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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com
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Son of a possessed goat. I was screwed. Oh, wait, no, that’s what I would have been doing had my satanic brother not knocked on my door and barged in.
Becca moved slightly, her face planted against my stomach. Her breath hot on my skin. Shit, I was in a bad place, a very bad place. She would be the death of me and the last thing I needed was for Reid to think I was getting all hot and bothered because Hades had eaten another pair of my underwear.
“’Sup, Bro?” I tried to act casual as I placed my hands behind my head and exhaled.
Reid’s eyes narrowed. “You look funny.”
“I just woke up.” I faked a yawn. “You’re no perfect male specimen in the mornings either, my friend.”
“Right.” Reid looked around the room, his eyes wildly searching for something. “Have you seen Becca? I went to her hut to remind her about the morning confessional and also make sure she knew what time her date with you was, but she was gone.”
I shrugged. “Maybe she died.”
Becca pinched me in the ass.
My body jerked.
“Maybe. She. Died.” Reid repeated, his eyes narrowing more and more by the second.
“I was kidding!” I laughed nervously. “She’s probably just . . . swimming. You know.” My throat was drier than the desert. “With the fish.”
“Becca hates fish.”
“She hates sharks,” I corrected. “Fish aren’t sharks. Do you even watch the Discovery Channel when I turn it on?”
“Yeah, she loves swimming, one of her favorite things to do, next to, you know . . .” Me, HA! “Art.”
“Art?” Reid looked confused. “What kind of art does she do?”
I can neither confirm nor deny that Becca was actively squeezing something that should never be squeezed in that way. Ever. And I do mean. Ever. Ever. Ever. “Er . . . she does nude art.”
And the squeeze just got worse. I kicked my feet, hoping to land one on her, but she kept squeezing.
“Nude art?” Reid laughed. “Wow, that’s kind of hot.”
“Everything about Becca’s hot.” I shrugged.
The squeezing stopped. Hey, I’d done something right!
“You really like her, don’t you?”
“Yeah, man, I really do. She’s . . . incredible.”
Was it wrong to be a bit sad at the loss of her hand?
“Hmm.” Reid scratched his head. “Hey, what’s Hades have in his mouth?”
I followed the direction of his gaze and felt my face pale. Becca’s dress. Hades had somehow grabbed it in the middle of the night and was now apparently trying to find the best way to deface it, if the way he was sitting on it was any indication.
“My dress!” I blurted. “I brought one just in case . . .”
“Dude!” Reid held up his hands. “What? Is there something you need to tell me? I mean you’ve always been sort of, like, metro, but . . .”
While trying to think of a great comeback . . . I nearly seized. As what had once been a hand was replaced by something a lot more inviting.
Damn that woman.
Damn that tongue!
“You okay?” Reid got closer to the bed. “You look a little sick.”
“Stop!” I gasped. Holy shit, I didn’t know my name. What was my name?
Reid, most likely sensing my distress, chose that moment to sit, yes, SIT on my bed. The same bed that I planned to purchase and send home and put in the middle of my living room and stare at. I would refer to it as the miracle bed. Because what was taking place? Miracle.
I clenched the sheets in my hand and swallowed as sweat trickled down my face, “No, man, hell.” I trembled. “I’m just . . .” Breathing ragged, I licked my lips. “Not feeling, right . . . shit, right there.”
“What?” Reid’s concern quickly turned to suspicion.
“Er . . .” I shook my head. “I’m going to puke!”
Reid jolted off the bed. “Dude, you know how I feel about puke!”
“Then”—oh look, heaven!—“go away!” I clenched my teeth together, snapping them as my entire body went rigid.
“Fine!” Reid held up his hands. “Just don’t forget about your confessional.”
The door slammed behind him at the exact same time I saw a billion stars give birth to tiny planets. It was also the same time that I saw the secrets to the universe and waved at a unicorn as it floated by me.
I lifted up the sheet. Becca looked at me innocently, then shrugged.
“Can I keep you?” I asked.
“That depends . . .”
“I’ll sell Reid.”
“You don’t have to sell Reid.”
“Really, I don’t mind. He can go live in Alaska for all I care, just tell me I can keep you. I want to freaking wrap you up, put you in my pocket, and never let go. Don’t make me beg.”
“Yeah.” Becca laughed. “You can keep me, but we may have to do something about the goat.”
Hades stomped and then promptly peed on Becca’s dress.
“So naked art, huh?” She winked.
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