When Maddy graduated from Columbia University, she was ready to change the world. She’d get a job at Newsline, meet a nice guy, and live happily ever after with a real designer handbag on her arm. Five years later, she’s stuck producing puff pieces for News 9 San Diego–where “if it bleeds, it leads.” She’s still single, her family’s falling apart, and so is her knock-off Kate Spade.
Then Jamie Hayes walks through her newsroom door. The former filmmaker is everything Maddy has ever dreamed of. Creative, smart, sweet—and with eyes that could make a girl melt. The perfect guy…but perfectly unavailable. And the more Maddy tries to stay away—the further she starts to fall.
Now a secret scoop from her favorite knock-off purse guy has Maddy chasing a lead that could make her career. Or destroy it forever. How far is she willing to go to broadcast the truth? And will this breaking news lead to a happily ever after…or a broken heart?
Stay tuned…it’s the story of a lifetime.
Jamie grunted contentedly and snuggled in a bit closer. Was he conscious? Could he possibly know whom he was holding in his arms? Maybe he had been completely aware of his actions this whole time. Had he been as drunk as I? I couldn’t remember. Was he a good guy who made a mistake or a jerk who liked to cheat on his fiancée by taking stupid, drunk girls home and screwing them?
I suddenly felt disgustingly dirty. Why had I been so easy? Slut girl: give her a drink and watch her spread her legs. Except, that wasn’t me at all. Hell, I could count the guys I’d slept with on one hand and still have a thumb left over. What in the world had possessed me to drunkenly hook up with a guy I barely knew who was getting married in a few months?
I thought of Jen, sound asleep in LA, trusting that her fiancé was alone in his bed too and not curled up, buck naked, in another woman’s arms. She trusted him, and I’d helped him betray that trust. My stomach rolled, and not just from the hangover. I needed to get up. Now.
I squirmed out from under Jamie and vacated the bed. Scanning the room, I found a pair of boxer shorts and an old t-shirt strewn on the floor. After donning the ensemble, I walked to the bathroom.
Staring in the mirror wasn’t pretty. I looked like hell on toast. Black circles under my puffy eyes. Makeup smeared. Bleh.
I brushed my teeth and washed my face and then hit the kitchen to make eggs. What the hell, right? Even the “other woman” needed to eat a balanced Atkins breakfast, and maybe it would get my mind off things at the very least. I tried to swallow down the guilt, but it determinedly rose like bile to my throat. The smell of the scrambled eggs only served to nauseate me further.
“Maddy?” a sleepy voice behind me said a few minutes later. I whirled around. Jamie stood in the doorway, deliciously rumpled. He’d donned his blue jeans but no shirt. I scolded my eyes for straying a second too long on his perfectly sculpted chest. After all, I’d already done more than my share of sampling the forbidden goods already. Time to get my mind out of the gutter and behave like a responsible human being.
I realized my heart was pounding in my chest as I waited for what he’d say next. Then I remembered my manners.
“Do you want some eggs?”
“Maddy, I’ve got to ask you . . .” He raked a hand through his mussed hair in a way that made me pretty sure his question wasn’t whether the eggs came from cage-free chickens.
“Yes?” Cool, calm, collected. Whatever he wanted to ask me, I’d be okay with it.
“I had a lot to drink last night and I wasn’t sure . . . Well I woke up and . . .” He looked around the apartment. “Are we at your place?”
“Yeah, ” I said quietly. He didn’t even remember agreeing to come here. Guess that answered my question about his level of sobriety.
“Oh. Right. And I woke up in . . .” He pointed vaguely toward the bedroom. “. . . and I didn’t know . . .”
“You want to know if we had sex.” I spelled it out, shocked at how clear and cold my voice sounded.
“Y-yeah.” His face reddened at my bluntness. He hadn’t been so shy last night.
“I don’t know, Jamie. I don’t remember either. But I woke up in my bed naked. And you were naked next to me. So I’d say chances are pretty darn good.” I realized I sounded angry. Hurt. Don’t let him see that you care.
Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession –journalism — instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults. When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure–videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and dog Mesquite.