(It’s the best one yet, according to our editor!)
“We’re such a cliché.” I place a glass of red wine in front of the lovely, dark-haired lady I’ve been eyeing all evening and then grab the chair next to her, shifting it closer before dropping into it.
She arches one eyebrow but doesn’t move away as my leg brushes hers. “I realize we’re at a wedding, but we haven’t slept together. So how are we a cliché?”
“We should sleep together. I’m pretty sure you’d like it.”
The bride at today’s wedding is my best friend Erin, and the lady I’m sitting with, Veronica “call me Ronnie” Frost, is now officially her sister-in-law. Ronnie’s also hot as fuck, eight years older than me, and completely unobtainable. Which makes this chase both fun and safe.
I shrug and take a pull from my beer. “I mean, we won’t know until we try, right?”
Shaking her head, she says, “Danny, you have a pretty face, a rather spectacular body, from what I’ve seen, anyway—”
“Do you want to see more?”
“No. Because you are lousy at this game. This back and forth we do, this isn’t what women want.”
“How do you know what women want?”
“Because I happen to be one.” There’s annoyance in her voice, like I’ve struck a nerve. What, was she a man in a past life?
Leaning forward, I let my hand fall to her knee, cupping her leg just below the hem of her dress. It’s a dark green sleeveless number with a cowl neck and a flouncy skirt, and I want to smooth my hand up under it to check to see if she’s wearing panties. If she is, I bet it’s a thong. Probably matches the dress. No, it’d be fire-engine red. I’m getting hard just thinking about it.
And I know damn well I’ll never get a shot at finding out. To be honest, I’m surprised she’s letting my hand hover on her knee right now.
“You are definitely that,” I agree. “So tell me, what do women want?”
She glances at the white silk tents set up in her brother’s backyard, at the party guests mingling about. It’s the third wedding here in a year. All three of her brothers are now hitched. She’s the last single Frost sibling. How does that make her feel?
“Maybe I’m not the best person to ask,” she says quietly, and there’s something in her voice that makes me want to drop the bawdy act and be real for a minute, maybe reassure her that she isn’t the only one with secret wishes. Which is weird, because I’ve been this guy for ten years, since my junior year in high school, when I figured out being the class clown was a potential way to convince people to like me, since I pretty much sucked at every sport known to the human race and couldn’t figure out any other way to make it happen.
“Why not?” I arch brows that are pale, blond, a little bushy, not dark and perfectly manicured like hers.
She shakes her head. “I’m not like most women.”
I squeeze her leg. “Tell me more.”
She sips the wine I’ve brought her. “Most women want love and affection. Adoration. S—”
“Look, you aren’t gonna win this argument. My best friend is a woman. She tells me everything. You wanna know how many times she and your brother get it on in any given week? In any given night?”
“God, no. And does Garrett know she shares such intimate details about their personal life?”
“Sure. Because I make it a point to tell him. And then Erin gets mad at me. And then Abby tells her not to be mad at her favorite uncle Danny. It’s our little routine.”
“Everything is a game to you, isn’t it?”
Leaning back in my chair, I drape an arm across the back of hers, deliberately stroking my fingers against her dress. Don’t feel a bra strap. Didn’t think I would. And now I’m even harder than I was over the idea of her wearing a red thong.
“Yeah, it pretty much is.” Life’s easier that way. No one expects me to be responsible, take ownership. And I never have to let anyone down. It’s a genius plan, frankly.
“That is no way to get through life.”
“I’ve been doing pretty well so far.” Especially now that Erin and Garrett have bought a house with a mother-in-law suite in their walk-out basement. Or, as I prefer to call it, Danny’s Love Den.
“No, you haven’t. You’re drifting through life, mooching off your friends. Do you have any idea what you want to be when you grow up?”
I shrug. “I don’t know. Married to a hot, wealthy woman because her secret fantasy is to bang the pool boy on a permanent basis, maybe?”
Her eyes get darker, cooler, and whatever’s going on in her head, she is through with this conversation.
“What, is that your fantasy or something? If that’s the case, I’m in.” I spread my arms wide, inviting her to have her wicked way with me.
She stands, graceful as a gazelle, lofty as a cat. “Absolutely not.”
But then she smooths the front of her skirt and bends over me, swiping her wineglass off the table. I ogle the glorious yet brief view down her top, and I’m wondering if she did that on purpose, despite the sudden coolness and her insistence about not playing games.
“Sweet dreams, Danny.” And then she’s gone, sashaying across the yard, heading toward her older brother, James, who’s cradling his three-month-old daughter in one arm with the other wrapped around his wife, Myra.
A goat with multi-colored ribbons tied around its neck and a bouquet of daisies in its mouth trots across Ronnie’s path and she halts, waiting for the young, dark-haired girl who’s chasing it to rush by. A white duck waddles in the girl’s wake, followed by a slinking Siamese cat. Anyone who didn’t know the Frost family would think the circus was in town.
After checking both ways for the all clear, Ronnie continues strutting toward her brother. I presume she’s saying goodbye.
Damn. Struck out again.
Exactly the way it’s supposed to go down.
“I need a favor.”
Yawning, I stretch, wince at the sliver of sunlight trying to peek through the crack in the blinds. What time is it, anyway? And who the hell’s on my phone? The voice is female, sexy, and familiar, but I can’t quite place it.
“Did you hear me?”
“Who is this?” I ask without opening my eyes and looking at the screen on my phone.
Ronnie. My brain’s fuzzy, not functioning on all cylinders at the moment. Last night had been another bar night, another hot chick to chase. This one had recently broken up with her boyfriend and was looking for a satisfying way to take out her anger over all the time she’d wasted on the loser, so we’d started playing pool—on her dime, of course—against another couple, betting on shots bought. Turns out, she’s a shark, and I’d appreciated every drink the other team had to buy us.
I finally pry my eyes open and glance at the rumpled sheets next to me. Nope. Hadn’t gotten lucky, unless she snuck out at some point in the night. But I’m pretty sure I stumbled home alone after last call.
“Danny. Hello? Are you there?”
“Yeah. Ronnie. Oh shit, Garrett’s sister. Hey, sexy.”
“You don’t even remember me? We’ve known each other well over a year by now.” Her indignation is practically beating me over the head with a broom all the way from New York.
“And you’ve called me how many times? Plus, I’m barely awake.” And now I’m sporting wood, because damn, her voice is hot.
“For Christ’s sake. Are you really still in bed? Do you realize it’s noon on a Wednesday? Well, I suppose it’s only eleven in Chicago, but still. That’s ridiculous.”
“Did you call to ask for a favor? Because this conversation isn’t exactly winning me over at the moment.” Despite her prickliness, my woody isn’t deflating. I should probably do something about that. I flip the sheet off my legs and lazily grasp the stiff appendage, give it a couple strokes.
Yeah, that’s definitely feeling better. I squirt a dollop of lotion into my hand and return it to my cum gun. “But keep talking. Tell me about this favor. Go into graphic detail.” I’d be sweet if it involves sex.
She makes a noise that sounds like a cross between a growl and a sigh, and I give my sharp shooter another few strokes.
“I have a friend there in Chicago. Her boyfriend recently broke up with her. Bad breakup, his fault, and he’s being a real prick about splitting up the furniture in the apartment they were renting together. Even trying to take her cat, which, by the way, she brought into the relationship.”
“Mmm-hmm.” I’m picturing Ronnie in that red thong I’m convinced she wears every damn day. I’ve choked the chicken to that image too many times to count in the past week and a half. And here’s to one more. Oh yeah…
“She has to go to an event tonight. A work function. And he’ll be there. Probably with some bimbo hanging on his arm.”
My breathing is choppy as I ask, “So what’s the favor?” I’m still holding out hope it involves sex. That will definitely send me over the edge at this point.
“I’d like you to go as her date. I’ll pay you for your time.”
“Fu-u-uck.” Several more jerks and I shoot my load, white streamers that pool on my abdomen. Grabbing the towel I keep on my bedside table for exactly these occasions, I swipe at the mess and then drop my head back to the pillows while I exhale loudly.
“What are you doing?”
I don’t respond, mostly because I’m still trying to catch my breath. She’s so fucking hot in my fantasies.
“Are you—good God, tell me you aren’t masturbating?”
“Not anymore,” I say on gusty breath.
“I can’t believe you.”
“You have something against pleasuring oneself?”
“No, of course not. It’s just—you did it while I was trying to talk to you.”
“That’s called phone sex. You’re good at it. Your voice is kinda low, gravelly, really—”
“I wasn’t even participating!”
“You mean you’d participate in phone sex? With me?” I’m liking the sound of this…
“Absolutely not. Can we get back to the topic at hand, please?”
I chuckle. I can’t help it. And I can practically hear her teeth grinding.
“Now I’m questioning my sanity in even asking you for this favor.”
“Why? Because I like to get off on occasion? Well, honestly, it’s way more than occasionally. I’m not gonna lie. It’s—”
“My friend,” she says, that coolness back in her voice that should probably put me in my place.
“Your friend,” I say solemnly, because now that my brain is functioning, I’m curious as to why my best friend’s husband’s sister would call me. Usually, when she wants me to do odd jobs like help plan her brothers’ weddings or mow her parents’ yard as a Father’s Day gift, she talks to me through Erin.
“So will you be my friend’s date tonight? I’ll make it worth your while.”
She already has. “Tell me more.”
The friend is hot. Her hair’s this lavender color, which isn’t something I’m usually into, but it works for her. With her pale skin tone and that light blue dress she’s wearing, it really works, actually. And those stilettos could make me forget my fantasy of Ronnie in a red thong tonight.
The friend is also a hot mess.
“Thanks again for agreeing to be my date tonight,” she says when I take her hand and tuck it into the crook of my elbow before we head into the building where this work function is happening. Her name is Yvonne, and she’s a manager at a software development company. Apparently, it’s supposed to be announced tonight that the stock is splitting, making most of the people in that room awfully damn rich. Oh yeah, and Yvonne is about to become president, as the current guy is retiring.
“I’m so nervous,” she whispers. “I hope no one figures out you’re being paid to be my date.”
I’d have done it for free, for the hell of it, but when Ronnie mentioned the five hundred bucks she’d give me, I wasn’t stupid enough to turn her down. I need bar night money, after all. And I need a new pair of golf shoes for when Garrett finally relents and buys me a membership at his favorite golf club.
“They’ll only figure it out if you tell them,” I say, patting her hand. “Trust me. Just relax and enjoy yourself. And if, throwing yourself at me when you see your ex makes you feel better, I promise to stay in character.”
She giggles and blushes. It’s at odds with how high up she is in this company. How can this woman be strong enough to be selected to run a corporation, but she’s scared of going to a dinner party without a date?
We step into a ballroom done in black and gold, with massive, sparkling chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I guide my date straight to the nearest bar, because she definitely needs some liquid courage.
“Two martinis,” I tell the bubble gum-popping bartender. “No, make them cosmos,” I say after glancing at Yvonne, who’s chewing on her thumbnail while her gaze bounces all over the place.
“Cosmos?” Some guy leans around me to look at Yvonne. “For who?”
Yvonne’s grip on my arm is cutting off the circulation, and her face has gone so pale she’s practically transparent. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess this is the ex-boyfriend. He’s got a head full of thick, greased back, dark hair, and a raccoon-like tan line around his brown eyes. If he hasn’t watched every single mafia movie known to man and believes he should be living that lifestyle, I’ll eat Abby’s plastic pet goat.
“Me and my date,” I tell him, prying off Yvonne’s hand so I can wrap my arm around her waist and pull her tightly against my side.
“Cosmos are for girls,” Slimeball says. “Although I’ve never seen you drink one before, Yvonne.”
The tender places our drinks in front of us, and I pluck a fiver out of my wallet and drop it on the bar. Always tip your bartender, even if it’s an open bar.
Handing Yvonne her pink drink, I touch the rim of my glass to hers and say, “To my girl.”
“Your what?” Gino or Frankie or whatever the hell this guy wishes his name was is staring at us, his eyes bugging out of his face. “What the hell is this asshole saying, Yvonne? You’ve moved on already? Are you fucking kidding me?”
She gulps her drink and twists her head to and fro, shaking like a leaf. “N-no,” she manages to choke out before lifting the glass to her lips again.
“Yeah, we’re just fucking,” I say. “Although she’s so hot in bed, I’m not in a hurry to move on.”
The guy’s face is turning so red, even the tan lines around his eyes are boiling. Yvonne’s gaping, looking at me like she can’t decide if I’m her savior or her worst nightmare.
“Oh wait,” I say, motioning with my martini glass. “You’re the ex. The cheating loser.”
Predictably, he’s in my face, and the pink liquid in my glass somehow tips and lands on his previously pristine white shirt. Such a shame, because that was one of the best cosmos I’ve ever had.
“Goddamn it.” He gives me a shove, and my back slams into the bar with enough force to rattle the glasses and make the bartender squeal. The banquet manager heads our way to see if she can be of service. He cusses her out, just for being in the vicinity, I guess, and she storms away. When she returns, it’s with three burly guys in suits with those twisty, black earbud thingies in their ears. Security, I assume, as I watch them bodily escort the pissed off Italian out of the party.
“You’re welcome,” I tell my date, and then I order another cosmo.
“Ronnie was right about you,” Yvonne says. “You’re amazing.” Her eyes are all glassy and she’s grinning from ear to ear. I guess I’ve officially been relegated to savior.
Wait, what did she just say? “Ronnie thinks I’m amazing?”
Yvonne’s head bobs. “Yes. And you should do this for a living. I’m happy to give you a glowing reference. I can’t tell you how scared I was of coming tonight, just because he would be here. And now he’s gone, and I feel like I can go up on that stage and confidently tell these people that I will lead this company to the next level. Not only that, but I’m going to fire his ass tomorrow. Or maybe tonight. Maybe I’ll do it while I’m giving my speech.” Now there’s a sparkle in her eyes, the sort someone gets when they’ve just plotted the sweetest revenge.
“And it’s all because of you,” she adds. “Seriously. You should start a business. Rent-A-Date.”
“No, Rent-A-Danny,” I say, warming to her idea.
Yeah, I really like this idea. And I know exactly who should be my manager.
Release Date: September 18, 2018