Bad Boys for Hire_Nick, страница 1
Bad Boys for Hire: Nick
Bad Boys for Hire Series #3
Bad Boys for Hire Series
Playing Without Rules - Excerpt
Excerpt from Santa’s Pet
Carol was an avid mountain climber until an accident left her in a wheelchair. Love is the last thing on her mind when she hires Nick to play Santa. Shocked at the sensations he elicits, she resists him and decides to date a good guy—a disabled firefighter.
Nick is drawn to Carol like a magnet to iron, and he sets out to prove that bad boys who hire themselves out can be good boys, too—especially in bed.
Carol discovers she’s not dead to passion, but when Nick’s dirty laundry is aired, she regrets choosing the naughty over the nice. Will the spirit of Christmas teach her that sometimes, a huge lump of coal can turn into the brightest diamond of love?
Bad Boys for Hire Series
Ryker, Book #1
Ken, Book #2
Nick, Book #3
Copyright © 2016 by Rachelle Ayala
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real events or real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
All trademarks belong to their respective holders and are used without permission under trademark fair use.
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Cover Design: Rachelle Ayala
Proofreader: Kimberly Dawn
Created with Vellum
To Carol Smith, thanks for hooking me to Sudoku and sharing your passion for puzzles, games, sports and dancing.
“How many times have I told you not to have sex?”
Nick Wolff propped his feet up on his boss’s desk and shrugged. “It just came up.”
“Then bring it down. Take a cold shower. Lop it off. Whatever.” Rex Carter, owner of Bad Boys for Hire Entertainment Services, stabbed an index finger at Nick. “All the other certified Bad Boys seem to have no trouble keeping their pants on.”
If only he knew.
Nick couldn’t help the way his lips twisted into what he hoped was not a knowing smirk. After all, he wasn’t the only entertainer who slept with the clients. He was the only one they complained about.
“Who was she? The banker? Or the doctor?” Nick looped his fingers together behind his head and affected an uncaring attitude. Whatever complaints had nothing to do with the sex department and more to do with his “no-repeats” policy for certain clients.
“It doesn’t matter. You signed an employment contract.” Rex’s voice was gruffer than usual. “No sex with clients. What’s so hard to understand? You’re damaging the reputation of Bad Boys for Hire. If word gets out that we’re providing sexual services, bookings will go down and our former clients will no longer refer us to their friends.”
Rex Carter’s Bad Boys for Hire was a cross between an escort service and an impersonator service providing actors and entertainers for parties, events, fake dates, and other situations where women felt the need to “hire a hunk.”
Nick had signed the contract forbidding sex as part of the offerings. But hey, stripping and exotic dancing stimulated appetites, and he simply hated for a woman to go away hungry, especially a well-heeled one with plenty of greenbacks to spare.
Technically, none of the women were clients when he gave them their happy endings. He’d had them sign a waiver stating he was off the clock and not liable for damages. They’d been so eager to sign they didn’t read the fine print.
Entertainer reserves the right to deny repeat engagements.
All that didn’t matter now that Rex was breathing down his neck. Nick had a boatload of student loans and no job to show for his expensive private college history degree.
“It won’t happen again.” Which was exactly what he’d told the former clients. Nick dropped his feet to the ground and prepared to stand. “Have you ever wondered why all the complaints I get happen after I refuse additional services? Not before?”
Rex slapped both hands on his desk. “That’s another problem. You’ve worn out your welcome with the executive class clientele. I’m putting you on probation. You can hang up your Sexy Santa act, because from now on, you’re doing nothing but children’s parties.”
“But Sexy Santa’s one of our biggest revenue generators,” Nick argued. He was the most popular entertainer, and he’d gotten the act down, including the surprise parties where he showed up half-dressed in a G-string and Santa hat, no pants required, with his bag of goodies.
“Your last two clients canceled their bookings, so it’s children’s parties for you.” The corners of Rex’s lips turned down into a frown. “Just be glad I have something for you to do.”
“You mean the Obsessive Book Whores and the Nasty Naughty Vixens?”
“Yes, they were highly unsatisfied with your Halloween performance.”
“Right. I wouldn’t touch either of them with a hollow weenie.” The event organizers of those two romance reading groups tried to blackmail him into sleeping with them in exchange for the Christmas gig. “I bet they lied about me, because they wanted me to audition for the job in bed, and I refused.”
“Then you should be glad to do children’s parties.”
“I can’t believe this.” Nick didn’t mind children climbing all over his lap. The problem was the tips, or lack thereof. Harried parents dealing with bouncing-off-the-wall children careening off sugar highs weren’t about to stuff a twenty down his pants the way horny women did, trying to cop a feel at the same time.
“Believe it.” Rex flipped through a thick file folder. “I have you scheduled for preschools, charity organizations, and toy drives.”
Nick winced and brushed his hand through his thick locks
“Tough.” Rex slapped the folder into Nick’s hands. “Here’s your schedule for the next three weeks. Get out of here and stay out of trouble.”
Nick needed the gigs, truth to tell, otherwise he would have shoved the folder back at Rex. The only reason he hadn’t been fired was because Rex’s sister was married to his brother.
Not bothering to say goodbye, Nick stalked out of his boss’s office and shuffled through the information sheets. Mission Hills Montessori, The French Academy, Happy Hummingbirds Preschool, Bumblebees Dance Club …
His eyebrows rose and he blinked, not sure he was reading it right.
The Bumblebees Dance Club was holding their party and toy drive at the Club Rachelle, a biker bar and nightclub, to benefit a charity called Wheelympics.
Pretty sketchy for a bunch of preschoolers to be dancing at a biker club. What was this world coming to?
“Five, six, seven, eight,” Carol Cassidy shouted and raised her hands above the loud beat of the music. “Body roll, on your toes, turn around, whip to the side. One, two, three, four. Toss your head. Shuffle right, shuffle left.”
Her best friends in the world hip-hopped in front of her. They’d been together since preschool days when they were part of the Busy Bumblebees dance team.
She, however, was a newcomer to the group, introduced to them when her brother, Ken, married Jolie Becker, the willowy slim redhead who was allergic to almost everything under the sun.
The speakers pulsed as Carol steered her wheelchair from one end of the line to the other, barking counts like a drill sergeant on speed. Her friends were working up a sweat, thanks to the difficult routine she’d choreographed.
Some might call her a sadist, some might say she was insane, but before the accident which left her a paraplegic, Carol was an avid mountain climber and she never shirked from hard physical exertion. Now that she was confined to a wheelchair, she worked out by dancing and propelling herself around the local high school track.
“Come on, you can do it. Faster, faster.” She clapped her hands. “Move that body, move, move. One, two, three, four, kick, kick.”
“Stop the music. Stop! I’m dying here.” Terri Martin Slade flounced on the floor, her lungs heaving like bellows. “Can we do something slower?”
She was big-boned and very blond, and was always on a diet. It was her idea to use the dance routine as a workout. Terri spent her life around flowers since she owned a flower shop, and the rest of the time, she tooled around on a Harley with her new husband, biker Ryker Slade. Just the other day, she was complaining about her sedentary lifestyle. Carol wasn’t about to cut her any slack.
“Get up, Terr. I’ll jiggle along with you.” Reaching for the music player, Carol cranked up the volume.
“We’ve been at it for hours,” Nikki Chu, a slender, but out-of-shape Asian woman huffed and puffed. “Hate to say it, but I’ve already gotten my ten thousand steps for the day.”
“What’s ten when you can go for twenty? Where’s your spirit for challenge?” Carol grabbed the push rims, the circular wheel that extended from the tires of her wheelchair, and turned one forward and the other backward so she could spin in a circle. “Come on, girls. Let’s jam.”
She spun and lifted up in a wheelie while bobbing her head and wiggling her shoulders. “No let up. Move that body. Move. Move.”
“I have to watch my pulse rate.” Her sister-in-law, Jolie, rubbed her nonexistent baby bump. Not only was she newly wed, but she was also newly pregnant and used her OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, as an excuse to loaf.
“Sorry, no excuses, whatsoever.” Carol wagged her finger. “Not until the third trimester. Anyone else chickening out?”
She wheeled around Leanna Rivera, a cake and pastry chef who owned a bakery, and Sherelle Edwards, a caterer of environmentally friendly food.
“We’re good.” Leanna bounced and jogged in place, or rather, her prominent boobs bounced and brought the rest of her body along with her. Meanwhile Sherelle snapped her fingers, popping and locking her arms, elbows, shoulders and neck. She was the only one who didn’t look like she broke a sweat.
“Great, let’s hit it.” Carol got in front of the Bumblebees and pushed and pulled her wheels to the frantic beat. Now that her broken back had healed and she was done with rehab, she was able to propel herself and did not need anyone to push her chair or help her get in and out of it.
Her injury was at the thoracic level, somewhere below T7 or 8, which meant she had the full use of her arms and hands, but no control of muscle movement below her waist.
The music thumped with a loud, fast beat, and Carol twisted and turned in her chair, whipping her neck and cracking her shoulders. Sherelle and Leanna bopped and kicked, twisting their lithe and perfect bodies to the hip-hop rap.
Carol closed her eyes and let the sweat run down her face. She worked her muscles harder and put all her energy into the dance routine.
She could never forget what happened that horrible day when she slipped on ice and fell off a cliff. She’d been stupid and foolhardy that day, insisting on the climb despite the tricky conditions. It had been going well, too, until she found herself tumbling down the side of the mountain.
Gut grinding fear ripped and clawed through her body as she slammed and bounced down the rocky face. Pain exploded like a million dentist drills whirring through every nerve ending. When she hit the bottom of her fall, she wasn’t sure whether she was alive or dead.
Did the dead feel pain?
Could the living not move?
Lying on her shattered back, blinded by the sun and waiting for help had been the longest, most horrifying moments in her life. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she dreaded the truth.
She was paralyzed. Frozen in time. Trapped. The active life as she knew it was over.
Later, she learned that she had tumbled like a rag doll down the entire face of Baldy Bowl—roughly 1,000 vertical feet. Thanks to her climbing helmet, she’d escaped brain damage and death, but she’d lost all sensation and control below her waist.
Carol shuddered at the flashbacks that still plagued her and threw herself into dancing. The hip hop music pulsed and boomed as the rappers spit out their lyrics. Carol let herself go. She raced across the studio, spinning and popping wheelies, throwing her head back and forth. Let the lazy half of the Bumblebees sit out. They didn’t appreciate what they had: a pair of legs that still worked, beauty, sexiness, and most importantly, a normal life.
Terri and Jolie were married to hot and fit men, and Nikki flirted with every man she could bat an eyelash at. Leanna always had one or two guys sniffing around, although she wasn’t serious about any of them. As for Sherelle, she didn’t date—but that was by choice. She thought most guys were dweebs, and she never could tolerate fools.
Which left Carol as the only one going to the Bumblebees’ Christmas Gala without a date, not by choice.
The music stopped in an instant. Carol’s stepsister, Marisa Monroe, had turned off the sound system. She stalked toward her, displeasure written on her face, as she pointed to her watch. “Your time’s up. We have to take you to the bathroom.”
Grrr … Marisa was a nurse, and after Ken moved out to marry Jolie, she’d moved in and decided Carol couldn’t be trusted to take care of her own health.
“I’ve been sweating. I’m sure I don’t need to go,” Carol said, as the rest of the Bumblebees took deep drinks out of their water bottles.
Since her injury, she could no longer feel the urge to go to the bathroom, and she relied on scheduled pit stops to keep her systems functional.
“We wouldn’t want you to get an infection.” Marisa pushed on the back of Carol’s wheelchair.
Carol locked the brakes to prevent it from moving. Why, oh, why, had she let Marisa move in? It wasn’t as if she needed a housemate. When she was first injured, her brother Ken had lived
She not only drove with hand controls, but also bought her own groceries. But Marisa seemed to think she couldn’t do anything.
“Stop being stubborn,” Marisa said, pushing harder.
Sherelle stepped forward. “Carol doesn’t need your help. Why don’t you go find someone else to worry about?”
“We’re ready to dance some more,” Nikki said, switching on the music.
Jolie, Terri, and Leanna wedged Marisa away from the wheelchair as Carol spun back onto the dance floor.
Marisa stomped back to the sound system and shut off the music again.
“Marisa!” Carol shouted. “Stop being bossy. Why don’t you go back to your guest?”
She nodded toward a pregnant woman who had been sitting with Marisa, taking notes on the dance routine.
“Mom told me to watch over you,” Marisa said. “Remember that infection you got when Ken took you surfing and you lost track of time?”