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A headache rocking through my skull wakes me. All I taste is tequila and salt.

Last night is a blur. There was tequila and “The Macarena.” Tequila and a limbo party. Tequila and… “Oh God,” I groan, swiping my hand over my face. “Steph, I don’t remember anything past that limbo party last night.”

When I sit up on the mattress, the cool air kisses my bare skin, and I swallow. Why—am I naked?

My pulse steadily accelerates. Directly across from the bed is an open closet. Several suits hang neatly inside. Shit! This is not my room. Slowly, I turn my head, and there, where Steph should be—because I most definitely should not be in a stranger’s hotel room—lies a man, sprawled out, face down on luxurious, cotton sheets with only one corner of the linen still in place.

I quickly peek under the comforter and gasp. I’m focused on the horrible razor burn and offensive tan lines on my thighs when my focus should be my current predicament. I clutch the covers to my chest, desperately trying to plan my escape.

First, I need clothes. My clothes. Any clothes. A towel…

Closing my eyes, I inhale and shake my head. It’s okay. I just had my first one-night stand. I’m not a whore. Just inexperienced in life. I direct my attention once again to the sleeping man’s muscular back. Tattoos wind over his shoulder and arm, snaking down the length of his side. This is not the type of guy I usually go for. My heart races at the possibilities of this man’s mafia affiliation—a cartel boss is a definite consideration or maybe a drug lord. Only I could drag in the dregs during a sexual escapade that I couldn’t remember. Jesus in heaven. This is almost scandalous.

I cautiously crawl out of bed, trying not to wake him. As soon as I’m on my feet, I wince. Something about the twinge of pain that just shot between my legs makes this feel even more sordid. I evidently let a strange man fuck me to the point that I—an older-than-I-care-to-admit woman—feel it like a newly deflowered teen. And to top it off, I have zero recollection. Steph is going to love this.

I quickly survey the room and find my sarong tossed carelessly on the floor, and I snatch it up. Seconds later, I spot my cell phone and what I pray is my room key sitting on the dresser.

The guy shifts, groaning. My pulse hammers in my ears while I watch in horror as he pats the vacant spot where I’d been lying. Oh, my God. He’s looking for me!

He sits up and turns, narrowing his hooded, hazel eyes on the empty sheet.

I’d like to say that my jaw isn’t hanging open, but it is. And rightfully so. That man is the stuff wet dreams are made of. A stubble-covered jawbone. Dark hair tousled in that messy, zero-fucks-given way. Lips Theo James would cut throats for. Muscles. Tattoos… This guy makes Tom Hardy’s looks unfortunate.

His gaze drifts from the mattress to me, trailing over my body and stopping on my tube-sock tits. I hold up my sarong, covering myself, because unlike last night, I’m painfully sober.

He smirks, and a dimple pops. I bite my lip, thanking God it’s not two. Two dimples would be akin to kryptonite. Please, don’t let him speak English. That would make this much easier. All I’d have to say is “No habla Español, señor…”

“The polite thing to do”—he says. In English. Fuck my life. — “would be to leave a thank-you note.” Then he shoots me another, deeper grin. And, of course, two dimples dot his cheeks this time, because this is my punishment for being a slut. Asshole-bastard.

“Well, I, uh…” My face stings with heat as I slowly begin my retreat across his room.

“Come on, don’t leave yet.” He pushes up. And he’s very, very naked. Penises are like a magnet, and my gaze drops right to his. I fight a little whimper. That thing must have some serious weight to it. No wonder I’m sore.

“I have to…” I say, still using my sarong like a protective shield as I back toward the door. “I don’t usually do things like this, and I just—”

“I know.”

He can’t possibly know. “You do?”

One of his impeccably shaped eyebrows arch. He must have money because I would guarantee, brows that perfect only come from being threaded. “How much of last night do you remember?”

“Well, you know. Enough,” I lie, tripping over one of his shoes.

“Demi…”

Oh, I must have been wasted. Demi was the fake identity I used in college, one I thought fit my personality better than Charlie. I mean, I’m named after my dad. My dad, who is an asshole. No guy wants to groan, “Charlie, you’re so wet for me.” Unless it’s guys like Spreadsheet Harold, certainly not El Chapo here. I haven’t used that alias in fifteen years, but what’s the point in correcting a man whose name I can’t even begin to guess.

He’s smiling, watching me back across the room.

My heel hits the wall, and I exhale. “I just…” I feel around for the handle behind me, find it, and turn it. The door creaks, causing me to jump as though I’m afraid of my own shadow. “I have a flight to catch,” I blurt.

“You do realize you’re naked?” He fights a laugh.

My cheeks heat, and my mind scrambles to save myself from further embarrassment. “Of course I do.”

The stranger beams with amusement as I wrap the sarong under my arms.

“Thanks for, um…” I shrug before pointing at his dick. “That.” I slip out and hightail it through the hotel corridor toward the elevator.

I left my shoes, my shirt…everything in that man’s hotel room. Thank the one-night-stand gods that I remembered my cell phone and grabbed my room key.

The elevator dings and I step on with a shake of my head. Cheesy jazz music pipes through the speakers. I close my eyes, massaging my temples as I fight to recall anything that took place last night. Flashes of the Latino god at the limbo party come to mind. Us on the beach. He smiles and grabs my hand, and then…I draw a big, fat blank.

The elevator opens and, as luck would have it, just when I step off, a group of college-aged guys move into the narrow hallway. Great! I tighten my hold on the see-through fabric. Oh, they stare when I do the freshly fucked shuffle right past them. But as tempted as I am to flip them the bird, I refrain.

I huff a relieved sigh when I shove my plastic key into the card reader and burst into the room. Steph’s on the bed with the TV blaring and a breakfast tray on her lap. Dani’s voice carries in from the balcony where she’s shouting at Bill.

The door bangs closed, forcing Steph to direct her attention to me. “Oh. My. God!” Scrambled egg fall from her mouth to the bedsheet, and she doesn’t even attempt to catch them. “You look like shit!”

“Thanks.” I shuffle past the bathroom. “I’m just glad I’m not dead.”

“Dead?”

“Yeah. You heard me. Dead!”

One of these days her eyes are going to permanently lodge in her head if she doesn’t stop rolling them. “Why would you be dead? I mean, aside from the bottle of tequila you drank?”

Still clutching the sheer coverup to my chest like a rosary, I glare at her. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because I could have been murdered by the cartel boss I evidently fucked two ways from Tuesday!”

“Holy shit! He was a cartel boss?”

I shrug. “Who knows? I can’t remember his name.”

Dani pokes her head in from the veranda, the phone pressed to her ear. “You slept with some random man?”

I toss my hands up and give an exaggerated shrug. “I have no idea, but based on the ache between my legs, I’d wager on yes.”

“No, Bill!” Dani groans. “You can’t give the Luxberg case to—” The door to the balcony slams shut.

Steph laughs. “It’s just like the good ol’ college days.”

“No, in college, you and Dani were the ones slutting it up.” I thumb my chest, annoyed. “Not me. I was with Harold!”

A fog of nostalgia clouds Steph’s eyes before she gives me a once-over. “What’s with the sarong?”

“I panicked when I woke up next to El Chapo.”

She snorts with laughter. “El Chapo, that’s good. But seriously…” Fighting a smile, she places the tray on the nightstand then glances at me, again taking in my attire. “You ran out naked?”

“Yep.”

“Well, my work here is done.” She dusts off her hands.

I arch an eyebrow. “Your work?”

“You had a dirty one-nighter, so you should be good to go when we get back to New York. It’s kinda like breaking a champagne bottle over a boat on its maiden voyage. A quick, grunge fuck is good luck after a divorce.”

All I can do is stare. The irony of Steph’s illogical life logic sometimes makes sense.

Want to find out what happens when Charlie runs into her dirty one-night stand in the middle of NYC?

CLICK HERE to download Falling In Between to find out. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

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