Author:Emma Chase

She won’t mind.


At least that’s what I think, until Kate performs the move that seems to amuse every woman on earth. And causes every man on earth to want to squeal like an impaled pig. Without warning, she uses her powerful pussy muscles to squeeze my extremely sensitive dick.


Guys hate that. We don’t think it’s funny. Kate knows this.


I jerk back, pull out, and roll off her.


I try to look annoyed—but don’t quite pull it off. Because Kate’s eyes are sparkling. And she’s giggling. And she looks so messy-haired, flushed-faced, just-fucked beautiful, that it’s impossible not to grin back.


She knows that too.


I whisper, “Hi.”




I turn on my back and Kate scoots closer, resting her head on my chest and her palm on my stomach.


My tattoo? Noticed that, did you? Yeah—I got another one right after James was born. It’s straightforward, nothing flashy. But it’s as meaningful as Kate’s name on my right arm.


It simply says James. Right over my heart.


“So,” Kate starts, “big day today, huh?”


I run my fingers through her hair. “No. Next week is a big day. Today’s just a technicality.”


One hundred sixty-eight hours. Eight thousand six hundred and forty minutes.


Not that I’m counting or anything.


That’s when it’ll be official. That’s when Kate Brooks is gonna marry me. When she’ll not only sleep in my bed because she wants to—but because she’s legally obligated to be there.


Husband and wife. Flesh of my flesh. What God has joined together, let no one who wants to keep his arm attached try to pull asunder.


Kate bites her lip. “Have the guys told you what the plan is?”


She’s referring to the bachelor party. My bachelor party.


My Las Vegas bachelor party.


The stag party is a night to celebrate the demise of a man’s singlehood, in the rankest, most depraved manner possible. Sex and alcohol are big themes. You’ve seen the movies—The Hangover, Bachelor Party . . . it’s the last hurrah. Like the night before you ship off to war or, if you’re a woman, start a diet.


The groom is expected to gorge himself on all the stuff he supposedly won’t be getting anymore, once he slips that ring on his bride’s pretty little finger.


Of course, Kate is not the average bride. And because our relationship—and our sex life—is better now than it’s ever been, at first I didn’t want a party. I just didn’t see the point.


For a few men, such as me, once you’re in love, all the other tits and asses in the world just sort of . . . blend together. It’s like . . . cars in the city—the honking, the revving, the screech of tires on blacktop. I hear them, I know they’re there, but I just don’t give a shit. I don’t glance their way, don’t stop to look. Not anymore—because I’ve got a top-of-the-line classic in my garage, just waiting for me to come home and ride her.


She’s the only one I want.


But eventually, the guys convinced me. Jack, Matthew, and Steven cornered me in the conference room and explained that the bachelor party wasn’t really for me. It was for all the other guys, who actually had to work to get laid.


Meaning the single guys and . . . you know . . . the ones who are already married.


After hearing them plead their case, I was on board. Between work, Kate, and the adorable little dictator that is our son, I haven’t had a lot of quality time with the boys. I figured it would be a good time—a night of bonding—a way to make some lifelong memories with my closest friends.


So when Kate asks if the guys have told me what the plan is, I answer, “Not really.” Matthew’s exact words were “The less you know, the better. Plausible deniability.” But I don’t want to tell Kate that. It’ll just make her worry.


She doesn’t let it go, however. “Well, if you had to guess, what do you think you’ll do?”


I shrug again. “Steak dinner, casino, drinking . . .”




Did you hear the change in her voice? The preemptive anger? The bite?


My eyebrows rise. “A visit to a strip club will probably be on the itinerary, yeah.”


She scoffs. In that you’re-such-a-prick kind of way. Then she sits up and crosses her arms. “Of course. Figures. Because you haven’t spent enough time in the company of strippers—you have to squeeze in another night’s worth before our wedding.”


Have you ever heard of the Missile Defense System—the MDS? Started by Reagan in the eighties, its sole purpose is to defend against another country’s attack. To destroy their missiles before impact. To deflect damage. The system doesn’t analyze the opposition’s argument. It doesn’t take the time to consider that maybe they have a valid reason for attacking. It simply reacts. Immediately. Defensively.