Offensive Behavior (Sidelined #1)

By: Ainslie Paton

Sidelined Book 1





Everyone is virgin at something



This is the story of a man who’s never done it, and a woman with the experience to teach him how.

Reid McGrath is drunk and intends to stay that way. It’s what a man does when the world he built gets ripped out from under him. He’s staked a claim on the back booth at Lucky’s where he can fixate on a dancer who makes him wish things were different.

Zarley Halveston dances under shimmering lights in a barely there costume, but it’s not the gold medal life she trained for. She expected to stand on an Olympic podium, instead she glitters under disco lights, gyrating on a chrome pole.

Zarley can’t see the brooding man in the back booth, but she knows he’s there. He’s toxic, but it’s not her job to care, until the night he collapses at her feet and she has to choose to step over him or help him up.

Reid thought he’d hit bottom when he was fired as CEO of his own company, but knowing he’d needed the kindness of a stranger, and realizing she was the dancer he’d lusted after was a new low.

Question: What do a fallen golden girl and a sacked tech tycoon have in common except humiliation and failure?

Answer: The reawakening of a champion competitor and the sexual education of a frustrated geek.






ONE



Reid eyed the glass in his hand. He swirled the amber liquid. This was his sixth or seventh. He wouldn’t be the only drunk loser stumbling toward a foggy San Francisco dawn. But he was probably the only one who was on his way to making his first billion before he turned thirty.

Whatever the count, the scowling hostess knew by now to keep ’em coming.

Was it a month or longer this had been his routine? Drink till he was a swallow off face-planting the sticky table of the booth he’d made his new home. It felt like years since he’d had an ordinary life; no, not ordinary, there was nothing ordinary about his life, except that it was gone.

That was shit ordinary.

He’d never gotten drunk on bourbon until the night his life came to a dead stop, and then getting drunk and staying that way seemed like the only decent hack left in the world, even though it made him a miserable bastard.

Right now, all he cared about was the contents of this glass hitting his throat and seeing Lux on stage.

He’d already seen her first spot. She’d been dressed as a sexy schoolgirl in a short pleated tartan skirt, a white sleeveless shirt tied under her breasts and her hair in pigtails. She’d be dressed differently for her second spot. Didn’t matter what she came out as, harem girl or bikini babe, she was mesmerizing, regardless of how much or how little she wore, the height of her heels or the style of her hair.

She was his own personal electric shock every time she appeared. More dangerous to his continued health and wellbeing than the cheap swill he was drinking.

None of the other dancers affected him like Lux did. It’s not that they weren’t as athletic, as graceful or as fuck hot as Lux, it was just that they didn’t send him like she did.

Lux sent him to places he’d never been and never wanted to come back from while he watched her for five eight-minute sets, six nights a week.

On Sunday, Lux, and Reid’s liver, rested.

He was worse than miserable, he was a pathetic excuse for a human being, hiding out in the last place anyone from his old life would ever look for him.

Like he cared.

He downed the bourbon and watched while Missy finished her set. Missy was a tiny slip of a girl who danced barefoot and always wore a bright colored bikini. She had short curly hair and a come-get-me smile that made men leave their booth seats for a place nearer the stage. This bar didn’t allow contact between the dancers and the drunks, definitely no touching, but he’d seen Missy leave with another regular, so that rule was wide enough to power a space shuttle through.

Lux never smiled, never played to the audience like the other girls did. It was as if no one in the room existed for her. The only thing that got her attention was the spinning pole and the beat of the music she worked to. For all he knew, she went with men whose eyeballs had dried out, whose tongues flapped from watching her too, but he liked to think she was just using this place for a workout, to play dress-ups, and getting paid for it.

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