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Chapter One

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Jaci Burton/
Wild, Wicked & Wanton
/Unedited Advance Reading Copy Berkley Heat/May, 2007



Berkley HEAT

May 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-425-213834

Unedited Advance Reading Copy

For Review Purposes Only

Jaci Burton

[email protected]

This is an uncorrected review copy and not for sale. It contains errors and other text not found in the final printed novel and is for review purposes only. Please don’t share the text with anyone without first receiving written permission from the author to do so.


Jaci Burton/
Wild, Wicked & Wanton
/Unedited Advance Reading Copy Berkley Heat/May, 2007

It was time for end-of-semester evaluations. Maybe Wild

that’s why he wanted to see her. The two semesters she’d spent at Silverwood Veterinary Hospital had been damn near perfect.


Silverwood Vet Hospital was one of the best in Oklahoma.

Hell, she’d love to work there permanently if she didn’t have a driving ambition to set up her own practice after graduation.

Jumping the gun was a really bad idea. For all she knew, Mike was going to tell her she had no future as a vet Chapter One

when she stepped into his office.

Quit being such a baby, Abby.
Did she leave her self-Abby Lawson stood outside the door to Dr. Mike esteem at home today? If her friends Blair and Callie could Nottingham’s office and raised her hand to knock, then hear her thoughts, they’d smack her.


That’s what she needed right now. A good slap in the
Okay, dumb ass. He called you to his office for a
face from her two best pals. They were great at pumping up her
reason. If you’re going to make a decent veterinarian, you’ve
ego when she needed a boost. And she sure needed one at the
got to stop quaking in your boots every time one of the docs
moment. Or a swift kick in the ass, anyway.

wants to see you.

Knock on the freakin’ door
! She rapped lightly.

She should have had an orgasm this morning. Now she

“Come on in,” Mike called out.

was a jumble of pent up anxieties. Okay, she was always a She stepped in and closed the door behind her. Mike jumble of pent up anxieties, but today more than usual.

was on the phone and motioned her to one of the chairs in front It was all her ex-husband’s fault. If Chad hadn’t been of his desk. She slipped into the chair and as Mike turned to the such a lying, cheating, whoring son of a bitch, she might be a side, she admired his profile. He wore his black hair a little satisfied, happy woman. Instead, she was embarking on her long and it curled at the ends. Thick, she itched to grab hold of first career, scared shitless and perpetually horny because she it and run her fingers through the shiny darkness. He was tall, had no man in her life, no prospects for a man, no time for a about six two, she’d guess. Not overly bulky, but more like a man, and no desire to ever repeat the mistakes she’d made in runner, all lean muscle. He wore jeans and a polo shirt that the past. Too bad her sex drive didn’t understand the
no man
showed off his well-toned pecs and arms. Always relaxed, part. Her libido wanted a man in the worst way.

casual, and smiling. And tan.

It wasn’t going to get one. Right now she had to Maybe he laid naked by his pool and worked on concentrate on her career, not sex. And career meant focusing beautifying his already gorgeous body. Her pussy twitched.

on what Mike wanted to talk to her about.

Great, Abby. Good idea to launch a fantasy while sitting in the

Jaci Burton/
Wild, Wicked & Wanton
/Unedited Advance Reading Copy Berkley Heat/May, 2007

boss’s office. Might as well just slip your hands between your
end up doubled over against the counter with tears streaming
legs and start masturbating right now. I’m sure he won’t
down her face.

e. Ugh.

“Your internship is almost finished, Abby,” Mike said,
Career, remember? Not men. And definitely not this
capturing her attention.


“I know.” She felt a momentary sense of loss. She She occupied her wayward mind by looking around his loved this place, would miss it when she was gone.

expansive office. Pictures of dogs, cats, lizards, birds ,and

“And we’ve decided that we should celebrate,” Seth horses filled the wall space. Behind his desk was an aquarium said. “After all, we’re your last stop before graduation, aren’t overflowing with exotic fish. Abby was mesmerized watching we?”

the colorful fish dashing through coral and around undulating

“Yes. Last stop. Uh, celebrate?”

sea grass.

“Yeah. You know. Like a party?” Seth cocked a brow.

“Sorry. Thanks for waiting.”

“Oh that’s not necessary. You’ve both been wonderful Turning her attention from the hypnotic aquarium, she enough as it is.” Heat rose up her neck and headed toward her folded her hands in her lap and looked at him.

face as they both stared at her, then back at each other.

He winked a steely blue eye at her, his smile

“Of course it’s necessary. We thought we’d do it at the comforting.

club this weekend,” Mike said, looking at Seth.

Okay, so he
smiling. A good sign. “Not a Seth nodded. “Great idea.”


“Huh?” What were they talking about? “What club?”

“You didn’t start without me, did you?”

“Silverwood Country Club, of course,” Seth said.

Abby half turned in her seat. Mike’s partner, Seth

“We’ll throw a big party for your impending graduation. Invite Jacobs, stepped through the doorway, closed the door behind the entire office staff. You can bring along a few of your him, and flopped down in the chair next to hers. Just as casual friends.”

as Mike in jeans and polo shirt, Seth grinned and brushed a Abby shook her head, horrified at the thought of any lock of sandy brown hair away from his face. Abby warmed at attention, especially by these two men. “I don’t think so, but his smile. Like Mike, Seth always made her stomach churn, thanks.” Blair and Callie would have a field day with this one.

though he was completely different in looks. Where Mike was They’d never let her live it down. Partying with two of the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, Seth radiated boyish Silverwood’s most eligible bachelors? Oh, God, the mere charm. Just under six feet tall, Seth was solid muscle, built like thought of it…

a warrior, yet one of the most gentle men she’d ever met. And

“Don’t be ridiculous. We insist. We’ve been wanting he cracked jokes all the time, making her laugh so hard she’d to, ah, take you out, anyway,” Mike said.


Jaci Burton/
Wild, Wicked & Wanton
/Unedited Advance Reading Copy Berkley Heat/May, 2007

Abby’s gaze shot to his, certain she hadn’t heard his sex of her life right now. Instead, she was knee deep in last sentence correctly. “Take me out?”

finishing up her internship in veterinary school and the only

“That was subtle, dumb ass,” Seth said, glaring at Mike.

release she was getting came from the self-induced variety with

“Abby, let me explain. Mike and I are both…interested in her vibrator.



“Interested.” She knew she sounded like an echo, but

“Abby, I’m sure you’ve noticed Seth and I both have an honestly, she wasn’t really grasping what they were trying to interest in you.”

say. Okay, she was grasping, but she wasn’t believing it. Not Okay, she was definitely having some kind of weird for one damn second.

daydream. “Uh, no.”

“And you said I wasn’t subtle?” Mike rolled his eyes at Mike cocked a brow. “You didn’t?”


And now she was embarrassed at being so clueless.

“Well, it’s not the easiest damn subject, is it?” Seth They were interested in her? Holy hell in a handbasket. Where replied.

had she been the past year? Oh sure, they teased her and joked Abby had entered an alternate universe. That had to be with her and were personable and friendly and gorgeous and it, because her reality was never like this.

smelled good and she’d like to unzip their pants and grab their Mike skirted his desk and squatted in front of her, cocks and. . .oh, God. Where was she going with this thought picking up her hand and cradling it between his. Only this time process, anyway?

there were no instruments, vaccination vials, or file folders The way Mike looked at her now, his eyes darkening, between them. Just skin. Warm skin. Her fingers rested on his she realized he had been paying a lot of attention to her the past wrist, his pulse beating rhythmically. Normal. Which was more several months. She turned her gaze to Seth and saw the same than she could say for her own, which rushed along at probing look in his warm eyes. Only it wasn’t a hands-off breakneck speed every time she took in a breath. His body was professional look. It was heat. Desire. Much more than just
like a heat blanket. She inhaled again—really, she couldn’t
you work here and we think you’ll make a great veterinarian
. It help herself, because he smelled like he’d just stepped out of was more like a
hey, baby, we’d like to get you naked

the shower. Clean, fresh, God, what kind of soap did the man Shit. She was way out of her league here.

use? Some kind of aphrodisiac for sure. Eau de Torture of

“I’m sorry, Abby. We’re making you uncomfortable,”


Mike said. He stood and backed away, giving her space.

You are in such bad shape, Abby
. So she hadn’t had sex

“No, you’re not. Really.” Yes, he was, really, but it was in like four hundred years. So what? Okay, maybe two years.

uncomfortable in a good way. Two men wanted her. Wow.

Two years. Two goddamn years. She was thirty-three years

“You really had no idea,” Seth said.

old. In her prime, sexually, and she should be having the best 4

Jaci Burton/
Wild, Wicked & Wanton
/Unedited Advance Reading Copy Berkley Heat/May, 2007

“No. I didn’t. I mean, God, this is so embarrassing, but Now this she could get used to. “I guess I was focusing on no, I really didn’t.” Could she be more clueless? Such an work and wasn’t paying attention.” But she was sure as hell unattractive quality. She brushed her hair away from her face paying attention now. And enjoying every second of having with her fingers, trying not to blush. She wasn’t exactly the Mike and Seth look at her as if they wanted to eat her alive.

most experienced flirt. The only man she’d ever been with was Her body flushed, but this time not from embarrassment. Heat Chad, and she hadn’t flirted since high school. That was almost seared her from the inside out. Her panties moistened and her fifteen years ago. She was rusty.

nipples hardened to the point she wanted to look down and see

“Okay, since Mike butchered this so damn badly, let’s if they showed through her scrubs.

start over.” Seth stood and pulled Abby from her chair, keeping

“Too much work and not enough play,” Mike said with hold of her hands. “Abby, over the past year Mike and I have a wink. “You’ve been working your ass off the past few years.

gotten to know you very well, not only professionally but It’s time to play a little. Let Seth and me take you out this personally. You’re not only competent as an up and coming weekend. Since we realized we were both interested in you and veterinarian but also warm, charming, gorgeous and funny, and neither one of us was willing to back off, we figured we’d both we found ourselves with one hell of a dilemma. First off, we take you out and let you decide.”

didn’t want to approach you during your internship, because

“Decide?” She looked at both of them and swallowed that would have been unprofessional. Now that you’re finished hard, not even wanting to ponder the implications of that word.

up here, there’s no moral conflict, and we felt we could ask you

“Okay, not really decide,” Seth corrected. “Mike’s an if you’d like to…shit, I’m not doing this any better than Mike ass. There’s no decision to make. We’ll just have fun. We’ll did. This sounds like a fucking job interview.”

buy you dinner at the club, the entire office staff will attend She fought back a grin at his obvious discomfort. Okay, and you can bring your friends, making it completely safe.

admittedly, this was fun. “A dilemma?”

We’ll dance and toast your impending graduation with a bottle

“Yeah. We both want to ask you out.”

of champagne. Or two. Then, if you’re interested in either of She couldn’t help it. Her lips quirked. “And that’s a us, or maybe both of us…well, we’ll go from there,” he dilemma?” She felt the old flirtatious surge, long dormant, finished with a wink.

spring to life. Creaky and not used in a long time, but it was Holy shit. Could she do this? Go out with two men? At still there.

the same time? Her head was beginning to pound. Everything

“A big dilemma,” Mike added, stepping beside Seth to was happening much too fast. This morning her biggest take one of her hands in his. “I’m sorry we overwhelmed you concern was getting home so she could feed her cat, do her with this. We kind of thought you knew.”

grocery shopping, and be done in time to catch her favorite A little shiver of delight skittered down her spine as she television show before she had to start her homework. Such realized she was sandwiched between two incredibly sexy men.

was the excitement of her life.


Jaci Burton/
Wild, Wicked & Wanton
/Unedited Advance Reading Copy Berkley Heat/May, 2007

This was a little bit more than she was used to. She needed Blair and Callie and she needed them now. A powwow

“Great move, dickhead,” Mike said, watching Abby’s was in order.

sweet ass sway back and forth as she walked to her car. He

BOOK: Chapter One
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