Undeniable: Dom & Gigi, page 1
Dom & Gigi
Callie Harper’s Books
Copyright 2016 Callie Harper
Cover Design by Perfect Pear Creative
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All rights reserved. This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events, people, or places is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations used for review. If you have not purchased this book or received a copy from the author, you are reading a pirated book.
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The author acknowledges the trademarked status of products referred to in this book and acknowledges that trademarks have been used without permission.
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This book contains mature content, including graphic sex. Please do not continue reading if you are under the age of 18 or if this type of content is disturbing to you.
Callie Harper’s Books
The Beg For It Series
Note: these standalone novels can be read in any order
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Book 1: Unleashed (Declan & Kara)
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Book 2: Undone (Ash & Ana)
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Book 3: Untamed (Heath & Violet)
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Book 4: Unbelievable (Colt & Caroline)
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Book 5: Undeniable (Dom & Gigi)
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The All In Series
Book 1: In Deep (Chase & Emma)
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Off Limits: A Stepbrother MMA Romance
The night started like any other. I was getting ready for a party and my friend Penny was coming over to join in the fun. We’d done it a thousand times over our teenage years, saying yes to that dress, no to a whole long list of rejects. She’d been my best friend since middle school and though we’d spent our freshman years apart at different colleges, we were kicking off a whole summer together in the Hamptons. Party, poolside, repeat.
Yet somehow that night felt different. Restless energy coursed through me like a live wire. I always felt a bouncy excitement getting ready for a party, that sense of possibility, wondering who would be there and what might happen. But this felt bigger than that, more urgent. I couldn’t explain it, but I couldn’t shake it, either, the sense that the night would be like no other. Something would happen that would change the course of my life forever.
But it all started as predictable and mundane as ever. Penny said she’d be over some time between seven and eight and she showed up at seven thirty. She brought two full shopping bags worth of options with her because, as always, Penny couldn’t make up her mind what to wear. More than one evening out had begun with an about-face, her deciding at the last minute she’d made a disastrous mistake that needed to be reversed immediately.
“OK,” Penny announced, breathless. “Zander’s going to be there tonight so you have to help me find something amazing.”
I took one of her overflowing bags and ushered her upstairs, immediately in consult mode, asking her if she wanted to go bold and flashy, or if she felt like sticking with her usual neat and preppy. Penny had had a thing for Zander since ninth grade when he’d told her he thought her braces looked cute. Such acts of kindness could not soon be forgotten, especially among our friends, the inner circle of southern Connecticut wealth.
I’d moved to Greenwich to start fourth grade, scared and shy. I was born in Manhattan, but at six my parents had split up and they sent me off to live with my grandmother in England for a few years. When I came back, I was pale, frail and had picked up enough of a hint of a British accent and mannerisms to draw notice from my bitchy peers.
“Where did you even get those shoes?” one of the ringleaders had asked me on my first day of school at Greenwich Prep, pointing out my penny loafers. My Gram had bought them for me special in England before she’d sent me on my way. It wasn’t until one of the popular fourth graders wearing delicate, lighter-than-air silver ballet slippers pointed them out that I realized they were brown, stocky and built for trudging across muddy Yorkshire fields.
“OMG! Do you have pennies stuck in them? Is that, like, all the money you have?” Another of the hyenas had cackled as they’d started to circle around me. Telling them that my Gram had given me lucky pennies didn’t seem like it would do any good, so I’d inched back against the wall in silent terror. Until Penny had broken through like a rescuing angel.
“Come on, we’re going to be late for class.” Penny had whisked me away, earning my lifelong gratitude and friendship in one fell swoop.
Now a decade later, we stood in my bedroom, laying out options and still discussing the bitchy women we needed to navigate around in our social circle.
“Gwen’s going to be there, too,” Penny sighed.
“Zander’s an idiot if he pays her any attention this summer.” Last summer I’d had to perform more than a few magic tricks to distract and cheer up Penny, whose heart broke over and over again as the object of her affections bestowed his on another. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same. The same crew with the same bitches and the same hotties. It was all I’d ever known. Things hadn’t even changed that much when I’d started college down in Nashville.
It might not seem like an act of rebellion to have chosen to attend one of the most venerable and exclusive universities in the country. But in my family, my enrolling at Vanderbilt was tantamount to tattooing my face and committing armed robbery. Both my father and oldest brother, Colt, had attended Harvard undergrad and then Harvard again for business school. My mother had attended Wellesley, the obvious other choice for ladies. My second oldest brother Ash had stepped off the beaten path in a big way with no degree at all, but my parents had long given up on him. And Heath? He’d headed to Dartmouth, a disappointment, of course, but at least still an Ivy.
My father had almost carried through with his threat to call the admissions office at Vandy and tell them in no uncertain terms that I would not be attending. It was Gram who’d intervened and spoken on my behalf, assuring him I’d still be in good hands. It wasn’t as if I were running away to join the circus. He’d finally relented, even though I could never give him a satisfying answer as to why I wanted to go there for college.
I couldn’t tell him it was because of the waffle house. My mother had taken me down to visit and I’d loved the feel of the campus with its sprawling green lawns and classic old buildings. But it was the feeling I’d gotten at the waffle house in downtown Nashville that had won me over. The admissions representative who’d given us our tour had told us it was the best waffle house in the city, so we’d gone to check it out. We had to wait in line, first of all, which really cracked me up watching my type-A mom stand there fo
The whole place was filled with conversation and laughter, the pancakes stacked high and fluffy, and all the dishes had names of country-singing stars. Little white lace curtains framed the windows and signed photos from musicians dotted the walls. A friendly hustle and bustle jostled all around us, and I couldn’t get enough of it. The place had a laid-back Southern hospitality and charm all its own. I felt a nearly irresistible joy amidst it all, as if I couldn’t help but kick back, relax and enjoy.
I felt I’d won a victory when my father had finally agreed to my heading down to Nashville. I felt like I’d be setting off on my own, standing on my own two feet for the first time of my life, not just the daughter of Richard Kavanaugh, billionaire investor. But I’d been wrong. Everyone who was anyone knew who I was before I even set foot on campus. The whole friend-of-a-friend thing ran strong through prep school communities, and my entire path was all mapped out before classes even started, right down to my roommates and the sorority I’d eventually join.
I knew I had absolutely nothing to complain about. I’d had the world handed to me on a platter. Play me a tiny violin in sympathy. But I couldn’t help that I sometimes wished I had a little more say in determining the world in which I lived. Because I sometimes felt like Barbie in her Dream house, surrounded by all anyone could want and more, with movie theaters and bowling alleys and a closet that never ended. Only someone else was moving my arms and legs for me and speaking the words that came out of my mouth.
“You have to wear this!” Penny thrust a short, sparkling skirt at me. “Trevor will love it!”
I sighed, fighting that sense that I was being dressed to play a part. “Are you sure you want to head to the club tonight, Penny?” I tried, already knowing her answer. “Maybe we could check out someplace new? Somewhere we’ve never been before?”
She looked at me like I had a few screws loose. “But, everyone’s going to be there tonight. To start, at least. I mean afterward, sure, we’ll all head someplace else. Maybe somewhere new.”
I nodded. Ask a stupid question…
Penny was sweet and kind and loyal and never seemed to chafe at the constraints I felt. In fact, she wanted nothing more than to marry into the scene and keep it all going for the rest of her life, endlessly whirling around on a carousel with the same wealthy social circle. It was my problem that I kept looking over at the trees in the distance, wondering what lay beyond.
“I’m sure Brock will be there, too.” Penny shuddered and I did right along with her. Brock had attended the brother academy to our all-girls school, and he’d been glowering, stalking and strutting around at dances and parties for as long as we could remember.
“So creepy,” I agreed with a frown. I’d never liked Brock. There was a cold hardness behind his handsome features. Rumors abounded of him treating girls we knew badly, in more than the typical jerk type of way.
My phone buzzed with a text.
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Colt: Where are you? On your way?
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Gigi: There in 30.
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Both my brother and I knew that 30 minutes meant an hour, but there wasn’t really a rush anyway. He was just being nice, checking in on his little sister. Fresh out of business school, he planned on spending most summer weekends at our house in the Hamptons, but weekdays I’d be there on my own. My father would likely show up from time to time as well, though when he did he preferred staying at his bachelor pad downtown. He was quite the ladies man, always with a new piece of arm candy. It drove my mother crazy, even though she’d remarried years ago. I guessed it always reminded her of how he’d cheated on her.
I didn’t really care. It was all I’d ever known of my father. He dated an ever-changing rotation of models, most of them a good twenty if not thirty years younger. If someone wanted to psychoanalyze me, I was sure his behavior would factor in as one of the reasons why I’d never gotten serious with anyone. Watching my father switch out girlfriends like a diva changing outfits, I hadn’t exactly gotten a strong impression of lasting love.
My mother had swung to the opposite end of the spectrum, choosing steady security over anything else. My stepfather Stewart was as stodgy an attorney as you’d ever met. My mother led a quiet life with her roses and hounds as they co-existed, placid and only mildly interested in one another. They seemed to have a solid marriage, but boring as hell.
I was only 18. I wanted more. I wanted passion and excitement and true love. I wanted to get swept away and fall head over heels and all the other clichés I could think of. I wanted Romance.
“Are you going to give him a chance this summer?” Penny asked as I dutifully tried on the glittery gold skirt.
“Who?” I asked, absentminded, looking at my reflection in the mirror. It fit, but it wasn’t what I wanted to wear.
“Poor Trevor. He’s like a lovesick puppy around you, and you never even notice.”
“I’m not mean to him. He’s fine,” I protested, peering into my closet. Penny and a bunch of other people had been after me to date Trevor forever. He’d been my escort to a couple of formal events, and we’d kissed one night last summer, mostly because I was tired of everyone telling me I should give him a chance. Guess what I’d felt? A whole lot of nothing.
“He’d be so good to you,” Penny insisted, zipping herself into a pale-blue dress.
“Wear that,” I recommended. It complimented her eyes and figure and she looked beautiful.
“Are you sure I don’t look fat?” She scrutinized herself, squinting and sucking in her stomach.
“I’m sure.” I reassured her about her weight for at least the millionth time. Then I peered into my closet and lit up with a discovery. There was a little white dress I’d never worn out. I’d bought it at the end of last summer and for some reason I hadn’t taken it with me to college. Simple and gauzy, it was all white and the top tied behind my neck in a halter. I took off the skirt, slipped the dress on and turned this way and that, loving how smooth and floaty it felt.
“Dreamy,” Penny agreed, coming over to my side. “You look like a fairy princess.”
“I don’t know about that, but it sure makes me feel like one.” The dress suited my mood, as if magic awaited. I slipped on some heeled sandals and we helped each other with hair and makeup until I finally got impatient and forced us to leave.
As a car drove us over, I cracked the window to get a breath of fresh air. Penny chattered away, filling me in on which couples had stayed together over the past few months, and which ones had broken up. She kept tabs on our social circle way more closely than I did.
Suddenly filled with nostalgia, I grasped her hand. “I’m so happy you’re here this summer, Penny. It’s going to be a great one, I feel it.”
“Where else would I be?” she asked, giving my hand a squeeze back. “Maybe things will finally happen with Zander.” She bubbled with excitement. “And you should give Trevor a chance!”
I nodded, noncommittal, looking out the window again. I knew I had a reputation for being a prude. One frustrated guy last summer had claimed I’d super-glued my legs together. But until someone inspired me, I wasn’t going to force it. I was a virgin, one of the last remaining ones I knew of. We were a dying breed. At Vandy I’d met a few, but they tended to be religious and most of them already had promise rings from their soon-to-be fiancés.
I was the only one holding out for no one, just me, stubbornly refusing to agree that sloppy sex with some guy I kind-of sort-of liked was enough. I wanted fireworks and moonbeams, magic and madness, and I’d wait until I got it, no matter how long it took.
The car let us out at the base of the entrance. There weren’t many stairs, only about ten, but sta
Penny and I smiled but waved off offered arms. It was a perfect summer night, the warmth of the day continuing into the evening with a light breeze. Not too humid, it was warm enough I didn’t need a wrap and could bare my shoulders to the air. I was glad I’d left my hair down, simple and loose with a few styled waves. The breeze fluttered through my dress and lifted my hair off my shoulders. I closed my eyes for a moment, a smile playing at my lips as I luxuriated in the feeling. Summer. It was June and time stretched out before us with nothing but clear skies and playtime for months to come.
Then I opened my eyes and saw him. He was standing to the side at the top of the stairs, arms crossed over his broad chest, surveying all before him and frowning down on us. The cord of an earpiece trailing down his neck marked him as security, but I would have known even if I hadn’t seen it. Everything about him looked like security, from the firm set of his jaw to the massive expanse of his shoulders. He looked like he could spot a bad guy from a mile away, take him out in seconds flat, and intimidate him so much he wouldn’t even try anything in the first place.
Security was something I was used to having around me. My billionaire father was enough of a public figure that he retained a detail for weekly events and speaking engagements. At the clubs we belonged to, and in the lobby of my father’s Upper East Side penthouse, I’d grown accustomed to a staff of watchful eyes, some of them armed. But I’d never been prone to a wave of random infatuation with any of them.
CALLIE HARPER SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Undone, Volume 1All of Me: Liam & SophieAll I Need: Ian & AnnieUndone, Volume 3Unleashed: Volume 2 (Unleashed #2)Unleashed: Declan & Kara (Unleashed #1-4; Beg for It #1)Unleashed: Volume 1 (Unleashed #1)Undone: A Fake Fiancé Rockstar Romance
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