Wicked Lovers 06.5 Wicked All The Way

BOOK: Wicked Lovers 06.5 Wicked All The Way
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Wicked All The Way

 

A Wicked Lovers Novella

 

Shayla Black

 
 
 

 

Wicked All The Way

A Wicked Lovers Novella

 

Shayla Black

 

Published by Shayla Black

Copyright 2012 Shelley Bradley LLC

 

Edited by: Chloe Vale and Shayla Black

 

All rights reserved…

 

ISBN: 978-1-936596-17-1

 
 
 

 

Dedication:

 

As with any book, so many people help me along the way, but
there are a special few I’d like to thank.

 

First, to Pearl for your excellent reading skills and the
occasionally giggle that let me know I was doing things (mostly) right. To
Laurie and Angel for your enthusiasm. You ladies kept me going during some
tough days. To Chloe Vale for her excellent editorial guidance, as always. And
not killing me for being last minute…again. Last, to my husband, who proposed
to me during the holiday season many years ago. While the proposal may not have
gone exactly as planned, the rest of our lives have been everything we could
have asked for. Thanks for the inspiration for this story.

 
 
 

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

About the Author

Excerpt from
Ours To Love
by Shayla Black

Excerpt from
One Dom To Love
by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, and Isabella LaPearl

Excerpt from
Their Virgin Concubine
by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Excerpt from
A Dom Is Forever
by Lexi Blake

 
 
 
Chapter 1

Black Friday 2012 –
Tyler, Texas

 

“If I have to watch you ogle my mother-in-law’s ass for
another second, I’m going to gack.”

Caleb Edgington tore his stare from Carlotta Buckley’s
gorgeous backside wrapped in a soft black skirt and turned to glare at his
oldest son, Hunter. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Like I’ve never had to
watch you ogle Kata? You forget, you two visited me not long after you married.
Want to know how much sleep I got those few days for listening to you newlyweds
through the walls?”

Not at all repentant, Hunter just grinned.

Rolling his eyes, Caleb stole another glance at the object
of his lust as she and her daughter, Hunter’s wife, made their way around the
garland-wrapped corner of the restaurant, heading up the hall to the ladies’
room.

Damn, Carlotta’s ass made him salivate.

He sighed. “You think you got the market cornered on
attraction because you’re married? Or young?”

“Nope. I’m going to gack because you’ve been staring at her
ass for over two years, and you still haven’t managed more than…what, two
dates?”

A flare of heat passed through Caleb’s system, partly fueled
by anger that Hunter was throwing this shit in his face. The other part was a
pure jolt of erotic sizzle. Yeah, two dates in two years. And the kiss that had
ended that second one…

Caleb picked up his cell phone and bounced it lightly
against the checkered tablecloth, gathering his words. “She’s afraid of me.”

Instantly, Hunter’s teasing smile disappeared. “I thought
you two had worked that out.”

“As long as we’re just ‘friends.’” Caleb’s lip curled up in
annoyance. “Saying I wanted a hell of a lot more was a tactical error on my
part that put us back at square one.”

“Having met her ex-douche bag, Gordon, I can’t say I’m
surprised that she’s reluctant.”

“I’m not a damn thing like him!” And if Hunter thought so,
Caleb wasn’t too old to exert some parental ass-kicking influence.

“Oh, hell no. Not even close.” Hunter scowled. “What I mean
is…you’re on the forceful side. Where do you think Logan and I got that trait
from, Dad? Granted, you taught us how to respect a woman. Gordon, that damn
asswipe, treated her like she didn’t matter. He told her what to do, when to do
it, how to do it. After her driver’s license lapsed, he refused to take her to
have it renewed. With her ankle injury—which he didn’t allow her to rehab—she
couldn’t take herself. He convinced her to quit her job. He cut her off from
her friends, her livelihood, and the outside world. Remember, he didn’t even
fucking take her to the doctor when she had pneumonia. Instead, he tried to
convince her that she had seasonal allergies. If I had to guess, I think she’s
just worried about letting another take-charge man near her.”

“I might be a bit overprotective, but I’m not that kind of
asshole,” Caleb insisted.

“You’re not, but smothering?” Hunter’s stare challenged him
to own up to the accusation.

Caleb just gritted his teeth.

“Remember when Kata and I went through something like this?
My wife was only afraid that she
could
lose her identity, because apparently I can be a little overbearing. Who knew?”
Hunter gave a mock shrug.

“The whole universe?” Caleb suggested with a grin.

“Yeah, just remember, you and I are cut from the same
cloth.”

No denying that. Hunter was a dead ringer for him twenty
years ago.

“But here’s the difference,” his son reminded him. “Carlotta
did
lose her identity. Her fear isn’t
a maybe/might thing. It’s real and in the not-too-distant past.”

Caleb balled his hand into a fist. Hunter’s words explained
why she’d run and stopped nearly all contact between them, family dinners and
minor emergencies excepting, after he’d pinned her against the door of her cozy
little house and kissed her after their second date. He’d tried so damn hard to
coax her gently, but Carlotta didn’t just flip his switch—more like the whole
circuit breaker of his central nervous system. With his lips layered over hers,
he’d grabbed her screen door to restrain himself from hauling her into his arms
and dragging her to bed. Caleb still remembered the horror on her face when she
realized that he’d inadvertently ripped the little metal contraption off one of
its hinges. She’d quickly slid in the house with a murmured good night and
slammed the door in his face. After that, he’d done everything he could think
of to reassure her—fixing her door, flowers, phone calls.

No response.

Had he given up? Not really. He’d plotted a tactical
retreat…but every time he got around her, he was as subtle as an Assault
Amphibious Vehicle. Of course, twenty-four years in the U.S. Army didn’t
exactly cultivate a talent for tact.

“I know,” Caleb admitted. “When she stayed with me just
after her separation, she nearly jumped out of her skin every time I even came
near her.”

“I think she’s filed you in the ‘overwhelming’ category.”

Exactly. But it didn’t do him any good to pretend to be
someone else in order to win her over. From everything he understood, her ex
had pulled that routine.

“She’s not leaving me with many options, but I’m not giving
up. I’ve dated the alternative.” Caleb grimaced. “The last one was forty, just
divorced, and ready to skip dinner to tango between the sheets.”

“Don’t say another word, Dad. That is a textbook case of
TMI.” Hunter looked a little green.

Caleb wasn’t a lot more comfortable saying it, but facts
were facts. He’d gotten to the age where he appreciated a woman for qualities
other than her sex drive. Not that he didn’t want that, too. Being over fifty
hadn’t been a death sentence on his libido—at all. But Carlotta was just…more.

The waitress, wearing black slacks and a Santa hat, dropped
off the check. He picked it up, waving away Hunter’s money, as thoughts of the
beautiful woman assaulted him without mercy.

Her tender heart drew him. Over the past two years, he’d
noticed that she went out of her way to please just about everyone. She’d
helped Kata decorate her first apartment with Hunter, turning it into a cozy
little nest for newlyweds. Complete strangers at the hospital where she worked
felt her compassion daily when she shared a smile, a tear, their silence. She’d
taken to mothering Hunter with an affection he hadn’t had since Caleb’s own
wife had walked out on him nearly fifteen years ago. His macho Navy SEAL son
might not admit that he liked it, but when Carlotta cooked his favorite meals,
Hunter preened like a cat basking in sunlight. She’d even opened her heart to
his younger son, gently teasing or scolding Logan whenever he was home and on
leave. And the sweet woman had all but adopted Logan’s little wife, Tara, and
his youngest daughter, Kimber, both of whom had grown up mostly without a
mother.

Carlotta spared him only stuttering words and averted
gazes…and lots of blushing. Yeah, he made her nervous.

“Good. I don’t want to talk to you about my sex life,
either. But how am I supposed to convince her that, despite my hard head, I’d
be good to her?”

Hunter hesitated, then whipped out his phone, sending a
quick text. “Let me think on that, maybe talk to Kata. In the meantime, I’ve
texted my gorgeous wife and told her to stall coming back to the table. I was
hoping to ask you for a favor.” On cue, Hunter’s phone beeped. He read it. “All
right. That buys me five minutes.”

Caleb wasn’t particularly ready to change the subject, but
Hunter had suddenly turned antsy. Whatever it was, his son found it damn
important. “Shoot.”

“Remember when I came home at the end of May, then rushed
back here in August?”

“Vaguely.” Caleb shrugged.

“Kata was ten weeks pregnant and lost the baby.”

The air left Caleb’s lungs, and he leaned forward, gaping at
his son. Then he scowled.

Hunter held up his hands. “Before you say it, I know. But
Kata wanted to tell me first, in person, and I didn’t get leave. I knew nothing
until she called from the hospital. She didn’t want anyone but her mother to
know. That’s just Kata. You know she doesn’t want the pity.”

“Oh, shit. I’m sorry, son.” He clapped Hunter’s shoulder
gently, wishing that he’d have known or could have helped. Kata had an independent
streak that his son had learned to respect—so he had to do the same.

“I won’t lie; it’s been a tough three months. I had mixed
reactions to it all, but it’s made me confront some things I’ve been putting
off.” Hunter sighed heavily. “I can’t be an active-duty SEAL forever.”

“It’s a tough gig after thirty, I’m sure.”

“Amen. Kata wants to have kids now. I’d planned to wait
until I left the Navy. I didn’t want…”

Hunter looked like he was grasping for diplomatic phrasing,
and Caleb saved him the trouble. “What your mother and I had?”

“Yeah. She tried to raise three kids while you were gone.
She was alone, angry, depressed. I know other women manage, but I don’t want to
risk putting Kata through what I fear might make her unhappy. And when Mom
walked out because she couldn’t deal anymore, I resented the hell out of her.”

His son had summed up some of the problems, but he and
Amanda had suffered through many others. He had been overbearing. Protecting
her had been his way of showing affection. Well, that and taking her to bed.
Amanda had wanted someone more charming, less rough around the edges. He hadn’t
known what to do with her tears and rants that life hadn’t turned out as
expected, so he’d shut down.

Caleb rubbed the top of his military-short hair. It was
probably more gray than golden these days. Wasn’t that shit supposed to bring
wisdom? For the life of him, he didn’t know what to say to his son.

“So I take it you’ve come to some conclusion?” he asked
Hunter instead.

His son looked pensive. “Jack and Deke have offered me a
job. Good money, health insurance, far less risk of dying in a third-world
shithole.”

“But you love what you do.”

“Yep, but everyone knows I’m one injury away from being off
the teams for good. This shoulder of mine has been shot up twice.” He rolled
it. “It’s stiff. I worry… What if it freezes up on me during a mission? What if
me wanting to hang onto this part of my life endangers a teammate? I worry
about it, but…” Hunter fingered his phone, probably to avoid eye contact more
than anything.

Like father, like son. Communication was essential, but they
were both far better at sorting through others’ issues. They tended to bury
their own.

“Not enough to quit?”

“Nope. I just work out harder. Then I remember the six
months I thought that Kata and I were divorced.” Hunter drew in a shaking
breath. “It fucking gutted me, and I couldn’t go through that again. She wants
kids. She wants a husband who’s home more than not. She wants normalcy.”

BOOK: Wicked Lovers 06.5 Wicked All The Way
4.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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