COUNTDOWN TO VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL – Lead Him Not Into Temptation by M.L. Steinbrunn

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We are thrilled to share a fabulous little Valentine’s day bonus scene with you from LEAD HIM NOT INTO TEMPTATION by the amazing M.L. Steinbrunn. Please keep in mind that this is an unedited extra that will not be included in any books in the series and it is protected by copyright. So, get ready for a new dose of Jen and Casen! 😉

Bonus Scene

“I’ll just have a hot tea with a little milk and sugar, please,” I tell the waitress as I take my seat at our usual table at A Scones Throw.

I set my cell phone on the table and offer a sincere smile to my best girlfriends. I usually hate today, it’s so frilly and frufru, but this year Valentine’s Day is different. I’m with a man I’m absolutely in love with, we are having a baby together, and I got him a gift that may actually make my rock star of steel cry.

“So what’s on your agendas today, ladies? I ask. “Lots of sexy sexy time, I hope.”

“Jack’s out of town, so it’s just Olivia and I tonight,” Carly responds. “He did at least already give me a gift.”

I perk up when I hear presents. It’s no secret that I love all things shopping and gifts. Poor Casen will never see it coming when he opens up his gift this year.

“Did he do a good job, Vivian inquires. “You know, make up for being gone?”

She laughs sarcastically, “Sure. If a vacuum is romantic, then Jack rocked it this year.” She sighs deeply and swirls the straw around in her soda.

“I used to like that guy,” Campbell says. “I don’t know what happened, but he took a pretty big headfirst dive into shithead territory and hasn’t made his way to the shallow end.”

“Sorry, Car. If it makes you feel any better, Casen got me gummy worms,” I tell her, hoping my sad gift make her feel slightly better about her pathetic present that no woman would be appreciative of on Valentine’s Day.

“I’m sorry? Casen got you gummy worms?” Vivian asks. “I know you’ve been craving some weird things, but I’m going to need a little extra explanation on this one,” she laughs.

My phone vibrates across the tabletop, and I see Casen’s name flash across the screen.

 

Casen: It’s Valentine’s Day…are you coming home?

Me: Soon, I’m telling the girls about the gift you left for me on the kitchen counter. They think you’re pretty pathetic, FYI.

Casen: YOU OPENED IT?!

Me: It was a gift and it had my name on it. Do you not know me at all?

Casen: Point taken.

 

“Is that him?” Campbell asks. “Tell him we expected more.” She laughs trying to peek at my phone screen.

“At least it wasn’t a vacuum,” Carly adds. “I would take gummy worms over a household cleaning product any day.” She looks so sad, I’m really starting to fucking hate Jack. Carly is so defeated, so not herself, and Jack is the reason for it.

 

Casen: That gift was meant to come with an explanation. Those worms are for our next camping trip after the baby is born. No more cups of worms for you, Sparkplug. You get to enjoy the gummy kind, while I bait the fishing line for you.

 

I smile down at my phone and think of our first camping trip together. Maximus the worm, falling in love, baring my soul… it was where it all really started for us.

 

Casen: I found my gift. I’m totally opening it now.

 

“No!” I shout at my phone, my fingers fumbling to type the words.

“What? Vivian says hushing me and looking around the coffee shop. Carly and Campbell both sit up in their seats and give me their undivided attention.

“He’s opening my gift for him!” I hit send, but there is no reply. I know he’s already opening it. I hold my breath, waiting for the next message.

“So. What’s the big deal?” Carly asks. “You opened his gift.”

My shoulders slouch in disappointment and I remain silent.

I was nervous when I found his grandmother and asked her for pictures of his siblings. He hasn’t seen many of them in years, but when they were little he was their protector, the reason that they survived. I wanted to make him something to remember the good parts of his family. His grandmother scrounged together all the pictures she could find of them all when they were children and let me make copies of everything. It took forever to find just the right frame to showcase them all, but I finally found one.

I wanted to see the look on his face when he opened it and saw the pictures of the only family members that he loves, that loved him.

My phone vibrates and I’m instantly nervous to look at the text. What if he’s angry that I dug up his past? What if I’ve ruined our day?

My hands shake as I pick up my phone once more.

 

Casen: I love you more than I think you will ever know. Come home so I can show you how much.

 

I exhale and swallow the lump in my throat. Without an explanation, I offer a smile to my girls, stand, and walk out of the coffee shop. I need to get home to my heart.

ML Gifts

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Check out the first book in the Redemption series:

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

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Deliver Her From Evil

Deliver Her From Evil

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