/T͟Hē, ˈkwôrdər, CHānj/
A drastic personality change brought on by a person’s upcoming twenty-fifth birthday and the realization that they have been EXISTING for a quarter of a century but not LIVING.
Kimbella Tyler is done floating through life…
She’s turning twenty-five in a few weeks, and even though she’s in the prime of her life, living by the motto “Keep head down or in a book” hasn’t exactly been fun. Sick of hanging in the background of life, Kimbella embarks on a mission to leave her introverted ways in the past and live by a new motto—“Liquor. Lust. Living.”. The first step in her mission is to change her surroundings. Armed with her “Quarter List” full of fun local attractions and wild, adventurous things that she was always too introverted to do, Kimbella heads to California for two weeks of no holds barred fun.
An unlisted attraction…
Kimbella’s carefully laid plans are interrupted when she meets the crazy sexy Dr. Roman Tanzman and he attaches himself to her at the hip. Rolling with the punches for once in her life, Kimbella takes Roman along as she goes on the adventure of a lifetime—well the adventure of a quarter of a lifetime.
Liquor. Lust. Love…?
Kimbella’s new life is one she’s always dreamed about; filled with hot nights with Roman, endless fancy dinners and dancing and no shortage of liquor. But with Kimbella pretending to be a bold, outgoing and sexually forward woman, and Roman pretending to be a carefree guy who isn’t going through the most trying time of his life, their facades have the potential to be their very undoing. Liquor and lust were part of the plan—love certainly wasn’t.
As I neared my small, ranch-style house, my neighbor came barreling down the narrow walkway, and just like yesterday he rammed roughly into me and kept walking, not caring that he’s double my size and that he practically trampled over me.
Yesterday, when I was still Old Kimbella, I would have just kept walking.
Well today was a new day, and New Kimbella wasn’t going to stand for this stuff—I mean shit.
I whirled around and shouted, “Hey, you! Hey… jackhole!”
Okay so ‘jackhole’ probably wasn’t the most offensive word in the world, but I had to ease myself into this whole potty mouth thing or I would wind up sounding like I had a speech impediment.
After a few seconds, my neighbor Carey stopped walking and turned in my direction as he opened his car door.
I marched over to him, jabbing my finger out. “Why can’t you freaking learn to watch where you’re walking or at the very freaking least say excuse me when you nearly knock someone over?” I asked angrily.
He blinked at me, shocked at the aggressive way I was coming at him.
“Um…I’m sorry?” he finally replied sheepishly.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “You should be. Stuff—I mean shit like that is not cool, man!”
His lips twitched like he was biting back a smile as he asked, “Are you all right Kimbella? You seem a little…off today.”
I shrugged noncommittally, feigning more confidence than I actually felt at the moment. I’m sure by ‘off’ he meant that I was actually showing emotion for the first time in the seven years I had been living next door to him.
We stood there awkwardly for a few seconds before I abruptly turned on my heel and strutted over to my door. As calmly as I could, I unlocked it and let myself inside. Closing the door firmly behind me I sagged against it, releasing the pent up tension I hadn’t even realized I was harboring.
My insides were a jumbled mess of anxiety, remorse and…elation. Standing up for myself, as small a stand as it had been, had felt so freaking—no fucking—good!
I smiled wryly to myself, thinking that I had created a monster.
He stared down at me with an impassive expression before asking, “You following me, Ms. Tyler?”
I craned my neck back and looked up at him; the sun was at his back and the light billowed out all around him, making him look like the angel of temptation.
“I was just about to ask you the same thing,” I finally replied.
Any earlier anger I felt toward him was gone, and seeing him here now seemed like a sign. I was looking for a fun fling out here in Cali, and it was practically being hand-delivered to me courtesy of the sex-gods.
He took off his sunglasses and stared down at me with hazel eyes that were shrouded by long, dark, thick eyelashes. “I live here. Right in the next courtyard, in fact, so it would be kind of hard for me to be following you,” he chuckled lightly.
He lived here? This was getting more convenient by the minute. I bit back a smile, and instead of answering him, I pushed off the ledge and waded back out into the middle of the pool.
“You coming in?” I asked casually.
His lips twitched. “Actually, I’m liking the view from here just fine.”
I blushed and looked down at my body, which was distorted by the gently moving water, before reaching down and slapping the water and causing it to splash all over him.
He tried to step back but was too late as his shirt and trunks got soaked.
I couldn’t help it; I burst into laughter as he looked at me and struggled to keep a straight face.
“I see what this is. You wanted to find me and wreak vengeance on me for spilling coffee on you, is that it?” he asked playfully.
I sobered. “Vengeance? No. Actually, I think I’d just like to have sex with you.”
The minute the words left my lips, my eyes widened in shock and I clapped my hand over my turncoat of a mouth.
As I was contemplating just letting myself float to the bottom of the pool and drown, I heard him let out a loud bark of laughter.
“Come again?” he asked through his laughter.
I let out a frustrated huff of air. This was so not going the way I wanted it to. But if I was going to salvage my trip and set the pace for the next fourteen days, I needed to make Roman and myself believe that I was a fun, hot, carefree soon-to-be twenty-five-year-old woman.
Squaring my shoulders, I said, “You heard me. I’d like to have sex with you.”
He stopped laughing and looked at me, amused.
“So that’s the type of woman you are then?” he asked.
I shrugged, feigning nonchalance as I said, “Today it is.”
He pursed his lips. “Hmm,” he said as if he didn’t quite believe me. “Well…let’s go then.”
I turned my head so he wouldn’t see my eyes nearly bulge out of their sockets. I hadn’t expected him to agree so easily and so soon to my little proposition.
Turning, I looked back over at him and spotted the look on his face. He was calling my bluff, daring me to backpedal and change my mind.
Kiarra M. Taylor is a Pittsburgh native and current resident. She is a mother to a handsome son as well as a beautiful daughter. A lifelong bookworm, Kiarra began writing in the fifth grade and hasn’t stopped since. With so many genres out there she doesn’t limit herself to writing in just one and aims to write across genres. Her interests in books vary as does as her interest in music; she literally likes it all. Some of Kiarra’s favorite authors are; J.K. Rowling, Sylvia Day, Tiffany Snow, Jane Austen, Maya Angelou, Mary Monroe and ML Rodriguez.
Aside from reading Kiarra has a passion for all things Criminal Justice and currently holds several higher education degrees including a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.
When Kiarra isn’t transferring fictional worlds from the dredges of her mind to her laptop, you can find her nose-deep in a book or spending time with her children.