The long-awaited return of Single Ladies is nearly here, but we have a special treat for hardcore fans of the scripted series, an e-book series written by New York Times bestselling author Ashley Antoinette. The series is set between the finale of season two and the premiere of season three and focuses on the individual lives and loves of the show’s leading ladies. Today we bring you an exclusive, free excerpt from the first book in the series which is all about April’s story and is entitled No Sex In The City, which you can read below.
April eased her way through the crowd, distraught, her eyes dancing around the room. Who could he possibly be meeting here? she thought. Please don’t let me be walking into what I think I’m walking into. Her mind raced and her wounded heart beat frantically as she maneuvered through the sea of people, rather, the sea of men around her. Her search for Reggie seemed futile. In a room full of men it was almost impossible to find him. She watched in horror as she passed two men kissing passionately by the bar. Their bodies were chiseled like the statues of Greek gods and they were undoubtedly two of the most attractive men that she had ever seen. I can’t compete with that! she thought as she pushed her way through the crowd, on a mission. April was looking for confrontation and she couldn’t wait until she stumbled upon it. Reggie was gay. Why the hell else would he be here? No, there was nothing wrong with it. No, she wasn’t homophobic, and yes, she did have gay male friends. Yep, it was cliché, but hell it was true. I love gay people! Just not gay boyfriends!
April was the most accepting person on Earth, but Reggie was supposed to be her man. Her boyfriend! While he was whispering sweet nothings in her ear, he was hiding a secret lifestyle. April’s temper was on ten and she was ready to go boom. The fact that Reggie was gay was a slap in the face. Am I not good enough? Is he bi? Is he using protection? A mixture of fear, confusion, and anger pulsed through her but behind it all there was the familiar feeling of loss. After losing her husband April had never thought that she would love so deeply again, but meeting Reggie had turned her outlook on love around. She had fallen for him, quickly, and he reminded her of how it felt to be someone’s everything. After a nasty divorce and a public scandal, Reggie made her feel accepted. This newly discovered betrayal was the ultimate deal breaker for her and it made her doubt everything that they had built their relationship on. The foundation was shaky and she felt that the winds of life were about to blow it down.
The gay nightclub was packed to capacity as deafening music blared from the speakers. Colored strobe lights illuminated the room. If April hadn’t been so full of rage, she would have actually dug the scene, but she wasn’t there for fun and games. She was there to catch Reggie red-handed. He couldn’t deny her accusations if she saw them with her own eyes. She blew through the club like a hurricane to no avail. There were too many faces to process and April’s resolve was weakening. Defeated and sick to her stomach, she pushed her way through to the bar.
“You lost, sweetheart?” the bartender asked as he leaned over the bar. He was dressed in full drag and had the fiercest contouring job she had ever seen, causing April to smile slightly in spite of herself.
“In more ways than one,” she replied.
“What can I get you?” he asked.
“A new boyfriend,” she shot back. “And a one-way ticket back to Atlanta.”
The bartender flipped a shot glass, then filled it with tequila. “I can’t help you with that plane ticket, honey, but Patron will keep you warm better than any boy I know,” he said with a wink. “First round’s on me.” He passed her the shot and she accepted it graciously.
April knew the club scene well and knew that the bartenders were like flies on a wall. They saw all…knew all…heard all. When it came to the ends and outs of the club, the bartender was the person to go to. They also knew the regulars and April couldn’t help but wonder how often Reggie visited this spot.
“Hey. Does a guy named Reggie come here often? He’s light skinned, bald head…”
“Gorgeous, with a smile that looks like he models for a Crest commercial and an ass that you can bounce quarters off of,” the bartender finished her description for her.
April nodded and scrunched her nose in confirmation. “You haven’t seen him tonight have you?”
“Baby, we see him every night,” the bartender replied. “Second floor, take the hall to the end. Make sure you knock first.”
April downed her shot and left the bartender a $20 tip before she headed for the stairs.
Determined to catch Reggie, but afraid of what she might see, April made her way up the stairs, until she located a hallway where the crowd had cleared slightly. She found the restrooms and bypassed them when she saw light peeking from the bottom of a closed door further down. She looked around anxiously, feeling as if she were walking into a set-up. With her ear pressed to the door she could hear muffled sounds coming through the wood.
Was that a moan?
April’s mind was playing tricks on her and she burst into the room. “Reggie! What the hell do you think you’re doing?! I knew you were…” April’s mouth fell open and her eyes immediately watered in pain as she whispered the last word. “Gay…”