Copyright © 2012 Erin Nicholas
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
The sexy redhead who’d just stepped into the bar had been wearing far fewer clothes the last time he’d seen her.
But there was no doubt that she was the woman responsible for the hottest night of his life. Dooley Miller turned back to the bar and picked up his beer.
This couldn’t be good.
“Hi, I’m looking for Douglas Miller. Do you know him?”
Just as he would have expected, his friends and co-workers parted like the Red Sea. It wasn’t that Dooley didn’t ever have women looking for him or wanting to find him. But he’d never had a woman who carried herself with such smooth confidence and obvious sophistication looking for him. None of the guys in the bar had, for that matter.
She was a whole different league.
He dated nice women, beautiful women, sexy women.
This woman was all of that times about ten thousand. Even the nice part. Though he doubted he was going to be seeing any of that in the near future.
He took a final fortifying swig, sighed and swiveled on his stool. He’d known, from minute one with her, that she wasn’t actually a stripper.
“You’re already calling her Sugar?” Mac, one of his best friends, asked.
Calling a woman Sugar did imply a relationship, after all.
Though having hot sex in public and spending an hour in jail together probably didn’t constitute a relationship.
“Sugar’s her name.”
“Actually it’s not. It’s Morgan.” She put her hand on one hip and regarded him with a mixture of amusement and irritation. An interesting combination to pull off.
Morgan. Something about knowing her real first name made him take a deep breath. “Sugar fits.” He took a drink of his beer as he watched her.
God he could still remember the taste of her skin against his tongue. And the way she moved. And the way she sounded.
All very, very sweet.
“I’m not sure that’s a compliment, considering you don’t know me.”
“I know some stuff.”
Her cheeks got pink and her eyes narrowed. “I suppose you’re going to try to convince me you played baseball for the Arkansas Travelers.”
He grinned. He’d known there was no way she’d recognize the name of his father’s favorite minor league baseball player, but he’d been sure she’d known it wasn’t his name.
“You Googled me?”
“I Googled, curious about the name you gave me. It didn’t sound totally made up.”
They’d agreed to use fake names. He’d pulled his out of his head right away. When she’d paused, probably trying to think creatively through all the Kahlua, he’d suggested Sugar. He’d also mentioned it sounded like a stripper name. She’d grinned and said, “Perfect.”
Even thirty minutes into knowing her, he’d been aware that the woman was far too high class to have ever set foot in a strip club.
“So how’d you find me?”
“You told me you were the CEO of St. Anthony’s Medical Center.”
“Did I?” Crap, that had been dumb.
“Lucky for me the actual CEO’s assistant immediately knew who I was talking about when I described you.”
“You went to his office?”
“He wants to talk to you on Monday.”
Dooley lifted his beer. He was sure he did.
“So—” she slid up onto the stool next to him, “—remember when you told me if I ever needed anything all I had to do was ask?”
He looked over at her, truly taking in the details now. She was wearing a pantsuit. A nice one that even showed a little cleavage, but a pantsuit nonetheless.
He preferred the cherry-red dress she’d worn to the fundraiser. The tight cherry-red dress that left her shoulders bare and clung to her curves.
That really didn’t sound like him. “I said that?”
“No, but it’s what you should have said.” She scowled at him. “Especially after you got me arrested and left me in jail while you paid your bail and walked out.”
Dooley didn’t have to look at his friends to know their expressions ranged from shocked to downright entertained.
In fact, he stoically avoided looking at them. “You had to pay bail?”
She frowned harder. “Fine, they finally let me out without bail. You still left me there.”
He’d paid her bail. That’s why they hadn’t asked her for it. But he didn’t want her to know it.
The whole night with this woman had been out of control from the beginning, and getting arrested had been the sobering moment when he realized he was headed for nothing but trouble with her. He’d been in a cell before. Having a mark on his record didn’t bother him. But it bothered him that he’d let things get so out of control it had affected someone else. Usually the other people with him in the cell were there because they deserved it.
In the jail cell it had become impossible to ignore that this woman was the complete opposite of the sexy-girl-just-looking-for-a-good-time she’d portrayed. He didn’t get involved with classy women. They naturally needed things he couldn’t give. Like money, for example.
That wasn’t his type. He wasn’t interested. It had been time to go.
Now she was here, had found him, in his regular hang-out. And the scene was all unfolding in front of an audience of his friends. Awesome.
“I need your help. And you owe me.”
“You need my help?” He faced her fully for the first time. He’d been avoiding it because he knew the moment he looked into her eyes, he’d feel like he’d been punched in the stomach.
He was right.
She was stunning. Her auburn hair fell to her mid-back when it was down. She had a killer body with generous breasts and curvy hips, enough for a man to have something to hold onto. But her legs were long and toned and her butt was tight.
She should have been a stripper. It wasn’t fair to humankind to not share every glorious inch.
She had a redhead’s pale, creamy skin, but there hadn’t been a freckle in sight. At least as far as he could tell. The lighting in the elevator had been good, but he hadn’t gotten her completely undressed. Just enough.
Her startlingly bright green eyes could have easily been mistaken for contact lenses, but they were real. They’d looked at him as if he could give her the world. Which had been exactly what he’d wanted her to think that first night. It was supposed to have been their last night as well.
She wasn’t looking at him like she thought he was a big shot hero right now.
He was dressed, as usual, in a pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt. His tennis shoes had seen better days, which made them his favorite shoes. They’d just come off a twelve-hour shift and he had some stubble going and knew his eyes were bloodshot from the lack of sleep he’d had last night.
He looked nothing like the man she’d met five weeks ago.
He did look great in a tux.
“Believe me, I’m not thrilled about it either,” she said, referring to needing his help. “But, as unbelievable as this may sound, I need your sophistication and—” she looked him up and down in obvious doubt, “—charm.”
There was a moment of shocked silence and Dooley braced himself.
Then his friends let loose with three equally delighted and loud whoops of laughter.
Sophistication and charm were not adjectives most people would assign him.
But Sugar—well, she’d seen his best side for sure. The side he’d almost forgotten he had.
Dammit, it had been fun.
Suddenly Kevin Campbell, another of his friends, bumped into her. Sam and Mac had shoved him forward.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, with the goofy grin that always had girls making goo-goo eyes at him.
“This is the best we can offer in the sophistication and charm department,” Mac said, slapping Kevin on the shoulder. “There are no promises here either, but he goes to church and eats with utensils.”
Dooley rolled his eyes. He deserved all of this. Had any of his friends been on the receiving end of the gorgeous redhead’s attention he would have been doing the same exact thing.
He had to get her out of here.
But before he could tell her that, she turned and looked Kevin up and down. “The next time I need to pray or have dinner I’ll keep him in mind. What I need right now, though, I need from him.” She pointed at Dooley.
Mac, Sam and Kevin raised their eyebrows in unison.
“You sure?” Sam asked.
“Oh, yeah.” She said it in a husky, seductive voice that had Dooley’s blood pumping harder.
There were only three things she knew he was good at: dressing up, playing Blackjack and giving her orgasms.