One Night with the Bridesmaid
One Night with the Bridal Party, Book 2
by Sara Daniel
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-61333-630-4
[ Contemporary Romance, MF ]
Sabrina Lopez decides to use an unexpected one-night stand gift to hook up with a man she’d otherwise never have the nerve to approach. Rob Wellington is determined to stop her from scamming her way into his brother’s bed. He never expected her to steal his heart in the process…
“You must be new here. The staff never comes in the front door. Do it again, and you’re fired.” The hostess of one of San Diego’s finest dining establishments blocked Sabrina Lopez from taking another step.
Of course, an overweight, inner-city schoolteacher didn’t belong, and in any other circumstance, Sabrina would have made an excuse to skip the luncheon with her best friend and her friend’s society matron mother. But she had a laundry list of last minute wedding details she needed their approval to go ahead with before the big day next week.
“Sabrina, oh good, you’re finally here. Mother and I already have a table.” Caroline Sunburst strolled through the entry and linked arms with her, as the red-faced hostess backed away, stammering an apology.
When they arrived at the table, Sabrina gave Mrs. Sunburst the requisite air-kiss and slipped into an open chair. “I’m sorry I’m late. I stopped to check on the flowers on the way over. I’m planning to meet Blake at the caterer’s this afternoon to make sure they understand we wanted the filet mignon, not T-bone steak.” She pulled her planner out of her purse, only to have the waiter cover it with a menu.
“I don’t want to see anyone gnawing on bones at my daughter’s wedding.” Mrs. Sunburst shuddered. “On a happier note, I’ve picked up a gift for each of you girls.”
“I’m not the one getting married,” Sabrina reminded her, setting the menu aside. Even the side salad was beyond her budget. Regardless of the Sunburst family’s wealth, she could not accept any more outlandish gifts.
“Don’t be silly. You’ve done more wedding preparations than Blake and Caroline put together.”
She couldn’t argue with that. “I’m happy to help.” Okay, maybe she was living life vicariously through her friend because she had no life of her own. But she had yet to meet a man who brought any excitement into her bed.
“So,” Mrs. Sunburst continued, “I booked a one-night stand for each of you through Madame Eve’s elite, highly recommended service.”
Sabrina’s head spun. A spa treatment or a too-expensive piece of jewelry wouldn’t have surprised her, but a one-night stand?
“A week before my wedding, you’re giving me what?” Caroline, who never raised her voice, exploded.
“A one-night stand pre-wedding gift,” Mrs. Sunburst repeated, patting a plastic card into Caroline’s hand. “And one for your maid of honor, too.”
Mrs. Sunburst pushed a stack of papers fastened with a metal clasp in Sabrina’s direction. Unable to make eye contact with the others, she stared at the packet. Walking in the front door of this restaurant paled in comparison to how out-of-place she felt now. Questions about her occupation, food preferences, sleeping habits, and secret dreams jumped out at her. She flipped to the second page. What is your ideal liaison?
Sabrina flattened the questionnaire. She spent her weekends grading homework, not hooking up at the nightclubs.
Not that she was a virgin. She knew what to do on a technical level. Insert slot A into tab B. Shove back and forth approximately six to eight times. The experience didn’t come close to satisfying her, so she’d stopped bothering.
This could be her ticket to hook up with a man she’d never have the nerve to approach in real life, someone who considered a woman’s pleasure integral to the sexual experience, who wanted more than a few thrusts in the missionary position under the covers in a dark room.
Excitement and arousal stirred inside her. A real man who could fulfill her desires had to exist somewhere, even if she’d only found him in Rob Wellington movies and through her vibrator. With any luck, Madame Eve could help her discover where the real men were hiding.
“What do you mean the wedding’s off?” Rob Wellington had planned his movie production schedule around his little brother’s wedding and had busted his ass, along with every speed zone between LA and San Diego to get here in time for the rehearsal dinner.
“Caroline called it off a couple days ago. She told me she’d take care of canceling everything and letting everyone know.”
“Apparently, she thought you might want to tell your brother yourself.” Or the message was buried in the stack on his desk that had become so dauntingly high he preferred to ignore the fact that he had an office to return to after wrapping for the day.
Rob stepped inside Blake’s home, decorated with too much stainless steel, mahogany, and uncomfortable furniture to be used for actual living.
“Sorry I don’t have any food to offer. I was working all day and just got home myself.”
“You still went to the office this week? If I were you, I’d have headed to Mexico to drown my sorrows in as much debauchery as I could legally get away with.”
“I worked too hard to become CEO of her family’s hotel chain to have her defection put my job at risk.”
Rob had never been married. But underneath his hard-won Hollywood cynicism, he remained idealistic enough to insist marriage be for no other reason but pure, simple love. “So she didn’t break your heart when she dumped you.”
“Of course, I’m upset,” Blake said.
“You’re frustrated. That’s different from brokenhearted.”
“I’m pissed at how much time I’ve wasted over the past six months. Every moment I haven’t been working, Sabrina and I have been picking out flowers, tasting the caterer’s menu, and pouring over music playlists. All for nothing, as it turns out.”
“I thought you were marrying Caroline,” Rob said. Had he mistaken the bride’s name? Clearly, he and his brother had drifted too far apart. He’d rectify that tonight. He set down the whiskey bottle he’d intended for the bachelor party and began searching the cabinets for shot glasses.
“Sabrina is her maid of honor. She’s been filling in when Caroline’s too busy.”
A woman too busy for her own wedding? Yeah, right. More likely, Sabrina had an agenda of her own, with Blake at the top of her to-do list. “This maid of honor doesn’t have a speck of honor in her. Did you sleep with her?”
“Of course not. She’s like a sister to me.”
Sister. Like hell. Blake might be tucked away in his corner office, oblivious to the people using his hotel beds to cheat on their significant others, but Rob was not. Every day, he dealt with women who coveted the bigger, better role of another actress and would stop at nothing to get it. Jealous, scheming Sabrina wanted Blake for herself and had convinced her friend to call off the wedding so she could have him. “What you need is some hot, dirty sex to forget you ever met these backstabbing women.”
Blake laughed, the sound devoid of humor. “Caroline agrees with you. She left me after reuniting with a long-lost love through Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service. She found the experience so rewarding that as her breakup apology to me, she gave me a date from the same service.”
“She gave you a prostitute? Now that’s a gift I can appreciate. No wonder you’re not happy to see me. You have better plans than drinking your way to oblivion.”
“Not a prostitute. Madame Eve runs a high-end matchmaking service.” Blake tossed a multi-page form across the room at him. “Take a look. I haven’t filled it out yet, and I’m not planning to cash in the certificate tonight or anytime soon. In fact, why don’t you use it instead? This application asks so many lifestyle and personality questions, I get the impression Madame Eve wants to connect people for a long-term relationship. That’s the last thing I’m interested in right now.”
Rob turned his attention from the paperwork to the whiskey shots. “Judging by the name of the business, they’re not promoting long-term relationships. Sounds like the perfect way to spend your wedding night.”
“I’m not ready,” Blake insisted. “Anyway, Sabrina offered to hang out and keep me company.”
I’ll bet she did. Rob’s first girlfriend after he’d moved to Hollywood had used him for his wealth and fame then dumped him for someone with more of both. As a brand new CEO, Blake was on the cusp of experiencing the harsh reality of mixing love and money. “On the bright side, you’ll have sex on your wedding night either way.”
Blake glared at him. “Shut up. I told you, I’m not sleeping with her. She and Caroline have been friends since elementary school.”
Friendships meant nothing when money and power were at stake, but people tended to be idealistic until they experienced it firsthand. Rob passed his brother a glass. “Back to Plan A then. I’ll help you fill out the application.”
Blake downed the first shot. “What the hell. Let’s do it.”
“That’s the spirit.” Rob raised his glass with one hand and refilled Blake’s empty one with the other.
A half-dozen refills later, they abandoned the glasses and swigged straight from the source. “So, we’ve decided you want a woman—” Rob squinted at his chicken scratches on the paper. “With double-Ds and a big, sweet ass, preferably a contortionist with a mouth like—”
“Hell, yeah. Send it off.” Blake hoisted the bottle as he stumbled around his desk, powering up every electronic in sight.
Rob scanned the form, attaching it to a blank e-mail. “I should write a cover letter.” He took the whiskey from his brother and lifted it to his lips. “Definitely need to mark this sucker as urgent, since you need the match to happen in….” He glanced at the blurry clock on the wall. Hell, they’d been at this all night. “Less than twelve hours.”
He and Blake finished off the last of the alcohol as they debated the wording of the e-mail. In the end, short and sweet won because they were both too drunk to write anything more complicated.
Dear Madame Eve, Attached is my brother Blake’s application. He needs his date for tonight to make him forget it’s his wedding day. Your service sounds so awesome, I’d like a date for myself, too. Rob Wellington
He sent the email while Blake went to the bathroom to puke. Twelve hours later, his brother was still sleeping off his hangover when the reply came. Rob’s head throbbed as he fumbled to bring it up on his phone.
“One-night stand,” he muttered, squinting at the screen. “Tonight…with Sabrina Lopez. Oh, hell no.”
The pounding in his head no longer came from a hangover but from the conniving woman determined to put her claws into his brother. Rob tucked away his phone and frowned at Blake’s snoring form.
He wouldn’t be surprised if Madame Eve’s service wasn’t a scam set up by Sabrina herself to get her hands on his brother. Well, she was in for a surprise. Blake wouldn’t be waiting for her in the hotel room. Instead, she’d have to deal with someone she couldn’t fool.