Turning Point Christmas

Both Turning Point, and the sequel Turn for Home are available in paperback and ebook formats from Acquitted Books (Supposed Crimes).

excerpt setup: Brenna and Cassidy have recently admitted their attraction (a kiss). Now Cassidy has to watch Brenna appearing at a publicity event on the arm of her husband. It’s the Millenial Extravaganza, aka the Pinnacle Productions holiday gala. Cassidy is distracted from her pining when her own ex-boyfriend has blackmail on his mind.

Conversation around them ceased for a moment, causing nearly everyone to look toward the entrance to identify the new arrival. Cassidy’s chest squeezed in surprise. On Kevin’s arm, Brenna stood scanning the room. Alarmed that the heat rising in her face might be noticed, she took a step back from Rich and Linda to assure that she remained inconspicuous and could observe Brenna without the press observing her.

She sighed with pleasure. Brenna looked wonderful in a floor-length, tank-style, red silk gown. The daringly low décolletage was covered by a red, gauze-thin wrap that hugged her upper arms while leaving her shoulders bare. She had swept her hair up into a softly gathered twist of curls that brought out the red highlights. God, I want her. Her fingers itched at the tactile memory of the softness of Brenna’s hair and how satin her skin felt. With a dry swallow, she diverted her attention to observe the man at Brenna’s side.

Kevin Shea was built along the lines of a defensive lineman and towered every inch of six feet. His broad face was weathered and framed by wavy gray hair, only hinting at the dark brown it must once have been. Not unkindly, Cassidy compared him to her father and found him a handsome man.

She watched him lead Brenna through the photographers and executives. He lightly put a hand on her
lower back, as if afraid she would break. The doting glances he gave her when the smaller woman was not looking were embarrassing to observe. The tenderness brought a lump to Cassidy’s throat. It was clear to her that Kevin loved his wife.

As Brenna and Kevin started down the steps, Rich moved forward to greet their titular leader. Cassidy hung back, wishing she dared to approach but not trusting her body, much less her voice. Brenna’s smile, she noticed, was tense. The photographers were the usual bunch, but still she ducked away from two photographers whose flashes went off less than a foot from her face. Her mind was apparently on something other than publicity.

Cassidy felt a presence come up on her left side. Taking a sip from her wineglass, she offered quietly,
“Evening, Cameron.”

He sipped from a small tumbler, and she recognized the sharp smell of a Triple Sec Speeder, a drink for which Cam had a penchant when his sole professed purpose was to get rip-roaring drunk. It was likely his first, since the evening was still young, but she knew it wouldn’t be his last. When he spoke, his words were the unmeasured tone of someone not interested in watching his language. “Bitchin’ cool party, I guess.”

“Mmm hmmm,” she replied noncommittally.

“Hey,” he said, pointing as he slithered an arm around her waist. She stepped away from the embrace.
“I’ve only been off the set what, two weeks? Chapman’s looking buffer than usual.”

She nodded. “He switched gyms.”

He looked to another cluster of celebrities. “Isn’t that Spellman? Look, Brenna and her husband are
headed over to say hello to him. Why don’t we join them?”

Cassidy was stunned. He was acting as if they had never broken up. “What’s going on, Cameron?”

“Oh, I’m just thinking we could spend some time together — you and me. Can’t I be sociable?”

“This isn’t sociable. You’re drunk, and you’re fawning.”

“Ah, but I’ve seen the woman I love in the arms of another. Shouldn’t I fight for her?”

Cassidy froze. “What?”

“That was a very hot kiss on her trailer steps. Which of you did the seducing? I’ve always wondered how dominance works in a relationship like that,” he went on, deliberately ignoring her discomfort.

“I think you’ve had too many drinks, Cameron. You’re imagining things.”

“Not tonight. I just wanted to get my facts straight — pardon the pun — before I go over and share them with her husband. Now, it was…just last week. Right? On her trailer steps…”

Cassidy’s eyes widened with alarm. “You’re fishing. There’s nothing,” she tried bravely.

Cameron didn’t buy it. “What is it worth to you for me to keep your secret?”