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Authors: Emma Weimann

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Lesbian

Heart's Surrender

BOOK: Heart's Surrender
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Table of Contents

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http://www.ylva-publishing.com

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Little did I know that the project that started years ago as a short story would evolve into two short stories only to end up as a novel. Those two ladies sure have come a long way and taken a special place in my heart.

I couldn’t have finished Sam and Gillian’s story without the help of some great women. First of all I want to thank Cheri for her time and constructive criticism. She encouraged me when I needed it and kicked my butt when I deserved it. Thanks!

Thank you, Henrietta, Erin, and Blu, for taking time out of your busy schedules and test-reading my story.

And—last but not least—a big thank-you goes to my wife, Daniela, who not only shared her experience as an animal keeper but decided to share her life with me as well.

CHAPTER 1

“But you’re a woman.”

This guy really was one of the most obnoxious building managers Sam had ever encountered in her life. She lifted the gray shirt away from her body and stared down at her bra. “Yes, I am. All woman.” She looked up again and ignored the way Mr. Hayes clenched his jaw. “I’m here to paint the Wallace’s apartment.”

The guy stared at his calendar. “But I was told a Sam Freedman had been given the job.”

Sam fought the urge to knock him over with the dusty loudspeakers on his desk. “Sam is short for Samantha. And that would be me. We’ve already been through this twice. Why don’t you simply call the Wallace’s and ask them?” She pushed down on her urge to groan out loud. How could a guy like this get a job in one of these expensive apartment complexes?

He browsed through the diary on his desk. “I can’t. They’re on vacation.” With a frown he gazed at the paint, the brushes, and the ladder she had brought with her. “All right. I’ll show you to the apartment. But I’ll check up on you from time to time. Just so you know.” With those words he left the room.

Sure. Asshole.
Did he think she would steal thin air out of an empty apartment?
Shaking her head, Sam picked as much of her stuff up as she was able to carry. The handles of the buckets cut into her fingers. She would need to come back for the ladder.

Mr. Hayes stood in the hall, arms akimbo and with a frown that would make children cry. “The service elevator isn’t working. We need to use the other one. Try to behave as low-key as possible.”

Following him through the high-ceilinged foyer, Sam tried her best to be quiet. This building emanated the atmosphere of a church, built to impress and show off to visitors. It certainly worked on her.

They passed a gurgling fountain with slate-stone water steps. Sam didn’t even want to guess what that thing had cost. She miraculously managed to get all of her stuff into the glazed elevator, the buckets firmly planted between her and Mr. Hayes, who glared at her with narrowed eyes.

Seconds felt like hours. Finally the elevator dinged.

“Here we are.” With a sneer on his face he watched her struggle to carry the equipment out of the elevator.

Sam set the buckets down on the floor. The hall was empty. “So which number is it?”

“Apartment seven,” Mr. Hayes spit out behind her. “Down the hall, last door on the right.”

Before Sam had a chance to respond, the door to her left opened. A woman with long dark hair, dressed in a bright red pantsuit appeared in the doorway. “Gillian, honey,” she called back into the apartment. “Hurry up.” She turned toward Mr. Hayes. “Hold the elevator, will you?”

“Sure, ma’am.” He nearly fell over himself to make sure that he pressed the elevator button in time.

Sam barely stopped herself from rolling her eyes. The same man who hadn’t thought twice about letting her do all the heavy lifting was now nearly killing himself to make sure that the elevator’s doors stayed open for the femme fatale. It was always the same. When a woman had boobs the size of watermelons, a waist like a wasp, and the brain of a dodo, men went crazy. Sam grinned. Well, on the other hand…she cast a glance at pantsuit woman.
She really has nice breasts
.

A second woman stepped out of the apartment and closed the door behind her. “All right. I’m ready.” She glanced at Sam before gazing down and walking past her toward the elevator.

Yeah, that’s how insects must feel when being gazed at by a mantis with green eyes.

“Wow, those two were hot.” Mr. Hayes was almost drooling all over his shirt.

This guy really is a living cliché.
Sam crossed her arms over her chest. “Do you have the keys for the apartment?”

“Yeah, yeah. Come on.” He walked away, again leaving her to carry everything.

What an asshole.
She hoped he would leave her alone as soon as she was settled with her stuff. But first, he would probably tell her exactly how she was supposed to do her job.

Sam sat on the floor and leaned her protesting back against the wall behind her. A long, hot shower was in order tonight. And a cold beer. And a pizza.

Satisfied, she looked at the fresh white walls. As much as her back hurt after eight hours of painting, she’d done well today. The two smallest rooms were finished. The big room was left, which meant one more day of manageable and well-paid work. The apartment owners had been so happy about her willingness to start right away that they didn’t even try to argue about her hourly rate. Which had been a nice surprise. Rich people were often the most annoying clients.

It was her luck that the apartment owners were relatives of one of her oldest and nicest customers. Old lady Henderson had probably not only put in a good word for her but also taken care of the payment negotiations. Which was just fine with Sam.

She opened her water bottle and took a sip. Working in a building like this was unusual for her. Often they were occupied by high-earning professionals with jobs that demanded they stay overnight in the city while their shiny, happy families lived their shiny, happy lives in not-so-little houses in the suburbs. Her take on this was: boring jobs, boring neighborhood, boring lives, and more money than anyone needed. She sighed. A life that could well have been hers.

The ringing of her cell phone brought Sam out of her musings. “Yeah?”

“Hi, Sam, this is Linda. How are you doing, good-looking?”

Ugh.
A call from her friend and co-worker usually meant more work or a shopping spree for something that was on sale somewhere. “I’m doing all right. What’s up?”

“I’m just on my way to Mr. Zimmer’s for the electric installation. Say, are you coming tonight?”

Shit.
“To the party?”

“What other event do you think I’m talking about?”

Sam raked a hand through her hair. She had totally forgotten about the invitation. “I don’t know. I only have two days to paint a whole apartment.”

“Aw, come on, Sam. You owe me.”

Yeah, and you remind me of that every single time you want something.
“All right. But I can’t promise that I’ll stay for long.”

“Great. See you tonight, love machine.”

Sam let her head fall back against the wall.
Shit. So much for a nice, relaxing evening at home.

CHAPTER 2

Sam sighed as another one of these sterile, electronic songs started to play. The music sure fit this place. Both were boring and superficial. With a sigh she shifted on her barstool.

“Here you go.” The bartender set down a glass of something that looked a lot like liquid clay in front of Sam.

“What’s this?”

“The beer you ordered.”

“Ah, shit.” She couldn’t believe this. What was wrong with a normal beer? “Come on. I ordered a beer not some chemical experiment.”

The bartender wiggled his fingers goodbye and turned his attention toward another customer.

With disgust Sam stared at the microbrewery crap in the glass before her. Who drank beer out of a glass anyhow? This party was even worse than she had feared. She cast a glance at the group in the corner. Linda was hanging all over the latest object of her lust.
I bet she won’t be going home alone tonight. Maybe I should just leave and head over to The Labrys.
Her favorite lesbian bar was like a second living room where she spent time with friends who shared her view and lifestyle whereas
this crowd was clad in Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines, Hilfiger, and other expensive brands. The Pulse was the kind of LGBT club that attracted the rich, the beautiful, and the androgynous. Or at least those who wanted to be like that. So not her kind of place.

Sam glanced at the huge clock on the wall behind the bar. Nearly nine. The Labrys was already open. Linda wouldn’t miss her here. On the other hand…Sam sighed. Her friend would hunt her down tomorrow if she just disappeared. Not that sitting alone at the bar, several feet away from where the party was actually happening, was so much better.

Sam gripped the glass. At least the crap was cold. She took a gulp. A fruity taste spread over her tongue.
Yuck
. How could people drink stuff like that? Disgusted, she set the glass down.

A leg brushed against Sam’s as someone climbed on the stool beside her. Expecting Linda’s wrath, she turned her head and was mesmerized by a pair of intense green eyes. A pretty blonde with skin as pale as porcelain held her gaze.
Where have I seen her before?
Sam couldn’t remember and somehow it really didn’t matter at all. This woman was a beauty.
Pale and perfect.
So perfect that one didn’t dare to touch because running hands over skin like that could easily become an addiction. Sam’s mouth was dry. She licked her lips. Some addictions were dangerous…but worth the risk.
And that black dress
…oh boy, if that wasn’t the epitome of tailored understatement. This woman was beyond classy, probably in her late thirties and way out of Sam’s league. The stranger looked very much like the Chanel No. 5 type with a white picket fence around her house. Sam cast a glance at the other woman’s hands. No ring. Flirting couldn’t hurt much.
Right?

“Hi there.” Sam put on her best pick-up smile, a mixture of confidence and interest that she hadn’t used in a while. She held her breath. Either the other woman would get up and leave or…

Green eyes narrowed, assessing her. “Hi.”

Yes.
Now the next step. “My name is Sam.” She held out her hand.

“Hello, I’m Gillian.” The stranger took the offered hand.

A shiver ran down Sam’s spine. Gillian’s hand was soft and warm. If the rest of her body had the same quality…

Gillian leaned over, giving Sam a throat-clenching view down the front of her dress.

Oh, yeah. Great tits
. Sam admired firm breasts, cupped by a lacy bra.
I think I’ll skip The Labrys. This could be real fun.
“Would you like something to drink?”

“Wine would be great. White, please.”

Sam hadn’t missed the slight hesitation. Still, being allowed to order something to drink was definitely the next step on the way to a hopefully promising night. “White it shall be. Is Chardonnay okay?”

“Yes.” This time the smile reached those incredible green eyes.

Gillian obviously wasn’t a talker but she was beautiful. Conversation wasn’t what Sam had in mind for later anyhow. Two women could have fun without speaking. There were other things one could use a mouth for and she was very much looking forward to exploring those kinds of possibilities…if Gillian was up for it.

It didn’t take long for the barkeeper to set down the glass of Chardonnay in front of Gillian and from her expression the wine’s quality was satisfactory.

Good
. Sam decided to up the game a bit. She rubbed her knee against Gillian’s. When the other woman didn’t shy away from the contact, Sam moved her hand to Gillian’s leg and leaned closer. “So, what brings you here tonight?”

“I was looking for company.” She put her hand over Sam’s.

Sam’s stomach did a slow roll.
Wow. Score.
“Really?”

“Yes, really.” Gillian’s voice shook a little. She took a piece of paper out of her handbag and pushed it toward Sam. “But not here. I own an apartment nearby. Here is the address and my name.”

Holy cow.
This woman really did know what she wanted. “Sounds good to me.”

Gillian beamed. “Great.”

Sam glanced at the piece of paper. “How far from here is your little love nest?”

“It’s a ten minute walk to the apartment. I’m going to leave now but I’d appreciate if you could wait a bit before following me.” She scraped a hand through her hair. “What is your last name?”

Sam raised one eyebrow. “Why?”

“I need to give the doorman a name.”

No way I’m going to give her my real name.
Sam looked at the beer label. “Sam Cellar.”

“Sam Cellar?” Gillian furrowed her brow.

“Yeah, something the matter?”

“No. That’s fine. Sorry.” Gillian shook her head and got up from her stool. “See you in a few minutes.” She slowly withdrew her hand, tickling Sam’s wrist before letting go.

Heat shot through Sam. “You will.” With a grin she turned her attention back to her beer and took another sip of the awful brew. Now, this was going to be a hell of an interesting night.

BOOK: Heart's Surrender
2.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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