Her Dirty Builders (Men at Work #10) - Mika Lane


“How does my butt look?”

My best friend since forever—and if I were to be honest, lifeline to sanity—looked me up and down, the ‘eleven’ lines between her eyebrows more pronounced than usual thanks to her worry.

But it was all good. That’s how a BFF does it. No beating around the bush. If my ass were the size of the Titanic, I’d expect her to tell me. I’d do the same.

Fortunately, my backside was not of Titanic proportions. But it was hefty, still. And today, the day I was wearing white, which I never did because it makes you look big, my butt was going to be stared at by two hundred people as they watched me walk down the aisle of a church.

To get married.

“It looks good, Esme,” Charli confirmed, shaking her head. “Very bootylicious. Girls kill for an ass like yours. In fact, did you hear that women in Brazil or someplace are crazy for butt implants? I can’t imagine doing that—your ass would be sore and you couldn’t sit or go to the bathroom for days—”

“Charli,” I interrupted, continuing to smooth my hands over my ass as if that would somehow shrink it. “I’ve been thinking about some things.”

Her eyes widened. Guess she didn’t expect a serious conversation fifteen minutes before my wedding ceremony.

“Yeah? Whatcha been thinking about, Es?” she asked, all attention, leaning against the wall of the church’s dingy storage closet, which they called the ‘bride’s room’ when they needed one.

I looked longingly at a folding chair, but we’d agreed not to sit in our dresses, at least not until we got to the reception. I’d been standing for a solid hour and was getting tired. But at least I had my shoes off.

“You know, Char… well, Eddie’s really not… that into sex.” I said the last words really fast and avoided her expression by studying the manicure her mother had treated me to.

She was silent. Which forced me to look up at her widened eyes.

“Oh? Really?” she croaked.

I knew that voice. It was the one she used before she broke into a panic.

“Do you… well, do you think that’s a problem?” My voice was loaded with forced breeziness.

I wasn’t fooling Charli, and I wasn’t fooling myself.

She pressed her lips together, deliberating her words. It was not something she usually did, but considering what was about to take place, I could see she wanted to at least try to be diplomatic.

“Well, you know…” She giggled nervously. “I… um… has he been that way… all along?”

She smiled hopefully.

“Pretty much. Yeah. I told myself it wasn’t a big deal. He was so nice and successful, and well, we bought the house and all, so maybe the sex thing doesn’t really matter.”

But for some reason it mattered right now, eight minutes before I was to walk down the aisle and commit myself in front of all our friends and relatives.

Damn, damn, damn.

Charli lowered her voice. “Are you getting cold feet, Esme?”

I dropped my head back and laughed hard, just to show I had my shit under control. “No, no, no,” I said cheerily.

And then my bottom lip began to quiver, and the lump I’d been swallowing away for the last few days returned to my throat. My eyes filled with tears, which was disastrous, considering I’d just had my makeup done professionally for the first time in my life.

Charli rushed to me, grabbing my hands. “Oh sweetie. If you’re not sure, don’t do it.”

“But all the people…” I said, trying to hold back a sob.

“Fuck them,” she said. “This is about you. And if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to.”

I shook my head like that would chase away the doubts. “No. I love him. He’s a good guy. I’m fine. Really. Just getting the jitters. It happens to everyone.”

On any other day, Charli would call me on my shit without hesitation. But this time her mouth opened like she was about to say something, and closed just as fast. “You sure?” she asked quietly.

“Yup. I’m good.”

I dug through my things for a mirror to make sure my mascara was still intact.

There was a knock on the door, and my dad poked his head in. Charli immediately stood up straight and stuck her chest out.

Yeah, she had the hots for my dad. All my friends did. He was a good-looking guy, and still pretty young since he and my mom had me when they were barely twenty.

“Mr. Rutherford. Hi,” she said, batting her eyelashes.

“Charli, please call