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Just This Once

Just This Once

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"Will she say Yes, just this once?

As a minister’s daughter, Shannon Walsh was raised to say No to a lot of temptations with men at the top of that list. She’s an adult now, making her own choices, but until Mr. Right comes along, she plans to keep resisting the call of the wild.
Then Rick Hardison moves in next door. The handsome rascal doesn’t appear to have spent many hours inside a church, and he doesn’t waste any time drawing Shannon inside his wickedly sexy arms. What’s a good girl to do when the man of her dreams is a very bad boy? She decides to take a chance. But just this once.
"
"Will she say Yes, just this once?

As a minister’s daughter, Shannon Walsh was raised to say No to a lot of temptations with men at the top of that list. She’s an adult now, making her own choices, but until Mr. Right comes along, she plans to keep resisting the call of the wild.
Then Rick Hardison moves in next door. The handsome rascal doesn’t appear to have spent many hours inside a church, and he doesn’t waste any time drawing Shannon inside his wickedly sexy arms. What’s a good girl to do when the man of her dreams is a very bad boy? She decides to take a chance. But just this once.
"

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Published by: BelleBooks Publishing House on Jul 01, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/29/2013

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Chapter One
 THE DOG WAS going to kill her.Shannon Walsh stood frozen, staring into the feral amber eyes of a mangy, overgrown, snarling 
German shepherd. A German shepherd who‟d somehow managed to invade her back yard. Her
fenced in back yard.How had
he gotten in? And why? It wasn‟t like Shannon had committed any crime. She glanceddown at the skimpy, damp lingerie she‟d come outside to hang dry. Uh
-oh. Was this beast her punishment for buying such wicked underwear? Was it a sign from above
that she‟d
done something unforgivably sinful?
Her father would shout a resounding “yes!” Reverend Felker Walsh would consider owning 
lacy, sexy underwear as a sign of possession by the devil. She let the bra and panties slip from herfingers. The dog took a step forward.
“Good doggie,” Shannon said faintly.
  The dog growled, apparently disagreeing with her.She took a step back, searching her peripheral vision for any possible weapon. Directly to herleft lay a rolled up hose. She had the feeling the menacing animal ten feet in front of her would eat arubber hose for a snack. A one hundred and twelve pound woman would make a nice meal.She backed up again, and this time felt the bite of brick against her shoulder blades. Shechanced a quick glance to her right. The porch door that led into her kitchen stood about fifteen
interminable feet away. She‟d never make it.
 
She looked back at the beast stalking her. “Where
. .
. are you from, big boy?” she asked, then
 winced. That sounded like a bad pick-
up line. “I
. .
. don‟t
 
recognize you.”
  The dog cocked his ears back, then did a quick one-
two over his shoulder. That‟s when
Shannon noticed the green collar around his neck. She spotted some kind of stitched writing on it,but with fear clogging her throat and fogging her brai
n, she couldn‟t make out the words.
  The dog turned back to her and growled.She took a step sideways, testing his waters.
His waters didn‟t like being tested. The German Shepherd jumped like a jackrabbit, hung his
head low, and snarled at her.Every nerve in her shook. Spots started bursting in front of her eyes. She was going to die.
She‟d moved to DC to spice up her life. This was not the sort of spice she‟d been looking for.
  Tears stung her eyes. She knew she should be praying for salvation, but not a single prayer came
to mind. All she could think about were the things she‟d never done, the things she‟d miss if this
dog killed her.
She‟d never been to Sea World.
 
She‟d never tried skydiving.
 
She‟d never been to a male strip club.
 
She‟d never had a wild, i
llicit love affair.
“If I make it out of this alive,” she whispered. “I‟m going to have a fling.”
 
 The dog cocked his head at the sound of her voice. Encouraged, she kept talking. “That‟s right,a fling. A torrid affair with a man who‟s all wrong for me.”
 
 The dog seemed interested in her fantasy, so Shannon elaborated. “He‟ll be big and rough andhe‟ll swear like a sailor. He‟ll be handsome in a roguish sort of way. He‟ll be
. . . a bad boy. One of 
 
those men who would make my parents faint if they saw him.”
 
Slowly she raised her arm and passed a shaky hand over her brow. “We‟ll take one look at eachother and know it‟s inevitable. We‟ll be so hot for each other we won‟t even make it to thebedroom.”
 
Keep talking girl. As long as he‟s listening, his fangs will stay put. “We‟ll spend one night— 
justone
 —making wild, passionate love.” Her hand dropped. “And then I‟ll go home and do what‟sright.”
  A small sob forced its way past her lips. The thought of doing what was right left her stonecold. Probably because sh
e‟d been doing what was right all her life. Her boring life. Just once, she
 wanted to do something wrong. Well, not wrong exactly. Just . . . reckless.
Rover or Fido, or more likely Killer, hunkered down and whined. Suddenly, he didn‟t appear
quite so menacing. Taking a deep breath Shannon shoved off from the wall. The dog jumped, his hind-quartersbunched and, in horror, Shannon watched as he leapt toward her.
In that eternal instant, regret at all she‟d miss burned in her soul. She cried out, bracing hers
elf for the agony of torn flesh.
 The beast‟s huge paws collided with her shoulders, slamming her against the house. Her head
cracked against the unforgiving brick with a dull thud.Shannon almost blacked out, but a last shred of survival instinct reared up inside of her, and she
shook her head to clear it. That was when she realized that the dog hadn‟t torn into her jugular at all,
but just stood on his back legs, pinning her to the wall.She looked into its brown eyes and saw . . . concern. No, not possibl
e. Still, the dog‟s tonguehung out the side of its mouth, and it didn‟t seem intent on ripping her apart. It just didn‟t want her
to move for some reason.
“Good doggie?” she whispered.
 
 The dog‟s oversized tongue slurped her cheek. Shannon tentatively patt
ed its side. Theslobbering beast loved it.
“Down boy,” Shannon said, trying to sound friendly yet commanding.
  Amazingly, the dog got down and stood there, wagging its long tail.
 Why hadn‟t she thought of this before? “Sit!” Shannon said.
  The dog handed her his paw.
Close enough. “Lie down.”
  The dog sat.
Bemused, Shannon rubbed the back of her head. “Sit!”
  Again, he offered his paw, his tail swishing through the grass in an arc.
Shannon dropped to her knees, and raised a trembling hand to the dog‟s head. Hi
s tonguelolled, and she could swear his mouth lifted in an adoring smile as she gave him scratches.
“You‟re not a killer at all, are you, you phony?”
  The dog tilted his head, leaning into her petting hand.
“Who do you belong to, anyway?” she asked, as she
spied the writing on the collar again.She turned the collar so she could read it. There were the words NO DRAH and an upside
down phone number. Shannon‟s forehead furrowed as she leaned forward and read it right side up.“Oh, my God!”
  What kind of jerk would call his dog HARD ON? She knew for certain it had to be a man. Noself-respecting woman would be that crude.
“You poor baby!” she cried, indignant on the innocent animal‟s behalf. She scruffed his thick chest fur. “Do you want to come inside, Har
. .
. doggie?”
  The dog barked. Shannon slowly got to her feet, lest the poor puppy decide to pin her against

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