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One Size Fits All

Courtney Cole


  A Romantic Comedy Anthology

  Each novella is copyrighted by its respective author.

  Copyright 2016

  Thirteen bestselling authors bring you a collection of stories that aren't a 'One Size Fits All'.

  We're bringing you laughter that just might cause you to pee your pants. Heat; that might cause you to fan yourself. Steam; that you might need to dry off from. Toys; that might require batteries and more packed in behind this cover.

  Join Gina Whitney, Shari J. Ryan, Courtney Cole, Danielle Jamie, Isabelle Richards, Misha Elliott, Gia Riley, Meghan Quinn, M.C. Cerny, Alexis Noelle, BL Berry, A.M. Willard, and TJ Burton, as we support the Purple Heart Foundation with 100% proceeds donated



  Boys, Toys - OH MY!


  Kiss My Crown

  ExES & Hos

  Now What?!!

  I Hoped There’d Be Handcuffs

  The Ten Centimeter Calamity

  Stilettos and Broken Bottles

  From A Distance

  Barking Mad Love


  One Size Fits All - Anthology




  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


  I lean forward toward my full-length mirror, pucker my lips, check my teeth, wipe the excess mascara from the skin below my lashes, and that's that. You look good tonight, Sydney.

  My phone is buzzing up a storm on my nightstand and my nerves kick into gear. Anders said he would send me a text as soon as he was released from duty today. Listen to me, duty. Pff. I haven't dated a cop yet. I wonder if I'll feel the way I do when I'm getting pulled over and one appears in my window, barking about my license and registration. I get it. I have a lead foot, but it's usually for good reason. Not that cops ever understand that, but whatever. Oh God. How bad will it be if this guy has actually pulled me over before? His picture on was kind of blurry, so I can only tell that he has dark hair and an olive complexion. His description describes him as six-two and two-hundred (ish) pounds. I can't exactly paint a clear picture of him in my head. And this is exactly why I hate blind dates, but I work as an office manager at an OBGYN and there are not a lot of men who pass by my desk. Well...I mean, the husbands of pregnant women or boyfriends of knocked-up whatevers. It's never really a delightful situation when I speak to a man at my desk. Which is why I have now reverted to using a dating site.

  How did I get here? I'm twenty-eight, never married, and I'll toot my own horn to say I'm a good looking girl, but things never work out for me. They probably never will. This is the mantra I repeat to myself before going out for a date. I'd say it's on the border of healthy and psychotic.

  "Sydney!" Lori yells from the other room. "What is that smell? God. It's like seeping under the crack of your door."

  "Yeah, what is that?" Kate shouts too. "It's burning my nose and throat. Sydney!"

  Jesus. I'm sorry. "It's just perfume?" I yell back.

  "Did you spill the bottle or something?" Lori asks, walking in through the door. "Holy crap. What are you doing? Are you out of your mind? This guy is going to go running the second he smells you."

  "I didn't put that much on," I tell her, ripping a tissue from the box and dabbing it down my neck to soak up some of the excess.

  "That's not going to help. You need to go wash your neck and wherever else you put it." Lori plops down on the edge of my bed and folds her knees into her chest. "Look, I know it's hard getting back into the dating scene after your nonsense year-long break, but you should focus on just being yourself and stop worrying about all the bells and whistles.

  I should have made my year-long-no-dating-sabbatical two years, is all I can think right now. "I should just cancel. That way I can stay home and watch Grey’s with you and Kate." The idea of that is sounding way better right now.

  "No," Kate says, joining us in my room with her comfy looking sweatpants and zip-up hoodie. I'm jealous. "You want a husband and babies. You're twenty-eight, and if you play your cards right, you can be married by thirty and have a baby by the time you're thirty-one or thirty-two. If you wait any longer...I don't need to tell you about your biological clock again, do I?" She looks down at her wrist, as if she had a watch there, and nods her head. Thanks for the emphasis. I get it.

  I'm ignoring her last comments, staring down at my skin tight dress that is going to force me to keep my shoulders back and ab muscles tight all night in fear of letting it all hang out. Oh, and she's wearing slippers. They look like little teddy bears hugging her feet. And then there's my feet, crunched into peep-toe stilettos that make the top of my foot wrinkle--that's how cozy my footwear is.

  Lori hops off the bed and runs into the bathroom, returning with a wet face cloth. "Here." She rubs at the skin on my neck, which is probably a strikingly hot red mess now. "That's better. Now you smell clean instead of flowery rubbing alcohol."

  "Thanks," I say, lining my tone with sarcasm.

  She reaches over to my nightstand and reads the text I haven't had a second to look at. "He said to meet him at Cafe Nola at seven. Syd, it's six-forty-five."

  "Shit!" I need to stop saying that word. I need to stop swearing. I need to start being a good person so maybe good karma will finally find me.

  I grab an extra bottle of Tums on the way out the door and pop one in my mouth before dropping the container into my bag. I consider calling an Uber, but that's dumb. It's literally four blocks away. But...heels. Why, Sydney?

  By the time I arrive in front of the restaurant, I'm sweating. Like, not a slight glisten on my forehead kind of sweating, but I think I might have soaked through the armpits of my sweater. Shit! Ugh. No. I take my sweater off and fold it under my arm, feeling the chill of a May night bolt through me like little tiny icicles puncturing every follicle on my skin. That should clear up the sweating issue real quick. See, if I just kept the perfume on, that's all I'd smell right now, but instead I feel like I smell something else. This is ridiculous. I should leave. You know what, I'm a grown woman, and I don't want to do this dating bullshit. I'll get artificially inseminated, have a baby, and live with a vibrator I'll name...Kenneth--sounds like a respectable name. In any case, it's clear I don't need a man to marry, or settle down with. That's a bunch of bull. No one lives happily ever after now anyways. Everyone just ends up divorced or in an affair. So why not just skip to the good part?

  With my final decision made, I turn on my heels to head back to my apartment. Except, my apartment is now buried in a man's chest, where my face is currently residing--a man who is wearing a lot of cologne, but it smells amazing. He's probably hideous. He's probably going to smell my sweat and crunch his nose and walk away from me like I'm a smelly, homeless dog. "Sydney?"

  Oh God. Oh no. I peer up at this giant man. Well. Everyone is giant to me at five-foot-two, but he's really, really tall. And fucking hot as hell. "Do I know you?" With my luck, I can probably answer that. This is a blind date, and he is more than likely Anders Rodriguez. He's got the tall, dark, and tan thing going on. "Anders?" I ask hesitantly.

  "Wow," he says. "Those stupid dating sites never work the way you hope they will, but..." he pinches his fingers around the bottom of his scruffy chin as I take a few steps back, so I'm not standing under his nose anymore. "I think I kind of hit the dating website jackpot this t
ime. You're gorgeous and look way better than your profile picture." Hmm. Compliment or...sure, we'll go with it.

  "Well, thank you. I'm pleasantly surprised as well, considering your profile picture was pretty much blurred out."

  He laughs, this deep, guttural, sex-laced laugh, and stares directly into my eyes as he says, "I haven't mastered the selfie thing yet."

  "Oh," I say, feeling a blush creep over my cheeks. He steps around me and opens the door to the restaurant, allowing me to walk in first. Good looking and a gentleman. I can only wonder what's going to go wrong tonight.

  We're seated right away because the gentleman made reservations. The gentleman got us a window seat by candle light overlooking the ocean. "So why are you single?"

  "Bad luck, I guess," he says. "And you? How could someone as gorgeous as yourself be single?"

  "Bad luck," I respond in suit.

  "Fair enough," he smirks. While I'm in the process of falling in love with this guy's eyes, a waiter comes by and fills our flute glasses with a bottle of Champagne we didn't order. This guy is either pulling out all of the stops from desperation and loneliness, or he wants to get in my pants. Not sure I'd put up a fight for the latter part. It's been more than a while. I got a Brazilian wax and everything just in case he was hot as hell and wanted to get in my pants. So far, I'm glad I planned accordingly.

  Two hours fly by, the sun has completely set, and we're sitting on opposite sides of a flickering candle as we scrape up the last of bits of our fancy butter-marinated steaks. A.K.A....a huge mistake. But he was talking about how they have the best steaks in Portland and I'd be silly not to try their end-cut special tonight. How could I sit there and explain to him that it isn't a good idea when he's basically drooling at the thought of these steaks. If I ordered a salad, which is probably the safest meal on the menu, this spark would sizzle immediately. I can tell he doesn't like a girl who eats like a bird, considering the comments he's been making all night about how real girls eat and he knows he's found a good one when she orders a steak. Why did I do this? I know better. Maybe I'll get lucky. Twice tonight. Please, God, let me get away without the usual disaster.

  "Dessert?" he asks. "If you're a steak kind of girl, you have to be one of those cool chicks who actually orders dessert too." My smile must be misleading. "You are. God, you're amazing. Do you want to split something?"

  He's so cute.

  "Sure, we can split whatever you would like. Everything looks good," I tell him.

  "Everything okay? Your mood sort of crashed?" Am I that transparent? I see a good thing and realize it will most likely never be a reality for me. I can't tell him that, though.

  "Definitely," I grin. "What dessert are you going to choose?"

  "Hmm," he says, dragging his finger slowly down the back side of the menu. "This is a hard decision." I wait patiently as he holds his focus on the menu. "I pulled you over last month."

  Oh God. "Noooooo," I whine.

  "You don't recognize me?" he continues.

  "I try not to make eye contact with you people," I groan, squinting my eyes closed.

  "You people? That's degrading!" he laughs. "Wait a minute, I'm remembering what your excuse for speeding was now. Hold on." He looks up at me, as if in deep thought. "Oh yes, you were one of those 'I have cramps' girls who think they can fool a male cop into letting her out of a ticket because we don't know what period cramps feel like."

  "You got me," I croak. Oh my God.

  Oh my God.


  No. No!

  It's happening.

  Little does he know, I was telling him the truth that day.

  "Hey," he says, placing his hand over mine, forcing my eyes to reopen. "For the record, I only let you off with a warning because you're beautiful."


  "I have to excuse myself for a moment. I'll--ah--I'll be right back." I drop my napkin to the chair and dart my focus in every direction, desperately seeking the restroom sign.

  "Are you okay?" he asks, concern filling his eyes.

  "Oh yeah, I just need to freshen up before dessert." LIE. I need to lose all contents in my stomach while praying I'm not gone long enough for you to assume I'm shitting myself in a public restroom. Again.

  "Are you looking for the restroom?" a passing waitress asks. Is that apparent?

  "Yes, I am," I say, squirming under my skin-tight dress.

  "I have to get you a key. We share a bathroom with the clothing store behind us. It's all part of the lease, some stupid deal that was made. Hold on, let me just deliver these drinks and I'll grab the key for you." Um no. I need the key, like, right this very second. This is becoming a stage three emergency. Once I get to stage four, I need to move out of this state.

  What is probably only twenty seconds, feels like twenty minutes. Anders is staring out the window, and I'm looking at his pondering reflection, his hand resting under his chin, his gaze lost within the waves of the ocean.

  "Here you go! It's just right out those back doors."

  I don't even offer her a thank you as I grab the key and literally run, keeping my thighs pinched together of course. I make it out the back door, which really just leads to another door that has a restroom labeled plaque dangling from a nail. I open the door and find a toilet. One toilet. This is a shared bathroom between men and women and it's easy to tell. There's pee everywhere. Godammnit. I take the toilet paper and line the seat quickly and carefully, just as another wave of cramps soars through me like a mother fucking contraction. I tug at my panties, letting them drop to my knees, or the pee-soaked ground. NO! I want to cry as I feel part of my ass touch the sticky seat. But none of that matters as life pours out of me. None of that matters because I'm causing far more havoc in this one little restroom then any man has had the privilege of doing in here. I might as well drop a grenade in this cement hole and call it a day.

  The waves of pain subside after a few minutes, and I begin the clean-up process, pondering my next move with Anders. I can't exactly just go back out there like I haven't been in here for what must be fifteen minutes now. That's mortifying. He'll know.

  I look around the stupid bathroom for an air spray, anything, but of course, as usual, there's nothing. I take my little bottle of perfume out of my bag and spritz each corner, quickly realizing that this florally rubbing alcohol mixed with shit, smells like worse shit.

  Beginning the walk of shame, I feel like everyone's eyes are boring into my ass, like they are aware of the offense it just committed. "Ma'am, your ass is under arrest for destruction of property."

  I quietly sit back down in front of Anders who looks very concerned. "Everything okay?"

  LIE. "Oh yeah, I'm sorry. I had to use the restroom and my roommate called to tell me there was a small fire in our building. She was freaking out, and I just wanted to make sure she was okay."

  "Did she call the fire department? Want me to call my buddy over there? I'm sure he'd be happy to go over and make sure your roommate is okay."

  "Oh, oh no, there's no reason to do that. She said everything was under control. It just gave her a good scare."

  "Well, if you're sure. Why don't we go back there so you can check on her?"

  "Um. Yeahhhhh," I say in a high-pitched squeal. "That's a greatttt. Idea."

  "You got it. Let me just hit up the men's room real quick and we'll get going." Oh no. No. NO. You cannot go to the bathroom. You will know. No!

  "Oh ah, what about dessert? I thought you wanted to get dessert? We should definitely get dessert."

  "You know, I'm actually feeling kind of stuffed but if you want to get something, I'll gladly have some with you. Why don't you order while I'm in the bathroom?"

  "Oh, sure. I can do that. Do you know what you want?" I'm stalling. He just said he didn't want dessert. I look like a moron. A moron who doesn't listen to hot men. A moron who really doesn't want this hot cop to go into the bathroom and smell what I just kill

  "Whatever you want is perfect." He winks at me and heads over to the host desk. He knows he needs a key. There's no stalling. The hostess hands him the key.

  A spare key. Because I'm still holding the key she gave me. He walks quickly toward the back door, just as someone is coming out from the door. Oh thank God, he's going to think that guy created that horrible smell. Thank you, God. Thank you!

  "Dude, hold your breath when you go in there. Some chick just lit that place up a minute ago. Impressive, if you ask me, but damn that shit is nasty." The restaurant is just small enough that I can hear this conversation, this one-way conversation in its entirety. I sink into my chair, close my eyes and scold myself so I don't cry. Suck it up, Sydney. Get up, walk out, and pray to God you never see this amazing man again. I place the key down on the table, along with a fifty-dollar bill. I feel sorry for myself at this moment, but this is how it goes. I stand up and make my way out the door, removing my heels as I hit the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. I need to jog home. I need to make sure he doesn't catch up to me or figure out where I live because that would mean I would have to face him again. I can't do that.

  I make it home in less than ten minutes and head up the stairs and into my apartment where Lori and Kate both have tissues thrown all over their couch as they watch McDreamy drift away. "Why are you watching this episode again?"

  "We miss him," Lori says. "How can they continue on without McDreamy. It shouldn't be allowed." She blows her nose into one of the already crumpled tissues. "The producers made a big mistake this time."

  "Why are you home?" Kate asks. "It's only eight-thirty."

  "Are you sweating?" Lori asks.

  I walk past them both, refusing to answer any of their questions. I close myself into my bedroom, drop my shoes, and fall on top of my bed. It is what it is, Sydney. I'm plagued.

  A muffled buzzing noise sounds against the hardwood floor. Is he calling to rub it in? Maybe it's not him. Who else would it be? My only two friends live here, and my parents are ashamed of me for the fact that I won't settle down and give them grandchildren. Evidently that was my only purpose in life.