Page 3

“How’s everything at home with Nova?” I needed a slight distraction.

“She’s good. You know Nova.”

Yeah, I did. And I loved her, so that was why I was doing what I was doing.

Emotion swept through me, causing my throat to close up. Again.

God. The breakdown.

No, no, no.

And I gripped that steering wheel like it was about to fall off. “It’s not fair.”

I waited, but he didn’t reply.

I knew he wouldn’t.

I could almost hear what he’d inevitably say because he’d said it so many other times.

Life wasn’t fair. There were winners and losers. If I didn’t want to be a loser, I needed to “buck up,” get my head on straight, and wage war with cold ruthlessness. It was better to keep walking over the bloodied corpses than to join them. And my father thought anyone who shed a tear deserved to be a bloodied corpse.

I never knew if he actually meant bloodied corpse as in dead people, but that was another topic—like how I called him Duke instead of Dad—that never got discussed.

I didn’t think I wanted to know how he would clarify that phrase.

Fucking dammit.

I’d gone the block and another.

I stifled a second curse. “There are no parking spots. I’m going to have to valet the car.”

He was quiet for a moment. “You do what you need to do. The nannies are here, so you stay as long as you need to get this done.”

“I know.”

I was mentally saluting him. When he said take my time, he meant it. I brought a bag even though we lived just outside the city. Nate Monson was staying at this hotel, so as long as it took, I would be here as well.

Pulling up to the front of the Corebar Hotel, I grabbed my purse first. I’d get the bag later if it was necessary. I was still hoping it was a last-ditch effort.

“Carl did a full workup on this guy. Besides his investments, he has shown no indications he wants to settle down. I’m sure we’re in the clear here.”

My dad was trying to reassure me, going over what our PI brought to us after his cover was blown. My personal opinion? I thought Carl wanted his cover to be blown. We sicced Carl on Nate Monson because we didn’t know him. I knew he existed as Valerie’s bed buddy, but I hadn’t known him known him. Just that he, as a person, existed.

With the reason I was here, we needed to know everything we could about him, hence why we hired Carl.

And Carl wanted Monson to know he existed. That didn’t sit right with me, but it was what it was.

I was here, and I had a job to do.

“Thanks, Duke. Here’s to hoping.”


The valet guy was approaching the car.

“I gotta go.”

“Call me when you get settled.”

“Will do.”

That was the plan.

Get in. Get settled. Then scope out the lobby until Nate Monson showed up.

I was hoping to have a couple of drinks in me before that happened.

My door opened, and I handed my keys to the valet guy. “Miss.”

“Thanks.” I took the card he gave me and headed inside.

I went straight to the bar.



I was two bourbons in when she walked into the bar.

The world tipped over. That was what I was feeling, and I could only stare for a moment.

Total nerd reaction and I’d never been a nerd. Partier? Player? Asshole? For sure, but never a nerd.

I couldn’t think either.

I could only stare.

She was gorgeous. Long dark hair. Long ass legs. Tiny waist. Shit, she was slender, and she was walking like a gazelle. She was holding her hands in front of her, curled toward each other. Dark eyes. A mouth that I already knew I needed to taste.

The cutest nose, and I’d never been a guy who noticed a girl’s nose.

Breasts. Ass. Face.

Never a nose.

I was fixated on a nose.

“Are you listening to us?”


I blinked, coming back to the table. I’d been sitting, and a group of Thunder cheerleaders joined me.

“Uh… yes.”

The black-haired one laughed, leaning back in the booth next to me. She picked up her drink, swirling it around, and gave me a slow smile. “We know who you are.”

I frowned. “And who do you think I am?”

“You’re Blaise DeVroe’s brother-in-law.”


I knew this happened, but to hear it so blatantly was a whole other reality check. I was getting recognized for that little prick, that little prick whom I’d grown fond of even though we started our relationship when he was the definition of a little prick. I scowled. “Excuse me?”

“We were at a Falcon game when the jumbotron went to your box. Millie recognized you first.” She pointed across the table to the redhead, who blushed and ducked her head.

She said to the table, “I only recognized you because you’re Mason Kade’s best friend.”

Yes. All the famous folks I knew, who were not me.

“There’re, like, entire fan pages dedicated to you.” The redhead looked up, still shy, but I caught the eagerness underneath it.

I’d recognized that look before.

A woman who wanted a notch on her bed or was looking for a sugar daddy.

The other girl spoke up. “Besides, we know you’re rich.” Her eyes moved to the door, and she leaned forward with an alluring smile on her face. “You can have all three of us tonight if you want. We have no problem sharing.”

This wasn’t the first time I got that proposition, and before today, I hadn’t cared. I hadn’t minded.

Now I did, and my scowl deepened because I didn’t know why I cared. I wanted to fuck. That’d been the whole point of coming down here. See who was here, who was interested, take her to the hotel room, then send her home in a car after. A threesome should be getting my dick hard, but it wasn’t. With these women, I had a feeling a camera would be put somewhere in the room, and the video would get loaded to social media the next day. Look who we bagged? Or some shit like that as the headline.

I was getting a headache.

All three were watching me, expecting me to jump at it.

I wasn’t jumping and had no plans to. I was prepared to excuse myself when she walked in.

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