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Cut So Deep (Break So Soft Duet #1)
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I’ll do whatever it takes to get her back.
She was mine and it was everything.
That month with her was as near to perfect as I’ve ever had in my whole f’ed up life.
But then I lost it all and I still don’t know why.
Though I suspect it had something to do with that rat b@stard, Bryce Gentry.
One thing I do know: I’m not letting go of Callie Cruise without a fight.
And it’s time for Gentry to finally pay for his many sins.
This book is a dark romance. It is book 2 of a 2-part Duet (the first book, CUT SO DEEP, is Available Now). This is an edited and expanded version of a novel that was formerly titled Please Me.
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The bass of the club beat vibrates through my feet and up to my ribcage. I close my eyes and everything tight in me loosens as my hips start to sway with the beat.
There’s that delicious electricity in the air. Bodies are thick on the dark, crowded dance floor. The music is so loud it drowns out every other thought. I could deep swaying and lose myself out here on the dance floor and I’m tempted.
My eyes snap open again. Because no, I’m not here to lose myself. I’ve done enough of that over the last four months. For most of June and July, I barely left the house except for work.
Then I went out, very reluctantly, with some coworkers for happy hour one night and discovered something amazing. It’s the same thing that’s drawn me out tonight.
I’m here to fucking feel alive again. Or as alive as I can with the most vital part of myself amputated from my life—my son.
Not thinking about that right now. Not thinking about any of it.
Several people enter the club behind me and I finally move forward. The stiletto heels I’m wearing force me to walk in a certain way. Back straight. Hips swaying. If I’m honest, I’m fucking strutting.
I own it. This is my catwalk. The club’s so crowded, I doubt anyone’s looking at me particularly, but I imagine they are. I’m commanding every eye in this place. They are all at my fucking beck and call. I revel in it, the power I have in this moment.
It’s not all in my head, either. When I sit at the bar and cross my legs, casually fluffing the wild shoulder-length red hair of the wig I splurged on last month, I don’t just feel like a queen on her throne. The people in the sphere around me respond to me as if I am one.
A couple of women look down at their own dresses self-consciously. The man sitting beside me immediately angles his body toward me and away from the woman he was flirting with moments before.
I hide a smile as the bartender, also a man, notices me among several people vying for his attention. He leans in as he asks what I’d like to drink.
“Vodka tonic, please.”
“Put it on my tab,” says the guy sitting beside me.
I only spare a cursory glance in his direction. He looks to be in his mid-thirties. Far from old but a little out of place for this particular club scene in his business shirt with his tie loose and askew. Yeah, it’s a Thursday night, but it’s eleven o’clock. He couldn’t change into something a little more club appropriate?
I smile at him charmingly but shake my head with a strong no. Number one, it’s my firm policy never to accept drinks from men. I’ll never be indebted to any guy in any way, shape or form. And number two, he’s just a little too eager for me.
“I got it,” I say to the bartender and slide some cash over the bar. “Keep the tip.”
The bartender grins at me, bright white teeth against ebony skin. I perk up. Now he on the other hand could be a possibility. I’m a sucker for a great smile.
He grabs a mid-shelf vodka and pours some in my glass. I lean in, elbows on the bar top, cleavage unabashedly on display in the form-hugging electric blue dress that I’m wearing.
“How’s your night going, handsome?” I ask, elevating my voice to be heard over the noise.
His grin widens, though I wouldn’t have thought that possible a moment ago. My eyes zero in on his lips. They’re so inviting and thick, luscious is the only word that comes to mind. Immediately, my mind pictures his big body underneath mine, those lips sucking on my nipple.
“Better and better since you walked up to my bar.”
Oh yeah. This guy is looking like a more attractive candidate every moment. I toss him a flirty smile along as well as an eye roll as he presses the spout to fill up the rest of my glass with soda.
“You know what, I don’t even care how often you’ve used that line,” I laugh, then take a sip of the vodka tonic. It’s a perfect mix. I nod at him approvingly. “You’re cute enough to pull it off.”
He puts a hand dramatically to his chest like he’s wounded. “Aw man, cute, that’s the kiss of death. I’ve been downgraded from handsome to cute?”
I’m about to respond back when he holds up a finger and says he’ll be right back. Unfortunately, the bar is swarmed with people wanting drinks as the club really hits its peak traffic. I finish up my vodka tonic, enjoying the slight warmth that settles under my skin from the alcohol. It’s the only drink I’ll have for the night, but it’s brought a lovely looseness to my limbs. I manage to catch Cute Bartender’s eye and toss him a finger wave as I head for the dance floor.