WIP33 Since this is Christmas Eve, I scoured through my various WIPs in hopes of finding an appropriate holiday snippet to share. This is when I discovered I’ve written almost nothing holiday related (save for one Halloween scene and one Valentine story, neither of which helped my current quest). Since I didn’t have anything appropriately holiday themed, I opted to go ahead with the same excerpt I have been sharing from Learning to Live Again. Lainie finally got to meet a few of her neighbors in last week’s #Satspanks. If you didn’t get a chance to check out that bit, you can find it here. Today’s excerpt follows directly from that one.

“It was fine,” Lainie said noncommittally. Though Venia had been assigned as her mentor, they didn’t really know each other very well yet. They had met back in the spring when Lainie and Grant had first flown out here to meet with the housing board and had spoken on the phone a few times since then, but they were still essentially strangers. Still, Lainie found herself liking the older lady.

“Good,” Venia said. She stepped aside to let the other ladies into the house. “Lainie, this is Cadence Devon,” she said, gesturing to the blonde woman, “and the little one here is her daughter, Anna.” She smiled at the baby, her eyes lighting up with sheer delight, before turning to the other woman . “This is Julie Renton. I think you know Julie’s husband, Matt. I know he was here yesterday.”

Lainie nodded. “Matt is Grant’s mentor. It’s nice to meet you both. You’ll have to excuse the mess. The men got all of the furniture in yesterday, but we’re still buried in boxes, obviously.” She glanced around, indicating the boxes that were scattered throughout the rooms around them.

“Don’t worry about it, honey,” Venia replied, dismissing Lainie’s concern with a wave of her hand. “That’s what we’re here for.”

“I appreciate you coming to help,” Lainie told them. She honestly did appreciate the thought, even though at the moment she would much rather they had been anywhere but here. The thought of anyone seeing her or her house in this kind of mess wasn’t at all appealing. “I have coffee in the kitchen if you’d like some.”

“That would be perfect,” Julie spoke up. “Ange – that’s Angie O’Brien – sent along some goodies as her contribution to the effort. Trust me, you don’t want to miss them. She owns the bakeshop, and her stuff is seriously addictive.”

“Let’s go in the kitchen then,” Lainie said. “It’s right through…” She broke off abruptly when she realized there was no need to explain. All three women had already headed unerringly in the direction of her kitchen.

Noticing her expression, Cadence explained, “All of the houses in the community are built with similar floorplans. After you have lived here a while, you can pretty much walk into anybody’s house and know exactly where the main rooms are. It takes a while to get used to.”

“Sorry,” Julie apologized. “Matt and I have been here almost since the beginning. It’s second nature by now.” She set the paper bag she’d been carrying on the counter by the coffee pot. “Do you have a plate or something I could put these out on?”

Luckily, Lainie had managed to find the box holding her dishes while she was rummaging around after Grant left. She plucked one out of the box and washed it off before handing it over to Julie, who pulled what appeared to be scones, hot and incredibly fragrant, out of the bag and arranged them on the plate. Cadence, who had been following cautiously through the maze of boxes, set the baby carrier where her daughter slept on the table, and dropped into a chair beside it. Julie took the plate of scones over and set them on the table, heeling out a chair and taking a seat. Lainie fished cups out of the box with the dishes, choosing three and washing them out. She passed them to Venia, who carried them over to the table while Lainie retrieved the coffee pot and her own cup.

“Does everyone want coffee?” She asked, coming over to join them. Everyone nodded affirmatively.

Pull up a chair and enjoy a cup of coffee with the girls. While they are getting to know each other, be sure to check out what the other writers have available today. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, wishing everyone a peaceful holiday season!