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Authors: Shayne McClendon

The Barter System

BOOK: The Barter System
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The

Barter

System

 

 

 

Shayne
McClendon

 

What readers
are saying about “The Barter System”…

 

“The way that
Shayne McClendon writes her characters makes you emotionally invested in them.  This
is one of the best books I have read this year (and I have read many books this
year). 
The Barter System
is the book that I highly recommend on
Facebook and to all of my friends.  You care about all the men that come into
Riya's life and I cried during one of the farewell scenes as if I had left the
character.  Aside from being a great book, the sex scenes in this story are
sooo well written that you can totally imagine the scene in your mind.” 
Glorya

 

“LOVE!  LOVE!  LOVE
this book!  I couldn't stop reading!  I loved the story, you connect with each
person, you feel their happiness, as well as their pain.  I laughed, I cried, I
cheered for Riya!  Can't wait to read more books by Shayne!” 
Laurie

 

“This book was
great and I did not want to put it down!  I always wanted to find out what was
next.  I read this book after reading
50 Shades of Grey
and
Bared to
You
and can honestly say that I fell in love with this book and all the
characters.  Shayne is brilliant and I cannot wait to read the next one.” 
Megan

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Shayne
McClendon

 

All rights reserved.

 

ISBN: 1480052000

ISBN-13: 
978-1480052000

 

No part of this book
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage
and retrieval system without written permission from the author and publisher. 
This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are
the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events,
or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

Also by Shayne McClendon

 

Fiction:

In the Service of Women

Revenge is Best Served Hot

Ready to Rumble

Somebody

 

Fiction Coming Soon:

To Everything

The Hermit

The Playground

 

Non-Fiction:

Makeup and Blowjobs

 

 

Dedication

 

 

To my wonderful kids, I’m grateful your
love is unconditional because I’ve certainly neglected you lately.  I love you
and I promise it will all be worth it!

Love, Mom

 

 

Rina…there is not enough I can say in
thanks for everything you’ve done.  You’re a daily inspiration to never, ever
give up and you’ve busted your ass to help me.  You…quite simply…are the bomb
diggity.

 

To my
Always the F**king Good Girl
Facebook followers:

Every day I look forward to interacting
with you on Good Girl.  I am very, very lucky to have such amazing fans.  Your
stories inspire me and your encouragement pushes me to keep going.  Thank you
for accepting me.

 

Much love,

Shayne

 

Table of Contents

Chapter
One – The Dissertation

Chapter Two – The Internet Entrepreneur

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five – The Fisherman

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten – The College Student

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve – The Rancher

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen – The Police Officer

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen – The Business Tycoons

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two – The Musician

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Epilogue

About the Author

 

 

 

 

Chapter
One – The Dissertation

 

Last week of August…

 

Riya O’Connell perused the
profiles of each man she’d chosen, reviewing the data she’d gathered from them
as well as her own carefully performed background checks.  A photo accompanied
each file and she felt as if she already knew them.  Strange since she’d never
met them or even spoken to any of them on the phone.

 

The applications submitted
to her website The Barter System had originally numbered more than thirteen
thousand before the deadline at the end of May.  In the last two months, she’d
trimmed the list to five hundred, then one hundred, then thirty.  Those
prospects had been painstakingly narrowed to the final eight just two weeks
ago.  The best selections for one reason or another.  The ones that meant her
overall success or failure. 

 

Sean
 

Age 37, Internet Entrepreneur, Orlando,
FL

Victor
 

Age 31, Fisherman, Savannah, GA

Joshua
 

Age 22, College Student, Austin, TX

Lucas
 

Age 42, Rancher, Billings, MT

Ricardo
 

Age 32, Police Officer, Los Angeles, CA

Micah & Max
 

Age 34, Financiers, Manhattan, NY

Bobby
 

Age 27, Musician, Boston, MA

 

There was nothing left to
do.  She’d said goodbye to her few friends and family.  They had no idea what
she was undertaking.  The people who loved and cared about her would have at
least a thousand questions and even more warnings.  Therefore, they knew what
she could tell them and no more.  They thought she’d be visiting college
campuses across the country, studying the sexual habits of young men coming
into adulthood. 

 

It had been implied - though
not exactly stated - that she’d be doing no more than conducting interviews. 
And for the sake of argument, she would indeed be interviewing her subjects. 

 

That just wasn’t the whole
story.

 

Only one person, her best
friend Tawny, knew just how extreme her research was and to what lengths she
was going to gather it.  Tawny knew everything about Riya but no one else knew
anything about her website or her other…hobbies. 

 

She took her time scanning
her handwritten notes into her laptop, making sure she didn’t miss a single
piece of information or a letter received through ‘snail mail’.  She didn’t
want to have to worry about searching for details later.  There wouldn’t be
time for that. 

 

Everything she needed for
the next three months fit snugly into a large canvas duffle bag.  Her backpack
protected her laptop and few research supplies. 

 

She updated her Always the
Fucking Good Girl blog and posted a few comments while she was online.  This
site wasn’t linked to anything else she did and she was careful to ensure no
one knew she was the woman behind the scenes. 

 

The blog was an online diary
she’d kept since her senior year of high school.  She’d catalogued her limited
sex life, experiments with toys, been honest about her short addiction to porn,
talked about things she wanted to try one day, gave voice to her forced
celibacy over the past couple of years as a test of her willpower, and wondered
if there were any men out there who could ever live up to her ridiculous
expectations. 

 

Lots of men offered to be
her guinea pig and she always turned them down gently.  Women wrote in with
suggested reading.  Some wrote in with suggested men.

 

It wasn’t long before her
own books started showing up as suggested reading by her subscribers.  Riya
wrote steamy erotica for women.  Initially, it started as a way to purge her
surprisingly naughty thoughts.  It gradually changed into a valid way to keep
from ever touching her trust fund. 

 

Now, it was an outlet to
express her ideas because she enjoyed the possibilities of sex, though she
hadn’t had much personally.  She certainly hadn’t had any worth using as a plot
but she was still hopeful.

 

The next morning, she would
leave South Florida, traveling a set itinerary around the country until she
reached her final destination in Boston.  It was the end of August.  She
estimated she’d arrive to the last location right around Halloween.  Her mode
of travel was already arranged and her stops had been coordinated.  

 

She was ready.

 

This was primarily research
for her psychology dissertation but perhaps just as much for her secondary
degree, and personal passion, in creative writing.  The fact that she was
curious as a woman didn’t technically figure into the equation.  She’d been
compiling her data for the past year of graduate school and anticipated the end
eagerly.  There was no fear of the unknown but she wasn’t completely without a
little nervousness.

 

Sex for most women was
intrinsically linked to their emotions.  If you believed popular media, the
recognized view of men when it came to sex was much less emotional and more
juvenile.  How men were typically portrayed, and her own less-than-stellar
experiences could not be all there was.  It was the cornerstone of her
dissertation as well as the driving force behind her erotica work that men and
women were not so different after all. 

 

She scanned the last
documents and backed up her files to the server maintained by Tawny who hosted
multiple websites and kept her data secure.  There wasn’t a hacker alive who
could infiltrate the complex network.  Anyone who tried found themselves, and
their own systems, falling down a rabbit hole of epic proportions.  When it
came to hacking, Tawny had no mercy.     

 

Her best friend was also her
emergency contact in case of trouble.  Riya doubted she’d have trouble, but
that’s why they were called ‘emergencies’.  Tawny was scared for her but kept
it well hidden, knowing doubt only pushed her lifelong friend further toward
her goals.  Each of the women had a throw-away phone that would be their only
method of communication if there was a problem.  Riya would upload data direct
to the website while in the field, but nothing else could impact her research. 
She had phone numbers for local cab companies in each location, hotels, and
airlines. 

 

Her father, Archer, had been
warned she’d essentially be on ‘radio silence’ until further notice.  This fact
had made him very unhappy.  She was the only family he had with exception of
Tawny and her mom and he was fiercely protective.  That he hadn’t locked her
away until he could ‘talk sense into her’ was both a surprise and a blessing. 

BOOK: The Barter System
8.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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