Yours Tonight

By: Joya Ryan

A Reign Novel

Chapter One

“Maybe if we left and I got these pants off you, I’d be more convinced.”

Okay, that had to be one of the better—worst—lines I’d heard tonight. And, like all the other lines, it wasn’t directed at me.

“I think I’ll have to show you my tattoo after all then,” the woman responded. The way she spoke was so confident. Like she was in control of herself and her sexuality, and the man coming on to her was eating it up.

The woman also looked happy.

Not scared in the least.

I took a deep breath, ignoring the flash of envy shooting through my veins, and looked around again.


Tattoo woman and her guy didn’t seem to care that they were all but invading my table in order to better climb all over each other. Mine was a small table wedged against the corner of a packed bar…a table for two.

And yet, I sat alone.

I had been there for almost an hour, and was now convinced my “blind date” wasn’t coming. Pulling out my phone, I called my best friend Harper; she was the one who had the great idea to set me up in the first place.

“Hey, Lana,” she answered.

“Hey, so Rick never showed up.”

“What? He didn’t? I’m sorry. He was an idiot.”

“Then why did you set me up with him?”

“Because you need to get out more. Date. Be social. It’s summer, you should be enjoying your freedom.”

Ah, yes, freedom. Too bad all I could think about was the fall and starting grad school in my sleepy town of Golden, a safe twenty miles outside of Denver. Harper was on this kick that I needed to “live life,” to which I politely pointed out that going for my masters in statistics was a plenty thrilling endeavor.

Tattoo girl bumped my table with her butt again, only this time it was because she and Mr. Smooth Talker were getting even closer.

“I think I’ve reached my fun quota for tonight,” I said, wishing I had driven myself into the city, instead of having Harper drop me off tonight. “Can you come get me now?”

“Yeah, I’m at the office. I just need to finish up a few things. I can be there in an hour.”

I laughed a little. “And you tell me to have fun? You’re the one still working on a Friday night.”

“What was that?” she teased. “You don’t need a ride home?”

“Yes, I do. I’ll wait. Thank you.”

I glanced around. An hour. Not my ideal scene, but, surely, I’d survive.

I hung up and scrolled through my text messages. My heart skipped when I saw my dad had finally texted me back about my suggestion for lunch tomorrow. But that skip didn’t last long, since it was a polite way to say:

Sorry, Pumpkin, can’t tomorrow. Next week?

At least he used a colon and parenthesis after the rejection to soften the blow. Text jargon or not, it was a smile from my father, so I’d take it.

Running a few fingers through my brunette curls, I tried to smooth away a little of the anxiety creeping up. One hour. Two words that were growing a little daunting. I pulled out my phone one more time and texted my dad back.

I know it’s a little late, but can I come over and hang out for an hour until Harper can pick me up? I’m kind of stranded in the city.

And send. My dad only lived a mile away. Twenty minute walk, max. Though his wife wasn’t my biggest fan, it was better than sitting alone in a busy bar. Maybe not better, but the lesser of two evils. My phone dinged and excitement raced. That was quick!

I smiled and read:

Sorry, Pumpkin, busy night tonight.

My smile faded, and I put my phone on the table and sat back in my seat. Looking down at my simple summer dress, I felt the same thing I’d felt a thousand times growing up, while I waited around for my dad to swoop in and save the day:

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