Before I get to Chapter 2 and its fun facts, if you haven’t gotten YOUR copy of The Waiting, NOW is the time because it’s FREE until Sunday.
Seriously, if any of y’all were children of the 80’s and 90’s like me, and you loved shows like Dallas, Dynasty, or Melrose Place, then you’ll enjoy this book. Check it out and if possible, leave a review…us indie authors thrive on reviews!! Okay…to Chapter 2.
“Hey sexy.” Tiffany Comeaux greeted her boyfriend with a kiss. She was wearing skimpy gym shorts and a tank top and hoped he noticed.
“Hey yourself. Just get back from working out?” Gregory asked as he closed the door to her Common Street apartment.
“Yeah,” she said, releasing her light brown hair from its ponytail. “Brutal yoga class today. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. I’m sore for days after.”
“Well…” Gregory spun her around and smiled. “You’re a hell of a lot more flexible in the bedroom.”
“Totally worth the pain then, babe.” She kissed him again, this time slower and longer. “Hey? Thought you had a business dinner tonight?”
Exhaling, he pushed his thoughts of Arianne to the back of his mind. “It’s with friends. And I know it’s short notice… but… I… I’d like you to come, Tiff.”
“Are you sure?” she said with a subtle smirk. Meeting his friends was a huge deal. “No stomach ache, emergency at the hospital, or burst pipe at your mom’s?”
Gregory rapidly nodded. “I deserved that. Mama really did have a burst pipe though.” He chuckled, taking her hand. “I’m sorry. It was wrong of me to ask you to meet my friends and then back out on it. Tonight, I really want you to go.”
“Then you need to help me get dressed,” she said, leading him into the bedroom.
“Does that include helping you get undressed?”
“You wish,” Tiffany teased, opening her closet door. “Pick out something unpretentious and sexy. And then come talk to me while I’m in the shower.”
“Okay, I’m right behind you.” Gregory held up a pair of gray pants and a light pink spaghetti strap top, hoping it would meet her criteria. “Hey Tiff?”
Tiffany poked her head out from behind the shower curtain. “Good choice, babe.”
“I pulled the matching cardigan too. Might get chilly if we go out on the patio.”
“You’re right,” she said, returning to her shower. “Who’s coming tonight?”
“Just the Huffs and the Douglases,” he said, leaning on the marble vanity.
“The Huffs… as in Dr. Sylvia Huff? Doesn’t she have a wife who’s a nurse?”
“Are you close with them like you are Dr. Douglas and his wife?”
Gregory placed Tiffany’s towel on the peg next to the shower. “Other than Andy, Syl is my closest friend.”
“Yeah? I’ve only seen her once or twice. She seems standoffish, but I didn’t talk to her or anything, so I could be wrong.”
He chuckled. “Nah, you’re right. She doesn’t have much to say. Ever. But when she does, you better listen.”
“Sounds a little like you,” she said, turning off the shower. “How long have y’all been friends?”
“About fourteen years. And yeah, we’re a lot alike. Sylvia’s harder to get to know though. Talk to her about your alma mater and you’re in.”
“Did she graduate from LSU?” Tiffany wrapped the towel around her body and opened the curtain. “Thanks for getting my towel.”
“No, but Lesley did and Sylvia’s developed a love for the Tigers.”
She planted a soft kiss on Gregory’s cheek. “Smart lady. Do they have any kids?”
“Twin girls. And Les stays at home with them.”
Gregory stood taller and puffed his chest. “Yeah, Stowe and Liene. I’m their godfather.”
“I didn’t know you had godchildren.” Tiffany grinned. “I bet you’re so much fun.”
“I’ve had lots of practice for sure. All four of Andy’s kids too.”
“Wow, six.” Steam flooded into the bedroom as he opened the door. “How long have you known him?”
“Awhile. We knew of each other in high school. His dad was a doctor in Mandeville and worked at Rivers. But when the four of us went to med school at River City University, that’s when we got to know each other.”
“My brother Trent and Andy’s ex-wife Millie. They were two years behind us.”
“You and Andrew have been best friends for a long time?”
Gregory lifted her chin. “Try longer than you’ve been alive.” It was hard to admit, but maybe he was looking forward to her meeting everyone. “You know you’re making life tough on this old man, standing there, taunting me in next to nothing.”
“Oh really?” she asked, allowing the towel to fall. “You might be older than me, but you are still… a man. A very hot… very handsome… and very turned-on… man.” Tiffany bit her bottom lip and unzipped his pants. “I don’t know if I can wait all night, and I know for sure that you can’t. Am I right, Dr. Adams?”
“I have amazing willpower. You’d be surprised.” He swallowed hard as she pressed her body—warm and still wet from her shower—into him.
“Really?” Tiffany knelt down. “So, if I stop, you’ll be okay?”
“I think I would live… Tiff.” His voice was ragged. “But I really, really wish you wouldn’t… God…”
“Don’t we have to be there soon?” She gazed at him with willing eyes.
“Actually, now,” Gregory answered, hoping that wouldn’t deter his young and beautiful girlfriend.
Standing, she kissed him hard and lifted his shirt. “Well, Doctor, I hope you work fast.”
“Pike?” Arianne shouted, walking into her South Lake Drive home on the northeastern side of Metairie. “Dad should be here soon to take you to your friend’s house.” Pike Douglas brushed dark hair from his face as he hopped down the stairs two at a time. “Stop jumping down the stairs, Son.”
“Can’t you or Greg take me, Mom?” Pike asked, laying his head on the kitchen counter.
“Pike, he didn’t mean to miss it.”
“That’s what you said last time, and the time before that.” He muttered more to himself than anything.
She cursed her husband under her breath, thankful her back was turned so Pike couldn’t see. Yet another time, Andrew had managed to hurt him with his absence. She had no doubt her husband loved their children, but sometimes she wondered if he loved himself more. “Pike, Chief of Surgery is a big job with lots of responsibilities.”
“Greg is over the whole hospital and he’s always there. Even if it’s just for a few minutes at the end of the game, Mama.” He inhaled and Arianne could tell Pike was trying not to cry. “Reece is in med school. Nash is a resident, and they’ve both come to some of my baseball games. Don’t make excuses for him. He’s just an asshole.”
“Pike.” Arianne scolded, “I know you’re upset, but you will show respect.”
Lowering his head, he whispered, “Yes ma’am,” and stared at her with those deep brown eyes, hurt again because of another broken promise.
I know how you feel, son. I really do.
Twenty-six years of marriage to Dr. Andrew Douglas Jr. had prepared Arianne for talks like this with her young son. She’d had the same discussions for years with their other three children. The truth was harsh and sometimes it was too much for any thirteen-year-old to handle. Andrew and Arianne’s relationship had been plagued with lies from day one. Never allowing herself to forget that he was married when she started seeing him, Arianne knew he wouldn’t be faithful for long. Twelve years into her marriage, she wasn’t either—the proof standing before her now with those big, brown eyes that matched his biological father’s. Neither of the two men suspected that Pike was Gregory’s child, and Arianne wasn’t telling. Fear and love kept that secret.
Gripping the shoulders of her third son, she kissed the top of his head. “Never doubt that Daddy loves you. I agree, he is a jerk sometimes.” She forced a laugh. “But son, he does love you. He wanted to take you today to apologize for missing your game. Maybe go to Arctic Shark and get ice cream like you used to?” Arianne lied, relieved to see a grin on Pike’s face as she spotted Andrew’s truck pulling up outside. “Is that one with all the candy bars still your favorite?”
“Shark Attack? Yes ma’am,” he said, returning to his usual cheery disposition.
“Good. Now run upstairs and get your clothes. Don’t forget your toothbrush—you’ll need it after the Shark Attack.”
While Pike was lumbering up the stairs, she hurried outside to meet a smiling Andrew as he approached the side door.
“Hey beautiful,” he said, leaning in for a kiss. “Missed you today.”
“Cut the crap, Andrew. I don’t know and I don’t care where the hell you were last night. But your child does. So, you best come up with a damn good excuse as to why you missed his game,” Arianne fired off, on the verge of tears.
“I told you.” Andrew lifted his hands. “Soliciting contributions for your charity benefit, working late, charting, scheduling staff assignments.”
“That might have worked when Pike was seven, but in case you haven’t noticed, he has good reasoning skills now. You don’t work twenty-four/seven, Andrew.”
“Are you making an accusation?” He ran his fingers through his salt and pepper hair.
“Because Ari, I’m not.” Andrew’s arms wrapped around his wife and he kissed her cheek.
“Baby, I’m not. I love you. God, I love you. Only you, Ari.”
She searched his eyes—hazel with an amber rim—the same eyes she fell in love with all those years before. Since then, he’d broken her heart, her trust, and their life together, but he was her husband and for better or worse she loved him.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to accuse,” she apologized. “Pike is upset. I was asleep when you got home last night, and you were gone before I woke up this morning. I’m crazy busy with the Hope Benefit.”
“No, you’re right. There’s no excuse for missing his games,” Andrew agreed, caressing her cheek.
“I told him you’d take him to Arctic Shark before you dropped him at his friend’s house,” Arianne said, burying her head in his chest, aware of how much she missed him.
Lifting her chin, he brushed stray strands of black hair behind her ear. “Sounds like a plan to me. And what about you, Mrs. Douglas? How can I make up the past few weeks to you?” His kiss was slow and full of need, reminding her of the first time at his boathouse almost twenty-seven years ago. “My God, you are the most beautiful woman in this world, Arianne.”
“Our son will be coming out soon. Let’s not scar him for life with a mental picture of his parents making out in the driveway.”
“Agreed. But tonight.” His eyes met hers, he kissed her again, this time taking her breath. “Tonight is all about you.”
“Mom?” The sound of Pike’s voice caused them both to jump. “Do you know where my navy St. Paschal’s hoodie is?”
“I’m coming. In the dryer, I think,” Arianne yelled, walking towards the back door.
Andrew nodded. “Oh sweetheart, do we have enough food for one more?” he asked as Arianne stepped into their house. “Because Greg’s bringing the new girlfriend, the gal who’s getting her Master’s.”
Her mood shifted. A carefree night with friends just became a competition.
– LSU had to be in this book. We bleed purple and gold here in Louisiana. 💜💛💜
– The twin’s names – Stowe and Liene – were inspired by one of my favorite actresses’ names, Madeleine Stowe. Liene is pronounced as you would say the end of the German word ‘Fräulein.’
– And the origin of Pike’s name is a secret until Book 2, but…it involves a historic landmark east of New Orleans. 🙂
– Andrew is such a jerk, but I have a soft spot in my heart for him. But y’all need to know, I DO think he’s a jerk.
That’s it for today!! Don’t forget to download your copy of the book and SHARE the link with friends!!
Happy Black Friday!!!!