I love a great contemporary romance as much as the next person, but I’ll admit I’m a few, more than a few years older than most of the heroines in current contemporary romances and I find myself searching out middle-aged heroines. The heroine in Red, White, and Screwed is ‘forty-something,’ with two teenagers, aging parents, and in the midst of a very public work disaster when Glenda meets our hero, Christopher Goodwich. A few chaste dates later he stops by unexpectedly.
The kids were out, and I was dressed in my normal weekend wear. Gray sweatpants, a tee shirt with holes, and a denim shirt over it all. Between typing, I pulled some chicken legs out of the freezer and wrenched them apart with a knife. I threw them in a pot to boil with some onions. I would cook it for a while and add some noodles and tell the kids I made homemade soup. I tried to stay focused on my work and made a cheese sandwich and read the paper.
The doorbell rang while I was in the bathroom plucking my eyebrows. I blew my nose as I ran down the stairs. I wondered who would be at my door in the middle of the day. I cracked the curtain. Christopher Goodwich was on my porch stoop. I was in my weekend clothes, and the space between my eyebrows was bright red. My nose was running, and the dining room table was covered with papers, flyers and pamphlets.
“Hi,” I said as I opened the door. I shaded my eyes with my hand hoping Chris could not see that my left eyebrow was streamlined and an inch and a half long and my right eyebrow was bushy and wide like some old Kremlin guy.
“Hey,” he said.
I had no idea why Chris stopped at my house. I did know that he looked great and his smile made me relax and that I was really, really glad to see him. I had missed him much more than I realized or wanted to admit.
“Come on in. I didn’t know you were in town.”
“I have a few new followers since the courthouse piece went up. Some guy from here called me in Cleveland and said he wanted to buy a painting he saw on my website. I delivered it today and thought I’d stop. I wanted to see you. Is that all right?”
“It’s great. My house is kind of a mess and one of my eyebrows is plucked and the other one isn’t. But I’m glad you’re here.”
Chris looked at my eyes left and right. He shrugged and smiled. “I can’t tell which, so it probably doesn’t matter.”
“I guess not. What did you want to see me about?”
Chris tilted his head as he looked at me. “I didn’t want to see you about something, Glenda. I just wanted to see you.”
I muttered a breathy “oh” and my hand came to my chest.
“I’ve been thinking about you,” he said.
“I’ve been thinking about you, too.”
He was staring at me, and then his arms were around me and his mouth was on mine. I slung my arms around his shoulders, and his hand cupped my face. His mouth tasted minty, and his beard was scratchy against my cheek. This was a perfect movie kiss. No extra saliva or clunking teeth or bad breath.
What had been tentative yet incredible took a giant step forward. We were both breathing hard. I hadn’t heard from my sex drive for so long I was convinced it had slipped in to obscurity along with my ego and my ability to fit into a size eight dress. But my tongue was in his mouth, and Chris had his hand up my shirt. We had moved from first kiss to get naked in a split second. I found myself on the floor with Chris on top of me. We were both panting and pulling on each other’s clothes in a frustrating attempt to see or feel some bare flesh.
“I’m sorry, Glenda. This is not what I . . .”
I wrenched his belt from his pants. “Have you been tested for STD’s?”
“I’m clean,” he said.
“I haven’t had sex since before AIDS was discovered, so we’re good.”
Chris held my face in his hands until I stopped trying to reach down his pants. “I just wanted to kiss you. That’s all. I never intended . . .”
I kissed him for all I was worth and tried to let him know that permission had been granted. Let the climaxes begin. We were on the living room floor in the middle of that bone wrenching, hot, sexy kiss when the front door flew open.
“Mom!” Frank shouted.