Monday, July 4, 2016

Chapter 25 (7/4/16)

I would never leave you hanging too long after a cliffhanger!  (If you didn't see Sunday's post, scroll down and read that one first.)  Enjoy :)

“Jenna, this is—“
“Ryan,” I interrupted, taken completely by surprise.
Ryan grinned, and Rachael frowned.  “You guys know each other?” she asked, looking between us in confusion.
“Not exactly, but we’ve met,” Ryan said, extending his hand towards me.  I took it and we shook.  He held onto my hand a beat longer than necessary.  “Nice to see you again, and now I know your name, too.”
Rachael still looked really confused.  I colored slightly as I said, “Ryan was my server when I was out on a terrible date.  He swapped my disgusting gin and tonic for a vodka soda and made it slightly less terrible.”  I left out the part about him chasing me out to my car to give me his number, and I flushed a little more thinking about it.  So awkward.
“You know that terrible date was the talk of the kitchen, right?” Ryan asked, his easy grin widening.  “We were all talking about the poor pretty girl that was out on either a blind date or an online dating date with the not-so-pretty guy that was completely full of himself.  It was the least I could do.”
My face was hot now, and Rachael only looked slightly less confused.  Seeing her confusion, Ryan said, “My uncle owns a restaurant and I fill in sometimes when I’m home.”  Turning to me, he said, “My day job is international project management.  You caught me on a rare night I was helping my uncle out.”
Erica had wandered over and she introduced herself to Ryan.  I had no idea what “international project management” actually was, so I just smiled and nodded.  “You must travel a lot then,” Erica said, saving me from having to come up with something.
Ryan nodded.  “I do.  I’m hardly ever home for more than a week or two at a time, except for every once in awhile when I get a month or so off from traveling.  That only happens once or twice a year though.” 
Rachael had recovered, and the four of us chatted for awhile.  Eventually, I somehow found myself alone with Ryan as the sun went down.  “So, was it my approach?”
“What?” I asked, confused.
“You didn’t call.  You're not into strange men chasing you down in a dark parking lot?”
I snorted.  “Well, that certainly wasn’t how I was expecting that night to end.  But it wasn’t that.  I’m not really dating right now.”
“Why not?” he asked boldly.
I pursed my lips and considered how to answer.  Finally, I decided honestly was for the best here.  “I’m fairly recently divorced,” I admitted.
“How recently is ‘fairly recently’?” he asked. 
My eyebrows flew up.  This guy was ballsy.  “You have terrible social skills,” I told him.  “Do you normally go around prying into people’s lives?”
“Only people I’m interested in,” he replied, returning my surprised look with a level gaze. 
I found myself melting (figuratively, of course), and I answered his question.  “Not quite 6 months ago.”  I immediately scolded myself internally for buckling so easily for an attractive man. 
“I don’t date,” he said, shrugging.  “I can’t, really.  I’m gone too much.  But I’d like to take you out sometime anyway.”
“Why?  If you don’t date, what’s the point?”
He smirked.  “Why do you think?” he asked, his eyes sparkling.  My god, he was sexy.
“You want to have sex with me,” I replied bluntly. 
He laughed.  “Well, I prefer to get to know people at least a little before I make that decision.”
“This is easily the weirdest conversation I’ve ever had,” I said, shaking my head.
“Weirder than your conversation with Mr. ‘I Work in Finance’?”
I shuddered, remembering it.  “That doesn’t even count as a conversation.  I think I said a dozen words the entire time I was there, and 10 of them were to you!”
“That’s probably true,” he agreed.  “Look, I’m a big fan of honesty.  I don’t date, but I would like to get to know you better to see what might happen.”
“So you want to take me out, but not on a date.  More like an interview to be your fuck buddy.”  I raised an eyebrow at him skeptically.
“You can call it whatever you want,” he replied with easy confidence.  “But you could also consider it an interview for me to be your fuck buddy.”
I wrinkled my nose.  “You’re a cocky motherfucker,” I told him.
“Confident,” he corrected me. 
I narrowed my eyes at him.  I hated that I was attracted to him.   His dark blue eyes regarded me calmly, waiting for me to respond.  When I said nothing, he shrugged, rubbed his hand over the two days’ worth of stubble along his jaw, and leaned back in his chair.  Erica reappeared at that moment and plopped down in the chair next to me.  “Where did you go?” I asked her, happy to turn my attention away from Ryan.
“I went inside to go to the bathroom, but then I started talking to one of Rachael’s friends and got distracted.”  She stopped and looked between Ryan and I, realized that she had interrupted something.  “You know, I can go—“ she started.
“What were you talking about?” I asked, interrupting her and preventing her from leaving.
She gave me a weird look and kept talking.  Ryan stayed long enough to be polite and then excused himself, perfectly politely.  He caught my eye just before he left, and he flashed me a quick, dazzling, ridiculously sexy smile.  Then he was gone.  “That’s the guy that Rachael is trying to hook you up with?” Erica asked unnecessarily, watching him walk away.  “He is beautiful.”
“He is,” I groaned.  “He’s also one cocky son of a bitch.” 
Erica cocked an eyebrow at me.  “That’s never bothered you before,” she pointed out.  I just glared at her.  She shrugged.  “I mean, if you’re not interested, you’re not interested…but he’s exactly your type and he is hot.”
“He is,” I repeated, sighing.  “He wants to take me out.  But not on a date.”  Erica looked puzzled.  “It’s a sex interview, Erica.”
Erica burst into laughter at that.  “A sex interview?” she repeated, still laughing.  “You’re ridiculous.” 
She was still laughing when Rachael came and pulled a chair up next to me on the other side.  “Well?” she asked, waggling her eyebrows at me. 
“He’s a dick,” I said. 
Rachael looked surprised.  “No he’s not,” she said.  “He comes off like a cocky asshole but he’s actually a really nice guy.  Don’t tell him I told you that though.” 
“That’s something that someone who was trying to get their friend laid would say,” I said.
“I know, I told him the same thing about you,” she shot back, smirking. 
I laughed, shaking my head.  “You would.”
“I would, but I didn’t,” she replied.  “Look, don’t feel pressured to go out with him.  I meant it when I said if you weren’t into it you wouldn’t hear about it from me again.  But don’t let his attitude fool you.”  Someone called out for Rachael and she tossed one more grin at me before she jumped up and walked towards the girl who called her name. 
“Are you ready?” I asked Erica.  She nodded and we stood. 
As we were walking through the backyard, I caught sight of Ryan again.  He was standing with a small group of people near the edge of the yard.  As I watched him, he turned his head and our eyes met.  “Just a second,” I said to Erica.  Feeling impulsive, I walked towards him.  He broke away from his friends as I approached.  Before he could say anything, I handed him my phone.  “Put your number in, in the event I decide to take you up on going out sometime,” I said coolly. 
“Sure,” he said, flashing that smile at me again.  He put his number in then handed it back to me. 
“Thanks,” I said, returning his smile.  Then I took my phone, turned, and walked back towards Erica without looking back to see if he was watching me.


  1. I can't tell if I am going to love or hate Ryan, but I think love. I've always been one for the "cocky motherfuckers"!

  2. AHHH so excited it was Ryan! I can't believe I forgot about him, so pumped to hear what happens next

  3. What does Ryan look like?

  4. This is awesome!!! Loved this post and I'm so excited to see where this goes!! I loved her confidence and I LOVED the blatant honesty.

  5. I loved this! The sparks are flying between Jenna and Ryan, and I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a little cockiness!

    I really like Jenna's character. She's so real and blunt! I died at "You have terrible social skills." I can't wait to read more!