If You Dare
Click on image to enlarge.
by Aliyah Burke
Category: Erotica/Multicultural-Interracial Erotica
Description: When two people lost in their careers are thrown together, can passion kindle lost souls and ignite the flames of love? Justin Kapp is on an Alaskan cruise when he meets a woman who gives the vacation an entirely new outlook. From the very beginning he knows she is something special. Something more. Kathryn Maynard, a top divorce attorney in Virginia Beach, accepts a dare that puts her on an Alaskan cruise and rail package. She would rather be anywhere but there; however the arrival of a man she can't take her eyes off of changes that. Changes her. After the cruise, Justin finds his way back to Kathryn, wanting more time, more of everything Kathryn's not ready to give. She's not so sure she can take a chance. She's already accepted one dare. Will her heart allow her to accept another?
eBook Publisher: Whispers Publishing, 2012 2012
eBookwise Release Date: April 2012
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [125 KB]
Reading time: 74-104 min.
Kathryn Maynard leaned against the bar and stared out over the remaining guests. She twirled the dark amber liquid around in the glass, uninterested in drinking any more. A few couples still danced, quite a few drank, and some talked in groups at the decorated tables. They'd done surprisingly well for the little time allowed planning this, but thankfully family and friends cooperated and showed up in support of Leya's nuptials.
Two weddings in four months. She shook her head in wry amusement and glanced down at the glass in her hand. Nope, still no desire to drink any more. Surprising really, considering she didn't put much faith in the institution of marriage. One may surmise that at a wedding she'd want to get smashed. Granted, as a divorce attorney she didn't have much opportunity to witness the warm and fuzzy side of wedded bliss. By the time it landed in her lap she was dealing with the ugly and fighting side. There were surprisingly few amicable divorces.
So why was she here? In Las Vegas? Easy. When one's best friend gets married and you help set it up, it is only fair to be there for the actual wedding. Not to mention she was one of the bridesmaids.
She smiled slightly. Leya Greenwood--nope, correction, Leya Bragdon now--seemed blissfully happy. The man she married, Kolby Bragdon, treated her as a queen, as he well should. And watched her like she hung not only the moon and stars but a few galaxies as well, which put him in the "good people's" category. She wished them nothing but the best. Still, there was that niggling in the back of her mind. One she chalked up to her profession.
"What are you doing over here all alone, Kat?"
Kat. Three people called her that; otherwise she went by Kathryn. She faced the speaker and found herself looking at a woman dressed identically to her. Summer Carter. Another best friend. Also single, like her.
"Planning my escape now that the happy couple has gone off to begin their life together."
Summer nodded and leaned back against the bar beside her so she could still look out over the crowd. "You're leaving tomorrow, right?" She hesitated and Summer asked again, "Right?"
"Right. I fly out tomorrow afternoon."
Her friend glanced in her direction, a wicked glint in her gaze. "Good. Leya and I talked about it, and we want some pictures of you on the deck of this cruise ship and...and also some from the train." A moment's silence. "Sent from your phone so we know you didn't just fly there then head home on the first flight you could snag and forget the entire trip."
Damn. She ground her jaw but held tight to her silence.
A chuckle. "Oh, I'm going to need a verbal acknowledgement from you, Miss Lawyer Girl."
"Fine. One from each place."
More of that evil chuckling. "No. We decided it had to be one picture daily. You know if this is so horrible, you could always ignore our dare." Summer's voice was exaggerated sweetness, which made her clench her jaw. "Just admit we were right and you were wrong."
She bit back a groan, one picture a day; now this was beginning to really suck. "I never should have told y'all about that thing."
"Hindsight, darling." She flitted a hand around airily. "It's all the rage. This is good for you; you work too much and need to have some fun."
Cocking a brow she snorted. "Pot. Kettle."
Summer gave a mocking grin. "Luckily this isn't about me. So go. Snag a good man and have your wicked way with him. Snag and shag. Come home relaxed and happy."
She pushed her drink away, leaned close and kissed Summer on the cheek. "I'll try." Snag and shag, cripes.
Her friend never blinked nor missed a beat. "Liar. You'll probably hide away in your room avoiding people. But at least you're going and will be out once a day for the picture." She leveled a stare at her. "You. Are. Going."
Forcing a smile Kathryn nodded. "Of course, I wouldn't dream of letting y'all beat me on a dare. I'm going. You have a safe trip home." They shared a hug and Kathryn walked out of the reception hall and headed to her room, desperately wishing she had refused the dare.
Kathryn cursed herself over and over as she walked to the entrance of the ship, dragging her luggage behind her. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. When will I learn I can back down from a challenge? Either that or learn not to tell Leya and Summer about the things I get myself into.
All of this was from a dare. A fellow attorney dared her to enter this contest for the ten-day excursion, saying she needed to get out more. So, Kathryn had entered, confident she'd not win and be stuck going to Alaska toward the end of summer. She snorted. Mistake number one. Look how well that turned out. My ass is getting on this ship to sail north. Then I get to ride on a train and come back. The prize was sponsored by both the cruise and the rail line that had combined forces to give this amazing trip.
Perfect, for anyone other than her. When the notification came in that she'd been selected as the winner, she was in such shock, she'd immediately called both Leya and Summer. Mistake number two. And now I'm heading north. She sighed and gave a slight smile to the security officer who stood at her metal detector.
"Welcome aboard," he said with a wide, cheery grin.
"Thank you," she responded, glancing around at other guests checking in; everyone seemed to be in jovial spirits, again, except for her.
She placed her purse and suitcase on the belt and did as ordered. Nothing beeped, so she grabbed her things and continued on her way. After figuring out how to get to her room, she thanked the steward and went on her way.
Just before reaching the elevators, she heard a crash and peered over her shoulder to see a woman had run into another, and their bags fallen over. Her breath caught, and it wasn't because of the incident before her. No, this was beyond them.
A man stood there dressed in jeans and T-shirt. He had a black bag in one hand, which he'd slung over his shoulder. Everything about him screamed intense. He had a ball cap on his head and was in the process of removing his sunglasses. A day's growth covered his face, and she fought off a shiver as her stomach tightened just a bit. He had a dangerous edge to his demeanor and wore a single gold hoop in his left ear.
What the hell is wrong with me? He's just a man.