Home > What a Boy Wants

What a Boy Wants
Author: Nyrae Dawn

Chapter One

There was nothing better than opening my email to a job offer. Well, I could think of a few things I liked more, but money wise, this topped the list. Another love-struck girl, in desperate need of my services. And another hundred bucks in my pocket. Sweet!

To: Hook-up Doctor <[email protected] >

From: PA Rocks < [email protected]>

Subject: Boy help?

Dear Mr. Hook-up Doctor,

I snorted. Mr. Hook-up Doctor? That was a first. I’d been at this for six months now, and I had yet to be called Mr. anything.

I kind of liked it.

Maybe I’d start using it from now on. It made my business sound more legit. Like I was one of those guys in a suit, sitting in a high-rise office in some big city instead of a broke, seventeen year-old with no wheels. I could definitely get used to that fantasy.

Except…I’m not really a suit kind of guy. It would be my high-rise office though. I could wear whatever the hell I wanted. I was thinking jeans and t-shirts as the required uniform. Oh, and Vans. Have to have the Vans.

I twisted the ring in my eyebrow and looked down at my laptop again. I could figure that crap out later. My fundage was running low, and an email to my Hook-up Doctor account meant possible money. Money meant a car. Cars equaled more chicks. You get the picture.

Mr. Hook-up Doctor,

Umm, yeah. This is weirder than I thought it would be. I’m sure you get that a lot. I’m really not like the other girls who need your help though. Well, not that I know any girls who have come to you, but I’m not the kind of girl who usually does something like this. Ugh! I’m rambling, aren’t I?

“No, shit. What was your first clue?” I groaned.

Okay, sorry. I’m just not used to emailing someone to get a guy. I’m the sensible one. I don’t need someone to help me with boys. Not that I’m a compulsive dater or anything, and well, I guess it’s obvious I need help since I’m emailing you, but this is different. What I’m trying to say is, I’m not the kind of girl who would usually give a guy who wasn’t into her the time of day. Damn, I’m rambling again. Sorry.

I don’t really know what kind of information you need, so yeah, I’ll end this painful email. I just wanted to see if you’re available to help. This guy, well, he’s kind of out of my league. Not like he thinks he’s too good for me, it’s just…yeah, he’s not the kind of guy who dates a girl like me. Can you help? What’s the next step? Your blog isn’t really too forthcoming on information, you know.

Hope to hear from you soon!

PA Rocks (This whole process is confidential, right?)

Shaking my head, I leaned back in my computer chair and kicked my feet up on the desk. Pulling a dart out of the arm of my chair, I tossed it at the dartboard on my wall.

See? This was a classic example of why girls don’t get the guys they want. We don’t like that wishy-washy back and forth crap. Girls need to decide who they are: either the strong, confident chick who puts us on our ass and still makes us want more, or the shy girl next door who we want to either corrupt, or bring home to our parents. A toss-up.

Or, there were those girls in between. When I say in between, I don’t mean they’re all over the place like PA, but they’re not the man-eater girls or the completely innocent ones either. They know who they are. They’re confident in a more quiet way. They’re subtle, not pushy like Black Widow Girl or too standoffish like Little Miss Innocent, they’re…cool.

Unfortunately, you don’t run into the latter girl too often. And honestly, when guys do, a lot of the time we don’t notice her. Sucks, but true.

I threw another dart at the board. My finger lingered over the mouse. Without letting myself think too much about it, I hit reply.

Miss PA,

I usually don’t do this, but I’m going to give you a small piece of free advice. Then, we can talk details and see if you want to go through with this. I can tell you right now why you don’t have the guy you want. Make up your mind about who you are. Half the email you were all, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar. And the rest of the time, you were the unsure chick who stumbles over her words and hides in the corner of the gym during the dances. We’re guys. Half the time, we don’t know who we are. It helps things become a lot easier if we know who you are.

I can hear you now, and before you go all She-Woman on me, let me tell you, I know it’s a double standard. I will fully admit crap like that goes on. You know, the whole “life’s not fair” thing. Nothing we can do about it. I didn’t make the rules, I just know them.

That advice was free. I usually don’t do that (a guy has to make money). From now on, everything costs.

Anyway, yes, this is confidential. I don’t want anyone knowing who I am any more than you do (hence the whole 007 email thing).

My services are a hundred bucks. I know that seems like a lot, but you’re trying to score your dream guy here. I’m worth it. I promise. I take fifty dollars up front and fifty after. You don’t pay the post fee if you don’t get the guy (it’s never happened). I’ll give you instructions later on how to pay. What I need you to do is decide if you want to continue. If so, I really need you to think about which of those girls you are and let me know. Each of my clients get a personalized plan of action, so I need to know about who you are and a little about the guy. No names. Make up some kind of code name for him (please, no hottie, cutie etc. A guy can only take so much). I don’t need to know his date of birth, hair color and favorite thing to do on a first date or anything. I’m talking basics here.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Hook-up Doctor

Pushing out of my chair, I pulled a t-shirt over my head and tossed it into the pile of clothes next to my guitar. One clean shirt later, I was out the door, jogging down the stairs, and hoping to make it out of the house before—

“Sebastian Dale Hawkins! Where are you going? I told you Roger was coming over tonight. He really wants to meet you.” Shit. The full name and everything.

My mom walked around the side of the stairs, crossed her arms and glared at me, still wearing her “Courtney’s Dance Studio” shirt. Yes, my mom taught dance, but not the sleazy kind. If I had a dollar for every time someone made a wise crack about it, I wouldn’t need to be The Hook-up Doctor at all.

“Ma, why does he want to meet me? I mean, it’s not like I’m five years-old and looking for a daddy.” I might sound harsh, but it was always the same thing. She met a new guy and we had to play house. After seventeen years, I was pretty sick of it.

“Because he’s a nice guy? Because we’re in a serious relationship, and you’re my son? Come on, Sebastian. I really think he might be the one.” My mom’s bottom lip poked out like she was a toddler trying to get her way. Or, hell, maybe that was just a girl thing. I’d file that bit of information away for later. Might be something I could use as The Hook-up Doctor.

I had to say, she knew what she was doing. My mom was good. For teaching people how to get what they want, I obviously learned from the best. But after a while, I also learned how to say no to her. “I can’t. You know I would, but I have this project I have to work on with Aspen. I’m heading over there right now.”

“Why are you going there? I know she’d rather be over here than snacking on tofu burgers at her house.”

It’s hard to bullshit a bull-shitter. By the way Mom narrowed her brown eyes at me, I knew she wasn’t buying what I tried to sell her. “I’m going over there, and then she’s driving me to meet up with Jaden and Pris. It’s a group…project…thing.” She gave me those all-knowing eyes that made it hard to lie to her.

“Next time?” she pleaded.

“Sure.” I let the lie roll off my tongue. I had no desire to meet this guy. What was the point? The four husbands before him weren’t the one, and I doubted he was either. Still, I pulled her into a hug, because I knew she’d just let me off the hook on purpose and yeah, I’m a guy and I love my mom. So shoot me. I’m man enough to hug her without feeling like a mama’s boy.

After a quick squeeze, she finally let me go. “Oh, and, Sebastian? It’s Friday night before the last week of school. Going out with your friends would have been a more believable excuse than a group project thing.” My mom winked at me.

I’m an idiot.

I pulled on my Vans and slipped out. It took me about thirty seconds to walk two doors down to Aspen’s. Her house was the only one on the block painted a different color. Her front door was orange. Who would do that?

I raised my hand to knock, but her mom pulled it open before my fist came in contact with the door. And here was the very person who would have an orange front door.

“Come in, Sebastian. Phil’s meditating,” she whispered, and I fought some serious eye-rollage. “Sneak up stairs. Aspen is in her room—unless, you need to be centered? I’m sure Phil wouldn’t mind if you joined him.” She smiled all hopeful-like and I really hated to deflate her excitement, but not as much as I disliked the idea of being centered.

With a shake of my head, I tip-toed up the stairs, realizing I should have gone to her window. Her room faced the backyard, and their gate was always unlocked. Aspen has begged me a million times to hike the side of the mountain that was her house, instead of using the front door. I think her parents embarrassed her, and I could see why, but it always felt too Dawson’s Creek for me. The fact that I knew a show that had been off the air for years, well enough to know climbing through her window was too Dawson/Pacey-like, made the whole window thing an even bigger hell no. I blamed it on that Katie chick marrying Tom Cruise. I might have to start rethinking the Spiderman thing if it came down to finding my inner feng shui or climbing a damn trellis.

Aspen’s door was half open, so instead of knocking, I slipped it open slowly, pulled some more twinkle-toe walking like I’d done on the stairs and grabbed her shoulders. “Boo!”

“Ahh!” She jumped, slammed her laptop closed and whirled around, her honey-brown ponytail flying out and almost poking me in the eye. She gave me that pissed-off Aspen look, and I knew I was screwed. “What the hell, Sebastian! You scared the crap out of me.”

Yeah, I knew I was a punk, but I couldn’t help it. I laughed. “That was classic. You looked like you were going to pee your pants.” She punched me in the arm, and I laughed louder.

“Shut up.” She leaned backward against her desk, with a hand on her laptop.

“Don’t pout, Woodstock. You can’t help that I’m stealthy as a ninja.”

She pushed past me, bright green eyes throwing daggers my way as she picked up her cell phone off the bedside table. I ignored her dirty looks and flopped down on her bed, kicking my feet up on the purple comforter. “We should probably wait a few minutes before we bail. Daddy Peace is meditating, and your mom already tried to get me to do it, too. I’m sure she wouldn’t let you escape quite as easily as she did me.”

“See! That’s why I tell you to come in the window. All you had to do is climb that lazy butt of yours up the side of the house, let me know you were here, and then I could have snuck out. Now she’ll be watching for me.” Aspen sat down at the foot of her bed. She was a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, but when she leaned over to tie her shoes, I caught a glimpse of smooth, creamy skin right above her jeans that had me wondering for the first time what she’d look like if she decided to show a little more flesh every now and again.

 

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