All Gloria Falcon wants is to have a nice New Year’s Eve with a nice man. Is that so much to ask? But after seven disastrous New Years in a row, this year she’s trying something different. Committed to spending her New Year’s Eve manning the phones at a suicide crisis phone line, Gloria is sure the karma she earns will break her New Year’s curse. But when a blackout cancels her night of philanthropy, rather than spend the night moping in the dark, she goes on a ride along with the cute electric company lineman who failed to fix the power.
Charlie Zhang is not much of a New Year believer either. He’s coasting through life after being discharged from the army and trying not to let his cynicism of pretty much everything define him. When Gloria Falcon climbs into Charlie’s life, and his repair truck, neither of them expect this to be the New Year’s Eve that changes their minds, and their fate, forever.
We look at each other, and I know I have a stupid smile on my face. I’m sure it’s one of those smiles that says, “If you so much as compliment my handwriting, I will suck your cock until you beg for mercy,” but I don’t care. Charlie just smiles back at me.
And smiles back.
And smiles back.
My friend Amy told me about this mythical creature once: the “wants-you-to-make-the-first-move guy.” She says they’re mostly to be found in Canada, but occasionally you might encounter one south of the border. Amy says if you meet one, you might assume you should approach it quietly, gently, like you might try to hand feed a wild deer, but in fact the opposite is true. Apparently you need to be aggressive with them. You need to take control of the situation and not give them a chance to ruin things with their manners and courtesy. Amy says when it comes to men, manners and courtesy are only a short taxi ride away from apathy. And nothing kills a night of hot sex faster than male apathy. It’s like anti-Viagra.
I can’t quite believe it, but I think I have found myself an honest-to-goodness wants-you-to-make-the-first-move guy.
“Are you Canadian?” I just need to confirm he’s the genuine creature.
“My mother is. How did you know?”
I don’t answer. I grab him by the front of his blue work shirt and pull him forward into a kiss.
For a courteous guy, he kisses like a god. After only a second’s shocked hesitation, he wraps his hands around my back and pulls me across the center console until I’m practically in his lap, the gear shift jamming into my hip. He slides one hand into my hair and one, oddly, down my leg to rest on the top of my boot. His thumb does little maddening circles over my tights. Our tongues touch–he’s a little tentative at first, but after a second he’s holding my head so tightly, pressing our mouths together so firmly, I couldn’t escape even if I wanted to.
And I don’t want to.
He tastes like strawberry smoothie and it’s a revelation. I realize I’ve never kissed a guy who didn’t taste like liquor or smoke. Often both. Kissing Charlie feels healthy.Nutritious even. As though I’m getting vitamins and minerals and will wake up with thicker, shinier hair and skin that’s twenty-five percent more luminous.
He slides the boot hand up around my ass and moves me again, but this time the steering wheel crams into my back. I make a strangled noise.
“What?” he says.
“Steering wheel. Spine. Pain,” I manage.
Charlie feels around the side of the seat for a second. There’s a loud click, and the backrest falls so quickly we’re both practically catapulted into the back seat.
“Sorry.” He helps me clamber into the back beside him. We kiss some more, as somewhere, from one of the boats, the music from Frozen is playing.