This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Something Better To Do
Chapter One, Just a glass of water.
He exhaled into the cold night air and turned the handle as the warm cloud lifted away. He walked into the low room, filled with men and women and thick fruity plumes of vapor. The girl at the check-in desk smiled at him as he made his way to the thin back-row table. It held a pitcher of water and two glasses. He sat down across a young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. He exhaled and poured a glass of water for himself and smiled.
“Everyone has two minutes. After that, the men will move to the next table. All men with votes will be asked to stay at the end.” The young moderator looked at him with another, more mischievous smile. “Good luck.”
He took a sip of water.
“Are you sure you’re in the right place?” The blonde at the table asked.
“I’m exactly where I need to be right now.” He set his glass down.
She looked him over. Her eyes took their time, she was thinking. He was tall, thin, moderately attractive, and he carried himself well. He had purpose. “Are you going to ask me something?”
“I’m not trying to get into your pants.”
He expected her to blow up at him. He expected her to slap him outright. Both of which would have been appropriate. Both of which would have made sense to him. But she didn’t do either. She looked relieved. From the short skirt and all too revealing top she was sporting, he figured her for desperate. He figured she was used to hearing how beautiful she was and being asked for her number. She appeared to exude the very picture of expectant sex. But she didn’t act it, not in that instance. She leaned forward and poured herself a glass.
She said, “You’re going to bed with the young thing at the desk, am I right?”
It was true. At least that was his intention. He had read the girl’s body language, shoulders turned, toes pointed and tracking him as he made his way through the room. The brief glances towards him each time she looked his way. He knew it from the minute he opened the door and she smiled a little too long that she was his for the night.
He said, “I plan on sleeping afterwards, yes.”
“Then let me ask you again. Are you in the wrong place?”
The emphasis she used made it sound like she meant to add, in life, to the question. She quietly watched him as the time ticked down.
Neither of them spoke.
The buzzer for the round chimed and all the men got up. He took his glass with him. He knew he’d need it. On occasion, he glanced towards the woman at the back-row table. She carried on with normal flirty conversation as the men came and went. Time counted down. She didn’t look his way and she didn’t come up and talk to him afterwards. The event disbanded. At the end, just as he expected, the young thing at the desk smiled at him again. That was his queue.
He leaned in close, “I’m going for coffee after this, but I want to get something new. Have any recommendations?”
“A few,” she grinned.
“Anything good at your place?”
She lit up, “Yes.”
He spent the next three hours not drinking coffee at her place. And he did sleep with her afterward. But he couldn’t sleep long. He thought about the blonde, her question, are you in the wrong place? He thought about her blatant outfit, the seemingly desperate air about her. It’d been fake. She wasn’t there for the speed dating. She didn’t really care about the interactions with each of the men. She was reserved for something else. She had a purpose, just as he did. They had both gone in there with different intentions, neither one wanting to make a connection. He knew his purpose, but couldn’t place hers.
Alex Rushmer: I really love your writing style in this story. Usually the whole narration from a journal sort of thing doesn't work for me, but you really pull it off here. I like the main character's blatant way of putting things. I think that it lends a lot to his character and to the story. You tell it like...
Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Karissa, author of Elements Of Engagement, an otherwise dark and twisted tale of love and workplace intrigue, very 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to be sure, her writing style being very graphic ad otherwise sexually-charged, hence the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' reference, and as for her use of g...
pikagirl311: Katie Masters has definite skill when it comes to plot work and characters. The story is well-paced and pulls you along with the tide, keeping you hooked until the very end. The only reason I did not give it five stars across the board is due to a few minor quibbles with misspellings and such lik...
CornflowerBlues: I'm liking everything about this story so far: the brazen detective, the way he gave in to temptation, the temptation (<3!!), and the unexpectedly complex backdrop of his job and the case he's working. The story is well written, and despite its erotica tag, has an intriguing detective story and a...
: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...
Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.
Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...
Jacquie Walker: This is one of the best books I have had the pleasure to read. Claudio has created a very "real" world brought alive as his words paint a rich tapestry of the lives of his characters and the world they live in as they journey toward their destiny.I recommend this to all who love this genre.... it...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."