I get that—but I need to hear that you’re not dating him. That’s all I really care about where he’s concerned.” The rough order barely made it out of his tight throat. Surely Sam wouldn’t try to date Taylor behind his back? Not when he knew Max was interested in her. Sam was just not that kind of man.
“My relationship with Sam, or any other man, is absolutely none of your business. You can ask Sam about how I know him—if you must—but I really wish you wouldn’t. I’m usually more discreet about dropping names.” Taylor sighed at Max’s frown and nod. “Damn it. . .if you must know, Sam and I had a simple lunch to talk about something. It wasn’t a date.”
Max moved closer to her, just a couple of feet away. He was now officially desperate to believe he meant something more to her than every other male in the jock harem Taylor’s business supplied her with daily.
And God help him, he wanted to be more important to her than someone like Sam, too. It was too late to play it cool. All he could do was try to recover the play.
“You are an enigmatic woman, Taylor Baird. If you kiss me once like you really mean it, I’ll try and forget how much your potential dating makes me jealous.”
Taylor snorted. “Emotional blackmail is like pouring gasoline on a burning fire, Maximillian. I doubt you ever worried about a woman’s dating habits before. I, on the hand, do care about such things which is why I now research all the men who ask me out. A simple internet search pulled up way more than I ever wanted to know about Wicked Wade. You seduced two different nurses while you were in the hospital recuperating from your accident. Then not too much later you did the same thing to that journalist friend of Ryan Carmichael’s. Your dating resume is not exactly filled with high recommendations about your sense of decorum.”
“The nurses were just nice women and I didn’t sleep with either of them. I don’t know how that could even count as dating in anyone’s eyes. The journalist was someone I thought was a real friend, but instead she used my accident for advancing her career. Yes, I had a brief intimate relationship with her, but I wasn’t exactly on my best game physically if you know what I mean. Frankly, if you want to hear the real story of my life, I’d be happy to tell you all about it. You don’t have to read the online bullshit, more than half of which is not true.”
“True or not, I concede that what you did and with whom is technically no more my business, than my dating habits are yours. But what I read did make me curious, Max. What exactly am I to you? Am I just the next dating game you’re ready to play? I would be what—maybe Wicked Wade’s affair with an older woman?”
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