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Falling for the Bully
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Max Carter was an asshole as a teenager. He did stupid things, and one of them was hurting Aria Smith. As a grown man, he has to own up to his mistakes, and now he has to prove to her he’s changed. When he discovers she’s going on a date with some stranger, jealousy fills him.
Aria’s first mistake was getting drunk. Her second one was not deleting her internet history. Her third mistake? Agreeing to use Max for all her sexy desires. He’s an asshole, one she’s been determined to avoid. But it’s the little things, like how he walks her to work and back home every single day. How can she say no?
They were only supposed to be a bit of fun, and their friends were never supposed to find out. However, they can’t hide their feelings for one another, or at least Max can’t. For him, it’s not about fucking—he’s in love with her. Only now, he’s got to make her fall for him, too.
This single man is ready to settle down and become a husband and a father, but will his woman give him the time of day?
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Max Carter checked the time on his watch and saw it was a little after three. He was being really fucking crazy now, but he found when it came to Aria Smith, nothing in his world made sense anymore.
She hadn’t forgiven him, nor had she gotten over what happened between them during high school. Not that he had any good enough excuse for calling her lard ass. Whenever he looked at her, he felt like shit. She rarely gave him the time of day, and considering she was a friend of both of his best friends’ women, it made life a little complicated. They were both single, and it didn’t exactly make for a good match for either of them.
He also wanted her to forgive him, for them both to move on from this and not look back, but he knew she was incredibly hurt by what he’d done.
Her front door opened, and she let out a gasp the moment she caught sight of him.
“You scared me.”
Her rich auburn hair was tied on top of her head with ringlets falling down, framing her face. She looked stunning.
For Max, his attraction to her startled him. She wasn’t slender or like any of the women he normally found attractive. Aria possessed curvy hips and thighs, as well as large tits. Her body drew his attention, and he found it next to impossible to have a coherent thought. All logical common sense left him, which was why he was standing outside of her place at three in the morning, ready to walk her to work.
“I apologize,” he said.
He even talked differently with her. He made an effort, where with other women he couldn’t give a shit if they liked his brashness or not.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I’m not stalking you.”
“This is really kind of creepy, Max. I don’t get it.” She held a thermos in her hands, and she looked a little worried.
“I don’t like the thought of you walking to work on your own. It’s dark and it’s late, and you don’t have a car.”
“Don’t you have to get up at, like, six in the morning?”
“I do,” he said. He didn’t tell her he’d started to go to bed straight after he’d dropped her off at home after her shift had finished. He ate before picking her up, took a shower, dropped into bed, and then got up at two-thirty to be here.
He wasn’t stalking or possessive or obsessive. All he was being was a good friend.
At least he tried to tell himself that.
“Max, you really don’t have to do this. It’s fine. I can walk myself. It’s not a bad neighborhood.”
He’d tried to let her walk on her own, but the guilt, worry, and fear had been too much for him to bear. So, on the days she didn’t know about, he tended to keep an eye on her from a distance.
“I know, and I’m here now. Can’t you give a guy a break and just let me walk you to work?”
Max saw she wanted to argue. She clearly didn’t want him around, and yes, it frustrated him. This was one of the many reasons he wanted to get her to like him. Their friends were very much aware of her dislike of him.
He couldn’t do anything about it either.
How could he get someone to like him, especially with their history? All it had taken was that one name, and it had stuck. It was like he’d given permission for every other person in that school to bully her. Until he called her that name, she’d been left alone. Afterward, she’d been the school punching bag, but he’d not been there. Now he was the one having to pay the price, and it fucking sucked, big time. He didn’t give people permission to fucking hurt her, and yet they’d taken it upon themselves to do so. If he could go back and change it all, he would, but there wasn’t anything he could do.
“Sure, why not?”
She took a sip of her drink, and they started walking down the street. The lights cast a garish glow across the neighborhood. It looked like something out of a horror film.
“Would you like a drink?” she asked, offering hers toward him.
He was about to refuse when he thought better of it. Taking a sip of her coffee, he found it with no cream or sugar. The bitter liquid burned on the way down, and he winced past the pain.
She let out a chuckle. “You hate it.”
“How can you drink that kind of thing?”
“Easy. I need to be awake and alert today for baking. This helps.”
“Do you like the morning shift?”
“I used to. It was a lot of fun, now … not so much.”
“What has changed?” he asked.
She pressed her lips together, staring straight ahead. How had he never noticed those full, fuckable lips. They were plump, sexy, and would look so good wrapped around his cock.