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Learning Curve

Decadent Publishing Company

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 19,300
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Madame Eve may have helped them find one another. But meshing their two worlds together isn’t easy.

When Dean is nominated for an Emmy, he is so excited he invites Sally to be is date for the evening.

Sally is reluctant at first but eventually agrees. Petrified the world media will make fun of her for being the fat chick on Dean’s arm, she works her butt off to lose weight before the big event.

Can Dean and Sally learn to make life together work? Or will the reality of the differences in their lives be too difficult to overcome?

Excerpt

Dean walked in the front door to his condo and glanced around. Everything sat in its usual place, mail on the sideboard, house cleaned. Yet, he felt unwelcome. Six hours ago, Sally had dropped him off at the airport in Greenville. It had been hell to leave her standing there, eyes glistening with tears. He’d be lying if he didn’t admit he might have had to wipe a tear or two from his own.

After setting his bag on the floor, he fished his cell out and unlocked it. He loved the speech-activated feature. “Sally.” Immediately the phone dialed her number. Counting the rings—after five it would go to voicemail—he breathed a sigh of relief when she picked up on four. “Sally.”

“You’re home.” She sounded happy but sad at the same time.

Hearing her voice eased the ache in his chest, at least a little. “Yep, baby, I’m home.”

“Did you have a good flight?”

“Yeah, pretty good. I missed you, though. Wished you were with me.” The sad sigh from the other end made him want to take the words back.

“Please don’t say that. It’s hard enough, me being stuck here with summer school and you being over two thousand miles away, with no idea when I’ll see you again. Don’t make it harder.”

I’m such a jerk. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you unhappy. Just wanted to let you know you were on my mind.” He had known the moment he arrived on Sally’s doorstep for his surprise visit he’d found the woman he wanted to be with for the rest of his life. The time they spent alone, the past fortnight, being together and learning everything about one another only served to heighten his feelings.
Sally sniffed. “I’ve been thinking of you, too.”

Not wanting them both to end up in tears, he decided to change topics. “Hey, I got some good news when I arrived home today.”

“Oh, really. What?”

“Guess who got nominated for a primetime Emmy?”

“Wow, that’s terrific. What did you get nominated for?”

“Outstanding Lead Actor for Thieves and Liars.”

“I loved that miniseries. You played a drug-addicted detective so well.”

He stood a little straighter, chest puffed out. “Thank you.” Dean had no idea what else to say. Sometimes he forgot she was a Mark Martin fan and had probably seen everything he’d ever done. “Anyway, I was wondering…. I know it will be right after school starts, but I hoped you might be able to get some time off to accompany me to the ceremony.”

A weird squeak accompanied an “Oh, my God.” Then silence.

He had to choke back a chuckle. “You still there?”

“Um, yeah. Sorry. Just a little shocked. You sure you want to take me?”

“Of course I want my girl there with me on what could be the biggest night of my career.” Dean had hoped their time together, enjoying each other’s bodies, might have rid Sally of some of her insecurities, but he could imagine the negative thoughts rolling around in her brain. “Please,” he begged.

“Okay,” she replied so quietly he almost didn’t hear her.

“Okay? You’re sure?”

“Yep,” she said in a much more convincing tone.

“Woohoo! We’re going to the Emmys.”

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