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Series: Second Time Around #2
I’m getting really good at cutting my losses.
First, the husband. Divorcing him was the best decision I ever made. But between single-parenting and job-hunting, I can’t catch my breath. When a celebrity blogging position falls into my lap, I’m determined to succeed.
That is, until I get my first assignment and actually see Noah Frazier for the first time… practically naked and dripping wet. My heart races and I forget how to form complete sentences. His chiseled abs, irresistible smirk, and crystal blue eyes are too perfect to be real. So, what do I do? Get drunk and humiliate myself, of course.
I’m ready to forget the awkward night, yet Noah has no intention of allowing me to move on. Instead, he arranges for me to write a feature on him, ensuring a lot more time together. One embarrassing moment after another, one kiss after another, and before I can stop myself, I realize—I’m falling in love with him.
But when the unthinkable happens, can I even blame him for cutting his losses?
What I wouldn’t give for just one last time…
I knock on the door, and Heather opens it with a huge smile on her face. “Kristin!” Her arms wrap around my neck, and I go falling forward.
“Holy shit! How much did you drink already?” I laugh as we both steady ourselves.
She releases me with a laugh. “I only had one, but Noah makes these really strong.”
If this is her after one . . . we’re in so much trouble. “Pace yourself, honey.”
Heather rolls her eyes and pulls me into the house. “Start drinking. You need to forget your worries, and I have my friends Jim, Jack, and Johnny all here ready for you. Or we can hang out with Jose.”
My brows raise, and she thrusts a glass into my hand. “Who are you, and what have you done with my best friend?”
Her gaze drops to the floor, and when she looks up, a tear forms. “It’s two years today . . . since I lost her.”
She doesn’t have to say another word. I pull her into my arms and rub her back. “Oh, Heather. I’m sorry.”
It’s hard to believe that she lost her sister two years ago. It feels like it’s been so much longer. There’s nothing to say to ease her pain, but I wish I could. Stephanie was more than a sister to Heather. She was like a daughter.
“I’m okay,” she says as she pulls back.
“Today is a shitty day all around.” I shrug.
“Yup.” Then, because there isn’t anything she can do to make it better, I shrug again. “You know . . . exes.”
“All too well, my friend.” Heather laughs and takes a sip of her drink. “Now, drink so I can bring you out back. Eli and Noah are both in the pool. Shirtless.”
Maybe a little alcohol will make me not such an awkward turtle. I follow her advice and take a gulp, shuddering as the alcohol hits me. “Holy hell!”
She wasn’t kidding about the drinks being strong. I don’t know that I can taste the mix. It’s basically straight tequila. I take another gulp and look out the back window.
The back wall of the house has the best views, though. The sun is setting, giving the sky a pink and yellow hue, but that isn’t what my eyes are fixed on.
Standing on the edge of the pool is the most gorgeous male specimen I’ve ever seen. The photo of Noah Frazier is absolutely nothing compared to the living version. He’s taller than I imagined with a wide frame and tanned skin. His hair is wet, appearing almost black, and little drops of water fall from the tips, sliding down his perfect body. I watch the rivulets slide from his chest and then lower as they follow the ridges of his six-pack.
I grip the counter to stop from falling over. “Oh my God,” I say, barely breathing the words.
Heather’s head twists, and when she looks back at me, her grin is wide. “Yeah, God definitely made them.”
“I can’t go out there,” I stammer. “I’ll never be able to speak.”
There is not a chance in hell I won’t make a total fool of myself.
“You have to!” Heather grips my hand. “He’s expecting a reporter friend to interview him.”
My stomach drops. No, no, no, she didn’t.
“You told him?” I scream the question.
She laughs and drains her glass. “Of course we did. Trust me, it’s better he knows. We explained you’re one of my best friends and that you wanted to talk for a bit. Eli said he was more than happy to do the interview for you.”
Jesus. I’m going to kill her.
I grab my drink and throw it back. My throat burns, and I cough as the warmth starts to flow through my veins.
“Easy!” She warns while slapping my back.
“This is going to be so embarrassing,” I whine.
Heather laughs as she pours another drink. “Yup. Yup it is, but oh so entertaining.”
Maybe I can duck back out and no one will ever know. There’s nothing saying I have to do this. My boss is, like, twelve, I’m sure I can come up with something plausible. Celebrities aren’t known for being reliable.
I need this job, though.
Before I can make a move either way, the glass door slides open and Noah walks through the threshold.
My legs start to quiver as his eyes meet mine. All I can think about is how I’d like to climb him like a tree and shake his coconuts. I thought he was hot in the photo, then he was better through the window, but up close, he’s otherworldly.
“Hi.” Noah’s throaty voice floats around me. “You must be Kristin.”
Instead of speaking, I stand here with my mouth hanging open. Some small sounds that could be words escape, but they aren’t coherent.
Kill me now.
“Noah, this is my best friend, Kristin. Who we told you about.” Heather elbows me.
“Yes. Me. Hi. Kristin. I. You. Hi.”
Smooth. Someone should video this because I’m sure it’s highly entertaining.
“Right.” Noah flashes a blinding smile. “I hear you’re a reporter?”
Okay, Kristin, you have to speak in more than one-word increments or grunting noises.
I grab Heather’s glass she just poured and hope it’ll act as a talisman. “Yes, for a small blog, but I’m that. A reporter. For a blog. I write.”
And a bumbling idiot.
Noah’s green eyes are filled with humor. He moves a little closer and places his hand on top of mine. “Eli filled me in a little. I’m happy I came.”
I’m pretty sure I just came. At least we’re all coming.
His lips turn up as his eyes rake my body. “See you out there.” He winks and walks back out.
My ovaries have officially disintegrated.
I turn back to Heather, who bursts out into a fit of laughter. “Oh, that was epic. You all said I was starstruck when I met Eli? You should’ve seen that!” Heather continues to laugh at my expense. “Yes. Me. Um. Blog. Er—” She mocks.
“Shut up.” I laugh—because, really, what else can I do—and bump her hip before moving around the bar and grabbing a glass. “Now, pour me a shot before I drink straight from the bottle.”
There’s only one way to get through tonight.
Lots of Alcohol.
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