Authors: Staci Parker
Copyright 2016 by (Midnight Moon Publishing) - All rights reserved.
In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
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The Boy Next Door
Taboo Alpha Male Romance
By: Staci Parker
Table of Contents
Free Bonus Stories
Getting the Game Plan
The Boy Next Door
Victoria smoothed a stray curl back into her messy chestnut bun and sighed heavily. She dropped her key on top of the envelope on the coffee table, and locked the apartment door from the inside, before shutting it firmly. Her green eyes brimmed with tears, but she willed them back down. She had cried too many tears over Michael already and refused to shed one more.
The strap from her laptop bag dug into her shoulder but the pain was dull compared to her heartache. Her Honda Civic was already loaded down with everything she wanted to take, and the work computer was simply the last of her belongings.
She glimpsed herself in the rearview mirror before she backed out of her parking space, and she realized that not just time had taken a toll on her, but the decisions she had made left their marks as well. The bruise on her eye had finally faded to a hideous yellowish green color but for work it was easily covered with makeup.
A few minutes later she was knocking on Amber’s door, and her best friend welcomed her by enfolding her in a hug. Victoria rested her forehead on her friend’s shoulder and released the breath trapped in her lungs.
Victoria had taken the day off from her job at the law firm, and had packed up everything in a matter of hours. Prior to that day, Amber had agreed to let her use the guest room at her apartment until plans could be made.
It was almost dinnertime, and Victoria was famished after skipping food all day. She had been in such a hurry to get her things and be gone before Michael returned from work that she had neglected to eat anything.
Amber heard Victoria’s tummy rumble and giggled softly. She pointed at the coffee table which was loaded down with food and two bottles of wine. Victoria quickly fired off a text message to her boss that she was going to miss tomorrow as well.
“Let’s unpack my car first,” she suggested as she dropped her purse and computer bag next to the couch.
The short curvy blonde nodded and they dragged in the three suitcases and two cardboard boxes with ease. With all of the items safely stowed in the second bedroom, the two women changed into tee shirts and yoga pants, and settled down on the couch for the evening.
Amber had been Victoria’s best friend since high school, and she knew better than to launch into the interrogation until Victoria was ready. She clicked on an old comedy movie and passed over a plate so that Victoria could load it up.
Both women tended to be foodies, a byproduct of attending law school in New York together, and the spread that Amber had prepared looked delicious to the starving Victoria. She dug in heartily and filled her plate with summer sausage, cheddar and pepperjack cheese, little rounds of French bread, pepper and onion jam, and a generous dab of spicy brown mustard. The velvety Merlot went perfectly with all of it.
The movie played in the background while Victoria enjoyed her snacks. She stared straight ahead without really seeing the screen, but the numbness was a welcome respite from the reality of her situation. There was a comfortable silence in the room with the two friends, and neither felt the need to make any more noise than what was required to eat and drink.
As the credits began to roll, Victoria and Amber finished off the second bottle of wine.
“Damn, I wish I hadn’t quit smoking,” Victoria commented.
Amber laughed, “I have some if you want.”
“Yes, please, but let’s go to the patio.”
Amber dug two packs out of her purse and they uncorked another bottle of wine as they headed to the patio in front of Amber’s apartment.
Victoria took a long drag and exhaled slowly, savoring the slight burn in her lungs. Another glass of Merlot helped soothe it away, and added to the flush that was starting to fill her bloodstream.
Amber propped her legs up on the small plastic table and leaned back to blow smoke rings up at the ceiling.
Victoria chuckled, “I’ve never mastered that.”
“It’s all in the tongue,” Amber giggled.
“Never mastered that either,” Victoria laughed, “but any old boyfriend can tell you that.”
“Pervert,” Amber threw at Victoria, who stuck her tongue out.
As Victoria made a Merlot-inspired face at her best friend, her eyes darted over the wrought-iron railing and glimpsed one of the sexiest men she had ever seen in real life.
Her heart nearly stopped as her eyes raked over his bulging biceps and down the flat hard planes of his chest barely hidden by the snug white tank top. Her gaze stopped just short of the waistband of his low-slung jeans before she pulled her eyes away.
“What?” Amber bit back a laugh as she watched Victoria’s pale creamy cheeks flush pink.
“N-N-Nothing,” Victoria stammered as she tried to compose herself through the fog of red wine.
Amber’s blond ponytail whipped around as she turned to see what had caught Victoria’s attention, and Victoria could hear her hiss as she sucked in air when her eyes landed on the same tanned body that she had seen.
Amber’s head spun back around to look at Victoria and she silently mouthed a quick “Oh. My. God.” before taking a long swig of her wine.
The heat welled up inside Victoria’s body as she surreptitiously glanced his way again, and she nibbled her lower lip as dozens of terribly inappropriate thoughts raced through her head.
Eventually Victoria ran out of energy to fight off the wine-induced sleepiness, and she crawled into the unfamiliar bed of Amber’s guest room. As she drifted off to sleep, the image of her neighbor drifted through her mind, and her pulse throbbed hotly through her body. She was too far into her drowsiness to do anything about it but she smiled when she realized how pleasant her dreams would be.
The next morning, her head throbbed in that unpleasant way and she stumbled to the kitchen for some coffee.
“Now I remember why I don’t do that anymore,” she groaned.
Amber whimpered, “No kidding. We are way too old for that much wine in one night.”
They sipped their hot, dark coffee together and let it chase away the sharpest edges of their hangovers.
“Are you going to work today?” Victoria asked.
“Nah, I called in too. What shall we do?”
“I guess I can unpack a little. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but it would seem sadder if I live out of my suitcases.”
Amber rested her hand on Victoria’s. “Happy to help,” she murmured.
Still schlepping around in their tee shirts and yoga pants, they hung up her work suits, carefully folded her weekend clothes and underwear into the drawers of the dresser, and stashed the toiletries in the spare bathroom. The two cardboard boxes stacked easily into a corner of the bedroom. Victoria flopped down on her stomach on the bed and sighed.
“Is this what my life has come to? Homeless and living at my best friend’s house? Hiding out from the asshole who stole all my money and gave me this black eye?”
Amber lay down next to her and grasped her hand tightly. “You can stay as long as you need to.”
“As long as it takes to seduce that hunk next door?” Victoria grinned wryly.
“If that’s what it takes,” Amber laughed.
“The last thing I need is someone like him. I know who he is. He tosses away girls like used Kleenex after he seduces them with his motorcycle. He’ll bed anything with a pussy.”
Amber nodded, “I’ve seen more than a few girls go in and out of there since he’s lived next door, and none of them twice.”
“Yeesh, really? That’s all I need.”
“Maybe if you know the facts going in, you won’t expect more,” Amber offered hopefully.
Victoria shook her head, “While I might need a good hard pounding, all it would give me is a pounding in the head.”
Amber squeezed her eyes shut.
“What are you doing?” Victoria wondered.
“Trying not to imagine him naked and on top of me,” Amber giggled.
Victoria pulled her hand away from Amber’s and smacked her arm firmly, “Stop that!”
“I can’t help it! I haven’t had a boyfriend in forever!”
“Let me tell you, there are worse things than being single.”
Amber smiled softly, “I know. I’m just saying…”
“But you are right, he’s flipping hot! With that dark hair and those blue eyes. And the muscles…”
The women grinned at each other; there were worse things than having a hot neighbor.
Amber toed the line gently, “So… do you want to talk about it?”
Victoria sighed, “Not really. It’s not that I… I know you’ll listen and everything, but I’m tired of giving him all of my everything. My energy, my money, my body, my tears. He doesn’t deserve any of it. Not one more piece.”
Amber patted her back, “Good for you.”
Eventually they dragged themselves back to the kitchen and made an early lunch out of the leftovers. The cheese and sausage and crackers went nicely with the pitcher of lemonade from the refrigerator, and they curled back up on the couch to watch bad daytime television. Watching those talk shows could make anyone feel better about their life, and these two women were no exception.
After a couple of episodes, the two stepped back onto the patio for a smoke break, and found their neighbor sunning himself, shirtless and in swim trunks. They gaped silently at him and then back at each other and bit back fits of nervous giggles. They tried to smoke silently and then fled back inside, safe from the temptations of hormones.
“So what shall we do with the rest of our Friday off?” Amber mused aloud.
“Want to hit up a happy hour? Good way to start off a weekend…”
“Ugh, more wine?”
Victoria laughed, “Fine, you can have Coke. I’m having something more potent.”
Amber closed her eyes and rested her head on the back of the couch, “Sure, sounds good.”
“Where do we want to go?” Victoria asked.
They looked at each other and grinned. Simultaneously they both burst out “El Corazon!”
It had been one of their favorite hangouts before Victoria met Michael, and it was a good place to start her new chapter. The margaritas were just strong enough and the queso was unbeatable. They headed to their respective bathrooms to get ready.
The hot shower melted away the rest of Victoria’s melancholy and she emerged revitalized and ready for a night of fun with her friend. She even pulled out the cobalt blue dress that Michael had forbidden her to wear. It was cut just low enough to accentuate her generous cleavage, and hugged her hips perfectly until it stopped a couple of inches above her knees. Amber let out a wolf whistle when she saw her, and Victoria winked. It promised to be a fun night.
Since Amber and Victoria arrived just before five o’clock, the restaurant was not busy quite yet. They easily got a table in the bar area, and ordered up a plate of guacamole and a bowl of queso to start, plus one margarita each.
Instead of ordering meals, they decided to just split the giant appetizer sampler. Within moments, the dips and the platter arrived. They dug in hungrily, savoring each bite of the nachos and quesadillas and fried jalapeño strips. Amber switched to Coke and Victoria ordered up another margarita.
By the time the food was finished, Victoria was on her third drink and Amber was just trying to make sure her friend stayed respectable in their favorite Mexican restaurant.