Authors: Karpov Kinrade
Copyright © 2014 Karpov Kinrade
Cover Art Copyright © 2014 Karpov Kinrade
Published by Daring Books
Edited by Ally Bishop
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.
For Ally Bishop
9 – The Remaking of Kacie Michaels
25 – The Devil Is in Me, and It's Coming Out
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...
Or it changes your life forever.
He called me "wife."
This man standing naked in front of me. Tall. Dark. Sexy as sin...
He's my husband?
Disjointed images from the night before, the night I can’t entirely remember, float into my mind. Meeting him in the bar. Sharing tidbits of our lives. I own a company that plans bachelor parties. He’s a pediatric heart surgeon. We both live in Las Vegas, but we come from very different worlds.
And then I remember that kiss. The way his lips brushed against mine, gentle at first, then harder, deeper, with more urgency. Sex in the elevator. Hot, forbidden, delicious. I remember the way he made me feel. The way our bodies fit perfectly together.
But I don’t remember marrying him.
And now, he won’t let me go. Dr. Sexy who saves children for a living. He wants the summer to prove we are meant to be.
I can give him a summer.
But can I give him a lifetime?
*This is a contemporary romance novel with a happily ever after. It does NOT have a cliffhanger ending.
"Wife?" I look down at the new ring on my left hand and see a similar ring on him as he stalks toward me in all his glorious nakedness. The water from his recent shower gives his ripped, tan body a sexy sheen.
Our bed is disheveled in a way that only all night fucking can accomplish. Empty bottles of Dom Pérignon litter the high-end hotel room I've unexpectedly woken up in. I've retrieved most of my clothes but stand holding one red high heel; the other is still lost somewhere.
"We appear to have had too much to drink last night," he says with a smirk on his handsome face, cobalt blue eyes penetrating. "I think we both got a bit carried away."
I pull my eyes off his body and focus them on his face, which doesn't help me as much as you might think, because this man is the most gorgeous male specimen I've ever seen in my life, and I work with strippers. Well, okay, mostly I work with women since I own a company that plans bachelor and bachelorette parties, and men are more likely to hire strippers than women. But still, I've seen my share, and this man... I can't even...
With all the intelligence of my Ivy League business degree apparently out to lunch, I repeat again, "Wife?"
He's still naked, by the way, as he moves closer to me and reaches for my left hand. Heat floods me as our skin makes contact. He caresses the gold band on my left hand. "Wife."
His voice is husky and deep, and it sends shivers up my spine as my temporary, alcohol-induced amnesia fades, and a memory from the night before makes a belated appearance at the party.
I remember him. He was to our right, at a table near the bar, smiling at me with too perfect teeth. My twin brother, Tate, ever the womanizer, nudged me. "I've got my eye on the woman at that table," he said, pointing to a perky blond who was nearly drooling over him. Not that I blamed her. I mean, he's my brother, but I'm not blind. "So you should go for this guy. He's clearly into you."
My best friend, Vi, grinned at me from across the bar, where she'd cozied up to a shy but cute guy that didn't stand a chance against her shapely curves, wild red hair and green eyes. We hadn't been out like this in so long; we'd all been too busy working, building our businesses. Tate works with me at Hitched, and Vi, well... Vi has a unique niche market going in the dominatrix world.
When my brother left me at the bar to woo the panties off the blonde, Mr. Sexy strode over in his suit and tie, exuding confidence, a dark mop of hair offsetting eyes that were an unreal shade of blue. I could tell I was about to have my panties wooed off me as well, and I didn't mind one bit.
"Is this seat taken?" he asked, pointing to where Tate had been sitting.
I smiled. "Not anymore. I think my brother has found someone more exciting to entertain him."
"I find that hard to believe." He slid into the chair, his leg brushing against mine as he pulled in closer.
"Because you know me so well and can with confidence say I'm the most entertaining person here?" I teased, sipping my cocktail.
"I'm good at reading people." He held out his hand, and I took it. "I'm Sebastian Donovan. It's a pleasure to meet you." Instead of shaking my hand, he brought my knuckles to his mouth and, while maintaining eye contact with me, caressed my skin with his lips in a feathery light kiss.
"Kacie Michaels. Nice to meet you," I said as I silently gave my panties notice that they wouldn't be needed for long.
Other memories are still shadows pulling at my pounding head, trying to break free. "What happened last night?" I ask, still processing the rings. There's no way we tied the knot like drunken assholes in Vegas. Not. Even. Possible.
He hands me some paperwork I hadn't noticed sitting on top of the mahogany dresser. "This happened. I admit to being as surprised as you."
I raise an eyebrow. "I very much doubt that."
His grin falters. "Do you really not remember?"
I look down at the paper. It's a marriage license, signed and stamped and very official looking. Holy shitballs. What the fuck have I done?
"Bits and pieces are coming back," I admit. "But I don't remember this," I say, holding up the paperwork. "This can't be legal."
"I'm afraid it is. I already made a call to my attorney while you were sleeping. Unless you're already married to someone else?" Now he raises his eyebrow, and I scowl.
"I think I'd know if I was previously married."
His lips curve into a sardonic grin, and I sigh at the irony of my own words. "Don't give me that look, dude. This isn't standard operating procedure for me, and I'm guessing—hoping—it's not for you either."
"This is a first," he assures me. "You're the first."
My heart flutters, whether at his words or the way he says them, with heat and desire and all the things that landed me in this spot right now. I know I'm not his first sexual experience. That much is clear. I guess that makes me his first wife. Um, great?
As the crowd at the bar grew louder, we moved closer to talk. I couldn't help but notice how good he smelled, a spicy, woody scent with hints of cinnamon and cardamom. It made me want to taste him.
As if reading my mind, mid-sentence he leaned in, cupped my face with his hands, and pressed his lips to mine. He tasted like expensive red wine, and he deepened our kiss, exploring my mouth with his, our tongues teasing each other.
When the kiss ended and he pulled away, I felt deflated and aroused all at once. I missed the feel of him, the contact with his body, and a need grew in me that I hadn't felt in quite some time.
He licked his lips and smiled. "I've been wanting to do that since I first saw you walk in with your brother and friend."
I flushed at the thought that he'd been watching me that long. We'd been here for hours.
"You make quite an impression with a first kiss," I said.
"That's just a taste of what's to come." He winked. I nearly swooned. Not actually swooned, because, you know, I'm not a too-tight-corset-wearing damsel from the Victorian era, but if I'd been standing, there'd for sure be some wobbly knees.
This man. He was delicious, and I wanted more.
I plucked the cherry from my drink and sucked on it in a seductive way. "You're not the only one with skills," I said.
He was sitting so close, his knee was between my legs, one hand on my thigh, pushing up the red dress I was wearing. "Shall we go somewhere and explore these skills in more… depth?"
I didn't need to touch him to tell he had enough in his pants to give true depth to those promises. I reached for my purse and caught Tate's eye. He looked at both of us, then smiled and mouthed, "Have fun!"
We walked out of the bar, Sebastian’s hand on my lower back, lingering just a little bit too low, fingers exploring the curve of my ass. And I didn't mind a bit. Believe me, if I did, I'd make my thoughts clear. No one has ever accused me of being too shy to express my feelings.
But right now, with this man, there was only one feeling I wanted to express, and it required considerably less clothing.