Good Girls Gone Bad
Brandt’s Dozen Book 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Sage Grayson’s world is torn apart when a video of her getting wild with a
stripper during a bachelorette party goes viral. Needing help, she turns to her
aunt, who enlists former Navy SEAL Kristian Rodriquez to be her bodyguard.
Finding him sexy-as-sin, she intends to remain professional, though it isn’t long
before their attraction ignites temptation. After a stalker’s obsession with Sage’s
traumatic past is revealed, Kristian realizes her life is in danger and takes her
into protective custody.
At a remote cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Kristian and Sage unburden their
souls, falling in love. When their location is compromised, it’ll require a team of
former Special Ops soldiers and detectives to stop a killer before it’s too late.
Author’s Note: Be advised that the heroine in this story is the survivor of sexual
assault and certain situations, memories, and elements may be difficult to read.
March—Reigning Men All Male Revue—Baltimore
“To a weekend with no rules!” Sage shouted to overcome the pounding music and catcalls all around the club.
Downing a Fireball, the cinnamon-hot whiskey scorched a trail straight to her gut, giving her courage to whistle as loudly as the other women enjoying the six gorgeous men costumed as legendary heroes throughout history, their choreography candid and erotic.
In truth, the strip club was a blast. But, for Sage, it was less about gorgeous male dancers and more about seeing her best friend having fun. Whether it was the stress of planning a wedding, taking law classes, or the down payment on a house, Bailey hadn’t laughed or smiled in months.
“Enjoying yourself, Bailey?” Sage asked, leaning close enough to be heard over the music.
“Are you kidding? The dancers are hot and I’m crushing on the one dressed as Sir Galahad.”
“Just remember, tomorrow, we’re going to a spa, then shopping. Tonight, we get to play.”
“Amen!” Bailey agreed, raising her glass high in the air. Joining her, Sage clinked her glass and downed the shot that reminded her of the cinnamon hot candy she’d loved as a kid.
Two shots later, Sage couldn’t help but wonder if something was wrong. Bailey still looked unhappy.
“Bailey, are you sure you’re alright? If you’re having doubts about the wedding, don’t hesitate to speak up. You know I’ll support you, so will Gretchen and your parents.”
“We’ll talk when I don’t have to shout,” Bailey promised.
Sage would have said more but the music went quiet, a spotlight centered on the main stage, a red rose in the center of the circle of white cast on the black curtain. At some point the six dancers had gone to side stages set up strategically about the room.
From out of nowhere, their waiter appeared to cap off their drinks or refill shot glasses. They’d paid for the VIP treatment, gaining the best view of the stage and the waiter was adorable with his nerdy glasses and babyface looks.
“Ladies, who’s ready to play with our resident fallen angel, Azrael, who can tempt anyone to sin,” an unseen DJ enticed, his voice familiar as a blast from the past, the lighting going dark as a red spotlight centered on a black velvet curtain.
The sudden appearance of a longhaired masked man with black angel wings and black leather pants that left nothing to the imagination caused Sage to gasp. Whoa! Azrael was hotter than any of the strippers she’d seen so far. And, boy, there was something about him that called to her inner bad girl.
Gretchen Thomas whistled and poured another round. Sage downed hers in a single gulp, the cinnamon heat working its magic. Bailey, who wore a white tee shirt that read bachelorette #1 and a tiara on her head, did the same and they shared a playful smile.
Music kicked up even louder, the women got rowdier, and Azrael hadn’t even done more than handing out roses he’d managed to produce out of thin air to those who’d been fortunate enough to surround the stage. Obviously, the dancer was trained in magic, but the twenties and fifties in the women’s hands suggested it was no illusion as to why they’d bypassed the plethora of bouncers.
Sage suddenly found herself leaning forward when Azrael’s wings morphed into a long black cloak with red lining, his roses replaced with a red bullwhip secured to his belt, and a red mask covered his eyes. Holy cow, red was her favorite color! Could this night get any better? She hoped so. And, hey, she’d found the perfect red velvet dress that made her feel both pretty and a little bit like a vampire due to the flow of the handkerchief hem about her calves.
“I think the angel is a vampire in disguise,” Bailey shouted.
“Or a Dom, hell, I’d let him tie me up if given the chance,” Sage responded, causing Bailey’s bridal party to laugh out loud and down another round of Fireballs. When they’d been refilled, she couldn’t say, though this time she suspected it was their adorable twenty-something server who wore a tux, suspenders, and a dapper bowtie.
Drawn back to the stage, Sage realized something had changed. Oh no, Azrael was leaving his post…and coming straight for the VIP table.
“Whose naughty enough to come up on stage with me?” Azrael asked them. “The bride-to-be?”
“Oh no, my fiancé wouldn’t like it,” Bailey denied, shaking her head.
“Come on, when’s the wedding?”
“End of June,” she answered, swallowing hard, as if it hurt to talk.
“Months away, come on. Promise, I won’t bite and tell,” he urged.
“Go, Bailey, have fun while you can,” Sage tempted, laughing.
“Or, call things off before it’s too late,” her sister remarked.
“You’re just equating every man with Steve.”
“This has nothing to do with the biggest mistake of my life.”
“I’d think dating him after what he did to our brother should’ve been a clue.”
“Ouch! I loved him as much as you did.”
“I’ll join you, Azrael,” Sage offered, mainly to ease the sudden tension between the two sisters.
Uncertain if he’d heard her speak up, she jumped when his gloved hand caught her wrist. Bringing her to her feet, he halted when she paused to grab her cane. “You need that, honey?”
“No, just need a little stability,” she answered, relieved when he took her elbow as he led the way to the stage, his grip as stabilizing as her cane would’ve been.
The next thing she knew, they were front and center. The DJ spoke, again his voice familiar, the music turning dark, sultry, and wicked. The lighting overhead fading to red. Looking back at the dancer, she couldn’t help feeling a little nervous. The truth was, it’d been so long since she’d interacted with a man other than a friend and she kinda felt virginal.
The first song ended, the music merging to something trippy and electronic, her focus on Azrael, who only had to crook his finger once to get her moving to a contraption that looked like a medieval torture device.
Out of nowhere, he produced a length of red rope, came closer, and spoke in her ear. “You up for a little fun?”
“Good to go,” she said.
He waited a moment longer, then proceeded to bend her over the contraption and bind her wrists to a pair of restraints already in place. Having spent enough time in community theater to recognize how easily she could get out of her predicament, she went with it, enjoying her moment in the spotlight.
The crowd grew wild when his cloak came off, the bullwhip sailing this way and that, never once striking her. Little by little, with the snap of the whip’s tail, Azrael’s clothing was coming off, boots, a belt, leathers, a shirt, finally a red mask. It took a second to realize why. Oh, my goodness, Azrael was giving her a view of a bite-worthy ass exposed by a barely-there G-string.
Then he turned around and she felt her mouth drop open. The man was ripped, bare of body hair, and glistening with body oil. Holy archangel, given the significant bulge behind a triangle of black leather, he was either stuffed with a couple pairs of socks or hung like a horse.
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My love for storytelling began when I created my first fictional characters in kindergarten, convincing my family and friends that Red Henry and Green Henry were identical twin brothers in my school. They were mischievous, rarely did their homework, and even had girlfriends! Years later, I started to write, completing my first manuscript in middle school. I confess the heroine was a cross between a contemporary Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew, who’d been dating one of the Hardy Boys, but when I wrote “the end” I’d known I had more stories to tell.
To learn more about me, my books, and what’s coming next, check out my new website and blog: https://francesstocktonauthor.com/
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