Francesca “Frankie” Archer is the smart mouthed rich girl who worked her way into my heart back in high school. Our one date turned into a nightmare and we’ve been at each other’s throat since. Now, she’s a club owning hottie who still looks better in shorts and a t-shirt than any woman should.
We need to be civil to each other as co-best men standing up for our best friend at his wedding. How hard can that be? But old feelings, a few cocktails and shared hotel suite later and I’m touching her in ways no other man has.
In the light of day, she’s ready to chalk it up to a drunken one night stand, but I’m not ready to end things just as they are beginning again. Maybe I can convince her, if I can show her everything I’ve learned since we’ve been apart. I know she’ll look amazing with the soft ropes crisscrossed across her body.
The gate swung open, and I drove my car up the driveway, the engine growling the whole way. I drove past an open garage with at least eight cars in it. Cars I never thought I’d see in person, let alone know anyone who owned them.
Never had I been more embarrassed by my hunk of junk. I grabbed my jacket off the passenger seat and hopped out of the car, buttoning it as I climbed the steps to the front door. Before I could even lift my hand, the door swung open.
“Hey, Grim, you ready to go?” Frankie said, grabbing for the door handle behind her. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I’d never seen her like this before. Even in her overalls and anime t-shirts she was beautiful. In her normal clothes, she was warm summer days and lying out in a field full of flowers. Peaceful, tranquil and fun. But this was something else.
The lavender, strapless dress hugged curves I thought were hiding under everything she wore, but hadn’t ever let myself imagine. The top of the dress showed off cleavage that would be the envy of any girl tonight. There was a sparkly bit around her waist that made me want to wrap my hands around it. Her hair was down, wavy and flowing over her shoulders.
I’d never seen her with her hair down. It was always tied up in a ponytail, braid or a messy bun with pencils sticking out of it. Earrings sparkled and shined in her ears, catching the light from the veranda. The short, flowing skirt did nothing to hide her amazing legs. And heels. Heels that made her almost the same height as me. I couldn’t wait to take her out on the dance floor.
Her smile would have lit up any room. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Before she could close the door, what seemed like a whole house-load of people came pouring out of the door with phones and cameras. And there was an actual photographer. I blanched, expecting a grilling session as her three brothers and dad stepped outside.
“You must be Grim, we’ve heard so much about you,” her dad said like a much taller, buffer version of Mr. Rogers. “Thanks so much for taking Frankie out. We didn’t think she’d ever peel herself away from the computer for a dance.” He smiled and pumped my hand up and down like I was doing them a favor by taking her out.
“Dad,” Frankie ground out through her teeth. I bit back a laugh. I liked them already.
“Pictures. Pictures, who knows the next time you’ll be in a dress, young lady,” her mom said. At least I thought it was her mom. She could have been her sister from the look of her. They had the same light brown hair and dark brown, almond-shaped eyes.
“Fine, Mom. You get exactly six minutes for pictures.” Frankie pulled her phone out, set a timer and slid it into the pocket inside my suit jacket. Her fingers grazed my chest through my shirt and she winked at me. Fuck! I locked my hands in front of my crotch and started thinking of everything in the world to keep things under control. Getting a boner in front of her whole family was not how I wanted to start this evening off.
Six minutes to the second, I escorted Frankie down the steps to my car. As if parking it in the school parking lot day in and day out didn’t make me feel shitty enough about this clunker, escorting her to it, made embarrassment crawl in my stomach. She deserved so much better than this.
About the Author
Maya Hughes is an author of emotional and steamy romance novels. She’s a long time fan of romance novels, sci-fi, and burning up massive amounts of time procrastinating on the internet.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org