They call me the Bad Bitch. A lesser woman might get her panties in a twist over it, but me? I’m the one who does the twisting. Whether it’s in the courtroom or in the bedroom, I’ve never let anyone – much less a man – get the upper hand. Except for that jerk attorney Lincoln Granade. He’s dark, mysterious, smoking hot and sexy as hell. He’s nothing but a bad, bad boy playing the part of an up and coming premiere attorney. I’m not worried about losing in a head to head battle with this guy. But he gets me all hot and bothered in a way no man has ever done before. I don’t like a person being under my skin this much. It makes me want to let go of all control, makes me want to give in. This dangerous man makes me want to submit to him completely, again, and again, and again…
I rose and grabbed her up in my arms. She made a surprised noise as I pushed through
to her bedroom and laid her on the covers. She scooted underneath them as I slid in next to
“Presumptuous much?” she asked. The challenge was back in her voice. But I knew her
secret. She wanted me to break her will, to accept her challenge and defeat it. I would do it
again and again. As many times as she’d let me.
I wrapped my arm around her and pulled her into my chest. She moved to protest but I
kept my arm around her. She settled in, breathing deeply against my chest. Her exhaled
breaths tickled against my skin.
We were silent for a long while. So long that I thought she had fallen asleep. “Did you know that I was never very popular with your persecutor friends?” Her voice was barely a sound.
“My prosecutor friends, you mean?”
“They don’t really like me.”
“I can’t imagine why not.”
She snorted and pinched my nipple hard. “You had that coming.”
I nodded. She was right.
She continued, “I’m smart. I’m pretty—”
“You are exquisite, not pretty.” I ran my hand along the smooth skin of her back.
“You don’t even know me.”
“I know you’re a bad bitch—”
She laughed against me, her mouth grazing my skin. “I know they call me that. All of you
over there at the courthouse. I don’t care. I like it.”
“I know you do. You’re strong. Shit like that doesn’t get to you.”
“It used to. I used to hate that word. Bitch. I used to be …” she seemed to struggle with
the right word, “sensitive? I guess it was sensitive. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I wanted to
help people. All that shit. The reasons we go to law school in the first place. I wanted to be
person. The shining beacon. You know?”
“I do.” I knew exactly what she meant, though I was astonished – and pleased – to hear
that she ever wanted to be that sort of lawyer.
“Of course you do. You’re doing it, just not the way I wanted to do it. I wanted to help
people, not white collar criminals, but people who’d been railroaded, taken advantage of, or
let down by the system.”
She had more layers than a birthday cake. I wanted to taste them all.
“What stopped you from doing those things?”
She shook her head against me, as if chiding herself. “It doesn’t matter. It’s not what I
do. Now I’m on the defense.”
“You could have fooled me earlier this week.”
She laughed. “That? I had to give you a shot right out of the gate. See what you’re made
“And what am I made of?”
She traced her nails over the lines of my ink before digging her fingernails into the skin
over my heart. “Hmm, not sure just yet.”
I rubbed her back in silence for a while, waiting for her to tell me more about herself or
even myself. The music continued playing in the living room, the whine of violins combining
with the more tangible notes from a piano. I looked around her bedroom in the soft light.
There were no pictures of any family or friends. Nothing to distinguish this room from a
tasteful hotel suite in some swank high rise.
“Don’t you get lonely here?” I asked.
I could tell she wanted to deny it by the way she tensed. But then she softened. “I have
work. And there are people there. Lots of them, actually. I’m surrounded by people all the
time. This city makes sure of that. But, even so. I do get lonely. Sometimes. Do you?”
I cave in to no one. My hardass exterior is what makes me one of the hottest defense lawyers around. It’s why I’m the perfect guy to defend the notorious Bayou Butcher serial killer – and why I’ll come out on top. Except this new associate I’ve hired is unnaturally skilled at putting chinks in my well-constructed armor. Her brazen talk and fiery attitude make me want to take control of her and silence her – in ways that will keep both of us busy till dawn. She drives me absolutely 100% crazy, but I need her for this case. I need her in my bed. I need her to let loose the man within me who fights with rage and loves with scorching desire…
“Oh, hell. This is not something you should be looking at all alone up here this late
at night.” He sighed and put his hands on my upper arms. “Ms. Montreat, look at me. It’s
I lifted my eyes to his. He reached over and hit a key that made my screen go back to
my desktop. A photo of Terrell and me at a particularly booze-filled pub crawl filled the
screen, both of us smiling goofily and raising our glasses. Why did I think that was a good
desktop background? I shook my head.
The corners of his mouth quirked a bit as he put his hand back on my arm. “You’re
shaking.” He ran a hand through his hair, his dark blue eyes searching mine.
Her face flashed across my mind and I fought the tears away. His eyes on me, his
scent, his five o’clock shadow – all of it was comforting, which made the tears an even
greater possibility. Funny how when you have someone to cry on, the tears are more willing
to a show up and make a scene.
“Shit. Come here.” His words were gruff but he pulled me into his arms with a
gentleness that shocked me more than if he’d hit me.
I rested my cheek against his chest, his heartbeat strong and steady beneath his dress
shirt. His tie was gone and his top buttons were open. I just stood there in his arms, letting
him hold me as tears rolled down my face. I didn’t sob, no dramatics. I just cried silent tears
for the woman in the photo.
Mr. Granade rubbed a hand down my back as my breath hitched.
“It’s okay. I know, Caroline. It’s okay.” He spoke into my hair since, without my
shoes, I was a foot shorter than him.
“It’s just so horrible is all.” As if that explained me turning into a blubbering mess.
“I know. I shouldn’t have let you look through those without me here. It’s late.
You’re tired. I just didn’t think. That was my mistake.” The low rumble of his voice against
my ear was soothing, just like his hand at my back.
I would definitely give myself a stern talking to later about my crybaby antics. But for
now, I just wanted to stay in his arms. After a few more moments, I got myself under
control and wiped my eyes. He stepped back, though he kept his hands on my arms.
“Yes, better.” Thank god for waterproof mascara or I would have ruined his shirt.
I looked at him and resolved to suck it up. I put my shoulders back the slightest bit
and lifted my chin. My simple movements caused something to change as he watched me,
his lids lowering the slightest bit. The air was different, charged somehow. The concern in
his face shifted until his wolfish gaze was back. My breath caught in my throat, but not
because of fear. It was pure desire that roared to life inside me, heating my skin. I bit my
bottom lip. His gaze followed the movement and then his mouth was on mine.
I closed my eyes, unable to even process what was happening. His hands were at my
back clutching me to him as his lips owned mine. I moaned into his mouth and raised on my
tiptoes to get even closer. He tasted like whisky and mint. He tilted his head to the side and
slanted over me, his tongue licking me and seeking entrance. I gave it to him, opening and
letting him plunder my mouth, my tongue stroking his.
My breath left my body and everything in me was focused on the connection
between us. My nerve endings were exploding, chill bumps radiating down my arms. He
pulled me closer and lifted me so I was sitting on the desk. I wrapped my arms around him
as he fisted my hair and pulled my head back. He wedged his hips between my legs, my skirt
stretching to its limit as I spread for him. He was possessing me, his body mastering mine.
I’d wanted this, wanted him, but it was only then I realized it was more than just a want. I
was starved for him.
I’m your classic skirt chaser. A womanizer. A total d*ck. My reputation is dirtier than a New Orleans street after a Mardi Gras parade. I take unwinnable cases and win them. Where people see defeat, I see a big fat paycheck. And when most men see rejection, it’s because the sexiest woman at the bar has already promised to go home with me. But Scarlett Carmichael is the one person I can’t seem to conquer. This too-cool former debutante has it all—class, attitude, and a body that begs to be worshipped. I’ve never worked with a person like her before—hell, I’ve never played nice with anyone before in my life, and I’m not about to start with her. This woman wasn’t meant to be played nicely with. It’s going to be dirty. It’s going to be hot. She’s about to spend a lot of time with the biggest d*ck in town. And she’s going to love every minute of it…
“Granade, is that you?” A woman walked up behind Kennedy and draped her arms
around his neck, her breasts pressing into the back of his head.
I gawked at her. She was tall and thin with an impossibly large chest and long,
“Oh, hi there.” Kennedy patted her on the arm and she stood straight and walked
around to the empty side of our table.
“Aren’t you a sight. Still one big, fine man.” She smiled, her red lipstick giving her
more of a joker flair, in my opinion.
“Thanks.” Kennedy smiled and gave me an uneasy glance.
Another alcohol giggle escaped me. “Oh, by all means.” I lay my head on Carey’s
shoulder and stared at Kennedy. A flame of jealousy licked around the edges of my mind,
but I stomped it out. This was Kennedy Granade, a womanizer through and through.
I bet he didn’t even remember her name. “Introduce us to your friend.”
“Okay.” He forced the words through the fake smile. “Scarlett Carmichael and Carey
Fellowes, this is …”
“Gina Rae. You remember me. From last year’s Rex Mardi Gras ball? You wore
black, I wore, well,” she looked down with a demure smile, “eventually I wasn’t wearing
“Oh, classic Kennedy. Am I right, Carey?” I snuggled even closer to him. He trailed
his fingers up and down my arm.
“I wouldn’t really know since we only just met, but maybe?”
“I can assure you this is his M.O. He has a reputation.” I waved my hand for
emphasis, though I almost knocked my glass over. “Did you know that, Gina Rae?”
“Not really, but it’s well-deserved either way.” She put a hand to her waist and
glanced at me and back to Kennedy. “Can I speak to you for a second? Alone?”
“Don’t let me make it awkward. I have to go to the ladies’ room anyway. Not an
issue. You two chat it up.” I dislodged Carey’s arm and stood with a wobble. “You all
behave while I’m gone.”
I took a step and stopped to steady myself, then another and another until I felt like I
had the wavy floor almost under control. I may have had my feet into a lock step, but my
head was in a jumble. Though my desire to snipe at Kennedy wasn’t new, the feeling Gina
Rae evoked in me was. I wasn’t the sort to lie to myself. I was jealous. Like a total moron.
Kennedy wasn’t going to change his ways, and did I even want him to? No. We were going
to work this case and go our separate ways.
I straightened my back and followed a waiter’s instructions to the ladies’ room.
Divided into two sections, there was a sitting room and an area with several stalls. White tiles
covered the flower in an art deco pattern and the walls were done in a magnolia paper.
I stumbled forward and caught the edge of a deep blue fainting couch before
righting myself and walking to the nearest, largest stall.
The bathroom door opened behind me as I fiddled with trying to slide the lock
closed. The lock flew out of my fingers as the door swung open and Kennedy blocked the
way. His dark eyes pierced me, glaring down as his body took up every inch of free space
My knees went weak and I backed into the wall, the coolness of the tile so different
from the heat of my skin.
“Get out.” I couldn’t stop the quaver in my voice.
“I don’t think you want me to.” He advanced.
I brought my hand up to slap him, but he caught it and pinned it to the wall next to
“What was that in there with Carey?” He pulled the door shut behind him before
turning to me and putting his other hand on the wall next to my head. “Are you kidding? What was that in there with little miss Gina Rae
?” I simpered her
name and hated myself for sounding like a high school mean girl.
“That was a year ago. Carey was tonight.” He glowered, crowding my space. “What
do you think you’re doing?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I needed him to contact Fluffy. I got it
done. Besides, it’s none of your business what I do. And you also had no right to touch me
like you did. We’re colleagues. Anything more would be improper. Now let me go.” I
returned his glare, but when his eyes flicked to my lips, my breath hitched.
“You didn’t like it when I touched you?” He leaned closer, his skin radiating the
same heat as mine. The air between us was overcome with anticipation as he increased the
pressure on my wrist.
“I didn’t give you permission—”
“That’s not what I asked, Ms. Carmichael.” Closer still, his eyes bored into me and I
pressed as far back into the wall as I could go. “I asked if you liked it. Did you?”
Christina Saunders is an Alabama girl who loves to tell stories that are always hot and sometimes dark. In addition to being an unrepentant book hoarder, she has a particular affinity for dirty jokes and foul mouths. She lives with her husband and two sassy daughters, who put up with her antics and outlandish writing habits. She’s also indie-pubbed under the pseudonym Celia Aaron.