One Night

(Brewing in the Cities Shorts #1)

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What kind of man pays a woman to spend the night with him—platonically?

Tony Aguilar’s getting desperate. He doesn’t remember the last time he slept more than a few hours at a time, and he’s willing to do just about anything to get a good night’s rest, even if it’s some last ditch effort and foolish notion that he needs a woman’s soft touch.

What kind of woman accepts?

Andrea “Drea” DeMatteo knows when a deal’s too good to pass up, no matter how bizarre it seems. Her mother’s drowning in debt from medical bills, and Drea’s employer is running out of patience with her missed days and hastily rescheduled meetings to care for her dying parent.

One night might be all it takes.

She was crazy.

Absolutely, utterly crazy.

Drea’s hand shook as she fit the key in the lock. It slid in easily, without hesitation. She stared at it. There was still time to leave, to turn back. She had five thousand dollars in her bank account; she could do without the five thousand that would come after.

He had promised no sex. Her friend Mel had sworn Anthony was a good guy. A little damaged maybe, but who wasn’t? She had no idea what he’d seen as a pararescue for the Air Force. She wasn’t sure she cared. The whole situation struck her as more desperate than anything.

Ten thousand for a night.

Five thousand would put a hefty dent in her mother’s medical bills, stop the collectors from hounding her, at least for a few months. But ten thousand?

Perhaps they were both a little desperate.

Drea shifted her overnight bag on her shoulder and turned the key. She held her breath, cracked open the door.


Her voiced seemed to echo into emptiness; silence and gloom greeted her. She squeezed herself into the tiny entryway and shut the door behind her, flipping the lock back in place.

Locking herself in.

She curled her fingers around the key, and her hand clenched into a fist. She could do this. It just one night. A single night in the same house with a stranger who was paying her ten thousand dollars. The tension in her fist traveled up her arm, tightening her shoulder muscles, and her overnight bag slipped off and thunked onto the hardwood floor.

She winced, but there was still no response. No muffled sounds of a person welcoming her in. No noises to indicate anyone moving about inside. Leaving her bag where it lay, she took a step deeper into the house, squinting as her eyes adjusted to the dimness.

A sharp lemon scent permeated the air. He had cleaned before she arrived. That was a good sign, right? Drea bit back a laugh. As if anything about this situation could be filed into good or bad signs. What kind of man offers a woman ten thousand dollars to spend the night with him?

What kind of woman accepts?


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