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As promised, the sneak preview to His by Design



I tried hard not to sigh in frustration as, Giselle, one of my very best friends in the whole world lectured to me. I swear, I tried really, really, hard but it just slipped out.

“You’re not even listening to me, are you?”

“I’m listening. I just don’t want to do it.”

That last part came out more as a whine but I couldn’t express how much I did not want to talk about this anymore.

“Well, why the hell not? All you have to do is give the man a call to see what he wants.”

Her expression turned sly then and I just knew she was thinking something dirty. “You never know. Maybe it’s your tight little body he wants and not just some dumb business contract. I mean look at the man. You can’t tell me you aren’t at least a little curious to see if he’s every bit as hot in person as he is in this photo.”

Giselle pointed to a photo of a half- dressed brother that had to be a male model. The man had skin the color of dark coffee and wore a white wife-beater that clung like a second skin to a thickly muscled torso. His arms were so big they looked like tree trunks. A pair of jeans hung low on his narrow hips and there was a tool belt with only a hammer and a tape measure clipped to it. I snorted at the photo and pushed it back towards her. Giselle may have thought the guy was hot, but to me, the way he was glaring from beneath the brim of his hard hat made him look more goofy than sexy.

“OK first of all, I seriously doubt this is a legit photo of the guy you’re talking about because you got the man’s name wrong. It’s not Tyrone like you first said. It’s Tyler something or other. So, when you Googled it you obviously got a picture of this guy instead. I mean look at him. You didn’t pick up on that when you saw the photo? Besides, if the man wants to do any kind of business, he should call Henry. He is, after all, the owner of the company not me.”

“But you’re his star designer. Maybe this guy wants to start a business with you.” She pushed.

“Anything’s possible, I guess, but you know I have my own plans. I’m not going to put them on hold just because some stranger decides he likes my work.”

“So, you’re really going for it huh? How far along are they with the office renovations?”

I grinned, finally a subject I could actually get excited about. “Just a few more weeks and I’ll be able to move in.”

“Henry’s going to miss you.”

“Somehow I doubt it. The man couldn’t be bothered to remember my first name half the time. But I am excited to start working for myself. It’s a dream come true, not to be dependent on someone else for my livelihood.”

“I know that’s right and you’ve worked your ass off to make it happen. Maybe once you get settled you can give that Tyler guy a call to see what he wants.”

I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. “Are we back to that again? Can we please talk about something- anything else?”

"Fine,” she took a moment to think about it then sat up a little a straighter her expression brightening. The way she waved her arms around made it clear she was excited about something. “Oh, I almost forgot. Do you remember that project I did for the Home Improvement Network?”

I nodded because she conferred with me a lot on the home design weeks ago. “Yes, did the producers like the finished project?”

She snorted. “Liked it? Are you kidding me? They loved it- so much so they are talking about maybe creating a new show around us.”

“What do you mean by us?”

“I mean you and me. We would be going around to different people’s houses to create dream homes out of their crap shacks.”

“That was an elegant way to put it.”

She rolled her eyes. “Alright fine so maybe they aren’t crap shacks so much as badly designed and staged homes. Are you happy?”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested. I have my own business to concentrate on remember?”

“Why can’t you do both? This could generate a lot of free publicity.”

“Let’s see if this thing even gets off the ground first before we have this conversation. For all we know, all this will ever be is talk. I’m not going to get into it with you over something that might not even happen.”

“That’s fair.”

The waitress arrived with our drinks and appetizers and we were quiet for a bit as we dug in. Giselle was the first to come up for air a few minutes later. “I can’t believe Sarah wouldn’t leave her husband and daughter for even a couple of hours to come chill with her girls.”

“Can you blame her? She’s a new mom now and she’s breastfeeding but don’t worry we’ll stop by soon for a visit.”

“It’s not the same.” Giselle pouted. “Everything is changing and we’re not the four musketeers anymore. I wasn’t upset at first, when we lost Camille, because she was the oldest and she’s been with Barry forever. But I never thought we’d lose Sarah so soon. She was the baby of the group. Now she’s married to that gorgeous man of hers and has a little baby of her own. We’re dropping like flies, woman. Who knows which of us will be next?” Giselle whined.

“Cheer up Gizz maybe it will be you next time.” I teased.

My friend’s eyes narrowed with irritation at the hated nickname she’d earned at a frat party in college years ago. Nobody really remembered the details though, since everyone was pretty drunk- or so I had been told. I think the story was so embarrassing Giselle threatened the life of anyone that was there.

“I told you never to call me that.”

I, of course, ignored her glare and kept eating. “The only reason you’re freaking out is because if you really are next, you’d have to start acting like a responsible adult.”

“Which is why I’m glad I’m still single,” She sang. “But you, on the other hand, haven’t had a date since Douche Bag Don.”

The waitress was there yet again, this time to deliver our entrees, before I could respond. When she left, I knew there was no way this conversation would end without my at least pretending to give in to Giselle. “I’ll tell you what. I won’t call him but if Tyler- what’s his name calls me again, I will at least hear him out. OK, your highness?”

Giselle’s expression instantly brightened; mission accomplished. “You’ll thank me for it later, Shawna Babe. Just you wait and see. He could give Sarah’s husband a run for his money and you know how good looking that man is.”

I wanted to point out yet again, that she had no idea what this Tyler guy looked like but decided to stick my tongue out at her instead. I’m very mature that way.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek. I hope to update you soon on a publish date. For now stay safe.

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