Bad Boy Next Door Excerpt
Bad Boy Next Door by Melissa Blue
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Cover Art by Melissa Blue
No wonder Ryan had a thing for her. She'd coaxed her hair into big, spiral curls that framed her heart-shaped face. Her rich, dark brown eyes were lit with a laugh that tugged her full mouth into a smile. Skin, just as dark brown as her eyes, looked soft and touchable. The simple black dress gave more than a hint of the femininity beneath. The silver heels elongated slender legs that had no end.
Tonight, and any night she went out on a blind date, Penelope looked like something he should bite just to have her taste fill his mouth. But he never did. Never would.
He spent a lot time with a lot of bad people. He always felt tainted by his life whenever he was around her. Although she didn't look it tonight, Penelope should be with someone who didn't own a set of lockpicks just in case a closed door needed to find itself conveniently opened.
Still, he couldn't help but flirt back like he'd done for the past two months. It was driving him a bit insane to not close the distance in the hallway and kiss her already. He persevered, leaning heavily on his doorjamb.
He needed a damn medal, both for restraint and stupidity. “What did the door do to make you go postal?”
“Not a thing. I'm just a rage-aholic. You should see how I rip into paper when I get on a tear.” She grinned at the intentional pun. “What are you doing home this late at night and stalking me?”
“Got a tip and was heading to a secret meeting. Stepped out and here you were destroying property with your head. I decided to announce my presence and make no sudden moves.”
“Oh.” Her shoulders slumped. “I won't hold you up then.”
He didn't want to leave. He never did whenever they had a moment alone. “My source is always late. I've got a few minutes to help defuse your rage.”
“It's nothing really.” She shrugged. “My roommate is convinced I should only date nice guys. I just came from another one of those disastrous dinners. You caught me in a moment of pure frustration.”
“Frustrated and angry.” He paused. “At yourself, your friend, or the date?”
She shook her head and the curls brushed along her face. “All of the above and I don't know why.”
He scoffed at her answer. “Yes, you do.”
She laughed softly. “Why do you think that?”
“Because I know human nature.” And that was the truth. Ryan had witnessed more than his fair share of it. “I see the seedier side, but it's all the same.”
Penelope made a noncommittal noise and then said, “Your job has left you all noir.”
“Somewhat.” Which was why Ryan kept his feet planted in his doorway. “Doesn't change the fact you're probably angry at yourself for going on another date. Angry at her for offering. And at him...don't know why. Probably a jackass. It's not rational, but it's human nature.”
“It's petty,” she argued.
“I repeat—human nature.”
She laughed as he'd known she would, and the sound did wonderful things to his spine. Stay against the doorjamb. Don't move. Not one goddamn step. “Ah, are you feeling better now? Will it be safe for me to leave my apartment, knowing it won't be torched?”
She bit the corner of her mouth to contain the flirtatious smile. “Your valuables will be safe from me.”
“My work here is done.” He felt safe that his craving for her had been fed and he wouldn't do anything stupid.
Ryan turned to close his door, and her heels clicked against the hard wood floors of the hallway. She was going inside. He'd sighed in relief from dodging another bullet, but when he faced her again, Penelope had closed some of the distance between them. Enough for him to know intimately her perfume had a light musk. The scent filled his head with nonsense about leaning down and slanting his mouth over hers.
She moved closer and her hand ate up the last of the distance. Light as a feather, her fingertips rested on his arm. If she kept them there one second longer, he'd do something dumb and irrevocable. It would lead down a road where he wouldn't take her rough, but he'd damn sure would take her every which way but loose.
She glanced up at him, mouth parted, about to speak. His gaze fixated on her bottom lip. Pink. Her mouth definitely looked like something he should bite into. Just once to get it out of his system. Her eyes widened and the sweetest, softest noise fell from her lips, but she didn't step back. Yeah. He shouldn't close the distance.
But...one time would be enough, right? He'd warn her off after that. If he had to, Ryan would pick Penelope up, dump her into her apartment, and make sure she'd lock the door tight to keep him out.
But...goddammit, just this once, he'd kiss her.
You can buy here: