Cold? Colder than it’s been in, oh, all winter? Warm up with this fantastic excerpt from Snapdragon by Kilby Blades!
Michael ushered her to his car—a dark gray Maserati that suited him somehow—and tucked her safely inside. She hadn’t noticed until after he closed her door that in place of formal shoes, he wore black and white Converse All-Stars. This detail made her smile.
She watched him discreetly for several minutes as they sped down city streets. From the reverence with which he handled his car, and the obvious enjoyment with which he drove it, she got the sense that he was not just another handsome boy with an expensive plaything—he had a gentle way of handling anything he touched, and seemed like the kind of person who treasured his possessions.
Yes, Darby realized. There was something different about Michael. Already, she had a tender curiosity about him. She thought back to their easy conversation on the beach—she liked smart people who knew how to have a good discussion. Even their small talk about wedding gropers and fake engagement rings had been refreshingly real. She recalled the chemistry in his hotel room, also surprisingly reactive. She was already looking forward to the end of the night.
“What?” When he asked, she knew she had been caught watching him.
“The way you’re touching your car…I think I’m getting a bit jealous.”
The corner of his lip quirked up. “I thought we said no jealousy.”
“We agreed that our jobs came first, but we never actually agreed on rules,” she pointed out.
“Should we?” He shifted gears and glanced over at her as they turned south onto Lake Shore Drive.
“Maybe there’s only one…” she mused. “No hard feelings about competing priorities.”
“Is that enough for you?”
She thought back to how inflamed she’d been at his comment about women being biologically incapable of not wanting commitment.
“Still think you’re going to break my heart?” Darby teased.
“Maybe I’m worried you’ll break mine.” His mouth widened into an even fuller smile. He smiled a lot. Working in medicine meant Darby was often surrounded by illness and despair. She appreciated that Michael seemed happy, albeit a bit intense.
“How about this? We promise each other that when it ends, it ends in a single word—whether that be tonight or a year from now. No awkward confrontation. No messy breakup talk. That’s the shitty part anyway, right? We agree to keep it fun and simple. And, when it stops being fun, or stops being simple, it’s over.”
“Sounds sensible.” There was hesitation in his voice.
He looked offended. “What if we’re talking about cars?”
“Skittles,” she offered, her eyes falling to the red packet of candies she had noticed sitting in the cup holder on his center console.
“I use that word too much in everyday conversation.”
About Kilby Blades
A business executive by day, a writer of smart contemporary fiction by night, a lover of words and an admirer of the artists who arrange them cleverly. These days, most of what I read is on audiobook (because, whose hands are free long enough to turn pages?) I’m the mother of two, an oenophile, a cinephile, and above all else, a hopeless fic fiend.
Snapdragon is my debut original novel, though I spent many years as a well-liked fan fiction author. In the fanfic world, my stories have been read more than 1.4 million times, were favorited more than 5,900 times and received more than 4,200 reviews. Though I haven’t written fan fiction since 2012, I still receive hundreds of reads a day.