Read An Excerpt

MONEY SHOT
by Susan Sey

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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“Hey Rush?”

“Yeah?” He closed the stove door and threw her a look over his shoulder. She started to smile at him, big and reassuring, but caught herself and killed it. No smiling unless she was actually happy, and since she thought she might die any minute from pure fear, she probably shouldn’t smile. 

He blinked. “Yikes. That bad, huh?”

She swallowed. “What’s that bad?”

“Whatever has you doing that --he circled a finger in the air-- “with your face.”

“I’m trying to be honest here.” The trembling in her hands threatened to escalate into full-body shivers, so she banded her arms tighter across her chest. “Isn’t that the deal? Honesty?”

“Well, sure.” He rose, slapped at the sawdust on his jeans and studied her carefully. “But that looked more like nausea than honesty.”

She wasn’t nauseated. She was nervous. Liar. Okay, fine. Terrified. She was trying to confess her damn love and doing such a good job he was worried she might boot her lunch. Wonderful.

Temper swooped to the rescue and she said, “Okay, let me make sure I understand. According to the Honesty Only policy, I can smile if and when I feel happy, but in all other situations smiling is prohibited and you get to mock me?” She glared at him. “Because if that’s the case, I think honesty sucks. I think you suck. Because I’m trying here. I’m trying really hard and you’re sitting over there taking potshots at my face.”

“It wasn’t a potshot. And I like your face. But it was all--“ He broke off, clearly aware he maybe shouldn’t take that conversational ball any farther down the field. “So you’re okay?”

“I’m fine.”

He frowned down at her, unconvinced. “Then why do you look like you want to throw up?”

“Because I’m in love with you.”

“You’re what?”

“In love,” she said grimly. “With you.”

“Which makes you want to throw up.” He shook his head. “Wow. That’s…not flattering.”

“I know, right?” She laughed, though she didn’t really find the situation very funny. “I was surprised, too. I mean, never having experienced the real deal, I kind of expected hearts and flowers, you know? But love sort of sucks. It’s inconvenient and painful and I’m not really enjoying it, if you want the truth, which, of course, being Rush, you do. But I’m definitely in love.” She patted his shoulder, stone-like under the soft flannel of his shirt, and tried desperately to stem the torrent of horrifying words pouring out of her. “With, um, you.” She closed her eyes against a wave of intense embarrassment. “So, that’s it.” Oh God, it wouldn’t stop. It was like a hiccup, involuntary and spasmodic. “I’m in love with you.” Jesus, another one? “Sorry.”

“Maria?”

She forced herself to meet his eyes. “Yeah?”

“Are you done?”

“I think so.”

“Good. Because I have something to say now.”