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Paperback - Dirty Bad Boy, Back To You Book 3

Paperback - Dirty Bad Boy, Back To You Book 3

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I'm not a total dick. Most days, I'm a damned decent guy. Just not around my buddy's sister...

She's sexy as sin...
She's sharp as hell, and she's also the lush little harpy who's been rubbing me wrong since we were kids.

I don't want to do her a favor…
If it had been any other damsel in distress looking to shake some unwanted attention, I'd have been the perfect fake boyfriend for all of five minutes.
But Laurel brings out the bastard in me, and five minutes hardly seemed enough time to make her squirm.

She wants to one-up me...
But I want to win. And maybe I need a favor too.

I'm not a total jerk. Most days, I'm a decent enough guy. Just not around my buddy's sister.

And definitely not when she needs a fake boyfriend.

All the flirt, feels, and sexy second chances continue with Dirty Bad Boy, Book 3 in the Back To You books by USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly.

**All books in this series are interconnected but can be read as standalones

Intro Into Chapter One

©Mira Lyn Kelly


This is what I get for lying.

“Um… you want to meet him?” I wheeze, hazarding a glance at Clarence Grossman, my boss’s son and the guy whose bumbling advances I’ve been dodging with vague references to a boyfriend I don’t have since “C-man” transferred back from the San Jose office two months ago.

“Why not?” He looks smug, like he knows he’s got me. “I mean, talk about a coincidence that we both have plans at the same bar.”

A warm breeze tosses a few thin strands of his hair around, briefly giving him the appearance of being electrocuted cartoon style. Only I’m the one with the current of panic charging through my veins.

He may not be sharp enough to stop perpetuating the use of that horrific nickname, but C-man is on to me. And I walked right into his trap when he asked if I had plans tonight.

I didn’t hesitate. The answer is always yes, a date.

But then he asked what we were doing, and I grabbed at the first thing that popped into my head. Belfast. The bar I’d been to the week before with my bestie, Margo. And go figure, C-man was meeting friends there too.


Not that I’m one to talk.

He’s watching me closely. “Unless there’s some reason you don’t want me to meet him?”

A reason? Like the boyfriend doesn’t exist? Yeah, that would be a good one. But after months of feeding this lie, I’m in too deep to give it up. I’m up for a promotion to database manager at the staffing firm where I’ve been working for six years, and, while Clarence is basically harmless, I don’t want to risk even a whisper of drama around my name.

“No way.” I shake my head and offer up a flap of my hand like I haven’t a care in the world. We’ll go in. Wait a few minutes. And then I’ll fake like my boyfriend from the Niagara Falls area had to bail and promise a meet some other time. Or maybe I’ll luck out and run into one of my brother’s buddies chivalrous enough to play the part of my boyfriend for five minutes. Really, any single guy I know well enough to get his name right will do. “This will be great. I’m sure he’ll be happy to put a face with the name.”

Half of Chicago calls Belfast their favorite bar, and there’s already a good crowd. But two-thirds of the way through the main room and I don’t know a soul. How is that possible?

“Let me guess,” Clarence offers, sounding a little too smug and a little too close. “He’s not here.”

I jump from face to face, searching as my stomach turns. He knows. It doesn’t matter that I’ll deny it with my dying breath. Unless I find a guy who—


Recognition in the form of: Oh no. No. Not him. Anyone but him.

But it’s definitely him.

I recognize the blade-straight nose, the chiseled cheekbones over a square-cut jaw. And that mouth. Soft and full, it shouldn’t fit with a face as masculine as his, but those lips have been distracting my girlfriends and making my classmates swoony since the seventh grade.

There’s a leanness to the strong angles of his face that wasn’t there in high school, and as much as I hate to admit it, it looks good.

Jack Hastings. Bane of my existence. It would have to be him. And, of course, he’s single. This I know because, while I haven’t seen the guy since high school, my brother keeps up with him and mentioned it at dinner last week.

Steely-gray eyes clash with mine, and the air leaks from my lungs on an F-bomb my parents would call classless.

Clarence is saying something behind me, but all I can do is take one last desperate look around the bar. Anyone else—anyone—but it’s Jack or bust.

The guy hates me. It’s there in his eyes, just the way it’s been since we were six years old. But I know for a fact he can hide it so well that there was a time when, briefly, even I didn’t know better.

I start across the bar, my smile straining at maniacal proportions. He’s sitting with Hank and Abby Wagner, Greg Baxter, and Julia Wesley. We all went to high school in Bearings together, and I’m relieved because, despite their inexplicable attachment to Jack, they’re awesome people. And more than that, their celebrity status is going to work to distract Clarence, who seems completely starstruck as we head toward the table.

“Hi, guys,” I sing out, giving everyone a cursory wave as I close in on Jack, whose obvious confusion would be spectacular if the whole point of this charade wasn’t to sell my coworker on a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Reaching his side, I press in close, then closer still, so my arm is looped around his broad shoulders. “Jack, sweetie, didn’t see you at first.” Shooting him a pleading look, I motion behind me. “Remember me telling you about Clarence from work?”

Jack’s one of the smartest guys I know. But the blank look I’m getting back from him makes me want to whack the side of his head to shake something loose. Instead I give him a pointed look, praying he’ll throw me a bone. “He was starting to think I’d made you up!”

The lights turn on in his eyes, and the hard line of his mouth falls into a slant that probably ought to concern me. So far as I know, Jack has never passed up on an opportunity to make me squirm. Not that I have either. But he’s a good friend to my brother, Law. So I hold my breath, waiting to see what he’ll do next.

I don’t have to wait long, because then he’s wrapping his arm around my waist, cinching it tight. The look he gives me is one-hundred-percent saccharine, and I can’t help but laugh at the way he’s turned it on.

I’m going to owe him big, and he’ll never let me forget it, but keeping Clarence off my back without having to involve his parents or HR will be more than worth it.

“Babe, why didn’t you tell me I was finally gonna meet him?” Jack offers his hand and waits for Clarence to drag his attention from Julia, who happens to be one of the hottest sports reporters in the country right now. She’s also engaged to Greg, star center for the Slayers, Chicago’s newest hockey team. And Hank, heck, the guy makes Elon Musk look like a member of the Geek Squad.

I’m giving it another thirty seconds before Clarence asks everyone to sign his shirt. And after that, he’ll step back to give us our space. He’ll be out of my hair. I’ll apologize to my old classmates and put some much-needed distance between my hip and Jack’s thigh. As hard as it’s going to be, I’ll say something nice to him, and—

“Clarence, man, pull up a chair.” Jack’s arm turns to steel around my waist as I stiffen. Because what… the… hell?

Jack flashes me a wink. “Join us.”

Oh, I’m going to kill him.

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