Our history made things harder.
We were associates out of convenience.
We tolerated each other.
I never saw her that way.
She never saw me that way.
She and I were never meant to be friends.
You’re not supposed to fall for your best friend’s enemy, even if the enemy is YOUR ex-best friend.
This isn’t the story of falling in love with your best friend.
It’s about falling out of hate.
…. “So what’s your story, Lisa? The real story.” Grams shifts her attention to Lisa, honing in on her like a lion does a gazelle.
Even though I’m ecstatic to be out of the hot seat, Lisa hasn’t had a grilling by grams in years, and the woman is like a human lie detector. If Grams hadn’t been pulling so much overtime at the hospital during my senior year, she would have sniffed out Lisa’s Mr. Robinson romance before it even started and set her straight. Lisa’s eyes dart over to me, but if there’s one person I can’t save her from, it’s this one.
“My sort-of boyfriend-slash-boss dumped-slash-fired me and kicked me out of his house,” Lisa answers, picking at a piece of toast.
“That asshole. Do you want Aidan to go kick his ass?” Grams asks angrily, ready to send me to California.
“I already asked, Grams.”
“No, it-it actually was my fault,” Lisa answers quietly.
Grams is quiet for a moment. “What’d you do?”
Lisa looks at me before returning her attention to her toast. “I-I told him that I had slept with another guy.”
My eyes nearly bulge out of my head. She didn’t tell me that.
“It was a lie though,” she adds quickly.
“Why would you do something stupid like that?” Grams asks in a way that only she could. It comes off as hilarious but concerned.
“Because I’m an idiot sometimes.” Lisa laughs and looks down at her picked over toast, apparently embarrassed.
Grams sighs, shaking her head. “What am I going to do with you two? So what are you going to do to get him back?” Grams asks in the no-nonsense tone only she could make loveable.
Lisa chuckles. “I don’t think that’s happening.”
“Hey, one thing I want you two to remember is that you never give up on love. I don’t care what it takes. True love, real love, is worth some groveling and embarrassment.” Grams’s expression becomes serious, and she points at both of us to drive home her point. “Real love can bounce back from anything.”
I roll my eyes.
“One day you’re going to find the girl that will make you crazy, that you’ll hate and love so much it’ll make your skin itch,”
“Great, love's like an STD.” I cringe.
Lisa hides her chuckle.
“Listen, if there’s one thing I wish for you, it’s that you find your other half who, no matter how bad things get, can make you smile every day, even if you want to crack their skull in sometimes. That’s the type of love that makes you feel complete,” she says with a reminiscent smile.
I wonder if she’s reflecting on my granddad.
“Shouldn’t you feel that way regardless of another person? You shouldn’t need anyone else to complete you,” Lisa says.
I grin. Now there’s the controversial, opinionated girl I know.
“No, you should never need anyone to make you feel good about who you are. You always have to love yourself, because if you don’t do that, when you meet that other person, it’s going to make their job a shitload harder. But when you have that love that makes your insides feel weak, when you have a person who will go to hell and back for you, it’s like putting a pretty little bow on an already beautifully wrapped gift box,” Grams says.
“So it’s like when a girl is hot, then you find out she’s a gymnast?” I deduce.
“You’re a pig,” Lisa scolds me playfully, and I make a snorting noise. “I didn’t know that you were into love stuff like this, Grams. You’re always so tough and kickass.”
“Us hardasses need love too, and you never got to meet Aidan’s granddaddy. You’d have seen true love right in front of you,” Grams says sadly. “So you going to get this boy, back?”
I snicker, and Lisa cuts her eyes at me.
“What was that for?” she asks indignantly.
“You don’t love Brett,” I say before stealing a piece of bacon off her plate.
“Oh, and you’d know because you’re so in love with Hillary?” she counters.
“Who's Hillary?” Grams asks, and I frown.
“You know,” I say with a tense laugh.
“No, I don’t know,” she reiterates.
Lisa bursts into laughter. “So your grams doesn’t even know about your pretty-much girlfriend?”
I haven’t mentioned her once? “I’ve been kind of seeing her the past year,” I tell Grams, rolling my eyes at Lisa’s smug grin.
“Goddammit, when am I going to get to meet the girl?”
Shit, Hillary meeting Grams? I don’t even want to imagine how that’d go, or the ideas it’d give Hillary about us.
“I’ll think about it,” I grumble. Grams frowns, so I shine the spotlight back on Lisa. “What about you, Lisa? Going to run and fight for your true love?” I can’t even make it through the sentence without bursting into laughter.
“Brett is a really great guy!” she spits back, even though he kicked her and his soon-to-be child out of the house.
The thought makes my fist instinctively ball up.
“The whole thing was my fault,” she adds defensively.
“The guy’s a douche and has been since you dated him in high school.”
“Aidan hates Brett because he’s everything he’s not: charming, sensitive, and a man instead of a little boy,” she says, then sticks her tongue out at me.
“You two are still the same. As much as you fought when you were younger, I swore you’d grow up and marry each other.” Grams laughs as Lisa and I look at her as if she’s grown two heads.
“That’d never happen, Grams. Aidan likes his women dumb and psychotic,” she teases.
“And Leese likes her dudes with vaginas and issues out the ass,” I say.
I'm obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I'm infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey,Dorothy,Marilyn,Elizabeth.
I'm a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea...
Literary Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Historical Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction
Date Published: February 2016
If you could see the memories of every person you met would it be a blessing or a curse?
John Calabrace's life has been in havoc since he was a very small child. He spends his life fighting through a flood of memories, most of which are not his own. The second he is touched by another person, he knows every memory & feeling they have ever experienced, and those memories stay permanently etched in his head.
What might seem to be a wonderful gift to some, also has its dark sides. John flees college, finding solace in the Navy serving on a Navy ship and then aboard a nuclear submarine. That relative peace and isolation of submarine life is quickly taken away after being extracted and recruited into a world of espionage to unlock other secrets from around the world.
Is he an angel, is he a monster? Even the military men/ government handlers can't decide. While John may know everyone else's secrets, he also has secrets of his own. Those he feels, he can reveal to no one..
About the Author
John Tolliver has spent his career in the world of nuclear engineering.. After college John joined the Navy where he served aboard the fast attack submarine USS Jacksonville where he acquired his love of travel and adventure. John followed his Navy years with a 30+ year career in Nuclear chemistry. John also volunteers as an arbitrator and mediator in the New York State courts. His passions include writing, researching and travel. Having given up on submarine travel decades ago, John still enjoys the sea life with the grand modern luxury of the Celebrity Cruises fleet.
Date Published: May 2015
When Army Helicopter pilot Aurelius Moore's eyes fell on isolated Vegas celebrity, Siri Wright, he was stunned by her beauty and her dance. Filled with an undeniable passion for her that he thought he was incapable of, he is devastated when she vanishes before he can consummate the deal he has made. When he sees her again in his hometown in Alabama, he realizes the extraordinary opportunity that has fallen in his lap. She is on his turf. No rules. No security protecting her. He will have her on his terms. He hunts his prey and controls the game, knowing the game has changed. He wants all of her!
When Siri encounters a military man called Moore, she is caught off guard by her body's immediate chemical response to this enigmatic and reserved young officer, who is gorgeous beyond what even she is accustomed to. Not being able to restrain her flirtatious side, the confident diva, oozing sex appeal, teases the handsome hunk, unwittingly putting her Rule #1: No Touching in serious danger.
Add in the danger she encounters when she is hoodwinked by TD, aka Touch Down, to attend a cocktail party with him, which turns out to be a cock and tail sex party of swingers, and her Rule #1: No Touching is entirely in jeopardy. She must use ALL her Vegas secrets to escape.
Can she remain UNTOUCHABLE? Will she want to?
Other Books in the Siri's Saga, Sexy Romance Series:
For years, enigmatic and reserved military officer Aurelius Moore has managed to successfully hide who he is from everyone in his life, especially from his military family. They have no idea his Italian family is wealthy. Leading a dual lifestyle has been difficult, but he has managed to keep it a secret by imposing strict behavioral rules upon himself. Being a player, yet never playing, has earned him the nickname, Hard Core, which is a label that is truer than anyone knows. Controlling exactly who knows what about him, he protects his privacy, ensuring that a secret he considers too dark to share with anyone remains that way.
At the request from a Venture Capital partner, he makes a business trip to Vegas to check out a stripper known as Seary. When he sees her dance, lightning strikes his hard core heart, igniting in him a level of lust that is UNDENIABLE and something he thought himself incapable of feeling.
She shatters the rules he has placed upon himself. Risking everything he has so carefully protected, he is determined to make her his. Being a man who knows how to play the game, he sets his sights not only to have her, but to possess and own her.
But she has her own set of rules, her own secrets, and a team in place determined to enforce them, protecting her from men just like him. Will she be the one, the only one, he cannot have?
When Vegas Diva Siri Wright fell for Aurelius Moore, a flame of and wild desire burst within her and his commanding and demanding nature made her, his Wild Thang, his Every Thang.
Now, Siri and Aurei are free to explore all the possibilities that a real relationship offers. But a death threat is made, and Aurei whisks her off to Rome where he is in complete control. As he shares his secrets with her, revealing his Italian heritage and the Liotine Dynasty, the two lovers realize the enormity of blending their very different, very complicated lives. But they are determined to make their 'Us' work, and their undeniable love begins to be a beautiful thang.
Just when it seems they will have it all, Aurei reveals his darkest secret, and a devastated Siri questions whether or not she can accept what he has done.
Will Siri reject Aurelius, or will their love become UNSTOPPABLE?
When Vegas Diva Siri Wright fell for Aurelius Moore, a flame of wild desire burst within her and his commanding and demanding nature made her, his Wild Thang, his Every Thang and undeniable love has burned itself forever into their hearts. They are no longer untouchable, they are unstoppable.
The two lovers appear to have it all - explosive passion, honesty and intimacy with a world of possibilities before them. Then Siri’s picture is blasted all over the Italian news, and Aurei, fearing for her again, takes her to his family villa, The Compound. She should be excited to meet his family, but her gut tells her she is a lamb being led to the slaughter.
Bringing a professional woman like Siri, who is always stereotyped and labeled, into his family fold, forces Aurei to wrestle with the dynamics of family politics and they must fight for their 'Us'. Amidst all the turmoil, Aurei continues to reveal even more dark and dangerous, but delicious secrets than even Siri, whose life has been built upon secrets could have guessed and they appear to be truly unstoppable. Just when it seems they are finding acceptance, Mia rears and threatens to make everything come UNDONE, forcing Siri to choose. Stay and destroy Aurei’s reputation and shame the Liotine Dynasty, or love Aurei enough to leave him behind?
Courageous is the keyword in this fourth book in Siri’s Saga. Will their bond survive the ultimate test of family and find acceptance, or will their love come UNDONE?
About the Author
Jessika Klide burst onto the romance scene in 2014 with her bestselling series, Siri's Saga. It has steadily risen to the top of Amazon's erotic romance list and has made her a favorite among fans who enjoy full length novels in a genre typically ridden with short one-handed reads. Her plots and characters are fully developed and deliciously dangerous.
Whether it's Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, military men make her swoon. Her alpha male hunks are heroes and they fall for her confident, smart, and oh, so sexy heroines. She believes in modern day fairy tales complete with virgins and soulmates. Where love and lust form perfect unions and the stars do align for true love. She also guarantees more than one happy ending.
She is fun and flirty like the heroines she writes.
"Jessika Klide is my pen name. I'm from LA ... Lower Alabama. The Deep South. Since my mind is super slutty, it's just better to use a pen name. Trust me on this! ;)"
Title: Divine Merit
Series: Divine #1
Author: Virginia Cantrell
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Cover Design: Claire Smith
Release Date: January 29, 2016
Sometimes you have to stop fighting in order to win.
Trained from birth to become the ruler of the Nephilim and their island sanctuary, Amira is the perfect princess, until her birthright and even her fundamental beliefs are ripped away. She’ll discover perfection and training count for nothing when faced with a ruthless enemy determined to possess her and all she holds dear.
As captain of the Royal Guard, Caeden’s priority is to protect the Royal Family. Sometimes that means protecting the naïve princess from her own desires, even if he is tempted to give in. When a betrayer strikes from within, their sanctuary and very existence are threatened. Caeden must overcome the burning pain of helplessness to defeat this enemy and restore Amira to her rightful place. He will not fail his princess again.
Do they have the fortitude and inner strength needed to regain the kingdom and save their people?
$1.99 for a limited time!!!
AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS / ARe
“Let me up,” she said as calmly as she could. She felt as if he had struck her. The ease with which he so readily disregarded her feelings for him burned a path through her insides, leaving her in physical pain.
“No, not until you submit to me and admit you need my protection.”
Amira knew she didn’t have the strength to force him off her, so she did the only thing she could think of; she lifted her head from the floor and brought her lips to his. She kissed him with all of the anger, frustration, hurt feelings, and above all, the love she couldn’t help but feel. His whole body turned to stone above hers, but he didn’t pull away. He stayed very still and seemed to stop breathing.
Amira knew it might be her only chance to ever kiss him, so she decided she would allow herself to savor it for the moment. She opened her mouth and caressed his closed lips with her tongue invitingly. At his low growl, she did it again, only this time he opened his mouth in acceptance and began to kiss her back, his whole body relaxing into the kiss. She brought her hand up and ran her fingers through his long hair like she’d always wanted to. She had planned the kiss only to be a distraction, but it turned out to be something far more.
Before she was completely lost, she reminded herself of her original purpose. Easing back, she brushed her lips against his and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
She brought her right knee up quickly and made contact with the sensitive juncture between his legs. Using all of her strength to push him off, she rolled out from beneath him, made it to her feet, and stood over him.
“You taught me that because I’m smaller, I need to use any means necessary. I’m sorry, but that was necessary. If you don’t need me in return, then I won’t allow myself to need you.”
Virginia's greatest passion has always been fiction, particularly romance. The innocent in her loves the idea of a happily ever after, but she has a massive soft spot for the bad boys. If you ask her, she'll tell you she's living her dream—getting paid to read and helping indie authors to create beauty by working as an editor for Hot Tree Editing. She's inspired by the many amazing indie authors she has met and has (finally) found the courage to follow her other dream by becoming a published author.
Author: Emily Goodwin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 6
Grayson King is anything but royal…
Pepper Davenwood is the embodiment of class…
They say opposites attract, but what happens when they collide?
Recently released from prison, the only thing Grayson wants more than a fresh start is a chance to prove himself to the only woman he’s ever loved. But with a past he can’t talk about, a criminal record he can’t explain, and the mess his father left in wake of his sudden death, Grayson knows it’s not going to happen.
Until it does.
And now that he’s back in her life, Grayson realizes the very woman he’d give up everything for might be the one to take it all away. Because the heart knows no limits when it comes to love, and Grayson will do whatever it takes to keep Pepper safe.
Even if it means breaking the law…again.
Copyright 2016 Emily Goodwin
I stop in the middle of the driveway, hot sunlight warming me in my leather jacket, and watch her cross through a breezeway, heels softly clicking on the cobblestone. Wind blows her hair around her face, and strands of gold shimmer in the sun. Laughter floats through the air, hardly audible over the bubbling fountain surrounded by perfectly groomed white flowers. She’s busy talking on the phone as she gets into a black Tesla, and doesn’t even see me.
But it’s not the first time I’ve seen her, nor is it the first time I’ve walked up these thick, stone steps leading to the Davenwood Manor. I set my gaze on the dark oak double doors, covered in intricate carvings and the letters “D” and “W” etched into the frosted glass.
The Tesla quietly comes to life and takes off down the driveway. I turn, unable to help but admire the beauty of both the car and the driver. I don’t like the way my heart flutters when I get a glimpse of her face in the rearview mirror. Her golden brown hair tangles behind her in the wind as she accelerates. She’s so grown up, miles from the scraggly girl I used to run around with. I blink and turn back to the doors, noticing a security camera tucked away in a corner of this ostentatious covered porch, and knock on the door.
Just seconds later, the door is pulled back and I’m hit with a blast of cold air.
“Good afternoon,” a voice comes from inside. I’m not able to see the speaker in the dark foyer. “Mr. King, I presume?”
“Yes,” I say gruffly.
The outline of a butler dressed in all black comes into view. He bows his head slightly and extends his arm. “Come in.”
I step inside the century-old mansion, remembering the first time I set foot in this place twenty years ago. I couldn’t wait to get inside then, thinking it looked like a place Bruce Wayne might have spent his childhood before he turned into a vigilante. And maybe—just maybe—there could be a badass billionaire living in here too that I’d stumble into when I got lost on my way to the bathroom. That never happened, of course, much to my childhood disappointment.
“Mr. Davenwood is waiting for you,” the butler continues and turns, leading me through the foyer. The place is dim, and all the dark wood and faded paintings aren’t helping. Weird, how I feel so closed in from the lack of light when this place is fucking huge. The same familiar smells hang in the air: wood polish, leather, and an earthy perfume. The scent of the rich.
I follow behind the butler. I’ve been in here before, but can’t navigate around all 20,000 square feet. The house darkens the further in we go, and I can’t help but feel like I’m walking into the belly of the beast. The butler opens another set of heavy oak doors, and steps to the side. Sunlight pours through two-story windows that are surrounded by bookshelves that run from the floor all the way to the ceiling. A balcony runs around the perimeter of the bookshelves, and a metal ladder is attached to the shelves. A large desk is situated in front of a cast iron spiral staircase. A man who I haven’t seen in years sits at that desk. I pause, keeping my face neutral. Those years have not been kind to him.
“Grayson King.” With a crunch of leather, Alcott Davenwood rises from the tall chair and buttons his navy blue jacket. “It’s been too long.” He gives a curt nod to the butler, who steps out of the library and closes the door. Alcott turns his attention back to me with a slight smile on his thin lips.
I move my head up and down, unsure of the etiquette of the rich. I don’t really give a shit, but I’m too curious to make a wrong move and piss the guy off. We haven’t seen each other since my father’s funeral six years ago, and suddenly he’s calling me, asking that I come from my home in California to this estate in New York with no explanation as to why.
“Thank you for coming,” he says and moves around the desk. “You look well, considering.” Standing a few feet in front of me, he looks me over before clapping me on the back. The greeting is over quickly, and he extends his hand to the velvet couch. I sit on the edge, flicking my eyes around the library.
Alcott goes back to his desk, and with a heavy sigh, sits in the tall chair. He puts his elbows on the desk and swallows. “You’re wondering why I called.” He’s not asking; he knows I’m in the dark. “There’s no easy way to put this, and you know I’m not one to bullshit around things.”
I don’t know that, because I don’t know Alcott Davenwood. My father did, and the years of friendship and trust between them has created some sort of weird bond between the man and myself. If my father trusted this man, then I trust him. My father didn’t hand out trust and friendship to just anyone. And if it wasn’t for Alcott, his attorney, and his money, my father wouldn’t have been able to get custody of me and I’d never escaped my drug addicted mother living in a run down apartment in the ghetto of Chicago. I’ve only seen Alcott a few times in person, but I know I basically owe this man my life.
That’s never a good debt to have.
“I’m dying.” Alcott’s voice cuts through my thoughts.
“What?” I say, even though I clearly heard him.
“I’m dying,” he repeats and puts his hand to his chest. “Lung cancer.”
I blink, not knowing what to say. “I’m sorry…but why are you telling me?”
Alcott lets out a hearty laugh. “A fair question. I’m a businessman, Grayson. Protecting my assets is a priority, and there is nothing more important to me than my daughter. I’m sure you remember her.”
Of course I remember Pepper Davenwood. She’s not someone you can ever forget. Though judging by the way she peeled out of the driveway in her expensive car, she sure as shit doesn’t remember me.
“Pepper is safe, well guarded. She knows this. Hell, the world knows this. No one will touch her…while I’m alive.”
Silence falls between us as things click into place. “How long do you have?”
“The doctors gave me six months.”
“How long ago?” I find myself leaning forward.
“Six months ago. I’m on an experimental drug that’s giving me more time. But as with life, it’s never enough.” Alcott inhales deeply and looks out the window. His face remains stoic, but I catch a glimpse of emotion in his eyes. A ruthless businessman coming from a long line of rich assholes, Alcott Davenwood has made a fair share of enemies in his day. His gray eyes move back to me. “I assume you know why you’re here now.”
“I need someone capable,” he begins to explain. “You’re a man with a particular skill set, one that can come in handy while protecting my daughter.”
I feel my chest begin to tighten as it hits me that Alcott Davenwood knows me a hell of a lot better than I know him. It makes sense though; I wondered how the hell my father was able to pay my bail and afford that lawyer just months before he passed. I swallow hard and look at Alcott, still having a hard time wrapping my head around how someone like him—a high society man, with an aristocratic family tree, and more money than God—could be such good friends with a man like my father, who’s biggest claim to fame was becoming VP of The Jackals Motorcycle Club for three years before his heart attack.
Alcott Davenwood and Nicolas King were polar opposites. Maybe that’s why they made such good friends, kept the interest in each other’s lives. My father rarely spoke of his time in the Army, but I know that’s how they met.
“And,” Alcott lowers his voice, leaning forward over his desk. “I need someone I can trust.”
I raise an eyebrow. “You trust me?” I could bust out laughing right now, but don’t. The thought of something happening to Pepper is sobering.
“I do trust you,” he says, speaking each word slowly. “You are your father’s son.”
“You know my past…I’ve done some bad things,” I blurt.
Alcott’s eyes narrow and his weak smiles widens. “So have I.”
The man before me is aged, weakened by sickness. Yet I find him more intimidating than anyone I’ve ever met, and I’ve met some fucked up people. Because a man like Alcott Davenwood has money, and money can buy anything.
“Don’t you have hired guards?” I can’t help but ask.
“Many. But the thing is, they work for me. And when I’m gone…” He trails off with a shake of his head.
Yeah, I get it. Once Alcott is dead and gone, the company and all the Davenwood riches fall to Pepper, his only child. And last time I checked—granted it was years ago—Pepper had no interest in taking over the empire. She’ll sit back and let whoever the hell her father assigned assistant status to make the decisions. She’ll be a sitting duck, at the mercy of the highest bidder.
“My Pepper is a smart girl,” Alcott goes on. “Smart, and kind.” He says it like a flaw, like he’s saying she’s lazy or vain. Alcott might be the only person in the world to think kindness is a flaw, but when people are constantly trying to pull the rug out from underneath you—and that rug happens to be made of billions—maybe you see the world differently.
“So,” he continues. “Are you interested in the position?”
“What exactly do I have to do?” I ask, though it doesn’t feel like I have much of a choice. If I say no, I’m fairly sure Alcott Davenwood would see to it the rest of my life is even shittier than it already is.
“Learn Pepper’s habits, where she likes to spend time with, who her friends are…without being seen.”
“You want me to spy on her?” I lean back on the soft velvet couch, cocking an eyebrow.
“I wouldn’t phrase it that way,” Alcott tells me, though really, I could think of worse things than watching Pepper all day. “Knowing who she associates with now before the public learns of my demise is imperative.”
Before the pubic… “Pepper doesn’t know, does she?”
“Only the doctors at Good Faith Methodist Hospital and now you know. And I’d like to keep it that way.”
I move my head up and down, looking right into Alcott’s eyes, and wonder why the fuck would he keep this from his daughter? My old man and I weren’t exactly best buddies, but when it came down to his final hour, I wished I’d known and taken advantage of the time we had together.
An image of Pepper flashes in my mind, to the fleeting time I got to call her mine. She was eighteen and full of rebellion and lust. I remember the times I’d sneak over, coming through the woods and meeting her in the courtyard. She’d bring me up into her room, and we assumed no one knew. Judging by the blinking red light in every corner of this room alone, this place has as much security as the White House.
It’s a wonder Alcott never skinned me alive. Though in hindsight, I wasn’t a threat. I didn’t care about her money or her family name.
“I will pay you well,” Alcott says. “More than double what you’re making and Cal’s Customs, and more than you’d ever be able to earn on your own given your…your status.” My criminal record, he means. “And I will provide you with a place to live, a new phone number, and a vehicle more conspicuous than that hunk of metal you ride around.”
My fingers twitch, wanting to curl into fists. Don’t insult my bike, no matter who you are…and how the fuck does he know all this? Right. You can buy information. I internally shudder. No wonder he needs someone from the outside to watch over Pepper.
“I prefer to provide you with whatever you need…leave the past behind you, so to speak,” he says and narrows his eyes. He leans forward, looking me right in the eye. “This may be presumptuous of me, but I assume you want out.”
My mouth goes dry and sweat breaks out along my back. Alcott knows fucking everything. And of course I want out. I never wanted in. No one gets out alive. No one. I look Alcott hard in the eye, and he raises his eyebrows ever so slightly, telling me it’s possible.
No one has gotten out alive…but no one had a billionaire buying their freedom either. I might have a snowball’s chance in hell, but if I can get out, get away, and keep the skin on my back…fuck. It’s worth it on its own.
“Glad we can come to an agreement,” Alcott says.
“I haven’t accepted the job yet,” I remind him.
Alcott looks at me, the smile gone. I keep my face set, a bit of a permanent scowl darkening my features. It’s in my nature to play hardball, to not let anyone not let anyone know what’s going on beneath the surface. If I were a betting man, I could make a decent profit by betting that Alcott already knows what I’ve worked so damn hard to bury.
Because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have called me. And I wouldn’t have risked everything to come here. But I’ll be damned to admit it to anyone else, let alone myself.
I’ve been in love with Pepper Davenwood since the day we met.
Emily Goodwin is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over a dozen of romantic titles. Emily writes the kind of books she likes to read, and is a sucker for a swoon-worthy bad boy and happily ever afters.
She lives in the midwest with her husband and two daughters. When she's not writing, you can find her riding her horses, hiking, reading, or drinking wine with friends.