All I’ve ever wanted is to fit in. But no one can ever see past how weird I am. Bright lights? Can’t stand them. Loud noises? Definitely sends me over the edge. And touching? Forget about it. At least, until I met Drake. From the moment I walked into that nightclub, I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. And when Drake touched me, it didn’t send me into a tailspin of sensations that I couldn’t stand. It actually felt…nice. Like something I could get used to. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s probably the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. But now someone wants to close the club down. And since I promised Drake that I’d help him keep it open, I’m going to have to find a way to tap into whatever that inner strength thing is that everyone always talks about. And fast. But what happens if I can’t?
He offered his hand. “Name’s Drake Markham.” I nodded but didn’t reciprocate. “So, you work here now?” Drake asked. “Yes.” I spotted the band signaling the sound tech that they’d finished warming up and knew the music would end this conversation soon. Hawaiian tossed an empty bottle over his shoulder into the trash. “She’s awesome. Can make change in her head and shit. Einstein here has crazy math skills. Awesome when the machine don’t work.” “That’s high praise.” Drake pushed from the mahogany bar top, his biceps straining against his thin T-shirt. Ugh, no. I traced the X on the back of my wrist, reminding me of my promise to remain straight. No promiscuous sex. “Well, let’s see what you’ve got.” His gaze penetrated me like he’d just stripped and threw me up on the bar to have his way with me. I swallowed the slut comment that would land me in the back room, strung out, and unemployed. “Okay. Whatcha want?” I asked. Drake rubbed his stubble-coated jaw, the kind that screamed strength, sensuality, and sex. “Surprise me.” That all too familiar Dr. Hyde part of me took hold. “Sure.” I began mixing every fruity concoction together while remembering what flavors mixed well and which tasted like shit. I dropped a few cherries and orange slices into the drink and handed it to him. He eyed the concoction in the clear plastic cup. “And what’s this?” “BBBW.” Resting his elbows on the bar, he tapped his class ring against the surface three times. I strummed my fingers against my jeans. “Stands for Big-Boobed Bitch Whipped.” Drake roared with laughter, cut short by the hard banging drum sounding off the start of the band’s first song. “Not whipped anymore. I’m done with Margo and any woman who only cares about money.” I scanned the bar for the next customer, but they’d all turned to watch the show. “I like you,” Drake shouted over the bass guitarist. I couldn’t think of a snarky comeback with the thu-thump, thu-thump pounding in my ears. A thought formed. I opened my mouth, but he slid from the stool and walked away. Not just any kind of walk—a hip-swaying, firm-ass, I-know-how-to-move-more-places-than-the-dance-floor kind of walk. I closed my eyes to calm my overactive hormones and shut my mouth that was still hanging open, trying to form words. After being celibate for a year and running into such eye candy, this was going to be tough. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be around much. Otherwise, my promise to my Straight Edge family would come to a quick demise. I knew where the slope of promiscuity led from experience. A quick one-night stand worked better for me than love and relationships. But I wouldn’t survive that path again. This time I’d be lost forever.
About Ciara Knight:
Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. With almost twenty-five full-length stories, she has crossed mountains, blown up spaceships, vacationed in exotic islands, and snuggled up in a mountain cabin with that special someone.
For more on Ciara Knight, please visit her website at www.ciaraknight.com