Here is a chapter one sneak peek of our book Sticking to Emma Daniels! We are going to give sneak peaks all week long leading up to our release date next week. You can read more about our book right here and you can pre-order it here! All proceeds will go towards removing ads on our site!
If you see any grammar or spelling mistakes then please let us know; and if you are from Vancouver (where this novel is set) and notice anything irregular, then let us know that as well, and I can make appropriate changes!
Currently, Emma Daniels was rolling a five-thousand-dollar piece of luggage up a busy urban street, with a scowl on her face. How can this stranger not meet halfway? Honestly, the nerve. She had all his belongings, and, after calling him to alert him to the luggage switcheroo, it seemed like it was important to him to have it returned quickly. It definitely felt important, especially since it was housed in this fancy luggage.
Shoot, getting the luggage back would be priority number one for her with how expensive it was; but more than that, it looked worth it. The longer Emma had it the more differences she noticed in her own bootlegged version. It was like looking at a sandwich made by Guy Fiery versus one made by her five-year-old nephew whose keto parents don’t even have bread in the house. But hey, her luggage still got the job done and was a good enough knockoff to fool someone with the real thing so, score?
With traffic, it took five minutes over the allotted thirty minutes to drive to the restaurant and another ten to park. This street was packed! Whenever she thought she found one good spot, another car would swoop in and grab it. She finally found a free space a few blocks up the road and squeezed the rental into a parallel spot off the street. Not too bad, Emma, not too bad. The walk wasn’t too bad either, it’s not like she was wearing her heels yet. She still had on her handy dandy yellow sneaks and travel clothing which was worn for comfort instead of style. If this was a business meeting, then she would be embarrassed to be seen wearing this, but since she was meeting a stranger…
Her clothing consisted of her typical casual attire of grey workout Lululemon’s from five years ago (worth all the money, these suckers looked brand new) and her super warm oversized sweater which, in Emma’s opinion, pulled the entire look together to shabby chic that leaned towards the shabby side. Her hair was in a big braid swung over her right shoulder, waiting to be fingered out into big curly waves for the exclusive art auction later on today. The art auction that she had to make it to. Seriously, her career depended on it.
Ah, here was the place.
She rolled the other person’s perfectly-perfect authentically-expensive luggage carefully into the hipster brunch spot that immediately made you feel happy and annoyed at the same time. It was painted in all white – vintage white not true white, get it right non-hipsters – and had plants dancing off horizontal stair step chandeliers that were hung from the ceiling, their vines delicately dangling overhead with tiny pastel blossoms attached to each one. The ceiling itself was painted black and an entire wall to the left was a lovely wallpapered creation of huge blossoms that made you feel about as big as a bee. Straight ahead were a smattering of patrons sitting at distressed wood tables happily chatting away as the sunlight shone through the fifteen-foot front windows.
Honestly, it was really lovely, the perfect place Emma would want to go with her boyfriend. Perhaps she should recommend it to him later on tonight when she surprised him after finishing up the auction.
Though thinking about later on tonight did make her face go flush at the possibilities of success or embarrassment. Her goal, that her friend Amelia helped her set (though made her set would be more like it), was to use this business trip as a way to spice up her relationship with her boyfriend of one year. He was a tad bit distant lately which made having a long-distance relationship spanning from L.A. to Vancouver all the more challenging. But at 30, Emma was up for a challenge, she just needed to work a bit harder at it. Amelia had suggested, in a very Amelia way, that she should show up at his place unannounced, with a negligée on. It was so scandalous, so embarrassing, and so not Emma which made it worth trying.
But she shook that thought away.
What she needed to do was get her luggage back so she could accomplish what she had actually come here to accomplish – buying an expensive piece of art at an exclusive invitation-only estate auction.
It did not take long to scan the room and spot her luggage next to an impossibly handsome man sitting at the table reading a questionnaire. Dark black hair, big oval eyes, clean crisp attire, one leg crossed over the other in a studious look as he sat back and earnestly read over his paperwork.
Y’all, it was as if a GQ ad folded itself into a man and walked into this restaurant. She would not be surprised if someone snapped a photo of him just to have it. But she wasn’t here to gawk, best to get this over with considering this place was already out of her way and off of her schedule (a seven-point bulleted list). Hopefully, she wouldn’t hit lunchtime traffic on the way back.
“Hi, are you HH?” Emma said cautiously rolling the luggage up to this man with a smile. She did not want to smile, considering he made her drive all the way out here, his excuse that he had a very important meeting. But she was just that kind of smiley person. For one, it was almost impossible for her not to smile, and for two, she was always told that a polite smile was best when in awkward or aggravating situations.
A situation like delivering an authentic piece of luggage to a well-tailored man to reclaim your knockoff piece of luggage that had one wheel that routinely did not work properly while trying not to be too embarrassed about it.
“Hello,” the man said standing, to a deliciously tall height, “and you must be EMD? Thank you for coming all this way. I had to stay here for a meeting.” Emma couldn’t help but notice that there wasn’t a person sitting at his table yet which meant they were either in the bathroom or he was a big fat liar. But she shouldn’t rush to judgment.
“Ah, are they here yet? I don’t want to intrude.” Okay, she had to sneak that in.
“Though I am truly happy that you met me.”
Yeah, yeah, okay, well, at least you said that. She smiled. He smiled. They both smiled in that closed mouth tight lip way that people do when they have nothing else to say and wished they were anywhere else. If the situation were a cartoon then someone would whistle and rock back and forth on their toes.
“So, I guess we can switch?” Emma sang out in a rising arpeggio of a question that made her hate herself. Keep your voice normal Emma, come on.
“Oh, sure, yes, of course.” HH rolled her luggage forward. The wheel catching embarrassingly as it did. But as she started to reach for it, Emma saw something in the back of the restaurant. Something she absolutely recognized…a scarf…a bright red one with two stripes…her boyfriends. Was her boyfriend here? It would be perfect if he was. She could spend the evening with him before the auction. The scarf continued to keep her attention until she figured out–
Yes, it was him! This was perfect, she knew he would like this spot! But oh no, she didn’t look as fab as she could. Well, she still looked alright, just not, take-me-home-and-do-with-me-what-you-want, alright. More like Pollyanna, alright, but Pollyanna could be sexy. It was all about confidence–
Who was he with…a pretty brunette who was laughing a bit too sweetly and touching his arm a bit too much and – hold up, was he touching her arm too?
That smile he had, that bright pearly white smile that he gave to Emma, was he giving it to this woman? Emma was starting to think that she stumbled on something she shouldn’t have. The room started to close in on her, but her feet moved in that direction as if pulled by a string. Before she even knew what she was doing she was halfway there.
He had a box.
Emma only guessed it was a gift. But for her?
He opened it and the woman gasped, this better not be a ring – a gag gift yes, the kind were worms fly out – but not a ring. The woman pulled it out.
Not a ring – a necklace.
But geez it’s not like that mattered, why is he giving this woman a necklace? Emma surmised it could be a secret illegitimate sister she didn’t know he had because he had to keep a secret to protect the family name, or perhaps a cousin that he was fond of who got accepted to graduate school in Denmark and flew in to say hello. Maybe a college kid that he tutors and is so proud of that he bought her a gift, that could definitely be it. A bit inappropriate maybe but it’s not like we take classes on tha–
This was not good.
Emma had floated her way to standing right in front of them when she saw them both lean over the table, pucker out their lips like two frogs in a Disney movie, and kiss. And before she could control anything that came out of her mouth, she yelled….
“What the hell is this!”
Her hands went from one person to the next like she was serving an invisible plate of wtf.
Thank you for reading chapter one! Click here to read Chapter Two!