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Joy Ride

Copyright © 2011 by Desiree Holt

ISBN: 978-1-61333-037-1

Cover art by Fiona Jayde and DZR Images

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Decadent Publishing Company, LLC

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Joy Ride

Desiree Holt


To Jackie Joyride, the real Marc Malone who inspired me and made me fall in love with the music all over again. You rock, Guitar Man.

Chapter One

“I can’t do this any more.”

Emma Blake pushed herself up from the couch, stared at the man focused intently on the television, and wondered why she didn’t run screaming into the night. All week she’d been restless, almost dreading their usual Saturday night. Pizza, an old movie, and obligatory sex. The lingering aroma of the oh-so-boring cheese and pepperoni still drifted in the air, but an unexpected feeling of nausea grabbed her. As if she’d finally reached her limit.

Andrew Fielder put the movie they were watching on pause and looked at her, puzzled. “Do what?”

“This.” She waved her hands to encompass the room. The television. Him sprawled into a corner of the couch. “What we’re doing.”

“You mean the movie?” He frowned and started to uncoil himself from the couch. “No problem. I’ll put in another one.”

“No, Andrew.” She wanted to stomp her foot. “I don’t just mean the movie.” She had an instant sensation of suffocating, of the room—maybe her entire life—closing in on her. A feeling that had been creeping up on her the past few days. “I mean everything. All of it. This routine. This…this…nothing. Everything.”

He stared at her as if she’d spoken in a foreign language. “Emma, I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

“I know, I know.” She began pacing, frustration threatening to explode inside her. “That’s the problem. You. Just. Don’t. Know.”

Six days ago her college roommate, Jacie Monroe, blew into town on her way to a conference, blooming with the happiness of an exciting marriage, a wonderful child, and a more than fulfilling career. Her satisfaction with life shimmered around her. And just like that, Emma had gone from the flavorless acceptance of her own simple, uneventful life—a life she hadn’t even realized she was dissatisfied with—to a case of raging discontent.

She’d stewed about it all week, hoping it would dissipate when Saturday night rolled around. But instead it only underscored her colorless existence. One minute she’d been happy with the gray she’d always known, then she wanted the bright flashes of color that seemed to sizzle from Jacie.

He leaned forward, a perplexed look on his face and, when he spoke, his voice was pitched in the patient tone of someone speaking to a child. It occurred to her that he often took that tone with her.

“You’re making me nervous, Emma. Please just sit down and tell me what seems to be the problem. Just straight out.”

Tell him? How could she put into words what had been rattling around in her mind all week, ever since she had lunch with her college roommate and saw the glow in the woman’s face, the enthusiasm in her eyes when she talked about her husband and her job and her child? Emma was startled by the awareness that she had none of that. Nothing about her life sparkled. Although up until now, she’d been perfectly content. Or so she thought. But that day, she had the sensation of a veil lifting, showing her a world she could have if she’d just grab on to it.

Andrew would never understand. He was too satisfied with the way things were. Too comfortable. This was what he wanted. And all Emma had wanted until now.

“Okay. Okay, okay.” She stopped pacing, took a deep breath, and faced him. “Here’s the thing, Andrew. In a couple of weeks I’m going to be thirty. Thirty! And my life is about as exciting as boiled water. I’m bored out of my skull. Is that straight out enough for you?”

“Bored?” He looked stunned. “Emma, how could you possibly be bored? We have a very good life. You know that. Right?”

She laughed, hearing the edge of hysteria in the sound. “A good life. Oh, yes. Right. Of course. We work all week. Have dinner with my folks on Friday night or brunch on Sunday. On Saturday I come over here, we order in pizza, watch an old movie then go to bed and have sex.” She threw up her hands. “What more could a girl possibly want?”

“Emma, what in the hell has gotten into you?” He rubbed his jaw and blinked, as if he’d missed some important clue and didn’t know what it was.

“Something. Everything.” The sense of being suffocated or choked squeezed her again. “Tell me, Andrew. When we have sex, don’t you ever want me to be on top? Don’t you ever want to fuck me from behind?”

“What? For God’s sake, Emma.”

She wasn’t sure if he was shocked at what she suggested or the fact that she said fuck. It certainly stunned her to hear the words coming out of her mouth. Here was poor sensible, unexciting, dependable Andrew—wearing her parents’ stamp of approval along with his tailored slacks and collared polo shirt—looking as if someone had pulled

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