by Daisy Prescott
November 1, 2016 (Wingmen, #4)
**Better Love is a standalone second chance romance featuring Dan Ashland and the fourth book in the Wingmen series. **
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In the end, I agreed to help out with the Naked Whidbey calendar.
For a good cause. How could I say no?
I lied to myself it wasn’t to see Roslyn again.
Most definitely wasn’t motivated by testing her reactions to me being naked.
Not that I’d be full frontal in front of Cari or anyone else.
Unlike a few of the other “models,” I wasn’t an exhibitionist.
I wanted to know if she’d show up.
If she’d ogle or look away.
I needed to know if I could get a reaction out of her.
If I could crack her professional facade.
I had to know if somewhere beneath her armor, I could still make her heart beat a little faster.
We scheduled the shoot for early on a Sunday when the restaurant would be closed. Cari kept talking about the morning light and a golden hour. Whatever that meant. All I knew was Erik promised to bring coffee. Lots of coffee.
Once the lighting and her camera had been set up, Cari shooed everyone from the kitchen before instructing me to disrobe. The heat from the brick oven warmed my chest and arms. I’d suggested the apron around my waist for the “more is less” approach.
When I fired up the oven, I’d made a few prop pizzas, not knowing how much of the pizza man persona Cari wanted or needed for the photo.
I stood with the pizza peel in one hand and my back to the camera, following her commands to shift and change my position for maximum… something.
I felt the cold air hit my backside when the door opened.
“Sorry, I’m late! I missed the ferry by three cars and had to wait for the next … bo …oat.” Roslyn’s voice sputtered out on the last word, turning it into two syllables. “Ohmygod. I didn’t mean to walk in on the shoot. I—“
A loud crash followed her words then a few soft bumps of a body hitting a chair and possibly a wall. Metal screeching from chair legs scraping across the cement floor and the soft splash of liquid hitting the ground rounded out the symphony of sounds before I turned around.
Beyond the bright studio lights set up behind me, I couldn’t make out more than silhouettes. Shading my eyes, I blinked into the dimmer light beyond the camera.
“Everything okay back there?”
Cari let loose a loud cackle. “That’s what happens when you show up late.”
Muffled words barely carried to where I stood, thankful for the apron slung low around my waist.
I waited for a sign nothing had been broken or damaged in the tornado of Roslyn’s arrival.
“It’s fine. We’re all fine. Everything’s okay,” Roslyn’s shaky and definitely not normal voice called out. “Carry on with what you were doing. I’m going to crawl outside and find a quiet place to die.”
“Don’t go on my account.” I stepped away from the oven, feeling a little bit like a hospital patient whose gown didn’t close in the back. “Don’t hurt yourself. I’m not even naked. More like pantsless and breaking a slew of health codes.”
PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Get READY TO FALL (Wingmen #1) for FREE!
CONFESSIONS OF A REFORMED TOM CAT (Wingmen, #2)
ANYTHING BUT LOVE (Wingmen, #3)