A Recipe for Disaster (Clash of Clichés Book 2).
This story contains an excessive usage of clichés and should not, in all honesty, be taken seriously. And when I say excessive, I really mean it.
All rights reserved. I OWN NOTHING YOU RECOGNISE (AND SOME THINGS YOU DON'T.) If you steal my work, I will take legal action against you. I mean it. I worked hard on this story and I don't want to read the exact same story on another site with the names changed. Not cool.
© 2017 hotcheri.
"You kissed me again."
A lazy smirk turned up the corners of Kameron's lips. "Yeah."
"Shouldn't we talk about this?" I asked, almost stomping my foot like a petulant toddler.
Kameron reached up to run a hand through his loose curls. "I kissed you. And I plan to do it again and again ... and again, so get used to it." A cheeky wink that had me seeing scarlet. "Good talk."
There's got to be a rule in the Relationship Handbook that states "Thou shalt not hit on your best friend's little sister." Kameron Wallace clearly hasn't read this handbook, because he can't keep his hands, or lips, off Janessa Banks. And that's a huge problem when he's staying with her family all summer, along with Janessa's overly protective older brothers, and yet he STILL insists on secretly making out with her. Trouble is, Janessa can't resist him. And does she really want to?
Take a scorching hot summer. Add a sexy houseguest who is having trouble staying away from his best friend's little sister. Mix with four overly protective older brothers. Sprinkle in an artistic, yet
conniving crush. Result- a recipe for disaster.
Chapter One. Man, Why Me?
Janessa's Point of View.
My crush invited himself to be my plus one at an MLB All-Star game, and I ended up regretting it.
Sounds like the title of an episode of MTV-True Life, right? Well, it's true life, all right. Unfortunately, it happens to be my life. What we're seeing here, ladies and gents, is the true definition of irony: spending my last semester of high school laughing at my friend's terrible choices (namely Kay-Bear), only to turn out to be the CEO of Team Bad Decisions for the entire summer. Karma was getting me back for all the snarky comments I made to Ryder Jefferson, I just knew it.
I mean, what else could explain how I magically appeared on an MLB kiss cam, only to end up kissing my older brother's friend while my crush was getting me a hotdog?
Record scratch, because I never for a second thought I would ever put a sentence like that together, and yet, here we are.
Usually, when I wanted something, I went to get it myself. It was typical Janessa Banks behavior, because as the youngest of 5 siblings (and the only girl, which is important), I needed to be assertive in getting what I wanted, or I would never get anything.
But because I wanted Leroy François to believe that I was the feminine flower that my mom has been wanting me to be for years and asked him to go get me a hotdog, something that I honestly could have done myself, shit hit the fan.
A damn hotdog.
And not one of the fancy, expensive ones either. I screwed myself over for a $2 hotdog with extra relish, because if I hadn't asked Leroy to go get me a hotdog, he would have been there when the kiss cam focused on me and my stylish sun hat, and I would have gotten the chance to organically show him that we belong together, just like Mariah Carey envisioned when she sang that song for us.
I mean, Leroy had invited himself to the MLB All-Star game despite not knowing anything about baseball (I know this because I had to explain everything to him, even the concept of the first pitch), so he was definitely feeling me. And that's a big deal, because everyone who's anyone will tell you that hanging with me for a few hours can feel like community service, depending on my mood. Rude of them, I know. But karma decided to haunt me on a day that should have been perfect, and this is coming from a girl who usually doesn't believe in ridiculous things like karma, so you know it's real serious.
Let's figure out how I got into this mess. You see, if my 'supportive' (what a joke, amiright?) twin brother, Jermaine, had simply agreed to come with me to the MLB game, I wouldn't have asked Leroy to come with me. Let's be honest, Leroy does NOT appreciate sports, which is why I like him. And if Jermaine had come with me, the seat next to mine wouldn't have been empty during intermission because while Leroy was eager to get me a hotdog, Maino would have said his catch phrase (for anyone who's interested, it's 'hell no'), meaning that Kameron Wallace wouldn't have been able to sit next to me and the kiss cam moment wouldn't have happened.
But Maino just had to say 'hell no' when I begged him to come with me. Hmph. And I just had to complain about it to Kaylee and Shelley, and Leroy just had to overhear and invite himself.
At least my day had started out perfectly, which is such a small consolation that it pisses me off. It was a hot June Saturday, my knees and ankles weren't ashy, and I found a KitKat in one of my sneakers while I was getting ready for the game.
"Why you so happy?" Jermaine asked me nosily as I skipped past him into the kitchen, surreptitiously slipping the candy bar wrapper into the back pocket of my shorts.
Mom was on her 'clean eating' crusade again, even going as far as to raid my room under the pretext of looking for her Olympic gold medal. Pfft, yeah right. I knew she was snooping around to see if I was stashing junk food.
Spoiler alert- I was. Spoiler alert part dos, I did have her Olympic gold medal. For reasons.
Sometimes Maino snitched on me because he knew that I wasn't supposed to eat candy, and he knew I did it anyway. That's one of the main differences between me and my twin brother. I have no willpower when it comes to candy. He's got willpower for days. And he's lactose intolerant, which would explain why.
Sweeping my box braids into a ponytail, I spun around to fix Jermaine with a stern look.
"I'm going to the MLB All-Star game, and you should know this because I invited you to come, and you said no to your own twin sister."
Hehehe. Let me guilt trip him and put him on the spot.
Looking unbothered, Maino kept playing on his phone. "I don't fuck with baseball," was all he said, as I glared at him.
"What are you- you come to all my games!"
Glancing up at me, Maino grinned. "Because you're entertaining as fuck to watch. You just be doing all kinds of crazy shit." I opened my mouth to argue, then stopped, and shrugged. Maino was right. I did do some crazy shit when I played softball. Brandon didn't call me the team clown for nothing. "Doesn't mean I want to sit through an entire MLB game with you. Especially now that you got some candy in you. With your annoying ass."
My eyes widened comically slowly. How in the entire-? "Okay, how?"
Twin ESP is NOT a thing, Janessa. You know this.
"Your fingers got chocolate all over them," Maino said casually, leaning back in the breakfast stool he was sitting in. I hope you fall. Growling to myself, because now he was for sure going to snitch on me, I went to the sink to wash my hands while Maino asked, "So who're you going with?"
Coyly, I said, "Wouldn't you like to know?" as I dried my hands on the nearest tea towel. Jermaine never let me borrow his car, even when I asked nicely. In fact, he was the reason I had to take an Uber to the game. This was payback.
"I would, that's why I'm asking," Maino replied, sounding completely unperturbed. And I'm the annoying one? Tuh.
Turning around to face Jermaine, I leaned against the kitchen counter. He was looking at me with an 'expression that just screamed 'are you gonna tell me or…?' and I felt my lips twitch with suppressed laughter. Getting a reaction out of Maino wasn't easy, and I was all about getting reactions. However…"If you must know, Leroy Francois heard me talking to Shelley and Kaylee about you dissing me and he invited himself," I explained, unable to keep the good news to myself, even though it was funny as hell to watch Maino be so curious.
I'd been crushing on Leroy for weeks, and everything was finally coming up Janessa. Or so I thought.
"Who's Leroy and where did he invite himself to?" a loud voice behind me asked.
I jumped like a startled deer, looking for the closest exit as Cordell put a heavy hand on my shoulder.
Jermaine didn't really care about who I dated (or potentially dated) because we knew the same people at school and what not. He had a chance to vet most of the guys I was crushing on before I even knew I liked them, because he knew my type. Because of that, he was the least overly protective brother. The other three, not so much.
Jermaine said, "He's Janessa's crush," as I wormed my way out of Cordell's grip. No way was he going to ruin this date for me. And why the hell was Jermaine being so loud, telling people my business? I glowered at him, my teeth clenched, as he continued talking. Snitch. "They're going to the MLB All-star game with together." A pause as I quickly checked my phone, waiting for my Uber notification so that I could get the hell out of there. "He sends her pictures."
"For God's sake, Maino," I groaned loudly, arms raised to the heavens.
Here we go.
Cordell took a step towards me, his dark brown eyes narrowing. "What kind of pics?"
"Why are you even here?" I asked, trying to deflect. I really didn't need a lecture right now. "Grilling me like this, don't you have your own life and apartment?"
I mean, really! Cordell lived in a swanky condo across town. Why was he here? Apart from the fact that he was part of the family, but that's neither here nor there.
Offhandedly, Cordell replied, "I came to shop in the pantry. And remember that dude who was sending you nudes?"
My mouth swung open and I stared at Jermaine, who was back on his phone. Betrayed by my own twin brother. What madness. "You told him?" I breathed. Jermaine shrugged, not even bothering to glance up and see the hurt look on my face. Turning back to Cordell, I said, "I'm 18. If a guy wants to send me pictures, he can."
I was feeling bold. In reality, whenever I got a picture text, I always got someone else to look at it first. I refused to be scarred by seeing another unsolicited nude from a guy I had no interest in. Let Brandon and Shelley see them, at least they enjoyed it.
"Whatever, Nessa." Breezing past what I had just said, Cordell held his hand out, palm up. Oh, hell no. "You gon' show me the pictures, or do I have to hack into your phone?"
Deciding to play it cool and show that I had nothing to hide, even though it was none of Cordell's business, I handed him my phone, grumbling away. "It's almost like you're not an NBA player who has better things to do."
"What am I looking at right now?" Cordell's eyes flicked from the phone screen to me.
I couldn't help laughing at the incredulous tone in his voice. Leroy's art was- interesting. The kid definitely had to have a twisted mind to produce such off the wall creations. "You're one of the privileged few to view Leroy François's art."
"He's shit," Cordell said as he snorted with laughter. "Looks like if a high unicorn drew another high unicorn."
Rolling my eyes as Jermaine said, "Bruh," I reached my hand out for my phone.
"But I gotta admit, the detail is mesmerizing," Cordell continued, giving me my phone back. He looked at Jermaine. "What do you think about him, Maino?"
I bristled. Typical male chauvinist. What did it matter what Jermaine thought of Leroy? He wasn't the one who was going on a date with him, was he?
Shrugging, Jermaine said, "Harmless. Just stares at Nessa from across the room and draws her."
"That's… creepy." Cordell shot me a pensive glance as, finally, my Uber pulled up outside.
Grabbing my tote bag from the counter, I flew out of the kitchen, throwing an, "I'm out of here," over my shoulder. Okay, so maybe my day didn't start off as great as I thought.
"I've never watched a single game of baseball before, so I'm gonna ask a whole bunch of questions," Leroy warned me as we settled in to our seats overlooking the baseball diamond.
I was nodding my head before he'd even finished talking, a cheesy grin on my face because oh my God, things were going so well! "Fine with me. I rarely get a chance to explain baseball to anyone."
"Yeah, I heard your whole family is into sports in one way or another," Leroy said, running a hand through his dreads as I tried to look at him casually, although inside I was drooling. He looked goodT, wearing a blue t-shirt and khaki shorts. I decided on the spot that that would be my favorite color combination on a guy. "That's gotta be interesting. Y'all probably compete over everything."
The memory of me and all four of my brothers piling onto each other as we fought for the rec room remote flashed into my mind. I wish I could tell you that happened like ten years ago. I wish I could.
It happened last Christmas.
"Well, since I'm the only girl, I usually get my own way," I lied. "I'm not a very competitive person, to be honest."
Oh, Janessa. The fraud. The audacity. The fraudacity.
Leroy laughed, his white teeth gleaming in the sun as I snuck another look at his fine self. "That's given me a great idea for a painting," he enthused, his eyes tracing my face as I smiled back apprehensively, because I didn't want to be his muse. What, and be side eyed for inspiring his weird ass art? No thank you, ma'am. "Like I said before, you have the perfect face to draw. Very symmetrical."
Okay, so he was a bit weird, but isn't everyone? All he wanted to do was draw me, and he seemed interested in what I had to say. At least he wasn't like the group of fuckboy jocks sitting next to him, who kept guzzling beer and heckling the umpire every time he made a call they didn't like. Before, that would have been me (minus the beer part), but with Leroy by my side, I transcended pettiness. I was mature incarnate.
Fast forward to intermission, and the beginning of my nightmare. Everything was going swimmingly, Leroy had 'accidentally' put his hand on my thigh three times, the conversation was flowing, and life was good. Like, guaranteed second date good.
"I feel like stretching my legs," Leroy announced quickly, getting to his feet after I had finished telling him how I had landed a trial for the Sacramento State track team. "Actually, I feel like a hot dog. Do you want one?"
My eyebrows rose quizzically. "Aren't you vegan?" I asked.
"Pretty sure they have vegan dogs here." He paused, his forehead crinkling up in thought. "At least, I hope so. Want a hot dog? My treat."
Well, if you're buying, who am I to say no?
Beaming up at him, I nodded. "Yes please. Mustard and extra relish, please. Hold the ketchup."
"Roger that." He reached down and my heart thudded as, with a cute smile, he squeezed my hand. D'aww! "I'll be right back."
He disappeared into the crowd of people rushing to the washroom, concession stand, or to check on their vehicles as I leaned back in my seat, completely content in the moment. Not even the loud, obnoxious voices of the dude bros a seat over could steal my joy. Leroy François was about to be bae.
As I adjusted my sunhat, a shadow fell over me. I squinted up. And up. And up. Sheesh, this guy was tall. Right away, I noticed the backwards baseball cap and the glasses he was wearing and smirked. If he wore the cap the way it was intended, buddy wouldn't even need the shades.
"Hey, excuse me, do you mind if I sit here for a bit?" he asked me, voice coming out all deep and husky as he pointed to Leroy's recently vacated seat. "I just want to say hi to my boys real quick."
Of course, his boys were the obnoxious frat boys who belonged at a keg party. Upon closer inspection, he looked like he fit right in with them. Very light brown skin, tatted up arms, sleeveless t-shirt to show off his (impressive, I must say) muscles, and basketball shorts and Jordan sneakers. Add the sexy voice, and what do we get? A true fuckboy jock ensemble.
Fortunately for him, I wasn't in a petty mood, because Leroy was mellowing me out, or I would have said something snarky to him and told him to stand and say hi to his boys.
I sighed disgruntledly. "Sure, but only for a bit."
Shooting me a charming smile that was a flash of perfect white teeth, he settled his lanky frame into the seat. I narrowed my eyes thoughtfully. That smile looked familiar. Was he famous? "Appreciate it," he said.
"You're lucky I'm saved," I responded automatically.
Okay, so I need to work on not being snarky.
He burst out laughing, shaking his head before turning to his boys and exclaiming, "What up, baby?"
God. He sounded like my brother, Deshaun. Annoying.
My phone vibrated, and I unlocked it to a text from Leroy.
Hey, so they're out of ketchup.
Didn't I explicitly say no ketchup- ugh, you want something done right, do it your gotdamn self.
That's okay, just relish and mustard, please.
Mature Janessa was working for me. My hand may be balled into a fist, but I bet he couldn't tell from my calm, polite text.
The entire stadium erupted in laughter and cheers as I was replying to Leroy. Ever nosy, I glanced up, only to find myself staring at an enlarged version of myself in real time on the jumbotron. Bih, my face didn't have a single blemish on it, and I wasn't even wearing foundation. Shouts out to those good Jamaican and Ghanaian genes, though! Oh, and baseball cap dude was also on the screen. Belatedly, I read the crawling text on the bottom of the screen and burst out laughing, realizing that we were on the kiss cam. At an MLB All-Star game.
"Oh, my fuck," baseball cap guy laughed as he turned to glance at me. "What are the odds that this shit would happen?"
Giggling, I said, "Probably one in a million."
By this time, the crowd of spectators were chanting, "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" amongst other jeers and jibes.
Now, I knew that my brothers would probably shake the stupid out of me for even being shown on the kiss cam, as well as the fact that the kiss would be broadcast to millions of people around the world. I thought about all this, I promise. But it felt like a challenge to me, and I never back down from a challenge, which is for sure gonna be my downfall. So when baseball cap guy asked, "Wanna give them a show, if you're cool with it?" and I heard the slightly daring yet patronizing tone in his voice, I threw caution to the wind.
"I'm cool with it if you are," I retorted, my chin jutting out stubbornly.
As his boys hyped him up, and my ears rang as everyone around us cheered, chanted and jeered; baseball cap guy leaned in, closing the inches between us. His hot breath hit my parted lips and I couldn't stop the anticipatory shiver that ran down my spine. I barely had time to think oh God I'm gonna kiss a guy wearing a backwards baseball hat and sunglasses shame on you Janessa Banks before his lips descended on mine.
And suddenly that whole shame on you spiel stopped applying to me.
He was a good kisser.
Slowly, leisurely, his lips moved against mine, his teeth grazing my bottom lip purposely. Instinctively, my eyes slid closed as my head tilted to the side, melting into the kiss. His lips were soft, with a hint of the bitter beer he had just finished sipping, and my breath came out in a gasp as he sucked on my bottom lip. I was on the edge of my seat as he cupped the side of my face with his warm hand, his tongue brushing over my lips teasingly. A kiss this good should be illegal.
I was lost in the moment, so in the zone, so when I heard an incredulous voice exclaim, "Janessa?!" it took a full second for me to pull back from the kiss. Do you know how long a second is when you're kissing a guy who knows what he's doing?
Leroy was standing right in front of us, a hotdog squished in each clenched fist, his mouth slack with dismay. Beside me, baseball dude snickered, "Oh, shit," as Leroy took a step forward, his mouth quivering.
"So much for us having a good first date, huh, Janessa?" he ground out, before turning on his heels and stomping off into the crowd, as people around us dramatically went, "Oh, snap!" and other variations.
My mind was still fogged up from the kiss as, floored by the sudden turn of events, the stereotypical words of, "Leroy, wait, it's not what you think!" spilled out of my mouth.
What else could happen?
I was about to find out.
As I got to my feet, ready to follow Leroy and explain my debauched behavior, conveniently leaving out the fact that I had enjoyed the hell out of the short kiss, baseball guy exclaimed, "Janessa?" I glanced down at him as he took his glasses off and my heart almost stopped beating. Oh, no. "Janessa Banks?" I found myself staring into a pair of familiar olive eyes, and just like that, the memories came rushing back. No, please no. "B.B. Banks?"
It was my nickname for as long as I could remember, short for Baby Banks, and only one person in the entire world called me that.
"Kameron?" I breathed, clutching my invisible pearls in shock and horror. My eyes roved over his handsome face, almost kicking myself for not recognizing him sooner. Of course, last time I had seen him in person had been over five years ago, but still! He had practically lived at my house for as long as I had been alive.
Running a hand over his face, Kameron Wallace, once my brother's closest friend, chuckled humorlessly. "Fuck. If Deshaun finds out, I'm so fucked."
Blinking furiously, I grabbed my tote bag. "I gotta- I need to go."
Panicking silently, and pushing past people who were returning to their seats, I found myself in a relatively calm area of the stadium, and texted Leroy. No reply. After a few centering breaths, I managed to get myself together, sat down in a section that had an even better view of the baseball diamond, and finished the game alone. It was the calm before the shitstorm that had to be coming my way.
A/N: Welp, I'm back! I wanted to say I'm better than ever but I ain't gonna lie, writing is hard af lol. I'm getting into the zone because I'm writing for fun, and the old love for writing has come back, plus it helps to turn off my inner critic, but I don't know how good this is. I'll leave it for you to decide :) I hope you enjoy the first chapter of Janessa's story- I promised ya'll, and I try my best to deliver. It may take me forever, but I always try! Character pics on my website (hotcheriwrites dot com) and I'll be updating them slowly but surely. It's great to be back!