Dirty Girl (Dirty Girl Duet #1)

by Meghan March

Have you ever done something you know is a bad idea, but you’re being egged on by your best friend, and the heat of liquor pooling in your belly destroys any concern about potential consequences? Yeah, I did that last night, and a hangover isn’t the only thing I’m regretting. Oh no, I’m a go big or go home kind of girl. I should have gone home.

“Oh my God, B, you gotta undo it. Shit. Shit. Shit. I’ll get fired over this!” Panic permeates my words as I jam my hands into my snarl of post-blackout-drunk hair.

My best friend, Banner, named by her übergenius geek of a father for the legendary comic book character Bruce Banner, tilts her head to the side as she studies her phone’s screen. With a wince, she looks up.

I already know what she’s going to say before she opens her mouth. I’m so screwed.

“I’m sorry, babe, but it’s not undoable. It’s pretty much the opposite of undoable at this point. They call it viral for a reason. Even if I delete it from the site, it’s already been shared thousands of times.”

I slump into the couch, my body going boneless. “Fuck my life.” I groan, throwing an arm over my eyes as if that will help shield me from the consequences of my poor judgment.

“Have you checked your e-mail?”

I peek out from under my arm to look at her, like a little kid who watches a horror movie from between spread fingers over her eyes in hopes of being less terrified in smaller doses. My brain is still chugging along at hangover speed, so I don’t quite understand where she’s going with this question.

“Checked for an e-mail from my very snooty, very white-shoe law firm informing me that my employment as an associate attorney has been terminated? No. No, I have not.” Normally I monitor my work e-mail religiously, but right now I’m too chicken to open it.

Banner lays her phone facedown on the gray coffee table between us. “Not that account,” she says, turning and tucking one leg under her on the couch. “The one we set up for the other e-mails. Oh, and don’t forget the direct messages on Twitter.”

My memories of last night may be a little fuzzy, but there are certain things that stand out in vivid Technicolor. Like coming up with a ridiculous password for the e-mail account [email protected], and my new Twitter account with the same handle. I shove my arm back over the slit of my vision.

Jeeeeezus. Hot mess alert. And on that note, I’m so terribly sorry, alcohol, but we need to break up.

I inject some optimism, or maybe just naïveté, into my tone. “No one would really respond to that ad, would they? I mean, it was clearly a joke.”

Banner tugs my arm away from my face and squeezes my hand. I’d like to say it’s a squeeze in solidarity, but it’s probably more along the lines of a you’re my best friend and we both know you’re totally fucked squeeze.

She delivers her words patiently, the way you’d talk to a toddler who doesn’t quite understand actual words yet. “Greer, we used your name. Being that you are who you are, what in God’s name makes you think that people wouldn’t respond?”

Snatching my hand back, I jam the heels of my palms into my eyes. “Can’t you just lie to me? I’m trying to find some way to turn back time so my life isn’t so epically screwed.”

“Sorry, babe. Ain’t happening. You were pretty adamant about it last night, and I wasn’t about to contradict you.” Banner pushes off the couch, and I hope she’s going to get a tranquilizer to put me out of my misery.

No such luck. She crosses to the granite kitchen island and grabs my tablet. Her fingernails are tapping away on the screen when she asks, “What was the password again?”

She waits until I mumble something incoherent in response.

“Come again?”

I stare at the deep purple nail polish that’s chipping on my thumbnail. Why can’t my life be fixed as easily as my manicure? Oh, that’s right, because life isn’t for the faint of heart.

“Greer?”

I look up, mentally begging her to drop it. Do we really need to know the extent of my humiliation? I slap my hands down on the velvet sectional cushions on either side of me.

“This is pointless. Even if some whack jobs respond, I’m just going to ignore them and block their e-mails. There’s no point in checking.”

Banner glares at me. “Password.”

Given that I’ve known her since prep school, I know she won’t stop until I cave.

“Ionlysuckbigcocks69.” It comes out on a single breath in a new dialect of the language mumble.

When a crooked smile lit with pure amusement spreads across Banner’s face, I grab a toss pillow off the sectional and fling it at her head.

“Bitch. You already knew!”

“I had to hear you say it out loud. Because it’s fan-frigging-tastic. I might change all my passwords today. They’re clearly not creative enough. It’s like an anthem for women everywhere.”

I scan the area around me for additional projectiles, but come up empty. Why don’t I have more knickknacks?

“It’s not like I came up with it all by myself,” I remind her.

She was just as drunk last night while we laughed over the ad, the personal ad I placed in my real name in the crazy hopes that one particular guy would see it. A guy who clearly wasn’t interested in me before and isn’t now either.

He’s known where to find me for years. It wasn’t until a year ago that I finally figured out where he was.

How messed up is it to go to a movie with your friends and see the guy you had a mad crush on displayed center screen during the previews? The guy who broke your barely twenty-something-year-old heart before you could even get to the naked fun times?

Cavanaugh Westman, Hollywood’s newest bad boy. It didn’t matter that he’d changed, gotten bigger and more dangerous looking. I’d know him anywhere. Shaggy brown hair, curling just over his collar, hazel eyes that you could never predict the color of—anywhere from green to grayish-blue or tawny brown. It didn’t shock me that Hollywood agents had apparently fallen in love with him. His body was ridiculous. Thick, sculpted muscles covered with inked, bronzed skin—

“Holy. Shit. No. Way.”

Banner’s low words drag me from my little trip down memory lane, and I jerk my head in her direction.