As you do when you're brainstorming, I wrote all of these snippits...trying to figure out which one I really wanted to write. And Riley Walker, Maysie's snarky but loyal best friend, kept coming back to me. The truth is I incorporated so much of my own personality into Riley as I put together Bad Rep that she quickly became on of my favorite characters. And I've been dying to see where her story goes.
One of the first little bits I wrote went like this: "I had been dumped. And we're talking, take-his-testicles-off-with-a-teaspoon dumped." I just loved that and so the idea for the "sequel" went from there.
There you have it...the next "Bad Rep" book will be about Riley and Garrett, the lead guitarist of Generation Rejects. Where that ends up, only time will tell. I know people will be disappointed this isn't a book entirely focused on Jordan and Maysie. They'll be around of course. And you'll get to see how they're holding up. But I really wanted to write in Riley's voice. Because I love her attitude and I love her snark and I KNOW she will be so much fun to figure out. So here is a tiny piece of Riley's story, the Bad Rep spin off...Again, no title has been decided on but I usually come up with those as I go. Will keep you posted of course!
Dear God on everything that is holy, please don’t let me strangle this guy! I gnashed my teeth together, feeling the overwhelming urge to smack the shit out of Maysie for dragging me to the seventh level of hell with her. Or otherwise known as a Generation Rejects after party.
Sure this may be her thing. She played the part of rock star girlfriend really well. And more power to her. But she had gotten a wild hair up her ass thinking I needed to party, enjoy my youth, blah blah blah. So here I was, surrounding myself with drunken jack asses as they tried to rub against each other (or me if I wasn’t paying attention) in some sort of scary mating ritual. Sorry, I missed that episode of Wild Planet.
“Don’t you think?” Huh? I blinked in exaggerated slowness, making it clear that I hadn’t heard a damn thing he had said. Garrett wasn’t put off by my blatant disinterest. I think the dude could talk to a brick wall. Garrett Bellows, lead guitarist of Generation Rejects, Jordan’s roommate, and the guy I had been engaged in a one sided conversation with for the past fifteen minutes. One sided meaning that he was talking and I could care less. I had tuned out around the time he started waxing poetic about surfing at night during some trip to Hawaii last year.
I really hated these pseudo philosophical types. You know the ones that smoked a bowl or two and suddenly they were Plato reincarnated; talking about the meaning of life and how it had to be a government conspiracy that McDonald’s only rolled out the McRib a few times a year.
“I’m sorry. You’ll have to run that by me again. I was too busy trying to remember why the hell I let Maysie talk me into coming here in the first place.” I said, infusing more than a little bit of asshole into my tone. Okay, so maybe the guy didn’t deserve to have a firsthand encounter with Riley Walker, Mega Witch, but I was in a bad mood and feeling annoyingly heartbroken; which made me rude and more than a little punchy.
I didn’t handle humiliation and disappointment very well on a good day. And Damien, ex-douche and overall shitty human being had dosed out both in plentiful supply over the last two weeks. And today was anything but a good day.
I fully expected Garrett to call me a bitch and leave me alone to stew in my bitter juices. I was really hoping he would anyway. But the idiot did no such thing.
Instead he laughed. He freaking laughed! Was he missing a few of those brain cells that were required to recognize when someone was being a complete and total fuck face to you? Oh God, maybe he thought my attitude was endearing! Shit, I hadn’t thought that he might be one of those crazies who got off on bitchy girls. Retreat Riley! Retreat!
“You have one huge ass chip on your shoulder. Does it work for you?” Garrett asked lazily and my eyes snapped up to his. He spoke in a slow drawl that was either meant to be dead sexy or a perfect cure for insomnia.
“Does what work for me?” I asked him warily, not sure where he was going with this. He pushed a hand through his hair and narrowed a pair of thoughtful blue eyes in my direction. I couldn’t really make up my mind if I thought Garrett was good looking or not. His dirty blonde hair was on the longish side, hanging down to his shoulders. I wasn’t typically into guys with long hair, but this dude sort of worked it. He wasn’t overly tall, probably coming in around 5 foot 11 with a wiry frame that he seemed to like to show off, given the amount of time he spent without a shirt on. Though if I had defined abs like that, I’d probably be topless all the time, tits and all.
His cornflower blue eyes could have been appealing if they weren’t blood shot and glazed over. He exuded that laid back could-give-a-shit demeanor that only came after inhaling a copious amount of THC into your system. And given the number of chicks who had attempted to get his attention since he had plopped down beside me to begin the most asinine conversation in history; he must have some sort of magnetism. Too bad I was wearing my armor of snark and not remotely susceptible to any of his possible charms.
I could admit that I had already dismissed him as a low functioning stoner who was smoking away the last of his brain cells. But then his question and his following statement caught me off guard.
Garrett leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. He waved a hand in my direction. “This. The whole I’m-a-bitch-so-stay-the-fuck-away act. I get that this probably isn’t your scene. I bet you’d rather be at some eco warrior save the pandas meeting or something. You seem like the idealistic save the world type.” I bristled at his annoyingly astute observation.
“Wow, so you picked that all up from the complete lack of conversation we were having? Can I add deluded quasi psychic to your resume? Right under wannabe rock star?” I said rather nastily, not wanting to give anybody the upper hand. Particularly this grunged out dope head whose eyes seemed to have cleared a bit. And I couldn’t help but notice that, yeah, they were pretty appealing. How obnoxious.
“Well, you’re wearing Reco jeans, which points to the fact that you think you’re environmentally conscious but in reality it smacks of pretention if you ask me.” I opened my mouth to tell him he could take his bullshit preconceptions and shove them straight up his ass. But I didn’t get a chance because he just kept going, whether I wanted him to or not.
“And then there’s that shirt. I’m sure you spent a long time stitching all those little patches together. Does that make you feel better than everyone else? The fact that you sew your own clothes and wear pants made from plant shit? Because I bet you just feel really lonely. And sad. So you throw out this attitude and judgmental BS hoping no one calls you on it. And if they do, that only proves they aren’t worth your notice or your time.” Garrett delivered his stinging critique with a frustrating blasé smile. Like he was commenting on the weather! When in truth he was flaying me alive. I wanted to punch him in his stupidly attractive face. Because yes damn it, I suddenly realized he was pretty darn cute. And I hated him!
“Whatever.” I hissed out getting to my feet. Garrett laughed and I realized I had reacted just as he expected me to. Well, who cares, I didn’t need this crap.
“Have fun dulling your senses and killing your brain cells.” I bit out as he pulled a joint from his pocket and lit up.
He pulled in a lung full of smoke and slowly exhaled. “And you enjoy standing up on your soap box while you doll out your all-important criticisms. I’m sure it’ll make for a fun evening.” He said drolly as he turned to a pretty girl who sat down beside me. She giggled and leaned into him as he slung an arm around her shoulders. He literally turned his back to me as though I had been dismissed.
What a dick!
I stood there fuming. No one out bantered Riley Walker. Especially not a guitar playing, pot smoking, needs a hair cut in the worst way, jack ass.
So I stormed off. It was only much later that I realized Garrett Bellows had done something more than piss me off and incite my urge to maim and kill. He had made me forget about Damien. And for the first time in weeks I hadn’t been depressed and miserable.