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Unfriended(Love in New Highland Book 1)

By:Deana Farrady

Unfriended(Love in New Highland Book 1)
Deana Farrady

       A Geek and Stud Romance (Love in New Highland Book 1)



Asher Norrell is my dream man-hot, brilliant, and charming, every big, strapping inch of him.

Too bad he thinks of me as a platonic buddy.

I mean, I get it. I'm no femme fatale. Nope, I'm the tomboy who shoots  hoops with the guys, not the love bunny who sits on their laps.

But, oh, well. I guess it's all for the best. Because I just got engaged. Even if the marriage won't be quite … the usual kind.

I just wonder if Asher will be pissed when he finds out who my fiancé is.


On the surface things are perfect.

I'm sailing through college, I'm already successful in my field, I've got a beautiful girlfriend, and life is sweet.

To top it off, I have the best f*cking friend in the world in Charis  Sloane, doctoral student, gamer, and honorary family member from way  back. Sure, she's a geek, but so am I under all these muscles.

She and I connect via brainwaves. I don't need my bestie to be a  girly-girl; I already have one of those to warm my bed. The important  thing is, I have Charis's back and she has mine.

Good thing, too, because below the surface? My life isn't nearly as awesome as it looks.

Then Charis tells me she's getting married to … to …

Pissed? Right, try livid.

Now I have to stop her, or we'll miss our last chance to make right what should have happened long ago.




SOMETIMES IN LIFE, YOU MAKE a mistake so big there's no coming back from  it, not ever, not even if you get down on your knees and beg.

You want to try. You might anyway, being that desperate. But you can't.

Even if you're used to getting what you want 99.99 percent of the time, it turns out there is such a thing as too late.

I found that out today.

"Ash," Charis slurred against my chest, "there's something important I need to tell you."

And there it was. That moment.

Right then, with my best friend in the world slumped against my arm, her  sweet, warm body trying to mesh into mine-that's when I finally saw the  scale of my incredibly stupid, epically epic mistake.

I don't make a lot of them. Seriously, I'm kind of a charmed devil. When  I do occasionally screw up-say, time traffic wrong so I'm late for a  dinner date-it's no biggie. Win some, lose some.

But this one … it's not your common little misstep. No, my current goof  was a fucking ginormous error of judgment that assured me I was about to  be severely punished-smoked like Erysichthon, that poor bastard doomed  to suffer endless hunger for disrespecting a holy tree.

Swear to God, I'd rather not know shit like that. I've got bucketfuls of  pointless trivia stored in my brain. Greek myths, Latin roots,  Archimedes's messy bathing habits, you name it, it's Charis's fault.  Char's always getting into obscure topics and sharing irrelevant facts  with me. She's kind of adorable to listen to.

And to hang with.

And to watch.

And … .

Aaaaand, back to the mistake. The mistake for which I was about to be  punished. Punished to the pain, like the foul-assed Count Rugen in The  Princess Bride.

And the worst part?

I did it to myself.

I'll just say that again. To. Myself.

I'm not talking about one of my older sibs getting one over on me. No,  turns out I was the asinine individual who took a big old dull-headed  screwdriver branded Norrell and stabbed myself in the gut-the heart-and  twisted. Screwing myself.

Most people will tell you I'm usually not quite that idiotic. You know,  what with my full-ride scholarship and dual major in Earth Sciences and  Electrical Engineering. Listen, I'm building devices that can monitor  weather patterns in light of planting and harvest sequences. Not only  that, they automate the tracking of agricultural prices in areas as  diverse as production, distribution, and investment, providing useful,  one-stop relational data to everyone involved in agriculture worldwide  from the farmers to the-

Wait, okay, I know. Not relevant. The point is, I have a 3.86 overall  college GPA , three patents plus two pending, and my own LLC that's  already turning a dizzying profit-the kind of profit that makes it a  tossup as to whether I should actually bother to graduate this year.

I'm the guy who sees what he wants and goes after it. Everyone told me  to sit on my inventions as some kind of cagey investment strategy. But  why sit when I could invest the profit from selling off the games I'd  co-written with my brother Doug to Funiverce Systems right back into my  business?

That's what I did. And in the process, made farming a more efficient  industry. Saving farmers money. Saving you, the consumer, money. If you  eat wheat, lentils, canola oil, potatoes, garbanzos, or onions, you've  benefited from my tracker.                       



Meaning I managed to turn my brain power into financial power before I even hit 23.

Not an idiot so far, right?

But forget all that fancy shit. You might chalk my success down to luck  and working my connections. I'd dispute that, I'd say I work hard, but  whatever.

From way back, I've got street savvy. Comes from spending my early years  in Detroit, before my parents packed us all up to move closer to Dad's  family in greater New Highland, Washington. You're probably thinking,  New Highland, posh tech city, right? Nah. Out here on the east side of  the state, whatever's not urban is rolling farmland. Where I live now  isn't rough, but you learn a thing or two when you grow to manhood with  two brothers, three sisters and a pack of exuberant cousins from the  sticks.

You might say I'm blessed with the four big advantages we Norrells like  to pride ourselves on: Brain smarts. People smarts. Street sense. Common  sense.

So I damn well have no excuse for Charis.

Wait, let me back up and revise that. We guys always have the perfect excuse for everything.

Our cocks.

My cock did it.

That's my excuse. My brutally stubborn cock took one look at Aura  Renaldi, the most breathtaking freshman on the MCU campus, and said,  that, that's what I need.

It turns out I did need it … but not the way I thought.

And because of that, because of my big, stupid lie, i.e.,  self-deception, i.e., the willful ignoring of my cock and my heart, I  will always remember for the rest of my life Charis Sloane blurting out  "I'm getting married" and passing out on my lap.

Oblivious to the fact that she'd just fucked my world.



THE DAY I DISCOVERED MY DOOM actually started off on a good note.

My plane landed in New Highland International on time for once. Sure, I  was a zombie after dealing with the flurry of post-holidays shitstorms  happening with my company. I hadn't shaved in days. The last thing I'd  eaten was airplane food, and the day before that, a liter of Coke. I  looked and felt like shit.

I stood curbside waiting for my ride, shivering in my stylish wool coat  without scarf or hat, because I'll be damned if I'll let my sisters and  mother rule my winter wear along with my sock drawer. (Thanks to the  women in my family and their gifting habits, I now own a little over a  gross, yes, I do mean 144, pairs of socks.)

But hey, at least I was back home. I was looking forward to dropping  onto a warm bed with a warm, naked body curled up against my back. Or I  could curl up against hers; that would work, too. The essence here was  soft tits against my back or a round ass against my cock. And sleep.  Let's not forget sleep.

And following sleep, fucking. And maybe I'd study for finals if I felt like it. Yes, things were looking up.

A group of teenage girls walked by. They eyed me, obviously having no objection to dudes that look like shit.

I dismissed them as too young. Also, of course, I was not available,  being in a committed relationship. There was only one woman I'd consider  lying naked with. I'm not one of those loser cheating boyfriends. If my  cock rises for any woman other than my girlfriend, I ignore it as a  general policy. I'm a fucking saint, if I do say so myself.

Speaking of Aura, where the hell was she?

I took out my phone. Eighteen messages and texts, but nothing from my girlfriend. Scrolling through names, I paused.

Charis Sloane.

Damn. I wanted to call her. She'd be here in forty minutes, guaranteed.  No matter what she was doing, my bestie would drop everything to pick me  up if she knew I could use the lift. Mental lift, I mean. I can Uber  the hell out of this town or even call a limo service or just flag down  the nearest taxi.

But it was Sloane I was missing.

That's very wrong, by the way. I should be wanting to call Aura. My  girlfriend. Except fuck if I could handle a conversation with her right  now.

But I was on a Sloane ban. Calling her was not an option. So I called Aura.

"Hi, you," she said in her seductive timbre. "I was just thinking of you."

I love Aura's voice. I also love her hair (natural redhead), and body  (curves so delicious you could sink into them for hours). Once upon a  time, I loved her, too.