One Night - Book cover

One Night

Sapir Englard

Age Rating


At the lowest point in her life, Blair meets a handsome stranger. They only share one wild night together before they go their separate ways. But what will happen when they meet again under very different circumstances? Will the spark still be there?

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1

The bar was cozy and hushed as I slid onto a stool, setting my Gucci purse on the polished wooden counter.

I was overdressed for a place like this, decked out in a Prada cocktail dress, matching black heels, and my hair pulled back into a sleek ponytail, cascading down in golden waves.

The only thing that didn’t fit my high-end look was my face.

I had raccoon eyes, mascara and eyeliner smeared all around them. But that wasn’t the worst part; my full, cherry-red lipstick was smudged and mixed with dried blood from a fresh bruise on my upper lip.

My cheek still smarted from the slap that woman had given me, now a bright shade of pink.

I was a wreck. I looked like a wreck. And when the bartender came over and saw my face, he paled. “Are you okay, Miss?” he asked, eyes wide.

“Just peachy,” I replied, my voice hoarse. “I could use a glass of whiskey.”

The bartender, who looked like he’d just turned twenty-one, was still a bit pale as he nodded and tried to smile. “Coming right up.”

Boys, I thought with a sigh as he rushed to get my much-needed drink, they don’t need to grow up to be men.

Because when they’re just boys, they’re innocent enough to be forgiven. But the moment they become full-fledged men, they turn into jerks.

Tonight was a harsh reminder of this fact, which I’d conveniently forgotten. Not anymore.

My whiskey arrived, and I ignored the bartender as I downed it in almost one gulp and asked for another.

The young man asked if I wanted to start a tab, I said yes—I’d had a long night and I deserved to let loose for a few hours with my one true love: alcohol—and so I spent the next hour drinking whiskey.

I started to feel a bit woozy. But I was still far from oblivion, and stopping wasn’t an option.

Vaguely, as I ordered my fifteenth glass or so (I lost count after six), I noticed someone slide onto the stool next to me.

Man or woman, I didn’t care. I wasn’t here to flirt or make friends. I was here because the alternative made my skin crawl.

The bartender came over, and his eyes lit up, not with tears. The young man was looking at the person next to me with such a starstruck expression, I couldn’t help but be curious.

As the bartender tried to compose himself (and did a poor job of it, I might add), he asked with a slight stutter, “What can I get you, M-Mr. Knight?”

A deep male voice replied, “The usual, Tyler. Please.”

The bartender, Tyler, blushed with what could only be pride. What was he proud of? That whoever was sitting next to me remembered his name?

I scowled at my whiskey glass. Correction: All men, regardless of age, were inherently, irrevocably stupid.

As Tyler scurried off to get “the usual” for my barstool neighbor, that very same neighbor said, “Hey there.”

That was the wrong thing to say to me at that moment, in my current state. My scowl deepened, and I was ready to snap at him when I turned to glare and got a good look at him.

He was handsome. Very handsome. Extremely handsome. Short dark hair, gray eyes, and a muscular figure that, from what I could see, was tall, toned, sturdy, and strong.

Then there were his broad shoulders and that enviable natural tan that made my skin look not just pale but alabaster—and not in a good, glowing way. He also had a rugged, masculine face that was now sporting a small grin and a devil-may-care glint in his eyes.

Men who looked like this were the worst kind. They were usually arrogant, know-it-alls, aware of their good looks and using it to their advantage.

Like being jerks to women who dared to look at them, or acting all aloof and unattainable so they would be desired more.

Men like this one played games like these all the time. I knew it because I didn’t just grow up with someone like that, but I also dated one. Until tonight.

The guy was studying my face, now that I was staring, or rather glaring, back at him. I saw his playful eyes taking in my cut lip, raccoon eyes, and red cheek, but he didn’t say anything.

Instead, he returned his gaze to my still glaring eyes and waited for my move.

Unfortunately for him, he picked the wrong target. Because I was done being the target. “Not interested,” I told him through clenched teeth, stopping myself just short of snapping.

Despite this guy being a man, and a good-looking one at that, which probably meant he was the worst kind of man, I didn’t know him, so taking out all of my pent-up anger on him, while tempting, would be wrong.

However, if he didn’t get the message…

As I turned back to the whiskey and took a long sip, the man spoke again, and my patience was wearing thin.

“I must admit,” he said, his voice a low murmur that would’ve been sexy if I wasn’t so angry, “ever since I got my new job, women of all kinds and ages don’t reject me. At least not as bluntly as you just did.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at that. Why did good-looking men—and they knew it—feel the need to say stuff like that to women who rejected them?

That wouldn’t make me reconsider. It would just make them look even more like jerks. Because every good jerk loved a challenge, since they were “intrigued.”

Screw men and screw this one in particular for getting on my nerves.

So, to put an end to this pointless conversation, I turned fully to him and gave him my best glare. To his credit, he didn’t flinch, but his eyes did widen a bit.

“I’m not interested in talking to you. So stop talking to me, and we’ll both be much happier.”

The slight grin he had on his face faded and was replaced by a surprisingly serious look. I tensed in response to an unknown threat.

“You don’t seem too thrilled,” he observed. Our gazes locked, his drilling into mine. “I thought maybe I could lend a hand to a girl who’s had a rough night.”

I squinted at him, my defenses kicking in. “So you’re just being a Good Samaritan? Is that it?”

He shrugged, and I suddenly noticed the size of his arms. He was seriously built. “Maybe I am. Is that so hard to believe?”

My finger drummed on the bar. It was a habit when I felt out of my element, stepping gingerly into unknown territory.

“Guys who look like you aren’t Mother Teresa in my book. Guys who look like you are players, snagging any attractive ass they see, having their way with it, then leaving a shattered heart in their wake.

“Sure, you could be one of those brutally honest types who tell the girls upfront you’re only interested in sex, which makes you think you’re a decent, straightforward guy, but in the end, you’ll still leave and they’ll still be heartbroken.”

He tilted his head. “You’re judging me because I’m handsome? Two can play at that game.”

He gave me a leisurely once-over, light eyes wandering slowly down my body, clad in that damn cocktail dress, and back up again, pausing on my exposed neck.

“You’re a gorgeous woman with trust issues, and you probably toy with men’s emotions while believing they’re the ones who won’t open up to you.

“Then you discover they cheated on you, and not because you weren’t enough for them, but because you never let any of them in and they had to find someone else who would open up to them while keeping you close, because they can’t get enough of you and will never get everything.”

I stared at this total stranger in shock. “So you’re saying men cheat on me because I don’t open up?” I asked, my voice rising with indignation. That hit a little too close to home considering what happened earlier tonight.

He sighed and took a sip from his drink, which had been delivered earlier by the reliable bartender.

“Typical woman,” he muttered, “I call you beautiful, say you’re the kind of girl men would die for, and all you hear is the cheating part.”

“That’s because you shouldn’t have said that!” I shouted, then blushed when I realized I’d attracted attention from all over the bar.

Pressing my lips together, I grabbed my purse, pulled out my wallet, and started to look for cash. “I’ve had enough of this nonsense,” I declared as I pulled out a few bills.

The man caught my wrist, stopping me. “Wait,” he said, and when I looked up, my eyes now misty from the night’s events that just kept getting worse, his expression softened.

“Let me help. I swear I’m not a serial killer. I genuinely just want to make your night better. No flirting or sex involved,” he added quickly when I shot him a glare.

Everything in me wanted to retreat to my apartment, crawl into bed, and cry my heart out. Instead, I found myself studying him.

He seemed sincere, but after the night I’d had, I was starting to question my judgment. Maybe he was a predator, or a lunatic? Or just your average creepy stalker?

I couldn’t be sure. He could turn this night into an even bigger disaster and I’d walk right into it.

“Give me one good reason why I should trust a stranger in a bar,” I challenged, and from the slight narrowing of his eyes, I could tell he heard the gauntlet being thrown. It was crunch time. If he wanted to help so badly, he’d have to earn it.

After a long, thoughtful look, he finally released my wrist and flagged down the bartender, Tyler. He laid down a fifty and smiled at him. “For both of us. Keep the change.”

The young man beamed at him and stammered, “T-Thank you so much!”

When the bartender left, I turned to him. “I could’ve paid for that, you know.”

He glanced at me and I saw him register the contemplation in my eyes. I hadn’t said that just because I was a “typical woman” like he’d labeled me.

I didn’t really mind when people picked up tabs I should’ve covered. But I wanted to hear his response. The challenge was still on.

Looking at me seriously again, he said, “The only way I can prove what you want me to prove is if you let me take you somewhere. Will you let me do that?” He extended his hand to me after he hopped off the stool.

As I looked from his hand to his face and back to his hand, I realized I’d already made up my mind. I’d continued talking to him even though I’d told him not to.

I wasn’t as angry or depressed as I was before he appeared out of nowhere. Somehow, this cliché of a man had managed to pull me out of my dark mood.

I was a stubborn woman, a tough one to handle. I knew that about myself, accepted it too; I was who I was after all. It took a lot for anyone to get past my suspicion and walls, and not everyone succeeded.

I was a tough nut to crack, and even tougher when I was in a bad mood. No one had ever managed to break through my icy barrier when I was in that state.

Tonight’s mood had been worse than usual. And this guy, whoever the hell he was, had managed to slip under that shield. Because when I told someone I didn’t want to talk to them, I usually stuck to it with all my might.

But when he spoke to me, I responded. I didn’t snub him like I was known to do.

My gaze met his as I considered all this, and I studied his face again. He maintained an open, accepting, welcoming expression and despite myself, I was drawn to it.

Men usually kept their guard up around me, wary. This one didn’t. Whether he was brave or foolish, I didn’t know.

No longer glaring, I looked back at his hand. After tonight, I knew I needed a change.

That's why I found myself in a bar instead of heading straight home. I knew I needed to be around people, any people, because if I wasn't, I would've crumbled. And I wasn't the kind of woman who crumbled.

No one had ever made me feel so low that I cried over them. No one. But tonight had come dangerously close to changing that.

Tonight, I'd felt utterly humiliated. All my accomplishments, everything I'd worked for, it all seemed to vanish when that woman blindsided me with truths I didn't want to hear.

I needed a shift, a return to the self-assured woman I used to be. And this hand, this hand extended to me by a man who somehow managed to penetrate my gloomy mood...Maybe he was the catalyst for that shift.

Raising my gaze once more, this time with resolve, I took his hand.

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