The Big Mistake
by Bethany Shaw
Releasing December 20, 2014
No. No. No. Olivia didn’t have one-night stands. But she can fix it. All she has to do is sneak out undetected and forget the whole thing ever happened. Wrong. Luck is not on her side.
Derrick can’t believe it when he wakes up alone after the best night of his life. He’s supposed to be the one to slip away in the middle of the night. But Olivia wasn’t his typical pickup—she was different. Now she’s gone, and he has no idea if he’ll see her again. Lucky for him, she might be closer than he realizes.
Finding her is easy, convincing her that they should be a couple—not so much.
Genre: Contemporary New Age Romance
Cover Art by Anna Burr
Olivia blinked her eyes open, slowly taking in the dimly lit room. The beige walls and bright carpet sent a chill up her spine. I’m in a hotel. She froze, her heart beating rapidly as the events of last night quickly played through her head. The bed groaned and shifted beneath her. She clutched the crisp white sheets in her hand as she sat up. Her eyes flew to the half-naked, or was he totally naked man next to her. The red and gold comforter pooled around his hips, giving her a good view of his toned back. Four long red marks trailed down his left shoulder. Are those scratches? Did I do that? Yes. Oh my god. What did I do?
Swallowing, she quietly eased out of bed, keeping the sheets pressed against her bare chest. The sheets caught and the man stirred, rolling to his side. Olivia cringed, holding her breath as she stared, praying the man didn’t wake. His eyes stayed shut. She let out a relieved breath and ran her free hand through her long chestnut locks. I need to get out of here before he does wake up.
Her eyes lingered on his face a moment longer. Stubble adorned his jaw. His cocoa hair was mussed as if someone had run their fingers through it all night long. Yeah. You did. She flinched at the reminder.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I don’t even know this guy. Do I even know his name? One-night stands weren’t her thing. And she couldn’t even blame it on liquor. She hadn't been drunk—or even drinking.
But she had been emotional and clearly stupid. No more solo trips out for dinner. I can’t trust myself.
Stop thinking about last night. Find your clothes and get out of here before he wakes up. Holy crap, what if he wakes up before I’m gone?
Olivia swallowed as she shifted on her feet. Did she drop the sheet or try to tug it out from under him? Her fingers curled around the edges tighter. Before you do anything, find out where your clothes are. Her eyes flitted over the bright blue and gold carpet in search of her garments. Her shirt and bra were a few feet away, her jeans and panties a few feet further, and her shoes and purse were a few feet from the door. She closed her eyes and sucked in a deep breath. Then dropped the sheet and ran through the bedroom, scooping up her clothes. She hopped on one foot as she slid her jeans on and buttoned them. Then she tugged her sweater over her head, suppressing a curse as a button snagged her hair. She twisted in an attempt to assess the damage. A thick lock of hair was wound around the clear button. Seriously? Come on.
Olivia mumbled under her breath as she hurriedly untangled her hair. Dressed, she picked up her flats and purse, and tiptoed to the bedroom door. She turned, taking one last look back at him. Derrick. His name was Derrick. Last night had been fun and he did seem like a nice guy.
But she was too ashamed and embarrassed at what she had done to stick around. Not to mention, wouldn't it be awkward? What would they say to each other? What if he expected her to be gone? She shuddered. Leaving was the best solution.
Olivia bit her lip, carefully opening the door. The door squeaked and she cringed, stealing a fleeting look at the bed. Her pulse roared in her ears. Please don’t wake up. Derrick didn’t budge. She held her breath, pulling the door open far enough for her to slip through. Once the door was open she eased into the hallway.
A relieved breath escaped her lungs as she closed the door behind her. She leaned against the cool door for a moment while she gathered her wits. After a long moment, her racing pulse calmed and she set her flats on the floor and slid her feet into her shoes.
Then she dug into her purse and pulled out a small brush and hair tie, quickly pulling her tousled brown locks into a ponytail. At least this way, the only people who would know she was doing the walk of shame would be her roommates. Please let it be late enough that they won’t be home. If they were home, she would have to deal with their questions. At least she didn’t live with her parents. She could only image what her mother would say.
Focus on getting home, Olivia, she chided herself.
Olivia rushed down the stairs and out onto the busy street. She bit her lip as she assessed her location. Having gone to school at Patterson University for the past three years, she knew the area well. It only took her a short minute to figure out where she was and where the closest train station was.
Hiking her purse up on her shoulder, she walked briskly down the street, nodding her head at the occasional passerby. Judging by the pink hue of the sky, it was still early. She could go home shower and spend the rest of the day in bed with a quart of ice cream and sappy movies.
After yesterday, she needed a day to herself.
Olivia slid her key into the lock and twisted the knob, letting herself into her apartment.
She looked up at the sound of her name and suppressed a groan. Her roommate, Elena, was sprawled across the couch.
"Didn't you wear that yesterday?” Elena asked, quirking her brow up in question as she smiled. “You and Tyler are back together?" She sat up, tucking her legs underneath her as she studied Olivia closely.
Olivia sighed. I’m so busted. "I wasn't at Tyler's," she said meekly, avoiding Elena’s wide chocolate eyes.
"Wait. What?" Elena said, standing up. "Where were you?"
"I had lunch with Tyler,” she started. “It started out okay, and then he started planning our future again and I just got so mad,” she clenched her fists tightly as she recalled the conversation. “I don’t know why he thinks I should just drop everything and move across the country. I still have a whole year left of school. And he just assumes I’m going…” she vented, shaking her head. “Anyway, I wandered around downtown for a while and ended up at Louie’s. I got talking to this guy and went home with him," she admitted as she slumped down in the plush green lounge chair.
"Olivia that isn't like you. Were you drinking? Did he take advantage of you?" Elena asked worried.
"I wasn't drunk. I didn’t have anything to drink. I don't know why I did it. I mean, I guess I do. He was nice and we got to talking—he was really easy to talk to. He was pretty hot too. He had dimples, and oh God his stubble was just right," she said, closing her eyes, and bringing his face back into her mind. "And the sex was…" she trailed off unable to find a word worthy of describing it.
"Olivia," Elena gasped. "What about Tyler? Are you sure you two are really over? I know things are bad now, but you have been together for years."
"I don’t see how I can be with some one who won’t even talk to me before making life changing decisions," she sighed. “If he’s acting like this now, how will he be when we’re married?” she voiced her concerns out loud.
Elena nodded in understanding and gave her a sympathetic look. “I know how happy you two are…were. Is there no way you can work through it?”
"The only reason he invited me out yesterday was to try and convince me again to move with him. Seriously, who does he think he is? He accepts this job without even talking to me about it, and expects me to move with him. Oh, and he was sure to mention how hard I’ve been working to get my degree. Do you want to know what the kicker is?” she didn’t wait for Elena to respond. “He said I could drop out of school and he would support the two of us. Who does he think I am? I have worked too damn hard to get to where I am to just sit idly by the pool everyday."
"Ok," Elena said, slowly, shaking her head her brown hair cascading over her shoulders. "You've been together for what three years now? You don't just go out and sleep with a random stranger a few days after you break up. That isn't like you Olivia," she said, worriedly. "And really. I would love it if a man told me not to work."
Olivia scoffed. Maybe Elena would love that life, but she found it downright insulting. "Please. I don't want to be dependent on anyone. And like I said, I didn't mean to sleep with him it just happened."
"Still, Olivia, it’s not like you to sleep around like that. Even if things are bad with Tyler, this is out of character for you. Are you sure everything is okay? Nothing happened to you?"
Olivia looked at Elena seriously. “I’m fine. Yes, I acted irrationally, but I was in my right frame of mind. I don’t know how to describe it there was just something about him…Derrick. I felt like I could talk to him about anything. And things have been off with Tyler for a while. Last night was just a breaking point. But it was a one-time thing. It’s not happening again,” she assured her friend. “I mean, I snuck out this morning and didn’t leave a number and I don’t have his…” more than likely, she’d never see him again. It was probably for the best. It would give her time to focus on her studies. She only had one more year until she graduated and a dissertation paper to work on. Now wasn’t the right time to be starting a new relationship.
Even if she wasn’t looking for a relationship with Derrick, she doubted she would forget him anytime soon. He had been funny and caring. And it helped that he’d been amazing in bed, but most of all there had been a connection—one that she’d never felt with Tyler. She shook her head. It didn’t matter it was a one-time thing. She needed to focus on school.
Derrick reached out for the brunette, hoping to continue what they had started last night. He'd had his fair share of women, but this one in particular, there was something about her. Maybe it was because he had actually talked to her before they’d had sex. Either way, last night was a night he wouldn’t soon forget.
His hand continued to fumble through the soft sheets in search of…Olivia. The sheets were cold—she wasn’t there. He frowned, opening his eyes so he could confirm her absence. She was definitely gone. When had she left? Could she possibly be in the bathroom?
Getting up, he tossed on a pair of boxers and trudged through the few feet to the bathroom. The door was open and the light off. She was gone. A feeling of dread filled him and he let out a long breath as he ran a hand through his matted cocoa hair. Since when had he become such a heavy sleeper? Probably around the time you had mind-blowing sex multiple times with a hot brunette. He didn't do relationships, but he wanted to see her again—at least one more time. Perhaps she’d left her number.
His eyes roamed over the hotel desk and end tables. Nothing.
has lived in Ohio her entire life. She is happily married to her husband of nine years and together they have two wonderful children.
They also share their home with three dogs and two cats.
Most of the time, she has at least one of her pets by her feet while she writes. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she is thrilled to pursue her dreams.
She enjoys reading romances, young adult and fantasy.
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Author Bethany Shaw