The Mighty Quinn
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by Sommer Marsden
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: Tired of unappreciative losers who leave her behind, Quinn Gallagher decides it's time for a whole new Quinn. Someone who is bold and brave and sexy. So--what happens when one woman tries to reinvent herself to try and find love? With the help of a seventy-something former burlesque dancer; a crash course in fishnets, walking, and wooing; and a very sexy leading man; it can be good, it can be bad, but it is definitely hot and hilarious.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: June 2009
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [309 KB]
Reading time: 190-266 min.
I went back to work Friday and tried my best to keep to myself. No good, my best friend Marla was on the scent the second I walked through the door.
"What! That fucking moron dumped you," said Marla. Okay, she didn't actually say it, it was more like a shriek. We were in the first level ladies' room and she was primping her gorgeous red hair. I was attempting to smooth my mousy brown hair. After her sexy siren 'do was complete I glanced at myself with a sigh. Screw it. It just wasn't going to happen.
Maybe that's what I needed. A new color. Straight from the bottle. Fun, sassy, something that screamed sex kitten. A Marilyn Monroe blond or a Blaze Starr red. I stifled another frustrated sigh as we headed out.
"He told me it wasn't me, it was him," I groused.
"As if everyone on the entire planet hasn't seen that episode of Seinfeld," she snorted. "It's not you, it's me," she whined. "My ass," she hissed, green eyes flashing. "He's right. Apparently it is him. He just can't help being a giant shit stain."
Frayed nerves or not, I couldn't help laughing at her comparison. Maybe that was what I needed, I considered, changing my mind yet again. I needed to get angrier. I needed to feel self righteous rage at Parker. He was a dick. Plain and simple.
It lasted approximately seven seconds and then the overwhelming helpless feeling of just not being good enough returned. I felt a little hitch in my breathing, a quiver in my chest, my eyes began to fill. I would not, would not, would not cry. After days of trying to cry, I would not dissolve into an ocean of self-pity and tears at work. In front of Marla. Like a sniveling little twit. The tears came anyway.
"You know what his problem--" Marla began. Then she took inventory of my face and grabbed my arm. "You're not crying over that shit are you? Oh, Quinn, honey, it'll be okay." She pulled me in for a close hug. "You'll find a better guy. A guy who's more fun, treats you well. He'll be easier to talk to because, unlike Parker, he won't have his head up his ass!"
I snorted laughter, tears, and sadly snot. She was right. It would work out. As soon as I told myself that comfortable white lie the nasty little gremlin in my head woke up. The one that always reminds me of the dark side of things. The one that won't let me feel good in a new outfit for long, or look in the mirror and think, damn you look hot! He woke up with a yawn and a chuckle. Yes, things will work out. Keep telling yourself that, Quinn. Has it escaped your notice that this is the third guy in a year to dump you? You haven't missed that fact, have you?
I hadn't missed it. Couldn't miss it. What the hell was wrong with me? It was me. I knew it. I went back to my desk tired, defeated and jonesing for a cigarette even though I was back off them. I tried to drown the gremlin with a double mocha latte. It didn't work. Apparently, he knows how to swim.
* * * *
I trudged up my front walk, work bag in one hand, a takeout meal from Wong's Good Food! clutched in the other. I could hear my miniature dachshund, Pickle, yapping in the house. He knew the sound of my car and once I slammed my door he went into full spaz mode. I couldn't help but smile. At least someone was glad to see me. I took a deep breath and tried to force myself to appreciate the blooming trees, the tulips all shiny and bright erupting in my front garden. It didn't work. Spring was upon us, a fresh season to enjoy and once again I was nursing a broken heart. At least I had realized that fattening sweet and sour pork wasn't going to fix Parker's abandonment. I'd gone with the steamed garlic veggie meal. Blech.
I smelled her cigarette smoke before she spoke. "That dog of yours is a nut, ya know it?" Frenchy regarded me with one eye. The other squinted shut tight against any invading smoke from her smoldering cigarette. "Cutie patootie, though. Gimme a key and I can start letting him out in the afternoon. It'll save you on the poop duty when you get home."
Pickle is a love but he doesn't have the greatest control over his bathroom habits. On work days I usually end up scooping up at least two little presents that he's left me.
"You wouldn't mind?" I asked, not wanting to impose. I'd lived in the house for about six months now and Frenchy and I had become back fence friends. Each sitting on our own sides of the fence and drinking wine in the evenings since the weather had turned. Frenchy is what my grandfather would have called a "character".
"Nah," she waved a dismissive hand and flung the straying end of her red feather boa over her shoulder, "what the hell do I have to do all day? Smoke, hang up a load of laundry, and spy on the neighbors. I could do with the company."
Did I mention that Frenchy is a former burlesque dancer? She had quite the following in her day. Men from all over the country traveled to Baltimore's infamous Block to watch her perform her sexy dance numbers. I've seen pictures from early in her career. A chest to rival Jayne Mansfield, blond hair the color of sunshine, legs that went on for a mile. Quite the package. I'd remove a rib to look like that. She'd been a knockout. The show biz hadn't left her blood. It was not unusual to see Frenchy watering her flowers in a filmy, vintage dressing gown and fuzzy mules. It also was not unheard of to glance out onto her back deck and see her doing her dancer exercises in black capris, a tiny tank-top and a feather boa either. Mother Nature may be employing the effects of gravity on her seventy-five year old body but the sizzle hadn't left her. I could learn a thing or two from Frenchy.
"I'll get you a key made," I laughed. A plaintive howl accosted my ears.
"You'd better get in there," said Frenchy, "before he chews a hole right through the front door. I'll be out later if you want to join," she invited and then turned back to pinning her starlet-like clothes on the line. Her red feather boa drifting on a gentle spring breeze.
Pickle enjoyed the garlic veggies. To me they tasted like dirty water. I eyed the phone, knowing there would be no call from Parker tonight. That made my chest tighten and I fought the impending sadness. I noticed the message light was blinking on my machine. I muted the evening news and set the takeout container on the floor for Pickle to finish. He dug in with gusto.
"Quinn, er, hi. It's me, Parker. You have some of my stuff ... I wanted to get back. Well, could you just leave it on the front porch tonight? I'll swing past on my way to work. I'm working to get some overtime this weekend. I'll leave yours on the porch. Thanks. Um ... bye."
He couldn't even bear to see me to get his stuff? What a coward! What a prick! Anger flashed through me hot and bright. Then I burst into tears. What was wrong with me?
Pickle looked up from the food, his snout smeared with white garlic sauce. He whined in sympathy for a moment and then resumed his attack on the meal.
I wiped my eyes on my shirt sleeve and sighed. Something had to change. I had to change. There had to be a way for me to find a man. And stay with him.
* * * *