Read Operation Foreplay Online

Authors: Christine Hughes

Operation Foreplay

BOOK: Operation Foreplay
11.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Operation Foreplay

Christine Hughes

New York    Boston

Begin Reading

Table of Contents

Cocktail Recipes

An excerpt from
Operation One Night Stand

Newsletters

Copyright Page

 

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

For Tina and Jodi.
They can keep running around this circle but they ain’t getting in.

Acknowledgments

It seems that it’s difficult for me to write my acknowledgments and not repeat myself! I am forever thankful for all the love and support I’ve received over the past five years from family, friends, and fans. It certainly makes my job easier when I know I have such amazing people surrounding me.

I always like to start by thanking my husband. He is truly an awesome human being and I seriously don’t know what I ever did to deserve him but I won’t question it. He makes me a better person and the influence he has on our boys is awe inspiring.

To my family, I love you all! You gave me the foundation I needed to follow my dreams.

To my awesome agent, Michelle Johnson—even if you are a night owl and I’m an early bird, we make a great team. And maybe my hubs is right, maybe we really do share a snarky brain with a slight ability to filter inappropriate thoughts and comments.

I have to thank Dana Hamilton for her awesome notes and insights into
Operation Foreplay.
She made editing the damn thing so much easier. Thank you, also, to Megha Parekh for her enthusiasm. It was so lovely to finally meet you in Dallas! Finally, thanks to Fareeda Bullert for help with publicity. I still owe you all some cocktails!

Leslie Wright, my boo! I am still so damn happy we are doing this together. Like I said, one day we’ll end up in Miami as old ladies writing stories about hot men half our age. Can’t wait.

Lastly, a HUGE thank you to all my readers—it’s time to sit back, grab your favorite cocktail, and enjoy
Operation Foreplay
as you fall in love with Melody and Jared.

Chapter One

W
hen my biggest decision of the day is whether to bring red or white, I always bring both. And when those bottles are headed with me to Sarah’s house, I buy two of each and tell the sales clerk to keep the change. Of course, since it’s summer and summer can’t start without a cold glass of pink lemonade, I picked up bottles of Prosecco and pink limoncello and was hoping Sarah had some raspberries.

Still dressed in a gray pinstriped pencil skirt, sleeveless silk tank, and a pair of bright red power heels, I couldn’t wait to slip into nothing, crawl into bed, and sleep the night away. But tonight, that dream was going to have to wait. Sarah texted me earlier to let me know her brother Jared, who I hadn’t seen in years, was moving back to New Jersey. Of course, many would wonder why he’d move from Georgia to the Garden State. I, on the other hand, didn’t care. Not then. My plate was full enough with work, sleep, friends, and fucking my boss.

My feet started to cry as I made my way up to the fourth floor of Sarah’s apartment building. Seriously, where was an elevator when you needed one? I must’ve looked like I needed rescuing from my choice in footwear when I heard a male voice behind me.

“Need some help?”

I tossed my hair over my shoulder and plastered on my you-better-be-hot smile. If he was going to save me from my stilettos then I kind of needed him to look good while doing it. I laughed and said, “Sure,” as I turned to face the man. I nearly fell down the stairs as my knees gave out. Goddamn, he was hot. Dark hair, stubble, and big blue eyes. I envied his eyelashes and for a split second wondered how they’d feel on my skin.

“You okay?” He smiled as he grabbed my elbow and took one of the liquor store bags from me.

I slid my Prada bag high up on my shoulder and said, “Yeah. Thanks. My ass is gonna scream at me tomorrow after I climb all these stairs.” He climbed up to the next step so he was one below me and we were eye level. Something in that face was familiar, but for the life of me I couldn’t picture it anywhere but between my legs. I didn’t like the fact that I was obviously flushed and caught off guard. I mean, honestly, the flirtation game is
my
bitch. I own it. I wrote the rules and I could bed a man faster than anyone else I’d ever met. But this guy had me thinking stupid the second he curved his lips and flashed his bright blues in my direction. “My name is Melody. Melody Ashford.” I held out my hand.

“Nice to meet you, Melody. From what I saw, I’ll be thanking these steps while your ass screams at you.” He took my hand and I bit my lip, thinking it would quell the sudden throb between my thighs. For the first time, I wished I were wearing underwear.

I struggled to think of something clever to say but all I could think of was “Are you new?”

“I’m sorry?”

Oh my God. He had a dimple.
Where do I know this guy from?

I handed him my bag and he climbed past me. “Are you new to the building?” His khakis fit his ass so well that my head tilted of its own accord and I licked my lips as if I were a lion on the Serengeti stalking my prey. If I had my way, and I always did, that man was about to be the new notch on my bedpost.

“Yeah. You could say that.”

“I think I would have remembered you.” I giggled. Inwardly, I rolled my eyes at myself.
Giggle? Really?

“Would you now?” He continued up the next flight of stairs. “You have a good memory, then?”

“I’d like to think so.” I scrambled to keep up. Damn shoes. “Um, fourth floor.”

“Huh?” He called back down to me.

“I’m heading for the fourth floor.”

“I know.” He didn’t look back at me. I felt like I was talking to the back of his head. It was annoying.

“You
know
? What are you, some kind of mind reader?” I seriously should have taken the heels off a floor and a half ago but I couldn’t do that now. Not when I was stalking.

“Kind of.” He answered vaguely.

My head popped in view of Sarah’s door as he stepped onto the landing. My friend’s door opened and she stepped out.

“What took you so long? The pizza’s getting cold.” She hugged the man who handed one of my liquor store bags to her. “You went to the liquor store? You shouldn’t have!” She looked in the bag and pulled out the bottle of pink limoncello. “You bought this?”

The man looked confused, shrugged, and smiled.

“Um, no.” I held up a finger as I teetered onto the landing. “That would be me. I went to the liquor store. I bought that. I bought the pink limoncello.”

And suddenly I felt like a disheveled mess and Mr. Knight in a Pair of Khakis just tried to jack my party gift. Oh hell no.

I reached out and snatched—yes snatched—the other bag from him and handed it to Sarah while giving him the side eye as I leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. “Who’s this guy?” I whispered and thumbed behind me.

“You don’t know?” She laughed. “Well, it has been a long time. That’s Jared. All grown-up.”

Mother fuck.

All. Grown. Up. Indeed.

I turned slowly, horrified that the once skinny kid that was my friend’s brother who thought it was funny to annoy the hell out of me so many years ago was suddenly hot. Still annoying but hot.

“Hey Mel.” He chuckled and saluted.

“Ass Cheeks?” I said, bringing back the old nickname he earned when one of his high school Barbie doll girlfriends thought it would be funny to pants him at his graduation party. She grabbed the pockets of his jeans and instead of pulling his pants down, she ripped the ass right out of them. And he wasn’t wearing any underwear. Hence the name. Ass cheeks. I had a fabulous time calling him that. He didn’t like it so much.

“A Cup.” He replied, reminding me of the moniker he and his not-so-funny friends used for me before my plastic surgeon enhanced my shortcomings.

“Nice. Obviously
that
is no longer an issue.” I smiled and squared my shoulders. I had great tits. And I could tell he thought so, too.

“Apparently not. A little much, don’t you think? As least your ass is still kickin’.” He winked.

I wanted to be offended. To huff and throw drama around like glitter, but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but stand there with my mouth hanging open like an invitation. I remember when I didn’t find him hilarious or adorable, just annoying and skinny. Then again, he was four years younger than me. How else was I supposed to look at him? He was some sort of Mr. Popular in his high school but when it came to his sister’s college friends, he had no game. But as I stared at him I knew that he knew he had my nonexistent panties in a bunch and I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

BOOK: Operation Foreplay
11.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Opposite of Dark by Debra Purdy Kong
The Perfect Host by Theodore Sturgeon
Imprudence by Gail Carriger
The Emperor's Edge by Buroker, Lindsay
The Striker's Chance by Crowley, Rebecca
Termination Orders by Leo J. Maloney