From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby, comes a steamy and passionate friends-to-lovers romance—the sixth full-length standalone title in the Boudreaux series—and I have a never-seen-before excerpt for you! This is Savannah and Ben’s highly anticipated story.
“I need your help, Ben.”
I cock a brow. “You don’t know what I need, exactly.”
“Doesn’t matter, it’s yours.”
I grin and lean over so I can pat his hand. “You’re very good to me, you know.”
“I know.” His smile is smug and happy. “What do you need, Vanny?”
“Well, I need you to stop calling me Vanny.”
“Not gonna happen.”
“And I need to know who you go to for your tattoos.”
He spits the sip of water he’s just taken and being to cough, choking.
“Whoa, are you okay?”
“That’s the last thing I expected to come out of your pretty little mouth.”
Just the way he says pretty little mouth makes me break out in a sweat.
Why, for the love of all that’s holy, am I so damn hormonal around this man? It must be a chemical response. I was never good at science, but that has to be it.
“I’m serious,” I reply and will my lady parts to stand down. “I already have a design in mind, but I don’t know where to go.”
“Is this your first tattoo?” he asks.
“No,” I reply. “But I didn’t get mine here in New Orleans.”
He leans toward me, giving me his full attention. “Where did you get it?”
“No, I mean, where is it on your body?”
I bite my lip and shuffle the silverware around on the table. “That’s personal.”
“Look at me.”
I comply and almost melt into a puddle at the sweet smile he’s giving me.
“You can tell me.”
“So, tramp stamps were in when I was in college.”
“You have a tramp stamp?”
“No, I just said they were all the rage when I was in college.”
He blinks slowly, as if I’m not making any sense and he’s trying to keep up. “Okay.”
“But I thought it looked painful to tattoo the low back, and while I understand that no tattoo is a walk in the park, I didn’t want to do it in that spot. Also, I didn’t want my dad to ever see it, and sometimes I wear a bikini.”
“You do?” He frowns.
“Yeah.” I nod and brush it off like it’s not a big deal.
“So where is it, Van?”
I bite my lip again. “On the back of my neck.”
“And your dad never saw it?”
“No, I’ve always had longer hair, at least long enough to cover my neck, and I just made sure I didn’t wear ponytails when I was with him.”
“You’re a rebel,” he says with a smirk.
“A respectful rebel,” I reply. “Will you give me your guy’s number?”
“I’ll do better than that. I’ll take you.”
I’m shaking my head vigorously.
“I don’t want you to see me get this tattoo.”
“I just don’t.”
“Okay, I’ll text you his number.”
“What are you doing after this?”
“I’m going to get my hair cut.”
I’m so fucking excited!
He frowns again. “Why?”
“Because I’m a grown ass woman and I want to.”
“Whoa,” he says, sitting back and holding his hands up in surrender. “Do whatever you want with your hair.”
“That’s the plan. I know you like it better long.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“You did when I was fifteen,” I murmur and smile at the memory. “But it’s okay. It’s my hair.”
He tilts his head to the side, watching me. “Did that asshole make you wear your hair long?”
I will not cry today.
“He made me do a lot of things.”
His eyes flare with anger and he pushes his plate away. “He deserved much more than what I gave him that day.”
After Lance tried to kill me, the coward ran. My brothers and the police were looking for him, but Ben found him first.
And beat the fuck out of him before making him turn himself in to the police.
“He doesn’t even matter,” I reply softly.
“No. He doesn’t.” He sighs and reaches over to touch my hand. “I’m proud of you.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
His blue eyes hold mine. “Yes, you did. You didn’t just survive, Van. You thrived. You’re the strongest person I know, and I’m damn proud of you.”
I will not cry today.
I smile brilliantly at this incredibly handsome man who also happens to be the sweetest I’ve ever known.
“Thank you. That’s the second time I’ve heard that today.”
“You’re welcome. It’s fucking true.” He stands, throws some cash on the table, and holds his hand out for mine. “Let’s go.”
“I just want to walk with you for a little while.”
We don’t say much as he leads me through the Quarter and past Café du Monde, then over to the river. It’s still early enough in the season that there aren’t swarms of people everywhere.
It’s actually relatively quiet today.
“Are you okay?” I ask and slip my hand into his, enjoying the zing of electricity as it makes its way down my spine. “You’re quiet.”
He glances down at me, then out to the water, taking a deep breath.
“I’m great. I just like being here, with you.”
“Me too.” I lean my cheek against his hard bicep and watch the birds fly over the river. “Me too.”