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Hot and Heavy (Chubby Girl Chronicles #2)
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Sometimes a little heat is all it takes to lighten a heavy heart.
Shannon Daniels is afraid of men, but when Matthew Ellis literally falls into her lap, fear is the last thing she feels. For the first time in years, she desires a man and she plans on taking advantage of her new craving. Shannon hatches a plan to satisfy her sudden hunger, but dancing with the Devil will get you more than a one way trip to Hell and Shannon finds out quick that even the best-laid plans go awry.
Matt Ellis swears he will never get caught in the tangled web of a woman. After a devastating heartbreak, he’s determined to die a bachelor. When he meets Shannon, a chubby redhead with a firecracker personality, he decides to add her to his list of conquests. The good news is she’s okay with a hot and heavy fling. The bad news is, for the first time since he was a teenager, being caught doesn’t seem that unappealing.
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“NINE-ONE-ONE. WHAT’S YOUR EMERGENCY?” the operator asked.
She sounded broken, static creeping into the line as my cell struggled to catch the signal from the center of the cornfield where I’d been dumped.
“I …” My voice cracked.
I swallowed the flames that lit my raw throat with the single world.
I hadn’t spoken. Not since the screaming stopped. Not since the tiny pieces of my existence came crashing down around me, little orange cinders burning me and leaving me mentally scarred.
“I need help,” I muttered, pushing my voice over the burn.
Humiliation rolled through me as memories of the night settled onto me like thick fog. Suffocating me, it sucked the oxygen out of the atmosphere, leaving nothing behind.
I’d all but asked for it—practically begged for just one date with him. My entire high school experience had been about him.
Passing him in the halls.
Seeing him in gym class.
Anything I could do or say in hopes of catching his eye, I did. Joining clubs I wanted nothing to do with because I’d heard he’d joined them. Going to football games to watch him play when I abhorred anything sports related and had no idea what was happening.
When he asked me to go to prom after four years of dreaming of him, I agreed without a second thought. Little did I know my night would end with me sitting in a cornfield covered in dirt with wet grass clinging to the ripped shreds of my expensive green dress.
My fingers moved over the glittering sequins barely hanging on to the smooth taffeta before catching on the broken pieces of my acrylic fingernails. A wilting white carnation hung limply from my wrist as the tiny sprays of baby’s breath trickled onto the fresh growth beneath me.
I’d felt beautiful for the first time in my entire life. My grammy had taken me to a salon earlier in the day to have my scarlet hair curled and styled. Now, those curls tumbled loosely from the pins that had once held them back and freshly cut grass clung to the dangling strands.
Why else would I have asked you out?
He asked when I questioned his intentions in the back of his car.
Why else indeed?
What had I been thinking?
For four years, he barely acknowledged me. It wasn’t until he found out I was willing to do anything to get his attention that he finally showed me some. At least that was how my friend had worded it, thinking she was doing me a favor.
Shannon would do anything to date you.
That was what he wanted from me.
Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t as willing to do anything as he’d thought. And unfortunately for me, with a bit of party punch in his system, he no longer cared if I was willing or not.
“Ma’am?” the operator questioned.
She’d been talking to me, asking me questions, but I was no longer speaking.
I couldn’t because the embarrassment was becoming tangible, pulling the air from my lungs as realization set in. I’d done this to myself. It was my fault. I’d asked for it. Every time I put myself in his path with hopes of his attention, I’d begged for it.
What would everyone say?
How would it look when everyone at school found out?
And they would.
The minute I said the words into my phone—the minute I asked for help—everyone would know, and they would laugh. They would say I wanted it, and maybe for a few seconds I had, but my mind had changed quickly.
I should have been all for it. Me, the chunky redhead who clung to his every word, and him, the jock who instigated drool from the female race as a whole, but the second he became rough and insistent, I knew I didn’t want it.
Not even a little bit.
Closing my eyes, all I could see in my mind was the tiny crescent-shaped birthmark on his right forearm. I remembered locking my eyes on it when he used his right hand to hold my arms down above my head. After I gave up the fight, the birthmark had bounced in my vision, and I focused on it so I didn’t have to think about what was happening to me.
I couldn’t tell the operator the sick and twisted things he’d done to me.
I couldn’t go through with it.
Already, I’d been disgraced. Once the rumors moved through school like a salty wave of gossip, the humiliation would only get worse. He would tell them I wanted it, and they would believe him.
Why wouldn’t they believe him?
It made sense.
Every other girl in school wanted him.
Why wouldn’t I?
Gripping my cell tightly, I pulled it away from my ear. The screen lit up, igniting the area around me with my reality.
“Ma’am, are you there?” the operator’s voice echoed into the night.
If I told, everyone would know. And if everyone knew, I could never live it down. If everyone knew, I could never forget. It would follow me around for the rest of my life, hovering over me like gray clouds of sadness and despair.