Slow Burn Excerpt
Michelle and Morgan discuss Tyler.
Michelle stared at the index card hoping the answer to her recipe quandary would manifest. It had been two weeks since she started her cold turkey program to rid herself of Tyler Blake and decided to funnel her pent-up energy into cooking for the holidays. The only problem was her apartment was beginning to look like a bakery. The cooking lesson she received from Teri-Lyn and Sydney the night before Morgan and Seth’s wedding inspired her to try new things and she discovered she had a knack for baking. Each time she thought about precious wasted moments she’d spent on that race car driving cowboy, she’d bake something. There were cakes, pies, cookies and tarts everywhere.
“I think we need to add one more teaspoon of cinnamon.” Michelle sighed.
“OK.” Morgan heaped the spice into the mixing bowl. “It smells so good in here. I’m going to take a bite of that pie the minute it comes out of the oven.”
“You do deserve the first slice for letting me use your kitchen but I’d hate for a burned tongue to stop you from making out with Seth.”
Morgan blew a raspberry at her. “I’m sorry we have to get together at my house all the time. Maybe we can have a girl’s night at your place.”
“Let’s see, my dinky apartment over a penthouse with a spacious kitchen, state of the art appliances and two double ovens. I think it’s a no brainer.” Michelle poured the pie filling into the dough covered glass pie plate.
“Your apartment is not dinky. It’s just not conducive to your new hobby. So cook away in my kitchen anytime. Seth and the boys love it.”
“Did I ever tell you how happy I am that you’re my friend?”
“Well I would think you don’t bake tasty pies for just anybody. So,” Morgan coughed, “have you heard from Tyler?”
“Since he locked lips on national television with that hussy after winning the race? I blocked his number.” Michelle put on oven mitts and slid the pie into the oven.
“They probably slept together.” She huffed.
“No, they didn’t.” Morgan shook her head.
“And how do you know that?”
“He told me she’d been following him around the racing circuit for weeks. Tyler was gracious about it but he wasn’t happy that night.”
Michelle glared at Morgan. “Since when do you stick up for Tyler Blake? You whispering the perils of that man constantly in my ear has kept me from doing stupid things.”
“We never really talked about what happened between you and Tyler the night before my wedding.”
“I didn’t think you wanted to hear that, for the umpteenth time, I fell for his charms like an idiot.” Michelle pretended to read the next recipe.
“You’ve been different since that night.”
“We did,” Michelle waggled her eyebrows, “you know. The horizontal hokey pokey.”
“I figured as much. But I was talking about something else.”
After talking for hours on Tate’s porch, they made love. Tyler had never been so open and sweet with her before. He’d come close when she visited for Jake’s first birthday party. That’s when it hit her that he was different when he was at the ranch.
“There comes a time in life when you have to stop deluding yourself about fruitless pursuits. He makes dates but doesn’t show. He threatens Finn then leaves town? What’s that all about? Sometimes I wish I could just tie him up and force him to answer all of my questions.” Michelle retrieved the beef ribs she was making for dinner from the fridge and slammed the meat down on the counter.
“Maybe you should.” Morgan replied.
“Get him alone and make him own up to all his crap.”
“I’m pretty sure whisking him away to parts unknown against his will is illegal.” Michelle searched for a roasting pan.
“Not if it’s done right.”
“Where would I take him?” She stopped her search and leaned against the counter.
“The Blakes have properties all over. You’ll have privacy and no worries about the time. But you’ll need reinforcements.” Morgan put her cell phone on the counter.
“I would need some things. Can I borrow your handcuffs?”
“Those love cuffs? Seth can break out of those in his sleep. You’ll need something official to make sure he can’t get away easily. I know Sam has a pair.” Morgan tapped her fingers on the counter.
Michelle began scrolling through Morgan’s contacts. What was she doing? Was she actually conspiring to kidnap a grown man so she could coerce him into admitting his feelings, if any, for her?
“Doesn’t this all sound a bit desperate?” She put the phone down.
“The only thing desperate about this is going to be Tyler Blake as he figures out a way to save his own skin. Consider it a Christmas present to yourself.” Morgan folded her arms across her chest.
Two hours later Michelle rounded up her fellow conspirators, who were surprisingly supportive of her decision to finally get the answers she wanted. When the conference call was over, the plan had been set in motion. She had the location and the motivation, now all she needed was the confidence to go through with it.
I hope you enjoyed the pre-edited excerpt! Slow Burn released January 9th!
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