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Excerpt Thursday! Stormy Weather

Another Thursday? Notice how I keep repeating that in surprise. Continuing the Anthology Excerpts - here's one from Stormy Weather available in the Make Me a Match Vol. 2 Anthology from Dreamspinner Press.

Summary: Meteorologist Grant Singer is sick of dates who only want to bed the TV "weather guy". But the matches from the online dating service he signs up with are even worse. In fact, the only thing that makes the endless dinner dates bearable is Craig, the cute waiter at his favorite restaurant. Luckily for Grant, Craig never misses one of his forecasts….

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_128&products_id=1013

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GRANT sipped nervously at his glass of iced tea and tried not to look at his watch again. He was sweating. He couldn’t believe it. Here it was, his first meeting with—Grant looked down at the small note card on the table in front of him—Steve Winnette, and he was going to slide right out of his chair on a sea of sweat.

Usually Grant hated blind dates so he had to think of this as something else if he was going to get through it. It was his first opportunity to actually meet someone from the online dating service. He had gotten a fair number of matches and it had been nice to have a choice.

Grant had liked the looks of Steve’s picture and his brief introductory email had been interesting. Grant ran his hand over the top of his head, checking that everything was still in place. Not that there was going to be anything out of place. He kept his hair cropped close not only to keep the station managers happy but also because he had inherited his father’s tendency toward male-pattern baldness.

Grant snuck another quick look at his watch. A whole thirty seconds had passed. He wondered if David had remembered to pull the latest METAR reports before working up the preliminary forecast for the next broadcast.

He fidgeted with the neck of his navy polo and wondered if he should have worn something nicer than just khaki pants and the short-sleeved shirt. Grant didn’t realize that the dark navy made his eyes seem an even deeper blue and accented his tan.

David was a good enough intern but forgetful about even the basics, and since Rick, the head weather broadcaster at the station, refused to do his own research for his program, Channel Eleven’s reliability percentages for every broadcast but Grant’s were falling just about as fast as the barometer during an incoming storm.

Well, that train of thought killed an entire sixty seconds. Grant looked around the restaurant. It wasn’t one he usually frequented; he tended to avoid crowds and preferred to stick to familiar territory. But it was close to the station and Steve had suggested it in his e-mail. Nice plants, nice windows, the restaurant had nice everything.

Including the rather nice-looking waiter currently bent over and clearing a table close to Grant’s. Very nice actually, Grant admitted as he watched the firm thighs flex and power the waiter quickly around the table.

Add in the brown curly hair and slim frame and the waiter scored a near ten on Grant’s list of likes. Why didn’t any of the men on his dating Web site look like that in their pictures? Of course, someone that looked like that probably wasn’t hurting in the relationship department.

Grant wasn’t sorry that the men sitting at the table the waiter was clearing had left after only a few drinks and appetizers. The group of businessmen had been obnoxious to say the least. He gave the waiter points for his tableside manner. No matter how many rude jokes had been made at his expense the man had stayed calm and professional.

Another five minutes had passed in contemplation of the attractive waiter. Grant sipped at his iced tea once again and fiddled with his fork. Maybe he should have ordered a drink. That might have helped take the edge off his nerves.

Of course, then instead of sweating he could just be passed out on top of the table when Steve arrived. Grant looked at his watch again. Who was he kidding? Steve was over a half-hour late. He wasn’t going to show. Grant had been stood up.

Hell. Grant immediately started wondering what he had done wrong. Was it his last e-mail? Did his profile on the dating service Web site need revision? Did he need a different picture? What would make a man who had given him all indications of interest back out at the last minute? A car accident? A broken leg? A death in the family? Grant sighed quietly. Maybe he had seen a broadcast?

“Can I get you anything else while you wait for your friend?” The bouncy waitress was back. She was just too happy for Grant right now—all smiles and wavy blonde hair.

Grant gave her his professional smile; he had already given her an autograph when he first sat down and she had recognized him. “Just the check, please,” he murmured politely. “It looks like my friend isn’t going to make it after all.”

“Oh.” For a minute her wide smiled dimmed but then it was back in full force. “Well, you’ll just have to be sure to come back again. Our special on Thursdays is a shrimp stir-fry to die for.”

“I’ll remember that.” Grant slid his credit card across the table and concentrated on making it out of there with his dignity intact. It wasn’t the first time he had been stood up but he had been hoping for something better this time around.

Meteorology had never made any claims to being a sexy profession what with all the math and science involved, and to Grant’s knowledge his looks had never been described as anything other than average. But that was why he was using the dating service. Except it didn’t seem the results were much different from those he had achieved on his own.