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Authors: Haley Michelle Howard

What About Charlie?

BOOK: What About Charlie?
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What About Charlie?
Haley Michelle Howard

Charlene “Charlie” Johnson and Evan Conner had been best friends for five years.
They were always there for each other. They’d supported each other through
breakups, met for lunch every week, and went to sporting events together. Just
friends. But that all changed when Evan kissed Charlie one night, catapulting
them from being just friends to lovers. But relationships aren’t easy, even for
best friends. When problems arise, the basis of their whole relationship comes
into question. Will their friendship be able to survive? Will love conquer all? 




Haley Michelle Howard


Julie N. Collis



What About Charlie?

Copyright 2011 by Julie N. Collis


This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.




Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.


--Anaïs Nin


Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.


--Oscar Wilde

Table of Contents



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22




The night was cold. A bitter wind blew from the north, and thick blankets of fresh snow, white and sparkling, covered everything in sight. An old gnarled oak, stripped of leaves, stood strong against the unforgiving, relentless north wind, just as it had done for countless years before. Despite the starkness of it all, there was something intensely beautiful about the scene.

Evan Collier stood in his den, deep in thought, looking out a window overlooking his front lawn. His heart felt as cold as the window glass he was touching with his fingertips and as battered as the oak’s barren limbs. He wished the stark beauty outside would somehow lift his spirits and warm his heart like it sometimes did. But his wish did little good.

Today was March 18. To him, another day on the calendar. To her, their three-month anniversary of the day they first met. He hadn’t remembered, nor had he cared. Their relationship wasn’t serious enough to have an anniversary.

But she thought otherwise.

Three months? Where had the time gone? What had possessed him to keep seeing her beyond their first date?

Tonight he’d taken her out for dinner at one of the best restaurants in St. Louis. The food had been good, as usual. The company had not. He simply did not enjoy her company.

He sighed.

After all these years, why were women still such a mystery to him? At the very beginning, upon first meeting her, he had made the boundaries of their relationship very clear – nothing serious, no commitment. And she had agreed.

But only after seeing her three months, tonight out of nowhere she had started talking about commitment, marriage, children. Of course, she hadn’t exactly spoken those words. She had been too careful to say the actual words. But, nonetheless, as she talked throughout dinner the implication was there, leaving no doubt in his mind what she expected from him and their relationship.

“If we were crazy enough to have one,” she suddenly began, laughter in her voice, “what do you think our children would look like, Evan? I think our son would have your green eyes and light brown hair. Our daughter would have my hair…”

Evan hadn’t thought it funny at all. He’d nearly choked on a spoonful of hot soup in the ensuing coughing fit. After wiping his face and drying his eyes with his cloth napkin, he took a large gulp of water out of the crystal goblet in front of him. Before he could utter a word, she pressed on.

“When will I get to meet your family? I’d really like to meet them.”

By this time, he’d set his soupspoon down and had taken a badly needed sip of brandy. Her question this time, however, did not take him by surprise. He’d been asked the same question many times in his life. When she finished, she waited expectantly for his answer, and he gave the same answer he’d always given: a firm, resounding, “You won’t.”

She had blinked in surprise, wrapped her red-tipped fingers around her wine goblet, took a sip, then dared to ask yet another question, though this time, there was a hint of nervousness in her voice.

“What do you think about living together? We’ve been seeing each other for three months and get along so well…”

He had to admit that particular question did catch him off guard, more so than the first one. During the years, he’d heard different versions of the question, but no one had dared be so direct.

He took another long sip of his brandy after she had asked the question, purposefully letting the tension between them rise, taking ungentlemanly pleasure in her nervous fidgeting.

By now he was angry, angry that she had pressed him about this even though by his answers to the previous questions she should have known to stop. And he was even angrier at himself for continuing to see her when he had suspected early on that she was expecting more than he was willing to give.

Ever so carefully, he set his empty glass down, feeling a sense of tightly coiled control envelop him. Evan looked directly at her, his eyes hard and cold.

“I have never lived with anyone, and the only time I will is when I marry,” he had told her, his low but firm voice like chips of ice.

Her eyes had widened in surprise and she’d looked away from him. Then she excused herself to go to the ladies room. When she returned, she acted as if nothing had been said. But he could not forget. His evening had been ruined.

Several hours later, Evan still felt that anger. Truth be told, her questions had scared the living hell out of him, knocking him off balance. One only asked those type of questions when involved in a serious relationship. Their relationship was not serious and he had no intention of going any further.

Had he said anything, done anything to lead her to believe they were on the track for something more? Thinking back, he could recall no moment. In fact, he had always made it exceedingly clear what he expected and what he was willing to give. He felt a fool to think she would actually keep their relationship a casual affair.

Why had he kept seeing her? The question kept nagging him. Was it because she was good in bed? He definitely didn’t think himself that shallow, but what other reason could there be? Even though she was great on her back and on top of him, she was barely tolerable company. Actually trying to sit and discuss topics of interest with her was impossible. She was not particularly bright or witty or remotely interesting. She was definitely not a woman he would even think about marrying, let alone have children with. Yet, he had kept on seeing her for ninety days as she had pointed out tonight. To tell the truth, it had been eighty-nine days too long.

If he had felt this way, why was he dragging out the inevitable?

She didn’t care about his wants or needs. She never asked him about things of interest to him. She never showed any concern or worried about him when he was tired or not feeling well. The only area in their relationship where she seemed to make any effort at all was in bed. Admittedly, she was very good. Evan sometimes thought that she believed if she were good in bed, she could hold onto him, and nothing else she did would matter.

How wrong she was if she did indeed feel that way! A woman that was good in bed was nice, but he’d lived long enough to know there was much more to life than sex. There was love, respect, kindness, and consideration for the ones you care for and love. None of those things were present in his relationship with her. They never would be.

How he desperately longed for those things in his life. How he longed to find a woman who could love him for who he was, not for what he could give. How he hated the loneliness and emptiness he felt in his heart. He, a man who had everything, really had nothing.

Evan sighed, dread filling him at the thought of having to spend the rest of the evening with her. It was time to end this relationship.


His shoulders tensed. Her voice grated him like fingernails on a chalkboard. He took a deep breath, but instead of turning towards her, he kept staring out the window.

“Hmmm,” he finally said after several long seconds.

Through the reflection in the window, he watched her walk up behind him, her chestnut hair brushing her shoulders, her makeup perfect, her brown eyes intent on him.

She put her hands on his shoulders, letting them slowly slide down his arms, coming to rest below his belt, gently massaging his fly and all that was underneath.

“You’re so tense, Evan. You need to relax,” she purred.

“It’s been a long day.” His voice was tight and the anger he felt seemed to intensify. Once again she was resorting to sex. But why was he so angry now? She had done this many times before and he didn’t seem to mind then. What had changed?

His back still to her, he moved away, suddenly not wanting to even feel her touch or have her anywhere near him.

She gave him a quizzical look, but it was quickly replaced by a pout. “There’s an art show tomorrow night. Why don’t we go? Roxanne told me Senator Johnson will be there.”

Evan slowly turned towards her. He firmly shook his head. “I can’t. I’m going to a hockey game.”

“Why don’t I go with you? That would be great fun.”

There was no way he would ever take her with him to a game and let a perfectly enjoyable evening be ruined. “I have season tickets. My seat and the ones around me are taken.”

“Are you going with Alan?”
“No. I’m going with Charlie,” Evan said stiffly. He felt like he was being interrogated and didn’t appreciate it in the least.
“Charlie?” she parroted through tight lips.
BOOK: What About Charlie?
13.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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