Here is a special sneak peak of the first chapter of the forthcoming novel Sweet Ride (Ride Series #2) by: Maegan Lynne Moores. Happy Reading!
What the hell?
My eyes flutter open, and instantly I’m totally disoriented as I take in my surroundings. Looking around, I notice that I’m in a bed. Naked. And I know it’s definitely not my bed. What the hell? I must’ve been super trashed last night because I never end up sleeping at the guy’s place. Usually I just fuck ‘em and leave ‘em. I try to remember what happened last night, but my head hurts way too much and my memories are slightly foggy. Shit, I’m going to have to lay off the tequila for a while. Who the hell did I go home with last night? I look over at the alarm clock on the nightstand and see that it’s 9:36 a.m. Yep, time to get a move on.
I make my way out of bed and look around once more. Again, nothing looks familiar to me. In my glance around the room, I try to locate my clothes. All I see on the floor are piles of dirty clothes and a used condom. Yuck! Seriously, dude, throw it in the trashcan already.
I can hear someone humming in the shower as I make my way into the hallway. That’s my cue to get the hell out of Dodge. I’ve got to get out of here before this guy’s finished showering. I mean how awkward will that be? I can’t even remember the guy’s name. I walk into what appears to be the living room, but really there’s hardly any furniture in the room other than a leather recliner, a huge flat screen television mounted on the wall, along with a state-of-the-art gaming system. Awesome Payton, you really know how to pick them, don’t you?
I spot the dress that I wore last night, along with men’s clothing scattered just beside the door. Wow, we really didn’t waste any time getting naked last night. I hastily pull on my panties and sexy backless, dark purple, cowl-neck dress, nab my purse off the kitchen counter, hook my strappy stilettos on my finger, and do the walk of shame out the door without looking back.
Once I’m outside of the apartment complex, I slip on my shoes and take a quick look around to get my bearings. I just moved to Del Mar, California a few months ago so I could be closer to my best friend, and I’m not entirely sure where I am right now. I walk a couple of blocks over until I come across a greasy spoon diner and take note of what street it’s on. I hear a chiming sound when I walk through the entrance of the diner, and I’m pleasantly surprised with how clean looking the place is. A waitress walks over to my table shortly after I sit in one of the corner booths, and I order a cup of coffee. She gives me a funny look and asks me if I’d like anything else, but the thought of eating any solid food right now makes my queasy stomach roll.
As I wait for my coffee, I reach into my purse and haul out my new iPhone. I’m going to have to call Ella to see if she can come pick me up. When I look at the display on my phone there’s a close up photo of me with my tongue down some guy’s throat. My stomach does another roll and I’m seriously close to throwing up. The photo was taken earlier this morning, at 2:15 a.m. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that this is the guy I went home with. I can’t really tell what he looks like because his head’s turned to the side, and I’m blocking the view of his face. This is a first; I’m absolutely stumped about this guy. I can’t remember his name or what he looks like. God, that’s definitely the last time I go out for drinks with the girls from work. They’re such bad influences.
My coffee arrives, and I take a sip. Shit, that’s good. Maybe, they can hook up an IV and pump the caffeine directly into my veins. While I continue my caffeine fix, I delete the offensive photo and dial my best friend’s number.
“Someone better be fuckin’ dead or dying,” answers a gravelly, breathy male voice. Why’s Ryder answering Ella’s phone?
“Well, good morning to you, too, sexy. Where’s my girl?” I ask, nervously. I’m obviously interrupting something.
“She’s busy,” he grunts out and disconnects the call. Uh-oh, Mr. Wilde’s definitely not too happy with me right now. That’s freaking fantastic! I totally just called them while they’re in the middle of doing the nasty, and according to everything that Ella’s told me—God knows when she’ll be calling me back. Apparently Ryder’s pretty fantastic in the sex department and really knows how to please his woman, over and over again.
Great, what am I going to do now? I can’t walk home because I’m wearing five-inch stiletto heels that’ll tear my feet apart. I either have to go back to what-his-face’s place and see if he can give me a lift, or call a cab. Decisions, decisions; which one will it be? Call a cab it is. Even if it’s going to cost me a small fortune. Just as I’m about to dial the number to the cab company, my phone begins playing “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida and Sia. I pick up right away, knowing it’s Ella’s ringtone.
“Hey,” I answer with a grin on my face and take another sip of my coffee.
“Hey, yourself,” Ella says, clearly still out of breath.
“How many this time?” I ask out of pure curiosity.
“Three,” she says, giggling.
“Damn, girl. You’re one lucky bitch,” I say, pointing out the obvious. Leave it to Ella to bag a guy that gives her multiple orgasms before taking care of his own needs.
“Don’t I know it,” she replies dreamily.
“Ella, babe, do you think you can get your naked ass out of that bed and spend a few minutes away from that spectacular piece of man-candy to come pick me up?”
“Sure, where are you?”
I give her the address of the diner, we say our goodbyes, and I disconnect the call. I sip on my strong coffee while I wait for Ella to show up. The rumbling of a motorcycle engine catches my attention, making my stomach do an excited flutter. When I glance out the window I see a black Harley stopped at the intersection. When the light turns green, the rider turns left and drives away. I didn’t get a really good look at the guy, but he kind of reminded me of a certain sexy undercover cop I know.Holy shit, was that Jack? No, it can’t be. This guy has short, wavy hair, where Jack’s hair is long, and he wears it pulled back. Or at least he used to.
It’s been a little over two years since my fling with Jack De Luca, or Diesel, as he’s more appropriately known; though it seems way longer than that. He called me, left plenty of voicemails and texts apologizing, but I never answered his calls, and I deleted every single message. It didn’t take very long after for him to forget about me. The last time I saw him was at Ryder and Ella’s wedding, and I tried to avoid him as much as possible. From what Ella told me, he moved to San Diego six months ago for some kind of undercover operation, and they haven’t heard from him since.
Jack De Luca’s the one guy I’ll never forget. He’s the only man that I’ve ever slept with more than once. I don’t do relationships with men; I just fuck them. With Jack, I was seriously close to forgetting my rule of no relationships—until I found out he lied to me about who he really was. Even still, thoughts of him aren’t entirely unpleasant or uncommon. I actually think of him quite often. Based on my history, and what I’ve been through, no man will ever want to be with me seriously. I’m nothing but trash, or so I’ve been told, so why not act like it. Ella doesn’t know what I’ve been through, and honestly, I want to keep it that way.
As I’m taking my last sip of coffee, I see Ella pulling into the parking lot in her black, extended cab Ford F-150 pickup truck. I watch her as she steps down off of the running board, and then bounces towards the diner. A few seconds later, I hear the door chimes signal as Ella enters the restaurant, looks around until she spots me and then walks over to my booth. She plops her cute little ass on the seat directly across from me. “So, with whom did you go home this time?” she asks.
“Don’t know, don’t care,” I reply, shrugging. I look away and try not to notice the disapproval on her face.
“Payton, you’re going to get yourself in trouble if you keep doing stuff like this,” she warns.
If she only knew the trouble I’ve already gotten into. She can’t ever, and I don’t plan to tell her. I always want her to think of me as the funny, spunky, sexy friend who likes to party and doesn’t give a shit about anything. That’s who I am now, or at least the version that I want people to see.
“Can we go now?” I ask, brushing of her obvious concern. I slide my ass across the seat of the booth, stand up, and head over toward the checkout to pay for my coffee. Ella gets up and walks out of the diner without saying a word to me. She gets in the truck and waits for me. God, why do I have to be so bitchy all the time? I never used to be like this, but lately it keeps coming out. After I finish paying, I head out and join Ella in the massive truck. How does she drive this thing? She’s so freaking tiny.
“I’m sorry, Ella. I’m hung over and feel like shit. Forgive me, bestie?” I ask, trying to smooth things over.
“Already forgiven,” she responds and quickly stretches her body over the console, pulling me into a fierce hug, which I return. “I just worry about you, Payton,” she adds, making me feel even more like shit.
Pulling away from our embrace, I try to convince her that I’m okay. “I know, Ella, but I’m a big girl and can take care of myself. You don’t need to worry about me.” She sighs, starts the engine, and pulls out of the parking lot.
Ella drops me off at my house. I invite her to come in, but she says that she has to go home and get Hendrix and Harley ready for a play date. The twins are two years old now and are the most healthy, beautiful toddlers I have ever seen. Hendrix is the spitting image of his father, and Harley is just as gorgeous as her mother. Ella’s blessed with a gorgeous family, and she deserves it after everything she and Ryder went through. Between cheap double-D tramps, stalker ex-boyfriends, kidnappings, and shootings, they are so lucky to have found their happily-ever-after. Even though I love her like a sister, sometimes I can’t help but feel a little envious of her. Occasionally I dream that it’s me who has a husband who adores me and a couple of beautiful babies, but it’s never going to happen for me. Life’s a bitch like that.
I share the house with two other roommates who are dancers at the strip club, Climax. When I first moved here I actually applied for a job as a dancer there because I heard they made really good money. After all, I couldn’t be too picky about where I worked because I’m twenty-four, almost twenty-five years old, with no college degree. My options were limited. I figured I might as well shake what my momma gave me, but the more I thought about taking my clothes off for men’s entertainment, the worse I felt about it. I just couldn’t go through with it.
Molly, one of my roommates, suggested I apply for a bartending job that was available at the dance club, Pulse. She worked there prior to her stint as a stripper and said the tips were pretty decent. I took her advice, and Juan, the club owner, hired me on the spot saying I was hot and would definitely bring the guys into the place.
I make really good money there and not because of the high wages, but because of the really good tips. On a busy night I can easily pull in up to five hundred dollars. I don’t think I get them for my great customer service, though. I tend to get a little lippy with the club-goers, especially if they try to manhandle me, which happens quite often. Sometimes I think some of the guys get off on the way I act; to each his own, I guess. A couple of them have even received shiners—courtesy of me—because they tried to cop a feel.
So, how do I get my tips you ask? The answer’s quite simple. I get them primarily because of the sexy uniform I have to wear. All female Pulse employees are required to wear either a skin-tight tank or t-shirt with either a mini skirt or form-fitting jeans. Both of which totally accentuate our assets—our tits and ass.
I unlock my front door and enter the quiet house. My roommates are still in bed because they both worked a late shift at Climax last night. I walk into our cutesy little shabby chic kitchen with bright yellow walls and white cabinets (which is totally not my style, I prefer a contemporary modern look) and grab a glass, filling it with cold water. Taking the glass with me to the bathroom, I dig out a bottle of ibuprofen, dump two pills in my hand, and swallow the pills with a sip of water.
Looking in the mirror, I almost scare myself to death. Yikes! I looked like this in the diner. No wonder the waitress made that face. My hair is all over the place, looking kind of like a bird’s nest, and my mascara’s smudged around my eyes, reminding me of a raccoon. God, and do I ever feel dirty. I grab a towel and lay it on the floor next to the shower, then strip my clothes off, reach into the shower to turn the faucet until the water’s hot enough, and hop in. I get my body wash and loofa and scrub last evening off of my body. I take unusually long showers, and it seems like I can’t ever get clean enough before the water turns icy cold. Today’s no exception. I turn off the cold water and step out of the shower.
I dry off and slip on the well-worn Mayhem Motorcycle Club t-shirt that’s hanging on the hook on the door. Okay, I stole it from Jack the very first night I stayed at his place. It’s so comfortable that I basically have it washed out because I wear it to bed almost every night. It’s just too bad that it doesn’t still smell like him. Snuggling down in my comfortable queen size bed, I reach over to my nightstand and set my alarm for 5:00 p.m. I have to work tonight, and I’m going to need all the beauty sleep I can get.
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