Copyright © 2011 by Thirteen
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This book is a work of fiction. References may be made to locations and historical events; however, names, characters, places and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination and/or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), businesses, events or locales is either used fictitiously or coincidental. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.
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Cover Art: Marteeka Karland
Editor: Legacy Editing,
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Jim & Zetta,
978-1-61788-193-0; (print) 978-1-61788-194-7
To Rob, a man of honesty and candor. I knew this story rang true when you named it your favorite.
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This work of erotica contains adult language and sexually explicit scenes, which are smoking hot. This book is intended only for adults, as it is defined by the laws of the country in which the purchase is made. Keep this book out of the hands of under-aged readers.
“Liars!” It was the high-watermark at
, that hour when the bar was
a quarter full; which meant that a few of the chipped, Formica tables were occupied and most of the nine bar stools were taken. The night wasn’t old, but it was no longer young, and Roy was finishing off his second shot of tequila. “All women are fucking liars. It’s all we ever get from them.”
“Tell it buddy!” That from a trio of beer-guzzlers at one of the tables. Roy knew they were mocking him; that was to be expected at a dive like
. Usually he haunted hotel bars, but tonight he wanted to get drunk and the dingy “Basement” was a very good place to get drunk. It was also a place where he could rant and no one would give a shit.
“Airbrushed lies in magazines,” he went on, “corseted-mascaraed lies on dates. Lies about what they like. About what they want.”
“Yeah!” His new buddies raised their mugs to him.
“‘Are you happy?’ you ask them,” Roy pointed to his empty glass and the jaded bartender obligingly poured him another finger of Curveo Gold. “‘Of course, I’m happy,’ they tell you. Next thing you know, they’ve left you for some asshole with a bigger bank account. Why? ‘Cause you’re not making them happy! Liars!”
“And you guys are so up front?” a woman’s voice suddenly demanded.
Roy straightened up. What the hell? “I beg your pardon?” he snapped.
“The first thing every asshole in high school learns to say to a girl is ‘I love you,’ instead of ‘I want to fuck you,” she went on, and that’s when he saw her. The bar was a half-square shape and she was seated at the corner opposite him, a raven-haired woman in an ivory colored dress.
“Whoa.” There were a couple of ladies at the billiards table knocking about the balls. They’d been pointedly ignoring Roy, but now they were looking up. The one who’d spoken was grinning.
“Oh, and talk about hiding your feelings—” the woman at the bar continued, gold earrings swinging. “That’s all men ever do. They won’t tell you what they’re thinking or feeling or want or need. It’s not ‘manly.’ Not manly. That’s just an excuse for keeping secrets.”
“Oooo!” approved the ladies at the billiard table. “You go girl!”
Roy scowled. He wasn’t about to let some cunt ruin his tirade. “Better than hiding the truth behind all those gushing confessions,” he lobbed back. “
‘I want more tenderness. I want more attention. I want more pretty things.’
And what she really wants is to fuck someone else!”
“Score!” One of the beer guys hooted.
“Oh, please,” the woman at the bar sneered. “You guys do exactly the same thing.
‘Wear this, it’s sexy. Shave your crotch that’s sexy. Act like a slut, that’s so sexy.’
And then you complain that we’re not the girl you fell in love with. Why can’t you just come out and admit you’re tired of us?”
“Gotcha!” a billiard girl crowed.
“At least we give you ladies a chance,” Roy grumbled. “The moment you lay eyes on a guy you’re thinking of ways to change him. Maybe we should start the date by handing you a portfolio? Height, weight, allergies, salary, bad habits. And if you don’t like what you see, the date ends. No need to even try and remodel us.”
“Dude!” another of the beer guys approved.
“Not a bad idea,” the woman, surprisingly, nodded. “Everyone looks so damn good on a first date, wearing their Sunday best, talking themselves up. We should all be required to show ourselves at our worst. Full disclosure. Then we could dump or get dumped before things got serious.”
“Yeah,” Roy found himself agreeing. Maybe it was the tequila, but the more he thought about it, the more sense it made. Brutal honesty. Full disclosure. What would it be like to go on a date like that?
From his front pocket came the sound of a ring. He pulled out his phone and checked the name. He was hoping for a call about an overseas transfer, but this was from one of his well-meaning friends. The ones who kept wanting to know how he was “holding up,” God save him. This was why he was throwing back tequila shots in a dump like
instead of enjoying cosmopolitans with them.
Roy directed the call to voicemail and slipped the phone back into his pocket. His gaze wandered over to the woman at the corner of the bar. She had black hair—straight or straightened—hanging almost to the shoulder and large hoop-earrings. It was hard to tell as the lighting was poor and she was hunched over her drink, but she didn’t seem bad looking. The more he eyed her, the more the idea took root in his head. After trying without success to shake it, he paid for his drinks, sucked in a breath, adjusted his tie, and slipped off the stool.
Janet felt the contentious bastard coming her way. Sipping at her margarita, she cursed herself for getting his attention, but—damn it!—she’d come here to get quietly drunk, not listen to misogynistic claptrap. Well, she was in it now. She stiffened her spine and readied herself for an all out fight as he stopped beside her and cleared his throat.
“Roy,” he said, and she saw his hand, offered to her quite politely. She hesitated, in part because it was so unexpected, in part because she was suspicious. Would he try to crush her fingers? She’d known idiots who pulled that kind of crap. In the end, however, she was not going to be intimidated. She accepted his grip. The hand was square and fleshy, surprisingly warm and firm. She released it as quickly as she could. “Janet.”
He slipped onto the empty stool next to her. He was one of those square sort of guys, broad in shoulder and chest, average in height. Dark hair fell over a high forehead, and an arrogant nose separated wary eyes. He didn’t look temperamental, not like he’d sounded a moment ago.
“So you got dumped, too?” he ventured.
“End of last month,” Janet said cautiously.
“Beginning of this month for me,” Roy said.
“My condolences,” she muttered, then, warily, “I hope to hell you’re not going to suggest we pair up. Last thing I want to do is go out on a pity date.”
The bitterness in her tone was raw enough to scare Roy. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea? Hmm… and it was a good idea to spend the night getting sick on Tequila?
He licked his lips. “Better than that. I think we ought to go on a Full Disclosure.”
She took a sip of her drink. “Come again?”
“What do you do on a date?”
“Get to know the other person.” She shrugged. “Spend time together.”
“Try to impress each other,” he pointed out. “But here’s my proposal: we do the exact opposite. Instead of presenting our best attributes, we lay out our worst. No trying to fool each other. Complete honesty.”
She had dark, arching butterfly brows. They rose, intrigued. “Okay. And after we know why we
want to be with each other, what then?”
“No, no. You don’t get it. We were dumped. And I don’t know about you, but there were all these things that my ex never liked about me. Stuff she was always complaining about and trying to change.”
He heard the ire in his voice and checked it. He didn’t want to scare her away. “I think you and I should build our whole evening around those things. Our flaws and bad habits. Bring it all out into the open. That’s full disclosure. I mean, now that our exes have left us, why bother trying to hide or avoid doing all that shit? It’s not like they’re around to make us feel wrong about it, right?”
“That…that sounds—” she tilted her head and he held his breath ready for the word “ridiculous” “—remarkably therapeutic,” she finished to his surprise, “A big ‘Fuck you!’ to them and their demands.”