Read I Love You Online

Authors: Brandy Wilson

Tags: #Holiday,Contemporary,Women's Fiction

I Love You

Table of Contents

Excerpt

I Love You

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Thank you for purchasing this publication of The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

“You’re a guy.

You have to say us getting intimate wouldn’t be stupid, or you lose your membership card in the man club.” Pushing up against him was like being pressed against a wall; a really sexy wall with a seriously buff body and a mouth made for slow, sensuous kissing. He was implacable, immovable, and irritating—not to mention protective.

And hot. Completely and utterly hot.

“My membership card in the man club?” Gently he traced her lips with his index finger. “Hate to disappoint you, but I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member.”

“Quoting Groucho Marx isn’t furthering your cause.”

“And here I thought humor was an aphrodisiac.” He chuckled. “Dace, you kiss like an angel, and I’ve already told you I want to see you again. You’ve got my number, so the ball’s in your court.” He nudged his hardness against her hip, as he nodded at her erect nipples straining through her scrubs. “There’s attraction on both sides here, unless I need my eyes checked.”

He traced a finger across her collarbone, and down the neck of her scrubs into her cleavage, making her shudder. “Let go, babe. Just for a few minutes.”

She gaped at him, her mouth open. Thoughts whirled through her head, arousal and sheer lust fogging her brain.

To let go…just for a few minutes…

No patients, no nurses, no ringing cell phones, no decisions to make, no paperwork, no intercom pages…

She couldn’t help it; she nodded.

I Love You

by

Brandy Wilson

A Candy Hearts Romance

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

I Love You

COPYRIGHT © 2016 by Brandy Wilson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Cover Art by
RJ Morris

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com

Publishing History

First Champagne Rose Edition, 2016

Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-0640-7

A Candy Hearts Romance

Published in the United States of America

Dedication

My loving husband—the inspiration for it all.

Thanks for believing.

 

Chapter One

“A man’s been shot. Call 911. Now!”

Tate Campbell couldn’t believe what she shouted at him, just before twisting around and running back out of his bar, letting the heavy door slam behind her.

What the hell…

****

Of course, he’d noticed her when she had come in. A petite woman dressed in a set of shapeless blue hospital scrubs and running shoes had no place in a noisy biker bar. His first thought was that she looked as out of place as a whore in church. He noticed her dark hair trailed down her back in a long loose braid. A lanyard thick with laminated ID tags hung around her neck.

Oblivious to the lewd glances clocking her every step, she marched up to the bar like she owned the place, shoulders back, chin raised and her clear blue eyes meeting his in an icy stare. She’d tapped on the bar twice to get his attention—unnecessarily, as he was standing right in front of her—and shouted at him over the noisy band, currently doing a decent cover of Bob Seeger’s
Night Moves.

“Hi. Could you let me use the phone to call a tow truck?”

After that, she stood there waiting, looking at him with a brow raised and an expectant expression on her face.

He chuckled. “Lady, we don’t have a landline. Or a payphone.”

The expression on her face never changed. “Fine. Then could you please let me use your cell phone?” Hesitating a moment, she added, “I’ll pay for the call.” She dropped her eyes and scrabbled in the pocket of her scrubs, pulling out a dollar. She held the money out to him.

The unexpected attraction he felt made him ornerier than usual. He tilted his head and crossed his arms, never breaking her gaze. “What’s the matter, lady, doesn’t the hospital pay you enough so you can afford a cell phone?”

Her lips tightened, and her eyes narrowed. “Look, my cell is dead and so is my car, neither of which is your business. I need a tow truck. If you aren’t going to help me, just say so, and I will find someone who can.” Spots of color now dotted her cheeks, despite the weariness in her features. After a moment, she stuffed the bill back into her scrubs and turned away.

“Hey. Just a minute.” Reaching into the pocket of his worn jeans, Tate fished out his cell and tossed it on the bar. “You can use mine. No charge.” At this time of night, no other businesses were open on this stretch of urban street, and it was a good half-mile hike to the gas station on the corner. If she tried to make that walk, it was a safe bet she’d never make it without getting hassled…or worse. No way was he going to have that on his conscience.

She raked her fingers through her pulled-back hair, loosening a few tendrils around her face. She took a deep breath. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”

She flipped open the phone. Then the realization hit her and she raised her gaze to his face as she opened her mouth to speak.

Before she could utter a word, he pointed to a neatly lettered sign displaying the name of a towing service at the top of the area over the cash register behind him. “Woody’s Towing is just down the road. It’s Thursday, and Fred is on tonight. He’ll be here in ten minutes or so if he isn’t out on another call.”

Her mouth gaped for a moment, and then snapped shut.

“Oh yeah, and the name of the bar you happen to be standing in is Shooters.” Unable to help himself, he grinned at her expression of surprise. “What can I say. I know my neighbors.”

At the opposite end of the long bar, one of the servers banged her tray on the bar top. “Order!” Without shifting his gaze from the woman, Tate motioned for the other bartender to handle the drink order.

She bent her head and keyed in the number of the towing service, then turned from the bar and stuck her finger in her ear. Tate waited until she concluded the call and returned the phone. He tucked it in his pocket and extended his hand to her.

“Name’s Tate. Tate Campbell. Glad I could help.”

She gave him a smile so icy his bartender could have used it in his coolers, then extended her hand across the bar, giving him one brusque, businesslike handshake. Despite her small hands, her grip was strong.

“D…uh, Dace. Dace Robinson. Thanks for the phone.” She slid her fingers through her hair. “Fred said he would be here in a few minutes, and told me to wait until he showed up. That okay with you? I could order some coffee or something.”

Tate placed a napkin in front of her on the bar, and was already moving toward the cooler. He chuckled. “Lady, look around you. You’re in a bar. If you aren’t into alcohol, your choices are water and soda. Take your pick.”

“Just a water, please. Thanks.” Once again, she pulled money out of her scrubs pocket. Before she could put the cash on the bar, Tate waved it off.

“On the house.”

She tilted her head in surprise, and a genuine smile—not the icy one—crossed her face as he placed a bottle of water on her napkin. “Thank you.” Sliding onto a vacant barstool, she glanced at her watch and sighed, cracked open the water and took a dainty sip.

Tate noticed her hands as she curled them around the plastic water bottle. Her nails were trimmed short, close to her fingertips, and she wore colorless nail polish. It was a change for him, since he was used to long fake nails on the biker chicks that rolled through his place, gaudily painted and decorated with more enthusiasm than taste. In contrast, Dace’s hands looked…efficient. Capable.

And sexy as hell.

Still gazing at her hands, he couldn’t explain why, but a bolt of lust shot through him. Those hands—what was the big deal? They were just hands. If he shut his eyes, he could imagine those sleek hands trailing up his arms and across his back, then drifting down his pecs and tangling in his chest hair.
Jesus…

To his surprise, he felt himself begin to harden.

What the hell…

Chapter Two

Dace couldn’t believe her luck lately.
Bad
was too inadequate to describe it. After a quick search of her mental thesaurus, she settled on
abysmal
.

First, her ER shift was a frantic onslaught of flu patients. She was exhausted, and on a third set of scrubs; the first two sets were splattered with vomit. She was also fairly sure there was shit on her shoes.

Second, the scheduling at the hospital got switched around, and her long weekend off had morphed into three twelve-hour shifts in the ER. As an intern in the last year of rotation, she knew the busy shifts would fly by in a blink. At least there were no plans on her schedule to cancel or Valentine’s Day dates to rearrange. For that small favor, she was grateful and…okay, truth be told, depressed.

Besides, it looked like the extra cash would be needed for some car repairs.

The worst part about being around the hospital over Valentine’s Day weekend? Constant reminders that there wasn’t anyone special in her life to send flowers or schedule a romantic dinner date. The flower delivery cart almost collided with her three times today—once coming out of the elevator—and everywhere were cheery heart-shaped decorations plastered on the nurses’ stations and the hallway walls. Dace didn’t mind if other people enjoyed romantic holidays; however, the unending onslaught of true love messages was causing a funk. She didn’t think about being lonely—work used all her available brain cells—but romantic holidays weren’t universally romantic for everyone.

She couldn’t believe it when her faithful Honda sputtered and died, right in front of the bar. She managed to get it running just long enough to limp off the street and into a parking lot before it shut down completely. Normally, her baby ran like a well-oiled top, so catastrophic engine shutdown was a new experience.

Sending a quick prayer to the automotive gods for an affordable repair, she sighed heavily and took another sip of her water.

Finding out her hospital-issued cell phone was dead was the icing on life’s poop cupcake.

The biker bar wouldn’t be a first choice to seek help. The line of motorcycles out front didn’t inspire confidence, and she debated about going in. If there had been other neon OPEN signs glowing anywhere nearby in the midnight darkness, she would have skipped the bar altogether. Since there appeared to be no other choice, Dace took a deep breath, let it out slow, and pulled open the door.

The air inside was heavy with smoke, the yeasty scent of cheap beer, and the noisy live band was making her ears bleed. She was tempted to fan her hand in front of her face, but didn’t want to draw any more attention than necessary. The bar was on the far side of the room, tucked behind the pool tables. Behind it was a tall muscular man, dressed in a T-shirt promoting the virtues of cold beer and warm women. Dark hair well past the need of a trim was raked back from his face, and despite the dim bar, she could see intelligence in his eyes and the cool façade of his smile. He looked competent and scary at the same time. Even so, he seemed the safest bet to ask for help.

At the bar, she refused to shift her gaze around the room and eyeball the other patrons, even though she sensed their eyes on her. To her surprise, the tall guy stepped forward and met her at the bar, dark chocolate brow raised in silent inquiry.

At first, he wasn’t inclined to be cooperative, but she persisted. It wasn’t in her nature to give up, and she didn’t intend to start now.

The cell phone he eventually dug from his pocket and handed across was warm, and she felt a tingle in her hand, thinking about where it had been and how the metal had become heated. The same warmth was in his fingertips as he handed her the bottle of water, and she had a weird impulse to reach out and touch his hand.

She couldn’t help it; she stuttered as she gave her name without the professional title tacked on in front of it. Obviously, she wasn’t ashamed of her career or all the hard work it took to get where she was, but somehow it didn’t seem appropriate to announce herself as a doctor in the middle of a bar. She didn’t need bikers to start making smart-ass remarks about her giving them a free checkup.

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