As promised, another short glimpse into the continuing story of Seth and Bryce, whom you met in Open Seating. The second book in this trilogy, Open House, releases on Monday, October 24. Pre-order links appear at the end of this excerpt.
“Are you having a meltdown, or are you just sleepy?” Bryce asked gently.
“Neither. I’m trying to decide if I want to be productive or frivolous today.”
“Why not do both?”
“I can’t seem to get that pink garter belt out of my head,” Seth confessed, “and I’m afraid I won’t be able to concentrate on my writing until I’ve satisfied my curiosity.”
Bryce grinned in response. “Now that’s the kind of talk I like to hear. Take my credit card because I’m sure those things can get pricy.”
“Are you sure?”
“I know your money is tied up at the moment, and I don’t want you to pass up anything because of the price tag. Get whatever turns you on.”
“This feels like a scene straight out of Pretty Woman,” Seth joked.
“Yeah, except you’re way better looking than Richard Gere,” Bryce remarked.
“I was referring to Julia, sweetheart.”
“She’s not worth mentioning,” Bryce said. “I’ve had the hots for Gere ever since I watched An Officer and a Gentleman. That guy sure can kiss.”
“I never noticed,” Seth mused. “We’ll have to watch it together so I can compare your techniques.”
“While you’re all decked out in hot pink?”
“Don’t get me started,” Seth begged. “You’ve got to get to work.”
Bryce laughed. “Who knew you had this in you?”
“God knows, I didn’t,” Seth observed. “You’ve turned me into one of those Russian dolls with multiple inner layers. Crack one open and out pops another new and exciting creation. I wonder what you’ll find when we get to the core.”
“I like it when you call me sweetheart,” Bryce said.
“Is that all you have to say in response to my rant about turning me into a completely different person?”
Chuckling, Bryce said, “There’s nothing to say except bring it on. The kinkier the better—I’m loving this new side of you.”
Seth’s eyes widened. “Good to know.”
“There’s a Victoria’s Secret on the Mag Mile, near the apartment,” Bryce mentioned. “You’re aware of that, right?”
“No, but thanks for the heads-up.”
“Try and keep an eye out for Owen,” Bryce warned. “Not that he’ll be stalking you or anything, but I feel better issuing the warning.”
“Gee, thanks. Now I’ll be looking over my shoulder every five minutes.”
“Adam and Jack were pretty persuasive. I prefer to be overly cautious than blithely unconcerned.”
“Maybe we should rent Criminal Minds instead of a chick flick,” Seth complained. “At least we’ll get some good intel on dealing with a nutcase.”
Scowling, Bryce said, “Now it’s my turn to apologize for turning Owen against you.”
“Bleh!” Seth waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “If you weren’t in the picture, Owen would have probably figured out some other way to fuck with me.”
“We’ll never know,” Bryce said, pulling the truck into his parking space. “Let’s go, babe. I’ve got to hustle.”
And hustle he did. Bryce was in and out of the shower in ten minutes and on his way to work before nine thirty. He was convinced Owen would be calling every hour on the hour to get an answer on the proposed bank loan.
Seth stopped thinking about Owen, deciding Bryce had things under control. He took his time getting ready to go on his shopping spree, making sure he dressed like a man of means who had shopped the store before instead of a clueless newb pawing through women’s lingerie for the heck of it. It was okay to reference Pretty Woman, but to actually live that scene would be embarrassing as hell.