Making Sense Online - Serenity Woods

Chapter One

“I’d throw my underwear at him,” said Freya, eyeing the singer on the stage, “but I’m not wearing any.”

Mia stared at her for a moment, startled, then collapsed into laughter at Freya’s mischievous smile. “Freya! Honestly?”

“Nope.” Freya rested her chin on her hand, watching the man croon into the microphone. “The only pair left in the drawer were the ones that come up to my armpits, and it’s too hot for those.”

“I’m shocked. I never knew you were such a hussy.”

Freya shrugged and sipped her wine. “I’m not going commando out of sexual deviance. I’m doing it because every other pair I own is in the laundry basket.”

“Since when do you not have any panties in your drawer? Normally they’re all washed, starched and ironed the same day you take them off.”

“I’m taking a leaf out of your book. The Slut’s Guide to Housekeeping.”

Mia snorted. Freya laughed and sipped her wine again. She was on her third glass and knew she should slow down, but the bar was roasting hot, and the wine was icy cool. Besides, she hadn’t felt this relaxed for weeks.

Mia’s comment irked her, though. Why had her friend been so shocked to think she might leave the house without underwear? Was she really so staid and boring?

“Seriously though,” said Mia, unwilling to let it go, clearly stunned by Freya’s apparent laundry transgression, “what’s going on?”

“Just been too busy. Between night shifts and studying, I haven’t had much time to think about the state of my underwear drawer.”

“Oh…I forgot—you’ve got an exam next week, haven’t you?” Mia stretched out her legs in front of her. “You’re excused, then. Besides, I can’t talk, you’re right. I haven’t done my laundry this week, and I’m on vacation.” Mia was a teacher, currently living it up during the summer break. “Still,” she continued, “if you’re thinking about bumping uglies with our young Mr. Taylor up there, you might want to consider getting your underwear drawer sorted. You don’t want him to get his hand up your kilt only to find you’re sporting Magic Knickers.”

“True.” Freya studied the singer and lead guitarist currently breathing his way through a very sexy rendition of an old blues song and wished she were the sort of person who had the self-confidence to get down and dirty with someone like Nate Taylor. The deep tones of his low voice cut through the hum of the crowd, doing strange things to her nether regions. Or maybe it was just the three glasses of Sauvignon and the sultry ambience that were making her feel sexy.

She hardly ever went out on a Friday night, and the atmosphere of the downtown Wellington bar was both overwhelming and exciting. Her ears rang from the loud conversation and the throbbing music, and her nostrils stung from the smell of spilled beer and the acrid bite of the smoke brought in by those who’d snatched a quick cigarette outside. The hot and humid January air made sweat run down her back, even though she wore only a vest and a pair of light cotton cut-offs.

But the weather wasn’t the only hot thing around. Freya had to admit, Nate Taylor was possibly the sexiest man she’d ever laid eyes on.

“Marks out of one?” said Mia.

“I’d give him one.” Freya winked at their shared joke.

“Well, he’s too young for me. I’m not into toy boys. We’ll have to ask Grace to see if she can fix you two up.”

“You’re only four years older than me. And don’t say a word to Grace or Ash, please. I’m not looking for a relationship at the moment. Far too much on my plate.”

Mia’s gaze left the moody singer for a brief moment to study Freya thoughtfully. “Work getting you down?”

“Work’s fine. Busy, but fine.”

“The exam?”

“All prepared. Pretty much.”

“Family, then, huh?”

“Yeah.” Freya finished off her wine, not wanting to talk about it. “Another?”

Mia reached out and rested her hand on Freya’s arm. The black-haired, bubbly Mia was outspoken and mischievous, but also caring and considerate, and the two girls had grown surprisingly close in the year they’d been sharing a house. Mia was one of the few people who knew about Freya’s problems with her parents, and even though she couldn’t do anything about it, her sympathetic manner had helped Freya through some bad times. “Don’t let it get you down, love, not tonight. You’re supposed to be relaxing and enjoying yourself.”

“I am,” said Freya, her gaze drifting back to Nate on stage. “He’s like aloe vera for