by Hedonist Six
Publication Date: March 24, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Novella
Sally is a self-confessed player and party girl. Her life revolves around fun nights out, casual encounters and no emotional attachments other than with her best friend and colleague, Becky. When she is faced with a ghost from her past – Gareth – all the walls she’s carefully constructed around herself fall apart, revealing old wounds she thought had healed a long time ago. He wants a second chance, and she’s shocked to find that maybe she’s not as over him as she would want. Meanwhile, her current suitor, Becky and Sally’s charismatic manager, Mark, is keen to take their casual relationship to the next level.
Sally’s uncomplicated life is about to become very messy indeed. This novella is a stand-alone follow-up to The Rebound List, which focuses on Becky's journey-- can be read as a standalone / out of order!
Another day, another bouquet on my desk.
As I walk towards my spot, I note that the all too familiar gaggle of colleagues has already formed. I’m sure they’ll know the circumstances of how the flowers ended up here already. In fact I’m sure people on other floors whom I’ve never met before know all about my stupid fucking flowers.
Becky is spinning back and forth on her chair, while talking to Cath and Elaine with a thoughtful, all-knowing look on her face. As I get nearer, she finally spots me and shoos them away before I can overhear.
“Morning,” she chirps.
“Meh.” I let my handbag drop to the floor beside my desk and eye the flowers.
A different florist than the others, and their colours are more coordinated. The last ones looked like Gareth tried his best and did something totally out of character. With these, however, it seems like he had expert help.
“I haven’t read the card,” Becky remarks.
“You’d better hope you haven’t.”
“Read it! Come on, you know you want to!”
Goddamnit. I might as well, just to shut her up.
The tiny little envelope matches the dark purple of some of the whatever-type-flowers. My name is written on top in a vaguely familiar, neat handwriting.
I realise yesterday’s apology was anything but. If you let me, I’ll do better this time. I prefer a life with you in it, on your terms. Perhaps we can talk it over tonight?
I casually pop the card back into the envelope, and drop it into my handbag, before anyone else gets their grabby hands on it.
“So? Did the hot guy with the tats from yesterday not believe my story?” Becky asks.
“Gareth? No, these are from Mark.”
She breathes in through her teeth and scrutinises my face.
“Cath had mentioned he’s been acting weird. Do you think he’s jealous?”
“I don’t know what he is.” I turn towards my PC, signalling that the conversation is over.
Indeed, I’m not sure what to make of this. Has Mark accepted my stance on relationships or is this just an opening to try again? I do wish we could get back to how things were earlier: uncomplicated, but extremely satisfying booty calls along with a seemingly endless supply of intelligent conversation. And laughs, lots of laughs. Men like that don’t grow on trees and I really did enjoy his company, no matter what we ended up doing.
Whatever he’s thinking, though, I’ve already made plans with Becks tonight. If there’s one thing I won’t do over this, it’s cancelling an existing commitment. No matter how many flowers end up on my desk.
Realising he probably expects some kind of reaction, I do a quick scan of the office, noting that the door to Mark’s office is ajar, but there is no movement in sight. Cath also is nowhere to be seen. They must be in another meeting.
So I get my phone out, to get this over with quick.
‘ Hey. Thanks for the lovely flowers. Tonight I’m going out with Becky already, how’s tomorrow night for you? S .’
That’ll do. I put my phone away without waiting for a response.
ABOUT HEDONIST SIX
Call me “H.” or Hedonist if you prefer. I’m a Romance writer based in London and I’ve always been a dreamer, though it didn’t occur to me to write down the stories I kept dreaming up until 2012. You’ll not find flowery language and poetry in my work. What you will find though is believable characters, none of whom perfect, going through life and trying to find happiness. Just like the rest of us. I first started writing because I craved to see more of “my kind of books” on the shelves. In any scenario, you’ll find me rooting for the underdog. The (emotionally) scarred hero who hasn’t really had much (or any) luck in love. The shy office worker who wants to pursue the man of her dreams, but hasn’t quite mustered the courage yet. All my characters are beautifully flawed and messed up, in a way that makes them perfect for one another.