The man she wants is the one she must deceive.
Christy Wallace may be a respectable Seattle Spanish teacher, but she’s got a sultry side. She lets it come out to play during the summer, when she moonlights as a Salsa dancing instructor.
Sexy, cowboy Adam wants more time with her than just a fleeting cup of coffee, but she makes it clear that if he wants her, he’ll have to sign up for dance class. Amazingly enough, he does. And Christy finds herself falling for a charming country hick with hands as fast as his feet.
Adam’s no hick, though. He’s the owner of Adam’s Apples, the fastest-growing cider business in eastern Washington. To his own surprise, one night with her has him thinking in terms of forever. That is, until he walks into a restaurant for a family lunch—and finds Christy on the arm of his brother.
Is there a logical explanation? Or is something rotten in Seattle?
“Good morning, sunshine,” Christy called out as she strolled into Bob’s Café the next morning. The smell of grease was thick in the air, and almost every table was full. Nate stood in the entryway, waiting for her to join him.
“Is it?” He yawned.
“Well, it is for those of us who didn’t have to work all night.”
“Hey, I wanted this little meeting to be later in the day.”
She kissed his cheek. “I know, I know. Thanks for accommodating me. Let’s sit down.”
Christy led him slowly through the crowded restaurant.
“Why are you so damn cheerful, anyway?” Nate grumbled, his dark eyes narrowing with suspicion.
“He showed up last night.”
Nate frowned and tilted his head, then his eyes widened. “Oh! The guy you met at the coffee shop? No kidding!”
“You kids need to see a menu?” Doris, their usual waitress, stopped in front of their booth and gave them a brief smile. Her lips were coated in an obnoxiously pink lipstick shade that hadn’t been popular since the eighties.
“No, we’re good.” Christy grinned and flipped over her coffee mug. “Regular coffee for me.”
“You want coffee, honey?” Doris asked Nate, and then turned her face away to emit a haggard-sounding cough. “Damn cigarettes.”
Nate cringed. “I’m fine, thanks.”
Doris tilted the pot of coffee over Christy’s upturned mug. Christy’s expression remained neutral, even though every fiber in her being protested the drinking of bad coffee. She had yet to find a breakfast joint that served decent coffee. But bad or good, she needed her caffeine.
“All right, you two need a minute?” Doris asked after filling the stained mug to the brim.
Nate shook his head. “I’ll have a mushroom and green pepper omelet, made with egg whites only. Oh, and tomato slices instead of hash browns.”
Doris’s lips twitched and her eyebrows rose, but she said nothing and look expectantly at Christy.
“I’ll do a six-egg, bacon, cheddar, and sour cream omelet,” Christy replied immediately. “And could I get extra hash browns with that?”
“Would you like that heart disease for here or to go?” Nate asked after Doris had walked off. “Jeez, you and my family. You all eat like crap.”
“Just because you’re eager to convert to being a health nut, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to.”
“Well, sweetie…” he rolled his eyes, “…I don’t know how you can eat an omelet made with a half a dozen eggs—loaded with fat and calories—and still stay a size four.”
“Genetics and a great metabolism. Don’t you just hate me?” Christy smirked and drank another sip of the bad coffee.
“I would if you weren’t so damn cute.” He sighed. “I hope she remembers the tomatoes instead of hash browns.”
“She’s never forgotten.”
“Yeah.” He scowled. “But there’s always a first time.”
“My, aren’t we grouchy today?” Christy crossed her legs and gave him a narrowed look. “What’s going on? Does this have something to do with your date yesterday?” His face changed so quickly she had to laugh.
“Yesterday was amazing. We sat talking over the same cup of coffee for two hours,” he confessed, leaning forward eagerly. “We have so much in common. And did I mention how hot he is? He’s a Drama major at Cornish.”
“Wow, sounds promising.”
Nate sighed and stared at his hands. “I just really think that it could be different with him.”
“Yeah? I hear you on that one.”
His attention snapped back to her. “That’s right. Tell me about the boy.”
“Grown man, thank you very much.” Christy giggled. “He’s wickedly good-looking, a charming flirt, and he makes me forget my own name when he kisses me.”
“You’ve kissed?” Nate gasped. “You’re one up on me. He sounds fabulous, Christy. Hang on to him for awhile.”
“I would, but he’s not a Seattleite.” Her stomach clenched at the reminder. “He’s just visiting. So now the question is—do I have amazing sex for a few days and then see what happens? Or do I just call it quits while I’m still ahead?”
“Uh, no brainer here. Have some sex, Christy. Before your hymen grows back. How long has it been anyway?”
“Not that long,” she protested and then averted her gaze. “A couple of years. Maybe.”
“God, I can’t even go a couple of days without masturbating.”
“I never said that I don’t masturbate. And of course you think about sex more often, gay or not, you’re still a guy.”
“Anyway!” He rolled his eyes. “What are you going to do?”
“I have no idea,” she admitted with a despondent look. “I get the feeling that if I try to have casual sex with him, I’m going to end up getting really hurt. I think I like him too much for it to be casual.”
“Hmm, I see your dilemma. Well, my advice to you is to play it by ear,” Nate told her. “If he shows up to class tonight—”
“He told me he would.”
“Then go out with him afterwards and see how it goes. How you feel.” He paused, looking thoughtful.“Ask yourself ‘Can I live the rest of my life knowing that I gave up a few nights passion with this man?’ and if you think you could look back with no regrets on passing, you’ve got your answer. But if you think you’d always wonder… I say go for it.”
“Thanks, Nate. That’s very philosophical.”
Doris returned with plates full of heaping food.
Christy grabbed her fork and then dove into her omelet with great enthusiasm.
Mmm. Bacon. A few minutes later she glanced up to see Nate watching her with disdain. “Shut up.” She waved her fork at him. “I don’t want to hear it.”