Authors: Moxie North
Izzy and Eli
By Moxie North
Copyright ©2014 Moxie North
All Rights Reserved
This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this book is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction.
Table of Contents
This is going to be a waste of time.
Isabella, ever the pessimist couldn’t help but chant this through her head over and over. She hated getting dressed up, attempting to slap on makeup and then going out with her girls just to sit and drink then head home to watch Stephen Amell do pull-ups on his Facebook videos. Don’t get her wrong, she loved her girls. More than her only family even. Chloe and Nikki had saved her from certain doom in middle school. Ok, slight exaggeration, but truly she was the short, fat girl that already garnered more than her fair share of teasing and bullying. She didn’t really have any friends, she was too shy to even acknowledge most of the people that tried talking to her. So the day she walked into the crowded cafeteria and accidentally dropped her full lunch tray onto the floor, the food splashing up and hitting her in the face, she thought she might actually die of humiliation.
All she could do was close her eyes and wait for the laughter and catcalling. Instead, she heard a huge crash behind her. She whipped her head around and saw two girls smiling back at her, their trays sprayed across the floor, food covering them. A call of “Food Fight!” could be heard from somewhere in the cafeteria and then all hell broke loose. Food was flying in every direction, laughter (not directed at her thankfully) filled the room. She realized the girls had pulled all the attention from her by chucking their trays on the ground and causing the most epic of food fights to cover her blunder. She fell a little in love with both of them at that moment.
One of the girls grabbed her hand and dragged her to a corner to avoid the flying pizza that whizzed past her head.
“Hey, I’m Chloe and this is Nikki, you’re Isabella right?”
“Uh… just Izzy actually,” she managed to whisper.
“Ok just Izzy, that was a close one. Do you wanna go hang outside until this all dies down? I think our lunch break has just been canceled,” Chloe said on a giggle.
“Sure, I guess,” Izzy muttered. She liked these girls already and didn’t want them to change their minds about rescuing her. She didn’t need to worry, Chloe and Nikki swooped her up and for the years that followed always made sure their Izzy was included. They became best friends, soul mates even. Izzy thanked her lucky stars every day that she wasn’t alone. She had family of course, but sadly they were all as shy and introverted as she was. Which also was the reason she had turned to food for comfort at a very early age. She came from a family of short round people. Not that that was a bad thing, just the honest truth. Her whole family looked like those balloon toys that won’t fall down when you punched them. They brought laughter and joy, but were still a little sad.
Her momma showed love in the form of cookies and cakes, chocolate milk for breakfast and dessert every night. She really couldn’t blame them, but at only 5’4”, snarfing sugar was the last thing she should be doing. Instead she ended up hovering around a size 22-24 in most clothes. She was soft and fleshy, had a rounded belly and a bubble butt. She used to try and cover herself up in muumuu style clothing, but with Chloe and Nikki as friends, they taught her to accentuate her assets. She already had long platinum blond hair and cornflower blue eyes to draw some of the attention away from her shape. Chloe joked she looked like a cherub. Izzy thought she looked more like that marshmallow man. But her friends loved her, so she never corrected them.
Nikki and Chloe were both big girls too, but somehow they owned it, rocked it and never let it hold them back like Izzy did.
Tonight Izzy was trying to put some effort in, her girls were excited and she didn’t want to spoil their fun. She had curled her massive amount of hair into ringlets and sprayed and teased it hoping to balance out her appearance. She was wearing a pair of stretchy jeans that were boot cut, again attempting to negate the ball shape she sported. Although the side effect of tight jeans was a muffin top or in her case a busted can of biscuits. She knew she could stand to lose a few pounds, but who couldn’t? She also knew that she was curvy, had hips and ass and a surprisingly perky set of double D’s. So she tossed on a baby blue sparkly empire waist top that was made with a few layers of soft fabric that moved when she walked and made her feel good. It also matched her eyes almost perfectly. She had matched it with a pair of cute turquoise wedges. Nikki and Chloe had put her through high heel boot camp in high school. They said every girl had to learn to walk in heels. It was a crucial life skill. So Izzy learned and she liked the extra height, it made her feel not so squatty.
As she leaned over to touch up her eyeshadow she sighed, she always ended up looking like a clown when she did her makeup. Realizing she was just making it worse she muttered, “Dang it.”
“Here let me do that, you just need a little mascara sweetie,” Nikki said taking the eyeshadow out of her hands and quickly, expertly added some mascara and smoothed out her crazy color blobs on her eyelids.
“Lip gloss and you’re done, baby girl,” Nikki said giving her that dazzling smile of hers. Nikki always looked like a goddess. Izzy didn’t know how she did it. She had confidence, and charm. She was funny and had a wicked sense of humor and was fiercely loyal to her friends. Izzy felt like she was always in the shadows, granted she usually put herself there. So there was no one to blame but Izzy herself.
She heard Chloe call out that shots were ready and they headed to the kitchen to toast their evening. Izzy didn’t have high hopes for anything spectacular to happen. They were heading to a local bar, Bunkers, for a firefighter hotbod contest. The men from the district were putting together the calendar to raise money for the local pediatric burn unit. Tonight’s winner was going to be the cover model.
So drinks with the girls, good, watching hottie firefighters shaking their moneymakers, also good. Izzy was going to have the best time she could because she owed it to her girls to not spoil their evening. Then home to something cold and creamy from the freezer and the new romance book on her e-reader. This one was about a crashed space alien looking for a mate. Izzy hoped it had tentacles…she loved tentacles.
Walking out to the kitchen she saw Chloe had a line of shots waiting for them.
“Ready to ogle the fine men of Department 17 ladies?” Chloe asked.
“Let’s hit it,” Nikki said, tossing her lipstick into her cute sliver clutch.
“Can’t we just stay home?” Izzy whined.
“No.” Both Chloe and Nikki said in unison.
“We are having fun whether you like it or not Izzy,” Chloe snapped.
Boo, it was worth a try Izzy thought.
Piling into the waiting taxi, the girls headed to the bar. They hit the bouncer and made their way inside. Picking a table in the second row, the first row was full of teeny tiny princesses, Chloe made quick work of ordering them more drinks and a bucket of beers.
“Both?” Izzy tried to whisper.
“Oh girl, you need to lighten up!” Nikki said. “We are going to have fun and that means you too.”
“Cheers,” Izzy offered, but couldn’t help but say it warily.
Izzy liked a drink sure, but she did not want to get hammered in front of a group of firefighters. Gawd, could you imagine? Passing out drunk only to wake up to half-dressed hunks checking your vitals? Izzy would surely have a real heart attack and die of embarrassment.
The lights dimmed and a truly terrible MC came on and brought groans from the crowd as his microphone emitted a horrific screech. Getting himself under control, he welcomed the audience who responded with hoots and hollers.
Izzy was only half paying attention. She was nursing her drink and peeling the label off her beer bottle. The first contestant was painfully awkward; Izzy immediately felt sympathy for him. She wouldn’t get on that stage for a million dollars. No, not even ten million. Hells to the no, on that. The sad little dancer finally hobbled off stage still half dressed.
Next up was what could only be described as a sex god. No joke. Izzy felt her eyes grow huge at the sight of this studmuffin. And said studmuffin seemed to be looking at their table. No way? Right? But he was, he was looking straight to the center where Chloe happened to be sitting. Izzy looked back and forth between them as the man named Rafe danced. She looked at Nikki who was also doing the tennis match head twist between the two. She caught Izzy’s eye and gave her a huge grin.
Oh my sweet lord, was that guy working it for you?!” Nikki yelled.
“He totally was!” Izzy said bouncing in her seat.
“He was not, that’s crazy,” Chloe said.
“With all those skinny tramps in the front row, there is no way he was checking out the fluffy chick in the second row.” Chloe always resorted to self-bashing when she was embarrassed.
“If he wasn’t dancing for you, then why is he making his way over to our table?” Nikki said with a wicked grin.
Izzy watched in fascination as the firefighter named Rafe, made his way to their table, introduced himself and whisked a still stuttering Chloe off to the back for a drink and a little chat. Izzy knew that man had more than chatting on his mind.
“One down, two to go!” Nikki said to Izzy.
“Oh sure, I’m going to hook up with half the department tonight,” Izzy said with a hiccup.
Shit, Izzy realized her drinks were catching up with her. She forgot to eat before she left. Well she really didn’t forget. She’d made a calculated decision that no food was going to fit inside her skintight jeans. Last thing she needed tonight was a wardrobe malfunction.
Izzy and Nikki sat through another terribly awkward dancer, who just looked like he wanted the floor to open up and swallow him. Even the vapid vipers in the front rows had stopped cheering.
“Alright everyone, I have a three-alarm stud coming up!” the MC rang out. “Next up we have Chase, Chase has been with District 17 for three years, and loves to hang out with his dog Max and spend time with his daughter Penny. But don’t worry ladies; he is single and ready to mingle!” A chorus of groans followed that announcement.
Izzy ogled the dark, muscled, swarthy looking hunk of man-flesh that stepped out onto the stage and basically start humping the air. The freaking bar lost its shit, girls screaming, yelling and pounding on the tables. Izzy couldn’t blame them, he was luscious.
“No way is he real,” Nikki whispered.
Izzy turned to look at her friend and saw her eyes were glazed over, staring at the man on stage.
“I don’t think he’s real, we must be hallucinating,” she offered.
Then shit you not, the man dropped to the floor and started doing push-ups! Then one-armed push-ups!
“I think I just came,” Nikki said.
Izzy spit out the drink of beer she had just swigged, “Damn it Nikki, you can’t just say things like that!” she squealed.
“I’m not joking Izzy, that man is amazing,” Nikki said, wiping the imaginary drool off her chin.
“You’re too much Nikki,” Izzy said cleaning up the beer she’d sprayed on the table. She never understood how Nikki could just say shit like that. It was mortifying when she did it in quiet restaurants, thank goodness they were in a loud rowdy bar.
Then like some scene out of one of Izzy’s books, the guy, Chase, hopped off the stage and strode to their table. At this point having two hot men search out the table with the chunky chicks, had the vapid vipers (aka skinny bitches) seething.
“Holy guacamole,” Izzy whispered, “It’s happening again!” She watched as the hunky Chase made his way to their table and sat next to Nikki. There was the usual introductions and banter from Nikki. She really couldn’t help herself. She was born with more sass than a group of hungry super models. It’s just who she was. But from the looks of things, Chase totally got off on that sass and possibly her ass from the way his eyes kept skimming up and down her friend’s body.
They continued their verbal foreplay until the point that Chase told Nikki no holds barred that he wanted to take her home and do delicious, naughty things to her. Having totally forget Izzy was sitting, listening to all this. She really couldn’t blame them, they had eyes only for each other and Iz thought that was beautiful. That kinda thing would never happen to her. She had a better chance of getting struck by lightning, and with her luck she probably just cursed herself.
Nikki was in the middle of her reasons not to go home with Chase, when Izzy spoke up, “Really guys, I can head home anytime. I do know how to catch a cab you know,” she assured them.
This was mostly ignored, as Chloe was making her way back from the bar with Rafe. They were heading out for lord only knows what kind of hot steamy sex. Izzy really doubted they were going to go play chutes and ladders. Although that might be fun with the right firefighter.
Chloe got the ok from Nikki to go forth and make pretty firefighter hottie babies. Izzy managed a weak nod and smile to her. Chase convinced Nikki to hit the dance floor, although from where Iz sat, it was more of a slow molestation than a dance.
“God, why am I always left guarding the purses,” she sighed into her drink. She wanted to be confident and secure in her own self, like her friends were. They had honestly tried for years to get her to see what they saw. But there was no way Isabella Antoinette McMillan would ever think she was all that and a bag of chips. Great, now she wanted chips.
Izzy took another sip of her drink, she was just past buzzed and was heading towards drunk. She would probably stop before she hit sloshed, but the night was young and she was feeling pretty pitiful.
“Hey Angel, this seat taken?” said a deep, honeyed voice that sounded out of breath.
Flipping her head over her shoulder towards that voice, she found herself flipping her head back the other direction as the flash of skin and sex twirled around her.
“Um, I’m sorry?” she said on a whisper, watching the man in front of her bouncing on his toes, his hand resting on the stool next to her. He was smiling at her, a huge white toothy grin. That grin was surrounded by thick lips, which were framed in a stubbly strong jaw. Izzy managed to look up at a pair of sparkling brown eyes, and she wasn’t being poetic, there were sparks in his eyes. Gold flecks in the brown that were dancing with excitement. He must have been over six feet tall, broad shoulders, like linebacker broad. He was wearing a pair of black trousers, a black shirt completely unbuttoned and a slouchy beanie hat on his head. But guessing by his dark eyebrows, his hair was dark too.
“I asked if this seat was taken? Or really I was asking if there was somebody you were saving it for? Are you? Saving it for someone?” he said, the words rushing out of his mouth. And he never stopped smiling. Weird.
“No, no one is sitting there. Do you need it? I mean you can take it if you want. My friends are leaving at a rather fast clip. Like rats from a ship,” she finished, realizing she was rambling. Shit, why was she such a spaz?
“Oh I don’t need it, I just wanted to sit by you. My friends told me I needed to wait to talk to you, but why wait? Like there is some rule about when to talk to someone? I mean who makes these rules? And why?” he asked, continuing his bounce.
Christ, was this guy on something? High? Delusional? “Are you on something?” Izzy heard herself blurt out. Oh sweet baby Jesus, she did not just say that to a stranger.
“Hah, no, not really. I’m just super pumped about tonight. I like to dance, plus we get to raise money for the burn unit. That rocks! I’m Eli by the way. It’s actually Elias Talbot, but only my mom calls me that, and only when I’m in trouble,” he said with a chuckle.
“You still get in trouble with your mommy?” she teased. Did she just banter back with the cute guy? Hell these drinks must have been stronger than she thought.
“Hell yes I do, I’m always being a bad boy. Good thing my mom thinks I’m adorable,” he said with a wink.
“I bet she does,” Izzy murmured, taking a sip of her drink.
“You’re beautiful,” Eli said, his eyes following the curves of her face, “You look just like an Angel, what’s your name?”
Izzy choked on her drink. She tried to dab at the spray on the table. Nice one Izzy, she thought.
“Seriously?” she managed once she found the ability to breathe again. At his nod she said, “I’m Isabella McMillan,” she always said her full name. Let them figure it if she was an Isabella or an Izzy to them.
“Of course seriously! I’ve been waiting forever to come talk to you. The guys said I should wait until after I did my dance, but I saw you sitting alone and jumped at the opportunity. Didn’t want another guy to get your attention first,” he finished leaning over and running a fingertip over the apple of her cheek, “You look more like an Izzy to me or maybe just Iz? Nah, I’ll just call you Angel,” he went on at hyperspeed.
Fuck a duck, he just touched her. She felt like she was going to pass out. Get your shit together Iz, she thought to herself.
“I’d really like to talk to you after my set, would you wait for me?” he asked hopefully.
“Uh, um, sure, I guess I can cancel my standing appointment with the president to hang out with you.” Ugh, she was such a dork she thought.
Eli just smiled down at her, “Awesome.”
Izzy looked up a little shell-shocked to see Nikki and Chase making their way back to the table. Seeing the watery, slightly panicky expression on Izzy’s face, Nikki made a beeline for her.
“Izzy?” Nikki started, but Chase jumped in with introductions.
“Eli my man, did I miss your show?” Chase asked.
“Nah, I just couldn’t risk someone else talking up my girl before I could,” he said with a grin.
“Your girl?” Izzy whispered, her head flicking between the two men standing in front of her.
Eli spotted Nikki and offered up his hand, “Hey I’m Eli, I work with Chase.”
“Eli, nice to meet you,” Nikki said, but Izzy could tell her momma bear was out and ready to shred this new cub in their den. Iz really hoped she didn’t. She really didn’t need any help screwing up talking to a guy. She’d perfected it over the years. Luckily before Nikki could lay into him he turned back to Izzy.
“Well, I better get backstage, I’m up in a few,” he said, turning to Izzy he reach his hand up and tucked a stray hair behind her ear. He let his finger trace lightly down her cheek, “I’ll be back Angel, promise.”
That slow brush of his finger had her breath catching. She managed a nod but was still holding her breath as he bounded back to the stage.
“Breathe girl!” she heard from Nikki, who sounded kinda far away. She took a deep breath in and looked from Nikki to Chase and back to Nikki again.
“I, I…don’t…um….” was all Izzy could seem to get out.
“Let me see if I can break this down for you baby girl. That stud came over here, dazzled you, said all the right things and now you have no idea what the hell you are supposed to do. Sound familiar?” Nikki asked smiling sweetly at her.
“Yeah, that about sums it up,” Izzy said reaching for her beer.
Then Nikki broke down her choices for her. She could keep her ample ass planted in seat she was in and wait for Eli to come back. Maybe have a chat with him and get to know him better. Or she could run home and drown herself in ice cream and romance novels. Sounds like an easy choice, but Ben and Jerry had always taken good care of Izzy and it wasn’t a relationship she was ready to abandon.
While she contemplated her choices, she turned the attention back to Nikki. Who obviously was heading out with Chase. And who wouldn’t? The man couldn’t keep his eyes or his hands off of her. Normally men undressed women with their eyes. Izzy could swear Chase was imagining putting clothes on her. Weird.