Monster Prick Page 1

Author: Kendall Ryan

Series: Screwed #1.5

Genres: Romance , New Adult

Chapter One


I’m in a celebratory mood as I sip my third appletini and glance around at the sleek modern décor of the lounge. My brother, Hayden, invited me out for a congratulatory happy hour after I completed my first week as Peterson Design's newest architect. I was all too happy to accept. Free drinks at a posh club in downtown LA? Count me in.

I hadn’t counted on the fact that Hudson Stone, his best friend and business partner—and my lifelong crush—would also be joining us. When he strolls in looking like a walking aphrodisiac, the temperature in the club seems to rise ten degrees and my underarms start to sweat. He's as tall, dark, and ruggedly handsome as ever. Despite the slight chill in the early fall air, he's dressed in jeans and a black short-sleeved T-shirt, which do nothing to hide his delicious muscles.

I panic for a moment about how I look, dressed smartly in a jacket and slacks that were fine for the office, but not so much for an evening out. But the vodka coursing through my veins quickly takes care of that. And when he gets close, his cologne- and pheromone-laced scent delivers a powerful punch that knocks all other thoughts out of my mind. Hello there, libido. My pulse pounds in time with the low thumping music.

“Congratulations, Gracie. You’re finally an adult now,” Hudson says, leaning down to give me a one-armed hug where I sit perched on my barstool. My pussy squeezes a little at the tone of his warm, husky voice right in my ear. Did I mention I need to get laid? Like, yesterday?

“Something like that.” I shrug off his compliment. At twenty-two years old, I’ve been an adult for a long damn time. It’s frustrating that he’s taken so long to see me that way. No matter how sexy his voice is when he says it...the prick.

Hudson slides onto the barstool next to mine. Within seconds, a bouncy-chested blonde waitress arrives to fulfill his order, and probably anything else he’d like, too.

His eyes watch her backside as she saunters away. It’s then that I notice women throughout the club venturing hungry gazes over toward Hudson, openly admiring his chiseled arms and broad shoulders. He could easily have his pick of any woman here, and later, I’m sure he will. A fact I try not to dwell on.

“Cheers,” my brother Hayden calls out. He raises his glass, pride beaming across his face.

“To Gracie.” Hudson’s eyes linger on mine for several intense moments. A warm shiver races through my body, my heartbeat thudding away. Seriously, they need to adjust the thermostat in this place.

Our moment ends when the eager waitress delivers Hudson’s beer, lingering at our table even as we all ignore her. I look away and squelch my disappointment.

But when I glance up again, Hudson is still looking at me as he takes a sip from his frosty pint glass. I wonder what he sees when he looks at me after all these years.

When we met as kids, I was average in every way. I made good grades, but nothing that could ever qualify as “gifted,” like my big sister Beth. She was the smart, studious one. She excelled in choir, too; we'd all pack into Mom's SUV and drive to see her in regional competitions. And Hayden was the athlete. I spent years of my life sitting in the bleachers with my parents, watching him run up and down the court with a ball. Sports were even less of my thing than academics. A friend talked me into joining track in eighth grade. I was excited at first. It was all so fun and different at practice: learning to conquer the hurdles, pumping my arms and legs as fast as I could for the fifty-meter sprints. But the time came when the coach assigned everyone to an event. I got the two-mile, the longest run in track and field. I hated it. And I was horrible at it. Huffing and puffing with a bright red face, struggling in dead last to the finish line where my inhaler was waiting for me. No thank you—that ended my illustrious track career.

I never quite found my place as I grew up either. I felt invisible inside my own family. But my saving grace was Hudson. He was always at our house, hanging out with my brother; he'd sneak into the back yard, where I often went to think, or duck into the kitchen to find me alone. He'd ask me about school and my friends and boys. He'd compliment me, and he never made me feel stupid. I felt safe around him. Someone I looked up to and admired was taking an interest in my life. It made me feel like I was worthwhile, and I grew to cherish our stolen moments together.

Once in a while, on an unpredictable schedule, Hudson would leave me a children’s book under my pillow. Sometimes they appeared every couple of weeks; other times, months passed in between. But he never forgot. I loved to read, and I especially liked picture books. Long after I finally outgrew them, I still treasured each one he picked for me. They were never about princesses. They were all different, but they always had a message. Accepting your differences. Overcoming adversity. I think Hudson was the only one who noticed how I struggled to fit into my own family.

Then I got boobs and everything changed. They just kept getting bigger and bigger, until by eleventh grade, I was a full C-cup. On my small frame, they looked like I was smuggling grapefruits—big and bouncy and hard to hide. Hudson’s eyes would zero in on my chest and he’d frown, looking frustrated. I would catch him watching me as I jumped on the trampoline in my parents’ backyard. The kiddie books stopped then, along with his attention.  He started spending less time with me and more time screwing anything that moved. He and my brother were disgusting. Through the bedroom wall we shared, I would overhear them talking about their latest conquests. They tag-teamed girls and compared notes. It was crushing to hear. Because I knew, despite all his attention, he'd never viewed me that way.