The first three chapters of a slightly naughty book

posted in: Book Excerpts, New release | 2

So I’m writing this book.  Maybe you’ve already seen a couple mentions.  Maybe not.  It’s called My Boyfriend’s Dad.

A little naughty?  Maybe…

I’m going to share a few chapters with you but, first, the blurb:

WHAT I DESIRE IS SOMETHING I SHOULDN’T WANT…

Everything about my life is crap—except for my relationship with my boyfriend Brendan. He’s sweet and thoughtful but maybe too much so…because he won’t take what I’m freely giving him: my body.

On my eighteenth birthday, Brendan’s dad Logan pulls me into an embrace that seems to last longer than it should, setting my mind racing with desire and thoughts of forbidden deeds, things I shouldn’t crave. The last man I should want is my boyfriend’s dad—and yet I can’t get him out of my mind. Of all the guys in the world, Logan is the one male off limits to me.

Except this older man is in my every lustful thought, driving me to distraction.

I think I could get over this crush—except I discover his feelings for me are not so innocent, leaving me torn between loyalty and desire…

So are you ready for your sneak peek?  Awesome.  Just a reminder…this could change before publication!

Chapter One

SOME PEOPLE IN my small town might wonder how I made it to my eighteenth birthday. But I did. I made it to adulthood…in spite of my mother.

Some people might also find it strange that she wasn’t around to help me celebrate—but I was used to her absence now more than not.

Don’t worry. I was celebrating, just not with her. Instead, my boyfriend Brendan invited me over to his house for a gourmet meal followed by cake and ice cream. While his dad slaved away in the kitchen, I was sitting on Brendan’s bed—next to the giant suitcase he was filling with clothes.

His room was typical—twin bed, night stand with lamp, oak dresser, desk with his computer, athletic trophies on a couple of shelves—but Brendan had to be one of the neatest guys I knew. I loved spending time in there. “I’m gonna miss you so much, Bren,” I said, shrugging my shoulders and looking up at him.

Brendan shook his head, causing his blond hair to fall in his eyes. It was strange. Brendan had always had super short hair but he’d been growing it out over the summer. The one time I told him it looked sexy, he rolled his eyes. “It’s just for two weeks, Bree. You won’t even know I’m gone.”

“That’s what you think,” I said, standing. As Brendan folded another t-shirt and placed it neatly into the suitcase, I wound my arms around his neck, looking up at him and forcing him to return my gaze. “You’ll have lots to do. The only thing that’ll keep me occupied is my babysitting jobs.”

“Shoulda taken that job at Bob’s.”

Bob’s meant Bob’s Burger Barn. Logically, I knew Brendan was right, but the last thing I’d wanted to do was work full-time over the summer for a local fast food restaurant, especially one whose décor resembled the inside of a farm building. Even though I could drive, I didn’t have a car, so I also didn’t care for the idea of sweating in a kitchen all day and then walking home in the harsh afternoon heat of summer—or, worse yet, in the evening when it was cooler but I was more vulnerable. Nope. Babysitting was better because the families gave me rides both to and from my home, and the pay wasn’t bad.

Yeah, I should have been saving for my future—and working a full-time job would have helped—but Brendan was my future. I saw myself with him forever, including the white picket fence, two kids, and a dog. And if we had each other, I wouldn’t need to worry about amassing a work history full of burger joints and scraping pennies from those dumb jobs.

I kissed Brendan hard on the lips and he responded, placing his hands on my hips and sliding his tongue into my mouth. It had taken us the entire two years we’d been together, but he was officially a great kisser. Still, I wanted more.

I started snaking my hands down the front of his shirt and then, when I reached the bottom, I slid them up underneath. I loved feeling his musculature, because he was into weight training. Physically, he blew away all the other boys in our class. My sweet boyfriend cared more about his appearance than most of the guys I knew, and that included his physique. Lucky me.

My fingers relished the sensation of touching his tight, hard abs, and I started feeling tingly all over. For a while now, I’d been dying to have Brendan touch me the same way. At first, I’d thought it was because he was trying to be a gentleman.

As my fingers neared his pecs, he said, “Bree—” putting an end to our kiss.

I got ready to protest like I had many times before when we heard his dad at the bottom of the stairs. “Kids, dinner’s ready!”

Brendan raised an eyebrow at me, his brown eyes telling me in no uncertain terms that we were done with out little make out session. I sighed as he took my hand to lead me down to the dining room. Clever move, because then I couldn’t even smack his butt. Maybe he’d sensed my intentions.

I tried to be happy as we walked down the stairs. After all, preparing a meal for my birthday was supposed to make me feel loved and wanted, but, I supposed, I was suffering from sexual tension—and there was no relief in sight.

As we made our way into the dining room, I said, “Mr. Brown, dinner smells amazing!”

He turned, smiling. I’d never met Brendan’s mom, but I imagined my boyfriend had inherited most of his obvious traits from her—other than his height, because he was almost as tall as his dad. Otherwise, they looked a lot different. Mr. Brown had dark brown hair and vibrant blue eyes. Oh, he seemed to be in great shape, too, but putting these two men together, I wouldn’t have guessed that they were father and son. Brendan had the cutest dimples. “Now that you’re eighteen, Briana, you’ll have to call me Logan.”

Logan. I’d known that was his dad’s name, but it felt strange to my tongue. Every adult in my life, other than my mom, was known as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. Something. I wasn’t quite ready to call him by his first name because it felt unusual. For now, though, I could humor him. “Okay, Logan.” Yep. Weird.

His smile had always felt so warm and genuine, and the first time Brendan had brought me home to meet his dad, I’d felt welcome there—sometimes more than I did my own home. I smiled back and watched as he placed large pieces of chicken on a platter from a baking dish.

I loved eating at their house. It was better than the usual fare at my home or at the school cafeteria. Mr. Brown—er, Logan—walked the platter over to the table in the dining room area which was separated from the kitchen by an imaginary line between the two rooms. Their home felt elegant to me—spacious, full of windows, with fine furnishings and nice things. I appreciated the break from my cramped, dark house.

“I wanted to make something special, Briana. Have you ever had Chicken Kiev?”

“No. It looks good.”

“It’s awesome,” Brendan said. “How come you never make stuff like that for me, dad?”

His dad had an amused look on his face as he shook his head. “What did I make you for your birthday last year?”

Brendan thought about it for a few seconds. “Lasagna.”

“And why did I do that?”

The look on my boyfriend’s face said it all. “Because that’s what I asked for.”

“Briana didn’t ask for anything. We invited her over, so I tried to think of something she might like.”

As I looked over all the food on the table—the chicken, fluffy mashed potatoes with brown gravy, bright green beans, and a tossed salad—I felt spoiled, something I rarely had throughout my life. My mother had never made me a meal like this. There was one time when I was four or five when she made cookies for me to take to a school Christmas party, but that was it. “Thank you so much. Everything looks amazing.” I wasn’t kidding. I’d had dinner with them many times in the past but nothing as elaborate as this. I already knew Brendan’s dad was a great cook, and the smells wafting from the table made my stomach growl.

“Well, have a seat.” Logan filled up a plate and then set it in front of me before loading up another plate for his son. Soon, all three of us were enjoying the meal.

I wanted to try the chicken first. After cutting off a small piece, I popped it in my mouth and let the savory flavors immerse my taste buds in ecstasy. “Wow.” I didn’t say anything else, instead scooping up some mashed potatoes and gravy onto my fork.

“I thought you’d like it.”

“I love it.”

“Yeah, it’s really good, dad.”

As I enjoyed the flavor explosion in my mouth, Logan asked Brendan, “Are you all set to leave tomorrow?”

“I think so. I just have to pack my toothbrush and stuff like that tomorrow.”

“Feeling okay about your last year of football?”

“Yeah. I’m excited.”

“What about you, Briana? Are you ready for your last year of school?”

I was. I was ready to be a full-fledged adult, but I knew that it all started with graduation. If I left home now, just because I could, I would be at a disadvantage. Just one more year. I could make it. “Yes. I’m looking forward to my new classes.”

Brendan said, “Dad, you’re giving me cash for camp, right?”

“Yes. And you have your card?”

Father and son continued to talk while I enjoyed the food, and we all chatted throughout the meal. Afterwards, I helped with clean up, but we weren’t done yet. “I hope you have a little room for cake and ice cream,” Logan said.

“Chocolate. Your favorite.” Brendan beamed at me and wrapped an arm around my waist.

I grinned. “There’s always room for chocolate.”

Brendan’s father had gone all out. It was a round two-layer cake with chocolate frosting. While Brendan and I had been talking, he’d unwrapped two candles—a 1 and an 8—and placed them on top.

They—or, Brendan’s dad, rather—had really outdone this celebration. It made me feel special—and loved. “Oh, thank you!”

A warm smile covered Logan’s face. “I didn’t want to risk you not being able to blow out all your candles and two are easier than eighteen. I want your wish to come true.”

If only those blown-candle wishes would come true. I’d take the wishing part more seriously if they did. Instead, I knew it was just a silly tradition. Still, both of them were staring at me, waiting for me to indicate that I was ready. I raised my eyebrows while Logan struck a kitchen match. As the scent of sulfur flooded my nose, I thought about it. If wishes really did come true, what would I ask for?

Love. Security. Happiness. Feeling fulfilled.

With those basic thoughts in mind, I sucked in a long, deep breath, down to the bottom of my lungs, and then blew out those candles.

“You seemed so serious,” Brendan said. “I almost want to ask what you wished for.”

The picket fence. The two beautiful children. A husband who loved and adored me. Oh, and a terrier. But mum was the word.

We ate the ice cream and cake and, when we were done, I asked Brendan’s father, “Did you make the cake, too?”

“I did.”

I thought some of telling my boyfriend how lucky he was to have a parent who spoiled him so much, but Logan was spoiling me today. And I was having too much fun to go and ruin it by mentioning something like that.

Just as I thought things couldn’t get any better, Brendan slid a card across the table toward me. “Open it.”

I smiled. This felt serious. So I did. The pink envelope tore easily. Inside was a glittery card with sweet sentiments, but what meant the most was how Brendan had written at the bottom, Love you. Your Bren. And there was a gift card to my favorite clothing store downtown. It was a local shop and I always liked to browse, but I’d never been able to buy more there than a pair of earrings. Brendan knew that—and the gift card for one hundred dollars floored me.

“Brendan, you didn’t need to do that.”

“It’s from me and dad.”

“Thank you so much, but—”

“Don’t you dare say we shouldn’t have, Briana. You only turn eighteen once. Enjoy.”

After we finished eating cake and loaded the rest of the dishes in the dishwasher, I said to Brendan, “I should probably head home so you can finish packing.”

“I’ll walk you to the door.”

“Thank you so much for dinner and the cake, Mr. B—I mean, Logan.”

“You’re very welcome, Briana. It was my pleasure.” We exchanged a smile as Brendan walked me to the front of the house.

Once again, I gave him a long sweet kiss and, in the middle of it, I thought maybe I should have wished for Brendan to feel ready to have sex with me. Instead, I’d wasted my wish on a dream that would no doubt happen but was too far away to appreciate.

“I’m gonna walk you home, Bree. It’s dark out now.”

“I’ll be fine, Brendan.” I only lived two blocks away and, while I hated the idea of walking from downtown to home, walking through my neighborhood didn’t bother me in the least. After all, I’d been doing it my whole life.

“Nah. Let me just tell dad.” As he started to turn, though, Logan appeared behind him as if on cue.

“I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday again, Briana. We’re honored that you spent it with us.”

“I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it anywhere else.”

And then, the weirdest, most unexpected thing happened. Mr. Brown—Logan, that is—pulled me into an embrace, hugging me close. That in and of itself wasn’t so strange, but he seemed to hold me for a long time as his hands were smoothing my back.

When he finally let go, I glanced at Brendan. He didn’t give me or his dad any kind of odd look, so it must have just been in my imagination. When we said our final goodbyes, though, Logan gave me a quick wink, too.

I tried to tell myself it was all in my head…but something told me it wasn’t.

 

Chapter Two

“IT’S ALL GOOD. They just want to make sure we’re in tiptop shape for the season. If we eat, drink, and live football, we can’t help but be prepared. And we want to win State this year.”

“You will.”

“How’re things going there, Bree?”

Brendan had been at camp for just a day but I already missed him. “Nothing to report really. Haven’t seen mom since Friday. Oh, but Chelsea’s coming over in a little bit.” Chelsea was my best friend and had been since our freshman year. No one knew me like that girl. “When are you guys coming back?”

“A week before school starts.”

Before speaking again, I looked at myself in the mirror over my dresser, wondering what I’d have to do to make myself seem irresistible to Brendan. He’d obviously been attracted to me when he’d first asked me out, right? I wasn’t an ugly girl. I thought I was pretty enough—my long brown hair was shiny and silky; I knew how to emphasize my green eyes with the right makeup; my pale skin browned easily enough in the sun, something I thought Brendan would appreciate, because sports kept him outside and constantly tan. I was shorter than a lot of girls in my class, so there was no making him feel weird. He seemed pretty tall compared to me. And even though I was thin, I had nice enough breasts. What was wrong with me? But a phone call with miles and miles between us wasn’t the right time to discuss our lack of a deeper relationship. “I miss you already.”

“Miss you, too.”

There really wasn’t anything to talk about, because I’d just seen him, so we said our goodbyes and our I love yous and hung up, promising to at least text each other if not talk over the next two weeks until he returned.

I still had a while before Chelsea would get there, so I made a sandwich and then sat at my laptop looking over the class schedule for the first semester of my senior year. Thinking about all the classes I’d taken and the things I was interested in didn’t give me any ideas about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I only knew I was ready to begin.

My mother didn’t really care one way or another. She didn’t give a crap if I decided to go to college or just started working somewhere. In fact, I was pretty sure my mom wouldn’t even care if I became a stripper.

God, I missed my grandpa. He’d passed away just after I finished seventh grade. One morning, he’d had a massive heart attack as he was walking out the door to go to coffee with his buddies at the café on Main Street. Just dropped. One of his neighbors had seen it—but he was gone by the time the ambulance got there. Not only had my grandpa been a source of love and joy in my life, but he’d seemed to help my mom stay grounded. When he died, that was when everything had kind of fallen apart and now was my new normal.

I really needed to figure out what I was going to do with my life, because I had no clue. The only thing I felt certain about in regard to my future was Brendan. I knew that wasn’t healthy, though. I needed to figure out something for me—so talking to my counselor as soon as school started was important.

Chelsea arrived at my house an hour later. She’d been my anchor for so long that I didn’t know how I could ever function without her. “Girl!” she said as I opened the door for her. “Why aren’t you ready?”

I laughed. “Ready for what?”

“You’re not even in your bikini or anything.”

“Neither are you.”

“I had to drive over here. The last thing I want is some cop pulling me over for speeding and getting all creepy over seeing me in almost nothing.” Chelsea had a nice body, but what drew boys to her was her fiery red hair. She’d always told me kids had made fun of her in elementary school, calling her carrot top and slice (as in orange), but by high school, that childishness had stopped. It took her a bit of an adjustment to realize her hair was an asset. Unlike her mother, also a redhead, Chelsea wasn’t covered in freckles, and I was pretty sure that was because of her dad, a guy with a lot of native American blood. My best friend looked exotic and gorgeous, from her pale blue eyes to her tall but curvy frame. No one else on the planet looked like my bestie—and she drew boys to her like a fan pulls air. The boys seemed destined to get sucked into her orbit.

I might have been jealous if not for Brendan. But because I had my own boyfriend (and had been with him for two years while Chelsea had dated lots of different guys), I was not only content but happy to celebrate my dear friend’s successes with the opposite sex.

Soon, she and I were out in my backyard, lying on the cheapie plastic chaise lounge chairs my mom had inherited from grandpa. The sun felt warm on my legs and I loved the coconut smell wafting from the suntan lotion on my skin.

“So,” said Chelsea, sitting up and taking a sip from her water bottle, “do you remember Seth Evans?”

“Yeah, how could I forget? He was on the football team.”

“Oh, yeah.” Chelsea laid back down and closed her eyes. “He asked me out on a date.”

“I thought he was going to college now.”

“Yeah, but he doesn’t leave for another couple of weeks.”

I sat up then, curious. Seth was a gorgeous guy. All the girls had drooled over him but, word was, he was a heartbreaker. While I liked that Chelsea had a slightly older—and hot—guy interested in her, I was worried. “How’d you even hook up?”

“Facebook.”

“So are you going?”

Chelsea opened her eyes, glancing sideways at me. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Um…because he’s leaving soon. Because he’ll break your heart.” I tried to think of what words might convince her. “Because you deserve better.”

Chelsea sat up again, giggling. “God, you’re being so serious, Bree. I just want to have a little fun before school starts again. It’s just a fling.”

I relaxed a little. “Okay.”

“So help me decide what to wear.”

“When are you going?”

She practically squealed. “Tonight. To the movies!”

Smiling, I said, “I hope you have fun.”

“You know I will. So what do you think I should wear?”

“Hmm. Do you want to look cute or sexy?”

“Both!”

If anyone could pull it off, it was Chelsea. “Then maybe you should wear that miniskirt you bought in May. You know, the—”

“—frilly pink one. Yeah. If my dad’ll let me.”

“You’ve worn it before, haven’t you?”

“Well, yeah…”

“Just don’t act slutty and you should be fine.”

Bree!

I giggled and adjusted my chair so I could lie on my back. “And you should wear that black tank top with it.”

“Ooh, yeah.” She decided to roll over too and, when she was done, she said, “What about nail polish?”

I lifted my head and glanced at her hands. “They look fine now.”

“But they’re red. I’d rather do something like white or pink to match what I’m wearing.”

“Pink maybe?”

“Fuchsia or light pink?”

“Umm…maybe fuchsia. It goes better with your hair.”

“Maybe…”

I knew Chelsea. She’d probably change her mind half a dozen times before finally settling, but I’d given her food for thought, which was all she really needed. We got quiet again and my mind focused on the sound of the kids playing next door, squealing, laughing, talking, and occasionally bickering. I’d almost drifted off when my cell phone, staying shaded underneath my lounge, started ringing.

It was coming from Brendan’s landline. I was confused at first—until I realized who must be calling me. I didn’t know Mr. Brown—Logan—knew my number.

And why was I feeling all excited? Like seriously excited. Tingling finger excited.

Unless, of course, he’d accidentally dialed it. Maybe I was on speed dial. No sense getting all eager over a molehill, right?

“Are you gonna answer that?”

I glanced over at Chelsea’s raised head and nodded while swiping and lifting the phone to my ear. “Hello?”

“Briana?” I loved the way he said my name. It wasn’t the casual Bree like all my friends called me. Somehow my name sounded more sophisticated on his tongue.

I had to remind myself to stay calm. “Yes?”

“I’m not bothering you, am I?”

“No. I’m just sunbathing with Chelsea.”

“I wondered if you’d mind coming over tonight. I wanted to throw Brendan a big birthday party next month for his eighteenth and would love your help. If you don’t mind, of course.”

I knew he wasn’t asking for anything strange or out of the ordinary, but I still felt a small thrill. It was oh, so wrong, but that one little over-long hug had put my emotions—and hormones—into overdrive. “Of course. What time?”

“How about seven?”

“Sounds great. See you then.”

Chelsea must have sensed something was up, because she said, “Oh, my. Looks like I’m not the only one going on a date tonight.”

Hoping my acting was above par, I shook my head while placing my phone back under the lounge. “I wish. Brendan’s at camp, remember? It’s his dad. He wants to plan a big surprise birthday party for him.”

“Ooh. We’re becoming real adults, Bree.”

“Yeah,” I said, lying on my back again and wondering if I knew how to act like one.

A few hours later, Chelsea was heading home and I was looking in my closet, trying to decide what to wear. At the same time, I was questioning my sanity. If ever there was a time I needed my mother, this was it—but I had no idea when she’d breeze back through the front door.

Not that she’d do any good.

So I settled on the pink and blue checkered shorts and pink baby-doll t-shirt before jumping in the shower. I loved the smell of the coconut lotion, but I’d been in the hot sun and wanted to feel fresh.

That was my rationale anyway.

I left the house at a quarter till seven, plenty of time for me to get to Brendan’s house. Technically, Logan’s house. And I wondered if it would always feel weird to call him by his first name.

My whole body was buzzing, alive with anticipation. So stupid. I shouldn’t have been thrilled to think that there was any possibility that my boyfriend’s dad had noticed me.

Poor Brendan.

And yet I practically skipped to their house with abandon.

When I got there just a couple of minutes before seven, Logan answered the door and said, “I probably should have picked you up like Brendan does.”

“No biggie. It’s not that far.”

Closing the door behind me, he asked, “Have you eaten dinner?”

It was just ramen, but “Yes.”

As we neared the kitchen, I could smell delicious aromas, reaffirming that Logan was an amazing cook. “Dessert?”

“No.”

“Well, lucky you. If you’re game, I made a banana cream pie yesterday. I was craving one and needed to use up the bananas—but I can’t eat the whole thing by myself and Brendan’s not here to help me demolish it. Would you like a slice while we talk birthday party?”

“Sure.”

In the kitchen, Logan dished up two slices of the fluffy, creamy decadent-looking pie. While he was putting it back in the fridge, he said, “I suppose I should give you my cell number. That way, if you have any more ideas, you can call or text me.”

I slid my phone out of my back pocket and saved it to my contacts.

Soon, we were seated in the dining room, eating pie and making plans. Logan recorded our plans in a little notebook. I agreed to contact all of Brendan’s friends I knew, especially the guys on the football team, because I was friends with most of them on Facebook.

We were looking at about fifty people, give or take.

“Do you have room for them here?”

“Well, I could do one of two things. I could make it a barbecue-slash-pool party in the backyard or I could rent a place somewhere—but I think if we keep it to the outdoors, it could work well.”

“Are you thinking hamburgers and hot dogs then?” He nodded. “Brendan does love his burgers.”

“And that’s easy to do. Have a lot of chips, condiments, and paper plates, and it’s done. The only other thing to worry about is the cake.”

After deciding a color scheme and the kinds of decorations to get, we then decided to have the party on a Saturday afternoon instead of evening. It would be warmer then and there would be natural light. We’d invite everyone to come over at one o’clock and end the party at six. I would, of course, stick around and help clean up. I’d want to spend time with Brendan by myself, after all.

“Thanks so much for your help, Briana.”

“I’m happy to do it. And thanks for the pie.”

“You liked it?”

“I loved it. You have some mad skills in the kitchen.” Mine, on the other hand, were sorely lacking.

“Thank you. I actually enjoy it. And guys like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver make cooking legit for men like me.” I giggled. “Would you like another slice?”

“Oh, no.” I pressed the palm of my hand to my belly. “I don’t have any room.”

“How are you and Brendan doing anyway?”

Oh…why would he ask that? More importantly, why was I compelled to tell him the truth—the entire cold truth? Logan’s hug from a couple of nights ago made me bolder than I should have been. I was staring at the edge of my small plate when I asked, “Is there something wrong with me?”

After a second, Logan touched my chin, coaxing me to look up at him. “Why would you ever think that, Briana?”

Now was the hard part. This was something I hadn’t told anyone—not even Chelsea. My dear bestie loved boys but as far as having sex went, she was a wait-till-marriage kind of girl. Or, at least, wait-till-the-relationship-was-that-serious type. After considering how to say it, I finally just sucked down a gulp of air and blurted it out. “Because he won’t touch me.”

Logan’s beautiful blue eyes searched mine. “What do you mean?”

Fortunately, he removed his warm fingers from my chin or I might have been too distracted to speak—but I found my voice and just ran with it. “Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good boyfriend—he’s sweet and attentive most of the time. But…it’s almost like he’s afraid…” I looked back down at my plate, unable to maintain eye contact when I said the hardest thing of all, “to have sex with me.” There. It was out. “Is there something wrong with him?”

I looked up finally and Logan smiled. “No, Brendan’s fully functional.”

“But how can you know for sure? Would he even tell you if he was having problems?”

Logan inhaled and then said, “You’re going to have to trust me on this.” He put his hand on my arm and squeezed gently. “But I’m sorry.” He took another breath and it seemed to me that he was struggling with what he wanted to say next. “I want to assure you that you’re a beautiful young woman. Any man would be proud to have you by his side—including my son.” He gave my arm one last squeeze and then removed his hand.

At least he’d cleared up one of my fears, that maybe Brendan was disabled in that department. I wasn’t going to press and ask things Logan didn’t want to tell me…but I was going to ask one more question. I couldn’t look him in the eyes for this one, either. “Any advice…on how I can make him want to have sex with me?”

Logan made a noise in his throat that sounded almost like choking before he answered. “Briana, any advice I would give you would be highly inappropriate.” That word made my cheeks burn. “But maybe I can talk to Brendan.”

And then I just had to get out of there. I’d crossed a line and was feeling embarrassed. But when I shifted my eyes back to his, I saw not just sympathy and understanding. Yes, all this was new to me, but my instincts told me there was something else on Logan’s mind.

I couldn’t ask, so I stood, ready to leave.

“Can I give you a ride home?”

“No, thanks. I think I need to walk.”

As I made my way home, I couldn’t take my mind off our conversation. What had been meant to be a way for me to figure out how to connect with my boyfriend had instead made me think even more about his father. It was so wrong, but I couldn’t help it—and I began wondering if there would be a way I could seduce my boyfriend’s dad.

Because, right or wrong, I wanted him to show me what I’d been missing…

 

Chapter Three

TRY AS I might, I couldn’t sleep. Instead, I tossed and turned and squirmed. And then, when I’d let my mind fully latch onto Logan’s image in my brain, wondering what it would be like to kiss him, to have him hold me, I’d start feeling guilty again; I’d finally fall asleep and have a dream of being in Logan’s arms when Brendan would show up.

What was wrong with me?

At last, I crashed about the time the sun was rising and woke up around noon. In spite of poor sleep, I didn’t feel awful. I got up and decided to make coffee. It wasn’t something I drank often, but it sounded good today. Just as I sat down at the kitchen table with a cup of hot java, I heard the front door open.

That could only mean one thing.

Or two.

But it probably wasn’t a burglar. More than likely, it was my mother.

I heard quite a bit of commotion in the living room, but I didn’t think she had anyone else with her. I stirred my coffee and took a sip, closing my eyes and taking a calming breath, because my life was about to get a little chaotic.

“I thought that’s what I smelled,” she said as she walked through the door. It had only been a week and a half since I’d last seen her, but I’d swear she’d aged half a year. She looked haggard, her curly black hair frizzy and windblown, the dark circles under her brown eyes like an underline, emphasizing the fatigue. The scowl on her face softened as she walked toward the coffee pot.

“Hey, Jennifer.” Calling my mom by her first name was one of the few ways I could get her goat, because very little fazed the woman. Her life was a train wreck, mostly self-induced, and I was an inconvenient reminder of all that.

“How have things been?” she asked as she grabbed a mug out of the cabinet.

“Oh, you know…” Not that she gave a shit. She didn’t and I knew it. I could have told her all about school, about needing to make some decisions during my upcoming senior year, all that stuff, and she would have just thrown a hundred-dollar bill at me. Then again, maybe now that I was becoming an adult, she might actually give half a shit about my adult problems. But why take the chance?

She sat down at the table, and I could smell the faint skunky odor of stale pot smoke clinging to her t-shirt. The way that shirt clung to her frame told me she’d lost more weight. The woman already looked like a skeleton—her cheeks gaunt, bones sticking out everywhere. And I knew she liked self-medicating, but she managed to maintain her job—or jobs on occasion.

“The mail’s on the desk.” It was bad enough I had to go shopping for groceries. I wasn’t going to pay the bills for her. It wasn’t my fault she’d decided she didn’t want to be a mother anymore.

“Anything interesting?” she asked, sipping at her coffee.

“I don’t know.” In spite of the usual strained air between us, I was considering asking her for advice—or…I didn’t know what. But something.

Until she started talking, that is.

“I’m done with Greg. He pissed me off yet again. The man has no clue how to treat a woman, and ogling the waitress with the big boobs is not the way to my heart.”

I’d heard this song and dance before. Time and time again, mom had threatened to leave Greg—or Matt or Raúl before him. But she was the kind of woman who always needed a man. Most of them had hung around here like a starving soul begs for a meal but, for some reason, Greg had a problem with me. I guessed it was with kids in general. So my mom followed him.

But after all these boyfriends, my mother had yet to discover how to maintain a relationship. In fact, I would have bet my relationship with Brendan had lasted longer than any of hers that I could remember.

If I could continue to keep it together.

“That dirty son of a bitch. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t grabbing the waitress’s ass and inviting her home for a threesome.”

If my mother hadn’t talked to me like this before, I might have been shocked. But this was nothing new.

She took a long sip of her coffee and then said, “That son of a bitch. I’m leaving him for sure this time.”

“Yeah, whatever.” I couldn’t help that any more than I could help the eyeroll that accompanied it.

“Don’t get smart with me, Briana. You know that old saying? It applies to you, too. I brought you into this world. I can take you out.”

That was all I needed to hear to know I definitely couldn’t talk to mom about my own problems. She didn’t have a clue—and if she couldn’t keep her own relationships afloat, how could she help me?

Mom continued with the verbal diarrhea, complaining about her no good boyfriend who was, no doubt, the same guy he’d been when she’d started seeing him. The whole time she was rambling, though, my mind kept going back to Logan. At this point, I wasn’t just thinking about him; I was obsessing.

As mom’s voice droned on, I questioned in my head why Logan had said his suggestions would be inappropriate, and I could only find one reason—he didn’t want to think of me in a sexual way. Whether that was true or not, one thing was for certain: talking to him about Brendan hadn’t helped at all…and now I couldn’t get him out of my mind, try as I might.

I was thinking inappropriate thoughts about him. All those fantasies I’d had about my first time with Brendan were now transferred to his dad and, as soon as my mom’s cell phone rang, shifting her attention, I got up from the table with my mug and hustled to my bedroom.

Once there, I called Logan’s cell phone. My breathing was shallow but I refused to chicken out. After the third ring, he picked up and I started talking. “Logan, if I could, I would really like to talk to you about what you said yesterday.”

There was a slight hesitation, enough that I was cringing inside. My cheeks were growing hot when he said, “I’d love to see you. I should be home by four. Come on over any time after that.”

With that, my brain pushed out its guilty feelings about Brendan and worries about my age and how inappropriate any of this seemed. I was excited and infatuated and in lust, and everything I did from that point on was by pure instinct.

I heard my mother in the kitchen. She was still on the phone, but this time it sounded like she was talking to someone else—her boss maybe? So I made my way into the bathroom and took a long, steamy shower, shaving, shampooing, and soaping myself until I was more than squeaky clean. Once out of the tub, I dried off before slathering lotion on my legs so the newly shaved skin wouldn’t be dry and flaky. I listened through the door and heard that mom was still occupied, so I decided now was a good time to blow dry my hair.

Once that was done, I made my way into my bedroom. As I tried to decide what to wear, I decided that a little perfume might be nice, too. I rarely wore it but now seemed like the perfect occasion. Then I looked through my drawers. There was a pair of lacy black panties I’d bought for Brendan a few months ago, but it seemed as though he was never going to see them. I’d worn them four times now, each time thinking it was the time, but felt disappointed when I’d had to take them off that night at bedtime unseen. But I was going to wear them again, hoping they weren’t my unlucky underwear.

I took my time, trying not to feel too eager while putting on my makeup, finally turning on some music to drown out my mother’s frenetic voice stressing out the house. Then I used the curling iron to put gentle waves in my hair, and I settled on a jean miniskirt and a cropped top, but I exchanged the shirt shortly after, feeling like maybe that was pushing it. When I exchanged it for a sleeveless summery blouse that covered my midriff, I felt better.

I didn’t know why I was doing that, but it was like I couldn’t help myself. As the clock ticked toward four, I went through so many emotions, feeling weird, then brazen, then guilty, finally pushing all thoughts as far to the back of my head as I could, ready to simply let things play out as they would.

Trying to distract myself while drowning out my mother at the same time, I watched some music videos on YouTube while waiting for the time to pass. Finally, at four, I bounded through the living room and said a quick bye to my mother. She wasn’t distracted enough, though. “Where’re you going?”

“To Brendan’s.” She didn’t need to know that Brendan wasn’t there. I made a beeline for the front door.

“Is he the kid you were dating before?”

“Yes.” Still in motion.

“You look awfully cute.”

God, I couldn’t believe she noticed. “Thanks.”

And out the door. Finally. It was still hot outside but the two-block walk wasn’t bad. It would have sucked if I’d gotten sweaty on the way over—but that wasn’t a problem.

Logan answered the door shortly after I rang the bell. I was really starting to appreciate the way he looked—his sky blue eyes paired with his dark hair, a buff body that filled out the plain black cotton t-shirt on his frame. I didn’t think I’d ever felt this lustful over a man. Ridiculous and out of control.

But I was here, so the hardest part was done. I felt like I was betraying my sweet boyfriend, but something evil inside was pushing me to satisfy my desires. Maybe it was in my genes. “Come on in,” he said, his voice smooth as silk. “Would you like something to drink?”

My throat was a little dry so I accepted a glass of ice water before we sat down at the table. Before I could chicken out, I said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about what we talked about last night, Logan, and what you said to me.” Saying his first name still felt strange, but less so the more I did it. “And I just wanted to talk about that a little more.”

“What do you want to talk about specifically, honey?”

Oh…I thought maybe I liked that he was calling me a sweet term of endearment, even if it did feel a little old-fashioned. It gave me the sense that maybe he and I did have our own connection, one that didn’t involve Brendan.

And it gave me the courage to say what had been on my mind for half the day. “I don’t think Brendan fully understands my needs.” I wasn’t going to tell him everything…just the part he needed to know.

He nodded. “I wish I could help you, Briana, and maybe I can talk to him. It’s not the normal kind of thing I’d talk to my son about. If he were beating you, that would be something I’d have to discuss, no question.” I couldn’t read his face; perhaps that was due to my age, but I listened intently. “You and Brendan have been together for around two years and you seem to get along really well, but I can tell you as his father that he’s not as…self-assured about women as…I would have expected.” I didn’t quite know what he meant and he seemed to struggle to say it, so I didn’t ask questions. “The two of you seem pretty serious.”

“We are.” Or at least I thought we were.

“Have you talked about marriage?”

I frowned. “No, not really, but we’ve talked some about our futures. I feel like it could go there. We haven’t talked about it but I could see us maybe even living together when we’re out of school because we get along really well.” After a moment, I added, “We’ve never gotten in an argument like I see some couples do at school.”

“That’s good. Do you feel like you both contribute equally to your relationship?”

I wasn’t sure exactly how to answer that one, either, but I gave the best answer I could. “Yes, I think so.”

“Yet you say you’re not on the same page—when it comes to physical matters?”

I nodded. “Right.”

He took a long, deep breath and his eyes looked to the side as if deep in thought. Then he blinked and made eye contact with me once more. “This might seem like an odd question but…has Brendan ever brought you to orgasm?”

* * *

The book will be available May 15, but if you read on Radish, it’s trickling out chapter by chapter.  Here’s the info:

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