I had doubts before the Big Day—doesn’t everyone?—but I didn’t expect to find my fiancée banging the caterer’s assistant right before the ceremony. Especially because he’s a guy. And we’re lesbians. The proper sort of Southern Californian lesbians who invest in hedge funds and wear bedazzled wedding dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a Subaru.
But then I became a runaway bride, headed straight for Belladonna Ink to get the kind of tattoo I always wanted and my ex always called trashy. She didn’t approve of a lot of things I did. I think maybe she didn’t approve of who I am.
So I’m determined to be as much of myself as I can manage. Dating my tattoo artist? I’m in. Cai is smart, sexy, and mysterious. Exactly what I need for a rebound. She keeps herself guarded, but I understand—I’m holding on to secrets too. The kind of secrets that make a girl want to run home to Mom, even if home is Idaho. Maybe especially then. I just didn’t expect Cai to come with me.
I wonder what it would take to get her to stay forever.
It turns out that getting a tattoo hurts. I expected a sting, sure. But getting a flu shot isn’t a big deal—it’s the soreness the next day that actually hurts.
Yeah, getting inked isn’t like that. It’s a thousand wasps attacking my skin as a Hitachi Magic Wand vibrates my toes off my foot.
“You okay?” my tattoo artist asks, but she doesn’t stop what she’s doing. Cai. Her name is Cai. I met her almost two hours ago, when I walked into Belladonna Ink based on Yelp reviews.
“Do you want me to stop?” I hear the amusement in her voice. She scrubs another lick of fire down the center of my calf. “Just warning you, if you take a break and then get going again, pretty much everyone agrees it hurts worse.”
“Aren’t you a pile of sunshine?”
“Can sunshine pile? Isn’t the expression ‘a ray of sunshine’?”
I smash my cheek against the chair’s support ring thingy. Paper crinkles. “Is this like food service where I shouldn’t tell you how much I hate you because you’ll spit in my soup? If I tell you how I really feel, will you draw a poop emoji on me?”
“No, because you’ll walk around for the rest of your life telling everyone who’ll listen that I drew that shit.”
“This is true.” I blow out a long, shaky breath and am mortified to realize my nose is snotty and I’m holding back tears. Not surprised, but still embarrassed.
It’s been a long day.
It’s been a long, horrible, no-good, very bad day.
I slept in until eight, and that has probably been the best part of my day. Only twelve hours ago, and an entire lifetime. Two hours after that was mostly okay: brunch with my future mother-in-law and my maid of honor and a couple of others. Jody wasn’t with us because she’d wanted to get in a long run before the rich food of the reception. All as expected. Then the makeup artists and hairdressers showed up, and there was still no sign of Jody.
I didn’t start getting anxious until I was staring out the window as the hairdresser swept up my long curls and piled them on my head. Jody wasn’t answering my texts. I wish I could have said it wasn’t like her. I couldn’t. A few stories below, I could see hotel staff was setting up for our event. All the chairs were out already, and a florist swagged satin and arranged white roses. The red carpet had been unrolled across the sand, leading toward the waves.
I was already in my wedding dress.
As soon as my hair was done, I slipped out the back door of the suite, down the hallway, and up two floors to Jody’s room. The door wasn’t closed. Jody’s neon-orange leggings were jammed in the way. I picked them up and push the door open slowly.
I saw every inch of penis plunging into her.
After that, it was all over but the shouting. Well, telling Jody’s family too. At least I didn’t have to tell mine. And naturally Jody bailed, leaving me alone to tell everyone what had happened.
She’s lucky I didn’t tell them all about why it was canceled. So freaking lucky.
I sent the bar staff home, told the florists to deliver everything to a nearby synagogue, and stiffed the caterer. Maybe I’ll feel bad about that tomorrow. Maybe I won’t.
The ginger-pubed baby-faced catering assistant had stiffed Jody plenty, after all.
My tears leak into the paper lining of the face rest, making it translucent.
To celebrate the release of Her Hometown Girl, one lucky winner will receive a bottle of Macallan single malt whisky! Contest IS restricted to both US entries and to those over the age of 21. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 9, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About the Author & Links:
After a seminomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she now lives north of Chicago. She writes her Pacific Blue series of hot surfers in order to channel some warmth.
Lorelie has three active sons, two yappy dogs, and a cat who cusses her out on a regular basis for not petting him enough.
In her immense free time (hah!) Lorelie cowrites award-winning contemporary erotic romance under the name Katie Porter. You can find out more about the Vegas Top Guns and Command Force Alpha series at www.KatiePorterBooks.com or at @MsKatiePorter. You can also contact Lorelie on Twitter @LorelieBrown.