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Chasing Waves

Chasing Waves

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Chasing Waves

ratings:
3/5 (1 rating)
Length:
136 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 24, 2021
ISBN:
9781005488512
Format:
Book

Description

Thirty-two-year-old Mags Abarquez is a single mom to a preschooler with golden ringlets, and by God, she is going to be good. After a lifetime of only being interested in catching the next wave, she tries out for her company’s training faculty, determined to be serious and make it work this time. The only catch? Luke, her hot, younger training mentor. With a sexy nape, a penchant for paper-thin T-shirts and a disarming smile, he’s Mags’ personal brand of kryptonite. Can she stay the course when temptation loves to banter and is so good with her son?

A contemporary romance set in the Philippines about motherhood, workplace attraction and finding that sweet spot between passion and vocation, Chasing Waves will make you swoon and smile.

Publisher:
Released:
Mar 24, 2021
ISBN:
9781005488512
Format:
Book

About the author

Bianca Mori writes contemporary romances, romantic suspense and crime fiction set in the Philippines, Asia, Europe, the United States and all points in between. Her steamy stories have been called "fast-paced and super-hot," "engaging," "vivid" and "engrossing." She lives in Manila with her family and a hyperactive pug. Find Bianca on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as thebiancamori or at her website (www.biancamori.com).


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Chasing Waves - Bianca Mori

Copyright

Chasing Waves

Copyright © 2017

Bianca Mori

Smashwords edition © 2021

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Cover design by Bianca Mori

Cover photo © Stocksy.com/John White

CHASING WAVES

Bianca Mori

Chasing Waves

Thirty-two-year-old Mags Abarquez is a single mom to a preschooler with golden ringlets, and by God, she is going to be good. After a lifetime of only being interested in catching the next wave, she tries out for her company’s training faculty, determined to be serious and make it work this time. The only catch? Luke, her hot, younger training mentor. With a sexy nape, a penchant for paper-thin T-shirts and a disarming smile, he’s Mags’ personal brand of kryptonite. Can she stay the course when temptation loves to banter and is so good with her son?

A contemporary romance set in the Philippines about motherhood, workplace attraction, and finding that sweet spot between passion and vocation, Chasing Waves will make you swoon and smile.

I should know better than this…

I settle on one of the long benches at the back of the store with a cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant, Auntie Tilde’s pasalubong safely deposited by my side and Magnus’s napping head curled on my lap, when I notice someone very familiar browsing through the baskets of bread.

I can ID that distinctive nape (and back, especially that flimsy T-shirt) anywhere. The nape’s owner turns, and Luke’s eyes crinkle into a smile.

Hey there! He approaches.

Hey yourself.

He glances down on my table. More Cinematic Bread?

Oh no. I take a huge, flaky, chocolatey bite. "I’m trying to unlearn that. This is simply for pleasure."

He leans and brushes a pastry flake from the corner of my mouth. There’s a brief flare in my belly at the contact of his fingertip with my lip.

Just out of curiosity, I ask, a tad breathless, how old are you?

Me? Twenty-seven. He gives me a puzzled grin as he pulls a free chair to our table. The sound of the leg scraping against the tiles wakes Magnus up. His curly head pops up from under the table, and he rubs his eyes with chubby paws.

Luke takes in the sudden appearance of a tiny human in stride. Oops, sorry, little guy! He ruffles Magnus’s hair affectionately. Is this your son?

The very one.

And how was nursery school, my man?

Magnus’s eyes squint at him, and then back at me.

I’m sorry. I chuckle. He’s not used to being sociable as soon as he wakes up.

You and me both, man. What’s your name?

He clings to me but mumbles Magnus at the relentlessly cheery intruder.

That’s a real nice name. Magnus. Like a king’s name. Luke puffs out his chest and stares around the room imperiously. That gets a giggle from my son. I bet you’re the king in your house, aren’t you? Magnus nods shyly. Ha! I knew it. You say the command, and your mom and da—

I shake my head, quickly and furtively. Luke glances at me, looking stricken.

CHASING WAVES

Bianca Mori

To Thesa, Jaz, Jackie, Sugar, Abby, Rocio, Mom—

Because you rock.

Chapter 1

SURFING LIFE’S WAVES

My life as a wannabe surfer

UGH WHY CAN’T I NAIL THIS STUPID TITLE

SURFING

Speech Draft

Mags Abarquez

Picture me on a wave.

Surfing takes something that is the definition of effort and makes it look effortless. We like to say a person coasted on a project or surfed through some deadlines like it’s such an easy, breezy thing.

Wrong.

Surfing hurts. Pressing your cheek against the board as it hurtles and bounces across the water: that scrapes your skin raw. The weight of your body, balanced on your toes and hands; your belly tensed, the pivot from which you pop up and launch yourself into an upright position: that taxes your muscles. When the ride ends and you are hurled off the board and plunged headlong into an angry wave, the saltwater invading your nostrils and throat: that burns.

And when you’ve finally pushed off and fought to find that knife-edge balance? The exhilaration is fleeting; success, when achieved, lasts a few seconds, if at all.

Then you do it again. And again. Until your arms feel like jelly and your skin is salt-burned. Just for those few seconds of freedom atop a rushing wave.

I think of that particularly concentrated taste of the sea, when a storm is coming and the waves are beautiful. The salt seems heavy in the water, like it’s been boiled down. It stings your nose raw, leaves your lips swollen and briny. You just know that when the water feels that way, the waves are going to be amazing. That sting is a promise of long, unbroken rolls of water, waves so generous and so willing to be ridden that the sting, the pain, creates this exhilarating sense of anticipation. Even if only for a moment.

* * *

So you see, surfing is a lot like love, I finish.

Cass rolls her eyes and places the beer bottle on the table with exaggerated care.

Auntie Tilde only laughs. She’s heard my surfing-is-like-love theory too many times to scoff. Besides, she understands. She lets me have my analogy, because she’s gracious and because she knows, a lot better than most people, that sometimes we need to cling to our theories to make sense of real life.

It’s getting late, she says, clearing the table. Can I call you a cab, Cass?

Cass is in her mid-twenties, nearly a decade younger than me, and likes to call me mamu. Her dark hair turns to a rusty blonde near her temples and then morphs into crinkly algae green from chin to shoulders. It makes me think of seaweed fronds waving in the water. She glances out the window. The sun is bright, the birds happily chirping. Eight in the morning, just three hours after our shift ended, but we are feeling it. Too much beer for breakfast (dinner?) and messed-up circadian rhythms, what fun!

"It’s okay, Tita. I got it, she says, waving her phone. The grid of city streets appears on the ride app on her screen. My ride is a few minutes away."

I wish we had those when I was younger. Auntie Tilde sighs. Then I would’ve left Harold earlier.

It’s become an old joke, the end of her marriage, and Cass and I chuckle as expected. Auntie Tilde is younger than my mom by two years, but it’s like the groovy late sixties skipped Mom completely and landed full force on Auntie Tilde. She’d always been my champion, the wise older woman who comforted me when Mom read my diary or grounded me or said something hurtful (which was often). We understood each other, and that’s why I lived with her now in her ancient bungalow.

Cass stands and hugs me tight. "I’m going to miss you, Mamu Mags," she says, her breath hot in my ear.

Come on, Cass. I squeeze her tight. It’s just a different shift. We’ll still see each other.

She pulls away from me and grasps my shoulders until they nearly hurt. That’s what they all say.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll get to train you.

I’m so going to be your worst agent.

I don’t doubt it.

She smiles again, but her eyes start swimming a bit.

No, Cass! No drama! I wail, my own eyes prickling.

But then who will walk me through some new bit of the billing process so that I don’t screw it up? Who will tell me weird theories about surfing when I want to talk about my screwed-up love life? She chokes on the last word.

I shake my head, remembering the sad tale she’d shared, earlier that morning over pre-breakfast shots of tequila, of a one-night-stand with a friend gone terribly wrong. You just like that my nonexistent love life is more fucked up than yours.

She roars with laughter while Auntie Tilde hisses, Language, Mags!

I clap my hands over my mouth as a little boy’s mussed head, barely visible over the ancient dining table, bobs from the back of the room and crashes into my lap. I run my hands against my son’s golden-brown curls, still a little baby soft, as he wriggles against my stomach.

It’s the big guy! says Cass.

Magnus raises his head a bit from my lap and gives her a confused look. Then his sleepy eyes, a startlingly light, clear brown, shut tight and he buries his face against my stomach again.

Sleepy, Buchoy?

He nods, his nose tickling against my shirt.

I have your milk, Buchoy, says Auntie Tilde, setting a Tetra Pak of chocolate milk on the table. Drink up! You need to be strong for your first day of school!

Cass squats down and runs her hands down Magnus’s back. I can’t believe he’s starting school, Mags. Three and a half years old and already in nursery! Are you excited, big guy?

He

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