Meet the unlikely inked pairing of Quinn & Special from AM Hargrove’s A Special Obsession #excerpt
A Special Obsession is an all-new contemporary new adult romance from A.M. Hargrove!
Weston Wyndham has more money on his tattooed wrist than I’ll ever have in my bank account.
Drunk, he was gorgeous, wicked, sexy, an inked god.
Sober, he is the most arrogant man ever.
If he thinks I’m going to let him order me around like one of his servants, he’s wrong. If he wants me to date him after all this, he’s out of his mind. I don’t care how rich he is, or that he drives a Ferrari and a fancy truck. Those walls I put up are there for a reason … and they were built to last.
But he’s relentless, and hot, and it turns out he likes his girls a little fiery. Giving in doesn’t have to mean disaster—unless I break my number one rule.
Special O’Malley is a handful. With a name like that, she ought to be. Sassy as hell, bossing me around, but damn if I don’t deserve it.
I’m used to getting my way, dealing with difficult people, only she’s not buying any of it. Usually my money attracts women. Not Special. She doesn’t give a damn about it … or me.
There’s more than one stubborn player in this game. I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I’m not planning on giving up any time soon … at least not until I’m between her thighs, making her moan. And those concrete walls she has … I have news for her. Concrete crumbles if you strike at the right place.
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“Who are you?” he asks.
“I’m the owner of the bar you passed out in last night, Mr. Wyndham. You should be more responsible about how much you drink when you go out.”
His jaws click together, and he squints. Without saying a word, he flops back down onto the couch and rolls over like he’s going back to sleep.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Sleeping. Now be a nice little girl and hush. I’m tired and my head is pounding like a bass drum.”
Seriously? “What do you think this is? The Holiday Inn?”
“No. The Holiday Inn would’ve given me a bed.”
My mouth sags open. Of all the … “Hey, if it hadn’t been for me and this couch, your ass would’ve been sleeping on the street.”
“Whatever. Now, please be quiet.”
“I will not. You need to leave. I have things to do.”
“Fine.” He slowly stands, and I look up. He’s tall. Much, much taller than I thought last night. Probably because he was all slouched over and could barely walk. As I stare at him, he moves around me and I figure he’s going to the bathroom. Boy am I wrong. The man barely has his eyes opens as he walks down the hall, finds my bedroom, takes off his pants revealing the most perfect naked ass created, and climbs into my bed. Of all the nerve! Now what the hell am I supposed to do?
This is ridiculous. I have errands to run, things to do. It’s Sunday—the day I visit my Mimi. She cooks Sunday dinner, and I spend the afternoon with her and—shit. Laundry … I need to wash clothes. All my panties are dirty, and my laundry hamper is in the closet in my bedroom. Fuck it. I’m going in anyway.
Stomping into my room—my room—I go to the closet and grab my hamper, making sure I’ve collected all the dirty clothes. Then I drag it out of the room, intentionally making as much noise as possible.
“Can you please keep it down? My head is splitting wide the fuck open.”
“So sorry you decided to drink a truckload of liquor last night. And no, I can’t keep it down. I have work to do. Go home and sleep it off there if you want quiet.”
He groans out a response I can’t understand and don’t bother asking him to repeat. What kind of person does this sort of thing? After I stuff a load of darks in, I run down to the bar to check my restaurant inventory for the food service rep who’ll be stopping by in the morning. But I do a half-ass job of it because I don’t want to leave the asshole up there alone, although I don’t know what he’d steal. A guy with a watch like that and a black American Express wouldn’t want any of the crap I own.
When I get back home, the washer is finished, so I move that load into the dryer and start the next. Then I get everything out for breakfast. Before turning on the stove, I pull out my beat-up laptop and check out that watch of his. When I try to price it, I only find pre-owned ones and they go for up to fifty grand. What the hell does this dude do for a living? Rob banks? Who spends fifty grand on a fucking watch when you can get a Timex for fifty bucks? And that wasn’t even a brand new one. Maybe he stole it. Maybe he’s a professional high-end thief. Or one of those art thieves, like in that movie where the guy steals all the original pieces and replaces them with fakes. What if he killed someone and stole it off him?
Calm down, Spesh. You’re just acting crazy now. He can’t have a black AMEX if he’s not a bona fide rich dude. After a few deep, calming breaths, I start to feel a bit better. Time to cook some eggs.
Everything’s ready to go—butter sizzling in the pan and eggs whipped—when my guest walks into the kitchen.
“Oh, good, you’re making breakfast. I’m starving.” He stretches his arms in the air and then rubs his stomach like a little kid. I’m happy to note he’s wearing his pants again.
“Yeah. Three eggs, toast with butter, no jelly, and I’ll have some sausage. No links, only patties. And grits. With butter and salt. No pepper.” He plops down into a chair at my tiny bistro table for two. “Hey, can you bring me a cup of coffee?” He points to the coffeepot on the counter. “And some ice water. I’m dying of thirst. You wouldn’t by any chance have any Gatorade, would you?”
No please, thank you, kiss my ass, nothing.
Holding the whisk in my hand, I think about throwing it at him instead of the sink where I’m placing it. I walk back to the stove, pick up the spatula, take a deep breath, and say, “I’m sorry. This is not a restaurant, and I’m not your waitress nor am I your maid. If you want coffee or water, get up off your ass and get it yourself. Oh, and FYI, no Gatorade.”
The man looks appalled. “I just thought since—”
“I know what you thought.”
“What am I supposed to eat?”
Slanting my head, I point the spatula at him. “Cook the eggs, sausage patties, toast with butter, and grits your own damn self. Look, mister, there’s something you keep forgetting. You passed out in my bar. We carried you to my apartment. You slept on my couch. But by damn, I will not be following your orders. I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but I believe it’s time you leave.”
He stares and says nothing for a long moment. Then he extends his hand. “I’m Weston, and you are?”
Oh brother, here we go. Get ready for the name game. I can’t believe I’m going to do this. Holding out my hand, I say, “I’m Special.”
There go the brows, straight on up to the hairline, and then he lets out a raspy chuckle. “Well, I like an honest woman. You sure have a high opinion of yourself.”
I should’ve expected this. “Not exactly. Special is my name.”
“Is that so? And what precisely is your game?” He winks.
I huff out a lung full of exasperation. “No, you don’t get it. That is the legal name I was given at birth.”
With brows drawn together, he asks, “Who the hell names their kid Special?”
“A seventeen-year-old girl who had no business having a kid in the first place. That’s who.”
He clamps his mouth shut, and I can see his tongue poking the inside of his cheek.
“Hmm. Okay, Special. Do you have a last name?”
“Special O’Malley,” he repeats my name, and for some reason, I like the way it sounds rolling off his tongue. That’s a first. High school was a bitch having a name like Special. The girls were nasty and didn’t bother with snide comments behind my back. They did it straight up to my face. The guys, on the other hand, were a little less obvious, but only because they wanted something from me. Dumbass me didn’t figure that out until it was too late.
“That’s right.” My hands rest on my hips, a non-verbal challenge for him to make some smart-ass comment. He doesn’t. He tilts his head and stares. I’m not sure what’s going through that wealthy mind of his, but he’s making me damned uncomfortable. I stare back at him. His hair is straightened. More to the point, he’s pulled the top part into a ponytail, so the one side, which is cut super short, can be seen. Unfortunately, I am very attracted to this man. And why does he have to be so damn hot? He is a contradiction to what I’ve always assumed the rich to appear. He doesn’t have that stodgy, starchy look. In fact, he looks to be quite the opposite, almost rebellious, which draws me in. I’ve always identified with that, never conforming or fitting into mainstream. Parts of him scream wealth, but other parts are rough and defiant. It’s the sort of look I’m attracted to. He finally dips his head in a single nod, and the corners of his mouth turn up. Fuck. Me. That should not be allowed. My knees want to buckle from the sheer beauty of it, but I stand strong.
“So, Special O’Malley, how about we make a deal? I will pay you if you fix me breakfast. I’m not picky. Just starving and extremely thirsty.”
“It won’t be cheap.”
He still smiles and says, “I’m pretty sure I can afford it.”
“Okay, but just so you know, I don’t have sausage patties. Only bacon.”
“I love bacon.”
“All right, then,” I say, and turn back to my chore of cooking.
Once I get everything going, I tell him he should shower.
“You think I need one?” he asks.
“You smell like you swam in a barrel of Jack.”
He lifts his arm and takes a whiff. “I’ll be back.”
“Towels are under the sink,” I holler to his retreating form.
Jesus, that guy. I should be heading to Mimi’s any minute instead of cooking him breakfast. How did I get hooked into doing this? Because I’m an idiot, who’s drooling over him, that’s how. The food is almost ready by the time he emerges from his shower. He’s fresh smelling, wearing his black jeans, and holy shit, shirtless. Not only does he have the one tat I spied earlier, but multiple pieces of art etched into his tawny skin. Saliva nearly runs down my chin, but I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand before it has a chance.
“I borrowed your toothbrush.”
He says it so nonchalantly, like it’s something he does every day. My spatula stops in midair.
“I needed to brush my teeth, so I figured, yeah. You know—good dental hygiene and all. Besides, you said I smelled bad.”
My hand flies up in the air, nearly knocking the pan off the burner. “Are you crazy? That’s my toothbrush!”
“Calm down there, Spike. It’s only what, three bucks’ worth of plastic? I’ll leave you much more than that in a tip, if you’re extra nice to me.” He grins at me. If I weren’t so pissed, I would’ve spent more time looking at how perfect his teeth are.
“That’s not the point. You should’ve asked first.”
He casts a sour look in my direction. “Right. I’m glad I didn’t. Because it’s not like you would’ve said it was okay. Besides, I needed to brush my teeth.”
“So, what am I gonna use?”
“Hey, it’s not like I have any contagious diseases or anything. I’m not a walker.” Then he starts acting like a zombie.
“Stop it. Are you always this annoying?”
He stops and thinks about it for a moment. “No, I’m worse. Or my parents seem to think so.”
“Can’t say that I blame them. I can’t believe you used my toothbrush.”
“Christ, if you don’t shut up about it already, I’ll really regret it.”
“You should. That’s just gross.”
“Why? It’s no different than if we kiss.”
“But we haven’t kissed and won’t be anytime in the next century.”
“You sure about that?”
Suddenly, his arm whips around my waist, he spins me, and I’m staring into smoky gray eyes, only inches from mine. Before I can push him off me, his delicious lips find my own, and he kisses me. His tongue pushes through the O of my lips, and he does a lazy exploration of all the secret places inside. He knows his way around a girl’s mouth. This is no sloppy kiss. When he releases me, I’m gasping for air as I smell the beginnings of breakfast burning.
“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” he asks.
I shove him off me, saying, “It was awful. Absolutely the worst.” I focus on the bacon, eggs, and grits so he doesn’t see the flush that’s heated my neck and cheeks. “Just so you know, that toothbrush you used? It isn’t my regular toothbrush. I keep that one in the medicine cabinet. The one you used I scrub the shower tiles with.”
About the author
One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast-forward. If she didn’t do something soon, it would be too late to write that novel she had dreamt of her whole life. She slammed on the brakes, made a crazy decision, and quit her job. Then she reinvented herself as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author.
She fancies herself all of the following: Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker, Grey Goose Aficionado, and #WalterThePuppy Lover. If you’re around her for more than five minutes, you’ll soon notice she has a tendency to talk you ear off.
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