It’s the first day of spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and, at long last, it’s launch day for Wade and Carla! I’ve been waiting for it, readers have been waiting for it and though, at first, Wade wasn’t keen on letting his story be known, thanks to Carla’s cajoling and teasing, he finally agreed. It’s totally true! Still waters do run deep, and the currents you don’t see beneath the surface can be very wild and dangerous indeed.
To celebrate, Wade has invited me to the Dungeon for breakfast. Carla’s cooking. Just so you know; both Wade and Carla are sort of … well … food Philistines. Wade has downloaded all the apps for his favorite take-out and delivery places, and he knows all the really good ones in and around Portland. Carla knows all the local drive-throughs and can eat just about any meal that can be ordered from a ‘to-go’ menu while driving in Portland traffic and doing an interview on her cell phone, but don’t tell her father that. He’s in the security business and wishes his daughter would be a little more safety-conscious. Since both Carla and Wade have the metabolism of mountain goats, I’m not expecting health food.
I find Carla in the kitchen of the Suite, dressed in jeans and a blue Portland State t-shirt, her hair caught up in a sloppy ponytail. She’s manning the toaster. Surrounded by half a dozen open boxes of various flavors of Pop Tarts. She smiled up at me and nearly misses a pair of Pop Tarts as they catapult into the air.
‘Hi K D! Congratulations! Help yourselves to the Pop Tarts.’ She nods to a platter near the microwave. ‘Those are already buttered. There are four different kinds, but I forgot what’s where. It’ll be a surprise.’ Then she adds, ‘I was going to make scrambled eggs and bacon, but I had a phone interview run long with someone on the East Coast for an article I’m doing on illegal cage fighting on the East Coast.
‘Don’t worry about the eggs, Carla’s the Pop Tart Queen,’ Wade says, coming up behind her and kissing her ear just as the coffee maker on the counter stops gurgling. He’s wearing his usual baggy black hoodie and faded jeans. ‘She puts butter on ‘em and melts it in the microwave. Excuse me, K D. I’m making coffee.’ He shoves his way past us to the steaming carafe and pulls out three enormous mugs with the Pheuma Inc logo from the cupboard. I watch in fascination as he rips open three packets of cocoa mix and dumps them into the cups. He notices I’m looking and offers a twitch of a smile. ‘It’s Carla’s recipe. Coffee and Cocoa together.’ As he slops coffee into each of the cups with one hand, he reaches a long arm up to the top shelf and pulls down a huge jar of Marshmallow Cream.
‘The Marshmallow Cream’s Wade’s idea,’ Carla says, watching him stir each cup and plop a mound the size of a snowball on top of the mixture. That done he hands us each one and nods to the table. Carla grabs the big platter of Pop Tarts ala Microwave and follows.
Once I’ve selected a very well buttered blueberry Pop Tart, and I can’t keep from smiling.
‘What?’ Wade says. ‘You were expecting eggs Benedict? You know we’re all busy around here.’
‘No!’ I reply. ‘This is exactly what I was expecting, and I can’t think of anything more appropriate than Pop Tarts and Chocolate Coffee to launch your book, Wade.’
‘I can,’ Carla says. She disappears into the kitchen and returns with a huge bakery box. ‘Dee’s secretary, Sandra, brought these down for us, in honor of the occasion.’ She opens box to display some of the most succulent pastries I’ve ever seen, and some of the biggest, fattest chocolate éclairs on the planet. I can’t help it. I moan, and Wade and Carla both nod knowingly. ‘The éclairs, they’re perfect with the coffee,’ Wade says.
‘What could be better with chocolate and coffee than more chocolate and some whipped cream,’ Carla says. She takes a huge bite of her éclair, managing the suggestive spurt of whipped cream with a quick flick of her tongue.
I’m halfway through my éclair before I get up the courage to ask. ‘So, have you read the book yet?’
‘I have,’ Carla says. ‘She gives Wade a chocolatey kiss on the cheek. ‘Wade never reads anything that’s been written about him, but you know that.’
Before I can respond, he adds. ‘Carla’s reading it to me, though. It’s amazing I ever get anything done around her,’ he grumps. ‘She’s always hounding me to read the next chapter.’
Carla elbows him in the ribs, but I see the twitch of a smile at the corner of his lips, and I can’t keep from smiling back. ‘Thank you, Wade, for letting me write it.’
He’s trying hard not to smile now. ‘I figured I’d better let you have your fun, or you’d never leave me alone and let me get back to work. I’d like to finish the photovoltaic cell prototype before Christmas, you know.’ He shoves half a Pop Tart in his mouth.
I turn my attention to Carla, who is grazing her way through a luscious looking pastry filled with lemon cream. ‘And thank you. I know your part in the story was no easier than Wade’s, and I don’t mind telling you, you scared the hell out of me a few times.’
‘She’s good at that,’ Wade interjects, sliding a proprietary arm around her shoulders.
The blush is so visible up over her porcelain Celtic cheeks and in between the smattering of freckles. ‘I’m used to hard stories,’ she says. ‘I’m a journalist, remember?’ Then she changes the topic. ‘I want some chocolate milk. Anyone else want some chocolate milk?’
I decline, but Wade is happy to take her up on her offer, pulling her down on his lap when she returns from the refrigerator and hands him a carton. I can’t keep from thinking how nice it is to see him so relaxed. She musses his dark hair, which just touches the collar of his hoodie, and he gives her a squeeze, then they both turn to me. ‘Good luck with the book, KD,’ she says. He nods.
Wade glances down at his watch. ‘I’ve asked Clyde open the bowling alley this morning. Thought maybe you’d like to celebrate with us over a couple of frames. You do bowl, don’t you?’
‘Not well,’ I reply, ‘but I’d love to join you anyway.’
‘Good,’ he says. ‘Finish your breakfast and I’ll tell Clyde to expect us.’
The Interviewing Wade Blog Tour and Giveaway Begins Monday, the 23rd on these fabulous blogs
Mar 23 L. C. Wilkinson http://lcwilkinson.com/
Mar 24 Jan Graham http://jangraham.blogspot.com/
Mar 25 Lynelle Clark http://lynelleclarkaspiredwriter.blogspot.com/
Mar 26 Nice Ladies, Naughty Books http://niceladiesnaughtybooks.com/
Mar 27 Love Bites & Silk Ties http://www.lovebitessilkties.co.uk/
Mar 30 Books and Banter http://locglin.blogspot.com/
Mar 31 Case Sharidan http://casesheridan.wordpress.com/
Apr 1 Lisabet Sarai http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com
Ap 2 Gale Stanley http://galestanley.blogspot.com/
Ap 3 Illustrious Illusions http://www.illustriousillusions.com/
INTERVIEWING WADE: An Executive Decision novel
The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pneuma Inc. But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives.
Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.
Carla popped the last of her bacon into her mouth and spoke around it. ‘So tell me, is Fort Flannery as unassailable as my father assured me, or are we in need of an upgrade?’
He drained his glass of orange juice and pushed back from the table. ‘Your father did a good job. I didn’t have to do hardly anything.’
‘He’ll be glad to hear that,’ she said. ‘Sorry you had to waste your valuable time in the wee hours. I know how busy you are.’
‘Yes, well, it was on my mind. If you’ll let me see your Android, I’ll give it a little upgrade too.’
‘Will I be able to watch Russian porn on it?’ she asked.
‘Japanese and Chinese porn as well, if you like.’ There was that quirk of a smile that she really would love to eat right off his face.
‘And I’ll assume you’ve given it a test-drive.’
To her delight, the smile didn’t disappear, even though the blush was hot on those chiseled cheeks. ‘I’m my own best guinea pig.’
‘Wade Crittenden, that borders on too much information, but in the interest of consumer protection and all, I thank you.’ The blush grew, but the smile stayed put as she offered him a salute and went into her bedroom to get the device.
She returned to find that he’d shed his hoodie and was filling the sink with soapy water, his broad back mantling the counter like a giant bird of prey. For a second her stomach bottomed at the sight of Wade Crittenden doing dishes at her sink. She stood, Android crushed to her chest, feeling flushed and slightly off-balance. His t-shirt was a loose fit, misshapen and short in the back from too many washings for something that should have migrated to the rag drawer some time ago, and when he reached across the sink to add still more soap, the shirt rode up to reveal the slim line of his back and the muscles where his hips joined his torso just above the swell of his buttocks. The baggy jeans gave enough of an intimation of that swelling to leave Carla breathless and hot enough to want to throw off her own hoodie and splash herself with the soapy water in which he was nearly elbow-deep.
As though he sensed her watching, he turned, slopped water down the front of his shirt and onto his jeans and uttered a surprised curse.
Without thinking she rushed to his side, dropping the device on the table. ‘You don’t have to do that,’ she managed, in a breathless gasp. ‘Sometimes I go for weeks without ever washing so much as a coffee cup.’ She stretched around him, grabbed for a dish towel and offered it to him instead of patting him dry herself, which was what she really wanted to do.
He reached for the towel, holding her gaze. ‘You cook for me, I do the cleanup for you. Fair’s fair.’ His hand slid into the cloth and around her fingers as he drew it to his chest. His breath caught, his lips parted as though to speak, and God help her, she couldn’t resist, she leaned into him on tippy-toe and planted a kiss firmly on his mouth. She only meant for it to be a friendly peck, a way of saying thanks for checking up on her and for doing the dishes, but his other hand, covered with soapy water, swooped in and grabbed the front of her hoodie reeling her to him. Then he curled his fingers in the tangle of her wild hair and cradled the back of her head, pulling her still further up on her toes. ‘Oh God,’ he whispered, his tongue darting deep, his lips, soft and hard and bruising all at the same time, meeting hers in a clash of wills and a heroic effort to get closer and deeper. ‘Oh God, Carla, why did you do that,’ he gasped against her mouth.
‘Just being friendly,’ she managed, before the tongue sparring got serious. He gave the towel a toss and yanked down the zipper of her hoodie, shoving it off onto the floor, his hands skimming her breasts in his efforts, thumbs lingering to rake her nipples that were already painful in their peaking. His jeans might have been loose, but they were not loose enough to disguise his erection, and he didn’t seem to care. Both hands slid to cup her bottom and he lifted her, settling her onto the kitchen table, pushing her legs apart with his knees and moving in between her thighs as she went to work on his fly.
‘I have lots of friends,’ he breathed. ‘None of them do that to me.’
‘How about this,’ she said biting his lower lip and sliding her hand down inside his boxers. ‘Do they do this?’
‘No,’ he returned the nip. ‘Never, none of them.’ For a second he faltered. ‘Carla, I –’
‘Shut up, Wade. I don’t wanna hear it.’ This time she bit his tongue before she took his hand and guided it down into her baggy sweat bottoms and into her own boxers.