Home > Wait With Me

Wait With Me
Author: (Wait With Me #1)

Kate Smith. My name is literally Kate Smith. My parents couldn’t even fancy it up and call me Katherine or Katelyn. Or God, if only they’d have named me something exotic like Katarina, my life could have turned out so differently.

Hell, I would have even settled for Katie. She sounds a tiny bit fun. Maybe.

But no…I’m just Kate.

I’m the eldest child in a bustling family of five from Longmont, Colorado. My parents have been married for over forty years and still magically like each other. My two younger brothers went off and married two sisters. The two perfect couples and their precious offspring live within a two-block radius of our childhood home. My parents babysit every Friday night so my brothers can wine and dine their hot wives like the good Christian husbands they are.

And what does boring ole, practically pushing thirty years old Kate do?

She writes porn.

In a tire shop.

In Boulder, Colorado.

“Excuse me, but you look familiar,” a woman in her mid-sixties says to me with a starry-eyed look on her face. She’s got that pleasantly plump look about her that reminds me of a vintage fairy godmother. The one that looks like a grandmother, not the one that looks like a character from Harry Potter.

I lift my hands from my laptop keyboard where they have been furiously typing away and pop out my earbuds. “I’m sorry…what?”

The woman’s eyes blink rapidly. “Do you work at a hospital?”

I offer her a kind smile. “No, I’m afraid not.”

“Do you work at a dental clinic?”

“Nope.”

“A veterinary office? That’s got to be it. You look so familiar. I’m Betty, and my poodle’s name is Misty, the teacup black one?”

I smile again and take pity on the woman. “No. I’m sorry, Betty. I don’t work at a vet clinic. I’m a writer. Maybe you’ve read my books?”

Her eyes light up. “Oh, what’s your name?”

“I write under the pen name, Mercedes Lee Loveletter,” I reply confidently. Don’t judge! I was making up for a lifetime’s worth of hating my boring-ass name.

“Is it Christian romance?” Betty asks, hand to heart with hopeful excitement.

“No,” I reply, chagrin all over my face.

“Oh…is it Amish? How I love those Amish novels.”

I inhale deeply. “Definitely not Amish.” Betty is so not my people. I should have guessed, but you’d be surprised at the number of grannies who like dirty smut.

She frowns and glances down at my computer. “Are you writing now?”

“Yes.” I hug my laptop to my body as she moves to look over my shoulder.

“May I see?” she asks, brushing up against my shoulder, the scent of vanilla all over her.

I close it. “I’m afraid I don’t let anyone see my work in progress…they need an editor’s touch.” And you’d probably have a stroke.

“You were in here yesterday too, right?” she asks curiously.

My spine straightens. “Yes, why do you ask?”

“And the day before?”

I look around nervously. “Okay, what’s the problem? Did management send you in here?”

Her eyes go wide. “Oh no, no. I’m just the baker!”

Realization dawns on me. I totally saw her bring in some pans yesterday. “Betty the Baker!” I cry out like she’s the long-lost grandmother I’ve always wanted. “You do the cookies!”

She smiles proudly, and I sorta want to hug her, but damn, that’s probably too much too soon. “Yes, I make the cookies. Normally, I only come in once a week, but I’ve been popping in a lot lately to see how the new product is being received.”

“The scones!” I exclaim and shake my head, trying to calm down. “Holy cow, those scones are delish.”

“You really think so?” She’s practically glowing with pride. Jesus Christ, she looks like she’s going to burst.

“Oh, yeah,” I reply. “I dip them in my morning espresso, and the combination is life-changing. Almost as good as the white chocolate chip cookies dipped in the caramel almond latte I have in the afternoons.”

She giggles happily. “Have you tried the danishes?”

“I haven’t seen danishes!” I nearly screech with excitement and then try to reel it in. Damnit, there are danishes? Who the hell is eating all those? “I usually get here around ten. They must be gone by then.”

“Well, that’s a good sign!” the woman chortles, and then her brow furrows. “How many days have you been coming here? Is something terribly wrong with your car? I bet they could get you a rental.”

I bristle instantly. This is why you don’t talk with the patrons, Kate! You’re supposed to keep a low profile, not chat up the magical baking grandmother! I take a deep breath and lie through my teeth. “Actually, I’m not really a writer, Betty. Can you keep a secret?” Her eyes go wide at my serious expression, and she looks around to make sure no one hears us before nodding eagerly.

This is the moment you’ve been preparing weeks for, Kate. Don’t hold back now. “I’m with corporate. We’ve been worried about the service in this branch, so they sent me here to scope things out for a few weeks.”

“Oh, but I’ve never heard any complaints before! And I so love the gentlemen at the front desk. They are always so friendly, and they love my chocolate chip cookies.”

“I think everyone loves your chocolate chip cookies,” I reply with a knowing wink. “But I need to ask you to keep my presence here quiet. We want to really see this branch’s day-to-day customer service so we can make any necessary improvements.”

She nods slowly, clearly excited she’s in on my secret mission. “I understand.” Possible snitch, secured.

“Thank you for your discretion.” I reach out to shake her hand in a very corporate manner, and it feels like a sticky, limp noodle. “It was nice to meet you, Betty. Keep up the good work. We’re not worried about you at all.”

My wink has her shuffling away with a stark look on her face, and I turn to exhale heavily. That was close. Too close. I need to finish this book before anyone else notices that I’m here a lot.

I reopen my laptop and pick up where I left off in book five of my erotic Bed ‘n Breakfast series. This book is the conclusion to an overnight international bestselling sensation that was recently optioned for film by Passionflix. My fans are dying for this book, and my mind can’t help but drift off to recall the great lengths I went to deliver.

Sure, some might say it’s unusual to write smutty romance in the waiting room of a tire shop. But when you’re a New York Times Bestselling author and suddenly all the words and characters in your mind disappear—you take extreme measures.

That’s why the day I walked into the Tire Depot waiting room prepared to stare at my computer blankly while I got a new set of tires, I was stunned when the words started flowing again. Like seriously flowing. This wasn’t a trickle but a flash flood of epic proportions.

After such a dry spell, I didn’t dare tempt fate by walking away from that shit! I was like a prized athlete on a winning streak heading into the championship game. I wasn’t going to wash my socks or shave my legs. I was going to eat the same shit, walk the same steps, and repeat every day like fucking Groundhog Day until I finished this book!

That is why I’m on my third week of work at the good old Tire Depot. And I’ve learned a lot in my time here. Like the fact that Tire Depot is so much more than a tire shop. For starters, they don’t just sell tires. They perform oil changes and do maintenance and mechanical repairs. The other day, I overheard the manager say they did everything except paint and glass. How neat is that?

But if I’m being honest, I have to admit that I come here for one thing and one thing only:

The Customer Comfort Center.

The CCC at the Tire Depot, also known as my new mothership.

When I first brought my vehicle in three weeks ago and the counter guy gestured to a waiting room around the corner, I thought I’d find a crummy twelve-cup Mr. Coffee with generic stale coffee. If I was lucky, they’d have powdered creamer from this year.

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