Authors: Lili Valente
Dirty Twisted Love
By Lili Valente
ll Rights Reserved
One More Shameless Night
© 2016 Lili Valente
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. This erotic romance is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners. This e-book is licensed for your personal use only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with, especially if you enjoy hot, sexy, emotional novels featuring Dominant alpha males. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work. Cover design by Bootstrap Designs. Editorial services provided by Leone Editorial.
: This book is one fast and furious, danger-laced, HOT as hell Happily Ever After. Come along with Harley and Clay for One More Shameless night.
lay Hart may not work
for the CIA anymore, but he has all the shady connections he needs to make sure no one f*&ks with his family. He'll be keeping a close eye on his wife, son, and newborn baby to make sure their trip to visit Harley's sister goes off without a hitch.
a year since the party that almost ended Harley's life, but when her sister offers to babysit so that she and Clay can attend a Midsummer soiree, Harley jumps at the chance. What better way to put dark memories behind her than with a steamy date night with her hot as hell husband?
ut old enemies
are lurking in the shadows, just waiting for the Hart family to drop their guard.
Harley and Clay live to see the midsummer sun rise? Or will their first date night after the birth of their second child be their last?
: ONE MORE SHAMELESS NIGHT is a standalone novella in the Dirty Twisted Love series. It can be read separately, but is best enjoyed after reading books 1-3. Features appearances from Jackson and Hannah from the Bought by the Billionaire series.
Dedicated to my readers, who told me they wanted one more night.
Love you guys!
he boys had been
little angels on the chartered flight from their great aunt’s house to the island of Samoa, the car rental had gone off without a hitch, and now both Jasper and baby Will were napping in the back seat as their daddy guided the car down a strip of asphalt beside the sea. A warm wind whipped through Harley’s hair, sunlight glittered on the ocean, and all was right with the world.
Or as right as it could be considering she was going to be spending the next month sleeping in the guest room of a man she had put in prison.
A man who had emerged from prison to become a hardened criminal and spent the next several years of his life hunting her down with every intention of breaking her soul into tiny jagged pieces—and maybe killing her when he was finished. Jackson Hawke had been derailed before he could prove if he had it in him to go completely psycho killer on the woman who had ruined his life and destroyed his career, but if things had gone a little differently, Harley had an ugly feeling that she would be six feet under right now.
Sure, she’d apologized profusely, Jackson had accepted, and they’d all agreed to move forward, but she knew most people would consider her bat shit crazy for agreeing to spend her summer vacation at her sister’s house, isolated from the world on an island with a former mortal enemy.
But for Harley, it was just another slightly dysfunctional family gathering. Nothing she wasn’t used to after being raised by a psychopath and the mother he’d destroyed. She could get through this with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back.
Harley swallowed hard and tightened her grip on the “Oh Shit” handle above the door.
Beside her, Clay chuckled beneath his breath. “It’s going to be fine,” he said, reading her mind. As usual. “Stop worrying.”
“But I like worrying,” she said, picking at a loose thread on the car seat with her free hand. “It’s not too late to get a hotel for the entire trip, you know. We already have a room for tonight and there were long-term reservations available at three different resorts and a couple of nice bed and breakfast places. I checked.”
“Of course you did.”
She wrinkled her nose in his direction. “If you still want to go to the party later, we could hire a sitter to watch the kids. And I bet the boys would love to swim in a pool. Pools are fun for small people.”
Clay nodded. “Think Will’s going to be doing a lot of swimming, do you?”
“It’s never too early to start teaching kids to swim,” Harley countered, not in the mood to indulge her husband’s sarcastic side. “By the time he was two, Jasper could make it all the way across the lake on our old property. He was swimming like a fish way before he could read.”
Clay cast an amused look her way. “Two years, babe. Not two months.”
“So? I’m going to be a more proactive mom this time around.” Harley lifted her chin, refusing to concede defeat. “I’m going to anticipate things. Prepare for things.”
She glanced over her shoulder, making sure Jasper was still asleep before adding in a softer voice, “Things like the fact that my sister’s enormous, scary husband might be planning to strangle me in my sleep and orphan my children.”
“Jackson isn’t going to strangle you while you sleep,” Clay said, the teasing note vanishing from his tone. “He’s as ready as we are to put the past behind us.”
“But what if he’s changed his mind?” Harley nibbled at her bottom lip as the road narrowed and the thick jungle foliage pressed in on the right side of the road, making her feel vaguely claustrophobic. “It’s been over a year since you talked to him, and he wasn’t overly friendly when he and I chatted on the phone. Things can change, you know. Old wounds can lose their scabs and start bleeding and pussing and oozing all over the place.”
“That’s a disgusting way to put it.”
“Well they can,” she insisted. “Stable people can become unstable again and homicidal tendencies you think have passed you by can suddenly…” She whipped her hand in a circle in front of her face. “Resurge. At a moment’s notice. Probably the moment when you see the person you wanted to murder again for the first time in several years.”
“I called him last night,” Clay said, surprising her. “We had a long talk.”
“You did?” She clenched the plastic bar in her right hand even tighter. “When?”
“After you and the boys were asleep. I needed to make sure he and I were on the same page before we got on the plane this morning.” He reached out, threading his fingers through hers and squeezing tight. “When I promised I wouldn’t let anyone hurt you again, I meant it. No one touches you. No one scares you. No one so much as looks at you in a way that makes you wonder if you’re safe.”
He brought their joined hands to his lips and pressed a kiss to the warm skin below her wedding ring. “You and the boys are the most important things in the world to me. When it comes to keeping you all around for a long, long time, I’m not taking any chances.”
“I know.” Harley blinked faster as unexpected tears rose in her eyes. “Hey…I love you. Have I said that today?”
“I love you, too.” His smile ripped her heart to pieces and stitched it back together again. How had she lived so long without that smile? Those dancing blue eyes? This man?
“And yes,” he said. “I still want to go to the party. I can’t wait to be alone with you. It’s all I can think about.”
“Oh, yeah?” She let her gaze slide down to his lap and lifted a wry brow. “So that’s not a banana in your pocket?”
“Jasper ate all the bananas before we landed,” Clay said before adding in a huskier voice. “That’s why I booked a room for us tonight. So when we’re done at the party, I can take you to bed, and not worry about anyone overhearing when I make you scream.”
Harley’s thighs pressed together, an instinctive response to the heat spreading through her pelvis though his words inspired nearly as much anxiety as desire.
It felt like forever since they’d been together. The last few weeks before Will was born, she’d been too miserable to make love—as big as a rhinoceros and twice as cranky—and her doctor had advised her to wait six-to-eight weeks after the baby’s birth before having sex.
But Will had hit the two-month mark three days ago and so far he was the best baby in the world. He only got up twice a night to take a bottle and went right back to sleep as soon as his diaper was changed. He wouldn’t give Hannah any trouble while Harley and Clay were gone and Jasper had been video chatting with his aunt for weeks. He was giddy with excitement for their impending sleepover. Hannah had promised that they would stay up late, light tiki torches on the patio, and watch a movie on her outdoor projector surrounded by junk food.
Harley had no doubt that her children were going to be fine…which unfortunately left more energy to stress about the evening to come.
“You’re not worried about leaving Will, are you?” Clay asked, squeezing her hand again.
Harley shook her head. “No. Hannah is the nicest person in the world. Babies love her on sight. I have no doubt she’ll take perfect, sweet care of Will and Jasper and they will all have a wonderful time.”
“Then what’s wrong?”
“I just…” She peeked into the backseat again, half hoping Jasper would be awake and give her an excuse not to tell the truth.
But the boys were both still sleeping, and she was committed to being honest with Clay as often as possible—the better to make up for the secrets she felt obligated to keep, even from the man she loved.
She turned back to him with a sigh. “I’m a little different than I was this time last year.” She tugged at the bottom of her shirt, hyper aware of the saggy belly skin beneath her flowing black tank top and the silvery stretch marks Will, who had been a much bigger baby than Jasper, had left behind on her hips. “Back then, I was in the best shape of my life, not two months postpartum with dimples in gross places and—”
She cut off with a soft cry as Clay suddenly veered onto a narrow turnout on the side of the road, sending gravel flying as he braked the car.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, pressing a hand to her chest. “Shit. You scared me half to death.’
Clay shoved the car into park and turned to her, cupping her face in his hands, holding her gaze with an intensity that left her feeling even more anxious and exposed.
“Stop it.” The passion in his voice killed the tension-defusing joke on the tip of her tongue. “You are beautiful. Incredible. Irresistible.”
Harley huffed as she rolled her eyes. “Don’t push it.”
“I’m not pushing anything.” He leaned closer, his breath warming her lips, making her heart beat even faster. “When I look at you, I see a woman so stunning and sexy it’s all I can do not to drag you off into the jungle right now and prove to you how irresistible you are.”
Harley’s lips parted, but before she could respond, a sleepy voice from the backseat said—
“Are we going to play Tarzan?”
As he turned to Jasper, Clay’s hands shifted from her face to squeeze her shoulders, that simple touch assuring her that every word he’d said was true.
And that she was one damned lucky woman.
“Why do you ask that, buddy?” Clay asked, lips curving.
“Tarzan dragged people into the jungle,” Jasper replied, making it clear he’d heard at least the tail end of their conversation. “But only bad people. Is Mama going to pretend to be the bad guy?”
“Maybe later. I like it when Mama pretends to be bad,” Clay said with a straight face, earning himself a slap on the leg while Harley fought to swallow the laugh rising inside of her. “But right now we should get back on the road. Aunt Hannah and Uncle Jackson are waiting for us and Will is going to need a bottle soon. You ready?”
Jasper’s yawn turned into a smile. “Yes! I can’t wait to show Aunt Hannah my baby brother. She’s going to go crazy over this little cutie.”
Heart aching with happiness, Harley reached back to ruffle Jasper’s hair. “You’re pretty cute, yourself, big brother. I’m so excited to spend a month on the beach with you. We’re going to have so much fun.”
“Me too.” Jasper grinned, mischief flickering in his deep blue eyes. “Maybe we’ll like it so much we’ll decide to stay forever.”
“I thought you were excited about having Mrs. Miner for first grade,” Clay said, glancing over his shoulder at the road behind them.
“I’m more excited about sand,” Jasper said practically. “And digging the biggest hole in the universe and boogie boarding and swimming and snorkeling and catching a giant fish and eating the whole thing all by myself.”
Harley laughed. “You’re a beach addict.”
Jasper stretched his arms over his head and shrugged. “Better than being addicted to video games.”
“Wise words from a wise little man.” Clay gave Harley’s thigh a final squeeze before pulling back onto the road.
As they continued along the coast toward the quiet, seaside town where Hannah and Jackson had made their home—Jasper chattering non-stop and baby Will sweetly sleeping through it all—Harley tried to relax and catch her son’s excitement.
But despite the romantic speech from her husband and a heart full of love and gratitude for the two amazing kids she was lucky enough to call family, she couldn’t let her guard down completely. She knew that behind the seemingly peaceful life she and Clay had built, something big and bad lurked in the shadows, threatening everything she held dear.
Now wasn’t the time to relax her defenses, no matter how far they were from the man who threatened her or how safe this island seemed.
Hours later, when she was facing down yet another Midsummer moonrise with a gun to her back, she would remember the feeling and swear—if she lived through the night—never to ignore her intuition again.