Jan 28, 2015

Limited Time Sale---BAIT by M. Mabie

LgBaitSale

BAIT LINKS:

Amazon: UK http://goo.gl/2w6Ecn 
Amazon: CA http://goo.gl/hjbwMZ 
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/MHXcHA 


Synopsis

He was trouble from the start, but I couldn't resist. 
She was the best kind of trouble. The kind that was so wrong, it felt right. 

I’ve tried and failed to stay away from him. 
I’ve done everything in my power to make her mine and keep her. 

He’s almost impossible to say no to. 
She never tells me yes. 

We’re always fighting. 
When we’re not fighting, we’re… well… making up. 

He makes me laugh so hard. 
I miss her laugh the most. 

I'm a liar. 
She knows the truth, but won’t admit it. 

Sometimes, I wish I'd never met him. 
I wish we could meet all over again. I'd do better. 

His girlfriend knows. 
The guy she’s with is a fool. 

I’ll never love anyone like I love him. 
She doesn’t love me enough to choose us. 

It was the wrong place. 
It was the wrong time. 

It should have been him. 
It will always be her. 



BAIT Excerpt


Blake

Saturday, February 14, 2009


THE WEEKEND WASN’T GOING to make anything better, but I had to give it a shot.

I was shaking. Running the razor up my soapy leg. I’d been nervous all day.

It had to be the last time, but I wanted to make it count. I knew how twisted that was. Finish on top, as they say. After tonight I’d go back to being the adoring fiancée.

I’d be faithful.

And if that was my last night with Casey, I’d need to make it count. I wanted to remember every second.

After my legs were smooth and everything else was in order. I put my face under the hot stream of water coming from the showerhead. I thought about the shower we took in Seattle. About how his hands roamed my body and touched me everywhere a man could touch a woman. My hand ran down to my core, feeling my trimmed hair.

God I want to feel you bare. I don’t want anything in between us.

His words echoed through my mind and I reached for the soap and the razor. I’d gone down to naked skin before, but it was a very, very long time ago. I thought it was probably in college.

I took my time, doing a thorough job. When I was finished my skin felt new and sensitive. Like the hair had been hiding me from wondrous sensations. I ran my fingers over myself and anticipated Casey’s doing the same.

After I had dried myself and applied his favorite-smelling lotion, I blow dried my hair, then stained my cheeks and lips and darkened my eyes and lashes.

I pulled a black garter up each leg. I wasn’t going to be wearing much, but I wanted to enjoy him taking his time removing them. I pulled the black, thigh-high stocking up my calves and fastened them to the garters with the clips that hung from ice-blue bows. I slipped my legs through the black silk underwear and prepared myself for the icing on the cake. The set that I’d ordered, and was currently dressing in, came with a corset.

It was black with ice-blue ribbons matching the bows on the garters and panties. It laced up the front. I’d looked at the ones that laced from behind, but they looked like a nightmare. I’d already have a struggle getting into one I could watch myself lace.

When the last hook and eye was latched, I straightened it and pulled. Instantly my chest looked bigger, fuller and heaved from the already very low-cut fabric that held my breasts. I ran my hands up the sides, feeling the rigid and straight boning, and yet I felt so comfortable and held together.

I pulled on the blue silk robe that completed the ensemble and went out into the main room to find the shoes and start a fire. I plugged my phone into the suite’s speakers and got out the champagne, putting it on ice in a bucket on the coffee table in the main room. I brought a plate of cheese and fruit to the table and then I went back to the kitchenette for the last piece.

The courage. The kind from a bottle. I had ordered a small decanter and placed it on the table as well. I was going to need a few shots if I ever had a prayer of pulling this off. Seduction wasn’t my forte. But he deserved it.

I usually felt so awkward and clumsy during sex. Well. Not with Casey.

With him I felt worshiped and desired. He acted like he craved me in the way he moaned from kissing my neck sometimes. It made me feel special. Made me feel sexy and wanton.

I arranged the extra pillows and blankets, that I’d ordered up, and they looked so inviting there on the floor in the center of the room.

I’d given it some thought on my plane ride here this morning. I wanted the night to be unforgettable. It was already unforgivable.

I downed two shots. Back to back. The cognac tasted sweet and bold. The taste lingered on my tongue.

I left the robe on. I wanted him to open me like an expensive gift. I wanted to watch his eyes up close when he saw what I was hiding underneath.

I’d told him to be there at eight and it was five to when he knocked. I’d left him a key—as was customary for us at hotels then—knowing he would use it if I didn’t answer.

I rose to my feet, with an extra four inches added from the Brian Atwood heels which Reggie bought me for Christmas. How was I to know they’d come in so handy when I’d sent him a joking picture in a text message version of a fairy-tale princess’s Christmas list?

As I stood there preparing myself, my heartbeat didn’t exactly feel fast; it just felt strong. A powerful pulsing that reverberated throughout my whole body.

The door handle clicked.

I’d turned the lights out, only a few recessed lights over the bar area and the fireplace remained lighting the room. It was tastefully amber and dim. The backlighting behind his body from the bright hallway, when he opened the door, gave me a chill.

He wore a perfectly tailored suit and looked so masculine in profile. It fit to his tight body in magical ways. His hair was tamed back with that miracle product he used to make it look controlled, and in the light, I could see the front was beginning its rebellion, loosening and falling forward more than it should.

He looked like a king. King Casey.

He closed the door gently and pocketed his hand into his slacks making the fabric taught over his already visible bulge.

I licked my lips.

I wanted another shot, but I didn’t dare move.

His blue eyes glittered from the lick of the flames behind me.

The song changed. I recognized it within the first few chords. The single guitar. The arpeggio. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.

I swallowed. Eyeing him standing there, looking at me, the beautiful confusion of it all made my mouth water.

His eyes wandered over me like a search light, both warning and guiding my body home.

He walked toward me and I started forward to meet him halfway, but he held a hand up and stopped where he was when we were still feet apart.

“You look like my wildest dream.” His perfect hand still hung in the air. “Let me look you at you little more. This memory has to last me long time, honeybee.” He pandered his time. I watched him examine every detail of me. I thought I’d feel self-conscious, but the opposite happened.

I was proud, and having him take the time to look at every one of the things I’d done to get his attention felt so gratifying. I had prayed that at least one would capture his interest.

The corners of his lips quirked when his eyes shifted focus down toward my garter clips. He faked coolness by biting his bottom lip, but he didn’t fool me.

Finally, he said, “Come here.”

My right leg, my left leg and I, we all went to him together. My entire body working on its own. It was so easy.

“Wait, one more thing,” he interjected. Then did the international sign for spin-it-a-around, his smile bleeding through every feature on his face. His eyes looked like neon in the darkness.

I did a slow twirl, looking over my shoulder on my way back around. I batted my eyes to get a reaction.

“You look like the definition of temptation.” His eyes squinted and he pantomimed a come-here head nod. God, his claws were sunk so deep into me. If I looked like temptation, he looked precisely capable of charming-the-pants-off the Queen of England.

With my shoes, the height brought my eyes to his lips, my favorite latitude on planet Earth.

He ran a hand over my hair and pushed it behind my shoulder. “I can almost taste you, you smell that good,” he said, hushed. “You did all of this for me?”

“I did.” I was fixated on his mouth. I wanted to put my lips on him. I wanted to touch and undress him, but this was his show and I was only too happy letting him run it. The energy coming off him was palpable.

“Do you know how hard I am? I don’t know if you considered my lack of restraint when it comes to you this close to me.” His hands grazed way down my arms. “What is all of this?”

“I wanted to do something for you.” I looked up at him through my lashes. “I want to make you happy. I want to be your Valentine.” I took a deep breath, the anticipation of his body hot against mine at the forefront of my thoughts. “Open me.”

Ten fingers rushed my face and his lips crushed mine. Then he lifted me into the air. Eye to eye. Mouth to mouth. His arms wrapped around me and held me close. Mine went straight into his hair, my fin-gers spreading to get a grip on my unavoidable man.

“You taste like the night we met,” I heard him say.

He walked us farther into the room, me in his arms, our mouths tasting one another, his tongue circling mine to a beat unheard before.

I let my head fall to his neck and I opened my mouth to wet him with kisses, inhaling his scent—earthy and masculine and something sweet and only him.

The music changed again, but at that time, I couldn’t tell you what the song was.

When my feet touched the floor again, his hands were urgent. He undid the bow where my robe tied in the front and he pushed the silk off my shoulders. The fabric easily slid off me.

The look in his eyes was feral. “Look at you. You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you?” He teased as his hands found my breasts and cupped me. Like he couldn’t decide what he wanted to touch, he roamed me. Over the tight trussed-up corset, around to my ass, and back in quick succession.

“I’ve missed you. I know I’m not good to you and I’m sorry,” I said, not knowing where the words were coming from.

With a finger over my mouth he said, “Shhh. I’m a big boy. I can handle it.”

He was right. He did handle it, but what I didn’t know was how. I could barely manage.

He continued, “You’re my Valentine. Tonight you’re mine. Understand me? Even your thoughts.” He caressed my cheek. “Don’t think about anything but me. That’s what I want. I’m going to take every-thing you’re wearing off. I’m going to touch every inch of you with my mouth. And I’m not going to pretend this is just a fling tonight, like I’ve done every time. For one night, I want you to pretend like it’s me you’re promised to,” his thumbs ran over my lips, “Mine to care for and adore. Say yes to me. Even if it is only for tonight. Please?”

His words came honest. I knew he didn’t always say what he felt, because of me. Because I fought my feelings hard and so, battled his as well.

I’d said the most honest sentence I had, “Then I’m yours.” And with all my damned heart, I wished the words were true. He had never offered me more, and I didn’t think he ever would.

He took his time unwrapping me. I luxuriated in the feeling of his hands on me and my body followed his gentle direction. When the cor-set was gone and I stood there in my panties, my hands began wandering him. I couldn't help want to touch his body the way he had been mine.

My nimble fingers undid the button on his coat and he shrugged out of it. My hands untucked his pressed dress shirt and began the climb of buttons separating him from me. I pulled it open and found him, like always, well defined and muscular. His stomach cut with lean muscles that flexed under my hands. His chest strong and firm. The long ridge of his collarbone, my favorite meal.

I didn’t bother with removing his shirt. Having even the slightest access to him was enough for me.

In my panties, stockings, and shoes I bent down to my knees with one thing in mind. I wanted to taste, to touch, and to have all of him. To please only him.

I kissed along the top edge of his dress pants, undoing his belt, and pulling it through its loops. Then, I tossed it away. The zipper went the way zippers do in these situations, and to my wonderful surprise, he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. I smiled at my discovery. It looked like he had finally made a decision about his undergarments.

y mouth continued to water.

His skin, too, was bare. But unknown to him, so was I.

My fingers circled underneath his length and pulled him out. I ran both of my hands under his pants to his ass and pulled them down farther to expose his scrotum, taught and collected tightly against him. Everything about him was beautiful.

I took him into my mouth and felt him flex inside me, growing even fuller. The taste of him was so intoxicating. His skin was like catnip and the more I had of it the more I needed. I looked up at him to see him watching me in wonder, his jaw ticking and every glorious muscle from my face to his was in full view.

I moaned around his cock, the sight of him like this stealing the remnant of every wayward thought from my head. It was only him and me. This night was for us.

I moved to a slow beat, enjoying every twitch, every breath he took while I pleasured him. He stood anchored in his spot. He brushed my hair back away from me, threaded his fingers through it, and pushed himself deep inside me before he pulled out of me and urgently pulled me up his decadent body. He kissed me, still holding my head in his hands with my hair. It was rough and his chest rose and fell in time with mine.

“Go lay down over there, Blake. I want to play with my Valentines’ gift.” A shiver ran through me. He released my hair and I backed up without looking at where I was going. My body on autopilot, I did what I was told.

I felt brazen and daring. I felt like I was living a fantasy. I leaned back on my elbows and drew my legs up then parted them like I’d dreamt of doing so many nights on the phone.

He came to crouch next to me and took stock of the table’s offerings.

“May I have a drink, honeybee? Good choice with the cognac. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were sentimental.” His voice was rich with sensuality, but his eyes were alight with happiness. He was going to play with me. I was his toy tonight. His toy.

He fixed himself a drink. Two pieces of ice clanked in the glass, then two fingers of the sweet liquor followed. He brought the short glass to his lips and hummed his pleasure at the taste.

I was on fire and the anticipation of him touching me was thrumming through my veins.

His shirt was open and his pants, although still undone in the front were pulled back up. The runaway lock of hair, which had broken formation from the rest, was gathering company from us running our hands through it.

While I’d been studying him, I hadn't paid attention to my wandering hand that was now rubbing my breast. My mouth was open and I was nearly panting.

After he drank down half of the glass, he touched my leg at the knee and leisurely ran his fingers up the skin to my thigh. His barely there touch wasn't enough.

I wanted more. I needed more.

I spread my legs farther for him and unabashedly ran my hand to my sex. I rubbed myself over my panties trying to satisfy a need that was blazing deep inside me. His eyes watched me touch myself and I saw that his desire matched mine. The usually cool and easy-going Casey, was again gone, and in his place was the take-control lover I dreamed about nearly every night.

On his knees he climbed closer to me, between my legs, and his hand met mine.

“I want you, Casey.”

He replied, with a firm demanding voice, “Say it again.”

“I want you.”

Maybe it was the ambiance and romantic mood of the room. Maybe I felt so free because it was, decidedly, my last time with him.

That singular thought made me panic and I had to remind myself why. I had to recite in my head, Because you’re marrying another man. Because Casey only likes chasing you. Because he doesn’t want the same things you do. He doesn’t want a family. He doesn’t want a home. He likes traveling and being carefree.

And it was those exact things that made me believe I had to leave him and made my heart retch to let him go. Because he would never offer me anything different and I could no longer live with the desperate yearning I had for him, that was entwined with my deeper desires for home, future, and stability.

Then he caught me and halted the runaway train that was my thoughts.

“I told you, honeybee. No thinking like that.”

Had I said all that out loud? Or was it possible my thoughts were loud enough to hear.

Still, even though my mind was playing chess with itself, my body and heart never strayed. They belonged to him.

“Then kiss me. Distract me.”

He reached for the table and his glass, emptying it in his mouth and I watched as he downed every last drop, including the ice. Returning the empty glass to the table, his eyes found mine and I saw a hint of mischief.

He dipped his head to my neck. The sensation was hot, but I could feel the coolness of the ice at the same time. He kissed my chest and when he took my nipple into his mouth the ice across my warm flesh sent a rush of need straight through me. I bucked my hips trying to find the pressure and friction I craved, but he backed away and down my body, taking his ice with him.

When he got to the elastic at the top of my panties he stopped and looked up at me.

“You’re so beautiful, Blake. Your body was made for me.” He kissed above the little blue bow on my panties. He said, low and sultry, “Your smell haunts me.” He dipped his head lower and breathed me in, his eyes flickering as he inhaled. “I crave the taste of you, like a man starved.”

Sitting up a little, he grasped both sides of the thin string that circled my hips on both sides of the expensive lingerie bottoms.

Then they were gone.

He caressed me with his stare. His eyes took in my bared flesh and he prayed, “Mercy.”

This passage is protected under copyright ©M. Mabie 2015
   

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Cover Reveal--Sidelined by Emma Hart




RELEASE DAY: MARCH 2, 2015



Three people. Three motives. Three reasons.
When the game leaves the field in the second book in the USA Today bestselling BY HIS GAME series and mixes with sex, lies, and betrayal, the future isn't the only thing on the line...

Macey Kelly has sworn off men. Unless they’re going to zip in and out of her apartment—and her vagina—quicker than they can give her an orgasm, she’s not interested. Finding out her boyfriend of three years got her cousin pregnant was a total confidence knock. Luckily for Macey, confidence is
something she has in abundance, so all Mitch’s asshole move did was make her pretty cynical toward men.

The last thing Jack Carr needs at the start of the season is for a dark-haired, sexy as sin, gyspyesque beauty to be consuming his thoughts. Football is his life, which leaves no time for girls. Unless they’re the love ‘em and leave ‘em girls. Becoming one of the best running backs the league has ever seen by racking up the yards is his top priority… not bedding Macey Kelly, despite her affinity for blow jobs and total sexual abandon.
Avoiding each other is the perfect solution, but when your best friends are in a serious living together kind of relationship, that isn’t always an option. Sometimes, sex on tap is the easiest option. And the sweetest.

Until Mitch shows up with a bombshell that could shatter Macey’s perfectly carved out life. It’s been a year, but he isn’t giving her up, not now he has a chance at winning her back. And he knows her buttons. Every single one of them.
Unfortunately for him, Jack Carr isn’t a loser. The star running back has his eye on the Vince Lombardi—and on Macey. But seeing her hanging between them both isn’t something he’s down with, not when he discovers why she’s so against anything more-ish, as she puts it.Macey quickly realizes she’s the ball being passed between two desperate yet opposing teams, and that only one of them can score the touchdown. But will the winner be the guy she lived with and loved for three years, or will the winner be the guy who understands her and makes her body come alive?
In this game, someone will be sidelined, and calling the play isn’t always as easy as it seems.


(SIDELINED is a full-length, standalone novel. It's not necessary to read BLINDSIDED before this book, but it is advised.)







EXCERPT


“Put the drink down, M,” he whispers. “It’s fucking with you.”

“Really? I thought that was you fucking with me,” I respond, turning to him and pressing a hand

against his chest. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Like, right here. Literally.

“It’s my best friend’s birthday.” He smirks. “Why’ve you been staring at me all night like you wanna

suck and bite my cock simultaneously?”

“I assure you it was the latter.”

“Sure it was.” Jack steps into me again, and I grab my glass with the hand closest to him so I don’t

grab his ass or something, ‘cause, shit. He’s got a sweet as hell ass.

“It was.” I drink. Again. Where the hell are my girls? “I feel like dancing.” I finish the glass and twist

my body away from his.

His hand finally falls from me as I stalk toward and down the stairs. I slip into the moving crowd, but

I’ve barely moved my hips when two large, strong hands clasp me and tug me backward. The wall of

muscle my back slams into is solid, and I exhale on a whoosh, even as I close my fingers against the

ones clasping my hips.

“Nice try, baby,” Jack says into my ear. “Run if you want. I’m a running back. I’ll chase you and catch

you every fuckin’ time.”

“Sounds like a promise you can’t keep, doll,” I reply, my breath catching when he moves my hips

against his.

“Sounds like a promise you’re afraid of.”

I laugh and shove his hands away from me. I turn to face him. Even in the darkness, his eyes blaze

bright green, so fucking bright they’re close to blinding me every time the strobe lighting coasts

across his face. And, shit, it does it so many times, and every time, it illuminates every line and curve

of his perfectly sculpted jaw.

“You wish, Jack Carr. You fucking wish.”

His hands snatch mine and he pulls me through the crowd. I fight his hold, but his grip is too tight.

My heart pounds as he drags me through the hall with certainty, and in two minutes, I find myself

pressed against his goddamn car in the parking lot.

“What the fuck?” I shout, shoving at him.

He grabs my hands once more and pins them over my head, effectively bending me backward on the

hood of his SUV. “What the fuck?” he replies, leaning into me, his voice low. “Is that hard or soft,

quick or slow, deep or shallow? ‘Cause baby, I can fuck you all six of those ways in one go.”

“None of them,” I snap. “What the fuck, as in, what the fuck, asshole?”

“Oh, that what the fuck.” He bends forward a little more. Until his mouth is against my ear and his

hard body is pressed right up against mine. “Maybe it’s the what the fuck I felt when I felt your eyes

on me all night. Maybe it’s the what the fuck I felt when you looked at me like you wanted to fuck

me one minute, then the next, slice my balls in two. Maybe it’s the what the fuck you’ve got in your

eyes while you let me lie my body over yours in a motherfucking parking lot seconds after I ask you

how you want to be fucked tonight.”

“I don’t want to be fucked,” I reply, doing my best to slam my hands into his hood. I fail—shit, he’s

so fucking strong I can’t even twist my hands in his grip.

“Baby, your body says otherwise.”

“My body is an impulsive fuckwit.”

“Your body knows me.”

“Again, my body is an impulsive fuckwit.”

“You never did say.” He breathes against my jaw and brushes his lips against my skin. “How do you

want to be fucked?”

He tilts his face into my neck and kisses. Oh, hell, he kisses my neck, right beneath my jaw, where my

chin meets my neck, and I pause. I inhale sharply.

“Get in the goddamn car,” he orders, releasing me.

“Excuse me?” I push up and stare at him.

“Get in the goddamn car,” he repeats, pulling open his door and staring me. “Or have I gotta throw

you into it?”

“I am not getting into your car!”

He slams his door shuts and rounds on me. I step backward, but he’s too quick, and he wraps an arm

around my waist. My body slams into his yet again as he opens the passenger side door of his SUV

and throws me into it.

“Get. In. The. Goddamn. Car.”

“This is kidnap!”

He slams my door, and I both see and hear him laughing as he walks to the driver’s side. “Sure it is,

baby. I’m startin’ the engine now, so you got ten seconds to get the hell out before I drive. One…

two…”


TEASERS







CHECK IT OUT!!

Book One in the BY HIS GAME SERIES

From Emma Hart, the New York Times bestselling author of the Game series, comes a brand new series where the game is realer, the tension is tighter, the sex is hotter, and the stakes are the highest of all…

Two people. Two agendas. Two games.
What happens when the out-there It-Boy of football meets the secret It-Girl of fashion?
As the daughter of Hollywood’s sweetheart, Leah Veronica can’t even buy a coffee without finding her face on a magazine stand, so it’s no wonder she’s launching her first fashion line in secret. With it debuting at New York Fashion Week in just under a month, extra time in the spotlight is the last thing she needs.
The son of the best quarterback the league has ever seen, filling legendary shoes as the L.A. Vipers’ quarterback was inevitable for Corey Jackson. So was meeting Leah Veronica—the first girl to hand him his ass without putting a hair out of place.
Getting the handsome, prickly blonde into his bed becomes his number one goal. But getting the sexy, over-confident footballer the hell away from her becomes Leah’s—at least until she realizes the best way to do that is to give him what he wants.
If only it was that simple.
When Corey discovers who she is, and private photos of Hollywood’s finest find their way online, everything they thought they knew is thrown into disarray.
And when secrets are exposed and hearts are shattered, they have to figure out if they’ve been blindsided by love or reality, and if it’s worth running the extra yard to win the game they never meant to play.










By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies - usually wine - and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.




Jan 23, 2015

Cover Reveal-- Her Soldier by HJ Bellus


Release Date:  March 10th
  Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Photography By: Perrywinkle Photography
Models:  Teale Shawn Murdock & Aaron Lesue’
Cover Design: RedbirdDesigns

Sergeant Jeremiah Abbner died in the line of duty serving his country. Or at least that’s what the newspapers said…


The US Government handed him a new identity, and strict orders not to make contact with anyone from his past. As far as society was concerned Sergeant Jeremiah Abbner was dead, and buried six feet under. 

Not having contact with his ex-wife would be easy. She was a manipulator and a cheater. 

Not seeing his daughter on the other hand would devastate him… 

Beau Morgan, aka Jeremiah, settles down in a town far away from everything he’s ever known. Coping with the trauma he’s experienced and discovering a new life Beau finds himself the most aggressive he’s ever been. His blood simmers with rage while his fists are thirsty to let it all out . 

In the middle of his own living hell he never expected to run into an old familiar face. And to top it off, one who recognized him as Jeremiah. 

He’s vowed never to love again, but as circumstances land him in the arms of a woman, Jenni Lee, this time he may not have a choice, as she rarely takes no for an answer. 

Can Beau Morgan control his temper long enough to settle into his new life? Or will resentment taint him forever?



Chapter 1

Streetlights whiz past my peripheral vision as I roar down Main Street to the restaurant. The familiar rage inside me begins to boil. Just the mention of that name can do dangerous things to me internally. I never want to hear it again. Everything was taken away from me with that name.

I try to focus on Michelle’s face instead of the rage. She looked so different, yet it was the same girl. I could tell from her tattoo. What a mysterious mind fuck that girl is. I searched everywhere for her after the night she abandoned me at the tattoo parlor. Her wrist. Holy fuck. It hits me if that’s Michelle, I knew then she’d have a lump on her wrist, because I can guarantee she never visited a hospital.

The night we spent together was something magical. There aren’t many things in my life I’d classify as magical—my gran’s baking, the birth of my child, and that night with her. She had a serious effect on me, but ran. She literally ran off into the night. I deployed two months later. End of story.

My thoughts occupied me while loading the food and heading back to the reception. As I step out of the delivery truck, a sound catches my ear. It’s not one many would pick up on, but I do easily. Someone is being beaten. The darkness of the night with the faraway lights makes it easier for me to detect the sound of bones being beaten. I spent many nights this way.

The ground is uneven, with little paths leading in every direction. Being unfamiliar with the lay of the land is making it beyond difficult to maneuver my way to the punches. A desperate plea sounds, making me damn near desperate to find where it’s coming from. Instinctively, I reach for my gun, but only find keys in my pocket. Army life is still so second nature that even after years I find myself reverting to old habits.

“You fucking cunt.” The voice becomes clearer, and the surroundings light up a bit. Finally rounding a corner, I spot a petite blonde cowered down on the ground with a brooding man standing above her. It’s clear by the sheer size of the man he would be able to snap her neck in a second. The pale pink color of the wedding party catches my eye, and instantly I wonder if it’s Michelle. There’s way too much blonde hair. It’s not her.

The blonde lifts her face up from the ground, and this is when I lose it. Blood is flowing down her face, making her features difficult to recognize. Her hair is pulled out of its fancy up-do. The man jerks her up by the hair to a standing position.

Everything inside me boils. Clearly, the situation is exactly what I think it is.
“You’re going home with me right now, Jenni. I’ll fucking drag you if I have to.” The man pulls the helpless woman closer to him, tearing her pink dress with the action. “You’ll never hang around the Wilks boys again.”

Stepping into the slice of light covering the duo, I ask, “Is there a problem here?”

I feel the rage inside me boil further, if that’s even possible, when her brown eyes reflect back at me. She’s beyond desperate and scared. I’ve seen this look on civilians before, and every time it turns on a switch within me. I’m not playing the hero card. It’s more like knowing the difference between right and wrong and acting on it. It takes someone to make a stand.

The blonde is pulled even tighter into the man, and the sound of her dress being completely ripped from the top of her body fills the air.

“We’re fucking fine, man. Leave.”

I move in closer to the situation, watching her reaction as I do. Once I make eye contact with her, I don’t break it. “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the young lady.” My gaze bores holes into her desperate eyes. “Are you okay?”

She begins to speak, but the man rips on her hair again. This time is enough. I don’t wait for an answer or another moan of pain from the woman. Before I know what is happening, I step up and hammer the man in the face. Taken by surprise, he lets go of the girl. I grab for her and push her behind me to safety. However, my need to punish this man isn’t nearly satisfied. He’ll pay for every single ounce of pain he’s inflicted on her.

My fists fly into action, nailing him with each blow. Now the sound of crunching bones is caused by me and well deserved. I leave him with one final kick to the ribs. I’m fairly certain he’s unconscious, as his moans and begging have now stopped. I wipe my bloody knuckles on the back of my pants before turning to face the woman.

She’s cowered back down on the ground with her face buried. Her blonde mane is splayed out over knees and is dappled with spots of blood. I’m pretty sure she’s past the point of being cleaned up to go back to the wedding.

“Are you okay?” I mentally berate myself for asking such a dumbass question. Of course she’s not okay. My hands fumble a bit before they finally grab for her and rest on the top of her knee. I push away her loose hair before I find her exposed kneecap, which is scraped up too. “What can I do?”

  She doesn’t respond with words. Instead her body shudders as her tears flow. She’s beyond talking and clearly not okay.

“I’m going to get you out of here.” I pat her knee, finding a piece of her flesh that’s not damaged. I run my hand up and down this spot trying to comfort her. “I’m going to pack you to my truck and take you where you need to go. Would you like me to let anyone know you’re leaving?”

I watch as her long hair sways back and forth, signaling no.
“No to me helping you, or to letting someone know?”

She slowly drags her head up to look at me, with her hair matted to both sides of her face. Her left eye is swollen shut, while most of the blood has started to dry up.

“Don’t tell anyone, please. I need to leave,” escapes her cut lips.
Without any further questioning, I stand and go back to the man who caused all of this and give him a little more of what I think of him. This time the sound of his bone crushing under my fist feels even better than last time.

I don’t take long because I don’t want to leave her in too much pain and in front of her assailant. Slowly and with more ease than I’ve used in years, I pick her up in my arms. The top half of her dress falls away from her body, while the skirt portion barely hangs onto her. She’s tense in my arms, not one bit relaxed or comforted.

I’ll never understand the urge to lay a hand on a woman. I’ve been pissed before at the opposite sex, but using my fists to solve the problem has never even crossed my mind.

With each step I take toward the parking lot, I feel her become more panicked. Her tiny hands grab at my biceps, clenching tight.

“It’s okay. I’m just going to take you to my truck, and then to wherever you need to go.” She finally makes eye contact with me, and I think she might believe I’m not the enemy, but I want to reassure her. “I won’t hurt you. I can even call the cops right now and get you help.”

Music fills the dark night air as we close in on the parking lot. When she hears the music, she begins to sob in my arms.

“Do you want me to go get one of your friends?”
“No.”

Her sobs continue as she clings harder to my arm, but the rest of her body begins to relax a bit. I desperately want to keep talking to her, or even hold her longer to show her I’m not the enemy and will never hurt her. I’m not sure how to act in this situation. We are two strangers in a very difficult situation.

“Okay, this is my truck. Are you sure you don’t want me to go get someone?”

This time she struggles from my arms and tries to stand on her own. Of course her fragile little body can’t handle it. I steady her and keep her from collapsing to the ground. Her bare chest is exposed to the world, with a dainty, baby blue bra covering her. I pull off my white button up staff shirt and cover her up with it.

“Please don’t tell anyone. Please? They’ll just think I’m an idiot.” She fiddles with the hem of my shirt as she sits in the front seat staring at her feet. “And they aren’t that far off.”

“Don’t.” I grab her hand, stopping her from fiddling and berating herself. “Don’t you dare think that way.”

“Beau.” I turn to see one of my co-workers in a frantic state. “Where is the truck with the food? We are almost out of everything. Boss man, Juan, is going nuts.”

Standing in front of a co-worker in a white wife beater is somewhat awkward, though no more than having a beaten woman behind me, but the last thing I want to do is expose her to anyone. Before I have the chance to speak, a very red faced and pissed off Juan joins the small crowd.

“Beau, where in the fuck is the food?” He pauses, with an odd expression covering his face. “Where’s the company truck?”

I nod in the direction where I parked the company truck, loaded and ready to go with food for the reception. His beady black eyes follow my nod and then turn back to me.

“And what do you think you’re doing?” Juan throws his hands behind his head in a fit. “Get back to work now, Beau, and get your fucking shirt on.”

The woman behind me lets out a light groan as she tries to get out of the truck. Her shoes are missing, dress ripped, and she’s obviously in an insane amount of pain.

“Fuck you, I quit.”

The words come out effortlessly. The way I see it, there was no other choice. I round the front of the truck, moving as fast as I can to get next to her. She needs help.

“I’m going to take you to the hospital.”

She faces me with a desperate plea before any words leave her mouth. I know what her next words will be, but the thing is, I’ve already let one woman in need of medical attention escape me. I’m not repeating the same mistake. She will go to the hospital.  










I am an independent author excited about releasing my first novel very soon. A big dream coming true!!! I'm all country...the kinda country where green grass grows and corn pops up in rows....love Miranda and her bad ass music!!! Just a simple country girl getting one story out of her head at a time...I always fall hard for a trucker style hat...especially if it's a John Deere hat....loves me a good ol' farm boy!!!!!!


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