Bennett - Milly Taiden

Chapter One


Oh, for the love of all that is good and holy.

What was it with shifter men? Why did they believe—and behave—like they were a gift to women?

Honey, you are not.

Dakota rubbed her fingers along her chin as she took a deep breath. She couldn’t let any of her emotions show on her face. As a shifter, Mick would definitely be able to read her features. He would even be able to smell her displeasure. She could still make this work.


Dakota needed a job, but not this badly, right? She had to make the right call.

Maybe if things were different, she would be more forgiving to the bull shifter who seemed to be so full of himself, there was no room for anyone else in his office. His ego filled it up all by itself.

It was one thing to own a gym and operate it like his own personal meat market, but the man could have at least had the decency to shower post-workout. The large ring of sweat on his gray sleeveless tee was not impressive.

It was flat out gross. And the smell? Dakota was pretty sure it was peeling the paint off of the walls.

“The last time you worked at a gym was a year ago.” He skimmed the length of her body with such slowness, Dakota wanted to jump into a shower to get the grimy feeling off of her skin. “Do you really think you’re fit enough to work here? We’ve got very competitive staff. You’d probably need a few sessions with me before you’d be ready to get on the schedule as an instructor.”

Dakota would have a hell of a time trying to work for a man like this.

They would probably come to blows. Or she would kill him.

That could have been an exaggeration.

But she was aware that she needed a job that would stick. This might not be the best option to help her lose her reputation as the family screw-up. She was sick of being her family’s resident flake. It was bad enough that her little sister had graduated at the top of her class in law school and was now on the fast track to being a junior partner at her law firm. If Dakota was fired or quit again, she would not be able to handle the well-intentioned ribbing her family doled out.

At least she had one more interview that day, and she was going to have to make the best of it. There was no way she was going to work for an egotistical shifter who thought he was the best. Mick’s gym wasn’t even that impressive. Dakota had seen and worked in nicer, cleaner places.

“Part of your uniform would be these shorts.” Mick tossed her a scrap of material.

Dakota balked. She was fit, like all shifters. But that didn’t mean she was a twig. The shorts would barely cover one of her ass cheeks. When she said as much to Mick, he shrugged with a lusty glimmer in his beady eyes.

“That’s the point, doll.”

She growled. The sound was low, and it surprised her. Mick narrowed his gaze.

“You’ve got a nasty attitude, lady. You’re going to have to lose it real fast if you think you can work for me.”

Dakota weighed her options.

Take this job with its chauvinistic boss and exploitive uniform.

Or hope that the interview she had next was going to be a real winner.

“Shove your bullshit,” she said as clear as she could.

She tossed him the shorts back and walked out of Mick’s Fitness Palace as quickly as she could. She would have made a very poor trainer and spin instructor, she knew that. But it would have been something.

The last gym she had worked at had been run by a bunch of weasel shifters. They had the better gym, even though most of them lugged around height complexes like they were going out of style.

Dakota opened her car door, using the trick she had to develop to get into the beat-up old piece of shit.

It was classy, really.

She had to use the passenger door and climb over the center console to get to the driver’s side.

It was a pain in the ass, but her door had jammed in a weird way ever since she had accidentally driven into a mailbox. Dakota had made a decision to get her hair done instead of fixing the door.

A lady had to have her priorities.

She blasted her favorite song, replaying it multiple times as she drove to her next interview.

This one was