top of page

The Love Bandits - bonus story



It’s two days after Christmas, and I’m typing out a response to Marie, whose crappy husband gave her the holiday gift of gonorrhea, when Jake walks in through the front door and slams it shut behind him. The burst of cold air is so potent, it wafts down the hallway all the way to the Love Fixers office.


After a good decade and a half of being a thief, Jake knows how to make a silent entrance, which means this is a cry for attention.


Rolling my eyes and smiling, I push my chair back from the desk. I’ll return to Marie’s problems later, and she’ll thank me for the delay. Jake and I come up with our best revenge plans when we scheme together.


“You require my attention?” I ask as I leave the office. When I pass the cat bed, Professor X stands up, pulling away from Jeffrie disdainfully, for all the world as if she weren’t curled up on top of his orange magnificence two seconds ago.


She jumps down, lithe and silent, and starts weaving behind me. Jeffrie, the laziest cat in existence, stays put, giving only a token meow to show he doesn’t appreciate her defection.


When we reach the doorway, Jake rushes toward us like an incoming tornado—if a tornado were shape-shifted into a sexy man with mussed hair, dancing eyes, and a body that would make nuns weep.


Laughter escapes me as he sweeps me up of my feet and twirls me. And then it hits me…


It’s just after Christmas, and he’s acting as if Santa Claus delivered the toy he’d wanted before he stopped believing in the magic of Christmas.


Yes, I’ve been watching too many Christmas movies. Blame Claire. She left for New York City yesterday, but she made sure to pack in extra Hallmark movies before leaving.


“Have you heard from Ryan?” I ask.


The next second, I curse myself, because Jake’s glow instantly dropped to the wattage of one of those purposeless electric tealights. This man is not meant to be an ambiance light.


He sets me down on my feet, forcing a smile. “Not yet. But I will. I know I will.”


I wish I agreed with him. Jake’s twin brother, Ryan, is off on some kind of self-expiation mission. The two of them used to work together as con artists, beneath an evil overlord who—


Okay, I’ve been reading too many comic books too. Roark wasn’t an overlord so much as a power-hungry jerk who enjoyed taking what didn’t belong to him and trained up a couple of identical twin boys to help him trick people. He’s not dead, mind you, just…depleted. Ryan convinced Roark’s men to turn against him and take his loot, and now Roark’s got nothing but an empty house and Nicole’s target on his back. That’s not a good place to be.


Meanwhile, Ryan’s off on a mission to return some expensive Christmas ornament he stole. Or so we gathered from the note he left Jake a couple of months back. Nicole and Damien have offered to track him down—as Nicole put it: “find the empty Christmas tree, find the Grinch”—but Jake wants his brother to come to us. I think he needs it. He said he’s not going to look for him until a couple of weeks after New Year’s, and I’m going to respect that.




Truthfully, Nicole and Damien told me yesterday that they think they’ve found the town where Ryan must be if he decided to carry through with his mission. It’s Colonial Williamsburg. Either that or Nicole is fucking with me. Either is possible, I suppose.


They've said they're not going to do anything about it without our go-ahead. I’m tempted to give the information to Jake as another Christmas gift, but I can see how badly he wants his brother to prove himself, and I don’t want to take that chance away from them.


“So,” I say, nudging Jake’s shoulder. “What’s so good you needed to take me away from figuring out what Marie should get her husband in exchange for her Christmas case of gonorrhea.”


He puts his arm around me and guides me back into the office. “Too late to name their only child Gonorrhea?”


“Ten years too late, I’m afraid,” I say, “and it doesn’t seem like it would be awfully fair for the child.”


He snorts and guides us to the chairs behind the big desk arranged against one side of the room. Professor X mews from behind us, pointing out that we haven’t been sufficiently entertaining, then hops back onto the cat bed to snuggle with Jeffrie while pretending to dislike him.


Jake shoots me a glance as he lowers into the bigger chair.


“Excuse me,” I say, putting a hand on my hip. He grins and grabs me, pulling me onto his lap so I’m straddling him, his hand resting on my lower back. I lean in toward his lips, my heart beating faster, and when I’m a whisper away, I say, “This still doesn’t get you out of using the sidekick chair.”


He laughs, even as he leans in and kisses me, sucking in my bottom lip like he’s got all day and he didn’t come in here all hot and bothered about some news he has—and if he continues on like this, I’m not going to care very much in another few seconds either.


Finally, he pulls back with a little sigh, his hand flexing on my lower back. “What if I can sit in the supervillain chair on special occasions, but only if you’re on my lap?”


I consider this for a moment. “I take issue with you calling it the supervillain chair. Obviously we’re heroes. But yes, I can live with that rule. Now, what the fuck happened?”


He smiles, rubbing his thumb against my back. “Anthony’s getting married on New Year’s Eve. We did it.” Then his smile shifts in a wry look. “Well, sort of.”


“Excuse me?!”


I’d figured it was a lost cause. Mrs. Rosings had decided not to cancel Anthony’s wedding plans despite the fact that he had no bride, because she’d been hoping we’d do our job and find him a woman who wuld marry him for a pre-assigned amount of money. I’d been trying to brainstorm ways to spin our failure as a positive—


We’ll change the wedding to a New Year’s party! Everyone likes New Year’s parties better than weddings anyway.


Trust fund? Who needs a trust fund? You can convince Anthony he won the lottery and just give him a bunch of money.


“Which one did he go for?” I say, shaking Jake by the shoulders. “The weird masseuse? The accountant? Tell me it wasn’t the accountant.”


His lips tip up. “I thought you liked the accountant. The accountant is perfectly nice and respectable.”


“I know,” I say. “Mrs. Rosings would be bored to tears if he chose her. I like to keep her on her toes. Besides, I think Anthony needs someone to keep him on his toes too.”


“You’re never going to guess,” he says, his expression turning sly.


I reach down and grab his dick through his pants and am pleased when it instantly twitches to life for me. “I’m going to squeeze your dick off if you don’t just tell me.”


“No, you won’t,” he says, lifting his hips up slightly. “I happen to know we both like my dick.”


I give it a stroke through his pants. “Then I’ll tease you until you’re reduced to begging.”


He tucks his hand beneath my sweater and strokes it up my bare back, pressing me against him. “That sounds kind of fun.”


I shove his shoulder with my free hand and then pull him in for a kiss, because I’m all about tormenting myself too. He’s fully hard now, ready for me, and it’s always so, so good, and—


“You have to promise me you won’t tell Claire yet,” he says. “And definitely don’t tell Declan.”


I glance up at him, alarmed, and my hand drops from his dick. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Is Anthony marrying Rosie?”


He nods slightly, his eyes fixed on mine, their warmth twining through me. I know we feel the same excitement—not just because of the way our bodies are still pressed together, moving slightly. No, we’re both excited because this is big news. The kind of news that changes things forever.


“How did this even happen? We didn’t do this.”


“No, but I guess we sort of set the wheels in motion. She found out what we were doing and decided she was going to help him.”


A laugh escapes me. “Going rogue seems to be her MO.”


“It does,” he agrees, his fingers stroking my back. “So I guess she introduced him to a few candidates too, and when that didn’t work, she decided to throw out the red tape and marry him herself.”


“I know it's just a fake marriage, but I can’t believe this.”


“I know. I thought for sure he’d go for the masseuse. What man wouldn’t want to marry a masseuse?”


I ping a finger off his nose. “You.”


“True. But that’s because you lured me in.”


“And she’s not planning to tell Declan?” I ask, gyrating my hips a little without consciously meaning to. “New Year’s Eve is in, like, three or four days. He’ll want to come down from New York.”


Or possibly interrogate Anthony for twelve hours.


Jake groans and pulls his hand away from my back, but only so he can spear it through my hair. “Math’s not my strong suit either. My understanding is that she hasn’t told them yet. But she doesn’t want us to do it.”


“Well, shit,” I say, grinding against him again. I reach for the hem of his sweater and pull it up, and he helps me remove it.


“Fair is fair,” he says, going after my sweater the second his has landed in a heap on the floor.


“I have no objections,” I say, helping him take it off. I grapple with his belt and get the buckle open, then unbutton and unzip him, sighing with relief when I can feel his hot, hard flesh with only his boxer briefs between us. “But…I’m supposed to FaceTime with Claire later today. What am I going to say?”


“Nothing.” He gives me a wicked grin. “Why don’t you text her to say you’ve got your mouth and your hands full, and you can’t get away. I’ll be happy to make sure it’s true.” He reaches behind me, and half a second later, my bra drops to the ground.


“You have a gift,” I say, “and I absolutely don’t want to know how you learned to do that.”


“You don’t,” he agrees, then lowers his mouth to suck in one of my nipples. When he surfaces again, he says, “so what are we going to do for poor Marie?”


Then he lifts me out of the chair, but only so he can push down my leggings and underwear.


Laughing, I ask, “You want to come up with a strategy now?”


“Yes,” he says as he lifts up to push down his pants and underwear. “I do my best thinking inside of you.”


He’s right. I do my best thinking when we’re joined together too. Because we’re the Love Fixers, and the two of us work better together than either of us could separately.


We may not have anticipated this turn of events for Anthony and Rosie, but we’re going to do our damnedest to make sure it works out for both of them.


And Gonorrhea Guy is going to rue the day he was born.


I lower myself onto Jake slowly, to tease him, and also because I want to enjoy the feeling of fullness. “What if she gets him a T-shirt that says “All I Want for Christmas is a Divorce?”


He moans as I lift up and then slam down again, my hands gripping his shoulder, his hands gripping my ass. “Or we could send him a singing telegram at work,” he says, his voice ragged. “‘The next time you give someone Gonorrhea, it won’t be me.’”


“Then again, why chose when we can do both?” I say as I grind into him, the pleasure nearly making my eyes roll back.


He kisses me hard, his hips bucking up because he wants more of me too. “I think we should give it to her for free because it’s Christmas.”


“I love you,” I say, and I in that moment, I feel so much love for him, for our life together, and for our friends, that it might very well encompass the world.


Together, I’m pretty damn sure we can do anything.

Pre-order Anthony and Rosie's story The Love Losers now! 

Available from September 30-October 2




Google Play

Available on October 3 via Amazon and KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

bottom of page