As Loving Lydia, the first book in my Atlantic Divide series proved wildly popular when it was offered for free over a few days recently, my publisher Liquid Silver Books have decided to offer the other books in the series for 99p each (or $1.49 in the States).
I loved writing this series, and hope my readers enjoy it too.
Bad Girl Bill
Being confronted by two-dozen boxes of condoms and a wild-eyed woman possibly rated right up there in that uncomfortable zone.
She paced back and forward, walked around the opposite side of the kitchen table, flung her arm out and pointed at the offending items as soon as he walked through the door.
“There you go. Take your pick.”
He didn’t know whether to laugh or run. He thought she might kill him in either case.
He chose to study the boxes on the table instead. “You seem to have pretty high expectations, Bill.”
“They’re all sealed.” She rubbed her hands roughly up and down her thighs; if she did it much harder, she was going to rub a hole in her jeans.
“Why wouldn’t they be sealed? Where did you get them?”
“Well I couldn’t get them from a store in town now could I? There’s not a single soul here that I don’t know, haven’t lectured, helped across a road, or arrested.” She wrapped her arms around her body, chewed on her lip as Michael tried desperately not to smile. She looked so serious. “I think my brothers may all be perverts.” She scowled across the table at him.
“You got them from your brothers?” He gave a wary nod; she may not need to kill him. “Brave move, Bill. When are they all arriving with their shotguns?”
She snorted out a laugh, leaned forward, and picked up one of the small packets. Waved it at him.
“I filched them. I went right into their house with a pecan pie that I bought in town, put it on the kitchen table, then trawled the house for their condoms while they were out.”
He closed his eyes and shook his head, and when he opened them again, she was waggling another small box at him.
“Well, I don’t understand. These ones say they’re fruit-flavored. I have no idea what you would be doing putting one of those in your mouth. You could choke to death for the love of God.”
He nearly did. He watched her through narrowed eyes. She could not be serious, could she? Was she really that naive?
“And here”—she picked up another pack, tapped it on the table—“what in hell’s name are you supposed to do with these? They have the American flag emblazoned on them. Does that mean you have to stand to attention when you’re wearing them?” Throwing them back on the table, she picked up another pack, while he hauled in a gasping breath, trying his hardest not to guffaw. Standing at attention was a prerequisite, surely? He could feel gurgles of laughter rushing up through his belly into his chest. The woman was priceless. She wasn’t kidding; she was deadly serious.
“Why in the name of all that’s holy would you want something like this glowing at you in the dark? And these…these are colored, blue, green, purple; surely to Christ you’re going to look like you have a disease. I’m surprised there’s no polka dots here.” She picked one packet up after another, throwing them back on the table in disgust. “And
these warm up, and these ones…well, they’re studded.”
“Do you mean ribbed?”
“Uh, well isn’t that the same thing?”
“No, I’m pretty sure there’s a difference between ribbed and studded.”
She frowned at him, her eyes frenetic and confused. “There’s something wrong with my brothers. There isn’t a single condom here for normal use. I’m sorry. I guess I messed up. I have no condoms to speak of.” She flung her hand frantically across the table, swept half the boxes onto the floor.
“We can’t have sex,” she howled.
Michael’s smile faded fast as his amusement fled. “It’s okay, Bill.” He found he could speak at last. “I have it covered.” He reached delicately into his back trouser pocket and pulled out a small foil packet.
“Is that it?”
He glanced at the kitchen table, at the floor, and back to his fingers holding a single foil, a smile quirked across his lips.
“Well, what did you expect?”
“Well. More than one. Surely. The boys always say…”
“Bill. How about you forget what your boys have always said. Men lie. A lot.” He leaned across the table and took hold of her wrist to guide her around to his side, still holding the foil packet aloft in his other hand.
“Well, what does it do?” she demanded.
“It protects you from getting pregnant and from sexually transmitted diseases.”
“Is that it? It doesn’t have whistles or bells or lights or anything?”