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"You had me at Uncouth Lout" #MidWeekTease #PNR Haunted

So I'm teasing today from a steamy paranormal short story, Haunted, that I'm currently serialising to my email subscribers. This is taken from Chapter Two and is the scene where Somma meets David for the first time. Enjoy.

She hadn’t been a believer in love at first sight when she’d met David. In fact, the first time she’d met him, she’d been annoyed at him because he’d been trying to wiggle his way past her in a queue.

She’d been in her favourite eatery where she’d popped in to grab a late lunch. As usual, the place had been packed, and she’d been in the queue, waiting for her turn to be served. She’d been on her phone exchanging messages with Efe when someone bumped into her and then cut into the line before her.

Shocked, she’d glanced up from her phone to find broad shoulders spread across a navy suit in front of her. He hadn’t been there before.

“Excuse me.” She’d tapped his back.

He didn’t move or respond to her but seemed to be talking to the girl at the counter.

Bristling and not deterred by his lack of response, she stepped around and stood beside him before pulling the sleeve of his jacket. “It’s my turn.”

He turned to her then, dark eyes narrowed in annoyance. “You were preoccupied with your phone. I’m in a hurry.”

With a hitch of her breath, she caught herself staring at the firm features of his face and wondering why God made insanely handsome men arrogant or was it that He made proud men crazily attractive.

Handsome or not, she wasn’t about to let him railroad her out of her spot. “You’re just grasping for an excuse to behave like an uncouth lout. Everyone here has behaved themselves and waited their turn except you. Step back and join the queue.”

His eyes narrowed, and his jaw tensed.

The man she challenged was bigger and taller than her. If he didn’t move, she couldn’t move him, not without someone else’s intervention. No one else had challenged him.

Usually, she would let things like that slide if the man had apologised when she’d first tapped him. But blaming her had only riled her and made her dig her heels in.

Then his hard face melted into a smile and he turned to the girl at the counter, “Can you add whatever she’s having to my bill.” He glanced back at Somma. “What would you like?”

“I can buy my own lunch.” She didn’t take kindly to his bribe.

“I know you can. But you’re in a hurry. I’m in a hurry. This is a compromise. I’ll pay for whatever you’re having, and we’ll call it even.”

“Fine,” she said and ordered her usual grilled chicken and Caesar salad. Not wanting to get sucked into the compelling presence that Mr. Uncouth Lout oozed, she took the ticket and went to find a free table to wait for the food.

But even as she sat down, her eyes still searched and picked him out of the crowd. The place was full of professionals who worked in the business district, so being in a suit wasn’t unusual.

However, Mr. Uncouth carried himself with a commanding air of self-confidence that made every woman look at him, including Somma.

She couldn’t look away or shake the heat that skittered down her skin when he turned and headed in her direction. His movements were swift, full of grace and virility.

He wasn’t bulky in terms of muscles from what she could see in the fit of his suit. He was more athletic—tight, lean and sinewy.

The lines etched on his face made him appear older than her, maybe in his mid-thirties.

He stopped by her, a bone melting smile on his face as he placed a takeaway pack on the table. “My name is David Orji. The lady at the counter told me your name is Somma and that you come here frequently.”

“Yes. And?” She wasn’t ready to be charmed by him.

His grin widened. “And you had me at Uncouth Lout back there. I would love to have lunch with you tomorrow.”

Her heart raced at the idea of meeting him again. But she couldn’t give in. Men like him were trouble.

“I wouldn’t,” she managed to say in a bored voice.

“Come on. Give me a chance to redeem myself.”

“We called it even, remember? You paid for my lunch already.”

“But I want the chance to show you that I can be a gentleman.” He glanced at his watch and pulled out a thick business card from the inside of his jacket which he passed to her.

A tingle of excitement raced through her as his long fingers grazed hers. “I’ve really got to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Before she could respond, he grabbed his food-to-go, swivelled and strode out of the restaurant.


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