Rescuing the Bad Boy (Second Chance #2)


by Jessica Lemmon

PROLOGUE

The row of sconces lining the hallway cast a yellowish glow across the mansion foyer, doing little to illuminate the floor, the thick drapes covering the windows, or the staircase leading to the murky beyond.

Not that Donny Pate needed light to see what he was doing. Who he was doing.

Who I’m about to do…

One hand cradling Sofie Martin’s incredible ass, his mouth explored hers, the length of his body pressing her back to the heavy wooden door. Her, he could see.

Every pliant inch felt as amazing as it looked.

He bit her earlobe and she arched her back, rubbing her little black dress against his sweater and jeans. The blood in his head rushed directly to his crotch. He’d tasted her mouth at the bar, sucked on her tongue for several minutes in his Jeep parked outside the mansion, and now, this up-against-the-door thing was trying every last ounce of his willpower.

He might die if he didn’t get inside her soon.

It’d been a shit week, one he’d rather forget, followed by a shit night that was turning out pretty damn good. Tonight’s company Christmas party had been boring as hell, but the manager at the Wharf required everyone be in attendance if they wanted to get their bonus checks. Donny needed that bonus. He was leaving this godforsaken town the minute the check cleared.

Cheesy decorations had been strewn across the restaurant’s dining room, a tinny version of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” piping through an ancient sound system. Donny had relegated himself to chain-smoking and drinking with his jackass coworkers, making tonight not unlike any other Saturday in Evergreen Cove.

Until the tip of Sofie’s cute, upturned nose poked around a dividing wall. Then his evening took a decidedly more interesting turn.

She’d been sending him furtive glances from the bar all evening, while pretending to sip the beer she’d opened shortly after walking through the door. Caught, a playful smile curled her lips.

Sofie wasn’t one to wear a fuck-me smile with a skin-tight black dress, all while blinking bedroom eyes. Tonight, she’d done all three. That was the smile of a girl determined to make a mistake.

Her lucky night.

To quote his recently deceased, formerly belligerent old man, Donny was most definitely “a mistake.”

Often, her gaze slid to him in the kitchen at work—amid the clatter of cooking utensils, tall, steel shelves, and fifteen to twenty other servers and cooks. In the midst of clashing pans and the general chaos of a dinner rush, Donny had caught her moss green eyes on him more than once. And, more than once, he’d allowed his eyes to travel south.

Unflattering khaki pants and a starched, button-down shirt hadn’t been able to hide Sofie’s killer body. He’d never considered himself an ass man, but Scampi’s backside had a healthy curve, and enough cushion to give his imagination plenty of ammo.

Scampi, he thought bemusedly as he slid his lips along hers.

She’d earned the nickname on a dare.

About a month back, after cooking the dinner special for Sofie’s tables at least nine times, he’d turned to find the printer spitting out another order from her.

Shrimp Scampi. Again.

Tongs in hand, he swiped the perspiration from his upper lip with the sleeve of his chef’s coat. He’d been in the weeds all damn night, sweating over four sauté pans going at once. Pissed, he’d shouted a warning across the kitchen. “One more Scampi from you, Sofie, and I’ll brand you for life!”

At the sound of his raised voice, the bustling staff had halted for a split second, servers pausing, black books in hand or trays held high. Sofie had approached the divider, put a hand on the shelf between them, and narrowed her green eyes in challenge. Tension knotted the air. The same tension he’d felt buzzing between them like a downed power line since day one.

Typically, Sofie was fairly quiet, but right then, she hadn’t looked intimidated or tongue-tied. “Only one?” she’d asked with a rogue smirk.

He’d be damned if she didn’t march into the dining room and sell not one more Shrimp Scampi special, but three to her next table.

“Scampi,” he said now, tugging her bottom lip with his teeth.

At the party this evening, a similar look crossed her face. He’d recognized her determination instantly. Knew there’d be no stopping her from getting what she wanted. And what she wanted, apparently, was him. Ignoring the blaring sirens in his head telling him to leave her alone, he’d made a decision. Good girl or not, he’d have her tonight.

Consider it a farewell present to himself.

“Donny.” He could tell by her breathy response, she liked the bite he’d given her sweet mouth. He squeezed her lush body. A squeak left her lips. She liked that, too.