Count forty-seven steps to cubicle.
Arrange pens in their red-blue-black-green-purple order of importance.
Apply hand sanitizer before opening email. Double check.
And that’s just the first few minutes of her work day.
Thirty-one-year-old proofreader Bailey Mitchell is a slave to her tics. She inherited Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder from her father, and it’s done nothing but inhibit her love life. She’s run the gamut of boyfriends—none of them willing or able to cope with her condition.
Enter 32-year-old Reece Powell, her new coworker at Beach Elite Marketing Firm. He’s more than willing to cope. He finds her habits cute and quirky . . . for now. Reece wins her over, and life coasts along for them until Bailey experiences a devastating blow. Tragedy exacerbates her OCD, and Reece realizes her tics aren’t so cute and quirky anymore. Just like all the others, he has the choice to leave.
But Reece isn't like all the others.
The Wilmington Saga
Follow the stories of Wilmington, NC residents as they fall in and out of love, mend and break hearts, grow, change, lose, win, and experience what it means to truly live in this small coastal community.
Graphic credit: Michelle @ Give Me Books
“Annie!” I squealed, running and scooping her up before she had the chance to escape. I rained kisses all over her face. She was clearly confused, but she seemed to like it. The evidence? She dropped her doll and squeezed my neck.
Erica stared at me through narrowed eyes. “No one, including me, likes my children that much. What is going on?”
Annie giggled on cue, like she understood her mother’s words. I laughed outright.
“Your momma’s silly, isn’t she? Isn’t she?” I asked, poking Annie’s sides.
“Oh my God, who are you?” Erica demanded. “Where’s my BFF who promised me she’d never have children so I could live vicariously through her? I swear to God if you’re pregnant…”
“Calm down,” I said over the top of Annie’s head. She twisted in my arms signaling she was over my show of affection. I placed her on the floor beside her discarded doll. “How would I even be pregnant?”
“Sex. It’s called sex,” Erica replied. She finished folding the last of Little Noah’s shirts, then tossed it in the laundry basket.
“Don’t say s-e-x in front of the baby!” I chided.
“B, she doesn’t know what sex is.”
“She’ll repeat it.”
“Oh, so you want to be the mother with the kid who knows the bad words?” I asked.
“Bad word?” Erica asked, laughing.
“You know what I mean,” I said. “You want to be the mother who all the other mothers gossip about? Like about how bad your parenting skills are?”
Erica placed her hand on her hip. “Yeah, I do. Fuck ‘em. Fuck all those mothers. Fuck their playdates and mommy groups and fucking Melissa and Doug puzzles. Fuck their running strollers and baby couture and breastfeeding advice. Fuck their—”
I looked down at the floor, but Annie was gone. She’d walked away somewhere, no doubt the kitchen since that seemed to be her favorite place to play.
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