I thought it was too late. I thought our story had already been written.
College sophomore Brooke Anderson thought she had it all − a loving family, her sexy high school sweetheart, a supportive, quick-witted best friend and dreams of being the next hotshot reporter for the Washington Post.
Fate had something else in mind when Brooke collided with the devastatingly handsome upperclassman, Rich Davis. Rich was cocky, conceited and arrogant. He was everything that Brooke didn’t want, but Rich never gave her the option. He had already made the choice to be, at the very least, her friend. Would Brooke accept this egotistical man’s friendship? Would she choose to want more? Would it be too late if she did?
Fast forward nearly ten years. Brooke’s life hadn’t played out quite as she had envisioned it. She was suffering from the heartbreaking loss of her mother, her high school sweetheart was long gone, and her dreams of the Washington Post had turned into a career at a small town paper. Brooke decided it was time to follow her dreams. If she couldn’t be happy in love, at least she could be happy in life.
Brooke’s dreams brought her to the lobby of the Washington Post where fate intervened once again as she collided with none other than the devastatingly handsome Rich Davis. As her potential employer, Rich now seemed off-limits. Brooke wanted her successful career more than a chance at love. But, was it really her choice to make, or was it beyond her control?
Maybe my story is, in fact, Unwritten …
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I remember riding down in the elevator at what seemed like a snail’s pace. “Seriously, could this thing move any slower? It must know we are on a deadline, or something,” I snickered, trying to break the tension that had quickly formed between us.
We finally made it to ground level and began our walk down to the basketball game. We were both quiet for awhile just enjoying each other’s company.
“Nice night, isn’t it?” Rich said, breaking the silence first.
“Mmmhmmm,” I whispered.
I swear he moved closer to me and brushed his arm against mine. I felt a chill rush up and down my spine. How did this guy do this to me? It was only a year ago that I wanted him to fall and drown in a sewer somewhere.
“Do you want to play a game?” he asked.
“A game?” I questioned. “Sure, what do you have in mind, Rich?”
“Truth, Dare, Double-Dare, Promise, or Repeat.”
“You’re kidding, right?” I said between giggles. “Are we at a fourth-grade, slumber party now? How do you even know about that game?” I asked curiously.
“My sister, Jennifer … she’s a few years older than I and her friends always wanted me to play with them at her sleepovers. I was like their little mascot, or something,” he said, smiling at the memory.
In that moment, my heart softened a bit more where Rich Davis was concerned.
“Sure, let’s play. I’ll start with a truth. Give it to me,” I dared.
“Do you love your boyfriend?”
Whoa, that is not what I was expecting. I was expecting something more like – Is your favorite color purple? These questions were a lot less serious when my girlfriends asked them nearly a decade ago. Why did he care if I loved Jay? Most importantly, why was I hesitating?
“Did you hear me, Brooke?” he asked in a louder voice.
“Yes, I heard you … and, yes, I love Jay.”
“OK, repeat,” he said, trying to hide the disappointment in his voice.
“Ooooh, OK, let me think. I need to make this a good one. … How about … Brooke Anderson is the most beautiful, brilliant and bodacious girl I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.”
His Hollywood smile appearing, Rich erupted in a hysterical fit of laughter. “Bodacious?”
“What? I was going for alliteration,” I shrugged. “Now repeat!”
“That’s the best B-word you could come up with. How about bad ass, or babbling … because we all know that you sure do babble a lot,” he teased.
“Whatever, just say it already, would you! Unless you’re giving up already,” I insisted.
“Fine,” he said with a sigh. “Brooke Anderson is the most beautiful, brilliant and bodacious girl I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing,” he repeated, stifling his laughter.
“Damn straight! Now hit me with a dare.”
“Kiss me,” he challenged.
“You heard me. Kiss me,” he repeated.
I couldn’t let Rich win. We were only in the second round. What kind of loser goes out in the second round of Truth, Dare, Double-Dare, Promise, or Repeat? I needed to think and think quickly – got it!
I leaned over and gave Rich a quick, chaste peck on the cheek. After all, he didn’t specify where he wanted that kiss.
“Nice one, you got me there. Now hit me with a dare,” he shot back.
“Hmmm, OK. You know my feet are killing me. I think you should carry me the rest of the way to the rec center.”
Before I knew it, Rich scooped me up in his arms and began carrying me down the steep hill that led to the college’s gymnasium.
“That’s all you got, Beautiful? You’re making this way too easy on me.”
“Whatever, I choose truth again,” I said, without missing a beat.
“What’s your idea of a perfect date?” he asked.
“That’s an easy one! An afternoon at the beach; maybe a picnic, or some stargazing. Ohhh, fireworks over the water. … Yes, now that would be perfection.” I always envisioned Jay proposing to me in that exact setting, but in that moment, it was Rich I envisioned lying next to me in the sand.
“That does sound perfect … I’ll go with a promise,” Rich said this time.
“Yes!” I exclaimed. “I was waiting for you to choose promise. When you become the editor of a big-time newspaper – because we both know you will someday – you need to hire me. Got it, Mister!” I said, poking at his chest.
Chuckling, he answered, “Yes, Brooke, I promise that when I’m the editor of some big-time newspaper you will be my second-in-command.”
“Wow, I just asked for a job and now I’m second-in-command – score,” I joked.
“I don’t have the job yet, sweetheart.”
“I know, I know. OK, give me another dare,” I requested.
“Brooke, I, uh, dare you to grab dinner with me tomorrow night?”
Crap, crap, crap, I can’t do this. I LOVE Jason. Jay-Jay is your forever, Brooke. Well, at least I made it to the fourth round. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Rich. I’m sorry if I have been giving you the wrong idea, but you know I am spoken for … not to mention, I’m kind of your boss,” I tried to tell him as convincingly as possible. The question remained as to whom I was trying to convince.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I just thought … never mind,” Rich said, with a hint of regret in his voice.
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