Holiday Titles excerpts
I’m being stalked. Saige couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Daniel heading toward the greeting card aisle in Target. The man couldn’t be missed. She guessed he had to be about six-foot one, two, or three. She was never good at guessing heights.
With rich, brown, African skin, Daniel resembled actor Lamman Rucker, with a dash of something extra. His walk was an attention grabber, turning heads, including hers, with every step.
Didn’t he say he was going to get something to eat anyway? In contrast to Walgreens, the aisle at Target was starting to become congested with potential customers. More than she could handle. That was the good news; the bad news was nobody had purchased any of her cards. They were hidden, though, which could be the reason that none had been sold.
Dismissing Daniel, Saige did a little stalking of her own—potential customers.
“How many have you sold?” his deep voice whispered close to her ear, sending goose bumps down her arm.
It was at that moment Saige knew she regretted singling him out in the first place. “None—yet.” She gritted her teeth in sudden aggravation. “But I’m about to try.”
“Need any help?” His childish expression reminded her of a little boy pleading to do a chore to earn extra allowance money.
So, the brother had charm, did he? Saige released the annoyance that was building and smiled. The two of them working in cahoots would only look suspicious. She could only imagine security suspecting them of being shoplifters or worse. “That’s sweet, but no thank—”
“C’mon, you’ve made my day,” he insisted as more customers wandered into the aisle.
“If you want to help, then tweet or post about the cards on Facebook.” Why did she feel that Daniel was infringing in her territory? This was getting crazy.
“Already done. I sent it out on the way over here. Well, actually, while I was still in the parking lot. You know we’re not supposed to drive and text.” He snickered, and that was the first time she noticed his goatee was trimmed with precision around his full lips, as if serviced by a sculptor. “It was a worthy cause. I couldn’t help myself.”
“Mr. Washington, you’ll only be a distraction.” She pivoted to walk away, but stopped and glanced over her shoulder. “To other women,” she added, scrutinizing him from the rim of his hat to his polished shoes—or boots.
“Right.” Daniel released a hearty laugh, and then disappeared into the next aisle. Was she relieved or disappointed? Saige didn’t have time to give it much thought as she cozied up to a mother holding a baby. As she was about to pitch her rehearsed speech, Saige could feel a presence behind her. Lord, please don’t let it be security.
Finally, with curiosity that would kill any cat, she turned to find Daniel behind her, engrossed in one of her cards, as if it contained a book of words instead of a few sentences. Then, all of a sudden, he began to ask women for their advice on whether they would buy it for themselves. Glancing her way, he winked.
Maybe Saige was the one being played. Daniel was a natural interacting with people. Surely his relationship with his family wasn’t as bad as he was making it out to be? A few minutes later, Saige admitted defeat in her well-thought-out covert operation. While Daniel was distracted with some flirty females, Saige made her escape to her final pit stop.
Her friend, Maxi, would never believe how her evening played out. She hoped her other friends didn’t have any distractions like Daniel Washington.
Saige didn’t return home until after ten that night. She was exhausted and came to the realization that she could never be a sales rep. The rejection—she took it personally. However, the customers who did take her cards lifted her spirit. Then there was Daniel, who fascinated her, but confused her at the same time. Although she didn’t see a ring, Saige wondered if he really had nothing better to do with his time than tag along beside her.
After making half a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich for a snack and pouring a glass of Eggnog, she said her grace, and then called her best friend after the first bite. She wanted to find out how it went on the other side of town.
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