Loved Pier 70, But Curious About Milly? Here is her story!
CLUELESS a Pier 70 Novella by Nicole Edwards
She’s not ready for commitment…
Milly Holcomb has a history with bad boys. She knows what they’re after, and she knows they’re only good for one thing: a night of wicked orgasms. When she met AJ, she had been prepared for that.
He wants all of her…
AJ Ballard knew from the moment he laid eyes on the feisty blond that she would be worth the wait. However, he hadn’t anticipated their wild nights of passion would result in more than either of them was prepared for.
Sometimes it’s just meant to be.
Hearts flutter when this snarky good girl realizes this sexy bad boy is more than she bargained for.
Will Milly and AJ give in to the attraction they’ve been battling since day one? Or — because of the consequences of their actions — will they simply have to settle for being the best parents they can be?
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
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May 29, 2016
AJ Ballard stepped into the banquet room, his eyes searching the masses to find someone he recognized. There weren’t many, but he hadn’t expected there to be. He was his brother Hudson’s plus one at this shindig, which meant he was the odd man out.
It only took a minute to locate Hudson, who was standing by the wall, his eyes locked on someone across the way. With a grin, AJ headed for the bar and asked for two glasses of water. When the bartender passed them over, he offered his thanks, then marched over to the big, brooding man in the corner.
“Hey, bro. What’s up?”
Hudson’s eyes cut over to him briefly.
They’d boarded the ship roughly an hour before and rather than race down to join the festivities, AJ had opted for a shower. He fully expected this trip to be full of activities because Hudson had already told him Gannon’s best friend/assistant was in charge and she wasn’t one to have everyone sitting around on their thumbs. Being that he was hoping to get a little downtime out of this cruise, AJ figured he’d take it where he could.
And now here he was, in a room filled with strangers, all of them there to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Cam Strickland and Gannon Burgess, who would be wed in just a few short days.
AJ held up the two glasses of water—he wasn’t much for drinking, and neither was his brother—allowing Hudson to take one.
“You good?” AJ cast a curious glance at his brother, wondering why the frown.
As usual, Hudson answered with a simple nod before sipping his drink. The man might’ve thought he could pull one over on AJ, but he knew better. His little brother—if thirty-five years old could be considered little—couldn’t hide shit from him. Especially not when it came to his interest in one particular blond Hudson worked with.
“So, where’s this boy toy of yours?” he asked just to get a rise out of Hudson.
It worked. His brother flipped him off. He hadn’t expected anything less. Considering his brother was mute and couldn’t speak, his hands did all his talking for him.
When it was obvious he wasn’t going to get anything more from Hudson, AJ grinned. “Okay, fine. My turn.” AJ’s gaze strayed across the room until he located the sexy blonde he’d noticed talking to Cam, the owner of the marina Hudson worked at, a few minutes ago. “Who’s the blonde? She single?”
Hudson’s head snapped toward him, his eyes widening as he quickly jerked his head from side to side. AJ got the distinct feeling he wasn’t answering, per se.
“What does that mean? She’s not single?”
After setting his glass on a nearby table, Hudson started signing a response. You do not want to mess with Milly.
“Milly, huh?” He peered over at her again, admiring the pretty blonde in the sexy red sundress that showcased her tanned legs and her toned arms. Her hair was piled up on her head in some fancy knot, and her eyes crinkled when she laughed. She was, by far, the most beautiful woman in the room. “Interesting name.”
He wondered what it was short for. Unless it was simply an off-the-wall nickname, there were only a few possibilities. Of course, he could only think of one, but the woman did not look like a Mildred. Not at all.
AJ turned back to his brother when Hudson punched him in the arm.
No, not interesting. Nothing about her is interesting. Leave her alone.
AJ laughed. “Since it seems to me that you’re trying to warn me away from her, I’m gonna assume she’s single.”
Not warning you away from her. Her away from you.
“Oh, come on.” It’d been a long damn time since a woman had caught his attention the way Milly had. For whatever reason, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Every move she made seemed oddly erotic in nature, calling to him on a completely cellular level.
Now he had to figure out how to introduce himself without coming on too strong. If he was lucky, and she wasn’t too busy, perhaps they could spend some quality time together while they were stranded on this ship for the next seven days.
Hudson elbowed him, then signed: Seriously.
“I promise, I’ll be good,” AJ assured him. “Plus, it looks to me like you’ve got someone who could keep you pretty busy if you’d stop pretending you didn’t want to bang his brains out.”
AJ walked away on that note, not waiting to get a retort from Hudson. He knew his brother was fighting every urge inside him when it came to the man who worked alongside him at Pier 70. AJ had known for a while that Hudson was interested in Teague Carter, but for some reason, he was fighting it.
While Hudson might have all the time in the world to hold out, AJ didn’t. At the ripe young age of thirty-seven, AJ wasn’t getting any younger.
Figuring now was as good a time as any to congratulate the couple gearing up for their nuptials, AJ headed toward them.
Cam noticed him first, a smile on his face as AJ approached.
“Glad you could make it, AJ,” he greeted. “You’ve met Gannon.”
AJ shook Gannon’s hand. “Good to see you again.”
“Likewise,” Gannon stated. His face had a slight green tinge to it, and AJ had to wonder if he was experiencing motion sickness.
Cam continued, “And this is Gannon’s assistant, Milly Holcomb.”
“That’s all I am?” she said with a huff. “Here I was thinking I was his best friend, the one who keeps him in line, who ensures he goes where he needs to go when he needs to go there. And most importantly, the woman ultimately responsible for the two of you getting together.” Her eyes widened. “Shall I go on?”
Cam chuckled. “Not necessary.” He peered back at AJ. “AJ, this is Milly.”
Unable to resist, AJ turned his full attention on the beautiful, sassy blonde. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Milly.”
Her smile was radiant, transforming her from beautiful to downright gorgeous. Those ruby-red lips beckoned him to step closer, but he fought the urge. He’d just met her, after all.
“Likewise,” she said sweetly, a gleam in her bright blue eyes. “I hear you’re Hudson’s plus one?”
“That I am,” he admitted. “What kind of brother would I be if I refused to accompany him on a cruise to the Bahamas?”
“There are certainly worse things,” she teased.
True. When Hudson had originally asked, AJ thought for sure the man was kidding. But, come to find out, Hudson had been serious about bringing him along, so here he was.
“Is it your first time on a ship?” she asked.
Cam caught AJ’s eye, nodding his head as he took Gannon’s hand and slipped away while Milly was otherwise preoccupied.
“No,” AJ said seamlessly. “And hopefully not my last, either. I tend to go at least once every couple of years.”
“A man of the world?”
“You could say that,” AJ admitted with a smirk, enjoying the way Milly’s eyes casually raked over him.
“So you haven’t settled down yet?”
AJ grinned at her obvious fishing expedition. He hoped like hell that meant she was interested. “Nope. You?”
Milly waved a perfectly manicured hand, the color on her nails matching her dress and her lips. “Not a chance. I’m the kinda girl who ends up with the bad boy, and while it’s fun to entertain them, they’re always looking for the next best thing.”
AJ was suddenly grateful for the idiots in her past. Anyone who would pass her up had to be out of their mind.
And fine, AJ knew more about Milly than he would let on. Being that she was Gannon’s best friend, he’d heard plenty of stories about her in the past year. Since Cam and Gannon had hooked up, they’d spent quite a bit of time at the marina. Because his brother worked there, AJ spent as much time with Hudson as he could, and quite a few of those hours were on the lake. When AJ wasn’t out of town on business, that was. And during that time, he’d heard plenty about the feisty blonde.
Milly’s eyes shifted away from him. She’d just realized Cam and Gannon had slipped away. AJ made a mental note to thank them later.
“So, what does AJ stand for?”
“Aaron James,” he said simply. “And Milly? It’s short for…?”
“I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you,” she said, flashing her pearly white teeth.
He laughed. The girl had spunk. He liked that. “Have it your way,” he said with a grin. “But don’t blame me if I end up calling you something else during the heat of the moment.” He purposely looked away. “A decent turnout, yeah?”
Milly cleared her throat and it was followed by a soft laugh. He glanced her way and noticed her smiling. At least she hadn’t shot him down yet.
“So far, so good.” Her bright blue eyes locked on his face. “Looks as though all the important people have arrived.”
Was he included in that count? Did she consider him to be important? For something other than the wedding, maybe?
“Well, as much as I’d love to stay and chat,” she said with a one-thousand-megawatt smile, “I really do need to keep the grooms-to-be from wandering too far.”
AJ hated to let her leave, but he understood. “Well, I hope to see you again. Maybe I could buy you a drink. You know, when you’re not keeping everyone in line.”
“Maybe,” she said with a coy grin. “Better chance of that passionate moment that way.”
Her witty comeback made him laugh out loud. “Noted.”
She continued to smile. “It was great to finally meet you, AJ.”
AJ nodded, then watched as she turned to leave. When Milly glanced back over her shoulder, he ensured they made eye contact again. Although he’d expected this to be an interesting adventure, he damn sure hadn’t expected this little twist.
And he hoped like hell he’d have the opportunity to get to know Milly more during the trip. A whole lot more.
~ Copyright 2018, Nicole Edwards Limited.
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