Home > Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)(17)

Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)(17)
Author: Karina Halle

“You swear a lot, Kate,” Bradah Ed says, sipping on his drink while eying her with disapproval. “Show some respect.”

“Respect to who? Her?” Kate gestures to me. “She’s got an even worse potty mouth than I do.”

“Please don’t mention potty,” I mumble under my breath, thinking about Hunter last night and his incredible timing.

“Why, do you have to go?” she asks, looking concerned as she puts her hand on my arm. “I can take you to the restroom if you don’t think you can make it.”

I swat her hand away. “I’m fine, I’ve just had two drinks.”

“This is your third,” Bradah Ed says.

“What are you, the drink police?” Kate asks.

“I am a security guard,” he says, raising his chin. “It’s my job to be concerned about the tenants of my building. That’s why when I heard you were going out for drinks, I figured the right thing to do would be to escort you here and make sure you’re safe.”

I roll my eyes. Bradah Ed seems like the worst security guard on the surface. He’s awkwardly tall and stick-thin and constantly smells like pot. But he’s a pretty loyal guy, even though I think the reason he’s having drinks with us—on our girl’s night, mind you—is because he’s trying to score with Kate.

Which I don’t think would ever happen. Kate tends to go for white boys with man buns, at least that’s her pick of the moment, and Bradah Ed is Hawaiian Filipino with a shiny shaved head. She does seem to enjoy rubbing it when she gets drunk though.

At the moment, she’s behaving herself.

I sit back and stare at the people on the beach. We’re outside of the bar at the Outrigger Hotel, the perfect place to watch the tourist world go by and do some research. Even though we have a large Kahuna Hotel on the beach down near the Honolulu Zoo, I try to spend most of my nights out in the arms of the competition. That’s always been my strategy and it’s paid off. In fact, it was my idea and plan to revamp our hotel’s bars into something hipper and sleeker and more in tune to today’s traveler that won me my last promotion.

Who the hell knows what it’s going to take to win my next one.

I’ll have to outdo Kessler, and even though I know I have the chops to do so, it’s kind of hard when he’s my boss. I wish I could call up Mike and yell at him. I don’t care that he’s fallen in love with a porn star, I really don’t (though I do wish I knew her name so I could look her up), I just want to know why I wasn’t chosen as his replacement. Didn’t he like me? Or if he didn’t like me, couldn’t he at least see what I’ve done for the company?

But tomorrow Kessler and I have a meeting with George and Andy, the VP who spends half his time in the Arizona office. I don’t even think Kessler has met him yet. We’re both supposed to come up with new marketing ideas, probably for Valentines Day, and I’ve been trying to figure which one to swing past them. We’ve been taking Kahuna Hotels in a younger direction, hence why my revamp of the hotel bars has been so popular. But I know where Kessler used to work, our competitor, have really pushed that hip, sexy edge. I’m sure whatever Kessler pushes on them will speak to that, so I have to take a classier approach.

“Earth to Nova,” Kate says, waving her hand in front of my face.

“What?” I tell her, fiddling with my cocktail umbrella and bringing my attention back to the present.

“I was talking about Kessler’s Big Dick Energy.”

I nearly spit out my drink. “What are you talking about?” I glance at Bradah Ed.

He shrugs. “Don’t look at me. I didn’t come here to talk about other guy’s dicks.”

She lets out a disgruntled moan. “Auuuurgh. Don’t you guys know what’s going on in the world at all? Don’t you know memes?”

“All I know is there is a hottie over there giving me the eye,” he says, leaning back to scope out a chick in a bikini sitting at the bar, glancing coquettishly over her shoulder at us.

“How do you know she’s not checking out me?” Kate asks, insulted, apparently.

“You wish,” Bradah Ed says, getting out of his chair while sipping on his coconut and smoothly moving over to the girl. “I’ll see you guys later.”

“Forget about him,” Kate says with a dismissive wave.

“I already have,” I tell her. “So, uh, why were you talking about Kessler’s dick?”

She grins at me, wagging her brows. “Wouldn’t you like to know? No wait. You do know. Let me guess, you’ve already seen it since he’s been here.”

She’s not wrong but I’m not about to bring up the chicken incident or the amount of times he’s had a boner around me.

And I’m definitely not going to bring up the fact that we kissed last night.

No, I’m taking that one to my grave.

I swear it.

“Kessler’s my boss, need I remind you,” I tell her.

“So? You think I haven’t seen inter-office relationships? The hotel I worked at before I came here, Moonwater Inn, I was shacking up with one of the cooks at the restaurant, meanwhile my friend ended up sleeping with the boss. It was all sorts of complicated like whoa but they’re married now with a kid, if that gives you hope. But believe me when I say I can see these things coming from a mile away.”

“And so what do you see with me?” I ask her, point blank.

She gives me a small, knowing smile. “I see you falling for his Big Dick Energy.”

“Okay, so run that Big Dick Energy past me again. What is that?”

“Well,” she says, leaning forward so her hair falls in front of her face. “BDE doesn’t just describe a man, nor does it describe sexuality or the size of your member. It’s about the powerful aura you give off. Me, for example, I give off BDE.”

I can’t argue with her. I don’t really know the definition of the term yet, but it already makes sense.

“Cate Blanchett also gives off Big Dick Energy, as does Sam Rockwell. You get my drift?”

“You’re just listing off people you want to bone. Including yourself.”

“Well it’s impossible not to want to bone people with BDE. You have BDE and you know I think you’re hot stuff, hot stuff.”

“And I guess Kessler has it too?”

“Oh yeah,” she says with a wide grin. “He’s just brimming with BDE. It helps that I know he has a real big dick to begin with. He walks into a room and everyone turns around to stare. It’s not just that he’s a massive burly handsome fuck, but that he knows what he wants in life and is going for it and it’s exuding from every pore in his body.”

I’m not going to argue with her over that either. Kessler does have BDE, whether it comes from his sense of self or his actual big dick. But with that explanation, I’m starting to think I don’t have it.

I thought I knew what I wanted in life.

I’m not sure what I want anymore.

You know, a voice whispers in my head. You know what you want, what you need.

“Shut up,” I mutter.

“Are you talking to me or yourself?” Kate asks.

“Myself,” I say, before busying myself with the drink. Damn these coconuts go down fast.

“Did something happen with you and Kessler?” she asks after a moment.

I should just ignore it and laugh and say “no way” but something inside me, probably the lime or the rum in the coconut, has the truth spilling from my lips.

“Not really,” I tell her. “Okay, I have a bit of a problem.”

“I knew it,” she says with conviction, practically pounding her fist on the table. “Tell Kate everything.”

I’m not going to tell her everything, but I do say, “There’s something you didn’t know about us. And by us, I mean back in the day. We, uh, well we slept together for a few months, like I’d said, and then he broke it off because he couldn’t commit.” I pause and she gestures for me to go on, looking bored because she already knows all of this. “And the truth was, I was in love with him.”

She stares at me for a moment before slowly stirring her drink. “And?”

“And…he broke my heart. My boss is the man who broke my heart. He’s my level-ten heartbreaker.”


“So?! You ever had your heart broken?”


“On a level-ten scale?”

“Yeah and it sucked. But I mean this is pretty obvious, Nova. You moved all the way here after you guys broke up, and ever since I’ve known you, you’ve dated a lot of guys but never committed to one. I’ve been in your shoes, I know what it’s like. You’re trying to forget and he did a number on you and sometimes there are people in your life that affect you more than you think they should. They take up more space in your heart than you originally made room for them, like when a goldfish outgrows its tank.”

I stab my pineapple with the straw. “You come up with surprising analogies sometimes.”

“It’s true,” she says. “So you were in love with him and you had your heart broken. So what? We all get our hearts broken if we’re lucky enough.”

I shake my head vehemently. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

“But what’s the alternative?”

“The alternative is that you end up loving someone who loves you and you live happily ever after.”

“That will happen, just chill about it. The alternative you should fear is the one where you never get your heart broken because you never fall in love. That’s sad.”

“That’s smart.”

“No, it’s sad. How can you say you’ve had the human experience unless you’ve fallen in love? And part of falling in love means that you’re likely to get hurt. To suffer over a broken heart is…well, that’s what helps to build Big Dick Energy. You think Cate Blanchett hasn’t cried over someone before? She has. She’s taken that and let it fuel her.”

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