1

RAELYN

 

“Shots. We need shots.”

“Yes!”

My gaze flitted between my two best friends. “And why exactly do we need shots?”

“How else are you going to work up the nerve to pick up a guy tonight?” Lacy flicked her blonde hair over her shoulder and gave me a look that said ‘well, duh.’ Next to her, Briana nodded furiously, clearly agreeing.

I looked down at my t-shirt and jeans. Not only was I not in the mood to bat my eyelashes at a man, I wasn’t dressed for it either. And to be completely honest, the situation with my ex-boyfriend had put me off men for a while.

A long, long while.

Sensing exactly where my mind had gone, Lacy reached over and squeezed my hand.  “Come on, Rae, it’s been months.”

Nine months to be exact. But who was counting? A half-smile that I knew looked as forced as it felt tugged at my lips. “I know, it’s just—”

Before the words had time to form, Briana cut in, “No, Rae!” She waved her index finger from side to side. “No more excuses. We know this thing with Rob messed you up, but it’s time to take control of your life.”

Chewing on the inside of my cheek to keep my smile from spreading, I tried to keep my face straight when I asked, “And I need a man to do that?”

My friend’s brows drew together, and she looked a bit annoyed. “No, silly. You need a man to give you a few toe-curling orgasms until you say: Rob who?”

“Yes! What she said,” Lacy exclaimed.

“Of course,” I nodded slowly, “and this obsession you guys have with my sex life is totally normal, right?”

It all started three months ago when the two of them decided—without even talking to me about it—that I needed to get laid. They’ve made it their sole mission in life to set me up on as many blind dates as they possibly could.

Not that I actually went on any.

I caught on to their shenanigans pretty early on, and would go along with whatever excuse they cooked up to get me to the bar or restaurant only to leave almost immediately.

Still, they didn’t stop.

 “Rae,” Briana’s voice drew my attention. “We are worried about you.” She leaned forward; her face deadly serious. “You know,” she said with her lips pressed together as if she was about to divulge some secret. “Use it or lose it.”

Laughter bubbled from the pit of my stomach and didn’t stop coming until tears slid down my cheeks, and my ribs ached. “Are you serious right now?” I managed while I tried to catch my breath.

“She has a point,” Lacy added, her face solemn. “What if you forget how to do it.”

“Oh my goodness.” I shook my head in disbelief. “How much have the two of you had to drink?” My narrowed gaze flicked from one to the other. “I’m positive that I will not forget how to have sex.”

Briana’s slender shoulder rose and fell in a small shrug. “Only one way to find out.” The competitive side of me stood up and took notice of the hint of challenge in her voice. “I’ll bet you fifty bucks that you can’t pick up a guy and leave with him.”

“Oooooh, I want in on this.” Lacy smacked her palm against the surface of the table.

“You have lost your damn minds.”

Sitting up a bit straighter, Brie smiled sweetly before she said, “Okay, what about this: if you manage to leave with a guy tonight, we’ll stop setting you up.”

The smug look on both their faces had me saying, “You’re on,” before my brain had time to comprehend this was probably a bad idea.

“Let’s make this interesting.” Lacy tapped a perfectly manicured finger against her chin. “Brie and I choose the guy.” When I tilted my head and eyed her suspiciously, she added, “Oh come on, you know we actually want you to get laid. Besides, our douche-meter is a little more accurate than yours.”

Ouch, that stung. She wasn’t wrong, though. Brie and Lacy had hated Rob from the get-go. They’d said he’d been too smooth, but I’d been too smitten to listen.

“That guy!” Briana jumped to her feet and not-so-subtly pointed toward someone.

Being as short as I was, I had no hope of spotting whoever she was pointing at from my perch. Pushing out of my seat, I followed her gaze and index finger and almost choked. “Oh hell, no! Are you freaking crazy?” I shook my head vehemently. Somewhere out there, there was a woman who thought the pot-bellied, bald-headed look was sexy as all hell. That woman wasn’t me though.

Brie pressed her hands to her belly and let out a squeal of laughter. The sheer force of it doubling her over on the spot. Narrowing my eyes, I shot daggers at the top of her head until she straightened and I could shoot them at her face.

 “What?” she asked, her voice all sweet and dripping with innocence. My gaze narrowed even further. “At least you won’t have to worry about him spending more time in the bathroom than you.”

Another dig at Rob brought with it another bout of laughter. And this time I couldn’t help but join in. Rob Sinclair took the whole millennium man thing to an entirely different level. He had more moisturizers and face scrubs for his morning routine than Lacy, Brie, and me combined.

And don’t even get me started on the mini straightener he had with him almost all the time.

“Him!”

Wiping the happy tears from my eyes, I turned to face Lacy who was transfixed on someone. She wrapped her arm around my shoulders and urged me to face the bar. Brows pulled together in confusion, I asked, “What am I looking for?”

“Dark jeans, black shirt.”

I scanned the patrons until I found one matching her very vague description. All I saw was a guy hunched over his beer. Well, to be specific, I saw a dark head bent over and broad, really broad, shoulders that tapered down to a narrow waist.

My focus shifted back to Lacey. “For all I know he might look like that guy,” my chin jerked in Mr. Pot-belly’s direction, “but with more hair.”

Lacey shook her head. “Trust me, he’s freaking hot. I thought he was checking me out but his eyes have been on you, Rae. I’m pretty sure you’ll only have to smile prettily, and he’ll be eating out of your hand.”

My gaze skittered back to the bar. Did I want that? To walk up to a stranger and proposition them for a night of hot sex? Not that I had anything against women who did exactly that. I actually thought they were pretty badass.

I was not badass. In fact, considering I’d never picked up a guy before, I’d say I was pretty chicken-shit.

Nibbling on my lip, I eyed Lacy and Brie. “Uhm—”

Both their heads started shaking at the same time, but it was Lacy who spoke. “No way! You’re not backing out!” She cupped my shoulders and stooped to look me in the eye. “You’re going to walk up to that hunk of a man, and you are going to flirt your ass off until he offers to take you for a ride.”

My eyebrow quirked. “Just like that, huh?”

“Yes.” She nodded.

Because I wasn’t expecting it, she scared the crap out of me when she started fiddling with my ponytail. Annoyed, I swatted her hand away. “The hell?” But she was too determined to see her mission to manhandle—or was that womanhandle?—me through. Abandoning my hair, she smoothed her hands over my shoulders and then lifted my boobs.

Yes, to my complete and utter horror and shame, my friend ‘fluffed’ the girls. I was ready to die while Brie looked like she was having a seizure. A laughter-induced seizure.

Why was I friends with them again?

Smacking Lacy’s hand away, I pinned her with a stare. “Stoppit! I’m going, okay?”

Lacy grinned and folded her arms in front of her. Brie made weird snort noises that had me wondering if we might need an ambulance.

“I thought you said you were going?” Lacy challenged me.

Scrunching up my nose, I tried my best to look intimidating. “I hate you.”

Lacy snorted. “Oh please, bish, you love us.” She waggled her brows. “And tomorrow morning you’ll love us even more.”

“I highly doubt that,” I muttered under my breath as I turned and headed toward the bar.

 
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