The Opposite of Nothing by Shari Slade
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2014
Amazon ♥ B & N
Callie Evans would rather hide out in her DJ sound booth than face the fact that she’s in love with her best friend, notorious campus hottie Tayber King.
Tayber turns hooking up into an art form–no drama, no commitment, no lies, and nobody gets hurt. Nobody but Callie, that is.
When she sees an opportunity to explore his sexier side using a fake online profile, she grabs it. Now her uninhibited alter-ego ‘Sasha’ is steaming up the screen, and Callie is breaking all of Tayber’s rules.
As Callie and Tayber get closer, online and off, she knows she has to confess. And risk losing him forever.
She changed into a tank top and threadbare shorts before slipping into her desk chair. I’ll just check my school email, ten minutes tops. She was lying to herself, bargaining with the devil. I will not open his profile. I will not send him a message.
Making that fake profile for herself last month had seemed like such a good idea at two o’clock in the morning, after a few beers with Jessa and a few agonizing hours of watching Tayber hook up with some random girl at The Brick. She just wanted to know what she was missing. In graphic detail. Sasha let her find out. Except it had only made her wanting worse, and it was such a wrong thing to do. So she’d stopped. At least a dozen times.
But nothing stopped him from messaging her. There it was, blinking away. She should ignore it. Delete, delete, delete. It wasn’t even for her. Not really. It was for Sasha. And she’d sworn she’d never be Sasha again.
How could three tiny letters be so suggestive? She could hear him in her head. He’d say it kind of soft, but forceful, like the whole universe of his carnal experience could be contained in one word. She pictured him hunched over his laptop, shaggy hair eclipsing his face, shirtless, bare feet hanging off the end of his extra-long bed. She had to answer. She wanted him any way she could have him.
Sasha: Hey yourself.
Tay: Why am I always happy to see you?
Sasha: Because I’m awesome like that?
Tay: You are. I’m looking at your picture right now. So beautiful.
Not me. She’d sent him a picture of her cousin, on spring break in Cabo three years ago, filling out her bikini and pulling a duck face for the camera.
Sasha: Not really
Tay: Inside and out
Sasha: Laying it on thick tonight?
Tay: I can’t stop thinking about you.
It was torture. The ninth level of Hell. Everything she’d ever wanted him to say was there on the screen, except it wasn’t really for her.
Tay: I wish I could touch you.
And she was burning, flaming. If he were saying these things in person, she’d disintegrate. She tugged on her tank top, pulling the thin cotton away from her itchy skin.
Tay: Is that okay?
She was practically molting, slipping right out of her skin on the spot. This disastrous attraction might kill her. She squeezed her thighs together and shifted in her seat.
Sasha: I want to touch you too.
Sasha: Can’t, still no webcam.
Shit. This was going to be the end of it, again. Who didn’t have a webcam? She held her breath, waiting for the little indicator to flash that he was answering. A full minute. He was probably frustrated, pulling that mop of hair out of his face now, tugging it into a tiny ponytail. A minute and a half. He’d lost interest. Any second now his light would go out.
Tay: Too bad
She exhaled, a rush of relief that left her giddy.
Tay: Don’t you want to see me?
Sasha: More than anything
Tay: I want to see my hands on you.
Was he touching himself now? She traced a figure eight over the soft skin below her navel, chasing the flutter building there. She’d never be able to tell him the truth, and this was never going to be enough.
Sasha: You’re touching me now
Sasha: My belly
Tay: Lower. I’m touching you lower. I’ve got my fingers between your legs and you’re so wet for me.
Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn't toiling away in the non-profit sector, she's writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust).
Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.
Frequently found in a blanket fort, you can also find her contributing at Wonkomance, on twitter, facebook, or tumblr. For new release updates, sign up for the newsletter.