Bringing Home the Bad Boy

By: Jessica Lemmon

This was awful.

She’d remember tonight always, and he was in the process of ruining those memories. She owed it to her future self to salvage this night.

Even though she was freezing, she dropped the material of her dress and showed her breasts. Donny’s eyes flickered over her skin. “Come on, baby. Let’s try again,” she purred, forcing a small smile to her lips.

He ripped his eyes away from her, snatched up his discarded sweater, and jammed his arms into it. Leaning over the sofa he’d tenderly laid her on moments ago, he growled, “I’m not anyone’s ‘baby,’ Scampi. There’s not going to be a second time.” He pulled the sweater over his head and added, “Ever. Get dressed.”

Wow. That was a solid “no.”

Dejected, embarrassed, and pissed off in a way she knew would devolve into her sobbing the moment she shut her bedroom door, Sofie finished dressing. Speechlessly, she grabbed her coat and purse while Donovan shrugged into his leather coat. A minute later, they climbed into his Jeep.

More silence as they drove back to the restaurant. The restaurant she’d entered for a work party, determined to kiss Donny Pate before night’s end. Mission accomplished, she thought miserably, unable to dredge up even a humorless smile.

He pulled into the now-empty (save for her compact car parked in the back) parking lot of the Wharf. Snow had started to fall, the light flakes covering the windshield.

She hazarded a look over at the man she’d chosen over all others. He threw the Jeep into Park and looked straight ahead, no expression on his face.

Determined to leave this night with something salvageable—though really, was any of it?—she turned to say good-bye. “Donny, before I go—”

His beautiful mouth formed one word. “Out.”

The word was like a stab to the chest. She blinked at his shadowed profile. Awful.

Belatedly, she considered she’d made a big mistake trusting her first time, her body, and her feelings to Donny Pate.

He faced her, his gray eyes cold, his face placid. His voice rose, echoing off the interior of the Jeep. “Scampi, get the hell out!”

Instinctively, she reacted, some primal urge lifting her hand before she knew what was happening. Then Sofie delivered the only physical blow she’d ever given another living being. The slap cracked across Donny’s angled jaw, turning his head to one side. Appalled by her actions, she widened her eyes as that same hand lifted to her lips.

Through the strands of black hair covering his face, his silver-blue eyes glowed with anger. Before she could get an apology out, his upper lip curled. In a steely voice, he snarled, “Get. The. Fuck. Out.”

This time she obeyed, feeling a combination of guilt and shame over a combination of things—all of them having to do with Donny Pate.

She was wrong about the sobbing. It didn’t start in her bedroom. It started in her car. And continued until morning.

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