Stumbling into love, p.1
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       Stumbling Into Love, p.1
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         Part #2 of Fluke My Life series by Aurora Rose Reynolds
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Stumbling Into Love


  OTHER BOOKS BY AURORA ROSE REYNOLDS

  The Until Series

  Until November

  Until Trevor

  Until Lilly

  Until Nico

  Second Chance Holiday

  Underground Kings Series

  Assumption

  Obligation

  Distraction

  Until Her Series

  Until July

  Until June

  Until Ashlyn

  Until Him Series

  Until Jax

  Until Sage

  Shooting Stars Series

  Fighting to Breathe

  Wide Open Spaces

  One Last Wish (coming soon)

  Fluke My Life Series

  Running Into Love

  Stumbling Into Love

  Ruby Falls Series

  Falling Fast

  Writing as C.A Rose

  Alfha Law Series

  Justified

  Liability

  Verdict (coming soon)

  Stand-Alone Titles

  Finders Keepers

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

  Text copyright © 2018 by Aurora Rose Reynolds

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

  Published by Montlake Romance, Seattle

  www.apub.com

  Amazon, the Amazon logo, and Montlake Romance are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates.

  ISBN-13: 9781503951983

  ISBN-10: 1503951987

  Cover design by Letitia Hasser

  Selma & Sejla

  May you girls stumble into the most beautiful kind of love.

  Contents

  Chapter 1 STOOD UP MAC

  Chapter 2 THAT SO WASN’T PART OF THE PLAN MAC

  Chapter 3 MINE! WESLEY

  Chapter 4 COMPLICATED MAC

  Chapter 5 UNDER MY SKIN WESLEY

  Chapter 6 RECKLESS WESLEY

  Chapter 7 GIRL CODE MAC

  Chapter 8 THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING MAC

  Chapter 9 NO FREE MILK WESLEY

  Chapter 10 TINY HUMAN MAC

  Chapter 11 OH, BABY, YOU’VE LOST YOUR MIND WESLEY

  Chapter 12 BROKEN MAC

  Chapter 13 A FRESH START MAC

  Epilogue MAC

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Chapter 1

  STOOD UP

  MAC

  Looking around the crowded bar, I pull in a breath. There are lots of people here, and I can tell that most of them have come to have a drink before heading home after a long day at the office—men still wearing their suits, women in skirts and heels with their hair still perfectly styled. This isn’t the kind of place where I would normally hang out. There are no TVs playing in the corners of the room with the game on or men drinking beer while talking too loudly. It’s too sophisticated for that, with black-and-white photos in elegant frames hanging on the walls depicting Manhattan years ago, when the city was hardly more than a few blocks. Dark wood tables aren’t scratched or worn. The leather chairs aren’t peeling or falling apart at the seams; they all look new. Everything about this place screams class. Feeling a breeze come from the door, I turn to look at it and let out a disappointed breath when I see a beautiful woman walk in, followed by a good-looking man.

  Picking up my cell phone off the top of the bar, I pull up my text messages and check to make sure that I haven’t gotten the time or date wrong, that I’m at the right place. Seeing that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, my hand tightens around the phone in embarrassment. The guy I was supposed to be meeting for a drink is now thirty minutes late, and he hasn’t called or replied to the text I sent more than fifteen minutes ago. So I’ve officially been stood up. I drop my cell phone into my purse, then drain the glass holding my lemon-drop martini. I feel my face pinch as the sour taste hits my tongue, then I gasp when the vodka burns down my throat.

  “Would you like another?” the bartender asks. My watering eyes meet her brown ones.

  I should say no and just go home, but I know my sister Libby will be disappointed if I show up not even an hour after my date was supposed to begin. I really don’t want to see the pity in her eyes when I tell her Chris didn’t show. She was way more excited than I was that I had a date tonight, especially after my self-inflicted dry spell.

  “Sure.” I give the bartender my answer and a smile. Without a word, she picks up the empty glass and carries it down to the other end of the bar. As I wait for her to come back, the woman reflected in the mirror across from me catches my attention. Even knowing she’s me, I still stare in disbelief. When I told Libby I was going out on a date, she insisted on doing my makeup and hair. I didn’t fight her like I normally would have because I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted my first date in two years to go well. But I look like a stranger. My hair, normally tied back in a ponytail, is down in a mass of wavy red curls. My eye makeup, normally only mascara, is smoldering and sexy, making me look mysterious. My lips, used to only ChapStick, look full and plump, thanks to the pink stain she used.

  I wonder what Edward would think if he saw me right now.

  With a deep sigh, I quickly push that thought aside, annoyed with myself for even wondering about him. Edward has been my friend since we met two years ago at a baseball game. We bonded over our love for the Mets and beer. He was easy to talk to, funny and kind. Since that day, I’ve had a crush on him—and have been trying to no avail to get him to notice me as more than just a friend.

  I thought my plan was working until a few weeks ago, when he introduced me to his apparently longtime girlfriend. This caused me to realize the connection I thought we had was all in my head, and that I’d wasted two years of my life waiting for him to see me as more than just a beer-drinking buddy. Which brings me to sitting alone in a bar on a Friday night, all because I wanted to prove that I’m completely over my Edward crush. Well, that and seeing how happy my sister Fawn is with her new boyfriend. I wanted to see if I could find that for myself. So, really, this is all Fawn’s fault. If she wasn’t so happy, I probably wouldn’t have said yes to the first guy who asked me out. Shaking my head, I think about the time Fawn tried to get my other best guy friend, Tex, to ask me out. Not only is he married but happily—and to my good friend Elizabeth. That was embarrassing—but nothing compares with getting stood up tonight.

  “Would you like me to start a tab?” The bartender brings me out of my thoughts by dropping a napkin and my drink in front of me on the bar.

  “No, thanks.” I shake my head and pass her the fifty-dollar bill I got out earlier to cover my first drink.

  “Are you sure?”

  “Yes, thank you.” I smile, and she smiles back while smoothly taking the fifty from me. Picking up my fresh drink, I take a sip and then look toward the door when cool evening air rushes inside. Disappointment hits me when I don’t see my date—but that feeling is quickly washed away when my eyes lock on the man coming through the door, and my body tingles from head to toe.

  The guy is handsome. No, not handsome. That word doesn’t do him justice. He’s gorgeous. But not model gorgeous. He’s too rough-looking for that. He looks like he’s recently spent time in the sun; his dark hair is slightly wavy and curls around his ears and neck, accentuating his strong jaw and full lips. I can’t tell the exact color of his eyes from where I’m sitting, but even from a distance they seem bright b
ecause of the dark lashes surrounding them. Pulling my eyes down from his face, I take in the expanse of his wide shoulders covered in a plaid shirt and leather jacket and a trim waist encased in a pair of jeans that mold to his thick legs. Drawing my gaze back up to his, I find him studying me with heat in his eyes. I shift in my chair, wondering what it would be like to run my fingers through his hair while he kissed me. Blinking at that forward thought, I shake my head and pull my eyes from his. I look down at my drink before picking it up and downing it in one shot. Hopping off my bar stool, I hold on to the edge of the bar because I’m wobbling in the heels that Libby insisted I borrow. Heels that almost killed me twice on the way to the bar because I can barely walk in them.

  Getting the bartender’s attention, I point toward the hall that leads to the restrooms at the back of the bar to let her know I’m not taking off. She nods. Making my way through the crowd, I head down a long hallway and get into line behind two blondes who smile at me before resuming their conversation. “So did you finally try the lipstick I sent you?” one of them asks as I pull out my cell phone again to see if I have any missed calls or messages, which I don’t.

  Stupid men.

  “I forgot to tell you!” The other laughs. “I tested it out, and you were right! It didn’t come off even after the forty-minute blow job I gave Charles.”

  Forty-minute blow job? I rub my own jaw just thinking about it.

  “I told you it’s awesome stuff,” the friend replies as the door to the restroom opens and a woman comes out.

  “You were right!” the other agrees. Then they both disappear behind the closed door.

  Knowing Libby loves makeup, I smile while sending her a text.

  I just overheard two women talking about lipstick that doesn’t come off when you’re giving head. I think you should check it out.

  Not even two seconds later, my phone buzzes.

  Ummm . . . thank you . . . I think?

  It was actually a forty-minute blow job, I clarify.

  A forty-minute blow job is way more impressive than lipstick that doesn’t come off, she replies.

  I giggle, dropping my cell phone back into my bag just as the door opens and the women come out, laughing.

  After finishing up in the bathroom, I start back to the front of the bar.

  I stop suddenly—when I feel a hand hit my ass hard enough to sting.

  “What the hell?” I start to spin around, but my heels wobble once more. Causing me to stumble right into a warm chest that smells like leather and mint.

  “Are you all right?” Large hands capture my waist, and I blink up at my savior. Who also happens to be the guy I noticed earlier. One of his arms wraps around me, and he pulls me flush against his solid chest, making every inch of me come to life. “You okay?”

  “What?” I ask, in shock.

  He drags me up his body, then drops his face closer to mine.

  “You okay?” I see his mouth move, but it takes a few seconds to register that he asked if I was okay. All I can seem to focus on is the way it feels to be pressed against him.

  “I . . .” I shake my head to clear away the lust that is suddenly overwhelming me. “Yes . . . sorry. Thank you.”

  “Good.” Smiling, he lets me go.

  I wonder briefly if it’s too late to say I’m not okay just so he’ll hold on to me for a moment longer.

  Sheesh, this guy is deadly.

  “Thank you.” I bow at the waist while backing away.

  He chuckles.

  Turning on my heels, I head back for the bar as quickly as I can, thanking my lucky stars that I make it there without incident. I hop up on my stool—luckily still available—then motion for the bartender. As soon as I have her attention, I point at my empty glass. She nods.

  “Do you mind if I join you?” I don’t even have to look to know who’s asking that question. My body reacts to him the same way it did seconds ago. Goose bumps break out across my skin, and a shiver slides down my spine. The guy who has suddenly become the object of all my fantasies slides onto the empty stool next to mine.

  “Sure.” I shrug, trying to play it cool.

  He smiles.

  “Wesley.” He leans closer to me, and my breathing goes funny.

  “Pardon?” His grin shows off a perfect smile and straight, white teeth. I’ve never thought teeth were attractive until now, but there is something sexy about his.

  “Name’s Wesley. You are . . . ?” He sticks his large hand out in my direction, and my stomach dances with nervous butterflies as I drop my eyes to it before looking at him once more.

  That’s when I notice that his eyes are blue, but not just any blue. They remind me of the beach out on Long Island near my parents’ house, where I spent most of my childhood.

  “I’m . . . um . . . Mac . . . Mackenzie,” I stutter, placing my hand in his much larger calloused one as I watch him smile.

  “Nice to meet you, Mackenzie.”

  “Uh . . . yeah. Nice to meet you.” I nod, feeling his thumb slide over the pulse at my wrist while our eyes stay locked.

  “Here’s your change, and a fresh drink,” the bartender says, breaking the moment.

  I pull my eyes and hand from Wesley’s as the bartender slides the cash across the top of the bar toward me and sets my new lemon drop down on a fresh napkin.

  “Thank you.” I clear my throat, trying to get myself under control. This proves to be impossibly hard to do since I can feel Wesley’s eyes still on me—as well as his wide-spread knees on either side of my thigh.

  “What are you drinking?” the bartender asks him.

  I pick up my drink, realizing I need to do something with my hands so I won’t fan myself.

  “Bud, in the bottle,” he says.

  I feel his hand come to rest against my lower back and burn into my skin through my sweater.

  I try not to look at him.

  The bartender bends at the waist and straightens back up a second later with a beer in her hand that she sets in front of him after she opens it.

  “Do you want me to start a tab?” she asks.

  I watch in the mirror as he lifts his chin and hands her a credit card. She sets it behind the bar at the register before walking off once more to tend to her other customers.

  “So what brings you here tonight?” Turning my head toward Wesley at his question, I wonder if I should lie. Then I wonder why the hell I’m wondering that since he doesn’t know me anyway. It would make no sense to lie to him.

  “I was supposed to meet someone here for a drink, but he stood me up.”

  “Someone stood you up?” he asks, sounding appalled on my behalf.

  My lips twitch into a smile as I laugh.

  “Yeah.”

  “Idiot.” He shakes his head as his eyes roam over me. He takes a pull from his beer, and my stomach dances once more.

  “Why are you here?” I ask after a moment, needing to fill the silence that has settled between us.

  “I needed a beer.” He nods toward the bottle in his hand. “It was a long day.”

  “Work?” I ask.

  He nods once more as his eyes fill with something I can’t understand yet, but know I don’t like. Something about it makes me feel uneasy, like I want to protect him.

  “Sorry,” I say softly, fighting the urge to reach out and touch him.

  “Don’t be. I’ve got a cold beer in my hand, and I’m talking to a beautiful woman. Gotta say, my day’s looking up.”

  The word beautiful makes me feel a little bit guilty. He has no idea that the woman he’s sitting with isn’t who I really am. I don’t normally look like this or drink martinis. He doesn’t know that I prefer to drink beer and never wear makeup unless I have to. Even the clothes I have on aren’t mine. They’re Libby’s. My closet consists of mostly T-shirts and jeans. I want to tell him all that, but I don’t. Instead, I decide to pretend for a little while longer that I’m someone else, that I’m the kind of woman a man who looks like he does wo
uld be interested in.

  Two hours later, as I settle into the backseat of a cab with Wesley next to me, I wonder what the hell I’m doing.

  I’ve had only two lovers in my life—both of them long-term boyfriends I didn’t sleep with until months into the relationship. I don’t do one-night stands. Or at least I’ve never had one before, but something came over me when Wesley asked if I wanted to get out of the bar. I don’t even think I realized that something inside me knew if I didn’t go with him, I would regret it for the rest of my life.

  The door slams, and I listen as Wesley gives the driver directions to his place. I’m suddenly unsure of my decision.

  “Hey.” His voice washes over me while his hand moves up my leg to the junction between my thighs.

  My pulse quickens, and white-hot lust shoots through my system. The same lust I’ve been feeling all night. Meeting his gaze, I see that the same lust is staring right back at me. Licking my suddenly dry lips, I watch as his eyes drop to my mouth. A whoosh of breath leaves my lungs as he leans in.

  The first touch of his lips to mine is soft and exploratory—a tease of what’s to come. Touching my tongue to his bottom lip, I feel his chest vibrate against mine. I whimper as he deepens the kiss, thrusting his tongue into my mouth to toy with mine while his hand in the hair at the back of my head tightens and tilts it, sending a sting of desire through me.

  Pulling back when the cab comes to a stop, I pant as he pays the driver. I take his hand when he offers it and allow him to help me out of the backseat. Shutting the door behind us, he keeps my hand firmly in his as we walk down the sidewalk and toward a set of stairs that leads to the bottom level of a townhouse. After he unlocks and opens the door, I start to walk inside ahead of him. He stops me, wraps his hand around my waist, and moves his face close to mine. He’s so close that I can feel his warm breath brush against my lips as he speaks.

  “You sure about this?” he asks.

  My pulse, already thundering away, speeds up.

  “Yes,” I whisper without having to think about my answer. Raising my shaking hands, I run my fingers through his hair. It’s just as soft and as thick as I thought it would be. I pull his mouth down toward mine.

 
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