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Afraid of Love: Bid on Love Series Bachelor #8 & Hard to Love Book #1 by Annelise Reynolds (1)

Prologue

Sebastian

“Please. It’s one date, and I need at least one more guy to auction off.” The loud music and the hum of the ink gun aren’t enough to drown out my cousin’s request.

“Fuck no, Nadine. You’re barking up the wrong damn tree.” I wipe the excess ink from Buzzard’s skin. He is a regular client, and his upper body doesn’t have much blank canvas left. His body is shaking with his suppressed laughter.

“Keep laughing asshole, and I’ll tattoo a dick where the dragon’s head should be.” The big biker stopped shaking, and I continue working on the coiling dragon, which is going to take up his entire back when I’m done.

“Come on, Bas. Please.” I look up to see her pouting and begging face staring down at me. Most of the time the look works on me, but she is talking about putting me in a damn tux and selling me to the highest horny bidder. Fuck no to that.

“Sorry, it isn’t happening’.”

“I’ll do it.” The big biker looks up at Nadine and grinned.

“There you go. Buzzard will help you out.” I notch my chin towards the guy in the chair; his body bent over as he straddles the seat.

“Thanks for the offer, but I need someone I’ve done a story on before.” Nadine’s smile is forced, but she keeps the overly polite voice. My cousin has public relations down to a science. If I didn’t know her better, I’d have thought she was sincere myself.

“Go home, Nadine. I’ve got clients to see, and you’re wasting both of our time.” I go back to the fire-breathing dragon I spent hours designing for this client.

“Look, you don’t have to do anything but show up. I’ll plan the date and everything.”

“It’s not happening.”

“You are going to make me do it, aren’t you?” She sighs heavily and my jaw clenches, knowing what she is about to do.

“Don’t you fucking, dare.” I ground out.

She pulls her phone out and starts to scroll through her contacts. “I didn’t want it to come to this Sebastian. I really didn’t. But, I need you to do this for me. You were my first article, and it helped make Oorah Ink what it is. You owe me.”

“That article helped your career too, Nadine. Don’t act like it was completely selfless on your part. Plus, I didn’t even want to do the interview, to begin with. As I recall, you begged me to let you do the story. We are even. If anything, you owe me.”

“I will have to see what Aunt Kathy says.”

“Dammit, Nadine. Find someone else and leave me alone.”

“No can do, Sebastian. Now, are you going to do this the easy way, or do I need to make my call?”

“I hate you.” She smiles, knowing she’s won. If she gets mom involved, mom will be picking out wedding invitations after one date, even if it is bought and paid for. She wants grandkids, and every time I talk to her, she is asking about my relationship status.

“No, you don’t, but it’s ok as long as you wear a tux and be there at the right time.”

“Whatever. Get out of here so I can get back to work.”

“Ok. Don’t worry about a thing. I will plan the date for you—”

“Hell no. You are not. You’ll pick some fancy, stuffy restaurant that costs an arm and a leg. And, I will still be hungry afterward. Fuck that. I’ll plan my own damn date.”

She sighs, “Please make sure it’s something a woman would actually want to do.”

“Hey, if no one bids it is fine by me.”

“You’re an ass.”

“Takes one to know one. We get it from our moms. Now scram.”

She heads towards the door but calls back over her shoulder, “Don’t forget to shave the dead cat off your chin. Seriously, it looks like it’s grown another two inches since last week.”

“The beard stays. If you don’t get out of here, I’m going to call the cops and have them remove you.”

“Fine. I’ll call you later for the details on your date.”

“Can’t wait.” Sarcasm drips from my voice, but she can’t hear it because she is already out the door.

“Your cousin’s hot,” Buzzard says as I settle back in to work on his piece.

“It’s not too late for me to make this fire-breathing dragon into a cum spurting cock,” I warn, and he shuts up, dropping all subjects regarding my pain in the ass cousin.