Bottoms Up (The Rock Bottom Series Book 1)

By: Holly Renee

I turned the page and gripped the paperback harder in my hands. It didn’t matter how many times those ruffled pages had been turned by my fingers, my heart still thumped against my chest.

I ate the words up one by one, relishing in the story, anxious to get to the part I knew was coming. The page slipped through my fingers as I turned it quickly, not missing a beat as I saw the winged warrior so clearly in my mind. He lifted his sword, ready to fight for his mate, and the loud buzzing rang through the room making me jump.

My paperback clutched to my chest, I looked around the room at all the people busying themselves with their laundry. My dryer still spun beside me, and I cringed I saw a pair of my lace panties slam against the dryer door and gyrate around like they were putting on a show.

The laundromat was packed today, but I had completely forgotten where I was. The smell of laundry detergent filled my nose and blocked the scent of citrus that clung to the skin of the warrior I had so unmistakably smelled a moment before.

A young boy, probably no more than three years old, ran in a circle around my chair. His toy beat against every surface he could find as he smiled wildly. His mother, on the other hand, looked like she was at her wit’s end. She chased behind him, balancing laundry in one hand while stretching the other out to grab him. He grinned up at me as he headed my way again, and I imagined him as the mighty warrior in my story. Impossible to tame.

I waved at him as he ran by me, and he came to a sudden stop. He stared up at me, curiosity filling his innocent face, and pointed to the book in my hand.

“Whad are you doing?” His t’s sounded like a d, and I smiled at how adorable he was.

“I’m reading.” I looked up at his mom who stopped in a huff behind him. “What are you doing?”

“Running from monsters.” He grinned before looking over his shoulder at his mom.

“Really?” My voice was in awe. “That’s what I’m reading about right now.”

He cocked his head and looked down at my book. “You like monsters?”

I shook my head. “No, but I love to read about the warriors who fight them.”

His eyes lit up, and he inched closer to me.

“If you want, you can sit beside me, and I’ll read to you while your mom finishes her laundry.” I glanced at the mom for her permission, but the sudden relief in her eyes was all I needed. She tucked a piece of loose hair behind her ear as her son crawled up in the chair beside me.

“Thank you,” she silently mouthed the words to me as she set her laundry basket on the table across from us.

I smiled at her as I opened the book to page one.

The little boy sat attentively as I read the words to him. His eyes got big as saucers as I described the monsters in the book, and he wrinkled his nose when I talked about the girl with golden hair.

We had just finished the first chapter when his mom squats down in front of him.

“Are you ready to go, Jonah?” Her hands reached out and tied his shoelace that had started to come undone.

“We’re reading, Mama.” He grinned up at me and I returned it.

“I know.” She smiled at me as well. “But it’s time to go to the park.”

“Yay.” He pumped his tiny fist in the air and quickly jumped from his seat.

The boy who sat attentively while I read to him was long gone, and he was once again running around full of energy.

“Thank you so much.” His mother’s eyes tracked his every movement. “You don’t know how much I appreciate that.”

“It’s no big deal.” I looked away from her and tucked my paperback into my bag.

“It is.” She held my gaze, and I squirmed in my seat. “Just thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

I went to my dryer as they headed out the door and pulled out my already cold laundry. I should have folded our clothes right then and there, but they were already cold which meant the wrinkles were already setting in. My roommate, Brooke, would be mad, but I was dying to get home to finish the rest of my book.

With my basket against my hip, I awkwardly smiled at the man who sat closest to me before I grabbed my bag and headed out the door. If my roommate and I were responsible adults, we would have gotten our dryer fixed weeks ago. But adulting was hard and buying makeup always seemed more important to Brooke while blowing my paycheck on books would always be more important to me.