With Halloween behind us I think it is time to start the Christmas shopping. I actually saw one HOA in town already putting up Christmas lights this morning, which is over kill to say the least.
As promised, below is the first chapter of Frenemies With Benefits, due out mid November.
Frenemies With Benefits
6 years ago…
Izzy sat in the corner of the noisy club. Her feet were killing her from the stupid heels, her friends had insisted that she wear. She slid the strappy stiletto off and moaned from the pleasure of her feet being freed. She rubbed her foot and scanned the room.
The club was big and flashy. All the men were in dress pants and button down shirts and all the woman wore barely there dresses. The music was thumping loud. Her head pounded along with the beat. She usually loved clubs, however, this was the third club they had been to tonight. It was nearly three in the morning and she was beyond done.
Spring break or not she wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep. Unfortunately, her friends, Roni and Gracey, were having too good of a time to even think of going to bed. Well, at least too much fun to go to bed alone.
Gracey had come on this last spring break trip for the sole reason to get laid. She was on a mission to slut it up one more time before she had, to ‘become a real adult’. Roni on the other hand only wanted to find a guy to bump and grind with on the dance floor. And maybe a romantic walk on the beach. As for Izzy, all she wanted was to get a tan and hang out with her best friends.
Izzy slowly lets out a breath, rolling her head to stretch her neck, she closed her eyes. “Mind if I have a seat?” A deep voice asked from behind her. She opened her eyes turning to the voice. Her jaw dropped when she saw the man that stood before her. Standing there was a Viking god. Short spiked dirty blond hair and striking green eyes. He had to be at least 6’5”, compared to her 5’1” stature he was a giant. His muscles were visible through his dress shirt. Which was unbuttoned at the collar, with the cuffs rolled up. Her pulse had instantly picked up.
He coughed and nodded toward the chair. Izzy had been busted checking him out. “Sorry, yes, please have a seat.”
“Thanks, this is the only empty seat in this place. I figured we were in the same boat so maybe you would be amicable to my plight.” The Viking god mused, totally confusing Izzy. He nodded at her shoes. “Your shoes, my feet are killing me too. I was ready to go an hour ago, but my buddy thought he saw the love of his life when a girl walked by. He went chasing after her.”
The Viking rolled his eyes at his friend’s antics and she laughed, why she had no idea, it wasn't even that funny. “Well, I was ready to leave two hours ago but my friends have decided that more liquor and bad pick lines were a good enough reason to stay.” She smiled at the man and went back to rubbing her feet.
The waitress sashayed her way over to their table, eyeing her new found friend the entire time. Funny the waitress could have cared less about Izzy before the Viking came over. Izzy noticed the waitress was arching her back so her boobs stuck out more. She snorted a little and shook her head, turning her attention back to her feet.
“May I get you anything?” The waitress purred in her sexy accent.
The man smiled. “Why yes, can you get my wife and me each a coke and maybe a bag of ice?” He took Izzy’s foot and started to rub it. “Anything else, honey?”
Izzy smiled, a real smile, at his craziness. “No, baby.” She turned her smile on the waitress, whose shoulders had visibly slumped at the realization her target was ‘married’.
“I’ll be right back.” The waitress walked away, no sway in her step this time.
When the waitress was out of view, Izzy shot her new ‘husband’ a look of amusement and curiosity. “Sorry, thanks for helping. We were here last night and she came on to my friend with extreme force. The poor guy is still recovering. I didn't want to deal with that. And I figured you get a foot message out of it.” He winked.
She smiled. “So I was your human shield?”
“A human shield I am paying back with a fantastic foot rub.” He pushed his knuckle down her foot, almost causing her to moan.
“Fantastic, may be stretching it, but I guess that is payment enough. I should tell you my name though, you know, since I’m your wife and all. I’m Isabella Newport, my friends and make believe husbands, call me Izzy.”
“Well, I think you have your name wrong. It's Izzy Porter.” Alex smiled big. This girl was fun and smart. Something he rarely found. “I insist my wife take my last name. I am a little old fashion that way. “I’m Jeremy Porter.”
Alex hated lying about his name, but now that he was the CFO of a high profile company he had learned that lying about his identity to someone he had only just met was the best play. If someone Googled ‘Jeremy Porter’ nothing would come up. If someone Googled Alex Porter on the other hand, his entire life now came up including his massive net worth.
They sat quietly for a few moments. Her naturally curly hair was attempting to free itself from the twisted knot thing she had it in. He looked his fill, not his usual type that was for sure. She was a tiny thing. He could twirl her around in the air with his pinkie. The lights of the club bounced off her glasses.
Normally he would never have noticed a pixie bookworm like herself. Something about her, the moment he saw her sitting alone, drew him to her.
“I think I need to know more about my dear husband. Where are you from Jeremy?” She asked with a smirk.
“I am so disappointed, my own wife doesn't remember I am from Colorado.”
“Really? Me too. What part?”
Well, shit! That complicated his random vacation hook up. “Denver, I grew up in the suburbs. Now I live downtown. Where about in Colorado are you from?” Please say Durango, Vail, anywhere but Denver.
“I am living in Boulder right now. I have a couple more months before I graduate from the University of Colorado. My girlfriend and I are moving down to Denver after graduation, though.” She shrugged.
The waitress finally dropped off the cokes and ice pack. Alex handed the waitress $50 to cover the cokes and a nice tip. He took the ice pack, covered it in a napkin and ran it along Izzy’s foot.
“Oh, that feels good.” She moaned.
He had to take a deep breath after hearing that sound. He would love to hear it later tonight, in his bed. He cleared his throat. “Are your feet feeling better, my dear wife?” He needed to go back to being the jokester to clear the lust out of the air.
“Yes, my darling husband you give great foot rubs. I think we should…”
He leaned into her desperately wanting to hear the end of that sentence. “Dude, I have been looking all over for you. Let’s go. That girl I was looking for turned around too fast at the bar and spilled her fruity red drink all over me. Now I look as though I have been shot.” Derek stated as he walked up to the table still rubbing a napkin on his shirt. “Oh, sorry, I didn’t see your friend. I will find my way back to our hotel. Night.”
Derek was his best friend in the world, but the guy had no tact. Luckily for Alex his friend at least knew when to leave quickly. He turned to Izzy to apologize, only to see her laughing. “What’s so funny?”
“I think it was my friend who spilled her drink on yours. She has a habit of spilling drinks, tripping, burning dinners, she is the definition of clumsy.” She started laughing again. Not the well-practiced high pitched laugh, he normally heard from women. Her laugh was natural, goofy even. Which made him smile.
“Seriously? Your friend is some kind of walking disaster zone? Does she have a warning label taped to her?”
She laughed again, this time snorting a little. “No, but that is a good idea it would save innocent people like your friend.”
They sat and talked for another hour or so. Talking about nothing and everything. He rubbed and iced her feet. She yawned. “As much as I have enjoyed being your wife, I think it is time for a divorce. I need to find my friends and get some sleep.” She put her shoes back on and stood. “It was very nice meeting you Jeremy.” With a big smile and a small finger wave she started to walk away.
Alex’s mind panicked. He wasn't ready to let her go. Before he could think it through he blurted out, “Can I see you again while you’re here?” He winced at how desperate he sounded.
Izzy stopped and smiled. “How about dinner, tomorrow night? I am staying at the Bahia Hotel. Meet me in the lobby at seven.” She kissed his cheek and disappeared into the crowd.
Normal everyday Izzy would never be standing in a hotel lobby- dressed in a short white and pink sundress that dipped way too far down her cleavage - waiting to meet a man for dinner she had met less than twelve hours earlier. Vacation Izzy decided to have a little fun. She had promised her friends she would not leave the resort with Jeremy under any circumstances.
They would dine in one of the resort restaurants, and if that went well they would have drinks in one of the clubs. Again, she wasn't being stupid, she wanted have a little fun, not get herself murdered by a handsome stranger. She leaned back against one of the columns in the lobby, watching the doors for Jeremy.
She startled and turned when someone placed a large hand on her shoulder. She saw the man she had been waiting for. He looked delicious in a suit, minus the tie. The collar of his white dress shirt was open as it was last night, exposing the hollow of his throat. She resisted the overwhelming urge to lick him there. "You scared me."
"Sorry." He smiled sheepishly, "I'm staying at the resort as well. I came from the elevators." He nodded his head back toward the elevator bay. His eyes caressed her body. "You look incredible."
His comment warmed her heart. "Thank you, you look good yourself."
He kissed her cheek, a playful look crossing his face. "How was your day, wifey?"
Izzy giggled. Placing her hands on his chest, she smiled up at him. "It was wonderful. I got to take a run on the beach. How was your day, dear husband?"
"Ah, you’re a runner? Me too. Much easier at sea level. Maybe we can do a run together tomorrow." He glanced at his watch, "I made reservations for us at the patio restaurant in the hotel"
He placed his hand on the small of her back and led her through the lobby to the restaurant. He kept his hand on her until they were at the table. He pulled her chair out and waited for her to be seated before seating himself. Someone had trained this man well in manners.
They talked and laughed while they ate. They made fun of the goofy couples around them, who were actually on honeymoons. They shared a childish sense of humor. Izzy had to admit that this had been the best date she had been on ever. They clicked.
He was digging into his dessert. She had no idea how the man could eat another bite, but he seemed intent on tasting everything on the menu. With a bite of chocolate cake in his mouth, he pointed to the cake with his fork and mumbled, “Want some?”
She shook her head, smiling. “No thank you I already ate way too much.”
“So you graduate in two months with a double major in education and English, what are your plans after you are handed your diploma?” He asked still talking around the bite of cake.
“I already have a job lined up in the Denver School District. Roni, my overly clumsy friend from last night, and I signed a lease on a house near Wash Park for after we graduate. That is as far as my plan goes.”
“That sounds like a good start. You have the basics covered, a job and a roof over your head.” He winked at her. He put down his fork and reached across the table, taking her small hand in his much larger one. “Now, that we have totally gorged ourselves, or I gorged myself, you managed self-control, do you want to go to the club? Or go sit by the pool?”
“How about a walk on the beach?” Izzy even surprised herself with that request. She knew this may be a very dumb move, but for some reason she trusted Jeremy.
“That sounds wonderful. I can walk off some of this meal.” He stood and held out his hand to help her up.
She took his proffered hand. “Wait, we need the check” That would have been embarrassing if they left without paying. She looked around for the waitress.
Jeremy tugged her hand to get her moving. “When I made the reservation I asked that they simply charge the meal to my room.”
Izzy pulled her hand free and searched around in her purse. “Well, let me give you some money for my share then.” She continued to dig in her purse in search of her cash, until he put a finger under her chin, forcing her gaze to meet his.
He looked amused. “I believe I asked you out on this date, therefore it is my treat.” He leaned in and brushed a soft, much too quick kiss over her lips. He stood back to full stature and pulled her from the restaurant.
Alex had planned to take Izzy to a club after dinner. That way he could use the pretense of dancing to have his hands on her small body. The walk along the beach was far better.
Once they hit the beach, they stopped briefly to remove their shoes, he rolled up his pants. He looked at her quickly taking in the sun dress she had on. Most women he dated dressed in barely there clothing. He liked her modest sun dress better.
Walking hand in hand down the beach her hair blew in the slight breeze. “How long are you and Derek here for?”
“For another few days. We had business at the beginning of the week and a few more meetings here and there the rest, leaving us a little bit of time to squeeze in a mini vacation.”
“I bet you guys work hard and deserve a little vacation time.”
They had stopped to look out into the ocean. The breeze picked up, Izzy shivered a little. Being brought up to be a perfect gentleman, Alex shrugged out of his suit jacket, placing it around her. Placing her in front of himself, he wrapped his arms around her and began rubbing her arms. “Better?”
“Mmmm, yes. Thank you.”
They stood quietly for a bit. Alex enjoyed how she felt in his arms. She was so small that she barely came up to his chest. Izzy had leaned further back into him and he had wrapped his arms tighter around her. She sighed, when he kissed her hair.
“I’m having a great time, Izzy. I am so glad that the chair was open last night.” He whispered into her hair.
“Me too. Who knew my desperation to take off my shoes could lead to meeting a man as wonderful as you.” She said as she turned in his arms. She stroked his chest, leaning back in his arms a little to meet his eyes.
He couldn't stop himself from leaning down to kiss her. The soft kiss he had taken as they left the restaurant was barely a taste. Alex needed more this time. His lips met hers. His system was attached by more than the usual lust that accompanied a kiss. No, what shot through his system was a need to keep this small woman forever.
Luckily he had no time to ponder the need to have this woman forever, because her tongue entered his mouth. Her tiny fingers clenching tighter into his shirt, bringing his body closer to her own.
He rubbed his hand up and down her back, then coming to rest on her hip bones. They kissed and caressed for moments or hours, he had no idea. He had never enjoyed kissing a woman so much. Usually he only kissed a woman long enough to get her turned on enough to take her clothes off. Not that he didn't want to get down and dirty with Izzy, he planned to. However, Alex preferred to take his time with her. Enjoy the slow burn caused by making out on a beach.
She pulled back. Her eyes glazed over, a sexy smile across her face. “You’re very good at that.”
“I’m good at a lot of things, just wait.” He nuzzled her neck a little before looking into her eyes again.
She bit her bottom lip. He could tell she was mulling over her next move. He decided to give her time. Keeping his hands on her hips, not wanting to break the connection between them. Alex hoped they would be moving this kissing session to one of their hotel rooms.
Unfortunately, Izzy thought different. With a shake of her head and a roll of her eyes, she padded his chest gently. “I think it is time we call it a night."