Patterson’s Curse Week 9 (now The Family Curse)

I’m beyond tired tonight after a crazy weekend playing Mum’s taxi, so please forgive me if this post doesn’t make any sense.

This week I hit 73k – which I’m a little confused by as I SWEAR i wrote more than that but last blog post says I was at 65k, so that’s a DISMAL 8k for the week. Oh well… it’s better than nothing.

I’m now in the middle of the book and getting to the nitty-gritty of one of the main plots of the story. I don’t want to give too much away but suffice to say, things are about to get VERY complicated for the Patterson sisters. Oh, and speaking of the Patterson’s, am pretty sure I’ve changed my working title from PATTERSON’S CURSE to THE FAMILY CURSE. I feel it reflects the content of the book and genre a lot more.

Next week I’ll be on the road with Fiona Palmer for our big Western Australian Rural Romance tour – I’ll try to blog a couple of photos – but if not, you can keep up to date on Facebook, which I’ll update regularly. If you’re in WA and want to come see us, details of our events and locations are here!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a little Charlie and Mitch! Things are getting a bit heated between them as well, although Mitch doesn’t appeared to have noticed yet 🙂

x

Rach!

Extract:

Everyone thanked Kate and Macca for their hospitality and all agreed they should do it more often, then Lisa and Tim bundled their small people into the wagon and Charlie climbed into Mitch’s truck beside him. She clicked her seat-belt into place, glancing at Mitch’s gorgeous profile as she did so. Totally dry now, he wore the board shorts he’d swum in and a scruffy old t-shirt but he could wear the daggiest clothes and still look hotter than any other guy on the planet.

Charlie sucked in a breath, wishing she hadn’t drunk as many beers as she had an intense urge to lean across the gear box and touch his face. Knowing the alcohol could be affecting her senses, she closed her eyes and leaned back in the seat, trying to forget about the fact that Mitch was sitting mere centimetres away. The awareness she felt was ridiculous considering they’d been friends for years and working alongside each other sometimes hours on end for weeks, but she couldn’t deny it was getting stronger.

And she couldn’t forget Kate’s insinuations or Lisa’s comment about the way Mitch looked at her. Could they be right? Something deep inside her tightened at the thought. As far as she knew he hadn’t seen any other women since she’d landed back in town but it had only been a month and she’d been keeping him pretty occupied at the motel.

‘You okay?’ Mitch asked.

She blinked open her eyes, realized they were already halfway down the driveway and nearing the road and summoned a chirpy smile to her face. ‘Yep, just reliving a great night. Thanks for making me come.’

‘You’re welcome.’ Mitch grinned and then reached up to turn on the overhead light. ‘And I hope I’m about to make it even better.’

Charlie’s heart clenched at his words, tingles racing up her spine. Was this it? Was he going to pull the truck over to the side of the road and confess he felt exactly the same way she did. ‘Oh?’ she only just managed to say, licking her lips in anticipation.

‘Check under your seat.’ His hands still sexily caressing the steering wheel, he nodded towards her feet.

Confused, she leant over, shoved her hand under the seat and drew out a thick, yellow A4 envelope. ‘What’s this?’

‘Look inside.’

She slid her finger beneath the seal to open it and then drew out the papers inside, frowning as she read over the first page. ‘It’s an application form. For an online course.’

‘Yep. In naturopathy.’

‘But I don’t understand.’

Mitch reached out and grabbed her hand – she tried not to react to his touch. ‘You’ve been doing amazing things in the motel, Charlie. I’m proud of you, your dad’s proud of you, but you gave up a dream to come home. This way you can study towards your degree and be around for Brian.’

‘I..’ She found herself lost for words, emotion clogging her throat at the thoughtfulness behind Mitch’s gesture. ‘Do you really think I can do this on top of everything else?’

‘Of course you can. Besides I’ll help you.’

Her insides lit up with excitement and possibility. In less than a month she’d already achieved more than she’d ever imagined she could towards improving the motel, so maybe this wasn’t such a crazy idea. ‘Oh Mitch. I could just kiss you,’ she said, hugging the paperwork to her chest.

His cheeks flared red and he scoffed, ‘Steady on, Charls, don’t get carried away.’

His words were like a slap in the face, a bitter reminder of how he saw things between them. He cared about her, dammit he wouldn’t have gone out of his way to find out this course information if he didn’t, but he cared about her as a friend or like he would a sister. Just the mere possibility of her kissing him had brought a horror-stricken look to his face. That hurt but she was the only one to blame. Mitch had never given her any indication that he ever wanted more.

He might have grown from a skinny, nerdy boy into a strapping, gorgeous – inside and out – man, but Charlie hadn’t changed. Why would he ever find her plain mousey looks and nothing body attractive?

‘It was a figure of speech,’ she said quickly, congratulating herself for hiding her dismay. ‘Don’t get your knickers in a knot, I’d rather kiss a toad.’
‘That’s not very nice, Charlie-Wharlie.’ But he didn’t sound offended. He’d recovered from her mention of kissing him and was now tapping his fingers on the steering wheel along to the Australia Day countdown on the radio.

Charlie shoved the paperwork back in the envelope to look at later, then reached up and turned off the overhead light, making the truck dark again, just in case there was anything on her face that might give away her feelings.

 

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