Good girl gone badd, p.1
Good Girl Gone Badd, page 1part #4 of Badd Brothers Series
Good Girl Gone Badd
Also by Jasinda Wilder
Copyright (c) 2017 by Jasinda Wilder
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GOOD GIRL GONE BADD
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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 author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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Cover art by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. Cover art copyright (c) 2017 Sarah Hansen.
Created with Vellum
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Dude. This chick, man. She's fine as fuck. But the East Coast, old money, wealthy kind of classy fine. Not, like, bar honey, ring bunny sexy, or even model hot, or movie star gorgeous, or porn star fuckable. She's...one in a million. An actual factual motherfuckin' angel from heaven.
Evangeline du Maurier is...god, I don't have the words. She's a lady. Not a chick, not a honey, not a babe, or a dame, or any of that vaguely condescending, objectifying terminology. She's a goddamn lady.
I suppose a thorough description is in order.
Five-eight, five-seven. A true hourglass shape, as in she probably has a literal set of 36-24-36 measurements--I feel compelled, for the sake of honesty, to point out here that measurements and sizes and whatever else don't define a woman to me. I'm just saying, those are Evangeline's measurements by my estimation, and she fuckin' rocks the look so hard it makes me dizzy. Her hair is jet black, so black it shimmers and glints and gleams, thick and long and loose, pulled around the back of her neck to hang down her left shoulder. Green eyes, the shade of a maple leaf in the summer sun. Tanned skin, but naturally tan, not fake or spray tan. A combination of a lot of time in the sun and a natural caramel hint to her skin.
Sharp, exotic, symmetrical facial features, plump lips in a perfect cupid's bow. Not a lot of makeup as far as I can tell, nor a lot of jewelry. A pair of round diamond studs in her ears, a full carat at least, a bracelet with little charms and shit dangling from it, and a fine platinum chain with a tiny key pendant, a single chocolate diamond in the center of the head of the key. Her clothes look expensive, and I'm pretty sure her purse and shoes should be insured.
But understated money, not flashy look how rich I am money.
And right now, she's just barely on her feet, leaned back against the wall of a closed bakery a block from the bar, gasping for breath, hyperventilating. She's got blood spattered across her face and clumping in her hair, there's blood dotting her forehead and hairline and down across her nose and chin. It's all a result of that punch I threw to lay out McDermott. An asshole move, I admit; I punched the fucker that way on purpose, knowing the splatter would hit her. I mean, it was obvious she'd wandered into the wrong end of town by accident, but she was staring at me like she'd never seen a real man before, and looked disgusted at what she'd probably term a vulgar display of brutality or some fancy, Hah-vahd educated highfalutin bullshit like that. She's got a bit of an East Coast lilt to her voice. Arch, crisp, educated, and formal.
She's a good girl.
A virgin even, maybe.
But then again, the way she looked at me? Maybe not. I don't know. I can usually sniff out and avoid virgins as if I'm a bloodhound, but this woman is so far outside my realm of understanding that I don't even know how to read her.
Her shirt is all bloody. It's ivory or cream colored--words for not-quite white, but almost, in my understanding--and it's sexy as fuck. Figure-hugging silk, a deep V-neck exposing a good bit of cleavage, sleeveless. Again, classy and sexy, expensive looking without being in-your-face. Her hands are shaking, trembling like crazy. There are dirty handprints on her shirt, from those fuckin' assholes. I really do hope brother Zane takes care of them properly, as they deserve.
I still have her hand in mine. I just kissed the back of her hand, like a storybook knight. Felt stupid doing it, but it got her eyes on mine, and her teeth caught at her lower lip, and her struggle to breathe seemed to intensify momentarily, and then she sucked in a sharp breath and yanked her eyes away from mine.
She'd said she trusted me; time to make good on that. I take her other hand in mine and lift her to her feet. "Come on. Let's get you that drink."
She nodded, and let me guide her into a walk. Not quite a full block later, we arrived at the front door of Badd's Bar and Grill. At one in the morning it was still crowded with people spilling out the door, which was propped open by a chair, on which sat Bast, my oldest brother. His burly, tattooed forearms crossed over his chest as he closely scrutinized the IDs of a quartet of college-age girls waiting to be admitted. He jerked his head toward the interior of the bar, indicating the girls could go in, and then his eyes cut to mine, and Evangeline.
"Jesus, Bax. The fuck did you do now?" He left the chair and took a step toward us. "Honey, is this ugly gorilla bothering you? Say the word and I'll break his legs for you."
Evangeline shrank away from Bast, which was understandable. He's taller than any of us at six-four, and he's built like a brick shithouse. He's covered in tattoos, and he's a surly, intimidating bastard. I may be big and beefy and scary looking, but I make up for it by having a winning personality, a show-stopping, panty-melting grin, and enough charm to knock an entire sorority house on their collective, PINK sweatpants-clad asses. Bast is just scary, because he comes across pretty much like the surly, intimidating bastard that he is--unless you're his wife Dru, around whom he melts into this tail-wagging, golden retriever puppy dog-eyed soppy mush basket.
"I didn't do anything, you oversized cock waffle," I snap. "I helped, as a matter of fact."
"You're telling me you're not responsible for the blood all over her?" Bast asked, an eyebrow wryly arched.
I rolled my eyes and sighed. "That's irrelevant." I shoved him away. "Your wifey awake?"
He nodded "Probably. Why?"
I shrug. "Evangeline needs to clean up and change."
Bast waved. "Yeah, she's up there. You're gonna catch hell for this, though. You know that, right?"
"For what? I'm helping a damsel in distress."
Bast snorted. "Okay, Sir Galahad." He addressed Evangeline. "If he gets out of hand, let me know. Okay? I'm serious."
Evangeline just stared at Bast with an unreadable, blank expression on her face, and then she looked at me. "You promised me a drink, a shower, and some clean clothes, not amusing banter."
"She means a shower alone, Bax," Bast said, smirking. "Keep that in mind, yeah?"
"No shit, you ugly oaf. I am capable of chivalry, you know." I made sure that comment was the last word between us and then led Evangeline through the crowded bar, keeping a tight grip on her hand as we wove between clumps and clusters of sweaty, boozing, dancing customers.
The twins were on stage tonight, doing an acoustic set, with Canaan playing an acoustic guitar and Corin sitting on one of those box-drum things, which he slapped with his hands to create a rolling percussi
Evangeline tugged at my hand to slow me down just as we were reaching the locked doorway behind which was the stairs to the apartment over the bar.
"I recognize those guys," she said into my ear. "Either it's an amazing cover act, or that's actually Bishop's Pawn."
I laughed. "That's actually Bishop's Pawn," I answered.
She eyed me in amazement. "No way! I saw them in Germany last year. They're amazing! What are they doing playing in this dingy dive bar?"
Apparently she hadn't put two and two together yet. "Well, sweetheart, that's a kind of complicated question to answer."
I dug into my hoodie pocket and produced my keys, unlocked the door, which was marked "private access only" as a joke. Usually doors like that say something like "No access," or just "Private" or "employee access only", but Cane and Cor apparently thought it would be funny to put "private access only" on the door, and so there it is. I led her up the stairs and into the apartment, letting go of her hand reluctantly as we entered. I say reluctantly, because I'd been holding her hand for ten or fifteen minutes at that point and her hand in mine felt really nice. Like, just holding her hand felt tingly and exciting. Made me feel like a twelve-year-old kid again, sitting at the high school football game with my crush, having just gotten up the courage to grab her hand. Now, as then, I didn't want to let go.
Which was stupid.
For a lot of reasons, none of which I was quite ready to examine.
Dru was on the couch watching TV, a fleece throw blanket on her legs, a giant glass of red wine in one hand, a bowl of popcorn on her lap. Copper hair currently in a sloppy, frizzy braid, bright cornflower-blue eyes, creamy skin, and a fierce Irish temper, Dru was the closest in build to Evangeline of any of my brothers' women. They were similar in height, and they both had mouthwatering hourglass figures. Yeah, I don't mind admitting Bast's wife is hot as fuck, but she's my brother's wife and my sister-in-law, and all I'll ever do is appreciate what God made. Point is, their similar builds means Dru probably had clothes that will fit Evangeline. Which is why I'm bringing her here as opposed to the apartment over the twins' music studio a few doors down, where I actually live.
She shot a cursory glance at me as I entered; Evangeline was still hidden behind me. "Hey, Bax. Win your fight?"
"Obviously. McDermott is a puny little bitch. He didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell."
"What are you doing up here?" Dru asked, her eyes on the TV. "I'm not cooking for you."
"Can I borrow a change of clothes from you?" I asked, setting down my gear bag.
She turned her head toward me, exaggeratedly slowly. "Even if you did take up cross-dressing, I don't think my clothes are going to--HOLY SHIT." She shot to her feet when Evangeline appeared from behind me, tossing her blanket aside and setting the popcorn and wine on the coffee table as she hurried over to us. "What the hell did you do to this poor girl, Bax?"
I slapped my forehead with a snarl of irritation. "Why does everyone always assume the worst about me? Jesus." I gestured at Evangeline. "Dru, this is Evangeline. Evangeline, this is my sister-in-law, Dru. Now. Dru--would it be possible for Evangeline to clean up and get a change of clean clothes from you?"
"Of course! Come on." Dru took Evangeline by the arm and dragged her through the living room and into the hall bathroom, where she sat the shell-shocked and confused Evangeline down onto the closed toilet lid. "Sit. Relax. Let me get this blood off you. Are you hurt? What did Bax do?"
I remained in the kitchen, where I fixed Evangeline a vodka cranberry. "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO HER!" I hollered.
"Then whose blood is this?" Dru shouted back. "And shut up. Claire is sleeping."
A door opened. "Not anymore, assholes." Claire shuffled out of her and Brock's room, blinking sleepily, wearing a T-shirt of Brock's and probably nothing else. "Who's this?--who are you? And why are we shouting at Bax?"
"We're not shouting at Bax," I said, bringing the drink to the bathroom.
I squeezed past Claire and into the bathroom, then slid behind Dru and sat on the lip of the tub, handing Evangeline the drink. "You seemed like a vodka cranberry type."
She took it and sipped at it. "Whoa. Heavy on the vodka, much?"
I shrugged. "That was a shitty situation. Figured if I promised you a stiff drink I'd better make it hella stiff."
"Does anyone actually even say 'hella' anymore?" Claire asked, from the hall outside the bathroom. "And will someone please explain to me what's going on?"
Dru--who had a package of makeup wipes in her hand was gingerly wiping at the blood on Evangeline's face--shot me a meaningful glare. "Bax? Care to explain?"
I sighed. "Well, Evangeline here wandered by mistake into the warehouse where my fight was happening. I noticed her but she seemed out of place, and then she left. On the way home I happened to walk past an alley near the warehouse. I saw these four fucking asswipes with their hands all over Evangeline, so I stopped them, and I brought her here to get her cleaned up."
Evangeline snorted, a somehow ladylike sound of derisive disbelief. She stood up, taking a wipe from the package in Dru's hand, and faced the mirror, wiping at her face vigorously. "You're leaving out a few things, I believe." She plucked at a strand of her hair, peeling away a clump of dried blood with her fingernails, grimacing in disgust. "Such as, for example, the way you punched that guy in the ring so hard his blood sprayed all over me--and I'm fairly certain you did it on purpose."
"You distracted me. What can I say?" I shrugged and crossed my arms over my chest. "But you're right, I did do that on purpose. It was kind of a dick move, and I apologize."
She eyed me sidelong, glaring. "I...distracted you? You demolished that poor man in a matter of seconds."
"Exactly!" I said. "I was planning on drawing it out a little bit, giving the audience a bit more of a show. Then you strutted in looking as lost as a poodle at a pit bull fight, and I forgot."
Evangeline stopped what she was doing entirely. "There are so many things wrong with that statement I don't even know where to start." She took a drink from her vodka cranberry and then ticked off items on her fingers as she listed them. "First, what do you mean by more of a show? Letting him rough you up a little before beating him half to death? Toying with him like a cat with a mouse? Secondly, a poodle? Of all the dogs you could compare me to, you choose a poodle? A yipping, obnoxious, useless little lapdog? Is that what you think I am, too? And third, pit bull fighting is vile and despicable. Those poor animals have no choice in those brutal fights. You have a choice. You choose to fight for money. All they get is hurt and abused."
I held up both hands. "Whoa there, Eva, slow your roll, honey." I stood up and moved a little closer, ignoring the way both Claire and Dru were following this conversation with unabashed interest. "First, yeah, I meant toy with him like a cat with a mouse-- let him hit me a few times, make him and the audience think he's got half a chance against me. And also, I didn't beat him half to death. Even those fuckin' dickless cunt-holes who tried to rape you got off easy. I hurt 'em pretty bad, yeah, but not anywhere near as bad as they deserved, and not half to death. If you've never seen someone literally beaten so badly they're in danger of dying, then you can't possibly understand the difference."
I leveled her a look with all the hardened, world-weary bitterness I had inside me, just so she knew I wasn't kidding. "Second, I wasn't comparing you to a poodle. It was...a situational comparison. You, wandering into an illegal underground MMA fight is relatable to an innocent little mini poodle trotting unaware into the ring with a pair of pit bulls. If I was going to compare you to an animal, it sure as fuck wouldn't be an ugly-ass, stupid little goddamn poodle--more like a swan or something elegant like that. Third, you're right, pit bull fighting is bullshit and I hate it. I once beat the shit out of a guy for kicking his dog, so we're in agreement there. I choose to fight, because I'm good at it and I enjoy it."
Dru grabbed my wrist, digging her thumbnail into a pressure point, and hauled me out of the bathroom. "Out, Bax. Out. Let the girl get cleaned up." To Evangeline, then. "You're welcome here for as long as you need. Give me ten seconds and I'll have a change of clothes for you. Take as long a shower as you want."
Dru vanished and then reappeared with a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt, and a pair of pink Gap flip flops, setting everything on the counter, and then I was shoved out of the bathroom and down the hallway into the living room, Claire following behind us.
Dru did some kind of twist and pivot move on me, and my right arm and wrist were bent wrong, so one false move on my part would have me eating left handed for a few months--just goes to show that even the biggest and baddest aren't invincible. I mean, I could power through the pain, chop out a kick, and have Dru on her ass in half a second...probably. But number one, she's my sister-in-law and I love her, because she's good for Bast and she's just a cool-ass chick, and number two, I'm not entirely certain I could take her. She's a bad bitch, and I mean that with every ounce of respect I've got.
"What the fuck, Dru?" I held still and didn't fight against the hold.
"You tell me what the fuck, Bax. She's wearing earrings that have to be at least fifteen thousand dollars, and I'm pretty sure that's a Hermes blouse, thousand dollar Manolo flats, and a Prada purse."
"I don't know what any of that means." I tested her hold, and she let go. "And so what if she's got money? What does that have anything to do with fuckin' anything, Dru?"
"Not to be mean, Bax, but women like her don't really tend to go for guys like you." She moved to take the opposite end of the couch from me, where she'd been curled up when we arrived.
by Jasinda Wilder / Romance / Suspense / Paranormal have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on36 votes