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Authors: Julia Kent

Tags: #BBW Romance, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Fiction, #Humorous, #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Romantic Comedy

Deliciously Obedient

BOOK: Deliciously Obedient
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Julia Kent

Copyright ©
2014 by Julia Kent

RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International
and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or
use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information
storage and retrieval system without express written permission from
the author / publisher.

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Chapter One

Lydia thought that coming home from Iceland would solve all of her
problems, she was sorely mistaken. No job, no income, no idea what
came next in her life and, still, no Mike. Jeremy planned to meet her
in Portland and fly in direct. In a few hours she’d pick him up at
the airport. How could she pine away for Mike even as she looked
forward to seeing her new—what? Her new…boyfriend? Her new…lover?
Her new…friend with benefits? Whatever word she was supposed to use
for Jeremy didn’t suffice.

she’d told her grandmother what had
in Iceland—because Grandma was the only person she could tell other
than Krysta—Madge had given her a wide-eyed smile and simply said
“atta girl.” Knowing way too much about her grandmother’s sex
life with Ed, Lydia had kept her mouth shut. Madge would leap at any
opportunity to reveal too much information. Right now Lydia had her
hands full with her own sexual proclivities; she didn’t need to add
geriatric gymnastics to the images and emotions she already struggled

no Mike. His radio silence had gone from distressing to disturbing to
infuriating, and now it had settled low in her belly, beneath her
navel, like a hot ball of steel pressing down, weighing on her,
making it harder to move, as if the memory of him were palpable,
something she could touch deep inside, could feel moving around,
gravid and dark. Jeremy, on the other hand, was all lightness and
fluff, fun and joy, with an edge. She’d tried to get him to talk
more seriously about his life and he’d flirted around the edges of
it. There was so much more to him. She looked forward to getting to
know him.

she passed through the New Hampshire tolls, Portsmouth a beautiful
oceanside blur, the ships to the right in the harbor always a marvel,
she knew she had about an hour before she would see Jeremy. Tall,
dark, handsome and goofy. Not exactly what she would have predicted
for herself when it came to her type. Mike fit the bill more—but
Mike wasn’t here, was he? And Jeremy hadn’t fucked her on camera
and then magically forgotten, as if she had somehow cast a spell on
him. How does one of the biggest CEOs in the world, a rising star of
a media conglomerate, which he assembled stitch by stitch like a
patchwork quilt made of gold, just disappear? If anyone could manage
it, it was Michael Bournham.

radiant golds and vibrant reds of the leaves greeted her as she
pulled away from the ocean and drove farther north. Maine was awash
with color this time of year, and she knew that the campground would
be awash with people, too. It was leaf-peeper season, the best time
of the year, and her parents would be absolutely overwhelmed with
work and utterly inspired by all that came to the campground for this
monumental event. The talent show. The Great Charles Family Talent
Show. Her dad would be playing his ukulele ten times a day, mastering
new, silly Tom Lehrer song. Miles would be working on some new clown
costume to keep the kids laughing, probably figuring out how to
juggle six balls at once. Sandy was the audience. She never developed
a talent of her own, or if she had one she never let on, but her
laugh would guide the hundreds of people in the Great Hall, curling
upwards with joy, like a prayer of happiness. You could hear that
laugh whenever you went to the campground, day in and day out. Lydia
missed that laugh. It was the sound of comfort, of amusement, of
everything being right with the world, and as she guided the car
along its journey to Jeremy, she realized that she was pointed toward
Sandy, too. Thank goodness, because right now Lydia needed something
comfortable, something solid and safe and secure in her life. She
also needed to talk to Mike. But it looked like
going to happen anytime soon.

phone rang. She wavered—she hated to be on the phone when she was
driving, especially on a highway, but it was too important to ignore.
What if it was Jeremy? What if his flight was late? Reaching for her
phone, she opened it, hit speaker and said, “Yes?”

you grab a couple of bags of mini-marshmallows? We’re out and we
need ’em for the talent show.” Pete’s gravelly voice cracked on
her phone, the connection weak.

Dad. Anything else?”

honey, just that. It’s the only thing that we don’t have in stock
here at the store, and the
not coming in until next week. The suppliers are late.”

about familiarity. Her dad weaved business and family life into one
whole cloth. A few years of corporate life had shown her that most
people absolutely did not live that way. It suited Pete, and Sandy,
and the whole gang. Everyone except her, because Lydia was an
outsider, but maybe it really was time to come home for good.

of coming home, she found her exit to the tiny Portland airport and
smiled nice and wide. Maybe she really did find that Viking after

security had been a bitch. Long accustomed to being the
that guy
who gets pulled aside for a search after some, ah...poorly
thought-out decisions in Asia, this time had been no different, even
when he had taken pains to reduce his chances. A carry on, no belt,
and no computer

easy peasy, right?
Instead they treated him like a shoe bomber with a machete and a
clown mask.

welcome from Lydia was worth the hassle, though, as her soft, ample
body had invited him to explore Maine

and her

with a kiss that
him forget all about the government-sanctioned hands that had just
cupped him...oh. They’d sped to the car, making him thankful for no
checked luggage, and the hour or so on the highway was filled with
verbal catch-ups, longing glances, and a gradual ratcheting up of
Jeremy’s anxiety about meeting her family.

the TSA patdown wasn’t so bad in comparison.

remembered campgrounds like this, as Lydia pulled her little red car
to the right, turning onto a gravel driveway. The cheesy billboard
sign, hand-painted. The flags of many colors all indicating
solidarity and patriotism—but the rainbow flag was a wonderful,
progressive touch to see in the middle of what he would have called
Maine’s version of the middle of nowhere. His hand rested on
Lydia’s thigh, and she slowed the car to a creeping crawl.

the sign said, and she was going exactly five miles per hour. He
could see why; the gravel road was deeply rutted, probably by choice.
She’d said her family owned 160 acres here in a thriving oceanfront
campground, so he guessed the road was in terrible shape on purpose;
it calmed the traffic. Can’t fly and be a danger to others when you
might break an axle. The kind of thinking that went into that made
him stop and reassess his preconceived notion of Lydia’s parents.

He hadn’t met a woman’s parents since early college. Forgive him
if he was out of shape. Ten years, plus or minus a few, meant he was
rusty. When she’d first suggested that they come to the family’s
traditional talent show, a little voice in his head told him to run
screaming, and grab a flight to Thailand, and then her eyes had
begged him. Pleaded, really. He’d watched her mouth move as she
asked him, describing the fun, the camaraderie, the connection that
everyone had. She’d told him about the ocean, and the cabin they
could use, and how her parents would be thrilled to meet him. She’d
nearly cried when she spoke of missing the talent show, and in that
moment he wavered. Unable to be the reason she would skip such an
important family tradition, and also unable to let her go without
him, he had relented—and now, here he was.

parents hated his guts. He’d learned that in high school at his
first Homecoming, when Margie Nicholson’s dad insisted driving them
after taking one look at the imposing, six-four Jeremy. Having a
mouth with no filter hadn’t helped, either. When Mr. Nicholson had
asked him what his intentions were with his daughter, Jeremy had laid
them out in stark detail—first, second, third, fourth base—turning
Mr. Nicholson fifty shades of red. He was, he hoped, a bit more
tempered than his old adolescent self, but a small voice inside
questioned that.
if they don’t like me?
he thought. The voice unfurled inside him like a cold, dead ribbon.
This was the voice of a fear that he had tramped out more than a
decade ago, or so he’d thought. Travel, playing it safe by playing
the risks, and just letting loose and having fun had been all fine
and good for ten years, and it also kept that voice at bay.

Lydia smiled, radiant and happy, pointing to various buildings along
their crawling journey toward her parents, he swallowed, an audible
click coming from his dry throat, and realized that you never can go
back home again the same—and while this was her home and not his,
he had made a decision in Iceland that he had no desire to reverse.
Something in him anchored itself when he looked at her. Something in
him latched into place when he listened to her voice. Something in
him wanted to wake up next to her every day for the rest of his life
when the warmth of his palm rested against the heat of her thigh. The
one thing that Jeremy was absolutely terrible about was staying in
one place, and it was the one thing he needed to learn to do most if
he had any hope of being with Lydia.

community gardens are over there,” she said, pointing, her arm
stretching across his face. They hit a rut and his nose rammed
against her elbow. He was curled over it, almost in a ball, in her
tiny Honda, and it felt a bit like a clown car. Another little
vehicle, painted red, shot past. It wasn’t hard to go faster; at
five miles an hour he could have walked at a fast clip and done just
as well.

BOOK: Deliciously Obedient
4.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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