Home > Diary of a Bad Boy

Diary of a Bad Boy
Author: Meghan Quinn

Prologue

Dear Diary,

Fuck, it sounds like I’m a hopelessly besotted teenage girl with heart beams spewing from her hormonal eyes. Yeah, there is no fucking way I can write Dear Diary. I need a different name. Something manly, something with giant balls, something that will scare away any little punk who tries to read this. Let me think on that.

And yeah, I fucking wrote besotted. I might be a whiskey-slinging party boy with the luck of a four-leaf clover, but I’m also a goddamn gentleman. A gentleman who occasionally writes words like besotted.

Unfortunately, this “gentleman” got himself into a wee bit of trouble. I blame it on the Irish temper and the tawdry hoodlums who thought they could get in my face while I was flirting with a fine-as-hell lass. But I guess the court system looks down upon punching someone in the nose while still expertly holding a tumbler of whiskey—didn’t spill a goddamn drop.

Thank fuck for a good lawyer. Well, I thought he was good until I realized what I had to do instead of jail time. Eighty hours of community service and anger management therapy sessions with Dr. Stick Up Her Ass, who requires me to write in this godforsaken diary about my . . . feelings.

Guess what I’m feeling?

Horny. Thirsty. And in the mood for a hot dog.

And that’s as much as you’re going to get out of me, Diary. Sorry if you were expecting a grand confession of childhood dilemmas or an outpouring of hysterical and exasperating diatribe. Not going to happen. Not with me.

Until our next unwanted engagement,

Roark

Chapter One

SUTTON

“It’s late.”

“It’s eleven thirty in New York City, so that’s early,” Maddie says, tugging on my arm. “Come on, live a little.”

I scan the dark streets, my dad’s warning about being a single girl in the city running on repeat in my head. “I don’t know, I think I should get home.”

I’ve lived in the city for two years now and have yet to be out this late on my own. Grad school and studying will do that to you. Also, the pure fear of being scooped up by a human trafficker—thanks, Dad—instills enough fear inside me to never go past my front door any time after nine at night.

But I’m supposed to be celebrating today, at least that’s what Maddie told me. After two solid years of doing nothing but studying, I graduated with a master’s in philanthropy, and I’m about to start my new job . . . working for my dad.

I know what you’re thinking—nepotism at its finest. And maybe . . . BUT I also earned the position, interning under the director of operations for four years. For free. I spent four years working my butt off—twenty hours every week—proving to the team I’m not just Foster Green’s daughter, but a valuable attribute to Gaining Goals, a non-profit foundation founded by my father, the four-time All-Pro quarterback for the New York Steel.

And all that hard work paid off when Whitney Horan hired me as public relations manager.

“You’re not going home. What happened to experiencing life? Remember that little New Year’s resolution you made?”

This is why I shouldn’t share anything too personal with Maddie. She always holds me to it. Although, I guess that’s what a best friend does. Also . . . she found my New Year’s resolutions on a notepad on my kitchen counter. At first, she admired the different colored pens I used for each resolution—five in total—and then memorized each and every one of them. Maddie and I met our freshman year in college, and she is the yin to my yang. Where I am more reserved, she’s outgoing and adventurous, an attribute I wish I possessed. But I would never tell her that.

“I don’t think staying out past eleven thirty defines living life.”

“It sure as hell does.” She loops her arm through mine, our puffy jackets clashing together to form one huge ball of warmth. “This is the beginning of living life. We did your thing and saw a Broadway musical, now we’re going to do my thing.”

“What’s your thing?” I ask hesitantly.

“Getting a hot dog.” Maddie hails a cab and rattles off the intersection of two streets like a true New Yorker.

“A hot dog? That’s living life?”

“Yes, and didn’t you say you wanted to try all the iconic food of New York?”

Darn it, another resolution, although that resolution has been my favorite and the easiest to accomplish so far, going around the city and trying all the different food the urban jungle is known for. But along with that resolution came a gym membership, one I’ve used quite often.

“I do want to try all the food,” I answer, biting on my lip.

“That’s why we’re going to Gray’s Papaya to get some famous hot dogs and mango juice.”

Thoughtfully, I ask, “Isn’t that the hot dog place in You’ve Got Mail?”

“And Fools Rush In,” Maddie adds. “If Matthew Perry is so fond of it, so am I. And from what reviewers have been saying, you’re supposed to get the dogs dressed in mustard and their famous onions. So get ready, we’re about to have dragon breath.”

“Oh, I can’t wait.” I chuckle.

Maddie elbows me in the side. “See, there you go, you’re getting into the spirit. Midnight hot dogs, what could go wrong?”

Famous last words.

Okay, this place is cute: white subway tile plastered on the walls, paper pineapples and bananas dangling from the ceiling, and mirrors hanging from the waist up so you can watch yourself enjoying your hot dogs at the tiny counters provided. It’s quaint and smells like heaven.

And if there was anything Maddie and I instantly bonded over, it was our love for hot dogs. We have no shame in buying one from a street vendor and eating it on our way to class. So even though I’m a little reserved, this is kind of fun.

“Look at all those wieners,” Maddie shouts as she steps up to the grill. “Thinner than I expected, but I’m not one to mock girth as long as they do the job. Am I right, Sutton?”

The guys behind the grill chuckle as my face heats up. I hold up my fingers and shyly say, “Two hot dogs, please. Mustard and onions.” I reach for my wallet when Maddie stops me.

“Two each please.” She turns to me and says, “It’s on me,” as if it’s no big deal, even though I’m the one who paid for her Broadway ticket.

I glance toward the dollar-fifty price tag and then back at her. “Are you sure you can handle that?”

“Hey now, don’t get sassy with me.” Muttering softly, she says, “I’m not the one with a father who plays professional football.”

True.

I put my wallet back in my purse and give her a side hug. “Thanks for the hot dogs.”

“Anything for my girl.”

Our hot dogs are delivered on rickety paper plates, which we take to the small counter in front of the mirror. Our drinks follow closely behind.

Inspecting the dog, I lift it up to my mouth right before Maddie stops me. “What are you doing? We need to document this. Hot dog selfie. Come on, Sutton.”

Maddie and her selfies . . .

Playing along, I hold up my dog with hers and smile into the mirror as she uses her phone to take a picture of our reflection.

The door blows open and in walk two guys: one wearing a suit and tie, the other in black jeans, white shirt, black jacket, and a beanie hanging loosely on his head. His green eyes connect with mine in the mirror as a small smirk pulls across his lips.

“What’s up, Miguel?” he says in an Irish lilt that quickly gains my attention. “Got some dogs for me, man?”

“No,” the guy behind the grill playfully says. “I don’t serve hot dogs to guys who put ketchup on them.”

The man in the tie eyes his friend. “You put ketchup on your hot dog?”

“It’s good.” The guy shrugs and pulls out a twenty. “Four hot dogs, two with ketchup, two with”—he gestures to his friend—“what do ya want?”

“Mustard and relish.”

From over her shoulder, Maddie scoffs. “Don’t you know you’re supposed to get mustard and onions on these beauties? Ketchup and relish are for heathens.”

Slowly, the Irishman turns toward us, a tilt to his head. “Who made you the hot dog police, lady?”

Proudly, Maddie says, “I did. If anything, I have experience. I know my wieners and how to make sure they taste good in my mouth.”

Oh, sweet Jesus. How can she come out with something so laced with sexual innuendo so easily? See? Yin to my yang. Although, I am mortified. I adjust my winter hat on my head and tug on Maddie’s arm just as more men filter into the small hot dog shop. Whispering, I say, “Don’t tell people how to eat their hot dogs.”

“I’m not telling them; I’m just letting them know they’re wrong.”

“Miguel, five dogs and coconut juice,” a man in a blue faux-fur jacket and droopy pants says, nodding at the grill master.

The space seems to be getting smaller and smaller, and for some reason the hairs on the back of my neck start to rise as Faux Fur—that’s what I’m calling him—eyes Irish up and down.

Miguel hands the ill-dressed hot dogs to Irish and the man in the tie, giving him a head nod before addressing Faux Fur and his friend.

Wanting to get out of this small space, I turn to take a bite of my hot dog when Maddie says, “I need to retake our picture. I look dead in the last one. This lighting is terrible. Maybe if I back up—”

“Maddie, watch out.”

But I’m too late. She bumps into the Irishman whose hot dog grazes the man in the faux-fur jacket. Jerking his arm to the side with disgust, Faux Fur glances in the mirror to check for stains. Out of sheer curiosity, I take a look as well only to find the tiniest fleck of ketchup on the jacket. A quick swipe of the finger would do the trick, but the guy in the jacket thinks otherwise. “You’re going to pay for this, you motherfucker,” he hisses. Frantically, the man searches his sleeve while Irish sits back and chews his hot dog, not a care in the world passing over his features.

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