Book Cover: Hardcore
Part of the Filth series:

A decent man would have let her go after our one-night stand, but I’m not decent.

Three years ago, Kennedy Mclane saw the real me after we had sex. She saw the ruthless attorney who gets clients—yes, even the guilty ones—off on technicalities. She glimpsed my heart of stone and ran in the other direction, because I’m everything she shouldn’t want.

For three long years, I’ve waited for my good girl to turn bad. ’Cause when she does, it won’t matter if she’s ready for me, or if she can take it. Hard. We have unfinished business, and I’ve been more than fair. She'll probably hate me by the end of all this. But I don't care anymore. I’m going to get her out of my system, one way or another.


Now I did mention I've known her for years? We had sex on my desk? Yeah. In all that time I have never seen her in a dress. Why would she wear one? She spends her days literally running court documents to law firms and the courthouse. In a pinch, she can notarize. She makes a killing from proof of services alone. That kind of work only requires shirts, pants and shoes. Not black fuck-me-heels and a dark green dress that's wearing her.

Her hips and tits are to fucking die for and that's before I get to her hair and face.

What did you do to yourself?” The words are out of my mouth before I can vet them.


The wind picks up a few strands of her red hair. She's glaring at me like she wants to pound me into dirt and I can't utter anything.

Duke, you make it really hard to care about you, but I'll forgive you. The way you're looking at me lets me know I'm ready for my date tonight. It's a first date.”

That knocks me out of my stunned stupor. “Date? Who?” I wave my hand because that's a non-issue. “You can't go on a date dressed like that. That's a third-date-you-can-fuck-me dress.”

I'm going to stop caring again.”

You followed me for three blocks. You're not going anywhere. What date?”

She crosses her arms and that makes her tits fight for space at the long vee neckline. I can't talk to her when she's dressed like this.

I have to go.”

She smiles because I'm sure she's aware I'm thrown off my game. “Colin in accounting.”

I couldn't have heard her correctly. “Colin? Mid-life crisis Colin?” She nods. “No. You can't do that to yourself.”

I shouldn't date a man who can afford a tricked out 1967 Mustang?”

Men who drive tricked out Mustangs have little dicks.”

And your SUV that's never been off road isn't a reflection of your manhood?”

Kennedy, I sometimes wonder if you like me to say obscene things to you. If you want though we can talk about my co—”

You're not lacking in that department,” she pushes out then blushes. “So you can't assume Colin has a little prick.” She seems to realize the conversation we’re having and shakes her head. “I'm not getting into this with you. I have to go.”

I grasp her arm and pull her back. “When did he ask you out?”

Her gaze trails up to mine. “Yesterday. Something went haywire with my payment and I had to pick up a check. He's nice.”

He's boring. Where is he taking you?”


That's a great place for married couples with kids. A little on the upscale side. Definitely not a place to take Kennedy when she has on a dress that is privileged to touch every curve she has. “What time is the date?”

In an hour. I have some errands to run before I meet him there.”

Nope.” I jerk my thumb toward my SUV. “Get in the car. I have to interview a client, but that can wait. I have to save you from this stupid idea.”

She splays her hands on her hips. “I'm not going anywhere with you.”

I lean forward, make sure she can see my pupils and how serious I am. “Colin.”

She laughs and it's just a sensual thing to watch her head tilt back and her eyes light up. “He's not bad. Have you ever really talked to him?”

More like trapped into conversations any time I had a billing issue. “I have and you know where the conversation always ends up?”


On his two cats. Trixie and Vixen. He's named his cats Trixie and Vixen. You're not going on this date. If you want to eat somewhere nice, I'll take you.”

She drops her hands at her sides, and narrows her eyes. “And what if I want to go somewhere nice then have sex?”

I pause on that as every muscle in my body coils, ready to spring. “What are you saying?”

Her chin goes up, all bravado again. “I want to go on a date and have sex.”

I force myself to breathe steadily. “With?”

She worries her lip then takes a step back from me. “Colin.”

Right.” I shift my thoughts so I'm being a good fucking guy. “Boring Colin.”

If she fucks Colin, he's going to propose marriage within a week. Don't get the wrong idea here. I'm not being territorial with her. If I can fuck anything with a pulse, so can she, and let's be honest. She's nice, funny and sexy as fuck. It would be a shame for her to be lonely.

But that's the thing. Our hook up may have been drunk and sloppy, but her pussy is good enough to make a grown man weep. She's armed and dangerous with that thing. Colin is not the guy you give that kind of weapon to. He'll shoot his face off.

If you fuck him, he'll stalk you, or worse, try to be your boyfriend.”

She motions with her hand at the space between us. “This is why Preston had a hard time selling you to the other partners. I know you're a twisted asshole. I was well aware of that the moment you directed that smile of yours my way.”

Then why did you run?

I put my back against my SUV. I shouldn't be surprised she knows, but now I'm curious at the dirt she has. I wait another beat to see if Kennedy will spill what she knows. Nothing.

She glances down and pulls her hair to fall over one shoulder. “I have to go. I don't want to be late for my date.”

With goddamn Colin.”

She laughs. “He's nice.”

Nice men call you a bitch if you reject them. I wouldn't set my standards too high if I were you.”

She’s quiet then she pins me with a stare. “And what are you, Duke?”

I shake my head at that question. “He'll have you in a matching sweater with Trixie and Vixen.”

This laugh makes her eyes sparkle. I shit you not. “He won't.” She glances at me and for the first time I notice the dusting of makeup along her eyelids. The dark shade has made her eyes appear bigger, more golden. “I know how much you want this partnership. So if you need to talk, call me.”

Back to that. I'd rather eat a bullet than chat about my feelings. “I don't have your number.”

She gives me an oh, please look. “I'm pretty sure you can get Gwen to dig it up.”

I scoff. “I'm pissed at her at the moment.”

The disappointment is back. I should be used to that emotion being directed at me. I roll my shoulders.

Kennedy sighs. “What was she supposed to do? At the end of the day—”

We're a team. I thought that meant something.”

She didn't want to get in the middle.”

She's not Switzerland. She actually...” I stop.

I'm not going to tell Kennedy Gwen thinks we flirt with each other. This conversation is complicated enough without adding that fuel to the fire. “Have fun at Trelio. Don't say I didn't warn you when he takes you back to his place and lets the cats watch.”

The corners of her mouth twitch. “I don't know why I bother.”

That's the question for the ages. She won't fuck me. We aren't friends. Yet here we are. “Why do you?”

When you're not being a bag of morally corrupt dicks, I can like you.”

Big dicks,” I correct her.

She only sighs before turning on her heel. The view is better today. The dress hugs that ass of hers and details every bounce of her step. It's not hard to remember how she looked that night—back curved, supple ass slapping against my pelvis, and the cheeks clapping together at every down stroke like an involuntary applause for a fuck well done.

I really should talk her into letting me peel that dress off.


I try to remind myself she's off-limits. She didn't give me the slightest go ahead. Hell, she's going on a date with someone else. I force myself to glance away but my gaze goes right back.

Maybe if Preston hadn't fucked me over all my safeguards would still be in place. I could swallow down the need trying to crawl up my throat and out of my mouth. I could do what I’ve done for three years.

Preston did knock down my walls by blindsiding me, and I can’t ignore the tingle in my palms or the buzz in my head as I watch her walk away.

I call after her, “If Colin steps out of line, call me.”

She waves her hand and keeps strutting.

I...feel better. I still want to kick over shit. I'm still going to have a nice long talk with myself about my next options if the firm doesn't pony up on their end of the deal. Anger isn't choking me blind anymore. I file it away to deal with later.

The first thing on my to-do list is to talk with a twenty-year old murderer.