Publication date: December 5th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
One hundred days without sex? Is that even possible?
When I got offered an exchange year to the Italian art school of my dreams, I nearly cried. I could barely afford college expenses at home let alone in a foreign country. I had to decline but my rich, uptight grandmother called with her screwed up offer.
If I agreed to her conditions, she’d foot the bill. So I agreed. I figured she didn’t really care about my sex life, she just wanted me to keep my partying off the radar of her fancy friends.
I was so wrong.
The sexy but annoying Chad moved into my apartment to keep me under surveillance. He’s impervious to my charms and for some damn reason, dead set on making sure I lose this deal.
One hundred days is a helluva long time to avoid temptation – even longer when Chad becomes the temptation.
I was about to suggest heading back to my place for some quiet time when he jerked around.
“Who's that guy?” he asked.
“The one over there, glaring at us.” He backed away from me a bit. “I'm all up for some fun but if you're not single then, sorry, not interested.”
My stomach sank as I turned around. Chad waved at me again.
“He's no one.”
“He's taking notes. See, he's got a notebook out.” The barman got up off his barstool, shaking his head. “I have no idea what the situation is here but it's too freaky for me. Catch you later.”
What the hell? Was that beefcake actually taking notes? The entertainment value of Chad had started wearing thin already.
I marched across the room.
“What the hell do you think you're doing? Are you some kind of stalker?”
“Yeah, I am. A stalker paid by your grandmother.”
I folded my arms. I guess he was right.
“Were you taking notes? Because that is exceptionally creepy, you know.”
“I need evidence. I can't just tell your grandmother that you were chatting some sleaze ball up in a bar. I'm sure you know her well enough to realise she is going to want evidence. I was about ready to get out my phone so I could get a photo when you moved in to kiss him.”
“I wasn't!” I so was. Anything to shut him up with his motorbike talk.
“You were. I'm glad you're so predictable, makes my job so much easier.”
What a jerk. I was not predictable. I was raunchy and provocative. And now I'd spent an hour of my life listening to motorbike talk and I'd never get that time back again. Luckily, the night was still young and there were plenty more hot bodies out there to target. I spotted someone across the room and turned to walk off.
Chad grabbed my arm. Ha, I'd gotten him jealous. The Chad, he wanted me for himself. Of course. He was only human.
“I need you to take me home,” he said.
I looked up at him through my lashes. That was just too easy but I could imagine a world of fun to be had with The Chad.
“I'm staying with you, in case you'd forgotten and I don't have a key. I really don't want to spend all night waiting around for you. So, you can hurry up and score with one of these losers so I can quit this job or you can leave it for another night and we can both get some sleep.”
Ouch, slap down. I fished in my bag for a key and handed it to him, trying not to let him see the disappointment on my face.
“Here,” I said, smacking the key in his hand. “Don't wait up for me.”
As I walked off, he grabbed me again.
“I can't go without you and I'm exhausted.”
I shrugged, he could do what he liked. I fully intended to stick around. Even if I didn't get any action, I wasn't going to let him control my life.
His big arms folded around me and suddenly I was in mid-air. Over Chad's shoulder.
I kicked and screamed. Not those little girlie kicks either like you see in the movies where you know the girl really likes it even if she protests. I kicked hard and I elbowed him in the back of the neck. He didn't put me down, he didn't even flinch. I tried to grab a handful of his hair but he held me too tight. I would kill him as soon as he let me down. I would kick him in the nads until he screamed. Nobody treated me like that.
I yelled some more but, by this time of night, the music in the bar had gotten super loud and the conversations even louder. With the screams of girls around the pool table and shrieks of laughter, my screaming just dissolved into the crowd. Not one single person came to help me. Not one. As he walked towards the door, I caught the eye of one of the bouncers. Ha, Mr Clever Pants Chad was screwed now. No one would be allowed to get away with manhandling a woman out of the bar. It was a clear-cut case of non-consensual touching. You could tell by the way I struggled to get free that this was not a game. But the bouncer just laughed.
What a jerk. That was how girls got raped and murdered, because dumb-arse morons like him just watched and laughed. I'd be ringing my grandmother in the morning and telling her I wanted Chad off the case. No matter what.
He dumped me in the passenger seat of his car and I thought of making a run for it, back into the bar. That would show him. But he'd probably just drag me out again and I'd had enough humiliation for one night. I'd wait until I had a chance to talk to grandmother. If she was so concerned about me being in a scandal, she would not condone this behaviour.
I folded my arms, prepared to give him the silent treatment all the way home.
Jayne ran across the parking lot.
“Are you okay?” she called to me. She reached the car window, out of breath and panting. Thank god for friends who had your back. “Do you want me to call the police?”
“Thanks,” I said. “I think this jerk just wants to take me home. In the separate rooms kind of way. I'll call you as soon as I get home to let you know I'm okay.”
I still had my body turned from him and I knew he could hear what we were saying.
Jayne shook her head.
“Why are you in his car anyway? Get out and take your own. He could be an axe murderer who's planning to dump your body somewhere.”
Jerk-face Chad started putting the window up. I put my finger on the button to lower it again. Maybe Jayne had a point.
“I'm taking her home because I don't know where we live yet. She can pick up her car in the morning.”
Jayne's mouth had set in a determined line, like she'd jump on the roof of his car rather than let him drive off with me. I didn't want this turning into more of a spectacle.
“I'll call you in 2o minutes. If you haven't heard from me by then, definitely call the cops. Get a photo of his licence plate number to be on the safe side. I’m sure Grandmother has had him all checked out, security-wise though.”
Chad just groaned and started the car.
“Let's skip out of here,” Jayne said, turning to watch Chad walk away. “Shit, he's watching us. He's not taking his eyes off you. You are so screwed. Wait, Rebecca is talking to him.”
I span around ready to tell that skank to get her hands off my bodyguard. Even if he was a pain in the butt, he was my pain in the butt. I didn't want Rebecca putting her slimy hands all over him.
But Jayne grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the cafeteria barely giving me time to get my bag. We ran down the hallway, almost running into a guy carrying a giant caterpillar sculpture. We kept running to the lifts.
“No, he'll go here first,” said Jayne and she dragged me to the fire escape. We ran down the three flights of stairs and out the fire escape into the campus car park, which nearly killed me. I wanted to stop for a rest when we hit the outside but Jayne grabbed my arm. She ran behind a car and pulled me down.
We both squatted against the car, trying to get our breath back. Then she popped her head up to peer over the bonnet of the car.
“Can't see him,” she panted.
“He might be hiding, ready to pounce.”
He could probably track me just from the sound of my heartbeat. I was so unfit.
“We have to take my car. He'll know yours.”
Jayne's car was at the other end of the car park. I started to rise so we could make a dash for it but she pulled me back down.
Jayne did a squat walk to the edge of the car, glanced around to make sure the coast was clear then waved for me to follow. I tried to copy her squat walk then we both did a huddled over run to the next car in the lot.
Jayne squatted back down and waddled some more.
My legs burnt and we'd only gone the distance of two cars. I estimated there were about 30 more car lengths to go. If I kept this up, I wouldn't need Chad to make me give up sex. I'd be physically incapable of ever spreading my legs again.
“Keep up,” Jayne hissed. “Do you want him to catch you?”
I took a deep breath and thought about all the good this would do me – I'd have the tightest butt you could imagine by the time we got to Jayne's car – then I waddled along some more.
We got halfway there without any sign of Chad.
“Maybe he's given up?” Jayne said.
“Maybe he's found a prime viewing position and is laughing his arse off at us waddling through the car park?”
I'd started to develop a technique though and picked up speed. I started to outpace Jayne, figuring the sooner we got to her car, the sooner this embarrassment would end. Hells, what if someone saw us doing this?
I tried to sprint waddle to the next car when Jayne grabbed me, making me jump.
“Chad?” I hissed. But it wasn't Chad, it was a huge great truck heading towards me in the car park. Shit. I could've been killed.
Finally, we made it to Jayne's old bomb.
“My thighs will never be the same again,” I said. “That was a major workout.”
“I thought you'd have strong thighs from all the...” She did a sex sign with her fingers.
“Not as much as you'd think.”
Jayne started the car up, spinning the wheels as she backed out of the parking space. She got to the boom gates.
“Quick, grab the swipe card. I can see him coming.”
“Over there. Quick. It's in my handbag.”
I grabbed her handbag. How much shit did Jayne carry in that bag? Hair brushes and sketches on envelopes and a bunch of pencils in various chewed states.
“Here, let me.” She snatched the bag from me and waved the whole thing in front of the sensor. I could see Chad running towards us. He ran fast and didn't even look like he'd broken a sweat. Maybe because he hadn't been waddling all over the car park.
“Hurry up,” I said when he was within metres of the car.
“I can't leave until the arm goes up, I'll knock the top off my car.”
“Why the hell don't you have a convertible? We'd be out of here by now.”
“Ha, I win. You landed on Park Lane and I have a hotel on it. You can't pay. I win. I win.” I'd have jumped up and done a victory dance if I could use my foot.
It was infuriating how Chad didn't even get ruffled when I beat him. It took some of the joy out of it. I wanted him to give more of a sign. Not just a flare of his nostrils but some real loser angst.
“Wanna play again?”
Chad shook his head.
“What's wrong? Are you scared? Scared I'm going to whupp your ass.”
Chad nodded and shot me a grin.
“I was thinking of heading to the gym. Board games don’t count as real exercise.”
“It's totally exercise and you can't leave. What if I need something?”
Chad grabbed my crutches from the corner and sat them next to the sofa. “You can get up and get it yourself. It's just a sprained ankle. It's not like your legs have dropped off.”
I screwed up my face.
“It's a severe sprain. You were there. You heard the doctor.”
I poked my tongue out at him but he just pointed to the crutches.
“Well, can you get me some supplies to tide me over? I need things in reaching distance. Like if you made me a coffee in my travel mug, it'd stay warm until I needed it. And some cookies would go nicely with that.”
Chad sighed but he went into the kitchen to fetch my supplies. He was good like that. Then I curled up and hugged my pillows. Maybe Chad could arrange them in a more comfortable position for me before he left.
“Here's your coffee,” he said and sat the mug down in front of me. “And here's your snack.”
“No way. That's not a snack.” I picked up one of the carrot sticks. “That's a vegetable. There's no comfort in that.”
“You've not moved off the couch since you hurt your foot. You can't keep eating snack foods all the time. You'll get too heavy to use your crutches.”
I threw one of my cushions at him. Then regretted it. I needed that cushion. Damn him.
“Anyway, you are supposed to be here spying on me not going off to the gym. It's your job.”
Chad picked up the cushion and sat it back on the sofa.
“My job is to make sure you stick to the arrangement with your grandmother. If you can't get off the couch, you can't break the arrangement, so I can go out for a few hours. I could probably even take the week off.”
I picked up my phone.
“Hey buddy, I have a whole address book full of numbers here. I just need to call any one of these guys and they'd be over here in minutes with a nice big tent in their pants. You don't need a functioning ankle to make sweet, sweet love.”
“You'd have to get off the couch to have a shower first. You stink.”
He went in his room to get his gym gear and left me sitting there sniffing my pits. It might've been a while but there are a lot of men in this world who don't care about personal hygiene if it means getting their dick wet. Chad was just jealous.
“I totally could you know. You understand nothing about men if you think a little stink will put them off.”
Ha, that told him. He'd think twice about going to the gym now. Not that I wanted Chad hanging around with me but you can't play Monopoly by yourself. And, since I couldn't walk, I couldn't do much more than play Monopoly.
We’d watched all the Harry Potter movies and Star Wars and every season of Gossip Girl. We’d even watched a bunch of old Kung Fu movies that Chad was into.
“Don't you have some study to do?”
Chad had his gym bag slung over his shoulder. It made me totally want to get laid so that I could prove him wrong but then I thought about it. I'd only be hurting myself if I did. Man, he was trying to psych me out. By saying I couldn't get laid, he planned for me to want to challenge him. What a cad. He'd planned this all along. I was way too smart to fall for his tricks though.
I'd stay on the couch forever if that's what it took.
“I can't study. It's not like I just have to read some boring textbook. I need to be on my feet to create things.”
I still wanted to close the distance that had grown between us but I had no ideas on that either. The only thing I knew about Chad was that he went to the gym.
Before I could stop my mouth from talking, the words popped out.
“Hey Chad, I've been thinking about getting in shape. How about I go to the gym with you sometime?”
Surely, he'd say yeah then never, ever mention it again.
“Really? I was thinking of going soon. You could come with me.”
“Well, not tonight obviously. I've been drinking and I don't have any gear.”
“You've had one sip of wine and you don't need anything special. You could wear your Chucks and a pair of tights. There you go. Sorted.”
He'd jumped up, grinning. Well, I'd definitely closed that distance. He was far too enthusiastic.
“This is going to hurt, isn't it?”
He shook his head.
“You'll be fine. We'll take it slow.”
I really needed an excuse to get out of this. Some kind of injury maybe.
“Actually, we should leave it for a few weeks. My ankle hasn't fully recovered yet.”
Perfect. Absolutely perfect. He couldn't deny that.
“We can work around that.”
Damn it. He really wanted to do this and, if it made him happy, how could I refuse? He had a cancer mother. And I'd mocked him for it. It was like I had a lifelong bond now to do whatever made him happy. I couldn't fake my way out of this one.
I went into my room and got changed. I so did not look like a gym bunny. I had paint streaks on every t-shirt I owned. Well, apart from the good ones but I didn't want them getting all sweaty and gross. The only socks I could find weren't a matching pair. The tights, well I rocked them so it wasn't a complete loss.
“You ready?” Chad called. At least getting to see Chad's body in action at the gym would be a definite plus. Except that it wasn't, because I had to stop thinking of Chad as a man.
“Is this going to cost much?”
“Na, I'll get you a guest pass.”
I couldn't talk in the car. I was too nervous.
We walked into the gym and I nearly tripped over just on the step near the door. Not a good sign at all. I would die in that place. It wasn't even one of those nice gyms. The reek of testosterone and man sweat reminded me of just how many days it'd been since my last sex. I didn't need any cardio to get my pulse rate racing. Dodgy music pounded out through the loudspeakers, way too loud for comfort.
Chad set me up on a treadmill at a nice easy walking pace to warm up and took off to do his own thing. Well, I thought it was a nice easy walking pace for the first couple of minutes. Then it got uncomfortable. I'd have turned the speed down on the machine but Chad would know when he came back and, also, I wasn't sure the machine would go any slower. I was so unfit.
After that, he took me around the weight stations. He got me doing lunges.
“You are a total liar, Chad. I hate you!”
“You said this wouldn't hurt.” It hurt. Trust me, it hurt. I knew it would hurt even more the next day. Chad was an evil man.
“You've only done five lunges!” But he said it with that cheeky glint in his eyes. It made the pain worth it to see that again. “Do another five more and you can stop.”
It took all the grit I had in me to do those next five lunges.
“Okay, can we go now?”
“We're just getting started. And it's only the first set.”
God, he made me work out body parts I didn't know I had. All kinds of nasty torture.
“Are we going to do those?” I asked and pointed to a guy working out on the other side of the gym.
“Chin ups? They're a bit advanced...”
“Yeah, but they look so kickass.”
“I guess we could do some modified form.”
We went over to the chin up bar and waited for the guy to finish. He'd taken his shirt off and tucked it in his back pocket. A snake tat spiralled around the muscles of his arms, which flexed each time he raised himself up. A sheen of sweat glistened on his skin. I bit my lip and watched. Shitola, it'd been a long time.
Chad cleared his throat. When the guy moved off, Chad stepped up and showed me what to do. He totally felt threatened by the other guy. He did that guy thing they do when they feel like someone has stepped all over their man turf. Watching him heave his body up and down like that though, I had no complaints.
Well, I had one. He could've taken his shirt off like the other guy had. Damn it. At least he was sleeveless.
“Did you hear a word I said?”
I nodded. Then thought he might make me do the same thing. “Nope, not a word.”
I walked up and he put his hands each side of my waist. A shudder went through me. A shudder of hot thrills that ran into every nerve ending. I took a deep breath and tried to think of anything except Chad's sweaty body almost touching my back. It was totally the closest I'd been to sex in recent memory.
I reached up and grabbed hold of the bar above me. And the thought went through my head that there was a bar I'd much rather grab. His hands squeezed tighter around me. So firm and sure. He raised me up until my head was level with the bar.
“You are supposed to use your arms too. I'm here to help, not to do all the work.”
“I'm working, I'm working.”
He lowered me down.
“Use your strength this time”
I noticed the difference without Chad helping. I could feel every muscle straining. I groaned and grunted but didn't seem to get any further. I gripped the bar tighter and my grunts became guttural and deep. I didn't even make noises like that during sex.
“I said use your strength.”
“I did. I used all my strength.”
We tried a couple more. I got hotter with each one.
“Well, I won't need to do much else today,” Chad said. “You're much heavier than you look.”
I dusted my hands off and poked my tongue out at him. I was not that heavy.
Then Chad wanted me to do another set of EVERYTHING. The whole idea made me groan. But Chad seemed so happy helping me out and ordering me around. It'd be worth the pain and agony of another set to let him have his fun. I guess I could keep up the suffering.
Every single lunge made me wince with pain. Every time I picked up a barbell, I twinged with agony. Then we got back to the chin up bar.
“Can you do it again?”
My body said no but my libido said yes. I wanted Chad's hands on me again. I wanted to have the length of his body against my back. I wanted to feel the deep breath on my skin as he exerted himself in picking me up.
Sweat beaded on my skin each time I raised myself but I never wanted Chad to let me go. Even if I couldn’t move my arms tomorrow, I’d do this until –
I fell in a heap on the floor. Bastard Chad had let go!
Chad told me to get down on the mats. That sounded dirty but it was just to stretch. I lay on my back and Chad moved in to raise my leg up. He pushed against it with his body, stretching it toward my head. His hands worked my thigh and my calf. I was sure he was doing that on purpose. I tried to catch his eye. It was more than my sex starved body could handle. Then he moved on to the other one. I wanted his hand to move down my inner thigh.
God, I had to get out of this situation. If I had his hands on my body any more, I'd end up jumping him for sure and that was not what this was about.
And I should not be tempting him.
“Hey, I took up all your gym time,” I said, easing myself away from him. “You didn't get to work out.”
Chad sat down beside me, doing some stretches of his own.
“That's okay, it was fun.”
He grinned at me in a way that made my heart flutter.
“Yeah, it was but I’ll be dead in the morning.”
“You can have a rest day before we start up again. You're not bad, for a beginner.”
I smiled at him and some cross beam of our gazes caught, tangled up, so that we ended up just sitting there on those smelly mats looking at each other. The world seemed to bump and spin. I was sure it was just some weird blood pressure thing from all that extreme exercise. I had to look away but I wasn't sure I could.
“I've got to jump in the shower,” I said. I must've looked awful, all red and sweaty-faced.
I made that shower good and cold to watch all the dirty Chad thoughts out of me.
Q. Where did you get the idea for Hands Off! The 100 Day Agreement?
A. I really liked the idea of having a main character, a female character, who is a total party girl. Lucy likes sex and she’s confident in her own sexuality. So putting her in a situation where she wants it but can’t have it, sets lots of sparks flying.
Of course, it doesn’t help that she has some major temptation put in her way. Chad was a great hero to write. He’s so laid back and non-responsive to Lucy’s shenanigans.
After writing about bad boys, I wanted to have a hero is still an alpha male type but is a nice guy too – even if Lucy doesn’t seem him like that to start with.
Q. How is Hands Off different from your other books?
A. For starters, it’s a stand-alone novel rather than a series (although Lucy’s friend, Jayne, is crying out to have her own story told). There is none of the cliff-hanger endings that people love to hate.
Lucy is an art school student and her studies and creativity feature in Hands Off. I started my academic life studying fine arts before doing a complete 180 and changing to Business Studies, and I found the art school environment is much crazier than most college facilities.
Q. How is Hands Off the same as your other series?
A. I hadn’t even realised this until I finished writing Hands Off but I tend to write characters that have money issues. Those issues can put them into situations that challenge them and open them up to possibilities that they’d never dreamed of.
Like the Bad Boy Rock Star series, Hands Off is about opposites attracting.
Q. What was your favourite scene to write?
A. There is a scene early in the book where Lucy wants to escape from Chad’s surveillance. With her friend, Jayne, they make a break for it but end up having to waddle around the college car park to escape detection. That was really fun to write.
Q. What was the hardest scene to write?
Without giving away any spoilers, there was a scene where Lucy had to do something awful. She does it for the right reasons but it was still very hard to write. It’s difficult, emotionally, to put your characters in devastating situations.
Q. What do you do when you are not writing?
A. Napping – I love naps. And drinking coffee, which I guess is counterproductive to napping. We have a beagle so I spend a lot of time playing games with her. Recently I have been creating obstacle courses around the house for her. It means the house is constantly in disarray but it’s so much fun.
I don’t watch much TV but I have a few shows I’m addicted to – Teen Wolf, Supernatural, Hannibal. I also love travelling.
I also waste far too much time looking at pictures of baby animals on Pinterest.
Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. "Screw you," she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity - totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.
Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She's seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She's seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.
But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.
She is currently working on Rock Star vs Millionaire - the sequel to Bad Boy Rock Star. Want to know about new releases and secret fan only offers? Join her mailing list.