Leather Pants, Book #2 Happy Pants Café Series – EXCERPT

Leather Pants Excerpt

All RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2016. Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

CHAPTER ONE

 

No. Fuck no. Not this guy again. The Honorable Sarah Rae Alma of San Francisco County Superior Court blinked at her trial schedule, hoping and praying with every fiber of her being that her overworked eyes were playing tricks.

With hesitation, she glanced at her paperwork again.

Dammit! Someone must’ve switched her schedule at the last minute. She quickly went into panic mode, resisting the urge to pinch her cheeks or reach into her robe for a boob-perk, all to feel marginally hotter—the best a woman could hope for when wearing a black muumuu—for the man, the god, the legend about to enter her courtroom.

At least I’m appropriately dressed for my own personal nightmare, she thought, vowing not to think about what happened last time.

Career-cluster to the F-th degree.

Sarah straightened the pale-blue scarf around her neck and smoothed back the loose strands of her frizzy ponytail, preparing for his entrance. An entrance that melted panties, made women ovulate in triplicate, and sent any alpha males in the vicinity scurrying for the closest rock.

Why didn’t I put on makeup? Or touch up my roots? She was naturally a brunette, but had decided on a whim last month to go redder, hoping it might bring out her blue eyes and amp up her sex appeal.

Useless.

Men still treated her like a bucket of crusty scabs. All because she had the power to put them in jail for life. Losers. Like she’d ever do that unless they showed up in her court, guilty of felony charges. But something about dating a woman with that kind of power freaked men the hell out.

Speaking of freaking out, why didn’t I shave this morning? She could never be at her maximum confidence with hairy legs.

All right, Sarah, enough. You don’t really care about looking hot. You can’t stand bad boys. You crush them into tiny pieces and feed them to the legal system. You make them cry for their mothe—

“Your Honor?” snapped Maria Gomez, the bailiff, who was a five-foot-five, middle-aged mother of two and one tough nut. Nobody messed with Maria. The beige uniform made her look especially intimidating.

Sarah whipped her head up to find the entire courtroom staring, including the jury, while the closed-circuit camera rolled in the back.

With her long black sleeve, Sarah mopped the sweat from her brow and then inched her index finger at Maria.

“Me?” Maria glanced side to side and pointed to herself.

“Yes, you,” Sarah whispered.

Maria hitched up her heavy belt that included mace and a revolver and approached the bench.

“Why the hell wasn’t I told that he’d be coming to my court again?” Sarah grinned through clenched teeth.

Maria shrugged. “I don’t know, Your Honor.”

“Don’t you ‘Your Honor’ me,” she hissed. “We had mojitos last night. And an entire jarra.” Maria held the unique honor of being one of Sarah’s closest friends and her landlord. About a year ago, Sarah had moved into the three-story Victorian, renting the one-bedroom apartment on the top floor. It was a steal of a price, close to the cable car line, and had a gorgeous view of the Marina District. Don’t forget the home-cooked meals. Another plus. Just last night, Maria and her hubby, Franco, had made Sarah an early b-day dinner because they couldn’t find a sitter for tonight’s official birthday outing. “We all know you’ll only stay out for forty minutes, anyway,” Maria had said last night, poking fun at Sarah’s stick-in-the-mudness. Sarah preferred the word responsible or focused. And staying out all night drinking to celebrate one more year on the planet? Waste of time. She had work to do, cases to review, bad guys to sentence.

Maria leaned into the bench a little closer toward Sarah. “I heard that he pulled some strings to get you.”

“Me?” Sarah whispered. “I don’t believe that.” Defendants didn’t get to pick and choose their judges. In any case, having him in her court again spelled danger for her career. The last time he had been here for auto theft—where a hundred-thousand-dollar Mercedes took a swim in a lake—resulted in three weeks of tabloid torture. “Judge Alma-drool.” “Judge All-buttered-up.” “Judge All-but-spread-her-legs.” The rag-mags had taken their teeth to her and masticated hard.

Hold it together, girl. You went to Harvard. You’re a judge. You. Are. Unshakable.

“I don’t know why he’d push for you,” Maria replied. “Maybe he thinks you’re hot. But Judge Wright will make sure you’re suspended if you lose it again, so stay calm.”

“I did not lose it!” she whispered. “The last time he was here I…” Sarah’s words faded as the doors to the back of her courtroom flew open and everyone fell into a deathlike hush.

“Wow,” Maria gasped.

Forget “wow.” Can I get a holy fuck?

Colton Young’s epic man-bod stood smack in the center of the doorway, his long waves of chestnut hair falling to his broad shoulders, his black leather pants slung low around his hips, and his espresso-colored T-shirt just tight enough to show off the lean hard body underneath. Colton’s arms didn’t have the requisite shoulder-to-wrist musician tattoos, but the man had muscle. Lots and lots of lean, hard muscle.

“He looks like a god,” Sarah muttered under her breath, unable to contain the pinball action in her stomach—pings and pops, little rubber flippers going crazy, and a steel ball ricocheting all over.

Colton whipped off his mirrored sunglasses, and his intense hazel eyes shot straight to Sarah’s face like a wolf homing in on an object it had yet to decide what to do with. Kill. Fuck. Ignore. Piss on.

Sarah gulped. God save me. Because this man…this man…He’s too sinful for words. Not that she was into him. She hated bad boys. They were smug and all talk until it came time for sentencing. She took a certain pleasure in watching them blubber like babies when they were found guilty and sentenced to prison.

But Colton Young could make her squirm merely by subjecting her to his hotness. Did he have superpowers?

“Your Honor? You okay?” Maria rasped while everyone watched Colton do his I-don’t-give-a-fuck strut toward the seat beside his legal counsel—some big lawyer guy in a fancy suit.

“Yeah. Yeah. I’m good.” Sarah bobbed her head and brushed a few wayward clumps of sad dull hair from her eyes with her trembling hand.

Maria’s left eyebrow did some acrobatics on her forehead and returned to neutral. “Okeydokey. Here we go.”

Maria faced the room, and the court clerk kicked off the trial, reading the charges against the defendant.

Meanwhile, Sarah tried her best to divert her eyes from the man with the body that reminded her of how at the end of the day, she was an animal—no brains, no evolution. Just a savage she-beast wanting to bang her way to happiness.

“Your Honor?” Maria prodded for the second time.

Crap. I zoned out again. Sarah focused on the documents in front of her, frantically skimming the list of charges. What the hell? Assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon? Destruction of private property? Urinating on another officer, and public indecency? Jesus, this guy was out of control. Hot, but out of control.

See. He’s just another bad boy with no regard for others. Just pretend he’s not a famous rock star. With beautifully sculpted cheekbones. And a perfect square jaw. And pouty man-lips framed by a week’s worth of rich brown stubble perfect for tickling the inside of your thighs while he makes you come with that wicked mouth.

Sarah gulped and finished reading through the mandatory proceeding documents, informing the jury of the instructions, all without missing a step.

She looked up and met Colton’s steely gaze. Her heartbeat went into hummingbird mode.

“Mist-Mister Colton.” Sarah cleared her throat, her eyes still locked with his. “You may proceed with your leather pants—I mean arguments! The opening arguments.”

A chuckle erupted from the room and Colton gave her a hard look, as if to say: “Hey, woman, I am not your piece of meat!”

What’s the matter with me? Of course, there wasn’t a female on the planet who could remain calm in such a man’s presence—fifteen Grammys, including album of the year, abs of steel (as seen on his last album cover), and a set of dimples so deliciously deep you could practically take a bubble bath in them.

Not that she was interested. Because he’s just a big dick in leather pants. Of course, Sarah’s mind produced an image of exactly that. Ugh!

Colton’s lawyer stood. “If Your Honor doesn’t object, I will be representing Mr. Colton and presenting arguments.”

Dammit. I said Colton, didn’t I? Focus. Focus, Sarah.

She smiled stiffly. “Yes, I meant to say counsel for the defense. Please proceed.”

“If I may, Your Honor,” said the DA—a bald, gangly man with deep frown lines and thick glasses, “new evidence came to light five minutes ago. I request that we recess and confer in your chambers.”

Relief washed over Sarah. She needed a quick break to gather herself. If only she’d known about today’s special guest, she could’ve prepared herself—freezing her panties and maybe a lobotomy.

“Recess granted.” Sarah picked up her gavel and gave it a whack. “The jury will return to the jury room while we leather—I mean recess for fifteen minutes.” Jesus, Sarah. She stood and tried not to appear hurried, but she needed to make it to her chamber to gavel herself in the head a few times before the lawyers got there.

She entered her office, dug a cold bottle of water from the mini-fridge in the corner, and slugged it down. Okay. I can go to Wright and ask him to assign another judge. Wait. No, she couldn’t. Wright, the presiding judge who oversaw the courts in this county, hated her. Big time. He’d use any excuse to damage her career, including malicious gossip to prevent her from being considered for the state supreme court, her ultimate goal.

Crap. I have to stick this out.

Feeling woozy, Sarah took her seat behind her immaculate desk in her pristine office—floor-to-ceiling bookshelf on one side, big window on the other, walls covered in her degrees and recognitions for public service—all overlooking the back alleyway of the building.

Colt’s lawyer entered her chamber first, followed by the DA, who quickly informed her about a video that had just come out. It showed that Colton Young had been falsely accused of grabbing one of the officers’ guns and striking him in the face.

The DA tapped on his phone and showed the screen to Sarah. “The video does show, however, that Colton Young urinated in public and relieved himself on the other officer’s leg.” The video looked to be filmed from behind a pile of boxes in a back alley, possibly behind a restaurant or something. How lucky. Maybe a fan had been following him.

“Well,” Sarah said, lacing her fingers together on top of her desk, “this certainly changes things.” No trial. Yes! She held back the urge to do a victory tap dance. Not that she could tap dance.

“We’ll be dismissing the felony charges,” said the DA, “but the defendant is a public figure and must be held accountable for his actions against the other officer. Especially in light of his track record.”

He referred to Colton’s auto theft trial from three months ago. The jury found him innocent after the owner of the vehicle came forward, claiming he’d been drunk and had forgotten that he’d actually given Colt permission to borrow the car. Wanting to make a name for himself, the DA tried to make the charges stick by discrediting the owner of the car, who’d contradicted himself in the police report. A big fail. The jury could only find Colton Young guilty of wrecking a tree on public property, for which Sarah sentenced Mr. Young to pay a small fine. All this meant that the DA wasn’t going to let this go.

The DA went on, “We want to continue with the trial and ensure justice is served for the fine people of California, who are tired of the entitled few getting away with this kind of illegal behavior.”

Sarah wanted to roll her eyes. This guy acted like he was on TV, trying to impress the world. Idiot. Who had time for showboating? Their courtrooms were bogged down with so many cases—murders, rape, drug charges—it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to hold a juried trial for a misdemeanor moistening of an officer’s pant leg, famous defendant or not. Especially when one policeman had brought false charges under very suspicious circumstances, a much, much bigger issue for the DA to spend his time on.

Sarah looked at the DA. “While I am a devoted supporter of our police force, I suggest you do the world a favor and drop all charges.” In all likelihood, the charges wouldn’t stick anyway. Colton Young looked sauced and the jury would find said peeing infraction an accident.

“I can’t do that,” replied the DA. “It sends the wrong message to the public.”

So he’s worried about looking weak. Some days the politics of this job drove her insane. They were here for one thing and one thing only: to serve justice.

Sarah looked at Colt’s lawyer, a very handsome man, and noticed he looked familiar. She’d probably had him in her court before. “Well?”

He gave her a nod. “I’ll speak to Mr. Young. He’ll be changing his plea to guilty.”

Strange. “Don’t you want to talk to your client—”

“No. My client will plead guilty.”

Normally, the defendant’s lawyer would want to discuss the situation with their client. On the other hand, the sooner this ended, the better. She wouldn’t have to stare at Mr. Hotti-hotastic in his smokin’ hot leather pants for a week and risk looking like an idiot—correction—a bigger idiot. The public would be served by eliminating a costly trial. Mr. DA would feel like he’d served his fat ego. Everyone would win.

“Excellent.” She looked at her watch. “We’ll reconvene in five minutes.”

The two attorneys left and Sarah plopped her forehead down on her desk. Thank God. All she needed to do now was accept Colt’s plea without fucking that up, and then she could worry about sentencing in three or four weeks.

God, what was all that in there? I can’t stand his type. And she hated pompous jerks who reeked of entitlement even more. But that man…that man…

She would never forget the first time she’d seen Colton back in college, when he had his first hit record. Her roommate kept playing this song of his—“A Love Song”—about a man who kept trying to find love, but every woman who walked into his life refused to see the real him.

 

You want the money

You want the fame

How about wanting me, baby?

 

After hearing the song five hundred times, Sarah began plotting to make sure her roomie, Melissa, and that damned boom box disappeared. Quicksand. Deep well. Accidental fire. She’d go mad if she had to hear that tune one more goddamned time!

And then it happened.

Sarah caught a glimpse of Colton Young in a music video. She remembered being unable to look away. Those sensual lips, those hazel eyes. She’d never seen a man like that. And the way he moved those hips and that body? So sexy. So confident. A complete badass.

Sarah like. Sarah want. Sarah neeeed…

Which was why she’d remained a fan all these years until he walked into her courtroom a few months ago for that auto-theft case. His empty gaze and lack of emotion instantly shook her. He didn’t seem to care about anything around him or anyone.

Not at all the passionate alpha stud I thought him to be. Still, she couldn’t help getting all flustered in his presence—a mental hangover from years of being a huge fan.

Sarah cringed, resenting the effect he had on her. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of throwing him in jail for two months. Wait, make it three. Because regardless of the current situation, Colton Young was not innocent. He’d been given every chance to live a very privileged life. He had the sort of money and opportunities given only to a handful. Yet he wanted to piss it away—literally—by acting like a lawless rebel and getting arrested every few months.

Yes, Colton Young waved the bad-boy flag high in the air. And he definitely fell into her “throw the full book at him” category.

Hot or not. She would serve justice and make that man cry.

CHAPTER TWO

 

“Oh, crap! Please tell me you’re joking, Sarah!” screamed Taylor from across the table, the throbbing bass of the dance music making it difficult for Sarah to hear. Taylor, one of Sarah’s best friends since childhood, had organized the little birthday get-together tonight. During the day, Tay was an HR consultant, best known for recently marrying the infamous Bennett Wade, a billionaire turned philanthropist. Tay was also eight months pregnant and looked like she was about to pop in her chair.

Sitting across from Tay, Sarah shook her head and sipped her whiskey sour, trying not to take offense from Taylor’s amusement. “I wish I were joking. But I really did tell him to ‘proceed with your leather pants.’”

“Can’t wait to see the video!” Taylor’s big eyes filled with tears while she refrained from bursting with laughter.

“Oh, stop.”

“It’s just—you never lose your cool. Ever. You’re the most boringly responsible and calmest person I know.”

“Gee, thanks, sweetie.” Sarah shot her a frown. “But it’s not funny. Wright’s going to hear about it, if he hasn’t already, and I have no doubt in my mind he’s going to make a stink.” Wright had done it the last time Colton Young came into her court. So what if Sarah had gotten a little tongue-tied and asked the famous rock star to remove his pants? Everyone knew she’d meant “hat.” Yes, hat. The guy had had the nerve to wear one in her court.

“I’m screwed.” Sarah sighed and looked out over the ocean of people on the dance floor below, pumping their fists in time to the strobing lights. Everyone looked so happy. And, technically, she should be happy, too. She’d turned thirty-four today and had achieved everything on her list ahead of schedule. Yeah, that list. The one that spelled out her life’s goals along with the timing to hit each milestone. She had achieved everything to date with the exception of meeting Mr. Right while at Harvard Law School because, as her mother once put it, “You can’t stand men who always think they’re right.” It only brought out her argumentative claws. So, after law school, Sarah revised her goal to simply meeting Mr. Responsible and Interested.

Stupid idea.

There’d been zero time for men between her case load at Miller, Miller and Miller, a prestigious law firm, and later the Public Defender’s Office, where she’d quickly realized her calling was not being a lawyer, but being the one to ensure justice was served properly. Long story short, from that moment on, she dedicated every waking hour toward becoming a judge and lowered her romantic expectations to finding a respectable bed-bud until she could figure out what her real man-goal would be.

Yeah, but you completely failed on the sex-buddy goal, too.

Oh, be quiet. I’m working on it. She simply needed to get out more and work a little harder on her appearance so it communicated the right message to men.

Tonight, for example, the message was “I am desperate for sex. ’Cause I have cobwebs down there.” And with her new red dress—a strapless number, too tight for panties—no man would mistake her for a responsible workaholic who believed in discipline and sacrifice to achieve one’s goals. Oh, no, no, señor. This outfit screamed wild, reckless, and easy. In other words, fuck me!

“Well, try not to worry about work tonight.” Taylor rubbed circles on her black dress, right over her stomach. “Besides, I’m sure Judge Wright can’t get you fired over a few misspoken words.”

“Trust me. Monday morning, I’ll be summoned to his office, where he’ll effectively make a shit mountain out of a molehill.” And she hated his office; it reeked of stale cigars and crotchety old man farts.

“What’s up his ass anyway?” Taylor shook her head in disgust. She had a pet peeve about bosses who abused their power.

“My hypothesis is he’s a woman hater. Prefers to see us all barefoot and pregnant—no offense.”

“None taken. And see!” Tay stuck her foot out from under the table, showing off her sensible flats. “I gots me some shoes on!”

Sarah laughed, polished off her drink, and raised her index finger in the air. Their waiter, who stood on the sidelines of the VIP table area, gave her a knowing nod. Refill time. “Fuck it! Bring me a pitcher!” She mimed a giant mug in her hand and pretended to guzzle. The waiter took the hint and scurried off to make her birthday wish come true.

Too absorbed in problem solving, Taylor didn’t notice. “This is insanity. I’m telling Bennett when he gets here. He has to know someone who can get Judge Wright to back the hell off.”

Taylor’s new husband, Bennett Wade, probably knew everyone on the planet, and if he didn’t know someone, they knew him. Which was how Taylor had scored this VIP table at the most exclusive club in San Francisco. Bennett—Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome with blue eyes—would be showing up any minute to keep an eye on the very pregnant Taylor. Holly, Sarah’s other best friend since forever, plus Taylor’s brother Jack would be joining them, too. Sarah had met Holly when Sarah’s parents rented the house next door. Holly then introduced Sarah to Taylor and the three of them became inseparable. As for Jack, a recently divorced plastic surgeon, he’d been like a brother to Sarah, mostly because she spent a lot of time at Taylor’s and he loved dishing out the noogies.

Sarah looked across the table at Taylor. “Thanks for the offer, but I can’t have your rich, famous husband going anywhere near this—it would make me look weak, and that can’t happen.” She’d either survive this and reach her goal of becoming a state supreme court justice, or she’d sink. There was no middle ground.

“Don’t be stupid! You can’t lose your bench. It’s too important to you,” Taylor said.

True. Being a judge wasn’t simply a miracle—she was one of the youngest women ever to be elected to such a position—but it was her calling, too. Since the age of nine, when her own father went to prison, falsely accused of embezzlement, she’d understood the importance of justice being served. The damage done to her life because of one incompetent lawyer had been a key factor in her decision to study law.

Now, she was the last chance for the innocent and for good people who’d simply made a mistake. Yes, sometimes people deserved second chances.

But then there were the others. The people who’d had their chances and didn’t take them. All of which made her think of Colton for the hundredth time today. Why would a man who had everything seem hell-bent on throwing it all away?

In the last year, he’d wrecked his motorcycle, nearly dying. Then there was a dismissed drug charge stemming from some Hollywood party in his hotel room. And, of course, he’d had another run-in three months ago, landing Colton in her courtroom that first time.

And now this. Don’t see Bono running around peeing on policemen. Of course, Colton Young was much younger—in his mid-thirties—and more of an indie rock star, who sang everything from edgy folk-flavored pop songs to grinding Queen-esque anthems to heartbreaking angsty ballads about getting his heart ripped out. More of a Lenny Kravitz meets fun, meets the Stones. He seemed to love his variety of music as much as he loved his variety of hot water.

Ugh! Why am I thinking about him?

“You know what?” Sarah groaned her words. “I’m an idiot for talking about work when we’re supposed to be having fun and focusing on what’s important tonight: me.” She smiled and rose from her seat, holding on to the edge of the table to keep from falling. “And staying upright. I love upright!”

Taylor laughed. “How many have you had?”

Much tipsier than she’d realized, Sarah held up two fingers, then three. “Be right back!”

“Wait a sec. Don’t go yet! I got you something.” Taylor reached for her purse and dug out a flat golden box with a white ribbon around it.

“I gotta pee! I’ll be right back!” Sarah bellowed over the music.

“No. You have to open it now! It will come in handy.”

“Is it toilet paper? A pouch of wet wipes to sterilize the bathroom?”

“Just open it!” Taylor stood and shoved the box toward Sarah. “Hurry up!”

Sarah rolled her eyes. “This better be good, because I’m about to make a puddle on the floor.” She grabbed the box, untied the bow, and pried off the lid. Inside was a large cookie with a yellow smiley face and small envelope.

“Oh God, you didn’t.” Sarah groaned.

Taylor bobbed her head and grinned mischievously.

Gack! No. This wasn’t just any old cookie. It was one of Ms. Luci’s famous Cupid cookies baked at the one and only Happy Pants Café in St. Helena, California. Getting your hands on one was akin to finding the golden ticket in a Wonka Bar. Women (and the occasional man) traveled from all over the world during “cookie season,” which came only once a year, and waited for hours to score one. Why? Because many people foolishly believed that if eaten, true love would be theirs in seven days. So silly. But everyone swore by them, including Taylor, who’d eaten one and had fallen in love with her now husband.

Silly, silly, silly. Although, the mass wedding Ms. Luci threw every summer for her new believers was completely fun. Sarah had gone last year with Taylor.

“Now eat it! He could be in this very club.” Taylor rubbed her baby bulge again, making little circles as if summoning the power of Buddha.

“Nooo…” Sarah swiped her hand through the air, not wanting to admit that she thought the cookie was the biggest BS to end all BSs. “I’m going to save it in my freezer for a rainy day!”

“Eat. It,” Taylor growled.

Whoa. “O-okay there, pregnant demon. Your loyal subject Sarah is going to obey.” Sarah unwrapped the cookie, took a big bite, wrapped it back up, and stuck it in the box. “Mmmm…yummy. I’m already ovulating in anticipation!”

Taylor’s brown eyes flickered with mock annoyance. “You dare speak ill of the cookies? I’m calling Ms. Luci!” She reached into her cleavage and pulled out her phone.

“In your bra? What else do you have in there?”

“Pregnant lady stuff. Now finish the cookie or I’m calling!” Taylor began punching numbers on the tiny screen.

“No! No Luci.” That old woman was scary as hell. At Taylor’s very small and private wedding last year, Ms. Luci had baked the cake, and when Sarah didn’t eat any—zero-carb diet—Ms. Luci gave her the cursed Mexican stink eye all night.

“Look! See!” Sarah reached into her purse, grabbed the cookie, and shoved the entire thing into her mouth, doing the sad drunken imitation of the Cookie Monster. “Mmm…” Sarah chewed, the crumbs falling down her cleavage.

Taylor nodded with approval and slid her phone back between her giant boobs. “The Pregnant One is pleased. You may relieve your bladder now.”

Oh, thank God. “Be right back!” Sarah straightened her spine and strutted toward the VIP bathrooms. She skidded around the corner, and a long line greeted her.

Oh, come on! It’s like a damned rock concert. There were never enough bathrooms at those things. The same went for airports. Why was that exactly? It couldn’t be a surprise that women had to pee and took twice as long to do it. And apparently at this club, they thought three unisex bathrooms would do the trick?

As a distraction, Sarah took out her phone and began checking messages, Twitter, Facebook, while resisting the urge to do the peepee dance. Okay, I’m not going to make it.

Determined to find the nearest planter, she shoved her phone into her handbag right when the door of the first bathroom flew open. Yes! She rushed inside, locked the door, and made it before the whisky sours ruined her night.

After finishing her business and washing her hands, she checked her makeup in the mirror. Her smoky black eyeshadow and false eyelashes were holding up nicely. The look made her blue eyes pop and gave her a sultry, naughty-girl vibe.

Yeah, I’m so tipsy. But I look hot! She gave her long brown hair a little tousle and nodded in the mirror with approval. Now go out there and get a hottie, b-day girl!

Sarah yanked open the door and crashed right into a monolith made of warm, solid rock. Wow, she thought, the palms of her hands resting on two chiseled pectoral muscles.

Her eyes traveled up, hoping the face would be as nice as the body.

“Oh crap!” Colton Young! She gasped and yanked back her hands.

She prepared for him to frown, spit in her face, or go on a rant about how she and the legal system were everything wrong with this world.

Colton’s eyes washed up and down her body, drinking her in, before his gaze settled on her face. He didn’t speak.

Yep. It’s me. Judge Alma. And I’m way too happy to handle seeing you right now. As impossible as it was, he looked even more stunningly handsome with her whisky goggles on. Flee for safety and find more whisky!

“Uh…excuse me.” She moved to step around him, but he stopped her.

“What’s your name?” he said, grabbing her shoulder.

Wait. He doesn’t recognize me? But why would he? It was a bit dark, and tonight she wore a slutty red dress instead of her black muumuu. She’d also gone to the salon right after work to have her hair colored back to dark brown and curled into tight ringlets. She’d also put on makeup. A lot of makeup.

As a woman rushed past them, diving into the bathroom, she pushed Sarah to the side, nearly knocking her off her heels. Colton reached out and caught her.

Christ. He felt so warm and surprisingly firm. And he smelled so, so good, too. Like leather and spices. Being wrapped in his strong arms felt like a sensual treat for her sex-starved body. Happy birthday to me!

“I’m Sa-Sarah.” She batted her eyelashes, conflicted by her urge to fess up to her identity and to enjoy him a moment longer.

“Sarah. It’s one of my favorite names.” He moved one hand to her chin, giving it a gentle squeeze.

“Ye-yeah?” Because it seemed fairly common to her.

“And tell me, Sarah, are you here alone tonight, or has some lucky man already claimed you?” The pulsing lights past the hallway caught the golden highlights in his long hair, giving him a halo. He looked surreally beautiful tonight, like a walking, talking god of seduction.

She sighed appreciatively. “I’m alone—I mean, single—I mean, I’m with friends. It’s my birthday.”

He grinned, those stubble-covered dimples puckering deep. “Ah…well, happy birthday,” he said in a slow, velvety voice. “And what will you be wishing for this year?” He moved his hand to her mouth, carefully touching her lower lip with his thumb as if testing its softness.

She almost said “you.” Almost. But she was tipsy not crazy. Men like Colton Young were not her type. Men like him also dated gorgeous actresses, not serious, driven professionals with bodies that were fed on a regular basis.

Still, her traitorous body tingled all over. I’m tellin’ ya, he has superpowers. Why else would she be thinking about how she wanted every inch of his bad-boy body?

“I, uhh…haven’t made my wish yet.” She smiled coyly. “Do you have any recommendations?”

He leaned down to whisper in her ear, “I’ve had a very bad day. And you are a very beautiful woman.” His hot breath tickled the side of her neck.

Her body froze, her heart rate accelerated, she could barely breathe. How did he do that?

“Me-meaning?” she stammered, her head a hot drunken mess, exacerbated by the scent of his delicious cologne.

“Meaning you can ask me for just about anything, because I’m in a wish-fulfilling mood.”

Her skin exploded with goose bumps, the space between her legs heated up with a throbbing ache, and her nipples turned so hard it was almost too painful.

Colton pulled back his head and gazed into her eyes, waiting for her to speak.

She instantly felt lost in their hazel depths. “I came here wanting to…to find someone—that was my wish. But now I think I want you.” Because now, just any warm body with a penis wouldn’t do. This felt good. He felt good.

“Me too,” he said with a subtle smile. The bathroom door flew open and he grabbed her hand and yanked her inside, eliciting some protests from the people in line.

Yes, there was a moment where she panicked, but her sinful hopes of what he really wanted overrode it all.

She pressed her back to the wall beside the sink as he reached for the lock.

“What are you doing?” she asked, but really meant, “What the hell are we doing?” This couldn’t be a good idea.

“I’m going to fuck you,” he replied.

He clicked the lock.

She knew she shouldn’t, but a part of her genuinely hungered to be that reckless young woman from so many years ago, before she’d had her heart decimated by a bad boy.

But Colton Young is not Billy Strongman. Still, they were cut from the same cloth. Or same leather. Sexy, sexy leather on such a ripped body.

Sarah teetered between aching for this fantasy and knowing it was going to bite her in the ass. “But we don’t—”

“This isn’t what you want?” Colton stepped aside, making way for her to leave. “Because if it’s not, you’re free to go.” Those hazel eyes—a mosaic of browns, greens, and golds—called her bluff.

Oh crap. Look how beautiful he is.

“Do you want me to fuck you or not?” he said. It wasn’t so much of an impatient challenge as it was a plea. In fact, she could’ve sworn he sounded vulnerable.

So hot.

Her lust went full throttle. “Yes.” She bobbed her head.

“Then take off your panties.”

“I’m not wearing any.”

“Excellent.” He stepped in front of her, grabbed her waist, and held her tight, pressing his hard body against her. “I want you to know that there won’t be anything else after this. I won’t remember your name. I won’t remember you.”

What a horribly unromantic thing to say. “Did I ask you to?”

He flashed a little smile, halfway between cocky and melancholy. “Good. We understand each other.” He reached down and unzipped the front of his leather pants. His long hard cock sprang out like a bazooka.

Damn. Sarah stared at the thick piece of velvety, long flesh throbbing in her general direction.

She gulped. “Tha-that’s pretty big.”

“Hope you don’t mind.”

Mind? Why the hell would I mind? “Works for me.”

Colton reached into his front pocket and whipped out a condom. Before she could offer to help, he had his rock-hard shaft sheathed and ready for action. He reached for the back of her neck and pulled her mouth to his, forcing their lips to collide. Colton Young’s hot wet tongue slid inside her, licking, lapping and sliding.

Wow. If only they had Grammys for kissing.

He tilted her head back with one hand to deepen the kiss while his other hand reached behind her knee and pulled it up, opening her to him.

The only problem was distance. Colt was up there in six-two land and she was down here—a solid five-foot-seven including the heels.

As if reading her mind, he took his other hand and gripped her behind the other knee. With his strong arms he lifted, with his hot kisses he subdued, and with his hard cock he thrust.

“Fuck!” Sarah gasped, pulling back from his mouth and wincing.

Colton stopped, leaving only the soft head inside her. “You okay?”

She drew a breath and let the sting subside. “Yeah. I’m okay.” Mothereffer, that hurt!

“Good.” He pushed his lips to hers, allowing her to taste him—beer, mint, and something sweet—before he thrust his hips forward again and sank deep. She winced once more, and her body revolted. He was too big. Too thick. Too hard.

Colton sensed her discomfort and pulled out. “It’s okay,” he whispered between kisses. “I’ll find another way to please you.” His right hand freed her breast and kneaded while his mouth slid down her neck to her cleavage.

He made a little cough. “Are these cookie crumbs?”

“What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” How embarrassing.

“Your cleavage tastes like cookies. I love it.” He pushed his face between her breasts, sucking and licking, while his other hand slid between her folds and began stroking her.

He dipped a finger inside and circled her c-spot with his expert thumb. Her mind went numb. He clearly knew how to work with his hands. What rhythm…

Her heart pounding in her chest, she realized that while this felt incredible, she needed him inside her. She wanted the fantasy. It was all or nothing, and she was not going to get blue clit on her birthday.

“Let’s change positions.” She turned around, placed her palms on the wall, and pressed her bare ass into him.

Colton didn’t ignore the invitation and slid a thick muscled arm around her waist, the other hand working to find her entrance again. With one smooth stroke, he pushed into her, letting out a deep guttural groan.

“Fuck. You feel so tight,” he said, clearly enjoying it.

Glad you like it. Bench Kegels. And lack of action.

With her arms locked, she pushed back into him, and he began pounding into her.

Oh God. She savored the sensation of his balls slamming against the base of her c-spot, his dick sliding in and out at a vigorous pace. That feels so good. No man had ever fucked her like this.

Colton leaned over her, hammering her from behind, his strong arms holding her steady. With each thrust of his cock, she pushed back to meet him, controlling the depth with the angle of her hips.

“Don’t stop. I’m so close,” she whispered.

“Sarah. Fucking hell, Sarah.” He kept on pumping into her, angling the head of his shaft against that delicious spot deep inside. Colton slid his hand around her front and used three fingers to rub her c-spot in time to the movement of his cock.

She involuntarily felt her toes curl inside her spiked red heels, her hands clenched into tight fists, and her neck craned back. Over her shoulder, she reached for his mouth, and he kissed her with his hot tongue and full lips, panting into her.

“Harder,” she gasped. “Fuck me harder.”

He reached one hand to the back of her hair and grabbed hold while his dick pumped and his other hand rubbed swiftly between her legs.

“You want it hard, Sarah? You’ll get it hard.” His hips went from pumping to deep pistoning, pushing her toward the edge of pain and pleasure.

Suddenly, he pulled out and spun her around. “I want to look at your face when I come.” He covered her mouth with his and once again lifted her up by the legs, using the wall to pin her.

Her body felt more welcoming to his thickness and length. Now she couldn’t get him deep enough, couldn’t get enough of his heat and smell and ripped muscles.

So, so good. Without a doubt, this was her first real fuck. It was like tasting full-fat ice cream after a lifetime of frozen yogurt.

Oh God, is this what I’ve been missing? She would have to send grievance letters to her prior boyfriends.

“More. So close.” The tile of the wall dug into her back.

And then it happened. Fireworks.

Her body lit up, and his head whipped back. His hips pressed into her, pushing his cock as far as it could go.

He let out a raspy groan that pulled her deeper into the ecstasy of the moment.

She imagined him exploding inside her, his cum drenching her, and she melted into a euphoric nothingness—no body, no mind or thoughts, only sinful pleasure washing over her in racking waves. The muscles at the epicenter of her core clenched around his hard flesh, milking him with her contractions.

Oh, God. The pleasure was unreal.

With one final jab of his cock, Colton let out a sinful breath and rested his forehead on hers. “Un-fucking-real, Sarah.”

While her body trembled with exhaustion, her animalistic needs sank to the bottom of the ocean. The error of her ways quickly kicked her in the face. Oh no. Oh no. What did I just do?

Panting, Colton lowered her to the ground and planted a deep lazy kiss on her lips, running his tongue over her bottom lip.

She was too stunned to kiss him back.

He pulled away. “You okay?”

“Uh,” she bobbed her head, “yeah. It’s just that I, uh…” Shit. Shit. Shit. What if it gets out that I slept with him? I’ll lose everything. What did I do? The heavy doses of reality flooded in. Where had all this logic been five minutes ago? Huh?

She’d definitely lose her bench—she was the judge presiding over his case and everyone would most definitely see this as an abuse of her power. Sleeping with a defendant was a huge conflict of interest. Fuck. What did I do?

“I have to go.” She shimmied down her red dress and straightened out the boob situation. “Where’s my shoe?” Her heel had come off while Colton had been hammering her into the wall like a naughty nail.

“Wait.” Colton swiped a paper towel, peeled off his condom, and tossed it into the trash. “What’s the hurry? At least let me buy you a drink or something.” He tucked himself back into his leather pants. His hair looked like a sexy wild mess of caramel highlights and chocolate browns, like he spent too much time in the sun. Seriously, the man was stunning. And he looks all smug and glowing. Jerkface.

“No. I most certainly do not want a drink.” She reached for the lock. I’m so fucking stupid.

Colton pushed his hand into the door, slamming it shut before she had the chance to even open it. “Sarah?” His voice was low and gruff.

“What?” she snapped.

“Thank you. I really meant it—I’ve had a rough day—a rough year. You were exactly what I needed.”

Iiiick…Only a pompous rock star would think fucking a stranger in a nightclub bathroom was the cure to being a reckless asshole.

In reaction to what had to be a very disgusted look on her face, he said, “What?”

“You should try acting like an adult—I hear it works wonders on preventing your life from becoming a shit storm.”

Of course, I should talk, Ms. Justgaveitupinthebathroom!

His expression soured, and he reached for the doorknob, giving it a yank. “Leave it to me to pick the most judgmental bitch in the club.”

Sarah felt her face flush with anger. “Oh, you have no idea just how judgmental.” She walked past him into the hall, where a long line of patrons threw pissy looks her way. “Sorry, folks.” She chuckled awkwardly. “Bathroom’s all free now.”

A blonde with thick glasses pointed over Sarah’s shoulder and whipped out her phone. “It’s Colton Young!”

Sarah looked behind her and caught a glimpse of Colton stepping out of the bathroom, jotting something down on a small pad of paper. A conga line of cell phones formed in the air to film him.

Dear God. Is he writing down a song idea?

She shook her head. Only a guy like that would find inspiration in what they’d done. And only an idiot would have let herself get swept up like that.

Flushed, sweaty, and thoroughly worked over, Sarah staggered toward the table, where Taylor and now Taylor’s husband and Sarah’s other friend Holly laughed and sipped.

Taylor caught a glimpse of Sarah trying to keep her Jell-O legs from collapsing.

“Hey! We were about to send the search party!” Taylor waved. “Did you hit the dance floor without us? You look all sweaty.”

Sarah stopped at the edge of the table, her head spinning, her breath still coming at a rapid pace. “Long line at the bathrooms, and the A/C is out over there.”

“I’ll ask Bennett to tell the manager,” said Taylor.

“So! Did you get lucky?” Holly asked. Holly was her other best friend, a blonde with a tall frame and long legs.

Sarah’s eyes widened. “Sorry?”

“The cookie. Did you get lucky and meet Mr. Right on the way to the bathroom?”

Sarah smiled stiffly. I got lucky alright. And I think I put the nail in my career coffin.

 

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