Lucky Sneak Peek
Today is your lucky day!
Here are two excerpts from Lucky.
The bartender was cute—if you liked the rugged, fit, and dangerously attractive type with just enough scruff to be sexy as fuck. Which I didn’t. Definitely not. The goofy smile plastered on my lips—the one I hadn’t realized was there until I glanced into the mirror over the sink as I washed my hands—had absolutely nothing to do with him.
“You’ve got it bad,” Blossom, my oldest and dearest friend, teased from beside me.
I glanced at her as I rinsed my hands, feigning ignorance. “What are you talking about?”
She only shook her head, giggling like we were twelve again, gushing over Kirk Cameron. “Go ahead. Deny it all you want. That boy has been flirting with you shamelessly for hours.” She lapped her lips quickly and wrinkled her nose the way she did when she was trying not to laugh. “And you’ve not only encouraged him, you totally flirted back.”
I turned off the water and grabbed a handful of paper towels while my brain searched for an acceptable explanation, one that would hopefully shut down the wheels I could practically see spinning in her mind. There was no denying it—I had been acting completely out of character and had been engaged in witty banter with the man behind the bar since we walked in. He had fast comebacks and an even quicker smile. Plus, he was hard to ignore.
We’d come into Hooligan’s, which was known around town as a biker bar, three hours before, intending to just grab a couple of drinks before we moved on to the next pub. Instead, we’d been sitting at the bar, talking to the very adorable, very young man tending it. I knew what we were supposed to be doing, yet I couldn’t pull myself away.
“How old do you think he is?” I asked as I tossed my trash into the bin.
“Young.” Blossom twisted her lips in thought. “Probably twenty-four or five.”
“Jesus.” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. “He’s a baby.”
“I think you’ve forgotten what men were like when we were that age. But I haven’t.” My friend laughed. “Doesn’t matter how old he is. He’s enamored with you.”
She scowled. “Now is all you need. One crazy night, remember? The last hurrah before you start the job.”
I hadn’t forgotten. We were celebrating the reinvigorated version of me. The first week in an unfamiliar town, right before I started a new career, and the last weekend Blossom would be there for a couple of months. She’d made me promise that we would go out, drink too much, make absolute fools of ourselves, and have one crazy night. She knew I’d never do it without her. Once she was gone, my weekends would be filled with work, Hulu, and takeout.
I had promised I’d go out and have enough fun to last me until the next time she was in town. I even promised I would smile, dance a little, and make small talk—if the right guy came along. At the time, I had never pictured that man to look like the one behind the bar.
“Yeah, but he’s the furthest thing from my type we could find,” I pointed out.
“Good!” She arched a brow, crossing her arms over her chest. “That’s why I brought you here. You won’t find a low self-esteemed dick who treats his amazing girlfriend like shit and fucks her over just to make himself feel like a big man in a place like this. Pricks like him are too pretentious to walk through the front door because it’s beneath them.” The hatred dripped from each word. “No, the men here won’t lead you on for years only to screw you over and leave you with a broken heart.”
My mind immediately strayed to the man I knew she was talking about. My heart constricted, just a little.
As if reading my mind, she cast a finger at me accusingly. “No! Don’t you dare start to think about him right now.” She didn’t even have to say his name—the disgust and anger were clear.
I didn’t want to talk about him. Or think about him. Or remember how he’d destroyed my life and how because of him, I had to start over at square one. I was pretty sure I hated him.
I tipped my hand toward the door. “And his type is different how?”
The agitation on her face disappeared, replaced by a mischievous smile. “His kind?” She snorted. “His kind give you Earth-shattering orgasms, fuck you so hard you can barely do the walk of shame, and ruin you for all other men.”
I giggled. She was insane. I loved her.
“So, what do you want me to do? Attack him in the broom closet?”
A thoughtful look crossed her features. “Oooo. That’d be hot.” She tapped her finger on her bottom lip, clearly considering my options. “But no. You’re going to go out there, sit your gorgeous ass back down, and flirt some more. Then I’m going to tell him I have to leave and ask him to take you home.”
I could only shake my head in disbelief. “You’re pimping me out?”
“Nope.” She waved her hand. “I’m getting my best friend laid. By the hot man-child who obviously wants to jump her bones and do naughty, naughty things to her.”
“I don’t even know his name,” I argued with a laugh.
“Eh, you don’t need to. Just say ‘God.’” She tipped her head back, faking a moan. “‘Oh my God. Don’t stop. Right there. God. Harder. Jesus, God, harder.’”
The sound of a flushing toilet told me we weren’t alone, that we hadn’t been alone during this entire conversation. Blossom’s cheeks went from a rosy red alcohol-induced hue to a bright tomato in embarrassment. When she mouthed, “Oh my God!” completely mortified, I lost it.
Maybe it was the drinks—I’d had a few. Maybe it was the obnoxiousness of the situation. A man that attractive would never have hit on me in my hometown. Or maybe it was just being with my favorite person. Whenever the two of us got together, I forgot I was a responsible, educated, and independent almost-thirty-year-old.
Whatever the reason, my chuckles morphed into uncontrollable giggles, and I doubled over to try to catch my breath. My legs suddenly refused to hold me, and I found myself on the floor, tears streaming down my face, gasping for air.
When an older woman strutted out of the bathroom, the unmistakable look of disgust on her face only made me cackle harder. I wasn’t used to people looking at me like that. Hell, usually I was the sober one, casting humorous judgment down on my drunk-ass friends.
“Poor thing,” Blossom cooed in her fake snotty voice, tsking her tongue as she tipped her head at me. “She just can’t hold her liquor anymore.”
I couldn’t control the howls that followed.
Once we were alone, Blossom pulled me off the ground, helped wash my face, and then touched up my makeup. Right before I turned away, she grabbed my cheeks, completely serious. “I want you to go out there and make bad choices. Horrible, awful, irresponsible choices. Do something you would never do in a million years.”
“Like sleeping with the nameless kid?”
“No! Definitely not sleeping. There will be no sleeping. I want you to show him what it’s like to fuck a real woman. Ride it dirty. Go into beast mode. Give him a facial. Make him purr.”
Even if her hands hadn’t trapped me, I don’t think I would have moved. All I could do was stare, trying to find words that just wouldn’t come. Finally, forcing the laughter down, I croaked out, “I don’t have a fucking clue what you just said.”
Blossom scowled, dropping her hands. “Don’t you listen to the cool kids talk?”
I couldn’t hide my amused smile. “Which kids would that be? The ones you keep after school in detention? ‘Cause they’re so cool.”
She chuckled, shaking her head, and moved aside to open the door. Tipping her head sideways, she smirked. “Go get him, tiger.” As I walked into the hall, she slapped my ass. “Make me proud!”
I slid my gaze to his left. Lucky crossed his arms over his chest, thick muscles taut, and leaned back in his chair while watching me coolly. His eyes narrowed in challenge, as if he refused to talk, then his features scrunched in a scowl. Sighing, he cracked his neck.
After a brief moment, when they realized that was all he was going to say, the rest of the class started to laugh. It annoyed the shit out of me.
“Chance?” I asked, prompting.
The brat rolled his eyes, uncrossing his arms and sitting forward a hair.
“Lucien Chance.” He tipped his chin up in defiance and sent me a scathing look. “I like long walks on the beach, deep conversation, and romance novels.” Half the students—the female half—let out a sigh. The rest of the room erupted in hoots of laughter.
“Mr. Chance.” I pushed off the desk and walked into the center of the room so I could avoid staring at him. “While I’m sure some of your classmates are anxious to hear your dating profile—” Snickers interrupted me.
“Ms. Bernard.” Taking advantage of the pause, Lucky spoke up, his tone condescending. “I know you’re new here, but everyone already knows everything about me. What you see is what you get.” He opened his arms as if putting himself on display. “I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I am the Lucien Chance, star wide receiver. I don’t need a dating profile.”
I heard a couple surprised mumbles and a few uncomfortable chuckles, but I didn’t acknowledge anyone other than him. I hoped that I hid my surprise and disappointment well. This man was so completely different than I had thought he was that it gave me a moment of clarity.
As I stared him down, agitation and annoyance replaced every other emotion. I was suddenly grateful I hadn’t looked him up after our night together. I most certainly did not need another egotistical ass in my life who whispered sweet nothings at night and threw poisoned darts the next morning.
I didn’t give a rat’s ass who he was or what we had shared for a few hours. I refused to put up with his shit. Not in my classroom. I didn’t know how other teachers treated the ‘star wide receiver,’ but in here, he was just like any other student.
I was his professor. He didn’t have to like me, but he would show me respect.
“How nice for you.” I let the disgust I felt toward his behavior seep into my words. “In this class, however, you’re no different than anyone else.”