Love is patient.
It can happen when you least expect it,
where you least expect it,
with whom you least expect it.
Love is kind.
But love may not grow out of kindness.
It can happen with the person who hates you most
because love knows no bounds.
And it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love doesn’t hold a grudge.
But when the healing of your heart
breaks the hearts of the ones you love …
it may seem impossible to
Excerpt 1: I love your sweet pussy
Rubber Cat stalked in from the kitchen, and I was glad for the distraction. I groaned when he sprang from the floor and landed on my lap.
The cat, who had once been my only companion, continued his journey down the couch until he got to my feet. In a traitorous move, he nipped at my ankle, causing me to gasp and yank my legs back away from Adam. Rubber Cat gave me a victorious cat grin before beginning his nesting ritual on Adam’s lap. He turned in circles, first to the right, then to the left, and finally settled into my former spot. I stared at both of them, my mouth agape.
“Well, well, well. Just look at the two of you. Do you remember the first time you slept over here?”
“Of course, I do,” he said. “I popped your sleepover cherry.”
I tried to look disgusted, but a smile snuck out anyway. “Uhhhh, yeah,” I said, shaking my head. “I caught you feeding Rubber Cat in the middle of the night, and you told me that you’d never have a pet.”
“I still don’t have a pet. He’s your cat. I can barely tolerate him.”
“Rigggggghhhht. That’s why he just sold me out to sit on your lap. And who was it that bought him food last week without being asked and before he was even out, I might add?”
“Well, I’m not going to let him go hungry. He and I spend a lot of time here while you’re at work and I’m studying. We’ve come to an understanding.”
“Is the understanding that he’s going to sleep on your side of the bed? Because that’s my understanding.”
Adam shrugged. “Maybe. He gets cold on your side.”
“He gets cold? Really? He has fur. You know what I think? I think you like cuddling with him.”
“Fine. You win. He’s one sweet pussy, and it turns out that I have a soft spot for your sweet pussy. What’s your point?”
I nearly spit out a mouthful of wine. “Boy, you’re on a roll tonight. That’s one filthy mouth you have.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about because I’m talking about Rubber Cat. You’re the one who’s filthy.” He jabbed me in the side with a finger and started to tickle me. “I should wash your mouth out.”
He pitched the cat off onto the floor and crawled over on top of me. He took the sloshing wine glass out of my hand and set it on the coffee table and then resumed his position over me. “Look what you’ve done to me. You’ve turned me soft. Only six months into this thing, and I’m a domesticated potty-training cat lover. I’m a fraction of the man I used to be. I used to be tough.” The gruffness of his voice was offset by the barely there laugh lines around his eyes.
“Not true,” I said quietly. “You’re still tough. It says so right there on your shirt.”
“That’s not what it says,” he said, looking down at the giant Captain America symbol on his chest.
“It’s implied. Super heroes have to be tough. It’s in their DNA.”
He shifted his weight from his hands to his elbow so that his mouth was hovering just over mine. The corner of his mouth turned up in a lopsided, lazy smile. “Hmmm. You know what’s not implied?”
“This?” I asked, arching my neck to kiss him lightly on the lips.
He brushed his thumbs across my cheeks. “I love you, Allie. You and me, we can take them all.”
Jenni Moen lives in her hometown in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment. When she's not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading ... and now writing ... that are her true escapes.
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