Untitled (after the Hunter’s Landing Tavern scene)

Author’s Note: This scene is included in Office Politics and changed to Frannie’s point-of-view, although it was originally written for The Sam Chapters. Please no one think that I’m condoning infidelity. I’m not really much of a believer in “situational ethics” or “situational morals.” Wrong is wrong – but people make mistakes. People may have the best of intentions and make the worst of decisions. My goal in my work has never just been to tell a love story; it’s to portray a relationship – good, bad, ugly, and beautiful moments that define who we are and how we interact. Sam Harrison is no different than hundreds of other men locked into loveless, desperately unhappy marriages, who lose their grip on right and wrong and indulge in a moment of relief and joy with someone they truly love.


We walk silently from our cars to her front door. Frannie fidgets with her keys, damn near dropping them into the fountain near her door—the same fountain into which she threw Eric Edwards phone after their disastrous date.

She stops at her front door and leans against her, slotting the key in the lock. “Well… Thanks for seeing me home, Sam.”

We both know that it was completely unnecessary for me to “make sure she gets home all right”—although, truth be told, Fran can’t handle alcohol very well. And this awkwardness between us now…should it be there, I wonder, after we spent God knows how much time kissing in the parking lot of Hunter’s Landing Tavern?

“No problem. Sorry you almost got arrested for indecent exposure.”

She blushes. Even in the dim porch light it’s clearly visible. “Yeah, me too. My own fault for stripping in public, I guess.”

And then the awkward silence descends again, but this time fully charged with sexual awareness. So I close the gap, leaning in to kiss her. Her lips are soft and warm, and the air around her is scented with that shampoo that I so like. She draws away a couple of inches.

“Would you like to come in for coffee?” She asks, and her blush transcends crimson.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’d like that.”

She smiles, still with that furious color in her cheeks, turns the key, and steps through the door, waiting for me to follow her in. I take two steps past her. She shuts the door, and when she turns back around, I’ve closed the distance again. Her eyes are wide, catching the light from the lamp she left on in the living room. They’re like large, copper disks fringed with black lashes. Her eyes are incredible, and I think they’re what hooked me from the moment I first met her. That and her smile. And those long legs. And…

The heat of her body is radiating in the space between us. I tangle one hand into her hair; her eyes half-close and her breath catches in her throat. Me, I don’t think I’m even breathing.

I draw her up on her tiptoes to my kiss, and it’s an easy thing from there to slide my arms around her and pull her against me. Passion explodes between us, raging like a house on fire. I can’t get her close enough, even though she’s so close you couldn’t put a sheet of paper between us.

Somehow we’re moving down the hallway to her bedroom. The sofa is closer, but I don’t want our first time together to be on a sofa. Frannie deserves silk sheets and satin duvets, aromatic candles and fine, red wine.

I’ve managed to get her shirt unbuttoned, and her creamy skin against the amber silk glows in the dim lamplight from her bedroom. Her lacy bra accentuates her breasts rather than covers them. At long last the perfection of one of those breasts fills my hand. Frannie wrenches away from my lips, gasping in a breath as my mouth moves against her neck. I press her against me, and her gasp becomes a quavering sigh.

Her hand tangles into my hair and she pulls me to her, her mouth crushing against mine. I’d sensed passion in her before—and had been given evidence of it in the tavern parking lot—but I’d never expected the passion of a courtesan under her awkward, girl-next-door exterior. No femme fatale, but a young woman unsure of how to handle the strength of her libido.

I break away enough to ask, “Frannie, are you sure you want to do this?”

She laughs, a husky chuckle that sends shivers through me. “Oh, I’m sure.”

And I ask at least half a dozen more times before I lay her back on her bed, before the last barriers of clothing and caution are stripped away and we’re skin to skin, my mouth blazing a trail of sensation over her exquisite flesh, dragging us into a feverish dream of desperate animalistic need. I swallow her groan of pleasure, our rocking rhythm adding a delicious friction. My control breaks, and I have no words to describe the places we go, except to say I think we might have danced through heaven.

I leave at 3:00 a.m. I don’t know how I’m going to explain myself at home. All I know is I have zero regrets.

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Character-driven fiction. Because characters matter.

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