Rm w/a VuBy: A. D. Ryan
Here we are again. Book six. Can you even believe it? I can’t. These last two years have been quite a journey, and there are so many people to thank.
First, to my incredible husband and my amazing littles. You guys inspire me each and every day. The support I feel from all of you is immeasurable and will forever be appreciated. You all deal with my special brand of crazy, even joining in whenever a new book is finished and arrives in the mail. I couldn’t ask for a better family. Thank you for being awesome humans.
My parents and siblings, who are always asking questions about what I’m working on—this often leads to awkward pauses between my parents and me as I find a way to skirt the naughty storylines. I appreciate all you guys do from silent support, to sharing my work with others, and even the brutal honesty.
Speaking of that honesty; Marny, you’ve inspired me since the early days of my writing “career.” You were always straight with me on when my story direction sucked, and I’ve always valued that. I love you, and I miss hanging out with you. We really need to stop having lives so we can, like, do nothing with our chother, mkay?
Tiff and Lynda, who saw this story before anyone else, you’ve given me so much guidance over the years, and while life has gotten in the way of us talking as often as we used to, your help has been invaluable. This was the story that brought us together, and I’m so grateful that you’ve both stayed with me all this time.
My pre-readers and street team; you guys ate this story up and had such lovely things to say. I can’t lie and say I never doubt my writing, and this book is so quirky and goofy that there were a lot of doubts along the way. It was your constant support that kept me from working on something else entirely.
And finally, to the ones who’ve been anxiously awaiting the phoenix that has been born from the ashes: my fandom friends. I hope you love the changes this story has gone through since I first wrote it several years ago.
Thank you all for standing by me and supporting this crazy dream I had.
Ugh. My neck is positively aching, and I let my heavy, book-filled backpack fall from my shoulder to relieve it as I prepare to exit my last class of the day. Why I chose to take on such an intense course-load is beyond me—I guess my anxiousness to finish college and start my career as soon as possible could have factored in at some point.
Regardless of my reasoning, it’s what I chose, and I am suffering the repercussions now in my sophomore year at Arizona State.
As I stumble down the last few steps, my English prof, Professor Drayke, calls me over to his desk and hands me my latest paper. I groan when I see the giant red “B–” that’s written at the top of the page as well as all the little notes and comments. Considering I want to get a job in publishing, I can’t exactly afford my grades to keep declining the way they have been. I already know I’m going to have to study my ass off for midterms coming up right away, which is going to piss Ben off since I’ll be locking myself away more than I already have been.
“Not your best work, Miss Foster,” Drayke tells me, pushing his thick-rimmed glasses up his nose. He’s looking at me, his dark eyes boring into me, waiting for some kind of explanation.
I refrain from rolling my eyes at him, nodding solemnly instead. “I know.”
It’s clear that he doesn’t really care, but I decide to answer him anyway. “I guess I’m just feeling overwhelmed by my courses this semester. I’ll work harder, I promise.”
Drayke acknowledges me with a nod, a few strands of his greying hair flopping over his forehead, and then waves me away dismissively.
Shoving the paper into my bag and throwing it over my other shoulder, I think about what I’m going to tell Ben. He isn’t going to be happy that I’m cancelling our movie date tonight—especially since it will be our first one in weeks, and I took the night off from my job at the coffee house so we could spend some time together.
His patience with my additional studying is starting to wear thin, and it’ll only be a matter of time before we have a huge fight about it. On the plus side, this also means I won’t have to put out. It’s not that I hate sex; I just don’t get what the big deal is. It isn’t all fireworks and revelations like the movies lead you to believe. I often wonder why we’re even together. I really should just end things. Set him free to do whatever he wants. Maybe after finals, when I have time to actually sit down with him.