Here’s your weekend #WritingChallenge!

WritingChallenge imageThis week, our #WritingChallenge is inspired by 2016’s Leap Year!

Leap Day is famously the day when women propose instead of men, so to celebrate we’re asking you to put your own twist on the tradition…

We want to see your heroine make the first move! Does she ask your hero for a date, a round-the-world trip, or a walk down the wedding aisle…or does she pull off a sizzling-hot seduction?

We’ll be checking in on Monday, excited to see all your fabulous Leap Year heroines taking the leap with their hot heroes.

The SYTYCW Editors
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  1. I hated surprises.
    On Saturday morning, Daisy stood on my doorstep with a twin on either side. The three of them wore matching sports jerseys and grinned.
    ‘We’ve a better surprise for you today.’ Amy and Aaron spoke in unison.
    ‘What is it?’ Absence of a box indicated it wasn’t another home made cake.
    ‘Get in our car. We can’t tell you until we’re there.’
    I picked up my jacket and joined them. ‘Will I drive?’
    ‘You don’t know where we’re going.’
    This was the first time Daisy drove since she arrived. Her confidence on the narrow Irish lanes didn’t transfer across the Atlantic. I guessed obvious tourist attractions.
    ‘Is it the zoo? A museum? The national park?’
    ‘No, no, no.’ The kids giggled from their rear child seats.
    Daisy drove to a suburb of the city I never knew existed. Her driving became more confident. She pulled up outside what appeared to be a basic playing pitch.
    ‘The surprise.’ The twins each took one of my hands.
    I had a bad feeling about this but forced a smile.
    They obviously arranged tickets to some minority sporting event but after spending the week dealing with sporting injuries I’d prefer to be elsewhere. We joined a crowd standing around the edges of a rough playing pitch.
    Men ran around with wooden sticks. A vague memory struck me. ‘This is hurling, Ireland’s national sport. Some of the players attend the clinic.’
    ‘That’s how I heard of this.’ Daisy smoothed her jersey. ‘We’re here for the next match.’

    Women replaced the men on the pitch, also brandishing wooden sticks.
    I clutched the metal barrier. It was meant to prevent the spectators getting onto the pitch. They needn’t have bothered. Nobody would dare.
    The women attached each other under the guise of following a small ball. it was the roughest sport I ever saw. ‘What is this?’
    ‘Camogie, of course.’ She pointed at a man scribbling in chalk on a blackboard. ‘See, the red and white team leads by three points.’
    The scars on my back ached. This couldn’t happen again. In public,Talisha acted like the perfect girlfriend, but in private,walloped me with her golf clubs.
    I averted my eyes from the carnage on the playing field. Daisy appeared so friendly, gentle and loving. I got taken in again. The media still called Talisha the nation’s sweetheart.
    ‘You said you won prizes for dancing as a teenager. I presumed camogie was your skippy hoppy native type.’
    ‘No, camogie. You confused it with riverdance.’
    In spite of my jacket and the sunny day, I felt cold. My perfect merger just became an unwanted acquisition.

    I needed to offload her and fast.

  2. Karen Christopherson

    Meg hiked up her skirts and made her way up the wooden steps. The town had already been awake for hours even though it was still early enough you could see your own breath. Horse hooves grinding through the sloppy mud, people chattering to each other and the saw mill across the street made the town come alive. It was definitely a bustling town.

    She looked down at her mud slicked boots and frowned. It was hard slopping through these roads every day and she’d only been here two weeks. Seattle definitely wasn’t her beloved Ireland. Stone kept the mud at bay, hadn’t they learned that yet? She scraped off most of the mud on the edge of the newly built porch. It was almost a shame walking onto the new wood planks with her skirts so filthy and her boots sure to make a mess, but she had something to do. And someone to find.

    She took a deep breath and pushed on the heavy, polished oak door. She couldn’t see through the stained glass, but she could see bustling shadows and could hear whispering. She smirked, because she also sensed something else. Cowardly fear.

    Meg chewed the inside of her cheek and walked in, then stood in the middle of the store and placed her hands on her hips. She was slowly warming to the heat of the unoccupied room as she waited for someone to come out from the back, but there wasn’t a sound. She studied the shelves, her boots on the new floor boards the only sound in the quiet room. Stocked high, right up to the ceiling sat clear jars of tobacco all lined prettily to the eye. There was a ladder leaning against one of the walls and the room smelled sweetly of tobacco. She was glad that the sample pipes lay unattended and unused in the huge clean ashtrays.
    Still not a sound. She rolled her eyes. She knew they were there and that made everything all the more suspicious. “Are you going to come out, then?” she asked into the quiet air.

    Still nothing.

    She pursed her lips. She didn’t have time for this. “I’m not leaving, you heathen coward. I know you’re in there.”

    A man came out…rather he was pushed out. He straightened himself after almost stumbling. He had a pipe in his hand and he put it in his mouth casually, as if he was completely unaware of why she was there, but his eyes hid something else. He had slicked black hair and a white dress shirt with an arm band decorating his upper arm. His pants were fitted and he was definitely a gentleman, even for the company he kept. “Can I help you?”

    “You sure can…and I’m pretty sure you know how.”

    “Do you need some tobacco, “ he asked and smiled.

    “Oh, you’re a funny man, aren’t you? Why don’t you tell your visitor to come out from behind the wall and we’ll be gone.”

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    She wanted to almost laugh, because she could see his cowardly shadow through the glass partition, even though it was heavily shaded. “Well, alright then,” she said loudly. “I’m almost packed and ready to go. I’ve got my men ready and waiting for me. I’ve got all the supplies I need, but I suppose I’ll be needing some Tabaco for myself…after all.”

    The man’s eyes rounded to huge saucers and his mouth dropped open. His pipe fell with a clatter and he scrambled to pick it up. “But you’re a lady.”

    “Last time I checked yes.” She stiffened. “What is yer meaning sir?”

    “Well, yes…I only meant. Ladies in these parts don’t smoke.”

    “Well, this lady does and I’m not from these parts…but I suppose I could buy some for my men too. Give me some of that spittin tobacco and I’ll take that pouch over there for myself.” She liked that kind. It was sweet and it reminded her of her father. When her father was younger and healthier and didn’t marry her off to the first coward who offered! She bit her lip and slowed her galloping heart. She didn’t need a pipe, she smirked. She already had one. She took it from her father. Serves him right for sending her all the way across the Sea. “And give me something…I don’t know,” she asked cleverly.

    “What does he like?” she asked innocently pointing to the shadow behind the partition.

    “Oh…he likes the good stuff. Here,” he pulled something out from the encasement and handed it to her with a smile.

    She waited until his smile faded and he shifted uneasily. “That wasn’t very nice.”

    “My father did not raise a stupid girl.” She supposed that’s why he knew she’d be alright. She knew how to talk to men and knew how to get what she wanted. Men didn’t usually back talk her in Ireland. Mind, she ran her father’s peat business. But here it was different. Men were made of different cloth. They were harder, and very disrespectful. And leery. That’s why she needed a man. A single girl would have a hard time here with all the single men hanging about.

    She was never afeared of men, but she wouldn’t be walking around at night. Even sharing her bathroom down the hall in her boarding house was enough to keep her in the room until first thing in the morning, else some drunk man comes out at the same time. She had bought herself a chamber pot for that very reason.
    “So are you going to come out, then? I know you’re standing there.” She watched him heave a sigh, his big shoulders shift as he began to walk out.

    “What do you want, Meg?”

    Drake stood in an oversized jacket, one made for all kinds of harsh weather and one that would last. Practical, she liked that in a man. He was probably the only man in town besides the tobacco man who made sure he shaved every day. “You know what I want. I need a man.” She threw a glare at the tobacco man when he cleared his throat. “Dirty mind, but then I don’t suppose it’s anything new with all this muck all about. It’s all gone and clogged every one of your minds. And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised with the lack of a church in this town. Where do you confess your sins?” She asked narrowing her eyes at the shrinking man as he shrugged. She looked back at Drake who was grinning. He had nice teeth. They were all there which was an added bonus in a potential husband these days.

    “There’s no need,” the man who chose to hide on her for the last two days, said. “We are all going to the same hell. In fact, there is a wagon going there this evening if you care to take it.”
    Meg let out a curt laugh and then turned to him. “There will be no need of that. If by marrying you, I suppose that would be the same thing.”
    “You won’t be marrying me, Meg.” His lips flatlined. “I already told you that.”

    “You have to…we have an agreement. You promised my father.” She stamped down on her heart, even though she knew it was more of her ego than her heart that felt anything. She swallowed discreetly under the high lace collar and lifted her chin.

    “I want somebody sweet, Meg. And I’m sorry, but you are the opposite of sweet.”

    That hurt. Coward. It would take a strong man, with inner strength to take on Meg and she knew it herself. But it still hurt. Her father couldn’t marry her off in her own town, so he hoped that by shipping her off to the New World someone would take her. Men here were desperate after all. She swallowed again as the slow empty ache threatened to make itself known, but Meg would have none of it. None of it at all.

    Drake’s eyes softened when she leveled her blue eyes with his. Was that vulnerability he saw? She was a tall woman, strong. Her hair was always so tightly weaved up and under that ugly hat she wore. She was not for him, but some man would like her. She was pretty enough, when she wasn’t scowling for one reason or another.

    “Well…I admit I’m a little rough around the edges,” she said heavily. “But that’s because I’ve had to run a business. Ever since I was eight years old I’ve told men what to do…it’s in my nature now. But that’s fine…” she turned her head at the sound of the door opening. In walked a short, dirty man who looked like he hadn’t bathed for nearly a century. He spit on the floor and tilted his hat to her, but didn’t remove it. Nobody removed their hat’s here. She gave him a tight lipped smile in reply.

    “Hear you’re looking fer a husband?” he asked more like a statement as he made himself comfortable and leaned against the counter. He waited for her answer.

    She opened her mouth to speak when she heard the words “No, she aint,” come from behind her. She turned to Drake who suddenly looked menacing. He wouldn’t meet her eyes. He only stared hard at the stranger.

    Ha. This was someone he definitely didn’t like. Maybe Meg could work this to her advantage. “I can speak for myself, thank you. Seems I am. Who’s askin?”

    “Names, Kid Jones. But you can call me Keith. Kid is my nick name. That’s what the men call me.”

    “Jones. Well, that’s a nice name,” she said and briefly flicked a glance at Drake who looked about as happy as a young horse tied to a post.
    “Pleased to make your acquaintance,” she said as she turned back to him. “Mr. Jones.”

    “Mr. Jones was my father. Call me Keith. All the ladies do.” He slowly grinned and then spit on the floor again.

    “I’m sure…” she said with hesitation.

    “So…I’m in need of a lady to cook my meals and take care of other things while on the road North…if yer interested…” he grinned and wagged his unibrow.

    “She’s not.”

    Meg was still wondering about the “other things” he was talking about and was glad Drake had intervened.

    “I’d like to hear it from the woman…if you don’t mind.”

    She pressed her lips together, not knowing quite what to say. Her heart was hammering a definite tattoo to his proposition and not in a good way. She was about to reply, but Drake again intervened.

    “I said…she’s not interested.”

    “And who…are you to say? You aren’t her husband,” he said, sliding his hand down to the tip of his gun holster. He smiled as he hooked his thumb inside and then relaxed as Drake too reached for his gun and readied himself.

    Meg’s heart was racing and she stepped back. “Gentlemen…there’s really no need of this. I’m sure…” she swallowed. “We can talk like gentleman. And Drake…” she warned. “I can speak for myself.”

    “Not around these parts, you can’t.”

    “I seem to remember an earlier conversation where you told me I’d be fine on my own. I believe you said, “Don’t worry Meg, no man would dare go up against you.” She was referring to the conversation they had two days ago about how she needed him. She knew a woman couldn’t survive here without a husband. Money was the ruler in this new country. Even the mere mention of Gold and eyes sprang up in every direction. People would stab you in the back in a second if they had the chance. She could get a chaperon, but still, it was chancy. A husband would have all the money, so he wouldn’t have to do any stabbing. And Meg preferred not to be perforated.

    “The woman needs a husband. Plain as day, Drake,” The tobacco man insisted. “And you did give your word to her Pa.”

    “Shit.” Drake tossed his hat on the glass counter and looked up at Meg. His eyes searching and full of angst.

    He looked defeated. It wasn’t exactly how she’d imagine a proposal, but it was better than nothing and better than the small man leaning against the counter behind her. She could feel his eyes on her as they bore into her backside and she just wanted this conversation done and over with. And Drake was taking his sweet time about it. Did she have to do everything herself?

    “For Pete’s sake! Drake Englis, will you be my husband, or not? Even if I have to take your sorry arse kicking and screaming all the way to the altar…where ever that may be?” Her breathing had escalated with her anger and she clamped her mouth shut before more words came out. Several lay waiting already on her tongue.

    “Hot dog, she’s a spitfire!” The little man said and laughed whole heartedly behind her. “Got your work cut out for you there, Drake.”

    Drake’s jaw shifted and ground out a reply.
    “Don’t I know it…”

    “Well? Answer her then. Don’t let the poor girl wait.”

    “Thank you…” she offered over her shoulder, her eyes still on her victim as she tried to level her breathing. She crossed her arms and waited.

    “Fine.”

    Fine. Did he just say fine? “Fine…what? It’s a fine day…it’s a fine store. Or fine…I’m a little boy and can’t answer that question properly?”

    “Jez*us!”

    “Don’t you dare use the Lord’s name in vain!” Fine. Jez*us! Were these her answers to a marriage proposal? Her eyes were starting to water. Hopefully she could maintain her anger enough to keep them at Bay. She crossed herself and offered up an apology to the Lord on Drake’s behalf.

    “Fine. Yes…I’ll God dog gone, God damit,” he said and paused after stuttering out his curses. “I’ll dog gone marry you. Are you happy?”

    “Well…yes,” she said lying through her perfectly gritted teeth, her face blushing fiercely. She was not happy, not happy at all. She’d pretty much pleaded with him days ago, and then laid herself out like a mat before him today. A mat that had just been beaten with a broom. And…if it wasn’t for the small tobacco-spitting man, she wouldn’t have even had the answer she was looking for! “I guess that will do, since you’re obviously not a man of words. And the words that you do sputter out are not the kind of words I will be tolerating in the future or I will be washing your mouth out with soap. I will meet you outside the boarding house in an hour. I expect you will find someone to marry us in this town?” She waited for his nod.

    He frowned at her as he gathered his hat, but didn’t say a word. But he didn’t look happy. He looked like he had just eaten something bitter and she supposed he’d look like that for a long time to come. But she didn’t care, because she needed to get on the road and she needed a man. He would do, even if he was resentful and didn’t find her the least bit appetizing. But she wasn’t looking to a be a food item on the desert menu. He’d protect her and he wouldn’t hurt her and that’s what she needed. She needed men, good men around her to do what she was about to do. There was gold to be had up North and there was money to be made when it was…

  3. Fallon DeMornay

    This is a fave I shelved for a while. Thanks to the #leapyear challenge for reminding me of this little gem.

    ***
    The skirt tumbled to the floor to join the blazer and blouse; Tristan lost his ability to form a single coherent sentence. Back to the wall, he had a moment to think, Jesus fucking Christ, before his mind went blank. Numb.
    She slithered close to him, creamy skin encased in deep siren blue, like a midnight sea caressed by moonlight. His brain staggered under the scent of her, his thoughts tripping over each other like a record skipping as he drowned in the misty midnight blue of her eyes.
    A surge of triumph whipped through Isabel with delicious, sinful heat. The look on his face—shocked lust and restrained hunger—was exactly what she’d hoped for, and made the price tag of the skimpy negligee worth every cent.
    “What did I say about provoking me?” Tristan rasped, back braced to wall, every inch of him rigid as stone.
    “That you wouldn’t be a gentleman.” Smiling a secret feline smile, Isabel walked her fingers up the length of his chest, looped it over the top button at the base of his throat. “I wonder how many buttons I have to press before you keep that promise?”
    “I’d meant it as a threat.” Tristan amended, voice strained. She saw the flush of heat bloom beneath his skin, felt the tremor of his tightly wound control beneath her hands as she lifted a leg, skimming it against him, thigh to thigh,
    “Even better.”
    His hand slid down her back, ran her silver hair through his fingers.
    “Remember,” his voice rasped with warning, green and gold eyes edged with heat and danger, “remember that you wanted this.” He caught her in his arms, lifting her off her feet and swung her towards the bed where he tossed her over the spread of covers and pile of pillows.
    The bedding was cool against her skin and she watched, mouth-watering as he stood over her, eyes blazing with heat, and unbuttoned his shirt revealing a ripple length of muscled perfection. She’d known he’d be built, but hadn’t expected such a disciplined physique. Removing his jeans, he slid over her wearing only a pair of tight, black boxers that left little to the imagination.
    “No, you can’t give me a present and not let me unwrap it.” He tugged her hands away, pinned them over her head. “Hands off, Snowden. Until I say otherwise, your body is mine.”

  4. Yvonne Rediger

    Sadie watched Hawke walk into the bar. Her eyes followed him as he took note of who was in the bar. He did it causally but she knew he missed nothing.

    Hawke moved in an unhurried manner and picked a table along the back wall. He chose a chair that allowed him a clear view of the room.

    Sadie knew he was planning something and his target wouldn’t get out of this unscathed. Trouble had just walked into her place and it won’t leave until it was satisfied.

    She wanted to curse, but that wouldn’t help. Instead she stood away from the back counter.
    Sadie knew what she had to do.

    She unbuttoned her over-shirt and tied the ends up under her breasts. She tugged the neckline of her tank top a bit lower, to show a hint of cleavage.

    “What are you doing?” Sindy hissed at her.

    “Taking charge of the situation,” Sadie told one of her wait staff.

    “Hawke will eat you for dinner.” Sindy knew who her boss had set her sights on.

    “I hope so.” Humour sparkled in Sadie’s Apple green eyes. What an enticing thought.

    She picked up an apron and tied it around her hips.

    “It’s not up to you to make those men play nice. If Andy shows up tonight he’ll get what he has coming to him.”

    “I didn’t say Andy didn’t deserve to be held accountable for how he treated my sister. I just don’t want Hawke dragged into this mess. I also don’t what him to start anything in my place.” Sadie flipped her long walnut brown braid over her shoulder and picked up a tray.

    “You think you can get his mind off your sister?” Sindy snorted in disbelief.

    Sadie gave Sindy a pitting look. “I know I can. I’m the reason he looks out for Kate.”

    She strolled slowly over to Hawke’s table. She watched has he black eyes settled on her as she moved forward.

    His tanned chiseled features showed no reaction as he slid those hooded eyes up her long legs encased in tight denim to her slender waist. Up to her generous breasts and to her striking features. Sadie knew she wasn’t pretty like her sister Kate. But that didn’t matter Sadie had something else, she had sensuality.

    Sadie stopped in front of Hawke. His black eyes burned as they locked on hers.

    He had wanted her when they were teenagers. He wanted her now. Hawke wasn’t the type to let go easily.

    She knew he was going to make Andy pay for his treatment of Kate. Just not here and not tonight.

    “Do you want something to drink or can I interest you in something else?”

    Hawke leaned back in his chair and a slow smile spread across his harsh features. “Is that an invitation?”

    “It is.” Sadie returned his smile.

    “It been along time,” he commented.

    Sadie put the tray on the table and slowly untied her apron and dropped it provocatively on top of the tray.

    “Yes it has,” she agreed. “But I can help you to remember how it goes.” She offered him her hand and he took it in a firm grip.

    “I know what you’re doing,” he said as he unfolded his tall frame and looked down on her.

    “Do you have a problem with that?” Sadie looked up at him through her thick lashes.

    “Absolutely not.”

  5. Jan VanEngen

    Sheikh Jalal Al-Jafar removed his phone as it pinged, entering his office, just flown back from London, after seeing to talks. Dropping the briefcase into a chair, he looked down at the message on the screen.
    ‘Come and find me if you dare.’
    How strange to look around the office, then stepped out to find Caroline Frazer nowhere to be seen. Another message pinged. ‘Getting warmer.’ Frowning, he headed out. Now what was she up to? Another ping. ‘I’d let you know when you’re getting closer.’
    What was this? Some sort of Australian tradition, he didn’t know about running a hand through thick black hair. And how did she know where he was? Ah. He walked out of his office and headed through the palace to his new security monitors behind closed door, opened, and stepped in. Another ping. ‘Getting colder.’
    Damn. He looked up to find his men behind the screens of the top of the range security system to cross over to look through the different areas of the palace to have something bright catch his eyes to zoom onto a red ribbon tied to a door. Her private quarters.
    Leaving the monitoring room, he charged through the palace, not sure how to feel. Annoyed or intrigued. His steps quickened as did his heart. Intrigued, and couldn’t wait to see what she had been up to, since he had gone to London. Okay, she had been annoyed he hadn’t taken her. Actually, rather peeved would be a better description.
    Stopping at the door he removed the silky red ribbon to hold in his hand, taking a deep breath, and opened the door to her rooms to have his breath taken away.
    The entrance, a wash of low lighting of flickering candles that lined both sides. Also a trail of red and white rose petals to enter further. His phone pinged. ‘Getting very warm, so warm you’re on fire! :)’
    Something in the back of his mind niggled. Something about today’s date. Something she had once said. All smiles and dimples surround by her red flowing hair. Bright green eyes dancing with delight. He couldn’t quite remember mainly because he hadn’t taken it serious to follow the trail of petals that led him through to the main room. Only to find more petals in a shape of a heart with a cupid’s arrow. His heart caught and tightened. No one ever had done something like this to him, ever.
    His fingers curled around the phone to lift and flick back to the first message.
    ‘Come and find me if you dare.’ He dared alright to charge to her bedroom to find more petals on her bed, and a long red silk negligee to run his fingers across.
    A smell of Jasmine drifted from the opened door bathroom to head in and stopped dead at the sight of his personal secretary in the spa surround by petal in the water, and flicking candles that decorated one corner of the spa. Champagne on the side in a standing ice bucket. Two long fluted glasses off to one side. She moved closer to the edge to lean against lifting her gaze to him standing there looking at the sign attached to the back wall. Now he remembered. 29th February, a leap year and she had threatened him she would do this.
    He smiled.
    “Welcome home Jalal,” She greeted him huskily. “Well?”
    He crossed his arms and looked down at her beautiful face. Hair wet against it and over her shoulders teasing his sight, hiding her from him. “Well, what Caroline?”
    She licked suddenly dry lips and doubts flashed through her eyes. “Would you marry me? I think it’s about time, don’t you?”
    Now he remembered ‘One leap year boss, I’m going to ask you to marry me, and you would say yes.’
    He had laughed and kissed her. “I just might at that.”

  6. Amanda Siegrist

    “I don’t think you can do it,” Claire mocked, her eyes following the hot package that circled the room.

    “Yes, I can. We’re not in high school anymore, we’re adults.” Beth swiped her bangs back, cursing inside for just ruining the flawless curl she took forever perfecting before the party.

    Claire slowly turned her head to Beth, laughing hysterically. “Girl, what are you waiting for? You’ve wanted Todd since sixth grade. In tenth grade, you almost got the nerve to actually speak to him. Look at him now. He’s a dream. I think he got hotter in old age.”

    Beth almost spit out the sip of champagne she took. “Old age? Since when is thirty old age. God, now I feel old. And there was a reason I couldn’t utter a word to him. He was dreamy back then. A dreamy, popular, good at everything type of boy. Now he’s steamy, melt my panties, famous, still good at everything type of man. He’s way out of my league. He’s the star pitcher for the Twins. He probably doesn’t even know who I am, let alone remember little old Beth Torrence.”

    “You’ve always been oblivious to how potent you are to men. Even back then. And I will remind you that you are now the owner of Makeup Magic Boutique. You’re expanding with two more stores in the area. That’s not just small peanuts. It’s a lot better than some of us have fared since high school. Why did we come to this reunion again?”

    “Free champagne?” Beth asked nervously as Todd appeared to be getting closer.

    “No, I think it was the pet talk I gave to you to shove your success in the Petties faces,” Claire said with disdain as she pointed at the three women who had given Claire and Beth hell all through high school. They had named them the ‘Petties’ because they could be so petty in their teasing.

    “Right. And see how close they are to him. I can’t just saunter over to him, especially after I just ruined my hair.”

    “You can. You will. You said you could do it. I took that to mean you were going to.”

    Beth downed her champagne glass, slapping it on the tray passing by her, and swiped a new glass before it completely left her reach. “You’re right. I can do this. I am doing this.”

    Beth made her way over to Todd where he stood in a circle of his old friends, laughing. She was going to make her move in front of all his old buddies. She had to be out of her mind. She clearly was, because she didn’t notice Trisha, one of the ‘Petties’, move towards her. They bumped into each other, the champagne sloshing down her dress.

    “Watch where you’re going Betty. You could have ruined my dress. Thankfully, you only ruined yours,” Trisha said with a smirk.

    Beth gathered a silent breath and plastered on a smile. “It’s Beth. It’s always been Beth. And I do believe you did that on purpose. Since we’re not in high school anymore, I don’t care what happens.” Beth took the remaining contents of her champagne that hadn’t spilled out and poured it on the front of Trisha’s dress. “Oops. I do believe it ruined both of our dresses.”

    Beth veered to the bar with a triumphant smile on her face as the shocked expression on Trisha’s face was worth the trip to this ridiculous reunion. She grabbed some napkins and tried delicately wiping the mess from her dress that had cost a fortune. But that’s what was nice about owning a store that was doing very well. She could now afford another dress just as costly. She wouldn’t let those ‘Petties’ get to her. Or to her original task.

    She tossed the napkins into the trashcan and turned around, scanning the room. She saw Todd still in the same circle, but now it was only him and his best friend, Rick. At least she had less of his friends to deal with now.

    She walked around the ‘Petties’, making sure to keep a decent distance from them. She brushed back her bangs again, figuring it didn’t matter how horrible they looked now because her dress looked just as bad. No time like the present to make a complete and utter fool of herself.

    “Todd, hi. It’s nice to see you,” she said, laughing inside on how he would respond to that. He had no clue who she was. He never had.

    “It’s always a pleasure to see you,” Todd replied, his eyes glossing over her, yet it didn’t appear in disgust. No, it was more like delight. He glanced at Rick out of the corner of his eye. Rick took the cue and walked away.

    “Is it? When’s the last time we saw each other?” she asked, wondering why she was making him into a bad guy, questioning him, knowing he couldn’t possibly answer that.

    He leaned closer, his warm smile igniting the heat inside her body to almost painful. “I believe it was two years ago. You were in the grocery store not far from your store you opened. You had on a cute pink shirt that had your store’s emblem on it. Although, now that I think about it, I don’t think you saw me. So I guess the last time we both saw each other was at graduation. And like I said, it’s always a pleasure to see you, Beth.”

    Her mouth almost dropped open with surprise, but managed to recover more quickly than she thought possible. She saw his eyes sparkling with mischief. “Why didn’t you say hello in the store? I would have loved to catch up.”

    “I don’t know. Even a man can get nervous around a beautiful woman.”

    Her heart fell to the floor with those sweet words. And this is why she always loved Todd. He had the most endearing personality. “Well, we should rectify that. Let’s catch up. Perhaps have dinner or something.”

    “I would love dinner…or something,” he replied, making her think the something would involve stripping her clothes off from top to bottom.

    She was in deep trouble. She had pined for this man for many years. He now seemed to be in her reach.

  7. Fiona Marsden

    Looks like the editors haven’t been around so…
    “He’s the perfect man.”
    Sara stared at the bartender over her friends shoulder and grimaced. “He’s not even that good looking.”
    “Silly.” Kelly took a sip of her Shirley Temple. “It’s not about the looks, but the skills. Perfect for what you need. He’s strictly a one night only guy. No complications.”
    “Complications?”
    “He’s up front. He works here every Friday and Saturday night and I’ve never seen him take the same girl home twice.”
    “Shouldn’t that worry me?”
    “He’s a safe sex fiend and gets himself tested regularly.”
    That wasn’t really a comfort. “He seriously has no problems getting girls?” He was on the lean side of muscular, more whipcord than incredible hulk. His hair sparked with red highlights under the overhead lights from the bar and his scruffy beard was blatantly ginger.
    “I don’t say a few drinks wouldn’t give him an edge. But he specialises in rebound sex. All those girls crying over their Gin Slings needing comfort.”
    “How do you know how good he is in bed? Have you ever…?” Sara let the question trail off. She didn’t know Kelly that well. Only since starting work at Massey Corp two weeks ago. Kelly had taken her under her wing at work and now she was taking Sara’s abysmal social life in hand.
    “Not me, I’ve had a steady for years. Tamara in accounts was telling me over coffee a few weeks ago. Bartender Ned made her forget her own name, not just the name of the guy who screwed her over.”
    “So you think I should go for it?”
    “I surely do.”
    Sara picked up her handbag, ignoring the empty glass on the table. She was going to do this. After all, it was leap year and it’s not like she wanted to marry the guy.
    “Good luck.” Kelly was already turning away, checking her phone.
    With slow steps, Sara made her way to the bar and perched on one of the leather topped timber stools. The bartender sent a glance her way, something glinting in his green eyes. “What can I do for you?”
    “A pink gin.” And take my v-card. It’s long overdue.
    He served the cocktail with a wry grin. “A pretty drink for a lovely lady.”
    She felt the colour sweep up her throat. This was her cue. “Not so lovely to my ex. But thanks for the boost.”
    His eyes narrowed, his gaze flicking across to where Kelly was leaving the bar. “All alone?”
    “Unfortunately yes. I’m new in town.”
    “Well, maybe it won’t be for long.”
    She slanted a look at him as she sipped her drink, licking her lips. That emerald stare lingered on her mouth, she could see the speculation in the way his brows drew in above his long nose. “I hope not. Maybe you’d like to help me feel less lonely.”
    He blinked and blinked again. “Are you aiming to get free drinks?”
    “No.” She waved her purse at him. “I have my first paycheck today. I’m good for it.”
    His smile showed even white teeth. “In that case, I get off at midnight.”
    She checked her watch. Another hour. “I’ll be here.”
    He leaned over the bar, bringing with him the scent of brandy and spice. “Slow down on the drinks, darling. It’s more fun when you’re sober.”
    Breathless, Sara stared after him as he went to serve another customer. Maybe he was perfect, after all.

    • Busted, yes, we’ve been running late on the comments this week – our apologies!
      This was fab – we really enjoyed it! Fresh, funny, and a really good sexy spark. She’s a really engaging heroine and even in just a few words, he’s great too. Now we want to know what happens next!!
      Flo & the SYTYCW Editors x

  8. These were all BRILLIANT – I so enjoyed them all! l love how inspired you all were by your strong heroines, it made for really engaging, empowering and entertaining reading. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the next challenge!
    Flo & the SYTYCW Editors x

  9. Natalie Cortez

    On Saturday morning Nancy woke up with the man of her dreams next to her after she seducted him the night before. She asked Jon On a date. He accepted it with a smile on his face from cheek to cheek. Also he had an idea of going to the movie but Nancy declined. She wanted to go out to eat and have wine also! After she invited Jon over to her place, he accepted it! After Nany opened the door and invited him in to her place. She asked if he wanted another cup of her favorite wine, he said, “Sure I would love to have a cup of your favorite wine!” While they were drinking they sat in her family room in complete silence! About an half hour later it started getting hot and heavy! At one point she stopped and said “Jon lets move into my bedroom please!” So they did and then started at again! They had hot and heavy sex till sunrise!! Fell asleep in each other’s arms and woke up late in the afternoon! Speechless from what took place the night before and wanted more but Jon and Nancy had errands to run that day! So had to get freshen up for the day! Jon told Nancy that he could come over that night and go at it again.