Things are changing!

If you’ve noticed a lot has changed in the last few days here at http://www.wendiknape.com. Let’s call it an experiment. I’ve combined both parts of my life that I love. Writing and WjK ARTiSAN DESiGNS.

I’m still writing romance, but I’ve now added my new business to the site. And with that said I wanted to showcase both. So, if you’d like to take a tour you’ll find some different drop-down menus and a lot more of my art under the WjK ARTiSAN DESiGN title on the menu. A side note, there’s a sale for Valentine’s Day on http://www.wjkartisandesigns.com through the 11th. 

My plan is to change up the blogging from time to time. Romance versus my inspiration for my art so you can see where my ideas come from on both spectrums. I’m excited to bring those to you all. And maybe you’ll see an inspirational quote here and there that keeps me going when I’m in a creative stupor.

I hope you’ll join me.

Wendi

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Jacob and Charlotte – Meet Cute

Continued from May 31, 2014

Jakes eyes flashed wide when he saw Charlotte walk through the door of the auction house. The rough wood panels, marble floor and crystal chandeliers faded away, as memories flooded his mind he tried to bury a long time ago.
They tried to make it work the second time and it had lasted a whopping 92 ½ days.
Black Query Inc. who had recruited him right out of high school, had requested Jake come back into the fold that he so naively had thought he could walk away from.
Back in high school, seventeen and full of himself, it had been exciting to have several companies chasing him for his high tech computer skills. Jake’s ego had sucked up the attention; the idea of so much money was the cherry on top for an eager teenager. When Black Query Inc. dangled the golden carrot in front of him, how could he refuse? He was highly intelligent. He knew what he was doing.
What Jake thought would be an adventure, turned out to be a covert black ops group. They had trained him in all sorts of self-defense; he had weapons training and learned how to get past any door that might remain locked to the normal layman. There excuse, that they might have to go into highly dangerous areas and they wanted him to be prepared for anything. By that time, Jake was in too deep to see what he had willingly stepped into. He had no way of knowing that they would threaten his family once he realized the reason they hired him and they learned his ethics were bigger than his ego and his bottom line. That had been two years into the program. The illusions they had buried him in solidified his decision to leave until they, oh so politely, threatened to ruin his family or even cause an ‘accident’.
    When they started to suspect his feelings for Charlotte, his fear had made his choice for him. Leaving her was the only option he could make to protect her. At least Jake was able to say good-bye that time.
Ten years later, Charlotte was here. Jake shifted his stance back and forth, a rare display of his discomfort. Carson, one of his men, glanced his way with a raised brow in question. Jake shook his head, the movement almost imperceptive. His men weren’t used to seeing him falter in his duties, ever.
Jake cleared his throat and stood stock still as he watched her. His mind raced, with what he would say, what he would do to justify why he had left that final time. She was still beautiful and his body responded to that familiar beauty making his heart take off into a wild gallop as she moved his way unbeknownst of his presence. He wanted her. Like always. But he was a different person now, one that had seen and done things that had changed him, blackened his heart. What he had done to leave that old life behind still gave him nightmares.
Jesus, she looked good, he thought. But he wondered where her wild skirts and crazy hair had gone, the blazing whirlwind she used to be. She was polished and elegant now, as if she just stepped out of a salon. She held her back ramrod straight, totally in control, until a man came up behind her, wrapping his arm around her mid-drift. It was a familiar move, intimate and possessive, as if he had done it a million times. He leaned in close to her ear. The man said something and she smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. She never relaxed, not once the entire time the man spoke to her. Watching her, he realized what was missing. She had lost the light in her eyes that he had once known first hand. She peeled the man’s arm away from her torso and was about to turn around when her eyes lifted and met Jake’s across the room.
Charlotte froze mid-step and the man behind her looked the direction of her line of sight. Her friend in the fancy suit jaw tightened and his look became cold and suspicious as he stared at Jake. Possessive, much, Jake thought, as his own lip curled up in an almost imperceptive smile. They guy didn’t have a chance. Jake almost laughed when the man in the expensive well-tailored suit looked like he wanted to snarl at Jake.
Caught in his own musings, his inhale was sharp when Charlotte stepped in front of him.
“Jacob?”
He took her in from head to toe. Her skin still looked soft to the touch. Her hair had loosened from the tightly wound chignon, springing out in tiny curls, the curls jogging a pleasant memory from the first time he met her at the coffee shop on his college campus. The outfit she was wearing fit her tight in all the right places; her curves begging to be touched, her legs… God he remembered her legs locked around him, pulling him closer while he pounded into her sweet pu…He cleared his throat. Carson spoke to him; his best friend’s voice a bout of white noise in his ear bud, his sole concentration on the woman from his past that stood in front of him.
He lifted his arm to brush one of the curls out of her face but dropped it. He had no right to touch her anymore.
“Hello, Charlotte.”
Staring at each other in silence, he didn’t look up and away until the suit that was with Charlotte interrupted, “Charlotte, honey, are you ready to get started?”
Charlotte’s lips pressed together for an instant before she flashed the fakest smile he had ever seen. With anyone besides her mother and father, she was a barrel of energy and sincerity. More than anything, the woman in front of him looked angry. Was she still mad at Jake or was the man in the suit where her anger stemmed?
Charlotte ignored the man’s question, instead introducing them.
“Robert Chamberlain, this is Jake Bishop, an old acquaintance of mine.”
Jake’s brow shot up at how cold her words sounded around the word acquaintance and just as quickly narrowed down with a heated look reminding her of what had been between them. And it had been a hell of a lot more then acquaintance.
He knew what lay behind this fancy façade and it wasn’t the cold bitch she was laying out for him. Jake leaving her wouldn’t have changed her so dramatically. Would it?
He knew her to be supple and warm, sweet and loyal—he frowned—until he had betrayed her by abandoning her again.
Jake stuck his hand out to be polite. The man actually had the nerve to tighten his grip. Jake almost laughed aloud. He could kill this guy with barely a look.
“What are you doing here, Jake?” Charlotte asked.
“The auction house hired my company for added security,” Which he didn’t think he was doing a very good job of, at the moment. He scanned the room while he waited for her response. Jake smiled when he saw her eyes widen.
“Security?”
“Yeah. Black Bishop Security. It’s a long way from Catchers.” As soon as the word came out of his mouth all manner of foul words came to mind. Charlotte closed up like a cabin in winter, her face turning even colder with the memory of the lie he had told her, of what he did for a living, when they had first met.
The suit was looking between the two of them, sensing the tension. Jake could imagine what the guys mind was conjuring up.
“Charlotte?” The suit snapped, her attention still on Jake, her head jerked to the man’s voice. “We must take our seats. Mr. Simms won’t be pleased if we miss the Renoir. He won’t leave without it.”
“All right Robert.”
She began turning away when Jake reached out and grabbed her elbow. Charlotte looked down at where he held her and shivered. Jake watched as her nipples hardened through the silk blouse. His eyes snapped to hers. They had always had chemistry when in each other’s proximity, but after separated by years he didn’t think their attraction would be this strong. One touch was all it had taken. He had to have her again, even if it meant only one time. Even if all it was, was sex.
“Can I see you later, Charlotte?”
His grip tightened when she would have pulled away, shook her head, and tried to pull away.
“Charlotte, just a few minutes…to catch up,” Jake almost begged. Carson laughed in his ear. He didn’t know if he’d ever get the opportunity to see her again, since his job took him all over the country.
He saw the heat that stirred in her eyes and wanted to see more of it when she was under him.
“That’s not a good idea Jake,” Charlotte said through tight lips.
The asshole wanting her attention said, “Charlotte?” The snap of her name making her wince again. What kind of control did this guy have over her? Jake worried.
He leaned in close never taking his eyes off her, and whispered in her ear, “Who is this guy anyway?” Jake still held tight to her arm.
 “I’m coming Robert,” she replied to the suit and then Charlotte pulled her elbow out of Jake’s grasp and turned away. “It doesn’t matter Jake because you’re not a part of my life anymore. You made sure of that.”
Jake let her go, hurt by her cold words and heart-heavy from his own mistakes. He wanted to keep her close, the guy she was with was causing Jake’s senses to tingle, but he had work to do
 Before being swallowed up by the crowd, Jake said, “I’ll see you soon, Charlotte,” deciding Charlotte was more important than work.
The woman he once had been in love with stiffened but didn’t turn around.

     Jake smiled when she started moving into the crowd and he watched as the tight, knee pencil skirt accentuated the sway of her hips. Oh, he would see her again, even if he had to do a little breaking and entering or the Queen of England wanted him to do security. Jake would find her. He’d let her know that, even after ten years, deep down in his gut he knew Charlotte was still his.

Stay tuned for more of Jake and Charlotte – If you want to know why I created these two characters go to www.deadwoodwriters.org for my writer’s blog entry Soft, Hard, Harder, on May 10, 2014.

Jacob and Charlotte – Meet Cute

Contiued from blog post on May10, 2014

There was a knock at her door. She blew out three harsh breaths and got up on shaky legs, grabbed her small purse, put in the lipstick and gloss, her driver’s license, her keys and money. She smoothed the tight bodice Lycra/cotton mix, and watched the flowing fabric at the skirt swirl around her knees as she turned to look in the mirror. The dress was something she never thought to wear before, but it was sexy, not a messed up mashed up swath of fabrics that felt more like a bag than clothes. She promised herself she would never hide behind unflattering clothes again. She deserved to feel confident and sexy. Didn’t she?
“Just a minute,” she called to Jake. She looked at herself one more time in the long mirror hanging on the bathroom door and smiled. “You can do this,” she whispered looking herself dead in the eye. Confident again, she walked into the small living room in her too-small apartment and opened the door. Her words dried up as soon as she saw Jake in a black suit and white button down shirt with the collar open.
*****
Jake sucked in a breath and exhaled on the word, “Hi.”
Damn she looked good, he thought. Neither of them spoke and just stared at other, and then she blinked in that cute deer in a head lights look he so loved.
“Ready to go,” her husky whisper lighting him up like a fire cracker.
He watched as she swallowed, the movement drawing his eyes to the beautiful curve of her neck as it swooped down into the slope of her collar bone to the plump part of her breasts that he loved so much. Goose bumps scattered across her skin as he watched carefully, knowing full well she was as turned on as he was. He shifted his stance. If Jake didn’t take her to dinner right this second he would pick her up and devour every inch of her luscious body.
Jake took a much needed breath to get a strangle hold on himself. He needed to go slow. Her eyes may say one thing but he knew her past haunted her. She had alluded to what had happened to her but never had given him the full story. What he did know was that she got jumpy and put on the breaks whenever they did a little more than kiss. A couple months ago, he would have been an asshole not giving her the time of day, as many girls would attest to being that he mostly was out for his own pleasure. One night and then a see you later, but he couldn’t seem to do that with Charlotte.
Something about Charlottes wild nature, her love of everything in the art world–previous to the 21stcentury–especially the Renaissance or, that she would stop and draw whenever she felt the need, getting out her sketch book and pencils, pulling a pen from her hair, had a hold over him.
“Yeah, I’m ready.” His words having more meaning then Charlotte could possibly ever know.
*****
Dinner was wonderful. Jake treated Charlotte to a delicious meal at a small Italian restaurant, with an even smaller dance floor. Candles flickered in gold and orange light shadowing Jake’s strong features, making him look mysterious.
Jakes hands wrapped around her in a tight embrace, one arm low near her waist and the other high at her shoulders. She rested her head on Jakes chest, his heart beat steady while hers raced like a scared rabbits as he teased the dimples below her waistline with one of his fingers. It felt exhilarating but she was scared at what was to come tonight, what she knew she wanted. Nonetheless, her nerves knotted in her stomach and bounced around like a pinball meeting bumpers and rails.
As if Jake could read her mind he said, “Do you want to get out of her?”
All Charlotte could do was nod.
He guided her back to the table and paid the bill making sure he left a good tip.
Walking out to his car, his hands were constantly touching her, her hair, her back and finally wrapping around her bringing her in close, hip to hip, his stride slowing to match hers.
“Am I taking you home Charlotte?”
She bit her lip in worry when they reached the car. Jake turned to face her and didn’t take his eyes off her. Charlotte didn’t look away from his intense stare, his desire evident when she licked her dry lips and his eyes heated.
Charlotte took a deep shaky breath and shook her head, afraid to speak. She wasn’t going home. She was going to his place.
Jakes smile spread slowly and he leaned in, dragged his lips across hers not deep, not wild, but enough to make her shiver with every feather-soft touch of skin. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt this kind of need. Maybe she had never felt it.
Charlotte didn’t remember the ride to Jake’s apartment. Her mind kept spinning around what he would do to her, while he traced circles around and around on her thigh where her hem had ridden up.
He parked, guided her out of the car, up, and into his apartment, and had her inside and backed up against the closed door before she could even get her mind around what he was happening. Then he stopped, his eyes so intent on her that she forgot to breathe.
“Charlotte,” Jake whispered right before his fingers reached for the nape of her neck and his lips took hers. She groaned and her fingers clutched the lapels of his jacket and quickly peeled it over his shoulders ready to move into the bedroom. She wanted him, needed him now before she lost her nerve. It had been so long for her she didn’t want to wait but on the other hand, she was scared to death of what she might feel, if Jake felt the same way. Would he be gentle? Would his needs come before hers?
Jake let her go long enough to have the jacket fall to the floor at his feet. He kicked it away and his hands retuned this time to her hips as he kissed a trail down her neck, short licks and wisps of tongue caressed her skin. Fingers massaged and moved lower, his grip never lessening. Charlotte’s right leg moved up and wrapped around his hip. She hummed as he ground his arousal against her. “Jake, let’s go to the bedroom.”
He lifted his head just as he flicked his moist tongue just above the rise of her breast. “Ohh!” He nipped her, laughed, and then licked the same spot. Jake reached down for her other leg.
“Jump up hon.” She did as he bid and wrapped her legs around his muscled waist. He kissed her hard once more and turned blindly toward his room hugging her to him in just the right spot. Jake set her down at the end of the bed, their bodies still connected, drawing out the pleasure as her feet touched the floor. He began kissing her while his hands went to her shoulders finding the edge of her dress. He brought the fabric down inch by inch and followed it down as he released her lips. Her head fell back as the fabric brushed across her taut nipples. Her fingers racked through his hair and held on as he kissed through the fabric of her lace bra. “Jake please?”
“Please, what baby?”
“I don’t know. I need,” she squirmed against his arousal. “I need…” Jake groaned.
“Shh. I have you.” He said. “I’ll give you what you need, baby.” The dress hit the floor as he finished peeling it off her. Jake quickly rid himself of his shirt and pants, while she watched under hooded eyes. He smiled and grabbed her. Charlotte squeaked with the sudden movement. Eyes dancing with laughter, Jake set one arm on the bed and the other came around her, holding her tightly as he guided slowly to the mattress, letting his weight come down on top of her, his other arm bracing some of his weight at a point next to her head. She felt like she was floating on a cloud, his warmth felt so wonderful, like a hot summer day.
Her hands roamed over every inch of his muscular body, the slow sensuous glide he started only making her wild, the heat between them building. He felt perfect. There was no fear of her past, not an inkling of disconnect from Jake. He wanted her and she felt wanted. As they moved together, they only stopped to discard the rest of their cloths, to be skin to skin. Charlotte’s lace bra and panties landed next to Jake’s boxer briefs.
With hurried movements, Jake reached over to the nightstand and pulled out a condom, taking care of her by taking care of himself. When he came back down on top of her, their eyes met and she knew that she could love him. Knew that it was already happening, but she ignored that pull now and concentrated on what Jake was doing, as he moved into her moist heat. She arched her back and moaned, as Jake swore under his breath with another gentle push, he was fully seated.
“You okay, Charlotte?” She didn’t speak. “Baby?”
“Don’t stop Jake.” He replied to her statement by rocking his hips back and forth, the movement like soft brush strokes.
Charlotte could feel her insides quiver with every thrust. It felt so good. Her legs came up and held tight to his hips as his movements became faster, his thrusts deeper until she was on the edge of something she thought she would never have, never feel. Jake grunted, jerked, and pushed one last time as he ground against her sex. Her hips came to meet his and her world lit on fire as the climax that was just out of reach ignited like a wildfire. Her scream reverberated through the room as Jake groaned and held her close and pumped into her as his own orgasm erupted. Jakes hips moved in and out of her as her excitement settled and then he collapsed on top of her as her soft mews lessened and her body relaxed into the bed.
Charlotte’s arms came around Jake’s dewy skin and held on tight. She didn’t want to let him go, ever. She hoped he wouldn’t let her go either.
*****
A cell phone rang.
Jake stirred stumbled out of bed away from the warmth of Charlotte’s naked body. He so wanted to see what would happen in round two. The phone stopped ringing. When he finally found his phone and saw the number of the missed call he immediately brought up his voice mail and cursed a mad streak while trying to figure out what to do.
“Everything okay,” Charlotte said with her head peaking out of the comforter.
“I gotta go.” He hurried and grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, getting dressed in a flurry of movement and regret. Jake didn’t know when he would be back. He knew this would happen and he never told Charlotte about his trouble and now he wouldn’t have the time. “Shit!”
“Jake? What’s going on?”
“I have to go. You have to get dressed so I can get you home safely.”
“What?” She looked so confused when she sat up holding the bedding to just under her chin.
“I’m sorry baby, but I’ve got a family emergency that can’t be helped.” He stood and looked down at her face, the guilt he was feeling making his stomach churn with acid. Would he ever see her again? Jesus. He ran his fingers through his hair. “Please Charlotte.”
“Okay.” She said, the word monotone as her face went blank.
When he pulled up in front of her place not turning off his engine, thunder clapped and lighting sliced through the sky. Jake’s wipers dashed back and forth across the windshield trying to keep up with the rain. He looked over at Charlotte and felt like the biggest dick in the universe. She would never want him after this. She would never forgive him and he would never forgive himself.
“Charlotte?” She turned and looked at him, her stare vacant, and the slightest quiver in her lips. “I’m sorry, baby. I…I had the most amazing night. I’ll try and call you okay.” All she did was nod.
When she got out, he leaned down so he could see her and called to her over the storm. “Charlotte?”
She slammed the door and ran for her door. All he could do was drive away. In the rearview mirror, he watched as Charlotte hunched over her purse, at her door, trying to get in her apartment looking utterly devastated and it was all Jake’s fault.

Stay tuned for more of Jake and Charlotte – If you want to know why I created these two characters go to www.deadwoodwriters.org for my latest writer’s blog entry Soft, Hard, Harder, on May 10, 2014.

Jacob and Charlotte – Meet Cute

Leaving The Grind, the local coffee shop, the shwiring of milk being frothed and the rrring pulse of coffee beans being pulverized was followed by a high pitched growl after a very unpleasant discussion with one of the girls he was seeing. Jacob didn’t look back and pushed the door open and a whirlwind of a female with frizzy brown hair in a verbal tirade on her phone and colored ink pens sticking out of a messy chignon, slammed into him, knocking him backward. She lost all that she was holding, including her phone, messenger bag and several books. Jake bent down to help gather up everything, while caffeine anxious students maneuvered around the two of them trying to get through the door, when a student bumped into her. The frazzled woman came at him in a wild tumbling heap and she went down, literally falling into his lap, her knees hitting the concrete step, her head nailing his crotch like a bullet.

He went down with an, “Umph!” His nostrils flared with each breath as he moaned through the pain. She let out a squeak with a muffled repetitive, “Sorry, sorry, sorry. Oh Jesus, are you okay?” Her head came up with her hands on either side of his hips. She was almost on top of him.

Cracking his eyes open through the pain as he lay on his back, he could see she had the face more along the lines of a girl instead of woman as he first thought, but when her gaze held his he could see a weariness in her eyes that belied that youthfulness. When he blinked away the hold she had on him, he noticed the sprinkling of freckles across her nose and cheeks and her messy hair fluttering in wisps across pink cheeks and neck. His mother would call her, fairy kissed. Jacob’s lip curled into a half smile. Where else might he find her freckles, he wondered.

He shook his head when she cleared her throat.

“I’ll be fine,” he said, his voice strained as she sat back on her heels and he adjusted himself.

****

When she finally gathered her things and stood, Charlotte knew her cheeks were bright red, her clumsiness a common cause of her embarrassment. Her lips pressed in on her teeth and she grabbed her phone and put it to her ear. No one there. Good. She didn’t want to listen to her mother’s latest reason for using her against her father in the divorce. As if she could do that, she was twenty-two for goodness sake. She took a cleansing breath and looked down to make sure the man she had fallen on was okay.

Charlotte watched as he gathered himself and stood. Her jaw dropped open as he towered over her. He must be more than a foot taller than her 5’-6”, she thought.

She picked up her jaw and stepped back almost falling again, when he reached out for her. He gripped her upper arms before she embarrassed herself. He pulled her so close she could feel his chest rise and fall with each breath. He quickly stepped back and to the side. When she righted herself and didn’t wobble, she tried to step away but he pulled her further to the side away from the traffic in the doorway.

“Here.” He handed her one of her colored pens that had fallen out of her mass of hair. She patted the tangle she hadn’t bothered to wash this morning. Charlotte regretted that now.

“I’m Charlotte,” she said startled by the volume of her voice, her nerves getting the better of her.

His smile was slow, his teeth straighter than hers would ever be and his body…God he was attractive. Definitely out of her league. Yep, totally out of her league.

“Hi, Charlotte.” Her name dripped from his lips like a soft caress across her skin. Her heart beat stuttered. Her breathing…well she forgot to do that.

He reached out with a long tanned arm and she dared not move. His long fingers caught a stray hair and curled it around her ear, the tips of his finger then trailing down to flick her chandelier earring that was missing a bead. She hadn’t had time to fix it.

She shivered with the contact, his smile ratcheting up a notch. Charlotte licked her lips.

****

Jacob watched Charlotte’s small wet tongue swipe her lips and he had to hold back a groan. What the hell was he thinking? He just called it quits with a regular hook-up who was getting to clingy, now he was thinking about this girl. He looked down where he hadn’t realized his thumbs rubbed on the inside of her elbow. Her skin was warm and soft in is rough hands, the contrast something he wanted to explore.

No, dammit! He couldn’t do this to himself again.

One woman at a time. If he could just have a taste of the innocence she seemed to convey, would it somehow rub off on him. God, for a 28 year old he sure was an immature asshole. He really needed to get his life together. Jacob wasn’t going to be around campus much longer, hooking up with her once wouldn’t hurt anybody. He seemed to pause on that thought for a long time. No, I won’t do it, he thought. Something he’d seen in her eyes told him she had been broken at one time. Yes, he saw the innocence in her but there was a fire in her eyes, something darker too, just lingering under her skin. Could he do a one night stand with Charlotte? Jacob knew he wouldn’t let her go without giving her as much pleasure as possible. Would that be enough?  Looking at the picture in his mind, leaving her in a rumpled bed, skipping out in the dark, imagining her waking to an empty space next to her… Jacob shook his head. He looked back through the window of the coffee shop. His now ex-hook-up glared at him. Jacob flinched and turned back to Charlotte. Of all the reasons he knew he wasn’t good for her he still couldn’t walk away.

****

Did he tell her his name? Charlotte thought.

“Were you going in for a coffee, Charlotte?” He kept smiling as if enjoying her discomfort. Jerk, she thought. I wish he would stop rubbing his thumbs along my arms, she thought. Charlotte almost stomped her foot. He knew perfectly well what she was doing here. And why was he acting so familiar with her? Did she know him? She didn’t think she had ever met him.

“Obviously. It is a coffee shop after all. You never did tell me your name.”

“Nope.” His eyes danced with laughter, which she could see now were a dark brown, like coffee beans that had been roasted long and hot. His flirting was making her head spin as she tried to recover her higher reasoning.

“Well, what is it? I think I should know whose ego I just nailed…I mean, bruised, I mean…never mind,” she said disgusted with herself.

He leaned back and laughed. Her lips trembled and she let go, couldn’t help but laugh too. The whole situation was crazy, ridiculous. But boy did he make her nervous.

“My name’s Jacob. But I think you can call me Jake, since you’re so familiar with my ego.”

When he finally let her arms go, and his warmth went with him, she sighed with disappointment. But then he reached out and took her free hand making contact again and it was like a zap to her girly parts, a reminder they could use a good dusting. Heat flushed her cheeks and she dropped his hand as if he had branded her with a hot poker. She wished something hot would poke her. Charlotte finally took a much needed breath. Dear God, what was Jake doing to her. She hadn’t thought of sex with…with, well she didn’t want to think about the last time. She had put up a sign, “Closed until further notice. Out of order.”, thinking she would never want to take it down. Ever. Things had gone so wrong the last and only time she’d had sex.

“You’re an art major?”

“Huh?” She grunted, caught again by the strong angles of his face and full lips. He had this cute divot in his chin too.

Jake pointed to the book she’d forgot she was holding.

“Oh. Yeah. I mean, no.” She shifted her messenger bag to her other shoulder shuffling her books for a better grip. He watched her do it. Why did she find that sexy, the way his eyes followed her every move? “Ah, I’m majoring in graphic design. Art history is a hobby of mine.”

“Yeah?” His expression looked confused. Most people were. They couldn’t understand how art history could be a hobby. It didn’t matter. She wouldn’t be sharing her passion for the antiquated with anyone any time soon. That was private and something she had shared with her grandmother.

Distracted by his unwavering stare, goose bumps rose on her skin and she could only nod, flustered. She needed to get her coffee and go; she had a project due and little time to finish. Talking to Jake was a waste of time. What was there to like about her? She had no sense of style, her hair was always a mess, and she was constantly falling or bumping into things.

His head nodded toward the door. “Let me help you.” Jake went to take her bag.

“No!” She shouted, quickly shifting her bag out of reach and attracting curious looks because of the outburst. “I mean, that’s okay. I got it.” She had other things in her bag that he didn’t need to see. Like the pile of cash, she needed to deposit at the bank before it closed. Charlotte definitely didn’t need to be explaining where all the money came from.

Her things wobbled perilously to one side. With a quicker reaction than she thought possible, Jake grabbed her shoulders and righted her and was suddenly leading her with his arm wrapped around her holding her by the elbow guiding her through the coffee house door, sitting her down close to the window on her favorite sofa. The light was perfect for drawing.

He stood staring down at her and she couldn’t take her eyes off his commanding demeanor. He just took her over, moving her where he wanted her. “What’s your drink?”

She blinked up at him. Charlotte really needed to go, but her words just poured out. “Medium mocha, extra shot of espresso.” A single nod and he was ordering at the counter. Her eyes didn’t leave this mysterious man. The light from the window seemed to make his sun-kissed hair glow. It was too long, brushing the edge of the top of his t-shirt. Her eyes trailed down his muscled back to a lean waist–but not too lean–where the cut muscles at his hips joined others to make a perfectly formed ass. Damn he was gorgeous.

When he her turned back she looked away quickly. He set her drink on the table in front of her and then sat down next to her stretching out his very long legs, resting them on the coffee table, one foot over the other. The man continued to crowd her as he reached his arms out across the back of the sofa brushing his fingers over her unruly hair. Her body heated up to burning. So turned on by this strange, sexy man, she didn’t know what to do with herself, or how to get rid of him. When he was finally comfortable, she turned away; ignoring him, and wrapped her shaking fingers around her coffee, and noticed his cowboy boots. Who wears cowboy boots around here? She turned back to ask him what he wanted with her and couldn’t help but admire the rest of him. Jeeze! Jakes body looked rock hard, everywhere. Would he feel as good as he looked, all that hard muscle on top of her? Her fingers gripped the cup tighter. Her eyes kept roaming and, very indecently, landed on his lap. He looked fully recovered now. Oh boy! She thought. Thanks to all those romance novels she’d read she knew that what he was carrying would be much better than her B.O.B. (Battery operated boyfriend).

“Damn!”

“What?” He said, the crack of his smile peeking out, just as the sound of the grinder shut off.

Shit, did she say that aloud? Oh boy. She needed to get some new batteries.


Stay tuned for more of Jake and Charlotte – If you want to know why I created these two characters go to www.deadwoodwriters.org for my latest writer’s blog entry Soft, Hard, Harder, on May 10, 2014.