© 2018 by DENISE WELLS. 

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Dirty Ex-Mas releases December 2. ARCs go out November 8 and I’ve got the signup and a little teaser for you right here!

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EXCERPT:

He wraps his arms around me, grasping his wrists to lock me in his embrace. I lean back against him, liking how our bodies align when I’m wearing heels, then wriggle my bottom against what I’m hoping is his dick and not a gun.

“Don’t play with me, Quinn. I’m not in the mood.”

Which gives me an idea.

I twist my head to face him. “What are you in the mood for?” I soften my voice as I ask, hoping I sound alluring. I’d brush his hair out of his eyes with my fingertips, but he has my arms pinned to my sides.

He cocks his head and squints his eyes. “What are you getting at?”

I look up at him from under my lashes, giving my best come hither look. “I like being in your arms.”

He blinks once . . . twice. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Do you ever think about kissing me, Reed?”

“This is not the time, Quinn.”

“I think about kissing you.” I arch my head back to run my nose along his neck, breathing in his scent as I go. “I think about it a lot.”

God, he smells good.

He clears his throat but doesn’t say anything. His hold on my loosens and I turn in his embrace, then run my tongue along the same path, up his neck to just behind his ear, my heart races and my breath gets heavy. I think becoming a hired assassin has given me super seductive powers, because no way would I have the balls to do this ordinarily.

I take the lobe of his ear between my teeth and bite gently. He groans.

Which I take as a good sign. One that means I should continue, so I kiss my way along his jawline and up to the corner of his mouth. His lips twitch every so slightly as I run my tongue along their seam.

“Quinn,” he breathes. “You need to stop this.” His hold on me loosens further as he moves his hands closer to my ass, enough for me to get one arm free which I wrap around his neck.

“Why?” I nibble on his bottom lip and he groans again. Or maybe that was me. “Kiss me, Reed.” His face inches closer to mine until our lips are mere centimeters apart. I close my eyes and strain my face forward, just as our mouths are about to meet, he shakes his head and snaps out of whatever trance I’d put him in, waking me up with him.

“Don’t play games with me.”

“I’m not.”

“Are you kidding? This is the oldest trick in the book. You try to seduce me, then sneak away when you have me all distracted and wound up.”

“Were you wound up?” It would be nice to know if my techniques were effective.

“Can you just . . .” he steps away from me and turns, running his palm over his face roughly. “Are you still hung up on him, is that it?” His eyes search out mine. If I’m not mistaken, I see hurt reflecting from his. I close my eyes to steel myself against him. If I were Superman, Reed Roberts would be my kryptonite. I can’t lie to him about having feelings for David. If he thinks I have feelings for David, he’ll never want to be with me. And being here with him like this, having just felt his body against mine, confirms that I most definitely want to be with him.

“I’m just upset.” I breathe heavily.

“Upset about his engagement?”

I nod.

“It’s been over a year, Quinn.”

I turn my head down and to the side. If he sees the look in my eyes, he’ll know I’m lying.

“Just tell me, are you in love with him?” His voice is soft. Almost pained. I glance up quickly.

“No,” I tell him honestly, looking him in the eye.

“Then what’s going on?” He uses his free hand to push some of my loosened hair behind my ear. “What snapped in that beautiful head of yours to make you want to shoot him?”

He thinks my head is beautiful?

My heart soars. He must like me. “I didn’t want to shoot him,” I say, softly. “I just wanted to scare him a bit.”

“Why?”

“So, he would behave with his new wife.” Okay, that’s not what I thought I was going to say, but I think it can still work as a rationale for my actions. As long as he believes me.

Reed looks at me, questioningly. “What do you mean by behave? Like be faithful? Are you talking about the apps?”

I look at him. “The apps? Noooo.” I draw the word out and try to make the answer on my face as plain as day. I don’t want to outright lie and say that David is a cheater, I wouldn’t know. For one we weren’t together long enough, or even exclusive for that matter; and, two, I have no idea if David has ever cheated on a girl or if he uses apps to do it. But if Reed were to jump to his own conclusions about what I’m implying, I have no control over that.

He looks at me and nods as if understanding. “You know I’m going to have to bring you in, right?”

“For what? Nothing even happened.” Shit! Daria never said what to do if I got arrested. “Uh, can I make my phone call first?”

“I’m not arresting you, Quinn. At least not yet. I just need some questions answered. Why, who do you want to call?”

“A friend,” I hedge. If I tell him I want to call Daria, he may wonder why. Though, she is my best friend and would be the most logical choice to bail me out of jail. Not that I’ve been arrested, but he did add not yet. Maybe I can make this work. “I want to call Daria. She’s my person to bail me out of jail.”

“You aren’t in jail.”

“Could’ve fooled me. This is looking like a Reed Roberts jail if I’ve ever felt one.”

He raises a brow. “You’re free to go.”

I attempt to step around him, only to have him put his arm out to stop me. “Quinn, I can’t just let it go that you were planning to fire a loaded weapon in a crowded party.”

“What if I said I would never do it again?” I blink innocently at him.

“For some reason, I don’t believe you.” He sighs.

I’m torn between wanting to convince him I won’t do it again and feeling pride over him thinking I’m bad ass enough to bring a gun to a party again.

“Come on.” He grabs my upper arm in a loose hold. “If you aren’t going to talk to me here, then I have to bring you in for questioning.”

“But—”

“I don’t want to do this, Quinn. But you leave me no choice.”

I chew on my bottom lip slightly, forgetting for a moment about my no-smudge lipstick, trying to decide if I should come clean, call Daria, or make a run for it. But as soon as I open my mouth to tell him everything, my phone rings. I look down at the caller ID.

Daria.

Thank god.

I hold the phone up to show Reed, and shrug as though it’s not my fault I can’t answer his questions, then I press the answer button.