FEATURE: Cass Alexander

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Hey, I’m new to this author thing. I wrote something slightly on the naughty side, so I debate how much “Bio” to share with the public. I do have children, you know. But I will tell you:

– I live in the Midwest with my husband and two children
– I love wine
– I love chocolate
– I run, not because I love it, but because I have to (due to my love of wine and chocolate)
– Humor is my coping mechanism of choice, much like the characters I create
– I come from a hilarious, totally functioning dysfunctional family
– I’m a firm believer that there is no place for fruit in any quality dessert; it always comes back to dessert, doesn’t it?

That is all. For now.

Excerpt from Working On It

Evan

I look at my watch and can’t believe it’s almost midnight. Where did the time go? Rebecca and I have been in my room with Joey and Sarah for a while. I’d like to kick them out but I don’t want to come across as a dick. I’ve already asked my roommate to sleep upstairs in the rack room tonight, making one big assumption that Rebecca will stay. Drew seemed more than happy to acquiesce.

I need to hit the head, so I make my exit to take care of business. When I walk out of the bathroom, two of the pledges are standing in the hall talking. They have beers in their hands because now they’re off duty and the house is rewarding them for their efforts.

One of the pledges, a guy we call Nugget, looks up when I exit the bathroom. “What’s up, Evan?”

I pat the side of his shoulder in greeting. “You guys did good, tonight. I think the ladies actually enjoyed your spaghetti.”

They both smile at the complement. Pledges don’t get many, so I’m sure they’re happy when it happens.

“Thanks, man. Spaghetti was a good choice because it’s probably all we could manage.”

I laugh and nod my head in agreement. “You may be right about that.” I start to head back to my room.

“So, Rebecca Banks, huh?”

I halt my steps and turn around, narrowing my eyes at Nugget. My jovial mood is making a quick departure. And here I was thinking I wouldn’t have to take a swing at anyone tonight. “Excuse me?”

“You’re one lucky bastard. She’s like, smokin’. She’s—” He pauses when he sees my reaction to his assessment of Rebecca.

I stare at him, silently daring him to continue. My fists are clenched. A tiny voice somewhere in my head is wondering when Evan Michaels became an irrational bastard. Unfortunately for Nugget, irrational bastards don’t listen to the rational voices in their heads. He opens his mouth to say something else and I step towards him.

“Don’t. Whatever you’re about to say, if it’s about Rebecca, keep it to yourself. Do you understand?”

Nugget’s face falls. Shit. What am I doing? Luckily, Brock decides to make an appearance at this time. He walks up and puts an arm around little Nugget.

“I would advise you to not finish whatever you were going to say, Adam.” Adam is Nugget’s real name.

“My bad, Evan. I didn’t realize she was your …” he doesn’t finish because he’s probably too nervous and confused about whatever Rebecca is to me.

“Girlfriend.” I finish for him. Shit. My mouth is working way faster than my brain.

Brock steps in between us and addresses the pledges. “Why don’t you fellas head downstairs and see if everything is all cleaned up?” They leave without saying another word. He turns to me, crosses his arms, and leans against the wall as I brace for the lecture.

“You sure about this, Evan?”

The question surprises me. I was expecting some sort of reprimand or twenty-minute lecture. Instead, I think he’s actually checking on me. Brock is good to me. He has the balls to tell me things I need to hear—whether or not I want to hear them. It’s his way of watching out for me. I know he’s afraid I’m moving too fast; but I also know he’ll be there when—no, if I fuck up with Rebecca. And I really don’t want to fuck up with her, so I’m confident I won’t.

As to his question, I don’t have to think about an answer. I know I’m sure. “Yes.”

Brock smiles and looks down at the floor, like he’s trying to hide it. “Does Rebecca know she’s your girlfriend?”

I laugh. “Probably not since I didn’t know until a few seconds ago.”

“Then you should probably get back to her. I think you left her alone with Drew.”

I start and then practically run towards my room. I hear Brock cracking up and realize he’s giving me shit. Asshole.

 

Rebecca 

When Evan comes back in he stops and looks around the room. “Are you alone?”

“Yes, Sherlock. Good detective work.”

“Funny.” He comes around and sits next to me on the couch.

“They went to play Euchre in another room.”

“Did you want to play?”

“Not really.” We’re doing that thing where we stare at each other and smile great big smiles. It can’t be attractive on me. In fact, it kind of hurts my jaws.

Evan leans forward and kisses me softly. “Then what do you want to do, Rebecca?” he asks against my lips. The mood shifts and I’m no longer smiling. I become a simpering glob of goo in 2.3 seconds.

He wants me to say it out loud? So not happening. I want him to magically read my mind so that I don’t have to put my jumbled thoughts into coherent sentences. Reality and I are not friends today, apparently.

He starts kissing down the side of my neck. “We should probably talk about a few things.” Talk? Yes, we should probably talk. I had planned to address the birth control issue, but what woman can talk when a sexy man’s face is buried in her neck?

“I can’t concentrate when you do that.”

Evan pulls back and gives me a smack on the lips. “You’re right. Me either.”

I wait for him to say more. But he just sits there looking at me.

“So, what did you want to talk about?”

He leans back and loosens a couple of buttons on his dress shirt. “I should probably tell you that I just told Nugget you were my girlfriend. And Brock.”

Oh, now he’s done it. My stomach is doing somersaults inside me. Of all the things I thought he would say, this was not it. “Girlfriend?”

He starts rubbing his sideburn like he does sometimes when he’s thinking. “Yes. Well, I didn’t mean to—I didn’t mean to label you like that. I just didn’t know what to call you. We haven’t talked about this, and at first I didn’t think we really needed to. It’s so easy between us I didn’t want to start adding labels or to complicate anything.”

I close my mouth because it’s still hanging open. He didn’t mean to? If he doesn’t want to label me as his girlfriend, why in the hell did he do it? I don’t say it aloud. I want to know where he’s going with this before I freak out on him.

“But I know this is more than just a friendship. I don’t want to see anyone else. I don’t want you to see anyone else. I just want us to be us and enjoy each other for as long as we possibly can.”

“And how long will that be, Evan?” I barely recognize my own voice, it’s so low. But I’m proud I forced the question out of my mouth.

“I don’t know. But don’t you want to find out?”

He looks so solemn, so genuine that I believe him. I believe that he wants to be with me and only me. We don’t have to define what that means. We can simply define the terms that we intend to be exclusive and whatever happens after that is what happens.

Evan’s right about our time together thus far. It has been easy. And fun. Why can’t it just continue as it is? He obviously didn’t like his future being defined and planned for him by Rachel and her family. I won’t make the same mistake. Carpe diem, biatch.

He picks up my hand and starts rubbing circles on the back of it. He’s waiting for me to say something. There’s no choice to make. For better or for worse, I’m in. I think I have been since the first time I called him an asshole.

“Okay.”

His eyes move to mine. “Okay?”

I nod a few times. “Yes.”

He puts both of his hands on each side of my face and looks into my eyes. It might be the most intimate moment of my life. The expression on his face goes from serious to downright predatory. He looks like he’s going to eat me alive. Oh, god help me, I hope he does.

 

Evan

I bring her face to mine and kiss her softly. She melts into me and sighs against my mouth. I’m thinking about doing some very naughty things to her when I hear voices coming from the hallway.

“Shit. Let me close the door.”

She pulls back and opens her eyes. She licks her lips. “Yeah, you should probably lock it, too.”

I freeze at her words, understanding the implications perfectly well. Looks like little Miss Banks and I are on the same page. I lean in to kiss her quickly before pulling back just far enough to look into her eyes.

“Stay the night with me.” I want more than just the hookup tonight. I should probably say that to her, but I hold back. I don’t want to scare her off. I think I already made her a little edgy by confessing that I told people she was my girlfriend.

Rebecca doesn’t say anything at first and I worry that I’ve said the wrong thing. I can see the wheels spinning in her head.

“What’s wrong?”

She presses her lips together and drops her eyes to her hands. She inhales deeply. I stay quiet because I think she needs a moment.

“Evan, I don’t want you to think that I don’t want to stay. It’s just …” she trails off.

“Just what? Tell me.” That last part came out a little sharper than I intended.

That draws a sharp gaze from her. I think she has a thing about me giving her commands. I like pushing her buttons, but I decide to use a different tactic. “Please tell me.”

“Just two weeks ago your girlfriend—”

Ex-girlfriend.”

“Yes, well, your girlfriend at the time, Evan. Two weeks ago, she was in here for the entire weekend. With you. And …” Her eyes drift to the futon and suddenly her trepidation makes sense.

“Wait, wait. You think I slept with her when she was here?”

“Didn’t you?”

I smile. I don’t think she likes my reaction, but I really like hers.

“Are you jealous?”

“What? No. Don’t be a dick. That’s not what this is.”

Ah, so anger gives her the confidence to speak her mind. I’ll have to remember that. “I didn’t sleep with her, Rebecca. I haven’t been with her since a couple of weeks before school started.” This might be the longest I’ve gone without sex since, well, since I started having it.

“Really?”

“Really. And if you recall, the weekend she was here, I came to find you.”

“I’m sorry. I just picture the two of you cuddling on your bed and it makes me feel things that I can’t articulate right now.”

My grin grows at her jealousy. I hated it from Rachel, but I almost crave a reaction from Rebecca. Tell me that’s not messed up. I’m starting to think something is very wrong with me.

“Well, stop worrying. We didn’t cuddle either. We fought the entire time. I slept on the couch and she slept on the futon. Both nights.”

Her face blanks. Have I shocked her? “Rebecca, things with Rachel were unraveling for months. Emotionally, I was distancing myself from her last semester. I just didn’t realize that was what I was doing. In this room, right now, it’s just you and me. There is no one else on my mind. I promise.”

She bites her lip and finally looks up. I cup her face and kiss her again. “Are we okay?”

“Yes, we’re okay. Go lock the door.”

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