I've Been an Awful Good Girl

BOOK: I've Been an Awful Good Girl
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I’ve
Been
an Awful Good Girl

By

Cheryl Gorman

 

Copyright © 2012
Cheryl Gorman

Cover Art by Rae
Monet Designs http://www.raemonet.com

All rights reserved. This e-book is not transferable.
No part of this e-book may be reproduced or shared in any form including but
not limited to printing, faxing, e-mailing, photocopying or by any manner of
information retrieval through electronic means or through the postal service
  without
the express permission of the publisher. This
e-book is a work of fiction and a product of the author’s imagination. Any
resemblance to any person or persons living or dead, places, incidents,
locations or businesses is purely coincidental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

“Oh,
what a lovely Christmas basket,” Mrs. March said, her light blue eyes sparkling
with holiday cheer. “You’re an awful good girl, Emma.” 

 Damn
it.
Another good girl comment.
Emma Baker wanted to
scream at the top of her lungs until the sound shook the small plastic holiday
wreath from Mrs. March’s front door.  Instead, she smiled at the older,
widowed woman who had only her social security and her husband’s pension from
the police department to live on. Emma had been delivering Christmas baskets
with a healthy dose of
ho-ho-ho
and
jingle
bells
to needy families and the elderly, every year for the Charity of
Hope, since she was in grade school. She was an attorney now in a small but
busy Denver law firm in which she handled mostly pro-bono cases, but she
couldn’t give up this holiday tradition. “You’re welcome, Mrs. March.
Merry Christmas.”

 
“Merry Christmas to you too.”

 Shivering
in the bitter wind, Emma briskly walked down the frosty sidewalk, her suede
boots crunching in the snow, to her mid-sized car parked at the curb. She slid
into the warm interior and sighed with relief to be out of the cold, but the
irritation at being called a good girl still nettled. “Mrs. March called me a
good girl. She’s the fifth person today.” She yanked off her red mittens with
holly leaves knitted into the design and stuffed them into the pocket of her
coat. “I’m sick of people saying what an awful good girl I am,” she said to her
best friend, Tiffany Walters who had offered to drive her to make her
deliveries.

Tiffany
laughed and pulled out onto the street. “Then let out your sexy side. I know
it’s hiding behind that wholesome exterior somewhere.”

A
spurt of excitement darted through Emma’s stomach and she straightened in her
seat. “You’re right.
Geeze
Louise. It’s past time I
stripped away my good girl image and shook my booty.”

Tiffany
slapped a hand against the steering wheel. “Thank God. I’ve been waiting for
years to hear you say that.”

Emma
laughed. “And this from a former Miss Colorado who runs a charm school?”

Tiffany
gave her head a cocky shake. “Just because I run a charm school doesn’t mean I
don’t have a sexy side. I like sex just as much as the next girl.”

Emma
adjusted her Santa hat and checked her Merry Christmas pin to make sure it was
still flashing red and green. “Don’t let your darling students’ mothers hear
you say that.”

Tiffany
giggled. “Don’t worry. They think I’m the reincarnation of Mother Theresa. So
where and when are you going to let loose your inner temptress and
vagenda
?”

Emma
laughed. “I have just the venue.” She rummaged through her purse, withdrew a
red and gold invitation and waved it through the air.
“The
Cranford’s annual masquerade Christmas party.
Everybody will be in
disguise which is perfect. I can be a total slut girl and no one will ever know
it’s me.” She turned in her seat and faced her friend. “But I’ll need your help
with the costume and my makeup.” She lifted a lock of her wavy, out-of-control
hair. “Not to mention my hair.”

Tiffany
wiggled her fingers against the steering wheel and cackled. “I can’t wait to
get started.”

Emma
settled back in her seat with a sigh of satisfaction. “The guy, whoever he is,
won’t know what hit him.”

*
* *

A
strong male hand gripped his right shoulder. “I’m so glad you’re back, son.”

Cameron
Fletcher gave his father a smile and hammered another nail into a two by six.
“Glad to be home, Pop.”

“Your
mother worried herself to death while you were over there. She was on her knees
praying every day for your safety.”

Hell.
His freaking safety.
Her prayers worked because he
came back after two tours in Iraq without one scratch. While he dodged bullets
like Superman, a lot of his platoon were wounded or killed by enemy forces and
road side bombs. Guilt weighed down on him like the pack he used to carry
in
country
. He’d come back looking pretty much the same as when he left with
the exception of losing a few pounds. Sometimes he wished he could have traded
places with any of his men to make sure they returned to their families instead
of him. So many men with wives and children were killed on the battle field and
wouldn’t be coming home.

Since
returning to Colorado a couple of weeks ago, he’d gone to work for his father’s
construction company and had been trying to adjust to civilian life. He inhaled
a breath of frosty, pine-scented air into his lungs. He stood in what would
eventually be a family room with a stone fireplace and a large bay window. The
new housing development in the growing suburb of Highlands Ranch wouldn’t be
completed for another six to eight months, and he was thankful for the work.

“Hey,
Cam,” one of the workers said. “My sister has a friend if you’re looking to
hook up.”

He
considered the man’s offer for about a half a second before he remembered the
last time he’d gone on a blind date. It had been a disaster. “Thanks, Frank,
but I’ll pass.”

“Okay,
suit yourself.”

Sweet
Jesus, he would like nothing better than to wrap his arms around a soft,
willing woman. His only companions for months had been fellow soldiers and
granted a few of them had been women, but those women were strictly off limits.
Officers never got involved with enlisted personnel. When and where he chose to
get up close and personal with a woman, would be his decision.

At
five o’clock they knocked off work and everybody headed home. Soon he was
tucked into one of his mother’s home-cooked meals in her kitchen. He dug into
the mashed potatoes and pot roast, relishing the savory flavors melting on his
tongue. “Delicious, Mom. Thanks.”

His
mother beamed.
“My pleasure.
It’s nice to be cooking
for you again.”

“And
it’s real nice to see you sitting at this table again,” his father added.

Reaching
across the small kitchen table, his mother squeezed Cam’s hand as her gray eyes
filled with tears. “I missed you so much,” she said in a broken whisper.

“I
know, Mom. I missed you too. But please, don’t cry again, okay?”

She
threw him a watery smile and dotted her eyes with her napkin. “I won’t, I
promise.”

His
father rubbed a hand on his mother’s arm. “There now, darling, the boy’s home
safe and sound.”

Safe
and sound while a lot of his platoon members came home without an arm or a leg.
The food suddenly stuck in his throat. After wiping his mouth, he laid the
napkin on the table and started rising from his chair.

“Don’t
tell me you’re full already,” his mother said. “You haven’t eaten very much
since you got home. Are you sure you aren’t taking sick?”

Cam
patted his stomach. “I feel fine. Lost some pounds over there so my stomach has
shrunk that’s all.”

“I
bet you aren’t too full for a slice of chocolate cake.
Your
favorite.”

If
he refused it would hurt her feelings because he knew she’d baked it especially
for him. He smiled. “Bring it on.”

Even
though the cake didn’t go down well, he’d scraped the last bit of chocolate
icing from his plate to please his mother. Then he helped clean the kitchen.
Later, his mother settled on the sofa next to his father in the family room and
picked up her knitting. Cam stretched out in the recliner and tried to figure a
good way to tell his mother he was moving into his own place.
Just go ahead
and say it straight out.
“I signed a lease on an apartment here in town.”

His
mother lowered her knitting to her lap with disappointment filling her eyes.
“You’re moving out?
Already?
I was hoping you’d at
least stay with us a few more months.”

“He’s
a grown man, Ellie and he’s not moving to the moon. He’ll still be in town,”
his father said.

She
frowned. “I know but he won’t be under this roof.”

“I’ll
be by here a lot, Mom, I promise.”

She
picked up her knitting. “Yes, but it won’t be the same. By the way, we got an
invitation to the Cranford’s Christmas masquerade party next Saturday. Your
father and I don’t feel like going, but it would do you a lot of good to get
out.”

 “Sounds
like fun.”
Just what he needed, a masquerade party where he
could meet a woman for a little uncomplicated, no-strings-attached sex to help
him shake off the memories of the war.
At least for
one night.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter
Two

 

           
Emma scanned the huge, living room of the Cranford’s mansion, decorated from
floor to rafters with holiday greenery and decorations, looking for the man she
planned to seduce. George and Martha Washington were chatting with Batman and
Lady Gaga by the grand piano while Snow White swayed to
The Christmas Song
played
by a string quartet, with one hand resting on Superman’s shoulder. Queen
Elizabeth helped herself to a tray of stuffed mushrooms. Sipping from a glass
of red wine, Marilyn Monroe gazed adoringly into the eyes of Zorro. 

           
“See him yet?” Tiffany asked standing next to her.

           
She turned to her friend decked out as Marie Antoinette, complete with a huge
blonde wig and sparkling costume jewelry. “No, but the evening is still young.”

           
“While you’re waiting for Mr. Ready-to-be-Seduced, I’m going to go flirt with
King Arthur.”

           
Tiffany disappeared into the crowd. Tipping her champagne glass for another
sip, her gaze swept the room and landed on a tall, dark and very hot pirate
standing by the fireplace with a black mask covering three-quarters of his face
and a sword hanging at his side. Black boots and tight fitting breeches along
with a tri-cornered hat completed his outfit.  He had one arm propped on
the mantle while the other held a beer. The man’s brilliant blue gaze skewered
her to the spot along with a bedroom smile curving a pair of sensual lips.
There was something oddly familiar about him. Had she seen that smile or that
particular stance before? Or was it the way he held his beer between his index
and third finger? She shrugged it off. Probably just a guy thing she’d seen a
thousand times before.
Whatever.
This masked man was
her sexual target for the evening. With her heart dancing the
shim-sham-shimmy
,
she walked slowly toward the pirate. His gaze swept her bosom amply displayed
with the help of a push-up bra. She hoped the rest of her genie outfit screamed
take-me-now
. “I came over to grant you three wishes.”

           
He took a sip of beer and licked his lips. “What kind of wishes?”

           
Emma lowered her chin and gave him what she hoped was a sultry look. She’d
practiced for hours in front of a mirror. “Anything you want.” A blush burned
over her skin.
Sweet Mary.
Did she just say that?

BOOK: I've Been an Awful Good Girl
7.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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