The unEXpected Plan, page 1
The unEXpected Plan
Copyright © 2019 by Leddy Harper
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
About the Author
Also by Leddy Harper
For my unicorn and my lobster…
“Brooklyn!” my bestie, Nellie, squealed from across the room, momentarily pulling me from my thoughts of doom. “Get over here.”
She frantically waved me over to where she stood, where three hunk-a-burning-love drop-dead-gorgeous men stood. But they did nothing for me. The love of my life had managed to rip up, stomp on, and scorch my heart to smithereens.
All men were now dead to me.
Chase and I had gone from I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you to we need to take a break to figure things out. There were no warning signs. No fights. How could things have ended so rapidly? There’d been nothing wrong. We’d just had dinner with his parents last week, for crying out loud!
As cliché as it sounded, we were perfect together. Absolutely perfect. I’d mentally picked out my wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses—Nellie would, without question, be my maid of honor. And flowers…peach and white. I was just waiting for the ring—which I’d already described in subtle hints.
What woman didn’t already have the three Cs picked out for their dream diamond?
Who was I kidding? Obviously our relationship hadn’t been perfect, but I still had no idea where things had gone wrong. All the typical reasons of rejection coursed their way through me while lightning bolts struck my internal sanctuary, leaving my soul utterly decimated.
As I stared at my best friend, I knew I’d have to move my ass and go to her side, or she’d never stop waving her arms like a lunatic. Then again, Penelope Fields was certifiably insane; it was one of the many reasons I loved her so much.
“Brookie,” she hollered again, her boisterous tone alerting me to just how far ahead she was in the drinking department.
I wondered if I should just give in and numb my senses. After all, I had mentally reserved all day tomorrow to wallow. It only made sense to do so while hungover—multitasking never hurt anybody.
“Hey, Nells.” My fake go-to smile felt as plastic as Barbie’s tits as I inwardly screamed, get me out of here! I grabbed the full shot glass from her, not caring what was in it, and downed it in one gulp. My cheeks burned as the liquor lit my throat on fire. I tried to think of it as a good pain, but it was gross. “What the hell was that?”
“Liquid courage.” Nellie beamed, and upon closer inspection, I realized she wasn’t as blitzed as she’d first appeared. She was simply in full-blown flirt mode—even though I desperately needed supportive-friend mode.
She caught my glance and immediately signaled the other two members of our crew to head back to our table. And just like the close friends and self-proclaimed besties we were, our posse met back at the booth we had snagged shortly after getting here. We usually had a blast on a night out, but tonight, I’d brought along heavy baggage. It weighed me down, kind of like trying to walk through quicksand in high heels while wearing a ball and chain tethered to my ankles, hindering me from having much—or any fun.
As we took our seats, Nellie swung her arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer on the wooden bench. Without needing to be told, she just got me. She knew when I was down, sometimes even before I did. That’s why she’d suggested going out tonight in the first place. Heartache was the absolute worst.
I gulped down water, still battling the fire that scorched my throat.
“So…this is fun.” It was supposed to be a joke, but the tears that leaked from my eyes drowned any ounce of humor from my statement.
“I’m so sorry, babe. He’s a dick. He doesn’t deserve you.” Nellie stroked my arm in that comforting way she always did when I needed it. She’d always been my security blanket—she preferred to call herself my Xanax, but I never thought that made much of an endearing nickname.
“He really doesn’t. There are other fish in the sea.” Mady never understood the correct timing to use her singsong voice. Normally I’d laugh or have a witty comeback for her lame one-liners, but tonight, I just wanted to bury myself in a pile of blankets and never come up for air.
“I have to use the restroom.” Julie hopped up from her seat and stood next to the table. “Mady, care to join me?” There would no doubt be a loving, friendly confrontation in the ladies’ room over the inappropriate timing of my clueless friend’s encouragement.
These women were my pack, and as such, we all took care of each other. Which was why I wasn’t bothered by Mady’s level of support; I knew her well enough to understand that was just her way of having my back.
Turning to the only other person at the table, Nellie, I huffed and wiped away an errant tear. “I know there are other men out there. I swear, I do, but none for me. He was it. The one. And we only have one lobster.”
“Yes, and I’m yours. How many times do I have to tell you to stop giving that title to someone else?” At least her feigned offense brought a smile to my face—very small and, likely, unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but a smile, nonetheless. “Sweetie, I know it's hard to see this right now, but maybe he wasn’t the one. Sometimes things don’t work out for a good reason. We just have to sit back and wait for that reason to show itself.”
I adamantly shook my head. We were meant to be; she just couldn’t see that. “Did you suspect that there was anything wrong with us? With our relationship? Like, was the writing on the wall and I just didn’t see it?”
Mady and Julie rejoined us, preventing Nellie from answering. There was no way they’d been gone long enough to even make it to the bathroom let alone use it, but before I could question them, Mady said, “We ordered an Uber. I thought maybe we can go back to my place?”
Her question seemed to be for both of us, except she kept her wide eyes aimed directly at Nellie. As if that wasn’t strange enough, Julie had gone pale. Those reactions were induced by more than alcohol.
Things only became weirder from there. Nellie craned her neck and peered over my head, then fumbled through her purse and hurriedly threw two twenties on the table. “Yup. Sounds good to me.”
Her suspicious behavior provoked me to sneak a peek over my shoulder to see what had garnered her attention. Instantly, my body grew numb. My limbs rejected every signal of movement my brain tried sending. My heart immobilized. The atmosphere was eerily quiet as my gaze locked on him.
“Oh my…” My hand went to my mouth as vomit taunted my esophagus, threatening to make its way to the surface. I sw
“Come on, let’s get out of here.” Nellie yanked me from my seat and practically dragged me through the exit.
My three friends huddled around me on the sidewalk. I buried my face in their embrace for what felt like hours until our Uber pulled up, and before I knew it, the four of us were squished in the backseat.
“I’m ordering pizza; hopefully it’ll arrive shortly after we do. This situation calls for major junk food. Do we need to make a pit stop at a gas station for anything else? Wine? Chips? Chocolate? A crowbar?”
I shook my head while they continued to discuss what all to purchase at the corner store—which sounded a lot like things one would need to dispose of a body.
The entire car ride was a blur. One minute I was sandwiched between Julie and Nellie, and the next, I found myself being shuffled inside and my coat removed. A wave of thankfulness washed over me. I was incredibly lucky to have such compassionate friends. We’d been through many breakups, although none of them mine. Sure, there’d been Joe Blow in ninth grade and Joe Schmow in eleventh, but they hadn’t been serious. Not like Chase. Chase had been my one chance at happiness.
“Okay, who’s gonna start?” Julie popped a cheese puff into her mouth and began to chew. “Can I just say she’s not that pretty?”
“I agree.” Mady nodded and broke open the tub of ice cream, then handed out three spoons. The four of us dug in.
“She’s beautiful,” I argued. “She’s everything I’m not. Stunning, outgoing, sophisticated. I’m not sophisticated.” I held up my spoon as if to prove my point.
“You’re gorgeous.” Nellie elbowed me before scooping up another mouthful. “She’s got nothing on you.”
Nellie had always admired my thick brown hair that hung past my bra strap, light skin tone, big green eyes, and many other attributes of mine she said she wished she had. And I knew I wasn’t ugly. However, there were many differences between that woman and me.
“You guys are beyond nice, but come on! She obviously has something I don’t.” My tears had momentarily dried and anger began to stir. “We broke up less than a week ago, and he’s already with someone else?”
“Maybe they weren’t together. Maybe they met at the bar. Like a one-night hook-up.” Julie looked so sincere, it made me want to believe her.
“Nope. I recognized her,” I finally stated.
They all gasped and turned to look at me.
“She’s his assistant. Not to be confused with a secretary—he constantly corrected me on that detail—but administrative assistant. And, apparently, champion horn blower!”
Julie spit out a little ice cream as she laughed. It wasn’t a secret that I detested giving head. It was a fact this group wouldn’t ever let me live down. And that had been eleventh-grade Joe Schmow’s fault. He’d held my head down and practically drowned me in his cum my first time.
“No way!” Mady exclaimed and sat forward. “That was Heather? The infamous suck-retary?”
I nodded mutely.
“Oh, wow. We’d joked about this—her secretly plotting to steal your man—but what a hussy to actually follow through!” Nellie and I had spoken of this, but mainly because of the long hours he’d worked lately. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined it would actually come to fruition.
“Doesn’t Chase work at AdCorp?” Julie asked, scanning the room until someone verified her claim. “As in…the same company that Nellie’s brother works for?”
“Yeah, but I don’t think they know each other. I’ve never heard Chase mention him.”
“It’s okay…they don’t have to.”
“They don’t have to for what? Where are you going with this, Jules?” Nellie asked cautiously with her gaze zeroed in on our friend.
“I have an idea.” Julie’s dark eyes sparkled, a sinister grin tugging at the corners of her mouth as she rubbed her hands together like she had some evil genius plan brewing in her head. “Why don’t we secretly plot to get Chase back?”
“Yes!” I squealed and clapped. “Let’s get him back!”
Hope blossomed in my chest.
Although, it quickly died when Nellie shoved me back with one arm and put herself between Julie and me as if she were rescuing me from a stray bullet. “We don’t want Chase back. He’s a dog!”
Julie tsked and shook her head. “No, not get him back like that. I mean get even. Give him a taste of his own medicine by taking Heather away from him so he knows how it feels.”
“Oh…this sounds fun!” Mady’s eyes lit up like the sky on Fourth of July.
I waved my hands in front of their excited, devious faces. “I hate to break it to you all, but I don’t think Heather bats for the other team. I’m fairly certain she likes dick…a lot.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that; she’s with Chase, isn’t she?” Leave it to Nellie to be the one to accuse my ex of having a vagina. Although, there was a very good chance they were all thinking the same thing; she was just the only one to verbalize it.
I rolled my eyes and groaned. “What I’m trying to say is…how are we supposed to pull that off if we’re all women?”
“Not us, silly. We’ll have to find someone.” Julie licked her lips. “Someone hot. Someone irresistible.”
“Where the hell would we find anyone like that?” I challenged.
Which was the wrong thing to do, because a split second later, Mady exclaimed, “Corbin!”
We all burst into laughter—well, everyone except Nellie. Julie, Mady, and I had gossiped about Corbin Fields over the years. I mean, who doesn’t fantasize about their friend’s hot older brother? But actually doing something with him? Gross. It was more like a drunken fantasy that would never amount to anything.
“No way!” Nellie finally weighed in. “Not my brother.”
“Oh, come on, Penelope. It’s perfect. They work together, and since they don’t know each other, Chase would never suspect anything. Plus, Corbin would do anything for you. All you have to do is ask—the worst he can say is no.” Julie knew he’d never tell his baby sister no; hell, we all knew that much.
“I refuse. Not to mention, there’s no way he’d go along with it. He takes his job very seriously. This would be crossing a line. Brother or not, I can’t ask him to bring some personal vendetta to work…one that’s not even his own.”
“Oh my God.” Realization smacked me in the head. “What if they have a no-fraternization policy? Holy hell… Chase might get fired.”
The idea of him not having the job he’d worked so hard to obtain almost killed me. If he lost his job, he wouldn’t be able to support the family we were going to have when we finally got back together. And we all knew we’d get back together…okay, so maybe I was the only one, but that didn’t make it any less true.
Mady clapped her hands and bounced up and down excitedly on her knees. “That gives Corbin the ‘in’ he needs. Doesn’t Chase report to him?”
“Not really,” I clarified. “They’re in two different departments.”
“This could still work,” Julie mused.
“Absolutely not.” Nellie got up and began to pace.
If Corbin could keep Chase from being fired… “I’m beginning to warm up to the idea.”
This could potentially kill three birds with one stone: keep Chase from losing his job, make Chase experience the level of betrayal and hurt he’d made me feel, and at the same time, breaking them up so we could get back together. It really was a genius idea.
“Brooklyn Miller, you’ve got to be kidding me.” Nellie gawked at me.
“Think about it. You’re his little sister; he would do anything for you.” I grabbed her hand and looked at her pleadingly.
“Just like I’ll do anything for you?” She sighed, and I knew she was coming to our side.
“This is just what I need, something to take my mind off this horrible breakup. And what’s better than revenge?”
“Not crazy, just desperate. She’s like a sister to me, Corbin. Which means she’s kind of like your sister, too, if you really think about it. And I haven’t even told you our plan yet. How can you say no without hearing me out?”
“Grow up. You two aren’t twelve anymore. I’ve been manipulated into helping you with things in the past, but not anymore. We’re adults now. Let’s act like it. Drag some other poor sap into this charade of yours.”
“Okay, but imagine if this were your best friend. And he was distraught. Wouldn’t you do anything—and I mean anything—to make him feel better?”
God had blessed my sister with the biggest brown eyes. Eyes that pulled you in and made you want to rescue her. And every time I did, I ended up getting stuck in situations I couldn’t even remember agreeing to. I’d fallen under her puppy-dog spell before and suffered the consequences, but now a full-fledged adult, I refused to fall for the sibling-in-distress call again. The big-brother mentality was hard to ignore. I mean, naturally, I wanted to swoop in and save her. But I’d been there, done that, and I didn’t care to go back.
There was the time her new kitten managed to climb all the way up one of our prize palm trees. The fireman who ended up rescuing both of us had said it was twenty-plus feet. Not to mention, our parents had to chop down their beautiful and expensive Sylvester Palm due to the damage caused. I remembered exactly how expensive it had been, because I’d spent my summer working off every fucking penny to replace it. Not to mention, the teasing I’d endured from my buddies.
Other author's books:
- The unEXpected PlanThe imPERFECT GuyThe Reality of Wright and WrongI Do(n't)Take Your Time (Fate and Circumstance #2)Beautiful BoyDaneHindsight
Welcome to BookFrom.Net Archieve
The free online library containing 500000+ books
Read books for free from anywhere and from any device
Use search by Author, Title or Series to find more
Listen to books in audio format instead of reading
Quick bookmark is available by clicking on the plus icon (+)
Bookmark loading occurs by clicking on the arrow icon (<-)