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Crashing into her, p.1

Crashing into Her, page 1

 

Crashing into Her
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Crashing into Her


  Dedication

  This book is dedicated to my readers.

  Thank you for embracing my stories.

  Contents

  Cover

  Title Page

  Dedication

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Epilogue

  Acknowledgments

  Announcement page to The Worst Best Man

  About the Author

  By Mia Sosa

  Copyright

  About the Publisher

  Chapter One

  (sings to the tune of West Side Story’s “I Feel Pretty”)

  I feel grumpy • Oh so grumpy • I feel grumpy and grimy and gray • And I pity anyone who fucks with me today

  Lalalalalalala la-la la-la

  Eva

  Bradley International Airport

  Windsor Locks, Connecticut

  “My apologies, Ms. Montgomery. This flight is over capacity, and you were the last person to check in. Unfortunately, there are no other flights to your destination this evening, so we won’t be able to get you home tonight.”

  I’m gasping for air as I try to process the agent’s words, my chest on fire because I just sprinted the length of a football field to get to the gate. The strap of my weekender has burrowed itself so deeply into my skin it’s going to leave a permanent dent in my shoulder. And my hair is making an admirable effort to take all the humidity in Connecticut back to Philly as a souvenir. Fuck me sideways.

  Delivering a tirade would be immensely satisfying right now, but this weary-eyed airline employee isn’t responsible for my predicament—or my jacked-up hair day. I let the bag fall to the floor and kick it between my legs before I collapse against the counter. “This is . . . what . . . I get for . . . buying the cheapest ticket, right?”

  Oh, lovely. I’m wheezing. I don’t care how well conditioned I am, running 120 yards with a big-ass bag isn’t easy.

  The man—Steven, according to his perfectly positioned nameplate—tries to hide a grin. “Not so, Ms. Montgomery. If a flight is full—”

  “Oversold.”

  “Over capacity is how we describe it,” he says, tugging on the hem of his sweater vest.

  “I’m sure you do.”

  “In any case,” he says, stepping back as though new battle lines have been drawn, “we make every effort to get passengers to voluntarily give up their seats. A few did, but we simply do not have space to accommodate you, and I’m very sorry for that.”

  His emphasis on the word very sounds earnest even to my jaded ears, so I save what little energy I have left and accept my fate. “Okay.”

  He cocks his head, eyeing me with suspicion. “Really?”

  “Yes, really. What else do you expect me to say? You’ve advised me of the problem, and I’m waiting to hear the solution.” My phone buzzes in the back pocket of my jeans. “Excuse me, I need to take this.”

  After nudging my bag across the floor with my foot, I move to the side of the counter and check the number. My stomach drops when I see that the caller’s my best friend, Tori, who married her famous actor boyfriend, Carter Stone, this morning and should be on a plane headed to Aruba this minute. In fact, their surprise wedding, which they hid from the paparazzi and most of their guests by disguising it as a weekend-long family reunion in his hometown, is the reason I’m trapped in New England.

  “What’s wrong?” I ask without preamble.

  “Everything’s fine. Well, our flight’s delayed, but only by an hour. I just have a quick question.”

  Now that I know her vacation isn’t ruined, I relax my shoulders. “Shoot.”

  “The . . . uh . . . items you encouraged me to take on our honeymoon. Will I have any trouble getting them through security?”

  I mentally tick through the gifts I gave her, genuinely not understanding her concern. “The crotchless panties shouldn’t be an issue. The oral sex light looks like a regular telephone headset, so that should be fine, too. Maybe you should toss the warming massage oil. It’s probably more than three ounces. Wait. Are you worried about the butt plugs?”

  Steven snickers as he clicks away at his computer.

  “Yes,” Tori whispers into the phone. “That’s exactly what I’m worried about. I didn’t think it through. What if the TSA screeners mistake them for bullets?”

  “Don’t worry. The rainbow tails will throw them off. And if they ask, just say the plugs are part of a My Little Pony stationery set.”

  “Oh, good cover. I’ll go with that.” She blows out a relieved breath. “So what about you? Heading out soon?”

  “No, they bumped me.”

  “What? Those pendejos.”

  “Yeah, I’ve been grumbling about it, too, but I’ll survive.”

  In the background, Carter hustles her off the phone.

  “Look, I’ve got to go,” she says. “But text Ashley, okay? She’s a flight attendant. Maybe she can help.”

  “I will. Now go get your swerve on.”

  “On it. Love you, chica.”

  “Love you, too.”

  My bestie’s happy, and I’m overjoyed for her, so every time I think about the inconvenience of not getting home tonight as planned, I’ll focus on those facts instead. As promised, I type a quick text to Ashley, Carter’s younger sister, praying that she’ll bless me with her insider knowledge.

  Me: Hi, Ash. Eva here. Airline bumped me and it’s the last flight to Philly out of Bradford. Any advice?

  Not long after, the three dots appear like a lifeline.

  Ash: Do you need to get home today?

  Me: Not necessary, but it would be nice.

  The three continuously moving dots indicate she’s typing a lengthy response. The woman’s chatty, so I’m not surprised. If people were sentences, she’d be a run-on with an exclamation mark at the end.

  Ash: Ok. They’re required to compensate you. Can’t recall the specifics, but it’s at least double your one-way fare if you’re delayed more than a couple hours, might even be triple. Ask for cash, not a voucher. They need to put you up in a hotel. The airlines have arrangements with area hotels for this very reason. You’re welcome to come back to the house, though!

  More dots.

  Ash: And food! For that, a voucher’s good.

  Me: This is great. Thank you.

  Ash: Good luck! And let me know how you make out.

  Me: Will do.

  Minutes later, having secured an early morning flight, a free hotel stay, food vouchers, and the promise of a check for 300 percent more than the price I paid for my original ticket, I drag myself back through the main terminal and follow the signs to ground transportation. I’d still prefer to sleep
in my own bed tonight, but getting bumped off a flight apparently has many perks if you ask for them; amusing the gate agent responsible for doling out those perks probably helps, too.

  I send a quick update to Tori and Ashley. The latter responds with a combo of thumbs-up and heart-eyes emojis. The former sends a two-word reply: Hang on. In the meantime, I hustle behind a dozen or so people waiting for cabs.

  Tori sends a longer text a minute later:

  Anthony’s at the airport. He just dropped off my parents and Bianca. They’re heading to NYC for sightseeing. He can pick you up outside the terminal and take you to the hotel. Says he’s coming around again and will look for you. Ok, Carter’s giving me some serious side-eye. Going on airplane mode. Love you.

  A heavy weight settles in my belly when I finish reading her message. Shit. Tori’s cousin—I’ve secretly dubbed him the square root of Thor—is the last person I want to see. My hand flies to the unruly strands on my head. Argh. This hair travesty alone is spiking my blood pressure, which doesn’t bode well for him. When I’m not at my personal best, I’m more irritable than usual, and judging by our interaction this weekend, Anthony’s very presence makes me cranky. This should be fun for everyone involved.

  It isn’t long before he finds me. In truth, I spot him first and duck my head, giving me a minute to watch him as he rounds his rental car and surveys the line, his eyes hidden behind silver lens aviators that are pure overkill given that sunset is fast approaching. To me, a white T-shirt and jeans typically read basic; on him, they add dimension to his appearance, emphasizing the assured, relaxed way he carries himself. And although I’m aware there’s no correlation between the size of a man’s hands and the girth of his penis, I still glance at his long fingers—for pseudoscience. The man’s an eggplant emoji, for sure.

  He shouts to get my attention, his smoky voice pulling my mind out of its permanent residence in the trash bin. “Eva! Over here!”

  The woman in front of me twists her upper body around and meets my gaze. “Dayum. Are you Eva?”

  Stifling the urge to laugh, I nod.

  “No offense, but I’m considering stealing your identity,” she says.

  Ha. Imagine how she’d react if I told her he’s a Hollywood stunt professional. She’d probably shank me. “No offense taken, and yeah, I know what you mean.”

  Because yes, there’s no denying the man’s physical gifts: broad shoulders, dark brown wavy hair that’s a smidge too long for my liking, and full lips that probably predispose him to better-than-competent-kisser status. He’s a mishmash of muscles and scruff, but in a refined package, like the construction worker in a music video who struts around with manicured hands, spotless jeans, and a single, perfect streak of dirt across his cheek. All of this means Anthony takes up more than his fair share of physical space in my mind’s eye, not because he’s huge—although he is big considering my five-foot-two frame—but because there’s so much to absorb when I look at him that I trick myself into giving him a larger blueprint. Oddly, no single trait stands out from the rest; rather, it’s the totality of the man that holds my attention hostage. Free me, damn you.

  It’s been this way since I met him a few days ago. In that moment, the idea of a hookup planted itself in my brain, an unfortunate and all too common occurrence when a sexually frustrated woman gives up on pricks but still wants dick. But then Tori warned me against pursuing him, explaining that he’s “emotionally unavailable,” whatever that means, and I grudgingly backed away. In short, bitches before itches. Still, the thirst is strong with this one. Until he opens his mouth, that is.

  Since I can’t ogle him forever, I step out of line and give him a weak wave, readjusting the strap of my bag across my body.

  He saunters over to meet me, a lopsided grin broadcasting that he’s poised to say something annoying. “Philadelphia decided it couldn’t handle you either, huh?”

  And this is the crux of the problem: He speaks. What I wouldn’t give for a roll of duct tape. I’d use it on his mouth and anywhere with a surplus of hair. His crotch, probably. “Ahhh, so that’s what happened. You decided you couldn’t handle me.” I scan him from his head to the tops of his derby shoes. “Makes sense. I spy a lightweight.”

  Folding his thick arms over his impressive chest, he takes a step back and tilts his head. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Why the hostility, Eva? I thought we were friends.”

  “We’re acquaintances, not friends, and I’m good with that.”

  He pouts at me and runs his index finger from his lower eyelid down to the hollow of his cheek. Sad face. I press my lips together, refusing to laugh at his antics even though that’s exactly what I’d do if our roles were reversed. When he gets no reaction from me, he lowers his arm and sighs. “Not interested in being my friend because . . . ?”

  I give him a halfhearted shrug. “Not sure, exactly. You just rub me the wrong way.”

  He leans in and waggles his eyebrows. “Teach me how to rub you the right way, then.”

  The epiphany smacks me upside my head: Anthony’s my male counterpart. As evidenced by the swagger, the self-confidence—in his case, it’s overconfidence—and the mouth that must have the last word, no matter how inappropriate it may be. There’s only room for one of me in my life, however, and if I were looking for someone to balance out my ridiculousness, this man would fail miserably. On one end of the spectrum is a shy, quiet type who’ll cower in the center of my tornado; on the other end of the spectrum is someone like Anthony, who’ll grab the funnel with his bare hands and swing it around in the hopes of wreaking even more havoc. Neither one will do. Well, given my abysmal track record when it comes to men, no one will do.

  But that doesn’t mean I can’t extract a little fun from the situation. So I drop my bag, round the front of his rental car, and hop onto the hood, resting my feet on the bumper and spreading my legs wide. Waving him over, I say, “You want to learn how to rub me the right way? Go ahead. Break me off a little something right here and show me what we’re working with.”

  I raise my face toward the sky and close my eyes. A woman somewhere in the vicinity cackles. Car horns blare with impatience as drivers try to navigate the airport traffic. Anthony, however, doesn’t say a word. I drop my head and open one eye to sneak a peek at his reaction. But he’s not in my line of sight. Someone else is, though—and the scowl on his face suggests he isn’t friendly at all.

  Fuck me sideways twice.

  Chapter Two

  Anthony

  This woman needs her own reality TV show. And this could be the first episode. I’d call it, “That’s What You Get, Eva.”

  The airport security officer standing in front of her raps his knuckles on the hood. “All right, folks, no idling vehicles in the passenger pickup lane. Take your selfies somewhere else.”

  Wearing a sheepish expression, she slides off the car and brushes dirt off her butt. Thanks to me, the rental’s spotless, though, so I know it’s a nervous gesture. But her voice is calm when she says, “Sorry about that, sir. My boyfriend and I got a little carried away.”

  The little devil on my shoulder—I think of him as my inner maldito—bangs his pitchfork on my shoulder and makes a brilliant suggestion. Unable to resist messing with her, I sidle up to Eva and shake my phone in the air. “Hey, man. This reunion’s been a long time coming. Any chance you’d take a picture of us together? It would mean a lot to us.”

  Eva clears her throat and shoves me away. “Don’t be silly, sweetheart. He doesn’t have time to do that.”

  Unsure I’ll be able to do it justice, I try my best impression of a man in love: looking at her with longing in my eyes and blowing a kiss. “It’s just . . . this is such a special day, honey.” Given the way Eva crinkles her nose, I’m assuming I wasn’t as convincing as I had hoped to be. Not a shock since I’d need to swat away the cobwebs in my brain to recall my memories of being in that state.

  The officer, meanwhile, scans the immediate area, shakes his head in resign
ation, and puts out his hand. “One picture and then you’re out of here.”

  Grinning way more than this small triumph warrants, I give him the phone and steer Eva back onto the hood. It’s underhanded of me to do this, of course, but she went down this path and I’m following it to its logical—and entertaining as fuck—conclusion.

  She loops arms with me and lifts her face toward mine, her mouth grazing my ear as she whispers, “You are so dead when this is over.”

  The touch of her lips is fleeting, a minor brush of contact that shouldn’t register at all, but my inner maldito’s working overtime, and now I’m picturing a different ending to this scenario, one that involves a bed and multiple orgasms for us both. Messing around with my cousin’s best friend would be a supremely stupid thing to do, though. Casual sex is a dish best served anonymously, an arm’s length encounter that leaves no room for seconds. Knowing this should be enough to reprogram my brain, but the wiring’s all screwed up in there today.

  “I can’t wait to see how you’ll make me pay,” I tell her under my breath, wanting to keep this encounter as light as I know it should be and reminding myself that this is nothing more than a game. To our amateur photographer, I say, “All you need to do is tap the circle when you’re ready.”

  He gives me a blank stare, probably regretting that he didn’t make us vacate the premises immediately. “Yes, I know how to use an iPhone. Let’s do this on three. One, two, three.”

  When we’re done, Eva scrambles off the car and busies herself with riffling through her humongous bag while I thank the officer and confirm that he took a decent pic. It’s better than I could have hoped for. Not surprisingly, Eva’s bright eyes dominate the photo, the mass of copper ringlets that surround her face like party streamers coming in a close second. But it’s the gritted teeth masquerading as a smile, along with the barest hint of a flared nostril, that I enjoy the most about the shot, because it’s photographic evidence that, contrary to what she said earlier, I can keep up with her just fine.

 
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