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Meg’s Folly

Meghan’s Playhouse

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 40,931
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When Meghan Keenan’s old flame Clark Hendricks unexpectedly shows up at the Summer Shakespeare Festival where she has a leading role, Meg has a brilliant inspiration: he’ll be perfect for Camila, the hot Latina who currently shares Meg’s bed. If Meg’s scheme works, she can continue to enjoy sexy escapades with both of them.

Clark has a different idea. He’s come to the Festival with one goal in mind: to marry Meg. Will Camila buy into the plan and help him spark Meg’s jealousy? Can Clark escape this tempting triangle unscathed? And if he does, can he claim his would-be bride before she flees in panic?

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Excerpt

“My bed is already crowded.” Meg Keenan gave Clark Hendricks, her longtime friend and sometimes lover, a smile calculated to pique his interest. That he’d arrived at the Summer Shakespeare Festival wasn’t exactly a surprise—even though he wasn’t directing his contemporary comedy, he had written it. But it would’ve been good of him to let her know he was coming out. Last she’d heard, he was still ensconced in a theater guild in London. If she’d known, she might’ve planned a surprise or two. Meg always enjoyed surprising Clark. She inhaled sharply. Maybe she did have a surprise for him.

“I wouldn’t expect otherwise,” Clark said, his mouth widening into a grin. “I can’t remember you ever being without at least one partner. How many this time? What gender or genders?”

“I’ll always make room for you, Clark.” Meg sighed and squeezed Clark’s knee. They sat on the grass in the Green Show area where she’d been rehearsing a routine. Spying Clark leaning against a shade tree waiting for her had seemed quite natural. “It feels like you’ve hardly been away.”

“It’s been nearly eighteen months,” he said, taking her hand in his. “You could do better with e-mail.” Clark chuckled. “I was pleased to hear you had the lead here for the summer. Josette and Zach send their love. She tells me she’s trying to get you to join her theater workshop as a full partner. That’s quite the opportunity.”

“I know.” Meg winced. “I’m not sure I want to. That much responsibility might tie me down too much.”

Clark’s eyes sparkled. “When I was your pirate on the cruise ship, you didn’t mind being tied down.”

She dug her fingernails into his palm. “That was different. I wanted you to ravish me, and you didn’t disappoint. God, can you believe it, I’m nearly thirty and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

Clark arched an eyebrow. “You could marry me and have a bunch of kids.”

Meg laughed easily. “I’m not joking. I like my life the way it is. I’ve been able to work on and off Broadway, Vegas, cruise ships, and summer theater like this. Yet,” she drew in a deep breath, “sometimes I feel like I’m just flitting about.”

“Spreading your good cheer,” Clark quipped. “I suppose you still revel in being matchmaker.”

“Of course. That’s my calling.” Meg flashed an eyebrow. “Maybe it’s your turn. You show up out of the blue, and I have just the girl for you.”

“No way.” Blood drained from Clark’s face.

“Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Camila was born for you.” Meg hurried on, ignoring Clark’s protest. “She’s a UCLA grad student doing a summer internship here. I rented her a room in the big old house I’ve leased for the summer. You and she have so much in common. Her goal is directing, but she’s a playwright and an actress.”

“I’m not interested.”

“She’s gorgeous. Her roots go back to the Spaniards who settled much of California. Camila is about a half a foot taller than I am with a body made for loving.”

“So she shares your bed.”

Meg smirked on hearing Clark’s suddenly husky tone. He wasn’t totally disinterested. “Of course she does. I wouldn’t hook you up with someone I haven’t tried out. You’ll find her to be a lot of fun and very passionate. She often cries out in Spanish when she comes. I’ve threatened to get a Spanish/English dictionary.”

“I’m quite fluent in Spanish,” Clark volunteered, raking a hand through his dark brown hair.

“A perfect match,” Meg cooed. “You’ll love Camila. And if you and she become a couple, I’ll still be able to party with the two of you now and then.”

“Have you seen April and Brad lately? I’ve wondered if they stayed together all these years.”

Meg nodded. “It’s been eight years since that cruise. They’re doing fine. I spent a weekend with them last winter on the way to Cat and Kurt’s for Christmas. April and Brad’s second child is three already. And Cat and Kurt’s little girl turned three last summer—I could hardly believe it. Amazingly cute.”

“And they welcome you with open arms.”

“Of course. They’re my Midwest family. Neither couple would be together if it weren’t for me.” Meg giggled. “Do you remember that older couple from the cruise ship who were coming on to April and Brad?”

Clark nodded.

“They live in Milwaukee. The four of them get together a couple times a year.”

“Incredible.”

“Age doesn’t matter.” Meg frowned at him. “I’ve told you that before. If you weren’t so hung up on appearances, you could’ve found out for yourself. Josie never would’ve thought you were trying to climb the theater ladder by joining us.”

“I’ve been with older women. I don’t doubt your premise about age.”

“Besides, you’re as established now as Josie.”

“Hardly,” Clark responded. “I’m surprised you have enough time for me.”

“Shows you what you know.” She elbowed him. “You’re the only non-married man I’ve ever had a continuing relationship with.”

He groaned. “That’s one way of describing a relationship that’s lasted over eight years, I guess. But do you think we’ve actually spent more than six months together during that time?”

Meg shrugged. What was he complaining about—what did he expect? She’d been clear with him from day one.

“And now you want to marry me off to someone you’ve bedded for how long—a month?”

“I have a feeling about you two.” Meg pursed her lips. “My feelings are seldom wrong.”

“Didn’t sound like they were on target with that couple in Vegas. Tony still gets a good laugh over your efforts to keep him and his Asian girlfriend together.”

Meg sobered. “Who could’ve guessed Tia would fall for an aging gambler? She and Jack are doing very fine. Tia’s pregnant with their second child. This one’s a girl. I visited them a couple weeks ago.”