Chase Whitman has finally moved back to town after running away from his troubled home life. He’s trying to fill the emptiness in his heart with all the wrong women, making sure he doesn’t fall in love with any of them.
Now in her sophomore year of college, Piper is trying all she can to right all the wrongs she has done the past year. Which includes almost getting thrown out of school, becoming distant from her best friend, and moving way too quickly with her boyfriend.
After a night of heavy drinking Piper wakes up to find Chase in bed with her. She panics and runs off hoping never to see him again. Little does she know Chase will invade her life in every way possible and become the person she needs the most.
Will they be able to fill the void in each other? Or will their past wreck everything?
The Morning AfterThe sun beams on my face forcing my brain to wake up from a deep sleep. I try to open my eyes but they seam to be glued shut. Struggling, I manage to open one and then the other. Rapidly I blink bringing some needed moister to them.
My head feels like it has ten pounds of lead in it. A scent of stale beer brings on a wave of nausea. Without moving an inch my eyes begin to bounce around the room.
A white popcorn ceiling with an unrecognizable lighting fixture.
Bare windows with the blinds raised all the way up allowing the sun to come in.
A chair near the window.
A dark wood dresser near the door.
A Yankees tapestry on the washed-out wall.
This is not my room. Where the hell am I?
Heavy breathing enters my ears. My throat closes as each one of my muscles turn hard. This can’t be happening! What did I do last night?
I gently lift the covers not wanting to wake whoever is next to me. Oh good my bra and undies are still on. Maybe I didn’t do anything last night. But where’s the rest of my clothes?
The pain in my head becomes stronger as I try to recall what happened last night. I remember coming to the frat house with Amber. I also remember taking my eighth shot of Patron. Why did I have to drink so much last night? After that it all becomes fuzzy and ends in complete darkness.
My eyes squeeze shut as another memory swims through my head of a guy with a sexy smile. He and I kept sharing glances with each other all night. I remember dancing with him. But I don’t remember anything after that.
Is that who’s sleeping next to me? I slightly turn to peek at him. I can’t see his face, but I can see his bare broad shoulders and back. Oh God, is he naked under these sheets? Should I look? No. I don’t want to know.
I need to get out of here before he wakes up. I can’t believe I did this. This is bad, really bad. All I wanted to do was let off a little steam last night and not think about my issues with Mike. I’ve messed up big time.
I try to sit up but the bed creaks beneath me making my limbs freeze in place. Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up. I peek over and see he’s still breathing heavily. I slip one leg out of the blanket and slowly begin to slide the rest of my body out of bed onto the cold hardwood floor.
Goose bumps appear all over my body. The sun is failing its job of providing warmth. I get on all fours and carefully crawl around searching through piles of the mystery man’s clothes for anything that belongs to me. I can’t believe how messy this guy is. I don’t see anything of mine.
I look under the bed, but only see balls of dust and one single sneaker that definitely belongs to the stranger in the bed. Damn it, where can my stuff be?
“Your clothes are on the chair by the window,” a low deep voice says, making every hair on the back of my neck rise as the floor drops out from under me.
Slowly I lift my head up and glare into the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen looking down at me. A wide smile spreads across his face and I realize this is not the guy I was trading smiles with last night. I’ve never seen this guy in my life.
“Good morning,” he says.
Without saying a word I get up quickly and grab my clothes. I slip into my pink tube top and jeans. I knew I should have brought a jacket.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Did you slip something into my drink?” I ask without thinking. Not like I expect him to tell me the truth. But it’s the only possible explanation I can think of, because I don’t remember this meeting this guy.
“Are you kidding me?” He stands up revealing his tight abs. I turn away not wanting to see an inch of him. He’s already gotten to know me in a way only a few have. “I didn’t put anything in your drink. You were drunk and throwing yourself...”
“And you had no problem taking advantage of that. I don’t even remember talking to you last night,” I spit out, glaring at him again. I notice a tattoo of an eagle with its wings spread across the top of his chest, and his right forearm is covered in different tattoos. I can’t believe I didn’t see them before.
He slips on his black T-shirt and jeans on. “I didn’t take advantage of anything! Instead I pulled that asshole you were all over at the party off you. He was having trouble understanding what the word no meant.”
My breath gets caught in my throat. “What?” I manage to utter.
“I happened to walk by and saw this big ass guy on top of you. You were out of it but you were still able to mumble the word no.”
My insides cringe at the thought of some monster on top of me. How did things get so out of control last night? All I wanted to do was spend a nice quiet night with Mike. Why did I have to go out with Amber instead?
“I kicked him out of the room and tried to get you out of here but you were out, and I wasn’t in any condition to take you home. So I put you in bed.”
“Why were you in the bed with me?”
“I was making sure no one else came in here to take advantage of you. I guess you can call me your night watchman,” he laughs. I don’t find it as funny as he does. “Look, we didn’t have sex or anything. I promise. I like my girls to be conscious and lucid.”
I stare at him not sure if I truly believe him. “I have to get out of here.”
“Wait I’ll walk you home,” he says getting his clothes on.
“It’s fine. I don’t live far from here.”
I turn to walk away, but he grabs my arm preventing me from taking a step. “Aren’t you even going to tell me your name? At least let me know the name of the girl I watched over last night.”
“It’s Melissa,” I lie just wanting to get away from this whole messy situation.
“Nice to meet you Melissa. I’m Chase. Now I insist I walk you home.”
“I said no.” I pull my arm out of his grip. “Thank you for everything. I’m fine now. I just wanna get out of here.”
“I’m not letting you leave until you say I can walk you home.”
I can’t believe this guy. Why can’t he just let me go? Doesn’t he understand I can’t be in here a minute longer? He puts his arm across the entry blocking my exit. I take a deep breath and say. “Okay.”
“Here,” he says handing me a red sweatshirt. “It’s too cold outside for you to go out like that.”
“Thanks.” I slip into it and welcome it’s warmth.
“Okay. I just gotta use the bathroom and then I’ll walk you home.”
“You promise you’ll wait for me here?”
“Yes.” I force a smile hoping he believes me.
He turns and exits the room. If he thinks I’m really going to wait for him he’s crazy. I peek out the door just in time to see him enter the bathroom at the end of the hallway. I step out of the room and take off running as fast I can until I’m out of the frat house and two blocks away.
I’m forced to stop by my legs that feel like they are about to break off. Out of breath my tears begin to seep out of my eyes. My throat burns trying to hold in the loud scream of fear and frustration. If that guy had not walked by when he did I would be living a different story right now.
My skin burns knowing unwanted hands were on it. I feel so scared. I feel so betrayed. But most of all I feel so ashamed. I can’t believe I allowed myself to get into that situation. I just want to block this out of my head and never think of it again.
“Is this the walk of shame I’m witnessing?” Lola asks sitting at our small kitchen table as I walk through the front door of our apartment.
“Not now. I’m not in the mood.” I walk right past her into the bathroom and pull out the bottle of aspirin. After swallowing two of them I turn the shower on and peel my clothes off. I’ve never needed a shower this badly before.
“Are you okay in there?” Lola asks knocking on the door.
“Yeah, I’m taking a shower.”
“Fine. But when you get out we’re having a talk.”
I ignore her and enter the shower. The hot water runs down my body erasing the smell of that guy’s cologne and stale beer. I can’t help but scrub my body extra hard. Knowing there was someone on top of me not caring that I was saying no turns my stomach. I know nothing happened, but I can’t help feeling disturbed by it all.
I try again to search my mind for any other memories from last night, but nothing comes up. Maybe I can get Amber to fill in the blanks. First I have to find out what happened to her last night.
I step out of the shower feeling a little more like myself. The aspirin is beginning to work its magic on my head. I wish it had the same effect on my stomach.
Wrapping a soft white towel around my body I walk out of the bathroom and head towards my bedroom.
“Hey Piper, umm…” Lola says following behind me.
“Not now Lola. I’ll talk to you later.”
“No I just wanna warn you…”
I step into my room and feel every once of air exit my lungs. Mike is sitting on my bed.
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