Against the wall, p.1
Against the Wall, page 1
Against the Wall (A Bad Boy Romance)
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Copyright ©2017 Harley Wylde
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Table of Contents
Against the Wall (A Bad Boy Romance)
Against the Wall (A Bad Boy Romance)
Wanted: One hunky handyman to mend her lonely heart.
Grady: Handyman and heartbreaker. I’m damn good at my job. While my hands have been occupied building a deck for the delectable Madelyn Sparks, what I’ve really wanted to do is trace every one of her curves with my tongue. I bet with just one touch she’d go up in flames. My dick’s been harder than a damn post since I took this job, but I learned the hard way not to fuck myself out of a paycheck. But once this job is done, all bets are off.
Madelyn: Grady has done a fantastic job on the deck, but I didn’t really hire him for his carpentry skills. The man is fine as hell and I’ve wanted to take him for a ride ever since I saw him on my doorstep. Never in my wildest dreams did I think getting attacked would bring us closer together. He went from hunky handyman to overprotective bodyguard in an instant, and now that we’re living under the same roof, I just can’t keep my hands off him. Just one problem… now that I’ve had him, I never want to let him go.
The sound of my drill was loud in the otherwise quiet backyard. I’d been working on this massive deck for two days for a pampered princess, but there were perks aside from a paycheck. I glanced toward the lounger by the pool and couldn’t help but admire the tanned perfection of Madelyn Sparks. She might be petite, but she was all legs and curves. Definitely a mouthwatering package.
The sun beat down on me and sweat rolled down my temples to drip off my chin onto the wooden deck below. I’d literally put my blood and sweat into the thing, but tears weren’t going to happen. Not unless the goddess decided to kick me in the nuts for staring too much. She did a pretty good job of ignoring me, even when I drooled. Couldn’t really blame her. A guy like me was too far beneath someone like her. The house she lived in had to cost at least half a million, if not more. My bungalow was a little too damn close to the questionable part of town and probably could have fit in her garage.
I put in one last screw and wiped my brow before standing. My back cracked as I stretched and put the tools away. As much as I would have loved to stare at perfection a little while longer, it was time to call it a day. I had an ice cold shower waiting for me at home, along with a beer and a bag of pretzels. The dinner of champions. Or rather, the dinner of a broke handyman. This job was going to pay really damn well, but I didn’t get the check until I finished the deck.
The scent of suntan oil reached my nose, and I turned to see Little Miss Perfect. She pushed her sunglasses on top of her honey blonde tresses and smiled at me.
“Finished for the day?” she asked.
“Yeah, I thought I’d pack it up and come back first thing tomorrow. Eight o’clock okay?”
Her nose wrinkled a little. “As long as you don’t mind me being crabby. I don’t finish my morning coffee until nine.”
I couldn’t help but smile at her. Something told me that even at her crabbiest she was damn cute. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-one or twenty-two. I felt ancient at close to thirty, even though there were only a handful of years between us. I put my tools by the back gate and waited to see if she would say or do anything else.
“Would you like some water or soda to take with you?” she asked. “I even have some of that flavored stuff you can add to a bottle of water.”
I must have made a face because she laughed and crooked a finger at me. Like a little lost puppy, I trailed after her and into the pristine house, my boots clunking along the hardwood floors. Her kitchen was huge, with spotless granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
“Nice place,” I commented as I took in my surroundings. I’d never own a place like this. Not because I didn’t want one, but because I wasn’t going to earn enough ever to climb this high up the social ladder.
“It was my parents’ home. They died last year and left everything to me.”
Well, that explained why she was so rich at such a young age, but it had to suck to lose her family like that. My mom was still very much alive and living it up in Vegas as a retired showgirl. I’d never known my dad, and I wasn’t sure Mom had ever known who he was. Just some nameless man who had crossed paths with her at some point. Along with countless others. Mom hadn’t exactly been known for being a one-man woman back in the day. Or now, for that matter.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” I told her.
She gave me a small smile and opened the fridge. “Water or soda? I have a beer, but I doubt it’s one you’d like to drink. I’ve been told it’s a girly beer.”
I laughed and told her water was fine. It was the best way to stay hydrated in this horrible heat. I guzzled half the bottle before I even took a breath. Madelyn had her hip propped against the counter, and her gaze traveled over me. I couldn’t help but grow hard under her perusal. If she noticed, she was good at pretending otherwise. There was heat in her eyes as she looked up at me. Part of me hoped for the green light to kiss her the way I’d wanted to since the moment she opened her front door several days ago. The other part worried I’d screw myself out of a paycheck again and told me to keep it in my pants.
I finished my water and tossed the bottle into the trashcan. As much as I wanted to linger, I couldn’t think of a reason not to leave. My work for the day was done, and she wasn’t exactly saying much to keep me in her house. Then again, I was sweating all over her pristine floors. She probably couldn’t wait for me to leave.
“Thanks for the water,” I told her. “I’ll see you tomorrow at eight.”
“Let me walk you out.”
“That’s okay. I’ll just go out the back way. I left my tools by the back gate.”
She nodded, and if I wasn’t mistaken, there was a hint of sad
Her gaze drilled into my back as I made my way through her house to the back door. The humid air smacked me in the face as I stepped outside and made my way over to the gate. I picked up my tools and let myself out of the backyard. My truck was parked at the curb. I hadn’t wanted to take a chance on the damn thing leaking oil on her driveway. I shoved my stuff into the backseat and climbed in. As I was about to pull away, a flashy car pulled into her driveway, and a guy in a pink polo and khakis got out. Figured she’d go for a sissy boy like that one. His build was slight, and the softer angles of his face made him almost appear feminine. If he had any muscle on him, it definitely came from a gym. Guys like that didn’t get their hands dirty.
With a shake of my head, I pulled away and drove home to the other side of town. Living in a small town meant it didn’t take long to reach the house. My driveway was cracked and uneven and my porch drooped, but it was home sweet home. I killed the engine and got out, taking my tools with me. No way I would leave them in the truck in this neighborhood. Not unless I wanted them stolen. After I unlocked the door and pushed it open, I stepped inside and immediately frowned. It felt like it was a million degrees in the house.
The air conditioner in the front window still hummed, but when I stepped closer and held out my hand, only hot air came out of it. I’d just cleaned the thing the week before, so I knew that wasn’t it. It looked like the four-year-old unit had finally called it quits. As I walked through the house, I noticed the other even older units were not on or were sending out blasts of hot air as well. Just what I needed, the cost of four window units. Hell, even the cost of one was too much. There was only twenty bucks in my account until I got paid for my current job either tomorrow or day after, depending on how long it took me to wrap things up.
I went into the bedroom and turned on the ceiling fan before stripping out of my clothes. In the bathroom, I turned on the shower and didn’t even bother with the hot water. An icy stream hit me straight in the face as I stepped under the spray and it helped cool my heated skin. I stayed in the shower as long as I could, knowing I would just be miserable once I got out. After I dried off and pulled on a pair of boxer briefs, I contemplated what the hell I was going to do the rest of the night. In this neighborhood leaving a window open was just asking for trouble, so that was out.
As I tried to figure out what to do, my phone started ringing. I frowned when I saw the number on the display. What the hell was the princess calling me about? Had I left something at her place? I accepted the call and put the phone up to my ear. Before I could even say hello, I heard her sobbing on the other end.
“Madelyn? What’s wrong?”
She cried even harder. “I… need… you.”
“You need me? What happened?”
I didn’t get a chance to say another word before she disconnected the call. A bad feeling came over me as I threw on a fresh pair of jeans and a tee. I doubted she was crying over her deck, so I passed up my work boots for a pair of tennis shoes. It only took me a moment to dig my wallet and keys out of my discarded clothes, and I ran for the door, stopping only long enough to lock the place up. Breaking every speed limit in town, I screeched to a halt at her curb about ten minutes later.
I rang her doorbell and waited. When she didn’t answer, I banged on it with my fist, hoping I wouldn’t shatter the pretty stained glass. Still no Madelyn. I hesitated only a moment before I reached for the knob and let myself in. I heard sniffles and crying coming from the back of the house. When I entered the kitchen, she was curled into a corner near the stove with her phone clutched in her hand and her head hanging down, hair obscuring her face.
Kneeling in front of her, I slowly reached out and tipped her chin up. I couldn’t stop the curse that fell from my lips when I took in her bruised cheek and split lip.
“What the hell did that bastard do to you?” I asked with a growl to my tone.
“He wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
My heart kicked in my chest, and I looked her over, but her clothing didn’t seem to be in disarray. I hoped like hell when she said he wouldn’t take no for an answer that it hadn’t meant he’d raped her. I gently scooped her into my arms and carried her into the living room. The waning sunlight filtered through the floor to ceiling windows, but I flicked on the lamp to get a better look at her.
“Do you have an ice pack?” I asked, thinking we needed to get the swelling down in her lip and cheek.
I left her long enough to see what she had available. There were two gel ice packs in the freezer door, and I pulled both out, carrying them back to her. I placed one against her cheek and motioned for her to put the other against her lip.
“You need to call the police.”
She shook her head. “You don’t understand. His daddy is a state senator, and his uncle is the mayor. The police aren’t going to do anything but laugh at me.”
“You need a restraining order, Madelyn. You can’t let him get away with this.”
“They won’t do anything,” she insisted.
“Then they’ll waste their time coming out here because I’m calling them.”
I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and dialed 9-1-1. After assuring the operator the guy wasn’t on the premises anymore and answering all of her questions, I sat and waited for the dispatched units to arrive. After fifteen minutes, I could hear sirens in the distance and hoped that was them. I thanked the operator and hung up, taking Madelyn’s hand on mine.
“I’m going to go wait for them on the porch.”
She shook her head and held onto me tighter. “Don’t leave me.”
“Why did you call me?” I asked, having to know why me and not one of her rich friends. It wasn’t like we were close, even if I had spent the last few days drooling over her while I worked.
“You make me feel safe,” she said. “I knew you wouldn’t let him hurt me anymore.”
Pride swelled inside at her words, and she was damn right. I wasn’t about to let anything else happen to her, not if I could help it. If the asshole was as connected as she said, then I knew it would be an uphill battle, but I’d stand by her while she figured things out. Hopefully, the police would listen and actually take the damn report and not brush her off.
When the officers knocked on the door, I yelled for them to come in and told them our location, and as an afterthought, I added that neither of us was armed. A paramedic was on their heels, and I was grateful someone would be able to take a look at Madelyn in case she needed more than ice to heal her. She looked pretty rough.
I tried to get out of the way, but she held tight to my hand when the officers began questioning her.
“And who are you?” the older officer asked.
“He’s my friend, Grady O’Bryan,” Madelyn said. “I called him when Bradley left. I didn’t know what else to do.”
“And that’s Bradley Simon?” the second officer asked, as he took notes.
“I know he’s supposed to be related to the mayor, but you’re going to do something to stop him from coming back, aren’t you?” I asked.
The officers shared a look, and I knew it meant trouble.
“Do you want to file a restraining order?” the younger officer asked. “You can come down to the station and fill out the proper forms, and we can get the ball rolling. With it just being your word against his, we can’t really arrest him. Unless there was a witness?”
Madelyn shook her head.
The older man looked at me. “What do you know about Bradley Simon?”
“Nothing. Madelyn told me he’s connected to the mayor and a state senator, but that’s as much as I know about the guy. Is there
The officer rested his hands on his belt. “This doesn’t leave this room, but I can’t stand a guy who abuses women. Mr. Simon has a series of complaints against him that all magically go away before making it to court. All charges are always dropped, or the women disappear. He’s a known abuser and has even been accused of rape.”
My stomach soured at the picture they painted.
“If I were you, I’d get her out of here. And I don’t just mean on vacation. She needs to start over somewhere he can’t find her, preferably a large city, because once he sets his sights on someone, he doesn’t back down until he gets what he wants.” The officer looked disgusted. “I’d arrest his ass and throw him in jail, but my chief would have my ass. He plays golf with the mayor every Saturday. The judge is a family friend too, so I doubt the charges would stick.”
Great. Madelyn looked a little defeated, and I didn’t know what to say or do to help her. With my dwindling bank account, I wasn’t in a position to help her escape. Even if she asked me to go with her, it wasn’t like I could just pack up and leave. Could I? My house wasn’t much, but I did own the damn thing. I had roots in this town.
She lifted her face and gazed at me with tears in her eyes. And I knew, I was going to do whatever it damn well took to keep her safe.
Even if it fucked me over.
I always had been a sucker for a damsel in distress. It seemed my princess needed my help. Her lower lip trembled, so I squeezed her hand, letting her know that I was with her, whatever happened next. I couldn’t leave her on her own, not knowing that bastard might come back. He was a twisted fuck, and if I left her to his mercy, I’d be just as guilty of whatever crime he committed against her.
Every time life handed me lemons, all I got was sour ass lemon juice.
by Harley Wylde have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes