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Heartstopper

By:Lauren Landish

A Sexy Romantic Comedy

Chapter 1

Roxy


"The guys had better get ready," I say, twirling my hair around my  finger. I'm riding shotgun down the road with my best friend, Hannah  Fowler, in her beat-up Lexus sedan. The windows are rolled down, the  wind blowing through the cabin and ruffling our hair as the downtown  streets whiz by.

It's been a long time since I've gone out, and boy, have I missed it.

But tonight I'm going to let loose, I vow. Enjoy myself for once.

"Why's that?" Hannah asks as she speeds through a yellow light, glancing  over at me. With shoulder-length blonde hair, big round cheeks, and  eyes that are as blue as they are huge, she looks a lot like Amanda  Seyfried, and she's played it up a few times. Equipped with a sense of  humor that almost rivals mine, she's basically been my bestie since I  struck out on my own. We're inseparable.

I grin, flashing my notorious wink I learned from my big sister, Mindy,  and boast, "'Cause I'm about to release the Rox on them!"

"Did I just hear you just say you're gonna gobble all the cocks?" Hannah yells over the roar of the wind.

I laugh. "You know damn well that wasn't what I said!" I got ninety-nine  problems and gobbling cock won't be one. If anything, that's on  Hannah's menu, considering the tight black number she's wearing that  looks like it's been painted on her frame.

Hannah giggles. "Well, it's better than unleashing your deprived vajayjay on some poor man!"

"I can't help it," I say, shaking my head. "You go ten months without  sex and see how you feel. Knowing you, they'd have to call the  Ghostbusters because you'd have fucked half a dozen men to death."

We share a good laugh and I smile as I let my arm hang out the window,  enjoying the night breeze against my skin. We haven't even gotten to the  best part of the night and I'm already in a good mood. It's a far cry  from the sour, cantankerous pain in the ass I've become lately.

Don't get me wrong-my job at Franklin Consolidated is okay and all, but  it's not my first love. The grin slowly fades from my face as I think  back to three years ago. I was working the club scene and singing at  Trixie's, a local club back home, busting my ass for my big break.

It never came. There were too many rejection letters, too many times I  got passed up on auditions. I almost tried out for X-Factor but got sick  right before with a bad cold, so even that didn't go as planned.  Eventually, I set the microphone aside and went back to school. Mom at  least had the decency to not say I told you so about my short-lived  career as a singer. Instead, she gave me encouragement when I said I was  moving away to finish up the degree that I'd been putting off.

I don't really know why I moved away. My stepfather, John, has more  money than my family could spend in five lifetimes and is more than  happy to share it. Champagne, designer dresses, cocktail parties, and  vacationing on yachts. I could've had it all, the total deb socialite.

But nepotism is not a life I want for myself. I want to stand on my own  two feet like my sister, Mindy. Sure, she ended up marrying a  super-handsome, rich stud, but she worked her ass off before that and  still does.

Thinking about her, I feel guilt tighten my chest. I haven't talked to  her or anyone in my family for months. It's partly because we all lead  such busy lives, but I'd argue that Mindy's life is perfect now. She's  got a great husband, two adorable kids, and a business of her own that  she loves running.

I'm nowhere near there. And I can't help but have this nagging feeling  that even if I'm successful in my new career path, I may never get that  feeling. So yeah, a night like this is just what the doctor ordered.

"Seriously, though, I need this," I tell Hannah. "We should do this more often."

As a gift to us both, Hannah decided to hit the grand opening of Club  Jasmine, a brand new nightclub that's being opened by a couple of rich  pricks whose names I don't know. It's supposed to be hot and ritzy. I  just want to get to the hot part.

Hannah nods. "I know, honey. You've been working hard for what? Ten  months? And already getting a promotion. You need to reward yourself."  She shakes her head. "I've been worried about you."

Satisfaction rolls through me. It's about the only positive thing I can  say about my job. My hard work has paid off. I've been recognized by the  execs, and starting next week, I'm getting promoted, working as an  assistant to the new regional president. I'm not his secretary. I'm  going to be one of the junior analysts, gathering data and such for him.  I can see myself going up the ladder in a couple of years and making  big money.         

     



 

But at what cost? I think to myself. At this pace, I'll be sitting in a  corner office with nobody to come home to, my best years behind me. The  pay might be good, but is it worth giving up the one thing that brings  me joy?

Hannah pulls up to a red light, and I force that troubling thought from  my mind, checking my makeup in the mirror. I've got dark hair, sparkling  hazel eyes, and pouty lips, just like all the women in my family, and  I'm pretty enough, I guess. But my spark, that mischievousness that made  men weak in the knees, is absent from my eyes.

I need to get back to doing what I love, even if only on the weekends. Screw prioritizing work.

"What you should be worried about is the poor guy who's gonna need a  heart monitor when I get done with him," I say, determined to stay  upbeat, snapping my lipstick closed.

Hannah gives me a serious look and deadpans. "Is it really that bad? I  thought you were just joking at first, but Jesus, Rox, I'm kinda scared.  You ever see that movie Teeth, with the vagina that grows fangs? I feel  like that's you right now."

"Oh, go to hell!" I laugh, but Hannah grins.

"Seriously, maybe we should just call it a night before you get yourself  in trouble. I mean, I'm sure you've got something in your drawer at  home that will take the edge off."

I laugh. "Sorry, only the real thing will do. I prefer my meat hard, throbbing, and able to spray paint the walls."

Hannah gags. "Gross! Just make sure you use protection. Don't want you  to wind up on Maury waiting to hear ‘You are the father!' and the crowd  going apeshit."

"Okay, Mom. I'll make sure to snag some of his DNA just in case."

We both laugh as she turns a corner, and we see a line of cars stretching up the street.

Despite all my talk, I probably won't even sleep with anyone. I'm just  here to have fun, unwind, and relax. And if it comes along with getting  to flirt with a cute as fuck guy, I'm all for it. The gears might be  rusty, but I bet I can still twerk my ass with the best of them after I  get warmed up.

My breath catches in my throat as the club comes into view. It's  beautiful. The parking lot is big and well-lit. The building itself  looks like anything but a nightclub, with a large fountain out front and  beautiful marble steps that are flanked by grand columns leading to the  white double-door entryway. There's a long line wrapped around the  building, and I can tell the grand opening ceremony is already over as  they're just starting to let people in.

I've seen a lot of clubs, but I'm truly impressed with the presentation  of this one. Everything I see says the owners sank a lot of money into  this place. Honestly, it puts Trixie's, with its neon sign, disco ball  in the ceiling, and pink and purple ambient lighting to shame.

There's no room to park in the main lot, so we have to go to the  overflow lot down the street, barely finding a parking spot. Getting  out, a cool night breeze sweeps the area, causing goosebumps to rise on  my skin and excitement to warm my blood. Overhead, the full moon makes  me feel like a wolf on the prowl.

Hannah peers at me, looking around my backside. Unlike her, I've opted  for a red club dress, one that hugs my curves in all the right places. I  got it from Mindy, who had her fair share of good luck in it, so maybe  it'll do the same for me. "Damn, girl, your ass didn't look that big  when we left home. Did you stuff it with some pads or something?"

I place my hands on my hips and boast, "Girl, seriously? This is  all-natural! They write songs about an ass like this!" I start popping  my ass, reciting some classic lyrics.

Hannah bends over, grabbing her sides while laughing. "Oh, my God, stop! You're killing me."

"Stop making fun of my bootyliciousness then and let's go!"

Giggling, we make our way to the club, evading people on the street. I  see a couple of guys look my way and I feel a little thrill. I don't see  anything I like, though, so I keep going until we reach the club and  the line that's jam-packed out the building. Luckily for us, Hannah has a  reservation for us so we don't have to wait. I'd like to dance sometime  before next Tuesday.

We walk past the men in line, and I feel more eyes on me. These men are  all dressed well. There are no open shirts and rolled sleeves but rather  suits and ties. It must be the club theme for the grand opening. My  confidence should grow, but I'm hit by a sudden feeling of anxiety. Am I  really ready to rock someone's world or am I just looking for  companionship? It's been so long since I've been in the social company  of the opposite sex. I don't even know.         

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