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Authors: Andrea Randall

Tags: #Fiction, #Literary, #Romance, #Contemporary

Ten Days of Perfect








Ten Days of Perfect Copyright © 2012 Andrea Randall

Cover Photo and Design by Evan Spinosa

Permission for use of song lyrics to “Heaven When We’re Home” given by Ruth Moody


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author. Brief written quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews are permitted.

This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.




















Dedicated to Western Massachusetts for fostering creativity, independent thinking, and being the place I still call home - even when I live hundreds of miles away. Thank you for giving me the best teachers I could have asked for.


The Kiss


“There is the kiss of welcome and of parting, the long, lingering, loving, present one; the stolen, or the mutual one; the kiss of love, of joy, and of sorrow; the seal of promise and receipt of fulfillment.”~ Thomas C. Haliburton

A tear splashes on the crisp page, blurring the delicate lines, as I trace Haliburton’s words with my thumb. How wise he was. Ten days ago
I had no way of
the true meaning of these words
The anticipation of the first kiss simmers with more passion than the kiss itself; filled with possibility
, it
be anything you want it to be.
Time stands still inside its magic. Your heart races as eagerness takes the reigns. Swollen lips pulse with lustful expectation while the space between you begs for closure
; t
he connection that follows met with equal parts relief and exploration.

Yes, the first kiss is intense, and this one was no different. Who am I kidding? It was completely different; passion sprang from places in my soul that had previously sat undrilled. I’
been kissed before, that much my brain remembers; but his kisses linger in my bones, leaving me with a wei
ght my soul can’t bear to lift.

The first time I laid eyes on Bo, I knew he was different; all internal dialogue stopped and my soul nudged my eyes to meet his. Each time his fingers strummed across the strings of his guitar, the sound reverberated in my soul as if it was receiving a message my ears couldn’t hear.

All things considered, that was the second time I saw him. But, it was the first time my soul wept at his beauty while being dipped backwards, holding on to her pillbox hat, and kicking up a heel. Most notably, it was the first time my soul whispered to me, in words so clear,
Oh, November, this is it.
I can still hear them . . .


Chapter One

Ten days ago . . .


I worked late that Tuesday to finish up some lingering projects before dropping my car off at the local garage. Two blocks from my apar
tment, the garage stood vacant.
I parked my car and left
keys in the glove compartment, as instructed. I turned to walk home, enjoying the pinks and purples
brushed through the May sunset on Cape Cod.

The sound of a car door slamming next to the garage made me jump. I decided I’d poke my head around the corner
see if someone was there
so I could
hand my keys to
. My head
only made it far enough around the corner to see the tailgate of a large, rusty blue pickup truck, and two sets of feet hit the ground. Something,
my intuition, set off warning bells in my head, and I decided to
turn around and go home instead
. I’d taken two steps away from my car before I heard their
Voices can sneer, I learned in that instant, and I

“Well . . . where the hell is he? This is bullshit.” A young man, I guessed, coughed as he addressed his truck mate. “I’m gonna kick the shit out of him after we get his money and
make Ray pay for it.”

I begged my feet to move.
, please go.  You’re
alone, these guys are clearly bad news, and you really have no way of defending yourself other than
running; they
have a car, they’d catch you eventually.
Still, my feet were anchored in morbid curiosity, forcing me to listen longer

“He’ll be here, Bill, take it easy. Christ, he’s never stiffed us before, and he won’t start
now- it’s for Ray, after all.”

I heard their names, fear convinced me that I now knew
too much. The one with the simmering temper was Bill. He was as tall as the cab of his truck, if not taller, and his voice sounded like pain personified. It was a voice I never wanted to hear directed toward me; it churned my stomach and sent chills racing off my spine. Thankfully, the more levelheaded, albeit smaller, guy was there to calm him down.

Realizing how irresponsible I was being with my safety, I forced myself to move.
It would be dark soon and talk of ass-kicking and getting money from someone was more tha
n I needed to hear. As my feet hit the sidewalk at the edge of the small parking
lot, another car pulled up from the street behind the garage.
I slowed when
I reached a large oak tree at the corner of the lot. Curiosity
me with her hand
made me listen as I tried to catch my anxious breath.
Why do you care? Didn’t curiosity kill the cat?
Thankfully I’m no cat. I could see just the backs of the men as I used
a giant tree as my camouflage.

“Gentlemen, you’re early.” A young-sounding male with a confident voice emerged from vehicle number two.

“Cut the shit, Spike. You’re late and you know it. We didn’t come all the way down here to fuck around. This is a favor, remember?” Bill’s anger tore through the quiet lot.


“No need to swear, Buddy, I have it right here. And I appreciate the

I note
d the sarcasm in Spike’s voice.

“Hand it over so we can go home, Asshole. You’ve
all the money; I don’t know why we’re still doing these little exchanges.” Bill’s unnamed friend sounded curt and bored at the same time.

“You’re a real prick, you
. . .

I heard a thump followed by a low grunt when Bill punched Spike square in
the stomach.
I had to cover my mouth to suffocate the scream that
was trying to
my throat as an emergency exit.
Terror flooded all five of my senses. One side of my brain told me to run away
the other told me to wait to see if Spike was OK
That side held its blue ribbon as I roote
d my feet next to the oak tree.

“Bill! Son of a bitch, what’d you- ugh-
what the hell
?!” Spike
, folded in half at the waist, stumbled back for a second before righting himself, one arm still clenched
around his stomach.

. . .

his friend cut in, trying to step between him and Spike.

“Shut the hell up Max! We’re doing this bastard and Ray a favor and he strings us along like he’s the one in charge. Sometimes, those of us
charge need to remind those of us who

the calm one was Max. This was little consolation given the tension hanging like fog around them; I
the tree to swallow me.

talk to me about Ray, you prick!” Spike threw a hook that drove Bill to the ground. I counted this as astoundingly impressive
given that Spike was probably two inches shorter, and 50 pounds lighter, than Bill.

Suddenly, arms and legs were everywhere as night poured in around the brawl that erupted between the three men. My eyelids rose, taking in what little light was available as my eardrums pounded with the sounds of battle.

“I’ll talk about who and what I want, douchebag; especially about lying, trashy- ahh! Asshole!” Bill recoiled to the fetal position on the
pavement when Spike kicked him.

“Bill, I’m
warning you,” Spike’s voice was calculating and calm, purring like a panther ready to pounce, “
say Ray’s name in front of me again. Got it?” I knew if I was
Bill that I’d make damn sure never to sa
it again

“Come on, Bill, let’s get the hell out of here before someone calls the cops,” Max interjected, adrenaline
in his voice. He’d spent more time trying to break up the fight than participating,
so he
was still thinking clearly.

The cops, why didn’t I think of that?

“Max, just get in the truck if you’re going to be a useless pussy.” Bill’s body was sure to match his clearly bruised ego. Max didn’t listen; he stood cross-armed, probably waiting for Bill to back the hell down.

his colossal body forward for one final punch, followed by a string of garbled cussing and the shutting of two truck doors. I jumped again as the engine roared to life, driving Bill and Max away. Luckily they went out the back driveway as
I remained glued to the tree.

Looking around, I realized that despite being only
blocks from my heavily populated neighborhood, I was in th
e middle of a business district
that was closed and locked up for the night. Those guys were no fools; they knew no one would be around.  I had every right to freeze earlier- no one would have heard my screams if I’d gotten into trouble.

Relief escorted air away from my lungs as I heard the truck motor further into the distance
but a thought in the back of my nosey head made the blood leave my face. The rusty truck carrying Bill and Max
had left
but the other vehicle
was still here.
Spike was still hanging around the garage,
and I didn’t know if he was OK.

The remaining street lights flickered on
as sunset whispered its goodbye. I figured I should call 911 if the guy was still lying on the side of the garage; I could no longer see him in the shad
ows from where I was standing.
Even if he was
thought I
should still call. I walked cautiously across the top of the parking lot
, looking for Spike.
A shadowed figure
slowly stood up
, and my breath was slammed beneath the trap door of my throat.

“H-hey! Are you ok sir?” I managed. For all he knew
, I had
walked over.

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