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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Once Upon a Bad Boy

A Sometimes in Love Novel

Sometimes in Love (Volume 3)

Melonie Johnson

St. Martin's Paperbacks



SPRINKLES. SADIE GOLDOVITZ braced her feet on the mat, bent her knees slightly and twisted sideways, pulling her elbow back. No, Glazed. She rotated, hips twisting as her arm shot forward, fist flying. Her cross punch landed with a solid thwack, knocking the sparring bag sideways.

“Nice one,” her trainer, Jim, grunted from his position behind the bag.

Sadie nodded. She knew better than to waste air replying.

Sure enough, a beat later Jim steadied the bag and barked, “Again.”

Her body responded instantly to the command, dropping back into fighting stance, legs braced but not locked, core tight. Her left fist slammed into the bag in a quick jab, followed by another cross with her right. Jab, cross. Jab, jab, cross. Her thighs burned. Her hands, curled inside her boxing gloves, were an aching, sweaty mess. But she continued the punching pattern. Jab, cross. Jab, jab, cross.

A rebellious little blond curl escaped her ponytail and proceeded to flop around face, but Sadie ignored it, focusing on the rhythm of her movements. Jab, cross. Jab, jab, cross. She glared at the bag, returning to her happy place. Glazed *with* sprinkles.

The asshole curl was now stuck in her eyelashes, but she didn’t have the extra energy or breath to blow it away, so she kept going, inhaling and exhaling with each blast of her fist. The round had to be over soon. Unless Jim had decided to screw with her and extend the drill time. She wouldn’t check, though. Last time she’d glanced at the clock, she’d earned an extra burpee for each second she’d had left.

Sadie hated burpees.

Jim knew this, of course.

She kept going. Another jab and cross. Two more jabs followed by a cross. She pictured the glass case of the donut shop, the gleaming rows of unholy bliss awaiting her perusal. She would take her time, absorbing the heavenly smells and carefully considering all her options before making her selection.

Her Friday donut was the proverbial carrot on the end of the stick. A reward for enduring another week of hell training for the lead role in a new action movie. Sadie had spent the summer honing her body into a fighting machine, preparing to step in to the ass-kicking boots of Jamie, the dynamic heroine of Fair is Fair.

For inspiration to stick to her brutal exercise regimen, she’d taped a poster of Linda Hamilton in her Terminator 2 glory days to her bathroom mirror, admiring Sarah Connor’s guns every morning as she brushed her teeth. For motivation to stay on her strict diet plan, Sadie had started her Friday donut ritual. Knowing she could pick whatever she wanted from that glass case of bliss, even if it was just once a week, gave her enough willpower to see her through each day.

Plus, there was no limit on how much she thought about that one donut. Fantasies were calorie-free and Sadie indulged often. Maybe she’d try something totally different today. Something extra sinful. With frosting. Loads of it. Her stomach rumbled with anticipation as she twisted her middle, winding up for another punch combo.

“Gold!” Jim yelled.

She faltered mid-swing, her fist grazing the bag. “What?” she snapped.

“Time’s up.”

“Oh.” She relaxed. “Thank God.”

“Thank me.” Jim chuckled and helped her remove her gloves. “I called your name at least three times. You were in the zone.”

“Yeah, the donut zone.” Hands finally free, Sadie flexed her fingers and shoved the annoying curl out of her face. Too long to leave down, but too short for a decent ponytail, the best she could manage with her hair looked more like a mushroom about to explode from the top of her head.

“What’s this about donuts?” Jim asked, frowning.

“It’s Friday.” Sadie grabbed her water bottle and chugged.

“And?” he grunted, hands on hips.

“And, I made it all the way through this week’s training.”

“What do you want, a sticker?” He raised an eyebrow.

“No. I want a donut.” Sadie pointed her water bottle at her trainer and squeezed.

“Hey!” Jim sputtered, blocking the spray of water. “You’re going to mess up my ’do.”

“Dude, nothing could mess that up.” Sadie rolled her eyes at him. Jim was very protective of his hair. “And one donut a week is not going to mess up my training.”

“Only one?” He raised both eyebrows this time.

“Only one.” She held up her hand, palm out. “I promise.” She dropped her hand and poked at her bare sweaty stomach. “Would these abs lie to you?”

“They better not.” Jim smirked. “Or I’ll add another hundred lemon squeezers to your sets next week.”

Sadie grimaced. “Noted.”

“I don’t want to see all my hard work go to…” he paused, eyeing her torso, “… waste.”

Your hard work!” She moved to punch him.

He turned, absorbing her swing with the meat of his shoulder. “Not bad. Your right hook is getting pretty boss.”

“Thanks.” The agony of the last sixty minutes faded at her trainer’s words. Jim didn’t dole out compliments often.

“When do you finally get to start kicking ass for real?” he asked, tossing her a towel.

“Filming starts Monday.” She wiped the sweat from her forehead.


“Hell, no.” Sadie tucked the towel around her neck. “I’ve been waiting for a part like this since I started acting.” She took another swig of water. Becoming Jamie was her chance to prove to the world she was more than the spoiled little rich girl she’d been playing on a soap opera for the last several years. Prove she was more than the spoiled little rich girl the tabloids continued to describe her as. She was tired of the catty accusations, the assumption that because she came from a powerful, wealthy family, she had more connections than talent.

Copyright © 2019 by Melonie Johnson