A romantic comedy
by Heather M. Orgeron, coming soon
A beam of light streams in through the window, stabbing me right in my barely opened eye. Jackhammers pound inside my head as I squint, peering around the room to take in my surroundings: a king-sized bed with plush white linens, gaudy chandelier, a wall of windows with thick gold damask drapes pulled back on each end.
What the hell am I doing at a hotel?
A loud snore sounds, nearly scaring me right out of my skin. To my left is a hard body, enveloped in billion-thread-count sheets, facing away from the offending window. That back—those sinewy shoulders and sculpted muscles—I’d recognize anywhere. “Liam?” I whisper, forcing myself not to run a hand through his tapered hair, to touch my finger to the little mole right at the edge of his hairline. It was once my favorite spot to kiss.
What. The. Fuck? This can’t be happening. Not again.
Groggy and disoriented, I attempt to roll off the bed to relieve my screaming bladder and rid myself of the dragon breath that only comes after a night of hard partying. One I can’t seem to remember. But I can’t move. Reaching beneath the comforter to investigate what’s weighing me down, I come up with my hands filled with layer upon layer of satin and tulle. What the hell?
“A wedding dress?” I screech, panic welling in my throat, my heart damn near leaping from my chest. No way.
Suddenly the mound of man muscle shifts my direction. With a dreamy smile, his large hand creeps across the bed, reaching for mine. The smell of last night’s cologne wafts into the air, threatening to weaken my resolve. Holding my breath, refusing to be distracted, I scoot to the edge of the bed. Has he lost his goddamn mind? Has this idiot forgotten that we’ve been over since our now-preteen daughter was barely walking?
Well, mostly over. There was that one time…but that was a mistake we swore to never speak of again. Let’s just say that me, alcohol, and my ex-husband are not a good mix.
“Morning, wife!” Liam stretches his arms above his head, winking a sleepy blue eye my way. His caramel-colored hair sticking up in all directions only makes the insufferable man more irresistible. He looks…well…well fucked.
Wife. That curse has me scrambling to my feet, lugging fifty pounds of dress to the full-length mirror that’s attached to the closet door. Adding to my horror, it’s a dress that only my very extra now former bestie would pick out. How could she do this to me? “Where is she?” I growl, turning to the side and running my hands along the fitted silhouette. Jesus, I’m thirty-three, not twenty. I look like a fucking teeny bopper.
“Who?” Liam glances around the room, seeming confused by my reaction. By why I’m not already threatening to castrate him.
“Hannah! Who else? Are there pictures? I swear to God, if there are pictures of me in this thing, I’ll kill you both, and no one will ever find your bodies.”
My ex-husband snorts. “You wouldn’t do that to Ellie.”
Our daughter. Ugh. I want to slap that smug look off his too-handsome face.
“How’d this happen?” Please, for the love of God, he’d better tell me we went to a freaking costume party or something, but the sense of déjà vu is just too strong. This room is too familiar. The bustling city, haunting me through floor to ceiling windows, brings back memories of the biggest mistake of my life. My college boyfriend. An impulse trip to Vegas. A little white chapel. No. No. “No.” I shake my head, moving to the window to stare down at Sin City.
“Give me six months,” the asshole rasps, sneaking up behind me and gliding his warm hands around my waist. As if he has any right. I gulp hard, swallowing down a lump of emotion, because something tells me I gave him that right last night. Liam’s eyes connect with mine in the glass. “We owe it to our little girl.”
Jesus, now he’s using our kid as a weapon. I should move away from his embrace, but I’ve always been putty in his arms. “Does she… does she know?”
He spins me around to face him, my resolve weakening with every moment spent wrapped in his strong arms. “You don’t remember anything, do you?”
The smell of alcohol on his breath is oddly arousing. It’s not even fair that he’s been blessed with sexy morning breath, of all things. He’s not at all deserving of such sex appeal. “Please tell me this is a nightmare, and I’m going to wake up to Ellie begging for scrambled eggs or the dog whining to be let out. Liam, tell me this isn’t happening.”
“Poker?” he asks, swiping a tear from beneath my right eye with his calloused thumb. “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots,” he sings in his best Lil Jon impression. A hopeful smirk curls his lip as he does a little shimmy to the beat. I try like hell not to let him see me ogling his erect penis flopping side to side with his movement. Damn him and that appendage that reduces me to nothing but a puddle of hormones.
“Oh, dear God, did we?” I ask, feeling nausea pool in my stomach as the face of my boyfriend, Ryder, flashes in my mind.
“Not yet.” His chiseled brows bounce.
“This isn’t funny, Liam! I have a boyfriend.”
The infuriating man barks out a laugh. “Husband trumps boyfriend, Nya.”
How can he be so blasé about this? “There’s no way.”
“No way, what?” he asks, lifting my hand to rest on his chest. The glint of a familiar diamond shimmers in the morning sun. I’m momentarily distracted by the realization that he kept my ring all these years. My heart wants to soften to him, but the anger at this impossible situation swiftly overpowers the foolish organ.
“There’s no way I married the same mistake…twice!” I shout, shoving away from him to pace the enormous room.
“Six months, darlin’,” he repeats, using the nickname he hasn’t called me in years, eyes alight with hope. “You promised me six months.”
“For what?” I ask, panting. “To prove what idiotas we are?”
A dimple pops out on his left cheek, and I brace myself for his retort. “Nya—” Fuck the way his saying my name makes my vagina twitch. “Babe, I only need about ten minutes to prove what idiots we were…you never did last long.”
He ducks, just as I send the Bible from the side table flying in his direction. “Fuck you.”
“That’s what I’m hoping for.”
Great. I cross my arms on my chest. “You married me for sex?”
“Now, we both know I didn’t have to marry you for that.”
ADD TO GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46186312-take-two