Since yesterday was National Readers Day, today’s #1lineWed theme is most apropos! 😀 When I retweeted the theme, I asked the question: As writers, how many of us actually mention books or pages in a book in our work? My heroines often read. And surprisingly to some, the Barron boys were known to read–at least as children. I wasn’t surprised to discover that Deke has a “library” in his Oklahoma ranch home too.
In this unedited scene, Deke went to get baby Noelle from her crib. He’s currently sitting in the living area feeding the baby her bottle. This is Quin’s POV and observations. Enjoy! 🙂
Swiveling on her stool, Quin watched him. She had to admit the guy truly was competent. He changed diapers. He made bottles. Looking into the laundry room behind the kitchen and the overflowing basket, it looked like he knew how to run a washer and dryer even if he didn’t fold clothes.
“Ha. He’ll make a woman a great wife one of these days,” she muttered. Not that she cared. She wasn’t in the market for a wife. Or a husband. And especially not a boyfriend. Her biological clock could just keep tick-tick-ticking along. Home and hearth weren’t high on her priority list. But… She glanced around.
Every time she came out here, she got the same feeling. This wasn’t just another house to Deke. This was his home. He might have a residence in Nashville—she made a mental note to check on that—or other places, but this log cabin was home. She caught the chuckle bubbling up before it escaped. Calling this house a log cabin was like calling the Barron Hotel a boarding house. Even so, the place felt…lived in. Comfortable. A place where you could take your shoes off and plop your feet on the coffee table to watch TV.
Soaring ceilings, huge windows that opened to the vistas surrounding the house. The massive native stone fireplace flanked by bookcases. Filled with books. Curious, she slipped off her stool and tiptoed over to check some of the titles. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to his “filing” system. “Gulliver’s Travels” was shelved next to one of the Harry Potter books. She found titles by Shakespeare, Dumas, and several Scarlet Pimpernel titles by Countess Orczy. There were biographies of political figures and military history books. She took down a biography of Harry Truman. It was obvious from the wear and tear on the pages that the book had been read. She reshelved it, checked the Potter book. It, too, looked well-read.
She found beloved children’s books. Classic detective noir books and modern thrillers. Fantasy. Science fiction. Quin wondered if he had a romance or two stashed somewhere, remnants from a former girlfriend. She shook off the thought. That way lay trouble.
Quin did not want to like Deacon. She didn’t want this case to get personal in any way, shape, or form. But it was. Despite her best efforts. There was just something about the guy that sucked people in. Whether it was his good ol’ boy demeanor, those amazing blue eyes and his handsome face—not to mention that honed body… She shook those thoughts out of her head. Treading dangerous ground there, she reminded herself.
“You’re thinking awfully hard over there.” The whiskey-rough sound of his voice startled Quin out of her ruminations. Was there anything not sexy about the man?
“Actually, I wasn’t thinking anything except I’ve made my duty call and I should get on with my day.”
“Suit yourself. I was going to offer breakfast…” Was he wheedling?
“Sorry. Already ate.” Quin slipped off the stool, settled her belt, and strode toward the chair. Where Deke was sitting. Leaning against her coat. She growled at herself. She knew by now he always occupied that particular chair. Why would she drop her jacket there? Idiot. “I’ll just grab my coat.” She indicated where his back was pressed with a tilt of her head.
“Ah. Sorry.” Deke leaned forward but only far enough she could grab the collar and tug. He was such a jerk.
Yes. A jerk. Not a nice man. Not an aw’shucks country boy with blue eyes and a dimple. She needed to remember that if she was to get through this whole situation with her sanity intact. “Sorry I woke you. I’ll try to schedule my visit a little later in the day, seeing as you aren’t a morning person.” Quin headed for the door. “I’ll let myself out.”
“Y’all come back now, hear?”
Was he mocking her? While she normally had a good ear for sarcasm, Quin couldn’t tell. Yes, his drawl sometimes became more pronounced, but he did that to flirt, or win over an unsuspecting adversary. She was onto that particular trick.
Don’t look back. Don’t look back. She couldn’t help herself. She looked back. Deke had the baby up on his shoulder, patting her back. That so was not an image she wanted on the drive back to Oklahoma City. Then the insufferable man looked up at her and winked.
Hope you enjoyed the snippet. Writers? Do you put books, pages, and/or reading in your books? Readers, do you like to “see” what a character likes to read?