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Baby's Got Bite
A Take It Like a Vamp Novel
By Candace Havens, Stephen Morgan, Ava Jae
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Candace Havens
All rights reserved.
Who gets married on a private island to a Greek Billionaire?
Bennett stood to the left of her best friend Casey, who was doing exactly that — getting married — under a flowered archway in front of the bluest ocean she'd ever seen.
Sure people fell in love all the time, but getting married? Committing yourself to one person for a really long time? That wasn't Bennett's thing.
"I do," Casey said, repeating the words Nick, her groom, had said.
It was pretty much a done deal now. No backing out. One glance at Casey and Nick was all it took to see that they were firmly nestled in their fairy-tale ending. It wasn't like Bennett wasn't happy for them. She was. Casey and Nick, they were an odd match, an artist and a billionaire, but were perfect for one another.
Bennett had tried to find the same thing herself, but it never worked. A relationship meant giving up the autonomy that kept her safe. It just went to show her that even if Happily Ever After existed, it was only possible for other people. Not her.
Casey turned to face her and take the bridal bouquet Bennett had been holding during the ceremony. Her friend was radiant.
"For a married chick, you're kind of beautiful," she said as she handed her the flowers and then kissed her cheek.
Casey sniffed — always so emotional, that one. "You don't look so bad yourself. Now I just have to make it down the aisle in these heels."
Once the bride and groom had gone halfway down, Linc, Nick's best friend and best man, stepped up and offered his arm.
God, he's gorgeous.
Tall, with those lean muscles of an athlete, he had a presence. But she would never tell him that.
"Time to move, lass," he said with that accent and deep, gravelly tone. Jesus, did shivers just go down her spine?
Oh, hell no.
"I'm not an idiot," she said. "I know what happens next."
Fine, so that was totally bitchy, but there was something about him that rubbed her the wrong way — even if she couldn't stop fantasizing about him rubbing her the right way. Guys like him felt like they owned the world, and it just bugged her.
That pissed her off even more.
And he was warm. Maybe it was the Mediterranean sun, but she could have sworn he was twenty degrees hotter.
Halfway down the aisle, it happened. Her high heel punctured the white runner, the shoe came off, she fell forward, and the only thing keeping her from doing a face-plant were the arms wrapped tightly around her.
Crap. His skin against hers made her feel like she was going to burst into flames.
He swooped her up like they were coming out of a dip during a dance, and then he righted her.
"Are you all right?" His beautiful eyes were full of concern.
Dammit. Why did he have to be so handsome? Why?
"Yes," she said, hating that she sounded so terse. But she couldn't help herself.
Earlier, Linc had seen her naked. He'd been in the dressing room helping Casey with last minute stuff. Bennett, who was running late, had rushed in and without thinking, stripped to her bra and her panties.
That was the first time they met.
And now she'd fallen into his arms.
Yep. She was a dork.
I need a drink.
She took off the other shoe, grabbed the one stuck to the runner, and did the mature thing.
She stomped away.
A girl could only handle so much mortification in one day.
One wedding ceremony, two tequila shots, and God knew how much champagne later, Bennett felt comfortably numb to her loneliness.
Casey and Nick walked hand in hand onto the empty floor and began to dance. Bennet was thrilled to see her friend so happy, but a small part of her — a sad, pathetic part — was jealous. She would never have this.
Not that she wanted it.
There was no way she'd be able to share her life with one guy. She'd tried, and it ended the same way every time. Things started off passionate. Exciting. But then consuming to the point that she felt confined.
She couldn't let that happen ever again.
As far as guys were concerned, from this point on, they were good for only one thing.
And damn, I could use that one thing.
When Casey and Nick finished their dance, the band played a more upbeat musical number, a signal that the rest of the wedding guests should feel free to dance, too.
Fun. This was what she needed. She'd go find a man and shake her groove thing. Tempt him. Seduce him. Then she could scratch this itch and go back to life as usual. Alone, but safe.
As soon as this song was over. Or maybe the next one.
Okay, maybe this solo sex goddess role wasn't as easy she thought.
First things first. Pick a guy to scratch this itch. Someone safe. Someone definitely not named Linc.
She caught sight of Mason, Nick's top security dude. He'd been nice to her the few times they'd chatted while helping with the wedding setup. She'd never felt particularly attracted to him, and maybe that would be a good thing tonight. She could close her eyes and think of ...
No. No. No.
She straightened her shoulders and walked — well, really, there was a bit of weaving around at that point; she might have had more tequila than she remembered — to Mason and tapped him on the shoulder. He was watching the festivities from near where the band played.
"Hey, are you working, or will the boss man let you dance with me?"
Did that sound desperate? Maybe. But stupid, sex-on-a-stick Linc had left her that way.
Mason was a hulk of a man, not fat, but wide. And tall. Kind of like big Redwood, with the face of an angel. Perfect for a guy in the security business. A lot of Nick's people and friends were kind of perfect like that.
"Sorry, Mason. This dance is mine."
Her muddled mind didn't make sense of what she'd heard until he was in front of her.
"What kind of bullshit is this?" she asked, trying not to gasp as Linc slid one hand along her waist and took her hand with the other.
"I want to know why you dislike me." He pulled her into his embrace. "And I'm not letting go until you tell me the truth."
She snorted. "I don't dislike you. I just don't like what you stand for."
Crap, would her mouth never stop?
"And what, exactly, is that?"
They were moving as one, and she had no idea how. She was too tipsy to keep up, but they were making their way across the floor. God, the way his hands brushed against her hips and the small of her back, the outline of his biceps against his almost too tight button up shirt ...
"Rich. Privileged. You can have any woman you want. You live a life in the tabloids, and you don't seem to care."
"And you believe everything you read."
"Well, pictures don't lie. Do you deny you have a different woman on your arm every time you go out?"
"And variety is bad thing?"
She didn't have an answer for that. How could she judge him for the very same thing she did?
"This is a bad idea," she said.
"Is it such a chore to dance with me?"
What was she supposed to say to that? It wasn't a chore. It was driving her insane.
But come on. It wasn't just that he was a friend of Casey's. That would be complicated enough. That whole variety thing made her nervous. Not that she cared about comparing herself with other women, but she'd been mortified enough earlier when she was nearly naked in front of him.
Adding drunken sex to the mix — she'd have to move to another country.
No. That was not going to happen. He was the absolute last guy she was going to sleep with tonight.
Better to let him down quick and easy.
She shrugged. "You're hot. I guess you have that going for you. But you're kind of bossy and really not my type."
"And what is your type?" His voice was low, almost like a growl.
"Well, generally I go for the narcissistic asshole who doesn't care what I want, but tonight I figured I'd go for a guy who knows how to put someone else's needs above his own."
Oh. My. God. Shut the fuck up.
Well, damage done. He'd be mad, but at least he'd leave her alone.
He chuckled. "Then I'd say I'm most definitely your type."
Wait ... what?
As he pulled her closer, she could have sworn he sucked in a breath. Her nipples pressed against his chest. They were so hard and tight, every movement was like an erotic caress. Warmth spread through her body.
"By my type, obviously you mean ... "
Please don't say narcissistic asshole. Please. Please. Please.
He leaned in so close that his breath tickled her ear. "I mean, I know how to put a woman's needs above mine. And I'm a narcissistic asshole."
That made her laugh. "At least you're honest about it."
He laughed, too. "I'm offering tonight. Nothing else. If that's what you want."
A shiver slid through her body, and her face heated.
Is it getting hotter out here? She resisted the urge to fan herself.
He blinked. How did a guy have lashes that long? Why was he looking at her like he was ready to eat her up?
No. No. Bad idea.
His thumb rubbed across the back of her hand.
Okay, her body insisted she go through with taking to bed the one guy she'd decided was off-limits. But hold on. Hadn't he said he was only offering tonight? Wasn't that what she was looking for?
Maybe this situation was perfect. Exactly what she needed — the assurance that whatever happened, there was no chance of things spiraling out of control tomorrow.
"I could be persuaded," she said.
"Depends on your answer to one very important question."
"Ask anything you want," he whispered in her ear.
A tingling sensation hummed through her body. She shifted her hips closer to him, and his hard length pressed against her leg.
"Could you take me back to your room and fuck my brains out?"
* * *
What did she just say?
Linc's cock tightened, and he nearly stomped on her toes when he missed a step. He'd been watching the ethereal beauty most of the day and into the night. The way she moved, laughed, and even the way she gave him shit intrigued him.
And she was tough. Just before the reception, he'd overheard her tell Nick that if he ever hurt Casey, she'd cut him. Then she'd smiled, as if her threat was a normal thing to say among friends.
Crazy? Perhaps, but she was his kind of crazy. He'd been known to cross the line, too, when it came to protecting the people he cared about.
And more, she wasn't looking for anything beyond the night, which was perfect for him. He couldn't allow himself to get caught up in anything — let alone a relationship — that took him away from his duties. The world might see him as the head of a fashion empire, but his real job was protecting those closest to him. He'd let down his family years ago, and he would never let that happen again.
Bennett chuckled as she stumbled and fell against him.
"Are you drunk?" he asked.
No way would he take advantage of Casey's best friend — or anyone else, for that matter. But he'd known Nick two hundred years, and there was no way he'd let a drunk woman come between them.
But holy crap. The feeling of her body against his. He'd been hard all day, just thinking about how delicious she would taste as he licked her neck, her breasts, and then went lower ...
"Just a little tipsy, thanks," she said. "But I'm also horny. Besides, I know what I'm doing. So if you can't get it up for me, no worries. I can try elsewhere. I just need someone with a dick. Not super picky tonight."
Something dark and possessive grew within him, surprising him, and maybe freaking him out just a little. But the idea of someone else touching her — that wasn't going to happen.
"Such a romantic," he growled.
She laughed. "Look, it's a wedding. People fuck at weddings, right? So if you're not interested, let's move it along." She glanced at the band. "Isn't this song almost over?"
No. He wouldn't let her go off and find some obliging idiot to fuck. When he'd first brought her into his arms for this dance, he'd seen something haunting in her eyes that sparked every protective instinct he had. She'd been hurt before. Badly. He wouldn't let her get hurt again tonight just because she was looking for a wild time.
If that meant he had to drop his guard and give in to his own desire so he could service hers?
Maybe, even if just for the night, he could put a little light back in her eyes.
He pulled her close again. "If you want someone to fuck, I'll help you."
"What's so funny?" He guided her off the dance floor and toward the back of the mansion, where his suite was.
"Promise me one thing," she said.
He chuckled. "Okay."
"You can't tell anyone. All right? I mean ... Casey would flip. And I don't want to answer a lot of questions. So pinky swear, you'll never tell anyone we did this."
"Casey would have my head, and probably some other parts I like attached to my body. Your secret is safe with me."
He pushed open the door to his suite, and once it was closed, he shoved her against it.
And then he whispered against her ear, "I swear."
She trembled under his hands. Excellent.
"Tell me what you want," he said as he pushed an errant hair behind her ear.
She fluttered those long dark lashes up at him and smiled. "I like it rough," she whispered.
Fuck, he was going to come in his pants if she didn't stop, because everything she was saying let him know she was exactly his type. Nothing got him hotter than a woman who trusted him to keep her safe no matter how wild things got in the bedroom.
The beast in him roared, and a haze of need enveloped him. He had to get inside her.
He held her arms above her head before nibbling on her ear. "So do I. And just so we're clear: one night of fucking, and we're done."
She lifted her leg and wrapped it around his waist. When she pressed her heat against his rock hard cock, he almost came undone.
He pushed the beast down. They had one night, and he would savor every second of it.
"One and done." She ground her heat against his cock. "Now stop talking and give me what I want."CHAPTER 2
Ten weeks later
"Does my ass look huge in these jeans?" Bennett turned around in the dressing room's three-way mirror. She'd always been straight as a board. But her jeans no longer fit, and now she was trying to find a pair that didn't make her feel like her spleen and liver might be severed.
Where the hell had these curves come from?
Casey didn't even look up from her phone. "I hate it when skinny people talk about being fat. You can wear anything."
"Just look up."
Her friend did as asked ... and smiled. "About time you finally grew up and got an ass and some hips."
"Casey! Come on. I'm freaking out here. What's happening to me?"
Her friend stood, put one hand under her chin, and gave Bennett a once over. "There's no delicate way to say this, but are you hitting the Chunky Monkey a little hard?"
"No," Bennett said. "I don't even like ice cream."
"No reason to get so snippy. Maybe you're just on your period. God knows I gain like five pounds whenever mine comes."
Period? Bennett's stomach sank to her toes as she choked down a gasp. She'd been so busy with work, she hadn't thought about that. When was the last time she had her period? She counted on her fingers.
Five weeks ... Six weeks ... Nine weeks ...
Too long. It'd been too long. "Shit. Shit. Shit."
"What?" Casey dumped her phone into her giant purse.
Bennett's head felt light and fuzzy as stars spotted her vision. She sat on the floor before she could pass out. "This is a size bigger than I normally wear, and it's still tight."
Casey shrugged. "Hell, I can go up a size overnight. And you're going from a zero to a two. It's not really a travesty."
Bennett's head dropped between her knees, and she forced herself to take deep breaths. "Oh God."
Casey grabbed her hand and squeezed. "Honey, I'm sorry. You're beautiful and still super skinny. I was just giving you a hard time."
How could it have been so long? Maybe she'd miscounted. Or maybe it was just a fluke. Or maybe ...
She counted back again. Shortly before Casey's wedding. Just in time for her to go after that hunk on a stick fashion designer —
No. It couldn't be.
"It's not that." Her voice was hoarse with unshed tears. "Ten weeks."
Excerpted from Baby's Got Bite by Candace Havens, Stephen Morgan, Ava Jae. Copyright © 2015 Candace Havens. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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