Maybe the worst idea she’s ever had is actually the best thing she could ever do…
Newbie lawyer Scottie Grey spent entirely too many years listening to her ex-fiancé’s lies. Now that she’s finally kicked that cheater out of her life, she wants to waste no time getting rid of the albatross around her neck: her virginity.
Damon Patrick is the worst possible candidate for the project. He’s too good-looking, too experienced. He’s too well known around San Francisco—mostly for his many sexual exploits.
He’s also kinda, sorta Scottie’s boss.
Damon is the worst man for the job imaginable… which might just make him the only one Scottie can imagine giving her virginity to after all.
Project Virgin is a Bad Boy Short that’s loosely related to Megan Crane’s Montana Born novellas. Scottie Grey is the sister of Jesse Grey, the hero of In Bed with the Bachelor, and a cousin to Christina Grey Cooper, the heroine of Come Home for Christmas, Cowboy. And if you’re familiar with Marietta, Montana and Grey’s Saloon? You’ve already met her surly Uncle Jason.
All Montana Born stories can be read on their own with their very own happily ever after endings!
The street was deserted and there were only a few street lamps. They cast Damon in shadows, but it didn’t matter. That fallen angel face of his was etched in my memory. I’d know him anywhere. And he looked down at me with an expression in his beautiful eyes that I wished I understood.
“Don't be an idiot. Most people rip off their virginity like it’s a too-warm sweater on a cool day and spend years wishing they'd treated the whole thing with more respect. You have the option to do it right and—I hope—the wisdom to know you should.”
He was telling me something important there, I knew he was. But I could only stare at his mouth and wish I could feel it on mine.
“Did you?” I heard myself ask, hoarsely and from a distance.
“Uh... Rip it right off? Or respect it?”
He looked down at me for what felt like a long time, and when he spoke again, his voice was even lower than before. More intent.
“The point is, you have the opportunity to live out a fantasy. Many people regret their first time because they chose the wrong person to have it with. You don’t have to do that. You can give away your innocence thoughtfully, to someone who knows what to do with it.”
“You mean someone who doesn’t think I’m a freak.”
A hint of that smile on his mouth. “Here’s an easy solve. If he thinks you’re a freak, don’t sleep with him.”
“And anyway, innocence is a whole different conversation. I never said I was innocent.”
If I’d looked around to discover that I’d tipped off the side of the world and had disappeared completely into Damon’s hot, unwavering gaze, I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised. But I didn’t look anywhere but at him.
“There's a reason you've saved yourself.” He seemed a lot more sure of that than I was. “Fear. Longing. Hope. I don’t know. But you probably should before you do something you can’t take back.”
“You really don’t think that I should have a one night stand and just—get it over with? Project virgin, mission accomplished, just like that?” I swallowed, distantly aware that there was a lump in my throat. “Because that’s what I want.”
Damon reached across the charged, electric space between us and tucked a loose chunk of my hair behind my ear. I wore it piled into an efficient twist to work, its unruly chocolate brown waves tamed into submission as if that might help make me more successful, and I could feel his fingers against the side of my head, then against my jaw as he pulled away again.
The thought that this might be the only time he’d ever touch me ached in me like a fever. Like loss.
He didn’t say it as if he thought my name was ridiculous anymore.
He said it like a prayer.
I looked at him and I understood want. I understood need. And I understood that banging some stranger in a bar’s sad, dirty bathroom was not going to work for me. I could only think of one thing that would.
But he hadn’t offered himself, had he? I’d all but handed him an engraved invitation. And sure, it was maybe slightly unethical for a high and mighty seventh year associate to sleep with a first year, but it wasn’t like Damon Patrick was famous for respecting boundaries. Sexually or legally. His specialty was pushing them both.
He wasn’t pushing anything here. Which meant that as much as I might want him—and only him, all the too-hot parts of my body chanted at me the longer I spent in his presence—he didn’t feel the same. And I hardly knew this man. There was no reason at all I should find that… crushing.
“I think I’ll walk home,” I said after a stretch of time that could have been years. It felt like decades, hot and dark blue, and I wondered who I’d be grieving tonight when I cleared my head and slept alone. Alexander or Damon. “I could use the air.”
He shifted then, and smiled, and I felt as if everything had changed. As if the world had been shoved out of its usual orbit, even if I couldn’t see any difference. I felt that restlessness, edgy and needy, like a dull kind agony right beneath my skin.
“Or,” he said quietly, but with all that electric confidence that pooled deep in my belly and pulsed hard between my legs, “you could let me give you what you want.”