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Day’s Verse:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Ephesians 1:3-4
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Note: Some sexually suggestive language in this section. Also, I just had to stop writing tonight, so it ends abruptly.

For the life of him, Hunter couldn’t think why he had requested that she stay after class. It just didn’t make any sense, not even when he recognized her and remembered she was a friend of Summer’s that he had met on that unforgettable jump. She was the friend Summer talked about most often, when she mentioned friends at all, almost as if Summer had no other friends than this one woman. Come to think of it, Hunter hadn’t yet met any of Summer’s friends or heard her talk about them at all; he wondered how much she’d socialized outside her husband’s group, and suspected it was very little. Had she perhaps even been a housewife? Hard to imagine him with a woman who had once lived that deliciously traditional life, but then, Hunter prided himself on having eclectic taste when it came to women.

But why had he asked this friend of Summer’s whose name he couldn’t remember—only that it was something weird—to stay after class? He rumpled his hair thoughtfully as he watched his students, many of them returning education people but some young kids who hadn’t gotten into the UW proper, hastily packing their notebooks into saggy backpacks as if they expected a nuclear blast five minutes after class ended. What did they hurry like that for, with this mass exodus at the doors that jammed them all in a bottleneck anyway? Shit, what was he going to say to her? She’d be coming up soon; he could see her weaving against the rush of students towards him even now. The truth would never do, not telling her that the request had been borne out of an almost-reflex of hitting on hot women that Hunter developed years ago. The habit persisted, his relationship with Summer aside. And that relationship was quickly becoming thorny, taking twists Hunter never intended but somehow found himself helpless to prevent.

Oh, he cared for Summer alright, and she was a nice enough girl for a date, but Hunter wanted somebody to share passion with. It was becoming increasingly evident to Hunter that he wouldn’t share any passion with Summer without making more of a commitment than he would make to anybody these days. Hell, he barely talked to his parents these days. He just didn’t want the encumbrance of any serious long-term relationships, whether between himself and a woman (and plenty of women had thrown their hearts at his feet over the years) or himself and his family. Hunter had long ago decided that his personality simply was not suited to commitment any longer than six months, but usually all he wanted was an exciting time and painless partings.

Continue reading.Which raised some very legitimate questions about his relationship with Summer at this point, such as What was he doing with Summer right now? He might not make commitments, but she had the feel of a woman settling down for the long haul. After all, she’d stuck with Scuzzbag for XXX sucky years, long after she’d passed a level of misery Hunter couldn’t even understand. And she actually still missed that life! She had actually told Hunter that until she met him, she would have taken Lance back to resume the life she’d left behind, even with “that slut Charmin” haunting the background. All this added up to a woman who totally wasn’t Hunter’s type, all reserved propriety and chaste hand-holding. For that, though, he genuinely liked her and had no intention of changing anything anytime soon—not in that relationship, at least. He thought perhaps a small addition to his love life wouldn’t hurt anything as long as Summer didn’t find out. If she did find out, Hunter couldn’t imagine what she might do, with Lance’s infidelity such a fresh wound still. Maybe he’d hold off for a while, even if it meant a little extra bonding with his own hand, to spare Summer’s extremely tender feelings.

And there stood her friend, head cocked like an inquisitive sparrow, booted foot tapping impatiently, arms crossed beneath truly fantastic breasts emphasized by her tight shirt emblazoned with BERLIN across the front of it. She certainly knew how to dress to grab a man’s attention, and didn’t hesitate to flaunt her amazing assets—namely, an ass emphasized by pants so tight Hunter wondered how she could breathe and a pair of equally tight shirts, the bottom one somewhat longer than the top. He’d never thought of that violet and forest green combination before, but she certainly pulled it off well. Despite his earlier consideration of Summer’s feelings, he wished he could find out if her friend pulled her other clothes off well, too, as she stripped. Hunter felt an erection growing as he imagined his hands cupping, squeezing, massaging those pert, firm breasts, then his lips on them, sucking and licking…

“Did you want something, Professor?” she asked impatiently, weighting “professor” with a depth of sarcasm usually only reserved for the lowest level of losers. Dang, but she was completely his kind of girl, almost the perfect archetype of woman he sought out—sexy as hell and full of attitude.

“You haven’t kept up with your reading, have you?” Hunter asked the first thing that came to mind and internally cursed at its utter lameness. No real professor would ask a college student, especially one clearly not fresh out of high school, to stay after to reprimand them about reading the book.

“I’m a busy working girl,” she told him, and somehow managed to make that suggest that she was busy with significantly more than work. “I don’t have very much time for reading books.”

“The text is an integral part of the class,” Hunter mouthed the words he had heard from so many professors over the years with increasing horror. How could he be saying this? It was like turning into his father, a worst nightmare come true in front of a gorgeous woman. “I don’t cover everything in class, and there’s a lot more you need to know that’s in the book.”

“That’s really too bad,” she replied saucily, “because I haven’t even bought the book yet. But if it reveals as much as you say…” She shifted her hips, not obviously but very, very provocatively; she eyed him up and down, clearly pausing at his crotch—could she see what felt like the tree trunk protruding out of his pants?—and moving her gaze slowly upwards, clearly envisioning him without clothes. Hunter had to remind himself to cool his jets. But she clearly had ideas about him, and how desperately he wanted to find out what those ideas were.

“You should really buy the book,” Hunter told her, “but if you don’t have a copy of it, you can borrow mine.” He turned to the front desk just to get her out of his vision and maybe think about something else for a minute. “I know I have it around here somewhere.” But search as he might, he simply couldn’t find the book, not for love or money.

“What, didn’t bring your book to class?” Her teasing tone begged him to respond in kind.

“I’ve got it all in my head anyway, miss smarty-pants.”

“Now that isn’t exactly appropriate, Professor.” Her grin suggested otherwise.

“Listen, if you promise to do the reading, I’ll bring my book next time and you can borrow it.”

“I have a better idea,” she said, and his heart beat faster. “How ’bout if I drop you at your place and I can get the book then?”

* * *

Doug hardly knew what to think of his interview with Summer. His predominant impression was one of slickness—she looked so polished in her black suit with her perfect makeup and hair mouthing what almost sounded like platitudes to Doug. She had clearly practiced her answers before, not a bad decision, but it still rubbed him the wrong way. Clearly she had enough technical expertise for the job. She knew the newspaper industry after her years of working, even if she had been pigeonholed in The Herald writing obits. What waste; it sounded like she had actually held a real journalism position in California, so he wondered why she had given that up for The Herald. Certainly not the pay, although if he gave her the sub-editor position she would receive a decent pay increase; perhaps personal reasons had drawn her to Washington.

Thinking about the interview, Doug inwardly shrugged. Summer Robertson had come off as intelligent and professional, probably capable of fulfilling his requirements for the sub-editor position, but when he’d come in she had been powdering her nose. Doug did not like the idea of her primping to look good for him, even though the interview was her place to look good. She had even seemed like she was flirting a little bit with him at some points, and that left Doug feeling very uncomfortable: she was an attractive woman, but he didn’t know if he liked her, and if he hired her he wouldn’t even consider a relationship with her.

The Herald had a very strict policy about relationships with coworkers, namely that they were absolutely forbidden, and Doug agreed with that policy by and large. Although he had met Joanna through his work; she’d been a photographer for The Seattle P-I covering a story he had gone to write up back in his earlier, journalistic days, before he’d become more management. But that was a long time ago, and Doug wasn’t interested in women these days. Especially not with somebody like Summer, who seemed to fluctuate between a very sweet, sensitive, desirable woman and this almost assumed personality of confidence and toughness. If she couldn’t even decide who she was at age 32, how could Doug rely on her to come through in a tough spot at work?

Then, too, the comments Fred had made still echoed in his ears. Somehow he had trusted Fred, with his bluff, no-nonsense personality that Doug found very appealing. Doug didn’t like beating around the bush, and he got the sense that Fred didn’t bush-beat either; they had connected a bit in that shared common ground. Somehow Doug wanted to give weight to Fred’s comments regarding Summer’s tendency to disagree and be difficult, even though Fred’s phrase—“talk back,” Doug thought it was—still sounded a little strange to him.

Shaking his head, Doug looked at his notes of the interview with Summer. He would keep them for his records, but he doubted he would need them in the future. Somehow he just felt that Summer wasn’t the right person to work as a sub-editor under him. He would just have to keep looking, outside The Herald if need be, to find somebody he felt better about. Or: My NaNoWriMo profile.

4 thoughts on “Romance Novel: Day 16

  1. No laugh-out-louds this time, but I was snickering through the first half.

    We see a very different side of Hunter here and it adds tons of depth, but feels a little out of character. It’s interesting watching him fumbling with words and unsure of himself, but we’ve gotten no inkling of that before, and he is on home territory in this scene. We either need earlier inklings of this, or (a better option) him to be more self-assured in this scene.

    Good job with the second half, but Chastity/Hunter continue to be waaay more interesting than Doug/Summer.

  2. I’m surprised at myself. I have gotten “hooked” on your novel. Yesterday I read the Wed. installment instead of raking the yard. This is getting serious!

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