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Blissful disaster, p.1

Blissful Disaster, page 1


Blissful Disaster

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Blissful Disaster


  Amy L. Gale

  This is a fictional work. The names, characters, incidents, and locations are solely the concepts and products of the author’s imagination, or are used to create a fictitious story and should not be construed as real.


  PO Box 16507

  Denver, CO 80216

  ISBN-10: 1-63122-190-1 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-190-6


  Copyright Amy L Gale 2017

  Published by 5 Prince Publishing

  Cover Credit: Viola Estrella

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations, reviews, and articles. For any other permission please contact 5 Prince Publishing and Books, LLC.

  First Edition 2017



  For my husband, Chris, who rocks my world every day.

  For my mom, who supports me every second and truly believes I can do anything.


  I am enormously indebted to many wonderful people who have believed in me and assisted in my journey to publication.

  Chris Gale, my husband, biggest fan and supporter, vermin slayer, tornado warrior, and only person I’d want by my side in the zombie apocalypse. You make every day a love story. Spending forever with you isn’t long enough.

  Carol Riccetti, my mother, “PR manager”, cheerleader, and best friend. You truly believe I can do anything and always support me. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my mom.

  Bernadette Soehner, my content editor and owner of 5 Prince Publishing, who not only made Blissful Disaster shine like a diamond, but also made my dream of becoming a published author a reality. Thank you so much for welcoming me into the 5 Prince family and giving me so much artistic freedom.

  Cate Byers, my line editor, with the superhuman ability to find inconsistencies and typos. Thank you so much for working with me on Blissful Disaster. You smoothed out all the rough edges and it reads so much better because of your hard work. I appreciate all you have done for me.

  Olivia Howe, my PA, owner of Beautiful Promotions and Beautifully Broken Book Blog, web designer, formatter, social media wizard, and street team manager who constantly promotes me and my work. I truly believe you are my long lost little sister and I’m so lucky to have such a great friend, fan, fellow author, and promotional wizard with excellent taste in music.

  Viola Estrella from Estrella Cover Art who created my beautiful cover. Thank you so much for working with me on my book covers. You always work your magic and make my vision a reality.

  My ‘Girls Book Club’ (Sharon, Rachel, and Kelly) who started it all. Thanks for your constant support and encouragement.

  Thank you all so much!

  Other Titles by

  Amy L. Gale

  Blissful Tragedy

  Christmas Blitz

  Blissful Disaster


  Amy L. Gale


  Throbbing pain pulsates through my head, sending echoes of agony through every crevice of my skull. I lift my head and grimace. Bad idea. My heartbeat pounds a fierce rhythm in my ears. If it’s possible for a human brain to explode, mine wants to unleash the wrath of an atomic bomb. It’s like I’m reliving the morning after my twenty-first birthday, three years later. Well, the hair of the dog theory never seemed to work for me. Maybe a little fresh air will help. I rub my eyes and spring into a sitting position. Bright rays of sunlight burst through the window, temporarily blinding me. I’m never drinking again. Sure, I’ve told myself that after almost every hangover. Why don’t I listen? Within seconds everything becomes clearer. A ripple of soft satin flows across the length of my queen-sized bed, moving toward me like a snake slithering through the grass. A silhouette enrobed in the white sheets lies asleep on the opposite side of me. I cover my mouth holding in the scream that’s dying to escape. No, I couldn’t have. I mean, I came to L.A. to pursue a professional writing career and now I’m a one-night floozy. Oh my God, what the hell happened last night?

  I cover myself with the rest of the sheet, and slowly slide off the edge of the bed until my feet hit the hardwood. My toes slide along a silky fabric. Great, there’s my Gucci dress from last night. Never thought I’d be stepping on a dress that cost two weeks’ salary. I swallow hard trying to suppress the sour tang of stale alcohol. I grab my underwear from the floor and tiptoe to the bathroom, snagging the Ralph Lauren T-shirt I left on the triple dresser on the way. Okay, it’s not the end of the world. I’m sure most women have been in this sort of situation one time or another, right? Yeah, drunken sorority girls and porn stars. A bass drum pounds in my head, beating harder every time I move. I slowly close the door as quietly as humanly possible and hunch over the cool granite countertop. Memories of last night rush through my mind like a raging river. Flashes of dancing at Club X, drinking blueberry martinis, and visions of doing way too many shots with the hot guy next to me shoot through my tattered brain. Oh God, I don’t even remember his name.

  I turn on the sink and splash cool water over my face. Ugh, this is so bad. I know nothing about this guy; please tell me we used protection. Oh no, what if he’s a co-worker, or someone who lives in the apartment complex. I’ve got a fresh start in a big city and this is how I act? I turn off the water, lift my head, and stare into the mirror. Wow, so I end my night of celebrating my promotion to field reporter by getting drunk and taking home some guy I hardly know. Way to act professional. I made it through four years of college without any one night hookups. It’s like I regressed five years overnight.

  A screaming guitar resonates through the air, hammering through my head. The tune plays again. I grip the countertop. Ah, must be his ring tone. Crap, now he’s definitely awake. I grab the hand towel and blot my face, red veins scatter through puffy eyes. I look like death twice over. Doesn’t matter, all the make-up in the world can’t cover up last night. The floor boards creak as heavy footsteps slowly move along the wooden planks. I nibble at my nails and stare at the white wooden door. Oh God, he’s walking around my bedroom. What am I supposed to say? It’s not like there’s a book of etiquette for one-night stands. I take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Ok, maybe he does this all the time and once I come out he’ll just go say goodbye and go home. Yeah, that’s really comforting; I’m just another notch on his bedpost. How in the world did I let this happen? He probably thinks I’m some slut who does this every night. There’s no way this can be anything but a disaster. Dammit, I can’t hide in here forever. There’s no window in here so escaping isn’t an option. I slug a gulp of mouthwash and swish it around my mouth. Okay, time to put on my big girl panties. I’ll handle this situation the best I can. Maybe it’ll help prepare me for unpleasant situations in the field. Yeah right, if I end up in this type of situation at work I’ll either be fired or highly promoted. I run a brush through my tangled, blonde strands. Guess it’s now or never. I spit out the mouthwash in the sink and trudge toward the door.

  Please let me think of something to say to… whoever he is. I gaze down at the tan tiles and slowly turn the knob. Last time I procrastinated walking into a room was when I backed Mom’s car into the tree in the yard while using the rear view mirror to apply lipstick. I’d rather relive that day than face what’s on the other side of the door. My best bet is to get it over with quick, like ripping off a Band-Aid. I take a deep breath and open the door. I grip the hem of my T-shirt, trying to pull it down over my underwear. There’s just no way to maintain my dignity in
this situation. It’s long gone.

  He holds his cell phone to his ear. “Hey Lexie, is Van around?”

  I swallow hard and focus. Perfectly fitted light blue jeans slightly frayed at the knee, an incredibly chiseled torso, and a multitude of tattoos gracing muscular biceps. My heart pounds, causing more distress to my already debilitated head. So guys who look like him do exist in real life. I gaze over a black leather strand fastened to his neck holding a shark tooth, and continue to his dirty blond hair hanging right past his shoulders. Women would kill for that hair. Holy hell, maybe I should get trashed more often if I could bring home guys like that. What a thing to think of at a time like this. Especially since these are the kind of guys I need to stay far away from. Maybe my brain needs to find something positive to lift my spirits.

  “Hey man, it’s Tyler. Running a little late. Be there soon.” He presses the screen on his phone and slides it in his pocket.

  Ok, so his name is Tyler. One mystery solved.

  He runs a hand through his hair and turns toward me, flashing a small smile. “I know this great place for breakfast.”

  My stomach flutters. Not so sure food is my friend today. I loosen the death grip on my T-shirt hem and side step to my triple dresser. “Breakfast sounds great.” What? Breakfast is a terrible idea. My brain seems to be operating on auto pilot.

  He bends down and grabs his white T-shirt from the floor. I follow the path of the thin fabric, across his pecs, and over his six-pack abs. It’s like I can’t peel my eyes away from him. Guess that’s how last night happened.

  “Nice place, Ali.”

  At least he remembers my name. More than I can say for myself. Clearly he didn’t succumb to the effects of alcohol quite like me. I turn around quickly and pull a pair of jean shorts out of the top drawer.

  “Thanks.” I wobble, trying to slide on my shorts in warp speed. “So, whose car do you want to take?”

  He narrows his eyes. “You have no clue what went down last night.” He presses his lips together holding in a smile.

  Great, busted. Good thing I didn’t come here to pursue acting. My body freezes. Come on Ali, think. There’s no way anyone would have let me drive last night. Ah, my car must still be at the club. “Oh, that’s right. We took your car.” I bite at my lip.

  He walks toward me and raises an eyebrow. “Uh huh, what color is it?”

  Crap. What is this, a trivia test? He looks like a flashy kind of guy, but also artsy. Maybe metallic silver or jet black? I fidget with my fingers and rock back on my heels. “It was dark.” Clearly a lame excuse. Please don’t let me embarrass myself anymore. If he keeps this up I may vomit on him over breakfast.

  He walks slowly across the wooden floor. Musky cologne fills the air, more pungent the closer he gets. Oh God, what’s he doing? Is he trying to go for round two? There’s no way anything more than breakfast is happening today, no matter how good he looks. He continues forward, so close his breath ruffles a few strands of hair across my cheeks. I take a deep breath and hold it in.

  He reaches behind me and grabs his keys from the dresser. “Ready?” He holds out his hand.

  I nod and take his hand. Yeah, ready for what? I slip on my flip-flops and follow him out the door. Why in the world did I agree to breakfast? Guess I’m not up on my one-night-stand protocol. It’s not like he’d believe this was my first one anyway. I’m sure as hell not looking forward to these three floors of steps. I hold onto Tyler’s hand and the railing as I make my descent. My head pounds with every snap of my flip-flops. Please just let me get this over with so I can forget about this mistake of a night.

  My knee buckles. A split second later my foot slides off the edge of the concrete step. It looks like the aftermath of last night continues. He’d never believe I was on the cheerleading squad back in the day. I try and grip onto the railing but miss. Tyler scoops me up with one arm, catching me before I plummet downward.

  “Don’t fall for me.” He chuckles and sets me down onto the landing.

  You’ve got to be kidding me. It’ll be a miracle if I make it to the car unscathed. “I’ll try my best but no promises.” I look down and shake my head slightly. Oh God, everything I say is coming out completely wrong. It’s like the alcohol killed every brain cell required for rational reasoning. I raise my head at a snail’s pace and gaze into his clear blue eyes.

  He slides on his sunglasses, muffling a smirk.

  Heat spreads across my cheeks. Well, I guess trying to change his perception of me from last night is off to a great start. Next I’ll probably trip and fall on top of him. I navigate the last step safely. Thank God, I’ve still got money from the coffee shop yesterday. If I had to ask him to pay for breakfast too I might’ve died of humiliation. The sunlight shines down, illuminating tiny crystals in the sidewalk.

  I cup my hands along my forehead to make a visor. The bright California sunshine beats down, blaring through my sensitive eyes. Another reminder of why I should control my alcohol intake in this city. I turn from side to side. Tyler’s gone. If he wanted to ditch me he could’ve snuck out of my apartment before I woke up. I spin around. Tyler leans against a candy apple red convertible Camaro, his arms folded across his chest, accentuating the array of colorful tattoos intricately placed along his toned biceps and forearms. The blood rushes from my face to my toes. Yeah, I couldn’t miss this car if we were in the midst of an eclipse. I lower my chin and stomp toward him.

  He stands up straight and nods his head toward the car. “Didn’t see it again, huh?”

  Smart ass! I march along the blacktop and walk around the passenger side. He steps in front of me as I grab for the door handle.

  He slides his hand underneath the shiny chrome handle and opens the door for me. “You’re quiet today, babe. Where’s the Ali from last night?”

  I hop into the white leather seat and pull my seatbelt across my chest. “She doesn’t appear until she’s had coffee.” Dear Jesus, what Ali is he referring to? If he’s looking for a flirty, easy version she doesn’t exist and sure as hell shouldn’t have last night.

  He closes the door and heads over to the driver’s side. “We’d better get you some coffee then.”

  I’m not that boring. Maybe if the pounding in my head would subside and he stopped acting like we’ve just come from a sleepover party I’d be in a better mood. Okay, one breakfast and I’ll finally be done with this disaster of a night.

  I press my body back against the seat as Tyler pulls out onto the freeway. The only thing I miss about living in the country is the two lane roads with little to no traffic. It takes forever to get anywhere in L.A. I pull my hair into a loose ponytail and tuck it into the neck of my T-shirt. Jeez, I could get whiplash from my hair flying in the wind. Note to self, never buy a convertible.

  Tyler steers the car with one hand and slides the fingers of his other hand across the seat and onto my thigh. Every muscle in my body freezes except my heart which beats a million miles a minute. He glides his fingers along the length of my thigh and up to my hand. A frenzy of tingles follows the path of his touch, burning up my skin. He interlocks his fingers with mine and pulls my hand toward the center console.

  “You have a very important mission if you choose to accept it.” He flashes a bring-you-to-your-knees sexy smile.

  Please don’t let him think I’m doing anything sexual with my hand during this drive to breakfast. I swallow hard, knocking the sour tang in my mouth down into the depths of my stomach.

  “What do you have in mind?” I bite at my lip.

  He moves my hand forward, releasing it near the radio. “You find us some kick ass tunes while I drive.”

  Great. It’s like he’s calling me out on all my weaknesses. The scope of my musical knowledge ends at the songs they play over the loudspeaker at Entertainment Rock!’s magazine. I press the seek button until I hear familiar guitar chords. Awesome, Whole Lotta Love on the classic rock channel.

  “Nice.” Tyler turns up the volume and moves his
head to the rhythm. “Mission accomplished.”

  I smile. Why do I even care what he thinks about my taste in music? He could be an ax murderer who plays Zeppelin before he makes a kill.

  “Your whole world’s gonna change in about five minutes.” Tyler turns the wheel and veers off an exit.

  I grip the armrest, trying to prevent myself from plummeting into him as the car turns the corner. What the hell does that mean? Please don’t let this world changing event be something that gets me killed or arrested.

  Huh, I’ve never been to this part of town before. We pull into a small gravel parking lot at the end of the road. My eyes focus on the metal trailer in front of us adorned with a blinking red light on top that flashes Melba’s Diner.

  Tyler runs his hand through his hair and turns toward me. “Ready to have your world turned upside down?”

  Didn’t that already happen last night? “I’m up for anything.” Crap. Every word coming out of my mouth can be construed as a sexual innuendo. Great way to make him think I’m not a slut. Please let this breakfast date go by fast.

  “Cool.” He winks, gets out of the car, and steps around to my side.

  He pulls open my door and holds out his hand. I stare at the intricate tiger on his forearm moving with every flex of his muscle, getting lost in the bright colors of the jungle. He’s either a gentleman or doesn’t want me to fall on my face. I slide my hand along his calloused fingers and step out of the car.

  The warm breeze caresses my skin and sends my flaxen strands dancing along my back. I close my eyes and take a deep breath letting the air invigorate my body. My flip-flops slide along the small rocks of the uneven gravel parking lot. I grip Tyler’s hand with both of mine but it’s too late, my lack of agility shines through. I plop down onto the ground, ass first, and slide forward. I curl my shoulders over my chest and bow my head, trying to hide my flushed face. Seriously? If it’s possible to die from embarrassment I should be in hospice care.

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