Authors: Victoria Ashley
Copyright © 2014 Victoria Ashley
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means such as electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the author of this book. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
CT Cover Creations.
Stock photo © Shutterstock.com
Interior Design and Formatting by
LETTING OUT A SATISFIED BREATH, my eyes explore the apartment, taking in the vast living space that is soon to be decorated with mine and Tori’s things.
We’ve been saving up to get into this building for over a year now, and being here in this beautiful room—with this gorgeous view—is the most amazing feeling of accomplishment that I’ve ever felt. I’m seriously so happy that I could scream my ass off . . . but it’s late and I don’t want to wake any of our new neighbors. I hate bad first impressions. They’re so hard to fix and get past. They’re ugly.
Standing here in this living room clearly confirms that mine and Tori’s photography careers are going in the right direction. We’re on the fast road to kicking ass. When you work your ass off and put thought and passion into the things you want, they’ll eventually come to you, at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself since graduation. So far I haven’t proven my words to be wrong.
“Holy shit!” Tori’s voice echoes throughout the space as she pokes her head out of her new bedroom, catching my attention. “I still can’t get over how ginormous these rooms are. These two bedrooms put together are like the whole size of our last apartment. This is insane and I love it. I’m in love, and right now I feel like we are two badass chicks. We kick ass. Damn, this feeling is so good. I need to celebrate.” She reaches out her hand and waves her fingers. “Give me that bag of chips over there on the counter. There’s no celebration like a celebration with Funyuns and wine. Give me. Give me. Hurry.”
I look behind me, over my shoulder, and reach for the family size bag of Funyuns—Tori’s addiction. I shake it in front of me, teasing her. “When the hell did you have the time to unpack these?” Raising a curious brow, I toss her the bag. “There’s not one other thing in this whole apartment that is unpacked, not even the wine. You’re insane. That’s the only logical answer to that question, you damn Funyun junky.”
“Are you kidding? I didn’t
these, I rode in the U-Haul with these in my lap. I need some kind of motivation to deal with all this.” She motions around at the pile of boxes. “So . . . you’re welcome.”
I watch in amusement as she pops a Funyun into her mouth and closes her eyes, moaning as she chews it. She leans her head back, shaking her brown hair behind her. She almost looks like she’s having a mini orgasm.
“Alright,” I say, with a disgusted shake of my head. “If you’re done making love to that chip, it would be nice to focus on unpacking the things we might need for the night. I don’t think watching you make love to your bag of chips is going to keep me entertained enough. Not after all the crap I’ve been through today.”
She shrugs her shoulders, shaking my words off while grabbing another handful. “Give me ten. I’ll be back.” She disappears into her room, shutting the door behind her.
“Great, you sneaky asshole.” Exhaling, I plop down onto the couch and reach for my cell phone to check the time. It’s already ten past ten. I doubt Tori will be leaving that room anytime tonight. She’s been doing nothing, but complaining about being tired, and this and that hurting since we started moving our things early this morning. She’s got her bed and her chips. Apparently that’s all she needs.
I lay here for a few minutes allowing myself to smile as I look around me. I feel like a kid that just wants to run around the whole apartment and touch
I don’t, because it might look a little silly for a twenty- four year old; especially one that is so tired that I can’t even manage to walk straight right now.
“I need some wine,” I mumble to myself. I look over the couch at the kitchen. There’s boxes piled so high that I can’t even see the fridge. “That’s no damn good.”
It’s a good thing this building has a bar and restaurant downstairs on the main floor. I love that about this place. Just imagine: work hard, come home, relax, and throw back a few drinks at the bar. Then, all you have to do is crawl your way back to your apartment and smile up at the
people that are walking by and pretend that you’re A-Okay.
Sitting up, I reach for my purse and pull out my wallet. “Hey, I’m going downstairs to grab a drink. You want anything?”
“Nope! Brad is on his way,” Tori screams from her room. “We have better things planned, so you might want to stay gone for a while.”
“Alright then,” I say loudly. “I might or might not be back, so if I run away just remember that it’s your fault completely.”
Once I get down to the bar, my mouth is practically watering by the time I sit down and wave the attractive bartender over.
Out of breath, the bartender smiles while leaning over the bar. “What can I get you . . . ?”
I smile and give him what he’s looking for. “Calla.”
He pulls his hand through his messy, blonde hair and grabs for an empty glass. “What can I get you, Calla?”
Pulling out my wallet, I open it to my ID and set it down in front of me while thinking. “I was in the wine kind of mood, but . . . maybe I’ve changed my mind.” I glance down at the drink menu in front of me and point at something blue. “I’m going to be adventurous tonight. Give me that.” I pause to look up at his nametag. “Dane.”
Dane lets out a small laugh while making a face. “Alright, Ms. Adventurous. One of those coming right up.”
I’m caught up in running my fingers through my thick, blonde hair, to get some kind of fuzz out, when I hear the stool next to me scrape against the floor as it’s pulled out from the bar.
Ignoring it, I continue to pick at my hair, fighting it. “What the hell are you? Get out,” I grunt.
A deep chuckle causes me to pause. “Am I getting kicked out already? I haven’t even done anything yet. Oh, and I’m a man by the way. I thought that part was pretty clear.”
I push out a small laugh and shake my head. “Are you sure about that?” I tease. Gripping onto the bar, I start to spin my stool around to get a look at this
“Anyone can have a . . .”
My words catch in my throat and I almost fall back when my eyes set on the
beside me. He’s definitely all man; the sexiest kind that there is.
Holy shit. I must have done something good today.
Talk about being rendered speechless.
I quickly compose myself and clear my throat before continuing. “A deep voice.” I swallow and look up to meet his face. “And a perfect, masculine jawline with just the right amount of stubble.” My eyes trail lower to see his broad chest being hugged by a white shirt. “A firm chest and . . .” My eyes are going lower. Why are they going lower? “Um . . . a nice package.” I nod my head, turning red as I realize that I just admitted that all aloud. “Definitely all man. Well this is awkward.”
Giving me a sexy smirk, he nods at Dane as he sets my drink down in front of me.