So you decide to be the “cool” girlfriend and hang out with your boyfriend and all of his friends. You can be one of the guys too, right? You show up with pizzas and a 12-pack. Most of the food gets devoured seconds after it’s placed on the living room table. Your guy says, “Play Mario Kart with us” and thrusts a wii-mote at you. All the guys look at you with anticipation and for that split second you are the center of attention. It’s fabulous.
Ready to seize that moment, you take a seat on the Doritos-dust covered couch and try not to think about the fact that the hideous plaid thing was probably garbage picked from a frat house that got condemned by the CDC. You’re given a hasty tutorial on what the buttons do. The guys deliver it with such enthusiasm and look super cute but the info only confuses. Still, you’re committed so you choose Princess Peach and before you know it the race starts.
Your previously slug-like, couch-potato guy friends are suddenly filled with life. They spring off the couch, onto their feet, screaming. They yell at each other, at you, at the pictures flashing across the screen. You think you might be in last place but nobody seems to notice. Someone gets a “blue shell” and your boyfriend starts swearing like a twelve-year-old who finally got to sit in the back of the bus. Four minutes later, it’s all over. You finished 6th out of 12. Not last! Everyone crashes onto the couch. You flop down next to your guy. Someone spills beer on you reaching for a pepperoni that fell to the floor from earlier but you don’t say anything because right now you’re the cool girlfriend, one of the guys.
The ritual from before is repeated, and repeated, and repeated.
Two hours of bumping into walls, getting taken out by bananas, and driving off cliffs. You want to be done, but you’re in it for the long haul. Surely they’ll get bored of it soon. Before you know it, it’s 3 a.m. and your thumbs are starting to cramp up. You realize you’ve been sitting in that same spot for eight hours and you smell like Bud-Light and Doritos and cheap pizza.
You open up Snapchat and look at all the fun your friends are having at the club. But quality time with the boys is more fun than that, right? You turn to your boyfriend. He’s snoring away, using the towel someone used to clean up the beer spill from earlier as a blanket. Everyone else lumbers off to bed and you guiltily send an SOS then steal a few Cheetos from a bag left open on the floor. The friend you called arrives so you give your sleeping angel a kiss goodbye then leave.
Now why on earth would a girl spend her night like that, being just friends, when she could have one that starts like this excerpt featuring Hayley and Nick from my novel, Unfinished Business?
Nick shrugs off his jacket and drops it. Then he runs his fingers down the buttons of his dress shirt, loosening each one with a sharp twist of his fingers. Once it is totally unbuttoned, he tosses it aside, sending a small puff of dust upwards. Even though it’s a bit chilly, he whips off his white T-shirt, creates another puff of dust when he throws it down, then grabs his belt.
His hands linger on the buckle, and I take a long look at his knuckles before lifting my gaze. Remembering how it feels to be pressed against him makes my nipples tighten and my body starts to quiver. He can make me quiver harder, I know. So hard I shake.
Heart thumping, blood pounding, I look him over. He sees me watching him and smiles as he pulls his wallet out. One of his eyebrows tips up as he slips a packet from inside it and holds it up. The gold letters on the dark square blink in the moonlight. “You still want to do the friends with benefits thing?”
Blurb for Unfinished Business:
She ran away from the town that wouldn’t forget, to a city that doesn’t forgive, right into the arms of the guy who insists she set things right.
Less than a year ago, Hayley Jones made a scandalous decision that sent her packing. She left her country hometown, moved to the city and made a new life for herself. But it’s hard being someone else when the real you has some unfinished business.
Hayley knows taking care of the unresolved piece of her past could stir up more trouble and humiliation, so she dodges the truth and puts her energy into her new friends and job. That strategy works for a short while but people from her past start showing up in her present.
Life gets even more complicated when she realizes she’s falling for Nick Noel, a guy who knows she’s running from something, and continually challenges her to be herself. But Hayley is afraid of what will happen if Nick finds out who she really is and what she did back home.
About Isabelle Drake:
Thrill-seeking risk takers, heroes with the dark past, sexy locales, untamed women! Isabelle Drake writes stories featuring men and women who aren’t afraid to go after what they want. An avid traveller, she’ll go just about anywhere—at least once—to meet people and get story ideas.
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