Imperfect Strangers - Book cover

Imperfect Strangers

Lee Taylor

1: What Color?


Oh, this can’t be happening. It’s a bad dream. It’s a really, really bad dream, Oaklynn Turner.

Life, except my miserable one, went on as usual.

The corner office I shared with my colleague was bathed in the first rays of morning sun and the sound of printers and the trill of phones resounded at my workplace.

My trembling hands, racing heart, and the written evidence contradicted my conviction. I read the text message, again and again, hoping that somehow I made a mistake.

That I misinterpreted it or maybe he sent it to the wrong person. That maybe, just maybe, someone else was using his phone.

I don’t know. Anything, but the final, hurtful words that taunted me when they popped up from the screen.

My eyes flashed angrily as I stepped forward, reaching for my mobile phone. Then my phone chose that exact moment to freeze up and crash.

Awesome! Just freakin’ awesome!!

Just when I had finally thought of the perfect response this happened?!

“Arghh!” I repeatedly hammered the noncompliant phone on my desk, a low hostile rumbling sound emitted from my throat.

I sounded like a menacing dog when you took its bone, attracting curious stares from my colleagues in the pool-office just behind me.

I would worry about them later, I had bigger problems right now.

“Work you stupid thing!!!” I clobbered the device on the edge of the table a few more times and powered it on.

“Finally!” I sighed in exasperation as I watched my not so smart, smartphone reboot. As usual, whenever this happened, all my chats and contacts got deleted.

What was the point of having a phone if it couldn’t do a simple thing like store your freakin’ contacts??!

So much for technology. Technology that I had practically sold an organ to buy. As I wanted to keep up with the latest trends, I had invested in the latest model on the market. But now where did that leave me?

It left me raving mad because I couldn’t call my best friend, Hailey Roberts, to tell her that Tristan Maddox—my boyfriend since high school—had broken up with me just before Valentines’ Day?!

He didn’t even have the decency to tell me to my face. He sent a text message instead. Can you believe that?? A text freakin’ message??!

Of all the obnoxious, underhanded things, this was profoundly repugnant, even for him!

I was mad, disappointed, offended and my anger was fueled by the fact that he couldn’t be man enough to tell me in person.

What a jerk!

Well, I was going to give him a piece of my mind if it was the last thing I did.

Swallowing hard and my chest heaving from the suppressed rage, I pressed the buttons of my device harder than necessary as I dialed the digits.

I knew Tristan’s number from the top of my head and could recite it in my sleep. He was going to get an earful from me, just watch!

“You are such a cheapskate, spineless man! No, actually wait, you’re not a man! You’re a boy! A coward! Piece of shof! You’re a first-class jerk! What did I even see in you?!

“In fact, no insult is good enough for you! After you made me waste all that money at Victoria’s Secret and that stupid sex toy shop to buy all that stuff.

“You are the scum at the bottom of my shoe, actually of the earth! You suck!!! You freakin’ coward!”

“Hey! Hey! Slow down there, snowball,” said a voice from the other end of the line. “I don’t know what I did to deserve this piss explosion but I told you it was just sex sweetheart.

“I can never offer you anything more than my—”

“What?! Who is this?!” I said.

“The cheapskate? Piece of shof? Coward? Loser? Jerkface?” he replied.

“Where’s Tristan? What are you doing with his phone?”

“Well, if I knew him I would warn him. Because he must have messed up pretty bad! DAMN!”

“I’m so sorry…I must have dialed the wrong number. I apologize.”

“I’ll accept your apology, Victoria's Secret. To be honest, I’m kind of a Wonderbra guy, but only if you let me see…”

“What?” I said frustratedly.

“Obviously Tristan is dumb enough to turn you down but I’m not. We can’t let the good stuff go to waste now, can we? It’s a disgrace to the male race. Can’t let that happen.”

“Look I don’t even know you—”

“But we can get to know each other, kitten. Just as long as we let our bodies do the talking. I already know that you have good taste in lingerie and sex toys.”

“I’m going to hang up now…”

“Wait! We just got to the good part, kitten.”

“You must be really horny or bored or both?” I smugly asked.

“Touché baby. But you’re the one that has all the sex toys and lingerie stocked up for your wild night…You’re going to be all dressed up and nowhere to go?

“And you clearly have a lot of pent-up sexual frustration. I can help you with that.”

“What?!” I exclaimed.

“Did I stutter sweet cheeks?”

“You’re really something, you know that?”

“Oh, sweetheart! You have no idea!”

“I can only imagine.”

“You don’t have to imagine me, sex kitten. I can paint you a pretty good picture. Preferably in person.” he said.

“Gosh! You’re incorrigible!”

“Just give me a sec there, babycakes. I need to get my dictionary.”

“I can’t do this. Bye!”

“Wait! I need to ask you something before you hang up…”


“What color underwear are you wearing?”


“I’m beginning to think you need a hearing aid kitten.”

“Whatever you say, Dr Doolittle.”

“I think we got off on the wrong foot…and I’m being a total jerk. It’s obvious you need someone to unload to, so I’m listening.

“Talk to me, baby? Tell daddy all your problems and he’ll do his best to comfort you. The best and only way he knows how to,” he purred.

“What would have possessed me to talk to you about anything?”

“C’mon sexy pants…I’m trying to be nice here.”

“Why would I tell a stranger about my problems? An insensitive one at that.”

“Because a stranger is impartial and not biased, babycakes. Your best friend, on the other hand, will obviously side with you and trash the poor sod to pieces.”

“Thanks but no thanks. I’ve gotta go now.”

“Offer still stands, sweet cheeks. Text me when you change your mind. Noon or night. I’m here for you.”

“I doubt it will come to that but sorry for—about you know, the mix up.”

“No harm done, sweetheart. At least you’ve made a new friend now.”

“Don’t get it twisted douche box. We are NOT friends.”

“And yet here we are…”

“It was a mistake—”

“I didn’t get your name?” he asked.

“Not going to give it, so save your breath.”

“So we’ll just stick to Victoria’s Secret then? Or do you prefer Wonderbra?”

Without dignifying his question with a response, I cut the call with a shake of my head. Whoever that guy was, he was a perv who had a lot of time on his hands.

What a pervert! I felt sorry for his girlfriend, if a d-bag like him was even capable of having one.

But women were strange creatures, we’re usually attracted to guys who spit filth out of their mouths and we loved them for it.

My gaze went to my desk, and I realized I didn’t even do any work today. I had a pile of paperwork that needed to be done and I would probably have to stay until late.

I was an intern for a very successful fashion magazine and hoped to break into the business by working as an intern then assistant and migrating to an established editor.

I can’t mess up such a good opportunity because of a guy. I straightened my back and got back to work.

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