Read an Excerpt
When She Was Bad
"Want to get laid tonight?"
Jennifer Carman didn't need to look up from her computer to know who was standing in her office doorway. Only one person would announce herself in such a manner.
Jenny hit save, swiveled her chair, and smiled at the flamboyant redhead. "Let me check my calendar."
She shot a cursory glance at the planner sitting open on her desk and shook her head. "Sorry. Getting laid isn't on my schedule. And if it's not on my schedule—"
"I know." Marcee Robbens heaved a dramatic sigh. "It's not going to happen."
Dressed in a tailored navy suit, crisp white blouse, and closed-toe shoes, Marcee looked every inch a corporate executive. But the devilish sparkle in her green eyes and the short skirt revealing a pair of fabulous legs said there was more to this CPA than a tax table and calculator.
Jenny lifted a brow. "I thought you'd be on the train and halfway to suburbia by now."
Marcee laughed as if Jenny had said something ridiculously funny. "It's Friday night. The last place I want to be is home."
Jenny smiled ruefully. Marcee embraced the Chicago nightlife with a passion and always had something planned for the weekends. Jenny was usually so engrossed in work, she barely noticed when Friday rolled around.
"A bunch of us are going to grab some dinner, then hit the clubs." Marcee took a seat in the leather wingback in front of Jenny's desk and crossed one long leg over the other. "Why don't you come? Clint from Legal will be there. He thinks you're a real hottie."
"Clint Daniels?" Jenny furrowed her brow. "Thethin guy with the hair that always looks like it needs a trim?"
"Who cares about his hair?" Marcee's cinnamon-colored lips turned upward. "The guy has a really nice ass."
"Clint does have a nice, uh, backside," Jenny said. "But we can't be talking about the same person."
"There's only one Clint," Marcee said with a wink.
The man Jenny was thinking of had started with the firm last year and was kind of cute, if you liked that starving poet look. But the last time she'd talked to him, he had a ring on his finger. "The Clint I'm thinking of is married."
Marcee rolled her eyes. "You are so out of touch. He and his wife split last month."
Jenny frowned. "And he's already going out?"
"What's he supposed to do?" Genuine surprise skittered across Marcee's face. "Sit home and cry?"
"I can't believe he's put himself back on the dating block so soon." Marriage was sacred to Jenny. If she was in Clint's position, sitting home and crying was just what she'd be doing.
Marcee ignored the comment and tilted her head. "So, will you come?"
"I'd like to, but tonight isn't good." Jenny made a conscious effort to inject a note of true regret in her tone. After all, she did appreciate the invitation. "I already have plans."
Marcee straightened in the chair, her eyes bright with interest. "A date?"
For a second, Jenny was tempted to say yes. Maybe come up with some far-fetched tale about a visiting prince and a stretch limousine. Or a sexy construction worker and a rugged 4x4. When she was a teenager, Jenny had loved to make up stories.
"Tell me about him," Marcee urged, apparently taking Jenny's silence for assent. "Is he hot?"
Jenny opened her mouth, then shut it, reminding herself she was an adult and lying wasn't a good thing. Even if it did make a dull life more interesting. "No date." Jenny shook her head. "I'm helping my family clean my grandmother's house tomorrow, and I need to get to bed early."
"Cleaning?" Marcie wrinkled her nose.
"I don't really have a choice." Jenny sighed. None of them did. They'd put off the sad task as long as possible. Sorting through Gram's personal items and readying her house for sale had to be done. If only it didn't make her death seem so, well, final.
Jenny's heart clenched, and she brushed away sudden tears.
Marcee's expression softened in sympathy. "Is this your grandma who died in that car accident a couple of months ago?"
Jenny nodded. Gram had been a young seventy-five, active in her church and in the community. She'd been a good driver, too. But that hadn't mattered. A speeding car had rear-ended her tiny import while she was sitting at a traffic light.
"She'd have wanted you to go out with your friends and have a good time," Marcee said in a persuasive tone. "You know she would."
Marcee, the silver-tongued temptress. The thought brought the smile back to Jenny's lips. Her friend had a way of making even the most irresponsible actions seem rational.
But this time Jenny wasn't going to cave. She'd been out with Marcee and her friends, and she knew the drill. Things didn't get going until at least ten, sometimes eleven. Jenny hoped to be fast asleep by then.
Besides, the last time she'd gone out had been painful. Marcee had urged her to ask a cute guy to dance. When she'd finally gathered up her courage, her tongue had stumbled over the words. He'd stared at her as if she were from another planet. Her stomach knotted, just remembering.
"I still have a lot of work to do." Jenny gestured a hand toward her computer screen. "Once I leave here I'm going straight to bed."
"Going to bed beats sitting in a bar any day," Marcee said with an impish smile. "I just hope you're not sleeping alone."
Marcee wiggled her brows, and Jenny laughed.
"Is sex all you ever think about?"
Her friend's smile widened. "What else is there when you're young and single?" There'd been a time when Jenny would have been horrified by such a comment. But now Marcee's irreverence was one of the things Jenny liked most about her. Marcee's freewheeling lifestyle might be totally at odds with Jenny's upbringing, but she was fun.When She Was Bad. Copyright © by Cindy Kirk. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.