Nick Wilde is a man content with his life. Business at his tattoo shop is booming, and he’s never lacking for friends or female company. But when he meets Lia, he knows everything will change...
A moment’s flirtation and a kiss in the dark leaves Nick wanting more. When his Cinderella vanishes before the night is over, she leaves him nothing but her name and the memory of a kiss he can’t forget.
Chicago Police Detective Lia Archer’s life doesn’t have room for distractions, and that’s exactly what Nick Wilde is. He’s sexy, charming, and a threat to everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. She ran out on him once, but when Nick reappears in her life, he’s determined not to make it easy for her to vanish on him again.
When past decisions and old secrets come back to haunt them, will the fairytale end, or will they find a way to reclaim their Happily Ever After?
“I’ve got tattoos too. Wanna see?” He waggled his brows at her and laughed before releasing her hands and stepping back to give her space to catch her breath.
Flirting with Lia was the most enjoyable part of Nick Wilde’s evening so far. Not that he wasn’t happy to see his brother Ben get married to the love of his life, far from it. But why the fuck did weddings require everyone to wear their most uncomfortable clothing and then sit around for hours on end while eating identical plates of overpriced food and drinking cheap, watered down booze. If he ever lost his mind and got hitched, he’d do it in Vegas. No muss, no fuss and no nosy relations coyly asking the single men if they were next in line to fall in love.
First Ben and then Tag had gone down in a blaze of hearts and flowers. Ben had been grinning like a lunatic all day, and the last time Nick had seen Tag, his brother was hovering over his pregnant fiancée, Jo, like a hen with her first clutch of chicks. It was all very sweet, but Nick liked his life as is. The tattoo shop was showing steady profits, if he wanted female company he could find it easily enough, and his father had finally given up trying to convince him to “get a real job.”
“Do I want to see your tattoos? Really? Does that line ever work for you?” Lia asked him with a low, throaty laugh that had his cock surging to attention.
“Honestly? Yes,” he confessed and was rewarded with another of her laughs. Fuck, she was sexy. He’d been watching her since the reception started, but he’d kept his distance until he was sure she wasn’t involved with the guy escorting her. He didn’t poach another man’s turf, no matter how tempting the woman might be.
“Tattoos and piercings. I think you’re the man my momma warned me about.” There was no missing the heat that flashed in her eyes as she bantered with him.
“That’s entirely possible. Did I mention I have a motorbike, too?”
“The bad boy trifecta. Yep, you’re definitely on her list of men I’m not supposed to talk to.”
Sass and smarts. Fuck, she was getting more interesting by the minute. The last woman he’d dated wouldn’t have been able to spell trifecta, never mind use it in a sentence. Nick inwardly winced as he realized that statement applied to the last few women he’d spent any time with. None of them were half as intriguing as the green-eyed beauty currently standing in front of him.
The deejay started the music again, an ‘80’s power ballad with enough bass that it was easily heard out on the balcony. “So, don’t talk. Dance with me instead.”
She opened her mouth to protest and he caught her hands again, tugging her into his arms before she could say anything. He knew he’d won when she relaxed and let him draw her in closer. He kept a hold of her right hand while guiding her left hand up to his shoulder. When she looked up at him in surprise, he settled his hand on her hip and swept her into a slow waltz across the empty terrace.
“Be still my heart. You can actually dance!”
“A regular renaissance man, that’s me.” He couldn’t help but grin as she followed his lead, his jacket flaring out like a cape behind her as they twirled. Lia fit perfectly in his arms, and he couldn’t help but notice that she was tall enough that he wouldn’t have to do more than dip his head a little to reach the sweet curve of her lips. The thought sent a surge of blood straight to his cock.
Nick sucked in a lungful of cold air, trying to cool the fire building inside him. The delicate scent of her perfume filled his lungs, and she choose that moment to shift deeper into his arms, close enough so her breasts brushed against his shirt. She was going to fucking kill him at this rate, and all they’d done was dance.
His slid his hand from her hip to the small of her back, pulling her in closer. She shifted her hand, letting her fingers curve around the back of his neck and he felt a powerful urge to kiss her. The idea was insane. They’d only spoken a handful of sentences to each other. He didn’t even know her last name, but damn it, he already wanted to know what she tasted like, to run his fingers through the tousled spikes of her chocolate brown hair and find out for himself if her caramel-kissed skin was as soft as it looked.
The music slowed and he spun her around one last time, deliberately ending their dance near the shadowy corner she’d been tucked into when he had first stepped outside. When she went to release his hand, he didn’t let go. Instead he walked her backward, into the shadows until she had her back to the wall and her hand was pinned to the bricks beside her head.
“What do you think you’re doing, exactly?”
“Testing a theory,” he told her, caging her body with his as he lowered his head and slanted his mouth across hers, stopping her next words with a kiss. He had only intended to taste her, but then she parted her lips beneath his and all his good intentions vanished like mist caught in a sunbeam. She strained upward, kissing him back as her free hand curved around the back of his neck. One kiss turned into two, then three. There wasn’t any room between them any longer, and when she rubbed herself against the hard ridge of his erection Nick felt a jolt of pure lust arrow through him.
When at last he lifted his head, she didn’t let go of him, didn’t try to push him away. She just cocked her head to one side and asked, “So, what was this theory you were testing.”
“I wanted to see if we had chemistry together.”
Lia laughed again, and this time he was close enough he could feel it roll through her, low and sexy as hell. “’And, do we?”
“If you have to ask that question, then I must have done something wrong. Do I need to run the experiment again?”