Baby Daddy, страница 1
Table of Contents
Copyright © 2017 by Lauren Landish.
All rights reserved.
Cover design © 2017 by Coverluv.
Cover Model: Andrew England.
Photography by James Critchley.
Edited by Valorie Clifton & Staci Etheridge.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The following story contains mature themes, strong language and sexual situations. It is intended for mature readers.
All characters are 18+ years of age and all sexual acts are consensual.
Motorhead - By Lauren Landish
Excerpt: Mr. Fixit
About the Author
by Lauren Landish
A single night changes everything.
I go from town to town, never staying in one place for long. I’m always chasing the next deal, the next adrenaline rush and thriving in the great outdoors.
Until one fateful trip, one chance encounter. When I meet her... my beautiful Rose.
It was only supposed to be one night. No strings attached. Our chemistry was off the charts and we didn’t fight it.
But ever since then, she's all I think about. Replaying the perfect night over and over and thinking about what could've been.
Now I'm back in her town, and it could be my one chance to claim what should have been mine forever and not for just one night.
I've got it all figured out. But as soon as I see her, I come to a screeching halt. What's with the anger in her eyes? And whose baby is she carrying?
Am I too late to make her mine?
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Have you read all the current books in this series?
Book 1: Anaconda (Brianna & Gavin)
Book 2: Mr. Fiance (Mindy & Oliver)
Book 3: Heartstopper (Roxy & Jake)
Book 4: Stud Muffin (Hannah & Tony)
Book 5: Mr. Fixit (Cassie & Caleb)
Book 6: Matchmaker (Emily & Hayden)
Book 7: Motorhead (McKayla & Evan)
I flip through the rack of dresses, looking for the sparkly black one I know will be perfect. My boutique has a lot of things, but one item that I do better than anyone in town is dresses. Proms, weddings, engagements, whatever . . . you want something unique for that special day, I’m the woman you see.
The problem is, I think to myself as I go through the next rack, I’m running out of space to keep everything on the floor. Prom dresses aren’t exactly like selling lingerie. They take up a lot of space.
Just when I’m about to grunt in frustration, I see it. I’ve got a sorting system for all of my dresses . . . I just have a problem remembering what, exactly, that system is at times. “A-ha!”
“Find it, dear?” asks my customer, a lovely middle-aged woman who’s been trying on dresses for an hour now in preparation for her twentieth anniversary. She wants something special, and as I pull out the hanger, I know she’s going to be happy. Slinky but not skintight, with a spray of jewels on the left side of the top, it’s perfect for a woman who wants to look sexy without showing too much skin.
“Found it, Mrs. Alameda! You’ll have to pick your husband’s jaw up off the floor if you wear this on your night out.”
I slip the dress past the dressing room curtain, a smile taking over my face as I hear her gasp in delight. It’s a good dress, one I picked up online for a lot less than it should have been from a designer who sells one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy. I’m not one to care about names, but if the dress looks great, I’ll snatch it up for myself or for the store.
“It’s perfect! Thanks, Rose!”
She comes out of the dressing room, and I’m impressed. She’s rocking that dress like nobody’s business. “Whoo-whee, you wear that and you’re going to be getting the attention of more than your husband. Hope you know you’re going to be causing whiplash.”
Mrs. Alameda blushes, running her hand through her long, thick black hair, and she shrugs a little. “Well, as long as John enjoys it . . . but I feel like—”
“Like we need some accessories,” I finish for her before she can start the negative self-talk. Sure, retail therapy isn’t as good as a shrink, but I try my best without screwing my customers. “I know just what’ll go with this.”
A little more rummaging around, and I find a long necklace with pearl accents that goes great with the dress, and a pair of peep-toe booties too. “What do you think?”
“I think,” she says, grinning, “that I’m going to have a really good anniversary.”
Ten minutes later, Mrs. Alameda is on her way to knock her man’s socks off, or maybe his shorts, if things go according to plan.
“Another happy customer,” I say to myself, warm with the satisfaction of a job well done as I lock the door behind her to close for the day. Totaling out the register for the day, I’m thrilled to see the daily receipts match the running sum I always keep in my head.
I quickly export the info into my accounting software and do a little wiggling shake of celebration as I realize my sales are on track to make this my best month yet.
At least I’m a rousing success in this area of my life. I’ve worked incredibly hard since graduating college with both business and marketing degrees, making my dream of owning my own boutique a reality.
I hadn’t known a single person when I moved to Great Falls, a sleepy little subu
It was perfect for me and my new venture, the Mountain Rose boutique. I don’t know if it’s magic or not, but since the new Mountain Spirit Resort went in and my friends McKayla and Brad opened their salon down the street from me, my customer base has definitely grown. I’ve turned the corner, and I’m kicking ass and taking names.
Every day, I help people create fashionable looks that represent who they are, or sometimes who they want to be. I scour fashion magazines and decide which trends will sell to my demographic, and I order thoughtfully to make sure the profit margin stays well into the positives.
I think my main strength is that I give each customer what I think is best for them and work to make sure they walk out looking their most awesome, whether it’s tight pants, long or short cuffs, high waists, low waists, whatever.
So yeah, I’m a Boss Bitch. I love every facet of owning my own business . . . the people, the clothes, the marketing, the strategy, all of it.
It’s definitely a good thing I love it so much, because it’s basically all I have. The boutique’s been my whole focus for years now, taking up every minute of my days and nights, overwhelming my mind with swirling ideas and requiring every drop of my spirit. At first, it was because I couldn’t afford to do it any other way. I had plenty of weeks where I ate cheap ramen noodles for dinner because that was all I could afford. I’m not quite at the level of eating filet mignon or fresh Atlantic salmon nightly, but that’s okay. It’s been worth it. Until now.
Something about achieving a level of success I’d barely dared to dream of has me thinking, now what?. I’m satisfied with my life, I guess, but I really thought by now I’d have a husband, a couple of kids, and a white picket fence. Hell, maybe even a dog or a cat.
But none of that has happened. Seriously, who gives a damn if I’ve sold a ton of dresses that made women look fabulous? I don’t want my headstone to read Here Lies Rose Samuelson. She Really Knew How to Make a Bitch Look Her Best.
I’d like to have more than that, but no man has walked into my women’s clothing boutique to sweep me off my feet. The closest I’ve gotten is Brad, who co-owns the salon down the street with my friend McKayla. And while he’s basically my new bestie, he’s definitely not the type to sweep me off my feet. More likely, Brad would swish about until his boyfriend Trey swept him off his feet, and neither would even notice me with all of my girliness.
So no Mr. Right for me yet. Which is understandable. He’d have to come in here because it’s basically the only place I go besides home. And if he’s looking for women’s clothing, he’s probably either married or a cross-dresser.
And while there’s nothing wrong with cross-dressing, I really don’t share my clothes well, so that’s out, and a married guy is definitely on the no-go list. I’ve joked about getting a cat, something to keep me company at home and curl up under the desk at the boutique, but Brad says that’s a surefire way to run off customers.
“Especially with the amount of silky fabrics you have here, honey,” he’d said the last time the conversation came up two months ago, fingering a slip set I had on display. “The claws and fur would turn this into a tufted ball of fuzz in two days.”
I’d laughed when he’d fake-hissed and scratched the air like a bitchy kitty, but I realized he was right. A cat in a clothing store does sound like a match made in hell.
“Great,” I grumbled as he did a full Z-snap of victory when I admitted he was right. “But you know my biological clock is ticking. Tick-tock-tick-tock. Besides, it’s not the cat I really want. It’s the husband and kids.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not gonna string you along. You’re my bitch and all, but even as cute as you are, I just can’t help you with that little issue,” he says with a grimace as he gestures to my crotch. “I don’t swing that way for any woman. Trey would kick my ass, and not in the fun way like at the gym where I get treats afterward.”
I laugh now at the memory as I finish sweeping the floor. But the laughter seems forced. My biological clock never seems to stop its annoying little song deep in my core. I’m only thirty, but it’s so damn loud sometimes. I’ll see women walking along Main Street with squishy little babies bundled up tight in soft blankets, all cozy in their strollers. The ones that really pierce my heart like an arrow are the moms kissing their baby’s heads as they bounce along in a sling across the mom’s body, heart to heart with each other.
That sight is always a bittersweet moment for me . . . so sweet and so not me. I sometimes wonder what my baby might look like. I imagine fluffy tufts of hair the color of silk like my blonde locks, maybe even blue eyes?
Somehow, the dad’s coloring never plays into my fantasy since he’s an unknown and it’s my dream. I mean, when I’ve had fantasies, they’ve run the gamut, and are all equally impossible. Jason Momoa hasn’t walked into my store anytime recently, and neither has Ryan Phillippe. I’d take either one. I’m not choosy. Shaking my head to let the imaginary baby drift away, I gather up my things and head home. To my empty house. Again.
Curled up on the couch, halfway through my takeout fettuccine Alfredo, I sigh. There’s a rerun of some old sitcom on, although I have no clue what it is or even what the episode’s about. One of the dangers of cable, I guess. You can easily veg out, and the box isn’t going to stop pumping sound and video into your living room.
“What the . . .?” I wonder, setting down my fork. The fettuccine is cold. I’ll probably have to nuke the stuff to make it halfway palatable again, but that’s not what’s roused me from my stupor. Looking around my small living room, I blink for a moment before there’s another knock at the door. “Oh . . . just a second!”
I climb off the couch and hurry over, opening up to find Brad leaning against the frame. Before I can say anything, he looks me up and down and starts tsking me. “Girl, you own the premier fashion institute in town. The one and only person I trust to find me accessories, yet currently, you look homeless, and not in the distressed chic scissor-slashed way.”
After completing his head-to-toe summary of my disheveled appearance, he sashays in, not bothering to wait for an invitation.
The brassy bitch. I stare after him, knowing that if anyone else barged in on my downtime, I’d be pissed. But Brad is allowed certain privileges since he’s my nearest and dearest in Great Falls. But that doesn’t mean he gets a free walk. “It’s called comfort home wear, Brad. You should try it sometime. Unclench your nuts from those skinny pants.”
“Mmm-hmm . . .” he says, not disturbed at all. “Trust me, honey, I get plenty of chances to free-ball in my free time.”
I groan, closing my door as Brad heads to the kitchen. “Well, then I get plenty of dress-up time too. And now it’s my dress-down time . . . but please, no free-ballin’ now.”
“Touché. Fine, I’ll stay dressed appropriately and you can stay . . . like that.” I can hear the smirk in his voice as he roots around in the cabinets. As his head pops up, he lifts a green bottle. “All right, I hereby call this night to order. Initiate wine and dinner. I brought chicken and feta salads, but I see you’ve jumped the gun and started in on the pasta. Thankfully, this Chardonnay goes well with both.”
I laugh at how comfortable he is, taking over the evening without so much as a second thought. “Fine,” I reply, elbowing my way past his thin frame to head over to my cabinet. I grab him a plate and pull down two wine glasses. “I brought home enough pasta for us to split if we share the salad too.”
Shaking his head sadly, Brad starts putting salad on one plate, leaving a good chunk of it in the bowl he brought it in. “No pasta for me. Trey has me counting my carbs, and pasta in cream sauce would b
Looking back down at my previously delicious plate with a frown, I sigh and stick the rest of it in the fridge. “Yeah, going over to Casa de Rosseti is probably not the best choice, but it was fresh and hot, and the best part . . . I didn’t have to cook it.”
Brad laughs and uncorks the bottle. “I know just what you mean, girl. And if I could, I would, but considering my trainer also sees me naked, it serves me well to follow his nutrition plan. Otherwise, I hear it from both my trainer and my boyfriend. Hell no on that.”
Grinning, I think of Brad’s boyfriend. They met at the gym. Where else, I guess. What started out as a ‘free trial trainer consultation’ progressed to Brad asking Trey out a few days later. They hit it off pretty quickly and have been inseparable and adorable ever since. Yeah . . . I’m a little jealous. “Where is Trey tonight? Figured y’all would be out?”
Brad shrugs and does little air quotes with his fingers. “He had a ‘work emergency’ down at the gym.”
“He’s a personal trainer,” I note, confused. “How the hell does he have a work emergency at nine on a Friday night?”