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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Army Strong and dripping with sin …
Paul Jackson had his dreams mapped out. He’d graduate from high school, attend college, go pro for football, marry his high school sweetheart and live happily ever after. Until his high school sweetheart threw away everything he never knew he wanted. Throwing caution to the wind, he put his country’s dreams before his own.
The Army was a perfect distraction from her. It helped him become a man. To serve, to protect, to fight, to become strong. But when Paul returns home after three tours, he knows there’s nothing better than sexy woman, a shot of tequila and a pocket full of cash.
But he still thinks about her …
Joselyn Marquez’s life changed the night of her seventeenth birthday. A forty-eight hour roller coaster trip sent her running for her life. She was homeless, and her family had disappeared. All odds were against her.
But sometimes the odds work out.
Years later, she’s an FBI agent serving as an undercover escort to investigate sex trafficking in Las Vegas. When the investigation connects her past, will she be able to do the right thing or will she still keep running from the night of her seventeenth birthday?
BONUS NEVER RELEASED SCENE
My best friend is getting married.
And I get to plan an epic as shit bachelor party.
There are two requirements for a great bachelor party. The first one is getting shit-faced with your buddies while surrounded by naked chicks. The other is humiliating the guy. Women do the same thing where they make the bride wear penis attire and go on a stupid scavenger hunt where they make some pussy buy them a shot or have the bride kiss some ugly fucker. I’ve seen it happen far too many times.
Guys have a different way of embarrassing the groom, though. We’re dudes, so we shit talk and roughhouse. We take things to the extreme, and we do it with force. We do it with bodily harm.
Gabe used to be a gigolo, and a damn good one at that before a woman changed everything and he quit the game. Normally, I would tell him that he’s letting a woman drag him around by the balls, but the woman in question is Autumn, and I love her. She’s like a sister to me, and he couldn’t have found a better woman.
So how do you plan a bachelor party for an ex-gigolo who has seen more titties than he can count and already lives in Vegas, the city where most guys come to enjoy their last night of freedom?
This needs to be a night Gabe won’t forget.
I called our buddies from Saddles & Racks and asked them to meet me for a few drinks so we can come up with a plan. We’re at a place I found on one of my dates called Gold Spike. It has a full bar and has games like beer pong, pool, cornhole, and life-size Jenga.
After we get our drinks from the bar, we grab a high-top table, but I see the guys eyeing the pool table. We can’t have that. We won’t get anything done. One thing would lead to another, and we’ll be betting money and not coming up with a plan for Gabe. After we’ve discussed the bachelor party, we can play games and I can take these fuckers’ money in a few games of beer pong.
“I can’t believe Gabe’s getting married,” Nick says, sliding onto a bar stool.
“We know the thought of one woman’s pussy for the rest of your life makes your dick want to run and hide.” Vinny shakes his head, grabbing a seat, too. If anyone in our group is next to get out of the game, it’s Vinny. He stopped seeing a chick from out of town who couldn’t handle what we do. He didn’t want to leave S&R for her. He wasn’t like Gabe.
“Fuck,” Nick groans. “Just the thought of that scares me.” He shivers and then takes a long sip of his grapefruit juice and vodka with a salted rim—which is also known as a salty dog—appropriate for him in my opinion. Out of all the guys, Nick is my go to friend when it comes to shit, but he’s a real I’m-never-getting-married-dude. Hell, I’m never getting married either, but if this motherfucker fucks up Gabe’s happiness by putting any kind of doubt in his head, I will personally beat his ass. After what Gabe went through with Cochran, he deserves to be happy, and if Auttie is that person, then I’m not going try and change his mind. Like I said, I love Autumn like a sister.
“You better not fuck this up,” I warn, pointing my finger at his face and narrowing my eyes.
Nick rolls his eyes. “I’m only going to get Gabe shit-faced.”
“I don’t want to only get him hammered. I want this to be something cool as shit.”
He laughs. “It will be. He just won’t remember it.”
“And how do you know what will happen?” I ask.
He shrugs and looks to Vinny and Bradley. They look to me, waiting.
“That’s why I asked you all here.” I shake my head in frustration before taking a sip of my tequila and Coke. “We need to plan something fun. We can’t just bring him to a strip club. We see tits and ass all day.”
“Not Gabe. I bet he has to jack off twice a day now just to keep his sack from exploding.” Nick chuckles.
I groan at his smart ass remark. “Trust me, I’m sure they’re still fuckin’. They lived with me, remember? I’m pretty sure shit hasn’t changed that much in only a few weeks.”
“What do you have in mind?” Bradley asks, getting back to the task at hand.
“I’m not sure. He can go to a casino anytime, so that’s lame.”
Bradley takes a sip of his gin and tonic before he speaks again. “Have you seen that place where you can drive bulldozers?”
I shake my head. “No.”
“I’ve never been, but a buddy of mine told me about it. You can drive a bulldozer or an excavator. You build huge mounds of dirt, push gigantic tires around, build trenches, and stack two thousand pound tires. You can even play bucket basketball—whatever the hell that is.”
“Dude, that sounds cool,” Vinny exclaims with a huge grin.
I watch Vinny take a sip of his rum and Coke while I consider the bulldozer idea. Playing with heavy machinery does sound fun, but it doesn’t sound epic and I want something he’d never expect. I want something that we can’t go do any given day. “I’ve never heard of that, and we definitely need to go do it one day, but I want something that’s going to be the shit, not something that’s just going to be fun.”
They nod and then we sit in silence. We sit and think for what feels like forever. My drink is almost empty when, out of nowhere, Bradley slaps the table, causing us all to jump.
He turns to me, a big ass grin on his face, and asks, “How good are you at lying?”
I told Autumn that I was stealing Gabe for the weekend and to have his bag packed. She, of course, questioned me, but if I wasn’t going to tell him what we were doing, I wasn’t going to tell her. I did, however, promise her there would be no girls involved.
That was partially true.
Knowing that Gabe was at the range teaching, I stopped by his house to grab his bag from Autumn.
“Are you sure that’s all the clothes he’s going to need?”
I look at the small duffel bag and then back at her. “Yeah,” I chuckle, “we’re guys. We don’t need a lot of clothes.”
“I know, but all I packed was two pairs of boxers, two T-shirts, swim shorts, a sweatshirt and a pair of sweats.”
“That sounds right.”
“What if something gets dirty? You’ll be gone for two nights and I didn’t pack extra pants.”
“Auttie, trust me. We can wear the same clothes two days in a row.” Her eyes grew huge. Laughing, I add, “Guys don’t care.”
Shaking her head, she closes her eyes and then turns and walks to the kitchen as she mutters something I can’t hear. I don’t understand the big deal.
“I’m going to grab some stuff from the garage.”
“Whatever,” she calls back.
After grabbing what I need, I throw everything into my Jeep and then walk back to the kitchen. “Bye, Auttie. We’ll pick him up at nine.” I kiss her cheek and try to step away to leave, but she grabs my wrist before I can move and gets in my face, pointing her index finger at me.
“Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I can’t kick your ass, PJ. If I find out there are women all over him this weekend …” Her eyes narrow and I swallow hard.
“There won’t be women all over him this weekend, I promise. Plus, this is Gabe we’re talking about. You can trust him. You can trust me.”
She stares at me for a few beats and I feel my heart rate kick up. I’ve never been scared of her. I knew she was a badass by the way she’d handled her ex-husband, but Jesus, I never expected to be on her bad side.
“Autumn,” I say, using her given name because I need to let her know I’m serious and she can trust me. “I promise it’s just a bunch of guys getting together. You packed him sweats for Christ’s sake. You think chicks are going to be all over him in sweats?”
“Paul Jackson, I know how all you boys operate. It doesn’t matter what you wear. Hell, you all work naked for a living, so don’t give me that bullshit.”
All right, she got me there.
I release her death grip from my wrist and bring her in for a hug. “Auttie, I promise it’s not that type of party. We all fuck everyday—literally.” I snicker.
“Not helping,” she mumbles.
“We’re going to go blow off some steam and do guy shit. Just drink and have a good time, I swear.”
She pulls back and looks me square in the eyes. “Promise?”
“I cross my heart.”
I’m dreading tonight.
It’s my bachelor party and I don’t know what’s going on, but apparently, Autumn does. She’s in on the shenanigans and I’m left in the dark. All I know is what Paul texted me this morning:
Paul: Dress to impress tonight because it’s about to go down!
Usually, I’d be excited to hang with my friends, but Autumn and I are still new. She’s having my baby and I want to spend every free second with her. Before she came along, I was drowning my sorrows in whiskey, hiding my pain from everyone. Well, I thought I was hiding. I didn’t care if I woke up the next day, but now I have a reason to wake up. I don’t want to get wasted at my bachelor party and not remember going to bed next to my angel. I want to remember every single night.
But Autumn has convinced me that I need this. Maybe we both need this. Sure I spend time with Jackson here and there, but it’s been a while since I’ve hung out with the guys. A night out would be good. But I won’t get plastered, even if it is my night to get hammered. Jackson can go fuck himself if he thinks that will happen.
As I head home from the range, I think about what I’m going to wear. I know, I’m a guy—whatever, but Jackson said I need to dress to impress and I have no idea what to wear or where the fuck we’re going.
By the time I get home, I still have no idea what I’m wearing. I’m not good at this shit. Hell, Jackson helped me pick out my outfit my first night as a gigolo. Clothes just aren’t my thing.
I grab my phone and send a text to Jackson as I get out of my Yukon and head inside:
Me: Where are we going tonight?
Me: What are you wearing?
I groan as I enter the house, shaking my head. I fucking sound like a chick.
Paul: Is this Auttie because you sound like a girl.
Me: Just answer the question!
I’m going to kill him.
“Angel,” I call out. She doesn’t answer so I call her again, moving toward the kitchen.
“By the pool,” she finally responds.
The moment I walk through the French doors that lead to the backyard, I spot her in her bikini, lounging in the shade. I decide I’m not going out tonight no matter what Autumn and Jackson say. The sight of her with her small bump, the bump that holds our future, is enough reason to stay home and cuddle on the couch like we do every night. It’s what I’ve grown to love.
She looks up from her Kindle. “Hey, how was the range?”
I sit in the lounge chair beside her and then lean over and kiss her. “The usual. Julie’s getting better. Before long, she’ll be as good as you.” After everything that went down with Major Dick, we’d started our own self-defense classes at Club 24. In addition, we teach women how to properly shoot guns.
“That’s awesome. I really like Julie. So are you ready for tonight?” Her smile is as big as I’ve ever seen it.
“You really want me to go?”
“Of course, I do. It’s your bachelor party.”
I lean back in the lounge chair and stare up at the blue sky. “But I want to stay home with you. No telling what they have planned. PJ told me I need to dress to impress and I have no—”
“Wait—what?” She sits up.
“This surprises you? I thought you know the plan?”
She grabs her phone and I watch as she messes with the screen. “What are you doing?”
“I’m …” She pauses longer than necessary, still on her phone, and I begin to wonder if she doesn’t know what the plan really is.
“I’m asking Paul what you need to wear.”
“But you know where we’re going, right?”
She gives a nervous giggle and I start to become even more suspicious. “Yes, but I didn’t ask him what you need to wear.”
“Why would you need to ask him?” This is definitely making me nervous.
“It’s a special place.”
I tilt my head. “Special?”
“Like VIP special?” I grin.
She smiles with a shrug almost as if she is trying to hide something, then looks back down at her phone. “Well, it is your night.”
He’s probably taking me to a club on the strip with our own table and bottle service. Guys have to dress nicely to get into most Vegas clubs.
“Are you sure you’re okay with all of this?”
She looks back up from her phone. “Yes, now let’s go pick you out something to wear.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“What do I have to do to convince you?”
I scrunch my eyebrows. “You want me to go that bad?”
She stands then straddles my hips. “I want you to go and have fun with the guys. You’ve been with me every night. Things are going to change once the baby gets here.”
I grab her phone from her hands and then glance at the time. “We have time for a shower first.”
“We?” She laughs, throwing her head back.
I nod, staring at her chest.
“I’m covered in chlorine.” She winks.
“Then we’d better wash you off.”
I toss my wallet and keys on the table then start making my way to the bathroom. But when I turn the corner, I stop. She’s leaning into our walk-in shower to adjust the temperature and all I can see is that perfectly round ass of hers.
After adjusting my dick that’s now straining against the fly of my shorts, I lean against the doorjamb, fold my arms and simply watch her. A few short moments later, she looks over her shoulder and flashes me that seductive grin as if she knows I’ve been watching her the whole time.
Pushing myself off the wall, I strip a piece of clothing with every step I take until I’m toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with her, I swept Autumn’s hair back with both hands, bring her lips to mine and start moving us under the spray of the showerhead. We reach the other end of the shower and I pin her against the wall, grinding my hips to give her a little tease of what’s about to happen. I pull my lips from hers and make my way to her neck, applying little nibbles to her jaw along the way. She reaches down and wraps her hand around my now rock hard dick. I let out a groan and bring my mouth to her ear.
“Turn around, angel. Hands on the wall.”
Autumn turns around, puts both palms against the tile, and then rests the back of her head on my shoulder giving me open access to her neck. When I start alternating between nipping and sucking at it, she pushed her hips back, rubbing her perfect ass against me. One of my hands makes its way up to her tits, massaging between small plucks and causing her nipples to stiffen. The other hand moves between her legs.
At the first stroke of my fingers against her clit, Autumn lets out a moan. I push them deeper, gliding in and out effortlessly and I know it’s not from the water that’s beating down on us. My girl is ready. She’s hot and slick and as my knees bend, lifting her slightly to slide my dick in, I think to myself that the guys can go fuck themselves. Who needs a bachelor party when you have this woman waiting at home for you? I don’t give a shit what they have planned. Nothing beats her. Nothing.
My thrusts are slow because I don’t want to hurt the baby. We’ll both get there eventually. I reach my hand around to rub her clit. She turns her head and bites my earlobe. “I’m not going to break, Gabe.”
She tells me every time we fuck that I won’t hurt her or the baby. I know she’s right, but I keep my rhythm slow and steady. Just in case.
“I want it harder,” she moans.
I take a deep breath before I grab her hips with both hands and drive into her. “Anything you want, angel.”
I’m feeling better about everything now that I’ve fucked Autumn. I’m relaxed, I shave my face and head and then dress in dark jeans, a button-up dark blue shirt, and brown dress shoes.
“What are your plans for tonight?” I ask Autumn as we lounge on the couch waiting for Jackson.
“You’re looking at it.”
“Don’t have too much fun,” I joke.
“Someone needs to stay by the phone in case I need to bail your asses out of jail.” I look down at her, fear starting to work itself back into my veins. “I’m kidding, Mr. Green Eyes. You’re going to have a good time with your friends. I promise. Now stop worrying.” She leans up and kisses me lightly.
Before I can say anything, Jackson walks in without knocking, his usual style. “Get your ass up and let’s get this party started!”
Autumn stands and I immediately miss her warmth. PJ’s shit-eating grin spread across his face tells me I’m going to regret this night. I’m not sure if it’s because I made him do all kinds of shit in the Army and he’s going to pay me back or what, but I don’t like how excited he is.
“I love you. Have a good time and I’ll see you when you get back.” Autumn’s warmth is back as she hugs my waist.
“You’ll be awake?”
“Of course.” She stands on her tiptoes and presses her lips to mine again.
Before she can pull away, I grab her face and deepen the kiss. PJ can wait a few seconds. I want my angel to know that I’ll be thinking of her tonight and that she has nothing to worry about. No matter what the plan is, she can trust me. Even though we haven’t talked about trust, we both know Major Dick cheated on her and bachelor parties are unusually infamous for cheating.
“I’ll be missing the taste of your lips all night,” I whisper and give her one final kiss.
“Ready, love bird?” PJ motions for the door.
“Fuck off, Jackson.” I wink at Autumn as a goodbye. She laughs and follows us so she can lock the door once we leave.
“You need a drink,” he mutters as we step out my front door.
I expect to see his Jeep parked in front of my house, maybe even a limo. What I don’t expect to see is a medium sized black party bus. “What did you do?” I ask.
“Did you expect me not to drink tonight so I could drive your ass around?”
“I guess not.” We round the bus with multiple tinted windows. I can’t see inside. I can’t hear anything coming from inside either. As we get closer to the door, I see the driver standing outside.
“Gabe, this is Alfred.”
“What?” I half-laugh because I don’t want to insult the guy, but come on—Alfred?
“I’m kidding,” Jackson exclaims, slapping the dude on the back. “His name’s Roberto, but Alfred is better for our little adventure.”
My head whips to PJ. “Adventure?”
“Get on the bus, Gabe,” Jackson groans.
PJ and Alfred step aside. I look up and meet Bradley’s gaze.
“Party’s up here, man.”
I shake my head slightly, take a deep breath and decide that the sooner I get on the bus, the sooner I can return to Autumn. I mean, what can go wrong?
Jackson follows me up the stairs. The darkened bus is mainly lit by multicolored LED lights running along the baseboards and in the ceiling. There’s a stripper pole in front of me that I assume is in every party bus—at least in Vegas. The moment the guys see me, the cheers are deafening. You’d think I won an award or something. Bro hugs are exchanged. Pats on the back go around and finally Nick shoves a whiskey and Coke in my hand once I’m steered to a place to sit.
The door of the bus closes and music starts to blare. Strobe lights flash and I feel as if I’m in a mini club—I guess I am. I’m not exactly sure what five dudes are supposed to do on a party bus but it makes sense to have a driver to take us around town when they’re drunk off their asses.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“Around,” PJ answers. The guys laugh.
The bus is moving and I can barely see out the tinted windows except for passing lights. Why won’t they tell me anything?
“Are you going to be in a shit mood the entire night?” Nick asks.
“I just want to know where we’re going.”
“It’s a surprise. Now drink your drink, loosen the fuck up and have a good time. This is your night.” Paul nudges his head toward my drink.
I crack my neck, nod, and take a long gulp of my drink. The whiskey burns as it goes down my throat. I should have known that the Coke color was only a splash.
Bradley, Nick, Vinny and Paul are all watching me with grins on their faces. I’m about to ask them why they’re so quiet, why they’re looking at me the way they are, but before I can, a shadow appears out of the corner of my eye.
A chick walks through a back door and stops, hand on her cocked hip. She’s dressed in a red sparkling bikini with fishnet stockings and stilettos. Usually, a man’s reaction would be “Hell, yeah!” but my first thought is, “Autumn’s okay with this?” We’re five minutes from my house and a chick is coming toward me half-naked and my future wife who’s carrying my baby approved a stripper? Nope, not buying it.
“What did you do?” I ask Jackson for a second time in ten minutes.
“Me?” he asks, bringing a hand to his chest as if he’s innocent. I see a smile start to spread across his face.
“Autumn knows about this?” I wave my free hand up and down the length of the chicks body as she stands before me.
“Well …” he starts to say and the guys laugh.
“Just relax,” the stripper says and kneels before me.
She stands again and straddles me. “They told me you might be difficult,” she whispers in my ear while grinding her hips. “It’s your bachelor party and they hired me to strip, so let me do my thing. I won’t fuck you, that’s not my style. Do what your friend said and just relax. Have a good time. This is the last time you’re going to see another chick’s boobs in person.”
She pulls her head back and her stare meets mine. If she only knew who the bus was carrying. Jackson should have known I couldn’t care less about strippers. Does he expect me to pretend to be into this chick? Am I supposed to pretend this part of a bachelor party is what I want?
“What’s your name, sweetheart?” The moment the pet name comes from my lips, I’m no longer me. I’m S&R me, the one who can tap into a woman, have a connection with her, know what she wants even if she doesn’t know.
“Well, Tessa …” I pause and look over her shoulder at Jackson. “Do your thing.”
The bastard smirks and I flip him off as Tessa goes to work. I expect her to start taking off her clothes, dance on the poll, do shit like that. Instead, she stays on my lap and one-by-one she unbuttons my shirt until she has it off my shoulders and down my back. I reach up to untie her bikini because she promised me tits. I know Autumn will kill me, but everyone keeps telling me that this is my night and well—fuck it. I’m not going to touch, I only want to see.
As I reach up, Tessa slaps my hand. “No touching.”
“Are you serious?”
She stands, taking my shirt with her. “I am.” She throws my shirt and Nick catches it.
“Sweetheart,” I chuckle, “you promised me your tits.”
“I vote for tits,” Vinny chimes in.
My gaze turns to his and I nod. “See, we want to see your boobs.”
“All in good time boys.”
“Let the woman work,” Bradley says.
“Now,” Tessa begins, kneeling and grabbing my belt buckling, “You won’t be needing this.”
“Whoa!” I start to crawl away, but she acts fast and jumps on my lap.
“Someone needs to be handcuffed so he can’t move.”
I shake my head. “You’re not handcuffing me.”
“Yes, I am.”
“You’re stripping me of my clothes before we go to a club? That defeats the purpose.”
“You don’t know how to dress yourself?” she sneers.
“I …” I turn my gaze to the guys, who are all laughing at my expense. I’m supposed to be S&R Gabe. How is this chick turning the tables on me? “You don’t need to handcuff me.”
Her steel-blue eyes stare straight into mine. Seconds tick before I finally agree. What harm can come of her handcuffing me? She said she wasn’t going to fuck me and I trust Jackson with my life.
The handcuffs she uses to bind me have an extra-long chain. I’m tempted to break them, but I know this is for fun. It’s probably also for comfort. It allows my hands and arms to not be as high up on the bar behind me and I’m almost in a resting position once she’s finished cuffing me.
The guys refill their drinks as they continue to watch the show. The drive to the club is taking a long time, but maybe Alfred is driving around until Tessa is done with me. After I’m handcuffed, Tessa removes my belt and then stands. She’s facing me, her legs spread for balance, and a wicked grin spreads across her face. Pony by Ginuwine blares through the speaks.
“That’s my cue,” she confesses. Her hips sway and roll, her hands roaming her upper body. I’m in a trance, mesmerized by what I’m seeing. I’m no longer fighting to resist these bachelor shenanigans. I’m going with them. I want to see whatever Tessa has up her sleeve—well, under her bikini.
She moves to the poll and my gaze slips to the guys. They’re caught in the reverie, too. We’re all watching her as if we’ve never seen a woman before. Tessa walks around the pole, giving each guy attention, but lingers on Vinny for a little longer and I wonder what’s up with that. She rubs his bald head between her breasts and then moves on.
With her back to the pole, her hands glide up her breasts, her neck and then behind her nape. We watch as the strings fall. I expect her tits to pop out, but her hands keep her top on and I groan. I stare at her chest, waiting. I can’t tell you what song’s playing right now—hell, I can’t tell you how long I stare.
Tessa bends and her gaze meets mine. She grins and her top falls down. They’re nice breasts, but not my angel’s perfect ones. Her hands go behind her back and she loosens the rest of her top, finally removing it completely. She flings it at Vinny. It’s my day, but she gives him the red top? Whatever.
I expect her to do some shit on the pole. Instead, she kneels in front of me and begins to work on the button and zipper of my jeans.
“You’re not going to do pole tricks?”
Her hands still and she looks up at me. With a chuckle, she says, “In a moving bus?”
I laugh. “Oh, right.”
She continues on my jeans. “So you have a thing for Vinny?” I whisper.
Her head turns and she looks at him then back up at me. She tugs on my jeans causing me to raise my hips so they slide down my thighs. “What can I say, there’s something about bald guys.”
“He’s single.” Was I having girl talk? I was definitely hanging out with Autumn too much.
“Good to know.” She slipped off my shoes and then my jeans, leaving me in my boxers.
“Finally!” Jackson blurts.
My gaze darts to his. “What do you mean finally?”
“Well, we’re about to be at our destination in three minutes. Tessa, put his shoes back on.”
I look down at her and she gives me an apologetic grin as she slips them back on my feet.
“My shoes? You mean my clothes. Nick, give me my shirt, asshole.”
“Sorry, man. No can do.”
The bus pulls to a stop and the guys rise. Bradley comes over and releases the bar above my head so my arms fall but I’m still handcuffed. I go to stand, ready to strangle Jackson, but the door of the bus opens and he’s out before I can make a move. Nick blocks me before I can pass. I move around him, thinking I have the upper hand because when it comes to Jackson, I usually do, but when I run down the two stairs toward him, I stop in my tracks.
“I wouldn’t do that, Captain.”
The barrel of a gun is pointed at my chest.
I look around. It’s pitch dark, the only light coming from a flashlight being held by Alfred and the headlights of the bus. I shake my head as if to make sure what I’m seeing is correct. The bus has pulled over on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and my best friend in the entire world is pointing a pistol at me.
Alfred moves the flashlight a little and then I see it’s my paintball gun from my garage. The manufacture’s name catches the light and I relax because my best friend isn’t going to kill me in the woods—naked.
I watch the rest of the guys come out, each carrying their own gun. PJ is the only one with a handgun. The others are holding typical paintball guns with long skinny barrels and feeders on the top.
“Are you going to shoot me?” I ask.
“This is how it’s going to go. You’re going to run and we’re going to chase you—”
“You want me to run in the woods naked?” I laugh sarcastically.
Nick shoots a paintball near my right foot and my head jerks toward him. “Let him finish.”
“Are you fuckers for real?” I spat. This party is no longer fun.
“Yep,” Bradley states.
“Like I was saying,” PJ hisses, “you run, we hunt. Think of it like hide and seek.”
“Motherfucker, I’m gonna kick your ass.” I move to strangle him with the long handcuffs but stop when all guns point at me.
“Boss, you need to hurry up before a car comes,” Alfred interjects.
“Alfred!” Jackson shouts. “Jesus, I know. We’re parked on the side of the road. I get it. Now if everyone will shut the fuck up, we’ll be on our way in two minutes!” He pauses for a second. “Okay, you’ll be running, yada-yada, and if we catch you, we shoot you with these.” He gestures to the guns. “There’s a campsite just behind me that you need to find.”
“How am I supposed to find it?”
“Don’t give me that shit, Captain Hastings.”
“And I don’t get a gun?”
“Nope, but you get a flashlight.” All the guys laugh.
“You know paybacks are a bitch right?”
He laughs under his breath. “Shit, I’m never getting married.”
“No, but I know where you sleep.”
“Touché. We’ll give you a thirty-second head start.”
They release my handcuffs with their guns drawn. Before I run off, I see Vinny go back into the bus. I make a mental note to ask him about it. Not because I want to talk girls with him, but because if he gets involved with a woman she might become a friend for Autumn. Major Dick robbed her of friends and the more she has, the more my heart feels complete.
As I jog away, I hear the bus drive off and the guys cackling about how awesome their plan is. It’s awesome for them because they aren’t being hunted in their underwear.
I’m out of breath, Nick on my tail. I’ve tackled him, taken his gun, and now I’m running to what I hope is our campsite. I see a fire blazing, tents set-up and all I want is water.
Two figures are sitting in chairs next to the fire and in ten seconds they’re about to get a scare of their life because I’m coming out of the woods in my boxers carrying a paintball gun, sweat dripping down my body and I don’t give a fuck.
My gaze meets one of theirs and I smile.
Fuck my life.
“You’ve got to be kidding me right now,” I pant, trying to catch my breath.
Blake tosses me a bottle of water. “Good news is you found us.”
“I can’t believe the Montgomery brothers were in on this.”
“Someone had to tend the fire,” Brandon says as he slaps my back.
Brandon and Blake are the owners of Club 24 where we teach our self-defense classes. We rent the room from them.
“Sit and let’s get you a drink.” Blake gestures to a seat by the fire.
I down half of the water and pour the other half over my head. “Sorry about your side,” I say to Nick as I walk toward a chair.
“How’s your thigh?”
I look down at the welt where he shot me. Fucker. “Okay—maybe I’m not sorry about your side.” We laugh and I rub my side where I got hit then sit.
Brandon sits back down in his chair next to the fire. The other three guys are nowhere in sight. “Excited about the baby?”
“Extremely. Have any pointers?”
“We’ll talk later.”
Blake hands me a shot. “I thought you said a drink?”
“Blake has a thing for shots.” Brandon laughs.
The other guys finally walk in, laughing. I take the shot, down it and then I charge Jackson. Snatching the pistol from his hand, I aim for his thigh and pull the trigger. Nothing happens.
“You really think we’d have ammo after what we just put you through?” They all laugh.
“I really hate you right now.”
He laughs again. “Go sit down and have a drink. We’re here for two days.”
My eyes become huge. “Two days?”
“We’re camping, Gabriel.”
He shakes his head as if he’s frustrated. “The future Mrs. Hastings approved this. There, now will you go sit the fuck down and have a drink?”
My eyes narrow at him in frustration. Autumn doesn’t control me, but it does make me feel better that I finally know which part she knows about. I look down at my almost naked body and then back up at Jackson. “Can I have my clothes back?”
He laughs. “Oh right, we wouldn’t want to see your dick popping out of the slit. Auttie packed you a bag. It’s in your tent over here.” We start walking. “There’s also showers that way.”
I am sweaty from running from these fuckers. “Hey, Jackson?” He stops and turns toward me. “Thank you for planning all this, even though you tried to kill me.” I smile.
He chuckles. “I didn’t try to kill you, but you’re welcome.”
“And I will get you back when you get married.”
“Dude, I’m not getting married.”
“You say that now, but I bet that someday soon some woman will barge into your life and you won’t know what to do without her.”
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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Whiskey, women and sleepless nights…
United States Army Captain Gabriel Hastings knew he would always follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. Serving his country was his destiny.
Until he fell in love…
When Gabe’s love affair is cut short, he turns to whiskey for comfort and swears he will never fall in love again.
Until he bumps into an unexpected angel…
By all appearances, Autumn Jones has the perfect life. Her husband, Richard, is a loving man who wants to be a father to her unborn children. But Autumn knows the truth. Richard has a controlling, dark side that leaves nothing to chance, especially Autumn. He’ll stop at nothing to make her the trophy wife he wants her to be.
When Autumn bumps into Gabe, he consumes her every thought, but she can’t act on her feelings. She’s married to a dark man she can never leave.
When he learns who Autumn’s husband really is, Gabe knows he will stop at nothing to protect her. Or is it too late for him to save his angel?
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Kimberly Knight is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the mountains near a lake with her loving husband and spoiled cat, Precious. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her favorite reality TV shows, watching the San Francisco Giants win World Series and the San Jose Sharks kick butt. She’s also a two time desmoid tumor/cancer fighter that’s made her stronger and an inspiration to her fans. Now that she lives near a lake, she plans on working on her tan and doing more outdoor stuff like watching hot guys waterski. However, the bulk of her time is dedicated to writing and reading romance and erotic fiction.
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