Bad Swipe Bad Swipe (Billionaire's Club #12) - Elise Faber
“Marry me, Fred,” she murmured, tugging her man close and wrapping her arms around him.
He nuzzled into her throat, his warm breath on her skin—
And then started licking her face.
With completely unattractive, smelly breath.
“Ick,” she grumbled, burying her face in her pillow to get away from her eighty-five-pound golden retriever.
The only man in her life.
He was hairy, had the aforementioned smelly, doggy breath, but he was loyal and didn’t cheat. So, although he would go home with anyone who offered him the smallest morsel of food, his tail always went propellor when he saw her, and he always nuzzled close, especially when she was feeling down.
Yeah, she picked up his shit and waited on him hand and foot.
But how was that different from anyone she’d ever dated?
Spoiler alert . . . it wasn’t.
Fred continued licking, thinking her burying herself into her pillows was now the best game ever and attacking her in earnest.
“Okay,” she said, pushing him off and sitting up. “Do you want breakfast?”
Breakfast being the magic word, since it sent Fred sprinting from the bed and skidding toward the kitchen, his claws clicking on the tile loudly enough that she could mentally track his path the entire way.
Sighing, she tossed the covers back. She needed to get up anyway, to take Fred on his walk, and then get him off to doggy day care before she headed into work.
Carefully, she shifted out of bed, wincing a bit when she put weight on her ankle.
She’d broken her ankle a few months before—well, Fred and his obsession with a squirrel had been the cause of her injury—and it was still a bit weak and tender. Because of that, she was still going to physical therapy, even though the cast had been off for a while now, and her doc said that she might have to undergo another surgery at some point to remove her “jewelry.”
That jewelry being the six screws and two plates currently freeloading their way around town in her body.
And causing her pain when she walked too far or stood too long or, really, just turned in the wrong direction. So truly, it hurt most of the time unless her ass was parked on her plush gray couch or propped up in bed on the special pillow that her friend Heidi had bought for her right after her surgery.
Ah, to be a woman in her thirties.
Hobbling like a motherfucker.
Pretty soon she’d be bent in half like an old crone, sporting a bedazzled cane. Which—she paused, considered that—might be cool. She could see herself rocking some rainbow sparkles.
They’d go perfectly with her numerous T-shirts and skinny jeans (and side part, so take that, Gen Z!).
Before she could go too far down her obsession with TikTok, Fred whipped back against the corner, bull in a china shop style.
“Sit!” she ordered, and since he was a good boy, he did just that. Unfortunately because he was eighty-five pounds and had been moving at approximately the speed of light, his sitting didn’t mean he actually stopped moving forward.
His ass hit the floor.
His body kept sliding . . . right into the wall.
“Oh, Fred,” she murmured as he righted himself just as quickly, sliding some more, his nails clicking on the tile like he was a tapdancing crab until he was finally sitting in front of her.
His tail thumping on the floor.
She stepped by him, careful to not mention the b-word (breakfast), in case he did some more slip and sliding and took her out.
And she did not need that on a Monday morning.
“Come on,” she said, once she was out of the line of fire, because—like the good boy he was—Fred had waited where she’d told him to sit. And aside from his squirrel obsession, he really was a good boy. He was just big and clumsy and all legs and no sense of balance.
He danced around her legs as she scooped his food, added his vitamins, and then a scoop of supplements that kept his teeth clean and was supposed to battle that doggy breath of his.
Stef wasn’t convinced that it helped.
Or it could be a million times worse without it.
Either way, it wasn’t something she was going to find out.
Then she sprinkled some shredded chicken because Fred was her boy and yes, he was spoiled as hell.
Once his bowl was in front of him and he was scarfing it down, she got the coffee going, and the moment the bitter, smokey fumes hit her nose, she started