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Writing Mr. Right by T.K. Leigh (1)





CHAPTER ONE


Seducing My Boss


“HURRY UP. HURRY UP. Hurry up.” I rocked on my heels in the packed elevator as I watched the numbers ascend at a languid pace. Carefully balancing two coffees, one on top of the other, I checked the time on my cell phone. 9:02 Monday morning. I would love to have a job where it wasn’t a big deal if I ran a few minutes behind, particularly on a Monday.

Particularly after having to stop at Starbucks every day to get my boss his expected triple venti soy no foam latte, the lamest drink known to man.

Particularly after having to leave my apartment an hour earlier than normal, without pay, to stand in line at the Starbucks closest to the literary agency in Rockefeller Center where I worked to get said lame excuse for a coffee.

Particularly because I had to start ordering the same coffee for myself in case I dropped it, as happened one time. The fallout was something I’d like to avoid in the future.

I preferred a basic Americano with milk from an actual cow, not this fake bullshit. I knew all about my boss’ allergies. He didn’t have any sort of intolerance to dairy. He was just an asshole, and his choice in drink proved it.

Finally, the ding of the elevator snapped me out of my vengeful thoughts and I barreled through the doors into a large, modern reception area.

“9:03,” the receptionist sang after me, her voice almost smug.

“I know. I know.” I dashed past the desk with Bartlett, Derringer, and Price in big bold letters on the wall behind it, not letting anyone who exited that elevator forget where they were. I wondered if the partners were trying to overcompensate for something.

“And he’s in a mood,” she added in warning.

“And that’s different how?” I mumbled, my voice almost inaudible.

Running past cubicle after cubicle, I prayed today wouldn’t be the day I slipped on the slick marble tile and fell ass over tea kettle. Since I’d started here more than six months ago, I had that vision in my head daily.

When my desk came into view, I breathed a sigh of relief. My gaze shot past it to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows separating the big bad wolf from the rest of us sheep. I observed him on the phone, pacing his office, a fierce expression on his face. At least he was preoccupied. Perhaps he wouldn’t even notice I was four minutes late.

As I set my heavy messenger bag on the ground with a thump, my shoulder screaming with reprieve from the welcome lack of weight, I realized my wish wouldn’t come true.

“Avery!” his powerful voice bellowed. “Get in here!”

“Shit.” Subtly rolling my eyes, I opened my desk drawer to retrieve a small notepad, shoving it into the pocket of my suit jacket. Running my hands over my cream-colored sheath top and gray pencil skirt to straighten the lines, I grabbed his sorry excuse for a morning beverage. I paused just outside his office door, took a deep breath, then entered the devil’s lair.

“You’re late,” he barked at me the instant my foot crossed the threshold.

“I apologize, Mr. Price.” I met his hardened gaze. All my other friends could saunter into work five, ten, maybe even twenty minutes late. When they did arrive, it wasn’t expected they get straight to work. They were able to ease into the day, talk about their weekends, which bars they went to, what movies they saw. But not me.

I’d considered quitting at least once a week, but reminded myself that I had a rare opportunity to get my foot in the door of an industry that typically shut people out. This was my chance to have a say in who could be the next Stephen King, Nora Roberts, or J.K. Rowling. I just needed to put in my time and learn the industry. Then I could start my own firm and, hopefully, family.

“What’s the excuse this time, Miss Rollins?” He ripped the coffee out of my hand.

“No excuse, sir. I should have planned better and left my apartment earlier,” I responded, all too familiar with what he liked to hear. It would have been useless to tell him the real reason — that the barista at Starbucks messed up my order twice. He would simply say I should have prepared for that to happen.

“And where is it you live exactly?” He came around from behind his desk and sat on the corner, his expression and voice softening. I glanced behind me, wondering if we weren’t alone.

With his booming voice, broad shoulders, tall height, and impeccable good looks, Mr. Jackson Price had a commanding and intimidating presence. In the half-year since I began working as his assistant, a position that had been like a revolving door before I came around, he’d never exhibited anything but his egomaniacal side. Not only did he get off on being in charge, I had a sneaking suspicion he took pleasure in everyone else knowing that fact, as well.

“Miss Rollins?” He raised his eyebrows at me when I didn’t immediately answer, caught slightly off guard by his change in demeanor.

“Umm… Queens, sir.”

“Do you have a roommate?” He sauntered away from his desk, roaming his office. He shut the door, closing the blinds. I remained firmly planted in place, his interest in me unsettling, to say the least.

“I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment in Queens on this salary without one,” I quipped, then cringed, bracing for his response. Despite months of practice, I still had trouble controlling my innate sarcastic nature around him at times.

His presence loomed behind me, towering over my five-foot, three-inch frame. A shiver rolled down my spine, my skin prickling with goosebumps. His coffee-laden breath heated my neck, my entire being on high alert. My reaction to him took me by surprise, confusing me. It certainly wasn’t the first time we had been alone together. But today, my body buzzed with anticipation and hunger.

Perhaps it was because I’d spent my weekend reading a trashy insta-love romance where the main characters probably spent more time naked than they did clothed. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t had an orgasm at the hand of another person in what seemed like an eternity. Perhaps it was because I missed the touch of a man, my boyfriend of nearly four years having recently broken up with me because I was always working. Regardless of the reason, I found myself inexplicably turned on by this complete asshole.

I continued staring at Mr. Price’s immaculate desk. Fantasies of his rippling body bending me over it as he had his way with me seeped into my subconscious. I imagined he would be as demanding and assertive as he was in his professional life. He would take what he wanted and teach me things I never thought possible.

“Pity.” His deep, sensual voice broke through my perverse thoughts. I tried to shove them deep down and forget they ever crossed my mind. This man was my boss.

His hand swept aside my blonde hair, exposing the back of my neck. I swallowed hard, a delicious tremor overtaking me as his breath drew closer and closer to my skin. When his heated lips landed with delicate ease on my flesh, fireworks erupted in my core. It was confusing, wrong, and desperately wanted all at the same time.

My desire for him grew with each flick of his tongue on my milky skin. A voice in my head whispered this was a bad idea. I knew it was, but damn, it felt good, as if he had an Avery Rollins instruction manual and knew precisely what to do to drive me insane with lust.

His strong hand skimmed the front of my blouse. The sensation of the silky material against my bare flesh heightened my awareness. He clutched my hips, forcing me against his hard stomach. His cock pushed against my back, the reality of the situation snapping me out of my erotic daydream.

I spun around, meeting his blue eyes, my mouth agape. “Wha—”

“Don’t tell me you haven’t fantasized about this,” he said coolly. He ran his fingers through my hair, tugging, forcing my head back. “I have been since the day I hired you. You had everything I was looking for in an assistant. Beautiful. Smart. Sarcastic. But most of all, subservient.”

“I’m not—”

“You are, Avery. You may think you’re a strong woman, and I’d be inclined to agree, but you have a submissive side to you. A side I’m interested in exploring deeper.”

Did he have a point? Did I have a submissive side? I didn’t know, but the image of this man tying me up, blindfolding me, leaving me completely at his mercy didn’t turn me cold. In fact, it excited me.

He ran his tongue from my ear to my collarbone, leaving a trail of fire across my flesh. I whimpered, my eyes nearly rolling into the back of my head. The forbidden nature of what we were doing made my hunger for him grow with each nip of his teeth on my skin.

His hands found their way back to my hips. With incredible ease, he picked me up and pinned me against the wall. Hiking up my skirt, he forced my legs around his waist. I closed my eyes, an unexpected moan leaving my throat when I felt what could only be his enormous erection pushing against me. A slave to my libido, I no longer cared that this man was my boss. That this was wrong on every level. That this could jeopardize everything I had worked hard for since my freshman year at NYU. All I knew was we were both wearing far too much clothing than necessary.

Greedily, I clutched his face in my hands and forced his lips to mine, trying to prove I wasn’t the submissive little girl he thought me to be. A sexy rumble fell from his chest, the kiss growing deeper. His tongue swept against mine with alarming expertise. Hands were everywhere — pinching, pulling, tugging. His teeth nipped my lips, sending a jolt straight to my core.

“Avery,” he groaned, pulling away, his breath dancing on my mouth. It smelled like a combination of peppermint, coffee…and raw sewage.


Sewage?

I snapped out of the trance I was in, staring at the laptop screen in front of me, a perplexed look on my face. An abhorrent stench wafted to my nostrils.

“Oh, Pee Wee! What the hell did you eat?” I shot my gaze to the slightly overweight labrador retriever curled up beside me on my large sectional, his snores loud enough to rattle even the deepest sleeper. He ignored me, his large paws moving as if he were chasing something in his sleep. I covered my nose with my shirt long enough for the offending stench to dissipate, then returned my eyes to my laptop, trying to get back into the groove.

I stared at the words I’d just written over the course of the past few hours, trying to figure out where to take the scene, but I no longer felt it. It was all the same. Girl meets boy. Girl has no interest in boy. Boy is sexy, perhaps a bit of a player. Girl lands on boy’s dick and miraculously falls in love with boy. Boy says he doesn’t do romance, but something about girl, perhaps her gold-plated vagina, makes him change his player ways. Then they live happily ever after and fuck like bunnies well into their eighties.

I wasn’t ungrateful. I’d made a career using this formula, with a few variations to spice things up. My readers loved steam and angst, coupled with a hot alpha male, but this felt like every other book. I didn’t know how many new words I could come up with for penis…dick, cock, shaft, love stick, man meat, beef thermometer, anaconda, bologna pony, meat popsicle, Mr. Winky. I’d been known to be very creative, but there were only so many words in the English language to describe these yogurt slingers that were the cause of the most pleasurable orgasms my heroines had ever experienced.

It was pure fantasy on every level. Based on my experience, the feat of multiple orgasms was nothing more than an urban legend, a tale men told women so they’d keep their legs spread a little longer. It was no more real than the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, yet all the pocket rockets I described in my books were able to deliver not just one or two orgasms a night, but sometimes bordering on double digits. They were the Olympic gold medalists of pork swords. When did it become commonplace to orgasm that much? Who would want to have that much sex? I didn’t care if you possessed the tallywacker of tallywackers. No sane woman would want her legs spread that much, unless she was getting paid.

Frustrated, I closed my laptop and glanced at the clock in my darkened living room to see it was just before six in the morning. Grabbing an oversized wool sweater draped on the back of the couch, I pulled it over my head. I smoothed my wavy blonde hair into a messy bun, then snagged a canister of M&M’s off the coffee table, heading toward a pair of French doors. Opening them, I emerged onto my balcony overlooking a narrow public alley in Boston’s North End, the famous Italian section of town where people from across the world came to sample some of the best cuisine there was.

I climbed on top of a small wooden table and sat facing the window just a few yards away. The moon was still out, stars twinkling in the cloudless April sky. It was cold enough to see my breath in front of me.

I loved this time of day when the city was mostly still asleep, apart from delivery trucks beginning their morning routes. The bars had closed, drunk college students had passed out somewhere, and I could just sit and enjoy the peacefulness surrounding me before our small slice of heaven was infiltrated with tourists who thought Olive Garden served authentic cuisine.

Growing up in a large Italian family, I was taught two things at a very young age. One, always say your prayers before you go to sleep. That one pretty much went by the wayside when I was kicked out of Catholic school at the age of six. Two, never date a man who considered sauce from a jar authentic. I’d been able to follow that one pretty closely. I didn’t date. Period.

Grabbing a candy-covered chocolate, I chucked it at the window across the alley, a smile building on my face as I continued my relentless badgering of the glass pane. Finally, a light clicked on from what I knew to be the bedside table. Seconds later, the shades were drawn and the window opened. A mass of dark hair stuck out.

“Morning, Mols,” my brother said groggily, running his hand over his face, which he probably hadn’t shaved in three or four days. He was two years older and had always been ruggedly handsome. Most of my friends in high school were probably only my friends because they wanted an invite to my house so they could have unfettered access to my brother. Teenage girls should be institutionalized. “Thanks to you, I’ll never have to invest in an alarm clock.”

“Whatever, Drew. Like those girls of yours wouldn’t wake you up soon anyway,” I shot back in the peaceful early spring air.

“You’re probably right about that.” He rolled his eyes, feigning annoyance, but I knew nothing could be further from the truth. Alyssa and Charlotte were his life. Being a single father to two precocious girls, aged six and four, was challenging, to say the least, but the love my brother had for those kids was unlike any I’d ever seen. “Another all-nighter?”

I sighed, reminded of the reason I wanted to talk to him. My brother was one of the few people who actually knew about my alter-ego, Vivienne Foxx, author of sinfully sexy romance. Everyone knew I was a writer, but they were under the impression all I wrote were situational humor pieces for a fashion magazine. While that was true, I could pull that shit out of my ass five minutes before it went to press.

“Yeah.” I tugged my sweater closer as a breeze blew through the alley, knocking long-forgotten beer bottles and coffee cups around the street two stories below us. I never understood why people littered.

“What is it this time? Bad boy billionaire? Tattooed biker? Tormented rock star?”

“Sexy boss.”

“That’s a new one,” he mused, a smirk on his lips.

“Isn’t variety supposed to be the spice of life?” I raised my brows.

“Touché. So what seems to be the problem?”

I grabbed a handful of M&M’s and shoved them into my mouth, not caring that it was barely six in the morning. In my opinion, the time to eat M&M’s was all the time. “What isn’t the problem? This book feels like everything else I’ve ever written.” I shook my head. “I have this girl jumping on her boss’ dick in less than twenty pages. I’m missing something, but I don’t know what.”

“Romance,” Drew answered quickly.

I rolled my eyes. “Romance is overrated.”

“Says the romance writer.”

Giving him an irritated look, I pinched my lips together, pulling my sweater tighter around my slight body.

“I love you, Molly,” he continued when I didn’t respond, “but your lack of love life has been apparent in your books from day one.”

“I have a love life!” I argued.

“Boinking meatheads when it suits you doesn’t qualify as a love life.”

“Did you seriously just say boink?” I stifled a laugh.

“You’re deflecting.”

“I can have a love life without picking out china and drapes. And one of those meatheads happened to be one of your teammates. I was writing a hockey book, so a professional hockey player was the perfect muse for me.”

“And I made sure to give him a black eye when I found out.” He narrowed his gaze at me.

It wasn’t that I slept around, although I was certain my brother thought so. I just preferred to keep my so-called relationships on the light and casual side. It was better for all involved.

“I’m in no rush to settle down. I’m only twenty-nine-plus-one—”

“Thirty,” he interrupted, just like he always did. I shot daggers at him for uttering that blasphemous “t” word.

“I’m not ready to give up everything I’ve worked hard for and achieved for a man who thinks I should just devote all my time to taking care of a dozen kids,” I explained. Throughout my twenties, I’d lost touch with too many friends to count because they wanted to settle down and have a family, forsaking all other relationships for one person and eventually a pack of screaming, puking, crying rugrats. I refused to be someone who would sacrifice everything for a guy and the promise of happily ever after.

“The right person would never ask you to give up your dreams just so he could live out his. The right person would encourage you to pursue those dreams, regardless of the cost.” A forlorn expression crossed his face. I could tell he was still hurt after what he had been through with his ex-bitch, as I lovingly referred to her. Actually, bitch was probably a compliment for the woman Carla was. “And I’m pretty sure you’re not going to meet him at a bar on Boylston.”

“Those places are a brilliant source of material,” I countered. “Do you know how many story ideas I’ve gotten just by eavesdropping on conversations? Hell, the book I’m working on now came to me after listening to some drunk chick tell all her coworkers she was banging their boss.”

He shook his head, laughing. “Whatever you say, Molly Mae, but I’ve seen you work on books based on something you weren’t familiar with. You do your research. You don’t stop until you thoroughly understand something. Maybe you need to do the same here.”

“Here?” I scrunched my eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“You write romance. Maybe you finally need to…” He paused, shrugging, “ya know, research that.”

“Like interview people about their love life? Sounds a little like When Harry Met Sally, if you ask me.”

Confusion wrinkled his forehead.

“You’ve never seen it?” I asked, almost in horror. 

“I’m a guy. Unless there are boobs, bullets, or bombs…or we know we’re getting laid…we’re not all that interested.”

“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes. “I’m pretty sure I saw some tears falling down those manly cheeks of yours when we watched The Lion King with the girls last month. You can act all tough if you want, but you’re a complete softie inside.”

“Having kids does that,” he reminded me, as he so often did. As if I didn’t hear it enough from my aunts, who warned me my ovaries were going to shrivel up if I didn’t have a baby soon.

I opened my mouth to respond when the faint aroma of coffee met my senses. It must have hit Drew, as well, because his shoulders slumped slightly. “Smells like Aunt Gigi’s down there.”

He groaned, running a hand over his stubble. “I suppose I should make an appearance. She acts like she owns the place instead of the other way around.”

“Do you blame her? She’s worked there since she was sixteen.”

Aunt Gigi, short for Giorgina, was our father’s younger sister. Our great-grandfather, Alfonso Brincoli — changed to Brinks when he landed on Ellis Island — started Modern Grounds in the early twentieth century. Back then, it was just a little cart he pushed to the waterfront where he sold coffee and cookies to the fishermen. It was now one of the few non-chain coffee shops left in the city and was located in the North End of Boston, the only place in town where Mom-and-Pop restaurants and coffee shops still flourished. The café had been passed down through the generations until our father took over several decades ago. It almost went belly-up a few years ago, but Drew stepped in and bought the place, keeping the family business afloat. More importantly, keeping Starbucks out of the North End.

My great-grandfather had bought the buildings we lived in when he moved his business to its current location. Over the years, the two apartments were typically rented out to employees of the coffee shop or their friends. When Carla left Drew, he moved into the apartment above the café, and I moved into the building across the alley so I’d be around to help him with the girls. Plus, I loved being just steps away from some of the best coffee in Boston.

“Daddy!” a small voice called behind Drew. A mess of dark curls appeared beside him, peeking her head out the window, a wide smile on her face. “Good morning, Auntie Molly!”

“‘Morning, Alyssa,” I replied with a grin reserved only for my nieces.

“Want to come over and make waffles?”

“I have to work today, princess,” I responded. “And I’m pretty sure you and your sister have school. Maybe I’ll come over tonight and we can make some pizza.”

“Pizza!” she exclaimed with enthusiasm. “And then watch a movie, too?”

“Of course, silly!”

I heard a shuffling inside my condo and looked over my shoulder to see a tall physique come into view. My eyes widening at his nakedness, I shot off the table, nearly spilling my M&M’s. “Gotta go! See you later, Drew. Love ya, Lis!”

I threw open the French doors and quickly ran inside.

“Hey, babe,” Kevin said, scratching himself as I hurriedly closed the blinds so as not to scar my niece for life. Hell, I was pretty sure the size of his junk had already scarred me for life. “What are you doing up so early? I didn’t even hear you get up.”

“I’ve been awake for a while.” I peeled my sweater off and slung it onto a chair as I walked through the cozy living area and into the kitchen. I checked the kettle, made sure there was enough water, then ignited the gas burner.

“Doing what?” He leaned his elbow on the quartz countertop. It was a little disconcerting how comfortable he looked roaming my apartment naked, his schlong blowing in the wind, so to speak.

“Not much,” I lied, pouring beans into the grinder and hitting the power button. I wasn’t the type of girl to spill her innermost secrets to the guy she was, as my brother put it, boinking. The details of my life were completely unrelated to Kevin’s ability to perform in the sack. He was a nice distraction and open to trying new things, which was extremely beneficial in my line of work, especially when working on the steamier parts of my books. Other than that, I didn’t feel much for him.

“You get up early a lot,” he practically shouted over the sound of the coffee beans being pulverized.

“Just working on stuff for the magazine.” Turning off the grinder, I avoided eye contact, measuring the coffee grounds into the French press.

He crossed his arms in front of his chest, his large biceps bulging. I hid my displeasure. Kevin was every woman’s fantasy. Toned muscles. Eight-pack abs. A few tasteful tattoos dotting his arms and shoulders. He just wasn’t my fantasy man. I liked my men a little squishy with some imperfections. However, beer bellies and nose hair didn’t sell books. People read to escape, not be reminded of their ordinary, mundane lives.

For the past several months, Kevin had been my unknowing muse for a handful of book boyfriends. It was a great arrangement, even if he remained unaware of the details. I used him as a source of inspiration to write my sizzling, ovary-combusting romances. In return, he had a girl who wouldn’t pester him to meet her family and hang out with her friends. Who wouldn’t stand in front of the mirror for hours asking him repeatedly if she looked fat. Who didn’t need to be wined and dined so he could get laid.

“Mols?” Kevin’s voice made me tear my eyes away from his chest. Meeting his gaze, a lascivious smile crossed his mouth, assuming he caught me ogling. “Did you hear me?”

“What was that?”

“I said…” He stepped toward me, resting his hands on my waist. His thumb strummed my hipbone.

A shiver rippled through my body. I mentally ran through some notes I had made about a few questionable positions. Tugging at my lower lip, I tried to remember which one I wanted to check next to make sure I got the blocking right.

“You seem to work a lot, but your columns don’t appear in the magazine all that often.”

His lips whispered against my neck, the touch as subtle as a light breeze. I closed my eyes, arching toward him. I was thinking maybe against the wall this time. He was tall and muscular, a stark contrast to my short and slender frame. He could easily support me with just his upper body strength, barely breaking a sweat.

“Why is that?”

“I have no control over what they publish or don’t,” I replied in a breathy voice, repeating the same story I told practically everyone.

“What’s this new column about?” he murmured, his hands hooking into the waist of my Minnie Mouse pajama bottoms and tugging them down.

“Office romances.” It wasn’t a complete lie.

“What about them?” His tongue circled that sensitive spot in the crook of my neck, a tingle warming my insides.

“It wouldn’t interest you.” Hoping to distract him, I grabbed his cheeks, pulling his lips toward me. “Kiss me, Kevin.”

I had been up half the night writing, completely uninspired. Maybe this was what I needed to power through this book. Maybe I needed to feel the illusion of love and all its false promises.

My lips a breath from his, he pushed away, his posture straightening. “Why do you do that?”

“What?” I gaped at him, surprised by his sudden serious demeanor.

He ran his hand through his light brown hair. “Whenever I try to find out more about you as a person, you push me away.”

“I didn’t push you away,” I argued. “Hell, I was ready for you to fuck me against the wall, for crying out loud! You’re the one who pushed me away.”

“I’m not talking physically.” His muscular stature shrank, making him appear vulnerable. “Listen…” A sigh fell from his lips. “I like you, Molly. You’re a beautiful woman who knows exactly what she wants. How is this relationship going to work if I don’t even know who you are as a person? Your dreams and fears?”

“Relationship?” I practically choked on my own saliva, my heart rate picking up at his use of the dreaded “r” word.

In the few months we’d been casually seeing each other, which pretty much consisted of having drinks before heading back to my place, we never got personal. I didn’t know much about him, and vice versa. I liked it that way. He provided me with exactly what I needed. There had never been any discussion about what we expected from each other because I was under the impression there were no expectations.

“What are you talking about?” The tea kettle began singing, but I ignored it.

“Us.” He gestured between our bodies.

“Us?” I felt like I was in some sort of parallel universe.

“What did you think I was talking about?”

“I don’t know, but I certainly didn’t think it was that. Kevin, you’re a fun guy. I like hanging out, but relationship?”

He stepped back, his formerly massive erection no longer standing at attention. Regardless, it was still impressive.

“And can you please cover yourself?” I snorted out a laugh. “I can’t take you seriously with your junk flopping around.”

His eyes narrowed, hurt evident in his expression. “You’re a piece of work,” he spat in a tone that emphasized it was not a compliment. He retreated from the kitchen and stormed down the hall into my bedroom. 

Shrugging, I pulled my pajama pants back up, then turned toward the stove. I shut off the gas, removing the kettle from the heat. Pouring the water into the French press, I allowed the coffee grounds to steep, shaking off the guilt that tried to force its way into my conscience. Catholic guilt. It wasn’t my fault Kevin wanted to change the rules after several months.

“I’m out of here,” he called out. I turned around to see him walking toward the front door.

“Okay.” I hesitated, unsure of the protocol in situations like these. I never got close enough to someone to know how to act after a disagreement. Or argument. I wasn’t quite sure which this was. “Want to come over later?”

His hand on the doorknob, he stopped. His shoulders rose and fell, then he faced me. “No, Molly. I’m not going to come over later. I’m done putting time and effort into something you won’t.”

“Kevin…” I approached him. “I just… I didn’t think this was a serious thing.”

“Well, it is…or was. For me anyway. But it’s fine. I get it. I thought you were different, but you’re just like the rest of the girls in this town. All you see are the muscles and nothing else.” He whirled around and threw open the door, storming out of my apartment.

I stood frozen in place, unsure of what to do. Should I run after him and apologize? Why? For being me? Sure, I enjoyed his company, and he was pretty good in the sack, but that was as far as it went.

Like I heard my father say all those years ago when my mother left him because she wanted more out of life than kids, like I was reminded when Drew’s ex-bitch, Carla, left him because he was no longer the hockey celebrity he once was, ‘real love isn’t real life’. There was no such thing as happily ever after. Humans existed only to inflict heartache on others.

Nothing would ever convince me otherwise.

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