Stars in her eyes…

It’s a couple of years since we were first introduced to Miranda in Clear As A Bell, and with Christmas fast approaching, I thought it was time to catch up and see how she had coped with the challenging times we’ve all experienced recently.

You may recall that her IT business won a tender for the delivery of a hospital management system, and that was where she met Hugh Paterson. There were sparks between the two, but this was forbidden territory – attraction between contractor and client. Miranda had to back off fast.

We had a chat over a cooling spritz, and I caught up with the latest news in her life.

Miranda, How have you coped with the lockdowns that have frozen business activity over the last couple of years?

Miranda: It’s been a mixed bag. Given that IT Health Solutions develops software delivering management solutions to the health industry, the business has been under stress to deliver product around the country, like yesterday.

You must have been busy then.

Miranda: Tell me about it! We’re lucky in that the team can work remotely and that is what we had to do. We started the day with an online meeting, and scheduled others as necessary. I was worried that the isolation might be had for some to them to tolerate. It’s been a big change for some of the party animals amongst us.

But what about you? How did you cope?

Miranda: Well, I missed the office coffee machine; I didn’t realise how much I drank until it wasn’t on tap. Perhaps that was good as it meant that I had to go out and patronise the local cafes that were offering take-away options– fully masked and socially distancing, of course. Sometimes I went the long way round, just to add a few more steps to the daily exercise.

But aren’t you missing something? How did you manage your relationship with Hugh Paterson?

Miranda: Oh—I didn’t realise you knew about that. We haven’t been hiding it, but it’s still not general public information.

I didn’t mean to pry, but did you manage to see each other still during the lockdown?

Miranda: Umm – when we understood that we were likely to be living in enforced separation, we made a split-second decision to move in together. Hugh’s apartment is quite large, as you already know, and given its penthouse position, me moving there was a no-brainer.

Was it difficult both living together and working in the same space?

Miranda: (laughs). There were a few difficult moments, with competing space requirements, but fortunately I was able to use the spare room. My meetings are louder than his! He was also classified as an essential worker, given his role at the hospital, so he often went into his office there.

That must have been a concern with managing exposure to the virus.

Miranda: We set up a routine at the beginning, whereby when he returned from the hospital, he wouldn’t come near me until he had showered and deposited his clothes into the washing machine. I made him clean the surfaces in the lobby and all the areas he touched on entering the apartment.

Smart woman. I’d have done the same.

Miranda: We’re both vaccinated now, but we didn’t have to maintain social distancing with each other, if you know what I mean. (gives saucy wink)

That’s okay—I don’t need the finer details. I read the book and remember the heat rising from the pages a couple of times.

Miranda: (Laughs). That hasn’t changed. We still clash sometimes, but this time, I’ve found a keeper. Thank you for the chat. I’m glad to hear things have worked out so well for you

Clear As A Bell

Clear As A Bell is available from your favourite ebook retailer. https://books2read.com/u/bW90YY

Clear as a Bell

Miranda Montgomery is a woman who knows what she wants. Right now, it’s a case of who she wants, rather than what, and who she wants is Hugh Patterson. Here is an extract from ‘Clear as a Bell‘, one of the stories in the Christmas box set, Under the Mistletoe. For a short time, the set is still available on Amazon for the introductory price of $0.99.  Your eyes have read that right. That’s the price for six separate stories. They won’t stay that price so be sure to secure your Christmas reading before the price rise.

Available now on Amazon.

 

Extract from ‘Clear as a Bell’

Miranda Montgomery

Miranda Montgomery

“I’m going up now. My room number is 912.”

She made brief eye contact before turning and crossing the foyer to the elevators. She didn’t look back.

In her room, Miranda slipped off her shoes and tidied a few things away. She always had some condoms in her toiletry bag, and she now placed a couple on the bedside table. Would he come? Had she been too forward?

As she emerged from the bathroom, there was a soft knock at the door. For one fleeting moment, she thought about not opening it. Would there be negative consequences? Once the genie was out of the bottle, there was no putting it back. Did she care? Maybe in the morning, but right now, she didn’t. She opened the door.

“I’m glad you’re talking to me again,” Hugh said as he moved past her into the room.

“Talking? Who said anything about talking?”

Miranda moved closer, and drew his head down to hers. Her kiss made a statement, demanding a response. If she surprised Hugh, it wasn’t for long.

“Mm. I like a woman who knows what she wants,” he murmured through the kiss.

“Shut up and kiss me again.”

Hugh obliged, his passion increasing. He pulled back from the embrace to throw off his jacket and yank off his tie. Miranda seized the moment to undo the buttons of his shirt, exposing a muscular torso.

“Ooh,” she said, running her hand over the exposed skin. “A man who works out. I like a man who looks after himself.”

He threw back his head with a shout of laughter. “You’re a tantalizing woman. Are you going to disrobe, or should I rip your clothes off with my bare teeth? Quite happy to; just say the word.”

She looked at him for a moment, and then smiled. She could feel her tension dissipating, but not her passion. It was going to be all right. “Well, you might at the very least unzip me.”

She presented her back to him. He eased the zip down and slid the dress from her shoulders, letting it drop to the floor. He kissed her bare shoulder with teasing, nibbling kisses, working his way over her neck from one side to the other. She arched back in delight, moaning softly. Squirming in his grip, she attempted to turn around, but he tightened his hold.

“Not so fast. This is my time. You need to learn patience,” he murmured.

He undid her bra and eased that from her shoulders too. He slid his hands around to cup each breast, his thumbs running tantalizing circles over her nipples. Her breath quickened as electric charges radiated out from the soft peaks. Leaning back, she pressed her body into the smooth skin on his chest, seeking a connection.

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