**JUST THE WRONG KIND OF GIRL is moving to Galatea. Only a few chapters are available here but you may catch the entire story once you click here:
(LINK TO BE POSTED SOON!!)
You guys made this possible with your love, reviews, and your readership. I cannot thank you enough for following Asher and Nuri on this journey to their HEA. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
PS: This novel is part of a series of standalone novels set in the same universe. Stay tuned for more books in the Kemora Archives series.
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“Hot chocolate?” the barista repeats my order like I just shattered all her wet dreams. Her eyes roll over my frame that’s clad in a crumpled tee and faded jeans.
“Hang on, Ramis,” I tear the cell phone from my ear and answer her instead, “Yes.”
“You sure you don’t want a coffee or something stronger?”
“Hot chocolate is fine.”
She doesn’t move, she just stands there with her palms plastered over the counter. I run a hand through my already tousled hair and her eyes shoot to the heartbeat tattoo on the outer part of my left forearm and then slide to the chunky leather bracelet on my wrist. I place my right hand above the counter and her gaze follows, taking in the ring on my middle finger before traveling back to my face and taking in my scruff.
I get it.
I look and smell like a caveman. Although, the barista’s expression doesn’t say she hates it. But in my defense, I was up all night completing my paper on the impact of organizational behavior on business whatever the fuck and it had come down to either running like crazy to submit it in person to Dr. Dale – because he gets off by torturing me like that – or taking a shower.
Clearly, my grade mattered more than dolling up. And it’s hot chocolate that takes the edge off gruesome times more than anything else in the world. It’s sweet and hot and wakes me the hell up.
So, yes, please. Hot chocolate. I give the barista a look.
“Coming right up,” she sighs.
“Thanks.” I smile at her and get back to my phone, stepping aside for the next person in line to place their order. “What’s the plan, Ramis?”
“Order me a slice of cheesecake,” he says then yells something about practice and gym to someone shouting in the background. “Idiots think I’ll have a calorie crash on the field.”
“You might,” I say, scanning the space around me. “And I’ve already ordered so you do yours when you get here.”
The coffee shop is teeming with Kemora University students at this hour. There isn’t a vacant table in sight. As I meander through in search, heads turn in my direction, and smiles grace pretty faces as more than a few hands wave to invite me over to sit with them.
It’s too early for me to socialize and I want a table all to myself.
“Vir with you?” I lean against a wall, eyes on the barista, willing her to call my order anytime now so I can get out of there and find a place to sit elsewhere and mope about this one grade that keeps dipping no matter what I do.
“No,” Ramis sighs in my ear. “He’s helping Zara achieve her drama goals.”
I can hear him rolling his eyes and that makes me chuckle. “Vir is wasting his time. She will never let them be anything more than friends.”
“You can’t fault a guy for trying.”
Or a girl.
Like the one frantically waving at me. Her smile is cracking her face in two. The boy sitting next to her looks like he’s planning to breathe fire in my direction while she ignores him.
“Ash!” she hollers and scoots over her tiny bench to make room for me. “Join us.”
I pretend not to listen and walk right past her table.
Honestly, I’m doing her a favor. She needs to move past our date last spring that literally went nowhere. During dinner, she suffocated me with endearments, and by dessert, I knew we’d be sending out save-the-date emails if I didn’t end the evening at her doorstep with a swift goodbye while keeping her at an arm’s length.
Ramis is saying something, but my brain mutes him as my gaze locks on an empty chair. I dash forward. The vacant table is inches away and my hand is already stretched out to mark the territory when the chair is suddenly wrenched from my sight. Dragged back and a body slips in, a backpack drops to the floor and two arms wrapped in black sleeves rest across the tabletop, fingers clicking away at a cell phone.
“Excuse me.” I knock on the laminate surface with my knuckles, a thick frown creasing my forehead. “I was going to sit here.”
She looks up.
And the universe misses a beat.
Ocean-blue eyes fringed with thick lashes for miles and arched brows that look like someone took personal care in drawing them, luscious lips made to kiss some lucky bastard senseless and a glossy mass of dark honey-gold layers pulled back in a thick ponytail. A few wayward strands escape framing her face.
Is there a photo shoot on campus I don’t know about?
She’s the kind of beauty that belongs on the cover of a swimsuit edition featuring insanely hot babes. And she’s looking at me as if I’m nothing more than a pesky bug bothering her.
“What?” She gives her head a slight shake to nuance her annoyance.
I clear my throat. “You’re in my seat.”
“I don’t see your name on it.”
“I don’t see yours either.”
Childish comeback. But my brain isn’t kicking on all cylinders. I need caffeine. I need to think things through. I need that chair…and this goddess’s phone number. Before more words can escape my lips, metal scrapes against the stone floor and a pair of shapely legs swing over the tabletop – miles of gleaming ivory skin stretched over long limbs.
My brain drops further south of my navel.
Apparently, I’m not the only one to notice because spontaneous gasps and hoots fill the air all around us.
“Legs off the table!” a barista yells from her spot behind the counter.
Mystery Girl ignores her and keeps staring at me with a blank face. I arch a brow, but her expression doesn’t change. She isn’t exactly challenging me and yet, she is.
The hollering gets even louder.
“I’d like to taste that!” A boy leers and several others laugh saying something just as tasteless.
“Go fuck your mother,” Mystery Girl says without missing a beat, her eyes still on me.
If she wasn’t loud enough for those idiots to catch her words and shut up, I’d be sure the insult was meant for me. And if it were for me I’d be angry, not bothered like a horny teen by this slow burn sizzling in my veins. This girl is coloring me hard.
“Who are you?” I ask, fully aware of how my gaze rolls over her as if a moment spent not drinking in her beauty is a moment wasted.
A sharp whistle interrupts her, and we both swivel our heads to see my best friend smirking down at Mystery Girl.
“Hello, Legs.” His tone is strong with familiarity.
She frowns. “Oh look, another one.”
“Are you on the menu, Nuri?”
“At least come up with a better line, Ramses.”
He chuckles. “It’s Ramis. But you can call me whatever…” he winks, “…whenever.”
I don’t even realize I’m glaring at him when in one swift move, she is on her feet and standing almost toe to toe with Ramis. He goes still like a statue, but she simply rolls her eyes, picks up her backpack, and before any of us can catch a breath, she’s gone.
“Who is she?” I throw the question out into the universe as my eyes flick to the big window to track her into the street, her hips swaying with a natural gait and the island sun raining down glitter over her entire form.
“It doesn’t hurt to watch her, does it?” Ramis is still smiling. “That’s Nuri Pasha. Freshman.”
No wonder she isn’t on my radar. She’s new and this being my final year, there isn’t much time to meet new people. I have to get into Harvard. Like Dad. And Yanni, my older brother. It’s a matter of family tradition. It cannot be taken lightly.
But this girl though…
“How do you know her?” I ask Ramis.
“Met her at a party, asked her to dance, and was promptly put in my place.”
That pleases me. “Mind if I try?”
“Not at all. But she isn’t your type.”
That makes me tear my gaze off Nuri to land on him. “What is that supposed to mean?”
He takes a deep breath and nods towards the street beyond the window we’ve both been staring at. “For one thing, she’s friends with him.”
I look back to find Nuri standing on tiptoe to give Jackson Sakya – the one man I’d gladly escort off a cliff if it didn’t count as murder – a kiss. On the cheek, mind you, but still a kiss. And then he has the audacity to envelop her in a hug, his thick arms not only swallowing her but lifting her off her feet too. She looks completely at ease.
“They claim to be just friends but…” Ramis tilts his head towards me, a corner of his mouth curving upward, “…I mean, look at her. You’d have to be either blind or in a committed relationship to just be friends with her. And Jackson is neither.”
“No, he isn’t.”
“And she’s not your type.”
Before I can demand an explanation, he cuts me off with how much he’s starving and saunters off to the register to place his order. I go back to staring beyond the window glass to catch Jackson walking away with Nuri.
My mood just got a notch shittier.