Wild Irish, Book Six
Saturday's child works hard for a living...
What do you get when you cross a gold-digging stripper, a down-on-her-luck hooker, an estranged husband, his knocked-up wife, a Wayne Newton lookalike taxi driver and one beleaguered Baltimore cop?
A typical night in the life of Riley Collins--Vegas style.
Riley's always been the wildest of the Collins clan, but even she bites off more than she can chew during an impromptu trip to Sin City. Once again, it's Aaron Young to the rescue. No surprise; Aaron's been watching Riley's ass forever--and he's wanted to spank it for even longer. Tracking her down, Aaron finally gets his wish--after he drags a drunken Riley to a chapel and makes it legit, of course.
To say she's shocked is putting it mildly. But Riley warms to Aaron's seduction quicker than you can say "all-you-can-eat buffet!" Who knew her mild-mannered best friend was so hot in the sack? Of course, thanks to Riley's penchant for picking up strays, the newlyweds will have to sneak in some honeymoon boom-boom whenever they can. But they'll manage...
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Saturday Night Special by Mari Carr
He sighed heavily. One question was tormenting him. "What are you doing in Vegas, Riley?"
"Very funny." He grimaced, not amused by her joke.
"I'm having fun, Aaron. You know, that thing you've never quite mastered?"
He sucked in a deep breath and counted to ten. Riley constantly teased him about being a stick in the mud. He knew it was said in good fun, but this time her words felt more like an insult than a joke. Sometimes it sucked being regarded as the boring, responsible one among their group of friends.
Need a ride home from the bar? Call Aaron. Got a flat tire? Aaron will have a jack...and a spare. Moving? Aaron will lug all your shit down three flights of stairs and supply the truck to haul it.
A growl rose up in his chest. He was pissed off at Riley for thinking him so dull he wouldn't do anything as spontaneous as taking a weekend trip to Vegas.
"You seriously call hopping on a plane and flying to Vegas with Trevor Blankenship 'fun'? I call it fucking dangerous."
"Bullshit. I haven't done anything even remotely dangerous...yet. I called Keira and told her where I was and I didn't come alone. I came with a friend." Riley threw another dollar in the machine.
"You didn't call Keira until after you were already here."
"And like the good sister she is, she called you to come save the day. Right?"
"She was worried about you, Riley."
"I'm a big girl, sugar. A fact my family and you seem content to ignore."
"I'm not forgetting you're an adult. I'm just not overlooking the fact you're completely drunk in a strange town with Trevor and a hooker as your chaperones."
Riley's gaze traveled from the slot machine to Aaron. "I told Trev she was a hooker, but he wouldn't believe me." She took a long drink before setting the cup down and hitting the Spin button again.
"What are you drinking?" He picked up her glass and drained it. Alcohol suddenly seemed like a very good idea. He waved over the waitress and grabbed his own drink.
"Tasted like something with rum to me," she said. "You better take it easy on that. I'm already wasted. If you keep pounding those down, who'll get us home?"
He shrugged and took another swig. Now that he was here, he wasn't in any big hurry to leave. "It takes a lot to get me drunk."
"Yeah, well, maybe you should consider taking up the hobby. Drunk seems to be the best way to live in dreary Baltimore nowadays." Her tone was sullen, belligerent, and he wondered at her words.
"Since when is Baltimore dreary? You love the city."
She sobered up a bit and he was struck by the hint of sadness in her eyes. When he thought back on it, he realized the same look had been there often the past few months. Why hadn't he noticed it sooner?
"So I guess now I don't love the city. Dammit, I just can't do it anymore, Aaron."
"My life. I can't wake up in the same bedroom I've lived in since birth one more morning. I can't cook meals in that damn pub day in and day out anymore and I'm sick to death of partying with the same losers every Saturday night."
Her voice was filled with resentment, frustration, and he listened as the last detail--and he suspected the most important one--fell from her lips.
"I'm the last Collins kid at home. I'm it. The spinster sister," she added.
He burst into laughter. He knew she was being serious, but her words were so insanely funny he couldn't hold back his instinctive response.
Her eyes narrowed angrily. "What's so funny?"
"You," he said with a chuckle, "calling yourself a spinster. Two things I never thought I'd hear together in the same sentence. Riley Collins, the spinster." Repeating the words caused him to laugh again and some of the irritation he'd been harboring since leaving BWI that morning dissipated. Actually, simply finding her safe and sound had dispelled most of it.
"It's not funny. I've watched both my sisters find true love. They're living their happily ever afters while I'm still stuck at home alone with Pop."
"Happily ever afters? True love?" Aaron repeated. "Sounds pretty romantic for you, Riley. How much have you had to drink?"
"Ha ha. I've had too much and I'm gonna have more, but it doesn't matter. I'll still be fed up and lonely tomorrow."
Aaron looked at her dark brown eyes and felt a hope he'd never experienced stir inside him. "You said you never wanted to get married. You said it would cut in to your fun time, your independence. You've sworn off the entire institution since we were three."
"Yeah," she said. "Well, I changed my mind."
Aaron considered her words for a moment, and then gave in to the grin building in his chest. "Good."
He nodded, grasping her by the waist to set her on her feet. "Very good. Come on."