Excerpt 3 from Love Me Tender

Chapter Three

Heartbreak Hotel


LMTWhen he nudged her, Julie stumbled to a stop. If she didn’t get to a bed soon, she’d fall asleep on her feet somewhere, but there was something she was trying to remember, a reason this was a really bad idea. She grabbed his arm to pull him up beside her and then leaned against him as they walked to the elevator. He sighed as he reached over to push the button.

“No staring at my ass,” she said. “It’s been a long day and I don’t have it in me to control all the jiggle and bounce, you know?”

He shook his head as he watched the numbers over the elevator. “If it’s not me staring at your ass, it’s someone else. Does that make it better?”

She yawned widely and rested her forehead on his shoulder. “As long as he keeps his mouth shut about it, it’s better.”

“I stand by my earlier judgment. Never change that ass, okay? If you think you might, call me so I can talk you out of it.”

Julie knew her mouth was hanging open but there was absolutely nothing to say to that. Her teeth clicked as she snapped it shut.

“You know, Luke, I like you, but it’s okay to let the flirting go.”

He wrapped an arm around her to urge her onto the waiting elevator. “Thanks. I appreciate your kindness. I like you too. I like your ass. I wouldn’t mind taking either or both out on a date but you’ve got your reasons.”

She ignored his added, “Wish I knew what they were,” and watched the doors close. Before they shut, she saw the long line at the reception desk and was glad she’d hooked up with a sprinter instead of a distance runner. His speed was going to get her into bed sooner rather than later.

At that thought, she snorted.

He raised an eyebrow and she shook her head. If she made it through this night without losing her mind, it was going to be a damn miracle. When the elevator doors opened, they stepped out on the top floor. It had to be the luxury floor because the carpet and walls were all covered in leopard-skin print. With a sinking feeling, she followed Luke down the hall. When he paused in front of a set of double doors, she took the handle of her suitcase from him and leaned against the wall.

Luke whistled as he stepped inside, and she tried to take a fortifying breath but it whooshed out as she stepped into a room decorated exclusively in white and purple. The walls were white. So was the carpet. The chair and love seat in front of a large television were purple. So were the bedspread, the lamp, the curtains, and even the telephone. The bright neon of the Elvis alarm clock and the movie posters on the walls were nice additions.

As he flipped on the light in the small bathroom beside the door, Luke whistled again. Biting her lip, Julie took a deep breath and peered into the room. It was pink. Every bit of it. Tiles, toilet, sink, shower curtain … all in pink.

“I hate pink!” she moaned as she dropped the handle of her suitcase, which toppled over and landed with a thump. Completely understanding the sentiment, she collapsed against the purple velvet sofa and started to laugh.

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