Tears threaten to fall, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand here and feel sorry for myself. And even though Cade’s lecture about getting my life together is screaming in my brain, I can’t help it. I can’t deal with all this.
I stomp off the dance floor, stopping to grab a bottle of champagne and one of the cashmere throw wedding favors.
I’m just rounding the corner, making my escape, when I hear a voice say, “Hey, Hotass, where you sneaking off to?”
I stop and spin around, the sudden movement almost causing me to fall. I grip the bottle tighter. Can’t spill the champagne. I’m going to need every ounce to drown my sorrows.
The guy grabs my elbow, keeping me upright.
I stare at his big hand, then follow his arm up to a broad shoulder and a face so handsome it makes my heart ache.
“You saved the champagne,” I tell him. He grins, the smile changing his face from handsome to devastatingly hot. “You look sorta familiar. Have we met before?”
“Probably in your dreams.”
I touch his light brown hair, which is flipped up in the front. “You have cute hair.”
“I have a lot of other cute parts,” he flirts. “Wanna feel them all?”
I chuckle. “You’re funny. Did you really just call me Hotass?”
“I call ’em as I see ’em.”
I lean back to check out my ass, which makes me sort of dizzy.
He grabs me again, this time planting his hands firmly on my hips.
“I bet you’re good in bed,” I blurt out, imagining those strong hands guiding me on top of him.
“Only one way to find out,” he says with a smirk.
What is with that smirk? Is he as fucking hot as I think he is?
“I’m gonna need to be drunker for that,” I say.
“Way to kill my ego—and my hard on,” he says seriously.
I lock eyes with him. “You’re teasing me.”
“Maybe a little.” He grins again. “So, back to my first question. Where are you sneaking off to?”
“Not sure. Over here somewhere—away from everyone.”
“Not in the mood to party?” He grabs the champagne bottle and takes a slug.
“Let’s suffice it to say I’ve had a rough week. Do you know why I’ve had a bad week?” I ask. I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone in the world has seen the Ashlyn Roberts sex tape, despite Cade’s efforts to get it taken down.
“Honestly, no,” he says.
“Really? Do you not get on the Internet?”
“Usually I do, just not this week.”
“Why not this week?” I hold my hand up in front of his cute face. “Wait, don’t answer that. Just come with me.”
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know. That’s the problem—with my whole life, really.” I give him a pout and look into his warm, brown eyes. He has the kind of eyes that make me want to curl up in his lap and let him pet me.
He touches my nose. “If you’re leading, Hotass, then I’m following. If only for the view.”
“You can walk next to me.” I grab his hand, leading him down the path and away from the party.
Suddenly, I realize I’m holding his hand.
And it feels—good, natural, warm. He’s a walking contradiction. I can’t decide if that smirk just makes me one-night stand horny or if I want to keep him.
When we get to a grassy clearing under a large tree, I say, “This looks like a good spot. Here, you spread out the blanket. I’ll hold the champagne.”
Once our spot is ready, he helps me sit down.
“Wow, the view up here is gorgeous,” I say, looking out over the grounds of the country club that sits on a cliff in northern California.
“It is,” he says. “You can see the ocean, the stars, and can still hear the music from the wedding.”
“Here’s to gorgeous views,” I say, raising the bottle in the air and looking more at him than the view. With his gorgeous smile, hot body, and pretty face, he’s quite the sexy package.
I take a gulp of champagne then pass it to him. He takes a drink and hands it back.
“Sure you haven’t had enough already?” he asks.
“Oh, no. I’m just getting started. Tell me why you weren’t on the Internet. You may have been the only one in the world who didn’t see me at my worst.”
He hands me his phone. “If you want me to see so bad, why don’t you show me?”
I shake my head. “No! I don’t want anyone to see! I was naked. Doing things. It’s really embarrassing.”
He glances at my chest, which is on full display in my sequined bridesmaid gown. “Somehow, I doubt that. Maybe you could reenact it for me.”
I roll my eyes and pass him the champagne. “Where are you from anyway?”
“Seattle,” he says.
“And how do you know the bride and groom?”
“You’re cute. Are you an actor?”
He laughs. “Me? No.”
“Hmm,” I say, trying to figure out how a guy this hot could be anything else.
“You’ll never guess,” he tells me.
“I’m an attorney.”
“No way! You’re way too sexy to be a lawyer!” I blurt out.
“You think I’m sexy?”
“Yes, in fact, tonight we’re going to have fun. You and me. No names. No baggage. Just fun. I will call you Sexy and you can call me—”
“Hotass,” he says, handing me the bottle and giving me a lopsided grin. “Drink, Hotass.”
We goof around, taking selfies and videos of ourselves drinking and dancing crazily.
“Are you a good guy?” I ask.
“Never had any complaints,” he teases. At least, I think he’s teasing. But with the way he looks, he’s probably not. And I kinda want to test that theory.
I smack him. “I’m not talking about sex. I mean, at the core, are you the kind of asshole who would sell our silly pictures and videos to the tabloids?”
“If I were an asshole, I’d tell you no but do it anyway.”
“True. Lie down and look at the stars with me.” I push on his chest, which is broad, hard, and doesn’t budge.
“You add some sugar to all that bossiness, and I might be more likely to do what you say,” he says.
When he says sugar, I take another swig, drop flat on my back, and let out a huge sigh. “I fucking hate sugar.”
“You hate sugar?” he asks, lying next to me. “Tell me you’re not one of those girls who doesn’t eat anything sweet.”
“I love sweets but this guy I used to date wrote a song about me. Said I was like sugar and a hurricane.”
“Those things don’t really go together.”
“He thought I was sweet like sugar but crazy like a hurricane, or something. I don’t know. I thought it was cute when he sang it for me, but then he told me that our relationship and the song would help him go more mainstream. It did.”
“Then what happened?”
“He hit it big and decided he didn’t need me anymore. We’d been together for a year. One night he kissed me on the forehead and went to get sushi.” I look at Sexy. “Have you ever kissed the forehead of a girl you didn’t love?”
He shakes his head. “Nope.”
“Wait. Are you dating anyone?”
“Me?” He points to himself and laughs. “Definitely not.”
“Why not? You’re a cute guy.”
“My long-time girlfriend and I parted ways about a year ago.”
“When another anniversary came and went without a proposal, she left.”
“Um, it may have been because when she asked if I was ever going to propose, I said probably not.”
“Why did you stay with her for so long if you didn’t want to marry her? You not the marrying type?” I ask gently.
“No. I definitely want to get married. Just not to her. We had fun in college, but once she started working, it was all that mattered to her. I’m all for working hard, but I also believe in enjoying life.”
“Me too,” I say, handing him the bottle. “I’m sure the breakup was for the best. There must be something brighter in your future.” I say it with confidence, as much for him as for myself. As thrilled as I am for Harper and Maddox, their wedding sort of depressed me because I’m jealous. That’s what I want. A sexy guy who will love me no matter what.
And maybe one who will do me up against the wall.
I sneak a peek at the sexiness sitting next to me. He’s still looking up at the sky. And, damn, even his profile is handsome.
And he smells so freaking good, I want to lick him.
“So, did your guy not come back with sushi?” he asks, facing me.
“No, he sent me a breakup text.”
“That must have been a shock.” He places his hand on top of mine. And there’s something in his gesture—something in the warmth of his hand—that makes me feel safe. “It was.”
His thumb caresses the top of my hand—comforting me—for a few seconds before he hands me back the bottle. “Here, drink. Then keep talking.”
I take a big gulp. “I’m going to be drunk. Actually, Sexy, I might already be drunk. Anyway, that breakup was like a year ago. The last few months, I’ve been dating Zach Ellison.”
“The boy band guy?”
“Yep. He’s the oldest brother in the Summer Boys. I went on tour with him. We traveled all over the world together. He had a carnival set up on an estate in England for my birthday, just because I said I wanted a funnel cake. We escaped from his crazy fans in Paris on a motorcycle, and he took me to this little macaroon shop, where we drank wine and learned how to make them. I’ve never had a guy do such crazy, over-the-top romantic gestures. Then, exactly nine days ago, the ex-boyfriend, Luke, decided he wanted me back. I said no thanks. Last weekend, Zach and I were in Vegas when a sex tape of Luke and I found its way to the Internet. Tonight, Zach broke up with me because”—I start to cry—“I’m ruining his image.” I sigh dramatically and then spill my guts about my life. “And if that isn’t bad enough, I’m currently filming a project and I absolutely hate my costar. Actually, that’s not right. He hates me. He says stuff that sounds polite, but is really a backhanded slam. When I can’t take it, I tell everyone that I’m going to my dressing room, but I really sneak out back and get high just to calm the fuck down. And I’ll eat healthy at craft services and then sneak in my dressing room and eat crap snacks. And, sometimes, I say I’m going to workout, but I really drive around and look at houses. I’m a house whore. I want a house—no, I want a home. I keep leasing places, but none of them are right. I’m on the beach now, and I hate it. It’s where Luke and I lived, and I just need to be somewhere else. But I have a lease, and my manager says it’s expensive, and I can’t just leave. My publicist is a bitch and probably had a hand in the whole sex tape thing and was probably fucking my ex while we were still dating. My mom hates me unless she needs money. And, sometimes, I wish I could leave the house looking like crap. Sometimes I just want to drive through, get a burger, and not be photographed. And, sometimes, when I tell someone I work with that I respect their opinion, I’m yelling fuck off to them in my head. And, sometimes, I just need a hug.”
The next thing I know, he’s wrapping his arms around me and pulling me into his chest.
Then our lips meet—slowly, softly, like he’s exploring them.
He kisses my neck. Gently unbuttons my halter—causing it to fall down and expose my breasts, which he quickly covers with his mouth.
“I have a question,” I say, after we’ve had sex twice. “I don’t want this night to end. And since you’re from Seattle and I’m from L.A., this, us—tonight—it could just be fun, right? A one-time thing?”
“Absolutely,” he says.
“And since you’re friends with the bride and groom, I assume they trust you. I’m hoping that means I can trust you too.”
“You can,” he says sincerely.
“Good.” I pull him up off the ground. “It’s still early. Let’s get the hell out of here and go have some fun.”
Meet Ashlyn & Cash in this contemporary romance releasing November 24th!
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A sexy celebrity stand alone romance by USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd.
Hollywood actress, Ashlyn Roberts, just had the worst week of her life. Her ex released a sex tape of them and just when she was convinced her current boyfriend was a keeper for standing by her side, he breaks up with her at a friend’s wedding. She’s planning to drown her sorrows in booze when she meets a sexy stranger as she’s leaving the wedding and they end up in Vegas, married.
Cash Crawford is offered a dream job working with his brother as a junior talent agent. He’ll put his shiny new law degree to good use and make a bunch of money in the process. His first task is simple: Keep Ashlyn Roberts out of trouble and don’t sleep with her.
Which might be kind of tough, since they definitely consummated their Vegas wedding.
Will this one night stand end in the quickie divorce they promised each other? Or will they realize they got lucky in love?
Jillian Dodd grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She has drank from a keg in a cornfield, attended the University of Nebraska, got to pass her candle, and did have a boy ask her to marry him in a bar. She met her own prince in college, and they have two amazing children, a Maltese named Sugar Bear, and two Labrador puppies named Camber Lacy and Cali Lucy. She is the author of the That Boy Trilogy and The Keatyn Chronicles Series.