Thursday, 19 June 2014
THIRD DATE by Kylie Keene
Author: Kylie Keene
Genre: New Adult Contemporary; Romantic Comedy
Standalone Novel with an HEA and epilogue
At 23, Morgan is a little behind other women her age when it comes to dating and relationships. More specifically, she’s a virgin. Dating wasn’t a priority in high school and college, but now that Morgan has a job and her own apartment, she’s ready to jump back into the dating scene.
When Morgan’s friends at work inform her that most men expect sex on the third date, she panics. She’s convinced her lack of experience will be a total turn-off for guys and make for a really awkward third date. Her friends tell her to just do it with a random guy to get it over with, but Morgan isn’t sure that’s what she wants.
When she meets a guy she’s certain is her dream man, she’s ready to lose it on their third date. But doing so isn’t as easy as she thought. And then there’s the fact that she can’t get another guy out of her head.
Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, Morgan eventually finds herself at a place she wasn’t expecting, but the place she wanted to be all along.
I head down to the gift shop, hoping and praying it’s not full of people. Luckily, it’s empty because the lunch session is still going on in the main ballroom.
I search the shop for condoms but can’t find them anywhere. They have everything else; toothbrushes, combs, aspirin, shower caps, tampons, toothpaste.
The young woman working the cash register sees me searching the store like I’m on some type of scavenger hunt.
“Can I help you?” she asks.
The woman is in her twenties and has reddish-blond hair that hangs in loose waves several inches past her shoulders. She has huge breasts and is wearing a short black dress that shows off her long legs. I’m just guessing here, but I would say she’s probably not a virgin. Which means she’s likely found herself in need of condoms before and wouldn’t judge me for buying them at a hotel.
I go up to her and speak softly. “Do you sell condoms here?”
She looks surprised. I’m suddenly offended. Do I look like someone who would never need condoms? I’m no beauty queen but I’m not exactly ugly.
“We keep them back here.” She reaches under the register and opens a drawer. “How many do you need?”
How many do I need? How many does she think I need?
“Um, just one.”
She gives me a strange look. “They come in packs of three or more.”
“Oh, okay. Three is good.”
“Do you want ribbed, flavored, sensitive, extra sensitive, for her pleasure, glow in the dark?”
I had no idea there were so many different types of condoms. I’ve never actually shopped for condoms.
She continues. “For flavored we have cherry, citrus, grape—”
“No. Just plain. No flavors. No glow in the dark. No ribbing.”
“So do you want sensitive? Extra sensitive? For her—”
I hear people starting to leave the ballroom, coming out into the lobby.
“I don’t know. Just give me whatever. It doesn’t matter.”
“For her pleasure.” She holds the package up and smiles. “Why should guys have all the fun, right?” She punches something in the register. “Should I charge it to your room?”
I imagine myself giving the accounting department at work a copy of my hotel receipt with a charge for condoms on it. I’m sure it would just say ‘gift shop’ but with my luck, you never know.
“I’ll just pay with cash. How much is it?”
“With tax, it’s $10.59.”
“For three condoms?”
She shrugs. “The hotel jacks up the price. When people are desperate, they’ll pay anything.”
I search my wallet, which is full of ones for some reason. She notices and looks away. Great. Now she probably thinks I work at a strip club.
People from the conference are starting to linger and talk outside the gift shop. I count my money and find that I only have nine ones. That’s it. I hand her my credit card but she doesn’t take it.
“Sorry, but our machine is down. It’s cash only or I can charge it to your room.”
“I only have $9. I have to run to the ATM. I’ll be right back.” As I’m closing my wallet, my change spills out and goes all over the floor. I bend down to pick up the scattered pennies, nickels, and dimes.
“Let me help you with that.” I look up and see Brad picking up the change.
Shit! What is he doing here? Where did he come from?
“Thanks, but you don’t need to help,” I say, urging him to leave.
He picks up the last penny. “I think we got it all.”
We both stand up and he gives me the change.
“Are we still meeting for drinks tonight?” he asks.
Cashier girl is observing the scene and I feel her staring. I glance over and see her checking Brad out. I’m sure she can tell from my blushing face that he’s the reason I need the condoms. She smiles at me, as if reassuring me that Brad is worth the ridiculous price they charge for them.
“Yeah. I’ll see you then. I’ve gotta go.” I race out of the gift shop.
As I’m leaving, cashier girl calls after me. “What about your stuff? Are you coming back with your money?’
I ignore her and hurry back to my room. The whole scene was fate telling me not to do this. I’m not ready. Or Brad’s the wrong guy. Something’s wrong. Buying condoms should not be that hard!
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