Just Like Family
Publication date: July 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance
All in one day, thirty-five-year-old Hallie Marsh learns that the man she loves, works for, and is living with has found someone else-and that she no longer has a job, a place to live, or a car since she crashed it into a hedge. Her feelings of rage and desire for revenge are soon replaced by a fascination with her new neighbors-four peculiar, elderly people who decide to buy an old run-down estate, fix it up, and live in it “just like family.”
Hallie’s heart raced as she walked briskly past the other offices to the executive suite at the end of the corridor. Since Jeff had sent word asking to see her, it must mean that he was finally finished with that project he had been working on day and night for the past several weeks and that he needed her as much as she needed him. She knew his divorce had just been finalized, although he hadn’t told her yet. She had called the courthouse downtown and found out on her own. He was probably just waiting for the right time to tell her. Over a romantic dinner at one of their favorite places. Or maybe he would take her somewhere for the weekend. He enjoyed surprising her. And there was the awards banquet tonight. He hadn’t mentioned that to her either, but naturally he would want her to go with him. In real estate circles, it was the event of the year. Even though it was supposed to be a secret, everyone knew that Jeff was getting the Salesman of the Year Award again. So much to celebrate and what better way than to make love in his office now.
“Mr. Darnell is expecting you, Ms. Marsh.”
Hallie smiled at the secretary, hoping that her demeanor was that of a public relations director going into a meeting with the president of the company and not of a woman who was going to make love to her boss in his office at four o’clock in the afternoon. “Thanks, Mary,” she said shifting her notebook in an exaggerated movement from one hand to the other, feeling slightly self-conscious. She suppressed the urge to giggle, something she frequently did whenever she felt self-conscious, and walked past the secretary’s desk. On the other side of the ornate double doors was Jeff’s office, a large multi-functional room that had both a southern and eastern exposure.
Jeff was standing with his back to her, looking out one of two mullioned, floor-to-ceiling windows, the one facing the intracoastal waterway. Hallie quietly closed the door and locked it. The desire she felt for him was tremendous and had somehow managed to gravitate to an area the size of a baseball between her naval and vulva. Without saying anything she unbuttoned her navy blue coatdress, silently applauding the fact that she had decided to wear it today since it was so easy to take off. Then she walked up behind him, slipped her arms around his waist, and pressed her body into his back. “You can’t imagine how much I have missed you,” she whispered when he turned around. She eagerly sought his lips as she loosened his tie and began unfastening the buttons on his shirt, completely forgetting the self-consciousness she had experienced moments earlier. He did that to her. Things she wouldn’t normally do under any other circumstances, she felt no inhibitions in doing with Jeff.
“Hallie, I need to tell you something.” Jeff held her trembling hands in his but she continued with the buttons, stopping only when she reached the buckle on his belt. She pulled his shirt loose from his trousers and opened it, exposing his bare chest. Then she tenderly kissed his neck, working her way down his chest and stomach with her mouth and tongue.
“Hallie, please. Stop. We have to talk.”
Hallie looked up into Jeff’s face, breathless and flushed with desire. Curiously at that moment she remembered seeing somewhere in a magazine two similar photographs side by side, the caption under one of them reading, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014 Barbara became a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in true crime and other cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her three cats who adopted her.