Out for the NightBy: A. J. Truman
A Browerton University Book
Thank you: to James at GoOnWrite.com for the smashing cover; to Cassie, Anyta, Paula, and Jazz for helping me get this book just right; to Todd for letting me pick his brain on tech stuff. And most of all, thank you to my Outsiders, who have championed this series and these characters through multiple books and short stories. I couldn’t have done this without your enthusiasm and encouragement!
What’s an Outsider, you say? Oh, just a cool club where you can be the first to know about my new books and receive exclusive content. Join the Outsiders today at www.ajtruman.com/outsiders.
For the night, I am yours.
That was the golden promise of Evan “Coop” Cooper, Browerton University’s G-rated gigolo. He could be whoever his clients needed him to be. The life of the party, the protective boyfriend, the wingman. He knew all the major personas that were in demand, and he had pretended to be them for one classmate or another over his first year at college.
Some girls needed a great date to bring to a party, or they needed a boyfriend to lug along to an awkward brunch with dear old mom and dad, or they needed a fake boyfriend to make their ex jealous. Whatever they needed, Coop could supply.
Except sex. Coop could easily pretend to be straight for a client, but he was 100% gay, and there was only so much he could fake. He strictly enforced the G rating of his gigoloness.
At most, a kiss on the lips. No tongue. Well, no tongue without a hefty upcharge.
It wasn’t about sex, anyway. It was about results.
Coop could be friend, boyfriend, lover, whatever the situation called for. We were all faking it in some way or another, Coop believed. Everything we did was used to impress others. Our lives were meant to be a constant Instagram or Facebook feed. The smart people in this world weren’t careless enough to show people their true selves. All of it was a show, and Coop was happy to be an actor in someone’s storyline. For a fee, of course.
“Maria, I think it’s time to dance.” Coop stood up from his table and extended a hand to his date, who’d paid him forty bucks to be the date to her sorority formal. Her hair remained unshakeable in a tight curly arrangement that probably took her hours to do.
The deejay played a Rihanna song, which got a few people to the dance floor. This was how it always went. This was the fifth sorority formal he’d attended at Browerton, and every time, the dance floor remained deserted until a pack of at least six girls danced together in a circle. Then, others would trickle into the sides of the floor, eventually filling up the space.
“Maria,” Coop repeated, hand still extended.
She blushed and looked at the other kids at their table, other sorority sisters there with boring-ass dates. When she first reached out to him, Maria had told Coop about how she’d never gone to a school dance before because she had no one to go with. It broke Coop’s heart a little bit, and for a second, he was going to tell her that he understood. But then that would’ve violated that whole “keep your true self to yourself” rule he lived by. He was determined to give her the best dance experience in history.
“One dance, Maria. That’s all I ask.”
You paid me to show you a good time, and by fucking golly, I deliver for my customers.
Coop cut a path to the dance floor, where his date proceeded to watch her feet more than him.
“Hey.” He cupped her face delicately in his hands and flashed her a confident smile. “This is going to be awesome. We’re going to be the envy of this whole shindig.”
“You’re already the envy of many of my sisters. I heard a few of them commenting on your physique in the bathroom.” He caught Maria glimpsing the way his thick arms and chest squeezed against his shirt.
“Well, I’m taken tonight.”
Coop dipped into a breakdancing move he’d honed over many dances and lazy Sundays in his dorm room. He zipped back up and spun his date around. Maria let out a gleeful yell. Coop pulled her close and grinded their hips together, and they resumed appropriate dancing. The group of girls near them screamed their approval.
They continued cutting a proverbial rug through song after song. Coop made sure Maria could follow all of his dance moves. He didn’t go over-the-top. He wasn’t playing the sassy gay date who lip-synched and shook his ass Beyonce-style. He was the straight guy who had one or two dance moves up his sleeve before toning it down to normal.