Authors: Magan Vernon,Marked Hearts
Wild For You
A Forever Wild Novella
Text copyright© 2014 by Magan Vernon
All rights reserved
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form by or any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author.
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Summary: Things seem to be finally looking up for Valerie and Wes. Valerie finally left her job and started a new company with two of her closest work friends and if that wasn’t enough of a stress reliever, she finally decided to let her true feelings show for Wes. And when they’re reciprocated everything seems to be falling in place for the girl that once thought that she’d never get anything right. But there are secrets that Wes has been keeping from her that involve her former friends with benefits, Max Green, and when they come to the surface it could put an end to Mr. and Mrs. Wild.
First Edition, January 2014
Cover Design by Sharp Covers
Cover photo by K Keeton Designs
Cover models: Walter Veale and Suzanne Patterson-Smith
Red Road Editing
Other Books by Magan Vernon
londie, tilt your head a bit more to the side. That’s it. Abs tight. Smile. Don’t smile. Good. Good."
I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing. Most wives and girlfriends would be furious that their former stripper husband was posing with a lingerie-clad female model for a book cover. But with Wes, the whole thing was beyond funny. Especially since Wes had no idea what he was doing and every move he made just frustrated the photographer. At least
Wes looked good in just a pair of black briefs.
Pam elbowed me in the side. "Your laughing isn't helping," she said through gritted teeth.
"Sorry, sorry." I took in a deep breath, trying to keep my laughter under control.
"You would think that a stripper could work it in front of the camera," Pam whispered.
I shrugged. "Maybe he's nervous."
"So is my author." Pam nodded in the direction of the girl who was standing next to the photographer and kept pointing at the female model and asking questions. Each time she got into a new pose the author would put her hands on her temple, shake her red ponytail
, and the photographer would roll his eyes.
We were getting nowhere fast.
"You know what the problem is?" The author looked at the photographer and he stopped shooting. "There is absolutely no sexual tension between them. They are supposed to have this passionate office affair and I’m not feeling anything with these two."
"What if you tried a few shots with him and his wife instead?" Pam yelled.
I blinked hard as everyone turned their gaze to me. My body definitely heated up to a million degrees as the photographer and the author sized me up from head to toe.
"Well, she's not exactly who I had in mind when I wrote the female character
"At this point, I’m willing to try anything," the photographer said.
"Hear that, Val?" Pam smacked my butt. "Let’s get you into some lingerie."
"No time." The photographer waved his hand. "Just strip down to your bra and panties and we'll work with what we've got.
"Uh, you do realize I’m not a skinny chick, right?"
The photographer raised his thick eyebrows. "And you realize that I don't play for your team and could really give two shits as long as it gets us a good photo?"
" I groaned and shucked off my skirt, kicking it at Pam. At least I shaved that morning and wore a matching black lace bra and panties. The perks of the newlywed stage, I guess.
"Is this seriously happening right now? Like for real?" The female model stood there with her arms out to the side and her mouth gaping open.
I undid the last button of my blouse, slid it off, and handed it to her. "I think it just did."
She narrowed her eyes and moved her mouth to say something but the photographer spoke first. "Take a few minutes, Melly."
"Fine," she huffed, throwing my shirt down on the ground before she stomped off.
waved his hand. “Come on, I don’t have all day. I’ve got another shoot right after this one.”
“I don’t strip down that quick,” I yelled.
He turned his head, looked me up and down, and nodded. “The tank top and panties works. Let’s go with that look and try it. Go pose with blondie number one.”
“Okay. I can do that.” I tentatively took a few steps until I was standing next to Wes in front of a brick wall and then turned to look at the photographer. “So, uh, by pose
what do you mean?”
He sighed. “Let’s start with something simple. Look into his eyes, embrace each other. Act like we’re not here and have a moment. I’ll just keep clicking and
you do what feels natural. If that doesn’t work we’ll work on a new position.”
” I turned slowly toward Wes, who grinned from ear-to-ear.
“Relax,” he whispered.
“Easier said than done with a bunch of people looking at us,” I grumbled
He put his arms around my waist, pulling me against his chest
, and pressed his forehead to mine. “It’s like you said that night at the bar.” He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. “Just look at me and pretend that I’m the only one here.”
, that’s hot!” Pam yelled.
I blinked and looked over my shoulder at her. “What? I didn’t do anything.”
The photographer was right next to her clicking away. “That’s good. Keep at that. Now, Wes, keep your eyes on her, but Valerie you look away and bite your lip.”
I did as I was told, feeling absolutely ridiculous.
“That’s it!” The photographer kept clicking. “Now, Wes, you move your lips to her neck and Valerie close your eyes, tilting your head back ever so slightly.”
I tried not to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and kept my eyes closed, feeling his warm lips against my skin and his smooth skin brush against my collarbone. It really was enough to make me wish that we were the only ones in the room.
“Good, good. Let’s do another one of you two looking at each other. Embrace,” the photographer commanded.
I opened my eyes and turned toward Wes. I wasn’t exactly sure what I should’ve done with my hands, but I just figured I’d do what felt natural. I put my right hand on his shoulder and wrapped my left hand behind
his neck. He put both arms low on my waist, his fingers tiptoeing on my tailbone.
“Does this feel natural at all to you?” I whispered.
“It’d feel more natural if I was kissing you.”
“Then kiss her!” Pam yelled
Wes smiled, a slight laugh escaping as he exhaled. “I guess we should give her what she wants?”
“Yeah.” I licked my lips.
He lifted one hand to the nape of my neck
, slightly dipping my head back as he leaned in. His lips teased mine, hovering not even a whisper away. The photographer kept clicking while he held my gaze. Then he closed his eyes ever so slowly as his lips finally met mine. It wasn’t like it was the first time kissing me or touching me, but when I closed my eyes and tasted him it was as if a chorus of church bells and fireworks went off at the same time. There was something incredibly amazing in that moment with him and I did completely forget we were in front of a group of people until I heard a loud, throat-clearing huff.
I jumped back and turned to see Pam standing there staring at me while the photographer and author
studied pictures on the camera.
Finally the author looked up with the first smile I’d seen on her face all day. “I think my main character just became a blonde vixen.”
Leaving the publicity firm I started at was bittersweet. On the one hand, they gave me my start in all things PR; on the other hand, a bunch of chauvinistic dudes ran the place and two of my best friends were leaving, so I wasn’t too upset when I decided to leave with them and join their new PR firm.
After the photoshoot Wes said he would come by the office with me to get the last of my things.
Once I put in my two weeks, I still had two weeks of work with pay, but basically all of my stuff was farmed out to other employees so there wasn’t much point in me going in anymore. I could have gone in by myself, but I had Wes with me after the shoot and figured it was better to bring him with me than to tell him to just stand outside. I wasn’t going to hide him anymore. Husband by mistake or not, I was in this for as long as he had me.
When we stepped out of the cab in front of my building I immediately grabbed his hand. After standing with him and getting pictures of us making out in front of the camera, it just felt like the right thing to do. If us making out was going to be on a book cover
, then I could show a little hand holding in the office.
Wes looked down at our intertwined hands as soon as I grabbed
his. “Are you sure about this, darlin’?”
I nodded as his eyes met mine. “Definitely. Now come on. I could use your muscle to gather up my stuff.”
“Maybe that’ll help me get some new personal training clients too, if I just walk out carrying heavy boxes.” He held up his free hand, flexing his bicep.
I shook my head as we walked into the building. “Do you even like doing the personal training thing?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess. It makes money and I get to hang out in the gym and get in a bit of a workout too.”
“But is it really what you want to do? You’ve always said that Vegas was just your stopping point on the way to LA to do music, so why stop?” I blinked, looking at him once we stepped onto the elevator
, which was completely empty except for us.
He smiled and put his hand on my cheek, running his thumb along my jawline. “Because I met you and I didn’t have to keep chasing after something when I realized that the best thing I could ever have was right in front of me.”
My cheeks grew hot and I had the biggest grin I could ever get on my face. “Why do you have to get all cheesy and romantic on me right when we’re about to go into my office?”
He took my hand and kissed it. “Because I kinda like you.”
“I kinda like you too.”
The elevator dinged for my floor and I almost wished I would have pressed the emergency stop button, but I guess we did have to get out and go into my office.
We strolled past the rows of cubes and people whispered as we walked by, but I didn’t even stop to acknowledge them. They knew I was leaving to start my own company with Pam and Abbi and if they didn’t like it, then frankly they could go fuck themselves.
“And this is the place I’ve sat at for the past year,” I said, pointing at my tiny cubicle.
“You’re not much for decoration, are you?” Wes asked.
I shook my head. “Didn’t really need much.”
“I don’t even know what you me to take. Do you even have enough to fill a box?”
I let go of his hand and grabbed the cardboard box that was folded on the side of my cube. Quickly I folded it into the box shape and set it on the desk. “I do have a few things, like this mug and some pens ...” I put my mug and some pens in the box and a few other items on the desk. Most of it was company propert
y likes staplers and the three-hole punch, but I figured if there were ten others in the supply closet then no one would miss one. I even grabbed some of the desk organizers and put it in the box.
“Valerie, I heard that you were leaving ...”
I stopped shoving supplies in my desk when I saw my freaking goober co-worker, Rodney, standing at my cube and leaning on it like he was invited to get into my business. Ever since we went to Vegas he’d been acting uber friendly, asking questions and too damn many of them. I just wanted him and his ugly-ass orthopedic sneakers to get the hell out of my cube.
“Yes, I am.”
He nodded. “And I see that you brought your husband to the office. Isn’t that nice?”
“Yeah, we were both at a meeting so he came to help pack up.” I didn’t even look up at him as I cr
ammed some more supplies in my box.
“Husband? I didn’t
know you were married.” My cube mate, Lisa, popped her head up like a meerkat over the wall.
Shit. Now it was time for the whole office to find out about Wes.
“Yeah, I met Wes here in Vegas. He came to surprise Valerie on the trip,” Rodney said with a satisfied smirk, like he was winning at something.
“Wesley Cockrell, please to meet you
, ma’am.” Wes shook Lisa’s hand and she flushed.
“Wesley? And a southern man? No wonder you didn’t say anything about him, Valerie, the women in this office would eat him right
More people popped out of their cubes and journeyed over to mine. It was like a freaking meet and greet with my husband; not exactly what I had in mind for my last day in the office
, especially when I really wanted to get as many free office supplies crammed in my box as possible.
Everyone’s faces looked equally confused when they heard that Valerie Wilder had a hot husband, but no one more confused than Mrs. Flowers, the last person I wanted to see walk to my desk.
“Wes! I didn’t know that you would be here!” She made a show of giving him a big hug as soon as she saw him, like they were old friends and she couldn’t help but show the world that she knew the hot guy in the office.
“Yes, ma’am, I’m just helping Valerie pack up her stuff and move it back to the apartment.” He smiled, always the gentleman.
“You know Valerie’s husband?” Lisa peered over, staring at Mrs. Flowers with her eyes wide.
“Husband?” Mrs. Flowers put her hand to her heart. “Since when did you two get married? I thought you just started dating?”
Shit. I had to think on my toes. This is what I was trained to do. But when I was on the spot all I could do was feel my face flush and couldn’t think of a damn thing to say. This was exactly what Rodney wanted, it seemed. To catch me in some sort of lie.
Luckily Wes was way better at being on the spot than me. He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me clos
e to him. “Yeah, kind of a spur-of-the moment thing, but sometimes when you know, you know, and have to go with what feels right.”
Mrs. Flowers clasped her hands together. “Well, that’s wonderful! We must do something to celebrate your marriage! Are you having a reception? Or at least let’s do a wedding shower. I’d love to help with something.”
I shook my head. “Oh no, you really don’t need to do anything.”
Mrs. Flowers waved her hand. “Oh please, I want to! You have to do something to mark this event.”
I looked at Wes. “I guess we could maybe do something ...”
He smiled. “Whatever you want, darlin’.”
“Isn’t he just the sweetest,” Lisa cooed.
I planned on just going to the office to get a few things packed up and I ended up walking out with an extra pile of brochures and names for caterers and event venues that everyone could dig up from their past clients. It looked like
there might be an actual wedding reception in my future.