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Excerpt Thursday! Spontaneous

A quick and early excerpt this morning as the world is pulling me in multiple directions. Here's a look at a more recent release, Spontaneous available in the Curious Anthology from Dreamspinner Press. This is another antho with a fantastic cover.

Summary: Michael Vincent didn't know what to call it when his now ex-boyfriend, Derek, called him boring and predictable and took off leaving Michael with a week off work and his vacation plans in shambles. Rather than sitting around moping, he decides to prove Derek wrong and show him that Michael can do spontaneous as well as the next guy. Unfortunately, Michael's newly changed plans have definitely gone awry. At least until he spies construction worker Eben Bowman from the bed and breakfast's window. Suddenly, being spontaneous isn’t all that hard when Michael is given the right incentive.


The pump clicked and Mike started as the nozzle jumped in his hand. Mike went through the rest of the motions, cursed when just like at home the self-serve unit refused to print out a receipt, and then reached for the squeegee at rest in the mostly dry reservoir affixed to the side of the pole. Hardly enough fluid to moisten the spongy surface. Mike grimaced and determinedly tackled his windshield.

A loud rattle pulled his attention away from the dried bug guts. Mike glanced over at the gas station’s attendant as he wheeled a large cart out to the pumps. His shaved head kept time, bobbing to whatever noise pounded through the ear buds of his MP3 player.

The attendant looked young, probably no more than twenty or twenty-two to Mike’s thirty-two. Baggy jeans threatened to slide off his skinny hips and only the practiced shuffle of the new generation of multi-slackers kept them up. But he had wiry appeal. A flash of biceps caught Mike’s attention as the guy pulled the top off the trashcan and tied the plastic bag full of trash inside. Hey, Mike told himself, he was pissed off at the male species, not dead.

“Excuse me.”

The sound of Mike’s voice over the clatter of the cart made the attendant jump, and he glanced up, obviously disgruntled Mike disturbed him.

“Yeah?” he muttered around his yawn; his utter disinterest displayed by the way he dropped only one side of his earbuds as he pushed the cart toward the next trashcan.

“You got any more window cleaner?” Mike asked with an impatient gesture at his windshield.

“Uh, I don’t know. The attendant yawned again. “I guess there should be somewhere.”

“Can you look?” Mike held on to his temper with difficulty as the young man slowly shuffled back into the station.

Mike added anyone under the age of twenty-five to his list of things he disliked and felt surprised when the young man actually shuffled back out carrying a plastic jug of blue liquid. He handed the jug over to Mike and stood to the side, his hands in his jean pockets while he swayed to the beat of the music only he could hear.

“Slow night?” Mike asked through gritted teeth as the attendant waved his hand to disrupt the cloud of bugs attracted by the lights.

“Seriously dead, and like, it’s only ten. I’m never going to stay awake tonight if it stays like this.” Mike poured cleaner directly from the jug onto his windshield and tried to ignore him. “What’s the Michigan state bird?”

“What?” Mike stopped scrubbing, and then he got it. “Oh yeah, the mosquito. Very funny.”

“You liked that?” Another yawn, this time accompanied by a smirk as the attendant shifted his feet. “How can you tell it’s spring in Michigan?”

“You see the first construction barrel on the highway.” Mike grimaced as he gave up the punch line for the familiar joke about his home state, too true to be funny.

“So, like, where you headed?” The bored attendant asked, apparently having chosen Mike as his evening distraction.

“Pentwater.” Mike mumbled under his breath as, the bug guts finally gone he turned to the rubber strip on the other side of the squeegee to dry the glass. He appreciated the extra cleaner, but wished the young man would go back to emptying the trash.

“By yourself?” Picking up on things didn’t seem to be the guy’s strong point.

“So?” Mike scowled at the disbelieving tone.

“Won’t that be, like, boring?”

Mike dropped the squeegee back into the reservoir with a splash. “Look,” He gritted out through his teeth, his frustration spilling out and over as he voiced the thoughts, his only company on the drive. “I’m not the one who decided after six months I needed a timeout from my relationship. I’m not the one who decided I was boring compared to the new little twit who offers massage therapy at the gym, and I’m not the one who took off to Cancun with that same little twit instead of working on fixing our relationship!”

As his voice echoed in the empty lot Mike pressed his lips together in an effort to hold back the rest of the words clamoring to be heard, and looked at the attendant standing wide-eyed in front of him. At least he didn’t look bored anymore. They stared at each other in the sudden silence, even the background buzz of nighttime insects hushed, until the young man finally offered his opinion.

“Like, bummer, dude.”

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1788


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
I loved the characterisations in this! And this scene is such a delicious, witty teaser :).

Now I have to go re-read..
Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
{{hugs}} It's funny how much backlist I forget about. Just imagine if I scheduled a "Clare London Reread Week"!!
Aug. 4th, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
I haven't read this anthology yet, but I do have on my TBR list! With this excerpt, I'll probably be reading this after Uniform Appeal (which is what I'm currently reading) :)

Aug. 7th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
You'll have to let me know what you thought! Uniform Appeal was a good antho as well.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )