Stay With Me – Item #1 Complete

I will continue posting information, articles and links for Mental Health Awareness Month, but for today, I wanted to give you a sample of my latest book, Stay With Me. You may wonder what one has to do with the other, but you’ll just have to read for yourself. Below, Alma is preparing to steal a kiss from Noah, but the secrets she is hiding is making her second-guess herself.
‪#‎mhm2016‬ ‪#‎MentalHealth‬ ‪#‎StayWithMe‬
* * *
Alma clutched her handbag tightly and pushed open the door to Mister Bill’s Used Bookstore. With her heart pounding in anticipation, she proceeded into the store.
There’s nothing to it, she told herself. The plan was simple enough, after all: find Noah, kiss him and leave. What could go wrong?
Everything…just forget this and turn around.
Even as impulsive as Alma was, walking up to a complete stranger and kissing them was not something she did every day. It wasn’t something she did…mostly. And it probably wasn’t something Noah did ever. But kissing him was something she simply had to do today of all days. He was after all the sexiest man she knew.
Well, not knew, maybe more like acquainted with; or rather observed from distance. Okay, ogled, but it wasn’t without deep appreciation for his fine features.
Alma wasn’t much of a reader, but on the rare occasion she had wandered into the store looking for a particular book, she had seen Noah. He was thinner than most of the guys she dated in the past, but his angular frame fit him perfectly. He had a head full of dirty brown locks; eyes the color of rich, dark chocolate and a five o-clock shadow that gave him a gruff, yet sexy appearance. She didn’t catch his name until her second visit, but by then she knew she had to kiss him.
Inside the bookstore, a young woman was seated on a stool behind the front counter. Alma made brief eye contact with her and quickly wandered into the first aisle she came across. Her steps were quiet on the carpeted floor. She looked around her as she walked, hoping to see Noah. The store was almost empty though, save for another female employee deep in conversation with a young man around the same age. Neither paid her any attention – which was fine with Alma. She didn’t need help, she just needed Noah.
What if he’s got a girlfriend? she pondered as she started up another aisle. Someone as cute as Noah was certain to have a significant other; and with her string of failed relationships, the last thing she wanted was to hear was how he was unavailable. She didn’t agree nor did she partake of cheating, but it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission, or so the saying went.
Alma turned the corner, unaware of the genre of books she just passed. That’s when she saw him: tall, unassuming, gentle, quiet Noah. He was walking towards her with his arms full of books. His expression was blank, until his eyes met hers. Alma wasn’t sure if he even recognized her, but before she could talk herself out of doing what she came to do, she strode right up to him. She stopped long enough to gaze into his eyes, then she leaned in and kissed him.
His lips were soft. She didn’t know why that surprised her, but it did and she liked it. Getting more comfortable with her actions (and the fact that Noah didn’t shirk from her in shock), Alma opened her mouth and let her tongue lead her. Noah followed suit. He dropped the books and took her into his arms – another surprise. There wasn’t much to him weight-wise, but his embrace was comforting, all-encompassing. Alma would have been happy to stay in it all day – except it wasn’t what she came to do. The illicit moment she had sought was already escalating. She had to stop.
Alma slowly pulled away from Noah, who gazed at her with that same blank face he bore just minutes earlier. She considered saying something to him, perhaps thanking him or finding something sarcastic to make light of a situation that was certainly out of the norm, but then she thought better. It was best to leave him while things were still good: he hadn’t recoiled in horror.
But that’s only because he doesn’t know the truth…
And he won’t, she told herself. This was all she would get; all she would give.
Only when she was ready to leave did Alma realize she dropped her purse. She bent down to get it and all her contents. Noah joined her in an attempt to help her. Alma was awestruck: he was like a faithful little puppy following his master. Unable to help herself, she leaned in and kissed him again, a quick peck on his soft lips. Her parting gift. She wanted more, but it was time to go. Alma gave him one last smile, rose to her feet and left.
Item 1 – complete.
SWM
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