If you caught my blog post last month, then you know I’m sharing old page content and turning it into blog posts as my site is revamped.
For the next few days, I’ll be sharing everything Nicki Sosebee! Today, Nicki #4.
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In a nutshell: Nicki is becoming a better reporter, so much so that her boss Neal leans on her more and more to get the good stuff. So when a rash of robberies hits the downtown Winchester area, Nicki is reporting the damage…and probably getting a little too close for the bad guys’ comfort. As if that weren’t enough, Nicki finds herself in a full-fledged love triangle between Jesse and Sean…and she can’t bear to choose between them.
Trivia: When I wrote Right Now, I’d taken some really cool pictures at a couple of high school football games, wanting to use one of the pictures of the lights for a book cover, but around that time, I redesigned the covers, using the plain colored background with hearts (which has since changed!)
Cool facts: Well, I don’t know how cool this is, but this book is one that leaves a few readers feeling uncomfortable, simply because Nicki’s choice of sexual partner pushes against (even though it doesn’t cross) a few boundaries.
Nicki Sosebee: A modern girl who works hard and plays even harder.
Sean Ramsey: Nicki’s super-hot best friend who’s good at keeping Nicki in the friend zone.
Jesse Roberts: Nicki’s on-again off-again boyfriend whose emotions are just too intense for Nicki.
Jillian Carpenter: One of Nicki’s BFFs, Jillian’s life reminds Nicki exactly why she wants to stay single and childless.
Brandy King: One of Nicki’s BFFs, Brandy pulls no punches when she tells Nicki the girl’s got to get over Sean and move on. And Brandy might be a newlywed, but she still likes to hear all about Nicki’s sexual pursuits.
Neal Black: Nicki’s editor at the Winchester Tribune.
Matt: A high school football player who is smitten with Nicki.
Detective Nathan Wright: A policeman who sometimes helps Nicki…and sometimes doesn’t.
One last thought: Sometimes the “bad guys” get away. Life isn’t always nice and neatly wrapped up, and I don’t think fiction should be either.
Nicki climbed the stairs to Sean’s apartment, lugging a 24-pack of Budweiser and a bottle of Jägermeister. She had demanded a meeting of sorts and promised to bring libations.
She didn’t know how it would go. All she did know was that Sean had effectively split her and Jesse and he was going to pay. Enough was enough. Did he care about her or not? Could they have a future together? Would he just f*ck her already?
She planned to find out.
She set the beer on the floor in front of his apartment and pressed the doorbell. Sean answered the door a few seconds later and saw the pack of beer on the ground. He stooped over to pick it up. She noticed his eyes lingering on her knees just a second too long before he stood up.
Operation Sean Seduction locked and loaded.
“Come on in,” Sean said, letting Nicki walk in and closing the door behind her.
She pulled the bottle out of the brown paper bag. “I also have Jäger.”
Sean’s face was stone. She couldn’t read him. “If I didn’t know better, you’re planning on getting drunk.”
“Maybe I am.” Nicki smiled. Sean opened the refrigerator and started moving things around. Nicki looked around the apartment. She hadn’t been here in several months; in fact, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d been there. Like Nicki’s apartment, Sean’s dining room and living room blended together, but the dining room had a kitchen right off it that had a wall separating it from the living room. And also unlike Nicki’s apartment, the dining and kitchen areas had linoleum flooring. The walls were white but decorated with an occasional painting and bookshelves. Apparently Sean was no longer hiding the fact from his friends that he liked to read. She knew from past visits that he also had one full bathroom and two bedrooms–the large one he used as an actual bedroom, but the smaller one he used for working out. He had a Bowflex and a treadmill and who knew what else. She would have loved to be a fly on the wall the next time he worked out. It was one of the things Sean did religiously that made him look sooooo good.
It wasn’t the only thing, though. Sean paid attention to the details. He stood up from the fridge with two beers in hand and closed the door. And Nicki got to sample those details right then. He’d been wearing his hair extra longish lately, and his bangs just barely grew past his eyebrows…very sexy. His hair looked mussed up, but he did it that way on purpose. And his dark blonde hair had light blonde highlights in them that Nicki knew he’d recently had touched up. As he got closer to the table, Nicki focused on his eyes…baby blue surrounded by the longest lashes she’d ever seen.
She was forcing herself to remember all the things she’d loved about Sean, because, deep down, she was still hurting, yearning for Jesse. But Jesse had made it clear as a spring sunrise they were over. So Nicki planned to get over him the only way she knew how…with a good f*ck. And why not make it with the guy she’d crushed on for more than eight years? She considered it an early birthday present.
“So tell me the whole story, Nicki. Why is it Jesse’s letting you and me hang out together no holds barred?”
Nicki gritted her teeth. “I already told you…Jesse can’t tell me what to do.”
Sean popped the top off his beer and took a swig. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
Sh*t. He already knew. She rolled her eyes. “Don’t tell me…Jesse already came crying to you.” A little harsh, she knew, but she didn’t want Sean to know how badly she hurt.
Sean let out a small laugh. “You got me. Yeah…he told me today.”
Nicki took the top off her beer. “Did he also tell you why?”
“In so many words.”
Nicki took a long swig. Yes, she did plan to get buzzed…but not drunk. She wanted to savor tonight. “And…?”
“It’s because of you and me.”
Nicki nodded. “So…if that’s the problem, then we’re going to celebrate by re-igniting our friendship. How does that sound?”
“Cheers.” They drank a little more. Then Sean stood up. “Should I get one shot glass or two?”
“One should be fine. And I have an idea for that.”
Sean got up and walked to the cabinets again. Yummy…his jeans were snug on his ass, and she could just imagine her hands cupping… “Just one?”
Nicki darted her eyes back up to his. Had he caught her? And did it really matter? “Yeah. One’s fine.”
He walked back to the table. “So what’s this game anyway?”
“It’s a game I made up called Tell the Truth.”
“And how does this game work?”
“Well, you’ll say something about yourself that’s true. If I already know it, then I don’t do anything, but if you say something I didn’t know already, I have to take a shot of Jäger. Same with you.”
“So, like most drinking games, the goal is to get the other person to drink.”
“That’s right. So you want to say something I didn’t already know.”
“So you start.”
Well, she hadn’t thought that far ahead. “Hmmm…” Sean smiled at her, his eyes teasing, as he took another swallow of beer. “I’ve considered moving out of Winchester more than once over the last several years.” Sean seemed to consider her statement. But he didn’t reach for the bottle. When Nicki looked at him with a raised eyebrow, he shook his head. Damn. She’d have to think of some better secrets if she wanted him feeling good. “Your turn.”
“I don’t have many close friends.”
Nicki looked at him. What amount did he consider to be many? She knew of three…herself, Jesse, and Travis. Rather than assume, she asked, “What would you consider to be many?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Five or more, I guess.”
She nodded. No drink for her then. She smirked. Time to try for something harder. “I know the Apostles’ Creed by heart.”
Sean scoffed and opened the bottle, pouring himself a shot. “What the f*ck is that?”
“Well, if you were a good little Lutheran like yours truly, you’d know.”
He shook his head and slammed the shot. When he put the glass down on the table, his eyes locked with hers. That was the look from Sean that gave her shivers…that look that made it seem like he knew her innermost thoughts and deepest desires.
“Okay, I can play rough too. I have a Hunter’s Safety card.”
Did she know that? She didn’t think so. She didn’t know Sean had ever hunted. She poured herself a shot and tried not to get all twittered that her lips were touching where Sean’s had been. And she let the syrupy flavor warm her throat and chest. She closed her eyes. “Mmmm.” She licked her bottom lip and opened her eyes.
Sean looked downright amused. “Your turn.”
She wasn’t buzzed yet, but she was starting to feel relaxed. And it was time to take the game to new heights. “I’ve been in love three times.”
Sean considered it, then poured another drink and slammed it. He stared her down. “One time for me.”
Sean, capable of love? And who was it, she wondered. She poured herself a shot too. Now they were getting somewhere. And it was time to shock the sh*t outta the boy. She cleared her throat and a wicked smile spread her lips, baring her teeth. “I orgasm easily.”
Sean had a mouthful of beer that he fought to not spit out. He tapped his fingers on the table. How the f*ck could he have known that…unless maybe Jesse had said something, and if so…the bastard. But Sean poured himself another shot of Jägermeister. He must have just needed to swallow the information. Nicki was congratulating herself.
Sean had a big grin on his face. “So do I.”
Nicki shrugged. “You’re a guy. That’s a no brainer. You just have to go rub on something.” Sean started laughing. “You’re losing.”
“Am I? Seems like I’m getting to drink more of the good stuff.” Oooh…he was relaxing. Didn’t want him too relaxed. Maybe she’d call a halt here soon. “It’s your turn.” He took the last swig of his beer.
Now or never, Nicki. “I always wondered what might have happened between us if…well, if I hadn’t screwed it up.”
Sean shook his head slowly. “You thought I didn’t know that?”
Her mouth screwed up. “I wondered.”
God, she was making this party a downer. “Hey…where are your tunes? We need some music, don’t you think?”
“Yeah. Sounds good.” He pointed to one of the shelves in the living room. “There’s the CD player and CDs. Knock yourself out. I’m gonna drain the vein. Be right back.”
Nicki snickered. “Drain the vein? I haven’t heard that one in a while.” Nicki walked over to Sean’s music set up. He was old school. Nicki had tried forever to convince Sean that iPods were the way to go, but he wouldn’t hear anything of it. He liked his CDs, and he didn’t care how much they cost. So she rifled through what he had on his shelves, and he had a smattering of everything, but it was mostly metal, which was one of many reasons why he and Nicki had always gotten along so well. She saw the line of Korn and knew she’d have to pick one of them. Korn was Nicki’s all-time favorite band, and they could do no wrong as far as she was concerned. She grabbed Life is Peachy, because she hadn’t heard it in a long time. When “Twist” started playing, she turned the volume down. She didn’t want Sean’s neighbors p*ssed.
He came out of the bathroom. “Of course…Korn. I thought you were supposed to tell me something I didn’t know.”
“Fair enough.” She walked over to where Sean stood, just outside the hallway to the bedrooms. “Do you know why I wanted to see you tonight?”
“The reason you gave me or the real reason?”
Jesus. Did he know? She was just a few inches from him now and she was done playing games. “Okay, smart guy. What’s the real reason?”
He placed his hands on her hips and pulled her close. There wasn’t a molecule of air between them. He licked his lips and pressed his forehead against hers, drilling into her eyes. “I know you better than anyone else, Nicki Sosebee, and I know your intentions. And I’m not going to fight you anymore.” And his lips were on hers faster than she could take a breath.