Publication date: August 17th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
An orphan and aspiring dancer learns her father wasn’t who she thought, when she inherits $50 million dollars, and two difficult brothers she never knew she had. Can their rockstar best friend Alec stand up for her… and can he change her mind about wanting to be alone?
**Previously published as “Stand Close” under Ms. Hopkins’ pen name “Sabrina Lacey.”
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I’m so mad at Jack, I can’t see straight, and the whiskey is making me feel loopy. A couple swear words slip out of my loosened lips, but people don’t move out of the way to let me through. Exasperated, I ask a girl with fake boobs, too much makeup and too little clothing, “Excuse me, where’s the bathroom?”
She eyes me for a second, and points with one fire-engine-red fingernail. “That way.”
I turn to leave, but she stops me with a grab of my arm. “Hey. Are you with them?” Confused, I look at her hand until she releases me. “Sorry. Was that too tight?”
“No, it’s fine,” I lie. “Them? Who’s them? Oh… yeah. I guess I am.”
“I’m a friend of theirs. I’ll come with you.” She slides her arm through mine. “You don’t want to get lost. I love your dress!”
“Yeah? I wasn’t sure about it, but it’s okay I guess.” I glance down and see our legs keeping time as we head through a hallway littered with people engaged in conversations, voices bouncing against the walls over the beat of the music.
“So, who made you cry?” She holds the door open for me.
“Wait, what? Cry?” I throw her a weird smile and run to the mirror, remembering I never checked my face after the restaurant. “Holy crap! Oh my God! My face is a disaster! I can’t believe he saw this! I look like a heartbroken druggie after a bender!”
Desiree leans her hip on the bathroom counter. “You can’t believe who saw this?”
Snatching a paper towel, wetting it and wiping at the smears, I mutter incredulously, “Alec Gabriel! Oh my God! Just looking at him made my panties fall off and here I was this whole time looking like THIS! How is he ever going to want me now?” From out of nowhere, Desiree punches me in the face. In the mirror I see it coming at me like I’m watching an alien pop out of the wall. The hard blast of her knuckles cracks me hard and fast in the cheek. My head swings to the side and I drop the soggy paper towel and make a horrible sound of agony.
I hear her screaming, “Put me down! Put me down!” I spin around to find Alec carrying the crazy bitch, kicking and screaming into the larger of the stalls. “PUT ME DOWN YOU LYING SACK OF SHIT!”
Oh. So that’s what’s going on.
He jogs his chin to the older female bathroom attendant in a silent command for help. There are other girls in the bathroom, gawking at the scene. I stare open-mouthed, my hand on my hurting cheek as he commands her, “Hold the door. I can get security to get her out of here.”
The lady practically jumps on the stall door to hold it shut. On the other side, Desiree is still kicking and screaming, “You fucking liar!!!” She grabs at the woman’s hands. The attendant yelps and moves them, holding the door with both hands flat, her rear sticking out, and her feet staggered like she’s about to take off for a race. Thank God the doors go all the way to the floor! Alec pulls out a hundred dollar bill, shows it to the attendant and slips it into one of her straining hands. “Hold on a little longer.”
She sees the bill. “I’ll hold her all night!”
He turns around, and when his eyes lock on mine, a calm falls over my body. “You alright?” He walks to me and takes my hand, his skin warm and soothing. I nod, gazing up at him. “Good,” he says with his crooked smile.
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About the author: I’ve written books since age five or six when I first sold a crayon-illustrated short story to my parents for a dollar.
Faleena Hopkins is drawn to telling stories of love or redemption, and often both. Hiding behind the pen name “Sabrina Lacey” when she began writing, Faleena now publishes only under her own name. She’s an actress and director, too, and currently lives in Atlanta, GA, with her crazy-cute dog, Pippin. Learn more about her filmmaking career at http://imdb.me/faleenahopkins.
Tour organizer: Xpresso Book Tours