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Well, it might come in useful one day.
I have a confession to make; I’m a bit of a hoarder. I mean, you don’t have to climb over piles of newspapers to get in the front door but I have hidey-holes filled with stuff. But it’s all useful stuff of course. Those recipe books I’ve not looked at in years may contain super-awesome food creations and one day I will look them out. Those old jeans will be recycled into something brilliant and I will read all of those books in my groaning book shelf.
You see, I have an excuse for every little thing in here, but when I’m being realistic I realise much of it will never actually become useful. Thankfully I do have the odd burst of rationality and every few months spend some time bagging up and dumping some of the accumulated crap. When Katrina Quinn walks into Copse Cottage she finds a house filled to overflowing with stuff and she has to somehow clear it. Grandma was a serious hoarder.
So if you wonder where I got the inspiration to feature a house full of rubbish, you now know. This is definitely a case of art imitating life. It’s also a cautionary tale for myself. If I don’t keep my urge to keep every little scrap of ribbon or decent sized box I will one day have a house so full of stuff there’ll be no room for me.
Of course, something fun and sexy comes from the hoarding problem in my novel, here’s a snippet for you to enjoy:
“Right then. Let’s open this door.”
Opening it wasn’t the trouble. Getting past it into the dining room was. The rest of the house was uncluttered compared to the packed arrangement of magazines in there. Maybe it’d been the place where she’d started her collection.
“What on earth was Mary planning to do with all these?” Ryan chuckled. “I knew she was a bit of a hoarder, but never imagined it had got this bad.”
“I don’t know, but we better start moving all this crap. You take stuff out. I’ll put them in bags.”
“Right, yep. Okay.” Ryan put his hands on his hips and cocked his head to the side. “It’s like flippin’ Jenga. One false move and I’ll be buried under an avalanche of vintage paper.”
“Maybe start at the top? She can’t have piled them to the ceiling…”
I was wrong, they were piled up incredibly high in places. Luckily, though, at the doorway they didn’t stretch that far and Ryan managed to dig out the top few inches of magazines with little trouble.
The partnership was working, except every time Ryan passed me more papers my hand colliding with his sent wildlife dancing about in my stomach. Usually it was just butterflies, but the movement was more intense—I imagined hedgehogs, even a few deer might have been involved. I didn’t want to keep being excited by him, so I started grabbing only the very ends of the bundles he offered me. Which was fine while the piles were just papers but when he passed me a load with an old scraggy book in the middle the heaviness pulled it down. Papers scattered towards the earth in pages as the book plummeted with a crash.
“Bugger,” I cursed and fell to my knees.
“Sorry, I must have fluffed the pass,” he apologised, dropping to the floor in front of me.
“No, I think it was me. I didn’t realise we were playing rugby.”
I giggled and his hearty guffaw mingled with it. Just like the old days. That scared me. I panicked and wanted to get him away from me as soon as possible. I hadn’t known it was possible to swing between such extreme moods so fast.
“I reckon we best call it a night,” I insisted. “I think I’m getting too tired to concentrate.”
“Yeah, time is marching on.” He looked at his watch after stuffing a handful of yellowed pages into the bin bag. “It’s nearly six anyway.”
It was a rather clichéd, like a scene from a corny romance, but we both reached for the same stray magazine and ended up bumping foreheads.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” He pulled back. “Are you all right?”
I nodded, but he still ran his fingers over my forehead. His touch sent tingles down my body, to my toes and back again.
“No bump.” He ran his hand down my cheek and rubbed at it with his work-hardened thumb.
I couldn’t breathe, I’d forgotten how to. My brain had stopped working and the only part of my body in gear seemed to be my pussy. I wanted to press myself against him, to pull him towards me, onto me, into me and I didn’t care that it was dangerous and deeply inappropriate.
He coughed and moved back, clambering to his feet.
“Yes, I better go, better go. I need to see… Eve, yes, Eve.” His cheeks flamed red and his eyes dropped with guilt.
I sprang to my feet too. Agitated like him, there was no doubt my cheeks glowed just as bright. I felt them burning. Damn, that had been too close to comfort. What would have happened if I’d kissed him?
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