Read an Excerpt
Lisa Karrington lay on her bed staring up at the softly whirring ceiling fan. School was finally out for the summer. She sighed. The teachers were more excited than the kids, though no one showed it. Hell, if they could have, they would have shoved the buggers out of the way on a race to the parking lot. Yeah, not very dignified. She closed her eyes trying to figure out what to do on this first free day. Sleep? No. Cleaning? Not hardly. Yard work? Yeah—never gonna happen. Fun. It needed to be fun and relaxing.
Rolling over, she grabbed the phone, quickly punching in the number of her best friend Jacqueline Monroe, now Sinclair since she had married Caleb almost a year ago. The phone was picked up and Lisa recognised Caleb’s voice. Dang, the man was seriously hot. Not that she would ever let him know that. He already teased her unmercifully about everything, she didn’t need something else to add to the list.
“Hey Caleb, can I talk to Jack?”
An instant later Jacqueline’s voice came over the line. “Hey Lisa, what’s going on?”
“Is Caleb mad at me or something? He didn’t goof on me, tease me, or generally torment me.”
“He’s worried about his brother, Eli. You remember Eli, don’t you? He was Caleb’s best man at our wedding. Anyway, he’s in the Marines and Caleb hasn’t heard from him for nearly three weeks. He’s run through his contacts and can’t find anything out.”
“I remember him.” Lisa forced her voice to remain even. Shit, she remembered him all right. The biggest mistake in her litany of men disasters and that was saying something considering all the people she’d dated. They had met about a week before the wedding and from the moment they shook hands all her girl-mones had sat up and panted. He’s the one, they said. She had fallen and fallen fast. Unfortunately, she thought he had too. He’d acted as if he’d thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her. They’d laughed and talked and he’d constantly touched her. Not pawing, but he’d thrown an arm around her as they’d walked or touched her hand as they’d spoken. Everything had been going great, until they went to bed. Or tried to. Lisa’s face flushed with mortification at the memory of him losing an erection almost as soon as she had touched him. Staggering out of bed, he’d told her to leave as he’d gone into the bathroom and shut the door. She’d never seen him again.
“Lisa? Are you listening to me?”
“I’m sorry.” Lisa startled out of her morbid thoughts. “I was gone to La La Land. Do you need to get off the phone to leave it clear?”
“Yeah, since this is our first day free, why don’t we meet at our favourite Starbucks and celebrate?”
“You’re on. See you in a bit.”
Lisa took a sip of her coffee and watched Jacqueline bring her own drink to the table. At one time, she used to settle for regular old coffee filled to the brim with cream to make it barely drinkable, then Jack had introduced her to the addiction. Each Monday on the way to school, they stopped at Starbucks to get a non-fat Venti Peppermint Mocha with light whip. She didn’t know how she had survived without it in her life. At least she could depend on one perfect thing appearing in her life.
“What’s going on?” Jack settled down at their regular table. “You sounded odd this morning. Did you actually go on a good date?”
“Fuck no, and I’ve decided I’m gonna stop, dude. I’m going on the wagon, as far as bad relationships are concerned. No more. I am not dating just because society tells me I have to. What do I care what anyone thinks? I’m special, I’m unique and I’ve been wasting it on losers. It’s like wearing your very favourite brand new outfit to the grocery. It’s just too good to waste on that crappy place. So no more. I’m not dating ever again. I’m over it.” Lisa took a deep breath and stopped talking. Damn, she felt better.
“So this means you’re finished with the whole Internet dating phase?”
“Yes, I’ve cancelled my subscription and I’m not accepting instant messages from anyone I don’t know. Like I said, I’m finished with dating. Period.”
Jack sipped at her drink. “What happened to finding your man? The man that’s yours and yours alone?”
“He doesn’t exist.” Lisa shrugged.