The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Men

The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Men by Jessica Brody

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Authors: Jessica Brody
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really getting married. That's what I've been trying to tell you since John walked through the door. Jamie proposed to me last night. We're engaged!"
    There was no laughing this time, just more staring. And the three of them looked at one another, trying to gauge whether anyone else in the room was actually buying this.
    Sophie crossed her arms over her chest. Clearly, she was in no mood for April Fools pranks in October. "Really?" she challenged me. "So if you're engaged, where's your ring?"
    I looked down at my empty left hand. And then, without another word, I raced down the hallway at warp speed, threw open my top dresser drawer, and yanked out the navy blue velvet box. I tore the ring out of its holder and shoved it onto my finger.
    "You mean this ring?" I asked indignantly as soon as I came back into the living room. I stuck out my hand and brandished it in their faces.
    I had never seen three jaws drop in such perfect synchronicity in all my life.
    There was a really long silence. Sophie actually reached out to touch the rock on my finger, as if she were making sure it was real and not just one of those cool hologram illusion tricks.
    After all the grief they'd given me over the past few years about my "intimacy issues," you'd think I would get a more welcoming reception.
    Finally, one of them spoke. It was Sophie. But she wasn't exactly eloquent. "Jen! W-w-why didn't you . . . I mean, how . . . when did this happen? I'm sorry. I'm kind of in a little bit of shock."
    The rest of them just nodded their agreement.
    "Yeah, I can see that," I said with a laugh as I plopped back down on my white sectional couch, hugging a green throw pillow to my chest. "I'm still kind of in shock myself. It happened last night. He took me to the golf course where we had our first date, and he asked me right outside of the snack stand."
    "That's pretty fucking cute," Zoë finally said.
    I nodded. "Yeah, it was. And he's taking me to Cabo next weekend so we can celebrate."
    "But you have your final dress fitting that Saturday!" Sophie protested, and then immediately thought twice about it and shrank back in her seat. "I mean, I'm sure we can move it," she offered.
    I laughed endearingly at her. "Don't worry. I'll call the tailor myself and reschedule."
    "Just don't eat too many carne asada tacos down there," she warned me. "That dress cannot be let out. It can only be taken in."
    I reached out and laid my hand tenderly on her shoulder. "I won't."
    She took hold of it and pulled it up to her face. "It's a beautiful ring," she finally conceded.
    Then I waited for the screams, the jumping up and down, the perfectly timed simultaneous gasps. But there was none of it. They all just stared at me, their faces still blanketed with shock.
    "I just can't believe this," John said dazedly. "With you two gone away to live in Coupleville, I guess it's just me and Zo left." He threw his arm around Zoë's neck, and she quickly pulled away with a horrified look on her face.
    "Great, you two are getting hitched and I'm gonna be stuck with the young, the gay, and the restless over here."
    "I resent that," John said, crossing his arms over his chest. "I am not restless. I'll have you know, I am getting plenty from my new boyfriend, Danny. And he is oh so—"
    "Okay, we get the point," Zoë interrupted. "You're getting laid. Congratulations."
    John squinted suspiciously at Zoë. "More importantly, it sounds like someone is not getting any."
    "I get plenty," Zoë shot back defensively.
    And just like that, the subject was changed. But I didn't protest. A part of me actually felt relieved.
    "From who?" John challenged.
    "No one in particular," she replied.
    Sophie's face brightened. "That's great news!" she exclaimed with a bit too much enthusiasm. We all shot her a questioning look.
    "Jeez, Soph, you act like I was on a three-year dry spell or something." Zoë frowned disapprovingly.
    Sophie giggled. "No, I mean that's not why I'm excited. I mean, I am excited

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