Hey, gang! This week, JUST ONE OF THE GUYS, my third book, is back on the shelves, and I’m thrilled. I love this book, love Trevor, love Chastity, love the O’Neill clan. And of course, I love Buttercup, the giant dog.
A little peek at the first chapter, in which Chastity has nearly choked to death on a mushroom, is talking with Trevor Meade, somewhat influenced by the Scorpion Bowl she ordered after her weenie boyfriend broke up with her. Hope you enjoy!
Trevor (five-foot-eleven and a half) occupies an odd spot in my heart. On the one hand, he’s like my fifth brother. I’ve known him since I was in third grade, and he’s the best friend of both Mark and Matt, two of my four brothers. He works with (and reveres) my father, who is Trevor’s captain. He’s godfather to one of my nephews. He’s arguably my mother’s favorite child, biology be damned.
On the other hand, and this is probably the hand that matters, he’s Trevor. Trevor James Meade. Beautiful name, beautiful man. And though he’s a longtime, very close family friend, and though I find him very, very attractive, Trevor is not a possibility. Don’t dwell on it, my Scorpion Bowl advises. Scorpy has a point.
I try not to look at Trevor, turn my eyes to Jeter (six-three, God bless him) and the other boys, but the score is, oh, heck, 312 to 2 or something and the Yanks are on their eleventh batter of the inning, so it’s not exactly a nail-biter. I glance across the table. Trevor gives me a perfunctory smile, but he looks a little uncomfortable. I can’t remember when the last time was that he and I were alone together. Oh, crap, yes I can. When he came down to New York City and told me he was getting married. How can a girl forget? Another grim, embarrassing memory. I sigh, sip and take another layer of nachos.
Trevor signals effortlessly to the waitress―being female, she noticed Trevor the minute he walked, and she stumbles to a halt at the joy of being summoned. Typical.
“What can I get you?” the waitress breathes in a Marilyn Monroe sex kitten voice. “Would you like a beer? The wine list? A few kids and a mortgage?” Actually, she didn’t specifically say that last one, but it was clearly implied.
“I’ll have a Sam Adams,” Trevor says, smiling up at her.
“I’m Lindsey,” she breathes, ignoring me. “I’m new here.”
“Nice to meet you, Lindsey,” Trevor says. I don’t bother to reply, since I’m not part of this conversation anyway. Jeter clips the ball over the first baseman’s head and flies off down the first base line, stretching the hit into a double. I get the feeling he knows I’m feeling down and is doing his utmost to cheer me up. Oh, now he’s stealing third. Yes, it’s clear. Jeter loves me.
The waitress is slipping a piece of paper to Trevor. Her phone number, no doubt. Possibly her bra size and the preferred names of their unborn children. What am I, bleeping invisible? How is a woman who is five-foot-eleven and three quarters invisible? And what if Trevor and I were on a date? We’re not, but it could happen!
Trev has the grace to look sheepish, and my irritation fades. It’s okay. I understand. Trevor is, though not exactly handsome, one of those guys who renders women helpless. His features taken one by one are not so special. Put them together and you have the male equivalent of Death By Chocolate. An utterly appealing, absolutely luscious man. Damn him.
“Trev, be honest.”
“About men and me.”
There must be something in my expression that makes Trevor take pity on me. “Chastity,” he begins. “Men love you. You’re lots of fun. In fact, you’ve always been one of the―” He breaks off suddenly.
“What? One of the what? One of the guys? Is that what you were going to say? That I’m one of the guys?” My voice is shrill. And possibly a little loud.
“Uh, well, in a good way, you know?”
“How is that good?” I demand.
Trevor winces. “Well, you know a lot about sports, right? And many men enjoy sports.” I groan, Trev grimaces. “And you play darts and pool and stuff like that. Um, we all had a good time doing that triathlon with you a couple years ago. The MDA thing?”
I roll my eyes…one seems to get stuck…and look once more at Mr. New York Times. He smiles at something his white-haired companion says and continues to be unaware that his soul mate sits just yards away.
Just then, the pretty, slutty, number-giving-outer waitress reappears with yet another Scorpion Bowl. Even in my tipsy state, I realize that Trevor is right and I shouldn’t drink another drop. Then realization dawns in a glorious sunburst. Someone is sending me a drink!
“From a potential friend,” Slutty Waitress says, her voice loaded with meaning, and sets the glass in front of me.
Well, this is a change! Someone is interested in me! Thank God! Talk about the cavalry rushing in just at the right moment! Just when my ego lies twitching in the gutter, someone has sent me a drink! Oh my God, could it be from Mr. New York Times? No wonder he wouldn’t look at me…he’s waiting to see my reaction! A surge of adrenaline floods my chest, and my eyelids seem to be fluttering. I glance over. He’s still not looking. Must be shy. How adorable!
“Is it from the―” god―“man at that table?” I ask, gesturing in his general direction.
“No. From the…person? Over there,” the waitress says. “At the bar.”
Heart thumping, I crane my neck to see who it is. Trevor does the same.
Sitting at the bar, looking at me with a smile, is a woman. She lifts her beer glass―I’m guessing Miller―and salutes me. Because I don’t know what else to do, I wave back weakly. She’s fairly attractive, with short dark hair and a pleasant plumpness to her, and she seems to have a nice face. However, this doesn’t erase the fact that I’m not a lesbian. Trevor covers his eyes with one hand. I suspect he is laughing. His mouth twitches. Yes. Bastard.
“Could you…could you tell her…I…it’s just that…” My face is flaming.
“She’s spoken for,” Trevor manages to say somberly. “Thanks anyway. You can take the drink back.”
The waitress nods, takes the glass away and undulates her ass inches from Trevor’s shoulder. I put my head on the table.
“Oh, Chas,” Trevor laughs. “Don’t be glum. Things will work out.”
“Blah blah bleeping blah,” I mutter, resisting the urge to punch him in the kidney. Such platitudes are as about as helpful as tossing a bowling ball to a drowning man. I hate the fact that I put up with the tepid and freckled Jason, even for a few weeks. Hate it that Mr. New York Times is eons out of my league. Hate the fact that I’ve just been mistaken for a lesbian.
It’s not fair. Here’s Trevor, able to seduce in ninety seconds. My brothers, ranging in age from thirty-eight to thirty-two, have to fight women off with a Taser and a sturdy chair. Yet somehow, at just past thirty, I’ve become a pariah. Mention my age to a man and he looks stricken, as if I’ve just told him exactly how many viable eggs I have sitting in my ovaries and how very much I’d like them to be fertilized. It’s not fair.
As I sit next to Trevor, the embodiment of everything good in a male, my first love, the first man I slept with, the man who I’m just going to have to get used to seeing with other women, I make a vow.
Things are going to change. I need to fall in love. Fast.
Sure hope you like the book!
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