First Chapter of One Sizzling Night


I have really needed this weekend getaway with my girls. We’d already talked about doing something fun for my thirtieth birthday, but after I broke up with my boyfriend after Christmas, plans ramped up, and now we’re spending the weekend in our college town. We spent the day doing facials and getting our nails done, and tonight we are out on the town. It’s been ages since I shed my scrubs and put on a party dress, but I feel—and look—amazing. When Diane picked out this hot pink minidress with blouson sleeves and a plunging neckline, I laughed, but she was right. I look sexy as hell.

The seven of us look as sexy as hell.

We’d formed a sisterhood in college, one that developed over the years so that we all ended up sharing a three-bedroom house our last two years at school.

I celebrated my twentieth birthday with them. I wouldn’t want to enter my thirties with anyone else, any place else, but where we all met. This was the best idea ever.

I’d just taken a sip of my very yummy old-fashioned when I looked up and saw him walk in.

My ex.

Gideon Cooper.

My heart does this traitorous flip, because damn, he looks fine, dressed in a button down and blazer, his beard neat, his wavy hair tamed and combed back from his face, one loose lock falling free over his forehead. He’s not a big guy, but lean and fit from his years playing shortstop for the Fort Worth Guardians.

He hasn’t seen me yet, and I have a moment to appreciate him before I remember how he hurt me.

And then I go on the defensive.

What in the hell is he doing here? He doesn’t live in the city, doesn’t even like Austin. So how is it he’s here, on my birthday, exactly where I am?

Now he sees me, his brown eyes sharp even across the room, but not surprised.

He knew I’d be here.

Hope gives a little flutter in my chest before I squash that bitch down.

I snap my back straight and clamp my hand on Diane’s wrist.

“Time to leave,” I announce, and stand up, struggling not to sway as I do. He will not see any weakness in me, no matter if I have had two drinks before this one.

“Leave?” Diane protests, motioning to her glass. “We just got our drinks.”

“Time. To. Leave.”

I cut my gaze toward Gideon, who pauses now that he sees I’m surrounded by my friends. Who else did he think I’d be here with? My heart does another hard thump as I wonder if he thought I’d be on a date.

No, that makes no sense. Somehow, he knew I’d be here. But how?

He’s between us and the door. My brain races to find a way to walk out past him without talking to him. Chelsea, bless her, gives me a nod that tells me she’s got my back. She approaches him, catching his arm and turning him away from us so we can slip past him.

I don’t know why my heart aches when I’m out on the sidewalk, away from him. He was here, looking for me, but why?

I don’t want to call it a night just because my ex is here. We’ve worked too hard to plan this weekend. We’re out on the strip, with a number of bars nearby, but I don’t want to go to one too close, in case he decides to follow us. I’m aware of my friends watching me closely, ready to defer to my judgment as we decide on a bar across the street and down on the corner that looks like fun.

It’s not until we get through the door of the new club that we realize we left Maya behind.

It’s kind of terrible that my first thought is that I hope she doesn’t end up talking to Gideon and telling him our plans. But no, she knows well how our relationship ended, and she won’t betray me.

We head to the bar, and even though the girls have been taking turns buying my drinks, I buy them all one to thank them for bolting when I asked.

Then we find an empty table, set our drinks down, and hit the dance floor.

I can’t help watching the front door, though, waiting for Gideon to come through it. And I’ll never admit it to my friends, but a small, traitorous part of me wants him to.

Coming soon to Amazon!