Literary Love (Lazy Love Book 2)

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Literary Love

Book Two in the Lazy Love Trilogy

By Kirsten Osbourne

 

Copyright 2016 Kirsten Osbourne

Kindle Edition, License Notes

 

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Romance writer, May Newman, believes in happily ever after—just not for herself. She’s come to terms with that fact that she will always be alone and has created a world for herself that makes her happy. When her assistant surprises her with tickets to see her favorite actor on a late-night talk show, she couldn’t be happier. Seeing him in person will give her something to dream on for the lonely days to come.

Actor, Bob Bodefeld, is a cynic. He hates going out in public, because he’s always recognized and people won’t leave him alone. While waiting for a flight, he spots a woman going out of her way to help strangers and thinks how much he’d like to have someone like that in his life. When the woman sits beside him on the plane, he vows to get to know her and make her his. Will he be able to get through to her that he really does love her? Or will her insecurities keep them from being able to find true happiness?

 

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Dedication:  This book is dedicated to Sara Benedict. You are my right hand and everything you do makes my life that much easier. I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are, as a friend and as an assistant. Knowing you’re there to pick up the slack means so much to me. I hope I did you justice!

Chapter One

 

Mabel Newman, May to her friends, woke in another unfamiliar room, her mind struggling to figure out where she was. She patted the bed around her, and sat up straight, her eyes adjusting to the darkened room.
Oh, that’s right. New York. I’m here to see Sara. Where is she?

Once a year, she made the three-hour flight to New York City from Texas so she and her assistant, Sara Benedict, could strategize and make plans for the upcoming year. Okay, she mostly did it so she could hang out with her friend, who was also her assistant and they could take Manhattan like a couple of Muppets, but whatever. They talked business, went to Broadway plays, and pretty much just people-watched for a few days and enjoyed hanging out with each other.

The door opened and someone stepped in, obviously trying to be quiet. “If you’re not Sara, I’m armed and dangerous. If you
are
Sara, I’m hungry and I hope you brought me breakfast.”

Sara flipped the light switch on the wall, filling the room with light as she laughed in her quiet way. “I brought bagels and cream cheese. And hot chocolate, because you’re one of those sick people who doesn’t drink coffee.”

May groaned. “You have saved my life once again. What would I do without you?” She arranged the pillows behind her back so she could eat right there in bed. Why not? She was on vacation!

Sara shrugged, plopping down on the bed beside Mabel and giving her a small bag with a blueberry bagel. “I hope I didn’t wake you when I left.”

May shook her head. She was a night owl, used to staying up until all hours, writing her life away. Every time she traveled, which was too much lately, she tried to force her body into ‘normal hours.’ She hated it. “Nope. I woke up less than a minute before you got back.”

“Good. I got breakfast, but I got you something else too.”

May looked at her friend, an eyebrow raised. She finished smearing cream cheese on the bagel and took a big bite, swallowing it down with a sip of the hot chocolate. “You’re not supposed to get me gifts.”

“Whatever. I got you something.” Sara opened her purse and pulled out an envelope, handing it to May. “Just a little something for my favorite writer.”

May frowned at the envelope, opening it slowly, savoring the experience. People didn’t often give her gifts. She pulled the pieces of paper out, having no idea what Sara would have thought to get her. She knew it would be incredible, though, because few people knew her as well as her assistant did. She stared down at the tickets in her hand. “
The Night Show
?”

Sara nodded, biting into her own bagel with a grin. “I think you might be interested in the one they’re taping tomorrow night.” It was obvious to May she was hiding
something
.

May made a face. “I’m not a big Matt Winters fan.”

“I know you’re not. But you are a big Bob Bodefeld fan, right?”

May felt the warmth fill her cheeks.  “Are you kidding me? Bob is filming
The Night Show
tomorrow night?” She’d been drooling over Bob Bodefeld forever, since
Lazy Love
had first aired almost four years before. Just watching the man did interesting things to her insides.

Sara laughed and nodded, her long hair flopping around her face a bit. “Yup. He’s going to talk about what he sees for his upcoming role on
Lazy Love
this fall, now that the love triangle element is going to be gone.”

“You do know if I wasn’t drinking hot chocolate, I would fly across this bed and hug you so hard you’d be squished flat for the rest of your life, don’t you?”

“Yup. Drink, and you can hug me later.” Sara grinned happily, obviously excited to have found the perfect gift for her friend.

“I can’t wait! I don’t know why women drool over Jesse Savoy. As soon as Bob Bodefeld walks onscreen, my heart just melts.”

“I can’t believe you haven’t managed to meet him yet. They film the show so close to you!”

“I know. It kills me. I could walk to the set in about ten minutes.” May shook her head. “I’m going to be in the same building with him tomorrow night. Be still my heart!” Really, though, they both knew why she hadn’t met Bob yet. She rarely left her house. She wasn’t a hermit, exactly, but she definitely preferred to be home with her dog over mingling with people.

Sara just laughed, shaking her head. “You and your obsession with Bob Bodefeld. You’re so silly!”

May shrugged. “If people can get obsessed with my books, I can get obsessed with tall, dark, and sexy actors. I wonder if he’d pose for one of my covers.” She sighed. “I am going to be the biggest dork alive as I sit there and drool over him from the audience, you know.”

“Oh, that reminds me of the second half of your gift!” Sara handed May another small bag. “Here you go!”

May frowned, opening it, before throwing her head back and laughing, a full belly laugh that filled the room. “I don’t believe you did that!” She pulled a white towel from the bag. “To catch my drool?”

Sara grinned. “I thought it might come in handy.”

“Now I love you even more.”

“Just doing my job.”

*****

An hour later, May had showered and dressed, and she and Sara were off to Central Park. They spent the day eating food from the street vendors, watching people, and generally wasting time. They talked books from the instant they left the hotel until they got back. There were few people May felt as comfortable with as Sara, and she thanked God for the circumstances that had brought them together.

“You should come more often,” Sara said when they walked back into the room they were sharing to change for the play that evening.

“It’s too peopley here. I can barely handle Wiggieville. You put me in New York, and I can handle it for a little while, but then I would go slowly out of my mind.”

Sara nodded. “I know you would. It would just be nice if you were closer, and we could hang out more often.”

“I know,” May said sadly. “I love when we have time, but your boys need you and Fudge needs me.”

“Who’s watching her this week?” Sara asked. She knew Fudge was May’s rescue dog.

“My aunt Sally is watching my house and dog-sitting.”

“Is she doing better?”

May nodded. Aunt Sally had raised her after her mother had died and her father had gone off the deep end when she was ten. “Yeah. Cancer’s completely gone. It was scary for a little while there, but she’s fine.”

“I’m glad.”

Sara and Sally had never met, but because Sara and May were talking on and off on Facebook all day every day, Sara felt as if she knew the older woman. “Me too. She kept making jokes about it, but I think it hit us both harder than either of us were willing to admit.”

“I’m sure it did. That word is just scary.”

After the play, they stopped at a small Irish Pub there in the city, and had a small meal. “I can’t believe we only have one day left,” May said with a sigh. “It seems like I just got here.” But it also felt as if she’d been there for a month. And she hated going for the full five days of her visit without working. She forced herself to leave her laptop at home, though, because she knew she’d just stay in her room and write otherwise.

“I know. It sucks.” Sara toyed with her salad with a fork. “At least we still have Bob Bodefeld to look forward to tomorrow night.”

“Thank you so much for getting those tickets for me. I know you’re going too, but I also know you only watch the show to try to understand my addiction to it.”

Sara shrugged. “It’s always fascinating to me what captures your attention. You are so focused on your work, and then you start watching something and you do nothing else for a week.” She shook her head. “How many times have you watched that show now?”

May shook her head. “I quit counting a long time ago. It keeps me going. Anytime I feel like I can’t crank out another word, I watch it again, and suddenly my brain is filled with ideas!”

“I’m glad you have it.” Sara’s eyes twinkled. “And Bob. I’m glad you have Bob to fill your dreams.”

May sighed dreamily. “I can live on dreams of Bob forever.”

Sara just laughed, shaking her head.

*****

On Friday morning, after a very special night watching Bob on
The Night Show
, May woke early to hug Sara goodbye as she took a bus to her home in Upstate New York. A car would be there an hour later to take her to the airport.

“Thanks again for the special night with Bob. I’ll live on the dreams last night inspired for a good long time.”

“Especially until the new season airs next month, right?”

May nodded, laughing. “Definitely.”

There were tears in both their eyes as they hugged one last time, and Sara left the room, dragging her suitcase. This was their third year to meet up in New York City to have a few days together, and May could never say goodbye without a heavy heart.

As soon as her friend was gone, she took a few deep calming, breaths and hurried around the room, making sure everything was packed and ready to go. Then she sat on the bed with her iPad and did her best to catch up on the emails and Facebook messages she’d mostly ignored for her time there. There were always so many!

Finally, it was time for the car she’d hired to take her to JFK Airport to arrive, so she went down to the lobby, leaving her key in the room.

Within minutes, her car was there, and while the driver put her suitcase into the trunk, she climbed into the backseat and waited. She loved being in the back of a car in New York, because the people watching was better than almost anywhere else she’d ever been, with Las Vegas being a notable exception.

She rested her head against the back of the seat, staring at the people as they drove through Times Square and fought their way to the airport. She wouldn’t even drive in Dallas, and the traffic in New York was a million times worse than the Texas city. She was so glad she didn’t have to try to navigate her way through.

*****

Bob Bodefeld adjusted his ball cap low over his eyes and pushed his sunglasses up. He was tired and had no desire to be recognized by any rabid, screaming fans.

He sat in the waiting area for his flight, making sure not to even look up for fear someone would notice the curve of his cheek or the angle of his jaw. It was amazing the things women found to be obsessed with. He stared down at his phone, not really doing anything, but not wanting to deal with anyone at the moment.
The Night Show
last night had been fun, but he’d been mobbed with fans as he left, and he just wanted to get back to Texas and back to work.

He rubbed the back of his neck, more tired by the minute.

A woman sat down near him, carefully leaving a seat between them, and he did his best not to look at her, but there was something about her that caught his attention. She was watching everyone around her, as if she was cataloging their reactions to everything happening in the airport. Almost like she was a scientist and everyone around her was a specimen put on earth to be studied by her.

She watched a young mother with three young children, traveling with no help, and she jumped up and caught the hand of a toddler about to wander away, bringing him back with a smile. “You have a little Houdini here.”

The mother smiled gratefully. “Thanks. People always say something about me putting a harness on him, but imagine how quickly he’d get away without it!”

The woman he was watching shook her head. “I’ll put the monkey leash back on him. You just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t listen to what anyone says.
You
know what’s best for
your
children.”

It was then that Bob noticed the young mother was discreetly nursing a baby with a blanket pulled over her. He wasn’t sure he’d have noticed if the woman hadn’t tried to help her. Who was she? There was just something about the way she was dealing with the people around her that fascinated him.

Once the child situation was under control, she took her seat again, the older sister of the young escape artist coming and sitting between her and Bob. The small girl handed her a children’s book, and the woman’s eyes lit up. “Oh, I love books. May I read it to you?”

Bob couldn’t help but smile at that. The way she’d asked made it sound as if the little girl would be doing her a great service to allow her to read it, instead of acting put out that the girl wanted her to read.

Soon, he found himself enthralled as the woman read
The Monster at the End of This Book
, complete with voices and more enthusiasm than even he read a book with. And as an actor, he tended to read with a
lot
of enthusiasm.

When she finished, she leaned down, and said in a loud whisper he had no problem overhearing, even in the crowded airport, “That’s one of my very favorite books. I used to read it when I was your age.”

The girl smiled happily. “Thank you.” She got down and walked to her mother, dragging a big bag over to the new woman. She pulled out another book, and the woman took it and read it with the same level of excitement she’d read the first.

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