Happy New Week folks!
I’m ready to dive into my current WIP. It’s a fun one about a reluctant bride and a surprise be groom. But I woke up thinking about Gabby, my heroine from Threads of Desire and what’s she’s up to. I do that at times as if my characters are real people out there in the world. Gabby was such a fun character to write since she had such a big voice in my head that sometimes could not be contained. But in writing there is this thing called editing and it’s up to the editor to contain that voice and like many writers I keep a file of my deleted scenes so I thought I’d share a bit of Gabby with you today from a (secret) deleted early scene from Threads of Desire to give you a little glimpse into her world. I hope you enjoy it.
Crap. It’s your own stupid fault for getting into this mess, Gabrielle Russell thought as she once again tried to scoot out of Donovan’s too tight grasp. It was hot, both inside and out, with this sudden burst of a summer heat wave and Gabby was starting to feel like she was suffocating from all the plastic covering the woman’s suits in the sample closet that they were currently pressed into the back corner of. Her lip curled. It was downright sordid the way they were tucked back there making out like every couple from every made-for-TV movie where the wife gets her revenge in the end.
It wasn’t that Donovan was such a bad a guy, or that he was married. Oh, God no, definitely not married. Without the proper sanctioning of his mama, the girl’s meatball recipe passing muster, and probably the purchase of a home lot right next to his parents’ out on Long Island, there was no way Dono was walking down the aisle. He was too much of a mama’s boy for that.
Suddenly the vision of Dono’s mother bursting through the hanging plastic, shears in hand, gave Gabby a shudder. True to form, Donovan took it as a sign that he was hitting the right spot, his tongue lapping quickly at her ear. Sadly, he was not. “Oh I love it when you shake that way, baby,” he murmured.
Gabby’s eyes rolled heavenward, where she spied cracks in the ceiling and a water stain near the steam pipe in the shape of a canned ham. She let out a sigh and worked on giving a number to Dono, tagging him mistake #97in a long line of many. Her lip twisted again as she started working on a way out of this closet and out of this mess.
Dono had been eyeing her on and off (okay, mostly off) for the three years she had been working at his father’s company, Zenia Fashions. (Side bar: if you have to put the word fashions on the tail end of your company name chances are it isn’t all that much of a fashion company.)
“You sure you don’t have some Italian in you?” he’d ask in an attempt at flirting, taking in Gabby’s toasted caramel skin, his eyes squinting at her naturally curly hair and the freckles that sometimes peeked through her foundation.
“No, Donovan, I told you before, I’m a Black girl. You know, African-American. Sorry to disappoint you but, nothing any more exotic than that.” Gabby was sure if someone traced far enough back in her family tree they’d probably find all sorts of ethnic backgrounds dangling off limbs, but who had the time—and besides, she was not about to jump through genealogy hoops to placate ol’ Dono.
But with her recent diet Dono had upped his interest, going from the gloss over to the “I’d definitely tap that” in the space of a few weeks.
Gabby had gone from a size 18 down to a curvy 16 that she could jackhammer into a stretchy 14—which on her tall frame was something she could work with like she was mother effing Naomi Campbell. Well, that was if the foundation garments were right and the attitude was in check.
Either way, she’d been feeling swanky having picked up said sausage skirt off the rack in the so-called “regular” department (as if the week before she’s somehow been an irregular species) and said yes to his lunch offer—after all, he’d promised it would be a business lunch.
And they had talked business. Dono knew that when she’d been hired by his father, Giovanni, he’d pulled her in with a promise of a new line and an updated look, but Giovanni had continued to blame money troubles, price point, sourcing, or just anything and everything, and as of now the whole thing was put on hold. Gabby was ambitious and wanted more than anything to bring Zenia into the here and now, thus pushing her own name out of low level obscurity. She’d had enough of the slinky fabrics and out there prints. It was time to move on. But it seemed no matter what she tried she couldn’t get away from the back room and the unglamorous life of fashion on the D list.
Rule #87: At steak lunch, go easy on the steak and even easier on the bread. You’ve been on beets for weeks and your brain is muddled. You’re liable to go for anything—such as looking goofy and nodding with a stupid steak and bread grin on your face when your boss’s son runs his hand from your bare thigh on up to your Spanx. You will only feel like a fool when you end up in a closet with sequins on your behind.
For a half a second Dono shifted and the lapping tongue went from inside her ear to just behind it to that sensitive little section that made her nerves tingle all the way down to… oh freaking hell. Her mind did a jump and instantly she was no longer in the sample closet of Zenia Fashions at 1407 Broadway—no, she was over ten years back in the past in an oversized walk-in at the posh Dean of Admissions house at Bonnersville State. Gabby frowned, trying hard to push the memory aside, silently cursing the fact that it came back so easily.
Mistake #1 in the long line. Head of the line. Well, maybe he wasn’t mistake number one, no, she wouldn’t give him that (that honor would have to go to her ill-advised crush on a particular ’90s icon with a penchant for high tops both above and below), but Nick was the one who always came to mind when the numbering started. The one that had hurt the most, but still the one that had taught her the best.
Nick had made her that weekend. Changed her. Took her from the naive girl who thought there was actually a man out there for her, one who she could trust in this world, and turned her into the always jovial though jaded woman she was today. There was no trust. No real love. At least not for Gabby. It was the same ol’ same. Use what you got to get what you need. Get in, get out. Keep it moving.
Gabby sighed as Dono’s hand shimmied up toward her breasts. She moved back involuntarily, hitting plastic covered polyester, and her lips curved into a wry smile as she thought of her own stupidity. How in the hell had she done it again? Coats at her back and a hard man at her front. The first time, she’d welcomed it. She’d been young, naive, and living in the land of hope. But all that had come of it was her ending up pulling lint off her ass and squelching down humiliation as Nick left her with a sorry shrug and nothing more than a “how do you do” in the stark light of day, blaming it on the alcohol, the circumstances, whatever. Yeah, she knew better.
She bit at the inside of her cheek. It would probably be the same with Dono. To guys like him she wasn’t an outside type of girl. Not one to show off to friends or bring home to Mama. But yet, here she was. Stuck between a pipe and a hard place.
You can get your copy of Threads of Desire by just clicking here or on any of the links on the right. Thanks.
All the best,