Home > Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(8)

Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(8)
Sarah Mayberry

Then Lily had smiled, a bright, no-holds-barred, boy-am-I-glad-to-see-you smile, and for a split-second he’d been so dazzled, so blown away, he’d been unable to do anything but stare like an idiot.

She never smiled at him like that. Ever. From the moment they’d first met, she’d always kept a wary distance, something he’d been more than happy to encourage. His whole life right now was his business. He didn’t want to be so drawn to a woman. He’d poured his every waking hour into Copper Mountain Security over the past five years, and he was only just starting to see a return on his investment. He didn’t have the time or the energy to get involved with anyone, especially someone as compelling, as fascinating as Lily.

Beau gave himself a mental shake, then transferred his phone, wallet and keys from his tracksuit pants into his suit before going in search of a beer. Even though his main strategy in regard to the bachelor auction had been to pretend it wasn’t happening right up until the last moment, he’d taken five seconds to check out the Facebook page Lily had set up, so he knew that the group of men laughing and talking at the balustrade near the top of the stairs were his fellow victims. He’d gone to school with Ryan Henderson, and he’d played pool with Jett a few times over the years. The other three were either strangers or folks he’d only ever seen at a distance around town, but he figured there was no time like the present to change that.

He stopped by the bar to grab a beer and exchange a few words with Dillon, then joined the other men at the rail. Ryan performed a brief round of introductions and they all shook hands.

“I know why I’m here, but how did the rest of you poor bastards get suckered into this nightmare?” Beau asked, leaning a hip against the railing.

“You’ve met Lily, right?” Jett Casey said.

There was grudging admiration in the other man’s tone.

“Yeah, I’ve met Lily,” Beau said, allowing his own self-disgust at being unable to resist her to color his tone.

The other men laughed or smirked, and they all looked over the railing, their smiles fading as they took in the seething room full of women down below. There were a handful of men who’d come along to get a laugh at the bachelors’ expense – Heath, for example, who had told Beau he wouldn’t miss tonight for the world – but they were definitely in the minority.

“You know they like to hunt in packs, right?” Jett said.

“Keep your back to the wall,” Lincoln Brady advised. “And no matter what, keep moving.”

Beau’s gaze gravitated to Lily’s dark-haired head as she passed beneath them. He couldn’t help noticing his bird’s eye perspective gave him an excellent view of her cleavage. He allowed himself a single, good look before glancing away.

There was no doubt about it; Lily had a body on her, the kind that most men would get stupid over. It wasn’t just that she was built, though. She had a knowing, playful glint in her eye, and the way she walked… a subtle swish-swish of her hips and ass. Jessica Rabbit territory, definitely.

Not that he’d paid much attention to any of the above. But he had eyes in his head, like the next guy.

Lily stopped at a table, and he recognized one of the occupants as Josh Dekker. A pretty dark-haired woman sat beside him, a faint smile on her face, and he guessed she must be Molly, Josh’s mother. As he watched, Lily hunkered down next to Josh’s wheelchair, her expression animated as she talked to him. His face was bright, and Beau could hear the kid’s laughter over the sound of the crowd as he responded to something Lily said to him. Standing, she ruffled Josh’s hair affectionately before heading for the stairs.

Seconds later she appeared on the second floor looking flushed and distracted, Molly Dekker hard on her heels.

“Everyone, this is Molly. She wanted to have a quick word before we start selling you beefcakes off,” Lily said.

She stood to one side and gestured for her friend to take her place.

“Hey, guys,” Molly said. “I know most of you, but a couple of you are new to me. I’m Molly.”

She shook hands with everyone, but it was obvious she was feeling a little self-conscious.

“I wanted to say thank you for all you’re doing for me and Josh. I would’ve brought him up here to thank you himself, but, well, stairs. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all. It truly is mind-boggling that you would do something like this for us.”

“It’s no problem, Molly,” Beau said. “We’re happy to help.”

If anything, his words only seemed to make her more nervous.

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