From Appetite For Desire....
Courtney slid into her seat, fanning herself. Her hot pink t-shirt and black Capri pants were damp with perspiration. She downed the last of her warm margarita and wiped her forehead.
“Whew!” she shouted at Stephanie, who also looked wilted in her flowered camp shirt and jean shorts. “That last set was a bitch!”
Stephanie’s eyes widened as another margarita landed in front of Courtney. “Looks like you made an impression on someone!”
Courtney grabbed their server’s attention. “I didn’t order this.”
“It’s from a gentleman at the bar.” The waitress bobbed her head at the man in question.
“Who?” Courtney squinted at the shadowy figure, frustrated the lights hid him from view. Her curiosity spinning, she asked the waitress to point him out.
“He’s the third one from the end, on the right side.”
Courtney still couldn’t get a good look at him, but one of the other girls called, “He’s the one who was asking about you last week, Court! The one whose date was constantly licking his tonsils?”
Courtney groaned. She remembered him, all right. She and the rest of her coworkers had gone to a small neighborhood bar, and she’d seen the handsome man with a clearly drunken woman. He left the bar shortly after they arrived, when his date decided to try to undress him in front of everyone.
When I first sat down to write Appetite, I remembered the first time an anonymous man had bought me a drink. I was actually drinking rum and coke, but since my current drink of choice was a margarita, I changed it. And yes, the man in question had been seen two weeks before, with a drunk date who decided to engage in a little too much PDA (public display of affection) with him. He kept shooting looks my way, and I think she tried to divert his attention..
“So? Maybe he’s changed. Go on, invite him over here,” Stephanie and the others encouraged her.
The liquor lowered her resistance. No one had ever bought her a drink in that manner before and Courtney was flattered and excited by it. Downing a large swallow, she stood up amidst the cheers of her friends, and made her way to the bar.
She sucked in her breath at the sight of his muscular back encased in a blue striped polo shirt. Tentatively, she reached to tap him on the shoulder. “Excuse me, sir!”
He swiveled around and smiled. “I’m Dustin.”
“Courtney. I remember you from the Par Four bar last week.” Lord, he was tall! When he stood up, the top of her head reached his shoulder. His lazy smile combined with his milk chocolate eyes sent the flutters that were in her stomach to plummet lower, causing an uncontrollable ache. “Thank you for the drink. Do you want to come join us?”“Lead the way.”
We danced the entire evening, and he called me the next day. We enjoyed each other's company for two weeks, until his work schedule changed, and we were unable to get together. He called me a few weeks later, and we went out to dinner, but it was obvious our chemistry had fizzled. But I still have fond memories of our time together!
My favorite excerpt, however, is a real life event which occurred while I was working at the country club. I'd become a favorite of several of the kids, and one little girl in particular.
“Why does Olivia have to sit with us?” The eleven-year-old stuck out her full lower lip in imitation of her mother’s pout. “She’s such a baby.”
Courtney glanced toward the table. Four round tables were set up; eight place settings at each. The adults were mingling while the table where the boys sat was already in disarray.
“Your parents are friends,” she chose her words carefully. “Don’t you think you could at least try to get along for at least an hour? Then you can all jump in the pool or go your separate ways.”
“But she wasn’t even supposed to be invited,” Sheri Stants whined and tried to pout also, but failed. “She’s only here because of her dumb brother.” She rolled her large brown eyes and looked at the third girl. “Why did your brother have to invite Derek?”
Penny West tossed her blond ponytail and shrugged her shoulders. “I asked for a separate party, but nobody listens to me. So even though we’re all going swimming, only my friends are staying the night.”
“Not Olivia,” Lacey and Sheri gasped.
“Oh, no. Just you guys and Lori, Karen, and Emily,” Penny assured them. The others sighed in relief. “But seriously, Courtney,” The birthday girl returned to the issue. “Can’t you seat her with the adults?”
Courtney smiled and shook her head. “Sorry. I didn’t write the seating chart. All I expect you to do is to be civil to her during lunch. Can you at least do that for me?” She looked each girl in the eye.The girls squirmed. “Okay.”
The real life 'Olivia' was on the shy side, and didn't really interact with one of the more obviously popular girls. And when they were thrown together during a party, the other girls tried to have her removed from their table, but they also wanted to remain in my favor. They weren't happy, but I managed to impress a life lesson on them:
When she arrived at the girls’ table, Penny grabbed her. “We’re all having the fruit plate,” she announced. “I want rainbow sherbet.”
“Can I have chocolate?” This came from Karen, who Courtney knew, hated sherbet.Courtney nodded and moved to Olivia. “The usual?” She smiled, patting the young girl on the shoulder. “I’ll take care of you.”
A few weeks earlier, 'Olivia' hadn't been able to make up her mind about what ice cream she wanted in the middle of her fruit plate, so I fixed her a 'special' one.
She took eight small glass bowls and filled seven of them with the appropriate ice cream or sherbet, and for Olivia’s, she used the smallest ice cream scoop and deposited several tiny balls of the brightly colored frozen desserts, topping it off with the rainbow sherbet.
When Courtney placed it in front of her, Olivia beamed and picked up her spoon. Penny was outraged.
“How come she gets that? I didn’t know we could order it that way,” she sputtered.
“Yeah, how come you never told us we could have it that way?” Sheri huffed.
Olivia’s face grew red, but Courtney placed an arm around the girl’s shoulders.
“Olivia happens to be a special friend of mine, and to those I like, I give certain favors, such as the ice cream dish. Penny, you like it when I give you extra whipped cream on your milkshakes, and Karen, you’re fond of extra cherries in your Kiddie Cocktails. I could go around the table and tell each of you what extras I do for you, but I’ll leave you with this, I expect my favorites to be courteous, kind, and respectful towards others, otherwise, no special treatments.” She squeezed Olivia’s shoulder. “Understand?”
The pre-teens looked at each other, then up at Courtney. “Yes, ma’am,” they nodded their heads and began eating.
After this incident, the 'popular' ones didn't snub 'Olivia' again, but included her in their activities....at least when I was working. I'm hoping they learned to be a little nicer to others!
Another favorite scene is this one:
. “I don’t want to sneak around anymore, Courtney.” He stepped closer to her and took her hands in his. “This is going to sound crazy, but would you consider quitting the country club? You could be our personal chef.”
Courtney’s chin snapped up. “Seinfeld did an episode several years ago about this sort of thing.” Her tone was chilly. “It begged the question—can one sleep with the maid and still pay her, even if she’s not cleaning? I am not that type of person. How dare you…”
Dustin kissed her to silence her, and Courtney felt her anger fading. “I’m not suggesting anything like that,” he murmured when they came up for air. “I mean, move in with me. Be my wife, my partner. The kids need a healthy role model, and they already love you. Hell…” He swallowed again. “I love you. How crazy is that?”
I couldn't resist throwing in the Seinfeld reference. I felt it fit, given Courtney's personality and her sense of honor!
If you're interested in reading this book, it can be found here:
Go Eli Manning and the NY Giants! Beat Tom Brady and the NE Patriots!!!!
Super Bowl XLVI is being held just two hours north of me, in Indianapolis, IN!! So cheering on the Manning Brothers, and hope the Colts make the right decision about that other awesome Manning, Peyton!