Exclusive! Don’t Miss This FREE Prequel to More than One Night by Heatherly Bell
In More than One Night by Heatherly Bell, Jill Davis is faced with Sam Hawker, the man she spent one night with three years before—and he’s her employee! In this delightful prequel short story, One Night, Heatherly Bell tells the story of that one night, before Jill became Sam’s boss and things got complicated.
About More than One Night:
She had one night with a marine
And now she’s in command
A one-night stand so incredible, Jill Davis couldn’t forget. Memories so delectable, they sustained Sam Hawker through his final tour. Three years later, Jill is unexpectedly face-to-face with her legendary marine lover. And it’s clear their chemistry is like gas and a match. Except Sam is her newest employee. That means hands off, sister! Except maybe…just this once? Ooh-rah!
Even in the dimly lit San Francisco bar, Jill Davis noticed the man almost immediately. She’d been sitting alone for several minutes, trying to get the attention of the only cocktail waitress, because she wanted another Mojito. The drink was supposed to have been a celebratory one after her meeting earlier in the day with a group of venture capitalists. But they hadn’t appreciated her idea of an extreme outdoor adventures park for the Silicon Valley set. At least, not enough to invest and take a risk. Either Jill hadn’t done a good enough job of presenting, or her idea really was as far-fetched as her family believed.
She glanced over at the hot guy again, telling herself he was a good distraction for her current mood. He was alone, dressed in cargo pants and a tee that strained against his impressive biceps. A short regulatory haircut and shaved jawline told her that he was almost certainly a service man. His broad shoulders strained against his dark T-shirt and the cords of muscles on his forearms made Jill drool a little. She gave herself permission to picture what he might look like under his clothes. What the hell, she was single and hadn’t dated anyone in a year.
The waitress brushed her breasts against the man as she served him. He didn’t even look up but continued to roll a coin between his fingers. Jill snorted and waved again to get the attention of the waitress. She was only seated two tables away from the man, but the waitress walked in the other direction as if she had no other customers at all. What did a woman have to do to get a drink around here?
She stood and followed in the direction the waitress had disappeared. “Excuse me? Hello? Could I get another drink please?”
Giving up, she turned, and Hot Guy was staring right at her. His steel blue eyes were piercing, and they gleamed with intelligence as he took her in.
“I’m sorry if I’m being rude, but it’s not like there’s a full house tonight.” She waved around the mostly empty room.
One corner of his mouth quirked in what seemed to be an effort at a smile. “Sit down.”
His voice was deep and stern. Startled, for a moment Jill wondered if he could be talking to someone else. But he was still studying her.
“You want a drink.” He kicked the empty chair out. “She’ll be back around in a minute.”
“I’m sure she will,” Jill said, taking a seat. “She’s kind of predictable that way.”
He had no reply or opinion on that, and simply pocketed the coin he’d been rolling, the hint of a scowl forming on his face. She resisted the urge to ask him about the coin, because he was a stranger, and it was none of her business. Silence grew between them when he said mothing more. He simply continued to make no effort to hide the fact that his gaze was doing a slow slide over her body and she couldn’t help but feel he was quietly and metaphorically undressing her.
So, she boldly did the same. He noticed that, and she got another half-smile and a head tilt.
A group of loud people came inside the bar, and they both turned in their direction for a slice of a moment, then back to each other. Still no conversation. Not one with actual words. Jill drummed her fingers on the table. Finally, she couldn’t take it any longer. “What branch?”
“That obvious? Marines.”
The waitress came back from wherever she’d been hiding and straight to their table.
“Another scotch, big guy?”
He winced but if one wasn’t paying careful attention the way Jill was, it might have been missed. “Nothing for me, but my friend here wants…”
“Another mojito, please?”
“Coming right up,” she said and then made her way to the party that had just come in.
He slid his empty tumbler away. “You just get back from an important meeting?”
She always wore her black pant suit to business meetings and definitely not dates with hot men. Which, this wasn’t.
“It didn’t go well. Next subject.”
“Why don’t you come up with the next subject? I’m not very good at talking tonight.”
Or any night?
She had a good idea what was happening given the hot looks exchanged between them, and surprisingly, she didn’t mind. Just two lonely strangers meeting up in a bar in the city. Drinks. Whatever else might develop. She didn’t need a relationship and she’d bet this dude didn’t either.
“Are you on leave?”
“Yep. Ship day after tomorrow.”
“Not much time. Where to?”
“Middle East.” He met her eyes. “And if you say thank you for your service, this conversation is over.”
If the words hadn’t been spoken softly, she might have been offended because she was about to say just that. Her brother Ryan was an officer in the Army and she’d been taught all her life to appreciate the military.
“I wasn’t going to say that,” Jill lied.
The waitress came with her mojito and after a couple more sips, Jill wondered what it might be like to be someone else tonight. In this room, no one knew her at all. She wasn’t dutiful Jill from the over-achieving Davis family of Fortune, California. Maybe, just once, she could be the kind of woman to proposition a handsome single man and have one special night to remember forever. Nothing more than that. It had always been part of her nature to take risks of one kind or another. Just not this kind of risk. She’d just never met anyone worth it.
“You’re not married, are you?” she asked.
He snorted. “No.”
“Don’t act like it’s a silly thing to ask.”
He leaned forward in his seat. “Are you?”
“No.” She sipped at her drink and went for it. “Do…do you have plans tonight?”
“Yeah,” he said, and her spunk took a hit. “I had plans to sit here and get shit faced. But you showed up and presented a different option.”
She didn’t mind at all being another option. She could ask him why he wanted to get drunk and what kind of day he’d had compared to hers. But maybe there was no need for that. She was going to assume they’d both had a bad day. Why get all tangled up in each other’s issues when he was shipping off? And she would be busy for the next few years building a business from the ground up. She wasn’t interested in a relationship.
“My name is Angelina,” Jill said, immediately feeling guilty about her lie. She was apparently not going to be very good at this. “Okay, so it’s not Angelina but tonight I’d like to be Angelina.”
He quirked a brow. “Yeah? Do you pretend often?”
Not often enough. “Not really. Is it okay if I give you a fake name, too?”
He cocked his head again, like he wasn’t sure if he was being punked. “Angelina, you can call me anything you’d like tonight.”
“Chris. I’m going to call you Chris.”
No need for him to know, but Jill crushed on all the famous Chrises. Hemsworth, Pratt, Evans, Pine. She’d concocted a scale of rating men similar to the boring one-ten system that men used to rate women. She’d created “The Chris Scale” for fun. And this fake Chris was blowing the grade curve for anyone else that might come along in the future.
Panic seized her. What were the odds… “That’s not your real name, is it?”
“Uh, no.” He smiled full tilt this time and heat curled inside her.
She made a mock swipe at her brow. “Whew!”
“What did you have in mind, Angelina?” He studied her from under hooded lids.
“Do you want to get a room?” She cleared her throat.
Was that how people asked for this sort of thing? Surely, he didn’t need more details and understood what she meant. If only she’d read more Cosmo in her spare time!
“Yeah,” he said immediately. “But I already have one.”
Oh, my god that was easy. “H-here?”
His gaze rose to the ceiling of the bar that was below the hotel, then back to her. “Eighth floor.”
Should she stand up now? Wait until he did? What exactly was the etiquette here? He made no moves of his own, so she quickly finished up her drink.
“Okay, then,” she said and grabbed her purse. “Let’s go.”
“Not so fast, Angelina.” He touched her hand. His eyes narrowed on her, then her empty glass. “How many of those have you had tonight?”
“Just the two, why?”
“Maybe some coffee first.” He called over their waitress by just glancing in her direction. “I have to be sure.”
Jill had her coffee within seconds. She huffed. “Must be good to be you.”
Then she remembered the Marines, being shipped off to the Middle East, and was ashamed of herself. It was not good to be him. He might never come home. She was an idiot. “I’m sorry—”
“Don’t do that. I like the way you’re treating me. Don’t change that.”
“I know,” he said. “And whatever you’re worried about is something I’ve already prepared for a hundred times. I’m no one special. I’m Chris.”
“Finish your coffee and if you still want to go upstairs, we will.”
“I know what I’m doing, soldier, and I’m not even tipsy.” The coffee was hot, or she would have finished it faster.
She wanted to get on with this. Every minute that passed was another one in which she might re-think this whole set-up and run out of here disappointed. Her addiction to risk had never included casual sex. She’d been too cautious about men to even consider it. Plus, she had a big brother. She’d heard enough warnings about men. But Chris had given her enough cues that he clearly wasn’t on the prowl. This night was her idea and he’d made her slow down and think it over. All of these facts reassured any doubts that he was exactly what she needed tonight.
When she put the cup down, he stood. She liked the confidence.
He was beside her even before she stood, all easy male swagger. One hand on the small of her back, he led her in the direction of the hotel bank of elevators outside the bar. Just that simple and casual touch had her body thrumming with anticipation. She wanted to touch him. Everywhere. As she waited not-so-patiently for the moment when she could, she became aware of even the smallest of sounds. The ding of the elevator as it opened to them, the punch of his finger on the eighth-floor button. The swish of the doors as they shut.
The air was thick and charged between them. When the elevator had just passed the fourth floor, he pulled her into his arms, one hand firmly on her waist, keeping her close.
He was so tall that she had to tilt her head to get a good look in his eyes, but he met her halfway. Tracing the edge of her lower lip first, he bent to take her mouth in a soul-wrenching kiss. She met his fierce passion with some of her own and heat pulsed through her and wrapped around the back of her knees. When he broke the kiss, they were both breathing heavily. She had fisted his t-shirt. His hands had lowered to her behind.
He studied her from lowered lashes and tucked a stray hair behind her ear. “Damn.”
The elevator doors opened, and Jill’s mind was so gobsmacked with lust that she had no idea where she was or whether it was time to get off on this floor. Chris took her hand and led the way. He pulled the key fob out of his back pocket and turned to her again.
“Before we go inside, Angelina, I want to make sure we’re both on the same page.”
“I wasn’t thinking we were going to go inside and talk all night, if that’s what you mean. I don’t want to talk.”
He quirked a brow. “Because I’m leaving day after tomorrow, and I’m not in any position—”
“I know what this is,” she interrupted. “It was my idea. One special night.”
He opened the door and waited until she stepped inside. Her eyes flit about the room, hoping not to find anything that might send her screaming out of here. But all she saw was an immaculate room. Bed neatly made. There was a black overnight bag in one corner of the room, showing he traveled light. A pair of black work boots were on the floor near the bed and a neatly pressed uniform hung in the closet.
Excitement building, she watched as he emptied his pockets of his wallet and his key fob and set them on the desk across from the bed. It was a big bed, too. King sized.
Did he have condoms? Maybe she should ask in case one of them had to run to the store.
“I’m nervous,” she blurted out instead.
“You are?” That took her by surprise because he looked like he did this every day. His movements were easy and fluid, like a sleek jaguar’s.
He slid her an easy smile. “After that kiss, I’m worried that once I get you naked, this room is going to spontaneously burst into flames.”
She choked on a laugh when he slowly removed her jacket never once breaking eye contact. There was something so deeply sensual and penetrating about his gaze that she stood riveted and unable to look away while he slowly undressed her. Stripped down to her black satin push-up bra and panties, she impatiently pulled off his shirt and then went for the waistband of his pants. His chest and abs were of a rare male beauty, impressive hard sinewy muscles that tensed under her touch. Her hands slid down his biceps and squeezed his forearms, reveling in their strength. She was interrupted when he toppled them both down to the bed.
He kissed her then, slower and deeper, but with every bit of the fierceness from the first time. Then he methodically made his way down her body, licking and tasting as he went, leaving her damp skin hot to the touch. He drew in one nipple and sucked, then the other. Heat pooled between her thighs and she reached for him, stroking until he groaned.
It didn’t take long before he’d worked her up into a frenzy of desire. He reached for a condom and protected them both. With one powerful thrust he was inside her, moving slowly, building friction that laced through her, keeping her close to the edge. She wrapped her legs around him, and took him deeper, giving him everything she had until they both went over the edge together.
She wondered if it was always like this between two strangers because in her wildest dreams, she couldn’t have imagined this kind of connection.
He rolled and tucked her beside him. “What am I going to do with you, Angelina?”
“Well, Chris, I have a few more ideas.”
“I’ll bet you do.” He slid her a wicked grin.
All night long, they were insatiable, reaching for each other again and again. Satisfying each other until they were both spent.
Jill woke before dawn curled next to a still sleeping Chris. Slowly and reluctantly, she dressed, finger combed her hair, and grabbed her purse. This was over. All they’d promised each other, and now the night was finished. She had to force herself out of this room before she wanted something she couldn’t have. Her “Chris” was more of a man than she’d ever met, and she wanted to go now before she spent the rest of her life comparing every other man to him.
With one last look at his gorgeous sleeping form, one arm flung over his face, she wished for the sake of all those who loved him that he’d come back from the Middle East safe. And whole.
Then she quietly slipped out the door.
Find out what happens when Jill and “Chris” reunite in More than One Night, the first book in Heatherly Bell’s brand-new miniseries, Wildfire Ridge.
Copyright 2019 © Maria F. Buscher