Harley Michel is mourning the recent death of her mother and the long-ago death of her husband. On a dare, she ventures onto an Internet dating site and finds unexpected romance with a handsome Egyptian doctor.
Harley thinks she may have found happiness again until her memories of her late soldier husband and the appearance of the doctor’s former flame threaten their peace.
“I can’t believe you’re a Republican.” Harley said the words without rancor and gaped, mouth open. She’d seen Abisi through most of June. They were sitting on the couch in her living room on Fourth of July weekend, sipping wine. Nico lay at Harley’s feet, snoring. He occasionally flicked at a fly that buzzed around him with his bushy tail. Harley had opened her windows so they could appreciate the breeze blowing even on a balmy New Orleans night.
“It’s political.” Abisi drew her closer and took a sip of wine.
“How so?” Harley followed his gaze as he took her in. She could sense his desire, and she’d dressed to encourage it. Spaghetti strap flowered blouse, diaphanous wraparound skirt, and white sandals. She’d seen her stylist the day before and had added the auburn tints that drew stares. His arms were strong as he clasped her shoulders.
“In the South, that’s the trend.”
“I don’t follow trends.” Harley grinned at him.
“There’s something appealing about that.” He touched her cheek lightly and kissed her. His gaze met hers and lingered. His smile was so sensual that liquid flowed through every sinew of Harley’s body.
Electricity pulsed through Harley, setting her insides on fire. Her spine tingled as his breath feathered against her hair. “Yo— u…you were saying?” Her voice was hoarse.
“I don’t give them a dime because of their policies on immigration. Isn’t this country, after all, a country of immigrants?” Abisi let his hand slide along her bare shoulders.
“I agree.” Harley let her face brush his own. His beard against her lips tickled. “Then why are you a fan of such a party?”
Harley saw that he was clearly trying to concentrate, but he was losing the battle. His stare rested on her cleavage when he answered in a choked voice. “I wouldn’t call myself a fan, my darling. I guess I just wanted to be accepted down here when I became a citizen.”
Abisi ran his lips along her arm and onto her shoulder. He’d apparently forgotten about Republicans. The sensation of his lips caressing her sent an electric shock wave through her whole being. Trembling with sensual energy, she buried her own lips in his neck and moaned with pleasure as he touched her neck with his hands and then his lips. Nico glanced at them and padded down the hallway. Harley smiled to herself. Smart dog. She disengaged herself from her lover’s hungry kisses long enough to slip her tightly clinging blouse over her head.
Viola Russell is a New Orleans writer who teaches by day but spends her nights and weeks at her computer. She used a pseudonym so that her students wouldn’t find her, but they, ever computer savvy, outed her. She lives in New Orleans with her faithful dog.