Title: Setting the Hook
Recently I attended Romantic Times in Atlanta and it was an experience I will never forget. I met so many people, it was nearly overwhelmingly amazing. Everyone at this event is friendly and willing to talk and get to know everyone else. I was able to reconnect with people I’ve met at previous events, including Elizabeth Hoyt and Sherry Kenyon. They are both amazing people. I met new friends, including the wonderful Karen Rose! I also got a signed book for my mother from Sylvia Day. And a picture with her.
Romantic Times is a huge convention with an overwhelming amount of energy, so each year Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga, and I take one evening to get out of the hotel and away for a few hours. This year we went to a mystery dinner theater and it was hilarious!!!!
The event lasted from Tuesday evening to Sunday and its exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. There are so many activities and panels that you’re going from morning till night. But I have to tell you that one of the highlights was definitely coming home to Dominic on Sunday afternoon.
The grinding of an engine that wasn’t turning over pulled his attention, and Mike walked over to William’s rental car.
“The dang thing isn’t starting.” William got out, slamming the door closed behind him. “I need to call the company and see what they say.”
“Let’s have a look.” Mike motioned, and William opened the door to pop the hood. Mike released the latch and saw the problem immediately and suspected William probably did as well. “The wires out of the starter are fried, so the engine isn’t getting the signal to start.” Not something he could fix. “Where are you staying?”
“I came down from Georgia for the day and was planning to head back to my hotel and then to Atlanta tomorrow for meetings.” William pulled out his phone as Mike closed the hood on the expensive car. He paced back and forth, most likely on hold, becoming more and more agitated as the minutes wore on. “Finally. My rental car won’t start.” He gave all the information. “I’m at the pier in Apalachicola.”
Mike leaned against the car, waiting for William to complete his call.
“You have to be kidding me.” William continued packing back and forth, his footsteps turning to stomps. “I’m aware that the storm has switched paths and that everyone is gearing up. I’m near the water with a car you rented to me that doesn’t start. I know you can tow it, but how do I get another one? I see…. Thanks for nothing.” William hung up, still pacing.
“No other car.”
“The nearest location is at the Tallahassee airport, but that doesn’t do any good because they’re out of cars. It seems everyone is trying to get out of dodge, and they’re grabbing every available car to head north, which is exactly what I was going to do.” He scrubbed his hand through his hair.
Mike wasn’t about to leave William here. “Can you get a hotel somewhere? I can take you there.”
“I can try. Thanks.” William got on the phone once again, and from the sounds of it, came up empty. “Looks like I’m batting zero. So many people are stranded that hotels are full.” William paced again. “Maybe I can get a private plane or a limousine to get me to my hotel.”
Mike opened the door to his truck. “Let’s transfer your things to my truck, and you can come home with me. I have a small extra room, if you don’t mind that Carrie uses it for her dolls and things. It has a bed, and you can wait out the storm there.”
William smiled. “Really? Thanks. I appreciate it.”
Mike waited for William to transfer his gear and then pulled out of the parking lot.
William smelled divine, and the truck filled with his earthy warmth, even over the air-conditioning, which did nothing to cool the heat that rose inside Mike. He pulled out onto the main road and then turned inland away from the waterfront to the more affordable part of town, wondering just how he was going to keep his distance with William under his rather small roof.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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