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Nailed (Dad Bod Contracting #3)
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RYDER: You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, Laurel. And if that’s all of you I ever get to see, I’ll be the luckiest man in the world for having seen it.
I swallow hard. He wasn’t supposed to make it sweet. He was supposed to leave it dirty and inappropriate, so I could tell myself all he wanted was sex. That all he cared about was getting me naked, or if not that, then at least seeing me naked.
Instead, he turned it sweet. And I couldn’t tell myself any lies to keep me on my high horse.
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“I’m not sure what you want me to tell you, Laurel,” Audra says, scooping a ridiculous amount of guacamole onto a corn chip. “I can’t say I know him very well, but what I do know, I like. He seems like a great guy.”
I sigh, and take a sip of my skinny margarita. “Not helpful.”
She shrugs, popping the chip and guac into her mouth, speaking after she’s chewed a few times. “Sorry. I told you I wouldn’t be much help.”
Audra is on the shorter side at five-five or five-six, but she’s insanely fit, strong, and toned, as well as curvy in all the right places; with platinum blonde hair in a swept-back pixie cut and sky-blue eyes, Audra is the potty mouth of our group, the one always making inappropriate but hysterical jokes, and innuendos that can be downright salacious.
Nova, the other new girl of this foursome besides me, just laughs as she listens to our exchange. And as she listens, she uses the tiny black straw to poke at the lime floating on the top of her margarita. Nova is a red-haired Amazon woman, standing six feet tall with fiery red hair that is draped in a thick braid over her right shoulder. She has electric blue eyes and she’s built like a goddess in every way— absurdly well-endowed in both her tits and ass, as well as being ripped in a way that speaks to her intense dedication at the gym.
“Why are you looking for reasons to dislike him, Laurel?” Nova asks me.
“Because he vanished on me, and if he did that once, he’ll do it again, and I’m not interested in playing those kinds of games,” I reply. “I don’t want to like him. I want to dislike him so it’ll be easier to forget about him.”
Imogen grins at me. “I might have something for you. I’m not sure how much reason this is to dislike him, but it may be a little bit of a red flag.”
Five-seven, with rich auburn hair and eyes the green of grass lit by the summer sun, Imogen is built somewhere between Audra and Nova—curvy and gorgeous and fit, but not as powerfully built or ripped as Nova, nor as shredded as Audra.
I lean forward. “Do tell!”
The other three lean forward as well, and Imogen laughs. “You guys are like TMZ at the slightest whiff of gossip!”
I wrinkle my nose. “I’m not after gossip for the sake of gossip, I’m after legitimate reasons to blow off Ryder McCann.”
Imogen snorts. “Because that’s so much better than just wanting to gossip.”
I nodded, intentionally ignoring her sarcasm. “You’re right, it is, though I’m not just digging around in his past out of morbid curiosity. I have my reasons.”
Imogen rolls her eyes, sips her margarita, and then pops her lips. “Well, this is just what I heard from the other guys the first time I hung out with them all.” She lifts a shoulder. “So I don’t know how true or accurate it is, or how far it goes. But…apparently, Ryder has a thing for, as he put it, the crazy chicks.”
I blink. “He has a thing for crazy chicks?”
Imogen nods. “According to him, they’re fun to date because crazy chicks are also—and I’m quoting him here—‘crazy in the sack.’”
I sit back with a huff. “Men are pigs.”
Audra is cackling, now. “Honestly, though, if that’s true, then it’s probably a good thing I met Franco first, because according to some of the guys I slept with before Franco…I’m a crazy chick.”
Imogen, sitting beside Audra, smacks her on the arm. “You are not.”
Audra just stares at Imogen. “Bitch have you met me? I’ve probably slept with more guys than all three of you combined.”
“That just means you’re a slut,” Imogen says, laughing. “Not crazy.”
I widen my eyes at the insult, but then Audra starts laughing.
“Former slut,” Audra says, holding up a finger. “Reformed slut. I have found love, left behind my slutty ways, and am now a kept woman.”
Nova snickers. “I don’t think that means what you think it means, Audra.”
Audra frowns. “Kept by a man, duh—a one-man woman.”
I reach across the table and pat her on the head, patronizingly. “You may wanna Google ‘kept woman’ before you use it again.”
Audra looks around at everyone, and since all of us are laughing, she huffs. “Fine, then. Enlighten me.”
“Kept woman is the archaic term for what we call a sugar baby,” Nova answers. “It’s basically a woman who dates and sleeps with a wealthy older man in return for a lavish lifestyle. Not exactly prostitution, since it’s not direct payment for sex, but that’s the implication.”
Audra reddens. “Oh. Yeah, that’s not what I thought it meant.”
We all laugh, and then Imogen wraps an arm around Audra, kissing her loudly on the cheek. “Oh, Audra. There’s absolutely no one like you.” She snickers again. “I love that you’re…ahem…a kept woman.”