Belinda “Bee” Carter isn’t quite sure what she’s gotten herself into. She’s been receiving mysterious messages from a secret admirer who is sending her more and more erotic dares. Each time she fulfills his desires, she gets rewarded. She’s convinced that her mystery texter is one of two super-hot men—Nicolas, the handsome billionaire, or Hawke, the sexy biker—but she can’t tell which one it is. And she’s coming to realize that beneath her peaches-and-cream exterior beats a heart that longs to play out all of her most secret fantasies.
As the stakes are raised again, will Bee succumb to the sensual allure of this latest dare?
The bus arrives six minutes late. It’s crammed full of people. Painted faces are pressed against the steamed-up windows. I spot dorsal fin hats and giant foam fish, which can mean only one thing—it’s Shark Week at the Shedd.
The driver opens the door, looks at me, glances behind him at the masses of bodies wedged into the space. “You’re small. You might fit.” He flicks his fingers, ushering me onto the vehicle.
“Thank you.” I’m average size but I don’t argue. I pay my fare and slide between a broad woman proudly wearing an I Heart Hammerheads T-shirt and a bearded man in a suit. My hand sticks out of the suffocating human sandwich, my purse hanging over the fare box.
The bus jerks forward. I slam against the corporate lumberjack, my breasts smacking against his chest. “Sorry.” I widen my stance, better bracing myself, embarrassed by the contact.
He grunts, his response swallowed by his beard. Moisture beads on his forehead. His suit jacket smells like wet wool.
I stare at his lapels, trying to act as though I’m not pressed against him, as though I’m not sharing an intimate embrace with a stranger, our thighs, hips, chests touching. The floor vibrates under my shoes. I don’t know how fast we are moving, as I can’t see outside, my view blocked by bodies, my fellow passengers much taller than I am.
A lady grumbles loudly about great whites giving other sharks a bad name. “Everyone knows the great white is the only shark worth talking about,” a man snaps.
Passengers gasp, their reactions encouraging the combatants. The verbally dueling duo exchange increasingly shrill insults, drawing oohs and aahs from the shark-savvy crowd. I wince, my eardrums ringing. Shark fans make Black Friday shoppers appear civilized, and these adversaries are locked in a to-the-death standoff, their hostility spiraling my anxiety skyward.
The man finally calls her a seal lover, the ultimate insult. The woman shrieks. Foam slaps against foam. Bodies sway. The bus stops, and everyone groans.
“Is this an incident?” the driver asks. “Do I have to notify dispatch?”