My new project, Contact High, is on Kindle Vella. I’ve loaded 6 episodes and will continue loading through the spring. (Twice a week unless I’m traveling.) Don’t like Kindle Vella? It will be a book this summer.
Here’s the link to the Vella. The first three episodes are always free. Per terms of service, I can post a sample of up to 5k words, so I’m posting the first 2 episodes. (They’re free anyway and under 5k words.)
Weed is legal!
Lorelei Rogers has always excelled at baking, so business booms when she starts a marijuana edible food truck and takes it to concerts and private parties, serving brownies and fudge to the good patrons.
Liam Lane, a drug task force officer for the county, hates marijuana. He’s peeved that he can’t crack down on weed and sets out to make Lorelei’s life as miserable as possible, hoping she’ll quit the business.
Too bad he’s also falling for her like a baked college boy with the munchies.
TWs- cancer, drug use, spanking
“What’s in it?” the older woman at the window asks, pushing her glasses back onto her long nose and simultaneously looking at the brownie like it’s an insect to be squashed. She looks about sixty, and I bet she’s never purchased a weed brownie from a food truck before. She looks like she’s never had a weed brownie at all.
“The strain is called Indica, and it relaxes you. Mellows you out. Perfect for a jazz concert, wouldn’t you say?” I nod toward the gate entrance to the outdoor concert arena.
People have been covertly smoking joints in the lawn seats here for decades. They’ve used covert ways of getting past security, shoving joints into their shoes and blowing the smoke through blowtubes made of toilet paper rolls and dryer sheets.
But it’s legal now.
The good citizens of Missouri voted to legalize marijuana under three ounces and decriminalize possession charges last year. As soon as the permit process opened, I applied for my cultivation and seller permit. While other sellers flocked to the shop strategy at the borders of surrounding states, I went for something a little more niche. I now have my own food truck that specializes in edibles and caters to event goers, complete with my own patented cannabutter with a few secret infusion extras. Depending on what I’m baking with it, the butter can also have tea, coffee, cardamon, and cinnamon infused with it. Mostly cinnamon. In fact, my most popular cannabutter is simply butter, marijuana, and cinnamon. But people marvel at it like I invented the light bulb.
There are still rules, permits, red tape to jump over, and hoops to dodge, but it can be consumed on private property. Thankfully, the concert arena owner is weed friendly, and the land is privately owned. The owner, Buddy Wilkens, was more than happy to let me park my food truck, Bliss Baked Goods, on a small patch of grass between the entrance and parking lot.
“If this were a Metallica concert, there’d be Sativa in it. I have to know my customers.” I chuckle at my own joke and stiffen when the lady doesn’t.
I guess she’s that kind of customer. Too bad she can’t report me to the police any longer, and I smile with the knowledge. Then again, she’s probably here to hold up the line. I get those every now and then. People who hate marijuana and want to keep people from buying it any way they can.
“Can I help you?” I ask the next customer in line, a younger bald man with a pierced nose. My kind of person.
I finger my own nose stud, remembering the terrible infection I got. I thought it would make me look edgy for the customers when I started selling a few months back, even though you have to be close to see it since it’s so small. Kailee, my employee that helps on the weekends and substitute teaches during the day, did it herself.
Don’t let an untrained person pierce your nose. Lesson learned.
I catch a peek of Kailee out of the corner of my eye as she works at the back of the truck, stirring the fudge ingredients and donning an oven mitt before taking a tray of cookies from the truck oven.
“Yeah, I’ll take a brownie and one of the mint cupcakes,” the man says. “Do you have any vanilla cupcakes?”
Amateur. My shoulders slouch, disappointed that I still get asked about vanilla baked goods, but I still smile. I never miss an opportunity to educate about edibles. “Actually, there’s a reason that people bake marijuana into things like chocolate or brownies,” I say, shrugging as the older woman stomps off. The man steps closer, his eyebrows raised like we’re in a chemistry lab and I’m explaining something cool.
We kind of are. I mean, I always loved Breaking Bad, but making my own cannabutter for baked goods took some trial and error, and I ruined more than a couple slow cookers in the process. The recipes took months to be tweaked into something that tasted good and got people high.
“The key is saturated butter,” I say, grabbing a stick of the butter from the mini fridge next to the register. “Cannabutter. You can’t just sprinkle weed into a batter. You have to infuse the butter by melting it with leaves, removing the leaves, and letting the butter solidify again. When the butter is infused, it’s greenish, sometimes darker green. It really doesn’t work well in white baked goods. I mean, you can have it in vanilla, and it tastes good. People just don’t like eating green-tinged baked goods,” I explain, waffling my head side-to-side. “Well, unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day.”
“Whoa. So cool. Did you figure that out yourself?”
I chuckle. “No. Some dude taught me how to do it in college. This is how it’s been done for decades, my friend. I grow my own plants and infuse my own butter that I use in the truck. You can go to my website and buy your own to use at home.”
He gets his phone out and takes a picture of the side of my truck with my website information under the truck name, and I hand him an environmentally friendly paper bag with his pastries, wrapped in their wrappers to show what strain it is as required by law. “Enjoy the show.”
He waves, and the next person approaches. A fifty-something woman with purple hair adjusts noise-canceling headphones over her ears and stands on her tiptoes to look at my menu. “So fucking cool,” she mumbles. “Do you only do this for concerts?” she asks, her eyes moving to the case containing the wrapped peanut butter fudge and the case of chocolate chunk cookies.
“I do birthday parties.” I lean over the ledge and hand her my business card.
“Shut the front fucking door,” she says, looking at it.
“The only rule is that the birthday has to be on private property. It can’t be a park or something. I usually back the truck into a driveway.”
“Awesome. I’ll take two,” she says, nodding to the case with the fudge squares.
Customers come and go over the next hour as they purchase their edibles before the show starts. I run out of business cards and make a mental note to order more. Even better, I run out of most pastries. Kailee checks the fridge and tsks. “We’re out of everything except for three mint chocolate cupcakes. Want to have a good time?” she asks, waggling your eyebrows. We’re not above eating a leftover pastry at the end of the night.
“That still leaves one.”
“I’ll take it,” a voice says from the window.
Turning around, my insides freeze. I usually can’t see people if I’m not right at the window, but I can see his head and shoulders. Either he’s incredibly tall, or he’s on a step stool. He’s wearing aviators like he’s a pilot. No, police officer. He reeks of cop, but fuck me, he’s hot as hell.
“Can I help you?” I smile, sauntering to the window.
He returns the smile, but I can spot a fake smile a mile away. “What do we have here?” he asks, nodding to the lone cupcake I’m holding in my hand. “I couldn’t help but overhear you wanting to have some leftovers. It’s illegal to imbibe in marijuana and drive.”
“We usually wait until we get home before we eat the leftovers, mister…”
“Lane. Officer Lane. Drug task force.” His smile disappears from his face, and I miss it.
His full, bowed lips settle into a straight line that doesn’t suit him. He runs his hands over the stubble coating his cheeks, but he doesn’t touch the wavy hair on his head. Aren’t cops supposed to have buzz cuts? His dark brown hair curls at the ends just over his ears, and I lament that he doesn’t touch it. I’d like to know how it waves when he’s frustrated.
“Would you like the last one, Officer Lane?” I say, holding up the cupcake inside its plastic container with the indica sticker on it and the date it was made. “If it’s your birthday, I can put a candle on it.”
Shit. Did I just bat my eyelashes when I said that? I blink again, hoping to pass off that I have something stuck in my long, fake eyelashes so he won’t know I’m thinking about how I’d like to undo his pants and check out his night stick.
I lean against the metal window frame and look down. Yep, totally sexy. Tight-fitting dark jeans and a simple black t-shirt that stretches across those sexy shoulders. His badge sits in his waistband, and he pushes his sunglasses up his nose with his middle finger.
I sigh and hold out the decorative paper plate holding the cupcake and smile. “Be cool. Live a little,” I whisper, mentally acknowledging that I sound like the stereotypical drug pusher that jumps out at middle schoolers from behind a tree.
“I prefer not to. I just saw this while I was driving by and had to give it a look. I assume you have all the proper permits and licenses?” he asks, patting the side of the truck like he’s taking it for a test drive.
Kailee slides up to my side and looks down at him. “Damn,” she whispers under her breath. “Is he going to handcuff you? If not, can he cuff me?” I step on her foot, and she grunts. “I’m just saying,” she whispers before walking away.
“That’s disgusting,” he says, ignoring Kailee and nodding at the gorgeous cupcake in front of him.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s drugs. I hate drugs. I hate people that push drugs.”
My face reddens, and my nostrils flare. “Officer Lane, do you drink beer?”
He scoffs and puts his hands on his hips. “Sure.”
“Technically, alcohol is a drug. So is a bottle of cold medicine. It’s in the usage.” I tilt my head and put on my most condescending snarl. “Whether you like it or not, the voters of this state legalized marijuana for recreational use on private property and with the proper packaging. I park on private property and have all appropriate seller licenses. I’ve paid my fees to the state, I don’t drive while eating my own product, sell only to people before the show, check ID, and always have under three ounces on the truck. I even have a transportation license,” I say, tapping the framed piece of paper behind my Square reader. “Regarding the three ounces, in case you didn’t know, three ounces is actually a fuck ton of weed and even less when we’re talking cannabutter. If you have a problem with any of this, you can take it up with all 1,089,326 citizens that voted to legitimize this business.”
He backs away from the order area and looks at the side of my truck, then back to me. Fuck, I’d love to see what color his eyes are under those aviators. I bet they’re blue. No. Probably green. To keep from thinking about his eyes, I push the cupcake to him. “Here. On the house.”
“I’m going to take this to the office and make sure it’s just THC in there. Are you adding any other drugs to it?”
Laughter bubbles from chest. “Are you fucking kidding me right now?”
“I’m an officer of the law, ma’am. I expect you to be respectful when you answer my questions.”
“Well, Officer Lane, if I’m being questioned about illegal activity, I’d be happy to answer your questions with an attorney present. As I am operating on private property in a perfectly legal capacity, I’ll answer any harassing questions the way I please.”
He pulls his phone out and takes a picture of the truck, including my website information. Normally, I’d be happy someone was interested, but my gut tells me I haven’t heard the last of him.
“I’ll be watching you,” he says, pointing his finger at me. “This is wrong, immoral, and I’ll make sure you toe the law.”
He turns and walks away, my cupcake in his hand like it’s a dead animal he’s trying not to touch. He takes long strides away from the truck, and I watch his chiseled ass muscles clench as he walks. My mouth feels like cotton, but I clear my throat and try to think of something witty to put him in his place.
“I do birthday parties!”