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For a Goode Time Call (Goode Girls #1)
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The size of a Kodiak bear and covered in tattoos. A heart of gold, a rough and tumble past. Confident, powerful, gentle. Wise. Artistic. Deep wild brown eyes that see far deeper into me than they should.
Nothing in my life could ever have prepared me for the reality that is Ink Isaac. He’s just so much more than anyone I’ve ever met, and my instant, inexplicable, and undeniable attraction to him leaves me reeling.
But with my life recently turned upside down, the more time I spend around him, the more I realize I’m not even sure what my future looks like anymore—alI know for sure is, my heart and my body want him in it, even if my mind is saying something else.
* * *
She’s a tiny little thing, all hard edges and sharp wit. All woman, with slender curves and hypnotic eyes. She’s all fire and bravado, and she’s melting my big, bear-sized heart, little by little. I’m utterly hooked. Willing to risk it all for her.
Everything she is seems to demand that I give her everything I am. I’m just not sure if I know how to do that, if she really knows what she’s asking for when she looks up at me with those beautiful, blazing hazel eyes.
She sets me on fire, but are either of us ready for what that fire will do to both of us?
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Such a tiny little thing, this girl. I could pick her up one-handed. Toss her over my shoulder and climb up a ladder and barely even feel her weight. If I was gonna put numbers to her, I’d say she stood no more than five-five, but likely that’s generous by a few inches. Weight? Ehh, I ain’t really the type to care or know much about such things, but put a gun to my head and tell me to guess and I’d peg her at about a hundred pounds. Course, I could be off a bit simply because she didn’t look frail or slight despite being so short—she looked tight. That’s the only word for it. Hard. Strong. She moved, despite the limp, as if she is a powerhouse…smooth, lithe, strong.
Hard to tell much about her build beyond her obvious height and leanness—she was wearing a baggy hooded sweatshirt that hung past her booty and it hid her whole torso. She was wearing those black leggings girls like so much these days, and damn me if I didn’t find myself wishing that sweatshirt was a little shorter, because I had a feeling she was hiding a mighty fine backside under it.
But I shook off those thoughts like a dog shaking its fur dry. Every instinct I had told me loud and clear that this girl was in need of a friend, not someone hitting on her and staring at her body.
I’d been ambling down the docks, watching the waters of the Ketchikan channel chuck against the pylons, thinking about my next piece—a spray of butterflies turning into sparrows flying up a woman’s ribcage to cover a mastectomy scar. Lost in thought, working out details mentally, preparing for the first session, outlining, which would begin after my lunch. For which I was headed to my cousin Juneau’s boyfriend’s cousins’ bar—Badd’s Bar and Grille. Sounds like a more complicated relationship than it is. I’m pretty good friends with all the Badds, and I frequently took my lunch break at the bar. Today, I had been angling away from the channel, about to head for the opposite side of the street and the bar when I noticed a girl. Young, beautiful. About my age, short, with long platinum blonde hair—and she was powerwalking as if she was raging about something in her head.
None of my never mind, right? Just keep walking, leave her to her mental rant.
Course, it became my business when I realized she was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t seem to realize the street she was walking down was about to come to an end—in the frigid waters of the Ketchikan channel. Which, even in summer, were cold enough to be life-threatening if you were in it for too long. And she was seconds from taking a very unexpected dip.
I had hesitated another moment, hoping she’d glance up, but her gaze was on her feet, hands shoved into the pocket of her sweatshirt. Stomping angrily right for the water.
Nope, she wasn’t stopping.
I had darted forward, lunged, and caught her by the sweatshirt literally as she was falling forward into the water. Held her nearly horizontal, feet planted partially on the edge of the pier. Solidified my grip and my balance, and then I’d hauled her up. Turned her around, setting her firmly on her feet.
And had caught my first glimpse at the most fiery, expressive hazel eyes I’d ever seen in my damned life.
I hadn’t gotten much of a story out of her, only that she’d undergone a recent and life-changing trauma of some kind—a car accident, maybe? Something. And she was struggling with it. So, I’d suggested Badd’s, and she’d agreed, saying she needed to get blackout drunk, and comfort food. So, here we were, heading for Badd’s, and I was setting myself up to babysit a five-foot-nothing angry blonde beautiful girl I’d only just met moments ago, and I was wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into.
I wouldn’t say I’d saved her life, really, but had definitely saved her from a nasty spill in the channel. I should’ve been done with her after yanking her back from the channel. So why was I inviting myself into her life? Into being her blackout drunk babysitter?
Something about her. Not sure what, but I just knew I couldn’t walk away yet. If I didn’t watch over her, if nothing else, I knew no one else would. I mean, the Badd clan would make sure nothing horrible happened to her, but some gut reaction was screaming that this girl just needed a friend, and that I was it.
I wanted to be it.
Why, I wasn’t sure, and didn’t care to think too closely about. But I did, so here we were, together.
We reached the front entrance of Badd’s Bar and Grille, and I reached past her to yank open the heavy wooden door. She eyed me like I’d shot her cat.