The Virgin's Billionaire Single DaddyBy: Brittney Brooke
The Neighborly Thing To Do
It’s too damn hot in here.
My eyes feel like boiled onions as I try to read the words on my computer screen. I can’t remember a September so blistering in my twenty-two years on this planet; not even here in Arizona where it’s hot most of the time to begin with. Although when my dad and I go camping in the desert sometimes, it can be blessedly cool at night—even cold on occasion.
But it isn’t night. And we aren’t camping. I lie on the bed of my upstairs bedroom in the same-old four-bedroom rancher we’ve lived in forever, with my laptop propped in front of me, open to the notes for Wednesday’s quiz. Just one more year to finish my Master’s in Psychology at ASU, and I’ll be free to move on, find a good job or maybe even set up my own business. Hopefully somewhere more temperate than scorched Scottsdale. Though I love our house here, it seems awfully empty with Mom gone.
With a pang of sadness, I realize it’s almost two years since the accident that claimed her life, and in a way, it claimed mine and my dad’s too. Frederick VanderKemp, noted and respected family doctor, for all his skill and knowledge could not have saved his wife from the oncoming semi that crushed her small vehicle on a lonely Arizona highway that night. He’d never been the same since, and his practice had suffered. Our lives went on hold as the two of us stayed locked in the dubious comfort of our shared grief.
For that reason, I couldn’t leave my dad to deal with it all alone. I’d buried myself in my studies, shelving my own sadness while helping him to cope. When I graduate, I want to become a grief counselor and help others to overcome such devastating events and put my experience, as traumatic as it is, to productive use. It would help me heal in the process, too; put the tragic past behind me for good. I miss my mom, but nothing will bring her back. Dad and I both have to move forward somehow.
I roll over onto my back and rub my tired eyes. I can’t take another second of that bright screen, or read yet another case study on counseling methods for substance-induced behavioral disorders. Dealing with psychos and drug addicts was not going to be my area of specialization. But, as part of the mandatory curriculum, I have no choice but to learn it if I want those letters behind my name someday. And I definitely want them.
In truth, the rubric isn’t all that different than the methods for treating depression or PTSD. Empathize with the patient, make them feel safe, help rationalize their thought processes to avert potential destructive behavior. It sounds so simple in theory. But I can’t say for sure if I’d remember what to do or say if I came face-to-face with some trigger-happy meth head, and I hope I never have to find out.
I expect my friend Rochelle to be calling soon, like she always does on Sunday nights, trying to persuade me to come out for drinks at one of the campus bars.
“You’ve gotta get out more,” she always says. “Meet some guys, for Christ’s sake. You’re like a damn nun—wearing your schoolwork and your virginity like habit robes. You need that cherry popped, girl. You’ll feel better, I guarantee it.”
She makes it sound like punching a ticket for admittance to some exclusive club; some status symbol I should be striving to attain. I sigh and tug my cotton tee shirt away from the sweaty valley between my breasts where the material has stuck. Sex is everywhere on campus. Horny guys and gals seem to float through classes and social events for no other reason than to get off or get laid, and they don’t care with whom. That’s not me. Maybe I’m delusional, or just old-fashioned, but I want my first time to be with someone I really care about, and who cares about me in return. Was that so impossible these days? Was it so much to hope for?
As much as I feel the same urges as my classmates, I know all the guys approach me only because of my looks, and only want one thing. My blonde, blue-eyed Dutch genes and my mother’s voluptuous curves are more of a curse than a blessing. I’m just a tantalizing Dutch Treat on legs to them—a hot, fluffy waffle with whipped cream on top, ready and willing to be eaten wherever, whenever, like a $2.99 all-day breakfast special. Ugh. I dream of a guy who might actually want me because of me, Quinn VanderKemp. Gentle, smart and caring. And a virgin.
Dammit. Waiting for Mr. Right to “pop my cherry” doesn’t stop me from feeling as horny as the rest of them. Sweat trickles down my abdomen from beneath my tits, and I feel my nipples press annoyingly beneath the fabric stretched tightly across them. Jeez, couldn’t just a little breeze waft in through my open bedroom window? The spinning ceiling fan offers some minor relief from the devilish heat, but not nearly enough.