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Girl Talk













By

Cassidy Storm









Copyright © 2018

Smashwords Edition

Published by Cassidy Storm

Edited by Candice Royer

Graphics by Allie Mitchell


Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.




Legal Notes


All rights reserved. This book is the sole property of Cassidy Storm. This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission of the publisher except as provided by United States of America copyright law.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction.








There are those to whom I can never show this book, but who were the driving inspiration behind it.


This book is for them.


Table of Contents



Part One – The Unknown Caller

Part Two – Games

Part Three - Autumn and Jess

About the Author















Part One - The Unknown Caller





The phone rang. Autumn checked the display: UNKNOWN CALLER. She pressed the green “answer” icon.

“Hello?”

A female voice greeted her. “So. You were just about to tell me how wet you are.

Autumn’s jaw dropped in surprise, and she gave a little giggle. “I... think you’ve got the wrong number.”

A pause.

“Are you sure about that?”

Autumn frowned. Ok, who’s fucking with me? “Steph? Is that you?”

Even as she said it, she knew it wasn’t. Her friend Stephanie was a prankster with a whacked sense of humor, sure, but Autumn had just gotten the phone that afternoon and hadn’t shared the number with anyone yet.

“No, I’m definitely not Steph.

“Okay. I just got this phone today,” Autumn explained. “You’re probably trying to, um, reach, whoever had this number before...”

“Maybe.” The caller’s voice remained low, melodious. Mysterious.

“Well, look, I have a date. I’ve gotta go. It was nice, uh, talking to you.”

A mirthful, throaty laugh. “Have fun on your date... Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

Shaking her head, Autumn ended the call, turning her attention back to her make-up.

Autumn willed herself not to roll her eyes as her date — Brian? Brad? — droned on. So far, she’d been regaled with twenty minutes of details about how great he was at his job and how rich he was going to be just as soon as the stock market did this and the Euro did that. Now he was launching into a diatribe about his car, how much the MSRP was, and how Brian-or-Brad’s savvy negotiating skills had gotten five thousand dollars! knocked off the asking price. Autumn listened intently as Brian-or-Brad explained how she could and should negotiate the next time she was in the market for a new Lexus.

You picked a winner this time, she admonished herself, cursing herself for not having set up a “bail-out plan.” She’d gone on her share of blind dates, especially recently. Usually, she’d have one of her friends on standby to call about an “emergency” at the “office”, but having just gotten her phone service back on, she hadn’t had a chance to contact anyone with her new number yet.

Briefly, she considered disappearing to the ladies’ room and never coming back. But she’d always considered that to be extremely classless. Someone took time out to accept a date and buy me dinner — I can at least have the courtesy to not “ghost” him, she reasoned.

Across the table, Brian-or-Brad was now lecturing her that when it came to purchasing a big-ticket item, such as a car or a flat-screen television, anything was negotiable.

Yep, those nine-fifty-an-hour sales “associates” down at my Walmart sure are shrewd negotiators.

Mercifully, the food arrived. Great, he’ll have to stop talking while he eats, at least.

But it wasn’t to be.

Brian-or-Brad was scrutinizing her plate with a critical eye. “Didn’t you order medium rare?”

“Yeah.”

He frowned. “That doesn’t look like medium rare.” Taking his butter knife, he deftly poked at the top of her steak. “Nope, it’s definitely not medium rare.” Immediately, he began explaining exactly how he was able to determine this, which led to a short “elevator pitch” detailing his culinary expertise on top of everything else.

“It’s fine, really,” she assured him, even as he had his hand up to flag down their server.

“Nonsense. My girls deserve the best.”

Did he really just say “my girls”? Okay, yeah, I’m going to the bathroom and ghosting him.

But just then, her phone rang. Once again, it was an UNKNOWN CALLER — possibly, the same freaky one from earlier. Regarding it for a moment, she pressed the red icon to send to voicemail — then remembered she hadn’t yet set it up.

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah, sorry.” Autumn thought for a second and decided to take the “out” she’d been given. “Well, no. That was my sister calling. She’ll be wanting to know if I can babysit.” She frowned apologetically. “She said they might call her in to work...”

Autumn was surprised at how easily the lie flowed from her lips. In truth, of a family of four children, she’d been the only girl—but it didn’t really make a difference, as Brian-or-Brad was never going to know that anyway.

“Do you have to go?” Her blind date looked absolutely crestfallen.

She mustered her best jeez-this-really-sucks expression. “Yeah. ‘Fraid so.”

As they waited for the check, Brian-or-Brad apparently realized he hadn’t yet fascinated his date with a description of his rent-controlled loft apartment on the West Side, or the timeshare in Florida he’d have access to once he became a partner. Quickly, he attempted to cram this exciting information in, plus recaps of his successful job and his pricey Lexus.

“I’ll email you?” Brian-or-Brad asked as they parted ways outside the restaurant.

“Uh, sure.” She smiled. “Thanks for dinner, Brian.”

“Brad.”

Oh, well, it was a 50-50 shot, she thought as she exited in a hurry.

“Netflix, it is,” Autumn announced to her empty apartment. As she was searching through the couch cushions for the remote, her phone went off. UNKNOWN again.

“Hello?”

“So how was your date?” The warm, quietly confident voice suggested that Miss UNKNOWN already knew the answer.

“It was... okay,” Autumn said cautiously.

“That good, huh?”

“Yeah. Hey, did you try to call earlier?”

“Yeah. Your mailbox wasn’t set up yet. Otherwise, I would have left you a message.” A slight hint of suggestiveness on the last word. Autumn wondered just what the “message” might have been.

“Well, like I said, I just got this phone. I don’t know who you’re trying to reach, but this number—”

The voice was soft, very hypnotizing. “I’m trying to reach you.

“Is that so?” Autumn humored her. “And why, exactly, is that?”

“Just bored on a Friday night, like you.

“And what makes you think I’m bored?”

“Because you’re on your phone talking to a stranger,” her caller purred — her voice now full of suggestion, as if this conversation were the most forbidden thing imaginable. “Nothing to do, just home from a bad blind date...

“Who said it was bad?”

“Let’s see. I talked to you, oh, two hours ago, and you’re already done. Just enough time for dinner, probably not even dessert...”

She’s good, Autumn grudgingly acknowledged.

Miss UNKNOWN went on, still in that low, self-assured voice: “I’ll bet... that you even used my call as an excuse to end your date.

Silence.

“You probably said I was your sister.

Autumn was glad her mystery caller couldn’t see her foolish, guilty grin.

“And that there was some kind of family emergency.

“No, I didn’t, thank you very much,” Autumn said triumphantly. “I said you got called in and needed me to babysit,” she added with a smile.

“Ah. So now you’ve roped me into your web of deceit and lies. I feel so violated.

“Hey, you called me.”

Her caller giggled. “Glad to be of service. Any time.”

“Okay. Well, if you’re free tomorrow night, I have another date. If things keep going the way they are...”

“You might need to be rescued?”

“Something like that.”

“What time?”

“Seven.”

“I’ll call you at 7:45. A babysitting emergency?”

Autumn shook her head in disbelief. “Sure, why not?”

“Does that mean I get to drive the babysitter home afterward?”

No!” Autumn laughed as she ended the call.

Saturday morning — one of Autumn’s rather rare trips to the gym. When she got back to her car, the Missed Call dialog awaited her. This time, it wasn’t her anonymous caller though. She clicked on the logged number to call it back.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Steph. I see you got my email.”

“New number, got it. You forgot to set up your voicemail though.

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll get to it someday.”

“Sure you will. Promises, promises.

“Like you’d leave a message anyway.”

A laugh. “Well, you got me there. What have you been up to? You’ve been scarce.”

“Date last night.”

“Ooh. Any juicy deets?”

“Yeah. About his job. And his rent-controlled loft. And what a great deal he got on his car.”

“So, your life is boring as usual.”

Autumn thought about the mysterious phone calls. “Well, not completely.

“Oh? More fun dates lined up?”

“Probably not. Hey, Steph... do you know if there’s any way to get someone’s phone number when they call you from a private number?”

“Hmm.” She could almost “hear” her friend frowning thoughtfully. “I don’t think so. I think you can block it so your phone won’t accept private numbers. Why do you ask?”

Autumn gave Stephanie an edited version of the anonymous calls she’d gotten — leaving out the suggestive comments the caller had made.

“Oh. Wow. Do you think it was someone you know?”

Guiltily, Autumn remembered her initial reaction to her caller. She’d assumed it had been Steph herself, playing a prank.

“No,” she said, biting her lip. “I’d just gotten the phone. Nobody even had the number yet.”

“And she called back again?”

“A few times.”

“Damn, Autumn. Are you worried that this person might be dangerous?”

Autumn frowned, considering the suggestion only briefly — she’d used the UNKNOWN CALLER as a pretext to “bail out” of her awful date, and had even invited her to call again tonight in anticipation of her next crash-and-burn.

“No, I don’t think so. Not at all.”

Stephanie sounded doubtful. “Okay. If you say so. You busy tonight?”

“Another date.”

“I thought you said you didn’t have—”

“You asked if I had any more fun dates,” Autumn clarified. “The way my luck has been...”

“I hear ya. Want me to text you about a sick aunt? Or some sort of dire emergency?”

“No, I’ll be okay.” Autumn decided not to mention that she’d already set up a “bail out plan” with her new “friend.”

“Okay. Let’s hang out soon, though, okay?”

“Sure thing!”

Autumn checked the clock. 7:51 p.m. Her blind date was thirty-four minutes in — and, he’d now called his mother four times. Her phone hadn’t rung — so much for her rather freaky “wrong number” dialer.

Dammit! I knew I should have had Stephanie call me.

“Are you having a good time?”

“Yes, great.” Autumn smiled distractedly.

Their server came by with a carafe of wine.

“No, thanks, I’m good.”

“Are you sure?” her date prompted. “My mom always said a glass of wine with dinner was great for one’s health.”

You don’t say?

In her purse, the phone went off. Thank God! She fished it out — UNKNOWN CALLER. As she answered it, she realized she didn’t even know her “friend’s” name.

“Hello?”

The sultry — and now very welcome — voice oozed from the phone. “Hi there. Did I interrupt something hot and heavy?”

“Hi... sis!” she spoke loudly. “Good to talk to you!”

Her counterpart took the cue. “Hey, how’s my beautiful... sexy sister?”

“I’m doing great, sis!” Autumn smiled apologetically at her date. “Everything okay?”

“Not really. I’m in a bind...”

Autumn frowned accordingly as she listened.

“Cinnamon came down with some kind of rash, and Honey Mounds is two weeks late... and now I’ve gotta pull a double at the Sugar Shack!”

Despite her best efforts to remain serious, Autumn felt her lips twisting into a grin.

“I’m gonna need you to babysit.”

“You’re gonna need me to babysit?” Autumn struggled to keep a straight face.

“Either that or come down here and do twelve lap dances! That’s how many more I need to cover the rent.”

Now Autumn burst into laughter.

“What’s so funny, child? I gotta shake these Double-D’s while I still can. Gravity’s a real motherfucker!”

“Oh my God, stop,” begged Autumn, tears running down her cheeks as her bewildered date looked on.

“Will you help a girl in her time of desperate need? Please hurry before the glue on these pasties wears off.”

“Yes, I’ll be there.” She hung up, fighting to regain her composure. Once she’d done so, she gave her date a wan smile. “I gotta go. My sister needs me to babysit.”

“Now?” She nodded. “But... the wine hasn’t even come yet!”

“Have your mom come down,” Autumn suggested, making a dash for it as she again erupted into uncontrollable laughter.

“He called his mother four times?”

“Four times,” Autumn reiterated.

Nuh uh.

“Four times.”

“Well, I guess I called just in time then.

“Yeah. Thanks...” She trailed off expectantly. This is the part where you tell me your name.

“Any more dates coming up?”

“No. I don’t know.” Autumn sighed. “I just keep picking the wrong type of guys.”

“Maybe,” her caller suggested thoughtfully, “that’s your trouble. You’re looking for the right guy. Maybe you should just be looking for the right person.”

“I’m straight,” asserted Autumn in a no-nonsense tone.

Her new friend laughed softly into the phone. “So is spaghetti. Until it gets wet...”

“Uh...” But the phone was flashing the CALL ENDED message.

Just before bedtime: UNKNOWN CALLER.

“May I help you?”

“Loaded question.

“It’s late. Don’t you have anything better to do on a Saturday night—”

“—Than you? Nope.

“I was just about to go to—” Autumn stopped short. The word bed would certainly open up a Pandora’s Box of innuendos, flirtation, and suggestive remarks from her slightly off-kilter phone-friend, who apparently wanted to “do” her on a Saturday night. “—sleep,” she finished cautiously.

“Sorry your date didn’t go well.”

“Eh, it’s ok.”

“It’s not you.”

“Sometimes I wonder.”

I think you’re nice. If it means anything.”

A brief silence. Autumn smiled. “It does.”

“Good.

“And thanks for bailing me out.”

“Ah, that’s right. You do owe me, don’t you?”

“Uh... well, I said thanks...”

“I know. But—”

“What did you have in mind?” Autumn wasn’t sure she wanted to know.

“I was thinking... you could wish me good night. And sweet dreams.”

“Uh, sure. Well, um, good night.”

“And...?”

“Um, sweet dreams.”

“Sweet dreams for you too.”

But Autumn laid awake for some time after the CALL ENDED notification disappeared. Thinking about life in general, her dating catastrophes, and her mysterious new “friend.”

Eleven thirty a.m. The sun was already high in the sky. Exhaustion had caught up with Autumn, and she’d slept in. Checking her phone, she saw she’d missed a couple of calls, although none from her UNKNOWN friend. She clicked voicemail, then remembered she hadn’t set it up yet.

“Coffee first,” she groaned aloud.

Two cups later, she tackled it.

“Hi, this is Autumn! I can’t talk right now, but you know what to do!” Satisfied, she chose Save Greeting.

While she was doing dishes, the phone rang. It went to her newly-configured voicemail before she could get to it though. She checked the screen. Missed call: UNKNOWN

With surprise, Autumn realized she was just the tiniest bit disappointed that she’d missed the call. A few seconds later, though, she was startled as the phone buzzed and chimed in her hand. New Messages: (1)

She clicked, thumbing the speakerphone as well. That now-familiar, soft, feminine voice filled the living room.

“No, I don’t know what to do,” the message playfully mocked her voicemail greeting. “Maybe you need to show me. Show me, Autumn.” Next, her caller launched into an obnoxious, full-blown fake orgasm. “Ohhh. Ohhhhhh…. Oooooooooooh!”

At least, Autumn assumed it was fake. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

As the recording ended, Autumn rolled her eyes... but clicked the smart key for Save Message.

Autumn spent Sunday handling a few errands, but mostly chilling out. The evening included a rare second date with Chaz, a guy she’d gone out with a couple weeks before. The chemistry hadn’t been breathtaking, she recalled, but at least he didn’t have a mommy fixation and wasn’t in love with his car. Eight p.m. found her mingling at a party for one of Chaz’s coworkers, rocking her black skater dress.

“You look nice tonight,” Chaz complimented.

“Thanks.”

Abruptly, he was kissing her. She leaned into him, returning it. Chaz didn’t seem quite sure where to put his hands. They ended up on her shoulders, although Autumn would have been okay with a little more. But the kissing was nice, especially since most of her recent dates hadn’t even made it that far.

I wonder how she’d kiss me? The thought popped into her head out of nowhere, taking her somewhat by surprise and pausing her.

“You okay?”

“Uh huh. Kiss me.” She pressed back against him, also taking his hands and moving them to her hips. He turned it up a notch, kissing harder and pushing her against the wall.


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