Sawyer Kingston is an A**hole.
Shaken, an all-new steamy, banter-filled, enemies with benefits romance from the USA Today bestselling author Bella Matthews is live now!
Sawyer Kingston is an A**hole.
The thing is, he’s got everyone fooled. To them, he’s the gorgeous billionaire who owns the hottest bar in the city.
To me, he’s the cocky jerk whose favorite pastime has always been torturing me.
The only thing we’ve ever agreed on is our mutual dislike for each other.
But that was before I moved in next-door to him, and we shockingly agreed on something else.
There’s a fine line between love and hate.
The problem is . . . I think I crossed that line.
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I bend down and pick up the chewed-up piece of black rubber. “Is this a dog’s toy?”
Ten seconds later, a brown and white bulldog barrels across the frozen front lawn and screeches to a halt at my feet. Drool drips from its mouth, and big, excited eyes stare up at me as its stubby tail wags so quickly, I think it might be about to take flight. “Well, hello there.” I squat down and pull my mitten off, then offer my hand for the dog to sniff. It must decide I’m safe because a wet, pink tongue licks from the tips of my fingers to the cuff of my sweater. “Aren’t you a cutie?”
I’m nearly knocked over when that same tongue licks the side of my face . . . just seconds before a voice I hear equally in both my dreams and my nightmares stops me dead in my tracks. “Zeus, come.”
The clipped tone grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. But when I raise my eyes to the asshole himself, my heart skips that same damn beat it always has around him.
But seriously, he’s the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome—a little over six feet, with lean muscles, nearly black hair in desperate need of a cut, endless midnight-blue eyes, and a perfectly trimmed beard that I bet would feel fabulous against my skin.
Imagine Damon Salvatore but taller . . . stronger . . . and more dangerous to your heart.
He loved torturing me as a child. I loved trying to prove I was smarter than him as a teenager.
Which, by the way, I was. It was all in good fun, until it wasn’t.
“Kingston.” I stand up and cross my arms.
Okay, so that might have come off as more of a sneer than a greeting. But this is what Sawyer Kingston has always done to me. I’m a nice person. At least to everyone else. I bring babies into the world. People love me. But gah . . . this man has always brought out the worst in me.
“Red,” he smiles that million-dollar smile of his, all perfectly straight white teeth gleaming back at me, and damn him for looking better now at twenty-eight than the egomaniac did at eighteen. “I heard a rumor you were moving into our neighborhood.”
Oh no you don’t. “I’m sorry, whose neighborhood?”
His smile grows broader . . . toothier . . . cockier.
No. No. No, no, no.
Sawyer scratches behind Zeus’s ears, and the dog’s entire body vibrates with excitement. Leave it to him to name his damn dog after the king of the gods. “Didn’t Quinn tell you?”He reaches forward and takes the chewed-up rubber out of my hand, then lifts his brows in question at Quinn.
“Tell her what?” she squeaks, and I hold my breath, knowing this isn’t going to be good.
“I figured you knew.” Sawyer points to the beautiful house to the left of mine. “That house over there is mine. Hudson and I have been buying properties around the lake for a few years, and I thought it was time to move out of my condo and get a little more privacy here.” One side of his mouth tips up in a cocky smirk, and my fingers burn with the urge to smack it right off his face. “Looks like we’re going to be neighbors.”
For a moment, I stand frozen, staring at him.
Then I look from my house to his and wonder how hard it would be to ask the movers to pack everything back up and put it in storage. I could stay with Quinn for a few more days. A week maybe. Just until I can find another place.
“You okay, Red?” He points at my head and laughs. “You’ve got a little smoke coming out of your ears.”
Oh hell no. “Absolutely. I was just thinking how convenient it must be to live two houses down from your brother. When you get scared at night, the big bad MMA fighter can come and check your closets for you. I’m assuming the whole bed-wetting issue has cleared itself up. If not, I could probably prescribe something to help with that.”
“It was one time,” he bites back, and I smile my best pageant smile at him and tsk.
“Whatever you say.” I link my arm through Quinn’s. “See you later, Sawyer.” With a little wiggle of my fingers, I wave goodbye and drag Quinn toward my house. But not before Sawyer gets the last word.
“You can bet on it.”
In a move I can only call a momentary case of complete insanity, I turn my head and look back over my shoulder and catch Sawyer—the asshole—Kingston watching me walk away. His hand rests on Zeus’s head, and his eyes are glued to my ass. I may add a little extra swing to my hips as we walk into my house.
Eat your heart out, asshole.
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