Chapter One

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AN: This chapter is NSFW. Thanks to Hubby for the edit – this story wouldn't be half as good at it is without your advice.


"Come on, Meg. We've just taken our final exams. If that isn't cause for celebration I don't know what is." My best friend Stacey looked up at me from behind long lashes, her baby blues pleading with me. The puppy dog eyes worked on men without fail, but I'd known her for eleven years. Her charms had no power over me.

Still, the lure of a night drinking and dancing couldn't be ignored. And Stacey was right. We'd been slaving away on our degrees for months. We deserved a night out.

"All right, but let's not make it a late one, okay? I've got work in the morning."

"We'll go to O'Neil's. There's a band playing; it'll be fun."

"Oh no, not O'Neil's. That place is a dive."

"I like it." Stacey pouted. Another trick she used to get her own way. I could see why men found it adorable, and I knew men was exactly what she had in mind.

"You only want to go there because it's where all the gym junkies hang out, and you're hoping to snare one."

"Have you seen some of the guys that go there? There's this one, Josh Browne, he's an MMA fighter and .GOD. You should see his body."

I laughed and shook my head. I could appreciate a hot body as much as the next girl. Hell, I'd been charmed by a pair of biceps and a few well-placed tattoos in the past.

"Okay, we'll go to O'Neil's. You can pull an MMA fighter, and everyone will be happy."

Stacey grinned. "You know I love ya?"

"Love you too."

Stacey swung her shopping bags over her shoulder. "Okay, be at mine for about nine."

"Will do." I gave her a little wave as she left the coffee shop, and went back to making sandwiches.

Working in a coffee shop wasn't how I envisioned my life when I moved out of my parents' and to the city, but it paid the bills. Besides, it was only for a few more months. When I completed my graphic design degree, I could move onto bigger and better things. I'd saved enough money to take an extended break backpacking across Europe. Then I'd polish my portfolio and start looking for work. I had it all planned out, and hoped to have a steady income, and buy my first place by the time I was thirty. Seven years, four months, and sixteen days to go!

When I arrived at Stacey's the thrum of bass coming from her flat told me our night out wasn't going to be just a few drinks in O'Neil's and an early night. Girl was about to get her party on. When Stacey answered the door, her outfit confirmed my suspicions; she was wearing silver plunge-neck playsuit that left very little to the imagination. It certainly made me feel less apprehensive about my burgundy cowl-neck halter-top, leather look trousers and wine-coloured high-heels.

"Come get a drink," she said, pulling me into the living room, where she had numerous alcopops and shots ready on the table.

A bottle of WKD and accompanying shots later, we were climbing into a taxi and heading to O'Neil's. We arrived just as a dark Mercedes with tinted windows pulled up. The small gaggle of people outside the club having a cigarette before entering whipped around to see who the new arrival was, and beside me Stacey stood on her tip-toes to see above the crowd.

When the door opened, and a blond guy in a leather jacket climbed out, Stacey grabbed my wrist.

"Oh my god, it's him," she hissed. "Josh Browne."

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