Getting Played - Emma Chase

Chapter One

Lainey

June

Sometimes life surprises you.

I never really understood that expression. I happen to think life surprises us all the time. Every day. In big ways and small ways—awful ways and beautiful ways.

For some—like my Great-Granny Annie—just waking up in the morning was a surprise. “The old ticker’s still tocking. Isn’t that nice?” she would say as she waddled out to breakfast behind her walker.

Until the day she didn’t waddle out to breakfast. Because Great-Granny Annie’s old ticker had ticked its last toc. And even that was surprising, in its own way.

Sometimes it’s the flower we spot growing through the sidewalk crack or the coffee spillage on our white shirt as we drive into work. It’s the awesome sunglasses we thought we’d lost that show up in last year’s coat pocket—or even better—the twenty bucks we didn’t know we had showing up in last week’s jeans. It’s the car accident, the lottery win, the call from an old friend, the Nickelback song we always secretly loved but haven’t heard in forever coming on the radio.

It’s all surprising—every moment. Life can be a bitch . . . but she’s never boring.

A few weeks ago, I got a big surprise. The chance for my life to take a completely unexpected turn—and today is the day I sealed the deal. Signed the papers. Set my feet walking in a whole new direction.

I’m a lifestyle blogger. I post videos about interior design, fashion, skincare. The title of my blog even has my name in it—Life with Lainey. And now my channel has been picked up by Facebook and contracted to do a weekly web series for the next year. It’s the biggest trend in social media entertainment and all the platforms are scooping up content providers, like me, and getting on board.

When I started blogging and posting videos a few years ago—it was a hobby—not a career path or anything I’d thought I could make money doing. But then, I started getting subscribers and followers—a lot of them. Next came advertisers and sponsors. And now, here I am, in this great bar down the Jersey shore with my sister and her boyfriend, celebrating this whole new chapter—this new unexpected adventure—in my life.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

The best things in life always come along when we’re not looking for them.

“Oh. My. God. How hot is he?” the woman next to me says to her friend.

Speaking of the best things in life…

“Sooooo hot,” her friend sighs back.

They’re talking about the drummer on the stage a few feet away. I know they’re talking about him, because I’d bet my bottom dollar every woman in the bar—except my sister—is talking about him.

Despite the cheesy cover band name—Amber Sound—they’re actually really good. And their drummer is outstanding. He’s singing “She Talks to Angels” by the Black Crowes—singing and playing, which hardly any drummers do because it’s super hard.

But this guy’s a unicorn.

With great hands, a gorgeous mouth, sun-kissed hair and sculpted golden-tan arms that contract lusciously with every move he makes. His voice is warm and rough—like heated sand brushing slowly over your skin. And he’s got an aura around him—the cocky, vibrant kind—that sucks in every woman within a ten-foot radius, like a hot alien tractor beam.

“He’s looking this way!” the woman at the bar whisper-squeals. “He’s looking right over here.”

He is looking over here. Little excited sparks burst in my stomach—because the hot drummer guy has been looking over here a lot.

And I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

“All these do-me gazes between Lainey and the drummer are giving me a second-hand boner.”

My sister’s boyfriend, Jack O’Shay, has picked up on