One Night of Scandal Page 1

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: After Hours #2

Genres: Romance

Chapter One

Reed Miller hated nightclubs. Which was damn ironic considering he co-owned one of the hottest clubs in Boston, but hey, that was just smart business. When it came to his personal life, a club was the last place he’d ever associate with a good time.

Most of the women he met at nightclubs were already there looking to get laid, and they were more than willing to go back to his place without much effort on his part. For a man who lived for the excitement of the chase, where was the fun in that?

Right now, however, he was chasing an entirely different type of conquest.


Not for recreational use, of course. He wasn’t about to poison his body with that crap. Even during his glory days as a mixed martial arts fighter, he’d never once used performance enhancers. Those were a surefire way to not only get kicked off the circuit, but a pathetic attempt to cheat yourself to victory.

Tonight was for reconnaissance purposes only. For the past couple of months, some a-hole had been selling Ecstasy over at Sin, the club Reed operated with his two best friends. None of the customers they’d questioned knew the identity of the pusher, and if they did know, they sure as hell weren’t eager to reveal it. But the flow of E needed to be cut off ASAP, before the Boston PD decided to launch its own investigation, which could lead to Sin being shut down indefinitely.

Reed had decided to pay a visit to a rival nightclub in the hope that the patrons there might know something, but the only info he’d succeeded in gathering at the Krib so far was the phone numbers of half a dozen girls he wasn’t the least bit interested in.

“Wanna dance?”

A cute brunette in a skintight pink minidress voiced the eager request, sidling up to his table with a daiquiri in her manicured hand. He was about to turn her down, but she looked so damn hopeful he didn’t have the heart to disappoint her.

“Sure,” Reed relented.

He waited as she set her glass on the table, then took her hand and led her to the crowded dance floor. On a raised platform high above the main room, the DJ was spinning a deafening drum-and-bass track that was more suited for fast, frenetic dancing, but the brunette wasn’t interested in fast. Instead, she twined her arms around Reed’s neck and started grinding into him in a slow, sensual rhythm.

Normally he’d be all over that. A pretty girl rubbing up on his groin? Hell yeah.

Tonight it felt like a chore.

Christ, he was sick to death of random hookups with women whose names he couldn’t even remember the morning after. Maybe the fact that he’d just turned thirty was souring him on the whole casual sex scene, or maybe it was seeing his best friends happily involved in committed relationships. With Gage and AJ no longer serving as his wingmen, Reed was all alone in the land of the single, and he was really starting to hate it.

“You’re so sexy.” His dance partner brought her red-painted lips to his ear and shouted to be heard over the pounding music.

Reed lightly grazed her hips with his hands, trying to ease back from the undulating pelvis that was targeting his crotch like a heat-seeking missile.

“Thanks,” he answered awkwardly.

“Wanna get out of here?” A bright flash of strobe revealed the meaningful smile on her face.

“Naah, I’m not ready to leave yet.” He raised his voice. “I’m looking for some party favors. Don’t wanna go home until I find some.”

Interest flickered in her eyes. “Like what?”

“Ecstasy. Do you know if anyone’s holding?”

His dance partner’s response was swift and unexpected. Previously eager arms dropped from his shoulders, annoyance streaking through her expression as she took an angry step back.

“Seriously? You’re into that crap? Ugh! Why does every guy I meet end up being a total tweaker!”

With a loud, unladylike expletive, she huffed off and abandoned him on the dance floor.

How ironically delightful. Rejected by a chick he hadn’t even been into.

Torn between groaning in frustration and chuckling with amusement, Reed once again threaded through the mob of sweaty people. He’d intended on returning to his table, but he stopped in his tracks when he spotted a familiar face in the crowd.

Son of a bitch.

Was that Darcy?

It was hard to be sure thanks to the wild blinking of the strobe lights and the darkness obscuring her face every other second. Without hesitation, he changed course and headed in her direction. A part of him wished like hell that it was simply a case of mistaken identity.

Because if it was Darcy, then he’d just witnessed his best friend’s girlfriend kissing another man.

No, wait. He squinted, realizing the couple he’d glimpsed wasn’t actually kissing. Their faces were close, but they seemed to only be talking.

And yup, it was definitely Darcy Grant. Now that he was five feet away, he was clearly able to make out her features. Wide-set blue eyes, high cheekbones, that sexy mouth—

He forcibly shoved the last thought out of his head. He wasn’t allowed to even think the word “sexy” in relation to AJ’s girl. It was a total violation of bro code.

Then again, who was he kidding? He’d broken the code a hundred times over when it came to Darcy. All those dirty, dirty thoughts he’d had about her pretty much ensured he’d be going straight to shitty friend hell.

At the moment, though, he was more concerned with why AJ’s girlfriend was flirting with another man. Maybe it wasn’t his place to interfere, but damned if he’d let his best friend get played for a fool.

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