Wicked All NightWicked Lovers, Book 7.5
A bodyguard protecting a shy beauty proves he’s as wicked as he is dangerous.
Rachel Linden is a schoolteacher who changed her town, her job, and her life after her divorce. Now, this wallflower is determined to have a little fun—specifically, with Decker McConnell, a bodyguard whose talents under the sheets make her melt. Until she learns that his motives are just as dangerous as they are wicked…
(Note: Wicked All Night is also a single story in Wicked and Dangerous anthology with Rhyannon Byrd)
Wicked Lovers SERIES
Rachel Linden fixed her gaze across the room at the man staring her way, standing between the two suits. Her jaw dropped before she forcibly snapped it shut. Holy cow! Between the alcohol and the press of bodies, she was overheated. But he made her shiver.
Military-short black hair capped off his angled face, covered by a healthy two days’ growth of beard. His eyes remained hidden behind a pair of aviators that rested on top of chiseled cheekbones. His black shirt nearly busted at the shoulder seams. Under the short sleeves, his biceps bulged. The soft cotton clung to every valley and ridge of his pectorals and abdominals.
He was a man with a capital M, the sort who made a woman swallow her tongue. The kind her mother had warned her about. The type who’d starred in her fantasies. And the one she wanted sliding against her skin-to-skin now. Dark and bad, yes…but those big hands and muscled forearms alone said he’d be oh so good.
Just looking at him, Rachel had trouble breathing. Every inch of him was hard. If she’d had a fantasy in the flesh, he’d be it.
A tattoo—Asian writing maybe—drifted down his veined forearm. Dog tags hung from his neck. The little smile curling his lips was somewhere between an invitation and a challenge. And he was staring directly at her.
The bottom fell out of her stomach. Normally, she’d shy away from such a man. Aaron, the fifth grade social studies teacher, had asked her out a few weeks ago. He was polite and had kind brown eyes. He’d mentioned a local theater production that sounded interesting. That was her speed. This man in front of her…
“He looks good enough to eat. And to lick, slurp, suck… Damn, girl!” Shonda, one of the art teachers, murmured in her ear. “If you’re going to dive into a meal after starving, why not start with the juiciest one you can find?”
She glanced at Shonda’s dark skin gleaming under the dim house lights and faintly flashing colored strobes. “Is it my imagination or is he staring at me?”
“Right at you, like he thinks you’re a tasty snack. Go on now. Talk to him.”
And say what? Hi, I haven’t had sex since I divorced my ex over a year ago, and I’ve never had it as down and dirty and sweaty as I’ll bet you could give it to me.
“Maybe he thinks I work here.”
Shonda snorted. “Maybe you’re insane. Jarelle is an awesome fiancé with enough freak in bed to keep me smiling, but hell… If I were single, I’d be all over him like paste on wallpaper.”
Rachel laughed. Leave it to Shonda to tell it like it was. And to be right. Rachel had to admit that she’d never know what could be if she didn’t try to talk to Mr. Tall, Dark, and Hot.
She turned back toward him, a welcoming smile in place. But he was already leaving behind his two friends, wearing insanely expensive suits, and walking her way. No, “walking” was the wrong word. “Approaching” was too weak. “Looming” maybe? Still not right. “Prowling,” yes. “Stalking” sounded even more like it.
He tore off his sunglasses to reveal a stark pair of blue eyes, unabashedly roaming over her body with a heat that made her swallow. He kept coming at her, invading her personal space without compunction.
Reflexively, she retreated. He smiled, then did it again and again—until her back hit the wall.
Mercy, the low rumble of his voice was sexy. Her knees quaked.
“Hi.” She breathed the word as if she couldn’t quite catch her breath.
He looked her up and down, obviously scoping her out. “Hmm, you with all those curves, and me here with no breaks… Damn!”
OMG, was that some sort of pick-up line?
If he’d intended to flatter her, he was headed in the wrong direction. She’d write him off, except… The black skirt Shonda had insisted she wear tonight had seemed stupidly tight—until she saw the appreciation in his gaze. That and his line, no matter how terrible, made her think that, maybe, he actually found her sexy. And she wasn’t interested in him for his conversational skills.
“Too much, huh?” he asked with a frown. “How about, there must be something wrong with my eyes because I can’t take them off you.”
He was trying to pick her up—badly—but out of a bar full of pretty girls, he’d zeroed in on her. Would wonders never cease?
Maybe if she stopped focusing on her ex-husband’s litany of critical comments and started to believe that some men might like her as she was, curves and all, it wouldn’t seem so weird.
“Definitely too much.” She gave him a smile that she hoped looked sophisticated and wry, rather than giggly and excited.
“Oh, you like subtle. I got it.” He leaned closer and leered. “Hey, baby, you come here often?”
The most obvious pick-up line ever, and when he delivered it with a grin, she laughed. If this was his idea of starting a conversation, she wasn’t sure whether she should be annoyed or charmed against her will. But she was definitely leaning toward the latter.
“Never. This is my first time,” she admitted. “You?”
“Same. I was thinking that I hated places like this until I saw you. You’re better than a broom because you swept me off my feet.”
Rachel couldn’t help but laugh. “Right…”
“No lie, beautiful.” He winked at her. “Tell me, what’s your sign?”
Yield. If she were holding a sign, that’s probably what it would say because that’s kind of what she wanted to do for him. Oh, but she guessed that wasn’t what he meant.
“Libra,” she said finally. “Today is my birthday. And I’ll only keep talking to you if you stop with the pick-up lines.”
“Happy birthday! You mean I can’t ask you for a Band-Aid?”
She frowned. How had they gone from pick-up lines to Band-Aids? “I’m sorry?”
“I need one because I scraped my knees falling for you.”
Rachel tossed her hands up, shaking her head, and giggled. “Does this sort of thing usually work for you?”
He shrugged. “Don’t know. I never tried. You wanna tell me come morning?”
“Sizzling, romantic, and edgy, a Shayla Black story never disappoints!”—Sylvia Day, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bared To You
“Shayla Black creates emotional, searingly sexy stories that always leave me wanting more.”—Maya Banks, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Scorching, wrenching, suspenseful, Shayla Black’s books are a must-read.”—Lora Leigh, #1 New York Times bestselling author