Skin Deep by AJ Mullican
I whip around, coffee cup in hand, and bump smack dab into Steve. The lid pops off my cup, and we’re both doused with scalding hot coffee. I have instant regret for wearing a low-cut top, because my boobs are now on fire.
“Oh, shit, I’m sorry!” He grabs the napkin dispenser and pulls out a handful of thin paper napkins. He starts to blot the burning liquid off my chest. Even with his hands all over my chest, he manages not to cop a feel.
“I didn’t mean to scare you; I just recognized your hair and wanted to say hi.”
I’d reply, but I have no words. You’d think after thirty-two years, twenty-two of which I’ve spent wearing a D-cup or larger, I’d be accustomed to spilling crap on my chest, but no. This is my first time getting second-degree burns from a coffee fatality.
The Summer Tour by Mandy Melanson
I'm lead singer of the multi-platinum rock band Amaryllis. Three months ago, my rockstar career dreams came true. The notorious Tulsa Theater. Check. Awesome crowd. Check. Voice on point? Not so much, because I was too distracted by the brunette in the front row.
The bright pink tank top that hugged her in all the right places. Those bright yellow heels that made her back curve in just the right way. Those were definitely factors that caught my eye, but it's not why I can't get her out of my head. Her dark brown eyes and that smile—her smile.
That smile had me hooked from the second I ran on stage. I even stopped short of my mark and totally threw off the spotlight tracker.
Because I was too busy watching her and how she just fell into the rhythm of the music.
It’s a good thing Maddox, our stage manager, didn’t have any pyro planned or I might have been screwed.
I’m not even entirely sure I sang the right lyrics to the first couple of songs. It was more a series of barely audible grunts, caveman style. Nash probably turned his mic up to help with the background vocals.
They’ve all gotten really good at covering me over the years. I’m grateful the crowd didn’t seem to notice because all I could think about was trying to figure out a way to find out who she is.
Long story short, I found out who she is. I spent the last 90 days learning exactly who London Quinn is—the most beautiful soul I've ever met.
I'm head over heels in love with her, but I'm an idiot.
Now I’m sitting here signing my name on branded merch looking for a single face—her face—in the crowd.
I have to find her again...
Caged Hearts by S.M. Nicholas
I started to cry. Hysterically, I might add. I had
always done my best to keep my emotions in check around
Ethan. I mean, technically, he was still my boss. But this was
Ethan pulled me into a hug and rubbed my back. “It’s ok.
You’re safe now. I’m right here. You’re safe.”
He continued to whisper “You’re safe” into my ear, and I
felt myself starting to calm down. I knew at that moment I
didn’t just have a crush on Ethan; I was in love with him. I
looked up from his chest into his beautiful, deep-blue eyes. I
noticed him staring right back at me. And then . . .
The loud cry of an elephant broke us apart. Another
almost-kiss? What was the matter with me? Why was it that
these almost-kisses only happened when I was crying over
Conner? I cleared my throat, hoping to keep things from
Turn the Page by Rebecca Lovell
“So this script you’re going to read, it’s for next week’s episode?”
“No, we’re just going through some of the scripts to see how they sound. We won’t start shooting for next season until summer.” Marc glanced at his watch and she wasn’t surprised to see that he still wore one. In Portland hardly anyone wore a watch but out here everyone wanted to make a fashion statement with theirs.
“The heat’s going to be terrible,” Chelsea said. “Even in Portland it can get unpleasant in August, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like here.”
“It’s not great,” Marc agreed. “People like it, though. The way it looks, I mean. When people in Detroit imagine California, they think sunshine and palm trees. No one wants to watch an LA crime drama where it’s cold and rainy.”
“I never thought of it like that.” Chelsea considered her ice cream. “The studio is going back and forth on where they want to shoot the movie. They said I don’t need to be on site for everything, I can
just fly out and back.”
“You could have done that from Portland,” Marc said. “Why’d you move down here?”
“I wanted to see the West Coast,” she said, sudden fear threatening to close her throat. “Palm trees and sunshine.”
“You’ve come to the right place, then.” Marc glanced at his watch. “The line took longer than I thought. I’m going to have to head out. Okay with you if we walk and eat the rest?”
“Sure,” Chelsea said, hoping he wasn’t going to try and walk her to her car again. She wasn’t sure what kind of excuse she could use this time and she didn’t want him to think she was blowing him off. “Where did you park?”
“Down about two blocks. You?”
“Two streets over that way,” she said, pointing in the opposite direction. It was a relief to know she didn’t have to come up with an excuse this time. “Sorry I took so long to get here, we could have spent a little more time talking.”
“Sorry I took so long to call you. I should have done it yesterday. I like hanging out with you,” Marc said. “Even if it’s squeezing in a snack on my way to a reading.” Then, before she could come up with something clever to say, he leaned down and gave her a quick kiss. Chelsea stopped in her tracks
and he looked at her curiously. “Should I not have done that?”
“No,” she said quickly. “You definitely should have done that.”
“I’m glad.” He grinned at her. “Mind if I do it again?”
“You can do it all you want.” It didn’t seem possible but Marc’s grin got even wider and he put the hand not holding the last of his ice cream on her waist to draw her closer.
The warmth of his body pulled her like a magnet and she resisted the urge to press every inch of herself against him. It had been a long time since she let anyone kiss her and she had missed it. His mouth that was still slightly cold from the ice cream warmed as his kiss became deeper and Chelsea’s lips parted to let his tongue brush past.
She tasted blueberries as their breath mingled and her heart beat faster. When they parted, his face was completely serious for the first time since she’d watched Crosswind and she hoped she hadn’t done