So, I’ve been writing, even though I haven’t been posting. Bad writer, I know, but I’m back, and my next tale of Lado and Sophie is the kind I love to read. A real Cinderella meets her prince type tale – if Cinderella was a writer’s blocked, formerly well to do children’s author’s who’s fallen on hard times, and every other horrible thing. And Prince Charming had red hair, a ready laugh, and a decidedly dominant bent. In this unedited snippet, you get a hint of Sophie’s down on her luck pluck, Lado’s perennial sunny face, and the sparks they strike off each other at every opportunity. Enjoy – SS
Well, that was that. Another story filed, another check en route, another check already spent before it even arrived.
Sophie sighed and rose to stretch her neck and back. She’d been bent over her laptop for over an hour without moving. She felt like one big kink, and not in a good way. Times gone by her mother would have intervened at least twice, offering tea or some random ass comment. Sophie would pretend to be angry at the interruption, but she’d drink or eat whatever was offered, and stop working long enough to shoot the shit before her muse distracted her back to work.
But her dear mother was gone. Dead nearly 10 months now. She supposed in a few more she might stop looking up to talk to her. She’d stop forgetting that she would never talk to her again.
She should look at her budget. But why? You can only move a little bit here and there for so long before you have to admit you’re wasting your time. She should open the mail. But again, what was the point? She knew those bitchy white envelopes with their slim plastic windows held bills. Bills she could not afford to pay.
She should make herself something to eat. It was breakfast time. When was the last time she’d eaten? Sophie thought but couldn’t remember. Yesterday, maybe? No wonder she was feeling so hopeless. Being hungry always made her feel like the world had turned against her.
She padded down to the kitchen and put water on to boil for oatmeal. Look, a bit of luck. There was just enough left for one bowl. The grocery store would be hearing from her later. She sliced a banana and the last few strawberries, got out a sadly depleted sack of brown sugar and her favorite bowl and spoon. She was just stirring her food when the doorbell rang.
Probably a delivery for Patty. But when she peeked through the side door window it was Lado Marick. Her mouth went tight. What did he want?
“What do you want?”
He looked shocked by her greeting, and even though he deserved to be treated a lot worse Sophie immediately felt churlish. She opened her mouth to apologize, but then he laughed, which pissed her off, and her jaw snapped closed. He was always laughing, big crystal green eyes sparkling like he hadn’t a care in the world. But then, he didn’t did he? He was tall, handsome, rich, gainfully employed.
He breezed in without waiting to be invited. Smart, she thought, following him into the kitchen. He knew she’d been about to make some excuse. Oh, yeah, he was very smart, and she’d better not forget it. He’d already gotten the drop on her once.
“Oh, bloody marvelous,” he said, plopping down in front of her oatmeal and spooning up a large bite. “I didn’t have time to eat a thing this morning before I left the house. Ummm,” he groaned.
Great, she thought, and her stomach gave a sympathy rumble as she sat down to watch him eat.
“Aren’t you having any?” he asked, scraping the last bite into his big mouth.
“Not hungry,” she said shortly, only to drop her eyes in embarrassment when her stomach grumbled loudly.
He began to laugh again. “I think your tummy disagrees,” his voice trailed off, smile fading. “Did I just eat the last of your breakfast, Sophie?”
“Of course not,” she said quickly, snatching the empty bowl and spoon from in front of him and dumping them in the sink.
She heard him sigh, and deliberately turned the water on full blast as she rinsed the bowl. It did no good. He just waited until she turned it off and said, “There’s such a thing as having too much pride, my dear.”
She turned to look at him like he was crazy. Not run of the mill crazy, but the biggest, stupidest asshole who ever lived crazy. “How the fuck would you know?” she whispered.
His mouth fell open. Sophie could see clearly what he was thinking. He hadn’t expected her to push back, and he’d never heard her curse, and now he found that he liked it.
Shit, she thought. This was the last thing she needed. Some fucking alpha male with her scent in his nose…