Bratty by Nature by T. A. BEAU

794

From Sub to Love Series Book 1

This smoking hot mogul loves everything my ex hated about me… and he wants to be my first Dom.

The initial step toward becoming a designer and getting out of debt is to leave my dead-end job, which I'm fully prepared to do…
Until I meet Arlington, that is.

Filthy rich and used to getting exactly what he wants, when he wants it, this sexy hunk loves my sass and sarcasm.
So when he proposes a dom/sub relationship, with him as the tamer to my brat, I can’t say no.

Between our fun dates and kinky nights, it doesn’t take me long to give myself over completely to his alpha-male charms.
I don’t start to worry until he offers more than I bargained for.

And once I learn a hard truth about him, I have to wonder whether I can trust him at all.

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Excerpt from Bratty by Nature © Copyright 2024 T. A. BEAU

“Hello, miss,” a deep croon of a voice said, dragging me out of my worry as to whether I’ll ever get those debts cleared. “Are you waiting for a date?”

“Hmm?” I look up from the tablet showing the current seating arrangement in the restaurant and find myself looking at a massive hunk of a man.

I manage to catch my jaw before it hits my podium. This man isn’t just wealthy—though it’s rolling off him based on the effortless style of his suit and the gold tie that brings out the gold flecks in his dark eyes—he’s damn attractive too. Droolworthy.

His thick dark hair has a slight curl to it even though he’s tamed it in a modest, good-looking pompadour. His beard and mustache are trimmed neatly. There’s a daring edge to his dark eyes. I take in the broad shoulders, the fact he has to be at least six foot two, and that he’s dense. I’m betting muscle since most guys who suck in their gut to look built end up red in the face or wheezing through their sentences.

Blinking at him stupidly, I realize he’s asked me a question. “I’m not waiting for the kind of date you’re talking about, but if you need someone to sit with you until yours arrives, I’m happy to do that at the bar … until someone else needs to be seated.”

“Oh, the hard-to-get route then,” he hums.

“Is being honest the same as being hard to get?” I counter, making sure to keep my smile.

He chuckles, showing a dimple in his right cheek.

“You look like you’re determining my worth, Miss … Rhiann,” he says after noting my name tag.

I hold up my finger as I step around the podium and study his shoes. Once I’m done, I slip back into place and flash an easy smile. He arches an eyebrow.

“Well? What’s the verdict?”

“You have an excellent tailor to customize your blazer and while I normally don’t recommend any shoe color other than black, the gold accents on your shoes work well with the tie and your cufflinks. Although, I’d say that the black and black blazer and button up only works for funerals and John Wick.”

“Oh, only him?”

“Especially since you already have dark hair. Some balance would help and a colored button up would move the eye over your chest more so you could impress with how broad your shoulders are,” I finish.

“So you’re not impressed?” he asks, leaning on my podium.

I stare at his elbow pointedly, but he smirks. “Rhiann, are you impressed or—”

“I’m not impressed with someone putting their elbow on the only thing I’m allowed to lean against here,” I tease.

“Oh, well, then I’ll have to make up for it, and show you I’m capable of impressing you without bothering you,” he says lightly.

I open my mouth to keep teasing him, but he cuts in. “I’m betting sending you a drink or complimenting your dress is something you’re too used to, so what can I compliment?”

“Are you asking for permission?”

“No, no,” he says, straightening to his full height. “I don’t ask for permission, I give it.”

“I bet you do when you manage to find a date to actually accompany you to a restaurant,” I assure. “I can seat you at the bar so you don’t feel the sting of that burn.”

“Or you could sit down with me,” he offers.

“It’s not that kind of restaurant. I’m a normal hostess,” I tap my podium. “I live here except when I walk you to your table to keep you from getting lost.”

“So there’s no way to convince you to be my company tonight?”

“Let’s see …” I tap my chin. “No name offered up, tells me he doesn’t ask for permission, dressed in all black like a criminal, and wants my company for dinner because he didn’t bring his own to a restaurant … If it were you, is that something you’d say yes to, stranger?”

The attractive stranger in question rubs over his jaw, drawing my attention to his very attractive mouth and the little scar on his chin. As much as I’m enjoying our playful conversation and teasing, I can’t help but consider what he’s saying. He’s the first person to talk with me like a person all night, not just bribe me to keep up appearances.

“My name is Arlington, and I think joining me for dinner will be worth it,” he finally decides. “Call Tanner over.”

I blink at him. “Whoa. Money or not, I don’t need my boss to seat you. I’m perfectly capable of doing that.” I check my tablet and see four open tables. I give him a cheeky smile anyway. “In twenty minutes. Maybe a few drinks will cool you off.”

“Who says I want to cool off?” he asks.

In a move I don’t expect, he slides around behind me, crowding me against the podium as his cologne floods my senses. It’s spicy and masculine with earthy tones to soften it. He smells mouthwatering and his warm body sliding around mine as he grips either edge of the podium feels dangerous.

His voice drops to a low, husky, intimate growl. “Be a good girl, Rhiann. You might not be used to it, but it will feel good.”

Two sentences and goosebumps rise on my skin and my nipples harden. I force myself to swallow and look back at him over my shoulder. “I’ll seat you when—”

“There are three open tables in the back and one right here, close to you. Give me the closest,” he orders.

“That’s not how this works. You’re the customer, I’m behind the podium. I make the decisions here. How about you be good and stop crowding my space?” I sass.

He chuckles and raises his hand. He strokes through one lock of my half-curling hair, following it to my ear. Just when I think I’m going to have to call security, he pulls my earpiece free.

“Tanner, I’m stealing your hostess for dinner. Get someone to replace her,” Arlington says without room for argument.

I glower at him. “I’m not a possession. You can’t just steal me.”

“In that dress, it might be a little difficult to get you out of the restaurant without tossing you over my shoulder, but I think I can manage a meal,” he says just as Tanner appears.

“Rhiann, who was that on you— oh, Mr…?”

“Tanner, find a replacement for Rhiann here.”

“Ah, yes … sure. I can do that,” Tanner stutters, something he never does. “It’s okay, Rhiann. I can take over.” My boss smiles.

I look at Arlington, speechless.

Who is this man?

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