A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.
Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.
Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.
When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.
Background for scene: Belle is alone in Benji’s home for the first time while he’s upstairs taking a quick shower, and her mischievous nature takes over.
“Time to snoop.” Belle dropped her purse, scarf, and coat on an armchair and left the living room for the kitchen. She flipped the light switch and grimaced. Yuck.
Dirty dishes rose high in the sink. Takeout food boxes and empty bottles cluttered the bluish-green speckled counter.
Was Benji or his sister to blame? She opened the fridge and laughed. He was definitely a bachelor with all that imported beer and vodka in stock. She grabbed the half-empty bottle of premium Russian nectar and unscrewed the cap. Yum. The strong, delectable scent doubled the saliva in her mouth. No. The baby came first. She stashed the bottle back on the bottom shelf. Bottled water, children’s juice boxes, lots of cheese, and wow—in-date milk and eggs—filled the top two shelves with carrots, peppers, and onions in the crisper.
Okay, so he was a responsible, food-conscious, and possibly constipated drunk bachelor. Belle chuckled and opened a cabinet drawer. Bingo! She snagged one of his coveted black-handled knives, rearranged the remaining cutlery in the slot, and hurried back into the living room. The doorbell rang as she stuffed the knife into her purse.
She whipped around, her pulse leaping. Should she answer it? She snorted. If she could steal from her new guy—with luck, he was hers—she could damn well answer his door. She checked out the peephole and scowled.
A redheaded woman waited on the porch.
Who was she? An ex-girlfriend? Belle shook her head. Better not jump to conclusions. She’d jinx herself. With a deep breath, she unlocked and opened the door. Cold air pimpled her skin.
The stranger’s eyes widened. Her fur-lined parka, sequined purse, and leather boots screamed money. Plastic crinkled as she gripped a grocery bag.
“May I help you?” Belle forced a smile.
“Benji here?” The woman’s voice sliced like a blade.
Belle stiffened. “He’s in the shower. You want to leave a message?”
Her finely plucked eyebrow rose. “You don’t look like Benji’s type unless his skank standards have changed. He likes tall, leggy bimbos with a porn star rack.”
Belle’s mouth dropped open. What kind of person insulted someone within seconds of meeting? Did she skip childhood etiquette lessons? “Who are you?”
“Meghan, his sister. You’ve heard of me?”
“Yeah, but nothing good.”
“Lemme give ya some friendly advice, woman to woman.” A smirk lifted her lips. “You’re short with a flabby belly. He’ll drop you after he’s done slumming. Might as well take the high road and leave him first.”
“You have some nerve.” Why couldn’t the bitch be an ex-girlfriend? Would she piss Benji off if she verbally ripped into his sister?
“Whatever. I live here. You don’t.” She stepped toward the threshold.
Belle gripped the doorframe, blocking the entrance. “You live here temporarily. With the way you’re talking to me, though, you better pack your bags. Benji will drop you.” She silently scoffed. Would Benji choose her over Meghan?
“Aren’t you a haughty bitch? I have seniority, honey.”
“It doesn’t work that way, sweetie. I’m the one he trusts, so keep your tramp ass on the porch before I whip it.” Her stomach twisted. No fighting. She could lose the baby.
“Hey, Belle. Are you talking to someone?”
Benji’s voice echoed behind her.
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