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(Three Sinful Wishes #1) A Tangled Web
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Three friends… Three sinful wishes…
Dani ran away to Sedona to heal; her bff, Liam, at her side. Now that she’s finally ready to start her new life, safe from the dangers of her past and surrounded by new friends, she knows things will change between them. She can’t help loving him, but he deserves more than she can give. Someone without scars.
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It was staring right at her.
Arms raised in the act of rinsing the last of the conditioner from her hair, Dani registered the creature dangling from the shower’s ceiling and froze. It was strangely beautiful for a spider. White and turquoise lines crisscrossed its dark body in a pleasing geometric pattern she might have appreciated more if the artwork wasn’t attached to furry legs and sharp looking pincers.
If it had shown up any earlier it would have caught more of a show, she thought a little hysterically, recalling her frustrating attempt at recreating last night’s sex dream. Unfortunately, she’d only had one shower wand and none of the flexibility her fantasy required. At least now, instead of obsessing over thrilling threesomes, the only number she could think about was eight. Eight legs. Eight eyes. Eight reasons to never masturbate in the shower again. Maybe she should thank the creepy bastard.
In the bathroom from a spider bite was not on her list of ways to die. After everything she’d survived, going out like that would be anticlimactic and depressing. Vivid visuals of EMTs struggling to lift her pruned-up body out of the shower while her handsome roommate looked on with pity made her cringe.
“Let’s skip that today, okay buddy? No biting.” She was bargaining with a spider. And why was she whispering?
It’s only a bug.
“Hah.” She knew bugs. Growing up in Texas, she’d survived swarms of mosquitos, clouds of copulating love bugs, angry ants, pestering gnats and clumsy beetles. One of the things she’d loved most about Arizona was that she could enjoy being outside without having to coat herself in stinky repellent or hide out behind a protective screen for all but two months of the year.
This spider was like nothing she’d seen before, and not just because it was nearly as big as her head. “What have you been eating to get that big, huh? Please don’t say Miss Muffet.”
She was talking to it again. Weirder still, when it lowered itself down until it was level with her face, it looked insulted. Could spiders get insulted? Was it insecure about its size?
Dani didn’t mean to scream, but it came out anyway, the shriek bouncing off the walls and sending her nemesis swaying on its thread. She quickly backed up to avoid it and slipped on the conditioner-slicked porcelain, her shoulder banging into the tile before she found her balance.
“Shitshitshit.” The spider wouldn’t have to bite her, she was going to break her own neck before it got the chance.
The jarring slam of the bathroom door shocked her into making another sound she wasn’t proud of. Then the curtain disappeared, revealing her savior.
She wanted to cheer at the sight of him, but what came out of her mouth was another loud, high-pitched squeak she’d be embarrassed about later.
“What’s wrong, baby?” His arm wrapped around her, lifting her out of the tub and up against a warm, familiar body. His blue eyes were wild with worry as he checked her for injuries. “Are you hurt? What the hell happened? Why did you—”
“Giant freaking spider!” she blurted, so grateful for his arrival that she wanted to cry. Had he called her baby?
“Did it bite you? What did it look like?”
“No. I don’t know. And it’s still there so you can see for yourself.”
He ducked his head around the torn plastic, water soaking his hair as he scanned the area. “Where?”
She was going to have to buy a new shower curtain today, she thought absently, still in shock. “You couldn’t miss it if you tried.”
He turned off the tap, shook his head like a wet dog, and took another look while she tried to slow her breathing. He’d find it. He’d find it and he’d handle it. That’s what Liam did. He handled things. It was one of his superpowers.
She couldn’t help but notice he was handling her as well. Situating her by grabbing parts she never allowed the sun to touch, let alone another human. Survival mode made modesty less of a priority, but with each second she became more aware of his large, hot hands on her very naked body. She was sure it wasn’t intentional.
It was depressing how sure she was.
Maybe this was karma. Her punishment for having perverted fantasies about her best friend without his knowledge or consent. She wished she could blame him, since last night’s dream was the reason she’d lingered long enough to meet the ruler of all arachnids, but unfortunately this was on her. All Liam was doing was innocently rescuing her from a spider attack. She was the one using that time to memorize the feel of his palm cupping her ass.
She could have pushed him away and grabbed her towel in that moment, but she didn’t. In fact, she was leaning into his touch, loving the feeling of his rough, callused fingers on her skin. Imagining how they would feel against her nipples. Or deep inside her.