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Stripped Bare(5)
Emma Hart

“I can’t believe she went through with it,” Lucie said quietly, snorting as she held her champagne flute against her lips. “I thought for sure she’d push him away and then bottle you.”

“Ha!” I clapped my hand over my mouth as the laugh barked out of me. “Me too.”

Seriously though. That had honestly been my first thought when she’d realized she was about to get a lap dance. I’d thought she’d kill me.

She probably had inside her head.

Allie came back to the table, a cigarette-free Jaz on her heels, both of them clutching drinks. The smile that stretched across my blond best friend’s face instantly made me pause, but it was the glint in her eye that got me.

Bitch was up to something.

“Here you go.” She set my drink in front of me and took her seat.

“What did you do?” I asked immediately.

“Who said I did anything?”

Lucie choked on her drink. “The guy approaching our table and staring at Mia.”

I snapped my head up and looked out at the crowd. Shit, she was right.

The guy though.

Six foot three, at least. Dark hair. Strong jaw lined with a sexy five-o’clock shadow. Blue eyes the color of the Caribbean. And a body that fit the white shirt he was wearing to perfection.

And Lucie was right.

He was headed right for me.

“Allie!” I snapped, looking back at her. “What the hell did you do?”

“Think of it as...a thank-you for such a great party.”

I wanted to slap that grin right off her face and spit on it. Oh. My. God. “You booked me a lap dance?” I was a little horrified.

Sure, I’d booked one for her, but she was the bride-to-be. It was supposed to be the bride-to-be with the lap dance, not the maid of honor. Right?

“No.” Jaz leaned forward. “She booked you a private lap dance.”

“You did what?” I could barely breathe, but it didn’t matter, because the guy who was obviously about to give me said lap dance approached the table before I could say another word.

“Mia?” he asked, hitting me with a hot gaze.

I nodded. Speaking seemed like a stupid idea because I’d only end up sounding like a mouse. If I was lucky.

He held one hand out for me, looking at me expectantly. Fuck all my friends, I thought as I reluctantly placed my hand in his. His rough fingers wrapped around mine, and he tugged me up, his plump lips twitching into a smile.

“Don’t worry about your drink,” he said into my ear. “You won’t have time to drink it.”

My stomach flipped. Holy. Shit. That was the sexiest thing I’d ever heard.

As he led me away, I glanced over my shoulder to look at my friends. They were all laughing, and my teeth sank into my lower lip.

I was equal parts nervous and excited. I’d never had a lap dance before, but I guessed it was fair. Even if I did know how Allie felt now.

But this guy was...hotter. The guy who’d shown up for hers was handsome, sure, but he had a different...feel than the man who was currently leading me down a small, dimly lit hallway. The guy whose fingers were gently wrapped around mine oozed power and sexuality, and with every step I took, a little more of my nervousness disappeared.

The control he exercised as he led me into a room and shut the door made a shiver run down my spine. I didn’t know why—maybe it was how smoothly he moved. Or maybe it was the way he looked down into my eyes, a dirty, suggestive smirk on his lips.

Yep. It was the smirk. Without a doubt.

“Take a seat, Mia.” He let my hand go.

I stood awkwardly for half a second before doing what he’d said.

“Let me guess. You’ve never been to a strip club before.”

“No...” I said slowly, pushing some hair from my face. “And I wasn’t really planning on this happening.”

“Nervous?”

“If I say yes, will you still do it?”

“Yes.” His smirk grew, and he undid the top two buttons of his shirt, keeping his eyes on me. “I don’t bite, darlin’. Unless you ask me to.”

That sounded a little too tempting. He did have perfect teeth.

I watched as he unbuttoned every last button on his crisp, white shirt, exposing the hottest body I’d ever seen. Swear to god, it had to have been surgery, because no man on this planet could have gotten abs so perfect otherwise.

Stripper or not.

“Maybe I’ll ask.” The words slipped right off my tongue.

He walked toward me and put his hands on the back of the sofa. His strong body leaned right over me, and involuntarily, I leaned back against the plush cushions behind me and looked up at him. It only served to make him dip his head so his lips were close to mine, and he whispered, “Maybe, for you, I’ll do it anyway.”

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