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Authors: Alison G. Bailey

Tags: #Contemporary

Past Imperfect

BOOK: Past Imperfect
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Past Imperfect

Copyright © 2014 Alison G. Bailey

All rights reserved.

Cover design by Robin Harper, Wicked By Design

https://www.facebook.com/WickedByDesignRobinHarper‎

Photography by Abigail Marie, [non`pa*reil] Photography

www.nonpareilphotography.com/‎

Interior book design by Angela McLaurin, Fictional Formats

https://www.facebook.com/FictionalFormats‎

Edited by Linda Roberts

[email protected]

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 above author of this book. This 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. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

ISBN mobi: 978-0-9914744-0-0

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

EPILOGUE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

To those who feel broken and alone. You are neither.

I can’t keep my leg from bopping up and down while I sit here and wait. Every part of my body that has a gland is sweating. I’ve never been this nervous in my entire life. Standing, I start to pace, alternating between checking my watch and the entrance. She’ll be here any minute. I have everything planned out to perfection tonight.

I’ve rented the private patio at our favorite restaurant in downtown Charleston, the Peninsula Grill. I had them remove all the tables except for the one we’ll be sitting at. The area is secluded and away from the noisy activity of the restaurant and street. Small white lights snake up and around each palmetto tree that surrounds the area. In the center, a table for two is dressed with white linen, crystal champagne flutes, and pristine silverware. In the middle of the table there’s a crystal vase with a dozen orange tiger lilies and some sort of purple flowers. Being a graduate of Clemson University, her favorite colors are orange and purple. Tiger lilies are her favorite flower. I just told the florist orange tiger lilies, purple, and make it look perfect.

Checking my watch for the five hundredth time in the past ten minutes, I steal another glance toward the entrance. I can feel my breathing speed up and my palms feel as if I have dunked them in water. If she doesn’t get here in the next few seconds, I’m going to be a hyperventilating-sweaty-impeccably dressed mess. Just as I let out a deep breath I hear her soft voice float through the air.

“Brad,” she says breathlessly with just a hint of surprise in her tone.

God, I love the way my name sounds coming out of her mouth. Her incredibly talented mouth that’s surrounded by her full pale pink lips. The bottom lip is slightly more plump than the upper one. When she’s concentrating hard on something, her teeth graze across that bottom lip as it’s sucked into her mouth. There is no better sight in this world than Mabry Darnell concentrating. Whenever she is
thinking
hard, I get hard. I can’t help it. It’s as if her mouth and my dick have this synchronicity. In fact, everything about us feels in sync.

From the moment she walked into my dad’s law firm, she grabbed my attention. We are both first-year lawyers, which means we are low on the food chain in the firm. Even though it’s my father’s law firm, dear Dad doesn’t believe in playing favorites, especially where I’m concerned. Mabry and I have spent a lot of late nights together preparing for cases. We flirted, got to know each other, and I asked her out. She kept refusing until she could no longer resist the charming masculinity that is Brad Johnson. We’ve kept things casual, but I knew from the second I laid eyes on her, my reaction was different. It was more than lust at first sight. I’ve fallen for this girl and need her in my life.

I’ve been with a lot of pretty girls, but Mabry is the first beautiful woman for me. When I say “beautiful”, I don’t just mean on the outside, although the outside is mouthwatering. Everything about her holds my attention. She stands about five feet six inches on shapely toned legs that lead up to her perfectly round ass, small waist, and one of the all-time best racks the good Lord has ever created. I’ve seen a lot of racks, so I consider myself an expert. Her shoulder-length chestnut brown hair frames a well-defined, but soft, square jawline, and when she smiles, smirks, or grins, her straight little nose crinkles up in the most adorable way, causing my heart to skip a beat every time. Her azure blue eyes pop against the backdrop of her creamy pale skin and are captivating. The outside is effortlessly beautiful and sexy, but what drew me in and has held me is what’s behind those eyes.

The times she’s dealing with a colleague or client those eyes match the tone of the meeting—warm and kind, or strong and serious. But it’s in the quiet times when she thinks no one is looking that those eyes hold the most truth. There is something intriguing and sad behind them during those unguarded moments.

“Hey Sweetness,” I say.

I walk over to her and pull her into my chest. I close my eyes as the smell of vanilla hits me. I pull back slightly and place a soft kiss at the corner of her mouth, letting the tip of my tongue skim across the crease quickly. I have to watch myself. Things with Mabry can go from zero to a hundred eighty in less than five seconds. Pulling back I stare into her beautiful eyes. I can’t believe I found her. She’s perfect for me. We have been “together” for three months and tonight is the night. I’m going to tell her how much I love her. I don’t know at what point during the night I’m going to say it, I just know I’m ready to say it. I’ve never said those words to anyone before, so I want everything to be special tonight.

We walk over to the table and I pull the chair out for her. “What’s all this for?” she asks.

“I just thought it would be nice to do something different, is all.” I sit down across from her, taking her hand and lacing our fingers together.

“This is a little more than just
different
. It’s not my birthday,” she says as her lips form into a straight line at the same time her head cocks to one side. Then her eyes widen and her mouth goes slack. “Oh god, it’s not your birthday, is it?”

“Sweetness, if it was my birthday eating dinner with you would be the last thing I’d be doing.”

Looking up at me through her long dark lashes, she asks in a sultry voice, “What would you be doing?”

I lean in close so that we are nose-to-nose. “I’d have you spread across my bed tasting you.” I hold her gaze for a moment before I look down and see the huge lump she’s swallowing slide down her slender neck.

“Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” I smirk.

“Say stuff like that to me in public. You know what it does to me,” she says shifting in her chair.

I lean back, happy with myself. I love to tease her and make her squirm. “Then you need to relax and enjoy. Don’t question it.” My voice now sounds slightly annoyed.

Mabry is very guarded. She’s less so with me now, but still questions every nice thing I do for her. I hate it and at this point don’t understand why she’s still like that with me. She’s suspicious that ulterior motives are attached. It strikes a nerve with me because I’m not like that anymore. I’m upfront and honest with people. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way.

“Fine. I’m sorry. I appreciate all the trouble you went to. You know you don’t have to do this type of thing for me.”

“I want to do this type of thing for you.” We hold each other’s gaze for a few seconds before hearing her name from across the patio.

He’s tall, dark, and has douche bag written all over him. As he walks up to our table, Mabry gives me a tight smile and squeezes my hand before pulling hers away.

“Hey Ten,” she greets Sir Douche.

“Hey, I thought it was you sitting out here,” he says.

“I’m surprised you saw me out here especially with the restaurant being so crowded.”

“I’d always be able to spot you no matter how many people were in the room,” he replies, staring at her a little too long.

Who the hell is this guy?

I clear my throat, startling my date.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Ten this is Brad Johnson, a colleague.” I cringe slightly at the reference. “Brad, this is Ten McGuire,” Mabry introduces.

We shake hands. “Tin? Like Rin Tin Tin, the dog?” I ask.

He gives me a smug look,
the motherfucker
, and answers, “Short for Tennyson. It’s a family name.”

“Does your family hate you?”

Mabry gently kicks me under the table, causing my gaze to snap in her direction. “Brad!”

“What?”

“I’m sorry, Ten. Brad has a weird sense of humor.”

Is she actually apologizing for me?

“That’s okay. I get that a lot.” Sir Douche throws another smug look my way before focusing on Mabry. “You were amazing in court today.” Every muscle in my body tightens.

I notice a slight blush creep over Mabry’s cheeks. “Thank you, but I didn’t do anything, besides sit there.”

“The research you did for the case was extremely well done and detailed. Maybe we can get together sometime and discuss your future.”

Well, fuck me. Fuck you.

“Maybe,” she says, with a slightly nervous laugh, glancing over at me.

An awkward pause takes over as his eyes roam down, landing on her chest, before shooting up to meet her eyes. My fists and jaw clench tighter.

“I should let you two get back to your business. Brad, it was nice to meet you,” he says, never taking his eyes off of her. “Mabry, it’s always great to see you.”

He takes a step back and Mabry gives him a slight smile just before he exits.

Turning back to me she looks over with concern written across her face. “I’m sorry about that.” I don’t respond. I’m trying to get my temper under control so I don’t blow the entire place up. I feel her hand wrap around mine. “Are you okay?”

“That’s incredible.”

“What?” she asks.

“The way Sir Douche can kiss your ass so thoroughly while you’re sitting on it. What was that, Mabry?” I look over at her.

“A colleague coming over to say hi.”

“Is that all it is?” My voice is low as I stare into her eyes.

“To me it is. Are you jealous?” There’s surprise in her voice when she asks the question.

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