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Zaddy: Interracial Pregnancy Romance | BWWM Romance Books

zaddy interracial pregnancy romance novella bwwm romance by jamila jasper cockygate author

zaddy interracial pregnancy romance novella bwwm romance by jamila jasper cockygate author

⚠ONLY READ IF YOU LOVE FILTHY, REAL INTERRACIAL ROMANCE⚠

Zaddy... 

The man who has it all:

★A big, long, throbbing, thick, back-breaking, rock hard... ego.

★All the money in the bank to treat his black queen like royalty

★KIDS that he takes care of without being asked. ZADDY loves kids and he protects all of them with his strength.

★He LOVES single mamas and worships at the altar between their thighs

We may call a man "daddy" but "ZADDY" is something different...

Someone wilder...

Someone hotter...

Someone stronger...

This steamy hot interracial romance novella drips with filthy hot scenes that will make you sweat your weave out as you fantasize about the ZADDY you desperately crave to fill all the holes in your life. With 35,000+ words of spicy action, you'll love this kinky BWWM novel. Don't believe me? Take a peek inside and see what this novel has to offer...

Here's the trailer for this novella, 100% FREE on YouTube: smarturl.it/ZaddyTrailer

What do you think of the POPPIN' description to this brand new, upcoming interracial romance novella? If you dare take a peek before the launch, hit the "read more" to read the first chapter 100% FREE. 

Romance Novel Excerpts | Zaddy: BWWM Pregnancy Romance

A successful cooking blog, two children and an escape to a home in Miami, had all been conjured up out of a big fat pile of B.S. Eliza considered the fame a blessing or at least a respite from every damned thing she’d put up with over the past decade. Life had been hard. Two kids, who she’d never regretted, had been harder and at thirty-five, she loved her daughters, her home, and life in the bustling, diverse Florida city. Eliza watched her daughters playing together on the newly carpeted floor of the living room, taking great care to avoid spilling their crayons onto the fresh, white carpet.

Karen and Sylvie wore their hair in matching afro puffs that spiraled towards the sky from their tiny brown foreheads. Sylvie was always more animated when they played, her large, dark brown eyes gleaming with mischief and excitement as her sister went along reluctantly with their new game.

Eliza looked at her watch before leaving the house. The solid rose gold watch had been her first big purchase when her blog had first sky-rocketed to success and reminded her of how hard she’d worked to build this life for her daughters — too hard. It should have been easier and she shouldn’t have done it alone but a hardworking woman knows how to get shit done — and she does it. Always. 

5:00 p.m. After a long day of answering emails, talking on the phone and editing a lengthy recipe for bouillabaisse on her blog, Eliza had the responsibility of getting food for her girls. The irony was that running her cooking blog left little time for simple cooking for her daughters, especially on busy days like this one.

“Karen! Watch Sylvie for a minute. I’m headed ‘round the block to get some jerk chicken.”

“Yes mama!” Karen called back.

“And don’t forget Grams is just across the way.”

Eliza wouldn’t have left the girls alone if she didn’t share a duplex with her parents. It was just enough space that she could have privacy without worrying too much about her girls being alone up in that house.

She left the house and bustled towards Jemma’s Jerk. The streets were noisy, the Miami heat beat down on the tops of her thighs, causing sweat to pool between Eliza’s legs and her hair to stick to her neck before she got halfway down the block. She fingered the bills in her pocket, reviewing her order and pondering deeply whether or not she wanted one type of jerk sauce or another.

Food was Eliza’s life — her whole life — and even a decision as simple as what to order could zip her away to another world. A world where she wasn’t hiding out in Miami, on the run from her past and struggling to be the type of mother that she’d never planned on being: alone.

Eliza hated that her kids needed a daddy — and she hated even more that she couldn’t have a man around to take away the daily pressure of raising a family and running a business and working her ass off. There wasn’t any man who could live up to Eliza’s standards anyway. At least not in Miami. But she could still hope for the day when some magical stranger would just… whisk her off her feet.

There didn’t seem like there was much of a chance of that happening, but Eliza never lost hope. 

Eliza arrived at the place two blocks away from her house faster than ever. Even if she’d been away from Trey for three years, she still couldn’t stop looking over her shoulder anxiously when she left the house alone. There was no way he’d trace her to Miami. She’d started using her middle name “Eliza” after the divorce and she’d started using her mama’s maiden name, Rice. 

The line for jerk was long. Eliza silently cussed herself for not knowing better than to show up so late. The place was steaming hot; there was no air-conditioning to give the customers respite from the Miami sun. Eliza wrinkled her nose at the smell of the other customers’ sweat. She knew she must not have smelled too hot herself and she folded her arms, self-consciously swaying as the unabashed stinkers debated about their upcoming orders. There were still five more people in line before her.

Eliza folded her arms and popped in her headphones, listening to some D’Angelo while she waited in line. This place had the best jerk chicken in all of Miami but damn were they slow. 

As Eliza waited, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the store window. 

I look tired. She thought to herself. 

She’d looked tired for years now. Eliza remembered when she’d first moved away from Miami. She was seventeen and she’d run away with her boyfriend Trey Lane. Trey had convinced her that her family was no-good and he was the only person in the world that could love her. 

They’d lived in Mississippi for a year until Eliza had turned eighteen. She hadn’t even graduated high school; Trey convinced her that she wouldn’t need to ‘cause he would take care of her. Looking back, Eliza realized how much of a fool she’d been to believe him. When Eliza turned eighteen, they got married and she’d gone from Anna-Mae Eliza Jackson to Anna-Mae Lane. 

After they got married — a quiet, private service in Trey’s living room — life started to get worse for Eliza. Trey had lied about everything. He was over $120,000 in debt; he had no way of taking care of Eliza and he hadn’t quit his lifestyle of drinking and crime. Everything he’d sold Eliza on was a lie.

In quiet desperation, at 20, she’d had her first child, Karen. 

Having a baby had only made things better for a little while. Trey had stopped having violent outbursts and he’d stopped drinking for a spell. He promised Eliza that things would get better, that he’d start making more money and really start to provide for them. 

That “change” hadn’t lasted long and Eliza had started to fantasize about escape. That wasn’t so easy. She had no high school diploma. Trey refused to allow her to get a GED or a job, she was estranged from her family and too ashamed to tell them that she’d been a fool. Plus, she knew her mama would flip if she found out that she had a baby. 

So Eliza stayed, even if she knew Trey could kill her without a second thought. He’d certainly threatened it enough and Eliza could still smell the whiskey on his breath as she remembered him threatening to cut her body up and throw her into the swamp. Trey’s drinking kept her hooked. He’d convinced her that he couldn’t survive if she left. He’d convinced her that he’d find her and kill her if she left. He convinced her that if she weren't such a gold-digging whore, he’d be able to find the motivation to get a better job.

So Eliza stayed.

At twenty-eight, Eliza felt like a shell of her former self. With an eight-year-old daughter around, Eliza feared that she was ruining her daughter’s life. Trey never hit Karen, and by God, he never touched her, but he had no problem slapping Eliza up in front of her. Eliza wanted to escape. She’d started to make plans and had everything all set up to run in the middle of the night.

Then Trey found out. He held her down on their marriage bed, threatened her life, and as she screamed, that’s how he’d given her Sylvie. 

Luck had set Eliza free in a morbid kind of way. Trey had been out late drinking one night and he’d gotten into a car accident. When Eliza got the call from the hospital, her hands shook and she had promised him that she would be there soon. She took her one year old child and her nine-year-old and all the cash she had to rent a car.

That was how Miami started.

She had never looked back, never checked on Trey, and she’d left a life behind with no clue how the hell she was going to keep going forward. Eliza had to keep going because that’s what strong women do… With the protection from her mama and papa, she’d filed for divorce. Eliza’s Southern cooking blog had started to really take off right after she’d arrived in Miami. After a long, traumatic legal battle, Anna-Mae became Eliza. Mrs. Lane became Ms. Rice. She was free. 

Recovery had been a long hard road and Eliza hadn’t dated anyone else seriously since Trey. It wasn’t just out of fear, but because of her daughters. Eliza’s ultimate motivation in life was to keep her daughters safe from their ain’t shit daddy forever. Karen had already suffered enough watching her mama get beat up by Trey. Eliza knew what she had to do. She had to stop.

When her blog started to make bigger and bigger bucks, Eliza had found a way to hustle her way into a duplex. Her mama and papa shared one half; she lived in the other with the two girls. Eliza had bought herself a nice 2013 Ford Focus and she was working her ass off to save more and more cash for a rainy day. With Trey out there still, a rainy day could come any time, a fact that Eliza was painfully aware of.

The line grew shorter ahead of her, but the Jamaicans were always slow with the service and all the huffing and puffing you could do wouldn’t make a damned difference when it came to dealing with them. Eliza tapped her fingers on her thighs, still stuck in the past. 

Physically Eliza had changed a lot since she was that skinny 17-year-old that Trey had snatched from her home. She’d gained about fifty pounds so her body had a little shape to it. Having two kids had definitely affected Eliza’s figure. Even if she ate right and exercised, she had plenty of stretch marks all over her tummy and legs. 

By some stroke of luck, her large breasts still sat up perky in her top and her face still had the youthful look of a woman in her early twenties, despite the fact that her thirty-fifth birthday had only just passed.

As a regular at Jemma’s Jerk, Eliza just hoped she’d be able to get out of that place soon. Beads of sweat were starting to build up on her forehead and Eliza worried she’d sweat her wig clean off.

The girl at the cashier yelled, “Next customer!” 

Eliza peered around the line. Her favorite cashier Kelly was working. That would definitely mean her food would come faster. The Jamaican girls working at Jemma’s Jerk weren’t afraid to play favorites.

“Ay pendejo!” Two of the people in line in front of Eliza started arguing and mumbling to each other in Spanish.

Eliza sighed and smiled. Sometimes, she just had to appreciate the slow pace of this part of Miami. The city was incredible diverse and everywhere she went she met Cubans, islanders and other immigrants. The city bubbled and broiled with heat, energy, and spices. 

The door to the jerk joint bust open with a bang. All the customers jerked their necks around, unafraid to let the aggressive entrant know they were watching him closely. 

The man who entered was tall, white and buff. He wore a black tank top and denim shorts. His arm was covered in a black ink tribal tattoo that wrapped around his bulging biceps.

“KELLY! YO KELLY!” He yelled running to the front of the line, practically pushing the customers out of the way.

Kelly kissed her teeth, “Wha’ di rass Brett? Get di hell outta ‘ere!” 

“Naw. I ain’t leavin’ till you give me a straight answer.”

Kelly started yelling, “Lemme come ‘round this counter, an’ I’ll buss yuh ass.” 

“You’re full of shit Kelly. You don’t know a damned thing about what happened and I swear to god if you mess with me again—”

“Get di FOCK outta mi restaurant!” Kelly yelled.

“Fuck you Kelly! Just fuck you!” 

“Mama! Jemma!” Kelly screamed. 

An old dark-skinned Jamaican woman erupted from the back of the jerk joint.

“Get di fock outta mi restaurant Brett!” Jemma screamed.

“Fuck you both. I ain’t leavin’ till you tell me why Destiny called the fucking cops on me!” 

Jemma glared, “Watch yuhself white boy.” 

Kelly folded her arms and smirked, “Yuh ‘eard ‘er. Get di hell outta ‘ere!” 

Brett looked from left to right and noticed that all eyes in the restaurant were glued to him. His face was bright red and he slammed his hands on the counter staring Kelly right in the face. Kelly kept smirking and she hardly flinched.

“Fockin’ waste man,” She spat.

“Watch yourself Kelly. If you fuck with me ever again I’ll show you how much of a fucking deadbeat I can really be.”

The man turned around and left the restaurant. As he did the tension melted away. Eliza slunk back into her position in line. Phew. That was crazy. The Miami heat could sometimes bring out the worst in people. She rolled her eyes and exchanged glances with a couple other customers. What a psycho.

Finally, Eliza arrived at the front of the line. Kelly smiled. When she wasn’t angry her hard Jamaican accent softened up quite a bit.

“Hello dearie Eliza. How are you and the children?”

Eliza smiled, “They’re good. Picking up two jerk pork and one jerk chicken.”

“Extra spicy?”

“Only on one of the jerk porks.” 

“I got you girl. That will be $15.” 

Eliza fished into her wallet for fifteen dollars and glanced behind her. The restaurant had emptied faster than she realized.

“What was going on with that guy?” Eliza asked as she rest her money on the counter.

Kelly kissed her teeth again, “Brett? He just come ‘round here lookin’ for trouble with me and mine. Waste man…”

“I was worried shit was ‘bout to pop off.”

Kelly loved drama, and Eliza knew it. But that guy had more darkness than the usual bad boys that Kelly was always embroiled in altercations with. 

Kelly rolled her eyes, “He’s all talk. Just mad ‘cause he can’t handle business.”

Eliza smiled, “An ex?”

Kelly rolled her eyes and kissed her teeth again, “Oh hell no! Not an ex. Just trouble.”

After a few minutes, she brought out the jerk pork orders and the chicken.  Kelly bagged up all the takeout containers.

“Drinks?”

“Can I get a Ting? The girls would love to split it.”

“Sure thing,” Kelly answered, reaching into the fridge for an ice cold Ting.

“One dollar.”

Eliza reached into her pocket for four quarters and put them on the table. 

“You tell the girls I say hi. Next week mama’s bringin’ some special patty and coco bread.”

“I’ll be sure to stop by. Thanks Kelly!” 

Armed with dinner, Eliza burst out of the hot restaurant into the slightly-cooler Miami air. 

She saw the man who had raised the scene inside of Jemma’s Jerk standing on the corner. Without the raging, Eliza noticed that he actually looked pretty attracted. He reached into his pocket for a box of cigarettes and Eliza tried to avert her gaze quickly. She didn’t want any “incident” before arriving home.

Eliza didn’t go unnoticed despite her best efforts to keep her head down and away from this mad man.

“Ma’am! Excuse me, ma’am!” 

She tried to keep her head down but Brett ran behind her and gently tapped her arm.

“Sorry, didn’t hear you,” Eliza mumbled as she turned around to face him.

She continued, “Listen, I don’t have any money.”

Brett grinned, “Name’s Brett. Not hustlin’ you for money ma’am. Just lookin’ for a light.”

As Eliza fished around in her pocket for a lighter, Brett kept talking.

“So what’s your name ma’am?”

Eliza shot him a sideways glance.

“Sorry ‘bout all that commotion… That’s not the man I really am.”

“Okay.”

Eliza didn’t want trouble and she got the distinct sense that disagreeing with this man would bring trouble. 

“What’s your name, pretty lady,” he said, a broad smile plastered across his sun-tanned face. 

“Eliza.” 

“Eliza… Wow… Eliza… That’s a beautiful name.”

Brett flicked the lighter once, twice and then finally got his cigarette lit. Eliza tried her best not to enjoy the fumes wafting in her direction. She’d quit smoking the day she left Trey and she’d never looked back.  The lighter in her pocket was an old habit that she’d never managed to quit.

“Thanks.”

“Live around here?”

“Why should I tell you where I live?”

Brett chuckled, “Sorry ma’am. It’s just… you’re awful pretty and I wanted to walk you home.”

“It’s only a couple of blocks.” 

“So you won’t stay and talk to me here then?”

Eliza rolled her eyes. 

“Maybe for a minute…”

Brett’s face lit up. Eliza saw his bright smile and wondered if maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. Brett was tall and he had a body built with the brute strength of a farmer. His biceps bulged out of his tank and his denim shorts were worn from the work of an outdoorsman. 

Brett had a classic Southern look. He had longish dark brown hair with streaks bleached from so much time in the sun. His face was soft and kind, with a few light wrinkles around the corners of his eyes and the area of his mouth that cracked into a smile. 

“So what was Kelly so mad at you for?” Eliza asked.

Brett shrugged, “Ain’t nothing important. Just got mighty heated over an argument we had over some mutual friend.”

“Must have been a pretty big argument for you to cuss up a jerk chicken joint.”

“Hell, I know I got a temper on me. It’s the Irish blood. Sorry you had to see it. I promise, that’s not the man I am.”

“Yeah,” Eliza replied nonchalantly, “I knew a man who would say the same thing.”

She tried to rid herself of the sad look in her eye. There was no need to drudge up all the messiness of her divorce with a total stranger who was obviously trying to flirt with her.

“So what do you do for a living Eliza?” 

Eliza answered, “I’m a chef. Cooking blogger now, really. My parents are Jamaican but I was born and raised in the South so I do a blend of Southern and Jamaican cooking.”

“Well I oughta have you cook for me,” Brett teased.

“Yeah, right…”

Eliza continued trying to feign interest, “What about you? What do you do for a living?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Brett whispered.

Eliza rolled her eyes. Okay, this guy had to be full of it.

“Try me.”

“Sure you’re ready for this?” 

“Yup, I’m sure.”

“I’m a millionaire. So now I just invest in a few projects here or there, keep my portfolio stable.”

Eliza folded her arms, “You’re right. I don’t believe you.”

Brett let out a full-bellied laugh as if her disbelief were the funniest thing in the world.

“Why don’t you believe me?”

Eliza pursed her lips. She wasn’t going to get trapped like this. She was sure that this was Brett’s idea of a joke but she didn’t find it particularly funny.

“I don’t know.”

“Oh c’mon. You know. You don’t believe a man who talks like I do and who dresses like I do could be a millionaire.”

Eliza shrugged. Brett was right but she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that.

“Well I’ll tell you how I did it if you let me walk you home.”

“Nice move,” She began, “My kids must be getting hungry anyways. You can walk me home. But I still don’t believe you’re a millionaire.”

Eliza started the walk home. Brett offered to carry her bag with the jerk chicken cartons, so she let him.

“Well, my mama’s the daughter of some Atlanta multi-millionaires. They didn’t want a damned thing to do with her when she married my paw. He’s a poor farmer, owned a place ‘bout fifty miles outside of Miami. So they cut my mama out of the will and when my granddaddy died, all his money went to his grandchildren.”

Brett took a drag of his almost-finished cigarette.

Then, he continued, “Well my granddaddy banked on my aunties havin’ kids but none of ‘em did. Both of ‘em got hitched to other women and fled up north. I was the only grandkid left kickin’ round. My granddaddy died ‘bout eight years ago and I inherited everything he had.”

“What about your grandma?”

Brett shrugged, “She died a week after he did. From grief. Can’t figure out why. He was an old bastard…”

Eliza flinched at Brett’s harshness but she had to admit that she found him appealing. She wasn’t sure if she believed his story. It could have been true or it could have been some well-crafted tall tale to impress her. Either way, she nodded along as if she believed him.

“So you’re a multi-millionaire.”

“Yup,” Brett nodded, “My mama’s part of the Colton family in Atlanta.”

“Hold on… Like Colton Hardware?” 

Brett nodded, “Yup. My granddaddy sold the place years ago but that’s us.”

“Holy shit.”

“But you aren’t…”

“Naw, I ain’t a Colton, bless the Lord. I’m Brett Carver and I thank the Lord I’ve had a normal life. There was a reason my mama wanted to escape Atlanta and I’m glad she did.”

“That’s crazy…”

Brett grinned, “What’s crazier is how beautiful you are.”

“Whatever,” Eliza replied, unimpressed.

Smooth talkers like Brett ran the south and they left babies everywhere their sweet-talk worked. Eliza wasn’t so stupid to find herself falling for cheap lines from tanned Southerners with cigarettes hanging from their mouths.

“Are we close to your place?”

“Yes.”

He followed his compliment with a deep, penetrating stare as if he was searching for something in Eliza’s eyes. She hadn’t realized how attracted to him she felt until she the heat started rising to her cheeks and she felt her bosom heaving with desire. What the heck? 

Sure, he was good looking, strong and he had a certain amount of charm. But Eliza knew better than to pursue every twinge of attraction she felt for a man. After Trey, Eliza knew that she had to be careful. All those years of pain meant she’d learned a valuable lesson about letting men into her life just because of the way they made her heart flutter. Something about Brett put a pause on her desire to suppress every positive sensation stimulated in her by a man.

“So tell me more about yourself, Eliza?”

Eliza’s heart quickened with a mixture of fear and excitement. Why did he want to know? He wouldn’t give it a rest if she didn’t answer; Eliza could tell that much. 

Eliza sighed, “Well I got two kids, my own business, own a duplex that I share with my parents and by the time I’m forty-five I want to retire.”

Brett grinned, “Two kids?”

“Yup. Sylvie and Karen.” 

“Pretty names.” 

“Thank you.” 

“Are your daughters as beautiful as you are?”

Eliza grinned, “Yes. They are.”

“You shy, Eliza? Don’t get complimented like that often?”

“I get complimented just enough thank you very much.”

“Quit the sass ma’am, just tryin’ to find out if there’s any other dogs barkin’ up your tree.”

Eliza wrinkled her nose, “No, there aren’t any dogs barkin’ up my tree. And that phrase is disgusting by the way.”

“Just part of my Southern charm…”

“We’re only a few houses away from my place.”

“Lemme guess, that gorgeous white house is yours.”

Eliza was surprised that he’d actually guessed.

“Yes…” She admitted, “What are you, some kind of stalker?”

Brett laughed.

“Naw. I can tell you’re a classic kinda woman. You wouldn’t belong in any other place but that what. It’s nice, Southern and fit for a Queen.”

“Oh yeah?” Eliza teased, “So a ‘millionaire’ like yourself doesn’t look down on my humble little abode.”

“Just ‘cause I’m rich don’t make me a snob. I never knew money my whole life,” Brett confessed with a shrug.

Jada wasn’t sure that a single part of her believed him. Just ‘cause he kept saying it, didn’t mean he was truly rich. Brett reached into his side pocket and pulled out another cigarette. Then he reached into his back pocket for a lighter.

“Found yourself a light huh?” Eliza asked.

Brett threw up his hands, “You caught me… That was just an excuse to talk to you. I noticed you standing in Kelly’s and damn, even if I was mad as hell you caught my eye.”

“Well your little ploy worked… But I’m at my place so I’ve got to leave you now Mr. Carver…”

“And I guess I’d better leave you Mrs…”

“Not Mrs. I’m Eliza Rice. Miss Eliza Rice.”

“Alright Miss Rice. Are you sure I can’t come in?”

Eliza shook her head.

“Sorry Mr. Carver, my kids are up there and they are hungrier than a pack of coyotes.” 

“Well maybe I can see you again some time?”

A date. He was asking her on a date all up front like that. Eliza was intimidated by how forward he was. All of this had happened so suddenly. Moments ago, he was causing a scene at Jemma’s Jerk and now he was asking her on a date? 

In theory, it seemed like a bad idea. But Eliza had enjoyed her walk home with Brett. He pricked her nerves, but he also made her heart race in that warm and delicious way that happens when there is new love. She’d enjoyed his stories, his liberal compliments and the gentlemanly way he’d carried her food all the way to the door. Eliza wasn’t a fan of the smoking but she could tolerate it. At least it was better than drinking. As usual, drinking made her think of Trey, which served as a sober reminder to slow down when it came to men — especially men who could turn on the charm like that.

“I don’t know…”

“I know you want to say yes,” Brett asserted.

He was right too. Eliza did want to say yes. Even if it was unconventional for her to go out with a man she’d met off the street. He made her want to say yes. 

“You’re right. I do want to say yes,” Eliza started, “So yes, yes we can see each other again.”

“Next Friday?”

Eliza nodded, “Sure.”

“I’d better give you my number then,” Brett said.

He reached into his back pocket for a his wallet and a ballpoint pen. He scribbled his phone number on an old receipt and handed it to Eliza.

“You know where you can find me,” Brett added with a wink.

“Thank you, I really appreciate it.”

“No trouble at all missy,” Brett said, “See ya later.”

Eliza waved goodbye and then entered her house. Karen and Sylvie sprinted towards her. They’d been waiting quite a while for their dinner and they were voracious. Eliza sat them down and shared out the heaping portions of jerk pork and chicken. She sat around the small dining table with her daughters and they started to eat.

“Did y’all call grandma and grandpa?”

“No mama,” Karen said.

“And you minded your sister?”

Sylvie’s face broke out into a mischievous grin.

“Karen fell asleep!” Sylvie announced.

“Sylvie shut up! You such a damn snitch!”

“Hey! No cussin’,” Eliza chastised Karen.

Her daughter glared at Sylvie who stuck out her tongue in retaliation.

“Y’all better fix your mood once you eat that jerk. I don’t wanna see no more of this fighting.”

“Yes mama,” They replied in unison.

Eliza felt blessed by her daughters’ ability to get along with each other. There were many difficult aspects to being a single mother but her daughters made life both easy and worthwhile. As she ate dinner and listened to her daughters talking, Eliza’s mind wandered to her pending date with Brett.

She’d been so focused on their first meeting that she hadn’t really thought about it. She might have first caught Brett at a bad time but he wasn’t broke, he was handsome as hell and he had a daredevil attitude that made Eliza’s heart race. 

A date with a man like Brett` would be a very interesting change of pace.

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BWWM Books | Mr. Too Big (BWWM Hitman Romance Novella)

mr. too big billionaire hitman romance novellaMr. Too Big, a steamy hitman novella came from an idea that I had while talking to my husband. Yes, it sounds corny but it's true, my HUSBAND inspired "Mr. Too Big". Infer what you will from that one! I couldn't wait to get the novel written and I actually had it done two weeks before I published it. I had no idea what to do with the book and my mind was RACING with questions...

Will my readers like this book?

Is this book good enough to publish?

Will the kinks in this book be "too raunchy" for Amazon?

I can tell you right now that the book is HOT. It's almost too raunchy for Amazon. Oops. I guess I couldn't help myself. The book was definitely good enough to publish and to this day, I get emails about Mr. Too Big from readers who were pleased to stumble across my steamy novella. Sometimes it's better to believe in yourself than to cloud your head with doubts...

I don't want to spoil too much of this story for you, but let's just say our hitman JAY will have you drooling. I know you need a new book boyfriend, so dive into the sample ASAP

BWWM Books Novella Sample: Mr. Too Big

Jay 

One more job, and then I was out. 

Isn't that what they always say in movies, right before the shit hits the fan?

I guess maybe it was only too appropriate, then. Because things were about to go down for me like they'd never gone down before. 

As I would soon find, I'd gotten far too big to try and pull out now... 

I sat across the street from a towering skyscraper in the middle of downtown, outside a small cafe. In another lifetime, I would have been sitting with a newspaper pressed against my nose, trying to look inconspicuous in order to hide what I was really up to. These days, though, a guy like me reading a newspaper would have stuck out like a sore thumb- six foot one, jacked and rugged, occupying his time with a relic of the previous century. 

So instead I sat stooped over an iPad, blending in a lot better that way, a set of shades concealing my persistent glances toward the building on the opposite side of the street. I kept pressing my earpiece closer and closer like there might be something going on that I was missing. I'd bugged my target's car, then watched as he and his bodyguards made their way out into the building in question. I knew there was nothing that I should be listening for, but I guess I was just a little bit on edge. 

This was the job to end all jobs. The payday that was going to get me out of this shit once and for all. And I was going to do everything in my power to ensure that it went off without a hitch. That any one of a million different things didn't manage to fuck it up for me. 

I'd been following my target around for weeks, hoping to gain some insight into his schedule. A mister Ray Philips, one of the most contemptible sons of bitches I'd ever been assigned to take out. Day trader. Arms dealer. A major player in the pharmaceutical industry, who'd made a fortune jacking up drug prices for those who were most vulnerable, and most unable to afford them. 

I'd never been proud of how I made my living. It wasn't that I'd chosen the life of the assassin, so much as it had chosen me. Having enlisted as a soldier and seen things that no man should see, and doing things that man should ever do in good conscience, I found myself unable to reshape myself into the mold of a healthy, everyday life. The violence was in my blood. My soul craved peace, and a reprieve from all the horrors I'd witnessed and been a part of. But I still needed to make money, and at the end of the day, I realized there was really only one thing I'd ever been good at. 

I worked for a man called Hillary. Marlon Hillary. A rich jackass in his own right, he'd kept me around as his gun for hire for the past five years. I took care of his enemies for him. The business rivals who posed too much of a threat. Those who were willing to get their hands even dirtier than he was, and who seemed as though they might serve as a problem for him in the long term. 

I harbored no delusions about what I did. I was a murderer, pure and simple. But at least in this position, I had some say over who bit the bullet. I could say no to a job if I had to if my conscience started objecting too loud, unlike in my previous line of work. 

I did have a moral code, even if it wasn't much of one. I'd always refused to take out the innocent. To hurt anyone who didn't have it coming, and then some. I'd turned down a few high profile clients who'd requested such services of me- asking me to kill men and women who, obnoxiously wealthy and corrupt or not, had done nothing worthy of the death sentence that had been asked of me to impose upon them. 

I'd lost a pretty penny that way over the years, believe you me. I could have been done and out of this game by now if I hadn't shown such restraint, but here I was, still in the game, and only just now on the threshold of getting out of it. 

I didn't even want to think about how much of my soul I would still have left by the time I finally did get things wrapped up...

Thankfully, this Ray Philips was like the best of both worlds to me. He was both rotten to the core and worth a fortune in my pocket- easily the largest bounty I had ever made an effort to claim. 

Then, at last, the moment I'd put the bullet through his temple and washed the blood from my hands, I had plans to pack up my fortune, buy a first class ticket to Belize, and leave this life forever, spending my remaining time on earth making my best effort to forget that any of it had ever happened. 

Not that I would forget. 

I could never forget all that I'd done. The sins these hands were responsible for. The lives they'd taken. But at least, for once, I could try to rest. I could lay my head down in contemplation, and try to figure things out for myself. What I was meant for. What I was put on this earth to do. If, indeed, I really had any business being on this forsaken rock at all. 

The only problem right now with my ingenious plan was that Ray Philips didn't seem to stick to any kind of reliable schedule that I could make out. All the days I'd been following him, I had hoped to take note of a recognizable pattern of some kind. Something that would make it easy for me to catch him when his guard was down, and when I stood the lowest possible risk of getting caught. 

But of course, I really should have learned by now, nothing was ever really that easy for me... 

Apparently, having his fingers in so many pies at once kept Philips as busy as a bee, flitting from one flower to the next, his movements erratic, unpredictable. He must have done enough coke to never have to spend ten consecutive minutes asleep at a time. 

And so, I decided, I was just going to have to take the plunge one way or another. 

I made up my mind that today would be the day. I was ending this, tonight, as soon as he was at home and, with any luck, asleep. 

And then I was out of this, at long, long last. 

I'd lapsed into a reverie in the heat of the early evening sun, and let my vision fall out of focus without meaning to. I jerked awake at the sound of static in my earbuds, then footsteps clacking across the sidewalk toward the Mercedes in which Philips had been driven here. 

“Okay, men. We're done here today. If Esposito doesn't want to listen to reason, I'll just take things into my own hands. I'm done playing games with such a goddamn child. Now, take me the fuck home, I need some rest. I haven't slept a fucking night clear through this entire goddamn week.” 

So much of the time I kept my cool so well. Now, though, I let myself get too excited. I leaped up from my chair without meaning to, keen to follow after my target, even though there was no imperative need to do so just now. I knew where he was going. I should have waited a while instead of trailing them too directly, but I wasn't thinking. 

Across the street, Philips didn't notice me. Nor did the large, thuggish bodyguard opening the back door to the Mercedes for him. The one at the driver's side did, however. 

Through two lanes of heavy evening traffic, my eyes met those of the driver through his shade, making my heart skip a beat. 

Damn it... Damn it... Damn it! I thought to myself, freaking the fuck out that my cover was about to be blown at best, and that at worst I was about to wind up with a bullet in my own head. 

I thought fast, though, trying to minimize the damage. 

I stretched, as though my eyes meeting those of Philips' brute had been nothing more than a coincidence. Then I took the last sip of my coffee, and laid some money on the table, as though I'd become totally oblivious of all that was ensuing on the other side of the street. I sorted out some change from my pocket and left a far too generous tip for the young woman who'd brought me my coffee- if this worked like I hoped it would, it might have just been her that ended up saving my life. 

Then, keeping up the charade, I set off down the street, away from the Mercedes, away from where my bike was parked nearby, striding as though I knew exactly where I was going, and why I was going there. I really had no clue, except that I needed to get as far away from Philips as I could, as fast as possible. 

I didn't dare look back over there again, back over to the building where Philips had been. I did, however, squint into the glass windows of the building I passed on my side. The knot in my stomach unclenched at the sight of the Mercedes pulling away, the bodyguard's suspicion of me evidently minimal enough for him to let me off the hook. 

I let out a sigh of relief and decided I would circle the block once for good measure. 

There was no rush to get to Philips this instant. I would wait until tonight when conditions were more favorable, and then I would end this, once and for all. 

I could almost taste the fresh air of freedom on my lips... 

_____

Midnight. 

I'd parked my bike in the woods outside Philips' mansion several hours ago, then hiked over to a spot overlooking his place. I'd watched his house through the scope of the rifle I carried with me until every light had gone out, and a vehicle had pulled away out the driveway- the vehicle, I hoped, of Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum, his bodyguards. 

I couldn't be certain that Philips was the only occupant in the place but now felt like as good a chance as any. At that moment, it honestly felt like my only chance. 

I crept down to the house like a phantom, switching instantly into combat mode. I'd learned to turn off all of my inhibitions, to cast aside all of my doubts whenever the moment of truth arrived. I was no longer a human being anymore. But a machine. My actions swift and decisive. My decisions, my responses, purely rational. Dedicated to getting a job done, and nothing more, nothing less. 

I pushed a fist through the glass panes of his front door, and made swift work of disabling his security alarm- I'd cracked the code the previous week while he was away one afternoon. I stepped through the door with soft, but speedy footsteps, and glided my way up the spiral staircase for the second floor, heading for his master bedroom. 

I was normally so good about all of this. So skilled at making an entry, and doing my job, and disappearing without a trace. As I made my way down the hallway, however, and the door to his room came closer and closer, and so did my freedom, I felt my blood pressure rising. It all seemed too good, too perfect to be true. 

And suddenly, I realized that it must be. 

Something wasn't right... 

I stopped, dead in my tracks. 

I didn't know what was off. But something was. There was just a sense of it. A feeling in the air, that I couldn't quite seem to put my finger on. 

And then I heard the sound of a footstep, trying to be lighter than it could manage to be from around a corner. 

I spun on my heel, whirring back around in the opposite direction. 

I saw the flash of light before I heard the sound. 

BAM! BAM!

I hurled myself down to the ground as the bullets missed me by nothing greater than a few millimeters. Once I was to safety, I didn't even think about it. I lifted my gun up to what I calculated to be the man's knees in the darkness, and I fired. 

“Jesus Christ! Motherfucker!” 

He shot at me again as he was falling, but only managed to hit a vase atop the stand beneath which I'd taken cover. He hit the ground like a timbered tree and was already rushing to point the barrel of the gun back up at me, but I was too fast for him. 

I pointed at his head and fired, and that was the end of him. 

He lay there, motionless in silent in the middle of the hall. I waited, for just a fraction of a second, long enough to be sure that he was as dead as a doornail. Then I sprang up, and rushed over to him, and saw that it was the man from the Mercedes. The one who'd locked eyes with me across the street.

Clearly, the place hadn't been left as unguarded as I'd hoped. 

I'd largely been suspecting that, though. 

I let out a light sigh, not wanting to let myself be too relaxed just yet. My gut told me that this was the only guard in the place, but I still had Philips left to go. And something told me he would be on a high alert after I and Tweedle-dee had just made enough noise out here in the hallway to summon up the living dead. 

I hastily weighed my options at that moment. 

Retreat? Fuck no. 

I was getting this job done, dead or alive. 

Wait? For what? For Philips to have more time to get his guard up? To call the authorities? Not that I imagined he would, given the many dirty dealings he was connected to in some way or another. Still, though, the principle was the same. The longer I let that son of a bitch stay alive, the longer he had to come up with a plan to stop me. 

Time was of the essence here, and whether I liked it or not, I was all out of time... 

I stepped up to his door, staring at it for a moment with dread, instead of the naive optimism I'd allowed myself to feel at the sight of it, only a few short moments ago. 

I lifted my hand to the knob, and almost made the mistake of stepping inside. But then I checked myself. I twisted the knob, just enough to get it started. Then I stepped off to the side so that I was no longer positioned directly within the doorway. I lingered for a moment, then pushed my foot against the door's lowest panel, kicking it open from off to the side, still standing next to the hinges. 

Immediately once the door was open, a mad volley of automatic gunfire exploded through the door, the bullets pelting wildly against the opposite wall, tearing the drywall to smithereens. 

I heard Philips yelling over the sound of the bullets, his battle cry the sad mimicry of a middle-aged man who's never been in combat but who's watched Rambo on TV at least a dozen times. 

He moved slowly out into the hall, still firing, too blinded by the pulse of the gun to see that he was hitting nothing whatsoever, save for his own house. 

I waited until my shot was clear, then I jerked my gun up, and aimed it right for the side of his head. He became aware of me just as I started pulling the trigger, and started turning in my direction.

BAM!

“FUCK!” 

The bullet raced clean through his head, but he was facing too me way too much as he fell, and the gun was still going off in his hands as he fell. Streams of bullets whipped and whizzed through the air in my direction, seeming to leave these white hotlines in their wake like miniature chemtrails, fading only very slowly from my field of vision. 

And then I felt something hit me, in spite of my very best efforts to avoid the barrage.

I yelled out in pain and was sure in that moment that this spelled the end of me. The impact had been against my head, and no sooner had I felt it than I watched my life flashing before my eyes. All the horror. All the carnage. All the mayhem, and all the heartbreak. 

No! No! Fuck! Fuck! Please, please, don't let this be the last thing that I see before I'm ushered in through the gates of hell! I'll have all eternity to look at all that... Just please, don't let this be the end!

I was lying on the ground by the time it dawned on me that I hadn't been mortally wounded. A scalding teardrop was rolling down along my cheek, thick and viscous. It seeped in between my lips, and I felt it on my tongue, and I realized that it was blood from my wound. 

I touched my cheek, and it stung but realized with relief that I'd only been grazed. 

I wasn't about to die. Not yet, anyway.

It took a while past the ringing in my ears to recognize the sound of voices ringing out in the background. I leaped back to my feet, instantly on my guard again, and the adrenaline of survival the only thing that was keeping my legs from collapsing. 

I held my gun pointing into the room but thankfully didn't fire. The afterimage of gunfire finally faded away from my field of vision, and I could see that there were two naked women, cowering in fear in the opposite corner of the room. 

I sighed and lowered my pistol. Then I looked down into Ray Philips' wide eyes, the gaping red hole in his temple a sure sign that it was over at last. I'd done my job. And I was finished. 

“You two could really do better,” I said to the two of them, with a last look inside the room. Then I pulled the door shut again behind me, and took off down the hall at top speeds. I should have felt victorious, elated, freed at last from the shackles of this line of work. 

Instead, though, I just felt sick. My blood pressure was high. My pulse was skyrocketing. I never felt great after a kill, but this was something different. I wondered whether it was the fact that I'd come so close to death, or maybe that I'd taken a life I hadn't intended to take when I'd signed up for this job. 

I didn't think it was either of those things, though. 

I think, somehow, my body was trying to warn me. I think it was a sense of foreboding, to let me know what I had no way of knowing yet, but that I probably should have anyway- by instinct, if by nothing else. 

That, quite simply, this wasn't really over. It was only just getting started... 

Right now, though, I ignored all of that. I rushed into the woods, and hopped onto my motorcycle, and took off down lightless back roads like a bat out of hell, increasingly on edge. I could hear the sound of sirens blaring like mad from the highway, and could see the red and blue lights flashing toward the crime scene as I made my escape- Philips might not dare have called the cops when he was alive, but I was sure the two women he'd probably paid to sleep with him would have. 

I told myself I didn't give a damn. That there was no way in hell I wasn't getting away with this. 

I just kept going and going, the momentum perversely soothing, as all the while the whole world seemed to be crashing in around me. 

_____

I started taking my clothes off the instant I stepped through the door of my apartment, and I was naked in the shower within a minute, the water cranked up to full heat, filling the bathroom with steam. 

I leaned forward against the far wall, panting so deep and so hard I thought I was hyperventilating. I didn't know what the fuck was wrong with me. As often as I'd done this, I'd never reacted to the way that I was now. Was it the girls maybe? Was it that glimpse of something I could never have in my life, making me feel so guilty, so paranoid? 

I still couldn't say for certain. 

I looked down at my feet, gasping, and watched the blood of Ray Philips and his bodyguard swirling down the drain amidst the scalding whirlpool of water. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. And then, without totally being aware of it, I noticed my hand finding its way between my legs, grabbing a nice, firm hold on my cock. 

I'd been hard ever since I put the bullet through the head of the bodyguard. 

It sounds terrible. I know it does. Like I get off on killing or something. But that's not it. 

Ever since I'd started doing this, I always got rock solid from the danger of a hit. I think it was something to do with survival, and biology, and all that shit. Like my body just knew, instinctively, that it was in danger. That its chance to reproduce was drawing to a close, and it demanded that I give it one last shot before I turn my back on life. 

I always had to cum after a kill. And right now I was aching for it like I'd never ached before. 

I wrapped my fist around my rock hard cock and started rapidly pumping myself beneath the shower, grunting as my hand slammed back into my balls, needing so badly to get this out of me, thinking that once I did it would finally be enough for me to be able to react. I jerked my growing inches of solid manhood with a vengeance. Like the job wasn't actually finished until I'd completed this crucial, cleansing ritual. I was pulsing so hard, and my tip was getting unbelievably swollen, and I wanted to get this heat out of me so fucking bad. 

But the pressure wasn't building. No matter how hard, how relentlessly I pumped myself, how desperately I needed to see this through to completion, my mind wasn't where it needed to be. I closed my eyes and tried to think. Tried to conjure up whatever it might take to get my rocks off, but couldn't figure out what the hell that might be. 

I tried picturing the two girls back at Philips' place- taking both of them at once- but of course, that only made matters worse. Then I tried thinking about Julia, my ex-fiance, who I'd dated all the way back before enlisting. Sometimes, she did the trick for me. That woman knew how to screw a man like it was nobody's business, and sometimes I could still taste her on me if I concentrated hard enough. Still feel the tight, rhythmic pulsing of her tight slit around my cock as she rode me. 

But then I would start thinking about everything she'd done to me. How badly she'd broken my heart, once I came back from combat so profoundly changed, so different, like she hadn't known what she was signing up for when I enlisted. 

This took me in the opposite direction. I started feeling bitter, and resentful, and about as far away from turned on as it was possible to be. 

And so I thought again. I shifted my focus. I tried to draw forth a name from depths of my mind. A name, and a face, of anyone who still filled me with any sort of tenderness. Instead so much pain. All the crushing heartbreak that had been inflicted on me by nearly everyone else in my life. 

And that was when someone strange came to mind. 

Keisha Hillary. 

It almost caught me off guard at first. 

I certainly hadn't been expecting it. 

Keisha, the daughter of my boss, Marlon Hillary. The two of us had only met a handful of times over the years that I'd ben in Marlon's employment. There had certainly never been anything between the two of us, as such- Marlon probably would have had me killed if he even caught me thinking about it. But the couple of times we had run into one another, there had been something unaccountably striking about her. 

Poise, and graciousness, and of course beauty. There was something mature about her, for a girl who was only twenty-one years old. A bit young for a blondish silver fox in his mid-forties? I'm not going to pretend otherwise. 

But on the occasions I'd seen her, I'd thought I saw some glint of those rich, mahogany eyes of hers. An expression of longing, unspoken, but very clear, and very present. I want you, she seemed to say, without speaking, and at that moment, beneath the boiling water, and with the last of Philips' blood draining away beneath my feet, something seemed to click. 

I wanted her. Badly. Like I'd never wanted a woman before in my life. 

I groaned and started slamming my hand against my body, pumping my shaft again at double the rate of before, jerking my fist along all those solid tumescent inches of mine. 

I pictured my tongue in her throat. My hands on her perfectly portioned breasts, squeezing them, pinching those dark, luscious nipples. I pictured her thighs, just the right amount of wide, and her tight, juicy ass, and imagined how wonderful it would feel, kneading those buttocks between my greedy fingertips. 

I savored the imagined touch of her rich, ebony skin, and the contrasting cool and heat of her body, and how hot and how tight she would feel around me if only I could be inside her. 

Finally, I pictured her down on her knees, and my cock in her throat and her tongue twisting around me, sucking me off with a kind of urgent desperation like I just couldn't cum for her soon enough. 

I started roaring and pounding myself, and I felt the pressure building, at last, building toward its sweet, inevitable, perfect crescendo. 

Then I let out a yell at the top of my lungs. Every muscle in my body seemed to spasm. Every part of me was seized by orgasm, gripped from head to toe, the bathroom seemed to spin around me, the steam making me lightheaded, and my heart thundering to escape from my chest. 

My cock spilled over, pulsing, leaping, pumping its hot cum everywhere. It plunged across my shifting hand, and hit the wall of the shower, and poured along down the drain. And all the while, as I just kept cumming and cumming, the whole of my being on fire with pleasure, was how fucking amazing my cum would look all over Keisha's skin, and dripping from her mouth, and spilling down so slowly between her perfect breasts. 

At long last, I felt the thrill of climax dissipating. I gasped, and shivered, and felt a devastating emptiness wash over me. All of the sudden, I was reminded of just how far I was from the girl I'd fantasized about. How ridiculous it was for me to imagine that kind of thing in the first place, knowing that a man like me could never settle down. Never have anything even remotely resembling what I craved to have with her. 

Best just to put her out of my head, and be grateful for what she'd done to me. 

Getting the toxins of murder out of my system, and allowing my heart to finally settle down to something even remotely resembling a normal rate of beating. 

I gave my shaft a last few deep, slow pumps, then practically slid along the tiles of the shower to the floor, exhausted, in so many more ways than I could count. 

“Fuck,” I gasped, tilting my head back, closing my eyes, and letting the steam from the water sweep me away. 

I tried my best to ward off my looming depression. To tell myself that I was all okay. So, I couldn't have what I really wanted. I could never have it. But I was out of this life now. I'd made enough on that hit to be finished with it. Gone for good. 

No looking back. 

That, as far as I was concerned, should have been enough.

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Dark Romance Books | Ex Con's Captive | Book #2 BWWM Captive Series

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This book follows the story of the second Jackson sister, Tyra Jackson. Unlike her sister, Gigi, Tyra has had a tougher life than most. She's used her loud-mouth and her spitfire temper to shield her from all the hurt she's been exposed to in life. Her father's death leaves her an heiress but it's not a status she's comfortable with at all.

Tyra can be impulsive, which makes for an explosive dynamic between her and her captor, Leon Wilkins. The chemistry between the two is instant and volatile, with the contrast between Tyra's outspoken ways and Leon's reserved stoicism. Set far away from life in America, Ex Con's Captive will take this African American beauty all over Eastern Africa, from Nairobi to Kampala, and even through Tanzania. Get relaxed to read the FREE sample of this steamy hot August 2018 interracial romance release from bestselling Author, Jamila Jasper.

Romance Novel Excerpts: Ex Con's Captive | Book #2 BWWM Captive Series

 

 

TYRA JACKSON

Goodbye to Gigi wasn’t easy. I’d only just grown accustomed to having a sister and saying goodbye so soon had never been a part of my plan. She zoomed off in a taxi and left me standing next to Dinah.

 

“Think she’ll be okay?” I asked.

 

“Of course,” Dinah smiled, “Of course she’ll be okay. “

 

“I dunno. She’s taking it hard…”

 

Dinah smirked, “Listen, I’ve got people looking after her.”

 

I raised an eyebrow.

 

“People? What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

“It means you don’t have to worry.”

 

I didn’t get along with Dinah as well as I got along with Gigi. I found her standoffish and she spoke as if she knew everything. If she knew so damn much, why didn’t she just tell us instead of being so cryptic and speaking in code?

 

“C’mon,” Dinah said, “Let’s head inside. We still have guests.”

 

“Right…”

 

We walked back inside when one of Dinah’s staff approached her with a worried look on her face. She touched Dinah’s arm and whispered into her ear. Dinah’s expression twisted with worry and she thanked her housekeeper before returning to my side.

 

“Bad news.”

 

“How bad?”

 

I worried about my mama back in California. She’d never been without me for this long and with my younger brothers (half-brothers) off on their tour of duty, she needed me now more than ever.

 

Yup, my mama had more kids when I was sixteen years old and my brothers were just old enough to pick up guns and serve their country. 

 

“There’s a storm. We’ve just had word a hurricane is going to hit tomorrow.” 

 

“In Costa Rica?”

 

“Off the coast. It’s unusual but… not impossible.”

 

“I’m supposed to leave tomorrow morning!”

 

“Sorry Tyra. You’re welcome to stay here the night.”

 

I had no desire to stay in Dinah’s cold, Costa Rican mansion any longer than I had to. I was never close to my father and if I had to be honest, I came to collect my inheritance and meet my sisters, who I’d met only a handful of times during my life. The mansion had no life to it. The large beams and open spaces with their operatic acoustics only felt empty to me. 

 

Despite the tropical heat, the humid atmosphere within the concrete megalith chilled me to the bone. I wrapped my shawl around my shoulders and returned past the manicured palm trees and bougainvillea gardens to the guests. My father’s associates all imbued me with a sense of deep discomfort. When one man grabbed my hand, my palm shivered with the panic a woodland creature feels before being squeezed by an anaconda.

 

I stuck to Dinah’s side the rest of the evening. I could sense her growing frustration with me, but I couldn’t bear to mill about with the black-suited dementors whose soul-sucking interest in wealth alone was practically palpable to me. I reached for my phone, hoping to steal away for a few minutes to call my mother. No bars. Right — the hurricane.

 

Dinah had attempted an escape, but I spotted her across the room talking to a short, latino man, one of the ones who had spoken at the funeral. He had a scar across his eye and chilling anthracite eyes. 

 

“Tyra, have you met Luciano?”

 

The name rang a bell. He’d spoken and given one of my father Jerome’s eulogies.

 

“Ah, I don’t believe so.”

 

He reached out his hand, licking his lips before greeting me.

 

“Beautiful Tyra. I remember your mother.”

 

He winked. 

 

“Oh, thanks. Hi.”

 

“I’m Luciano. I’m leaving. I must get out of here before the storm hits.”

 

His thick accent belied his perfect diction.

 

“Safe drive,” I replied.

 

He chuckled, “I doubt it.”

 

He hugged Dinah and we watched him leave together. 

 

“Scary, isn’t he?” Dinah whispered.

 

“You could say so.”

 

“Harmless. I’ve known him since I was a child.”

 

I didn’t think growing up in this environment, Dinah had any clue what safety meant, but I didn’t question her. Drinking and partying continued until the wee hours of the morning. Dinah and I were the last to retire, except for the wait staff who now had the funeral of a century to clean up after. 

 

Dinah yawned as we ascended the marble staircase.

 

“Daddy would have hated this,” she mused.

 

“I guess.”

 

I didn’t know our father well enough to say otherwise.

 

“I’ve arranged a private company to take you to the airport tomorrow. You won’t miss your flight.”

 

“What about the storm?”

 

“They say it’s swung north. We’re safe.”

 

“Thank goodness.”

 

I exhaled a sigh of relief and caught another yawn from Dinah.

 

“Sleep tight. I’ll send Ana up in the morning to take your breakfast order.”

 

“Thanks, Sis.”

 

“Sorry, we didn’t get to hang out much this time.”

 

“Next time.”

 

I doubted there would be a "next time". Since we’d grown, “next time” never materialized the way it had when we were younger. 

 

Dinah went to bed, leaving me in my suite. I wandered around with my phone for a while, flipping my braids out of my face as I pressed it against the window.

 

Nothing. Nothing. I shuffled to the left. Nothing. I shuffled to the right. Ah! Yes!

 

One bar.

 

I called my mama’s number, feasting on the melody of the warbled dial tone.

 

“Hello? Who’s this?”

 

“Mama, it’s me? Can’t you see the number?”

 

“Ain’t it late?”

 

“Sort of.”

 

“Girl you done woke me up.”

 

“Sorry. There was a storm…”

 

“Hope…y-….safe…”

 

The line crackled.

 

“Mama what?”

 

“I hope you’re staying safe.”

 

“Yes. I’m gonna make my flight tomorrow. Signal’s really bad so I won’t call most likely.”

 

“Okay. I’ll be at the airport with Steven.”

 

My mama had been trying to force her new boyfriend Steven down my throat for the past eight months and it wasn’t going well.

 

“Steven? Why?” I huffed.

 

“He’s my man. Maybe if you had a man, you wouldn’t be worried about my man,” my mom started.

 

I rolled my eyes and ignored her as she trailed off into a rant about how I needed to get laid more so I would stop getting all “up in her business”. 

 

“I just don’t like Steven!” I interrupted.

 

“Uh huh? You just have a problem with an old lady like me getting busy six nights a week.”

 

“Mama gross!” I yelled.

 

“Well it’s true,” she mumbled.

 

Hoping to spare myself any more disturbing details about my mother’s sex life, I made an excuse and hung up the phone. My mama had been a famous super-model in London, parlaying her olive green eyes and tanned skin into an international career. She’d been in magazines, met the Versace siblings and partied until addiction yanked everything underneath her and sent her spiraling towards rock bottom.

 

Money corrupts. She’d ended up with a baby — me — a few leaked porn tapes that had excluded her from high society in Los Angeles, and a ten year battle with cocaine and heroin that had only ended once she got pregnant with me. She’d raised me well, but there were times she couldn’t shake the wild child inside of her off. Without me to look after her, I didn’t think she’d make it.

 

I needed to get back. Steven, her new man, was a former pimp. I suspected he hadn’t left the pimping behind and I needed to get back to her so I could use my inheritance to find proof of who Steven was and chase him away from my mama. She deserved better.

 

I stayed awake all night thinking about my mama, Steven, and my now deceased father. Jerome had never been a good man to her. My sisters didn’t know it, but he’d paid good money for the night he spent with my mother. He’d only cared about her once the baby was born. Up until he got a paternity test to prove I was his, he’d spent every moment denying me and calling my mama a dirty hooker when he was the one who had paid for her.

 

You could see why I didn’t tell my sisters… 

 

My mama got on my case for not getting laid but I would have stayed celibate for my whole life if it meant not ending up with a man like my daddy. 

 

My eyes burned in the morning. A knock slammed against my door. I slid out of bed and ordered a simple breakfast — local Costa Rican bread, avocado, scrambled eggs, fresh mango slices and sparkling water. While Dinah’s housekeeper prepared breakfast, I showered and prepared for my flight.

 

The tropical weather messed up my braids and I knew my mama would comment on my hair the moment I landed in Los Angeles. I took a quick shower, tied my braids up into a tight high bun and wrapped a silk scarf around my forehead to hide my less than perfect edges.

 

I couldn’t wait to get back to LA where I could wear makeup every day without melting it off. Not even my acrylics survived the weather and the French manicure on my toes were my only ties to good looks that remained. 

 

Breakfast came to me on white platters and I ate in bed. After thirty minutes, the housekeeper entered my room and informed me that Dinah hadn’t slept well and she wouldn’t be getting out of bed to say goodbye.

 

“Are you sure I can’t sneak in there?” I asked.

 

“No,” she replied, “Dinah is sleeping.”

 

“Uh. Okay.”

 

“Your driver is downstairs,” she said.

 

“So soon?”

 

“Yes. You leave early.”

 

“Oh… Okay.”

 

Discomfort knotted my stomach. 

 

“Can I at least leave her a note?” I asked.

 

“No,” the housekeeper replied firmly.

 

“Oh…”

 

“Come on,” she smiled, sensing my discomfort, “Let’s go.”

 

I followed her, tugging my suitcase behind me and deciding whether or not I should make a break for it and say goodbye to Dinah anyway. I decided against bothering her. I didn’t feel we were close enough to justify it. 

 

I followed Dinah’s dark-haired housekeeper outside to the black car with tinted windows that awaited.

 

“This is it?”

 

“Sí.”

 

The driver got out of the car and approached the housekeeper with an envelope. She took it and scurried off. I squinted in the sunlight trying to get a good look at him. The rays blinded me enough that I couldn’t quite see his face. He was pale, freckled and wore thick sunglasses that obscured much of his face.

 

He didn’t smile.

 

He opened the front door for me rather than the back. This wasn’t the custom in America, but figuring it was just cultural, I entered the car. He sternly got into the front seat and I tried to work my best Spanish on him.

 

“Buenos días.”

 

It’s impossible to live in LA without picking up a little bit of Spanish. 

 

“Buenos días,” he replied in a thick Costa Rican accent.

 

His voice surprised me as his skin tone was one usually found amongst foreigners or expatriates. However, his accent sounded natural, like he’d been raised in the jungle.

 

As we drove out of the driveway, a thicket of trees clamored together overhead. He reached for a toothpick and stuck it in his mouth, gripping the steering wheel loosely as we drove.

 

“Where are we headed?”

 

He didn’t reply.

 

“Hablas inglés?”

 

“No.”

 

“Cómo te llamas?” 

 

“Leon.”

 

“Eso es francés, no?”

 

“Si.”

 

Not much of a talker, I presumed. Too bad. I had been nervous among my father’s contemporaries but I usually charmed the pants off most people in the real world (not the wealthy world). I’d talk to cab drivers, janitors, and I knew the homeless people on my block like we were family. 

 

Maybe now, I could do something for them, I thought to myself.

 

I leaned back in the seat, resigning myself to a three-hour early morning drive without a lick of conversation. When we hit the highway, Leon started to speed. The roads wound around and after a few minutes, when I caught hold of my stomach again, I noticed we weren’t getting deeper into the city, but further away from it.

 

My heart sank. I hadn’t thought much about the envelope exchanged between Leon and Dinah’s housekeeper. The incident flashed into my mind with worry. Oh hell no… 

 

I’d watched hundreds of hours of newsreels about women being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. In that instant, that was all that flashed into my mind: being sold as a piece of meat for some sicko who would make me regret the rest of my living days.

 

I went ballistic.

 

“WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME?!” I shrieked.

 

“Señora, en español?”

 

“En fuckin’ español? WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME. DONDE?”

 

“Señora, calmate!”

 

“CALM DOWN, ANSWER THE QUESTION NOW! DONDE?”

 

“Señora, cálmate!” He growled.

 

Oh, he wanted to get angry? I did what any rational person wouldn’t do. I reached over, grabbing the steering wheel and swerved the car off the road, dragging the wheel to the left and screaming as the car went flying off the edge of the road.

Phew! This story is already getting crazy. Are you ready to continue reading it right away? I won't hold you up. 

Amazon readers: https://amzn.to/2UrRwTZ

iBooks, Nook, Kobo readers: smarturl.it/exconscaptive

 

Romance Novel Excerpts: Jealous Ex-Husband (BWWM Romance Novel)

jealous ex husband wmbw interracial romance novelThis novel will be coming out new this month and I'm excited to share Jealous Ex Husband with all you interracial romance fans out there. The trailer just dropped on YouTube and y'all have been sharing the love in the comment section to enter and win an advanced review copy. If you love books similar to 50 Shades of Grey with an interracial BWWM twist, you'll love this full-length novel which maps out the crazy story of Quetta & Vlad.

As I said in the trailer, divorce isn't easy and this story is about finding love after divorce. If you like romance novel excerpts, love romantic stories and enjoy reading free romance novels online, keep reading to enjoy the first preview of Jealous Ex-Husband... 

Book Description:

Divorce ain't easy...

It's even harder when your ex-husband is famous...

And vengeful.

Jealousy, back-stabbing and Hollywood materialism threaten Quetta's joy after divorce.

The one man who makes all her troubles disappear is the one man Quetta must stay away from...

Or she'll risk losing everything.

Romance Novel Excerpts: Jealous Ex Husband (BWWM Romance Novel)

 

 

DIRTY LAWYER

Vlad Romanov had tired of Tati.  She was not only another boring, fake model filled with silicon at every point of injection, but she was another reminder of his tendency to make horrible decisions with women. On his quest for “the one”, Vlad found himself surrounded by the perpetual stream of plastic women in Los Angeles whose only obsessions included Botox and Birkins — nothing else. Sure, she was sexy enough but was that really enough?

 

The biggest issue with Tati, besides her empty blue eyes and her desperation for material objects was the fact that the second they’d slept together she had become clingier than a piece of gum beneath a table. She didn’t get the idea that Vlad had no time for her. No. Fucking. Time. Vlad was one of the highest paid divorce lawyers on the West Coast and although he loved passing time with these wannabe models, strippers and shallow rich chicks, he reviled interruptions, especially while he worked. 

 

“What the hell is it Tati?”

 

“I love you Vlad…” She purred in her heavy Russian accent. (Vlad wasn’t entirely sure she wasn’t faking it. She claimed to be from Moscow but he knew without a doubt, her parents had immigrated in the late 80s.) 

 

Vlad rolled his eyes. They’d slept together once. And Tati wasn’t naive. She might have been twenty years old but she had been around the block. She’d starred in around fifty blue movies before “retiring” and attempting to become a professional girlfriend. Sugar babies were as common as bus drivers in the city.

 

“Listen… Tati… I can’t handle this right now. I’m working on a case…”

 

Tati hit back, “You’re always working Vlad. Always working. Why don’t I stop by your office and I wrap my lips around your cock. We’ll see how busy you are.”

 

Vlad cringed. There was no way in hell he was going to let Tati know where he worked.

 

“Listen… Tati, I’ve got to go. Why don’t you go find some other way to occupy your time. I promise I’ll see you later.”

 

“You are a terrible boyfriend Vlad. Perhaps I should call another man to occupy me this afternoon.”

 

Vlad ignored her obvious attempt to make him jealous. “Perhaps you should. And I’m not your boyfriend.”

 

“What are you afraid of Vlad? You hate commitment.” 

 

Vlad scoffed. He’d known Tati a grand total of eight days. Afraid of commitment or afraid of crazy Russian chicks? 

 

“I don’t have time for this.” 

 

“Fine! You’re a fucking scumbag Vlad! I spread my legs for you and what do you do… you shit all over me.” 

 

Click! 

 

Tati hung up. Vlad smirked. She was so dramatic. He knew she’d be crawling back for more later anyway. He really didn’t have time for her. Vlad’s latest celebrity lawsuit and his work had always taken priority over bimbos. The deeper and deeper Vlad got into his work, the less he had time for women. 

 

Of course, all the women his age wanted nothing more than to tie him down and start milking him for money and babies. Vlad was still looking for fun. Crazy as she might have been, Tati was fun. 

 

Vlad’s receptionist paged his office. 

 

“Mr. Romanov? I have your two o’clock.”

 

“Send her up.” 

 

Vlad downed the glass of vodka he’d kept sitting on his desk. His latest clientele wouldn’t appreciate how much he drank on the job. He adjusted his lapels and sat up straight, pulling out a gold pen and a sheet of thick card paper to take notes on. He’d been up all night, working on his latest case and the dark bags under his eyes betrayed his exhaustion. 

 

Vlad’s piercing eyes were brilliant greenish color that glowed like emeralds. The green picked up the deep chestnut brown color of his hair, giving his eyes an occasional champagne color. Vlad sat up in his office chair and straightened his orange and black Princeton tie. Breathe. 

 

His receptionist had hinted that this client wanted to remain anonymous before they met. She had “security concerns”, which wasn’t uncommon for his clients. Vlad wondered who it would be… Some celebrity bodyguard hoping Vlad would get them a big cash payout from alleged mistreatment? A woman with a botched boob job? 

 

A knock on his door interrupted Vlad from his fantasizing. 

 

“Come in!” 

 

He coughed and sat up straight, prepared for anything.  

 

When the door opened, Vlad’s jaw might have dropped if he hadn’t had so much practice maintaining his composure under all manner of surprising encounters.

 

“Good afternoon, miss,” He greeted her. Of course, most people on the West Coast knew who she was but people who were famous preferred the pretense that they could maintain anonymity. Instantly, Vlad noticed how much more beautiful she was in person…  

 

Quetta Blackburn noticed the same things about him. Quetta wondered if she’d come to the right place at all. The man sitting across the desk from her looked more like a professional athlete and bodybuilder than a high-powered lawyer who had been personally responsible for bankrupting a number of high profile men. His office stank of vodka and cigars, but other than the smell, was perfectly clean and tidy, almost acetic in its appearance.

 

“Good afternoon Mr. Romanov.” 

 

“Good afternoon, madam.

 

Quetta stuck out her hand to shake his. Vlad maintained eye contact with her, his gaze piercing into hers as he assessed every detail about her, gripping her hand in a firm, powerful handshake. Her diamond tennis bracelet jingled as she shook his hand and her manicured fingers dug into his thick meaty palm. She released his grasp quickly and smoothed her tight dress, sitting with her legs crossed before invited.

 

“So… What are we speaking about today Miss…”

 

“You know who I am…” She said, “But don’t call me Mrs. Blackburn. Call me Quetta.” 

 

“My husband and I are getting a divorce. I forced him to file the papers and I need a lawyer who can help me get what I’m worth,” Quetta said flatly. 

 

Quetta’s cool impressed Vlad. Most divorcées were withering messes, unsure of what they wanted and more interested in salvaging what politeness they could from their spouses. He could tell Quetta wasn’t that kind of woman. Her dark, copper colored skin glowed with the effortless beauty of a woman who lived without stress. Vlad picked up on her intense gaze.

 

He was the best, everyone agreed he was the best. But Quetta was still skeptical when she saw him. Vlad still looked more like a pretty boy than a renowned lawyer.

 

“What do you have in mind?” Vlad asked.

 

She didn’t pause for a moment before speaking her mind.

 

“I want at least half… More than half if I can get away with it. It’s just… I’ve been through a lot with him and I’m afraid of what my husband will try to do.” 

 

Vlad looked Quetta up and down. She didn’t look like your usual basketball wife gold digger, but she had some of the trimmings of one. Every part of her was perfectly manicured from her straight black weave, her body hugging dress and her manicured fingernails. Every inch of her that could dripped in jewelry. Her Prada bag on the table was the final touch in a made-for-TV outfit. 

 

Vlad was certain she didn’t leave the house without consulting a stylist. Still, despite her manicured state, she was dressed properly. There wasn’t a hint of cleavage and her skirt fell far below her knees. Quetta Blackburn seemed just as wholesome as her TV image.

 

“May I ask the reason for the divorce, Mrs. Blackburn? Before taking on new clients, I need to know that I can win.”

 

“This conversation will be confidential, right?” 

 

Now, Vlad was curious. He leaned forward, itching to have another drink as he listened to a story that promised to be intriguing.

 

“My husband…” she sighed.

 

“My husband hasn’t been faithful,” she confessed. 

 

Quetta pursed her lips after the confession. Her calm exterior was only slightly ruffled, but Vlad was good enough at reading people to see that she had been. She twirled her fingers around and fiddled with the clasp of her bracelet. 

 

Vlad raised his eyebrow. Even he wasn’t resistant to such a delightful piece of gossip. Kareem Blackburn was a famous NBA player whose entire image as a celebrity was constructed around his Christian faith and his love for his Christian wife that he’d been with since college. Vlad couldn’t believe that the pure and wholesome family man could actually be a philanderer. A part of him wondered if Quetta was telling the truth.

 

“Listen… Mrs. Blackburn. I’m not sure what you’re looking for,” Vlad replied with a smile.

 

Quetta’s expression changed. She could tell that he wasn’t taking her seriously. She stopped fiddling with her bracelet and she grabbed her purse off his desk. Her eyes narrowed and she spoke to Vlad in a stronger voice than she’d ever managed to muster up.

 

“Listen Mr. Romanov. I’m a serious client asking you to negotiate a multi million dollar divorce. I don’t know what impression you have of me but I can pay your fee and I want your services. I’ve heard about you… a lot about you… And I know that you’re the only man who will be able to get me what I want. Everyone knows that you’re a sicko in the courtroom and you’ll do what it takes to win. I want that… I need that. So are you really going to say no to money on the table?”

 

She opened her purse and took out a checkbook. She wrote, in dazzling neat script and ripped the check, sliding it across the table. Vlad’s eyes popped open at the amount, which far exceeded his usual exorbitant retainer. 

 

For someone who played the meek, innocent wife during TV interviews, it was clear that Quetta was no innocent. She was ready to play hardball. The check was all he needed to see. 

 

“Listen Mrs. Blackburn, my tactics as a lawyer have been described as wily… devious and by some men, illegal.”

 

“I don’t care. All I want is to walk away from this divorce with exactly what I’m worth.” 

 

“And exactly how much do you think you’re worth Mrs. Blackburn?”

 

“At least $200 million.” 

 

“Alright. Tell me more about what’s happening with you and your husband.”

 

Quetta sat down and began to tell Vlad about everything that was happening with her husband. It was a shame how quickly everything seemed to deconstruct. She had grown accustomed to the idea of a forever with Kareem but everything had turned sour fast. Getting drafted in the league had seemed like a dream come true at the time. Now Quetta was wondering if her relationship had been ruined the moment Kareem signed his contract. Everything had changed. The moment he’d gone from her man to a media darling, her life was completely different.

 

“Kareem and I met in high school. I was part of the Christian Students Association and back then I’d taken a vow of chastity which included not dating any boys until I turned eighteen. Kareem honored my promise to wait and I supported his dream to play basketball. We started dating our first year of college. I still kept my promise, no matter what people thought. And he remained committed to me. I still remember after practice every day, we would hole up in my dorm room with our Bibles and talk about the word of the Lord…”

 

Vlad was trying to focus on Quetta’s story but reading the Bible together was not how he thought this was going to start. But Quetta was making a good point: when had it all gone wrong? How could a perfect couple that was so committed to each other fall apart so fast? Was the allure of money, cheap sex and power so great that it could break a bond made between two devout soulmates?

 

Quetta was continuing, “When Kareem signed his contract I was so happy… We had just been married and I’d just entered into a perfect relationship with my perfect man. I’d done everything exactly the way God had asked of me. Kareem was reaping the blessings of his faith too. I felt like nothing could go wrong. But it was only about a year or so before things began to change.” 

 

Now this was the good stuff… Vlad thought to himself.

 

“He started lying to me. I didn’t know he was lying to me but I could tell. Our relationship with each other and with God was starting to falter. I hated it… I hated playing the perfect couple for the cameras and at all the ball games while knowing he was lying to me. It hurt so much to have to be that person who was being dishonest. But I didn’t dare let up the image. After a while, I started doing my research. If I’d found out it was just one time…” Quetta started tearing up. 

 

Vlad waited, stoic for her to continue. A part of him felt for her but another part of him wondered what on earth she expected with a man who played in the NBA.

 

“If it was just one time I could have forgiven him. God would have wanted me to forgive him. But that wasn’t it. It was more than one time, with more than one person and after I tried to forgive him, he lied and did the same thing all over again. God wants me to forgive, but he doesn’t want me to ruin my life for a man who don’t love me no more. Kareem might think he still loves me, but he don’t. And when he realizes that he don’t, I’m gonna suffer. Are you capable of helping me Mr. Romanov?”

 

Vlad nodded.

 

“I’ll help you Mrs. Blackburn. But… Please, call me Vlad.” 

This book will be coming to Amazon very shortly. I hope you enjoy the free sample. If you want to stay updated on the book, join my mailing list and you'll be the first to find out when it drops! Click here to join the list. When the book is live, I'll update this blog with the links to where you can find the book. This book will be included in Kindle Unlimited. To read more chapters free before the book drops, check out my Patreon

Our Best Contemporary Romance Novels: Get Pucked (BWWM Hockey Romance)

Get Pucked BWWM Interracial Romance Novels Jamila JasperGet Pucked is an interracial hockey romance featuring a French Canadian alpha male main character who falls for forbidden fruit... the African American publicist who is supposed to keep him out of trouble. If you love romantic stories and want to check out one of our best contemporary romance novels for the year, similar to Harlequin Kimani romance, keep reading for the description and then a length free BWWM romance sample for all fans to enjoy 100% free.

If you enjoy romantic comedy novels, dark romance books and sports romance books with plot twists, steamy romance scenes between black women and white men. This is one of my top romance novels of the year and you can now find the book on Amazon and other sites like Kobo, Nook (Barnes & Noble), iBooks, and Google Play. 

Book Description: 

Amy

Luc is my client. He’s aggressive, unruly and dangerously off limits. 

He wants to have me in every position and toy with me until I scream.

I must resist him. I could lose my job… I could lose everything. 

If either of us screw up our next gig, our entire lives will be ruined.

He’s supposed to be well behaved. I’m supposed to keep him that way.

But how can you tame a man who’s as much of a beast in the bedroom as on the ice? 

Luc

She runs the show in her world and I run the show in mine.

I’m what anyone would consider an alpha. My publicists shake in their boots when I walk in the room.

Not her. 

She isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. Not even me. Not even my past.

Amy thinks I can change my life around, but I know the truth about guys like me.

We never change. At least I never will… Not for her, not for anyone.

Get ready to squirm in your seat as the curvy black girl falls into the arms of a powerful white alpha male. This standalone interracial romance novel is 50,000+ words long with NO cliffhanger and a guaranteed HEA.

Romance Novel Excerpt: Get Pucked (BWWM Hockey Romance)

 

 

Luc Alfredsson

I spent my entire life on ice. I eat sleep and breathe hockey. My nickname growing up was "Puck", for obvious reasons. When I was sixteen, I flew to Canada to pursue my dream: playing hockey until the day I die. 

 

I stared at Coach Gagnon, a big French-Canadian bastard who stood three feet away from me, screaming his head off in my face. 

"LUC, ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME?!" 

 

His thick Quebecois accent, pierced me out of my daydream. Coach Gagnon’s green eyes bored into my mine. I could see the reflection of my face in his eyes, staring back at me with that boyish smirk I couldn’t shake whenever someone started yelling at me. 

"Yeah," I shrugged, "I'm listening."

 

"What did I just say, then?”

 

Trick question. I hadn’t been listening and coach knew. I was a goner. 

"Uhhh... I'm in huge trouble?"

"Oui! You are in huge trouble you stupid bastard! Tabernac! How could you get on camera and say something like that for all the world to see?" 

I responded with a smirk, knowing it would piss off Félix and knowing that he'd kick my ass off the ice for doing so.

"GET OUT!" Félix roared.

 

I heard the others laughing, low rumbling chuckles common in the locker room. They watched with folded arms to see if I’d finally get what was coming to me. Coach was right, I had been an ass. But if he wanted to embarrass me in front of the whole team, I’d walk off the ice like a man with a smile on my face.

 

My smirk turned into a grin and I swung my gym bag over my shoulder.

"Fine. I'll leave." 

 

Dave Tanner stepped up, approaching Félix and resting a hand on his shoulder. He could always talk sense into the coach, or me.

"Coach, with all due respect, we need Luc on the ice today."

Félix's face glowed red hot. His bottle green eyes glimmered with rage and frustration. His face reddened because he knew Dave was right, he couldn’t bear to admit it. After what I’d done… After how I’d embarrassed him… It stung to let me waltz right back on the ice. But he needed me. Desperately. 

"Put your shit down Luc."

Dave nodded and I obliged, dropping my gym bag to the ground.

"He's right. We need you on the ice. We're playing Calgary in a month and I need you boys to whoop 'em."

Snickers and cheers of agreement erupted from the team. 

"Get dressed," Gagnon growled.

I nodded and stalked off to the locker room, victorious once more. I stripped down to my boxers and then suited up. Long sleeved warm-up tee, pants, pads, helmet and then my skates. Before I could lace my skates up, Dave opened the door to the locker room.

"Are you in here you big stupid bastard?"

“Here.”

“Trying to lose your contract, eh?“ Dave asked.

 

Dave always had my back when I messed up. He'd been that way since I was first drafted to the minors up in Toronto, all the way until now.

"No," I replied, "I can't stand when Coach gets like that."

"When he does what? His job?"
 

I glared at Dave.

 

"I don't need a lecture from you mom."

"Hey, don't take it out on me, eh?" 

 

He reached for my hand to help me off the bench.

"You're right. Maybe I should retire."

"Bullshit," Dave retorted, "You're one of the top shooters in the entire league. You have to play."

 

"With those fines... I don't know."

 

"You did earn those fines."

 

"It was a joke," I growled.

 

How was it my fault no one had a sense of humor these days? On my feet, I lumbered out of the locker room door towards the ice.

 

“A joke that went over poorly. Cough up the money and move on. You don’t have to make a big deal out of this.”

 

“Félix wants to.”

 

“Félix is pissed. He should be pissed. We’ve had media training. You should have known better.”

 

I grunted in response and changed the subject.

"Is Jane in today?" I asked.

"What do you care?" Dave asked, folding his arms.

"No reason."

"You aren't thinking of getting back together with her, are you?"

I scowled, "No."

"Good. You were a bastard to her Luc. You broke her heart."

I grunted. Broke her heart. Yeah right. Jane knew exactly what she was signing up for with me. My reputation is no secret and the incident only made things worse. The guys were already on the ice, sticks in hand, pucks slipping back and forth across the frigid terrain. Home.

 

Dave stepped onto the ice before I did and he was off. I might have been the best shooter on the team, but Dave was the fastest. He started off on the first part of our warmup, sprints. I followed him, racing as fast as I could, my lungs stinging with the sharp blasts of cold air familiar to the first five minutes of the workout.

My heart rate caught up with my legs. We skated forward, bursting across the ice at unthinkable speeds. The rush of adrenaline sent me flying faster. Then backward. We skated backward, our feet crisscrossing as we infused our brutish sport with real grace.

 

Pucks flew onto the ice and Félix stood outside, glaring at me as we started shooting. Stamkos, the goalie, stood impenetrable in front of the net. I grinned as I flew down the ice towards him, smacking the puck at full speed, knowing he couldn't catch my shot. He missed and I whooped, to his dismay. My shooting made John one of the best goalies in the entire league. He could stop a puck flying at his face at 90 mph. He was that good.
 

"Good shot," he called. 

 

John's thick German accent meant I could hardly understand a word he said, but his respect was visible in his eyes. Practice went on like that. Tough. Hard. My muscles ached from four straight hours of sprinting. Coach Gagnon was right though -- we had to whoop Calgary. My old buddies from the minors played on the team. Cal Sampson, an irritating Texan with a stick up his ass played for Calgary, as did my former roommate, Leo Lip-Twitch. He had a Polish last name I can't be assed to remember but we all called him lip twitch because when he was intensely focused, his lip twitched. 

Hey, I never said our nicknames were clever, did I?

On the ice, I came alive. My senses heightened and my body performed at its peak, executing all I'd trained it to do. It's hard to describe to a weak man what strength feels like, but it's like being high... all the time. Endorphins and adrenaline coursed through my veins as I dribbled the puck down the ice.

 

 

As I came close to scoring, our new recruit Henrik skated out of nowhere and flicked the puck out of my control.

"Bastard..." I growled.

 

He dribbled the puck back in the opposite direction as I chased him. For a new recruit, he was good, but the experience made me better. I caught up with him in a matter of seconds, but instead of pushing my stick out to grab the puck, I thrust it between his legs, causing him to fall over.
 

"Watch it," I growled, as he toppled over, losing his balance.

 

When Henrik returned to his feet, he glowered at me, hot rage surging through his pink face, his long blond hair covering his eyes through his helmet.

"Asshole," he grunted.

 

He lunged at me, but I was faster than him. I dodged his punch and landed another one on him. He grunted and hit me in the stomach. Where did that little punk learn how to hit like that? I grabbed his pads and pushed him against the wall, hitting him until I heard Gagnon's familiar shout.

"ENOUGH. LUC. OFF THE ICE. MAINTENANT!"
 

I eased off Henrik. His nose was only bleeding a little, but his face was redder. Like most young recruits, he wasn't afraid of fighting, but he didn't enjoy getting his ass handed to him.

 

Once I eased off him, Henrik skated to join the others, dribbling the puck he'd stolen from me playfully across the ice. Gagnon's face said everything once I was off the ice. I knew he was going to chew my ear out but this time, I was ready for him. Henrik knew the rules on the ice. He knew how our team played. He got what was coming to him for stepping out of line. 

 

After practice, Coach gathered us around.

"You boys did great. You, Dave, stay after practice."

"Me?" I asked.

"Did I stutter?" Gagnon replied, his French accent thickening with his frustration.

"Yes, sir." 

Gagnon sent the rest of the team off to get some rest, but he held me and Dave behind.

"It's clear we need to talk."
 

I glowered at him, "Henrik knows how we play. That little punk deserved it."

"Silence!"

 

I kept my mouth shut. Dave glared at me, encouraging me to stop being such a smart ass for once. 

 

"You need to make some changes Luc. I can handle you, but the boss doesn't like liabilities."
 

"It was one fight!" I protested, "That's what the game is about."

 

"Henrik is a new recruit but he is still your teammate. He is Swedish, just like you are you big lug. So show him some respect and keep your bloody hands off him. There's so much fire under your ass I could roast a fuckin' pig!" Gagnon spat.

 

He was practically foaming at the mouth and I struggled to keep my amusement under wraps. 

"Coach, I'll pay the fines. It'll be fine."
 

"Non!" Gagnon hissed, "It will not be fine. You fail to understand how serious this is Luc."

 

"With all due respect coach, why am I here?" Dave asked.
 

"Because you," Coach spat, "Are going to keep this crazy Swedish bastard in line."

 

Dave glared at me, "Got it. Do the impossible."

 

Gagnon chuckled. 

"That's not all. We're going to your publicist's office right now to discuss your next move."

Then I scowled.

"Coach, I'm tired. I killed it on the ice. All I want is to head home so my trainer can put my legs on ice and give me a killer massage."

Gagnon glared, murder in his eyes. 

 

"Luc, don't argue," Dave suggested.

"Fine," I growled, "Let's meet with the publicist." 

 

"Good," Coach said, "10 minutes, 42nd Street." 

 

It wasn't possible to get down to 42nd Street in 10 minutes but I got the message: hurry down there and try not to piss anyone else off. Coach left for his car and Dave and I walked back into the locker room to shower and change.

 

We showered in silence. I could tell Dave was pissed at me. 

 

"Hey man, I'm sorry you got roped into this," I said, hoping to make peace as I dragged a comb through my thick, shoulder length brown hair.

 

"You've got to stop messing around Luc."

"I know."

"What was that stunt with Henrik about, eh?"

"He's a punk."

 

"He's 19. He's just a kid. You should know better."

 

"Yeah, I keep getting that."

 

"Listen," Dave said, "I'm pissed at you but you can fix this okay? When you meet with Polly, she'll tell you what to do."

 

"Polly's an idiot."

"She's not an idiot. She's done PR for players up and down the coast."
 

"I said what I said."

"Hey, I'll have Ramon pull the car around," Dave said.

 

I nodded. Sure. My car was stuck on the Upper East Side since I hadn't expected to be allowed to stay for practice. I followed Dave and we stepped into his car to drive to my publicist's office. Traffic was thick and we were way off Gagnon's ten-minute deadline. He stood outside the office, waiting for us with a scowl on his face.

 

We walked inside and were instantly buzzed upstairs to Polly Patterson's fifth-floor office. 

 

Polly's desk was absolutely covered in papers. When we walked in, she scrambled to push them all into a pile before searching for her tortoiseshell reading glasses amongst the mess.

"Come in, come in. Félix, Luc... Dave..."

 

She offered each of us chairs.

 

"So... what are we here to discuss?" she asked, pursing her thin, pink lips into a faint half-smile.

"Why don't you tell us? I can't escape this media shit storm and I need a way out."

 

Gagnon cleared his throat, "What Luc is trying to say is, we need to find out how you're going to fix this."

"Ah. Right. Fix this."

 

Polly rifled through more papers on her desk, searching through them in vain.
 

"One moment, I have your case file right here..."

 

She shuffled more papers and a huge stack fell off her desk onto the floor.

"Shit!" she huffed.

 

Dave, ever the gentleman, got off his chair to help clean them up. I didn't. I kept staring straight ahead at Polly, wondering how the hell this woman could keep it together enough to do her job.

 

"Polly, stop searching," I barked.

 

She stopped. Dave and Félix both stared at me. Dave knew what was coming, but it was clear Félix didn't. He probably thought it was just me being me, doing something wild and crazy again without thinking it through.

 

I stood.

"Without looking, tell me exactly what the problem is with my public image right now?"

 

"Um... Um..." 

 

Polly looked terrified. I didn't care. I was angry. I forked over $40,000 a month to her firm to keep everything straight for me and she couldn't even get me a straight answer to the simplest question I could ask. My eyes narrowed, the way they did when I focused on getting the puck into the net.

"Let me tell you what's happening here Polly. I've paid this company a total of $1,000,000 over the years to keep my public image spotless. I make money on the ice, but I also make money through brand sponsorships. Everyone in this room knows I'm a notorious fuck up. Your job is to squelch those fuck ups."

 

"Y-y-es Mr. Alfredsson, I'm aware."

"Let me finish," I interrupted, "Your job is to squelch these fuck ups and last week, boy did I fuck up. Didn't I Dave?"

"Yes Luc, you did."

"I got on National Television and suggested that kids in America need more cigarettes. Yes, it was a spur of the moment joke that got out of hand but it was your job to stop it from getting out of hand."
 

Polly stared back at me with widened eyes as if she were about to cry. I hadn't even raised my voice yet. My nose wrinkled in disgust and I approached her desk, taking all the papers that were on it and sliding them off onto the ground.

"This is a mess," I growled, "A hot mess. I don't think you have what it takes to clean it up."

"I do!" she squeaked, "We strategized and came up with a plan."

"What kind of plan?" I asked, folding my arms.

 

Her lips trembled before she spoke.

 

"W-well, we thought you could make a charitable donation to a lung cancer fund."

Dave and Félix exchanged glances, accurately anticipating my anger. 

 

I roared, "I blew it on national television and the best you can do for me is tell me to make a quiet donation? Polly. Polly, I want you to look at me."
 

She avoided my gaze. I stalked up to the desk, balling my fists and resting them on her desk.

 

"Look at me," I growled.

 

Polly's lips quivered as she looked up at me.

"You can't fix this Polly. I want you to look me in the eyes and tell me the truth. You can't fix this."
 

She whimpered as if she knew what would happen once she admitted me.

"Admit it!" I roared.

 

"I can't fix this," she mumbled.

"Tabernac!" Gagnon muttered. Dave frowned, his arms folded.

"Luc, be reasonable," Dave suggested.

"No Dave, I won't be reasonable. Polly, you're fired. Dave, Félix, get me out of here before I wreck something." 

 

I pulled a photo off of Polly's wall and slammed it onto the ground. It shattered and she squealed.

"Luc!" Dave warned.

"I said get me out of here!"

 

They two men escorted me out. I was fuming. My fists clenched and my jaw tightened. I could feel heat pulsing in my chest, the same heat that flowed freely when I was about to deck some poor pathetic bastard on the ice. If I hadn't gotten out of there, who knows what I would have done.

We walked out onto the street, security hot on our tail from the mess I'd made in Polly's office.

"Did that go how you thought it would?" I asked Félix.

"Bastard," he muttered, walking off without response to his car.

 

Even Dave seemed fed up.

"Be honest Dave. If Polly had looked you in the eyes and said that to you, what would you have done?"

 

"Fired her," Dave grumbled.
 

"Exactly."

 

"You don't think Luc," Dave continued to grumble, "She's gone now but you still have a massive problem on your hands. Did you think about how you're going to fix it?"

"Not yet." 

"You'd better figure something out. We have a game and the press will be hot on your ass after the last time."

"Yeah, I know."

"Figure it out, Luc. Don't fuck up again."

 

Dave’s frustration with me showed. Practice had been a nightmare and the meeting with Polly had gone even worse. I had a media firestorm blazing a trail behind me and I’d just fired my publicist. By all accounts, a terrible move. I’d be lucky if Félix let me on the ice after what I’d just done.

Ramon pulled his car to the front of the building and we entered silently. Dave was right. I couldn't afford to screw up again. 

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