Lissa- Sugar and Spice 1.6 - Final

BOOK: Lissa- Sugar and Spice 1.6 - Final
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Table of Contents

LISSA: SUGAR & SPICE

The Wilde Sisters: Book Three

by Sandra Marton

COPYRIGHT

© 2014, Sandra Marton

ALL RIGHTS 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.

Dedication

T
his book is
dedicated to the brave men and women of the US Armed Services who so valiantly defend our freedom and our honor everywhere around the world. Thank you for all that you do, and for the endless sacrifices you make on our behalf.

CHAPTER ONE

I
t was Lissa
Wilde’s birthday.

Her twenty-seventh, if you were counting, which she was not, and the celebration was in full swing.

A perfect celebration. All a girl could want was right within easy reach.

A gaily wrapped box of See’s Truffles. The one-pound box because, what the hell, this was a party.

A long-handled spoon standing in a just-opened pint of Cherry Garcia.

And a vibrator.

Not just any vibrator, but a pink one that had
Pleasure Pleaser
printed all over the tissue paper that enclosed it… Well, that enclosed it once you got it out of its plain brown wrapper.

Lissa patted the vibrator. “Soon,” she said. Then she tore the wrapping paper off the box of truffles.

What could be better than a birthday party planned by the person who knew the birthday girl best?

“Who, indeed?” Lissa said, fingers hovering over the chocolates.

Which would it be? White? Dark? Milk? Lissa shut her eyes, plucked a chocolate from the box, started to take a ladylike bite, thought
the hell with it
and popped the whole thing into her mouth.

Yum.

Delicious.

Amazingly delicious, she decided, and she swallowed, took another piece from the box and bit into it.

A perfect party.

That was the thing about being the only guest. You could concentrate on what really mattered.

“You hear that,
Pleasure Pleaser
?” she said.

The vibrator didn’t answer. Not that she’d expected it to. In fact, that was the thing about vibrators. They knew their place in life. They never had to be told what to do or how to do it. Or so she’d heard.

The truth was, this was her first sex toy.

She’d walked by a shop just off Hollywood Boulevard maybe ten times before she’d made up her mind to go inside. She’d thought about wearing dark glasses and a pull-down hat and maybe even a trench coat until she’d noticed women going in and out of the place, not hesitating, not in disguise, and she’d taken a breath, opened the door and found herself in, well, in a sex toy wonderland.

Pleasure Pleaser
had been in a case along with at least a dozen others, and by the time the salesclerk had finished taking them out, one by one, turning them on and pointing out the high points of each, not only had Lissa been relaxed, she’d also been giggling.

Selecting one had been about as difficult as selecting one chocolate. The only certainty had been that she absolutely didn’t want the one that was supposed to look like a penis.

For one thing, it made her burst out laughing.

For another, the less the thing looked like anything to do with a man, the better.

“I know what you mean,” the salesgirl had said. “Who needs a man to get between you and ground zero?”

Lissa ate another truffle.

Who needed that, indeed? The best thing about a vibrator was that after it did its job, it went away until the next time you wanted it.

But then, one way or another, so did men.

Lissa scooped up a spoonful of ice cream and sucked it off the spoon.

“Not ladylike,” one of the nannies who’d raised her would have said.

“Man, that is sexy,” one of the idiots she’d dated would have said.

Hell. What it was, was the best way to savor the taste of the Cherry Garcia. Nothing more, nothing less.

Lissa put her bare feet on the coffee table in her tiny living room, dug her spoon deeper into the ice cream and watched Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman gaze into each other’s eyes on the DVD. She had the sound muted. Who needed sound when you knew all the dialogue by heart and you could say it along with Ingrid and Bogey?


But what about us?
” Ingrid/Lissa said, and reached for another truffle.

Bogey’s mouth did that funny little twitchy thing it often did.


We’ll always have Paris,
” Bogey/Lissa said.

Ingrid wept. Lissa shoveled in more Cherry Garcia.

Bogey lifted Ingrid’s chin and they did another round of eye-gazing.


Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,
” Bogey/Lissa said.

Last line, blah blah, then fade to black. Lissa reached for a paper napkin, thoughtfully provided by Pirelli’s Pizza, the takeout place that had also thoughtfully provided the nutritious main course for her birthday dinner.

She wiped a tear from her eye and a streak of chocolate from her lip.

Stupid, to cry over a movie that was decades older than she was, to cry over a movie at all, because she knew damn well it had nothing to do with life, but maybe that was the point. Maybe what happened in movies or books or TV shows was the only way anybody could ever even come close to experiencing real, true break-your-heart love.

Not that she was stupid enough to want her heart broken.

Lissa dumped the tissue on the table, swapped the spoon for the remote, clicked the TV off and swapped the remote for the spoon.

It was just the principle of the thing. Feeling down, watching Ingrid fly off with the wrong guy, but then they were all wrong guys, when you came down to it.

Feeling weepy certainly didn’t have anything to do with spending her birthday alone.

Another hit of Cherry Garcia. Some of it dribbled on her
What’s Cookin’?
T-shirt. So what? That was another benefit of being alone. Yoga pants with a hole in one knee. A stained T-shirt. No makeup. No hairstyle unless dragging. her not-blond-not-brown-who-cares-what-color-it-is hair into a ponytail was a style.

She was alone. And happy.

“I am Alone,” she said. “And I am Happy.”

Lissa burped.

It wasn’t as if she hadn’t done the people-and-party thing in the past. She had. The Family Birthday, definitely in caps, at El Sueño, the family ranch, all her brothers, brother-in-law and almost-brother-in-law in attendance, all her sisters and sisters-in-law fussing over her. She’d done the semi-friends and co-workers version, too, where you had the crap embarrassed straight out of you when the who-gives-a-damn staff warbled a painfully loud and generally off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” over a slab of cake they probably kept in the back for these occasion, because surely nobody was ever dumb enough to actually eat that cake.

And, of course, she’d done the BFBE. The Boyfriend Birthday extravaganza. Fancy restaurants where she’d tried not to think about the fact that if she were the chef, she’d have cooked a better meal or done a better presentation. And then, after the meal, the gift-giving ritual—an expensive but schlocky piece of jewelry that had actually been selected by the BF’s PA—Jesus, the world was loaded with initials—or if the BF had bought it himself, maybe a frothy bit of lingerie that would have better suited a hooker than a girlfriend.

Lissa reached for another truffle.

Not that she’d been anyone’s girlfriend for a while.

Catholics gave up stuff for Lent, but you didn’t have to be Catholic and it didn’t have to be Lent for an intelligent woman to give up men for the duration.

“And more power to you, kid,” she said, lisping her way through another bad Bogart imitation.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like men. She did, as a concept. Men could be fun. They could be charming. Some were amazingly easy on the eyes. They were handy for emptying the occasional mousetrap, fine at holding an umbrella high enough over your head that you didn’t get wet running from your door to a taxi or to a car.

And, generally speaking, they were OK in bed.

Mostly, though, they weren’t worth the trouble they caused.

They became proprietorial. They became possessive.

Another mouthful of ice cream, and who was she trying to fool?

She’d heard other women talk about those things as a problem. She was never with a guy long enough for him to get all riled up about staking his claim.

The trouble with men was that they lied. They cheated. No matter how they seemed at the start of a relationship, they ended up as one hundred proof SOBs one hundred percent of the time.

Lissa plunged her spoon deep into the Cherry Garcia. It came up empty. Amazing. Were they downsizing the containers?

No problem.

She’d planned ahead. That was the thing about being a trained chef. You know how to manage your supplies.

There was a pint of Chunky Monkey stashed in the freezer.

How could a woman be smart enough to hide ice cream and not smart enough to know that men were not worth her time and trouble?

Well, her brothers, brother-in-law and almost brother-in-law excepted, of course. Jacob. Caleb. Travis. And now, Marco. And, soon, Zach would join the ranks.

Great guys, all of them.

Lissa rose to her feet and went to her tiny kitchen.

Maybe there was a planetary limit on the number of decent men available. Maybe Earth’s quota had been reached. Maybe the Wilde men and the Wilde-Men-by-Proxy were it.

“Maybe you need that Chunky Monkey,” she said, dumping the empty Cherry Garcia container in the trash and opening the door to the freezer.

She’d never had any luck with men. Not even with boys. Look at the Tommy Juarez fiasco and yes, that had been kindergarten and no, it wasn’t foolish to go back that far because lesson were lessons no matter when you learned them.

Tommy had planted a kiss on her cheek while the whole class was playing Duck, Duck, Goose. The very next day, he’d called her a turd bird and kissed Deanna Hilton instead.

Lissa peered into the freezer.

And what about Jefferson Beauregard the Third in high school? Quarterback. Captain. A total hottie. Her steady for eight months until she’d caught him in the girls’ locker room—the
girls’
locker room—screwing the brains out of one of the Becker twins, and what a stupid description that was because neither of the Becker twins had brains to be screwed out of and if that sentence had a dangling participle or whatever, she just didn’t give a shit.

Where was that Chunky Monkey?

“Come out, come out wherever you are,” Lissa said, poking past frozen chicken stock and frozen herbs and frozen something-or-other that she hadn’t labeled and who knew what in hell it was now?

How she’d ever gone steady with a boy named Jefferson Beauregard the Third was beyond her. She surely hadn’t loved him.

Yeah, but he’d said he loved her.

And of course, who was she kidding? She’d loved him. Puppy love, but still…

And she’d given him her virginity.

Well, OK. She’d been eager to give it to somebody.

Her sisters had clung to theirs as if they were characters in a Victorian novel instead of modern-day Texas females. Not her. She’d been ready, willing and eager to find out what sex was like, and—

“Gotcha,” she said triumphantly as she took the pint of Chunky Monkey from where it had been hiding behind a loaf of oatmeal bread she’d baked last week.

And, she thought, popping the lid and tossing it into the sink, she’d found out what sex was like.

It was OK. All right. Fine. Just, well, just no big deal.

It still was and there was nothing wrong with that; it was only that she’d kind of expected it to be mind-blowing, the way books and movies said it was, the way her very own sisters said it was, not that Jaimie or Emily actually talked about what sex was like with their guys, but when Em spoke Marco’s name, when Jaimie spoke Zach’s, you could almost hear the sizzle.

No problem.

Lissa headed back into the living room and sat down on the sofa.

Sex was what it was, and she was fine with that.

What she wasn’t fine with was the BS that went with the sex.

With being involved with a guy.

Which took her straight back to the lies. Oh, the lies!
I adore you, baby. I don’t ever want to be with anyone else. You are incredibly special.

That was what Rick had pretty much said to Ilsa, but he’d let her go anyway. Well, for the right reasons, sure.

Still, Ilsa had flown into the night. And Rick had moved on to deal with his life.

Lissa crammed a truffle into her mouth.

She’d been living in Los Angeles for three years. La La Land, her brothers said. Home to Gorgeous Guys, her sisters said. And both definitions were true. This was the Land of Dreams as well as the Land of Heartthrobs.

She knew that, firsthand.

She’d come here with the dream of becoming a chef. A top chef, one who could put her brand on a restaurant and make it dazzle.

She hadn’t come here to find a man, but the men were as plentiful as sand on a beach. Good-looking men. Great-looking, in fact. Who could resist the temptation?

Lissa reached for another truffle. Her stomach gave a delicate roll. Maybe it was time to stick with the Chunky Monkey.

She’d been here three years and she’d been involved with three different guys.

All hot-looking. All fun to be with. All charming.

All actors.

A synonym for dirty, rotten bastards.

“For God’s sake, Melissa,” she muttered into the silence of the room, “you are either incredibly stupid or incredibly slow.”

Truly, she was.

How long should it have taken her to figure out that if men lied, actors—actors fabricated, and even if the words meant the same thing, actors were the worst. Why wouldn’t they be? Actors lied by profession. What else would you call acting?

Acting on screen was one thing. Acting in real life was another.

In real life, if you saw an actor’s lips move, your best bet was to turn and run.

Lissa stuck the spoon into what remained of the ice cream, tucked the container into her lap and sat back.

If only she had.

But what woman could resist having a six-foot movie god like Carlos Antonioni come back to the kitchen of
The Black Pearl
the night the regular chef had been down with the flu to seek out her, the sous chef, lift her hand to his lips and say that he had expected to find a kitchen goddess but not Aphrodite.

“Why are you not in the movies?” Carlos had said. She’d heard the line before—men liked her looks even though she thought of herself as Typical Texas, meaning she had long legs and big boobs and was, if you liked the type, cheerleader pretty—but coming from a heartthrob like him…

BOOK: Lissa- Sugar and Spice 1.6 - Final
3.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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