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Sold to Daddy (Bad Daddies)
 


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Sold to Daddy (Bad Daddies)


  SOLD TO DADDY

  BAD DADDIES #1

  EVIE CLARK

  Copyright © 2019 by Evie Clark

  All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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  About the book

  EVERETT

  I took her in for her own good.

  Out of the kindness of my heart.

  But spending more time with her only makes me want every single part of her.

  Every inch of her body.

  Every inch of her heart.

  And between you and I, I don’t plan on stopping until she loves me.

  LANE

  My mother’s problems landed me in his arms.

  I know I should be upset, but I can’t be.

  Everett takes care of me, makes me feel safe.

  And the more I get to know him, the more I think I might want him.

  I can’t cross that line.

  Not with this man—my ex-stepfather.

  I don’t think I’m strong enough to resist, though.

  I don’t want to resist.

  I won’t.

  *Sold to Daddy is a dirty retelling of Beauty and the Beast intended for readers 18+!*

  SOLD TO DADDY

  (BAD DADDIES #1)

  1

  Everett

  I don’t remember the last name of the woman I’m having dinner with, and it’s starting to become annoying that I can’t recall what exactly it is. She’s going on and on about her day at work, but all I can think about is figuring out what her last name is. Anderson? Andrews? I know it’s something that starts with an A. I think.

  This is the exact reason why I don’t go on dates with women I meet online anymore. Not only are those applications more for sex than for any kind of relationship, but I’ve yet to find any woman worth investing more than a night or two with. Most of them are only looking for something fun, something casual, and while I wasn’t opposed to that back in my twenties, I’m a few years from forty, and I have no interest in something that I know won’t last.

  I can hear my father’s words echo in my head every time the woman in front of me, Lucy, giggles or stumbles over her words.

  You date to marry.

  Is Lucy the kind of woman I would honestly consider dating? Fuck no. She’s a bit too animated, too lively and over the top. She’s gorgeous, and I wouldn’t kick her out of bed if it ever got that far, but she’s the last kind of woman I’m interested in. After my colossal fuck up with my last wife, I’m not ready to settle down until I’m sure that this is something that’s going to last a long while.

  I also don’t want the mother of my child to be someone that doesn’t know simple facts about the country or the English language. Lucy seemed especially stumped when I asked her what classics she enjoyed reading in college, and that was a clear sign that this night probably wasn’t going to end in a way that was satisfying to both parties.

  Maybe that’s what I need, though. Maybe I need to stop being so fucking polite all the time. It’s well-overdue that I start thinking about myself before anyone else, especially given how often I have to cater to others at work, making sure they’re confident that the piece of art they have their eyes on is something they truly want to add to their collection.

  The waiter arrives, cutting Lucy’s story short (thankfully), and he offers us another bottle of wine. I turn it down because I like to keep a clear head when I’m on dates, but Lucy graciously accepts it, practically bubbling with giddiness when the waiter skillfully refills her glass.

  I force a smile when she grins up at me. When she’s downed half the contents in her glass, she wipes the corner of her mouth and says,

  “Sorry, I just love wine. Something about it makes me all loose. Much more fun.”

  If drunk Lucy is more fun, then I need to speak to Merriam-Webster about changing the definition of the word.

  For the rest of the date, I grit my teeth and try to be impressed by the stories she tells me, such as how she stayed up for an entire twenty-four hours on a bad acid trip. Her antics remind me too much of my ex-wife, and if I had even a modicum of interest in her before, it’s shriveled up completely.

  Our date winds down and I get her into a taxi and send her on her way, shaking my head as the driver looks up at me through the rear-view mirror. It’s as if we’re thinking the same thing, because he sighs to himself. I watch as the cab drives away before ordering another for myself.

  On the ride home, I unmatch from Lucy and log out of the application.

  There’s no point in keeping it around if these are the kind of women I’m meeting. I’m sure Lucy’s a lovely girl, but I don’t need lovely. I need something better. Something that makes me think that dealing with all the shitty relationships in the past is worth it. And if I don’t have that, then the only thing I can offer a woman is a fun night and a slap on the ass as she walks out the front door of my home.

  I make it home just before midnight, striding through the front door and pulling off my jacket. I hang it on the coat rack in the foyer, and on my way into the kitchen, I drop my keys and wallet on a small table in the hallway.

  With deft hands, I unscrew the cap of my favorite whiskey and pour maybe a bit too much into a tumbler. A deep sigh escapes me, much like Lucy’s driver, and I massage the bridge of my nose.

  I don’t know why I even bother. I’m the very definition of insane, trying the same thing and expecting new outcomes. If anything, what I should do is give up the ghost. Stop pretending like there’s a future for me with a wife and children. Instead, I could get on just fine with a string of girlfriends, flings of the week, and eventually retire with this house and some young little thing by my side for a while.

  I could make that work.

  The problem is, I don’t want that. I’ve always been the protecting type, the man that helps others and won’t rest until the people around him are comfortable. I want that wife, and goddammit, I want those bratty little kids too.

  When I realize I’m bordering on masturbatory levels of pity, I straighten up and finish my glass. I start to make my way for the door when I notice the red light blinking on my home phone. After pressing the button, I’m informed I have seven missed calls from Justine.

  With every voicemail, Justine’s voice grows more and more panicked. The last one is the most unnerving.

  “Everett,” she says, short of breath. It sounds like she’s been crying. “I wouldn’t call you if I had any other options. I just need to borrow some money. Derek is pissed at me, and I’m afraid he’s going to do something reckless. I’m scared he’s going to hurt me, or even Lane.”

  Hearing both of those names brings up a blend of emotions. There’s anger because Derek is the piece of shit that Justine cheated on me with when we were married, and tentative concern because Lane is Justine’s daughter. My ex-stepdaughter had just turned eighteen when I married her mother, and despite all the fighting and differences I had with Justine, she was always an angel. The idea of harm coming her way, caused by Derek, no less, prickles my skin.

  I pull my cellphone out and reluctantly send Justine a text message. I don’t want to get involved, and I damn sure don’t want to spend time talking on the phone with her. I tell her to meet me at the
old café we used to have dates at tomorrow at noon, then I turn off my phone and head upstairs to bed. Today—tonight especially—has been too fucking long, and I need to sleep.

  At least if I’m sleeping, I don’t have to worry about the bullshit of the world, if only for a few hours.

  —

  At noon, I push through the doors of the tiny hole-in-the-wall café Justine and I used to visit all the time. I take a seat at our old table after ordering a small coffee to-go. When ten minutes roll by, I check my watch again, wondering whether she’s even going to show up. That wouldn’t surprise me. Justine couldn’t commit to fidelity in our relationship. Expecting her to commit to this meeting might be asking too much.

  Finally, she makes her appearance, her blonde hair tied up in a messy bun and her makeup looking just a bit off, like she’s still wearing the same products she put on the night before. She takes a seat across from me and holds up a finger while she catches her breath.

  “I just had the worst taxi ride of my life,” she says, laughing.

  I wait until she’s regained her composure before I say, “I’m not here to have a coffee date with you, Justine. I need to know how much money you owe Derek, and why.”

  She picks at the chipping paint on her nails and struggles to find the words. When she looks at me, that upbeat façade she wore moments ago has vanished. “I’m not proud of it, but after you and I split, I went to stay with Derek for a little while. Lane’s father stopped paying for boarding school, so Derek picked up the slack. He payed for everything. But when I left him, he said he wanted his money back. I ignored him, and that worked for a while, but now… Now he’s started coming to my job. Having people sit outside my house all night. He’s not going to stop until I give him the money, and I—I don’t have that!”

  She lowers her voice and looks around. “He’s a dealer, Everett. God only knows what he’s done to other people that owe him money. I’m terrified he’s going to do something to Lane. She’s living with me while she studies for her degree, so she’s usually around the house all day. I don’t know what he’s going to do to either of us if I don’t give him twenty grand soon.”

  Twenty thousand is actually a lot less than what I was expecting. My boarding school expenses were nearly quadruple that a year. Still, that’s a big chunk of money to give to someone like Justine. She’s bailed out of every responsibility in her life, especially Lane, so I’m tentative to even agree to something like this.

  But then I think about Lane. She was a sweetheart; the only good thing Justine ever did in her miserable life. She was the beacon of light throughout our short-lived marriage, and she took to me much better than I ever thought she would.

  “I’ll give you the money,” I say after a long moment of deliberation. “But I want Lane.”

  Her face contorts suddenly. “What?”

  “You’re hanging around drug dealers, Justine. You’ve had that girl around dangerous, shitty men her whole life. I’m sure she doesn’t even know that her father got you pregnant when he was still married. Every person in her life has been terrible, and living with you only makes things worse. Let her stay with me. Derek won’t know where she is, I have five spare bedrooms that she can use, she’ll have everything she wants, and she’ll be taken care of by someone that actually gives a damn about her wellbeing.”

  It’s biting, and I know it hurts Justine to hear it, but the truth has never coddled anyone. I couldn’t give less of a fuck about what happens to her, but Lane doesn’t belong in this environment. She doesn’t deserve the hand she’s been dealt, and I have more than enough resources to make sure she’s comfortable.

  “Everett, I—”

  “Justine, I’ve made you an offer. If I toss this cup of coffee and walk out of the door, I’m not going to entertain your problems again. Either you agree to this, or you’re on your own.”

  She looks at me with glassy eyes, and I can see that she’s about to start crying.

  “Cut the shit, Justine. That fake crying never worked on me and you know it.”

  Justine’s demeanor changes, and with a quick move, she wipes the tears from her face and scowls at me. “Fine. I’ll tell her to pack her things tonight. But if you hurt her, I swear to God, Everett…”

  I smirk and push myself up from the table. “Aside from your daughter, I’m the best thing that ever happened to you. The one good man in your life. Worry about making sure your coke-dealing boyfriend is alive long enough to get his money back instead of what I’m going to do. Lane will be taken care of while you get your shit sorted out.”

  I toss my cup into the garbage can, straighten out my clothes, and make my way to the door. “I’ll send a car at seven o’clock. You’ll have your money by then. And Justine?”

  “Yeah?” she looks at me with an indecipherable expression.

  “This is the last favor I ever do for you.”

  2

  Lane

  W hen Mom tells me that I need to start packing, I hold back a smile. She’s dramatic, so I assume this is all because I forgot to wash a few dishes, or I haven’t taken the trash out to the curb yet. Rather than listening to her, I head into the kitchen and grab a bottle of water, twisting off the cap and taking a long drink. To my surprise, she’s right behind me when I turn around.

  “Lane, I’m not joking. You need to start packing. Now.”

  “Packing for what?”

  She bites her bottom lip and averts her eyes, her arms folded across her chest. I haven’t seen her like this in a long time, and when she normally looks this worried, it means something’s wrong. This isn’t just about household chores or her petty way of telling me I need to do more around the house.

  “Mom?”

  She blinks, shaking herself out of it. “I can’t tell you why right now, but I just… You have to trust me.”

  “Mom, you can’t tell me—”

  “Damn it, Lane, can you please just do what I say? Please, just go start packing up all your clothes and everything you want to take with you.” Tears roll down her cheeks, and she looks at me with pleading eyes. I haven’t seen her get this way in years. Not since she told me she’d gotten divorce papers in the mail.

  I’d been at school, struggling with mid-terms, when Mom called me over the phone sobbing about how she’d screwed up and ruined everything with Everett. He’d sent her divorce papers and wasn’t taking her calls anymore. In the short time that I knew Everett, I knew that he wasn’t an irrational man, and whatever my mom did, it was probably worth being cut off. Still, I talked her down from the ledge and told her we would get through this no matter what. I would be strong for her since she couldn’t be strong for herself.

  “Y-yeah, I’ll…I’ll start packing,” I say. This is much more serious than I thought, and I fight back my own wave of panic as I head into my room and begin packing a bag. I pull a few things out of my closet and begin folding them, unsure what all I need to include in the duffel bag. How long are we going to be gone? Should I bring my hygienic items like shampoo and body wash?

  I turn to find Mom standing in the doorway, wiping her eyes. “You’ll need to pack more than one bag,” she says. “It’s going to be a long trip.”

  A thousand thoughts race through my mind. “Are we in trouble?” I ask, my voice faint. I’m afraid of the answer.

  “Yes,” she says. “But, after you leave, things will be better. You have to trust me. There’s going to be a car to pick you up in ten minutes.”

  My stomach sinks. I’m still in my work uniform, so I frantically change into something more comfortable, like a pair of blue jeans and a soft yellow graphic tee. By the time I finish packing, I hear tires on the gravel driveway outside and straighten up.

  “Mom,” I call out, cautiously.

  She appears again, pulling me into a wordless hug. “This is the only way I could keep you safe, baby. This is the only way I could keep us all safe. Be good, okay? And listen to whatever Everett says.”

  “Everett?


  I barely have time to register his name before she’s ushering me outside and into the back of a black car. There’s an unfamiliar man in the driver’s seat, and he looks back at me, tipping his hat and giving me a friendly smile.

  “I’ll call you soon,” Mom promises me. She looks at the driver, nods, and heads back inside. A moment later, the driver rolls up the window and pulls away from the curb.

  None of this makes any sense. I haven’t talked to Everett in years. Not since he and Mom split up. And now I’m suddenly being whisked away to his new home in the middle of the night? I can’t shake the feeling that something bad is happening, even if I’m not in any immediate danger.

  The entire ride is silent. Not even the radio plays. When we pass a large set of iron wrought gates and park in the circular driveway, I tilt my head to take in the sight of everything. Everett’s home looks like it’s straight out of a movie, or a TV show like Dynasty. The perfectly trimmed lawn and bushes look almost unreal, and the path up to the front door is lit by a soft yellow glow. There’s even an angel statue in the center of the circular driveway.

  I start to reach for my door when a stranger, another man, appears on the other side of the window. He opens the door and gestures for me to exit. Hesitantly, I climb out of the car and look up at him.

  “Ms. Westwood, it’s good to finally meet you,” he says. “My name is Davis. I work for Mr. Grisham. I was given instructions to show you to your room. If you’ll please follow me.”

  With my bags in his hand, Davis begins walking towards the house. I hurry to catch up with him, taking in the sight of this massive estate. The foyer alone must have cost more than my entire tuition for college, and when Davis leads me upstairs and through the halls, I know that I could very easily get lost in this maze.

 
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