The Playboy Prince's Baby - Ana Sparks

Chapter 1


I pressed my forehead down into whatever I was lying on top of and prayed that whatever that surface was, it would open up and swallow me whole.

I had no idea where I was, but all that mattered was that someone—anyone—take away the pounding in my head. Because given the state of my brain, I was starting to think I might actually be dead this time.

In fact, I was pretty sure I’d finally done what my brother had always said I would. Drank too much and actually died from it. Or maybe from something I’d done while drunk.

I mean really, the choices were endless. And yes, I know how that makes me sound. But I swear I’m not actually that bad.

Most of the time.

At that moment, music started blaring through the atmosphere, and I sat straight up in shock—and then started to gag. Both of which proved, I guessed, that I wasn’t actually dead. Because I was pretty sure dead guys didn’t sit up and then try to throw up all over the floor.

Right. Well, alive it was, then, I thought, gazing around through eyes that seemed to be only partially working. From what I could see, I was in an enclosed place—which, I thought, was a good thing, since it meant that wherever I’d passed out this time, I’d at least managed to choose a place that kept me out of the weather. And, theoretically, safe from muggers.

Unless you called the incredibly beautiful woman currently standing in front of me a mugger.

But I didn’t think muggers came equipped with masses of wavy brown hair and eyes to match, over an upturned nose and lips so full that they immediately made me think of one thing, and one thing only.

Until those lips turned up in a wry and somewhat triumphant grin. One that told me that although she might have left me sleep here, she wasn’t exactly the sort who was going to keep her voice down to stop from hurting my head.

A moment after that, I had another thought.

She was the one who had turned the music on. And she was now laughing at me about it.

“That was mean,” I told her, frowning.

She just shrugged, the curves of her body moving in a way that made her look like she was dancing.

That woman had music in her soul, I thought. Then I shook my head. Was I still drunk? Because it was really the only excuse for even having a thought like that.

“That,” she answered in a soft, husky voice that made me think even more of music, “is the bar’s policy, I’m afraid. I let you sleep here the entire night—which, I’ll add, I wasn’t supposed to do—but we’re closed in the morning. For cleaning,” she added, when it became obvious that I hadn’t really understood what she meant. “Cleaning up after the drunks we let sleep here.”

She finished with one eyebrow lifted and a quick—and very sharp—glance down at the floor underneath me.

“God,” I moaned. “I’m sorry. I swear I’m not usually this bad. How long… um… What time did I get into this place?”

I was looking around and realizing that I had zero memory of this particular establishment. It was a dive bar, and so it looked a whole lot like most of the other dive bars I remembered. There was a bar. Obviously. And walls, which were covered in a mass of what looked like music posters. I saw the inevitable neon lights advertising beers and live music, and the menu above the bar, and then, over the door at the front of the place, the ‘Open’ sign. Which wasn’t lit.

I shuffled my feet a bit, and felt what I was sure were peanut shells underfoot.

Ugh. I hated peanuts. What the hell had I been doing in the sort of place that allowed you to eat them and then throw the shells onto the floor?

“Feels like you’re cleaning up after more than just the drunks,” I noted, moving my feet around a bit more.

The woman cringed at that, and then nodded. “It’s not glamorous,” she admitted. Then she stepped forward and took my arm, pulling gently. “Still, rules are rules, and I’ve got to do it. It’s part of that whole keeping-my-job thing. And as for when you got here, I didn’t see you come in. But I saw the fight you had once you and your friend had been here for a while. That was around midnight. You passed out pretty soon after that. Copyright 2016 - 2024