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About the author:
Camilla was born in 1984. She’s an engineer who has always had a vivid imagination and a more creative approach to life. After working in a corporate job for some years, she left everything to follow her husband around the world in a new adventure. Upon finding herself with loads of free time for the first time in a long while, she decided to begin pouring some of her fantasies into words…
Here is a short sample from the book:
Something woke Rose with a start. She tried to pinpoint the source of the noise, but it stopped before she could locate it. Peeking at the alarm clock sitting in silence on her bedside table, she saw it was only nine a.m. Good, she thought. It’s Saturday, so I don’t have to get up for at least two more hours. She rolled over in bed, humming and stretching.
As Rose was drifting back to sleep, the noise started again. Since she was already half-awake, she was now able to identify it clearly. It was Tyler’s phone, ringing somewhere in the distance. The sound wasn’t coming from the adjoining room, where Rose assumed he was sleeping. No, the sound seemed to come from somewhere on the lower floor of Tyler’s townhouse.
Rose waited, curled under her soft covers, for the sound of his quick footsteps down the stairs, but it never came. He must be fast asleep; she doubted the faint noise of his ringtone was enough to wake him. Tyler was a heavy sleeper, and he hadn’t been at home when she’d gone to bed at three a.m. last night. She guessed he wouldn’t wake up until at least noon.
Rose waited for the phone to stop ringing so she could go back to sleep. But Tyler’s vintage MC Hammer—U Can’t Touch This ringtone started playing again almost immediately. Throwing the blankets away from her body in frustration, Rose sat up and swung her legs off the side of the bed. What the hell! Who was so eager to talk to Tyler this early on a Saturday morning?
Georgiana was the first name that popped into her mind. She was the only person who’d obsessively binge call him on a Saturday morning and not get the message people wanted to sleep. It had to be her; even Tyler’s mom would’ve given up after two missed calls. Why was Georgiana so desperate to talk to him? Did they have a huge fight? Did he finally ditch her? No, that’d be too good to be true; they probably just had some kind of argument.
The carpeted floor felt soft and warm against her feet as Rose sat on the edge of her bed, tense, listening. The phone had gone quiet again. While twisting her long brown hair in a side braid she waited, still skittish, to hear if it was going to ring again. It did. Irritated, she hopped off her bed, opened her door, and stepped onto the landing.
Tyler’s door was shut. She walked up to it, pressed her right ear to the wooden panels, and heard the faint, regular breathing of someone sleeping. Listening more closely, she tried to make out the sound of a second person breathing, but she could only hear Tyler. It seemed he was alone.
Rose stepped away from the door, disappointed. So the argument had not been about Tyler cheating on Georgiana with some other girl. Rose was surprised and annoyed that Tyler had been faithful to Georgiana for as long as he had. It had to be a record. Not that she supported the cheating—she was just eager for Georgiana to be out of their lives. Considering Tyler cheated on every girl he was ever with, it was just maddening that the one girl he’d decided to be faithful to was an obnoxious mean girl.
The house was silent again. Rose shivered; Boston always felt too cold compared to Texas, no matter the season. Also, the sorry excuse for PJs she was wearing—a turquoise tank top with a frilly trim and matching shorts—wasn’t helping in the warmth department. Rose usually preferred to wear oversized sweaters when she went to sleep, but she hadn’t had much of a choice last night. She’d used up all her regular, cozy PJs, and she hadn’t done laundry in weeks because she’d been too busy with her Summer Academic Fellowship for Harvard Law. So her Victoria’s Secret PINK set was the only clean thing she’d had left, and it was either that or two drops of Chanel number five.
Rose massaged her arms with her hands to warm herself up as she turned around, away from Tyler’s door and toward the bathroom. Since she was up, she might as well go before she went back to bed. The only time she got to sleep in was on the weekend, and she was determined to enjoy her well-deserved rest.
Rose finished her business and was about to exit the bathroom when she caught a flash of herself in the mirror. She stopped in front of it and checked herself out. She looked good in her mini-pajama. Yes, not bad at all. Too bad she felt like a popsicle when she wore them.
Rose moved her gaze away from her body and up to her face. Her eyes were almost black, and her skin tone made her look constantly tanned. Not like Georgiana, who had impossibly white skin, long licorice-black hair (dyed), and startlingly light blue eyes. Did Tyler prefer blue eyes? Over the years, he hadn’t shown any particular trend in his women. Tall, short, curvy, androgynous, brunette, blonde, red-head—it didn’t matter to him. As long as they were attractive, he liked them.
Rose was distracted from her musings by Tyler’s phone ringing again downstairs. Like an angry cat, she wheezed at the mirror. How was she supposed to sleep if that damn thing was going to go off every five minutes? She exited the bathroom and ran down the stairs, the carpet muffling her steps.
She had a quick look around the living room but couldn’t see the phone anywhere. Then she moved into the kitchen and there it was, lying innocently on the table—lifeless. Rose looked at its black screen accusingly just as it started ringing again. Georgiana’s smiling face darted up on the screen. So it was her calling. Rose grabbed the phone, turned it to silent, and put it back down, relieved. Georgiana’s face remained lit for a few more seconds; then disappeared. The phone had been neutralized and wouldn’t disturb her any more. She could go back to her peaceful sleep-in day.
As Rose turned to leave the kitchen, she saw a speech bubble suddenly pop up on the screen. The temptation was too strong; Rose snatched up the phone and read it.
Georgiana: I’m sorry, ok? Can you please pick up?
So they definitely had an argument. And it looked like it was Georgiana’s fault. What could she have done? Nothing too bad, Rose was sure. Georgiana was all sweetness with Tyler. Rose had seen her act nasty only when he wasn’t around, during the rare times when Georgiana and Rose were alone together.
Georgiana was jealous of her; of this, Rose was sure. The sentiment was strong and reciprocated. Georgiana didn’t like the idea of her boyfriend living with his attractive female best friend. As for Rose, she didn’t appreciate Georgiana’s intrusion in their friendship—or the intrusion of any of Tyler’s girlfriends, for that matter. And Georgiana was more annoying than most of the girls he dated; she went to Harvard Law with them, so she was able to not only impose on their free time, but on their school time as well. In class, she sat with them—Rose on one side, Georgiana on the other, and Tyler sandwiched in the middle. At lunch, she ate with them. When they were studying, she followed them to the library. And she was at the house so often that Rose wondered if she was trying to move in without Tyler noticing. Georgiana being beautiful and rich didn’t help. Nor did the fact that she was the daughter of one of the most powerful and recognized lawyers in Boston.
This was the first time since high school that Tyler had dated someone who was in school with them. Rose had forgotten how hard it was to have a daily reminder of him being with someone else. Not to mention the unwelcome novelty of being in the next room when Georgiana spent the night. Contractors should make thicker walls. Rose was certain Georgiana had made it a personal mission to make sure Rose knew just how satisfied in bed she was.
When Tyler had first started going out with Georgiana, it hadn’t been so hard, Rose thought. Not while she’d been with Marcus, her longest relationship to date. The two years she’d spent with Marcus had been Tyler’s first time to be jealous, instead of the other way around. She remembered being actually glad when he’d started dating Georgiana, so that she could finally stop feeling guilty for spending all her time with Marcus. Rose also hadn’t told Tyler she was moving in with Marcus, and hadn’t been sure how he would take the news. Then everything had collapsed when Marcus had been offered a huge promotion in LA. In less than a month he’d left Rose heartbroken, with a cancelled lease, and nowhere to live. Of course, Tyler had stepped in immediately and invited Rose to stay in his spare bedroom. She’d accepted, grateful to have her best friend near her 24-7. Georgiana hadn’t been happy about it.
Rose sat in a chair at the kitchen table and rolled Tyler’s phone in her hands; she was tempted to snoop. She didn’t know why, but it seemed important she find out why Tyler and Georgiana had argued. But if Tyler discovered her at it, he’d flay her. He’d always been protective of his things, especially his phone, at least with his girls, and usually with a good reason. Although lately he’d been growing increasingly private with her, too. Rose felt she was being left out, and she couldn’t help but blame Georgiana. Georgiana, who was sorry for something she’d done. What was it? She contemplated the black screen, trying to make up her mind. To spy or not to spy?
“What are you doing?”
Tyler’s voice put a sharp end to her dilemma. He was standing at the foot of the stairs, wearing only sweat pants.
“Oh, you’re awake, good!” Rose said, faking anger to cover up her embarrassment at nearly being caught in the act. “Next time if you leave your phone lying around, do me a favor and put it on silent so it doesn’t wake me up.”
“Rose.” There was an edge to his voice. “Why were you looking into my phone?”
“I wasn’t looking into your phone,” she said, and dropped the phone on the table. “This thing has been ringing non-stop for almost an hour. I couldn’t sleep, and it didn’t seem like you were getting up anytime soon, so I came downstairs to silence it.”
“If you were just putting the phone on silent, why were you sitting on a chair with it in your hands?”
Ah, always the lawyer.
“I was trying to decide if your cuckoo girlfriend had ruined my sleep-in,” Rose said, getting up. Her chair scraped loudly on the kitchen’s floor. “Or if I could still try to go back to bed.”
Tyler knew that aggressive tone Rose was using. She brought it out when she was feeling guilty about something, and wanted to distract attention away from herself. When she brought up Georgiana, he was planning a sharp retort—but then she stood up, and he was thrown off-balance by her look. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open as he stared at her. He was used to seeing her in faded, loose t-shirts three or four sizes too big for her. Not in mini shorts. Definitely not in mini shorts.
Rose seemed to notice his staring, because she blushed bright red. But she didn’t lower her gaze or back down.
“Anyway, Georgiana says she’s sorry,” Rose said, brushing past him as she continued toward the stairs. “And before you ask, no—I didn’t spy. The message just popped up on the screen.”
Tyler followed her, not quite able to tear his eyes away from her departing derrière as she began to climb the stairs. He was shocked into silence. Seeing her like this felt like being slapped in the face. He hadn’t tried to sleep with her, sober or drunk, for how long now? Almost two years. Not since she’d been with Marcus; not since her fierce refusal of his advances. Tyler had lured himself into the false idea that he’d finally managed to see Rose only as a friend—a sister, almost. But his reaction now to her lack of clothes told him without any doubt that he’d been kidding himself.
Tyler collapsed onto the living room couch, taking a couple of moments to steady himself, to reboot his brain. He’d always thought Rose was beautiful, but he’d never considered her sexy. However today, the combination of her outfit and her defiance just made her irresistible to him. He had to know what was going on with her that was making her act this way.
Standing, he followed her up the stairs, as if being pulled by an invisible rope. His phone remained forgotten and lonely on the kitchen table, Georgiana’s face surfacing on the screen yet again.