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Bang (A Club Deep Story)

By:Penny Wylder

Bang (A Club Deep Story)
Penny Wylder


Surprise! I've included an exclusive bonus book that's completely NEW at the back of Bang!

I hope you love the Billionaire's Revenge!


As I open the door to the coffee shop, the blast of air conditioning is a  welcome change from the hot Phoenix sunshine, but it can't save me from  my sister's voice on the other end of the phone.

"Keith Overton asked about you."

I sigh. Of course, the one thing my sister wants to talk about is my  love life. "The same Keith Overton who used to call me ‘Christine with  the extra fifteen?'"

"Oh, come on. He only said that because he liked you."

"Call me crazy, sis, but I prefer men who don't insult me."

There's an audible sigh. "Well, some people are beginning to wonder if you prefer men at all."

"Are you kidding me?" My voice comes out way too loudly, and every head  in the café turns to look at me. A blush rises to my cheeks and I look  down at the floor and lower my voice. "I'm not a lesbian. Even if I  were, it's nobody's business. Why the hell does anyone in that town care  about who I'm dating?"

"You know people here," she says in that sickly sweet voice that she  uses to tell me to ‘be nice.' "We all just want to see you settled down  and happy."

I grind my teeth together. I don't know how many times I've had this  conversation with my family, and every time I do, it's like it goes in  one ear and out the other. It's like I'm speaking an alien language or  something. "Hold on, Catherine." I've reached the front of the line.  "I'll take the biggest iced coffee you've got."

I move to the side and take a deep breath, preparing myself. "Catherine,  I'm not sure why no one believes me when I say this, but I am happy.  I'm much happier here in Phoenix than I would be in Aguila. I don't want  to ‘settle down.' So chill, okay?"

There's that sigh again. "We're not city people, Christine. You'll see soon enough. You'll be right back here with your family."

"Aguila is ninety minutes from here. It's not like I moved across the  country. And no, I don't think I will be seeing that anytime soon." And  even if I did, I wouldn't be going back for pricks like Keith. It's been  a while since I've been on a date or done … anything else, but still, I'm  not that desperate.

"Oh, you will." The smug certainty in her voice is enough to make me  punch a wall. "And that's what I told Keith. He wants to have dinner  with you when you get back into town."

The barista calls my name and I grab my cup of iced coffee with my mouth  hanging open. "You told Keith I would have dinner with him?"

"Of course. He's a nice man, and he's better than any of those city men that will use you and leave you."

"I swear to God, Catherine. This needs to stop. I'm not going to dinner with Keith. I am not moving back. I am not-"

"Come on, Christine," she cuts me off. "We both know that you're not  going to get many other offers. So you should pay attention to the ones  who might actually want you."

My mouth drops open, and even though I've already drawn more than enough attention to myself, my voice rises. "Excuse me?"

Catherine laughs, and my stomach drops. Chills run over my body, and I  feel like I'm shrinking. "Well you're not exactly the kind of person to  turn a lot of heads. So I'm just trying to look out for you. If you go  out with Keith, you might actually have a chance of not ending up  alone."

I swallow, trying to think of something to say. She's right, men aren't  exactly lining up at my door. But Keith Overton? Not exactly my dream of  Prince Charming. But do I have other options? Catherine is still  talking, something about how Keith has really made something of himself  since high school.

Turning, I'm ready to get out of this coffee shop before everyone in  here knows my life story, and slam into another body. A tall, hard body,  who's holding hot coffee. The top of his drink pops off at the same  time that mine does and we're both soaking in liquid caffeine. My mouth  is open again, my shirt suddenly soaked through. "Catherine, I have to  go I just spilled my coffee."         



I hang up, cutting her off in the middle of what I'm sure was a  fascinating monologue on the merits of Keith Overton, the misogynistic  fat-shamer. "I'm so sorry," I say, lunging for the nearest napkin  dispenser. Coffee is all over the floor and everyone is staring at the  girl who clearly doesn't have her life together and these napkins aren't  nearly up for the job of cleaning up the huge puddle on the floor.

I reach for more and a large hand stops me. "Are you all right?" The  voice is so deep that it rumbles across my skin leaving chills. It makes  me freeze, and I turn to see the man I collided with. Though the only  reason I can tell that is because there's a giant coffee stain on the  front of his shirt. I was so pre-occupied with Catherine that I hadn't  even looked up. And what a damn shame that would have been. He's tall,  and that's not just because I'm a shorter-than-average human, he towers  over everyone else in the café. And he's gorgeous. This man is exactly  my idea of prince charming. Tan skin that speaks of the outdoors and  maybe some Native American heritage, and that coffee is doing me some  favors because his shirt is clinging to him and doesn't leave any  question about just how ripped he is. The fact that I've been in a dry  spell suddenly rears its head. I would be very happy ending my dry spell  with somebody like that. The only word my brain is thinking is ‘Yum.'

He smiles, and I laugh, suddenly aware that I'm just staring. "Yeah, I  think I'm okay. I'm really sorry about your shirt, though I'm not sorry  that it got me off the phone."

"Don't worry, I have other shirts," he says, "And it sounded like an unpleasant conversation, so I'm happy to help."

"Yeah, you could say that."

"Do you mind if I ask what you were arguing about?"

I start to mop up the coffee again, "Just my sister trying to set me up  with this horrible guy from high school and telling me I won't find-" My  words come to a screeching halt. This isn't something you tell a  perfect gorgeous stranger. "It's nothing."

He pulls me aside as the girl from behind the counter starts to mop up the mess. "I'm really sorry," I say to her.

She shrugs. "It happens."

He's still looking at me. This intense look that makes the blood rise to  my cheeks and feel the urge to step closer. "If your sister was telling  you that you would never find anyone, she couldn't be more wrong."

I blink, stunned. His voice holds nothing but sincerity and something  deeper. "Thanks." My heart is beating in my chest and I feel breathless  in a way I haven't felt in a long time.

"I'm serious," he says. "I have a feeling you have no idea how beautiful you are."

My face is on fire. No one has ever said anything like that to me  before. He can't be serious. Is he serious? I'm not beautiful. I'm  completely average and always have been. I have no idea what to say to  something like that, so the first thing in my mind comes out. "Are you  sure I can't reimburse you for dry cleaning your shirt? People affected  by my clumsiness deserve some form of compensation."

Seriously, Christine? That's what you say to the man who just called you beautiful? Nice move.

He chuckles, "No, I'll be fine."

"Dinner, then." The words tumble out of my mouth before I even think  them. "Or a drink. Just to let me say that I'm sorry." I mean, I know I  sound a little desperate, but he so gorgeous that I don't want him to  leave the coffee shop without at least giving it a shot. And since he  said those nice things, maybe he'll want to. Even if it's out of pity.

His mouth-how I hadn't noticed his mouth is beyond me, it makes me think  of kisses and gasping and other naughty things-tips up into a smile. "I  would like nothing more than to have dinner with you, but I can't  tonight. I have some prior responsibilities. But," he reaches into his  pocket and takes a card from his wallet, "if you come to Club Deep,  tonight or any night, I'd be more than happy to buy you a drink."         



"Okay." I say, still a little spellbound by his face and voice. "I'm Christine. Christine Everett."

Taking my outstretched hand, he shakes it gently, and I'm overwhelmed by  the way my tiny hands are swallowed up by his. "Hudson Carlisle. Maybe  I'll see you again, Christine."

I've never understood that stereotype of loving the way someone says  your name until this moment. It makes it sound like a new and intimate  word that you've never heard before.

He smiles, something playful and hopeful at the same time, and he lifts  my hand to that wonderful mouth and presses his lips to the back of it.  Definitely Prince Charming. My skin tingles where he touched it and I  can't stop staring as he leaves. As he leaves, the view of him from the  back is almost as good as the view from the front, and that's saying  something. Realizing I still haven't looked at the card he gave me, I  look down. It's all black, with a silky finish that's not quite matte.  His name isn't on it, hardly anything is. Just some small silver  lettering.