Wine Hard, Baby – Excerpt

Wine Hard, Baby OHellNo book #6 (Rom-Com)PROLOGUE

Camila

Austin, Texas.

Why did I offer to help Jed? Why? I sit in front of my laptop at a beat-up table, my leg bouncing while I try not to stare at the hot Texan man across from me. He’s everything I know I should stay away from, which is why I shouldn’t be here.

“So, what do you think? How much can I get for this place?” Jed rakes a strong hand through his hair, hypnotizing me with the ropes of muscles on his forearms. Normally, I’m not attracted to men like Jed with tattoos all over his arms—they’re shunned in the community where I grew up—but then again, nothing about Jed fits the mold of what I’m looking for in a man. Not his faded jeans or dusty cowboy boots, and certainly not his profession, which is currently bartending at this shitkicker dive bar he owns but intends to sell. Says he wants to buy a trailer, hitch it to his truck, and drive across country. I’m kind of jealous. I love to travel, but that’s not in the cards for me right now.

“Camila? What do you think?” Jed flashes one of those charming smiles he’s perfected, complete with sex-lips and scruffy jaw.

Yum. So rugged.

“Well, I-I… What was the question?” I feel my face turn beet red. I wish there were windows in this place. It’s so hot. Or maybe that’s just my accelerated heart rate. Jed is the only guy I’ve ever met who actually makes it difficult to breathe, which is a problem. A big one. It’s complicated.

“Sale price? What do you think?” he repeats. “You’re the one with the accountin’ degree.”

“Oh, right.” I chuckle nervously, not sure why I volunteered to help him assess the value of his business. I said I’d do it as a favor, since Jed is friends with my roommate’s boss. Or ex-boss? I don’t know. That’s also complicated. Either way, I claimed it was a favor, but really, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Jed since we met a few weeks ago.

“I should go.” I stand and slap my laptop closed.

“Did I say somethin’ wrong?” Jed’s amber brown eyes stare up at me with concern.

“No. Nope. Nuh-uh. I just gotta go.” I slide my laptop into my bag.

“But you didn’t tell me how much to sell the bar for.”

“Twenty thousand.” I throw the strap of my bag over my shoulder and rush toward the door.

“Camila.” Jed cuts me off, stretching an arm across the doorway. “What’s wrong? What did I do?”

Besides making me question every value I’ve been raised with? Okay, truth be told, I’ve been questioning it for years, and now everything’s coming to a head. Jed isn’t making things easier.

“Jed, I have to go,” I say firmly.

“Can I see you again? Maybe take you out for dinner sometime?”

I blink up at him. “Why?”

“Why else does a man ask a woman out?”

Oh no. “You like me?”

He raises a brow, as if to say, Isn’t it obvious?

Oh crap. No, no, no. You can’t like me back. I feel myself taking one step closer to temptation. “Please, I really have to go.”

“Not until you give me an answer.” He winks.

Not the wink! It’s utterly adorable. “No. I don’t want to have dinner with you.”

“Why not?” He doesn’t sound upset. More like confused.

Because since we met, I haven’t stopped thinking about you. And right now, I want to kiss you more than anything in this world, and it just wouldn’t be fair. Not to you. Not to me. He deserves a woman who wouldn’t feel guilty about being with him. And I would. My heart would always be in conflict if I dated a guy like him. And I just know myself. If I go on a date with Jed, and it goes well, I’ll do it again. And again. Then I’ll sleep with him and want to keep him and—

Stop. You’re getting ahead of yourself. I don’t even know the guy. But that’s the thing, I’ve only talked to him a handful of times, yet I’ve never met a man I wanted to get to know as much as I do Jed. Why? I don’t know, but I can’t risk trying to dissect it. It’ll only give me fuel to change my mind. We can’t happen.

“Hey.” He holds up his hands and steps back. “I didn’t mean to offend you.”

“I’m—I’m not offended. Not at all.” It kills me that he thinks that.

“Then?”

Oh God. Don’t do it, Camila. Don’t tell him the truth, because then he’ll just say something super charming, and you’ll get all sucked in, and then there’s no turning back.

“I can’t go out with you,” I say quickly, with the meanest voice I can muster, “because you’re…trailer trash—just a big stupid redneck. And the only thing you have to offer a girl is a case of the clap and a rusty old pickup truck.”

“What did you say?” Jed’s expression is unreadable, but I feel mortified. I can’t believe I said that to him. So mean. Still, the fiery flames of temptation must be stomped out. For good.

“That’s right. You and that cow pie you rode in on can just…fuck off!” I push on the door, walk out, and don’t look back.

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