Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 21st 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Hayden waved at Lyssa, who’d made it to O’Hare International Airport a full ten minutes earlier than she’d planned. Her partner stood in front of the check-in kiosks with his overnight bag at his feet and his boarding pass in the hand he’d just flagged her down with.
“You didn’t have to wait for me,” she said.
“I know, but this way I’d know sooner if you were late and would be able to call to give you a nudge.”
“How did you know I wasn’t already at the gate?”
He shrugged his non-committal answer. “Did you already print your pass?”
They walked over to the line for security, and she updated him on the slight changes to their itinerary as they wove their way through the tethered maze. They were flying to New York to interview two contenders to replace Blaze Capital Management in DH’s investment program and then would catch a quick flight to Boston for a meeting the following morning with Bell Funds, the third candidate.
After making their way through the scanner with no incident, they waited for their things to be ferried through their own scan. Lyssa snatched her zip-locked toiletries, purse, and shoes as soon as the conveyor belt brought the tray to her, but her carry-on bag reversed back into the machine just as quickly as it appeared. The security officer studied the screen. “Gonna have to search it,” he murmured, and then started the conveyor belt again, lifting her bag when it emerged and taking it to a side table.
Lyssa fumbled to get her ankle-high boots on and hobbled over to the table mid zip so she could keep an eye on what was happening with her bag. By the time she straightened to stand all the way up, Hayden was right behind her with his shiny black shoes tied and his jacket neatly draped over his arm.
“You can head for the gate if you want,” Lyssa said. “Oh, and coffee’s on me this time, if you don’t mind getting it.” She reached into her purse for her wallet.
“You can buy, but I’ll wait.”
When Lyssa turned toward him, she saw his eyes fixed on the contents of her bag while the airport guy pawed through it. She could only imagine what her partner thought he was learning about her now. Returning her focus to the bag, she squelched a gasp when the guy pulled her makeup bag up from the bottom, unzipping it. His gloved fingertip pushed aside eyeliners and lipsticks to reveal a baggie containing a four-inch-long, white tube. It had a clear, spiky rubber cap on the end, which Lyssa hoped wasn’t obvious through the wrinkled plastic encasing it. The on/off switch along the side would be pretty hard to miss, though.
The man closed the makeup case and returned it to the bottom of her luggage. “You’re good to go,” he said as he zipped up her bag and pushed it toward her.
She refused to look at Hayden even while she told herself he was an adult and a Pocket Rocket in a woman’s overnight bag was no big deal. They’d just walk down the hall to the gate, return to business talk, and that would be it. And then, about halfway down the hall, the silence got to her. Glancing toward him, she blurted, “It’s a flashlight. In case of emergency.”
Lyssa Bates doesn’t need a man. Not when the world is fully-stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon’s health and sexual wellness category. After yet another failed relationship, the twenty-six-year-old investment analyst is convinced that real guys aren’t ever going to live up to her expectations—so why should she bother with them? She’s determined to keep her dating life purely electronic…though she occasionally fantasizes about Hayden King, the delicious new associate she just got partnered with at work.
While Lyssa manages her romantic risks by deleting men from of the equation, the ever-charming Hayden protects his heart by diversifying his love life across multiple women. As the two young professionals travel together around the country for business, their flirty working relationship develops into a close friendship that hurtles toward something more. Between hot tub confessions in Baltimore, an accidental kiss in Dallas, and an all-nighter in Chicago, Hayden proves himself to be better than any fantasy.
Writing wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.
Nicki writes with two goals in mind: #1 to keep the characters realistic, even when their circumstances are anything but, and #2 to make the reader feel. Watch for her new title Vibrizzio, coming in 2015 from Swoon Romance. Her published works include Three Daves, a light-hearted romantic romp through a 1980s college campus, Divine Temptation, a romantic novel of angelic proportions, and Hans & Greta: a Twisted Fairy Tale Novella. Her published short stories include “Sway” (available as a single), “I Don’t Do Valentine’s Day” (part of A Valentine Anthology), and “Impressionism 101” (included in the debut issue of Insatiable: The Magazine of Paranormal Desire