The FINAL Honeybun Heat novel is slated for release some time in May 2015. Percy and Brita’s story is shaping up nicely and I can’t wait to share it with you. So I won’t! LOL Here’s an excerpt from the work in progress:
Percy Honeybun stared across the wide staircase leading up to the alter. The woman standing directly across from him looked gorgeous in the rose-colored satin dress that skimmed her lovely knees and draped low over soft, white shoulders.
Brita Muldane had grown her hair long over the last months, the new, softer style turned up in soft waves along her shoulders and framed her high cheekbones and square chin like spun gold.
She’d tucked a rose the color of her dress into a comb that pulled the heavy silk of her hair back on one side, giving Percy an unobstructed view of her smooth cheek and long, delicate nose.
Brita didn’t appear to realize he was watching her. Her gaze was locked on the ceremony at the top of the dais. Her sexy, light brown gaze shimmered suspiciously as the bride and groom exchanged vows, staring at each other with doe eyes. Angie cried too as Alastair slipped a wide platinum band over her slender finger. When they kissed to seal the deal, Brita sniffed delicately and ran the back of her hand under her eyes.
As if she felt the weight of his stare she finally turned to Percy and her lovely mouth tipped upward in the corners, for only a beat, as they shared happiness that her friends and his brother and sister-in-law had finally tied the knot.
The running joke in the family was that Angie and Alastair were waiting for Percy and Brita to get over themselves and commit to a lifetime together. Everyone seemed to think that was just hilarious.
Everyone except Brita and Percy.
Patriarch of the Honeybun clan and well-known attorney, Bob Honeybun seemed much happier presiding over Angie and ’Stair’s wedding then he’d been at the last one, when Edric and Bella had delivered a bouncing baby girl during a hospital wedding fraught with screaming and caterwauling. Percy thought there might have even been a yodel or two in there. Papa Honeybun hadn’t taken being bedside for a birth all that well. But Percy gave him points for hanging in and getting the job done.
The elder Honeybun grinned widely as the rings were exchanged, fairly beaming with joy. “I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
The crowd seated in row after row of chairs under the gauzy white tent erupted into cheering that Percy thought could probably be heard in downtown Indianapolis, fourteen miles away.
Percy clapped and cheered too and one of his brothers whistled long and loud.
Somebody yelled, “Finally!”
Everybody laughed, including the bride and groom, whose faces had lost the tension they’d carried around for days and looked magically and blissfully happy.
As Angie and Alastair walked, arm in arm, back down the aisle to the song, I Choose You by Sara Bareilles, the wedding party converged and followed them.
Percy clutched Brita’s arm tight against his side. “It was a beautiful wedding.”
Brita threw him a quick smile. “How would you know, you didn’t seem to be paying much attention.” She lifted a well-trimmed eyebrow and he grimaced.
“Busted. Have I told you that you look delicious today?”
She shook her head. “Cut it out, Honeybun.”
“What? Complimenting you? Or noticing?”
They reached the back of the tent and she pulled away. “Both.” Looking slightly trapped, Brita glanced around, fingering her new charm bracelet.
“That looks beautiful on you.”
She frowned, touching the clasp. “You shouldn’t have given it to me.”
“It was a gift for the Maid of Honor. Perfectly acceptable.” Her default instinct to push him away never stopped hurting. “Besides, it was made for you. Who else would buy a charm bracelet filled with weapons?”
They shared a grin. The delicate chain held a tiny pistol, a rifle and a couple of blades, all intricately wrought in the shimmery metal.
Despite her desire to keep Percy at a distance, Brita’s face had glowed with pleasure when he’d given it to her.
The chubby woman who worked for the photographer came scurrying inside the tent, looking slightly wilted. She caught Percy’s eye. “I’m sorry, the pictures will have to be inside today. It’s raining again.” She shooed them back toward the dais at the front…back through the crowd which had filed out of their tidy rows and were mingling together in the aisle. “Come on, come on. Time’s awastin’.” She grabbed Percy and a couple of his brothers, dragging them into service. “You boys grab those flowers there. Yep. Those. Bring them up here. You two, pull the tent open behind the dais. If we can’t go outside we’ll just bring the outside to us.”
Brita started to turn away and suddenly Percy couldn’t stand the distance between them any longer. They’d been walking on egg shells together for so long…since Angie and Alastair first met, in fact. He was sick of it. Sick of the whole mess of misunderstandings and mishaps that formed a seemingly impenetrable wall between them.
Somebody had to take the first step to make it right.
It might as well be him.
He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling her to him as the crowd swirled around them, cloaking them like a forest hides a single tree. “Let’s find a way to start over, Brit. I don’t want to lose you.”
She opened her lips to respond, but was nudged from behind and fell forward, into Percy’s arms. He didn’t consider the intelligence of his action. For once, he let his heart lead him. If what he did was wrong then so be it. It was driven by genuine emotion.
Percy wrapped an arm around her waist and dropped his head, claiming her parted lips with his own. She stiffened slightly, made a tiny sound of surprise, and then her hands came up to slide through his hair, her body softened, melting into his, and for a moment…the briefest sliver of time…it was like it had been between them in the beginning. Before he’d ruined it all with one bone-headed mistake that became a magnetic field drawing misunderstanding after misunderstanding to itself until it became a terrifying force feeding on itself and everyone around them.
She felt so soft against him, so warm and willing, and Percy lost himself in her delicious scent and delectable taste. The crowd might have disappeared as far as he was concerned. The noise fading away under the magical bubble they created with their kiss.
But of course it couldn’t last.
Someone called his name. A kid shouted and then squealed and something big and hairy bounded down the aisle, hitting the back of Percy’s legs and nearly knocking him to the ground.
Brita pulled away with a small cry, her eyes bright with unshed tears and her lips swollen. “I…” She shook her head and turned away, almost running through the crowd to the back of the tent.
“Catch him, Perc!” The mountain of brown fur was heading his way again, tail whipping the air happily as several kids lunged at it, laughing as he managed to squirt away from their small, grasping hands at the last minute.
Percy reached out and grabbed the big dog’s collar before he could plow into a woman dressed in pale pink and white, whose green eyes, so like Angie’s had widened with terror at his approach.
Percy smiled at Angie’s mom. “I got him, Mrs. Peterson.”
Alf and Pleasance ran up. Pleasance was grinning, her pretty brown eyes sparkling with good humor. “I told you he wouldn’t stay in the car,” she scolded Alf playfully.
Alf grabbed the dog’s collar and knelt down in front of him. “Clancy, you’re gonna be the death of me.” The furry monster dropped to its outsized haunches and whined softly, presenting Alf with a huge paw and then slathering his face with a wet tongue when Alf chuckled.
He then favored Pleasance with a loving lick across her knee. She giggled and dragged her hand over the soggy spot. “Dog spit. Ugh!”
Alf handed Clancy over to one of the older kids, Percy thought it was one of Angie’s cousins…or something…and straightened, dragging Pleasance close with an arm around her waist. “Where’s Brita?”
Percy frowned. “She left.”
Pleasance looked appalled. “Left? But we still have to take…”
“Pictures! Come on everybody. Time’s awastin’!”
Alf narrowed his eyes. “That woman might not survive the day.”
“I’ll go get Brita.” Stepping beyond the softly flapping walls of the tent, he scanned the area beyond, hoping to find her nearby. But she wasn’t there. And when he walked around the Honeybun home and checked the street where she’d parked. He realized she wasn’t coming back.
Her car was gone.