One day this past winter, I was procrastinating (as one does) and I decided my website needed refreshed. I found the perfect desginer (Hi, Nasha!) and we got to work creating the website of my dreams.

I hope you love it!

I’m currently working on Pulse, the first book in the brand new Landry Security Series. If the word “Landry” is ringing a few bells, you’re right—this series is based around Ford Landry’s company! And if “Landry” means nothing to you, keep reading …

Pulse can 1000% be read as a standalone novel. After all, it’s the first book in a new series! But a few of these characters have been mentioned before and if you’d like to fill your reading time while you wait for Pulse to release on May 13th, then I welcome you to pick up Sway. You won’t be sorry.

 

(c) Adriana Locke, 2015

Sway

Chapter One 

“This is a single girl’s paradise.”

“No,” I grimace, blotting the spilled cheese sauce from my shirt. “Paradise would be a tropical island with a hot cabana boy at my beck and call … and an endless supply of mojitos.”

Lola laughs, the sound barely heard over the chaos of the kitchen. Chefs shouting instructions, event planners panicking, plates being dropped—the world of catering is a noisy endeavor.

I step to the side to allow Isaac, a fellow server and Lola’s gorgeous friend with benefits, to scamper to the ballroom a few feet away. He’s tall with a head full of dark curls and a laugh that makes you involuntarily smile. Lola is crazy for keeping him at arm’s length, but that’s how she operates. He has little money; she has limited interest.

“Cabana boys may have hot bodies and virility, Alison, but they lack two very important qualities: fame and fortune.”

“So, what you’re saying is that you’d take a limp dick over a hard one? Interesting,” I say, rolling my eyes and tossing the sauce-soaked rag into the linen bin.

“No, that’s not what I’m saying, smart ass. I’m saying I’d take a solid bank account over a solid cock. Think about it—with all that money, he could never fuck me at all and I wouldn’t care.”

“If that’s the case,” I retort, grabbing another tray of drinks, “there are tons of opportunities out there to not get fucked.”

I laugh at the dreamy look on her face, partly because it’s hilarious and partly because I know she’s not kidding.

Lola and I are a lot alike. We both come from meager backgrounds and Luxor Foods is our second job. There’s no doubt we both would rather not be here because serving rich bitches can be a very humbling experience. But they are also the best parties to work because they tip. Very well. Of course it’s so they can feel above us most times, but we’ll take it. It’s money in our pockets, and if they get off on it in the process, good for them.

That being said, Lo took this job to afford her manicures, pedicures, and eyelash extensions. I do it to take care of my son, Huxley. Lola’s first job is working at a salon and her career goals include marrying up in the world. I, on the other hand, work at Hillary’s House restaurant during the day and go to school for journalism in hopes to one day write pieces that might inspire someone.

“Speaking of fucking,” she says, her eyes aglow, “did you see Mayor Landry?”

“I love how you segued into that,” I laugh.

“It’s a linear comparison. Tell me that fucking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of him, and I’ll call you a liar.”

Of course it’s the truth. It’s the first thing that comes to mind … and maybe the second and third too.

Thoughts of the recently crowned Most Eligible Bachelor make me a swoony mess. Barrett Landry’s thick, sandy brown hair that always looks perfectly coiffed, his broad, friendly smile that makes you feel like you could tell him your darkest secrets without judgment, his tanned skin, tight body, wide shoulders—the list goes on. But it all leads, as Lo so candidly pointed out, to thoughts of him stripped down and wearing only his charismatic grin.

I shiver at the thought.

“See?” she grins, waggling her finger in my face. “Linear comparison.”

“I’ll give you that. He’s so seriously fine.”

“Have you had a chance to get close to him? To breathe him in?”

“Breathe him in?” My laughter catches the attention of our boss, Mr. Pickner. He twists his burly body our way, letting us know we’d better get to work.

“I haven’t,” I say, turning back to Lola. “Even though I’ve been around men like Landry before—well, not quite like him, but as close as a mortal can be—I don’t think I could handle it, Lo. He scrambles my brain. I’d probably fall face first into him and dump the drinks in his lap. Then we’d both be wet.”

She swipes a tray off the table and shoots a wink at Isaac as he walks back in. “It would so be worth it if you played your cards right. You could probably get away with running your hands through his hair and maybe even licking his stubbled jaw. A kiss would probably be over the top, but his Southern roots would keep him from causing a scene and asking for security.”

“You’ve thought this through, haven’t you?” I ask in mock horror.

“Of course I have and every other woman in here has too. Hell, half the men probably have,” she giggles. “In my fantasy, he gazes at me with those emerald green eyes and leans in and—”

“Ladies! Back to work!”

We sigh as Mr. Pickner barrels by. He’s an overweight, balding, temperamental asshole of a man, but he owns the premiere catering company in all of Georgia. So we deal. Barely.

Lola bumps me with her hip. “Seriously. Stop being so goody-two-shoes and go out there and snag you a man and a retirement plan.”

I bite my tongue. We’ve had this conversation a number of times before and she just doesn’t get it. I don’t fault her though. Most people don’t. They see the glitz and glamour, the designer labels and fine wine and get drawn in like a Siren’s call. That life looks too good to resist, too good to be true.

The thing is—they’re exactly right. It is.

She reads the look on my face and we start towards the door. “I know, I know. You lived like that once. It’s a fantasy, smoke and mirrors …”

“Yup.”

“Well, I say I’ll play in the smoke as long as the mirrors make me pretty.”

I snort, pushing open the door to the ballroom. “You go right ahead and dig that gold all the way down the aisle.”

“I’ve got my shovel right here.” She shimmies her backside in my direction. “See that one over there?”

Following her gaze across the room, I see a man I know is one of the Landry brothers. There are four of them and two sisters, twins, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t really follow that kind of thing much, but they’re basically Georgia royalty, and even avoiding current events as I do, you can’t help but pick up on some of their lives. Every newscast, it seems, has something Landry-related even when it’s not election season.

“I’m going to check him out,” Lola says and takes off, leaving me standing with my tray of ridiculously overpriced champagne.

I roam the outer edges of the elegant ballroom, giving a practiced smile to each person that plucks a drink off the tray. Some smile widely, some try to chit-chat, some completely ignore me like they probably do the paid staff at home. It’s fine by me.

A few years ago, I attended events like this. Married to my college sweetheart, a newly minted judge in Albuquerque, we went to balls and galas and swearing-in ceremonies often. It was a magical time in my life, before the magic wore off and everything exploded right in my face.

“Well, aren’t you a pretty little thing?”

I spin to my right to see an older gentleman grinning at me like a snake ready to strike.

“Would you like a drink?” I offer, knowing good and well by the color in his cheeks that he’s already had more than enough.

“No, no, that’s fine. I was actually just admiring you.”

Pasting on a smile and tossing my shoulders back, I try to keep my voice even. “Thank you, sir. Now, if you’ll excuse me—”

“I was thinking,” he says, cutting me off, “how about you and I take a little stroll? Do you get my drift?”

“With all due respect,” I say through clenched teeth, glancing at the wedding ring sparkling on his finger, “how about you take a stroll with your wife?”

I swivel on my heels and head off as calmly as possible, blood roaring in my ears. I can hear his cackle behind me and I really want to turn around and slam my fist into his beefy face. It’s behavior that’s typical of people like this, thinking they can get away with whatever they want with the bourgeoisie. I just so happen to have an overdeveloped sensitivity to it, being that my husband did the same thing to me as soon as he got a little power.

Lola catches my attention as I pause to settle down. She points discreetly to the other end of the room and mouths, “Over there.” The gleam in her eye tells me she’s spotted the mayor, but I can’t see him.

I shuffle through the crowd and finally spy the man of the hour walking out, his arm around the waist of a woman that’s been acting crazy all night. Her head is leaned on his shoulder, her hand resting on his backside. Laughing, I catch Lola’s eye and nod to the exit.

“Bitch,” she mouths as she approaches the same man that approached me earlier. I want to warn her, but don’t. For one, I know it won’t do any good, and for two, I can’t take my eyes off Landry.

People literally part for him to walk through. It’s like he’s Moses. They’re more than willing to be led through the Red Sea, divided by his power and influence, and into the Promised Land.

I’m off in space about what precisely that land might entail, when my shoulder is bumped, rustling me out of my Landry-induced haze.

“Excuse me,” I say. When I realize who I’ve just ignored, my cheeks heat in embarrassment. “I’m so sorry,” I stutter, handing Camilla Landry, one of the Landry sisters, a glass of champagne.

She’s even more beautiful in person, a textbook example of poise and sophistication. In the media a lot for charity work with her mother, her face is easily identifiable with her high cheekbones and sparkling smile.

“Don’t worry about it,” she breathes, waving me off. “I can’t take my brothers anywhere without women getting all mesmerized. Especially that one,” she laughs, nodding to the doorway Barrett just went through. “Although, between me and you, I don’t get it.”

Her grin is infectious, and I can’t help but return it.

“I’m Camilla,” she says, extending her long, well-manicured hand like I don’t already know.

I balance the tray on one side and take her hand in mine. “I’m Alison. Alison Baker.”

“You helped clean up a sauce spill earlier. You put the lady that had the accident at ease when you took the blame and kept the attention off her. I wanted you to know I saw and respected that.”

“It really was no big deal.”

“In this world, everything can be a big deal. Trust me. You probably just saved my brother a couple of votes.”

“Just doing my part,” I laugh.

She smiles again, her chic sky-blue dress matching her eyes and heels. “Well, on behalf of the mayor, thank you. He seems … occupied, at the moment.”

I wink. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I didn’t see a thing.”

She nods, looking a touch relieved, and thanks me again before turning away and greeting the older lady from earlier, the one that spilled her dinner all over me. Camilla takes her hand and helps her into a chair.

Her elegance is breathtaking and she has a charm about her, an easiness even though she’s clearly blue-blood, that I’ve never seen before. It’s exactly what the kitchen is buzzing about with Barrett—a charisma you can’t quite put your finger on.

 

Read more here.

Post Tags :

Share :

Recent Post

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop