Authors: T. Gephart
Copyright 2015 T Gephart
Published by T Gephart at Smashwords
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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and scenarios are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
My life was perfect.
Okay, so maybe not perfect, but as close to it as I thought I was ever going to get. And I had imagined plenty worse growing up as Melody Williams’ daughter.
My mother had been the biggest groupie of the 1980s. No shit, I’m sure if there was a competition she would have actually won that crown. She slept her way through the billboard charts, riding from one coastline to the next on countless tour buses in a big cloud of hairspray and spandex. I’m not even sure she
who my father is. In any case, his name and any support from him have been missing since before I was born. I figured one disappointing parental figure was enough so never bothered to find him—ignorance was most definitely bliss.
So while my DNA pool was seriously lacking, my drive to someday claw my way out of white trash-dom meant I did whatever I could to change my stars. Seriously, it was by the grace of God and my amazing grandparents that I didn’t end up working a pole.
Which is where my mother was at this very second.
How I wish I were joking.
While mommy dearest was bumping and grinding, I managed to get a degree through community college and was happily working at a law firm in Manhattan. No, I wasn’t a lawyer—something I had to explain to my mother every single time she got picked up for a DUI—I was a paralegal who the firm was promoting very soon. Any day now. I was practically giddy with excitement.
My life checklist was looking pretty damn good.
Shady past left behind. Check.
Steady job with growth prospects. Check.
Amazing boss who also happened to be my boyfriend. Check. Check. Check.
I know what you’re thinking about the boss/boyfriend thing, but you would be wrong. Sure, we have to keep it under wraps, but that is only until I get promoted and move departments. Then we will be free to declare our love and show the world what an amazing unstoppable team we are. It would make everything even
perfect. Just a few more days—a week tops—and then we can finally stop sneaking around. And, he was totally in love with me as well. Smitten. Completely enchanted. This I knew.
Why, at this very minute he was making his way to the bar I was sitting in so he could ask me to move in with him. Yep, I was going to be happily cohabitating with the man of my dreams. Well, maybe not
man of my dreams, but a very good substitute, which was perfect because I wasn’t sure the
man of my dreams
Guiltily, I’ll admit there was a guy—not my boyfriend—who made me crazy stupid, and by that I mean he made my insides tingle.
What was even more surprising was that chasing after the hot guy wasn’t even in my repertoire, and yet there was something about him that made him impossible to overlook.
He was so gorgeous, my eyes hurt when I looked at him. Not even joking, but to say he was
good looking would be an out and out lie. He was more than that with his amazing blond hair and dazzling blue eyes, every inch of him crafted to perfection.
He wasn’t just beautiful; he was tall and sexy beyond belief.
Everything about him was super smooth. Even through his clothes I could tell he was rocking a ridiculous body—and his face was flawless. Almost so perfect I wasn’t sure he was human; surely he was some mutant model from a fashion show or a genetically engineered robot. All of it combined into one hell of a fantasy, one not even I could ignore.
I’d seen my mystery man a lot. It had started out innocently enough—almost accidental—my eye catching a glimpse of him whenever I was out. The grocery store, the gas station, the movie theatre—every single time he looked more delicious than the last.
No, I hadn’t taken up a secret double-life where I hid in bushes and stalked the beautiful man; he just happened to live a block away from my apartment. Which was convenient in that I could enjoy my momentary mental holidays without the risk of a restraining order. I’d made it this far without a mug shot, and I was hoping to keep it that way.
There was something about him, a magnetic draw I was sure would be dangerous, but like watching fireworks, it was hard to not appreciate the beauty. His sly smile hinted of the trouble he would cause, which is why I never bothered to say hello.
Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the
reason I’d never said hello, it was possibly because all those times I’d
him he not only never noticed me, but was usually entertaining female company. The kind that had nice breasts and great hair and giggled into their cosmopolitans. He was either gay or a player, my money on the second option.
Not that I would ever cheat on Rob. Never. Not even a chance. He was just a safe fantasy, something I could call on when I needed a little extra kick in the bedroom. Rob didn’t always get me there, if you know what I mean. It was okay however, because even though I didn’t always get what I needed in the bedroom, he made up for it elsewhere.
Rob Meyers—my guy—had a promising future ahead of him. Graduating in the top ten percent of his class at Harvard Law and aspirations to be a Supreme Court Justice, he was as far away from my questionable upbringing as I could get.
And he saw my potential, which was why he pursued me so passionately. He was a hard man to say no to, so I didn’t, and we’ve been dating for two years and counting—which is why I know he is about to ask me to move in. It’s time, and with my promotion all but guaranteed, we have no reason not to.
Sure, maybe I was celebrating a
prematurely, but he had been dropping clues all week. Flowers, being especially sweet, and of course the huge giveaway was the
he wanted us to have late tonight.
went out to dinner, preferring to eat takeout in my cozy little apartment. Which meant he was either giving me a key or a ring, the latter freaking me out a little.
I loved Rob, of course I did. He was a good man—a dependable man—and I could totally see a future with him, but marriage? The thought of it made me break out in a rash. Which is why I was nursing the same mojito I’d ordered when I sat down.
Nerves. Excitement. Terror. I was probably going to burst.
“You can’t be seriously considering saying yes to him?” Renee sat down beside me uninvited. “Please tell me you’re going to turn him down.”
While Renee was my best friend, she’d missed the memo where she was supposed to be supportive. And as for my boyfriend, she was not his biggest fan.
“Of course I’m going to say yes. It’s been two years; why wouldn’t I move in?” I swirled the contents of my glass.
I had no idea why I ordered the cocktail—I very rarely drank. Did I mention my mother was also an alcoholic? I spent more time in AA meetings with her than I did in preschool. I knew the Ten Steps before I knew my alphabet.
“Why you shouldn’t move in with him? Because I’ve seen club sandwiches with more personality than Rob. Seriously, he’s like a dial tone. You know when you pick up the receiver of your grandmother’s phone? That’s him. You want to spend the rest of your life eating dry toast?”
She took the glass from my hand and downed the rest of my drink. “It’s supposed to be drank, not held in your hand as an accessory.” The glass noisily slammed on the bar.
“He’s conservative.” Translation: Boring. But he was dependable and that’s what I needed; I spun around to face her. “Big deal. He has loads of personality; you should see him in a courtroom. He’s brilliant. And he is so smart.”
Yep, he was all of those things, which is why I overlooked the fact he rated low on the excitement scale. No one was perfect, and I refused to be like my mother who jumped from one good-looking loser to the next. Call me boring but I had successfully made it through high school
college without an unwanted pregnancy. Go me.
“Do you even orgasm during sex?” she said loud enough for the bartender to smirk.
Anyone else’s brutal honesty would have probably been offensive, but with Renee I knew she had my best interests at heart. And while I loved her and her swing-by-the-chandeliers inhibition, I wanted something different for myself. The lack of orgasms unfortunately a bi-product of my safety net.
“Renee, there is more to life than sex and orgasms.”
“Spoken like a girl who hasn’t had one in a while. Please, don’t do this. Take a break or something. Screw around for a while. Date other people and
if you want to shack up with Mr.
, I’ll be your biggest supporter.”
I was all ready to give my rebuttal. My rote response of “he makes me happy,” getting lost on its way from my brain to my mouth. Instead some indescribable, nonsense noise that sounded like I’d recently had oral surgery spilled from my lips. My mouth and my brain completely AWOL as
came into view.
“Hello, ladies.” His voice purred, sending vibrations through my body.
. My beautiful mystery man. The one who I’d seen plenty but never spoken to. He was standing in front of me,
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. There weren’t many bars in our little neighborhood where you didn’t need a Hep C shot before you entered. This particular establishment promised an impressive beer menu without the risk of a communicable disease, so it would stand to reason he would know about it too.
“Hi.” Was all I was able to manage, convinced he was probably talking to someone else. Perhaps he meant the Amazonian redhead who was sitting to my left, openly staring—that would make a hell of a lot of more sense. They could probably shoot joint commercials for teeth whitener and make adorable, if not freakishly tall, children together.
“I couldn’t help but notice your friend stole your drink. Ordinarily I’d overlook such thievery, but I’d hate for there to be a brawl in my favorite bar. So in the interest of keeping the peace, I’d like to replace it for you.” His voice smooth, as was his delivery. I had to remember to breathe.
“She wasn’t going to drink it, but you can totally buy her another drink,” Renee answered before I’d gotten the chance. Her smile widened as she turned to face me and mouthed the words “he’s hot.” She needn’t have bothered; his hotness was not something that needed to be confirmed.
“That’s okay, I’m good.” Thankfully words came out of my mouth even if they sounded in no way intelligent.
“Well, glad to hear you’re
. Nice to meet you, my name is Rusty.” He smiled as he moved in closer, his hand signaling the bartender. “What were you drinking?”
In what I can only explain as temporary insanity—probably from the shock of having the beautiful man talking to me—I blurted out, “I have a boyfriend.”
I officially wanted to die.
While I did have a boyfriend, and hopefully in a few hours I would be moving into his upscale apartment, there was no reason to announce it so dramatically. Almost as if to prove that I hadn’t secretly fantasized about him while in the shower every day this week—which I had. Sweat prickled at my brow.
“Is that some code for you’re not thirsty?” Rusty’s lips curved in amusement. While the words weren’t sexy, the humor in his voice was a definite turn on, a hot button straight to my libido as he stood there grinning at me.
“No, I-I just mean I can’t accept . . .” What was the word again? “A drink from you.” Yes, that’s what I wanted to say. “Or . . . or anyone else. N-not just you.” My mouth tried to regain some composure. It really wasn’t doing a great job.
“Well, would you look at the time? I have a thing, wouldn’t want to be late.” Renee tapped her naked wrist—her watch missing in action, as was her tact. “Call me, Ali.” She gave me a hug and whispered, “If you don’t screw this guy, you’re dead to me.” And just like that, she evaporated from the room.
“Your friend always bail on you like that, Ali?” Rusty’s voice curled seductively around my name as he smiled, moving to the barstool Renee had vacated.
“It’s Alison.” Ali was just too personal, like him kissing me on the mouth. I totally would
have been okay with that. Mostly. “And she has issues with boundaries.” And my boyfriend, but I wouldn’t be mentioning that.