One Night of Sin ONLY
an After Hours novella by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Elle Kennedy
A 2015 Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence *WINNER* in the Romance Novella category
Sometimes it’s good to be bad.
When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.
Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again.
As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skyler’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.
The After Hours series by Elle Kennedy:
Title: One Night of Sin
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An Excerpt from
One Night of Sin
by Elle Kennedy
Copyright © 2014 by Elle Kennedy. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
She was staring at him again.
Gage felt those big blue eyes burning a hole in his back, and when he turned around, there she was. Still seated in the velvet booth across the room, half listening to her male companion while her curious gaze remained focused on another man. On him.
It had been two years since the club’s grand opening, which meant two years’ worth of shifts, but Gage could honestly say this was the first time he’d gotten hard on the job. Although beautiful women poured into Sin on a nightly basis, not one had ever triggered such a visceral response in him.
Forget about it. Too young, too sweet, and too out of your league.
Yup, the cynical voice in his head was right on the money. Little black dress and fuck-me red heels aside, the brunette in the booth exuded a good-girl vibe that almost made him feel guilty for checking her out. A man like him would corrupt her in a heartbeat. Taint her. Lead her down a path of damnation to a wicked place where girls like her didn’t belong.
And bad idea, thinking about all the wicked things they could do together, not when he was already semi-erect. Now there was nothing semi about it—his cock was at full salute and pushing against his fly.
Gritting his teeth, he turned away and swept his gaze over the VIP lounge. It was crowded tonight, more than usual for a Thursday, but things had been tame so far. Granted, it was only midnight. In his experience, Asshole Hour didn’t start until closer to 1:00 a.m., after too much booze or drugs or sexual tension tipped a customer’s conduct scale from harmlessly wild to dangerously stupid. As head of security, Gage was tasked with making sure that didn’t happen—or stepping in if it did.
He edged toward the railing and studied the cavernous main room ten feet below. The dance floor was packed, every table and booth occupied, and the intermittent strobe lighting illuminated a sea of flushed, euphoric faces. Gage spotted several couples making out in the shadows, and those who weren’t into PDA were probably getting into all sorts of trouble in the curtained alcoves situated throughout the club. Sin always drew a wild crowd—folks of all ages flocked to the club for a night of boozing, dancing, and even screwing if they didn’t make a spectacle out of it. Everything on the floor looked fine, and Gage knew his bouncers would notify him over the comm if that changed. For now, no problems seemed to be brewing in the air.
“BMOC over there just asked if we offer party favors.” Carla sidled up to Gage, her red-painted lips close to his ear as she gave him the heads-up.
His eyes narrowed at the pretty waitress. “What kind of party favors? And which big man on campus are we talking about?”
“I’m pretty sure he’s looking for pussy. The expensive kind.” The blonde gave a discreet tilt of the head. Right in the direction of the back booth.
Gage turned, expecting his gaze to collide with a pair of hungry blue eyes, but the brunette was gone. Only her date remained, tapping his fingers on the tabletop, a smug look pasted on his chiseled face. The kid couldn’t have been older than twenty-two or twenty-three, but he exuded an air of entitlement that was impossible to miss. He was a Very Important Person, at least in his own eyes.
“Who is he?” Gage asked.
“Kat said he’s some big shot’s kid. That’s how he got up here.”
The younger guy’s dark eyes were checking out every woman in the lounge. He made no attempt to hide it, either, as if it was his right to leer.
Gage felt vindicated by the knowledge that the kid’s beautiful date had ditched him.
“Tell him we don’t sell skin here,” he said coolly. “If he can’t find a girl who’ll fuck him for free, he can go out on the street corner like any other john.”
Carla snorted. “Gotcha.”
Man, he really hated some of the clientele that frequented Sin. Every night he encountered at least one rich, pretentious ass who thought the world owed him something. Case in point—this smug-faced creep inquiring about procuring the services of a whore.
As part owner, Gage supposed he had the right to throw the guy out, but Reed and AJ would tear him a new one if they found out he was sending away big spenders.
And big spender, indeed. Gage glanced back in time to see Carla delivering a six-hundred-dollar bottle of whiskey to the table. And the douche bag was now making eyes at the cute, not-a-prostitute redhead seated at the VIP bar. Good. She ought to occupy him for a while.
Gage touched his earpiece. “Yo, Jesse, get up here and take over. Gonna pop out for a cigarette.”
The bouncer’s baritone voice crackled in his ear. “Got it, boss.”
He waited until he spotted Jesse’s close-cropped head weaving through the crowd. In between flashes of strobe, Gage saw the crowd part without delay for the muscular man, which made him smile. He’d handpicked all the bouncers himself, with only two required traits in the hiring process: reliable and intimidating as fuck. Jesse fit both of those to a T.
As the other bouncer ascended the steps up to the lounge, Gage headed for the emergency exit on the other side of the room. He strode down the narrow staircase, emerging a moment later in the alley behind the building.
He rummaged in his pocket for his e-cigarette, lifted his head—and froze.
His blue-eyed angel sat eight feet away. Slender body up on the wooden crate next to the staff door, chestnut-brown hair falling over one shoulder, dress riding up her thighs to reveal long, silky legs.
He sucked in a breath. Lord, she was even more appealing up close. Not beautiful in the Hollywood sense, but intriguingly attractive in a very real way. The enormous blue eyes were her best feature, and her mouth was just pouty enough to conjure up the image of plump lips wrapped around his dick.
Gage cleared his throat. “You shouldn’t be out here.”
She jumped at the sound of his voice, head swiveling and gaze flying to his. She instantly hopped off the crate, smoothing out the front of her dress as a frown creased her lips. “Why not?”
“A pretty girl all alone in an alley at midnight—I don’t think it needs much more explanation than that.” He inhaled a quick drag of the e-cigarette. The mint-flavored vapor was no substitute for a real smoke, and he wasn’t sure why he even bothered with it.
“I just needed some air.” Her voice was huskier than he’d imagined it would be. Sexier. “I’ll go back inside soon.”
Wait—she’d only come outside for air? And her date had been asking about prostitutes in her absence? Wow. Real stand-up guy.
“It’s so crowded in there,” she added.
“Nightclubs usually are,” he said dryly.
“Yeah, I guess they are. I’m not much of a clubber, but Mick wouldn’t take no for an answer. He said I haven’t lived until I’ve gone to Sin.” A sigh slipped out. “It’s our first date…”
Gage waited for her to continue. When she didn’t, he filled in the rest. “And you’re not at all into him.”
“Why do you say that?”
His gaze slid back to hers, slow and purposeful. “Because if you were, you wouldn’t have been eye-fucking me all night.”
Her breath hitched, cheeks growing the most appealing shade of pink.
He had to laugh. “Am I wrong?”
The denial he’d expected didn’t come. “No, you’re not wrong.”
Christ. There were so many things he could say to that, so many things he could do. Dirty, dirty words and dirty, dirty acts. But he reined in every single wicked urge. Just because her mere proximity had turned his lower body into a raging inferno didn’t mean he would give in to the burn. He was a grown man. More than capable of controlling his base impulses.
“I’m Skyler,” she said, after his silence had dragged on for far too long.
“Maybe you’re new to civilized society, but normally when people introduce themselves, you reply by providing your own name.” She arched one perfectly defined eyebrow.
“Is that right?” His lips twitched. “Well, what makes you think I’m at all civilized, Skyler?”
That made her falter. She bit her lower lip. Tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, and the scent of her shampoo floated his way. She smelled like green apples. A sweet and feminine fragrance, serving as a reminder that he shouldn’t be out here talking to her.
“How old are you, sweetheart?” His voice came out rough.
“Well, my ID held up at the door, so I’m over twenty-one if that’s what you’re worried about. Twenty-four, actually. In some cultures that would make me a spinster.”
Gage swallowed a laugh. There was something truly refreshing about her sarcasm, especially when contrasted with the flush of her cheeks and the way she fidgeted with her hands. She didn’t belong here. Not at this club, not even in this neighborhood. She should be nestled between crisp white sheets right about now, snuggled next to a wholesome man while the two of them watched late-night talk shows before bed.
“Go back inside,” he said gruffly. “Your date’s probably wondering where you are.”
That made her snicker. “I doubt it. I think he wrote me off the second he realized I wasn’t going to fuck him tonight.”
Gage’s cock jerked in his pants. Jesus. That angel mouth wasn’t allowed to say things like that. Not in front of him, a man whose inner devil could be summoned at the drop of a hat.
“Go back inside,” he repeated.
“Why? You don’t like talking to me?” Hands planted on her slim hips, she moved closer, a pensive look on her face. He shrugged. “I don’t like talking, period.”
“Huh. So what do you like to do?”
Gage met her eyes in another long, deliberate stare. Leaving no question as to what he enjoyed doing.
She visibly swallowed. And then she startled the hell out of him.
“So maybe that’s what we should do.”
A laugh rumbled out of his chest. “You’re playing with fire, baby.”
She had the nerve to lick her lips. He didn’t think she’d done it as an intentional taunt, but damn, the response to seeing her tongue dart out was instantaneous. His erection pulsed against his zipper, hard and persistent, like it was trying to tunnel its way out of his pants and into her pussy.
Gage took a breath, trying to ease the ache down south. Nope, he wasn’t giving in, wasn’t going to acknowledge the awareness prickling over his flesh. He was fighting in two days, and he didn’t like to screw before a match. The frustration fueled him, gave him the edge he needed to send an opponent to his knees.
But at the moment, he wanted to be the one on his knees. With his head underneath Skyler’s skimpy dress, his face buried between her legs as he licked her up until she screamed.
“Yes,” he rasped. “You’re definitely playing with fire.”
“Maybe I like fire, did you ever think of that? Maybe I want to get burned.”
God help him. The defiance in her voice was almost as big of a turn-on as the heat in her eyes. She was looking at him like she wanted to eat him up. Like he was already naked and pumping inside her.
“You don’t even know me,” he muttered.
Her voice never wavered. “I don’t care.”
Gage stared at her again. He couldn’t figure her out. She was young, just as he’d suspected. Sweet, too. But there was no mistaking the passion heating her gaze.
He took a step toward her. “You don’t care that you don’t know my name.”
“No.” One word, low and breathy.
He moved in closer, slowly backing her up into the brick wall. She let him. Her heels clicked softly on the pavement as she walked backward, until her body connected with the hard surface and she had nowhere else to go.
“You don’t care that you’ve only known me for five minutes.”
Gage kept a solid five inches between them, but at the rate his dick was thickening, it would find a way to breach the distance sooner rather than later.
He brought his lips close to her ear and enjoyed the way she shivered. “Why not, Skyler? Why don’t you care?”
“Because…” She had to tip her head back to meet his gaze. “Because I like how this feels.”
“How what feels?”
“This. Being bad. I’ve never done anything like this before.”
No, he doubted she had. Yet nothing in her expression told him she didn’t want it. Her face held a combination of heat, lust, and fascination. Her breathing came out labored, breasts practically spilling out of her dress with the rise and fall of her chest, and he certainly didn’t miss the blush on her creamy skin or the insistent throb of her pulse at the base of her throat.
“You’re turned on,” he said softly.
“Yes.” She squeezed her lips together, and from the way her whole body clenched, he suspected she’d squeezed her thighs together, too.
Fucking hell. He wanted to pry her legs open and slip his fingers inside her, discover just how turned on she really was.
As if she’d read his mind, her body relaxed, and his gaze dropped in time to see her stance widen, those red stilettos gleaming in the moonlight slicing into the alley. God. She’d spread her legs, blatantly giving him permission to take what he wanted.
“Why aren’t you scared of me?” he murmured.
“Should I be?”
“Maybe.” Unable to help himself, he touched her face, rubbing her bottom lip with his thumb.
She gasped quietly, then leaned into his touch.
Son of a bitch. This woman was liable to kill him. He’d never met anyone who was so ready to be fucked. Her arousal surrounded him like an enticing haze, quickening his pulse and fogging his mind.
“Don’t act like you don’t want it.” Big blue eyes, gleaming with challenge, peered up at him. “Earlier when I was looking at you…you were looking right back. You liked what you saw.”
Without breaking eye contact, he erased those five inches of distance by thrusting his thigh between her legs. He knew the second she felt his erection pressing into her, because she gave another sharp intake of breath.
“Tell me your name,” she whispered.
Gage rotated his hips and fought a groan as a rush of heat flowed through him. What the hell was happening to him? He couldn’t remember the last time he’d wanted someone this bad.
“Why should I?” His lips traveled to her ear, tongue slipping out to lick the delicate lobe. He chuckled when her hands shot up to cling to his shoulders. She tried pulling him closer, but he didn’t let her. “I don’t think you want to know my name,” he mocked. “I think it would ruin the fantasy.”
Skyler wrinkled her forehead. “What’s the fantasy?”
He rubbed his aching cock over her pelvis, loving the way her eyes widened with pleasure. He grasped one long leg and propped it on his hip, deepening the contact, ignoring the voice in the back of his head. The one shouting for him to stop. Dry-humping a stranger outside his place of business was a stupid idea, but this woman had unleashed his carnal caveman.
“What’s the fantasy?” she repeated, a twinge of anxiety in her voice.
He shoved a hand in her hair, yanking hard on one thick strand before lazily twining it around his fingers. “Getting fucked by a stranger. That’s what you want, isn’t it? For me to fuck you right here, right now, against this wall. Isn’t that what you want, Skyler?”
The anguished noise she made was the sexiest thing he’d ever heard. “Y-yes. That’s what I want.”
A dark laugh slid out. He licked a path from her ear down to her neck, latching his mouth on her hot flesh. Lord, she was burning up. And she’d started grinding her lower body against him, rocking hard, each desperate glide over his cock sending him closer to the edge. Hell, at this rate, he’d come in his pants before he even took his dick out.
But no. No. He may have boarded this bad idea train, but now it was time to derail it.
Except he couldn’t stop, couldn’t think straight, couldn’t concentrate on anything but the warm, willing woman in his arms. He trailed kisses up her throat, paused briefly to nibble on her jaw, then zeroed in on that pouty mouth. Screw it. One kiss. Just to find out if she tasted as sweet as he suspected.
But holy hell, it was even better than he could’ve ever imagined. The moment their mouths met, every shred of common sense flew out the window. Her lips were warm and pliant and eager as hell as she kissed him back like a woman starved. Her body melted against him like hot butter, slender arms wrapping around his neck as her tongue greedily slid into his mouth. Gage slicked his tongue over hers, groaning when a shock wave of lust roared through him.
He tugged on her hair, angling her head so he could drive the kiss deeper. He was a fucking goner. Maybe he could’ve stopped it—if she didn’t taste so good, if her body wasn’t so soft and warm, if her throaty moans weren’t vibrating against his lips. But stopping was impossible now, not when she kept swirling her hungry little tongue over his and riding his thigh with zero abandon.
His mouth stayed locked with hers, even as he lowered his hand to his zipper. Goddamn it, he had to be inside her. Right fucking now—
The male voice sliced into his ear like an electric current and promptly jump-started his brain.
He tore his lips away from Skyler’s. Breathing hard, trying to recover from that mind-blowing kiss.
“Shit,” he mumbled, then sucked in another breath and touched his ear. “What is it, Jerry?”
Skyler blinked. “Huh?”
He gestured to his earpiece, then focused on the amused voice of the man who monitored the club’s security booth. “Reed wants to know if we should shut off camera two. You know, for privacy.”
Gage stifled a curse, his gaze moving to the camera mounted right above the staff entrance. The blinking red light was practically waving at him, a reminder that even though they were alone in the alley, they weren’t actually alone.
“We don’t mind watching, though,” another voice piped up, this one belonging to Reed Miller, Gage’s best friend and one of Sin’s co-owners.
Rather than answer, Gage shifted around and gave his audience the finger.
Then he shut off the feed and turned to Skyler, whose face still held the flush of arousal. “Go inside and find your date. Get him to drive you home.”
The fortitude in her eyes was dangerous. And she still hadn’t fixed her dress. It was bunched around her waist, revealing firm thighs and pale skin and a perfect view of her panties. They were red, just like the shoes, and so skimpy his mouth went dry, because he knew it would take no effort at all to rip them off her. With his teeth.
He fought to speak past the lust clogging his throat. “The fantasy isn’t gonna play out, Skyler. I’m not the right man for the job.”
She stepped close and pressed her palm over his groin, cupping his erection with a boldness that surprised him. “I don’t know…I think you might be exactly the right man.”
He thrust into her hand. Just once, just one second of contact, before he eased out of her grip and tipped his head at the camera. “Do you really want to put on a show for my partners? Because that’s what we’re doing.”
“I’m co-owner of this joint. And even though my behavior these last ten minutes might say otherwise, I don’t make it a habit of screwing around on the job.” He paused meaningfully. “And you don’t strike me as the kind of girl who screws around at all.”
She had the nerve to smirk at him. “I’m not a virgin, if that’s what you’re implying.”
“I’m not implying anything.” He smothered his growing aggravation. Christ, the one time he tried acting like a gentleman, and look where it got him. “I don’t know you, but I’m pretty sure you don’t go around doing strangers in public. I have no clue why you decided to do it tonight— maybe it’s that asshole Mick, maybe you had too much to drink. But the best thing for you to do right now is go home, Skyler.”
“Why do men always assume they know what’s best for a woman?” she demanded. “And FYI? I didn’t drink anything but water tonight, and I was over Mick about five minutes after he picked me up. You want to know why I’m out here with you? Because I was attracted to you and decided to act on it. For once in my life I was acting on impulse, not thinking about consequences or overanalyzing things.” Her gaze sharpened as she studied him. “You, on the other hand, you’re all about impulse, aren’t you? You strike me as a man of action.” There was a beat. “I’m kind of surprised you wimped out at the thought of getting busy in front of a camera.”
He clenched his teeth. “I didn’t wimp out.”
“Really? Are we having sex right now?” Another beat. “Nope, I didn’t think so.”
She finally straightened her dress, much to his overwhelming relief. Those red panties had come dangerously close to stealing his common sense again.
Gage sighed. “You really should go.”
“Oh, I will. The moment’s over, anyway.” Her blue eyes flickered with something that made him uneasy. “What would you do if I came back tomorrow night?”
A groan lodged in his throat. He was trying to do the honorable thing, to save her from the regrets she’d undoubtedly have after sleeping with a total stranger, but the infuriating woman didn’t seem at all appreciative of his caution.
“You shouldn’t do that,” he said in a low voice.
“Because you’re right. I’m impulsive, and I don’t usually show much restraint. No matter what you think, stopping this, stopping what we were about to do, was damn hard for me.”
She glanced at the bulge in his pants. “I can see that.”
Gage grasped her chin, forcing her gaze away from his aching cock and up at his face. “Don’t tempt me, all right? You’re beautiful, Skyler. Beautiful and sexy and so goddamn tempting. If you come back, I won’t be able to control myself next time.”
“Is that a promise?”
Oh hell. He released her, taking a hasty step backward. “Go,” he muttered. “I mean it.”
He waited for an argument, but miraculously, she didn’t give him one. Instead, she smirked again before sauntering away, hips swaying with each step she took.
His gaze followed her all the way to the door, staying glued to her slender form as she walked back into the club. And then the door swung shut and she was gone.
But Gage had the unnerving feeling that he hadn’t seen the last of h