To Seduce a Soulmate
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-55487-440-8
[ Contemporary Romance, MMF ]
Finding a soul mate was the easy part. To seduce him proved Martin’s hardest challenge, for nothing in Pirate Drake’s black intriguing eyes seemed to recognize the one person destiny had selected for him. But can the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas be enough to convince him to the contrary in spite of his dilemmas about gender, feelings, connections and sex, or can Pirate Drake find a way around the burning desire, the erotic heat, the uncontrollable passion wrecking his senses at Martin’s mere sight?
“Drake, honey, is that you?”
With a sinking heart, he adjusted the receiver to his ear, spiritually bracing himself for the onslaught to come. “Yes, Mom, it’s me.”
“Oh, honey, how are you? I wanted to be the first to wish you happy birthday.”
“Thanks, it was really nice of you to—“
“Oh, I know I could’ve waited until tomorrow, like your father said, but hey, you turn thirty-six today, not tomorrow. Besides, it’s a wonderful age, worth celebrating because it won’t ever come again.”
Just like all the others. Rapidly calculating the wasted time of his life, he suppressed an ironic smile. “That was really nice—“
“So what time are you coming over tomorrow?”
“You know, everything’s almost ready for the Thanksgiving dinner. I have the turkey and the cranberries, and the potatoes. I’ll even try to make a pumpkin pie, though your father insists we buy one. Well, I told him that for my kids, I’d rather do it myself than buy one ready-made. But he’s got a thick head, so I had to agree I’d do as he says if I get really tired.”
“I see.” Drake tried to break the rushing flow, already knowing it was useless. And how can she breathe through all those words? He wondered, not for the first time in his life.
“Anyway, I’m sure Jenny will help a little and I’ve asked her to invite also Aline—“
“Aline?” He managed to cut in.
“Yeah, remember her?”
How could I forget? Anguished at the idea of seeing her again, he sighed.
His mother had continued as if completely unaware of his tightening stomach. “Your sister’s best friend and our next door neighbor.”
“I know who she is, Mom.” Slightly annoyed with her need to state well known facts, he shook his head. “But why is she coming over? It’s been years since we last saw her.”
“Not for your sister, honey. She’s kept up the friendship and helped her through a very bad year for the poor thing’s lost her mom to cancer just a month ago. Now she’s all alone and I didn’t think it fair she should spend the holidays by herself. She was part of the family anyway, don’t you remember?”
All too well. He sighed, wishing he could forget.
“And Jenny insisted, too, so I asked her over.” A deep breath told Drake that Rose Seymour had finally taken the much-needed pause. “Why, is it a problem?”
“No, of course not. I’m just surprised. That’s all.”
“Not as much as I, honey, especially when I learned Aline wouldn’t be the only unexpected guest. Jenny said she’ll probably convince her fiancé to spend Thanksgiving with us.”
“Jenny’s engaged?” Apparently, there was no end to surprises.
“So your sister tells me, with Dale…something.”
He liked to imagine her beloved features creasing in the effort to bring forth what she probably had no interest in recalling.
“I don’t remember his last name,” she admitted at last. “Whatever he’s called, it’s a nice change for your sister, don’t you agree? She hasn’t dated anyone particularly interesting since Mike left her.”
The subject was getting treacherous by the minute, so Drake had to stop his mom from taking the usual path that led to pity and recrimination for his sister’s future. “So this Dale something is gonna be part of the celebrations, too?”
“Yeah, and I’m very happy for your sister. She deserves it because it’s never easy being alone, especially if you’re a woman. Which reminds me, are you bringing anybody over? We have plenty of space, you know, and it wouldn’t be any problem if—“
“Mom, not again. I thought we had agreed you wouldn’t touch the subject unless I did.”
“Hey, don’t get all huffed up, honey. I was just asking. I guess your father’s right when he says men are different, but I worry about you all the same. You’re not getting any younger…”
No need to remind me, Mom.
“Time slips by so fast and it just ain’t fair for someone as special as you to spend your life alone—“
“I’m not alone. Don’t worry.”
Of course, she did not listen. “Going out with people doesn’t mean you’re not alone or happy for that matter. Today’s relationships are so much more superficial than during my time. With all this Internet stuff you hear about—“
“Mom, I don’t do any Internet stuff. I’m perfectly happy as it is and I can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Does that satisfy you?”
Of course, it doesn’t. Drake was well aware of it, catching her sigh and knowing it definitely was not what she wanted to hear, but it would have to do as far as he was concerned.
“All right, honey, so what time are you coming over tomorrow?”
“In the evening. I have to finish up a few things here at work, then I’ll come over.”
“Bring something warm along. The lake’s beautiful this time of year, but it does get very cold, especially at night.”
As if I didn’t know. He shook his head, acutely aware he would never win against his mother.
“Your father is suffering particularly this winter.”
“Really? I hope nothing serious.”
“Oh no, honey, relax. He just has a bit of a cold he can’t seem to shake off, but I told him he’d better shape up for Thanksgiving or else.”
And Rose’s “else” was far worse than any blasted cold could ever hope to be. “Give him my best.”
“You’ll give it to him tomorrow directly, right, honey?”
“Sure. Then I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yes, honey. You take care, you hear?”
He nodded at the receiver, mercifully hanging up, feeling as depleted as if he had climbed up the Himalayas in a hurry, coming down equally as fast.