Read Valentine Surprise Online

Authors: Jennifer Conner

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Valentine Surprise (2 page)

BOOK: Valentine Surprise
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Chapter 2

Lee finally got Mossberg off the phone. His law partner called almost every night because they were so busy during the day, they never had enough time to go over all the cases.

It used to bug him, but now that they’d gone into private practice, he realized he would much rather be home. He could work in his bare feet with a glass of wine and talk to his law partner on the phone.

He spoke the auto dial number into his cell phone and ordered take-out. He had figured out that gem of a feature at least.

Grabbing another glass out of the wine rack, he filled it with a nice Cabernet and padded off down the hall. He propped a hip on the doorjamb and said, “Hey… really sorry about that. Work. But, I’m all yours now.”

There was a high blush on her cheeks. She pushed back from the desk, took the glass of wine and downed half of it.

“CC if I didn’t know better, I would say you were snooping through stuff while you were waiting for me to get off the phone,” he kidded.

Her blush deepened. “I was not ‘snooping’. I was trying to figure out what your stupid password was for your virus protection.” She waved a hand. “You had them written down in that little purple book your grandma gave you. I was looking for that.”

Lee grinned. This was fun. Whatever she was up to, she was rattled. And Cecilia was
never
rattled. He flopped down in the large overstuffed leather sofa next to the desk and put his bare feet on the coffee table. “A-1 Teriyaki.”

She glared at him. “What are you talking about?”

“You wanted my new password. Ha! You didn’t figure it out and now it’s bugging you.” He held up a clenched fist in victory. “You’ve been harping on me for a year to stop using the same old passwords, telling me I would be eaten to bits by the big bad wolf.”

“Hacked.”

“So I mixed it up. Uppercase, lowercase… AND a number!”

She tried to keep a smile back, but it snuck through. “I’m so proud of you. You used a takeout place’s name for your password?”

“Not just
any
takeout. This place just opened around the corner and they are my new best friends. Great food, I can remember the name for my password and they are…”

The doorbell rang.

“Fast! I think they have ESP and know when I’m going to call.” He rose and moved to open the front door. He paid the kid and then after a side trip, came back with plates and forks.

Cecilia was hard at work on his computer. After ignoring him for a minute, she finally turned and said, “There you go. All your virus protection is updated from hackers and big bad wolves.”

“As usual, I know you won’t let me pay you and I doubt you’ve eaten dinner since you came straight from work. So, help me with this double order of General Tao chicken?”

“It smells awfully good. And I am starving.”

He scooped out generous portions of the chicken and fried rice on the plates and they took opposite ends of the couch. It was nice to have CC there. She was over a lot and he liked it. Lee hated spending the evenings in an empty house. He must be getting old, because all the things that seemed terribly important in the past were moving down the list.

He loved being a lawyer and was good at what he did. Along with that came money for the house and car. Lee glanced at the folder on the desk. He thought of telling Cecilia about the dating service, but she’d never understand. To the outside world, it looked like he had everything.

The idea of using a dating service was lame, but he had a friend who used it and met a few nice girls. As he wrote down on his profile,
No pressure on any potential dates, let’s just take it easy and become friends.
One night flings were fun, but they were no longer enough. That’s what he really needed right now, good friends. Ones who came over after working an eight hour day to fix your virus protection software.

He hit the button to turn on his big screen TV and then found the Travel Channel.

“Hey!” Cecilia exclaimed and jumped forward. “That’s the
Deschutes National Forest
.
We went hiking there last year with Tami. Remember when she thought she heard a bear and ran to hide in the Sani-can? I’m surprised she ever went hiking again. She still talks about that.”

Her grin was contagious and he smiled. She dropped her tall, lean body back in the chair laughing and pulled the band off that held her ponytail. A cascade of rich brown hair fell over one shoulder before she twisted it up in a knot. He tried to remember if he’d seen her hair down before, or if he’d just never paid attention. He paid attention now and saw how silky it was.

As she watched the TV, he watched her.

On
Cupid’s Okay
, maybe he’d find someone like CC.

#

Wh
en CC left, he cracked his knuckles, turned off the TV and buckled down to finish the online profile. Too bad you couldn’t snap your fingers and it would fill itself in
. Ugh
. Computer work.

Lee opened the folder and typed in the web address. He put in the login information and waited.

The screen said,
Welcome back.

Huh?

Had he filled out the rest of the application and forgot he’d already done it? He was really tired last night when he started and had a glass of wine. Maybe it cosmically knew his info. Had he been hacked?

Well, if it had hacked his info and automatically filled it in…
lucky him
.

There were five blinking hearts in the top of the webpage box, with a flashing icon that said,
Cupid’s found you five matches!

Cautiously he clicked the first heart. A photo of a cute blond popped up. Linzy Bellham. The message read:
Hi Lee. Read your profile and thought we might be a perfect match. You’re a lawyer? Great! Let’s meet and have dinner.
The message was followed by her cell number and the name and time to meet at a local French restaurant.

He clicked through the other heart boxes. All knockout blonds.

This online dating was much easier than he thought.

No more lonely nights for him.

Chapter 3

Cecilia wiggled into her
Sponge Bob
polar-fleece pajama bottoms, pulled on a grey college sweatshirt and finished towel drying her hair. It had been a long day at the office and a lengthy hot bath felt close to heaven. She wandered out into the kitchen and lifted the bag of popcorn out of the microwave. Starting to reach for a bowl, she decided it would be one more dish to wash and instead ripped open the top of the bag and stuck her hand in.

A knock on her door made her jump. She dropped the popcorn bag on the table and moved to the door. Wrapping her hand around her ‘in-home protection-baseball bat’, she asked in a deep voice, “Who is it?”
“It’s me, Lee. Sorry I didn’t call first. Can I come in for a few minutes?”

Cecilia looked at her makeup-less face and wet hair, then groaned. “Can we do this tomorrow?”

There was a pause before he answered, “Not really. It should only take a few minutes. Please, CC?”

Was he begging? Did she have no willpower at all? She opened the door.

There he was
Mr. Perfect
, dressed in a light mint green dress shirt open at the collar and expensive dress pants. Good enough to eat with a spoon her mom would say.

He smiled as he looked down at the baseball bat still clenched in her hand. “Are you going hit me with that?”

“Should I?” She frowned and dropped it back behind the door. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“Can I have some of your custom made hot chocolate?”

She nodded and walked past him as he sat on the couch.

He checked her out as she walked by. “Hey! Tami gave you those pajamas as a white elephant gift last year.”

“Yeah… well.” She felt her cheeks heat at she stirred hot water into the cup and added the hot chocolate concoction she made herself. “I like them, they keep me warm.”

“There are better options to keep warm than Sponge Bob pajamas,” he said, as something flashed in his eyes. She swore it was heat. For her? Right…she was one hot-mama in this get up.

Cecilia gave him the cup and put a hand on her hip. “You made this sound like a disaster of biblical proportions.”

“I need your help with something. I know I can trust you won’t tell Tami?”. He sat the cup down and ran a hand through his hair. “I signed up for an online dating service.”

She scooped up the popcorn bag and eyed him over the edge. “Did you go out on a date?”

He threw his hand up and rolled his eyes. “It was a total disaster! Lindsey with a Z. I thought it was great for about five minutes. When I picked her up she was wearing a dress short enough to see her… well, you get the idea.”

“Let me guess and F-me heels.”

“You know that term?” He cleared his throat. “As I said, it was good for about five minutes until she opened her mouth. First, all she talked about was my Porsche. I like my car too… but, come on. Then she wanted to know what country clubs I had memberships in and where I played golf. I tried world topics, news, books… nothing. Back to how much she thought I made and what I owned. She ordered the most expensive thing on the menu and then ate one bite, saying she was watching her weight. I could see her ribs through her dress.” He stopped. “Can I have some of that popcorn? French food never fills me up.”

“So… what exactly do you need my help for again?”

“I need to change something on the webpage but can’t figure out how. This is what I want to add.” He handed her a hand-written slip of paper.

“Looking for a liberal minded, college educated, financially independent woman who can carry on a conversation?”
Cecilia shot him a look as she read out loud.

“Yes. I want that added. No more dim bulbs. She had a body by Fisher, but brains by Mattel, and was an experiment in artificial stupidity.”

“She was one taco short of a combination plate. Her intellect is rivaled only by garden tools and was proof that evolution can go in reverse.”

“Something like that.” He laughed as he gave her the log in… which she had to pretend she didn’t already know. He continued, “Did you hear the FBI just updated their definition of rape to include men?”

Cecilia looked up at him hovering over her. “I read that today on BBC news. They updated an eighty-three year old law. Good for them. Victims can be men or women; they are still victims of a sexual crime.”

“You would make a good lawyer.”

“No thanks, that’s your gig. Hope this addition brings you only perfect dates for the nights ahead.”

Chapter 4

Unfortunately, three nights later, date two wasn’t a whole lot better. Stella had a lot more brains, but not a better attitude. She was blond and beautiful. It should have been enough, but when she told him she’d blown off her mother’s seventieth birthday party for their date, he was shocked.

“My sisters will take care of her. Do I look like someone who wants to watch an old lady eat a chain baked Crisco frosted cake?
Puleeze
.”

Under the table, before they’d even finished the main course, Stella ran her bare foot up his leg and wedged it against his crotch. He’d nearly choked on his Manicotti.

She batted long fake lashes and purred, “I want to have sex with you. Right now. In the bathroom.”

Talk about being man handled. Now that it was on the books, he should file charges. Weren’t BOTH parties supposed to be up for the game? A minute ago they were talking about bridge tolls, then bam, foot on junk. Where did that come from?

When he said ‘no’ to her offer, she told him no one ever turned her down for sex and left him sitting at the table.

Thank God!

Lee paid the bill and was leaving the restaurant when he got the text from his sister. He went back in the restaurant to place an order to go and knew what he would be doing with the rest of his evening

#

Lee stood outside CC’s house and dialed her cell phone. It rang three times until a muffled voice answered, “Hello?”

“Hey, it’s Lee.”

“I’m sick, Lee.”

“I know. I got a text from Tami.”

“Got that flu going around.”

“I am actually standing on your front porch. I wanted to know if you still have that spare key in the frog in the planter box. I’m warning you I’m coming in so you won’t clock me with the bat.”

“I don’t want to get you sick.”

“I got a flu shot and I have the antibodies of a Roman Army.”

“It’s in the frog.”

He sat the shopping bag down and fished out the key. When he opened the door, the room was dark. “Are you in this dungeon, somewhere?”

“Here, on the couch,” she croaked out.

He turned on a lamp. CC was huddled under a blanket with her knees pulled up. Her nose was red and her eyes were puffy. Lee sat down next to her and placed a hand on her forehead. “You have a fever.”

“Fever, then chills, then things I am so not going to discuss with you.” She frowned. “Here to tell me about another date with a beautiful blond? Could I look any worse?”

“You look… great.” That was the truth. She was always beautiful and didn’t need makeup slopped on to achieve it. Even with a cold, her dark eyes mesmerized him. He reached into the bag and pulled out a carton.

“A-1 Teriyaki?” she asked.

“Not for a cold, silly woman. Soup.” He opened the lid and stuck in the plastic spoon. Lee lifted it to her mouth. She opened and took the offered bite.

“You brought this for me?”

“Don’t see anyone else here in need of soup therapy.”

After a few more bites she asked, “So what was wrong with this one?”

Lee left out the roving toes and said a vague, “she wasn’t my type.”

“Want me to change the profile again?”

“Yeah. This time I’m adding,
My family and friends are incredibly important to me, as is a woman who can make me feel a part of her life and join in theirs.”

She grinned. “That’s good. Did you think that up on your own?”

“If I can write it on paper, I can wax poetic.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

“You didn’t write that, Shakespeare did.”

“He was the lucky chap. He wrote all day on paper instead of screens.”

“Well, it’s good you are looking with your mind and not your eyes. I look like crap.”

He fed her another spoon full of soup. “You cannot make an objective assessment of your appearance. You do not see yourself as I do. By the way, I came up with that.”

###

Cecilia knew she was in trouble after the third bite of s
oup. She was losing her objective to finding Lee another woman. All she wanted was to keep him for herself. Why was he adding all this charming talk? Shakespeare, her favorite none the less. What happened to getting him out of her life once and for all?

But, it was
so
nice. And she was sick. And he was taking care of her. “What else do you have in the bag?”

“Your favorite movie.
The Fisher King
.”

“No way.”

Lee put the DVD in the player. He stretched out his arm for her to snuggle against him and kicked off his shoes.

“You’re shivering,” he said concerned. “Can I get you anything? Water? Aspirin?”

You?
She almost blurted out. Self conscious, she touched her face.


See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. O that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek
.”

“Stop”.

Couldn’t he quote something from a Shakespeare death scene instead of love soliloquies? Didn’t he know with that honey silk deep voice he was melting her into the cushions? Cecilia laid her head on his chest. He was warm like a big blanket and smelled spicy and male. When he wrapped arms around her, she could feel his heart beat.

She was in so much trouble.

BOOK: Valentine Surprise
10.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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