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The Desperate Dater's Intervention

The Desperate Dater's Intervention

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The Desperate Dater's Intervention

444 pagine
8 ore
Jan 25, 2021


Lacey Stanmore breaks up with her controlling boyfriend. Only he insists that they are merely on a break and not broken up for good at all. However, Lacey is determined to find herself another dude to replace him instead. This idea finds Lacey falling back into old habits and she becomes a desperate dater once more. When she goes out with men that are hardly the cashmere jumper of marriage material and more like a cheap suit made of polyester, since they hardly measure up to her neighbour. Unfortunately, for Lacey, the man she secretly loves from afar has a long-term girlfriend so that is never going to happen. Hence, Lacey asking for advice from her flatmate when she needs a Plus-One for the party she is going to the following weekend so her friend sets up a dating intervention for her. Where she enlists the help of certain people close to Lacey so they will choose her next dates for the week ahead and by the end of it, Lacey might have found love you never know or at least something that resembles a decent date at least. Well if you go on a series of consecutive blind dates in a row then one of them is surely going to turn into a second date, right. This of course sees Lacey having more hilarious and some might say disastrous dates then she knows what to do with. While nobody would believe her if, she wrote them all down and put them in a book but it’s true.

Will Lacey get the man of her dreams or just end up with a nightmare and a headache, not to mention the heartache?

This laugh-out-loud story is a British romantic comedy novel and it contains a few swear words too. So if it sounds like your cup of tea then please enjoy it sensibly.

Jan 25, 2021

Informazioni sull'autore

Maureen Reil writes comic commercial fiction and has had over 35 books published, so far, but she's always working on a new manuscript so she wishes to add to that tally with lots of new titles before she's done and dusted. She was born in the city of Liverpool and resides in semi-rural Lancashire UK, but longs to live by the sea. It was always a dream of hers to become a novelist and thanks to her readers, she has fulfilled that ambition, so she couldn't be more grateful if she tried. And Maureen hopes you enjoying reading her books as much as she enjoys writing them.

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The Desperate Dater's Intervention - Maureen Reil






Maureen Reil

Copyright ©2017 Maureen Reil

Updated 2021

This eBook is entirely a work of fiction.

The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

Maureen Reil asserts the moral right to be, identified as the sole author of this work.

Also by the author Maureen Reil

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Sleepyhead Shares A Secret

I Hate Me, Who Do You Hate?

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Chick-Lit Saved My Life (Chick-Lit Trilogy book 1)

Chick-Lit Stole My Life (Chick-Lit Trilogy book 2)

Chick-Lit Staged My Life (Chick-Lit Trilogy book 3)

Chick-Lit Collection

Chick-Lit Trilogy

Mistletoe And Wine (Christmas Comedy Trilogy)

Mistletoe And Wine 2 (Christmas Comedy Trilogy)

Mistletoe And Wine 3 (Christmas Comedy Trilogy)

Christmas Comedy Trilogy

Let’s Get Married (Let’s Get Funny Fiction)

Let’s Get Together (Let’s Get Funny Fiction)

Let’s Get It Started (Let’s Get Funny Fiction)

Let’s Get Serious (Let’s Get Funny Fiction)

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble (Let’s Get Funny Fiction)

Let’s Get Physical (Let’s Get Funny Fiction)

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The Finch Family Holiday 1 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Holiday 2 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Holiday 3 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Holiday 4 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Holiday 5 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Easter Holiday 6 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Bank Holiday 7 (Comical Vacations)

The Finch Family Christmas Holiday 8 (Comical Vacations)

A Granny Is For Life, Not Just Christmas

Let’s Get Funny Fiction 1 (Three-Book Bundle)

Let’s Get Funny Fiction 2 (Three-Book Bundle)

Let’s Get Funny Fiction (Six-Book Box Set)

Comical Vacations 1 (Three-Book Bundle)

Comical Vacations 2 (Three-Book Bundle)

Comical Vacations 3 (Three-Book Bundle)

Christmas Crackers

Wed To The Wrong Wayne

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Things Can Only Get Better

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Luck Had Nothing To Do With It

Dedicated to

George Michael


Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 1

Oh for fuck’s sake, just when I am about to get into a lovely bubble bath and relax, some dickhead is ruining my peace by blasting out his car horn. Hell I hope that is not him again. It sounds like his frigging car horn to me. I should not have to put up with this crap at my age. I am not a teenager any more who cannot get rid of the boy who will not take no for an answer. I am a grown ass woman and should not have to deal with all this bullshit since I should have left it behind by this stage. By now, I should be having mature grownup relationships and when they do not work out then we end them on good terms, not name calling and breaking stuff in public to humiliate the other person. I meant him there, not me. Well I have hit thirty so I should be married and settled down with at least two screaming brats to my name (according to my mother). So much as, I like the idea, I am content enough just to carry on dating as long as I think it might lead to something longer lasting eventually. I cannot believe the lazy sod is still sitting there honking his horn outside my building and probably expecting me to nip down in an effort to yell at him to stop the noise and that way I will have to talk to him. Not if I can help it, I will not.

Since I would bet my life, it is that prick Bryce ‘the dad is not gay, but rich’ Croxley. Yeah well, I would not put my money where my mouth is on that one if I were Bryce. Because my dad (who is gay) swears that, he saw his down at The Bluebell. That is a gay bar in town by the way and when Bryce asked his dad this outright, his father tried to pass it off as a business meeting. As he was not there to pick up the random dude with the feather boa in a tight pink string vest and teeny-tiny shorts that he left with after a few drinks. The only thing missing was the glitter roller boots and pony or it could have been a scene right out of Studio 54 according to Dad but as it was way before my time, he had to explain it before I got what he was getting at. Bryce on the other hand believes his father because he wants to believe him and thinks my father would lie about something like that. Why would my dad make shit up about someone who is clearly living a lie? Will I ever learn not to let a man know where you live until you have been dating him for a year at least because by then you should know if he’s a keeper, or not as the case may be. That way, he will never find you if you do split up and he will not take it lying down.

Anyway, I will not give Bryce the satisfaction of seeing me spying through the window of my flat just to check if it is his sorry arse down there acting like a prize knob. Well it has to be bloody Bryce. I mean who else would be insane enough to disturb the whole neighbourhood just to gain my attention. I cannot even switch the lights off now he has seen them on and pretend that I am not home. Hell, he had better not get out of that car and turn up at my door. Mind you, there is no way I can stop him doing that even if I ignore the buzzer to let him into the block of flats when he only has to press little old Mrs Gale’s button and she will let him in. She lets everyone in, so I do not know why we have a bleeding buzzer system to keep unwanted people out when little old Mrs Gale lets him or her in every time. I would not mind but it is never someone for her, since she never gets any visitors.

Maybe little old Mrs Gale is hoping that one of ours might take pity on her and spend some time in her flat, because hers is the first one you come to on the ground floor so she is always there at her door to offer you a cup of tea and cake whenever anyone comes through the main entrance. Whether they would come out alive, is another question altogether. Only everybody always refuses so we will never find out if it is safe to accept her hospitality if nobody is brave enough to be the first. Everyone turns her down stemming from the fact that she smells funny and they cannot be sure if it is from the poison she may or may not be slipping into the tea and cake just to keep them there to talk to her. I think the poor woman is simply lonely and harmless but nobody seemingly has the time for the elderly and if they do have some to spare then they like to spend it on themselves, dating useless dicks like Bryce. What a waste of time that was. So there’s nearly 6 months of my life I will never get back. Well I am not getting any younger, says Mum. I tie my messy dirty blonde long bob into a topknot whilst I think of a way to get out of this awkward situation.

After having dumped Bryce over two weeks ago, I thought I could simply go back to my old life. Forget about him and I being a mistake. Only he keeps contacting me because this is typical of his controlling behaviour when he likes to be the one in charge so if there were any dumping to be done then he would be the one to do it, not me. I have told him it is over and I FaceTimed Bryce. I have Skyped him. I poked. I tweeted and I probably prodded him too with a bloody big stick if there is such a virtual thing online. I have left messages on his phone and every damn social site, blog or forum which I know that he reads and some he doesn’t but I do, just in case he stalks me and still the stupid bastard will not take no for an answer. We are no longer dating as far as I am concerned but he will not admit this to his family and friends. He claims we are on a break but not broken up for good. All for the fear of him looking like a big fat loser in love at his sister’s engagement party, when not having a date that he can bring along with him. I was looking forward to going, just not with Bryce.

Saying that, I no longer have a date either for it now, but I will not be going to their celebration even though his sister said that the invite still stands regardless of me not being with her brother as of late. I reckon Bryce put her up to it and he hopes that it will be a chance for us to get back together if he plies enough ale down my neck. It would take more than alcohol to make me go there again, not that I could ever drink him under the table. For he would have to bash me over the head with his club to drag me kicking and screaming back to his cave before rendering me unconscious in order to get me to love him once more and that’s only if he successfully brings on Stockholm syndrome in me so I would then know no better. Can I be any clearer? No, I do not think I can. I do not love him anymore so sod off and leave me alone.

Seriously, Bryce thinks he can wear me down and I will agree to get back with him if he keeps hounding me like this but I refuse to return to the way things were when he started telling me how to dress, how to talk and how to bleeding well live my life. This is who I am, so like it or lump it but do not try to change me because it will not wash with me. I am my own woman. It took me long enough to find her so I will be damned if I will let some man take her from me. Dare I admit it but I would rather be single for the remainder of my time here on earth than be with someone who does not love you just the way you are, faults, flaws and fucking freaky feet to boot. Honestly, they are not that bad, really. Bryce was just exaggerating to wind me up.

It has gone quiet now because the car horn has suddenly stopped sounding out. So this could mean, a) someone has had enough of his racket and punched his lights out to make him stop (here’s wishing for that scenario). On the other hand, it could also mean b) Bryce has had enough of waiting for hell to freeze over so he has come to his senses and buggered off (I doubt it because he has no sense or he would get the message through his thick skull that he should not bother to contact me ever again. If none of the above turns out to be true, then this leaves c) bollocks, he is getting out of his car and making his way here. I have to risk it and look out of my window to see what is happening down below. His car is still there so he has not left (more’s the pity) and his body is not sprawled out on the ground where someone dragged him out of his vehicle to knock him out (I would not be so lucky) so this means only one thing. My buzzer goes so he’s coming up here right now, once he gets past little old Mrs Gale that is so I don’t have long to decide what I’m going to do about it. Call me a coward all you want but I’m simply not in the mood to face him so to save me the trouble, I leave my flat and race across to my neighbour to bang on his door and hoping he is back from his trip.

‘Lacey the desperate dater Stanmore . . . is everything all right? I’ve not seen you for awhile.’ No matter what time of day I speak to the gorgeous tattooed dude across the hall, he always has time for me so I feel blessed that he is always there for me in times of stress. Like when he got a spider out of my shoe because, I could not wear it otherwise and I would have been late for work if I had to find an alternative pair. Yes okay, that shows how messy I am when I never match my footwear up neatly but simply sling them under my bed then end up searching for ages for a right and left and not a right and right, which sometimes can happen if my flatmate buys any similar ones so we end up with a mix-up. I nearly went out on a date once wearing two left feet shoes but my best mate had convinced me that I might end up walking in circles so I did not risk it. Anyhow I tend to ramble on when I get anxious so he used my nickname to make me relax because I obviously look fraught, which I am. I bet he thinks it is another spider. It is something much worse this time, but just as hairy.

Only I cannot fall apart at the seams, literally, if this is all I am wearing for he looks me up and down since I have nothing on but a bath towel to cover my modesty because I was planning to take a bloody bath. Well I did not have the frigging time to change into something more appropriate to go calling on a friend in my hour of need, so this will have to do. At least he cannot see my ‘freaky feet’ because I am wearing my slippers. Not that they are anything to be ashamed of seeing as I’m sure lots of people have toes like mine but Bryce used to take the piss out of them and insist they were like flippers. Okay so a couple of my toes look a bit webbed together, that is all so no biggie. I would not mind but I am not that good a swimmer. It does not help me swim faster despite Bryce insisting that I should be Olympic standard if related to dolphins. The prize pillock liked to point this out to anyone who would listen and then embarrassingly make me show my feet to others. This situation here could have been worse. I could be naked and dripping wet too, whilst making a right old puddle of a mess if I had actually gotten into my bathwater before Bryce shows up to drive me mad. I smile to appear calm, not crazy or he might not let me in.

Hi, Preston the model man Drake, sorry to disturb you but could you do me a massive favour.’ I wait for his reply. I want him to agree to it first before he finds out what it is and that way he cannot back out. The stunning stud stands there covered in bits of clay. Well he is also an artist who makes sculptures and works from home in his studio that happens to be his spare bedroom. I long to lick my finger and wipe the big blob off the end of his nose but I dare not touch his beautiful face for fear of not wanting to end there so I may be tempted to fling myself at him and then he will have to reject me, which would be mortifying to say the least. I settle for staring instead. Talk about unrequited love for I get that feeling often whenever I look at Preston.

‘Err, depends what it is . . . is that not your buzzer? Should you not answer it . . . they do not sound like they are going away.’ He nods his head in the direction of my flat where my door remains wide open.

‘Yeah, about that . . . it’s my ex-boyfriend so I don’t want him here.’

‘You mean Steno the nice psycho Wright. No wonder you do not want to answer it. I wouldn’t either if I were you.’ How could Preston not know about my most recent breakup? Everyone knows.

Chapter 2

This tells me one thing. I am not that important in my friend’s life that Preston would check to see my status change from, in a relationship back to single. This disappoints me. It hurts. I cannot deny it. Why mention Steno Wright of all people? I suppose he is the ex before the ex so it is an easy enough mistake to make. Christ if we were to go even further back than that then it could take a while and I do not have the time to discuss my other exes and non-starters so moving on, I need to explain the situation and move on literally. Okay yes, there has been a fair few men over the years. Well I have been dating for a long time by this age so I may mention my past love life now and again but not whilst in such a rush to get this one sorted.

‘No not him and just because Steno looked like a nut job, he was quite sweet underneath the brawn, baldhead and bad breath. Only the police didn’t believe it was self-defence and he’s still in jail, I think.’

‘I’ll take your word for it. So if it is not him then who is it? Do not tell me you and Bryce the dad’s not gay but rich Croxley have split up, have you?’ I nod my head to confirm it just as his buzzer goes too.

‘Don’t answer it, it’s him. Bryce will eventually try all the buttons to see if anyone else will let him in.’ I bite my lip in angst at the thought of having to talk it through one more flipping time with him.

‘I get you do not want to speak to him, but you do know little old Mrs Gale will let him in. She lets everyone in. No way to avoid him.’

‘She’s let me in on more than one occasion when I’ve rolled up drunk no matter what the hour. After forgetting my main key so that’s why I always keep the spare one to my flat under the welcome mat.’

‘And Bryce knows this I bet.’ I nod again and close my eyes in annoyance at myself for letting him into so much knowledge about my life. What was I thinking? I may as well have given him my sort code and account number whilst I was at it. Do not worry I did not.

‘I wish Bryce would just disappear. You don’t know any hit men, do you who are willing to work on the cheap?’ Well I am living pay cheque to pay cheque so after dating costs; I do not have enough to eat unless I go out to dinner and he pays. I knew there was one good reason I was with Bryce and you cannot fault his generosity so I have to give him that much since he would never allow me to go halves with him and I did offer. However, I am not the girl for him. I am too opinionated and have had to bite my tongue so much when holding back for fear of upsetting him that it is a wonder I still have a tongue to speak with until I found my voice again. I kept my mouth shut to agree with him all for the sake of trying to make something work when it was clearly not working so something had to give and it was little old me, when I gave him the heave-ho. I have no regrets. Apart from the fact that I do not know where my next meal is coming from lately. Only kidding, if the self-imposed through being broke dieting gets too much I can always fall back on family for support and go eat at my dad’s place. He runs a restaurant but still makes me pay. I just have to work off my free meals by helping him out now and then.

‘Nah, I do not know any killers off the top of my head but I bet Steno the nice psycho Wright does so you should ask him.’

‘I didn’t mean it. I was simply thinking out loud, but I wish magic were real and I could conjure up a spell to make Bryce do as I ask.’

‘It would take more than Voodoo to turn Bryce into a Zombie.’

‘Joking aside, I haven’t got time to do anything drastic but there is one thing you could do for me if it’s not too much trouble.’

‘I have a better idea. Why don’t you just pick up the key from under the mat and pretend you’re out, that way he will give up and go.’

‘Bryce won’t believe it. He knows that if my lights are on then somebody’s home,’ I say to explain why that will not work.

‘Fine, come in here and hide. Let him think you went out for once forgetting to switch your lights off and then wait until he leaves.’ Preston pulls on my arm to drag me inside his flat so I will be safe and he nips across the landing to close my door for me. If only it were that simple to trick Bryce then I would have done it long ago.

‘That’s just it, if Bryce gets anywhere near my flat he won’t leave until I get back and he’ll know I’ve just nipped out because I left the bathwater running. Shit, I forgot about that.’ I look back at my place. Dare I risk going over to switch off the taps, or is it worth letting it flood just to make Bryce think that I have lost the plot and went out in my towel with the water running and no novelty bag, keys or phone.

‘Was the favour you wanted to ask me, to switch off your taps then?’

‘No, yes, that as well but will you swap flats with me. Just for a bit. If Bryce thinks I’ve moved and you have taken over my place then there is no point in him coming round here anymore?’ I am quite pleased with my plan because I think it might just work to get rid of Bryce for good and I can go on living here in peace and quiet then.

‘I’m sure you don’t have to go that far, just reason with him.’

‘I would not ask if there was any other way but to make him believe that I moved to the other side of the country. He will not be back to bother me, or you for that matter, if you will do this one thing for me.’

‘Can’t Halle the lusty lesbian do it for you?’ That is my flatmate.

‘That’s not her nickname, that’s what she likes to call herself. Others call her Halle the beauty with the bottom Frost. We can drop the silly names from now on.’ She has this big round bum and slim figure so people do stare, even women who are not lesbians when wondering if those cheeks are real or not. ‘Halle is not in and besides even if she were in, she’s rubbish at lying.’ I leave his flat to go lean over the balcony to check on Bryce since nobody else in the block would let him inside the premises, apart from the little old dear downstairs.

‘OK fine, just this once but don’t make a habit of it,’ he agrees.

‘Bryce has stopped pressing your button so it won’t be long before he tries little old Mrs Gale then he’s on his way up so get the key from under the mat to let yourself in. Thanks for this, I owe you one.’

‘I wouldn’t do this for just anybody you know so I hope you appreciate that and by the way, you owe me more than one favour.’

Preston Drake winks at me with one of those twinkling eyes of his and if he were not already seeing someone that he has been with for a couple of years so I know it’s serious, then I could well go for Preston because he is definitely my type with his ruffled dark hair. Not that I am his type I suppose, so it would be a one-sided-love affair for he seems to prefer the tall skinny models if Skylar is anything to go by. I smile back with confidence at my neighbour because I know he can handle this for me. Then I will be able to get on with my life and forget I ever fell for the so-called fucking charms of Bryce Croxley.

This soon finds me hiding behind Preston’s door and looking through the spy hole in order to watch what happens next. I was curious to see how long it would take my friend to get rid of my ex-boyfriend. We should have had a bet on it. Well I could do with the money if I won. Only that would mean Preston could make the damn situation last as long as he wanted so good job I did not mention it and sound stupid. God I could love that man (meaning Preston there not Bryce so don’t think I’ve changed my mind on that score because once I’ve made it up then that’s it for me). If only Preston would fall out of love with Skyler and in love with me then life would be perfect. Knowing my luck, even if they did break-up (which is unlikely but more ‘wishful-thinking’ on my part) then he would soon find another tall skinny model to share his time with over me, so I am wasting my time thinking otherwise. Why are the good ones always unavailable?

‘Ah . . . are they for me? You really did not need to bring me flowers. I mean we hardly know each other,’ said Preston as Bryce automatically shoves the flowers in his face so my friend takes them. However, Bryce’s face falls on realising that it was not me blocking his entrance and he runs his now empty hand over his beardy chin in frustration because this was not what he was expecting. I bet Bryce had it all worked out in his head, what he was going to say to me. Only this scuppers his plans. Well tough, he scuppered my plans for a bubble bath so now we are even on that score. Speaking of bubble baths, I hope Preston remembered to turn the taps off. Hold on, how could Bryce mistake me for a man? That is the worrying thing here. Either he thinks I am mannish (but nobody else ever said this about me before) or perhaps he is more like his (in the closet) father than he cares to admit. My dad is gay so he says it takes one to know one.

‘Oh sorry, I seem to have the wrong flat . . . Hold on, this is Lacey Stanmore’s place isn’t it so what are you doing answering her door,’ said Bryce whilst clearly surprised that Preston opened it to greet him. Then my ex turns to look over at this door as if he can sense that I am behind it. I duck down but I seriously do not know why I did that. I mean it is not as if Bryce can see me through the spy hole while he stands on my welcome mat, not that he is so welcome anymore. He has probably sussed where he knows Preston from and that is this flat.

‘Hello err, Brian isn’t it?’ says Preston to wind him up on purpose.

‘My name is Bryce . . . Bryce Croxley,’ corrects my ex.

‘Yeah that’s it . . . Bryce, Bryce Croxley. I remember now.’

‘Just Bryce will do. No need to over egg the pudding, is there?’

‘Sorry, you’ve lost me there. What does egg pudding have to do with you giving me flowers? They are beautiful by the way. Nobody ever buys me flowers so I do appreciate them, but sadly I’m straight.’

‘So am I and that is why I am here to see my girlfriend Lacey.’

‘But you and Lacey are broken up. She dumped you, didn’t she?’

‘We’re on a break if you must know. It is only a matter of time before we get back together. Once Lacey comes to her senses then she’ll see that I am the best she’s going to get so why fight it?’

‘That is not what she told me so I think you need to give her some space and leave her be because all this nonsense is not going to work.’

‘I know you’re her friend and all that but you’re not mine so I would appreciate it if you would butt out of our relationship. I don’t want you interfering and giving her advice where none is needed.’

‘Well I suppose you’re here to speak to Lacey then, not me.’

‘Correct, so if you will be so kind as to go get her for me then leave us to talk in private. The sooner we get this sorted, the better.’

‘Actually, Bryce, I have some bad news to tell you. Lacey is gone.’

‘What do you mean gone? Hell she’s not dead, is she?’ asks Bryce in shock and his voice breaks at the mere thought of my passing. Damn it I should have thought of that one myself and faked my own death just to get rid of him. Well nobody in their right mind thinks they are still dating a dead girl so I missed out big style there because that would have been the ideal excuse to get closure. I shall remember that for next time, should there be a next time. Here is hoping there is not.

‘Lacey is not dead so you can stop with the tears,’ snaps Preston.

‘I knew that. I would feel it in here if she were, so I was welling up with relief that she is alive and kicking,’ said Bryce, pounding his chest with his curled up fist. Someone give that man an Oscar. Jeez!

‘Kicking you to the curb more like. And I can’t go fetch her because Lacey has left town and moved away so no can do I’m afraid.’

‘Then what are you doing in her flat if she’s gone away?’

‘Actually, this is my place now. Well, it’s bigger than mine was.’ That’s my boy Preston doing me proud, in your face Bryce Croxley. If this does not work to rid me of my ex then I do not know what will.

Chapter 3

Well you cannot blame a girl for going the extra mile when it comes to being shot of an ex who will not go away. Having done the decent thing but that did not get through to Bryce that it is over for good so he has forced me to have to resort to devious tactics like this. Even if they do seem sad and bizarre and you think, there is no need for this nonsense but there is because honestly I have tried everything else.

‘I don’t believe you. While I wonder who will answer the door if I knock over at your old flat then. I do not suppose it could be Lacey by any chance.’ Bryce calls his bluff for he has us sussed all right. Shit.

Meanwhile, as I stand behind the door in Preston’s flat, I have my own surprise to deal with when his girlfriend Skylar appears behind me to scare the shite out of me so I let out a yelp and Bryce is bound to have heard it so he knows there is someone in this flat and no point pretending otherwise. Bollocks. She is supposed to be away on a modelling assignment abroad somewhere as far as I knew. Obviously, she has returned home early so great timing on my part, not. There was me thinking Preston was home alone since he was busy sculpting but he must have been letting her sleep off the jet lag. Skylar rubs her sleepy eyes after having just woken up. She is also as naked and exquisite as the day she was born, only with longer blonde hair I expect. I visibly shrink in her presence because she makes me feel inferior and much smaller than I am for my age just by being in the same room as her. I wish I were Skylar, a) because she has the world at her feet when she is one of the hottest catwalk models around and b) she could have her pick of any man she likes. While c) she chose Preston and he chooses her to love. God I would kill to look pure Swedish.

‘What are you doing here, in a bath towel? Where’s Preston?’

‘Hi, Skylar, sorry to disturb you but Preston is doing me a favour at my flat and now I need you to do me one too if you do not mind.’ I explain things as I rush to pick up the discarded dressing gown on the ground that must belong to her, since it looks too girly for Preston.

As I hand it to her in good faith, she will put it on to spare my blushes not hers because it clearly does not bother her being naked around me. I hope she does not think I am here pathetically trying to seduce her boyfriend when wearing very little myself. Sister, I mean seriously. Why you would even enter into such a silly notion is beyond me for I would never and more importantly, Preston would never (more’s the pity) get with the likes of me. Only I have to confess I would go there given half the chance but I also know that I would never try to steal another female’s man even if Preston threw himself at me. Because I honour the girl code so he would not get to live out my fantasy unless he were single and then there would be no stopping me from jumping on his bones but that’ll never happen. Apart from, in my dreams and as long as nobody knows, then I am safe to think about it.

‘You want me to pretend that I live here by myself and Preston lives in your old flat because you moved away,’ she repeats what I said.

‘Yep, I know you can probably think of a million other things you would rather be doing on a Thursday evening but it really is the only way to get rid of my ex-boyfriend Bryce forever, so if he knocks here . . . then will you help me out?’ I am almost on my knees begging. Well, she makes me feel like I am on my knees anyhow when I look up at her and get a crick in my neck for doing so. Before she can answer me, either to tell me to fuck off or agree to go along with my idea, there is a knock on the door to Preston’s flat. We are out of time. Whilst I go as white as my towel for it is bound to be Bryce. This could all go tits up if Skylar decides not to play ball. I cross my fingers for luck that this does not look false to Bryce and he buys it.

‘Fine but I’m doing it for Preston, not you. Do not go thinking we are friends after this. I’ve seen the way you look at my man,’ she says.

‘Thanks for this and yeah I do fancy Preston, who doesn’t.’ I wave my hand in the air to dismiss it as if it is nothing serious and quite normal to find yourself falling in love with someone who will only ever be your friend when deep down, you want to snog their face off.

‘Well as long as you know, he loves me and he will never love you.’

‘Huh, do not worry. You have nothing to fret on that score.’

‘I know that. I’m just saying, is all,’ says Skylar, flicking her long blonde hair at me to get out of her way so she can answer the door. Talk about awkward because I sure feel it. Well if she knows I fancy Preston then he is bound to know too. How mortifying is that? Please do not let him think I was here to make a play for him. I will die with fucking humiliation if he does realise that I have feelings for him in that way. Anyway, thankfully I do not have time to dwell on it. I hide by ducking down behind the couch. Just in case. Well I would not put it past Bryce to barge in here on the bounce looking for me. As I listen to them and can see what is happening by looking in the floor-length mirror that reflects what is going on at the door but not me, which is handy. This could go one or two ways, thumbs up or down.

‘Oh hello . . . Preston tells me that you live here now, not him.’

‘Yes and you are disturbing my beauty sleep. If that’s all you wanted to know then I’ve answered your question so will you kindly leave me alone to get back to my bed,’ snaps Skylar in a tone that makes Bryce take a step back before she hits him. Well she did look in a mood so he was not taking any chances. I do not blame him. I put her in one.

‘Just one more question before I go. Have you seen Lacey Stanmore anywhere, you know, your neighbour who lives across the way,’ said Bryce to catch her out whilst pointing at my flat. Will she give me up? Well Skylar clearly does not like me. That much I can bet on.

‘Who, sorry, I do not recognise the name. I am new here but I thought Preston lived there.’ Skylar plays her part to perfection.

‘I’m sorry for the disturbance and thank you for clearing this up.’

‘Goodbye then. Oh hello, Preston . . . nice to see you again,’ said Skylar and folded her arms at her man in annoyance before adding, ‘when you have a moment could you come over here, to my flat. I want a word with you,’ she says, smiles and slams the door in Bryce’s face.

‘Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. I owe you one,’ I said to Skylar.

‘If you really want to pay me back . . . don’t come around Preston wearing next to nothing in future, OK,’ she insists and I nod before she slinks out of the dressing gown to go back to bed. I would not mind but she doesn’t even get bed hair I notice, as it’s silky smooth. Life is so not fair when some women have to try harder than others who take their perfection for granted and do not give us lesser mortals the time of day. Saying all that, she did appear to be jealous at the thought of me flirting with Preston even when realising that it would never be the other way around. Who would have thought

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