Hey all! I’m skipping book 7 for the moment and going on to book 8. This book is being written in collaboration with Amber Root, who runs the page Tears of the North. Anyway, I figured out the title, one of the songs, and Amber and I wrote a scene for the book. So I wanted to share it with you all!
Title: Head Over Feet
Dr. Petur Muller
Here’s the excerpt. Hope you all enjoy. Helena’s not in the scene, but Julian and Liza are. 😀
Petur walked toward his office and carried a brown bag containing his lunch.
Julian’s voice stopped him. He looked up and smiled. “Julian. This is a nice surprise, are you looking for, Liza?”
“We’re having lunch, but I was hoping to catch you first.” Julian shifted his feet.
“Of course. Come into my office.” He ushered him into the office and waited for Julian to sit down. “Thirsty? I have bottled water or root beer?”
“I’m fine. Thanks though.” Julian cleared his throat and continued only once Petur sat down. “You know Drew’s wedding is tomorrow, right?”
“I know that.” Petur nodded. What was he getting at and why was he nervous? “I didn’t get an invitation, but as I understand, it was something of a last minute thing.”
Julian scoffed. “Invitations? Drew and Ava? Yeah, right.” He shook his head. “Anyway, I have a proposition for you.”
Petur raised his eyebrow. This couldn’t be good. “A proposition. That sounds . . . unsettling.”
“Have you met my niece, Helena?” Julian leaned back in his chair and crossed his feet at his ankles. “Pretty, dark hair, kind of a tomboy?”
“I think I’d remember a girl like that.” Petur chuckled and unpacked his lunch. “I haven’t had the pleasure. Why do you ask?”
“Would you like too?” Julian grinned. “She just got dumped and was supposed to introduce the guy she’s been dating to the family tomorrow at the wedding. Everyone’s excited, because this was her longest relationship.”
Petur’s eyes widened and he held up his hands. “Run that by me again?”
The conversation stopped when there was a knock on the door.
Liza stuck her head into his office. “Hey, Pete. Sorry to interrupt.” She turned and smiled when she saw Julian. She stepped into the office and kissed him. “What are you doing here? Where’s Abby?”
“She’s at Mom’s.”
“He’s trying to enlist my aid as a prostitute.” Petur folded his arms over his chest.
Liza looked over at Julian and raised her eyebrow. “Umm – what?”
Julian shook his head. “I didn’t say sleep with her.” He grinned. “That’s still my niece we’re talking about.”
“Well that makes the whole thing slightly less disgusting . . .”
Julian leaned forward. “She’s a really nice girl, but she makes bad choices when it comes to men.”
Liza scoffed. “Must run in the family.”
Julian glared at her.
Petur shook his head. Why in the world was he even considering me for this? “Let me see if I understand you correctly.” He steepled his fingers and placed them against his chin. “I am to meet your niece, take her to this wedding, and pretend that we are madly in love so the family doesn’t give her a hard time?”
Julian nodded. “Yep.”
Liza rolled her eyes. “Oh dear God, a Vitalli plan – this is not going to end disasterously.” She shook her head. “Run, Pete, run while you still can.”
“You’re not helping, dear.”
“Where is the bottle of Schnapps when I need it?” Petur rubbed his left temple. “If I were mildly inebriated this scheme might sound workable.”
“I’m assuming we’re discussing, Helena, since the rest of your nieces are way too young to be dating, Petur?” Liza sat down in the seat next to Julian.
Petur leaned forward and rested his arms on his desk. “What in our prior dealings suggests I can pretend to love a woman I haven’t even met yet?”
Julian opened his hands. “Because you’re my friend and I’ve never asked you to do anything for me before.” He grinned. “And my lovely fiancee thinks you’re this great guy.” He looked over at Liza and then back at Petur. “Which makes me wonder why she doesn’t leave me for you but that’s beside the point.”
Petur held up his hands. “I am not interested in, Liza.” The last thing they needed was for Julian to have a bipolar moment in the office. He changed the subject. “What about Helena? What does she think of this . . . plan?”
Julian looked over at Liza.
Liza rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Either she asked you to find her a date or she knows nothing about this.”
“Actually, she asked Trevor, who came to me.” Julian shrugged.
“This woman doesn’t know me from Adam. I don’t believe she asked for me by name.” Petur cocked his head to the side.
“Well, no. Trevor suggested you. I just agreed to ask.”
“Remind me to give Trevor a heartfelt ‘thanks’ for throwing me under the proverbial bus.” Petur grimaced.
“I’m sure Trevor will then have the same conversation with Julian.” Liza let out a sigh.
Julian held up his hands. “To be fair, Trevor’s comment was ‘he’s the nicest guy we know.’”
“Who isn’t fucking gay!” Petur exclaimed.
Julian stifled a chuckle.
“What’s so funny?” Petur narrowed his eyes.
“Nothing, nothing at all.” Julian grinned. “So are you up for it?”
Petur let out a heavy breath and looked at Liza.
Liza shook her head. “Nope. This is between you and him.”
Petur shoved a hand through his hair. “This is the very definition of insanity.
Liza held her hands skyward. “You’re dealing with the Vitalli clan. Look up insanity in the dictionary, their pictures are all there.” She pointed at Julian. “This one being the first one on the list.”
“Thank you, Princess. I love you too.”
“If I say no you’ll only keep asking, correct?”
“No, if you say no, he’ll torture you.” Liza shook her head.
“I love my fiancée, I love my fiancée, I love my fiancée.”
Petur held up his hands. “All right! I surrender. Can you arrange a dinner for the two of us tonight?”
Liza’s sudden smile had him cocking his head. Did I just get played? He looked at Liza.
“To be fair, Helena’s a nice girl. Julian’s right, she has a bad track record with men, but then again we all have at least one skeleton in our closet.”
Petur looked over at Liza. “I’m sure she’s lovely. But would it not be better for her to be escorted by a gentleman that bears or real affection . . . or at least knows her middle name?”
“Madeline Celeste,” Julian said.
“Excuse me?” Petur looked at him.
“Her full name is Helena Madeline Celeste Vitalli.” Julian smiled. “Anyway, when and where do you want to have dinner tonight?”
“Perhaps a place, small and intimate, where she feels comfortable?”
Julian shrugged. “Gramps’ pub? She’s a tomboy and a cop.”
“She’s a member of the police force?” Petur sputtered.
Petur palmed his forehead. “If this doesn’t go well, she’ll have me arrested.”
Liza laughed. “Nah, she hasn’t arrested any of the other assholes when things went bad. I think you’re safe.”
Petur pointed at Julian. “If this blows apart neither you nor your mad siblings may bludgeon me. Are we clear?”
“I promise, no bludgeoning.”
Liza shook her head. “If you actually intend to take me to lunch, I’ll be in my office. Good luck, Petur.”
Petur sighed and looked at his shoes. “Seven o’clock. Your grandfather’s pub. Please request she be on time. We have work to do.”
“Thanks, Pete.” Julian extended his hand. “I owe you one or three.”
Petur stood and shook Julian’s hand. “You’d best go catch, Liza. I expect she has words for you.”
Julian grinned. “I’ll take her home for lunch. She’ll be fine when she comes back.” He winked as he walked out of Petur’s office.
Petur sunk into his chair. What had he gotten himself into?