Holyyy shnikes, only TWO MORE WEEKS until Ridorkulous comes out! I cannot wait for y’all to read this nerdelicious romance. I really love these characters and I hope you do too!
Available for pre-order right meow! Click here to order and continue below for an excerpt of chapter one! 😀
Happy Friday lovelies! ❤
It’s hard being weird.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
It’s normal for my roommate’s antics to wake me up in the dead of night.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
She’s always noisy. Talking. Shrieking with her friends. Playing music too loud. Fooling around with a variety of jocks and frat boys. It’s like she never sleeps. Since we became dormmates last year, I’ve adapted to the noise.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Noise in the middle of the night . . . that is normal. What’s not normal is my bed shaking in an unmistakable, rhythmic pattern.
The thick blanket over my head and noise cancelling headphones aren’t going to be enough tonight, not when I’m being jostled awake.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Even I can’t pretend to ignore this. Slowly, I peer over the top of my comforter.
Abby’s lamp on her nightstand is aglow, highlighting the top half of the room, but I can’t see any signs of life from this vantage. Her bed is empty.
And yet mybed is still shaking.
Lifting my head a microinch, I search the rest of the room.
There. On the floor. The jerky movements belong to a large pair of Converse, thrusting against the frame of my bed.
It must be Abby and . . . someone.
I don’t recognize the guy on top.
All I can see is the back of a dark head. He’s shirtless and his pants are halfway down his legs, bare bottom exposed. And hairy.
I lower the blanket a little more, curiosity overwhelming the irritation and nervous flutters vying for my attention.
Are all guys so hairy? Do they all leave their pants and shoes on when they engage in late night dorm coitus?
More importantly, why can’t Abby do this stuff on her own bed? Or better yet, somewhere far far away.
I move one of the ear pieces from my noise cancelling headphones and immediately regret it.
Loud moans emanate from the couple on the floor.
It’s two o’clock in the morning. On a Tuesday. I have class in six hours.
Indecision and anxiety battle in my head. I can’t lay here and watch, and I definitely can’t sleep.
If I say something . . . Abby won’t be happy. She already hates me. She loves to make my life hell and even though I try to ignore her, it’s not easy.
If I interrupt their . . . whatever they’re doing, she’ll likely intensify her campaign to make me feel like the smallest life form ever discovered, a nanobe of the lowest order.
Confrontation is not my thing. People in general aren’t my thing. Especially when the people I need to speak with are naked and fornicating.
But before I can make a decision either way, there’s a pounding on the door.
“Abby!” a masculine voice yells.
“Oh, shit,” she hisses. “Get dressed!”
The figures on the floor scramble and yank clothes on and up, but they’re too late.
The door flies open, slamming against the wall.
I flinch under the blanket, but keep it low enough to continue watching.
I can’t look away.
This is worse than a train wreck.
It’s a made for TV movie where the train has been picked up by a tornado, thrown in with a shark, and destroyed by a bomb-wielding B list actor.
Abby snaps her red satiny bra into place and hairy butt man finally jerks his pants up over his rear.
“Are you kidding me?” The man in the doorway has an arm propped against the frame, supporting his long form, like he might crumple to the floor at any moment and this building is the only thing supporting him. His face is slack with disbelief.
I know him.
I mean, I know ofhim.
Abby’s long-time boyfriend.
They’ve been together since birth or something.
And he’s the “best boyfriend ever and will do anything and believe anything” according to Abby, who brags about their relationship to anyone who’ll listen while simultaneously cheating on him nonstop.
I’ve never actually talked to Fitz Moreland, or seen him this close up, despite the fact we are in our second year of college on the same campus in the same town less than a mile from where we all went to high school together .
I’ve always considered him attractive from afar, but up close it’s even more obvious just how striking he is. He’s the kind of handsome that kicks you right in the gut. His hair is messy, longish and scruffy around the ears. But it’s the way he holds himself. Assured. Confident. Despite the fact his body is currently a taut cable, eyes red, and lips pressed in a thin line of anger.
Abby jabbers out some words, the sentences running together, hands wringing at her waist. “Baby, what are you doing here? This is nothing. It was just a study group, but then everyone left and we were drinking and hanging out and it just happened and we didn’t mean to and it was an accident and it will never happen again. It means nothing.”
“Nothing?” The sound of Hairy-Butt Man’s zipper sliding up punctuates his word.
Silence stretches for a few seconds.
“Kevin?” Fitz says, like he’s just now realized who the other person in the room is. “You’re fucking Kevin?” One hand jerks in Hairy-Butt’s direction.
“Don’t babyme.” Both of Fitz’s hands come up into his hair, carding through the messy strands before releasing. “We’ve been over for a month, and you sent me that text earlier . . . did you wantme to come here and find this?”
Hold on to your horses and other equine animals. They’ve been over for a month?
“Wait, you guys are broken up?” Kevin says, glancing from Abby to Fitz then back to Abby again.
She’s biting her lip, eyes downcast.
“Are you kidding me right now?” Fitz asks. “Is that what you got off on, thinking you were taking someone else’s girl?”
Kevin shrugs. “Seems to me she’s everyone’s good time. You think I’m the first one here?” Since Kevin’s profile is facing me, I have a view of the corner of his mouth as it lifts in a smirk. “You think youwere?”
I also have the perfect view to watch Fitz’s thunderous expression morph into tornado territory.
There’s a beat and then an explosion of movement.
Fitz tackles Kevin and they both surge in my direction—a jumble of snarled limbs tumbling onto the bed near my feet.
Shrieking, I leap away from the melee, but my feet get wrapped up in the comforter. I collapse into Abby.
She’s screaming and crying and I narrowly miss one of her fists flailing toward my face.
Jerking backwards, I work to untangle my arm from between Abby’s legs and my heavy blanket, while simultaneously trying to avoid the beat-down occurring on my bed.
She’s only in a bra and panties. I’ve never been so close to someone so naked in my life.
I can’t get away quickly enough, can’t get air into my lungs. The proximity is too much. The fight is too close in the small space.
Slapping flesh and grunts from only a few feet away accompany my frantic movements. The tightness in my chest builds. I can’t breathe. I can’t get free. My hair snags in Abby’s bra strap and the panic already choking me builds into an inferno.
One leg finally frees from the blanket and I brace it against the floor and jerk back hard, not caring about the pain in my head from losing a chunk of hair to Victoria’s Secret.
Finally, something breaks loose and the momentum knocks me back. My arms windmill in the air, but I can’t stop the trajectory.
I brace myself for impact, but fall short when my head smacks into something—no, someone. There’s a loud crack and a shriek and then I’m knocked to my butt on the hard floor, the impact making my teeth rattle.
Someone is screaming, and it takes a few long seconds to realize it’s not me.
It’s the RA, Cynthia. She’s covering her nose with a hand but it’s not stopping the blood flowing freely down her face.
There’s a crowd standing outside our open doorway, fellow dorm dwellers in pajamas with rumpled hair and cell phones at the ready.
I glance from Cynthia and Abby to Fitz and Kevin, who aren’t fighting anymore. Fitz has Kevin’s throat in one hand, his other primed for bashing, but his face is turned to the commotion. Kevin uses the distraction to push Fitz away from him, Fitz immediately shoves back but then the wailing makes them both stop. Fitz has an open cut on his lip and Kevin’s eye is already swelling.
All eyes are on Cynthia holding her nose. So much blood flowing between her fingers, tap tap tapping on the hard floor.
“There are a large number of blood vessels in the nose. It’s never as bad as it looks,” I say. But no one is listening.
Abby is the first to move, shrugging on a red silk robe and rushing to Cynthia.
“Did she hit you? Let me help.” She shoots me a dirty look, like it’s my fault, before dashing out the door, practically carrying the RA while snapping at the assembled crowd. “Somebody do something! Call someone!”
Fitz and Kevin hurry out the door after her.
Over the rush in my ears from the adrenaline and the tapping of fingers on cell phones, someone says, “Who is she?”
The cops in Blue Falls are probably like most cops in sleepy Texas towns: unused to exercise and overly familiar with free burgers from the Frostee Freeze on Main Street.
The last major crime in town was when someone stole three of Mr. Johnson’s chickens and let them loose in the high school principal’s office. That was before I went there.
The police officers don’t know what to do with a bunch of sniveling coeds and the overly dramatic retellings of the “riot” that broke out in Juniper Hall on this humid autumn night.
No one is leaving, even though the officers keep asking for people to return to their rooms.
An EMT shows up and checks out Cynthia’s nose. Not broken, just bruised. They don’t take her to the hospital, instead bandaging it up and giving her some painkillers.
There are only a handful of scrapes and bruises between the rest of us.
Not surprisingly, most people blame me.
“Why did she hit Cynthia?” Someone in the crowd of onlookers asks.
“Does she even live here?”
I sigh, but say nothing as the cops lead Abby, Fitz, Kevin and I downstairs to the main office on the first floor.
Once they’ve got us in the small room, they have us sit in hard plastic chairs facing each other, Fitz and Abby on one side, Kevin and I on the other.
The office has front facing windows where visitors check in. It’s also where dorm residents go to file complaints or talk to someone about needing lightbulbs or simple repairs.
The cops stay outside the door, talking. I can’t make out the words, just their lulling cadence, but no doubt they’re calling the dean of students.
We sit in silence except for an occasional sniff and murmur from Abby, still trying to get Fitz to talk to her.
I’m numb and exhausted. And cold in the air-conditioned office, even with my galaxy pajama pants and bright pink baggy t-shirt. Despite the cold, I start nodding off, nearly falling asleep when Abby’s voice escalates and yanks me awake.
“You have to forgive me,” she sobs. I’ve never seen her like this. Her mascara runs down her face, her hair is a jumbled blonde mess.
She’s one of those people who’s always put together—like she’s going to a club even when she’s going to an eight AM class. She spends an hour each morning blow-drying her blonde hair into sleek perfection—then another hour giving herself cat eyes and pouty lips. She never leaves the room any other way. It’s surprising to see her a wreck.
“I don’t have to do anything.” Fitz’s jaw is clenched, his arms crossed over his chest. He leans as far away from Abby as he can get in the cramped space.
I have so many questions. Fitz said they were over. I didn’t imagine it. But Abby never let on anything about them breaking up, if anything, her boasting about Fitz being in her pocket has increased over the last month. Why did they break up? And if they did, why did he show up here tonight and defend her when Kevin spewed his vitriol?
“What are you staring at?” Fitz is glaring at me now, the acerbic and unexpected attention making my cheeks heat and my heart race. “Why are you here anyway? What were you doing in there? Watching the show?”
My mouth pops open but no sound emerges. His eyes flash with anger and it’s directed at me and I don’t know how to respond. People don’t frequently talk to me unless it’s a quick “excuse me” or “sorry” when we collide because I’m tiny and forgettable. There’s nothing special about my plain brown hair and plain blue eyes and plain features.
I’m not used to confrontation, not since my first week at Blue Falls High four years ago, before I learned how to be invisible.
For sure, no one has ever antagonized me about daring to try and sleep in my own room during a brawl I neither asked for nor instigated.
I mean, imagine my audacity, trying to sleep in my own bed on a Monday night.
All of these thoughts fly through my head at Mach three, followed by an imagined scenario where I’m telling him he’s a Neanderthal prick with a girlfriend who has more insecurities than China has people.
But I’m frozen. An ice berg. The Titanic could hit me and still, I’d remain. My mouth pops open but no sound emerges.
Abby surprisingly comes to my rescue. “She’s my roommate.”
They’re all staring at me now. And still, I can’t speak. Just a block of ice.
“She deaf?” Kevin drawls.
“Leave her alone,” Abby snaps and for a second, warmth kindles in my chest. Is someone actually standing up for me? Abby? Of all people?
But then she continues speaking. “She’s got special needs.”
The heat in my chest fizzles and dies. “I don’t have. . .” The words are a broken ignition on my lips, not quite catching. No time to speak, anyway.
The door opens. The dean of students is here, in his flannel pajamas with rumpled hair and angry eyes.
“I can explain everything,” Abby says, her lashes wet with unshed tears.
The dean’s expression doesn’t lighten at her pleading tone. If anything, it darkens as he stomps into the room.