More Bama Boys!
That’s right!! Before CJ & Riley’s book releases, one of the Bama Boys and his girl will get a novella! Any guesses as to who it could be??
I’m so excited for this! I LOVE this couple! Stay tuned for more info…
Grabbing the six-pack off the floor of my truck, I hit the lock on my key ring and head for the front door.
I need this tonight. I need something to break up my routine of getting off work and then getting off at home. Maybe I can convince Mia to have game night tomorrow too. I love my dick. I’d be devastated if I broke that shit off, but that’s exactly where I’m headed if I don’t find a better way to occupy my time.
I push the door open without bothering to knock. Voices boom from the kitchen, Tessa’s standing out over the others, which isn’t unusual. Everyone’s here already by the sound of it. Good. We can get this much needed distraction started.
I step into the kitchen and set my beers on the table. Ben’s the first person I see.
Standing at the end of the counter, he lowers the beer in his hand as his lips pinch together in a thin line. Tessa and Mia are talking behind him, not having noticed me yet. Ben nudges Luke with his elbow, and the two of them share a look before heading in my direction.
“What?” I ask as they step in front of me. I grab one of my beers and pop the top.
Ben speaks first. “This wasn’t our idea, man. Don’t do anything that’ll get your ass into trouble.”
I swallow, and turn to Luke, tipping my beer at Ben. “What is he talking about?”
Luke nods at my beer, his face just as tense as Ben’s. “You might want to shotgun that. Or put it down and get the hell out of here. We’ll cover for you.”
I whip my head between the two of them. What the fuck? “Is this part of game night? Have Reed try and guess what the hell you two idiots are getting at? Just say it, already. I suck at charades.”
The room goes quiet. I look over Ben’s shoulder, expecting to see Mia and Tessa looking at me, and they are. Both of them are wearing their biggest smiles, leaning on the counter, waving at me like they know something I don’t, which apparently is the running theme of the night.
I open my mouth to ask them what the hell is going on, but it all becomes clear when my eyes are drawn to Beth, standing next to CJ.
Standing with CJ. Together. Looking all comfortable and shit.
Beth fucking Davis. Here, in Mia’s kitchen, wearing the same dress she wore during our lunch together. The same fucking boots on her feet.
Making my chest tight. My dick hard. My mind a fucking scrambled mess.
What the fuck is she doing here?
A hand slaps me on the back of my head. Ben mumbles something about me being an asshole. I pull my attention off Beth and see the agitated glares being directed at me by everyone else in the room. Tessa is looking particularly murderous.
Fuck. I said that out loud?
I look at Beth, her big, brown eyes expanding and pinning me to the wall. Her lips pinched together in distress.
Fuck, I need to explain.
“I didn’t mean…” My teeth clench when CJ’s hand finds her lower back.
I look at him, ready to throw his ass out the nearest window.
He looks at me, lifting his chin into a friendly nod.
“What’s up, man? You know Beth?”
I narrow my eyes.
Do I know Beth?
Yeah, motherfucker. I know her more than you ever will.
“Well, everyone’s here. Why don’t we get game night started?” Mia grabs Beth’s hand, pulling her away from CJ and leading her toward my direction.
I could kiss that woman. Always having my back.
“Do you know how to play hearts, Beth?” Mia asks.
Beth looks at me briefly, then shakes her head as Mia pulls a chair out for her. She sits down at the opposite end of the table I’m standing at. “No, I don’t think so,” she says timidly.
Mia smiles. “That’s okay. CJ can show you.”
I have zero friends in this house.
CJ claims one of the chairs next to Beth. Mia takes the other. I debate on getting the hell out of here, but the second I see Beth staring at me across the table, looking just as fragile as she did standing in my bedroom, letting me know just by those eyes of hers that she had no idea I’d be here, I pick up my six-pack and carry it to the fridge.
Fuck it. What’s the difference between struggling to keep my hand off my dick at home and battling the same urge at Mia’s dinner table?
I take the last remaining seat at the table, putting me directly across from Beth. As Ben stands and deals out the cards, Tessa leans closer to me, chin resting on her hand, looking guilty as shit as the grin spreads across her face.
“Hey, buddy,” she whispers. “You doing okay over there?”
I slowly turn my head, my eyes narrowing. “You know something, don’t you?”
Tessa leans back, pops her gum through a smile, and picks up her cards.
Ben sits in his chair. “All right, we good? Beth, you know how to play now?”
Beth looks down at her cards, her thumb scraping across her bottom lip. “I think so. If I want to run, do I tell everyone I’m going to do it?”
Collective “no’s” fill the room, everyone except me offering their response.
Beth looks across the table, waiting, wanting the answer she hasn’t gotten yet. As if mine is the only one that matters to her.
Fuck. Is it? Is it the only one that matters?
Lowering my beer, I keep her gaze and slowly shake my head. She blinks several times, then looks back down at her cards.
I chug half my beer.
CJ laughs, slips his arm behind her, and rests it on the back of her chair. “No, baby. Don’t tell anyone what you’re planning on doing. Especially if you’re trying to run.”
Blood runs hot in my veins.
“Baby?” I set my beer down and lean forward on my elbows. The room goes quiet. “What, you met her five minutes before I got here and you’re already giving her a fucking nickname? Or is the word Beth too difficult for you to remember?”
Confusion tightens CJ’s face. “What the hell’s up with you?” he asks gruffly, leaning back in his chair, keeping his fucking arm exactly where it is.
I grit my teeth, looking around at the six pairs of eyes on me. One set in particular feeling like they’re holding me by the throat and the balls.
You’re losing it. Losing. It.
“Nothing. Let’s play the damn game.” I lean back in the chair and pick up my cards, setting three aside to pass to Ben and taking the ones Tessa hands over to me. I then toss the two of clubs out in the center of the table, starting the game.
Ben takes his turn, then CJ. Beth seems unsure of what she can or can’t play, looking between her cards, then at the ones in the center of the table, back and forth repeatedly. She tosses a five of hearts on the stack.
“You can’t play that yet,” I tell her, reaching across the table and tossing her back the card. “Hearts can’t be broken on the first trick.”
“Oh. Right, yeah, I knew that.” She tucks the card back into her hand. Her eyes slowly lift to mine. “I don’t have any clubs.”
“You can play anything but a heart on the first trick,” Mia says, popping a grape into her mouth. “After hearts are broken you can play as many as you want.”
“A trick?” Beth frowns, studying her cards again. “What’s that again?”
CJ leans back and looks at her hand. He sets his cards down. “We’ll play together, okay? Until you get the hang of it.”
I glare at CJ. “I think she can figure it out by herself. It’s not that hard.”
“Relax, man,” Ben mumbles next to me.
“What? We’re playing hearts, not bridge. She doesn’t need anyone holding her hand and walking her through it like she’s a fucking idiot.” I look directly into Beth’s eyes, the veins in my forehead threatening to burst. “Do you?”
She flinches. Her chin trembles. A hand covers her mouth. Her cards hit the table seconds before she’s pushing her chair back. “Excuse me,” she whispers, leaving the kitchen in a hurry.
I reach out to stop her, but a sharp sting cracks against my shin. “Ow, fuck.” I scowl at Tessa. “Did you just kick me?”
She shoves against my arm. “What is wrong with you?”
“Seriously, Reed,” Mia snaps, looking over my shoulder. “That was really rude. I think you hurt her feelings.”
“Because I don’t want CJ hanging all over her? Why the fuck is she even here?”
CJ stands from the table. “What is your problem, asshole?” He moves to follow after Beth.
I get up in his face. “If anyone’s going after her, it’s going to be me. Sit the fuck back down and make sure everyone else knows what a trick is, since you’re so willing to help.”
“You know what, Reed? I’ve never had a problem with you, but right now, I’m real close to knocking your ass out.”
Ben’s at my back. “CJ, let him go after her. He’s the one who needs to apologize.”
“Nobody’s knocking anyone out.” Mia gets up from the table and pulls against CJ’s arm. “I just mopped the floor this morning.”
“I told you women this was a bad idea,” Luke says from his seat at the table. He leans back and takes a swig of his beer, then frowns at Tessa. “You get off on his misery, babe. It’s kinda fucked up.”
Tessa waves him off. “I do not. I’m helping Reed. He just doesn’t realize it yet.”
Ben steps back and allows me to pass. I look over at Tessa. “You’re helping me? How is this helping me?”
She says something behind my back as I exit the kitchen, but I don’t hear it. It probably doesn’t make sense anyway. Whatever the hell her and Mia were trying to achieve with this clusterfuck of an evening, I’ll never understand.
I’m ready to punch a cop. Beth’s hiding somewhere in the house.
I fucking hate game night.
Click here to purchase When I Fall at the special release price of $2.99.
I will post the preorder links for B&N and iTunes as soon as they are available.
Are you ready for more Bama Boys?
Are you ready for Reed? I’m so excited for his story. And his girl… well, she’s very special. She has to be, right? It’s going to take a miracle to lock that boy down!
I am pleased to announce that all your favorite characters, Ben, Mia, Sir Nolan, Baby Chase, Luke, & Tessa are all over this book. You will get plenty of time with them, plus a little CJ and a few new characters. You remember CJ? He made his first appearance in All I Want…
He’s the cop with the shithead partner. 🙂
I hope you fall in love with Reed and his sweet, filthy ways.
As soon as I have the pre-order links available, I will post them. Until then, here’s a little teaser pic to wet your…
Mia: Oh my God, I’m so excited! I feel like I haven’t been with you in years!
Mia: Hurry up. Is he asleep? Just lay him down. He’ll be okay. Actually no, don’t do that. He’ll scream, and then I’ll feel guilty.
Mia: Shit, I’m so horny right now. I might start without you. But I won’t… but I might.
Mia: Ben, HURRY UP.
I smile down at the phone in my hand as Chase rubs his face against my shirt.
“Buddy, you are really screwing me here fighting sleep. Your mommy is in the other room, and she is ready. I gotta wait for you though, little man, and the longer you take to pass out, the slimmer my chances are to get up in that pussy. And do you know how long it’s been? Do you know how old you are?” Chase coos against me. “You are six weeks old today, Chase. Six weeks. I know that doesn’t mean anything to you right now, but when you’re older, and you’ve gone that long without being inside your woman, you’ll understand how serious this situation is. Your daddy is dying here.”
He brings his fingers up to his mouth, and a wave of relief washes over me. I know that sign. Shouldn’t be long now.
Me: Give me five more minutes. He’s sucking on his fingers now. Funny, I’ll be doing the same thing after I make you ride mine.
Mia: You’re killing me…
I wind up the mobile when the sound fades out and settle back into the glider, rocking Chase slowly the way he likes. He’s so different from Nolan. Chase needs constant movement to fall asleep, and noise. Any kind works for him. It doesn’t have to be his mobile. He’ll fall asleep in a crowd of people at the mall as long as you’re moving him around. But Nolan, when he was a baby, you couldn’t do anything with him. He needed to be still, and he needed silence. That took forever to figure out. I thought all babies liked listening to those annoying nursery rhymes when they were in their cribs. But not Nolan. I’d pace around with him, trying to get him to fall asleep while that damn mobile played in the background, and that just made it worse. It wasn’t until I was exhausted from almost two weeks of him fighting me every night when I sat down on the couch with him against my chest and shut my eyes. I wasn’t trying to fall asleep. I’d never do that while holding a baby, but I was fucking drained. Angie was God-fucking-knows where, and I just needed a break. Even if she was around, she wouldn’t want to deal with him. I put him to bed every night. I played both parents while she did whatever the fuck she wanted. I never complained because I loved my son, and I wanted every second with him. But fuck, I was tired from being up all night constantly. I just wanted to sit for a minute and shut my eyes. Not even thirty seconds after I got comfortable on the couch, he fell asleep. It was dark. It was quiet. And I wasn’t moving. The next night, and every night after that when he was with me, I sat down with Nolan in my living room, and almost immediately, he’d close his eyes. If I pulled that shit with Chase tonight, I’d never get laid. And I’m getting fucking laid.
After winding up the mobile one more time, I slip out of Chase’s nursery once he’s fast asleep in his crib. I get to my bedroom door, palm the knob, and twist it to push the door open.
My head hits the still closed door with a soft thud. So fucking close.
Oh, God. What does she look like in there? Is she naked? Is my dirty little angel pumping her fingers in and out of that sweet pussy just thinking about my cock?
My hand drops from the doorknob and presses against my hard-on.
“Yeah?” I turn my head, keeping my temple on the door, and spot Nolan standing at the end of the hallway with his stuffed dragon in his arms.
“I can’t sweep. My bwain wants to watch TV and eat a snack.”
I scoop Nolan up in my arms and step into his room. “It’s too late to watch TV and eat a snack. You should’ve been asleep over an hour ago.” I lay him down on his pillow, and his hands fist my T-shirt, refusing to let me straighten up. “Nolan…”
“Can you way down with me? Pwease, Daddy?”
My hands flatten on the bed, and I stare down at my son. His big gray eyes are heavy, eyelids slightly swollen with sleep. His hair is a wild mess, and his mouth opens to allow the ear of his dragon to slip inside for him to suck on. He reaches up and runs his finger down my nose, and fuck, he has me. He’s smiling big behind that dragon because he knows he has me when he pulls that shit. I repeat the gesture and climb in next to him, tucking him in with the hand that isn’t braced behind my head.
“Why don’t I go over Mommy’s house anymorwe?”
My chest tightens, making breathing difficult. We haven’t talked about this. Nolan rarely asks about Angie, other than the times he’s wondered if he was going to see her again. And I’ve given him a one word answer, yes, and changed the subject, because I don’t know what the fuck to say. I don’t want him to see her again, but when she does get out of jail eventually, I’m sure I’ll have to deal with that shit. She’ll probably serve a few more years for the DUI she got arrested for. The one that could’ve killed my son. If I had any say in it, that cunt would rot in jail for the rest of her life. But I don’t. I can’t do shit about her getting out some day, but I can protect Nolan. He’s mine. Mia is his mommy now, and Angie can go fuck herself if she thinks she’s taking him away from us.
I look down into Nolan’s tired eyes. “Your mommy, your first mommy, had to go away somewhere, because she couldn’t be a good Mommy to you. But she loved you very much, and she wanted you to have the best Mommy in the whole world. So me and her, we went looking for a princess, because we knew a princess would be the best Mommy to you.”
He smiles, letting the dragon ear fall out of his mouth. “I wove Pwincess Mia, Daddy. She’s the best Mommy evewr.”
“And she loves you very much, Buddy.”
“Did my firwst Mommy weawy love me?”
I nod before I have a chance to hesitate, because I don’t fucking know the answer to this. And this shit fucking kills me. What kid should have to question this? What the fuck kind of person makes their own child doubt whether or not they love them?
Running my hand along his cheek, I feel him lean into it as he brings the dragon back to his mouth. “She loved you, Buddy. She just couldn’t love you like a princess could.”
Nolan closes his eyes and scoots closer, nuzzling against my shirt.
“Is Chasey going to be wittle fowrever?”
“No, Buddy. He’ll get bigger just like you.”
“Wiwl he wike dwagons too?”
He makes a soft grunting sound. “I won’t wet him take you,” he whispers into the darkness of his bedroom. I turn my head away from him, keeping my amused reaction to what he’s just said silent. Only Nolan would comfort his stuffed animal. Only my son would think about some inanimate object’s feelings after touching on his own so profoundly.
Nolan yawns, then says quietly, “Wove you, Daddy.” His voice muffled against his dragon.
“Love you, Buddy.” I press a kiss to his forehead, then slide out of the bed, not moving toward the door in case Nolan protests it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. But as I stand there in the dark, his breathing changes, becomes heavier, more relaxed. I wait a good minute before I move, because I’m not getting hard again and shutting that shit down. Pulling my cell out of my pocket, I hit the power button and light up the screen.
11:24 p.m. Fuck. Fuccckkkk. I texted Mia over an hour ago saying five minutes. And she hasn’t texted me since, which can only mean one thing.
As I push my bedroom door open, my eyes find Mia’s body like there’s nothing else in the room to focus on. The glow from several illuminated candles casts over her, showing my angel in the light I always see her in. Eyes closed, she’s on her back in an outfit I can’t even fucking stare at right now without busting a nut in my shorts.
Black. Lace. Those fucking stockings I found in her dresser last week that she refused to put on for me.
Jesus Fucking Christ. I’m going to come before I touch her.
I strip and wrap my hand around the base of my cock, willing it to chill the fuck out for a second. I’m so amped right now, there’s a good chance I’ll embarrass the hell out of myself if I do exactly what I want to do, fuck her awake. So I go with option two. The second best thing to sliding inside her tight pussy. The thing she’ll chose over anything else, except my cock. The thing she’ll beg me for.
I should make her beg right now for teasing me with this outfit. Dirty, dirty Mia. You’re going to scream so fucking loud for me.
I don’t waste any time. I can’t tease her tonight unless I feel like coming all over this mattress. Dropping my head, I nuzzle my mouth against her pussy, throw her legs over my shoulder, and wait until she slides her hand into my hair before I run my tongue over her clit.
“Mmm… I thought I was dreaming.”
I grab a handful of her tit overtop the lace, squeezing a gasp past her lips. “Not dreaming, pretty girl. You touch this pussy without me?”
She shakes her head through a moan.
“You sure?” I ask, biting down on her clit and holding her down when she squirms.
“No, no I… Oh, Ben, please.”
“Better make sure you’re not lying.” I pull her hand off my head and slip her two favorite fingers into my mouth. She watches me, mouth open and tongue sliding along her bottom lip as I suck. “You waited for me,” I conclude, turning my head to plant a kiss in her open palm.
“I told you I did,” she says, her voice throaty from sleep. She cups my jaw. “Are the boys okay?”
“Mia, please leave them out of this room tonight. I need to fuck my wife, and I can’t do that if you start asking me about other men.”
She laughs as I lay my head on her thigh and run my thumb between her lips. “I need you to fuck your wife, too. But you can’t do it if you’re down there.”
“I want to eat your pussy first.”
“Ben,” she pleads. Her head lifts from the pillow to see me better as both hands grab my face, forcing my attention up her body. “It’s been six weeks. Please. Fuck me already.”
I crawl up her so fast, she squeals underneath me, giggling into the skin of my neck. My cock lays heavy against her thigh as her hands roam all over my back, then her nails mark my skin with an urgency that has me shaking as I press the tip of my cock against her clit.
“Oh my God. Yes.”
“Tits out, angel. I might consider fucking them first, `cause I will lose my mind the second you clamp down on me.” I release a rough exhale, gripping the base of my cock until it’s almost painful. “Fuck, Mia. I’m dying here.”
Her eager hands free her breasts, bunching the material of her lingerie between us at her waist. Then her hand is covering mine, sliding my cock along her slick pussy and coating me with what my mouth should still be savoring.
My head falls back with a groan, my muscles straining as I rock forward on my knees. “Mia,” I rasp, moaning when her hand cups my balls. My resistance breaks. No, it doesn’t break. It fucking shatters.
No longer able to hold off, and I grab her hand that’s fondling me like she fucking owns me, secure it above her head with a firm grip, and brace my other hand next to her head as I slide into her, slowly, taking what’s mine, burying myself so deep inside her, she’ll never stop feeling me.
Her face contorts, eyebrows pinched together and lips pursed as she throws her head back onto the pillow.
Shit. It’s been six weeks since I’ve been inside her. And now I’m fucking hurting her.
“You okay?” I ask, bringing my hand to the side of her face. I release her wrist and lean on both elbows to stare down at her, watching her eyes close through a deep breath. Her chest shudders against mine. “Talk to me, pretty girl. Tell me what you’re feeling.”
Eyes still closed, she wets her lips before whispering, “Ben.” I drop my head next to hers as my heart lodges somewhere in my throat. I can’t stand hurting Mia. I should just pull out right now and go back to worshipping her pussy with my tongue. But then her lips brush against my ear, stilling everything inside me. “Fuck me,” she begs, hitching her legs around my waist, tilting her pelvis so I slide in the last insanely perfect inch.
“Yeah?” I ask, leaning back to look at her. “You want it hard, angel?”
She nods, keeping her eyes on mine. “I want it hard.”
“I’ll come,” I warn her.
She smiles, and fuck, I’m so gone for this woman. Screw every motherfucker out there who thinks they’ve loved more than any other man on this planet. Who thinks they’ve found the perfect chick. Nobody will ever come close to having what I have, to feeling what I feel every time my wife looks at me. To this. Right here.
I’ve taken my wife a lot of ways, but when she wants it hard, I will never hold back with her. I’ll give her exactly what she needs, because it’s always exactly how I need it. When I take her slow and worship her body with more than just my cock, it’s perfect. And when I take her hard, showing her how desperate I am for what she gives me, it’s perfect. It’s always fucking perfect, and right now as I push her legs against her chest and fuck her until I can’t breathe, it’s perfect.
“Mia,” I groan, as the sweat drips off my temple and onto her chest. “Mia.”
She runs her finger above my hip, and without looking down, I know she’s tracing her name. One of my newer tattoos, besides Chase’s name which blends into the design on my arm. Mia closes her eyes through a groan and presses against her favorite mark. Embedding herself deeper into me. I don’t know why, but that sends me over the edge. Knowing how permanent she will always be. Knowing how badly she wants that.
I dig in deeper, fuck her harder. “Get there, Mia.” I bite her bottom lip, swallowing her gasp. “Fucking get there.”
“Ben!” She claws at my skin, bites on my tongue, and comes so tightly around me, it nearly blows my head off. I fuck her until I collapse, our bodies a tangled mess as she rolls me onto my back. Sweat sticks to her skin, and I run my hand between her tits when she straddles my waist.
“Angel, I need a minute,” I tell her, thinking her mind’s set on riding me until I can’t see straight. She flattens her body on top of mine, buries her face in my neck, and sucks on my skin as her heartbeat thunders against my chest.
“I love you, Benjamin Kelly. I love you, and your giant cock.”
I press my lips to her hair, muffling my laugh as my arms engulf her. “It’s not giant.”
“It’s huge. And perfect. And so very mine.”
“That’s not all of me that’s yours.”
She’s silent for several seconds, and I think maybe I’ve said something wrong, or maybe she’s passed back out. Until she lifts her head, sealing our mouths together with a gentle kiss.
“I’m yours too.”
“I know,” I tell her, wiggling a hand between us to cup the only pussy I’ll ever drop down on my knees for. “I think I’ll fuck you slow this time.”
She smiles, all big and beautiful. All Mia. All mine.
All I Want, book two in the Alabama Summer series, is set to release on 11/24/14.
I know… I’m as ready for Luke as you are. <3
To help calm your tits (I’ve always wanted to use that expression), here is the prologue for you to feast your pretty little eyes on.
This is unedited, so be gentle.
Fuck. I am desperate for some dick.
Welcome to Ignite. It’s how hot people meet.
Is it? Is this really how hot people are meeting?
Twelve months, Tessa. It’s been twelve months since you’ve gotten laid. You need this.
I stare at my computer screen, having finally gotten up the nerve to type in the online dating website link that Mia gave me. Her Aunt has apparently been extremely successful on here, finding her current boyfriend after only having to go through two duds. And by the looks of the happy faces smiling at me on my screen with the little conversational bubbles above them, informing users like me of their amazing experiences with Ignite, I might actually get lucky on here.
Please enter a username. It’s the first step in the direction toward your destiny.
“My destiny, huh?”
My dick destiny?
I decide on something simple and quickly type in my selection.
Twelve, because if I’m on this stupid site for a whole month and come up with nothing, bringing my grand total up to thirteen solid months of no ass, I’m out. And at that point, I have no idea what I’m going to do. Because I’ve exhausted all the other standard ways to meet guys. Bars. Clubs. My brother’s wedding. I’m completely out of options here. Trying to find a decent guy in Ruxton is like trying to find a virgin in a whore house. So, I’m willing to give this a go, but only for a month.
I press the arrow and the page turns, taking me to a different screen.
Welcome, TK12. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m going to assume that only putting down ‘I’m looking to get laid by someone who isn’t a complete asshole’ will most likely draw undesirable attention. Besides, having sex isn’t the only thing that matters to me. If it was, I would’ve been set with Luke asshole Evans. Fucking was the only thing he cared about during our three wasted months together. And because he was stellar at it, I tried to convince myself, and anyone that asked, that I didn’t need more than what he was giving me. Which, looking back, wasn’t much. He was private about everything, except his body. That he didn’t mind sharing. But personal stuff; stuff you normally share with the person you’re dating, or whatever we were doing, that stuff was off limits. After three months, I hardly knew anything about him besides what everyone else knew.
He was a cop.
He grew up in Canton, Alabama.
And he loved raw cookie dough.
Okay, so that last fact could be taken as something personal, but I only knew that because he always had packs of those pre-made, break-a-part, cookie dough squares in his fridge and he snacked on them when I was around. But that’s it. The most intimate detail I knew about the man I was completely crazy about was that he didn’t mind possibly contracting salmonella poisoning. Anytime I asked about his childhood or his family, he’d distract me with sex or dodge the question. But even though he kept me at a distance, I still felt more connected to Luke than any other man I’d been with. And I thought he felt it too.
He didn’t. He didn’t care about me. Not like I did him.
Looking back on it now, I’m glad I had the pregnancy scare with him. It made me ask the important ‘do you ever see yourself having a family of your own’ question. Which was what I wanted. And I thought I could have it with Luke. But he didn’t want that. He never saw himself having what my brother had. So, I ended it, thinking I was pregnant but keeping him ignorant to that tiny detail. Hours later when I discovered I wasn’t, I wanted to feel relief. Relief that I wouldn’t have to go through it alone. But I didn’t. I wanted that baby, and I wanted it with Luke.
And while I’ve been celibate, not by choice, for the past twelve months since I ended things with him, he’s probably been whoring it up around Ruxton, sticking his dick into anything with a pulse. Luckily though, I’ve managed to avoid him, only having to see him during Ben and Mia’s wedding, which took place two months ago.
That was an awkward nightmare.
Nothing like taking a moment to get some air during the reception, and stumbling upon your ‘ex-whatever the hell he was’, getting sucked off by some nameless skank. I couldn’t just ignore that, not when I practically tripped over it. He didn’t deserve to come. He never deserves to come again. And if I wasn’t getting lucky at that wedding, then why the hell should he?
It was the cock block of the century.
Jesus. Fuck, no.
There are absolutely zero good looking men at this thing. Besides Reed, who disappeared an hour ago with some giggly brunette, and the man I refuse to acknowledge. Weddings are supposed to be a breeding ground for nameless hookups, and I’m shit out of luck at this one. So instead of getting drilled in a concealed corner somewhere, my dress bunched around my waist as a stranger becomes familiar with my sounds, I’ve had to find other ways to pass the time.
Hit up the open bar.
Eat more cake.
Dance with Nolan.
Get cake with Nolan.
Steal Mia away from Ben.
Watch Mia get carried off by Ben.
And now this.
Sitting at an empty table, watching as Ben, Mia, and Nolan all slow dance together. Nolan’s in between them, rubbing Mia’s growing baby bump, while Ben can’t seem to keep his eyes off his new wife. I’m crazy happy for them, but right now, I can’t watch them share another perfect family moment in front of me. I need a break from this. Just a few minutes to get some air.
I step out of the tent and head across the lawn toward the Estate House. I’m walking aimlessly, not having any destination in mind. I just need to get away from all the love for a second. Love is great when you’re with someone. It’s better when it’s reciprocated. But it fucking sucks when that shit is one-sided.
And that’s the only way I’ve known it.
I walk down the side of the building and turn right to go around the back. As soon as I round the corner, I see him.
Leaning against the building behind some shrubs, head back, eyes closed, lips slightly parted. His sandy brown hair is cut shorter than normal, almost buzzed completely, and it does really annoying things to his face. Like show it off more. Those ridiculously gorgeous features of his are on display for my eyes right now, and I don’t have to avert my gaze because he doesn’t know I’m watching. He has no idea I’m staring at his sharp, angular cheek bones, the fullness of his mouth, or the bump at the bridge of his nose that I see as this perfect imperfection. He broke it when he was little, broke it again years later, and now it’s permanently misshapen.
And I fucking love it.
His face tenses as his arms move to the front of his body, and I let my eyes roam to the reason behind it.
The blonde I recognize from the wedding is on her knees with his cock lodged in her mouth, deep throating it until she gags. His hands are in her hair, encouraging her. Pulling her closer until she practically swallows him whole. I lift my eyes to that face I was just secretly admiring seconds ago. No longer tempting me to keep my presence unknown. Because there’s no way in hell I’m going to let this shit happen right now.
Fuck him and his face.
I step in front of the bush and make a fist, clearing my throat into it. Luke’s eyes shoot open and he grabs the blonde’s head, sliding her off his cock. She releases it with a pop and a grunt of disappointment. Because, apparently, she isn’t finished. But she looks pretty fucking finished to me.
Luke tucks himself away quickly. “What the fuck, Tessa? What are you doing?”
I look from him to the blonde. “Oh, sweetie. You might want to go disinfect. He’s got the herp.”
Slutty blonde parts her lips as if she’s waiting for another cock. She stands and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, glaring in Luke’s direction. “Oh my God. Are you serious? You have herpes!”
Luke’s wide eyes train on mine. “What? No I don’t!”
“He’s really sweet about it though,” I say, looking sympathetically at the blonde. “He pays for my Valtrex every month.” I turn my eyes to Luke, letting out a swooning sigh. “So romantic.”
Blonde shoves against Luke’s chest. “You’re disgusting.”
“I don’t have fucking herpes!” Luke adamantly vows as he tightens his belt.
I watch, basking in my victory, as blonde trudges through the grass, getting her heel caught in the process. She stumbles a bit, glares at Luke over her shoulder, and disappears around the corner.
“I can’t fucking believe you just did that,” Luke says, prompting me to whip my head around to look at him. He buttons his suit jacket up and steps closer. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
What happened between us.
And the fact that you’ve obviously moved on without any difficulty.
I close the gap and he freezes, his hand flattening against his jacket. My gaze flicks from his crotch to his face, and I mask all the hurt of seeing this asshole with another woman behind the fakest smile I’ve ever worn.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. You, on the other hand, might want to go to the clinic. If you didn’t have an STD before that whore touched you, I’m sure you have one now.”
I turn and storm away before he can give me a comeback. But more importantly, before he can see the smile fading from my lips.
And that’s how you handle an awkward situation with your ex. Pretend it doesn’t bother you.
I rub my eyes and focus on the blank description box in the middle of my screen. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. It can be short and sweet, like me.
I’m Tessa Kelly. Twenty-four years old and living in Ruxton, Alabama. I like sex, but I want it with someone who isn’t just in it to get laid. I’m not looking for a one night stand. If that’s you, don’t contact me.
There. Straight forward. No confusion. Oh shit. One other important detail.
If your job requires you to wear a uniform, keep moving.
I click the arrow button and the next screen pops up, prompting me to answer a few simple questions. What gender and age group am I interested in. How far am I willing to travel. I type in my answers and click the arrow.
TK12, you’re almost finished! Please describe your ideal mate.
Well, now’s the time to be honest. I’m not usually the type to sugar coat anything so why start here.
Marriage material, who would like to eventually have kids, and can fuck like a champion.
Yup. That should definitely catch someone’s attention. Hopefully the right someone. I’m sure there is a surplus of weirdos patrolling this website for potential obsessions. But that doesn’t worry me. I can take care of myself. Just not in the way that is forcing me to create a dating profile.
Congratulations, TK12! Once you upload your profile picture, you’ll be added to our database and users will be able to contact you. Please follow the guidelines listed below for file requirements.
I minimize the window and scroll through my picture folders. I have a ton on here with files going all the way back to high school. But I need a recent photo. And my most recent ones are the pictures I took at Ben and Mia’s wedding. I hover the arrow over the folder, ready to click, when I see it.
The folder I forgot about.
I don’t want to open it. I don’t need to open it. But I do and I have no idea why. And then the photos are filling my screen. Ones of the two of us taken, selfie style, and ones that I took of him when he didn’t know it. Those were always my favorite. That comfortable look of his, so different from the look he had when he knows I’m watching him. When he knows every girl is watching him. He has this cockiness that plays on his features, and when I see it, it drives me completely insane with lust. I swear to Christ, that look is directly connected to my pussy. One glance and I’m on my back, assuming the position.
Luke Evans knows how attractive he is and uses that to his advantage. He can sit back and wait for girls to come to him if he wants to, picking them off like fish in a barrel. But that swaggering look isn’t the one that I liked to capture when I snuck pictures of him. It wasn’t the look of his that had me thinking about things I’ve never thought of with other guys. It isn’t the look I’m currently staring at.
He’s concentrating on something, the TV I think, while I sit a few feet away. His one hand is tucked under his chin while the other rests on my foot that’s in his lap. His light hair is sticking up a bit, and he looks relaxed in a worn t-shirt. He didn’t know I was watching him so he wasn’t trying to make me want him with his typical teasing smile and fuck me stare.
It was this look that got me every time. This settled down look that made me imagine him on my couch several years from now, doing absolutely nothing and being perfectly content with that. But this look was just another one of his lies. Another way to manipulate me into believing what we had meant something to him. And I fell for it, just like all the other stupid fish.
I close down the folder and right click it, bringing up my options. And I don’t hesitate. I click delete and confirm my decision, sending the folder out of my picture file. I find a picture of myself that Mia took with my camera at her wedding. I’m smiling and it’s remarkably genuine, which is surprising considering who attended that wedding and how nervous I was about seeing him. My auburn hair is curling over my shoulders, half up in an elegant twist. I choose this one because it’s the most recent picture I have of myself, and because I look really happy in it. Of course I was happy. My brother made my best friend a permanent part of my family that day. I’d never have to say goodbye to her again. She looked so beautiful with her finally noticeable baby bump that Nolan kept touching during the ceremony. And when my nephew didn’t have his hands on her belly, Ben did.
It’s how he’ll always be with her.
Love. It suits the two of them.
I saw it in Mia’s eyes when she tried desperately to ignore her feelings toward my brother at the beginning of last summer. When she tried to hold onto the hate she was so comfortable with feeling and not let herself feel anything different. And I would’ve supported that hate, but I knew Ben. I knew how great of a guy he had become and how perfect he would be for Mia. I saw his affection for her. The way he looked at her like nobody else existed. And I knew that he would’ve done anything to prove himself to her.
Even going the friend route, which I honestly did not see coming.
But it worked. And once Mia got to know my brother for the man he had become, she opened herself up to all those other feelings that were brewing just beneath the surface. I knew it wouldn’t take long. Not with the undeniable attraction the two of them had to each other.
You can hate someone until you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t take away the desire that brews in your gut at the mere sight of them.
I know a little bit about that struggle myself. Luckily, I’ve managed to keep my distance.
I upload my photo and the screen takes me to a list of possible matches. I scan their faces quickly. Some look promising, but I didn’t join this dating service to patrol for penis like some cock whore. They can come to me. If someone’s interested, they can contact me.
I’m still a lady, Goddamn it, and I’d like to be pursued.
Just as I’m about to log off and shut down my computer, a message pops up on my screen.
CaptainMike would like to connect with you.
Captain, huh? He looks good in his picture so I click accept, opening up his message.
CaptainMike: Hey, beautiful. Where the hell have you been hiding?
I sit back with a smile, pulling my knees up to my chest. Less than one minute online and I already have a potential date. And I was worried this would take more than a month.
Why the hell didn’t I do this sooner?
I keep my response short.
TK12: Hi. It’s nice to meet you, Mike. I’m Tessa.
The little bubbles pop up, indicating that he’s typing.
CaptainMike: Send me a shot of them titties. You barely gave me cleavage in your profile pic.
I gasp and immediately begin typing my response, fury in each key stroke.
TK12: Fuck you, asshole. Go stare at your own titties, which by the looks of your profile pic, are bigger than mine. I’m actually jealous.
I close the chat window and march irritatingly away from my computer.
Why the hell didn’t I do this sooner?
6 months ago today, I published Sweet Addiction.
I never imagined I could do this. When I finished writing it one year ago, I didn’t think much of it. It sat on my computer for weeks, and I kept opening up the document and reading parts of it. I enjoyed the story, but I never thought anyone else would. Never. I didn’t even know you could self publish on Amazon and the other platforms. I had no idea about any of that, but I had this story that made me laugh, and I kept wondering if it would make someone else laugh.
I took a long shot, and emailed one of my favorite Indie Authors, R.J. Lewis, hoping to ask her some questions about the process. I didn’t think I would hear back from her. I figured she was busy writing something amazing. Actually, I was HOPING she was writing Remy’s story, because I’M DYING FOR IT. <3
She emailed me back, and I nearly fell over. That alone was unbelievable. The fact that she wrote me several paragraphs was even more unbelievable. I fangirled BIG TIME. I had mentioned to her in my email that I wrote a story, but I wasn’t sure about it. I said my humor was somewhat in-your-face, and I really didn’t think anyone else would be into that. I had asked her if she wanted to read it, expecting her to tell me she was really busy, which I would have understood. I NEVER expected her to want to read it, but she told me to send it over, and again, I fangirled.
R.J. mothereffin Lewis is going to read my stuff? Are you kidding me?!?!
I was insanely nervous. She was the first person to read Sweet Addiction, which was untitled at the time. I had never written a novel before. This was it, and if she told me it really needed work, or that she wasn’t able to connect with the characters, I would’ve probably agreed, because what the hell did I know? A couple days went by, and she emailed me, saying how much she was enjoying it. I think I re-read that email twenty times before I wrote back. She finished it in a little over a week, and her email after that changed everything.
8 people took a chance on me, and purchased Sweet Addiction the first three days it was live. I cried, big time. I was so grateful for those 8 people. I wanted to find them and hug them. A few blogs posted my purchase link, and even had an interest in reading it. I cried some more.
There was a lot of crying going on.
I cried when I read my first review, I cried when I was sent a message from a reader, saying how much she loved JoJo, I cried when Belle Aurora shared my book with her readers…WHATTT?!?!! Yeah, cried. I couldn’t believe people were actually enjoying my writing style, and my group of characters.
I batted around the idea of continuing Dylan & Reese’s story. I wanted more of them, so I wrote a few chapters, but then, something happened. Or someone happened, I should say.
Benjamin Kelly happened.
Where I Belong took over my head. I put Sweet Possession on hold, and dove straight into this story I couldn’t seem to shake. By the time I published Where I Belong, Sweet Addiction had reached more readers than I ever thought possible. I was still excited about that first 8. When anyone takes a chance on my writing, it floors me. Even if they don’t like the story, I’m still grateful for the time they gave my book. Every single reader matters to me.
I published Where I Belong, and something amazing happened. No, I don’t even think amazing covers it. I’m still in shock about this. I’ll probably always be in shock about this.
I hit the lists, and I cried.
I never thought any of this was possible. I was just a girl who sat in front of her laptop after her kids went to bed, and wrote about a bakery shop owner, a gay assistant, a kick-ass best friend, and a few hot accountants. I never expected anyone to like my writing, and I definitely never expected anyone to want to read anything else from me.
You didn’t have to take a chance on my book, but you did, and that means more to me than anything else.
You’ve changed my life.
You are my first 8.
Luke Evans is a heartbreaker.
I didn’t want to give mine to him. Not when he kept me out.
He gave me enough, just enough to make me fall in love with him. I say this to convince myself. But I know the truth.
I would’ve fallen in love with him at a distance.
Handing my heart over to Luke was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I was naive when I wished for more, when I hoped he wanted the same things I did.
I try to hate him. I try to forget him.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is a ruthless bitch, and I’m her latest victim.
Tessa Kelly is a man-eater.
When she sets her sights on you, she doesn’t just consume your heart, she goes for your soul.
What we had was perfect, real, and all I would ever want.
But she destroyed it.
She destroyed us.
I try to hate her. I try to forget her.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is for people who have hope, and I have none.
Why do people even bother with weddings?
I know, that sounds insane coming from a person who makes a living off creating decadent wedding cakes for the happy couples. The crazy-in-love future Mr. and Mrs. are what keeps Dylan’s Sweet Tooth afloat, and without weddings, I wouldn’t be able to afford my rent. Not to mention the fact that if it weren’t for dumbass ex-boyfriend weddings, there’s a chance I would’ve never have met Reese and I honestly can’t imagine not having him in my life. But in my defense, I’ve never had to sit and listen to hours of debating whether cotton-blend or silk napkins are the best choice for my big day.
Joey lets out an irritated sigh and gestures toward the direction of my mother and soon-to-be mother-in-law who are loudly arguing at my consultation table. “This shit makes me want to drink at 9:00 a.m. How many times have I suggested to you that we keep hard liquor in the back? We could totally make a drinking game out of this mess.”
I tilt my head up to meet his eyes. “What, and take a shot every time one of them utters the phrase, ‘this will be the wedding I’ve always dreamed of’? We’d be tanked before the lunch rush.”
He nods, smiling over his coffee cup. “Exactly, and we’d be completely oblivious to this annoying discussion that you couldn’t care less about anyway.”
Joey’s right. I really didn’t care what type of fabric the napkins were; I really didn’t care about much of anything. I’ve pretty much left everything in the hands of my trusted best friend who could plan a wedding wearing a blindfold. I only had a few stipulations: the cake and my dress. That’s it. Napkins? Who the fuck cares about napkins?
He slides closer to me, dropping his voice to a hushed whisper although, with the noise level currently booming through the bakery, I’ll definitely be the only one hearing him. “I knew your mother was a little nutty when it came to marrying you off, planning this shit since you were nineteen and all, but Reese’s mother is bat-shit crazy. Did you hear her say she wanted to come out with us for your bachelorette party? Can you imagine?”
I shrug once before leaning against the counter. “I don’t even know what I want to do for that. Maybe we’ll just have like a spa day or something and if that’s the case, who cares if she tags along?”
His mouth drops open, letting escape a loud, dramatic gasp. “Um, no. We will be going to a strip club if I have to throw you over my shoulder and pull a Reese on you myself. That’s what you do for bachelorette parties. Why the hell do my two best friends not know that?”
“Excuse you. Juls’ bachelorette party didn’t involve any naked men, and we still had a great time. Who says we have to go to a strip club?”
“I do,” he says through a tense jaw. “The only reason I let that shit slide for Juls was because I was in charge of babysitting her dumbass sister, and I knew I’d be distracted if I had a bunch of dicks in my face.”
I arch my brow at him. “Isn’t that a typical Saturday night for you?” We both chuckle together, and my attention is suddenly drawn to my mother who is throwing napkins into the air.
“Dylan, sweetheart, silk or cotton-blend?” she asks, tapping her foot on the hard tile.
I flick my gaze between the two mothers who are both silently pleading with me to pick their choice. If I had to guess, I’d say my mother wants the silk, but Maggie Carroll is giving off a bit of a fancy vibe right now. She’s head to toe in designer clothing, which is screaming silk at the moment. Shit. I really don’t care one way or the other, but who the hell do I side with on this one? I grimace and nervously tap on the glass display case. “Um, does it matter? They’re napkins. People are going to be wiping their mouths with them.”
“It matters a great deal,” Maggie says, picking up two napkin swatches and carrying them over to me. “The silk is much more sophisticated. And given the location you’ve chosen for the reception, I think that’s the one you should go for.”
“But the cotton blend comes in this antique-white color that would go beautifully with the pale-gray bridesmaids dresses,” my mother adds, joining Maggie’s side.
Jesus. Since when does it matter if the napkins match the bridesmaid dresses?
I look back and forth between the two of them before turning toward Joey. “Thoughts?”
“Nope. I’m afraid you’re on your own there, cupcake.” He backs away and sips his coffee, leaving me alone in my misery.
I reach out and feel both choices between my fingers. “Um, well, I guess the cotton is most likely cheaper? So, why don’t we go with that?”
Maggie gently lays her hand on top of mine. “Oh, sweetie, money is not an issue. If you want the silk napkins…”
“She just said she wants the cotton blend,” my mother states with a firm tone. “Which I agree with, sweetheart. Beautiful choice.”
“But, Helen, the silk would be so much more… elegant.”
I drop my forehead to my hands and groan my irritation while the two of them continue to hash it out. Who cares about napkins! Am I completely crazy for not giving a shit about this tiny, insignificant detail? The guests could wipe their mouths on their coat sleeves for all I care.
This is how it’s been for the past six months. Ever since Reese and I got engaged, our mothers have been in a battle of who can plan the better wedding, and poor Juls and I have been stuck in the middle, trying to rein in the madness. They’ve been so crazy about this whole thing, I’ve found myself contemplating the benefits of a Vegas wedding. Unfortunately, my soon-to-be husband is dead-set on marrying me in front of all our families and is having no part of that discussion. Every time I suggest he steal me away for a quickie wedding, he just shuts me up with his mouth, or his cock. And because I’m weak with lust around that man, and given the fact my head is sure to explode soon from all this momma drama, I bring it up. Often.
The front door chimes and I look up, smiling as my best friend strolls into the bakery. She takes one look at the mothers waving napkin swatches into the air and immediately goes into wedding-planner mode.
“Ohhhh, no. There will not be any changes made. Give me those.” She snatches the napkin samples from the two mothers who both stare at her with shocked expressions. This is the Juls I know and love, the one who knows how to run shit. “This wedding is happening in ten days, and all decisions are final. And really, the napkin issue? Again?” She motions toward me with a crumpled-up napkin in her hand. “The bride-to-be doesn’t care about the napkins. In fact, you two are the only people I know who have ever cared about the napkins. And I’ve planned over one hundred weddings. For the love of God, let it go.”
My mother crosses her arms over her chest and sneers at Juls. “You know what, Julianna? One of these days, when you’re planning your daughter’s wedding, you’ll care about the napkins.”
“I seriously doubt that. Besides, I’m planning on having all boys.”
Maggie and my mother grab their purses off the consultation table while Juls smiles in her minor victory over the two of them. The moms both walk around the counter and smother me with affection.
“We’re going to go swing by the venue to take another look around,” Maggie says as she releases me from a hug. “Now, don’t forget to let me know about the bachelorette party. I’m all in.”
“Ha!” Joey yells from the kitchen.
I smile and clear my throat loudly, hoping to cover up the end of my dear assistant’s crack-up. “Tell Mr. Carroll I said hello.”
My mother kisses my cheek and smiles. “I’m sure the napkins you originally picked out will suffice.”
“Mom,” I say in a warning tone. “There’s still a chance I’ll convince Reese to cancel this whole thing and get hitched in Vegas.” Her eyes widen, along with Maggie’s who swivels in place to gawk at me. “Don’t push it.”
“That’s not even funny,” she retorts, swatting at me with her clutch.
Once the two wedding-obsessed mothers exit the shop, Juls lets out an ‘I’m glad I’m not in your shoes’ chuckle and Joey reemerges from the back. I slouch back against the counter top, feeling a Vegas wedding now more than ever. “I cannot wait until all this is over with. How I’ve managed to survive the last six months without being heavily-medicated or drunk off my ass twenty-four hours a day is beyond me.”
“Reese’s mother, though she has impeccable fashion sense, is out of her mind. I am not having a fucking chaperone at your bachelorette party,” Joey states with a shake of his head. Apparently, keeping my future mother in-law away from whatever I decide to do for my last night of freedom is his only concern.
Juls tosses the napkin swatches into the trashcan, which will hopefully be the last time I ever lay eyes on them. She returns to her spot on the other side of the display case. “Speaking of which, what are we doing for that, anyway? You wanna go to Clancy’s like we did for mine? That was fun.”
Joey slams his hand down on the counter, gaining our attention immediately. “For fuck’s sake. What the hell is wrong with you two? Spa days? Clubs that have been played out? I wanna do things that I’ll be ashamed to tell people about. Let me live, damn it.”
“I’m sorry, but is this your bachelorette party? Did Billy pop the question and you’ve decided to keep that information from us?” Juls asks, biting back her smile. It cracks through and she winks at Joey whose mood has suddenly waned, no doubt in response to the reminder that he isn’t engaged yet.
He shrugs dismissively. “Whatever. You bitches can celebrate with watered-down drinks and facials. Just don’t be surprised if I bail on it.”
I slide closer to him and wrap my arms around his waist, pressing my face into his shirt. Tilting my head up, I see him smiling down at me. “I’ll choose something fun. You have to be there; it wouldn’t be the same without you.”
“She’s right.” Juls rounds the counter and mimics my position against Joey’s back. “We’d miss you terribly, JoJo.”
He grunts above us. “You’re lucky I’d do anything for either one of you.” Juls and I both unlock our death grips from him and stand side by side. “But I swear to Christ, there better at least be a cake shaped like a penis at this thing.”
“Chocolate or vanilla?” I ask teasingly.
He smiles, bending down and removing a half-empty tray of pastries from the display case. “Chocolate. I’ve never had black dick.”
Juls and I both chuckle as he walks toward the kitchen, giving us a scandalous eyebrow raise over his shoulder.
“So, I have a favor to ask you.” Juls pulls me into the far corner behind the bakery counter, clearly wanting to put distance between this favor and Joey. Oh, Lord. My best friend doesn’t ask me for many favors but when she does, they’re usually whoppers. A certain wedding dress she made me try on months ago comes to mind. I motion for her to spill it, and she eyes me up nervously. “Umm… so, Brooke got fired from her job at that bank. Apparently, she was caught blowing one of the other tellers during work hours.”
“Good Lord.” That sounds about right, though. Brooke Wicks was in the running for horniest bitch in Chicago, competing solely with Joey.
“Yeah, she needs a job and fast; otherwise, she’ll lose her apartment.” My eyes widen, the realization of her favor hitting me. “And since you’re so busy at the shop…”
“No fucking way.”
She fists both hands at her side. “Oh, come on, Dyl. She’s having trouble finding something, and she’s been looking for over a month.” Her face softens and she reaches out to me, pulling my hand into hers. “Please? If she loses her apartment, she has to move in with Ian and me. And that shit can’t happen. I love my sister, but I can’t live with her.”
“What about moving back in with your parents?”
“Not an option. She and my mom would kill each other.” She pauses and squeezes my hand gently. “I really want to help her out.”
Damn it. This has bad news written all over it, but I have trouble saying no to Juls. She’s always been there for me. Always. I groan and her eyes light up. “Fine. She can start Monday. But don’t think I won’t fire her just because she’s your sister.” She pulls me into a hug with an excited squeal. I cringe as Joey strolls through the doorway, coming from the kitchen. He grins, adorably oblivious to the information that will surely send him into a shit-fit. “I should really make you drop this bomb on him,” I mumble under my breath.
“Oh, relax. It’s not that big of a deal.”
“Yeah, okay. We’ll see about that.”
We both release each other and Juls spins on her heels, walking over toward Joey and placing her hand on his shoulder. “Don’t freak out.”
His eyes widen with a curious fear. “If I don’t get my penis cake, I’ll disown both of you. Nobody comes between me and my dick-shaped sweets.”
I walk up to him and brace myself for the reaction that is sure to blow the roof off this building. “Joey. JoJo. Bestest friend.” He rolls his eyes as I play with the string on my apron, wrapping it around my finger. “You know how busy we’ve been lately with custom orders and all the spring weddings coming up? It’s getting pretty crazy in here, and I think maybe it’s time I hired another employee.”
“That’s fantastic.” His body relaxes and he glances between Juls and myself. His brows set into a hard line. “Why the hell do I have a feeling I’m about to regret those words?”
“Just remember how much you love us,” Juls says. “And this… addition will allow you and Dylan to spend more time together. The benefits are sure to outweigh any concern you might have.”
I pause, waiting to see if he’ll pick up on the clues that are obvious to me. It only takes him a few seconds; the reaction spreads through him like a wild fire.
He squeezes his eyes closed tightly, reaching up and rubbing his temples with his fingers. “Please tell me this addition is a blind monkey, because they would surely get more accomplished than who I fear you’re about to say.”
“Brooke could be a good addition, Joey,” I state with a mild assurance.
“Are you insane? Why the fuck would you hire that mess?”
Juls shoves his arm. “Hey! She’s my sister, and she’s been through a lot.”
“A lot of what? Dick? Dylan, this is not a good idea.”
I limply shrug. I’m not at all surprised he’s reacting this way; in fact, I predicted it. But, unlike Joey, I’m willing to give Brooke the benefit of the doubt. And as long as she doesn’t try to molest him like the day before Juls’ wedding, things shouldn’t get too hostile. I gotta give the girl a chance. “She needs a job or she’ll lose her apartment.”
He throws his hands into the air. “Oh, I’m sorry. How is that our problem?”
“Joey,” Juls scolds. “Don’t be so rude.”
“She’s on a probationary period. If she messes up, I’ll fire her without thinking twice about it. Right, Juls?”
She nods in my direction before turning back toward my heated assistant. “Right. So, calm the fuck down, JoJo.” She makes a face at him and he issues her his smile, softening her expression. “And a lot of dick? Like you’re one to talk.”
The three of us start laughing, letting go of the stress of knowing Brooke Wicks will soon be gracing us with her presence. This could actually be a good thing. We are extremely busy, and having another employee means being able to spend more time in my kitchen instead of ringing up customers. So, I’m not going to let this worry me; I have enough stress with my upcoming wedding to last me a lifetime.
Juls gives us both hugs before she exits the shop to go tackle a bride. Just as a customer slips inside and makes her way up to the counter, my phone beeps in my pocket. Joey gives me a smile, indicating he’s got things handled and allows me to slip into the back.
Reese: What are you wearing?
I giggle as I hop onto a stool.
Me: Are you spanking it right now, handsome?
Reese: That depends on your answer.
I’m definitely not wearing anything worthy of a wank session. My ripped skinny jeans and flour-covered apron have seen better days, so I let my imagination take over.
Me: A skin-tight, pale-pink dress that stops just below my panty line. Or, it would, if I was wearing panties.
Reese: You are such a tease. Do you have any idea how hard my dick is for you right now? I could probably fuck you through a wall.
Me: It’s a shame you’ll have to handle that situation on your own. I’m locked in consultations the rest of the day. Otherwise, I’d give you a hand. Or a mouth.
Reese: You can handle my situation as soon as you get home. I want that pussy wet and ready for me.
I smile, loving that dominant edge in every word he types.
Me: Always is.
No imagination needed there.