His eyes darkened as he exhaled. “Damn, baby, you look…” He shook his head. “How long do we have to stay?”

  “Dinner and then after party, remember?” I arched my eyebrows. “Besides, I’m only doing this once. So I want it to be perfect.”

  “Your wish is my command.” His blue eyes were hooded as he looked at my shoes and slowly raised his head to meet my gaze. “I can’t stop looking at you.” He twirled me around slowly, stopping as his hands ran down my back. Warm lips touched the base of the back of my neck before he turned me to face him again.

  “Then close your eyes,” I teased.

  “What I want…” He grasped my wrist and tugged me against his body. “…Is you. Right now.”

  “You have me,” I whispered. “Tomorrow.”

  “I may die tonight.” He smirked then kissed my lips softly. “I’ll never get enough, Nat, just know that. You’re my addiction — my craving, my everything — and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. With our baby.”

  Tears welled in my eyes as I kissed him back and just held him.

  “Not married yet,” came Demetri’s smooth voice.

  “She’s pregnant, you ass,” Jaymeson chimed in from behind Alec. “What worse things could he do?”

  “The man has a point.” Demetri nodded. “Still, back off. If I’m not getting any, you’re not getting any.”

  “One more day.” Alec grinned. “Then I get all I want, and where does that leave you?”

  Jaymeson cackled and elbowed Demetri. “Aw, she still holding out until you give her a ring? Wait a second—” His eyes widened. “Did you just—”

  “Justin Timerblake, as I live and breathe!” Demetri yelled loud enough for the paparazzi to hear. Cameras flashed in the direction he pointed, going crazy over the fact that JT would be at the rehearsal dinner.

  “Good one.” Alec laughed.

  “Yeah, well.” Demetri shrugged. “What can I say? I’m awesome.”

  “Yes. Mr. Awesome. Way ta keep the tag on your shirt.” Alyssa came up behind him and tugged it off. “Armani? Nice.”

  Alec’s hand came around my waist, resting right on the bare skin of my lower back. “How are you feeling?” His lips brushed my ear. My body shivered. Would his touch always do that to me? Make me want to throw myself at him and wrap my legs around his waist?

  “I’m good.” I smiled. “Promise. I don’t feel sick at all, though I am a bit anxious.”

  “Did you girls have fun at the spa?”

  I bit back a smile and gave him a firm nod. “This afternoon was just what I needed.” There. At least I wasn’t lying.

  Seeming satisfied, his grip tightened on my waist as he led me to the large table reserved for close friends and family. The wedding party consisted of Demetri, Jaymeson, Alyssa, and one of Alyssa’s cousins, Priscilla. She was a little bit younger than all of us, just turned eighteen, but drop dead gorgeous. Of course, she’d have to be if she was related to Alyssa.

  My friend Alesha was supposed to be the other bridesmaid, but her fiancé, Evan, had been planning a destination wedding literally the same weekend. I couldn’t change my date because the tours wouldn’t allow, and they couldn’t get their deposit back on the destination wedding, which sucked. I would have loved to be there for them and vice versa. I was thankful that Alyssa thought of Priscilla. She’d hung out with me and the guys a few times, but I wasn’t entirely sure how well things would go over with Jaymeson — we’d warned him not to flirt with her. Though his only question had been if she was legal.

  “Hey.” Priscilla gave me a quick hug and kissed Alyssa on the cheek. “You gals excited for tomorrow?”

  Actually I was excited for tonight. Hopefully Priscilla wouldn’t freak out. I’d invited her because she was part of the wedding party, but part of me felt like I was going to shock the crap out of her.

  “Sure thing!” Alyssa gave me knowing look and mouthed, Stop worrying!

  “If everyone could take their seats.” My mom stood and clanked on her wine glass. “I’d like to thank everyone for being here. We’re kind of informal, so eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy yourselves! Oh, and wedding party…” She pointed to Jaymeson mainly because he was the only one known to be late all the freaking time. “Pictures are at noon.”

  “Noon?” Jaymeson repeated.

  “Right,” Alec chimed in. “So don’t go staying up all night and sleeping in.”

  “Wouldn’t dream of it.” Jaymeson’s British accent was thick as he crossed his arms over his chest. With a wink he lifted his glass in the air to Mrs. Murray and took a long sip. Her eyes narrowed.

  Mom loved Jaymeson the way that people love their puppies. You know you have to feed them and take care of them, but sometimes they just annoy the hell out of you with their constant barking and peeing on the carpet.

  And Jaymeson, bless his heart, barked a lot.

  “Cheers!” Demetri raised his water, the rest of us clinked glasses and started eating. I was too nervous to eat, so I pushed some food around my plate and managed to choke down some potatoes.

  In a few hours Alec would know exactly what I’d been up to for the past month — and it sure as hell wasn’t knitting.

  Chapter Seven


  Nat was acting jumpy. When I asked her if she was all right for the third time she smacked me on the arm and told me to eat my food and shut up.

  Paranoid was my freaking middle name; she knew that. I was done with trying to act like everything was perfect, so it was hard for me to just sit there and smile when I knew something was up.

  Damn, my fingers itched for a cigarette or something — anything really. I hated that every time I was faced with something epic in my life or even something as small as my fiancée not eating her food when I told her to — that I resorted to that addicted feeling. I wanted to feel calm. And maybe that was the problem. I’d spent so much of my life wanting to control things and thinking I actually did have control over them, that when I was finally awake enough to feel anxious, I wanted to numb myself all over again.

  How people lived their lives constantly ‘feeling’ and not tuning out the world, was seriously new to me. It had been years since I’d done drugs but it still felt like yesterday, and every raw emotion, everything I felt with Nat just made me feel that much more exposed and vulnerable.

  I took a sip of water and watched as she kept pushing her vegetables around her plate. Her color was high, her cheeks flushed, smile wide — okay fine, so I was being a bit paranoid but still, she wasn’t even eating! She had to eat — the doctor said that she was eating for two.

  With a sigh I put some carrots onto her plate and gave her a forceful look. She glared right back at me. I stabbed the carrot with my fork and held it to her mouth. “Eat, or so help me God, I’m going to lose my damn mind.”

  “And I’m the emotional one,” Nat grumbled then opened her mouth like a good girl.

  I stabbed another carrot and lifted it to her lips.

  She rolled her eyes but ate it anyway.

  Her mouth was so beautiful. Seriously, if I could just feed her — and yes I realize how insane I sounded — I’d be happy for the rest of my days. I hadn’t even realized I was so close to her lips until Demetri kicked my chair, causing me to nearly fall into her lap.

  “Yeah, there are small children present.” My brother coughed. “May wanna take it down to PG.”

  “Where was it at?”

  “Passing R and barreling straight towards X.” Jaymeson laughed.

  Priscilla blushed on the other side of him and took a sip of water. Poor girl. It was like watching a lion sit with an antelope. The damn antelope was trapped, just waiting for the lion to devour her.

  I’d given strict instructions to Demetri — Watch Jaymeson and don’t leave him alone with the girl. Not that I thought him capable of doing something terrible to her, I just knew girls had a hard time saying no to him. Granted, Priscilla seemed to be anything but star-stru
ck, but still. Jaymeson would only break her heart and no eighteen-year-old just out of high school deserved the heartache someone like him would bring.

  I pushed my plate away and checked my watch — less than twenty-four hours to go and I would be hers, she would be mine. I gripped her hand under the table.

  Nat’s cheeks turned pink as she squeezed my hand back. I’d really been trying to be the good guy — you know, the one that even though he got his girlfriend pregnant, waited until she had a ring on her finger to touch her. Needless to say I was slowly, and very painfully, losing my mind. I’d gone from sex addict to celibate all in the course of three months. Tomorrow night would probably be over before it even started.

  As long as she found her pleasure, I was okay with it. I just wanted her to smile, I wanted her to scream, I wanted her to laugh, and I wanted her to give her heart to me piece by piece until there was nothing left in her possession.

  Chapter Eight


  “Hey, where you going?” I gripped Nat’s hand as she stood. Damn but her dress was low in the back, if I were to stand directly above her and — her hand smacked me on the shoulder.

  “Done staring?”

  “Nope,” I said honestly. “If you don’t want me to stare maybe you should remove the temptation.” I thumbed the dress with my fingers and ran my hand up the side of her thigh.

  She giggled nervously and shivered. I loved it when she did that — as if she couldn’t control her body when she was around me. At least it made me feel like I wasn’t alone in that regard.

  “I, um, Alyssa and I have to check on some things for the party, we’ll meet you back at the beach house.”

  “Okay.” My eyes narrowed as I watched Alyssa, Nat, and Priscilla saunter out of the room in their killer high heels and sexy, short dresses. First thing I thought was, ’Nat better slow down before I smack her ass for disobeying me,’ and the whole keep the baby safe thing, second thing I thought—

  “They’re up to something,” Demetri said in my ear, scaring the shit out of me. I almost spilled my wine all over my white shirt.

  “Yeah they are.” I put the wine down. “But what? You think they have a surprise at the party?”

  “Jaymeson,” Demetri called without looking to the left to even see if Jaymeson was there. “Come here.”

  Jaymeson plopped down next to us and stole my wine. “Gentleman, how can I be of service?” He took a long sip.

  “What do you know?”

  Jaymeson began to choke.

  “Come on, England.” Demetri smacked him on the back. “Bros before—”

  We all sat in silence tilting our heads.

  “Women?” I offered.

  “It should be ‘hoes’,” Jaymeson said dryly. “But I figure the first time I say that around you guys or the girls I’ll get run over by my own car, so let’s just leave it at that, shall we?”

  “Spill.” I demanded.

  “Nothing to spill.” He looked away. “The girls have a surprise for you — they needed my help, and I never say no to a damsel.”

  “That we know.” Demetri snickered. “You never say no to any chick, or is it that they never say no to you?”

  “Both ways.” Jaymeson waved us off. “It works both ways.”

  I rolled my eyes. “So we find out tonight.”

  With a laugh Jaymeson shook his head. “Ah, well, let’s just say you guys owe me big for my help in the matter, and that’s all I have to say.”

  “Why?” we asked in unison.

  “You’re welcome.” Jaymeson stood. “Now, we should get going if you want to see what your girls have been up to for the past few weeks.”

  “Oh that.” Demetri stood and stretched. “Alyssa’s been studying at the library for some — Damn, I’m an idiot.”

  “Yeah, I was waiting for that one.” I chuckled, then paused. “Wait. Does that mean Nat hasn’t really been going to yoga?”

  Jaymeson grinned. “You’ll see.”

  I pushed both guys out of the way as I made my way out the door. Cameras flashed, I smiled, and by the time I finished answering questions, thirty minutes had passed. Sweating, I put the jeep in drive and made a beeline toward the beach house. Jaymeson had been deathly silent, but if his smirk was any indication of what was ahead of us, he’d either be at the bottom of the ocean in a few minutes or handing out high fives.

  “Maybe,” Jaymeson whispered so I almost didn’t hear him, “If I ever found a girl who would do this for me… maybe then.” His smile fell. I put the car in park and opened the door.

  “You never know, Jaymeson.” I slapped his back.

  “But I do. And that’s alright.” He nodded and then the old Jaymeson was back as he laughingly led us into the house.

  What the—? The entire house was pitch black.

  I couldn’t see a thing. Demetri ran into me and then all of a sudden Jaymeson was gone.

  “Are we going to get murdered?” Demetri whispered.

  “Yes, by the girls we love. I can see the Hallmark movie now.” I said it with more conviction than I felt, because to be honest, I was freaked. They said ’after party’. I thought dessert and wine or something, not a pitch-black house with an eerie feeling about it. I moved to turn on the lights when I heard a loud noise. Holy hell, did I just get caned?

  Chapter Nine


  Holy crap I just caned my future husband! To be fair I wasn’t aiming for his hand but it was really dark and I misjudged how far away Alec was, so I’d hit him really hard. I heard him cursing in the darkness.

  Where the heck was Jaymeson? He was part of the show. We needed him to turn the stage lights on.

  Within seconds I felt hands on my waist and Jaymeson was whispering in my ear. “You girls ready?”

  “Totally,” Alyssa said. I could hear the laughter in her voice — she was having way too much fun with this one.

  I adjusted my black corset and white leather hot pants. I had on a pair of sexy nylons and thigh-high boots. My hat was pinned to the side of my head. In practice it kept falling off, but Alyssa said it would be fine.

  She was dressed in a white corset and tight black leather pants. Her hat was red to match her lipstick. If Demetri didn’t propose after this he was hopeless.

  The guys didn’t truly get a bachelor party. So we were going to give them one, with our rules, and see if they survived it. We’d been practicing burlesque lessons for weeks. Not to mention the pictures we took and programs we set up. The party planning company put a stage in the living room — it was the perfect set up. We had champagne for Alec and Jaymeson, juice boxes for Demetri, poor guy, and tons of desserts for later, aphrodisiacs to be exact. Well, aphrodisiacs and the creepy weird cake that I was hoping Jaymeson wouldn’t enjoy too much.

  Holy crap, it was like we were seducing them and torturing them at the same time. I laughed as I clenched the cane in my hands. Poor Priscilla nearly had a heart attack; she decided to hang and watch from the kitchen.

  “Ready?” Alyssa whispered in my ear.

  “Let’s do this,” I whispered back.

  “One, two, three.” Jaymeson flipped on the stage lights. Two spotlights fell on us. I was standing back to back with Alyssa; we both had our hands on our foreheads and then the music started.

  I dropped my boa.

  Alyssa dropped hers as we strutted towards the front of the stage.

  I pulled a ribbon from my hair; she pulled one from her wrist.

  The only thing I could hear was the music playing and lots of cursing coming from the darkness in front of us. I hoped it was a good thing.

  Chapter Ten


  “I swear something just whipped me.”

  “Yeah, it’s called marriage, you ass,” Demetri’s voice snapped in my direction. “What the hell is going on?”

  Then suddenly lights flipped on.

  Nat was standing on the stage. She looked like a sex goddess. Holy crap, I was going to die. I could
n’t breathe. I reached for something — anything, and took a seat in a leather chair I’d never seen before in my life.

  Demetri did the same thing. His eyes focused on Alyssa so hard I thought he was going to go blind from watching.

  Nat looked out at us and dropped a ribbon. I clenched the seat with my hands, turning my knuckles white. I wasn’t sure how okay I was with Demetri watching Nat strip and then I looked at him. He only had eyes for Alyssa, and by the looks of it, he was like two seconds away from taking her to Vegas.

  The music crashed and crescendoed, Britney Spears’ Womanizer came on as Jaymeson ran out into the middle of the stage in nothing but a bowtie and leather pants. He danced between the girls, in a totally non-sexual way, and then pushed the girls forward as the music changed to something slower.

  Nat walked purposefully towards me. With every click of her high heeled boots I think a part of my body ceased to function. My vision was blurred, my hands continued to grip the seat, and all I knew was that I needed her, now.

  Jaymeson followed and pulled a curtain between the two chairs. I looked up. How the hell did they do that? It separated me from Demetri and then wrapped completely around us, putting us in an almost private room. And then a black light flicked on. Nat’s blonde hair was glowing. Her white hot pants were literally killing me.

  But I was able to handle myself.

  Until she straddled my lap.

  Officially dying.

  So she was trying to kill me? Was that it?

  I ground my teeth together as she slowly started to move against me, and then she reached her arms above her head and grabbed some sort of rope, her wrists twisted inside it as she pulled herself up and did a Cirque de Soleil style move. Her body twisted in the air so fast I couldn’t keep up, and then she came back down onto my lap. I fought to keep my hands to myself.

  Her lips touched my ear. “Happy bachelor party, baby.”

  My mouth dropped open.

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