Perfectly Toxic (The Sterling Shore Series Book 9)

By: C.M. Owens

Chapter 1



ETHAN



You can say what you want about Corbin and Maverick Sterling, but one thing is for sure… They almost know how to throw a welcome home party. Hot women, top-of-the-line booze, and damn good music.

They left once I got more bodies out here to enjoy the fun. Apparently they’ve gotten old or some shit and now they can’t handle an actual party. Me? I’ve spent too much time being Mr. Responsible, and I’m ready to finally live a little.

The pretty blonde on my arm smiles up at me as we head to my room, ready to end the night with a little more fun. Well, I guess four in the morning isn’t exactly considered “night” anymore.

I’m surprised so many of my friends have settled down. Leave it to me to show up just as everyone gets whipped and domesticated.

“What was your name?” I ask as the door to my room shuts and she starts pulling her shirt over her head.

“Lynn,” she answers quickly, pulling me down to meet her cherry-red lips.

I decide talk is overrated when her tongue slips in, and I pull her to me, ignoring the fact she smells like mothballs. I can overlook that.

She pushes my shirt over my head, practically ripping it off my body, and I laugh lightly. So fucking eager.

It’s good to be back.

When I’m down to nothing, and all she has on is her sexy bra and panties, I push her to the bed and jerk the covers over us. She’s going to have to do a little more work if she wants me hard enough to put on a condom.

Just as I’m about to point that out to the girl who is just lying there and waiting on me to take control of the show, the door to my room swings open.

Should have locked it.

Rookie mistake.

I groan as I turn to see who it is, ready to throw something at the asshole, but my eyes grow wide when I see the golden blonde hair, familiar face, and scorned glare. Fucking Melissa.

“Who the hell are you?” Lynn spews while staying under me, tugging the sheet closer.

Melissa doesn’t answer, and I grab my boxers from beside the bed as I stand up.

“You don’t knock?” I growl as I start toward her, holding my boxers over my semi-hard cock.

She glances down and then back up to my eyes.

“You stay gone for months and don’t bother to call when you come back?”

Her tone is even, but this girl is straight-up crazy. I’m talking boil-your-fucking-rabbit, plant-a-hidden-camera, hack-your-social-media kind of crazy. I also don’t let her know I’ve been back several times, because… Did I mention she’s crazy?

“Don’t make me take out that restraining order,” I grind out.

I turn around, hoping that’s enough to send her away, but I really should know better. I blame the alcohol for my dumbass hopes.

The sound of something breaking draws my attention back.

“Fuck,” I hiss just before the lunatic lunges.





Chapter 2



BELLA



I should have stayed fired instead of letting Corbin Sterling save my job.

I’ve been on my feet for fourteen hours in this godforsaken, understaffed hospital that is overflowing with too many patients.

“Bella, exam four. He has his scripts, just needs to be cleaned up and bandaged before being released. You good with that?” Dr. Lewis says as he walks by, not really giving me the option to say no. It’s never really a question; just a nice command.

“Sure,” I mumble to no one on my way to grab the shit. I was supposed to be out of here three hours ago, but thanks to a freaking stomach virus, half of the staff is out sick.

I grab all I need, silently cursing the lazy doctors here. They spend two seconds with a patient after making them wait hours to be seen. Then they send us in with minimal knowledge of what’s going on. It’s counterproductive. Now I have to go read the chart that he has already read. He could have just briefed me.

I should have just stayed a RN instead of working longer to become NP-C. And this place tends to get more unorganized by the second with the constant moving us around to deal with the shortage of healthy employees right now.

After grabbing all I need, I head to the exam room, but stumble over my own two feet when my eyes land on what’s waiting for me. Please don’t let me be drooling.

Hospital gowns are not sexy. So explain how that pale gown with tiny dots on it makes the bastard on the exam bed seem like a freaking piece of tattooed art. My eyes run down his arms, taking in all the ink that sleeves them both. His tan skin separates the numerous pieces that seem to be bound together by thorny vine designs.

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