Two Wrongs Make a Right (9 page)

BOOK: Two Wrongs Make a Right
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She’d not danced the entire time she’d dated Brad. He didn’t dance. Her new partner glided her around the room maneuvering between couples with ease. His arms felt good around her waist. She thought he’d bring up the media thing again, but the difference in their heights and the noise factor made conversation impossible. The song ended, and they returned to their table where two beers waited.

An hour later, Quinn wanted to find out more. “Tell me, you seem to have a ton of adoring female fans, so why did you join a dating site?”

“I thought it would be a good way to meet women. I tour over two-hundred days a year, which doesn’t allow me much time to go through the dating process.”

He was charming in an aw-shucks sort of way, but she couldn’t build a relationship with some dude who stayed on the road. She mentally marked him off the love connection list, but the guy was a good singer. She took out a pen and paper and jotted something, then passed it to him.

“I’m sorry I can’t help with your career, but here’s a man who might. I’ll tell him to expect your call. He critiques new talent. Local rising stars. If he gives you a favorable review, it may get your name on a list of area talent who opens for major celebrities when they do concerts here.”

Jake jumped from his chair and pulled her into a bear hug. Then he dipped her and when she came up, he kissed her full on the mouth. She did not see that coming. Those damn war principles weren’t working, because after that lip lock, she was ready to surrender.

 

~~*~~

 

The next day at lunch, Quinn nibbled a chip, and finished reporting her latest date to her best friends. They sat at the table in the back of Raynie’s shop where she did readings. The two women listened to every detail, and both sighed when Quinn described the big kiss. Maybe she gave it too much attention, but his delivery had more passion than she’d gotten in the last few months with Brad.

“I’ve been thinking,” Quinn said. “I should have seen the end coming with Brad.”

“How so?” Megan asked.

“There was no fire between us. Not even a spark. We’d settled into being a comfortable couple.”

“Yeah, well that may have had something to do with him messing around with Blair.”

Quinn didn’t want to believe it. She kept telling herself it couldn’t be possible, but her friends were convinced of it. They were usually right about such things. “There’s still no proof of that.”

“Oh, please.” Raynie rolled her eyes. “I remember seeing her at the Fourth of July picnic in the park. She ate a corn dog and men applauded.”

Megan shook her head. “What about Walt and Stargazer? Have you heard from either of them?”

“Walt, but I’m not responding. I’m doing what you call a fade-away. Site instructions say I can choose not to answer their messages, and they’ll
get the message
.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll find a love connection on the site.”

Raynie giggled. “Forget love. You need to find a PeePee-VeeVee connection.”

“Oh my gosh! I do not.” Quinn protested with conviction, but the truth was Cowboy’s kiss had stirred something in her she’d buried. That one smooch made her realize she missed passion. Desired the heat of romance. Needed to feel the fire. She wanted a penis-vagina connection. She tried to swallow, but her mouth had gone dry.

“Who’s next on the list?”

“Skywriter. Out of the men I’m considering, I have the most in common with him. What should I wear? He’s meeting me at Rosa’s for lunch.”

“That’s super casual. Jeans will be fine.”

“And that red knit top,” Raynie said. “You have great boobs. You should show them off more.”

Quinn evaluated her chest. Her friend was right. Other than thick hair, her
girls
were her number one physical attribute. They weren’t huge, but large enough to look good in clingy material. “Now that’s settled, I’m hitting this dating thing hot and heavy. I plan to see the remaining guys in the next two weeks. If I haven’t found a match by then, I’m done.”

“What do you mean you’re done? You’re giving up?” Megan frowned. “Don’t do that. Take a different approach. I told you I know guys at work I can fix you up with.”

Raynie finished her drink in one big gulp. “Hey, my neighbor, the tattoo parlor guy is available. He’s not marriage material, but he’d be good at the connection I mentioned. If you got bored while you were doing it, you could read his ink.”

On the way home, Quinn mulled over catchy titles for her next article.
Cowboy Crooner Kisses for Career Coverage.
The headline made her laugh, but she stopped to wonder how far he would have gone, if she’d been able to help his star rise. She didn’t mind passing his name along to someone who could, because he had talent. Singers with less had made it to the top. All he needed was a chance. She couldn’t blame him for that.

 

~~*~~

 

The following day while she waited for Skywriter, she took a moment to enjoy the atmosphere of the family-owned restaurant. Colorful serapes and sombreros hung on the adobe walls, and bright piñatas dangled overhead. She’d considered the courtyard, but decided even for March, it would either be too windy, cold or hot. In Texas, you never knew what to expect from the weather. And sure enough, a light rain started to fall, and she watched the patio umbrellas shake in the breeze.

Skywriter’s name incorporated his work and hobby. An airline pilot and amateur writer. Definitely common ground with him. He’d written,
Let me fly you to the moon and show you the stars.
How romantic was that? She released a deep sigh, and crossed her fingers. He’d also stated.
I consider myself an interesting person, if you appreciate useless trivia, like, in ten minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world’s nuclear weapons detonated at once.

A snappy tune played over the intercom and her nerves jumped to the beat. She glanced at her watch. Ten minutes late. She wondered if he’d show. Maybe he’d already made a love connection with someone else, and was using a fade-away on Quinn. Oh well, all wouldn’t be lost. Rosa’s margarita pie was worth the trip.

Quinn drummed her fingers on the table, then picked at the cuticle on her thumb. Despite the chatter in the restaurant, she felt every eye trained on her. The almost thirty-five-year-old desperate woman with two cats at home, waiting for a dude she’d met online. Another time check—now twenty minutes late. She should order a piece of pie to go and get the heck out of there, but the door opened and he appeared. She waved to get his attention, and he hurried toward the table.

“I’m so sorry I’m late.” He sucked in a quick breath. “My flight got delayed, and I was afraid I wouldn’t make it. Since we don’t exchange numbers on the site, I couldn’t call. I left a message on Marriage Minded, but wasn’t sure you’d check there.” He pulled out the chair across from her. “Did you know, on average, every hour 61,000 people are airborne over the United States? Oh, I’m sorry. I’m Aaron.” He stuck out his hand.

Warm and slightly calloused, she could tell he did little manual labor. “That’s okay. I understand. Where were you coming from?”

“New York.”

It would have to be the Big Apple, where a few short weeks ago she’d convinced herself she’d be honeymooning. “Do you get to sightsee in the places you go?”

“Sometimes, but it’s usually all work and no time for that.” He picked up the menu and held it. “I’m glad you chose Rosa’s. Their sopapillas are my favorite. Did you know a million flowers have to be pollinated to produce a pound of honey?”

Quinn glanced at the squeeze bottle sitting in the center of the table and smiled. His bio listed trivia as an interest, and he’d gotten right to it. If nothing else clicked between them, and he kept this up, at least she’d learn something. “No. I didn’t.”

The waitress appeared at their table. “Are y’all ready to order or want a drink first?”

Aaron looked at Quinn.

“A frozen margarita,” she said.

“I’ll have the same.”

The server retreated and Aaron opened his menu, then peered over the top. “What are you having?”

“Cheese enchiladas.” She was surprised he didn’t mention how many margaritas were consumed in a month. Well, he couldn’t know everything.

“It seems you and I have writing in common,” Quinn said. “What do you write?”

“I’ve been working on a novel for a while. It’s a mystery, romance, fantasy, horror, and humor story. Oh, and I recently added an erotic vampire scene, because I understand those two genres are popular right now.”

Quinn blinked. “That sounds—different. How will you market it?”

“I doubt I’ll ever get it published. In the US alone, over 300,000 new titles hit the market each year.”

“You can always indie publish.”

“I suppose. And you? You’re a professional. Are you writing a book?”

“No. I stick with articles.”

Outside, rain fell harder. A streak of lightning flashed, and a loud clap of thunder jarred the restaurant. “I got inside just in time,” Aaron said. “Did you know there are 6,000 lightning strikes a minute on earth?”

Quinn offered him her best smile. “Tell me something about yourself that wasn’t in the site bio.”

He leaned in close. “I don’t want to brag, but five years ago, I won a one day total of thirty-six thousand dollars on
Jeopardy
.”

Now she understood the trivia. At least he put it to good use. “That’s exciting.”

“Yeah, it was my fifteen minutes of fame.”

Quinn took a moment to appreciate him. His bio picture had not done him justice. Dark hair. Killer smile. Kissable lips. What was her problem? Shouldn’t she be reacting? The guy was nice and good-looking, but not one spark of attraction stirred. Maybe her emotions had been dead so long, it was too late for a full resurrection. No, couldn’t be. Cowboy Jake’s kiss affected her, so why wasn’t she getting a tingle from Skywriter?

Maybe nothing was happening between them, but she bet if she asked how many people in Texas were making a PeePee-VeeVee connection right now, he’d have the number.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

By the end of the next week, Quinn met and marked Homeboy off the list. Turned out he lived in his mother’s pool house, and the reason he enjoyed spending evenings at home in place of going out had to do with lack of employment and income.

According to site rules, she should have expected to pay for her meal because she’d contacted him. But call her old fashioned, she still wanted the man to pick up the check, or at least offer.

It took real talent to take a negative situation, and make it sound appealing. Talk about a good writer, Homeboy should write ad copy. He was more interested in a working wife than claiming top spot as a bread winner.

Discouragement settled in her chest. Two more guys on the list, and if neither of them fit the bill, she’d have to start the search over. Maybe she’d waited too late to make her play, and marriage wasn’t in the cards. With her time clock in the last quarter of the baby game, she was way behind, and might not pull out a win.

It was cooking day, and she needed to get busy. Grabbing her favorite cookbook, she laid it on the counter, then went to the pantry to gather ingredients. A strange sound came from the laundry room, and Lucy and Ethel shot across the floor, tails in the air, and ran under the sofa.

By the time Quinn got to the room, the washing machine had gyrated until it blocked the doorway. She grabbed at the knob. It came off in her hand. Tossing it in the air, she hooked her fingers on the edges and hung on as if she were a contestant in a rodeo. The machine pitched her to the floor. She pushed off the doorjamb, rose to her feet, and opened the top. Water spun out like a tornado. Slamming it shut, she remounted, slung a leg over the back, then reached for the power cord, and jerked it from the outlet. The machine stopped. She fell forward, and rested her head on the lid to catch her breath. How did bull riders do it?

Once her heart stopped racing, she stripped off her soaked clothes and threw them in the hamper. She opened the dryer, removed a towel and wrapped it around her wet body.

Two hours later, she finished assembling the last casserole, while Megan’s husband, Charlie, worked on the washing machine. Quinn grinned at her friend. “Thank y’all for coming. I hated to bother you, but I didn’t know what else to do.”

“We’re happy to help. Fixing things makes Charlie feel manly.”

“I can hear you two,” Charlie yelled. “And I don’t need home repairs to make me connect with my masculinity.”

“Oh baby, I meant it’s a nice change from sitting behind a desk all day. Take my word, you are plenty virile.” Megan faced Quinn and mouthed,
last night, wow
.

Quinn lowered her voice. “I hate you right now.”

Her friend giggled. “Don’t worry, you’ll find a guy as good as Charlie. The dating site will come through.”

He stepped into the room. “Okay, I got you going again, but that thing is on its last leg. And by the way, if the online dating doesn’t work out, I know some guys.”

Megan raised a brow. “Who?”

“Doug and Eric.”

“Are you kidding? Doug is so straight-laced I doubt he watches R-rated movies, and Eric, hasn’t he got two divorces under his belt already?”

“Yeah, but I’m just saying…”

Megan threw her hand in the air as if to stop traffic. “No! Don’t say it.”

“How do you know what I was going to say?”

“A reference to Quinn’s age, right?”

“Not exactly—well, maybe.”

Quinn smiled at him. “It’s true. The good ones are all taken by my age, and if they aren’t, they’re interested in twenty-five-year-old women.” Charlie returned a smile. His eyes full of kindness and sympathy. Great. Just what she needed. Another person to join her pity-party.

Later that evening, as Quinn drove back from her dad’s place, she thought more about her biological time clock. She needed to face facts. She might never find a suitable husband. If not, then what? Adoption? Her salary wouldn’t pass muster. With only two more dates to go, hope was dwindling. Perhaps a sperm bank was the answer. If she used one, at least she’d get part of the fairy tale picket fence she dreamed of.

BOOK: Two Wrongs Make a Right
11.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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