I haven’t shared from this book yet. No idea why. Here’s one of my favorite scenes.
Naomi saw Serena’s feet first. A bare toe rubbed over the top step of the porch stairs beside her, and then Serena sat down while balancing bagels stacked on steaming mugs in each hand. She still wore nothing but the filthy camouflage sneak suit, and she smelled like garbage. Sleepy eyes gleamed at Naomi over a secretive smile. “I promised to go to bed,” she said. “But you’re on the way. Good morning.”
Naomi took a mug and let tears spill down her cheeks. “I love you so much.”
“It’s only tea, Naomi. It isn’t even good tea.”
“It’s more.” She wiped her face and sipped the perfectly acceptable black pekoe blend. “You don’t realize how much better you’ve been, the last few days.”
“Well, don’t get too excited. I’m still a moody bitch.” Serena wrapped her arm around Naomi’s waist. “I love you too, Bao-bao. You held me up until I could run again.”
Naomi put her head in the curve of Serena’s shoulder. “Whatever.”
Birds were peeping in the drooping evergreens somewhere, and the gray sky was lightening in advance of the sunrise. The breeze was light and cool. Naomi shifted the tea to one hand and took a bite of half-thawed bagel. While she ate, she went back to doing what she’d been doing before Serena arrived: wondering why Parker wasn’t freezing to death out on the lawn in nothing but a pair of cut-off sweatpants.
He squared his shoulders and flowed smoothly from one t’ai chi form to another. His balance never wavered as he pivoted to face them, but surprise came through: he hadn’t noticed Serena’s arrival. His attention went back to the exercise, and then he smiled.
Naomi couldn’t keep her lips from curving up, but she firmly put him out of her mind even as heat coiled through her. Boundaries were important.
“Why is ‘threesome’ the first thing every guy thinks when he sees us together?” Serena asked. She added loudly, “She doesn’t share, sorry.”
Parker came down flat-footed. Chest muscles and abs rippled when he took a deep breath, and his face flushed red. Serena hummed appreciatively.
Apprehension sputtered to life within Naomi’s heart as Parker turned away and got back on task. “Serena, I know you, and—please, let me have this? I can’t compete, you know I can’t.”
“No, no, no.” Serena kissed her on the ear. “Silly Naomi. Very much no.”
The cheerful emphasis was as confusing as it was a relief. Naomi went back to watching Parker. “Why not? You’ve been sniffing after him since you met.”
“Only because I could feel him, steady-safe like you at my center. Secure, not sexy. You and I don’t have sex.” A moment passed. “Together, I mean.” Another pause. “Except those couple of times way back when, but we were both stoned and drunk at once, so I don’t think they count.”
“Stop.” Giggles bubbled up. Naomi stifled them. “You are not helping.”
For a moment they were fifteen again, winding down from a night of harmless pranks and minor property crimes. They had been so young. So full of hopes and passion. Life hadn’t been perfect, but the future had been infinite. Their limitless reality had imploded, desperation had crushed them both into tiny futures with no room for dreams, and then even those unenviable lives had been torn to pieces.
This morning felt like rebirth.
Serena set down her cup to nestle closer, but her breath stank and so did the rest of her. Naomi pushed her away. “Dirty girl.”
“I am.” Serena was still watching Parker. “He is hotter than a chili pepper, and you haven’t even nibbled on him yet. What is wrong with you?”
“I can’t help noticing. He’s in the same place you are.” She rubbed a fist between her breasts. “Steady-safe, the pair of you. Like my heartbeat.”
“Notice away, but I will not talk about anything we do or don’t do. Ever.”
And because this one’s from a book that’s available for sale, the mandatory promotional link: mybook.to/Flightplan
Kindle, Paperback and Audiobook.
(audio available through iTunes, Audible.com and Amazon)