Forced proximity? Enemies to lovers? We’re here for it, in this sweet and sexy story set on campus. By Victoria Rabuse.
Back when I was living in Sydney in my twenties, my roommates and I threw an epic frat-themed house party, based off what we knew of such things from American movies. Our friends’ band played dressed in togas, I was sexually reckless in a Playboy bunny outfit (very Legally Blonde), and duh, we had a keg. A hundred people showed up (as did the cops): it was a truly epic night, it’s own campus novel.
In this adventurous spirit, I present “Cuffed”, by Victoria Rabuse. Greek life comes to life when smart, sassy Katrina is handcuffed to fraternity president Neal Schumacher. What starts as a chore to endure changes into something much more interesting as the night goes on… Pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy!
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My green Henley shirt and the brown construction paper circle hanging around my neck made it clear my costume had been a last-minute effort. My hair was already curling in the fraternity basement’s damp heat, and I fanned myself as I waited for my assignment.
“Katrina! What an adorable—” Molly Miller, my sorority’s social chair, gave a prolonged up-down, adjusting the flimsy strap of her barely-there white teddy, “Shrek costume?” She toyed with her halo headband.
I plastered on an enthusiastic grin, turning on the sorority-girl charm required for a mixer with my campus’s most “desirable” fraternity.
“Avocado,” I corrected her.
Not for the first time, I wondered how I’d ended up in Greek life. But, as a senior on my way out, one more date party wouldn’t break me. Especially if there was a bottle of wine waiting with my name on it.
“Katrina?” Molly balanced her clipboard on her hip like an exhausted nineteenth-century washerwoman. “Follow me. Backward, please!”
She grabbed my sweaty palm and pulled me to the darkest part of the cinderblock basement. I toed a duct-taped line that stretched from my left into oblivion.
“Reach back!” Molly ordered.
I surrendered my hand; cool metal soon encircled my wrist.
“Are you ready?” A deep voice slipped through the din as my back pressed against the unfamiliar shape of my partner.
“For our first look? Geez, I didn’t even wear white.”
A rumbling laugh echoed through the air.
“No talking yet. Or laughing,” Molly chided. She locked the pair of handcuffs, dropping the key securely into a tiny velvet bag, and retrieved two bottles of what I’m sure were bottom-tier vino from the sticky concrete floor. “You know the rules, right?”
I felt my date’s shoulders move subtly against me as we both nodded.
“Two bottles,” Molly went on. “But just remember. Consent, people. The sexiest, and most important, word of the evening.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll keep it under control,” I sassed back.
Molly clapped her hands. “On the count of three…avocado, meet toast!”
We spun around, the chain linking our wrists swaying as I discovered the face of my “partner in crime.”
Neal Schumacher rocked buoyantly on his heels, his screw-top pinot grigio already open.
“Well, if it isn’t Kat.” He beamed.
I took a swig of my zinfandel.
“Katrina,” I enunciated over the cacophony of clinking bottles, laughter, and a particularly wet makeout happening between a poor man’s Jack Sparrow and a six-foot-tall Elizabeth.
I could handle Neal Schumacher: esteemed fraternity president, know-it-all, and roommate of my shitty ex, Preston. Although Neal had never wronged me with a public dumping, à la Preston at the end of junior year, he traveled too tightly with the fraternity wolf pack to put me at ease. Maybe it was the annoyingly jaunty cartoon-character-like way he bounded through campus. Or the overconfident way he found himself in the center of every party, repeatedly running his hands through his dark hair that was about an inch and a half too long.
All I’d wanted tonight were a few low-key hours of conversation (cue my last-minute costume), especially with the building stress of defending my thesis in two weeks. The less time I spent with the fatiguingly energetic Neal Schumacher, the better. I was about to set a world record for how quickly I could finish a bottle of wine.
Neal looked at me, his head cocked to the side. “Want to get out of here?”
I trailed Neal through the dimly lit basement to a sagging staircase in the far corner.
“As if I could forget,” I muttered. Acutely aware that Neal Schumacher was eye—no, entire face—level with my butt, I sidestepped my way up the stairs. In the buzzy fluorescent lighting of the frat house’s foyer, I could see Neal had tried equally hard with his costume—a slightly-too-snug brown hoodie and a pair of barf-colored, pilly joggers.
“What now, genius?” I was itching to get moving—my ADHD rarely allowed me to sit still.
“Kat!” Neal sounded delighted. “Genius toast. You shouldn’t have, really. But I’ll take it. Is that as good as summa cum laude? My parents will be so proud.”
Something between a snort and a cackle emerged from my body before I could stop it. Neal’s smile grew even wider as he clinked his bottle to mine.
“I was thinking,” he went on, “my dearly esteemed colleague, that tonight has presented itself for a stroll. A promenade, if you will.”
I remembered that Neal and I had shared a course on Jane Austen sophomore year. He’d been the only male student to attend the optional film adaptation screenings, presumably to impress the freshman girl he’d been flirting with the entire semester.
“Anything to get me out of here.” I crinkled my nose. “It smells like feet.”
“Clearly, you haven’t smelled the right feet. If you’d ever gotten a whiff of these dogs, you’d be singing a whole different tune.” Neal balanced on one foot, kicking the other in an impressively high arc.
Linked to Neal, I teetered, and red wine plopped squarely on my very white, not-yet-Scotch-guarded Keds.
“Didn’t they teach you not to spill on a lady at frat president training?” I shook my feet, droplets splattering the tile floor.
“They were your sesame seeds,” Neal said, staring at my feet.
“How much wine have you had already?” I reached around him to grab his bottle, but he held it over his head and out of my reach.
“No, like, your shoes were the seeds. For the toast. On top.” He seemed apologetic, and, for the first time, I really looked at Neal Schumacher’s face. Really looked at the slightly crooked nose, probably broken from some aggressive male sport in his youth. Really looked at the hazel eyes dappled with brown that watched me with what appeared to be concern. “Shit, I’m sorry,” he said. “We have paper towels in the kitchen—”
“It’s fine. Let’s just go on that walk,” I said, shaking the pre-exam-like anxiety bubbling in my stomach that had started when our eyes met.
We burst through the heavy fraternity door in tandem, stepping into the otherwise quiet campus. Only a slight glow emitted from the trash-bag-taped basement windows as a sign that debauchery was underfoot.
As much as I hated being linked to Mr. Popular, I couldn’t be mad at the opportunity to roam campus at night. An in-person visit had drawn me in almost four years ago—the lush quads with groupings of students studying on casually tossed blankets; the strong, English-style architecture reaching for the sky; the little nooks and crannies and alcoves of seclusion tucked away between the buildings. Our campus was my idea of heaven, and I was all too aware of the clock’s hands ticking down my remaining days.
“You’re defending your thesis soon, right?” Neal raised his bottle to his lips, tipping his head back. The light of the full moon caught the glass, casting a flickering pattern on his face. “Something about the Brontës?”
I nodded, surprised he’d remembered.
“Examining the parallels between sibling relationships, or lack thereof, within all three sisters’ books. Juxtaposed with the real-life connections between Emily, Anne, and Charlotte. And Branwell, of course.”
“You know they think that—” Neal started.
“That there was an incest possibility?” I grimaced, taking a sip of my wine. “Don’t worry, that’s covered. At least, once I get all my talking points finalized.”
“I’m sure you’ll do great,” Neal offered. “I’m still working out the final details of my defense. Who knew there was so much to unpack in Chaucer?”
There was no way I could avoid it—talking about English literature was my kryptonite.
“You know,” I said, stopping so abruptly that Neal stumbled on a raised cobblestone. “I had to memorize part of the Canterbury Tales prologue in Middle English back in high school.”
“Kat. No fricking way. Do it.” Neal’s eyes shone mischievously. “I’ll give you ten dollars if you recite it right now.”
“Twenty and you have a deal.” This was my one- and only-party trick, and I was cashing in.
Smirking, I launched into the lilting cadence, almost singing as I recited, “Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licóur…”
Five minutes later, Neal was paying up, looking suitably impressed. We were in the center of campus now, not another soul in sight. Based on my appraisal of the zinfandel, I was almost halfway through the bottle.
I stole a covert look at Neal’s bottle, which barely looked touched.
“Are you any fun at all?”
“Excuse me?” Neal pressed a hand to his chest, mouth gaping at the accusation. “Me? Kat, you can’t become a fraternity president without having ‘fun’ as your middle name. That’s legit, you know. Neal Fun Schumacher.”
“You’re 100% lying to me.”
He leaned in conspiratorially, making it hard to ignore the pools of hazel catching the moonlight as I felt his warm breath on my face.
“Would you believe me if I told you my middle name was Eugene?” Neal smirked.
My eyes widened as I impulsively reached out a hand to steady myself against Neal’s chest. Was he running a fever, or was he always this warm?
“Great grandpa,” he nodded, not doing anything to remove my hand from his body, where my fingers were now sinking into the soft texture of his chocolatey hoodie.
“Mine is Chrysanthemum, so I think I have you beat.”
Now it was Neal’s turn to look shocked.
“No, now you’re the liar,” he said.
I shook my head vehemently. “Remember those books about the mice? The same guy who wrote the one about the mouse with the purse? It’s from that. The mouse with the long-ass name. Early 90s.”
“The guy who wrote Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse?”
My fingers flexed against his arm in surprise. I took another sip.
“No shit, you know about the mouse books?”
“Despite what you think, Kat, I have picked up a book or two in my time. I am an English major, after all.” Now it was Neal’s turn to drink from his bottle, taking an impressively long gulp. “Or, rather, I had an older sister, and my parents were too cheap to buy new books about trucks, sports, and dirt for me.”
“So, you know the mouse books,” I breathed, tilting my head up in amazement.
He laughed softly. It was light. And gentle.
“Yes, I know the mouse books,” he said, an expression I couldn’t read flashing across his face.
Time for another sip for both of us.
“Do you want to sit?” I offered. Years ago, the university had built a permanent concrete stage, which was dusted off yearly for graduation and used intermittently for student theatre and dance productions.
“That’s not a bad idea, Mouseketeer,” Neal said, leading the way to the shallow staircase on stage left.
“That’s totally different—” I protested, but my words fell flat as we made our way onto the concrete expanse. The stage, while not gigantic, overlooked a sunken orchestra pit, and we tightrope walked our way along the edge until we were dead center, overlooking the entire quad.
“How about we sit?” It was more of a recommendation than a question, and I dutifully braced a hand behind me and slid my legs over the edge of the pit, kicking the heels of my soaked shoes against the wall as Neal settled in next to me.
“This is nice,” I offered, tilting my bottle back to capture another drink. “And I’m more than halfway done, so hurry up, Eugene.”
Neal shot me a playfully dirty look. He held my gaze and reached for his wine.
He finished his sip, the tip of his tongue running along his lips.
“You have pillow lips,” I blurted, filter completely gone.
Neal raised an eyebrow.
“Pillow lips?” He repeated it slowly, drawing out the words like an unfolded Fruit-by-the-Foot.
“Yeah, like little clouds. Pillows.” I sighed, cupping my chin in my hand and staring out at the grass. “My ex had fish lips. Thin. And he smelled like tires. Can you believe that? It was like kissing the Michelin Man—”
“Kat?” Neal interrupted me, derailing my train of thought.
“Tell me more about my pillow lips,” Neal said. A smile danced across the lips in question, and I distracted myself by focusing on his hands. He was leaning back on his non-cuffed hand, his hoodie sleeve pushed just enough up his arm to show off the muscles holding him up.
“No, nothing more. But tell me about your nose.” In a moment of brazen confidence, I reached my hand up and ran it along the bridge of his nose, feeling the slight bump in the middle. “What was it? Wrestling? Rugby? What form of male aggression made this happen?”
Neal reached up his free hand and gently encircled my non-handcuffed wrist. But he didn’t pull my hand away. This was a Neal Schumacher I’d never seen before. Gentle. Slow. Quieter. More introspective.
“I tripped over a hem. Of a dress.” He let out a small chuckle. “Remember that older sister?”
I nodded, although my brain was considerably distracted by the warmth of his hand around mine. Even though I barely felt tipsy, thanks to the massive burrito I’d inhaled not long before the party, something about Neal made me feel unsteady.
“She used to dress me up,” he went on. “Her dresses. Prom, homecoming, you name it. I was probably seven or eight? And this one time, she and her friends were doing a fashion show. I was determined to be confident in front of these beautiful teenage girls. So, I let them throw me into some monstrous dress and walk down the ‘runway’ in our parents’ basement. And I tripped.”
“No.” I gasped, my hand flying to my mouth. Away from Neal’s touch.
“Yes. Do you know what’s under the carpet in most Midwest basements? Solid concrete.” Neal gently rapped his knuckles against the stage.
“That’s not the explanation I was expecting, I’ll give you that,” I said. “A toast to your glamorous past.” We clinked bottles again.
I knocked my shoulder against his. It stayed. A bump became a lean, and a hand on the concrete became one that draped across my shoulders. Nothing too unusual. It was a cold spring night.
“But here’s the real question.” I was glad we were both looking at the dark campus. The clocktower’s lit face read just past midnight, which meant we’d been linked for more than two hours.
“Don’t worry, I always know the follow-up. Yes, there are pictures. And yes, I have them with me.” With his free hand, Neal reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He set it down between us so he could type in his password, but not fast enough that I couldn’t see the string of message notifications on his lock screen.
Molly. My “sister.” Event organizer. Holder of the literal keys.
[10:27 p.m.] Molly Nelson: lmk when you’re done
[11:05 p.m.] Molly Nelson: nealllllll where are u
[11:45] Molly Nelson: almost everyone is already done
And, most recently,
[12:02] Molly Nelson: sorry again u got stuck with kat. I’ll make it up to u later 😉
We both knew I’d seen them. Without a word, I reached across our laps for the abandoned bottle of wine on Neal’s left side, grabbing it and taking a generous swig.
“And I thought I had a cheap bottle? What’s in this, lead paint?” I strained to read the label.
It wasn’t hard to make out the large black lettering that read “Non-alcoholic.”
“What?” I shook his hand off my shoulder and jumped to my feet, the handcuff pinching the skin on my wrist with the force. “Non-alcoholic? What the hell is this?”
Neal scrambled to stand, reaching out a hand to make sure I didn’t topple into the pit.
“What was the plan? Act like some kind of gallant knight and take the least-desired date so you could get into Molly’s pants?” I’m furious. No, embarrassed. “Tell me some made-up stories to get me to like you, and hope I’d get a little tipsy and walk away from this night obsessed with you, just like every other girl?”
Just like he did at every single fricking party, Neal pushed a hand through his hair, brushing it away from his eyes. “Kat, I was enjoying—"
I wheeled around to face him, the bubble in my throat from earlier returning, finally having worked its way to the top, ready to take flight like a hot air balloon. “Enjoying what? Being handcuffed to me? Or should it be me, enjoying the attention of the great Neal Schumacher, beloved fraternity president who can do no wrong?”
Molly’s text had unlocked that same shameful feeling that Preston’s dumping had last year—like everyone had been watching me, just waiting for the sweet moment of humiliation where I realized I was disposable.
“Kat, you don’t know—”
Blood rushed to my cheeks as I turned away from Neal, pulling against the metal of the handcuffs so much that they dug into my skin. Using my whole body weight, I forced us off the stage and began walking back to the frat house.
“It’s Katrina. And don’t tell me what I don’t know. We should get going. I’m sure Molly’s waiting.”
I could tell Neal wasn’t resisting by the way the handcuffs suddenly felt limp between us.
We arrived back at the frat house in record time. Molly didn’t say a word to me as she unlocked us, preoccupied by the near-orgy that had formed in the basement in our absence, but I watched her smile coyly at Neal as she rushed off to separate a horizontal couple. Now that Neal was back, though, I’m sure she’d find some time for him.
Without a look back, I headed home, only a short walk. When I reached the off-campus apartment I shared with my best friend Suzanne, I ripped off the Keds that were already stiff with the dried wine and chucked them into the kitchen trash can on the way to my room. I collapsed into a shallow, restless sleep full of dreams of literary mice and car tires.
“Suze, I’m only twenty-two. How is it possible that I feel this shitty?” I was sprawled on our garish, floral hand-me-down couch, an open bag of Cheetos within arm’s reach. Clad in pajama shorts and an oversized student union t-shirt, this was not my finest moment.
“Heartbreak and hangovers are equally damaging. And since you didn’t even pop an Advil this morning, I’d guess it’s the former.” Suze was on her way out to meet with a study group, shrugging on her rain jacket and tucking her frizzy curls “under the hood.
I groaned. “I am not experiencing heartbreak over Neal Schumacher just because he and Molly are sleeping together.”
Suze grabbed her umbrella and gave me a wave. “Be glad you’ve got nowhere to be, babe. I’d rather be untangling your love life and the embarrassingly obvious crush you’d had on Neal for the past two years than working on a Proust presentation, but here we are. Later!”
The front door opened, momentarily exposing the clatter of pounding rain on our porch roof, then shut with a definitive thud. “I do not have a crush on—” I yelled, but Suze was already gone.
It was just me, the Cheetos, and whatever latest baking show monstrosity Netflix had churned out. I was halfway through an episode where the amateur bakers were attempting to sculpt cake versions of famous paintings (the Mona Lisa was already looking like the stuff of nightmares) when a boom of thunder shook the house, rattling the windows.
Then another loud noise. And another.
Someone was knocking.
“Suze, if you forgot your keys yet again, I have no choice but to kick you out,” I grumbled, wrapping my blanket around me like a toga and plodding to the door. I fumbled with the lock and flung it open.
The furious storm blew sprinkles of rain onto my face almost immediately, leagues faster than it took to realize who was standing in front of me. “Neal?”
“Hi, Kat.” Neal Schumacher shifted uncomfortably on my front porch, a backpack slung over his shoulders as the storm raged behind him. “I hope you don’t mind—I remember you hosted a pregame last year. Figured you still lived in the same place…”
I sighed. Despite my irritation, I couldn't leave him on the porch.
“I might be angry with you, but I’m not a sadist. No one deserves to be soaking wet. Come in. You can sit, I guess.”
I gestured to the couch, the room illuminated by the half-finished episode on screen and the lilac-scented candle Suze had lit for me in the dregs of my morning despair. Neal and I sat on opposite ends of the couch, leaving the maximum available distance between us.
“I’m sorry—” We stumbled over the words simultaneously, that small bit of awkwardness breaking the tension. I pulled the blanket more snugly around my shoulders and perched on the arm of the couch.
“You first,” we tried again, to the same effect.
“Ok, I’ll go.” I took a deep breath. “I was surprised when I saw Molly’s texts, but that’s not an excuse for yelling at you. But I’m also not going to pretend like everything’s fine. I don’t know what your game with her was, but to be humiliated like that? You took one for the team and volunteered to be stuck with me? Doesn’t feel great.”
Neal rested his elbows on his knees, his face expressionless.
“So, if you came here to apologize, great,” I went on. “But I refuse to be made a fool by an idiot living in what can only be considered one step up from a condemned building.”
“It is pretty bad, isn’t it?” Neal raised his head, not quite smiling.
Feeling empowered by the acknowledgment, I really went for it.
“I know I’m not the traditional sorority girl. I don’t go to every mixer. I don’t hang off you at every party, no matter how often you touch that stupid hair of yours. I don’t show up to Jane Austen movies to impress other students. I don’t…recite the Canterbury Tales prologue to just anyone,” I finished.
“You think my hair is stupid?” Neal’s mouth quirked up in the corner. “If I touched it less, would that mean I could finally get the attention of one of the most eligible girls on campus?”
“It was pretty clear you already had Molly’s attention, so whatever you’re doing is working.”
Neal sighed and shook his head. “Kat, are you for real? I pretty much had to fight off the line of guys who wanted to be partnered with you last night.”
My brain raced to put the pieces together. “But, you were drinking alcohol-free wine. Probably so you could drink it faster and spend less time with me—Molly was waiting for you, right?” My defense mechanisms were locking into place, despite the momentary pause to take in what Neal had told me.
“Kat, I don’t drink. At all. Ever.”
“You don’t?” With every second, the blanket was becoming more uncomfortably warm, and I felt like I needed a good run around in the rain. Or a primal scream.
“My dad’s an alcoholic—well, recovering. It runs in the family, so I’ve never touched it.” He rubbed the back of his neck, looking suddenly shy. “But you’re right. It’s not fair to you that you didn’t know. I promise I wasn’t trying to set you up or embarrass you or to get back to Molly. I don’t even know her well—she had my number from planning the mixer—” his words spilled out of him even faster now. “And, I guess, was trying to shoot her shot?” Neal was turning red.
Was it just me, or had the temperature in the room skyrocketed these past few minutes?
“I brought you something,” Neal offered, unzipping his damp backpack. Wedged inside was a slightly soggy, though unmistakably familiar blue and brown box. “I guessed the size. I came here straight from the store.”
Without thinking, I slid closer, wedging myself next to Neal on the sofa. Neal, who was overpowering this piece of furniture that could barely hold the two of us. I felt my bare leg brush against his sweatpants, and it took everything I had to focus on the box in front of me.
“Neal.” Heat blossomed in my chest as gratitude spilled out. “You didn’t have to do this.”
“No wine stains,” Neal said, breaking the silence.
“No wine stains,” I agreed, holding up the pair of snow-white sneakers, their laces neatly folded and tied together. “You didn’t—”
“I did. Just like I had to tell you about what happened last night. You can be mad at me all you want, that’s completely within your right, but you needed to know all the information.”
Neal had just given me a trashcan—no, a garbage truck—full of information. Neal had wanted to spend time with me, and not as a pity date? He didn’t drink? I was considered “eligible”? Neal Schumacher had bought me shoes?
“If you don’t like them, you can return them if you want,” he offered, shifting uncomfortably on the couch.
“No!” I dropped the shoes back into the box, shoving it behind me. “They’re not going anywhere.”
“What if I try to take them from you?” This was like the Neal I’d met last night, confessing his broken nose and vintage middle name. His hazel eyes sparkled mischievously, and before I could protest, a sinewy arm snaked behind me on the sofa, reaching for the box. “Then you’d have to try to get them back, right?”
“No takebacks,” I yelped, throwing myself between Neal and the box.
We were chest-to-chest now, the blanket in a puddle around me, unwound from my shoulders.
Instinctively, my hand reached up, tracing the shape of Neal’s nose again. But this time there was no wine, alcohol-free or otherwise. There wasn’t any concrete beneath us. There were no texts blowing up his phone. But there was something between us, something bubbling up nervously, yet still pleasant.
“Kat?” Neal dropped his forehead to mine, his hand reaching up to encircle my wrist and bring it to our laps, where his fingers intertwined with mine.
“What?” I breathed.
“I’d like to kiss you.”
“Okay.” It was one hundred degrees in the room now.
“But I can’t do it with a cake version of the Mona Lisa staring at us.”
Neal didn’t have to say it twice—keeping my forehead pressed to his, I fumbled for the remote in the blankets and hit the power button, plunging the room into near-darkness.
“Before I kiss you, there’s something you need to know,” Neal said.
The flickering light of the candle illuminated his face, and I steeled myself for whatever new bomb was about to drop. But before I could pull away, Neal’s lips were at my ear.
“The only person I was going to Austen film screenings to impress was you. Plus, I’m a little bit of a hopeless romantic. It might not be love yet, but please allow me to tell you, and show you ‘how ardently I admire you.’”
I was on top of him before he could finish quoting Mr. Darcy.
Neal’s hands wrapped around my waist, securing me in his lap as I wound my fingers through that ridiculous hair for the first time, sinking into the kiss. He smelled like a rainy spring afternoon with a hint of spice. As he ran his tongue along the bottom of my lip, Neal’s fingers trailed absentmindedly, playing with the hem of my worn t-shirt. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t dressed to the nines, or in some stupid matching couple’s costume. I was here, with Neal, his every touch setting alight small fires on my skin and my face and in my hair.
It might have been hours we spent on the couch, laughing and kissing and learning each other until our stomachs growled from hunger.
Dinner? Avocado toast.
Next up on Heartbeat, get ready for a short story from Dana Schwartz. Follow Heartbeat on Instagram at @storiesbyheartbeat for upcoming behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at Dana’s story! Follow me at @georgialouclark.
Three quick things from Georgia:
I’m teaching a virtual Storytelling Masterclass on Wed. March 8, 6 - 8 p.m. ET. Informed by my work as the founder/host of the storytelling night, Generation Women, this workshop focuses on how to turn an event/s from your real life into a compelling story ready for the stage. The class is recorded if you can’t join live.
When my wife received the self-heating Ember Mug as a gift, I thought it was overpriced tech we’d never use. Well, her mug is now *my* mug and I can’t live without it. I love having a hot bevvie when I write and this device keeps my coffee hot *for hours*. I’m obsessed.
I am legitimately sad that Riverdale is coming to an end: the final season drops next month. At night when I edit, I often have a show on to keep me company. For the past few years it’s been B and V and all my Riverdale/Rivervale pals. This show is truly nuts (shout-out to the American Psycho musical performed at a serial killer convention) and I love it. It also inspired a storyline and casting choice in my new holiday rom-com (out next year): I’ll spill more soon.
Ps. It’s my birthday TODAY! Send me a birthday kiss by treating yourself to one of my books or leaving a friendly online review on Goodreads or Amazon.