Authors: Farrah Rochon
A LITTLE BIT NAUGHTY
Copyright © 2013 by Farrah Roybiskie
Cover by Mae Phillips of
Special thanks to
A Glass Slipper
for providing the designer heel featured on this cover.
Kindle Edition License Notes
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A LITTLE BIT NAUGHTY
A Moments in Maplesville Novella
“What exactly is
supposed to do?”
Jada Dangerfield flipped over the box that held a red and black vibrator with three weirdly-spaced appendages. Her eyes and mouth both formed perfect O’s as she studied the exceptionally descriptive pictures displaying exactly where the appendages were to be placed.
“Uh, okay. So this one may be a bit too advanced for me.” She tossed the vibrator onto her coffee table with the others, and continued emptying the nondescript cardboard box that had been delivered a short time ago.
Bobbing her head to her Beyoncé Pandora station, Jada separated the bottles of flavored massage oils, warming lubricants and her current best-seller, the satisfaction enhancement gels, and checked each against the invoice that had been included with the shipment. Once everything was accounted for, she walked over to the tiny closet just inside the entrance to her equally tiny, one-bedroom apartment, and retrieved the hot pink polka dot rolling travel bag she used to cart around supplies for her Naughty Nights parties.
Recalling how skeptical she’d been when she first considered whether or not to embark on this venture, now all Jada could do was laugh at those previous doubts. She’d assumed the women of Maplesville were too prudish to attend a party that was essentially a thinly-disguised sales pitch for sex toys.
In the last six weeks, she’d learned that this sleepy little town was filled with ladies all too eager to get their freak on.
And thank goodness for that! The kinky little parties provided a welcomed boost to her income. In fact, her new gig as a Naughty Nights Consultant was the only thing keeping her head above water while she searched for a full-time job.
Jada stacked the packages of Ben Wa balls and bullet massagers—always top sellers—and zipped up the travel bag. She grabbed her cell phone from where she’d tossed it on the sofa, punching the speed dial for one of her two best friends, Kiera Coleman, as she rolled the bag to the door.
Kiera answered on the first ring. “I’m busy. What’s up?”
“Well, hello to you, too,” Jada returned, infusing much affront in her reply.
“Sorry. Hello,” Kiera said with an apologetic sigh. “I’m busy. Can it wait?”
“I was just calling to let you know I got the shipment for your party. I wanted to bring it over. You know I don’t have much room here.” Jada looked around her tiny apartment, which was a fraction of the six-thousand square foot home she once shared with her ex-husband, Eric. The bastard.
“Meet me at Mason’s in an hour. I’m staying at his place tonight.”
Jada scrunched up her nose. “Why?”
Kiera’s older brother, Mason, was not her favorite person. She doubted Mason was even Mason’s favorite person.
“Chinese drywall,” Kiera answered. “I’ll explain later. Look, I’m expecting a call—” As if on cue, a short beep came through the line. “I have to go, Jada. I’ll see you in a bit.” And then there was silence.
Jada stared at the phone for a minute, a bit mystified by the edginess she’d heard in Kiera’s voice. She texted her, asking her to text Mason’s new address again, then she went over to the folding card table she’d set up in a corner of her living room. It served as her dinner table, laundry-folding table, and computer desk.
She woke her laptop up from sleep-mode and logged into one of four job search engines she regularly used in her now eight-month search to find meaningful employment. The Naughty Nights parties provided much needed funds for her everyday living expenses, but it was not sustainable income.
There were several new job postings since she’d last looked earlier this morning. She emailed her résumé, tweaking her cover letter to fit the descriptions of each job. If she received even one call back from the ten résumés she’d submitted today, she’d count it a success. If that call back happened to be for the public relations position she’d applied for at a non-profit in downtown New Orleans, she would do cartwheels in the middle of the Maplesville Town Square.
Her phone chimed with an incoming text message from Kiera, who was apparently done with her all-important phone call. Jada plugged the address Kiera texted into the map app on her phone. Mason had recently built a house in a newer part of town that she’d never visited before.
She closed the window on the job search engine and checked the email account she’d set up specifically for her job search. After deleting the spam that had managed to circumvent her junk mail folder, she switched to her primary email account.
Her eyes landed on the first email and her stomach dropped.
She forgot she’d set up an automatic renewal of her yearly American Marketing Association membership dues. Jada knew the small cushion she kept in her account wasn’t enough to cover the two hundred-plus dollar renewal fee.
She pulled up her bank’s online banking site and logged into her account. “Shit, shit, shit,” she murmured as the site loaded.
!” she said, dropping her head to her chin.
Just as she’d expected—and feared—the automatic renewal had caused her account to be overdrawn by eight measly dollars. She scrolled through the recent account activity and realized the check she’d written for her utility bill hadn’t been deducted yet. If she didn’t get money in the bank, she’d have
thirty-five dollar overdraft fee.
Jada put the laptop back into sleep-mode and went into her bedroom. She dragged the footstool from the foot of the bed to her closet and reached to the very back of the top shelf, feeling around for the old cardboard cigar box she’d gotten from her grandfather.
She lifted the flap and moved aside the old pictures and birthday cards, uncovering a simple white envelope. The money she kept in here was supposed to be for emergencies only. In the past eight months her definition of ‘emergency’ had been twisted and tweaked so much she wasn’t sure what a non-financial emergency looked like anymore.
Jada grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and carted her travel bag to her car. As she headed down Highway 421, the main thoroughfare that sliced Maplesville into two halves, she noticed her gas needle getting cozy with the big E.
She groaned. It would have to wait. At the moment, making sure she didn’t give the bank another thirty-five dollars she couldn’t spare trumped filling her gas tank.
She pulled into the drive-thru lane at Maplesville Bank & Trust and cursed when she noticed the “Window Closed” sign. Maybe she should apply for a job at the bank. They could use the extra tellers.
She parked and headed for the double doors, slipping a twenty from the hundred dollars she’d taken from her emergency stash and shoving it in her jeans pocket so she could put gas later. She walked into the bank and stopped short at the sight of the huge, square-shaped head on the man speaking to the teller.
Eric Pearce. Hometown football hero. Most popular boy in school. Bastard of an ex-husband.
Seriously, the only way this day could get worse is if she were struck by a meteorite.
Actually, at the moment, a direct hit from a falling space rock would be preferable to facing Eric. He had the uncanny ability to make her feel as if she was the President and CEO of Loser Ex-Wives of America, due in no small part to the fact that while she had to scrounge for pennies just to cover her monthly bills, he was sitting on a mountain of family money that he’d astutely kept out of her reach in their divorce.
Jada crossed her arms over her chest and jutted her chin forward as she stepped into the line for the sole teller. She did her best to avoid eye contact with Eric when he turned and started for the door, but, of course, he didn’t take the hint.
He stopped a couple of feet from her. “Hi, Jada. You look…” His eyes trailed over her faded jeans and fitted Hello Kitty T-shirt. “Nice, I guess. How are things going?”
The false sincerity in his inquiry grated her nerves. Maplesville was a small town. He knew exactly how things were going for her, which is probably why he asked.
“Fabulously,” Jada answered. “I’m trying out this new thing. It’s called being happy. I had no idea such a thing existed.”
“Maybe you should try this other new thing,” he said. “It’s called being an adult.” He huffed out a grunt. “And you wonder why I left you.”
Jada opened her mouth to tell him off, but nothing came out. She just stood there staring at him as he turned and walked out of the bank. His words stung more than she cared to admit.
Their relationship, which many had considered ideal—including her—had taken a sudden, toxic turn on their twelve-year anniversary, when Eric had asked for a divorce after screwing her one last time. Bastard.
Her reaction had been somewhat lacking in the proper adult behavior department. When Jada discovered that he’d set things up to where she would get virtually nothing in the way of spousal support, she’d taken a swan dive right over the edge of sanity, reenacting every scorned woman scenario she’d ever heard of, including burning all of Eric’s clothes on their front lawn.
It had not been one of her finer moments.
She was determined to shed the crazy ex-wife label. She would not allow a couple of admittedly gossip-worthy incidents to define her. And she refused to allow her ex-husband to continue fostering this fear that she would never be anything without him.
That’s what she got for marrying at nineteen.
She went from being Montgomery Dangerfield’s daughter straight to being Eric Pearce’s wife. It was time for her to show the world just who she was. Though, she should probably hold off on that since, at present, she was an unemployed ex-public relations rep who sold sex toys to put food on the table.
She made her deposit which, thankfully, would cover the utility bill and leave her with a few dollars. She slid back behind the wheel of her Nissan Altima, the car she purchased used after selling the BMW she got in her divorce settlement, and pulled up the directions Kiera had texted. She checked the time on the dash, praying to God that Mason was still crawling his way through the notoriously thick evening rush hour traffic from downtown New Orleans to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. After her brief, yet dignity-destroying encounter with Eric, the last thing she needed was Mason Coleman looking down his nose at her.
Jada drove up to the gated entryway of Millwood Estates, one of at least a half-dozen subdivisions which had cropped up in this area that, not too long ago, was nothing but dense woods. She gave her name to the guard at the gate, who called Mason’s home to confirm that she was indeed an invited guest.
“A bit pretentious for Maplesville.” Jada snorted as she continued past the now opened wrought-iron gate. Did they really have to announce guests in a town where practically everybody knew everybody?
She’d moved to Maplesville seventeen years ago, when the oil company her father worked for had relocated him to a refinery in South Louisiana. She’d seen more changes in the past two years than the combined fifteen years prior.
She wasn’t a fan of the population growth spurt; it had added to traffic and was gradually stealing away the small town feel. But she couldn’t begrudge the city dwellers who were ready for a taste of country living. Even though her parents had left Maplesville years ago when her dad was relocated yet again, this time to Puget Sound, Jada had no desire to live anywhere else. This was home.
She wound her way through the subdivision, fighting the brief bout of envy that flashed as she drove past several displays of quaint family life: a father and son tossing a football in a front yard, an older couple cleaning out their flower beds together, several kids playing basketball in a driveway. Even the weather seemed to be in collaboration, the gorgeous spring day adding to the picture-perfect scene.