Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Two Chapters Of Rock My Bed and Offical Release date Announcement

Dear Readers,

I know I've been kind of elusive about the release date of ROCK MY BED. The reason for that is I didn't want to give an actual date I didn't think I can make. I've told people *Fingers Crossed* 3-31-13 several times, but now that the date is nearly here I don't feel like that's going to be realistic. I still work as a nurse and have a family, so my time is always stretched thin. Maybe some day I can do this writing thing full time, but until then I have to write when I can.

I have been working like crazy to get Riff's story out to you, but unlike Noel Falcon, he's a total diva. I can't make him do things as easily as I did Noel. Riff will totally flip me the bird and then turn around and clean my kitchen wearing big yellow gloves because he feels bad. Riff won't allow me to rush him, so he needs some extra time.

While I wish I could hand this thing over to you right now, I don't feel it's ready at this point. With that being said, I do feel comfortable giving you a release date of 4-22-13.

To try and ease the sting of the wait, I want to share with you all the first two chapters of the novel. This novel is almost like a retelling of Rock the Heart from Riff and Aubrey's point of view. You'll find out a ton of new things in this book that go along with the first book. Rock My Bed is a stand alone novel, so if you haven't read the first two books you can read this book and completely understand it. However, I will say reading the first book will only enhance the experince of this novel. Rock My Bed does extend past where Rock the Heart and Rock the Band left off, so you will find out what's up Noel and Lane as well. Don't worry Noel Falcon fans, he's in this book a lot.

Thank you all for supporting me over the past few months. Sometimes it's crazy to think this will be my fourth release in five months. I appreciate every single one of you, and can't thank you enough for all the words of support--means the world to me.

I can't wait to share this entire book with you!!


Michelle



 
***CAUTION UNEDITED. SUBJECT TO CHANGE.***
 
 

Rock My Bed


 

Chapter 1

 
AUBREY

 
I tip my head back and listen to the beat of the music echoing down the hallway and readjust my backstage pass. This isn’t the piece of cake first assignment for my best friend, Lanie Vance, I thought it would be. I just hope she isn’t beating the crap out of Noel Falcon on the other side of that red door.

The brick wall is cold against the bare skin on shoulders as I lean against it. This is such a fucked up mess. If I’d known things would get this heated between Lanie and Noel I might’ve agreed with her that she shouldn’t take Diana Swagger, our boss, up on her offer to head up his children’s literacy campaign. Seeing an ex is never easy. I can’t even imagine what I would do if my ex became a rock-God and I was forced to work with him in order to advance my career.

She’s definitely got her work cut out for her.

A few screams at the end of the hall draw my attention. I stiffen against the wall as my gaze lands on Riff, the lead guitarist of Black Falcon. Women rip open their shirts for him to sign their chests as he moves gracefully between them down the hall. My eyes rake over his body. I can see why women line up to throw themselves at him. The hair on his head is perfectly styled into a tall Mohawk that alternates between blonde and black chunk stripes, while his wife-beater tank top shows off a vast array of tattoos covering his broad shoulders and impressive forearms. Riff grins as he signs a couple of bare breasts with a silver Sharpie while another fan kisses his cheek. Everything about him emits raw sex appeal, and it’s impossible to tear my gaze away.   

I bite my bottom lip just as Riff glances up and notices me. Every instinct in my body advises me to look away because this guy is trouble—the kind I’ve sworn off of since the last bad-boy I messed around with broke my heart. Guys like him aren’t good news.

He holds my eyes with his for a few seconds and when I don’t break our stare, a slow, cocky smile spreads across his lips.

Oh shit. Why do I have the feeling that look means I’m in for it?

Riff leans over and says something to one of the security guards and then clamps him on the back before he stalks towards me alone.

Security holds the crazed fans back and it doesn’t even faze him as heads straight for me. The girls behind him continue to scream out his name as he leaves them standing there still starving for his attention, but he never looks back.

I swallow hard as my heart hammers inside my chest. The moment is surreal. Since getting to know Lanie in college and learning about her connection to Black Falcon, I admit Riff is the one band member that’s always caught my eye. There’s just something about him that screams naughty sex on a stick, and I can’t believe he’s heading my way.

My knees grow a little weak beneath me as he stops a couple feet in front of me. Riff smirks as his eyes trail over my body unabashedly, lingering a good while on my breasts beneath my form fitting halter-top. “You’re tits are amazing.”

I flinch and my mouth drops open. “Excuse me?”

His grin widens as he leans into me and braces himself against the wall with a hand beside my head. “I knew it. Red-heads are always feisty and they never disappoint.”

Where does he get off? I’m not a prude. I’m down for having all kinds of fun with a random hottie, but just because he’s a fucking rock-star doesn’t give him the right to treat women like random pieces of rump-roast. If any other pick-up line would’ve come out of his mouth he would’ve had a better shot of getting in my panties. Now, he’s just pissed me off.

“Um, ever heard of personal space.” I place my hand on his chest and give him a gentle shove.

Riff’s hand shoots up and wraps his fingers around my wrist. “Feisty and brave. I can only imagine what a night with you would be like. I bet you’re a wild-cat. Here.” He reaches in his back pocket and pulls out a golden piece of paper from the back of his jeans and slips it into my palm. “Meet me out by our bus. Let me have just one night to fuck you senseless. I guarantee I’ll have you speaking in tongues before the nights threw.”

I stare down at the paper and it looks like a ticket to an amusement park ride. My fingers crumple the paper in my fist. “What the hell is this?”

He moves his other arm and places his left hand on the other side of my head, effectively pinning me against the wall. Both of his knees bumped into mine as leans into me. Damn my stupid body for getting turned on by this beautiful asshole. I feel my own lips betray me as they part when Riff dips his head low like he’s about to kiss me. I close my eyes and my chest heaves with anticipation. This is wrong on so many levels, but a rational reason to not allow this to happen doesn’t enter my brain.

The door across the hall startles me as it slams shut after a very pissed Noel Falcon flees from the room. Riff watches the back of the lead singer of his band storm down the hall, obviously distraught as he grips handfuls of his own hair in his fists.

Riff shifts his gaze back to me. “Use this ticket and come find me. Security will let you past as long as you have it. We aren’t done with this conversation.”

I open my mouth to protest, but he leans in and kisses me so passionately my knees below me nearly give out. The warmth of his tongue gliding over mine causes a tingle in my belly that spreads down to between my legs. Riff cups my face in the palms of his hands and gives me a final peck on the lips. “Find me.”

Without another word he pulls away and heads toward the direction of his band-mate. I watch his retreating backside with my mouth gaping open.

What the hell just happened? Did he really just offer to fuck me for sport and then kiss me breathless?

My heart still hammers in my chest as I unclench my fingers and stare down at the golden piece of paper in my hand. That’s one man I need to stay far, far away from. I just know my sanity and my heart depends on it. Good thing this is the last time I’ll ever see him.

I shake my head to wake myself out of the daze Riff just put me in and stare at the door across the hall. The way Noel came tearing out it tells me Lanie’s little chat with him didn’t go well. Time to do a little damage control.

The door creaks open and I spot my friend with her head hung low. More than anything I want to comfort her. I know it can’t be easy facing a messy past head on like she just did. She’s got some big lady balls, I’ll give her that.

I rest my hands on her shoulders. “Did you get your answers?”

Lanie nods, but she doesn’t turn to face me. She sniffs a little, trying to fight back her emotional pain. “Everything I needed to know.”

My heart instantly breaks for her because I can tell she’s not referring to our job duties. This weekend jaunt hasn’t went anything like I imagined.

 

 

RIFF

 

What the fuck is wrong with me? Why am I chasing down the one person I hate, instead of working on seducing that fine piece of ass back there? Two more seconds and I would’ve had her heading back to the bus where she would’ve been happy to cash in that Golden Ticket.

What a waste.

I follow Noel out the exit doors into the Texas summer heat and watch as he paces in the parking lot. The cool demeanor he usually spots is gone, and replaced by a wild look in his eye as he huffs and growls with his hands on top of his head.

“What the fuck is your problem?” Not that I really care any more. Anything that’s bothering him, he probably brought onto himself.

Noel glances up to the sky and bites his bottom lip like he’s searching for answers from up above. After a couple long moments he shakes his head but still allows his chin to be tilted up. “You ever wished for something so much, that when it actually came true you ruined it without even meaning too?”

I crunched my brow. “I have no clue what the fuck you’re talking about. You’re not using again are you? Babbling like this was always a sign before. You know you shouldn’t be doing that with a baby coming and all. You need to keep your shit together.”

Noel’s eyes meet mine. “You know I don’t touch that shit anymore.”

I cross my arms over my chest. If it weren’t for needing to keep Black Falcon together, I would’ve told him to go fuck himself two months ago when I found out he fucked my girlfriend and got her pregnant.

I actually do hate him for going behind my back. Sophie I expected that kind of shit from. I knew from the jump she and I were never going to be serious. She was merely the chick I kept around for a good fuck when I needed it. Finding a random groupie night after night gets pretty taxing.

But Noel on the other hand, his ass was supposed to be my brother, and I never expected that shit from him. If he stabbed me in the back for a quick piece of ass, what else is he screwing me over with? The moment Sophie told me she was pregnant by him, the trust between us was gone. And so was our friendship.

I stand here now, trying to talk to him out of obligation to the band, nothing more.

Noel rubs his hand over his face and sighs. “Lanie Vance was at our show tonight.”

My eyes widen. “The cold-hearted slut you dedicate Ball Busting Bitch to at every one of our shows?”

He nods. “That’s the one. I never thought I’d see her again, and how the fuck did she end up back stage?”

Things start to click. “Is that who was in there with you when you came flying out? No wonder you were pissed. The one chick that carries your balls around in her purse finally confronts you for calling her ass out in front of thousands of people. Nice.”

I laugh and his face twists. Karma is a bitch named Lanie Vance apparently. Life couldn’t get any fucking sweeter.

Noel glares at me. “That’s not why she came after me.”

“What other reason would she have? You haven’t seen her since high school, right? Keep your wallet in check, dude. Sounds like a gold digger to me,” I say.

He shakes his head. “No. She isn’t like that. Believe it or not she needs me for a job.”

Like that doesn’t sound like a load of shit? “What kind of job?”

“She’s working for Center Stage Marketing.  Apparently, I’m her first client.”

“Fuck. That blows. Can’t you just hire someone else to handle your children’s literacy thing so you won’t have to deal with her crazy ass?” This band doesn’t need any more fucking chick drama to come between us.

“That would be the easy thing to do, but the thing of it is, man, she knows me. She knows all about my struggle with Dyslexia, and as much as I hate to admit it, she’s actually the best person for the job.”

I stare at this pussy-whipped douche bag in front of me, and know exactly what he’s trying to get at. He’s told me all about how this woman was the great love of his life. I know Noel Falcon well enough to know he’s got a side agenda on keeping her around. God knows he’ll screw anything that walks at the drop of a hat, why not fuck an old flame that crushed you once just to prove you still can. If I was him, that’s what I would do.

I shake my head, trying to rid myself of the thoughts. Who he sleeps around with is none of my concern. It just makes him look further like a jackass if he starts stringing along this Lanie chick while he knows he’s got another woman knocked up. “Well, good luck with all that.”

“Whatever you’re thinking, don’t. I’m keeping my word to Sophie. I will be there for the baby. Lane coming back into my life won’t change the fact that I’m responsible. I’ll take care of her and stick by her side throughout the pregnancy just like I promised.”

I hold up my hand. “I don’t give a flying fuck what kind of arrangement you and Sophie have worked out. All I know is that neither of you can really stand the other. How you two are delusional enough to think you’ll be able to come together as some sort of cohesive family unit is beyond me. Thoughts like that prove to me how screwed up your concept of family is.”

“You don’t have to understand it—”

“And I don’t have to listen to you talk about it either. Like I told you before, the days of our personal friendship is over. You ruined that when you couldn’t keep your dick out of my girlfriend.”

“I told you I don’t remember sleeping with her. I didn’t do it on purpose, I’m sorry—”

“Save it. I’ve heard this song and dance from you before, and frankly I’m sick of it. You did it. Man up and admit it. Don’t play the victim card here.”

“God, Riff, are you ever going to accept my apology? I didn’t mean to hurt you, man.”

Hurt me? He has no fucking clue how much it actually takes to hurt me. My life has never been sunshine and rainbows, so bad shit happening to me is the expected norm. I learned a long time ago in order to keep heavy shit away, you had to stop letting people in. Only if they’re inside your heart can they hurt you. Things are so much easier when you can keep the caring part of you locked away from the rest of the world. The idea of Noel hurting me is laughable and it pisses me off that he thinks he has that much influence over me.

“Whatever. I hope she rips your heart out again for sport and I’m there to laugh when she does.” A little harsh I know, but it gets my point across.

Noel flinches as I turn around, not giving him a chance to reply, and trudging toward the security of our bus, Big Bertha. I whip out my phone and check the time. The nights still young. I hope that fiery, wild cat doesn’t make me wait too long. I need a good fuck to take my mind off of shit.   

 

Chapter 2

 

AUBREY

 

A couple days after the concert in Texas, I’m back in my comfortable little cubicle at Center Stage Marketing working away. Sometimes the work as an assistant is a little tedious, but typically I don’t mind. My new boss, Isaac Walters, and I seem to be hitting it off.

Isaac is the newest up and coming hot shot to the firm. Even though he’s fairly new to the marketing world, he’s proven that he knows his stuff. Already, he’s landed major accounts that the old blood hounds around the firm would kill to represent. I can learn a lot from him, and hopefully one day this place will give me a shot to run a few jobs on my own.

I stare at my computer screen. Ever since that crazy-random kiss from Riff, he’s been constantly hoarding every spare minute in my brain. I’ve tried to convince myself that he’s a total jackass and to forget about him, but I can’t.

Stupid body for getting turned on by him.

After a few simple clicks I pull up a social media site. It feels a little creepy and a slight bit stalkerish, but my curiosity is intense. I type in Zackary Benjamin Oliver, the name behind Riff’s stage persona, and hit search. Two seconds later a few names pop up, but none of them are the man I’m looking for, which disappoints me.

I lean back in my chair and tap my bottom lip. He must only use his nickname on these types of things so his fans can follow him. I try again, only this time typing in Official Riff. The person with the most followers lands at the top of the list. It’s him. I could spot that signature, crazy hair anywhere. His page fills my screen after a few clicks and I study his profile picture. The green in his eyes is striking, and I lean in to study the rest of him. His strong jaw line and prominent nose give him that I’m very approachable vibe, but all the tattoos scream rocker bad-ass, quickly reminding me of his true nature. His plump top lip curls into a slight snarl almost like he’s growling while his hands grip his guitar in a suggestive pose.

I bite my bottom lip. Damn it! Why does he have to be so sexy? It makes the fact that I missed out on a one on one sex session with him because my best friend needed me sting a bit.

All the what-ifs flow through my mind. If he fucked half as good as he kissed, I know it would’ve been mind blowing.

I sigh. Maybe it was for the best I didn’t hook up with him. A night like that would’ve probably ruined me for all other men and it would’ve meant nothing to a man of his stature. I’m sure he sleeps with models, actresses and any other beautiful women he wants. Compared to them I will only be a blip on his radar.

The mouse in my hand hovers over the friends’ button. I debate on opening a can of words by connecting with him, but decide to click it anyway because what are the odds that he’ll actually remember me anyhow.

The phone on my desk rings. “Yes, Mr. Walters, what can I do for you?”

“Aubrey, can you please come to my office for a quick meeting.”

I start grabbing up my tablet and pen as soon as he mentions needing to see me. “Sure, I’ll be right there.”

I shake my head. It’s best if I forget about Riff. As much as I would love to experience a night with a sexy rock star, that’s one pipe dream that will never happen.

My mother is probably right, I need to find a nice respectable man with a good job—a man that’s good for my future. She’s been on me for years to leave the bad-boy types alone. They always break my heart, and she’s always been there to pick up the pieces.

I hook my pen into my legal pad and stand up just before an audible ding from my computer attracts my attention.

 

 

RIFF

 

My eyes widen as I spot my red-headed wild cat on my laptop screen. I didn’t think I’d ever see her again after she stood me up the other night, so I’m totally caught off guard when I see her picture pop up as one of my new friends on one of my fan sites.

I click on her photo and it instantly fills my entire screen. She’s just as beautiful as I remember, long auburn hair trailing over her shoulders, complimenting her green eyes and fair skin. She’s the absolute model of fucking perfection—one I’m desperate to bed. Everything I like in a woman she has: sex appeal, sweetness and fire. Those things combined are a rare find and my libido drives me to posses it.

This request excites me. It’s another shot—a do over—for me to try and get her. She doesn’t hate me, that’s clear, or she would’ve have never sent me a friend request. I minimize the profile picture she has posted and click on her personal information section. The name Aubrey Jenson rolls off my tongue as I read her name allowed. I finally have a name to go with the beauty I’ve been dreaming about the past couple of nights.

It says she lives in New York, which throws me off a bit because I met her in Texas. I shrug it off and continue reading about her and then my heart pauses for a beat.

 Fuck!

She works for Center Stage Marketing? That’s the same company that Noel’s heart breaker came down to talk to him about. Holy Hell.

Things start clicking as I think about the few stolen moments with Aubrey in the hallway. Noel flying through the door in a rage after arguing with Lanie flashes before my eyes. My dream girl was there on business, and I treated her like one of my random groupies that was just looking to get laid.

No wonder she stood me up. She’s probably not the type of girl who sleeps with sweaty rock stars who ram their tongues down her throat on a whim. This chick is different from the rest. She’s classy, not some hooker that will suck my dick on command.

But then again, she did just search me out. Maybe she’s down for a night of hot, sweaty sex after all.  

I chew on my thumb as I debate on what to do. The fact that I want to bang her doesn’t change, but my approach will definitely need to be different. This will take more finesse than I’m used to shelling out in order to get laid.

Knowing that we’ve got a common connection almost ensures that I’ll see her again at some point, and when I do, I want her to be so desperate for me to fuck her, she’s practically tear off my clothes the minute she lays eyes on me.

Yes. This chick will take some wooing. Not typically my style, but I love a good challenge and I rarely have that when trying to get laid anymore. Girls playing hard-to-get is one of my biggest fucking turn-ons.

I sigh and start putting a plan of attack in my mind. First things first, I need to gain her trust.

 

AUBREY

 

The fact that Isaac’s waiting on me to come into his office to take notes presses into my brain as I plop back down in my seat. A private message from Official Riff just dinged into my inbox within a couple minutes of requesting his online friendship.

My fingers shake a little as I click to open it.

 Hello Wild Cat,

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since the other night…that ticket never expires, just so you know. See you soon.

Riff

 I swallow hard at the realization that he remembers me. I don’t know whether to be flattered or scared. He’s sexy as hell, I’ll give him that, and my God, I bet he knows what he’s doing in the bedroom. I love a man that’s forward and goes for what he wants. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I always fall for bad boys. Nice guys just don’t have that edge I need to keep me interested.

My phone rings again, and I glance down at the number.

Shit. Isaac again. He’s probably wondering where the hell I am.

I gather my things and head for his office across the hallway. Luckily for me, my boss typically works with his door shut, so I don’t have to explain why I was sitting in my cubicle with my mouth hanging open staring at a computer screen instead of jumping at the immediate call to come into his office.

I knock once before I hear Isaac call “come in” on the other side of the door.

His office is in perfect order, as always. I never knew a man could be so neat until I met Isaac Walters. He’s hard at work on his computer, typing furiously with his brown eyes narrowed through his glasses. The blonde hair on his head lays perfectly into place. His gray suite jacket fits snuggly across his board shoulders. He’s only older than me by a couple years, but he has a defined presence about him that makes him seem so much wiser.

I catch myself staring at him, ogling his chiseled cheek bones and sculpted nose before I shake my head and remind myself that this man is my boss, and a little bit too up tight for my taste. Yes, my boss is model perfect with a little touch of O.C.D. and makes for good eye-candy while I’m at work. This is the type of guy my uptight mother would love for me to bring home, but he’s totally not my style.

“Have a seat, Aubrey. I’ll be right with you,” Isaac says, but never tearing his eyes away from his work.

I take my seat across from him and tug down my black skirt as I cross my legs. His ultra modern black and glass desk gleam from the afternoon sun shinning in from the wall of glass windows behind him. There’s nothing better than New York in the Summer time. Anything you could possibly want is in this city.

I adjust the yellow legal pad on my lap and click my pen, ready to jot the list of notes I’m sure he’s about to fire at me.

Once Isaac is satisfied with whatever he’s working on he turns his chair to face me directly. That’s one thing I’ve learned from him. Direct eye contact lets people know you mean business. It’s hard not to give him one hundred percent of your attention when he turns his gaze in your direction.

He folds his large hands together on his desk and clears his throat. “I was curious how it went this weekend with Black Falcon.”

Oh shit!

This is surprising. We never really make small talk, and it kind of shocks me he’s interested in an account that doesn’t belong to him. Or maybe it does concern him. Maybe Noel called Diana and demand Lanie be fired, and I’m automatically going down too because of association.

I take a deep breath and internally cringe. “It went okay, I think.”

Isaac nods. “That’s good. So, you think you’re up for working with them a little more then?”

What? “I guess so.”

“Excellent. I’ve been assigned to create the design for the Noel’s children’s literacy campaign, and I’m going to need a lot of help from you on this one since you had a chance to meet with the band and hear Noel’s vision directly.”

My shoulders relax, even though I’m still in shock a little bit. From what Lanie told me, Noel Falcon couldn’t get away from her fast enough. I figured we’d be in some deep shit for losing such a large account for the firm, but from the way Isaac is talking, Black Falcon is still our client.

“Of course, anything you need.”

Isaac leans back in his chair. “It’s funny you say that, because what I actually need from you requires a bit of…discretion.”

 “Okay. No problem.”

“I know you’re close to our intern, Lanie Vance, and I’ll need you to obtain some information from her.”

I crunch my brow, confused on where he’s going with this. “What kind of information?”

“It seems that Noel Falcon is quite smitten with her, and has requested that she alone handle this account for him. Diana smoothed things over with him and led him to believe that was exactly what was going to happen. She even agreed to send Ms. Vance on the road with Black Falcon, at his request, for two weeks to appease him, but naturally we can’t allow an intern who’s still wet behind the ears run a million dollar project.”

Things start to click. “So, you’re going to work on it here, while everyone is lead to believe that Lanie’s in charge?”

He smiles. “Precisely.”

“How am I involved in all of this?”

Isaac leans in and rests his elbows on the desk. “You’re going to keep me on the inside track. Get her to tell you things about the band, and then report back to me.”

I swallow hard. “I’m sorry, Isaac, but that feels like a huge betrayal of my best friend’s trust.”

He nods and scoots his chair back and walks around to the front of the desk. His tall frame towers over me as he leans back against his desk while both hands rest on either side of him. “I know this sounds bad, but it’s not exactly what you’re thinking. Diana was going to give this account to someone else until I threw my hat in the ring. I didn’t think it was right to pull the rug out from someone like that, so I figured if I took the account, since you know her, you can get her ideas. That way, we can still implement some of them…if they’re good. She’ll still get some credit.”

“That seems awfully nice of you, but I can’t help but wonder why you would get involved.”

He shrugs. “Because you work for me, and I would like to keep it that way. If your friend quits because she gets angry over the Black Falcon account, I don’t want her to convince you to quit with her. I like having you around.”

That’s kind of sweet, in a weird twisted way, but I’m not sure why he would go through all the trouble. It’s not like we talk much, other than when we have to for business related things. This sudden act of chivalry causes me to raise my eyebrows.

“Isaac, even though I love Lanie, I wouldn’t quit my job on a whim. Center Stage has been my dream place to work since my third year of college. I’m just glad you put your faith in a new grad and hired me even though I had no experience. No one else would’ve given me a shot like that, so I’m grateful to you for the chance.”

Isaac’s face lights up and his smile brightens. “Good, because I really don’t want you to go any where. Matter of fact, I would like to keep you around so I can get to know you better.”

I meet his gaze with my mouth slightly agape. Why am I getting the distinct feeling he’s trying to make a play for me? This is so not good. I can’t get into a relationship with my boss—it could end my career.

Feeling a bit uneasy about the situation, I stand and fight the instant urge to run as fast as I can out of this office. “Okay, well, will there be anything else?”

He pulls his lips into a straight line. “No. That will be all, Aubrey. Please just keep me informed of Ms. Vance’s progress on the campaign.”

I nod curtly and flee from his presence.

Shit.

I flop down in my desk chair inside my little cubicle and run my fingers through my hair. How can I tell a man to take his O.C.D. ass and beat it because I’m totally not interested when he’s my boss? They certainly never prepare you for this in college. They should teach a When Your Boss Wants to Fuck You one-o-one.

I punch my spacebar on my desk top, ready to fire a message of warning out to my best friend, and the message from Riff still sits on my screen.

If I tell Lanie about this, she’ll probably quit and ruin the one shot she has at getting her foot in the door here. Pissing off people as powerful as Diana Swagger is highly unadvisable. She practically runs New York’s advertising world. If she wants to destroy you and make sure you never work in this town again, then she will.

Besides all that, going on the road with the man she still loves, even though she denies it, might be the start of a beautiful new relationship for her. One that I can tell even as an outsider isn’t completely over for either one of them.

I stare at Riff’s message, and the thought occurs to me that I can not only get insider information from Lanie to help her out secretly with the ad, but I may have just won myself a new connection in the form of a sexy, tattooed rocker.

I hit reply and begin to type.

Riff,

I’m amazed and flattered you remember me. It’s nice to know the golden ticket still stands. I am kind of curious as to what it grants me admission to?

 Aubrey

I hit send before I have a chance to chicken out. Since my last break up, I swore off the bad boy type, but I can’t help but to still be attracted to them. When I saw my mother over the weekend back in Texas, she went on and on how at twenty four she was settled down with my father after college and was ready to start her family. She just can’t understand that I’m not ready to settle down, or feel that I have to.

I’m still young, with my entire life ahead of me. Twenty four isn’t old by any stretch of the means. What’s wrong with messing around with a guy for fun every now and then? It’s not like this thing between Riff and I will ever turn into a relationship anyway. My mom would have a heart attack if I brought someone like him home to meet her. She would like nothing more than for me to find a nice, boring man like Isaac and pop out a few heathens.

I shudder at the thought. Not that there’s anything wrong with Isaac, but I just know me. He would bore me to tears, and the organization issues he has would drive me insane.

I shake my head. The last thing I need to be thinking about right now is men. I’ve got bigger problems than that—namely, how and if I can break the news to Lanie about what’s going on in the dirty underworld of Center Stage Marketing.