Return of the Bad Boy

By: Jessica Lemmon



“Okay.” Another giggle. “See you soon.”

He ended the call and rested one hand on the railing, the other closed around his glass.

The water sparkled, glitter on deep blue-green. This part of the lake wasn’t mud-bottomed, which was awesome. They trucked in sand instead. And since the boats mostly scooted along the other part of the lake where the vacation cabins were, this part was also clear. Yep. Best house in town. Without a doubt.

He needed to have a party. Kick off his arrival. Part-time or not, he was here and the band would soon be here, and no matter where he was, Asher left an indelible mark. When the band arrived, they’d be pulling twelve- to fifteen-hour days, so may as well celebrate while the gettin’ was good. Not that he was complaining. He loved song writing. He loved music. He loved his boys. And it wasn’t like his bandmates would disapprove of a party.

Beach party, he decided while he leaned over the railing. To his right, the massive wooden deck had a set of stairs leading down to the shallows. There was a beach there—or used to be anyway, before it had become overgrown with brush. One call to his friends and they’d have it cleared. Connor could take the trees out, and Donny could build a fire pit right there by the water.

Straight ahead, the deck led out to a long dock that stopped in the deep. Deep enough to park a boat and deep enough to dive. Which meant his party could also include swimming. Bikinis optional, of course.

But the only bikini he wanted to see was Gloria’s—preferably tossed over the edge of this railing and her out of it. Just thinking of her in a black string bikini, gorgeous, thick thighs and breasts barely contained, black hair blowing in the breeze and a pair of mirrored sunglasses hiding those blues…

Damn.

He received a nudge from his southern hemisphere and blew out a breath of defeat. He was so weak for that woman.

“Okay, then. Beach party,” he said aloud. Cleanse or not, he could still fantasize about things he couldn’t have: coffee, booze, Gloria Shields.

He finished off his green drink and turned for the house, depositing the glass in the sink and sweeping his keys from the counter. Off to get his accidentally acquired dog.

He seemed to have a lot of things in his life he hadn’t expected to have years ago.

A son.

A dog.

A gorgeous agent with killer curves…

So far he was handling two out of three with ease. Two out of three wasn’t bad.





Chapter 2





Gloria pressed a button on her cell phone and rubbed her overly warm ear. She’d been on back-to-back calls for the last three hours. She looked at the clock—scratch that, four hours. She really needed to invest in a headset.

It rang again, and she gritted her teeth, unable to spend another minute on the phone. Without looking to see who was calling, she silenced it, opened the drawer on the left side of her desk, and shut it inside. Done. She was so done with this day. It felt like it’d lasted two days already.

What had started with visiting Asher, then hearing about his lovely family, had been topped off with phone calls and contract negotiations and consoling one client who was crying because of bad reviews. The thing was, she enjoyed every part of her job. It hurt her when her clients were hurting. She believed in them so very much that when they hurt, she sort of absorbed it. She wished she could take it and hold it for them. Gloria could handle it. She could handle anything.

Asher and his offspring included?

Hmm.

She pushed out of her chair, stretched her arms overhead, and considered taking a break to tidy her office. She’d leased Sofie Martin’s former office for Make It an Event. After Sofie relocated her business to the mansion with her hot mansion-owning bad boy, Gloria snapped up this downtown location. It wasn’t a lakeside house with a wall of windows, but it was in the center of Endless Avenue, which had its own charm.

Once the business site was settled upon, Glo rented an apartment within walking distance. It was just a few blocks away, nothing too spectacular. But then after mentally crossing off what was now Asher’s house, she figured where she rented wouldn’t matter.

She’d buy a house on the lake eventually. Evergreen Cove had tons of houses on the lake. Wasn’t like that was the only one.

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