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His Secret Baby
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Why be an angel when the bad boy always gets the girl?
I can’t stop thinking about her.
If my new business fails I’ll lose everything.
***His Secret Baby is a steamy, stand-alone BDSM Revenge Wedding romance with a HEA. This guilty pleasure is for readers who like their bad boys hot, dark and ready to take the woman they want…to heck with the consequences!***
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An evangelist of enjoyment is born…
The Saturday nightlife was in full swing, with the drifting fog off the lake adding a touch of unreality. I sat in a split-leather chair with a stunted, broken leg I’d redeemed from a garbage pile. Money was hard to come by for a sixth-year psychology student, but the chair spoke to me.
I set a can of beer on the sill to anchor the ragged curtain to one side so I could see the girls outside the Butterfly Cafe. My room was dark and I sat low enough that even my six-foot-four-inch frame was mostly below the window. But not entirely. I could see them: a pastry showcase filled with sexual concoctions meant to arouse the senses with glittering, heightened colors and various exotic costumes. I could almost smell the cloying mixture of their heavy perfumes from my vantage on the third floor, across the street, but the scent was dragged down into the fog’s humidity. Occasionally a car would pull up to the curb and the occupant would climb out, his seat quickly filled by an attendant who drove it to an obscure private parking lot.
The girls flowed around the newcomer like a tittering wave filled with groping fingers and painted kisses. “You stop for a bite to eat?” was the invitation I most often heard repeated. Some of the men were forceful, grabbing one arm and pushing into the Cafe, while others preferred to hang back and be petted and cajoled. Eventually, they, too, would enter the crimson doors and disappear for an hour or more. Dinner was being served.
As a student of psychology, I found it fascinating. I was the product of a very lower-middle-class neighborhood to the east of Chicago. It was a land where the streams of mustard-yellow smoke spouting from the steel mills thickened the sky so thoroughly that I could lie on the grass in my tiny yard and stare at the sun for hours without harm. Everything Mom hung on the clothesline returned to our closets with that yellow tinge, and eventually Dad began coughing it up into his dinner napkin while Mom’s concerned eyes stared at her sparse plate. The less she ate, the more there was for the males in the family—namely, my dad and me.
The men at the mill were all heavy smokers; the tobacco masked the rotten egg odor of the blast furnaces and waste water that flowed away under the guise of a river. As Dad’s cough gave way to the wheeze that signaled his coming death, I swore my mom would know a better life. She hadn’t made it through my fifth year at the University of Chicago, but I saw to it that her headstone was always framed by flowers as well as the dreadful lemon sky.
I downed the last of the beer in the can and rose to my feet, brushing my teeth and straightening my hair carefully in the dim light of my closet-sized bathroom. I was on a mission, and what I would learn would earn me the diploma I’d waited so long to get.
I pushed out the entry door to the street and continued to the crosswalk. I attempted what I thought was a modified stroll and did my best to act innocently curious as I came upon the girls.
“Red,” as I’d nicknamed her over the nights I’d watched, was the first to approach. “You hungry, big fella? How ‘bout a bite inside the Butterfly Cafe?” I could have given her the script to read—it was that familiar.
“I’ve never been inside,” I muttered, looking at the heavy wooden door with a slit of a window you couldn’t see through unless you stood right up to it.
“Maybe so, but you been watchin’,” she grinned with a wink. “Or did you think we didn’t know?” She was mocking me.
“So you saw me, did you?”
“A big, good lookin’ fella like you? You’re damned right. Butterfly wants to see ya. She said if you finally got up the guts to come over, to let her know.” She fingered my shirt and put her face into the fabric. “Mmm… you smell good, too. Shame that the boss already laid claim.”
“That would be Butterfly?”
“It would. Well, c’mon. Let me take you to her before I lose control, big fella,” she said, taking my arm and yanking open the heavy door with the familiarity of someone who knew the exact amount of force it would require. I followed willingly as we entered the aroma of dirty hotel sheets, cigarettes and stale perfume. “Jesus!” Red swore, stopping long enough to grab a can of deodorizer from a narrow closet and spraying into the dim room. “Smells like a whorehouse in here,” she muttered and then winked at me. “That’s why I like standin’ outside. A girl needs to come up for air once in a while, if ya know what I mean,” she hinted, gazing at my crotch. I had to resist the temptation to cover myself with my hand.