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Don’t Be My Valentine
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One night. One jaw-dropping secret.
“Don’t sleep with my brother.”
Twelve years later, I’m my best friend’s maid of honor in her Valentine’s Day wedding.
That’s the least of my problems.
WARNING: This off-limits romantic suspense may induce shortness of breath, unexpected tears, and sudden hot flashes. Please read with extreme caution. The happily ever after will leave you stunned!
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The first time my panties had been eviscerated by Matt Baker’s charm, muscles, and smile was stuck in my memory like an ant trapped in honey. It was a slow, sweet death, and it didn’t matter that I hadn’t seen the dude in like…more than ten years.
I was here now.
In the hotel room in the friggin’ Bahamas, days before my best friend’s wedding—planned for Valentine’s Day for the win—and the nerves had already started building.
Because Matt, destructively sexy, tattooed, and potentially evil Matt, would be here too.
That was what happened when you went ahead and fell for your best friend’s brother.
“Stop it,” I muttered and grabbed a pair of cordless earphones off the bedside table. I slipped them on, put on my Enya—yeah, I was that type of bitch—and started humming along to “Sail Away.”
I had to get downstairs and see the entire bridal party in about an hour, and the off chance of seeing Matt had my stomach in knots.
Relax. It’s been forever. Who even cares anymore? He wasn’t anything special.
“Now you’re just lying,” I said, and the words rang in my head over the soothing croon of Enya.
Quickly, I stripped off my clothes, dumped them on my bed, and spread my arms. Freeing. If my bestie, Emilia, saw me now, she’d think I was a total freak. Thirty years old and dancing around naked to relieve stress.
Judge not. This is my method.
The Enya song switched to Cardi B, and I rapped along to “Be Careful,” bobbing my head and throwing my arms wide. I turned in a circle, my eyes closed, swaying my hips, my skin prickling with goosebumps under the cool air from the AC.
A thumping noise interrupted my rap, but I blew past it, kept my eyes closed, and felt the music. This was my mix—soothing songs and gangsta rap, a few classic rock tunes thrown in for good measure. Working as an actress had exposed me to every type of person and music.
I lifted my arms and shook my ass. “Eh!” I cried, along to the music.
I frowned. Was I hearing things or did someone speak my name on the track?
I opened my eyes. I screeched. I doubted my sanity.
The devil himself stood in the center of my hotel room.
Tall, tan, and muscular, he wore a suit with the jacket slung over one shoulder, his shirtsleeves rolled back to expose tattooed forearms. His chocolate brown eyes were full of intent, and his gaze swept over me, drawing more goosebumps and a shudder. He shifted, and I caught sight of the tent he’d pitched downstairs.
Arousal washed over me, followed by a short, sharp burst of anger. I ripped my earphones out and squashed them against my palm. “What the fuck are you doing in here?”
“I could ask you the same question,” he said, his voice deep and rough and warm and… Oh god, I had to stop. “But I’d think you’d like to answer it after you um…” he trailed off, again, his gaze washing over me as he waved his hand in a sweeping motion up and down towards me. I froze and there was a ringing surge of electric current coursing through my entire body. Dammit, his effect on me was maddening.
“What?” I snapped.
All the memories had flooded back.
Our bodies together. Him younger, me too. His backside as he walked away.
“Well, I was thinking you might want to put some clothes on before we continue this conversation.”
Good lord, I’d completely forgotten. I jumped on the spot, jiggling, and covered my breasts. “Oh my god! Oh my god, oh my god. Turn around! Cover your eyes.”
The corners of Matt’s expressive mouth twitched. “Whatever you need.” He showed me his back—broad and muscular and barely contained by his shirt.
I stared for a second longer, stunned by the moment, my nipples puckering. Get it together, woman. You’re not turned on. You’re furious! What is he even doing here?
“You done yet?” he asked.
The question electrified me into action. I scrambled my clothes off the bed and onto my body. I pulled my blouse over my head, probably messed up my makeup and hair too—not that it mattered, of course. I didn’t care what Matt thought.
Liar, liar, panties on wet, melting fire.
“You can turn around,” I said, trying to put command into my tone. Keep that distance between us. Matt had always borne the attitude that he could have what he wanted, whenever he wanted. That wouldn’t fly with me anymore. I wasn’t an eighteen-year-old with stars in her eyes. And he would never be my knight in shining armor.
God, just having him around had turned me into a walking Taylor Swift song.
Matt took his time. He shifted his head first, looking back over his shoulder at me, giving me side-eye that probably wasn’t meant to be sexy. He tucked his hands into his pockets then faced me.