Hi All! W. Lynn Chantale here and I have Leo Shepard from The Pick-Up Wife in the hot seat here at 69 Shades. Thank you for being here.
Leo: My pleasure, Lynn Glad I could make room in my schedule.
WLC: So let’s start off with something easy. What do you do?
Leo: I’m an architect with Greene and Banks.
WLC: Nice. Do you wear boxers or briefs?
Leo: *shifts uncomfortably* I don’t see what my underwear preference has to do with anything.
WLC: Indulge the readers and me. *studies the khaki slacks a moment* Looks like boxers.
Leo: *sighs and shakes head*
WLC: Pajamas or au natural?
WLC: Well sure. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping in jams, although it does require a little more foreplay than sleeping in the nude, which I prefer.
Leo: Next question?
WLC: No? *flips through interview questions* Hmm…*eyes Leo a moment* Nope doesn’t look like a minute man. Oh! Here’s one…Nope, doubt he’ll answer about the vibrator.
Leo *clears throat*
WLC: Okay. Okay. Why did you divorce Symmone ten years ago?
Leo: Damn, maybe I should’ve answered the pajama question.
WLC: I could have one of the staff bring a glass of water if you’d like to think up a good answer?
Leo: No, not necessary. I forgot how mean you could be sometimes.
WLC: Moi? Never.
Leo: All right. Ambition. Plain and simple. Ten years ago I was a rising star in the company and I wanted to impress the partners. Since neither partner had a committed relationship, they frowned on marriage or rather believed it distracted from the work day. The biggest mistake of my life was walking out on Symmone. I’ve regretted my decision every single day.
WLC: Isn’t ambition the reason you sought her again in the first place?
Leo: Double damn.
WLC: *frowns* I hope you don’t swear this much around your children. And speaking of children. Yes, my dear Leo you have a reprieve from my previous question. How has that adjustment been to instant father?
Leo: It’s been surprisingly easy. Symmone has done a great job raising LJ and Jewel.
WLC: I see my time is running out so do you have a favorite movie?
Leo: If you’d asked that a few months ago, the answer would’ve been Inception. Now it’s Phineas and Ferb The Movie Across the 2nd Dimension. The kids just love those characters.
WLC: And finish this sentence:
When I’m in the laundry room, I…
Leo: *smirks* When I’m in the laundry room I like to put Symmone on the washer and hit the spin cycle. Which reminds me. I need to get a lock for the laundry room door. *stands and struts out the room*
WLC: Nice butt! Well Leo has left the building and I have to agree with Symmone, the man does wear some great smelling cologne. I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Leo and please pick up a copy of his story.
See ya next time and don’t forget to Indulge Your Inner Romantic.
If she’d known he wanted out, maybe she could’ve prepared for the breakup in some way, but being blindsided…She exhaled a stuttered breath, that’s why the divorce hurt so much. And now he wanted her back. Would he still want her when he learned about the children?
The easy jazz number flowed into something more melodic, more sensual. Reminiscent of Luther Vandross’s “If Only For One Night,” and she wanted to have just one night with Leo.
She lifted her head and found him staring at her. The love and sadness she read in his chocolate brown depths lodged a lump in her throat. It was as if everything he was laid bare in one look. But she had to know one thing.
“Was it worth it? Was ending our marriage worth your career?”
Leo stroked her cheek before he threaded his fingers through her hair. “No.”
“Then why?” Her voice broke on the question. She couldn’t stop the lone tear from sliding down her cheek.
He lowered his head until he rested his forehead against hers. “I thought it would endear me to the partners more.”
“I’m so sorry, Symmone.”
Nodding she stepped away. “I should really get home.”
He grasped her hand when she would have walked away. She gazed into eyes desperate for her forgiveness.
“Just one night.”
Maybe if she wasn’t so tired she’d have resisted more, but she wanted the same thing. At her nod, he led her from the dance floor and to the elevator. Not once did he let go of her hand, whether he was afraid she would change her mind or needed the assurance she was real, she didn’t care. She needed the contact. She needed to know he wasn’t a figment of her imagination.
The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. He led her out the car, down the hall, to the room next to the exit sign. When he faced her, he seemed to struggle with something before he drew her close.
She flattened her hands against the hard muscles of his chest. The cotton of his shirt warm beneath her palms. She gazed into his face, found a plea for understanding. If only he knew how much she wanted to give him a second chance, to let him into her life as if nothing had happened.
Rising on tiptoe she touched her lips to his. When his arm tightened at her waist she kissed him with a hunger at odds with her projected calm. She just wanted one night, a few stolen hours where nothing else mattered.