Title: Baer and the Three Goldilocks
Author: Dee S. Knight
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Another erotic fairy tale with Princess Katherine and Prince Cole.
Susan Baer, founder of Baer Hugs, health centers for women, longs to find her special someone. Sadly, there are no prospects in sight. Suddenly, three men come into her life. All successful, all gorgeous, all blond. And posing their own unique problems. One is too rough and hard in his treatment, one is too soft and wants her to take charge. The last is…well, let's just say he's unavailable. *sigh* Can any of them turn out to be “just right?”
Susan came into her office at breakneck speed, talking the whole way. “I know it’s after two and I’ve taken a longer lunch than anyone has a right to.” She threw her purse in the bottom drawer of her desk. With barely time for a breath, she spun around and slammed into Duncan’s broad, solid chest.
He grasped her shoulders to steady her. She stepped back and he dropped his hands.
“Oh! Sorry! I didn’t mean to blow through like a tornado.” Taking a deeper breath, she smoothed the French twist she’d pulled her hair into that morning, then did the same to her skirt. She hoped she didn’t look as flustered as she felt. Gesturing to the guest chair, she said, “Sit. Tell me what’s going on.”
Duncan looked at her for a few long seconds before laying her phone messages on the desk. “Did you have a good lunch?” It was quietly said, and with little inflection. So why did she get the impression he meant more than his words’ literal meaning?
“It was fine, thanks. We drove down towards Williamsburg. How was yours?” Absently, she shuffled through the call slips. Nothing important jumped out at her.
“It was good. The girls and I talked about you.”
Her head snapped up. “Me? What about me?”
He lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “Curiosity.” Narrowing his eyes, he leaned forward slightly. “Why you’d want to go out with that jerk, mostly.” He paused, and when she didn’t respond he leaned back.
“We talked out of concern, not idle gossip. You know he’s made a pass at most everyone who works here.” His mouth hitched into a smile. “Except me, of course.”
That caused her to return his smile. “No, Toby has been pretty clear on that score.”
Duncan held out his hand, casually examining his nails. “You know, it’s been my experience that men who protest as much as he does sometimes have something to hide. Do you know for certain that he’s not more on my team than yours?”
She laughed. “Pretty sure.”
He put his hand down and looked intently at her. “But not certain?”
“Why does it matter to you?” She left a hint of a smile on her face. Was he fishing to find out if she and Toby had had sex? Her heart fluttered a little at the possibility that he wondered.
“Because I care for you. I’m your friend and I hate to see you waste yourself on someone like him. Why do you see him, Susan?”
Friends. Oh. She said nothing. The reasons she dated Toby were rooted so far in the past she wasn’t sure she could explain them in a few quick sentences. And she certainly didn’t want to explain them to Duncan. Her feelings for him were too complicated as it was without adding Toby into the mix.
“Toby and I have known each other a long time. You see him at his worst. He does have good qualities.”
If Duncan had worn glasses, he’d have been staring over them in abject denial, giving her a “Yeah, right” look.
She shrugged in acknowledgement. “I know it might not be obvious, but he does. My relationship with Toby is a long story, and one that’s none of your business, Duncan.”
As though a mask dropped over his face, his expression became impassive. He pushed out of the chair. “You’re right. I’m not going to apologize for worrying about you, though. Meetings are scheduled in Lexington for all day Monday, and our reservations are confirmed for Sunday and Monday nights.” He pointed to the call slips on her desk. “It’s been quiet and that’s all you have to take care of.”
He stopped on his way out the door when she called his name.
“I appreciate the worry, but it’s all right, really.”
Shrugging, he exited, closing the door behind him.
Which left her alone to wonder to herself why she went out with Toby Williams. It was more, she hoped, than proving to Toby that she was different from the overweight girl who’d had a crush on him for three years of high school. She was certain that was how it had started.
“The question is, how did it get to where it is now?” Propping her head in her hands, she considered her situation.
Quite by accident, she’d met Toby about four weeks ago at a business function. She’d scanned the crowd and noticed a distinctive looking, tall tow-head with light blue eyes. Those eyes had met hers across the room and she’d known without doubt who he was, even after sixteen years. By the questioning look he’d given her, she guessed he was confused—as though she was someone he should know, but couldn’t place. That made her smile. And her smile practically guaranteed that he would make his way to her. Which he had, in short order.
In the four weeks since, they’d seen each other only five or six times. It had started well but reflecting on it now, she realized his attitude had worsened with each meeting. While his hands and lips had grown bolder, so had his words. Not in blatant verbal attacks but in snipes and subtle hints regarding her dress, her work, her opinions. None was very noticeable individually. But taken together, as she thought of them now, each abusive comment had worked to make her revert from who she was now, to acting like the shy, embarrassed girl she had been years ago. Wanting to capture his attention, wanting so much to belong.
What’s your favorite thing about the fall season:
I'm not a summer person and heat gets to me quickly. If you've lived in areas of high humidity, you know it's even worse than high temperatures. So, autumn's arrival has always made me sigh in relief. I especially love the changing leaf colors and the crisp air, the first scents of wood smoke from chimneys, and the way the sky is so very blue. Fall is my favorite season!
What inspired you to write this story:
I'd written The Cinderella Curse already and a fairy tale short story for the anthology Ain't Your Mama's Bedtime Stories and wanted to continue in the genre. They're fun to re-create as adult tales. I do hope readers think they're fun, too!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US account to win.
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 1.
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.
After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website (www.nomadauthors.com). Fortunately, Dee’s high school sweetheart is the love of her life and husband to all three ladies! Once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity. Join our newsletter to access exclusive free reads on the Nomad Authors website!
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