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Authors: Janelle Denison

Wilde for Him (10 page)

BOOK: Wilde for Him
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Her heart started a hard, fast pounding in her chest, the rush of fear making it difficult for her to breath.

Ben cursed vividly. "Looks like I'll be taking care of things," he muttered, then gave Christine a quick, but adamant look. "Stay put."

Nodding, Christine touched her fingertips to the sharp stab of pain in her temples, hating that Jason was about to cause a scene in a very public place. Already, people were starting to take notice of the confrontation and were gathering around to see what happened.

"I'm sorry about this, Craig," she said, hoping that Ben could take care of her ex without things getting too out of hand. "Jason shouldn't be here, and he knows it."

"You don't need to apologize." Craig stepped in front of her, as if to shield her from potential harm. "I'll make sure he doesn't get anywhere near you."

Christine opened her mouth to thank Craig, but the words got caught in her throat as a splash of chilled liquid and bits of ice hit her in the chest area. Someone had just spilled a drink on her!

She sucked in a startled gasp and glanced back around to discover that Leanne was the culprit. The other woman stood in front of her, the drink glass in her hand now completely empty. As something cold, wet, and sticky trickled its way between her breasts and continued to spread downward, Christine's fear was suddenly eclipsed by a strong flash of fury that had her seriously considering ripping every last strand of hair from Leanne's head.

Hearing the commotion, Craig turned back around, his gaze shifting from Christine's soaked top to Leanne's feigned surprised expression. "Jesus, Leanne, what happened?"

Leanne batted her eyes innocently at him. "I'm so sorry. Someone just bumped into me and jostled my arm and my drink went flying."

Since most everyone had moved into the bar area in anticipation of a brawl, there was no one even near them now. Christine bit back a scathing remark, refusing to stoop to Leanne's childish level—or engage in the altercation she seemed to anticipate.

Leanne gave her a smile that was just as deceptive as the woman herself. "You might want to go to the restroom and use some paper towels to dry off," she suggested oh-so-helpfully.

Christine couldn't believe this was happening to her, and all at once. Between Jason belligerently challenging his restraining order, and now being soaked to the skin by Leanne's drink, Christine couldn't imagine the night getting any worse.

She knew she couldn't just stand there and drip all over the floor, but neither did she relish the thought of heading into the women's restroom where a gaggle of women would undoubtedly watch her sop up the drink another woman had spilled on her—and whisper about it behind her back. She'd much prefer a private, secure place where she could take her top off and wipe off the sticky residue on her skin.

She glanced at Craig, who was looking at her in concern, and didn't hesitate to ask a huge favor. "Would you mind if I used your private bathroom in your office, where there are clean, dry towels I can use?" And where she'd be far away from prying eyes and gossipy women.

"Of course," he said without hesitating, and gently grabbed her arm, which earned Christine an envious glare from Leanne.

Hearing a shuffling coming from the bar area, along with something crashing to the floor, Christine bit her bottom lip and tried to search through the throng of customers for Ben, and to see what was going on. Whatever was happening, it didn't sound good.

"Come on. Let's get you out of here," Craig said as he escorted her toward the back of the night club and away from the sudden mayhem going on at the bar. "Until the situation with Jason has been taken care of, it'll be much safer for you in my office, anyways."

Christine nodded gratefully. As more of the crowd swarmed toward the bar in hopes of getting a glimpse of some action, she decided that leaving with Craig was the safest, and smartest bet, until Jason was out of the club and back under the restraining order restrictions.

And in the meantime, she could clean up the mess that Leanne had made in the privacy of Craig's office bathroom.

 

Chapter Five

 

BEN strode determinedly toward Jason to put a stop to his progress toward Christine. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as it always did whenever he was about to face some kind of combat, and he rolled his shoulders to ease the tension settling there. As he closed in on her ex, he could see that the other man's bloodshot eyes were brimming with a maelstrom of emotion, and most of it wasn't of the warm, fuzzy variety. The fury and bitterness emanating from Jason was almost violent in its intensity.

Jason was so intent on getting to Christine that when Ben stepped right in front of him and put his hand out to stop him, the other man didn't even see it coming. Jason stumbled back a step from the force of colliding with Ben's unyielding arm, and caught his footing before he fell back on his ass.

Once Jason recovered from that unforeseen impediment, he glared up at Ben. "Get the hell out of my way, asshole," he sneered, fully expecting Ben to comply.

Ben didn't so much as budge. Instead, he widened his stance and crossed his arms over his chest. "I suggest you stop right where you are, turn around, and leave the night club before you get yourself in a whole lot of trouble."

Jason stared at Ben with disdain. "Who the fuck are you?"

"I'm your worst nightmare," Ben said, borrowing the famous line from his good friend Joel Wilde. Noticing how the crowd around them was closing in and looking for a scuffle of some sort, he knew he needed to put an end to the confrontation, and quickly, before it spun out of control.

Calmly, he said, "If I have to tell you to leave twice, Christine will be pressing charges and I'll be the one escorting you out of here."

"Fuck you!"

Ben was normally a very patient man, but not when it came to people who did incredibly stupid things, and Jason, at the moment, ranked pretty high up on the list. Security was finally starting to make their way through the crowd and close in, and Jason noticed, too, which made him way too unpredictable in Ben's estimation. As soon as Jason tried to shove him out of the way, Ben reacted with lightning quick speed. He caught the other man's wrist before it made contact with his chest, then twisted until Jason was forced to turn around and Ben could jam his arm up against the middle of his back to restrain him.

A struggle ensued, and as Jason tried to break free of Ben's unrelenting hold, the other man tripped and fell against a nearby table, causing bottles and glasses to crash to the floor. With the table now cleared, Ben took the opportunity to pin him there, facedown, while security put him in cuffs.

One of the guards grabbed the back of Jason's shirt and pulled him upright. "Do you want us to call the cops so you can press charges?"

Ben shook his head. "No, not this time." He actually felt sorry for the man and what he'd become—a pitiful drunk. "However, you come near Christine again, and all bets are off."

Security led Jason away, and with the other man taken care of and no longer a threat, Ben headed back to where he'd left Christine, only to find her gone, as was Craig. He glanced over at where Christine's friends were, but they weren't there, either.

Un-freakin'-believable! Where in the hell did she go? He'd given her one simple order and she'd ignored it.

He jammed his fingers through his hair in frustration. Catching sight of Leanne, he headed in her direction, figuring she'd been the last to see Christine and would most likely know what happened to her. As he approached the buxom blonde, she eyed him like a fresh piece of meat she wanted to sink her teeth into.

"Hi there," she said, gracing him with a slow, provocative smile that hinted at a more indecent proposition—if he was willing.

Annoyed by the other woman's flirtatious attempts, and needing to find Christine ASAP, he got right down to business. "Where did Christine go?" he asked.

"She took off with Craig, and considering he's had the hots for her for some time now, who knows what they're doing," she said, clearly attempting to make him jealous. She stepped closer and ran her fingers along the collar of his shirt. "You know, since you're more my type than hers anyways, maybe you and I can hook up and have some fun."

"Not interested." He so did not have time for this shit. "Now where did they go?" he demanded, more forcefully this time. Every second that passed was a second more that something could happen to Christine, and he was starting to feel anxious and edgy.

"Calm down." His rejection must have stung, because her lower lip puffed out in a pout. "They went to his private office," she admitted reluctantly. "It's right up those stairs."

She pointed across the lounge area, and Ben took off in that direction, his long-legged stride getting him there in less than a minute. He took the steps two at a time, walked down a short hallway, and came to a door marked "Private Office." He tried to turn the knob, but it was locked, and his stomach twisted with the worst kind of apprehension.

The door was solid and secure, and not one he could break open with one swift kick. So, he used his fist and pounded insistently on the surface with enough force to rattle the walls, until the door finally swung open and Craig stood on the other side with an irritable scowl on his face.

"Jesus, what the hell is wrong with you!" he bellowed.

Immediately, Ben noticed that Craig had taken off his suit jacket and tie, and his crisp white dress shirt was unbuttoned halfway down his chest. The knot in Ben's belly squeezed tighter.

Ben pushed his way inside, giving the other man no option but to let him in. "Where is Christine?" He'd already checked and she wasn't in this first room that was set up more like a mini lavish suite than an office, with a comfortable couch, a minibar, and big-screen TV.

"She's fine." Antagonism radiated off of Craig in palpable waves. "With Jason out of control downstairs, I thought she'd be much safer up here until he was taken care of."

His answer wasn't the one Ben was looking for. Standing in the middle of the room, he turned around and met the other man's stare, his own expression dark and dangerous and threatening. "Where the hell is she?"

This time, with Ben at his most foreboding, Craig didn't dick around with his reply. "She's right in there." he said, waving a hand toward an adjoining closed door. "She's using my private restroom, and she should be out in a few minutes."

Ben didn't have a few minutes to wait. He had to know that she was okay now. He strode toward the door with an irate Craig hot on his heels.

"Look, you can't just come in here and take charge like you own the place!"

"I believe I just did," Ben stated succinctly. He turned the knob and was grateful when it opened, even though he'd been fully prepared to bust this one down if it had been locked.

He stepped into the large, very plush and decadent bathroom, complete with marble flooring, an enclosed shower, and a large Jacuzzi tub. Christine, who'd been standing at the vanity in just a black lacy bra, skimpy panties, and black suede boots, sucked in a startled breath and jumped back upon his bold entrance. Her eyes widened as he shut and locked the door, then closed the distance between them.

Between Craig having shed some of his clothing, and now Christine, he automatically thought the worst—that Craig had somehow managed to take advantage of her. "Why are you undressed?" His throat felt raw.

She frowned at him and tried to cover herself with the small, damp hand towel she'd been holding. "Because I'm covered in sticky mai tai, from my chest to my thighs, and I'm trying to wash most of it off. Do you think maybe next time you can knock instead of just barging in like Conan the Barbarian?"

Covered in sticky mai tai? He shook his head in confusion, because he had no idea what the hell she was talking about. "Considering I'm in charge of making sure you're safe at all times, I'll barge in whenever the situation warrants," he said in a low, harsh whisper, just in case the walls were paper-thin and Craig could hear their conversation. "Like right now."

She lifted her chin defiantly. "Oh, really?"

"Yes, really." He was so damned relieved that she was okay, because he never would have forgiven himself if she'd been harmed in any way, but he was still more than a little pissed off at her for disobeying his orders.

Wanting her to know just how serious he was, he stepped closer, backed her up against the sink, and braced his hands on either side of her hips on the counter. His face was very close to hers, and he could smell something sweet and fruity, with a hint of rum… like a mai tai.

"I thought I told you to stay put while I handled Jason." She opened her mouth to say something, but he was quicker. "I can't do my job effectively if I don't know where the hell you are. When I tell you to wait somewhere, it means you don't leave the area. With anyone. Especially Craig."

"Jason was the threat," she said, keeping her voice hushed. "Not Craig!"

"I don't like him," he snapped. Ben knew his aversion to the man was irrational and based more on the fact that Craig wanted Christine for his own, but at the moment he didn't care.

"I asked to use his private bathroom after Leanne deliberately dumped her drink on me, which is why I'm standing here half-naked." She held her arms out to her sides, giving him a delicious glimpse of all that creamy flesh being plumped up by her push-up bra. "I'm trying to clean up the sticky mess, and I didn't anticipate an interruption!"

So that explained why she smelled like a fruity drink he wanted to taste. And it didn't surprise him at all to discover that Leanne was behind such a juvenile stunt.

He tipped his head, the beginning of a grin chasing away the brunt of his anger. "Is your life always filled with this much drama?"

"Not until you became a part of it." She smiled sweetly.

Now that he'd gotten all that tension off his chest, he straightened and stepped away from her. He kept his gaze on her face, but his peripheral vision, and his vivid imagination, had no problem conjuring her figure from the neck down. A sexy black bra encasing her small, firm breasts. A smooth, flat belly. Skimpy lace panties. Slim, sleek thighs… and those damned dominatrix, high-heeled boots.

BOOK: Wilde for Him
6.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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