Sunday, July 1, 2018

Love Bites, Chapter 9

Hunter looks so handsome tonight in the dim lighting of the Italian restaurant that it’s easy to forget all about the mystery hair in the little baggie I handed over to Detective Bateman. We placed our orders and Hunter reached out to take my hand across the table. Now we’re staring into each other’s eyes and all I want to do is go old school on the table—push the bread and the candle and the water glasses to the floor and climb across it to make out with him.
 
“Tell me something about you that I don’t know,” I say.
 
He smiles at me. He has the sexiest smile I’ve ever seen. “I think you’re beautiful. And I could stare into your eyes all night.”
 
“Oh, stop it.” But he’s looking at me like he means it, which makes my mouth feel suddenly very dry. I glance up, looking for a waitress. “Where are our drinks? We ordered them, like, forever ago.”
 
He’s still gazing into my eyes. “It hasn’t been that long.”
 
“Yes, it has.” I crane my neck, trying to find the woman who took our drink orders at least ten minutes ago. “The service in this place isn’t very good.”
 
“It’s fine.
 
“But I’m thirsty.”
 
“Brooke.” He shakes his head. “We’ll get our drinks any minute now. Don’t pitch a dying duck.”
 
I stare at him. Don’t pitch a dying duck.
 
Sydney’s favorite expression.
 
“What… what did you say?” I stammer, pulling my hand away from his.
 
He shrugs. “I said we’ll get our drinks any minute now. So calm down.”
 
No.” I squeeze my fists together under the table. “You said ‘don’t pitch a dying duck.’”
 
“Yeah, so?”
 
I swallow a lump in my throat. Where is my goddamn Diet Coke? “Where did you hear that expression?”
 
He shrugs again. “I don’t know. I picked it up somewhere.”
 
I’m finding it hard to breathe. Just because Hunter said “pitch a dying duck,” it doesn’t mean he knew Sydney. Just because he had bobby pins in his apartment, it doesn’t mean Sydney was in his apartment. All of this is circumstantial evidence. I mean, I met the guy randomly on the street. What are the odds that he’s the same guy who was dating Sydney? It’s got to be at least… one in three million.
 
Detective Bateman’s voice rings in my ears: So you’re dating a guy who you think could be a murderer and you’re just… okay with that?
 
But Hunter’s not a murderer. I know he’s not.
 
Although if I really knew, I wouldn’t have given the detective that hair.
 
“Hey.” Hunter reaches out to take my hand again across the table. I let him, even though I know my palm is clammy as hell. “I was just thinking, Brooke. How about if after dinner we go for a little walk around that park we passed a few blocks from here?”
 
My blouse feels too tight around my chest. “A walk around the park?”
 
Sure.” He grins at me with those perfect, white teeth. “It’s fun to go for a walk after dinner. Romantic.”
 
I grab a fistful of my skirt with my free hand. “It just seems a little… deserted around the park at this hour.”
 
Don’t worry.” He winks at me and his face glows eerily in the light of the candle. “I’ll protect you.”
 
Why am I hesitating to do this? Hunter is not a murderer. This whole thing is ridiculous. He’s a great guy and he’s right—it would be romantic to take a walk around the park. And Hunter is… God, he’s so handsome. And the way he’s staring at me with those dark eyes makes me feel tingly everywhere.
 
He rubs his thumb against the palm of my hand and the tingly feeling intensifies. Hunter is just so goddamn sexy. There’s no possible way he could be responsible for hurting anyone. I want him so badly. I want to go to the park with him if that’s what he wants. I will go to the park with him. I’ll do anything.
 
I will surrender to him. I will be his. I will give myself to him.
 
Before I can tell Hunter the park sounds like an excellent idea, I see the door to the restaurant opening across the room. The sight of a familiar face surprises me enough that I yank my hand away from Hunter’s. Actually, it’s two familiar faces. Gabby and Jamie.
 
My eyes meet Gabby’s and she waves enthusiastically. That’s when I realize this is not a coincidence. The bitch must have planned it. I bet she looked at my phone when I got up to go to the bathroom yesterday when we were having lunch.
 
Jamie, on his part, looks like he had no part of the intel. He seems shocked to spot me across the room and even more shocked when Hunter turns around to see what I’m looking at.
 
“Brooke!” Gabby calls across the room, waving maniacally.
 
Hunter looks at them, then raises his eyebrows at me. “Your friends?”
 
I nod guiltily. “It’s Gabby. I swear I didn’t put her up to this.”
 
I expected him to be pissed off, but instead, he chuckles. “Well, I suppose you should ask them to join us at this point, since they’re already here.”
 
I let out a sigh of relief. “You’re not angry?”
 
He chuckles again. “Of course not. It wasn’t your fault, was it?”
 
I can see Gabby and Jamie talking across the room. They look like they’re arguing. Gabby is pointing to our table and Jamie is pointing to the front door. It seems like Jamie isn’t too eager to join us.
 
Gabby wins out though. While a waitress helpfully moves an adjacent table over to form a foursome, Gabby and Jamie make their way across the room. The restaurant is cramped though, with lots of tables and chairs, which means Jamie is struggling a little with his cane. Gabby has to help him move a couple of chairs so he doesn’t snag it. But when he’s about one table away from us, his cane gets caught on a chair and he’s down.
 
“Shit,” I hear him say as he falls ungracefully, partially catching himself on another table to soften the blow but still ending up on the floor. Gabby lets out a yelp that makes everyone in the restaurant who wasn’t already staring turn their heads.
 
Hunter rises to his feet and quickly moves to help Jamie. He holds out his hand to Jamie, who takes it rather reluctantly and allows Hunter to help haul him back to his feet.
 
“You okay, buddy?” Hunter asks Jamie.
 
Fine,” Jamie mumbles.
 
I stand too for what is now certain to be awkward introductions. “Hunter,” I say, “these are my friends Jamie and Gabby.”
 
Hello, Gabby,” Hunter says to her. He turns to Jamie and instead of shaking his hand, he pats him on the shoulder. “Hello, Jamie.
 
I move to the other side of the table so I’m next to Hunter and Jamie is next to Gabby. The two men are across from each other, and I can immediately see how they’re sizing each other up.
 
“So,” Hunter says, “are you two brother and sister?”
 
Jamie frowns, and Gabby shoots Hunter a look. “No, we’re a couple,” she corrects him in a sharp voice.
 
“Oh!” Hunter’s eyes widen, but then he quickly smiles. “Well, that’s just… wonderful!” He smiles at Jamie. “Good for you, buddy.” He looks at Gabby next. “And good for you too. You’re a good person.”
 
Jamie’s blue eyes darken, and for a brief second, he looks like he wants to take a swing at Hunter. But that doesn’t happen, thank God.
 
Jamie and Gabby place their orders with the waitress and we make casual conversation. Gabby is chatting with Hunter, but Jamie is staring sulkily at his water glass. I catch his eye for a moment and he shakes his head at me.
 
Gabby is describing her advertising job to Hunter, who is listening dutifully. He’s a good listener. If I do ever bring him home to meet my parents, I think they’re going to be impressed with him. Of course, at this rate, he won’t want to meet them for several years.
 
“And how about you, Jamie?” Hunter says. “You don’t work, I assume. How do you fill your days?”
 
“I work,” Jamie says tightly.
 
“Really?” Hunter says in amazement. “Do you? Well, that’s just fantastic!” He smiles patronizingly at Jamie. “A girlfriend and a job too. Good for you. Part-time then or…?”
 
“Full time,” Jamie says. I see his right hand has balled into a fist. I’m getting seriously worried he might hit Hunter and I don’t know if I’d entirely blame him. Hunter’s acting like he’s never seen a guy walk with a cane before. Honestly, I’ve never seen Hunter act like this before. Sometimes he can be a little over the top, but it’s usually in a charming way. It almost seems like he’s goading Jamie on, trying to make him angry.
 
But that’s crazy. Why would he do that?
 
“A desk job then?” Hunter asks.
 
Jamie narrows his eyes. “Computer programming.
 
“Ah!” Hunter nods like he gets it. “Well, that sounds just perfect. I bet you can even do that from home.”
 
Before Jamie can answer, I make an attempt to divert the conversation. “I wish I could work from home,” I comment.
 
Hunter smiles. “Brooke here has such an interesting job. She’s a phlebotomist.”
 
“I know,” Jamie says irritably.
 
“Yes, I suppose you do,” Hunter says vaguely. “But… I can’t say I’ve ever met a woman who did that before. It’s fascinating.
 
“You couldn’t get me to do that for a million dollars,” Gabby says with a shudder. “Sorry, Brooke, but blood is gross.”
 
Hunter looks at Gabby as if she said something blasphemous. “Blood is what keeps us all alive. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all the cells of our bodies to give them energy. White blood cells fight infection. And platelets… they help with clotting. Without any platelets, you’d bleed out all over this table.”
 
Gabby looks positively green at this comment. What he said doesn’t bother me, but it does bother me that he said it. Why would he say something like that?
 
Listen, Hunter,” Jamie says, “maybe we could change the subject. Talking about blood is bothering Gabby, and honestly, I don’t like it either.”
 
“Well, that surprises me,” Hunter says. “Brooke is your friend. You’re honestly telling me that you don’t have any interest whatsoever in what she does?”
 
Jamie glares at him. “I’m just saying that maybe blood isn’t appropriate dinner conversation. Okay?”
 
Jamie’s hand is still balled into a fist, and now Hunter bares his teeth at him—it’s almost a smile but not quite. The whole exchange is starting to freak me out.
 
“Hunter said he’s going to get us tickets for Book of Mormon,” I blurt out, hoping that will change the subject.
 
Gabby immediately picks up on the cue. “Oh my gosh, are you serious, Hunter? I’ve been wanting to get tickets forever, but they cost a fortune.”
 
“Well, Brooke said she wanted to see it.” Hunter smiles and shrugs. “So what’s a few hundred dollars?”
 
“Wow, that’s awesome,” Gabby says. “I’m totally jealous.”
 
Jamie’s cheeks redden. “I didn’t know you wanted to see that show, Gabby. I can take you.”
 
“Oh…” Gabby smiles awkwardly. “That would be great, but… it’s so expensive, Jamie. You don’t have to…”
 
“How about this,” Hunter says, “when I’m going to get tickets for me and Brooke, I’ll buy an extra two tickets. I’m sure you’re living on a fixed budget, Jamie, and I’d be happy to treat.”
 
Jamie narrows his eyes at Hunter. “I can afford two tickets to Book of Mormon.”
 
Hunter smiles. “But it’s no problem for me. It would be my treat.”
 
Gabby looks between the two men, as if unsure what to say. “Um…”
 
“Really, it’s fine,” Jamie says through his teeth. “I can afford it.” He looks at Gabby. “I’ll get the tickets. Really.”
 
Gabby looks at him like he’s crazy, but I understand why Jamie is upset. What man wants another man to treat him and his girlfriend to a show? And the strange thing is, even though Hunter is being nice, I still can’t shake the feeling he’s doing it to intentionally provoke Jamie.
 
As soon as the check comes, Jamie tosses some bills on the table and stands up so quickly that his chair nearly falls over. Hunter picks up the bills from the table and tries to return them to Jamie. “I’d be happy to treat for dinner tonight,” he says.
 
“No,” Jamie says tightly. “Not necessary.”
 
I can tell Jamie wants to get the hell out of the restaurant, but it’s only gotten more crowded while we’ve been sitting here. It’s a struggle for him to get past the rows of tables and chairs. I can see at one point his cane gets snagged on a chair and he’s taking deep breaths as he works it free. Gabby puts her hand on his shoulder and he shrugs her off.
 
After they’re gone, Hunter turns back to me with that sexy smile he’d been giving me earlier. “So how about that walk in the park?”
 
I narrow my eyes at him. “Why were you treating my friend that way?”
 
He frowns. “What do you mean? I was very nice to Gabby, considering she intentionally ambushed us.”
 
“I don’t mean Gabby,” I say. “I’m talking about Jamie.”
 
He blinks his eyes a few times. “He’s your friend?”
 
“Well, yeah,” I say. “He’s lived downstairs from me for like three years. And… well, yes, he’s my friend. One of my closest friends, actually.”
 
He used to be, at least.
 
Really?” Hunter snorts, although I’m not sure what that means. “Okay, well, I didn’t think I was unpleasant to the guy. I offered to treat him to a show, for God’s sake.”
 
“Yes, but…” I shake my head. “You were treating him like he was some kind of… I don’t know, invalid.”
 
“But he is.”
 
“Are you kidding me?” I cry. “He just uses a cane. It’s not that big a deal.”
 
He snorts again. “Well, I’m sorry I felt bad for the guy and tried to be kind to him.”
 
I suppose he’s right. He didn’t say anything to Jamie that was intentionally mean. It’s true—it seemed like he was going out of his way to be nice. I’m not sure why his behavior made me so uneasy.
 
“So how about that walk?” he says again.
 
“I…” I bite my lip. “I’m really tired, actually. I think I’ll just go home.”
 
Hunter drops his hands into his lap, a frown on his face. “It’s not even ten o’clock.”
 
“I’m sorry,” I say. “Next time. I promise.”
 
At first I think he’s going to start whining, but instead, he smiles at me. “Okay, whatever you want, Brooke. I’ll drive you home.”
 
He’s a complete gentleman during the drive home, which makes me feel guilty for having shut him down. He opens the car door for me both when we get in and when we get out. And before he tells me goodnight, he gives me a long, lingering kiss that almost makes me tell him to come on up to my apartment and keep the date going. Almost.
 
Next time.
 
Instead, I go upstairs myself. I really am tired from that tense dinner and it’s nice to be alone in my apartment. I turn on the television and watch until I pass out on the cushions of my couch.
 
At around midnight, I get woken up by urgent knocking on the door interspersed with the doorbell ringing. I shout at the door, “Hang on a minute.” I’m already pissed off at the asshole who’s knocking on my door at midnight. It couldn’t possibly be Mr. Teitelman. He would never be that rude.
 
I throw open the door without even checking the peephole. I’m startled when I see Jamie standing there, looking rumpled in his jeans and T-shirt, his blue eyes slightly bloodshot like maybe he’s been drinking.
 
“Jamie,” I gasp. “What are you doing here?”
 
“Can I come in?”
 
I nod and step back. He limps in, leaning even more heavily on his cane than he usually does. He makes it to my sofa, then collapses. I sit down beside him.
 
“Are you okay?” I ask him.
 
He shakes his head at me. “Are you really going to keep dating that guy?”
 
I cringe. Is that why he’s here? To give me a hard time over Hunter?
 
“I like Hunter,” I say. “I’m sorry he was a bit of a jerk to you—”
 
A bit of a jerk?” he repeats.
 
“Fine, he was being really patronizing,” I admit. “But usually he’s really great. Wonderful, actually. And I like him a lot.”
 
Jamie sighs and rubs his face with his hands. “I don’t trust him, Brooke. I don’t think he’s a good guy.”
 
“Jamie,” I say. “I understand your concern, but… well, you’re not my dad. Hell, even my dad doesn’t get to tell me who I can date.”
 
“I just get this really bad gut feeling about him.” Jamie’s eyes are pleading with me. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s practically frantic. “I’m worried about you, Brooke. I mean it.”
 
“I don’t know what to say,” I murmur. “I respect your opinion, but… I’m not breaking up with him.”
 
“Please, Brooke.” His brows are scrunched together. “I’ve never asked you to do anything like this before. But the whole time I was at that table, I just got this strong feeling that…”
 
I raise my eyebrows at him. “That what?”
 
He averts his eyes. “He’s evil.
 
I stare at him.
 
“I know it sounds stupid,” he says quickly. “I realize that. But… I just…”
 
I bite my lip. If I told Jamie about the bobby pins, he’d go crazy. And then the “dying duck” thing. He doesn’t know any of this, and he still thinks I should stay away from Hunter. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I should block Hunter’s number from my phone and cut him out of my life.
 
Except I already know I’m not going to do that. Even as I’m sitting here talking to Jamie, my hand is itching to pick up the phone and call Hunter. To tell him to come over. That I’m his if he wants me.
 
He lifts his eyes again and he can see that nothing he’s saying is doing anything to convince me. His shoulders sag.
 
Fine,” he grunts. “Keep dating him.”
 
“Thanks for giving me permission.” I roll my eyes, trying to make light of the whole thing. I don’t want him to see how uneasy I feel.
 
“But, listen, just… do me a favor.
 
Uh…” I can’t imagine what he’s going to say.
 
He digs into his pocket and pulls out a tiny metal spray bottle. “I want you to keep this with you at all times.”
 
I frown. “What is that?”
 
“It’s mace.
 
I roll my eyes. “Come on, Jamie…”
 
“Put it in your purse, okay?” he says. “Promise me you’ll do it, Brooke.”
 
I take the small can of mace from him and put it on the coffee table. “Okay. I promise.”
 
“Do it now,” he says.
 
He’s being ridiculous, but just to indulge him, I put the bottle in my purse. I guess it’s useful to have. I can’t imagine I’m going to need to use it on Hunter though.
 
“Happy?” I say as I settle back down on the couch.
 
“Not really,” he says.
 
He’s looking at me again and it’s almost heartbreaking. I thought it was over before it began with me and Jamie. He’s with Gabby, after all. She spent the night.
 
But the way he’s looking at me now makes me think it’s far from over.
 
_____
 
 
On Sundays, Gabby and I generally have brunch together, so I’m surprised when it’s nearly noon and she hasn’t called me. Also, I’m dying to do the postmortem with her on our double-date last night. Jamie was totally irrational, but I know Gabby won’t be. She’ll tell me what she actually thinks of Hunter.
 
After I shower, I give Gabby a ring. She usually answers on the first or second ring, but this time, the phone rings so long that I think it’s going to go to voicemail before she finally picks up. “Hello,” she says flatly.
 
“Hi!” I say. “Want to grab brunch?”
 
Gabby is silent for a moment. “Not really.”
 
She doesn’t sound like herself. “Are you okay, Gabs?”
 
“Not really,” she says again.
 
I take the phone with me to the kitchen to see what I can eat in the fridge, since brunch isn’t happening. “What’s going on?”
 
“You mean you don’t know?” she snaps at me.
 
I think of how Jamie showed up at my apartment at midnight. “Um, no…”
 
Gabby is silent again for at least thirty seconds before she finally lets out a sigh. “Jamie and I didn’t go to the movies last night after dinner.”
 
“You didn’t?”
 
“Jamie was too upset,” she says. “We went back to his place and he kept going on and on about Hunter. He really hated Hunter.”
 
“Yeah, I figured that out,” I mumble. “But, you know, it’s none of his business.”
 
“That’s what I said!” Gabby cries. “I told him Hunter is your boyfriend and it’s your business.”
 
“And?”
 
“I’m telling you, he wouldn’t stop,” Gabby says. “He just kept ranting about it. How he couldn’t believe you were dating a guy like that. How he thought it wasn’t safe.”
 
“Wow,” I breathe.
 
“So I said,” she continues, “that maybe he’s so obsessed with Hunter because he’s still in love with you.”
 
A horrible silence hangs on the other line. “And what did he say?”
 
“He said he thought I was right.”
 
Oh my God.
 
“So I told him if he was still in love with you,” she says, “we should probably just end things and I should leave.” Her voice breaks. “And he said he thought that was a good idea.”
 
Goddamn it, Jamie.
 
Oh, Gabby,” I whisper.
 
“I know it’s not your fault,” she murmurs. “You didn’t do it on purpose—I mean, I knew he liked you before he even asked me out.” She pauses. “But honestly, you’re the last person I want to talk to right now.”
 
“I get it,” I say, even though my heart is breaking.
 
“Anyway.” She heaves a sigh. “Maybe we’ll talk in a week or two. When I’m all cried out.”
 
“Okay,” I say softly.
 
We hang up and I feel awful. This whole thing is my fault on so many levels. I shouldn’t have told Jamie to ask Gabby out to the movies, knowing how he felt about me. It was none of my business. I screwed up everything.
 
Yet I can’t stop thinking about Jamie. I’d never seen him as upset as he was last night. I wonder if his gut feeling had more to it than I was willing to believe…
 
 
*****
 
Hunter and I are having dinner at a trendy new Japanese restaurant, but I’m having trouble focusing on him. The good news is that I haven’t heard back from Detective Bateman for a week, which I’m assuming means the bobby pin hair was not a match. So Hunter is not a murderer.
 
But he’s also not Jamie.
 
Over the last week, Jamie has called me repeatedly. He’s texted me a bunch too, always with a similar message: “Can you call me or come by? We need to talk.” Except I already know what he needs to talk to me about—the fact that seeing me with Hunter apparently made him realize he’s in still love with me. And I don’t want to take his calls until I’m sure about what I want to say.
 
Seeing Jamie with Gabby has made me recognize my feelings for him are far from platonic. I like him a lot. But I’m still not certain that taking the next step with him is a good idea. He’s one of my best friends and this isn’t going to just be a casual thing—if we go out, it’s going to lead to something really serious. Do I want that?
 
Also, there’s the fact that he only just ended things with Gabby. If I started dating him now, it would crush her. I don’t know if I can do that.
 
And that’s why I’m not taking his calls.
 
I watch Hunter take a piece of sashimi off his plate with his chopsticks. Gabby and I always say New York is divided into People Who Eat East Asian Food With Chopsticks and People Who Don’t. I’m not surprised Hunter falls into the Chopsticks category—Sydney did too. She would make fun of the way Gabby and I dug into our shrimp fried rice with our forks while she was elegantly picking up grains of rice with her chopsticks. Gabby would yell at her for being a “chopstick snob,” and Sydney would tell Gabby to quit pitching a dying duck.
 
I miss Syd sometimes.
 
“You seem distracted,” Hunter notes. He’s surprisingly perceptive. “Everything okay?”
 
He has no clue. “Just a long day at work.”
 
He reaches out to take my hand across the table. “I was just wondering how you would feel about me coming over to your place for a bit tonight. I’ve never seen it before.”
 
“Oh…” I bite my lip.
 
He gives my hand a gentle squeeze. “No rush, Brooke, but... I’d love to see where you live. We can have a glass of wine, then I’ll go.” He winks at me. “Unless, of course, you want me to stay.”
 
I should say no. I don’t trust Hunter right now, and as a general rule, it’s a mistake to invite a man you don’t trust into your apartment.
 
I look into Hunter’s dark eyes. God, he’s sexy. So sexy. So sexy that it almost hurts. Tonight, yes tonight. Screw the three-month rule. It’s a stupid rule anyway. A rule like that shouldn’t apply when a man like Hunter comes along.
 
I will surrender to him. I will be his. I will give myself to him. Tonight.
 
“Yes,” I hear myself say. “I would like you to come over.”
 
Half an hour later, I’m unlocking the door to my apartment with Hunter beside me. He looks possibly a little too excited, but I can’t blame him. I can’t believe this is really going to happen. I’m usually so strict about my three-month rule, but somehow I know this is the right thing to do.
 
“So let me give you the grand tour,” I tell him as we step inside. “Living room, kitchen, bedroom. Oh, and there’s a bathroom somewhere.”
 
He laughs. “You got any wine in that kitchen?”
 
“I think there’s some in the upper cabinet,” I tell him. “And there are wine glasses above the sink.”
 
I watch him fumble around my kitchen. He pulls out my bottle of red wine, and I can tell from his face he’s disappointed. I got it for ten bucks from the local liquor store—hardly the quality he’s used to. But he pours it into glasses anyway.
 
I pull my phone out of my purse and see there are three missed calls from an unfamiliar number and a voicemail message. “Hang on,” I say to him. “Let me just check this message.”
 
I put the phone to my ear and immediately hear a familiar voice: it’s Detective Bateman. Why is Detective Bateman calling me? My stomach does a flip.
 
Hi, Ms. Nelson… er, Brooke? Listen, I’m calling because that hair sample was a match for Ms. Lancaster. Like I told you, this isn’t a hundred percent, but… well, it’s very suspicious. We tried to contact Hunter T. Stone for questioning, but we’re unable to reach him. So I’m calling to see if you had any other contact information or if… well, I wanted to make sure you’re all right. Please give me a call as soon as you can.”
 
The phone nearly slips out of my hand. I look up at Hunter, holding the two glasses of wine, a smile on his face.
 
The hair sample was a match for Ms. Lancaster.
 
Oh God.
 
I’ve got to get him out of here.
 
 
The rest of Love Bites will be available TOMORROW on Amazon.....

23 comments:

  1. Aaaah, I’m so excited for tomorrow! This has been a fun ride. Thanks for yet another amazing story!

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  2. I preordered the book already. I can't wait to read it. Could you just tell me where I need to continue reading in the book? What chapter?!

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    1. Have you been reading the Tom chapters? If so, you can start with Chapter 27. HOWEVER, I did leave out several scenes from the beginning that will be in the book version.

      If you haven't read the Tom chapters, I would recommend starting from the beginning. The story will be much, much cooler if you read those chapters too.

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    2. I can't wait - I also preordered the book...

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    3. Okay. Thank you. From the beginning it is then.

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    4. Yes, I promise it will be worth it.

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  3. Oh no! Run Brooke!!
    Tc

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  4. Never thought that I would say thank God, it's Monday tomorrow but I can't wait to read on!! :)
    I think that I'm as obsessed with Jamie as Brooke is with Hunter!
    Thank you for another wonderful story!

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    1. Thanks! Let me know what you think when you finish!

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  5. Ok this is so not my usual genre but I am totally into this story and just pre-ordered. You are a marketing genius leaving us with that cliffhanger!! I’d have bought it anyway - I’ve bought and loved all your books. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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    1. I know this story wasn't as popular as my last so I had to do what I could ;)

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    2. Worth it! It’s awesome so far. I’m making myself start from the beginning!

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  6. Ahh, not sure if I can justify the expense at the moment, but I am hooked! Hoping it might become free at some point, if I'm lucky!

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    1. Sorry to hear the $2.99 is out of your budget :( It probably won't be free at any point on Amazon because I only do freebies with books that are in a series and I'm not planning that for this book. In all honesty, I was considering increasing the price to $3.99 because it's longer than my other books.

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  7. Hello. It's me. The one who loves Tom and Jamie and Hunter.
    You asked me to tell you what I thought after I read your book. No spoilers but you wrote it EXACTLY like I hoped it would turn out :) :) :)

    Of course my thoughts were not that clearly defined, you being the author not me, but it just fits my thoughts perfectly.


    But I am so glad I didn't comment here before I read the book or THAT would have really been a spoiler..hahaha

    Thanks. Brilliant

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    1. So glad it lived up to your expectations!! If you do have time, I would greatly appreciate a review on Amazon!

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  8. Lovely place to stop your story! ;) Thanks for the heads-up.

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  9. I bought and read it, including the Tom chapters for the first time - just great! Very unexpected twists for me, but exciting! It’s a great book, even though I love things a bit devyier normally. Your writing is so amazing, as is your writing pace. Can’t wait for the next and am a bit jealous of all the stories you seem to have in you. Lucky us, you take the time to write them down!

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    1. Thanks! I'm going to post something new next week, something I haven't fully fleshed out.

      Also, would love a review on Amazon if you have the time! It helps so much!

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