Early Access: The Taste Of A Smile Part 22 ‘Pinkie’ Excerpt


Hello, friends

How is your week going?

Wednesday is always such a fun day for me because I get to share the first glimpse of the next episode with you.

As you know, this is the last week with a weekly, audio episode. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with ‘Excerpt Wednesday.’

I see two options:

*Keep it weekly and publish the excerpt in two, shorter parts.
*Or I can make it bi-weekly and publish the full excerpt in one post every 2 weeks.

What are your thoughts?

But first! This week’s excerpt!

Happy reading,



Lex was surprised her cheeks weren’t hurting. She had been smiling almost non-stop for the last 16 hours or so. She didn’t want to be anyplace else, nor did she wonder about what was happening outside of her happy bubble.

Lying on the giant bed of the wedding suite last night, listening to Mary’s soft, drunken snoring, Lex had had to press her lips together to stop herself from laughing. The moment was so absurd that she had simply embraced it.

“What if I just go with the flow?” she had thought, taking in Mary’s form next to her on the bed.

It had been a startling thought for a self-proclaimed control freak. Lex wasn’t even sure how she had arrived at this point. So far, she had had no trouble following her new mantra, though.

As long as she was around Mary, she knew exactly what to do. Like finally kissing her. The corners of Lex’s mouth went up again as she replayed the memory of their kiss that morning. It had been so perfect.

Mary’s warm lips had tasted of peppermint at first. As their kiss had deepened, the freshness of the toothpaste had given way to a delicious and all-encompassing heat that had made Lex’s heart skip three beats.

She glanced to her side. Mary had fallen asleep against the wall of the train carriage. Her hair was ruffled and her lips parted when she breathed in slowly. Lex was tempted to brush a strand off of her cheek, but knew she shouldn’t.

It was ridiculously warm in the train today. There was something off with the air conditioning, the staff had announced. Unfortunately, the guy sitting across them was one of the only people who was still wide awake.

He had a huge, insulated bottle that he kept sipping from. Lex assumed there was some form of super caffeinated drink in there. She had only brought water but had no trouble staying awake. She was running on happy adrenaline after all.

Mary’s eyelids, however, had started drooping only minutes after the train had left the station. For the second time in 24 hours, Lex found herself staring at a sleeping Mary.

She didn’t mind at all. Mary was so beautiful when she was asleep. Her cheeks turned this healthy, peachy red. She had long, curly eyelashes. And her soft jawline ran up to the cutest ear Lex had ever seen.

“You got it bad,” Lex told herself and looked down at her phone, shaking her head.

She had been holding the device in her hands for 15 minutes but hadn’t read a single email yet. There were plenty in her inbox. She just didn’t feel like opening them.

The messages represented a reality Lex had no interest in right now. She didn’t want to think about her new job or work in general. Not that she still hated it. On the contrary.

Mary’s enthusiasm had inspired her to look at her unwanted career change in a new way. Some of the speakers at the conference had also impressed Lex a lot. For the first time, she was actually excited about becoming a store manager. Sort of.

Over the last few days, she had thought about that old lady who had come into the store to buy her daughter a gift. It had opened Lex’s eyes to what a product could mean to a customer.

As a consultant, she had always been focused on numbers. Everything had been a number to Lex. Even people. Employees or customers all stood for an amount of money that was either spent or earned.

Everything that didn’t directly generate money was fluff to Lex. Necessary fluff at times, sure, but fluff nevertheless. Human resources, marketing, sustainability efforts… these all had been nothing but unavoidable costs to Lex.

Now, though, she felt like she wanted to look at things differently. She wanted to create value, not just earn more money. She figured this was probably what Hannah had wanted her to learn from Mary.

Lex knew she would have to talk to Hannah soon. Her cousin had already called her last night, but Lex’s phone had been in the living room area of the suite. She hadn’t returned the call yet.

Instead, she had texted Hannah this morning to ask if everything was okay with her mother, Lucile. “She’s much better,” Hannah had replied, along with, “I have a question for you. Will call you later.”

Lex would rather she didn’t. Hannah was going to ask her how things were going with Mary. Lex knew she couldn’t answer those questions honestly. Maybe someday, but not any time soon. It was too early to burst the bubble.

Lex frowned and pressed the power button of her phone to switch off its screen. Mary stirred next to her, opening her eyes with much difficulty. Lex smiled at her and slipped the phone into her pocket.

“Shit, I fell asleep?” Mary asked, groggily.

Lex nodded. “Just for a bit.”

Mary groaned as she sat up. “Doesn’t feel that way.”

“Headache back?” Lex asked. She had put some extra painkillers in the pocket of her jacket.

Mary probed the back of her neck. “No, it’s fine. Just my neck.”

Lex looked up at the display above the door. “We should be in New York in about an hour.”

“Oh, right,” Mary replied, looking disappointed. “That was fast.”

Lex grimaced. “Yeah.”

They would have to say goodbye soon. It was Friday afternoon and they both had the weekend off. She wished she could come up with an excuse to see Mary again before Monday.

“I think your phone is vibrating,” the passenger sitting across of them said.

Mary and Lex both looked up at him, confused.

He pointed at Lex’s pocket. “Wake up, lady. It’s been buzzing for half a minute.”


💜 Dear fellow romantic,

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