Sweet Talk by Lauran Strait

Such a wasted morning afler Brad's idiotic email. How was she supposed to concentrate?

Non-stop Christmas tunes polluted the air, and hideous strands of plastic garland doused in tacky, multi-colored lights clung like skinny shrouds against every store window.

I'm so sorry, Katie-poo. Forgive me?

Kate grimaced. Was there no escape from this madness?

Right there by an electric fireplace, awe-struck mannequin children stared at a fake Christmas tree and dozens of holiday-wrapped boxes. Plastic mom and dad held hands and smiled at their pretend kids.

What a crock. Things like this existed for one reason only --- to trick and trap people into feeling things they'd regret.

Can we kiss and make up? No games this time. I promise.

Kate passed the plastic family, beckoned by a jewelry display of overpriced baubles. Twisting her own wedding ring, she stared at trinkets scattered over mounds of crushed velvet. She turned away. It would take much more than outward beauty to seduce her this time.

"May I help you?" a pimply-faced boy said.

"Huh?" Kate jumped. How had she gotten to this place?

Never mind. She was here now. Might as well make the best of things. She studied a sign above the boy. "I'll have one of your 'Ever-Faithful-Chocolate-Chip' cookies."

"Sorry. We're out of those." The teenager's perky smile looked glued on.
"Why not try something else, maybe 'Sinfully-Seductive-Spice’? You’ll love it. I promise."

"What kind of game you playing with me?"

"No games."

"Liar! You never tell the truth." A flush raced across her cheeks and down her neck. Even her fists felt hot.

"I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't even know you. We're strangers." I recognized my soul-mate the instant we met. Ive always loved you.

"Ri-i-i-ght. You tell me what you think I want to hear when you think I need to hear it. But when I ask you to make good on your promises, you become unavailable. 1 hate you!" " Kate raised a box of cookie wrappers above her head.

"Put that down“ He sounded cocky, confident, controlling.

"Give me one more chance, Katie-poo?"

"Okay." Kate leapt the counter and slammed the box into the boy's face.

"Shit, my nose, you broke it!"

"Just like the promises you broke. Just like my heart.“ Kate scooped up a handful of cookies. Enough sweet talk. Pimply-faced-boy was right; time to try something new.


@ 2008 - Strait

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