First Two Chapters – Pinned Up

Chapter 1 – Sock Bun

     Today was particularly exhausting. Out of all days, why did this photo shoot have to feel so tiresome? I need to remind myself I’ve been a nonstop force the past few weeks and exhaustion has finally taken over. I usually enjoy getting dolled up in retro clothing and making slight attempts to resemble iconic pin-up models, Betty (Bettie) Page and Marilyn Monroe. I’m a big admirer of the forties and fifties, I regularly turn to these eras for fashion inspiration. This afternoon, my heart just wasn’t in the poses I took nor did I bask in the pleasure of getting prepped up to look like a sensual, yet sophisticated vixen. The shots were all about extraordinary prestige, I posed next to a 1947 Bentley Franay Mark VI Cabriolet. The black vintage collectible with white interior is considered one of the most desirable Rolls-Royce/Bentleys of all time. Standing next to this classic beauty earlier, I felt intimidated and prayed I did the shots justice. This masterpiece belongs to a billionaire tycoon who possesses a lavish compilation of elite cars. Dillon, the photographer whom I’ve worked with on several occasions and is responsible for this photo shoot, thought I would be the perfect model alongside such a coveted vehicle of this caliber.
     Since the Bentley is a slick, shiny jet black color with a snow white immaculate interior, Dillon and the stylist on set felt red would be the best color for my attire. I’m wearing a satin form fitting, structured wiggle dress with black straps and belt that enriches my bust line. The pumps are red satin with a peep toe, a shiny black contrast heel, and a ruffle detail at the vamp. The cat eyeliner with exaggerated lashes and red lipstick on my porcelain face make the forties inspired look reach perfection. My long brown hair has pin curls that slightly drape the left side of my face making the overall look Hollywood glamorous.
     I enjoy being a pin-up model as a side gig. I love to indulge myself in wearing kick ass wiggle dresses, bustiers, and some awesome “fuck me shoes.” What can I say, sometimes I have over the top girly moments. I really should consider taking time off my regular job and modeling though, that is if I want to maintain what’s left of my sanity.
     “Cheesecake! Where are you, doll? I can’t live without you!” Kade’s loud voice interrupts my thoughts.
     “Kade, I’m right behind you.” I exit the restroom I had been using as a dressing room throughout the photo shoot. As I approach him, I’m putting my hair in a bun. “No need for you to yell. I swear, you can be so dramatic sometimes. I guess it’s my fault for humoring you too much.”
     “Hey, I resent that! I’m hil-arious, even if I do say so myself.” He feigns a hurt expression. “You need to rest asap, you’re barely standing. That’s what happens when you bite more than you can chew. Remember…you’re not a spring chicken anymore.” Kade smirks at me showing off a dimple on his right cheek. He puts both hands in his pockets and leans against the wall right across my dressing room. “Hurry up and get ready so we can leave.”
     Ugh! Sometimes, he can be so annoying! Who am I kidding? I love Kade. Despite his overzealous personality and blatant comments, he’s my ride or die bestie. Kade is my rock and knows how to knock sense into me even when I supplicate him not to. He’s too cute for his own good. He has dirty blonde Ivy League hair that is short at his crown and gets longer towards the front. He’s average height for a man, slim, but toned. His overall look is very clean cut. He has sapphire eyes with long eyelashes and finely sculpted features. He’s definitely pretty to look at and he knows it.
     “Whatever. You could be more supportive, you know. The last thing I want to hear is that I’m working too much and can’t handle the load.” Since I hardly ate today, I’m agitated and feel like biting someone’s head off. Kade is the closest nearby and will do as the perfect victim if he continues to run his mouth.
     “My dearest Cheesecake, as your super fabulous and ridiculously good looking best friend, it is my obligation to speak the truth and not waste my breath telling you what you want to hear. You’re lucky to have me in your life. Who else would tell you the loose sock bun you’re rocking looks like a dog’s turd on a sidewalk? You’re fortunate to have amazing chocolate eyes with full lips and a nicely defined nose to distract people from that hideous bun. Let’s not forget that sweet rack, a person can do the motor boat on those bad boys for days, once again forgetting about that hair disaster of yours. I loved your pin curls, why did you have to ruin your hairstyle by putting it into that dreadful bun?” Kade questions me with repulsion in his features.
     “Don’t respond. Just get ready.” Kade smacks my right butt cheek and directs me to the restroom.
     I attempt to give him an evil sneer, but fail. “You’re lucky I’m too tired to argue back or give you a piece of my mind. I’m just glad I thought ahead and brought my pj bottoms and shirt. I’m definitely crashing the minute I get home.” I sigh and push the swinging door open.
     After I change into my comfy pjs in the dressing room of the warehouse we were shooting at all day, I decide to remove my makeup. I lather the thick green cleanser and begin scrubbing it onto my face. With my rear, I open the swinging door and walk out with my eyes closed still massaging the makeup remover on my cheeks.
     “Kade, let’s stop somewhere and grab a quick bite. I’m starving! Anything sinful and packed with calories sounds bomb right now, I’m tired of being good these past few weeks. Now that this calendar shoot is over, I can finally let loose. I need some grease and chocolate in my life, damn it! So, what? Are you game?” I ask as I fantasize of stuffing my face.
     “Um, Cheesecake…Can you please wash your face? Dillon is here and wants to introduce you to his friend, Joshua.” Kade emphasizes the name to discreetly inform me Dillon’s friend is male.
     Oh, great. Did I just sound like a porker? Please God, don’t let him be cute. Let him be ugly or gay or an old geezer, anything…but cute.
     “Sure, give me a sec.” I turn, too embarrassed to open my eyes. I walk back into the restroom and wash off the green cleanser. After I pat my face dry, I scowl at myself for being so vain. I rarely wear makeup throughout the week, so who cares if a stranger just saw me looking less than glamorous and knows I’m a girl who actually likes to get her grub on? What’s the big deal? Frankly, I’m too drained to give a rat’s ass. I gather my belongings and head out.
     Fuck me…hard.
     Dillon’s friend stands over six feet tall with a cocky smirk on his striking face. He has a young look about him, but with some ruggedness. He’s handsome and undeniably yummy. He appears to be in his late twenties. His hair is light brown, the sides are trimmed, but the top is slightly tousled since it’s longer. He’s wearing a black peacoat with a plain white shirt underneath, loose fitted denim jeans, and some black work boots. His broad shoulders give a hint at an athletic build. The perfect toppings to this guy are his hypnotic hazel eyes beneath incredibly long and thick lashes along with his full lips. I feel my eyes popping out of their sockets…traitors.
     Focus, Nina!
     I do my best to maintain composure and direct my attention towards Dillon. Why didn’t he tell me about his hot friend? Would it have killed him to give me a heads up? Men! What does it matter anyway? The last thing I need is to get caught up in a relationship. I’m focused on my two careers right now. I don’t feel like being another notch on this guy’s belt. No thanks. Why are these ridiculous thoughts even crossing my mind? I’m absurd. Although, honestly speaking, my poor vagina probably has cobwebs by now from so much neglect. With that sultry mouth of his, I’m sure he could give both sets of my lips the attention they crave. Mmmm…
     “Nina!” Kade yells and gives me an incredulous look.
     “Huh? What?” Shit. Did I just zone out?
     “Dillon was introducing you to his friend and you seemed kind of spaced out.” Kade struggles to contain his laugh. Since he feels himself failing, he turns away to compose himself. Jerk.
     Dillon intervenes as he’s running his hand through his thick black hair. “Like I was saying, Nina, this is my good friend, Joshua Ryan. He heard about the Bentley I was photographing and wanted to see it up close and personal before it was taken away by security.” Dillon smiles warmly at me. He’s genuinely a nice person, I like him as a friend. He’s in his mid-thirties and a bit on the serious side. He’s not the type of guy who strikes you as deliciously handsome right away, but once you get to know him, his personality shines and you find him more attractive as time passes by.
     “Hi, I just had to stop by and see this sexy machine for myself. It’s truly a rare beauty with fine lines and amazing curves. It makes me want to take it for a long ride.” Joshua maintains eye contact with me, but his glare makes me feel vulnerable, even naked. He smirks when he sees my discomfort.
     I accidentally drop my keys and gain that moment to gather my thoughts as I pick up the keys from the floor. Is it just me, or does this Joshua guy, appear to be amused by my disheveled appearance? Am I being paranoid?
     “I like that bun you’re wearing. It’s…cute.” Josh says as he’s hovering over me.
     Damn you, Kade! He was right about my bun looking like a piece of turd and now this guy is mocking me. Great. That’s okay, though. No one makes me feel awkward, especially this pompous prick. I’m done with this conversation.
     I stand in a dignified manner. “Thank you. I’m Valentina Moretti, but everyone calls me, Nina. I apologize for seeming dazed. I’m simply exhausted and ready to head home. It was nice meeting you, Joshua.” I attempt to shake his hand quickly, but he grabs my hand with a double grip, the whole time keeping his eyes locked with mine. Why is my breathing escalating?
     “Please, call me Josh. It was truly my pleasure, Nina. Take care.” He says with a smoldering look.
     I hastily remove my hand from his and look away towards Dillon, immediately I can sense Joshua’s eyes burning through me.
     “Dillon, I’ll see you soon. Please let me know what the owner thinks of the shots and let him know I truly enjoyed being next to such a beautiful car. Good night.” I give him a half hug, a small peck on his cheek, and walk away with Kade following me waving goodbye to both men.
     As soon as we enter my car, Betty, a 1966 sky blue Mustang GT convertible, Kade gives me a disbelieving look.
     “What, Kade?” I ask pretending to be annoyed.
     “What’s with you, Cheesecake? You didn’t give me a chance to get to know my future ‘baby daddy!’ Okay, Miss ‘Rude and Miss I don’t care if Kade ever gets laid again!’” He says with an exasperated tone.
     “Kade aka Mr. ‘Drama Queen to the highest degree’, can you please calm down? I need to rest, remember? I just worked twelve hours straight on three hours of sleep, I’m physically and mentally drained. Why don’t you talk to me while I drive so that I can stay awake?” If there’s anything Kade finds irresistible, it’s talking, he absolutely loves the sound of his voice.
     “Sweet. Baby. Jesus! Did you see the bod on that beef cake? He looks absolutely sinful, but in a delicious kind of way. I don’t care how many calories he’s worth, I’d tear him up in a heartbeat! Let me tell you, the man was clearly into you, with all the eye fucking he was giving you, he’s definitely interested.” His smile is so big, it reaches his baby blues.
I’m shocked. “What? He wasn’t eye fucking me, liar! Why must you exaggerate everything, Kade?” I try to remain serious, but start laughing hysterically. Kade has such a vivid imagination.
     “He was to! I should know, because I was busy eye fucking him. I know a good eye fuck when I see one and trust me, that hot piece of meat was eye fucking you. Even in your raggedy pjs and ridiculous bun, you’re absolutely beautiful. The man has amazing taste, you have to give him credit for that.”
     “Enough of this Joshua Ryan guy, I’m over his fine looking self.” For some reason, I feel the urge to change the subject. Why does the thought of Josh make me feel nervous? I push the notion aside. “Are you ready to get your grub on with some greasy, fattening take out that you’ll regret eating tomorrow?”
     “I knew I saw you drooling and also thought I heard your bottom lips smacking themselves at the mere sight of him.” Kade laughs.
     Great. He caught me checking out Josh.
     “Yes, I’m ready to get my grub on and regret it tomorrow. How can I resist when you talk dirty to me?” He winks at me while giving me a devilish grin.

Chapter 2 – Waitress

     The weekend comes and goes, unlike the regular fog that glooms around in the bay, and refuses to dissipate on most days during this time of the year. San Francisco has my heart, a city full of life, diversity, and spontaneity. This weekend I chose to close off the vibrancy of the city and Autumn’s chilling weather. I catch up on sleep, bum around the house in pjs, watch reality TV shows, and eat four different flavors of Ben & Jerry’s frozen treats. I’m a hardcore ice cream lover and with the ice cream alone, I consume over four thousand calories. Go big or go home! I also make it a point to wear the bun on my head Kade seems to love so much.
     I reside within the Haight District, right in the center between the upper and lower parts of the area. One section is geared more towards its shopping zone with its exclusive boutiques, vintage clothing shops, and cool restaurants. The other half of the neighborhood is more diverse with a grungier feel to it. It includes record shops, bars, clubs, and remnants of the flower power era still in effect. I love the mixture of ravers, tourists, and shoppers. Once Kade and I moved here, the Haight immediately became our home.
     My house consists of two levels with outside stairs on the left side and no front yard. The two car garage, laundry room and workout area are on the bottom floor while the main part is on the second story. When you enter, the living room with its cool, grey and white tones is to the right with pops of red and purple along with small touches of yellow, giving it a refreshed and inviting feel. A glass dining table separates the newly remodeled kitchen and living room. The kitchen is a soft yellow with black lacquer cabinets and white counters that have silver specks. All the appliances are red with a retro flare to them that make a perfect combination with the black and white checkerboard design on the tile floor. To the left of the entrance are two bedrooms, our office, and two bathrooms down a hallway covered in vintage memorabilia and artistic pieces of Betty Page, Marilyn Monroe, and Betty Boop that Kade has bought me throughout the years. It’s a small house, but it’s perfect for us.
     “Cheesecake, that turd on your head…it’s not cute. Quit trying to make such an ugly fashion statement.” Kade teases me as he plunges himself on the couch opposite of me.
     “You should talk! Mr. ‘I’m going to put all kinds of homemade concoctions on my face, hair, and walk around like a stiff smelling mummy.’ That mayonnaise mixture you had on last week was by far the worst. I’m home, relaxing. I don’t need to look presentable for anyone.” I pout my lips and roll my eyes at him.
     “Valentina Moretti, I KNOW you’re not hating on my homemade beauty remedies. I enjoy taking care of myself. If I don’t do it, nobody else will. Life is too short to be ugly.” Kade gives me the biggest, cheesiest smile he can conjure up.
     “You’re worse than the housewives, drag queens, and moms of Toddlers & Tiaras on television.” I point out.
     Kade chuckles faintly. “And if I were any different, life would be insanely boring. Being normal, reserved, and proper is monotonous. I have too much essence to be dull. Now, my dear Cheesecake, I’m off to the gym to find some spice that will compliment my flavor. Would you like to come with me and drool over the buffet of hot, sweaty bodies?”
     “No, thanks. I already made Lucifer my bitch this morning, I ran six miles.” I state proudly.
     “When will you stop referring to the treadmill as Lucifer? If you have a pessimistic view of eating nutritiously, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle, you will get negative results.” Kade sighs dramatically.
     “Clearly, you weren’t listening. Lucifer. My Bitch. Six miles. Enough said. By the way, I can’t believe you’re actually getting ready to go to the gym. Who does that? Well, I hope you have a great time looking for your next prey, boo.”
     “I’m going to some high end gym on Market Street. I’m looking for my next sugar daddy or sugar momma, I don’t discriminate. I need to look casually sexy since I’m flirting my way in. I know people, who know people who want to get to know me. It’s not my fault my sex appeal is so strong I can use it to my advantage. Don’t wait up.” Kade winks at me and gives me a devilish grin as he leaves our home shutting the door behind him.
     “At least, you’re modest!” I yell at the door and laugh uncontrollably.
     God, how I love him. He’s the brother I never had. When we first met over a decade ago, we were two lost and damaged souls. Ever since, we’ve been inseparable. My mom also considers him family, more like her loud, flamboyant son with no filter who she unconditionally adores.
***
     During my last year at UC Berkeley while I was finishing up my Master’s degree in social work, I decided to start looking for my own place. Without any contemplation, I knew Kade would be eager to be my roommate. Leaving my mother proved to be more difficult than expected. She owns a home near her bakery in Little Italy which is located in the North Beach district. Luckily, our house became available for purchase and was only a short distance drive to my mom’s duplex. Now, I have the best of both worlds. I have my own place and I’m still in close proximity to my mother should an emergency arise.
      My mom, Victoria Moretti is a New Jersey girl, born and raised. She moved to California in the mid eighties. She became pregnant a year later and as a single parent, raised me. I’ve always been her priority and we’ve never been apart. My mom, Kade, and I are the only family we each have. Our small unity and the obstacles we’ve overcome have made each of us resilient.
      Since the weekend has come to an end, it’s time for me to prepare for a work week ahead. I lay out my clothes for tomorrow. I usually dress conservatively at work adding a dash of retro to maintain a hint of fashion. I work for the public sector, in a division of the district attorney’s office. I enjoy my line of work and do it to the best of my ability, it’s the least I can do.
***
      It’s Monday, as I’m preparing my morning diet Coke with extra ice, Kade walks into our kitchen half asleep wearing a t-shirt that reads, “I Shaved My Balls for This?” Even at the crack of dawn he manages to make me smile. He’s fortunate not to have the standard eight to five job. Kade is a web designer and his employer allows him to telecommute. The company he works for is in the Silicon Valley, he’s lucky to avoid commuting in the bay area since it can be nerve wrecking at times.
     As Kade is rubbing his eyes, he yells, “Cheesecake! You should’ve gone with me to the gym last night. You missed out! Guess who was there? Dang!” He pauses to observe my drink. “How can you have something so cold this early in the morning? And soda out of all things! It’s so bad for you. Gross.” Even though it’s fairly early and he just woke up, Kade still looks well put together as he’s making his coffee. How does he do that? When I wake up, I’m a hot mess.
     “If I recall correctly, I wasn’t offering you a sip of my drink. I suppose coffee and alcohol are healthier since you tend to drink those quite a bit.” I can sense today will be a long day, it’s going to be one of those Mondays that just sucks balls. It’s too early for my patience to be running thin. “Keep your negativity to yourself. Kade, I don’t have time for guessing games. I’m leaving to work in a few minutes. Who was there? Was it your next flavor of the week?”
     “I wish! It was Josh, the dude who was eye fucking you after the Bentley photo shoot AND he looked good enough to eat!” As an afterthought, Kade states, “Hey! I eat healthy and take care of my body throughout the week so that I can party hard on the weekends. In a way, it balances things out.” He beams at me crinkling his entire pretty face. “Back to that yummy piece of man, I literally had to wipe the drool off my chin…twice. Get this, he was with his mom! What the fuck?! Who the hell brings their mom to the gym? For your sake, I hope he’s not a big momma’s boy. That’s a major turn off. Being close with one’s mom is great, being a momma’s boy who is still sucking on that titty is a whole other story.”
     “How do you know that was his mom? Did you talk to him? Why must you always be such a perv? There’s nothing wrong with having a close relationship with a parent. You just love jumping to conclusions.” I chastise Kade about his crude comments.
     As always, he shuns them away. “Did I talk to him? Ummm…of course! Do you not know who you’re speaking to? I went up to him and said hello. I told him to feel free and call me KD like the rest of my friends do. He introduced me to his mom, Celeste. She’s a brunette with emerald eyes, very beautiful, and elegant. He was giving her a tour. He asked about you.” Kade does his best to contain his smile, but walks away grinning.
     “Kade Daly, get your butt back here! I cannot believe you asked him to refer to you as KD! No one calls you Killer Dick! No matter how much you push for it, it’s never going to happen! So, let it go!” I’m truly appalled with his audacity. But, there’s a more important issue at hand to address. “What did he say exactly, when he asked about me?” I attempt to ask nonchalantly, but clearly fail.
     “Don’t be such a hater. Josh doesn’t know what it implies, for all he knows, KD are simply my initials. He asked how you were and said he thought about you the last time he ate a strawberry cheesecake.” Kade stands across from me with his arms crossed, a smirk on his face, and his eyebrow raised. “Now, don’t you wish you would’ve gone?” Kade starts dancing around in the kitchen and pretends to rub against me from behind.
     “Wait. He said what? Oh, my God…I’m dying!” I do my best to contain myself, but treacherous excitement takes over. What the hell?
     “He said the strawberry cheesecake he was eating and slowly savoring in his mouth reminded him of your beautiful face with its light, silky skin and red lips. He said he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about you. Yes, girl! The man clearly has the hots for you. I say you let him dust off the cobwebs you have down there and get yours!” By now, Kade is fully awake and highly amused by my shocked reaction.
     “Are you serious? Did he really say that?” My heart is palpitating so fast, I feel it might combust any minute.
     “No, but wouldn’t it have been awesome if he had said that? It’s obvious you wouldn’t mind riding that stallion.” Kade cackles loud at my expense.
     I’m so livid, I can feel my blood boiling. “Kade, you asshole! You play too damn much! You’re such a dick sometimes. Ugh…can’t believe I fell for your lewd imagination! Thanks for wasting my time and making me late to work.”
     I gather my drink, purse, and begin to leave my home, but Kade continues to ramble. “Hey, Cheesecake…rumor has it that he’s a major player, he’s never been seen with the same girl twice, so watch out. He did ask about you though and wanted me to say hi on his behalf. Keep calling me a perv and see how I mess with you next time.” Kade sneers at me, but in seconds, gives me a dimple filled smile. “Have a great day, my dear! Don’t forget to eat some veggies. Love you!” Kade yells from the kitchen as I close the door behind me. Jerk.
***
     My office is located in the SoMa district and the day turns out to be hectic. I work with crime victims. My position consists of a lot of paperwork, but I don’t mind. I revel in fast paced environments. I’m more productive and efficient when I need to haul ass.
Lately, I’ve been gravely focused on my careers. My nonexistent love life has taken a back seat to both jobs. I’m not big on the lovey dovey stuff when it comes to dating. Sex is always on my terms, I just fuck when I’m in need and call it a day. Although recently, I’ve been feeling destitute in the orgasm department.
     As I’m driving home, passing the energetic rush of the city, I decide to call my good friend, Emme. Yes, it’s Monday, but I need a drink or two. The last time I checked, bars are always welcoming to fellow patrons in need of some feel good juice anytime of the week.
     I met my friend, Emme in college who also majored in social work. We had several classes together. She’s quiet for the most part, comes across as reserved, and has a short temper. She doesn’t like dealing with bullshit. I love her, it took me some time to trust her, but throughout these few years, she has earned it.
     Emme meets me at my house. She’s Mexican, with olive skin tone, long black hair, and light brown eyes. She doesn’t cover her fine features with makeup, she wears glasses, but is still a very pretty girl. She’s five feet tall with a slim figure. Today, her facial expression lets me know she’s upset and really needs a drink. I quickly get out of my work clothes. I change into some skinny jeans, knee length stiletto boots, and a low cut shiny tank top with a thin draped collar sweater. I put on mascara, red lipstick, and style my long hair into a pompadour ponytail with a rock flare to it. My rockabilly look takes me less than ten minutes to achieve. As we’re leaving, Kade walks in.
     “Where are you headed?” Kade raises his eyebrows and demands an answer. “I see you have on some fuck me boots and a shirt you clearly bought two sizes too small. Except for you Em, you always manage to look nice and homely.”
     “You’re such a prick. Keep running your mouth and I’ll be sure to fry your balls for breakfast and eat them as my huevos rancheros.” Emme’s look is so fierce as she threatens to have Kade’s balls for breakfast that his jaw drops.
     Nice.
     “We’re headed over to a bar downtown. I called you, but realized you left your phone here. Are you going to the gym tonight or do you want to get shit faced drunk with us?” I ask impatiently, I’m still pissed from this morning.
     “Since you put it that way, how can I resist? Let me wash up real quick, just in case I get lucky. Hey, why don’t you call that photographer friend of yours? He’s a bit on the serious side, but definitely fun to look at.” Kade asks as if he did nothing to crawl under my skin this morning.
     Is he serious? “After the stunt you pulled earlier today? I don’t think so, brat.”
     “You called me a perv! I may be horny 24 hours a day, only prefer to discuss sexual topics, and a complete whore at times, but that really doesn’t make me a perv. It makes me fun and sexually generous. A perv is an old dirty man who tries to lure kids into a van. I’m not a perv.” He states in a decorous manner.
     “Yes, you are a perv even though you don’t try to kidnap kids. If you shut up, I’ll call Dillon to see if he’s available to meet us. I’ll do anything to stop you from rambling.” How is it that Kade finds ways of being so cute, yet obnoxious at the same time? It’s definitely a talent he’s mastered.
     “Sounds good. By the way, Em…I called dibs on Dillon.” Kade winks at her and heads to his room to get ready.
     Emme rolls her eyes at Kade’s back and chooses to ignore him. Something is definitely wrong with her if she’s holding back her threats. She’s like a tomb, completely sealed off. Only she knows what’s going on with her life. She discusses school, work, and on a rare occasion, guys she dates. Other than that, she’s a mystery. She never converses about her family, past, or future aspirations. I guess some people just prefer to keep to themselves. I would inquire about her foul mood, but she always turns psycho when she’s questioned. I decide to treat her to a few shots tonight. Maybe, that will get her spirit up.
     We agree to take a taxi instead of driving downtown. A lot of alcohol will be consumed and no one is willing to be the unlucky bastard to remain sober and be the designated driver. As the three of us enter the sports bar, we immediately spot some people leaving a booth located in the center of the right wall. The bar has wood paneling throughout its walls and looks a bit run down. On a positive side, it has about fifteen plasma TVs. The walls are covered with sports memorabilia and the atmosphere is buzzing with excitement. I feel slightly overdressed. We were supposed to go to a more upscale lounge, but since we were indecisive, we ended up at the nearest hole in the wall bar. Dehydration will make you do that, pick a crappy bar out of pure desperation for alcohol. Normally, I wouldn’t mind, but for some reason, I feel restless.
     The bar is ridiculously packed for a Monday. Slowly, it hits me, the Giants vs. Cardinals game is tonight. How could I forget? They need to win game seven to head to the World Series. It’s destiny, I was meant to be here and watch the game. Immediately, my mood lightens. As the waitress approaches our table, we instantaneously blurt out our orders. Screw the menu. Talk about desperate.
     I remember to text Dillion of our change of plans and give him our current location. The service is slow and the waitress seems irritated. She’s a pretty girl with burgundy hair and fake boobs, but has a look of disappointment written all over her face. Eventually, we get our beers. After Emme finishes her first drink, she finally relaxes. Kade and Emme begin with their usual banter. Talk about night and day. Kade is blunt, obnoxious, charismatic, and completely lovable. Emme is serious, uptight, focused, and intense. Sometimes, I wonder how the three of us are so inseparable. Among our small circle, I’m more like the referee, always trying to keep Kade and Emme from killing each other. With their focus on the game, the tension within us is relaxed. I love it.
     “Oh. My. God. Don’t turn around, but Josh and his fine self just entered the bar. Honey child, he looks mighty tasty. Yum! And he’s with Dillon. Fuck yeah! Our night just got interesting.” Kade smirks and waves them over to our booth. I freeze.
     What the hell is Josh doing here? Why do I care? Why am I acting like a stupid teenage girl with butterflies in her stomach? I’m a bad ass bitch, I’ve got this! Why the hell do I feel my knees getting weak? Thank God I’m sitting down. What the hell? Get yourself together, Nina!
     Dillion and Josh approach our booth. Before they have a seat, guys who are sitting at the bar recognize Josh and call out his name. He smiles and gives them a lazy nod to acknowledge them. Dillon and Josh focus their attention on us, Kade introduces the guys to Emme and scoots her to the end of the booth, she positions herself to lean against the wall. Kade sits in the middle and pats the seat next to him so that Dillon can sit. I’m across the table from the trio and realize I need to move over. As I’m relocating as close to the wall as possible, Josh sits next to me and grabs my left arm in an attempt to have me be right next to him. His touch sends an electric piercing throughout my body. Immediately, I want more of his physical contact. Behave, Nina!
     I feel my heart skip a beat. The whole weekend I did my best to keep him out of my mind and now, there’s no escaping him. It doesn’t help any that he has such a strong presence. As we sit side by side, I can’t help but inhale his clean, fresh, delicious scent. I wouldn’t mind getting high on him for hours.
     Josh directs his interest solely to me. “Hey, lovely lady…I hope you don’t mind me tagging along with Dillon. He knows I’m a baseball fan and thought I would enjoy getting out for a while.”
     Wow. His honey colored eyes with specks of green are mesmerizing. Fuckin’ shit, Nina…stop drooling!
     “Are you kidding me?” Kade interrupts. “The more the merrier!”
     Josh maintains a lazy smile that barely reaches his left eye. It’s absolutely adorable. “Thanks.” He doesn’t lose his focus on me. “It’s nice seeing you again. I had a chance to look at the proofs from Friday’s photo shoot. They look amazing.” Is that admiration I hear behind his words?
     “Thank you. I can’t wait to see them.” I glare at Dillon who immediately looks away.
     “Hey, do you always go to the gym I saw you at yesterday? It’s really nice, very upscale. It’s pretty cool of you to hang out with your mom.” Kade’s eagerness to find information about Josh is shameless, but I’m thankful.
     “Actually, that gym is included in my mom’s home owner’s association. She’s never stepped foot inside until yesterday. Since she recently retired, I want her to get out of her condo and become more active, maybe even meet new people. I was giving her a tour.” Josh replies unperturbed to the insinuation that he might be a momma’s boy.
     “Your mom is retired? Wow! She looks amazing and definitely too young to be retired. So, what about you? Do you live around here? If you do, we should all get together the next few days to watch the final games. After the Giants win tonight, it’s a given, they’ll be headed to the World Series again.” Kade smiles and winks at me as Josh places an order of Patrón double shots and a second round of beers for all of us. Is it just me or did the waitress’s boobs get bigger and her shirt get lower?
     Josh truly is sexy. I love how he just took charge and ordered the drinks without asking. Some might think it’s rude, but I find it refreshing for someone to take the lead, usually that’s my role. The disappointment on the waitress has vanished and a predatory look with raw lust has replaced her expression. The waitress is now batting her eyes and pouting her lips as her tits keep getting closer to Josh. He ignores her desperate moves. He looks at me and asks if I’d like a chaser to go with the Patrón. I shake my head. No chaser for me.
     I should chase her ass away from Josh. The nerve of her! She doesn’t know if I’m with him and is blatantly giving her rotten goodies out with a double coupon. What the fuck? How rude. I don’t know why her messy actions are bothering me, they just are. I don’t know anything about him. Get a grip, Nina! You’re just horny, that’s all. These over the top feelings will soon go away.
     I take a moment to observe him as he’s speaking to the waitress and taking off his coat.
     My, my, my…his chest and arms are muscular. An athletic build, not too bulky, built just right. His skin is slightly tan, complimenting his spellbinding hazel eyes. He has a vein that pops out from his forearm to his right hand. His hands look rugged but clean cut, very manly. I wonder what line of work he’s in. He has a straight nose with a masculine jaw structure. I notice him clench his jaw as the waitress leaves. God, he’s sexy. His luscious lips are begging to be sucked on. My mouth begins to go dry as my lips fiend to caress his jaw back and forth. I wonder how he would taste if I worked my tongue from his neck down to his–
     “Nina! Snap out of it, girl! Are you listening? Josh said he’s down to hang out. Are you? How’s your work schedule this week?” Kade questions me in a serious manner as if he’s not dying to put me on blast for drooling over Josh.
     I keep cool. “No overtime for me this week. So, I’m good, count me in. I’m glad everyone is so sure the Giants are winning tonight. With such enthusiasm, of course I’m down to keep the party going.” As if on cue, the waitress shows up with our tequila shots. Since when is she trying to be employee of the month? She’s smiling and focusing completely on Josh. Wow. This girl is determined to catch his attention.
     We each grab our shot glass and lime wedge. Josh thanks the waitress and dismisses her politely. Before leaving, she makes it a point to let him know her name is Nicole, and that if he needs anything, she’ll only be too glad to oblige.
     Whore.
     Nicole walks away, swaying her hips as if she has an itch in her butt crack.
As soon as whore number one leaves, whore number two walks by our booth and says, “Hey, Josh. I’ve missed you. Don’t be such a stranger, kay?” She winks at him and then slides her hand from his shoulder to his arm as she leaves our area. What the fuck? I can sense Josh’s discomfort and we all simply ignore her.
     The trio across from Josh and I lick the webbed part of their hand between the thumb and index finger and add salt. I turn to my left to find Josh staring at me. I hear Kade doing a countdown to take the double shot of Patrón. At the count of three, while still keeping my eyes locked with Josh’s, we take our shots. It goes down smooth. No need for the lime with salt or a chaser. I slowly lick my lips, I’m ready for another one. I can’t help but smile. Josh is staring at my mouth with a look of…hunger.

About C. Michelle

I was a high school drop-out who eventually earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree and a Master of Business Administration degree while working as a probation officer and counselor. I have served my community as a Victim Awareness Program instructor and an Aggression Replacement Training (ART) facilitator. My love of all things funny, romantic, and simply bad ass led to the writing of my debut novel, Pinned Up. I am currently writing my second book. I reside in northern California with my husband and three children.
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8 Responses to First Two Chapters – Pinned Up

  1. Cristina A says:

    can’t wait for the ebook to come out I’ve heard great things about your book!

  2. zjaded1 says:

    Girl! You’re killing me! This is brilliant. I’m already wishing I was Nina with a best friend like Kabe! Good work, lovey x

  3. zjaded1 says:

    Reblogged this on Jade Goodmore and commented:
    Such a sexy ready! I can’t wait to get my hands on the whole thing!

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