Every girl has a secret (or two)…
On the verge of losing the Malibu home she inherited from her great-aunt, Addi Dekker is completely failing to prove to her family she can make it as a writer. Not exactly how a girl proves her independence. If she doesn’t want to give up her dream and go back to the soul-sucking job she just left, Addi has to swallow her dislike of Hollywood and rent the house out to the sexy-as-hell film producer.
And maybe (shhhh!) save money by secretly living there, too.
Roque Gallagher is pouring his heart and savings into his first independent film to make the industry acknowledge him for his talent and not just his family name. Addi’s home is perfect for the shoot, but she’s far too tempting. He’s never been able to handle work and a relationship, and this is the film of a lifetime. Between a shrinking budget and his director quitting, the last thing he needs is a sexy-as-sin tease like Addi. And he has a feeling there’s something she’s hiding…
Panties on Sale
Addi Dekker whistled Do You Hear What I Hear as she weaved in and out of the growing crowd at Malibu Country Mart. The scent of cinnamon and pine filled the air, bringing back all the memories of yesteryear. Her sister, Sam, and their mom. Dee. were meeting her at the Chocolate Box for a sweet treat before they tackled the sales at their favorite boutiques.
If she could get there.
The crowds thickened by the minute, and with the increase of people came the measured decrease in patience. She caught a ladies elbow in the gut, then swore she lost a toe under another’s heel. “Shit!” Hopping on one foot while holding the other damaged one in her hand, she made her way to a potted plant for support, no longer feeling the Christmas spirit. She never considered herself a masochist, but seriously reconsidered that fact now. Why in the hell did she agree to go shopping on Black Friday?
She’d been riding a high after successfully standing up to her loving but overly involved family at Thanksgiving dinner, and the delicious dessert she’d shared in Roque’s bed after only increased the power of the heady sensation. It all left her feeling as though she could take on the world, but no achievement of self could prepare her for the madness of a holiday sale. Pushing away from the pot, and this time more aware of the dangers of her surroundings, she made her way to the Chocolate Box.
Warmed from a cayenne hot chocolate and sea salt and cocoa dipped pretzels, Addi, Dee, and Sam made a strategic plan to get out of the Malibu Country Mart alive and with their shopping done. Arm in arm, with their bags held in front of them, they ascended upon the shopping center like the Spartans from the movie 300, the only thing missing was their war cry.
One by one, they crossed items off of their lists. A sweater for grandma, a new pipe for grandpa, and a gift card from the seasoning shop for her dad. Addi loved giving presents even more than she liked receiving them, which of course she did. But the smiles on the recipients faces never failed to make her feel like she won the gold. Inside one of the high-end boutique clothing stores, their final stop for the day, Dee held up a bikini with sunbursts against a light blue background. “Addi, this would look amazing on you. Go try it on.”
Addi shook her head. “It’s gorgeous, but I’m not prepared to try anything on today mom. Besides, this isn’t a shopping-for-me day.”
But her mother was as persistent as waves in the ocean, pushing against her with much more force than expected. “Oh, come on. Don’t be shy. With your figure, it’ll be stunning.”
“Mom, I don’t want—
“For me, Addi.”
“Quit being so difficult.”
Sam stepped up. “She’s not wearing any underwear.” Then popping a holiday cookie from the font counter into her mouth, winking at the gentleman standing just behind her mother.
“Sam!” Both Dee and Addi exclaimed in unison.
Sam put her hands up. “Hey, I’m wearing underwear, mom. I’ll try on anything you want to buy me.”
Addi stuck her tongue out at Sam, and her sister returned the gesture but her tongue was covered in chewed cookie dough.
Dee turned to Addi. “Honey, you really aren’t wearing your panties?”
Heat rushed to Addi’s hairline, and not for the first time in her life, wished she could disappear. It was amazing how the word ‘panties’ got people’s attention. The holiday buzz of the store went silent as all heads turned her way.
A young man shopping with his girlfriend piped up, looking Addi up and down in appreciation. “I’m all for a no panties policy.” The slap across the back of his head that followed didn’t faze him in the least, and Addi suspected he got it a lot and deserved it. She turned back to Dee. “Mom, I am not talking about this with you right now. “
“But honey, if you don’t wear panties how do you…I mean, there’s an amount of…”
Addi grabbed her mother’s and her sister’s hands and lead them from the store. “I don’t need a new bathing suit.”
Sam dug in her heels with a laugh. “But I want another cookie.”
Addi narrowed her eyes at her sister. “We’re supposed to be on the same side.”
Sam grinned. “I’m on the side of the checkbook, and until you sell your books, I know you aren’t holding it.”
Addi sneered. “Ha…ha…ha. Not nice.”
Once again fighting the mob of people on the sidewalk, Sam slid her arm through Addi’s, and her mother did the same on her other side. Dee gave a little squeeze. “Well, panties or no panties, there’s nobody else I’d want to spend my day with. Just make sure you don’t sit on my lap like you have the habit of doing.”
Addi gasped. “Mom!”
Dee waved her hand in front of her in dismissal. “Oh please, you’re wearing a skirt. I love you, but no mother wants that.”
Addi stared at her a beat, then broke into a full bellied laugh, and both her mother and sister joined her. No indeed.
It felt good to laugh, to spend time with two of the most important loves of her life, and from the response of everyone in the store, she had an idea for a no panties policy the next time she was with Roque.
The thought of him warmed her more than the California sun ever could.
Merry Christmas to all, and without panties, to all a very good night!
Meet MK Meredith!
MK Meredith writes single title contemporary romance promising an emotional ride on heated sheets. She believes the best route to success is to never stop learning.
Her lifelong love affair with peanut butter continues. Only two things come close in the battle for her affections: gorgeous heels and maybe Gerard Butler…or was it David Gandy? Who is she kidding? Her true loves are her husband and two children who have survived her SEA’s (spontaneous explosions of affection) and live to tell the tale. The Meredith’s live in the D.C. area with their two large fur babies…until the next adventure calls.
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