My Previous Wins
Camp NaNoWriMo 2015
Meherene Sami introduced Peli and Brr for the first time to her three year old niece in India, 20 years ago. Now living in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two daughters, Meherene enjoys being silly and adventurous. “You’re never too old to be a kid,” she says.
It’s just for one day.
Harley Evans sighed. She had no clue how she ended up volunteering to pick up her future brother-in-law from the airport. And the fact that she didn’t know what he looked like was just driving her crazy.
“Sweetheart, you don’t have to,” her mother-in-law had said. “I’m sure he will get a cab. What worries me is that he doesn’t know the place well. He’s bad with directions and addresses. My poor baby.”
Seeing her mother-in-law in distress, Harley decided to help her out. “It’s okay. I’m not really busy. I’ll go pick him up.”
Mrs. Taylor gave her a big smile. “Great! Then you should take this with you. Thank you so much, dear girl.” She pushed a paper in her hand that had two words on it: Connor Taylor. Harley sighed and walked towards the garage to take her car out. Oh yes, she wasn’t busy at all . . . but it didn’t change the fact that she was going to walk down the aisle in two weeks. She was the freaking bride . . . who was acting like a chauffer now.
Harley’s fiancé, Carter, was the son of her parents’ best friends; thus this marriage. She met Carter at a party; he was polite, charming and awfully handsome . . . but that didn’t mean she had to marry him! Unfortunately, there was no way to back out of it. Emotional blackmail was a skill her folks had mastered a long time ago. And now that she was going to marry him, she had to pick the little brother up. Carter loved his parents, but he never spoke about his own brother; assuming Connor was a teenager, Harley parked the car and walked into the terminal, waiting to see a teen there. With that stupid paper clutched in her hand, she saw that the flight from Seattle had landed.
Harley was expecting to see a teen wearing neatly ironed clothes in mostly dark shades like his brother, but no teen came. She had been waiting for another ten minutes when she felt someone tap her shoulder. Turning around, she saw the most unruly yet gorgeous sight in front of her. A guy around her age smiled at her. He was wearing a red t-shirt and dark blue ripped jeans with a motorcycle jacket. Oh, he wouldn’t need a jacket in the Californian heat.
He gave her a smirk before he spoke, “Hi there!”
“Hey,” Harley smiled and turned away. Oh no! She was engaged, and mentally undressing this man with her eyes wasn’t right!
The guy tapped her shoulder again and she turned around, getting lost in those deep blue eyes again. “Yes?” she asked, rather politely.
“Umm . . . I was just wondering why you were holding that,” he said, pointing towards the paper in her hand.
“Oh, this? I’m waiting for someone. Looks like his flight landed, but he isn’t here yet,” Harley replied, still looking around. “Why the hell is he late?” she muttered under her breath.
“He isn’t late,” the guy said, still smiling.
“Oh, really? And how do you know that?” Harley rolled her eyes.
“Because he’s in front of you.”
“Wait, what? You are Connor?” Harley’s eyes widened in surprise. This hot guy, whom she was having inappropriate thoughts about, was her brother-in-law? Future brother-in-law, but still . . . This was not right.
“You think you can fool me?” Harley challenged. “You want a free ride, so you decided to pretend to be Connor Taylor. There are taxis outside, but they don’t give free rides.”
The guy sighed before pulling out his wallet; he took out a driver’s license and showed it to her. Harley freaked out. This was Connor Taylor. Oh, she messed up. Big time.
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t know how you looked.” She gave an apologetic smile.
“It’s okay. I would like to go now,” Connor said, walking out. Harley followed him and saw him looking at the cabs. “You can go wherever you want. I’ll catch a cab and pay for it.”
Harley lowered her face; she must have hurt him pretty bad. Poor Connor’s ego must’ve taken a bad blow. “Look, your mother asked me to pick you up. I can’t leave you here now. I’m sorry for saying those things.”
“Hmm . . .” Connor placed his fingers on his chin and rubbed it lightly. “Let’s see . . . if you go home without me, my mom will be mad at you?”
Harley nodded. Connor gave her a wicked grin and said, “Okay, I’ll forgive you.”
She smiled, but it faded as soon as he spoke, “Under one condition. Have coffee with me.”
Harley hesitated; Connor was hot, but she was engaged to his brother. And coffee with him might be a bad idea. But who the hell cares? She gave him a small smile and said yes. “By the way, I’m Harley.”
“Hey, Harley. Nice to meet you. I’m Connor.” He smiled and shook her hand. “Let’s go, shall we?”
“Yeah, this way,” she said, leading him towards her car. Connor let out a whistle when he saw the red Audi convertible.
“Audi A5 Cabriolet! Nice!” He kept his bags in the back and hopped in. “Audi is truly the best!”
Harley smiled. She loved her car, too. She started the car once Connor got in, and around 15 minutes later, they stopped at a café so they could grab some lattes. Connor insisted on paying for the coffees even when Harley told him she would pay.
“Your treat next time.” He winked.
“And how do you know there will be a next time?” Harley raised her eyebrow, starting the car again.
“Oh, baby, there will be a next time for sure,” Connor said as he looked at the cars passing by. “This place truly has changed.”
Harley looked at him in surprise, “When was the last time you were here?”
“Umm . . . I think it’s been almost 5 years.” Connor sighed. “I moved to Vancouver a long time ago.”
“Oh yeah? Washington?”
“No, British Columbia.” Connor smiled. “It’s a nice place. I had a stopover at Seattle. For my friend’s wedding.”
“How is Canada?” Harley asked. She was really interested in knowing about the life there.
“Oh, it’s great, really good. It’s home.” Connor smiled cheerfully.
By the time they reached home, it was already noon. Mrs. Taylor stood in the driveway, waiting impatiently for her son. Connor grinned as he jumped out of the car and walked over to meet her.
“My baby! My cuddly poo! Sweet munchkin! My snugglebunny!” Mrs. Taylor cooed as Connor’s face turned seven shades of red.
“Mom, NO!” He groaned as she pulled him into a big hug.
“Oh, my darling baby boy, look at you! You are so thin! Are you dieting? You better not be,” she said as she pinched his cheeks, making them redder. Harley burst out laughing and Connor mock-glared at her.
“Munchkin, let me introduce you to Harley,” Mrs. Taylor said, patting her son’s cheek lovingly.
“Oh, we met, Mom.” Connor smiled. “Nice driver, though. By the way, how much do you pay her?”
Mrs. Taylor’s shrieked and mock-slapped her son’s shoulder. “Connor, you do not speak about your sister-in-law in that way!”
“Wha . . . wait, what?” Connor looked at Harley in shock. “You are Carter’s fiancée?”
“Harley Evans. Nice to meet you.” She smiled, but Connor didn’t return the smile. He turned around to face his mother instead.
“Mom, I’m really tired. I think I’ll go and rest for a while.”
“Of course, Doodle-bug. I know how tired you must be. Go upstairs and sleep for a while. Mommy is making all your favorite dishes for dinner.”
Connor pecked her cheek and dashed upstairs. Cuddly poo. Munchkin. Snugglebunny. Doodle-bug. Oh yes, life was going to be very interesting for the next two weeks.
Do you ever wish you had a second chance to meet someone again for the first time?
Second chances… do they really exist? Ask Aiden Reid and he would say they do. But how?
Aiden’s story is quite simple and I’ve the privilege to share it with you. For me, Aiden Reid was the guy I always dreamt about. Someone who is too good to be true. An imagination.
I still remember the day when I sat down and started writing his story. What a day it was. I never thought I would be sharing his story with others. But when I did, I felt that this was meant to happen.
Josephine March from Little Woman has always been my favourite literary heroine and as a tribute to her I created Josephine Winters and together with Aiden, she shared a story that made people laugh, cry and yearn for more. Now coming back to the second chance, do you think Aiden got a second chance in his life? Do we all deserve a second chance?
Find out here, in Aiden and Josephine’s story, Her Charming Secret.
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