When Maddy graduated from Columbia University, she was ready to change the world. She’d get a job at Newsline, meet a nice guy, and live happily ever after with a real designer handbag on her arm. Five years later, she’s stuck producing puff pieces for News 9 San Diego–where “if it bleeds, it leads.” She’s still single, her family’s falling apart, and so is her knock-off Kate Spade.
Then Jamie Hayes walks through her newsroom door. The former filmmaker is everything Maddy has ever dreamed of. Creative, smart, sweet—and with eyes that could make a girl melt. The perfect guy…but perfectly unavailable. And the more Maddy tries to stay away—the further she starts to fall.
Now a secret scoop from her favorite knock-off purse guy has Maddy chasing a lead that could make her career. Or destroy it forever. How far is she willing to go to broadcast the truth? And will this breaking news lead to a happily ever after…or a broken heart?
Stay tuned…it’s the story of a lifetime.
I stared down at him, not sure what to do or say. This was so outside of my expertise it wasn’t even funny. I’d never had a one-night stand before. And I certainly had never hooked up with someone who had a fiancée. What would Miss Manners suggest in a case like this?
“Don’t worry, ” I said harshly. “It’s no big deal. Just forget it ever happened.” I actually had reservations about letting the jerk off the hook like that, but it took two to tango and so really, I was as guilty as he was, right? Best to just move on and forget it ever happened.
He looked up. “God, I’m so sorry, Maddy. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m such an idiot.” His face was white as a ghost and it appeared he couldn’t meet my eyes. “I swear to you, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I’m not that guy. I’m really not.”
“I said it’s fine, ” I cried, my voice breaking on the word. Don’t cry, Maddy! Don’t you fucking cry! But I couldn’t help it. It was all just too horrible. I felt sick and confused inside. What was wrong with me? I should be screaming at him and telling him to get the hell out of my house. Instead, I was feeling sorry for the jerk. Like, I hated him for what happened, but at the same time, his distraught face tugged at my heart.
Jamie rose from the couch and approached me. He took my trembling body in his arms and pulled me close. Unable to stop myself, I buried my face in his chest and started sobbing like a baby. He smoothed my hair and kissed the top of my head.
“Shh, ” he whispered soothingly. “I’m sorry.”
“I said it was fine, ” I repeated, bawling. He led me over to the couch and sat me down. “The eggs will burn, ” I protested.
He nodded and walked back into the kitchen, switching off the stove. So much for breakfast, I guess. Then he returned to the couch, sitting down beside me.
“I’m sorry, too, ” I said, staring down at my lap. “I never should have—”
He pressed a finger to my lips, stopping my words. “No, ” he said. “You did nothing wrong. It was completely my fault. Here I am trying to comfort you over your family situation, and I end up making it that much worse. I’m the only one here who needs to fucking apologize.”
He pulled me into another hug, holding me close. I could feel his heart beating fast in his chest. He held me there for a moment, not saying anything. It should have been suffocating, but the closeness was strangely calming.
Finally, he pulled away, meeting my eyes with his own sad green ones. God, he was good-looking, I couldn’t help thinking. Jennifer was one lucky girl.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked, his expression earnest. “Is it going to be too hard to work together now? Do you want me to ask them to reassign me to news?”
I swallowed hard. What did I want? Was I going to be able to move on from this? Or would it be eternally awful and embarrassing and weird between us?
“I don’t know, ” I said truthfully. “I’ve never had to deal with anything like this before.”
He gave me a wry smile. “Yeah, me neither, ” he said.
“I guess if you think we can work through it . . . and be mature adults and all that, ” I mused. “I guess then it’d be okay to try working together still.”
“Are you sure? I mean, I’m totally fine with that. But I don’t want to make things hard for you. I feel so awful as it is.”
I shook my head. “I’m a big girl, ” I said, though I didn’t completely feel it at the moment. “I’ll be fine. We’ll just have to keep it professional from now on. Stay away from the Scooby Snacks.”
Jamie laughed. “If I never have another Scooby Snack it will be too soon.” He paused, then held out a tentative hand. “So, still friends?” he asked.
I shook it, hoping he didn’t notice my fingers were still trembling. “Friends, ” I agreed.
But inside I wondered if it’d really be that easy.
Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession –journalism — instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults. When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure–videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and dog Mesquite.