So. Long.: Bad Boy Next Door

BOOK: So. Long.: Bad Boy Next Door
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Copyright 2016 by Kelley Harvey

 

This eBook edition of SO. LONG.
is a FULL-LENGTH, STANDALONE novel with no cheating and a guaranteed HEA.

Some scenes in this book are based on real
events and circumstances from Kelley Harvey’s life.
Sign up for Kelley’s
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This is a limited time opportunity, so don’t miss
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Included
in this eBook file are three additional FULT-LENGTH BONUS BOOKS, Kelley’s
scorching contemporary romances,
LOVE ‘EM
, as well as the first two Bad
Boy Next Door novels,
SO. BAD
. and
SO. TRASHY.
ALL of these books
are FULL-LENGTH, standalone novels with no cheating and guaranteed HEAs.

These
bonus books
have been added as a
THANK
YOU
to my readers.
PLEASE NOTE
: eBook files can be
very
large. Just because the first book only takes up twenty-five percent or so, it
doesn’t mean the book is short. That is twenty-five percent of an extra-large, four-book
file. All of these books are around 300 printed pages. Enjoy.

All rights reserved. This eBook, or any portion
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work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the
author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to
persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental…well, for the
most part. In the instances where people or events
are
based on real
life, names have been changed to protect the innocent.

No scenes in this book are meant to be emulated. If
a reader chooses to do so, it is at their own risk. This author takes no
responsibility for any person’s actions.

 

SO. LONG.

 

 

The

Bad Boy Next Door

Collection

 

 

Kelley Harvey

For all of us who thought our story had ended, only to find
it’s just begun.

ONE

I grab the lowest branch, looking left and right to check that
no one’s around to witness what might be a potential viral video opportunity in
the making.

Tree climbing is something I haven’t done since I was a kid.

“Chloe, you’re making me look ridiculous.” I hike my bare
foot up to the first knot on the massive trunk as bark bites into my palms. “Don’t
you go any higher, you little terrorist.”

Yellow eyes stare down on me, narrowed and accusing. Her mew
is low, asking
what the hell, Servant?
Y
ou think you have nine lives?
Get down before you break your fool neck and can’t do my bidding.

“I know. I know.” It’s not natural for people to climb trees;
especially those of us who’s asses are usually glued to desk chairs rather than
traipsing into the great outdoors. “Here, kitty, kitty.”

I heft myself up to perch my other foot on the next branch.

Please don’t let the bough break.

A cool breeze blows up my oversized sleep shirt.

Crap. I forgot.

Closing my eyes, I lean my forehead against the wood and sigh.

Imagine the viral video’s title:
Woman Chases Cat
Commando Style.

Across the street, Mr. Alberto’s front door is still closed.

Good, maybe I’ll catch the cat and climb down before he
comes out to retrieve his newspaper and gets an early morning peep show in the
process. The poor man’s pace-maker might fry at the sight of my twat airing out
as the sun rises.

Rustling leaves pull my attention to the kitten. The white
tip of her tail swishes three branches higher than ten seconds ago.

“Aw, c’mon. Give a girl a break.”

I grasp the next branch, hands shaking as much as my knees,
while I inch upward a little more. “Chloe, come to Momma.”

I freeze when someone clears their throat from below my
precarious position, hanging off the side of the tree.

“You all right up there?” The voice is deep and silky, like
melted fudge.

“Yes.” I swallow. “I’m just trying to get my Chloe.”

“Well, I don’t know what a
Chloe
is, but I definitely
found your sugar glider.”

I reach for Chloe as she scampers further out onto her
branch. “She’s not a sugar glider. She’s a kitten.”

A soft chuckle speeds my pulse. “A lot of them are called
kittens, but the one I’m looking at is
definitely
a sugar glider. Looks
too sweet to be a cat.”

Holy fuck. From down there, he can see
everything
!

Heat steals over my chest and up my neck to my cheeks. More
than anything I want to press my knees together to block my coochie from view, but
I’m stranded, mid-climb, in this stupid tree, trying to get hold of my crazy escape-artist
of a pet.

Lord, why do I even crawl out of bed most days?

My knuckles whiten as I grip the branches. “Stop staring up
my shirt, you perv.”

I look over my shoulder. A pair of sunglasses perches over a
more-than-full beard.

He shrugs. “I saw you up the tree, and was
trying
to
offer my assistance. The fact that
you’re
underdressed doesn’t make
me
a pervert.”

Tossing a last glance at my sweet kitty stranded on that
limb, I retreat to the ground. When my feet hit the grass, I brush off my
hands.

I do my best to chastise whoever the fuck this guy is by
looking him full in the face and giving him my hardest glare. “You’re
absolutely right. However, it’s not my state of dress but the gawking and
commenting that make you a perv.”

His lips twist a smidge, and then he sticks out his hand.
“I’m Adam Hardick. I recently moved in next door.”

And just like
that
he expects me to forget that he
was ogling my girly parts not ten seconds ago?

Fine. I can play that game.

I place my hand in his. “Kelsey Malone. I’ve lived here for months.”

His shades hide his eyes, and facial fur covers most of his
features, making it hard to tell what expression he wears. His warm fingers
grip mine with the perfect amount of pressure. He drops my hand and tilts his
head, staring into the foliage above.

“I’ll get your Chloe.” In one swift motion, he turns away
and grabs the branch closest to us and swings himself into the leaves with a
grunt.

I bite my lip as he traverses the tree, wincing each time he
pulls himself up to the next level. But before two minutes have passed, he’s
high above, kitten in hand.

Chloe lets out a loud meow, as though she’s suddenly afraid.

“Got her.” He tucks my kitten into his breast pocket and
makes his way to the ground.

Chloe’s nails hang onto his shirt when he pulls her from his
pocket. “Let go, cat. I prefer claw marks on my back.”

On his back? I
bet
.

Chloe’s fur puffs out and her toes spread wide as he hands
her to me.

I curl her into the crook of my arm and turn toward my house.
“You must be a cat person. Thanks for saving my pus—Chloe.”

“No ma’am. Thank
you
.”

I continue up my walk to my front porch.

As my hand lands on the door knob, he calls out, “Hey.”

My gaze meets his over my shoulder.

His long sleeved shirt strains across his pecs as he drops a
single nod. “Cats are fine, but I particularly like sugar gliders. And yours
looks especially nice.”

My fingertip trails across the glass, down the apple of
Clarissa’s cheek and over her dimple. I set the photo of my sweet girl back on
the shelf, letting out a sigh.

The crack in my heart widens another inch.

It kills me that her daddy chose a different life over the
one we shared. That she’ll grow up in a broken home because of my failure to
keep his attention.

That my love wasn’t strong enough to hold him.

No time for a meltdown today.

I suck up a shuddery breath, pushing thoughts of Matt from
my mind.

Plus, a month is too long for my daughter to be away from
her momma.

But—what is it they say about making hay?

Hay must be made while the sun rains
. Or
make
straw from the stubbled ground
. Or—oh who cares? I need to use the time
I’ve been given by the court ordered visitation schedule to get some words into
this novel.

I squirm in my seat, fighting the urge to get up and find
something else to do. Anything but write. My hands hover over the worn away
letters of my keyboard.

I flex my fingers.

I’ve got this. I am a professional. I can write about things
I don’t feel. It’s my job. I will not let
them—
my ex-husband and my—no…
his
woman
,
rob me of my dreams.

The roar of an engine winds up and grows louder as it
approaches.

And here I was, ready to type the first words of this stupid
story—something witty and amazing that was going to come to me as I write.

Instead of pressing any keys, I push my fingers between the
mini-blinds. A motorcycle slows out front. Adam guides the bike closer to the
curb. His plaid shirt has the sleeves ripped out, small strings blow across
strong shoulders covered in tats that trail down his muscular arms, bronzed
from the summer sun.

His gaze slides to my house, seemingly zeroing in on the
window I’m staring out of at this very moment.

Shit.

I yank away from the blinds, but my fingers catch in the
cords that run between the slats. The whole damned thing clatters to the top of
my desk, dragging the curtains with it. The lamp faints and knocks over my
coffee. A hot river of Irish cream dark roast races toward my computer.

I grab the laptop, barely saving it from my clumsiness. My
hand whacks the lamp’s metal shade, turning it so it shines on me like a
spotlight. My eyes go wide.

I’m completely exposed—caught in the act of spying on my neighbor.

I freeze.

Fuck.

Adam pulls up at the end of his drive, gazing at me through my
naked window, while he opens his mailbox. He takes some envelopes from it and
stuffs them into his front pocket.

He salutes me with a smirk as he rolls up his driveway.

Why me, God?
Why
?

I flop into my chair, wishing I could drop off the face of
the Earth.

My phone vibrates.

Oh, thank the Lord.

A distraction is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, and
this is better than my cocky neighbor with all his muscles and tats—and—and
facial fur.

Leigh’s text is short and to the point, just like her.

-Open an account on DATE.COM.-

I ignore her suggestion as I mop up the last of my coffee
with the edge of the already stained curtain strewn across my desk. Then I
check to make sure no one is outside to see me climb atop my desk in my panties
and t-shirt to affix the window coverings back into their proper place.

You’d think they’d make these things a little more reliable.

Once I have my privacy again, I continue
not
doing
what I need to do in order to pay the rent.

Writing is a creative process. It’s feast or famine,
depending on how the words flow and how book sales go. I’m in the middle of a
drought, and my food stores are running extremely low. I have to get this story
written.

I type the first paragraph of my next novel—for the sixth
time.

I rub the back of my neck until the skin stings.

Another text comes through.

-Rosie at work joined the site. Met the most amazing guy.-

Face-palm.

I grind the heel of my hand into my forehead, pushing my
phone a bit further from me with the other.

I’ve written and deleted a dozen or more different openings
for the novel that refuses to begin.

Oh, screw it. I’ll start with a love scene. Those are easier
to write anyway.

His big hands take possession of my heaving bosoms. “Come
hither, wench. Show your new master what you’ve been hiding under those
skirts.”

I push against his rock hard chest. “Nay, sir. We’ve yet
to marry. I mustn’t be sullied.”

“I’ll not sully you.” He tightens his hold. “I shall
feast upon these sweet melons. And find the nectar hidden within your quivering
loins.”

I twist my head, my heart almost beating out of my chest.
“I cannot allow this tawdry lust to overtake me.”

His mouth nears mine as he whispers, “Nay, don’t allow
it.
Welcome
it.”

An hour later, I stare at the screen, my stomach sinking.
I’ve made zero progress since the maiden was nearly ravished.

The cursor waits. Its ever-blinking eye watches me.

Another ten or so texts have come through from Leigh. Each
of them is a friendly, little push to do something about my love life—or lack
thereof.

I grin as I text her.

-You’re a pain in my ass; you know that?-

Her response is almost immediate.

-I know you aren’t writing, so click to it. Humor me.-

I tap out my reply.

BOOK: So. Long.: Bad Boy Next Door
7.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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