Hey friends! So since The Space In Between comes out in about 16 days! (August 16th!) WOOHOO! I thought I would give ya an excerpt from it! I hope you enjoy!
The Space In Between
I looked at myself and watched my bottom lip quiver. Ladasha tried to convince me there was another way to get the money for rent and I shouldn’t worry about such things. But I wasn’t ready to back down. I could do it. I just needed her to give me a few of her comforting words to ease the freak out that was about to be released into the world.
Ladasha could tell how seriously I was in need of a pep talk so she delivered her best one. “Pretty Woman,” she said.
“Pretty Woman. Name the rules. Before she was stupid and went and fell in love and got rich and shit.” She was serious. Most of Ladasha’s best pep talks were based off movies. She was addicted to all movies, and it would be a shock if she didn’t know what was playing in the nearest theater.
I nodded as I thought over the rules of Pretty Woman. “No personal information. No kissing on the lips. No second meet up.”
“Unless it’s Richard Gere,” Ladasha tossed in.
“It’s not Richard Gere.”
“Listen. Just go in there and be your super sexy self. Shake your booty. Collect the cash. If it’s a freak, have Frank handle him. And leave. Easy!”
Right. Easy. Pretty Woman rules. I thanked my friend and left the dressing room. Walking through the strip club, I ignored the howls from the hungry perverts coming my way. I felt like a piece of meat about to be tossed into the ring with a pack of lions. As I approached the VIP rooms that had Frank, the security guard, standing in front of the door, I let out a halfway smile.
“You doing a VIP room, Andrea?” he questioned. I informed him it was a test drive; he nodded and opened the door. “You got fifteen minutes. After that, I grab you out.” I closed my eyes and did a quick prayer to God that it wasn’t a creep. Please, God. Don’t send me a motherfreakin’ creep.
I stepped into the room in my shiny heels and Frank closed the door behind me. When I opened my eyes and stared at the man sitting across from me, I gasped. He was beautiful. He wore a button-down black long-sleeved shirt with charcoal slacks. Even with the clothing, I realized how perfectly made his body was. He quickly rose to his feet and started speaking.
“Hi,” he said as he reached his hand out to me for a handshake. I stood there, confused. Did strippers normally shake hands with their ‘client’? How did I know? I was only a stripper-in-training after all.
“Right.” He pulled his arm back and placed both hands in his slacks. Involuntarily, my eyes watched his hips start to rock back and forth. “So, yeah. I don’t normally do this, but…yeah.” He murmured to himself and cussed under his breath. “My manager thought it would be a good idea. A new start, a fresh take…”
Did he not recognize me? He looked so different from the last time I saw him in person. Sure, I was only thirteen, but his dimples hadn’t changed. His crooked smile still remained the same.
Cooper Davidson had been sculpted by the gods. His tan, smooth skin, his low-buzzed blond hair, and his green intense eyes were like the ones of fairy tales. His lips were able to create a grin that made every woman melt and every straight man jealous. And to top it off, the gods had given him a voice box with a southern drawl that made all of the girls of my hometown crazy when he would come visit his cousin during the summers.
“You don’t remember me?” I whispered as I stepped closer to him. Sure, my hair was going through a strange gothic-black, short-cut phase, which was much different than my usual blond, long waves. But still. I was still me. What was I thinking? Of course he wouldn’t remember me…
Cooper stared at me and raised an eyebrow, his mind tracking through his past. My eyes followed his mouth, watching him bite his bottom lip and step closer. He stared into my blue eyes with such curiosity floating around in his greens. I saw it happen—the moment he remembered who I was. And then I remembered who I was. I was officially a stripper in training. A wave of embarrassment washed over my face. My eyes shifted to the ground. I didn’t feel worthy to look his way. I was so ashamed of the path I had traveled in the past months.
Cooper took a finger, lifted my chin up, and grinned widely. “Andie Evans.”
I cringed a bit, but I smiled. “Andrea. I go by Andrea now.”
He nodded. “Of course. Holy shit. How the hell are you?!” He pulled me into a tight hug and held me close. It felt good to be held. It had been so long since…
I pulled away and released a sad grin. A short gasp fell from my lips at the touch of his soft fingers brushing away tears that started falling from my eyes. My heart landed in my throat, filled with nerves and worry. The idea of my mom and dad finding out about my job was terrifying, yet Cooper quickly eased my fears. “I’ll never say a word. I promise. Holy crap. Andrea Evans as I live and breathe. It’s been, what? Ten years?” We were both in a state of shock. He took a seat and I sat across from him, removing my stupid safari hat.
“Ten years. You went to become a famous photographer and I went to become…” I laughed at myself. The red velvet walls in the room with the dimmed sex lighting told him exactly what I’d become.
“You look beautiful.” He praised me. He hadn’t changed a bit; he was as charmingly sweet as he’d been when he delivered me my first kiss on the cheek at the age of seven. “Last time I saw you, you were falling in love with a guy that wasn’t me.” He smirked.
I nodded my head. “Derrick Stevens.”
“Ah! That’s the jerk’s name! How is Derrick Stevens doing nowadays? Fat? Unemployed? Gay?” He laughed in a joking manner.
I shook my head, resting my hands in my lap. “Dead.”
Cooper’s eyes widened in horror as Frank knocked on the door and opened it to inform us that our nice ‘lap dance’ was over. I looked to Frank and then over to Cooper. He was frozen with a distressed look. I sighed, knowing I couldn’t leave him like that. I didn’t know why, but something inside of me felt like he deserved my attention. Something wanted me to stay in the room. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it was an urge that I didn’t want to walk away from. Even if my mind hoped to run for the hills, my body was content with its whereabouts.
I turned to the security guard and gave him my fakest grin and a wink. “We’re gonna need a little bit more time, Frank.”
Anddd there it is, folks! I hope you enjoyed!