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Authors: Andi Madden

Tags: #bdsm, #contemporary erotica, #contemporary bdsm, #possessive hero, #romantic erotica bdsm

Saved By A Stranger

BOOK: Saved By A Stranger
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Saved By A Stranger
Copyright © 2015 by
Andi Madden

All rights reserved. Smashwords
Edition. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or
used in any manner whatsoever without the express written
permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations
in a book review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

When Liz arrived inside the dimly lit movie
theater’s lobby, dressed in comfy pants and a baggy sweater, she
was cheerfully met by her two girlfriends—and their two
husbands.

Two couples—so much for just
us
girls
.

She had forced a smile, but a feeling of
annoyance lingered.

Then—holding six movie tickets in his
hand—
another guy
stepped to the uneven numbered group and
made it an even one.

So, it was one of
those
evenings
out.

It wasn’t the first time her well-wishing
friends tried to fix her up, so her surprise lasted only
seconds.

Then Liz took another look at
him,
met his dark gaze and her throat went dry.


Ben,” Jenna, best friend
and traitor, chirped, “I’d like you to meet Liz. She runs her own
bakery!”

His handshake was firm, warm, pleasant.
“Nice to meet you, Liz.”


I make cupcakes,” she
blurted, because she somehow had expected he would ask what kind of
bakery.

His eyebrows rose, his mouth twisting to a
smile, and he still held her hand. “Really,” he said, and then he
cocked his head to the side, giving her a quick once-over that had
her cheeks burning. “Maybe you can tell me more after the movie?” A
quick squeeze of his hand and he let go to turn to Jenna’s
husband.

Jenna placed a hand on her shoulder and
leaned in. “Ben just moved here,” she said, not whispering, but she
kept her voice quiet. “He’s an old college buddy of Michael’s,
never met him before. But he’s cute, isn’t he?”

She made a noncommittal sound. Cute wasn’t
the word she’d have used to wrap up her first impression. That
she’d felt a spark passing between them when he looked at her still
left her befuddled. “Why did he move here?”


He said he accepted a job
offer downtown, journalist.”


Jenna,” she said quietly,
“I just want to watch the movie tonight. I mean, look at me.” She
tugged at her old sweater. “I wish you had given me a word of
warning.”


You look great,” Jenna
said, looping her arm through hers. “And it will be fun watching
the movie together.”

In the already-darkened cinema, the opening
credits were running over the screen.

Liz sank into the red upholstered chair,
sucked in her breath, but not because Ben took the seat next to
hers.

Digging her fingers into the plush armrests,
she leaned forward, trying to catch Jenna’s gaze two seats to her
right.


What the hell, Jenna!” she
asked, and was instantly shushed by dozens of people.


Sorry,” Jenna mouthed, and
had the grace to look it. “The guys weren’t up for romcom. But
Dawn of the Zombies
is already considered to be a
classic.”

Ben also leaned forward, catching her gaze.
She nearly jumped out of her skin when he wrapped his hand in a
supposedly calming manner around her wrist.


Sorry, I thought everyone
had agreed to the movie choice. Didn’t you see the title on the
ticket I gave you?”

She snorted, not bothering to dig out the
ticket from her back pocket. “No, I didn’t because—”


Lady, get your ass out of
here or shut the fuck up,” a guy a seat row behind her
said.

Blood prickled with a hot rush into her face
and she shut her mouth. She hated when people talked during a
movie—apparently, she was now one of them.

Ben turned in the seat next to her and her
breath caught in her throat when he stood.

Whatever he did, she couldn’t tell, but the
guy said, “Okay, okay, sorry,” and then she heard him get up and
move a couple of seats over.


I didn’t ask you to get
all protective,” she whispered through her teeth, even more
mortified than before. “That was entirely unnecessary.”


I disagree,” he said, and
his hand wrapped around her wrist again.

She turned her head to him and met his gaze.
There was a hard edge in his dark eyes, a grim line around his
mouth, but then his features shifted into a smile she couldn’t help
but answer in kind.


You got a rough deal
tonight, didn’t you?” he asked quietly. “What’s worse? Having me as
your date or watching the horror movie?”


You’re not my date,” she
whispered back. “I just met you.”


Let’s not kid ourselves,”
he said, leaning forward, a hint of his aftershave reaching her
nose. “They are trying to set us up.”

She nodded, a witty reply on the tip of her
tongue, but words were somehow failing her. She inhaled deeply
again, deciding he smelled like wood and leather and something
simply male.


You okay?” he asked, his
hold on her wrist increasing.


Why wouldn’t I be?” she
held his gaze, drank it in, wondered why he held on to her so
tight, as if afraid she’d run away, and wondered why she didn’t
mind.

At the pit of her stomach, a peculiar
feeling spread.

Crossing her legs, she drew in a breath
sharply as her skin erupted in goose bumps and her nipples
puckered, straining against her bra. It took her a moment to figure
out what her body was trying to tell her.

Something must have shown on her face
because his eyes narrowed and his gaze dipped to her mouth. Afraid
he could read her mind or sense her arousal, she broke eye contact
and leaned back in her chair.

She ground hard on her teeth as the first
images of dead people appeared. Great, absolutely fucking great.
She sat beside a guy who turned her pussy into a hot, liquid mess
while on the screen the first of probably many victims suffered a
violent and graphic death.

Her stomach turned, her mind reeling to take
in all the fake blood that looked so horribly real.


That is all wrong,” she
pressed through her teeth as the wonders of CGI transformed dead
humans into a torn-up things. She slapped her hand over her mouth,
her stomach revolting. People were laughing in the cinema, but she
failed to see the humor. She jumped up, tripped along her row and
stepped on toes and popcorn—she had to get out of the movie before
she threw up.

When she came out of the bathroom where she
had washed her hands and rinsed her mouth, Ben was leaning against
the opposite wall, waiting.


That bad?” he asked, and
she searched for signs of laughter in his eyes, but he showed
nothing but sincere sympathy.


I’m a movie lightweight,”
she said. “If you’re here to convince me the movie is great and all
the blood just fake, forget it.”


I’m here for you.” He
pushed off from the wall and stepped toward her until she had to
gaze up. “I really did ruin your evening, didn’t I?” Lifting his
hand, he brushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

The breath caught in her throat. “Only if
you picked the movie,” she said after a breathless second.


Guilty as charged.” His
gaze dropped to her mouth, making her wonder if her lipstick was
smudged, then remembered she wasn’t wearing any.


Then you’ll have to make
it up to me.” As soon as it was out of her mouth, she realized how
raunchy it sounded. She bit her lip, seeking his gaze. When she
found it, she took a step back from the intensity in his
expression.


I will,” he said quietly,
his voice sending another shiver along her skin. His hand settled
at the small of her back. “Come on,” he said, “let’s get a drink in
the bar across the street. The others can join in after the
movie.”

She opened her mouth to tell him no, to tell
him she needed to go home, but his touch felt warm and sure and so
good
that she swallowed away her reservations. She fell into
step next to him, realizing that they must look like a couple to
the casual observer. When she had settled into the booth at the
sports bar, he came back, carrying drinks.


A water, a soda and a
beer,” he said, sliding the two glasses and a bottle in front of
her. “And some fries. I didn’t know what you wanted.” He sat down
across from her and took a swig from his own beer. “Tell me about
your bakery.”


Sure,” she said, aware his
knee touched hers under the table. “I opened it—”

His cell rang and he held up his hand,
taking the phone out of his jacket. “Let me just quickly switch
that off.” Then he took a look at the screen and his brow furrowed.
“I’m sorry, I’ll have to take this,” he said, looking at her, and
then flipped the phone open. “This better be important.”

While he listened, she got up, heading for
the bathroom to give him time to finish his call. Staring at her
pale reflection in the mirror, she wondered what he saw in her to
give her all that attention.

Wetting her fingers with water, she worked
them through her hair to tame it, wondering if it was safe to
return to the table. She didn’t want to leave the impression that
she was trying to overhear his phone call. She rolled her eyes at
herself in the mirror, wondering why she even cared what he
thought.

When she returned to the booth, he was
nowhere to be seen, just the barely touched beer bottle showed that
she hadn’t imagined him.

Nibbling at the fries, she had waited for an
hour for him to return before a waitress seemingly took pity and
informed her he had left through the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

Three weeks later…

 

The last rays of sunlight flickered like
flames into her small apartment.

She fished a praline from the open box
sitting on her desk. She’d made them yesterday for her maybe newest
creation, praline cupcakes. Closing her eyes, she savored the
buttery crunchiness while the loud humming of her outdated computer
drilled a hole in her head.

But no matter how good her creations, her
finances didn’t allow for experiments anymore.

Wine in one hand, mouse in the other, she
clicked the browser window shut, which had educated her about the
maximum sentence for arsonists, and tried not to think about the
gasoline canister hidden in the basement.

She wouldn’t, couldn’t do that…so why was
she still thinking about this?

And if tonight’s meeting went well, she
wouldn’t need to follow in Nero’s footsteps—not that her conscience
would ever let her do it anyway.

After opening her email account, she
switched on her laser printer then hit the print button. Lowering
her forehead to the desk, she listened as the printer gave an
unhealthy cough. The smell of paper burning wafted.

She jerked her head up. The display flashed
red, and no matter how hard she tugged, the e-invitation to
tonight’s entrepreneur meeting was stuck. Counting to ten, she
resisted hurling the printer out the window.

Violence was never the answer.

One floor below, the sound of a doorbell
rang and carried over fifteen crooked steps and through the two
paper-thin doors that separated her shoebox apartment from her
shop.

The day had gone by without anyone buying a
single anything, so she jumped to her feet and made her way down
the staircase to greet her first, hopefully buying customer of the
day.

Placing her wine glass carefully next to the
register and smoothing down her hair, she made an effort to smile
as she stepped into the storefront that held all her hopes. And
lots of unsold cupcakes.

Instead of the face of a paying customer,
she stared right into the barrel of a gun.


Don’t scream.”

Her stomach did a somersault, but she kept
her mouth shut. Baffled, she glanced along the cold, glinting metal
and up an arm, over a broad chest under a navy shirt, and then
found the face behind the gun.

Like a sudden sugar rush, delirious pleasure
spread through her.


You?” she whispered, her
heart beating in her throat as she gave him another quick
once-over. He was fetching in a hard, square-jawed, dark-eyed
brooding way. Hard was the operative word, she thought—and was
thinking it not for the first time. But he looked dead on his feet,
with dark circles under his eyes.

BOOK: Saved By A Stranger
11.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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