Authors: Holly Jacobs
The characters and events in this story are fictitious. Any similarities to real people, living or dead, is coincidence and not intended by the author.
Originally published by
I Waxed My Legs for This?
Copyright © 2001 by Holly Fuhrmann
Cover Art by Kim Van Meter
When I talk about I Waxed My Legs for
? I refer to it as my hairy legs book. My grandmother was scandalized when she heard the title! In her world, women don’t talk about waxing their legs, much less write about heroines who actually do.
You’ll notice that Carrie and Jack live in Erie, Pennsylvania—my hometown. I like to feature Erie in my writing because I think it’s a little bit of heaven right here in Pennsylvania. We’ve got some of the nicest non-ocean beaches around, and of course, when talking about beaches, a woman’s mind always turns to...you’ve got it, non-hairy legs!
So now you know a little about me—a mother of four who loves her city and its beaches, and finds her inspiration in the oddest places. Now keep flipping the pages and let me introduce you to Carrie and Jack, and the hairy legs that kick-start their romance!
"Holly Jacobs' I Waxed My Legs For
? is fresh and funny and more than lives up to its title."
~ Romantic Times Magazine
"Crammed with plenty of hilarious moments and loaded with enough sexual tension to knock your socks off, this is truly an enchanting tale. Ms. Jacobs' exceptional talent for penning extremely humorous and captivating romances is clearly evident in I Waxed My Legs For
~ Elena Channing, Heart Rate Reviews
“I Waxed My Legs For
? kept me smiling from the title to the last page as I read it in one sitting. Holly Jacobs treats readers to her wit and humor in this tender, romantic romp where best friends learn they share more than friendship.”
~Carol Carter, Romance Reviews Today
“The title is only a hint of the humor you’ll enjoy as you read I Waxed My Legs For
? Holly Jacobs writes with such wit and style, I was laughing and sighing from start to finish. I’ll be haunting the bookstores for the next book from this talented new author.”
~ Janet Bieber IN NAME ONLY, Ivy Books
“Holly Jacobs creates two characters for you to love and root for, and a sweet romance that makes your toes tingle. Her characters have a way of worming themselves into your heart and you hate to say goodbye to them at the end. Ms. Jacobs is a romance writing talent to watch for and I know I will be eagerly anticipating her next book.”
~Karen White IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON, Dorchester/Love Spell, August 2000
“This book is highly entertaining and a must read!”
~ Kathy Boswell, Romance and Friends
To DJ, Jessica, Katie, Jake and Abbey! Thanks for putting up with me and always believing that I could not only chase but catch my rainbow!
And to Kathryn Lye. Thank you for seeing that rainbow and helping me find the pot of gold at the end of it!
JACK TEMPLETON bounded up the stairs that led to Carrie Delany’s apartment, cursing her Bohemian spirit—the one that led her to lease a fifth-story loft in a building that had no elevator.
He beat his worry on the door with a quick succession of raps. When she called, Carrie had told him she was in trouble and to hurry.
For the entire fifteen-minute race through traffic he agonized about what type of trouble she could have gotten into this time.
“Coming,” she called.
He breathed a sigh of relief that whatever the trouble was, she didn’t sound bad.
The door slid open.
Half of Carrie’s blondish brown hair was in a ponytail, the other half trailed wisps down her neck. She was wearing a disreputable robe, peeking out beneath it was his old football jersey—a shirt she’d borrowed back in high school and had never returned.
Whenever Jack asked for the jersey, Carrie told him it was dirty and that she’d get it back to him as soon as she’d laundered it. It had been over a decade. Either Carrie had the worst hygienic habits on record or she intended to keep the jersey.
But she looked fine.
Relief flooded Jack’s body.
Carrie looked a little nervous, but fine.
After all the grisly possibilities he’d been imagining, a stolen high school jersey wasn’t much of a concern.
“Are you okay?” Jack waltzed through the door and slammed it shut. He made himself at home, tossing his jacket on a chair and settling on the couch. He patted the cushion next to him. “You look a little green.”
“I really did it this time,” she said with quiet resignation in her voice. “Why do I keep getting myself in these messes? I mean, I’m almost in my thirties. I have gainful employment. I got the okay on that dress for Jaycee Smith—you know, for the awards in Tennessee? It’s my first major commission. Eloise was almost more excited than I was. I was going to call you tonight and tell you. Maybe even invite you to celebrate.”
She shook her head and sank awkwardly next to him on the couch. “I just don’t know how these things happen. I take my vitamins every day and run five miles on Sundays.”
Jack lifted his eyebrow at that statement.
He’d been with Carrie on more than one of her runs.
She grinned. “Okay, I walk fast—”
“And stop at every hot dog stand, doughnut shop, candy store on the way,” he said.
“But I’m walking at least. And that’s not the point. The point is, I’m not dumb, I take care of myself, but I still—”
He interrupted. “What is it this time?”
She’d get to the point. Eventually.
Sometimes Jack would allow her to meander her way around to her trouble, but he was curious and not feeling particularly patient. Carrie’s predicaments were always interesting and inventive.
“This,” she said, pulling her robe aside with flourish.
She plopped her legs onto the coffee table. They were covered in...something.
“What the h—” Jack cut himself off just in time.
Carrie heard the potential swearword and frowned.
He substituted, “Heck. What the heck have you done now?”
He could see the tears gathering in her eyes and felt a wave of sympathy.
“I’m going to the beach this weekend to work on my tan,” she offered, as if the statement explained the goop on her legs.
“And?” he prompted.
I didn’t want hairy legs. I mean, I’m almost a blonde, for goodness’ sakes. You’d think the hair on my legs would be as light and as fine as the hair on my head. Unfortunately it’s thick and black. I shave them in the morning and by dinner I have five-o’clock shadow. It’s embarrassing. So I decided to wax them.”
She stopped and began to dig in the pocket of her robe, sniffing dramatically.
Jack reached in his pocket and pulled out his handkerchief.
It wasn’t fashionable to carry them, he knew that. But his mother had always been tucking one in his pocket when he was younger, and the habit stuck. It was a handy habit with a friend like Carrie.
He handed the cotton square to her and she gave a very unladylike honk into it.
“So you decided to wax your legs. What’s the problem?”
She gave a muffled sob from the depths of his once pristine handkerchief.
She hiccupped—a side effect whenever Carrie cried.
“I pulled the first section off and it hurt like crazy. Now I can’t make myself pull the rest off. I’ve sat here most of the afternoon trying, but I just can’t do it.”
“And you want me to do it?”
Any residual worry evaporated. Jack’s lips twitched as he dutifully tried to avoid smiling. He knew Carrie would see the humor in the situation, but not until the moment had passed.
“I didn’t think it would be as bad as the time I asked you to get my class ring for me,” she offered.
“Nothing could be that bad.” The memory was as clear as if it had happened yesterday. Oh, he’d tried to bury it deep, but it remained firmly unburied.
Carrie’s puppy, Muffin, had eaten the ring and the vet had told them it would eventually come out. Jack had spent the better part of a week sifting through... byproducts searching for it. Carrie had claimed the duty made her squeamish and her parents refused to oblige her by doing it.
“You finally did find it,” she said in a triumphant voice. The smile she shot him almost made up for the task.
“You even cleaned it up for me,” she said.
“But you never wore it again.”
“Would you?” Her sobs turned to laughter.
That was the thing about Carrie; she never could make up her mind just what mood she was in. And when he was with her, Jack’s moods shifted just as rapidly.
Carrie got herself into ridiculous situations and expected Jack to get her out of them. Then she somehow made him feel like a cross between a white knight and a court jester.
“So you think me pulling wax off your legs will be easier than digging through Muffin’s muffins?”
“For you, not for me. It really does hurt.” She shifted on the couch and placed her right leg onto his lap. “I think it would be easier if we just talk and you pull when I least expect...ow!”
She yanked her leg off his lap and began massaging it.
“That hurt,” she said, looking at him as if it was his fault.
He tossed the piece of wax and hair covered paper on the coffee table. “You said I should pull it off when you weren’t expecting it.”
“But I want you to do it when I’m expecting not to expect it.”
She rubbed the injured limb a moment and then placed it back on Jack’s lap.
He rubbed the slightly red area. “Do you remember when you were ten and decided you could slam-dunk?”
Carrie groaned and threw her head back against the pillow in the comer of the couch. “It could have worked.”
“If you had let go. Jumping off the ladder and grabbing the rim was a decent idea, but hanging there—”
“I didn’t want to fall and hurt something.”
“So you screamed for me to help you down.” Jack pulled another strip.
“Ow! I should have kicked you harder.”
She rubbed the offended area.
“You kicked me hard enough to break my glasses.” He pulled another sheet.
“Hey! That was too fast. You didn’t let me recover from the last one.”
“Sorry. But we’re almost done with this leg.” Jack rubbed the exposed skin for her.
“So, what’s new?” he asked, grasping for some topic to distract her.
“Since we talked yesterday?” She paused for a moment. “I dumped Ted.”
Jack had never liked the guy. He had shifty eyes and a habit of toying with Carrie’s hair. Jack had no rational explanation for why, but Ted’s habit set his teeth on edge.
Trying to forget the fact that he wouldn’t miss Ted a bit, Jack tried to sound sympathetic. “I’m sorry. You’ve been seeing him almost a year. What happened?”
“Well, last night, while we were at dinner I decided he’d never do.”
Jack pulled another sheet, but Carrie didn’t even yelp this time, just glared at him and rubbed.
“Because?” Jack prompted.
She sighed. “We both ordered the fettuccine.”
Jack should have been used to Carrie’s twists and turns. He was a lawyer, used to sorting through mountains of information to get to the truth. But with Carrie the twists left him lost in the muddle of her weird brand of logic.
“And?” he asked.
“And I realized if I was with you, you would have ordered the shrimp,” she replied.
He smiled encouragingly, because she was right, he would have ordered shrimp. But that didn’t explain why she’d dumped Ted.
Carrie smiled right back at him and nodded her head.
Jack frowned. “I don’t get it.”
Slowly, as if he was just a bit dim, she explained. “When you order shrimp I always steal some. That way I get the best of both worlds—my fettuccine and your shrimp. I mean it’s just like when we go to the movies. He never got the Jujyfruit candies and I’d have to buy my own along with the licorice. It’s too much. I looked like a pig.”
Jack ripped off two more sheets in quick succession.
“Ow!” Carrie glared. “You’re enjoying this.”
“One leg down, one to go.”
He grabbed her left leg and pulled it onto his lap with the right one. “So you dumped him because he ordered the wrong food?”
Carrie shook her head and blushed.
Jack stopped. He’d seen many things in the years they’d been friends, but her blushing wasn’t one of them.
“No.” She shrugged. “I dumped him because while he was kissing me goodnight—a rather sloppy, pathetic kind of kiss, I might add—I realized that you weren’t a sloppy kisser. Not that I’m asking you to kiss me,” she hastily added. “It’s just that I want to find a man someday who can kiss as good as you and knows how to order the proper food and all.”
Jack stopped, mid-rip.
“Hey, finish it off, that’s even worse, making me worry about when you’re going to finish... Ow.”
She jerked her leg off his lap and rubbed the hairless strip of skin. “Doggone it. Men don’t have to have hairless legs. It’s not fair. Maybe I’ll move to Europe where women can go hairy.”
“When did you kiss me?” Jack asked, ignoring her grumbles. He didn’t remember kissing Carrie. She’d kicked him, and there was the time she set him on fire, the time she locked him in a locker for an entire health period, the time...
No. Jack was sure he’d never kissed her. Looking at her lips he was equally sure he’d remember it if he had.
“Why, Jack, I’m hurt. Chemistry class, I was a junior, you were a senior?”
He waited, still unable to remember a kiss.
“I was mixing chemicals and they blew up. I passed out. There I was, lying on the floor and you leaned over and gave me the most wonderful kiss I’ve ever experienced. You quite ruined me for other men. I worried you didn’t kiss me again because I didn’t kiss good enough. When you went away to college, I spent my senior year practicing. I hoped the next time you were home, we could try again.”
Jack took her leg back and ripped three sheets off, one after another, out of sheer frustration.
“Hey, that wasn’t nice,” she protested.
“And that wasn’t a kiss.”
He kept his voice low and tried to relax the tension in his jaw. “I was giving you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”
It was insulting, having Carrie think that his rescue attempt was the best kiss he could give.
Memories of the boys she dated her senior year, how he’d hated hearing his parents talk about each and every one of them. Never hearing Carrie mention one of them when they talked and all the while she’d practiced kissing them in hopes she’d get better.
Carrie stared at him a moment before the giggles started.
Moments before she’d been sobbing into his handkerchief, now she wiped her eyes again, but this time mirth was the reason. “You mean, I spent my senior year practicing so I’d be a good kisser next time you gave me mouth-to-mouth?”
“Carrie,” he started, but she cut him off.
“I thought I must have been horrible, but then Ben Thaker told me I was the best girl he’d ever kissed. You remember Ben? He kissed a lot of girls. So, I finally figured that you’d always called me
because that’s how you saw me, just the kid next door. Your almost little sister. Plus by then you had Patti and then Lynda,” she paused a moment, and then smiled. “Yeah, then it was Amy, then that first year at the firm you met Julie, and then Sandy—” She cut off the sentence and shot him a look of sympathy.
“Sorry. Anyway, I finally gave up.”
Her smile slipped a fraction, but reappeared instantly. “In the end, I’m glad I gave up chasing you. You’re the best friend a girl could want. I mean, we go to movies, hang out together. You even go on my Sunday runs with me.”