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Dark Romance Books | SEAL's Captive | Book #1 BWWM Captive Series

seals captive dark romance books bwwm bad boy military romance us navy seal romance novelThe first installment of the BWWM Captive Series, SEAL's Captive was nothing like what I had expected. I first published this book under the title Bringing The Heat. The only issue? There was no heat. I got everything wrong and the book was a total flop.

I could have given up, but I didn't want to. I loved the story, and I knew with some more work, I could bring you a book that you would love just as much as I did. I made big changes. I consulted with a cover designer and told her that I wanted the best look for my readers. She came up with this cover you see here. But that wasn't enough...

I had to tweak to the story so I did. I made it hotter. I added in details and I opened the story up to further exploration in Book 2 and Book 3 of the trilogy.

This is the beginning of a story that's about both love and sisterhood. Three black women are connected by a father that they barely know and his death sends the heiresses spiraling into a dark world that they'd grown up knowing nothing about. In this extraordinary world, they find men capable of loving them more than they'd ever anticipated and from the darkness that they are thrust into, they find a beacon of light...

These stories aren't "too serious" either... I made them plenty steamy with hot new locations for hanky-panky that will have you heading out to experiment with hubby TONIGHT. Don't believe me? Check out this free sample and read the available books in the trilogy. You'll have a WILD time, I promise.

Romance Novel Excerpts: SEAL's Captive | Book #1 BWWM Captive Series

DADDY'S FUNERAL

Gigi barely knew her father. She knew that he was wealthy and that her mother had been knocked up at nineteen years old by a man a decade older than her.

 

Jerome Jackson had always been a mysterious absentee figure. To Gigi, he was daddy, the person who paid for her education, the person who sent her to horseback riding camp,  he'd sent her on trips to Mallorca and Bangkok, but he'd never been there.

 

Gigi could count on her hands the number of times she'd seen him in person.

 

Gigi stood next to her two half-sisters looking down at the body of the man she barely knew. Jerome Jackson — born June 11th, 1958, died February 14th, 2017.

 

Dinah was the one who had found him. As she told it, he’d been sitting in his study with his hand clasped around a glass of whiskey.

 

Gigi stood next to the sister that she barely knew and slipped her hand into hers. Dinah was crying, but neither Gigi nor their third sister Tyra could muster up tears yet. Neither of them knew Jerome quite the way that Dinah did. Dinah was the only one who had grown up with him.

 

The funeral would start in forty-five minutes. Strangers would fill this room and gawk at her father’s body. Most of them would probably know Jerome better than Gigi ever had. Her father, the stranger.

 

Even if he had been a stranger, Jerome had ensured Gigi had the best of the best. She’d attended the best private day schools in New York and then she’d been shipped off to a New England boarding school for high school. All on her father’s dime.

 

In her community, Gigi’s life had caused whispers. Despite her expensive education, she had grown up in a small two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Her mother’s job as a public school teacher could never have afforded her all the luxuries she had growing up.

 

She’d only met and hung out with her sisters three times in the past. When Gigi was eighteen years old  — Tyra, sixteen, Dinah, fifteen — Jerome persuaded Gigi’s mother to let Gigi join him for a special summer vacation. He thought it was important for all his daughters to know each other. After much pleading, Gigi remembered her mother reluctantly allowing her to go.

 

She remembered being eighteen and standing in line at JFK, ready to meet her father in person for only the tenth time in her life. She remembered the image she had constructed of him from his letters alone and filled in by her active imagination. She remembered picturing her sisters in her head; she imagined they would all be perfect copies of her, the best friends she’d been searching for her whole life.

 

Gigi cracked a smile as she recalled that vacation. It had been far from perfect. Tyra and Dinah were nothing like her and they were used to being “only children”. Jerome hadn’t been the perfect father either on that vacation. Instead of spending time with them, he’d given them each a credit card and sent them off on their own. Gigi and her two sisters had an insane month in Paris together followed by a month in London. There had been laughter, shopping... and more fighting than ever.

 

Those were some of the best and worst memories Gigi had of Jerome. She reached out and touched his stiff hand in the coffin. Those tears finally found their way out of her eyes. Dinah squeezed her hand tightly and rested her head on Gigi’s shoulders.

 

“I don’t know if I can do this today,” Tyra whispered.

 

“Well. We have to.”

 

“I know,” Tyra replied, “But I think I’ll need a drink.”

 

“Don’t drink too much,” Gigi warned.

 

“Easy for you to say,” mumbled Tyra.

 

“I think I’ll have whatever you’re having.”

 

They walked into the other room. It felt strange having the funeral out of Jerome’s house, but that was what he requested. He'd been specific too. He wanted the viewing, the repast, and funeral in the foyer downstairs and then he’d be cremated later that week. Each of his daughters would get 1/3 of his ashes and 1/3 of his assets.

 

He might have been more absent than not, but he’d always provided financially, even in death.

 

Dinah had hired an event coordinator to manage the entire affair. They approached Jerome’s bar and each ordered a drink. Tyra ordered a stiff whiskey on the rocks (Jim Beam, just like her father drank).

 

Dinah ordered a glass of white wine. Gigi ordered cranberry juice with a splash of vodka in it. She wanted the presence of mind throughout this entire affair. She wanted to remember — even if remembering would hurt like hell.

 

She felt sad that Jerome had died but not from missing him. Heck, she’d grown used to missing him her own life. What really gnawed at Gigi’s heart was all the time she didn’t get to spend with her father. She realized all the things she didn’t know about him. She knew that he’d made millions of dollars in investment banking and investing in technology. She knew that he was a renowned womanizer who hadn’t just dated their mothers but a number of celebrities.

 

But Gigi didn’t know how he liked his coffee. She didn’t know what her father liked to do in his downtime. All she knew was that he’d worked, provided and then died. His personality would always be a mystery to her. His death was so painfully final. She downed as much of her drink as she could manage, her racing mind causing her to rethink her abstinence from alcohol.

 

“What happens next Dinah?” Tyra asked.

 

Dinah morosely took a sip of her wine before answering. By some cruel fate, the youngest of them had been completely responsible for putting all of this together. She was the only one of them who really knew Jerome. She’d grown up in this very mansion and ultimately, she’d been the one to find her father’s body. It was like Dinah was suffering just for being the only one of Jerome’s children he’d paid any mind.

 

“I meet with the estate lawyer and the accountant. You guys don’t have to stay here. Once you send me your banking information and addresses, I should be able to sort it all out.”

 

“Jesus,” Tyra mumbled.

 

“It’s a lot of money,” Gigi confirmed.

 

Dinah smiled, “I guess it is. I’m just so used to all this, you know?”

 

Tyra nodded, “Lucky you. I grew up in East L.A. Daddy provided for me but mama would have never let any of this get to my head.”

 

Dinah furrowed her brow a bit.

 

“Don’t mean any offense.”

 

“None taken. It’s just… Sometimes I wonder how daddy could have left y’all across the country. Why me?”

 

Gigi shrugged, “My mama had me at nineteen. It was a long time ago. Maybe with you he just wanted things to be different.”

 

“I guess. But it still bothers me. Doesn’t it bother you? That we didn’t grow up together?”

 

Tyra and Gigi exchanged glances. Yes, it did bother them. Of course, it did. Their father was internationally renowned and incredibly wealthy but for a reason, neither of them knew, he’d only picked the youngest of them to take care of properly.

 

To them, Jerome was a more of an idea than a person. Dinah was the only one of her sisters who had grown up with a real father.

 

“I guess it bothers me,” Tyra mumbled.

 

“Well, we have a chance to get to know each other now,” Gigi offered.

 

Dinah sighed, “But how? After this… you’ll head east and Tyra’s going to head west.”

 

“And then you’ll be the baddest bitch left in Costa Rica,” Tyra grinned.

 

The three of them laughed. It was the first time that the three of them had shared a proper laugh since they’d arrived at Jerome Jackson’s tropical mansion. This was the country that Dinah had grown up in while Gigi was away at boarding school and while Tyra had attended a private day school in California.

 

“Well, since we only have a few minutes, why don’t we just have another drink,” Dinah said.

 

They were starting to realize that like it or not, they would have an emotionally exhausting day. They ordered second rounds of their drinks as time ticked towards the start of the funeral service.

 

“Do you remember Paris?” Gigi asked.

 

Dinah cracked a smile.

 

“Yes, I remember Paris. It was insane… The drinks, the shopping…”

 

“The fighting…” Tyra finished.

 

“What did we even fight over?”

 

“Everything,” Gigi smiled.

 

“It all seems so silly and so far away,” Tyra replied.

 

Dinah nodded, “Daddy barely even spent any time with us that vacation. We had no clue about anything but we ran around the streets of Paris like little African princesses.”

 

Gigi had never really thought of herself as African, but Dinah wasn’t wrong to refer to them as such. Their father, Jerome Jackson was an African immigrant who changed his name when he was eighteen years old to the alliterative, Americanized name Jerome Jackson.

 

Gigi had no clue who her father had been before he’d changed his name. Growing up in Brooklyn, she was utterly cut off from her Nigerian heritage. She never even thought about it. As far as she was concerned she was just a regular African American girl. Tyra felt the same way.

 

“Have you been to Nigeria?” Tyra asked Dinah, letting Gigi know that they were probably thinking the same thing.

 

Dinah pushed the hair from her wig out of her face and she nodded.

 

“Yeah. I went last year to daddy’s mansion in Maitama. It’s beautiful out there.”

 

“I can’t believe I’ve never gone.”

 

Dinah shrugged, “Maybe we should go there sometime. After the funeral.”

 

“If I can get time off work,” Tyra answered.

 

Gigi wondered if Tyra was serious.

 

They would each be inheriting something to the tune of $42 million dollars each. They would co-own his mansion in Costa Rica, his apartment complex in Chicago and the mansion in Maitama.

 

For the rest of their lives, they could sit back and relax. With a team of investors to manage their portfolios, accountants, and lawyers, they would never have to work again. Gigi always knew her father had money, but she didn't realize it was this much until he'd passed.

 

Once learning about the inheritance, she struggled to imagine working again and heading back to the daily grind.

 

She’d struggled in her adulthood since graduating from college and she didn’t feel ashamed about putting an end to that struggle, whether or not she earned the money to do it. Tyra was different.

 

Maybe things are easier out in California, Gigi thought to herself.

 

They sat back and they reminisced about Paris. They reminisced about the boy that Gigi had fallen for in France — a black twenty-year-old Parisian named Christophe. They reminisced about the time Dinah drank so much they had to sneak her into the apartment through the back entrance. They reminisced about how Tyra had almost had them kicked out of a nightclub because she tried to fight a loud-mouthed bully on Dinah’s behalf.

 

As they reminisced, they did everything to try to forget the fact that their father’s body was dressed up in a custom Italian designer suit only a few feet away.

 

They tried to forget the fact that this might be the last time they all saw each other. They tried to forget about all their anxieties about growing older, about love, happiness and the lot of it.

 

“Are any of you married?” Dinah asked.

 

Gigi and Tyra both shook their heads.

 

“Nope.”

 

“Nah.”

 

“Do you ever want to be?” Dinah asked.

 

Tyra shrugged and Gigi nodded.

 

“I do. But I’ll need to meet the right guy. Maybe I’m getting too old though.”

 

“Nonsense!” Tyra said, “There’s no such thing as too old.”

 

Dinah replied, “Well, I don’t think I want to get married. I watched daddy go through three wives in my childhood. None of them could have kids and none of them lasted very long.”

 

They were silent again. Even if they tried, they couldn’t help but think of Jerome. The good, the bad, the ugly — they were forced to confront all of it now in his death.

 

“I never knew he was ever married.”

 

Gigi knew about her father's other children but she didn't know enough about him to know he'd had spouses.

 

“After I turned eighteen,” Dinah said, “But I still lived here after college and during vacations. So I got to see a lot of it. I wonder if any of them ever really loved him.”

 

“Are any of them coming today?” Gigi asked.

 

Dinah shook her head, “They all made excuses when I called.”

 

They were silent again as they were forced to confront another unpleasant truth. Jerome had a string of women on his arm but his actions had also made him many enemies throughout his life.

 

They talked until guests started to pull into the driveway. Black cars manned by mixed race Costa Ricans with thick dark curls and walnut brown skin pulled up and then all manner of Americans and Nigerians descended upon the Jackson mansion for Jerome’s funeral.

 

Gigi, Tyra, and Dinah waited by the door, playing the part of perfect daughters and loving sisters. They greeted everyone who came. A man gripped Gigi's hand with tears in his eyes and told her that her father was the most loving man he'd ever known. Gigi couldn't muster up tears in response, but it moved her to know that her father had impacted someone like that.

 

Maybe he wasn't all bad. Maybe he just couldn't do family the traditional way, she mused.

 

The house was filled with upwards of 100 guests who all fit into the viewing room. The priest arrived somewhere in the middle of the pack and Dinah pulled him aside to discuss the proceedings. Gigi took in the room before making her way to the reserved seats in the front.

 

The room smelled like new leather and designer perfumes. Gigi had never been surrounded by so much wealth in her life. The odd venue for the funeral bothered no one. The ultra-wealthy are accustomed to eccentricity.

 

Gigi's mind wandered as she waited for the priest to begin. She'd never understood what Dinah’s life had been like until now. In Paris, she remembered thinking Dinah was clueless, some barely-black Oreo who couldn't possibly understand what she'd been through. Now, she empathized with Dinah, for having to be enveloped in such a cold, stiff world.

 

The start time of the funeral drew near. Tyra joined Gigi in the front and their eyes moved over to Dinah as they waited for her to join them. The priest stood in the front of the room waiting to officiate and Dinah stood off to the side talking to a short, gently tanned latino man.

 

When Dinah finished speaking to him, she joined the duo.

 

“Who was that?” Gigi whispered to her.

 

“Luciano.”

 

“Who?”

 

Dinah whispered, “A friend of my father’s. He helped me get everything together today before you guys arrived.”

 

“Oh. I see.”

 

Before Gigi could ask any more questions, the funeral service started. The priest began to speak about her father’s life. Gigi started to learn things that she’d never known about Jerome. She learned about his childhood in Nigeria, where he'd been the smartest of his brothers who were now all dead.

 

His parents had pegged him out for success and he'd attended Oxford for two years before dropping out to begin his enterprises.

 

Enterprise was a good word for it, Dinah thought to herself. Neither her sisters nor the guests knew as much as she did about what her father had done to make his money. Except for Luciano, of course, the bearer of her father's secrets, the guests were ignorant.

 

When it came time for Jerome’s eulogy, Luciano was the one who stepped up to the podium to speak. Gigi drew her eyes to him, hopeful that she could gain some final lasting insight into the man her father was.

 

Luciano spoke with a thick Spanish accent, but he eulogized Jerome well. He spoke about their memories together in Costa Rica and all the times that Jerome bailed him out of trouble. He spoke to the heroic image of her father that Gigi had always carried with her (whether intentionally or not).

 

The image Gigi had of her father persisted as a Nigerian man that loved laughter, liquor, and making love with equal vigor. He had been boisterous, untamable and loyal to a fault once he decided you were worthy.

 

Gigi could feel tears spilling out of her eyes involuntarily. Dinah was weeping softly and Tyra sat up stone-faced. She never allowed her grief to be on display in the room full of people. Dinah and Gigi couldn’t help it. They all gripped each other’s palms as Luciano said his final words.

 

“…And I want to say a final goodbye to you, amigo. I promise that I will carry you in my heart forever and I will make sure that nothing happens to your beautiful daughters. Adios.”

 

Luciano left the podium and Gigi watched as a single tear streamed down his face. The room was filled with people who were either weeping or looking sullenly forward. The priest continued with the rest of the service and when the collection box was passed around, people dropped $100 bills into the box as if it were nothing.

 

Everything about that day had felt utterly surreal, including the ease with which a room full of people parted with what would total up to a year’s worth of her rent.

 

Gigi made mental notes of everything going on so she could remember to tell her mother. Her mother had declined the invitation, but Gigi promised her she'd spare no details about what happened.

 

Towards the end of the service, they sang and a friend of Dinah’s played the piano. And just like that, the funeral service was finished. The gangly events co-ordinator led the guests to the other room for a small wake while Gigi and her sisters said their final goodbyes to Jerome.

 

The end drew closer. Jerome's requests would be followed and carried out by his team of assistants. Their lives would change and three regular black women who barely knew each other would become heiresses overnight. Jerome would be cremated and the ashes would be split in three and shipped priority mail to Gigi and Tyra. This was it — their last time with their father.

 

Gigi’s chest balled up like a fist as she stood above her father’s body for the last time.

 

“Goodbye,” She whispered through her tears.

 

Tyra handed her a handkerchief which she used to dab beneath her eyes. Dinah planted a kiss on their father’s forehead and Tyra just stood there staring at him. Gigi thought her head seemed like it was swimming with thoughts. There was a lot to think about and a lot to mourn.

 

When the funeral home arrived and the coffin closed for the final time, Gigi felt the fist around her heart clench even tighter. They had to go back out there and face the folks who had all come expecting to see the three of them after the funeral.

 

“I’m starting to think the next part is what’s going to be the hardest,” Gigi said.

 

Dinah sighed, “You’re right. But… We can do it. I know we can.”

 

“At least we’ve got each other for this next bit.”

 

“Let’s go then.”

 

They pushed open the doors into the next room and walked out into the…

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Book 3 | Hitman's Captive (available after Dec. 21st 2018): smarturl.it/HitmansCaptive

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

ex con's captive dark romance books hitman mafia romance bad boy bwwm romance novelsBook 2 of the dark bad boy romance series BWWM Captive Series, makes an impact on interracial romance readers who love romantic stories and couldn't wait for the launch of one of our best contemporary romance novels. Ex Con's Captive is everything we have been waiting for after Book 1, SEAL's Captive... 

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

 

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. 

Did you enjoy reading this sample? You can finish reading the book on the website of your choice. The book is also available as an eBook and a Paperback. Do you want to read this book on iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Google Play or with your local library via Overdrive? Click this link here to read the book: books2read.com/GetPucked

FREE Romance Audio Book Sample | Blue Eyed Hunk

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Dark Romance Books: Beauty & The Biker | Alpha Male MC Romance

alpha male bad boy bwwm romance novelY'all aren't ready. The BWWM romance novel I'll be publishing at the end of March is sizzling hot interracial romance deliciousness that you won't want to miss.

If you enjoy reading dark romance books with desirable alpha males, bad boys who make you swoon and strong black female heroes, you'll enjoy reading one of our top romance novels anticipated for the year.

Read the description below and then the first chapter FREE. 

Description:

Savage fighter. Ruthless leader. Icy blue eyes. 

My now ex-boyfriend lost me in a bet.

The winner? The ruthless leader of his rival motorcycle gang — Heath.

Heath is a cold-blooded killer, or so I’ve heard.

He expects total submission…

I don’t let anyone tell me what to do.

On the open road, I don’t have a choice.

I’m his. He won me fair and square.

And he won’t give me up without a fight.

Romance Novel Excerpt: Beauty & The Biker | Motorcycle Club Romance

Heath took me prisoner two days ago. Since then, I’d scoped out every opportunity to run. Clinging to him on the back of his Gold Wing, I scrutinized the landscape as we rushed past. Thick forests hung over the highway, shading us from the blazing heat of the sun beginning its descent in the sky. When all the bikes stopped and the men started their tune ups, I hung close to Heath’s bike. 

 

As he stooped down to check his tires, I checked on my cash.

 

I reached into my jeans and pulled out my wad of bills, mostly fives and ones. This was all the money I had but it would have to do. 

 

I counted it for the second time and prepared to run.

 

“Kaja, get over here,” he called and I rounded his shiny metal beast, my eyes darting furtively along the highway.

 

“Yes?” I folded my arms. 

 

My time approached.

 

“Hold this. I need to screw on the bolts,” he growled.

 

I stuck out my palm with a scowl on my face and he stuck the spanner in it with a bemused raised eyebrow.

 

“You don’t have to be so sour.”

 

“Whatever. I want to get out of here.”

 

He chuckled. 

 

“Bossy huh? We’ll see what you say when we get to Chicago and I off-load you onto the first toothless bastard I find.”

 

“Buzz off.”

 

He chuckled again and bent down to adjust his tires. 

 

“Spanner.”

 

I handed him the spanner. 

 

“Good.” 

 

He opened up the toolbox on the back of the bike and shoved it back in.

 

“Why the long face sunshine?”

 

“Don’t mock me,” I spat back, “I don’t have to put up with your bullshit.” 

 

“Suit yourself.”

 

“Ready to go you bastard?” Rhys approached and smacked Heath on the back, causing the two of them to erupt in guffaws. Heath’s laugh was a low chuckle while Rhys’ pierced the air with the same pitch as his Southern accent. Rhys ran his hands through his blond hair and stuck it in a loose ponytail.

 

“Damn straight,” Heath said, “Where’s Jacob and his girl?”

 

Don approached then zipping up his leather jacket and twirling his helmet in his hands.

 

“Those two love birds snuck off for a bit of nookie in the woods.”

 

Heath chuckled, “Joining ‘em this time?” 

 

Rhys snorted, “That slut? No thanks. She’s been passed around by every guy with a bike on the Eastern seaboard.”

 

Don chuckled and retorted, “Yeah right, you’re just pissed off she chose Jacob instead of you.”

 

“Fuck off,” Rhys snorted, putting his helmet on.

 

“Reckon I should go scare him out?” He touched the gun on his holster.

 

Heath shook his head, “Nah. They’ll be here soon.”

 

Don smirked, “Knowing Jacob, it should be about… 90 seconds.”

 

The men erupted into laughter again and I just stood there, glaring with my arms folded. I’d tried to go unnoticed but Rhys noticed my scowl and approached me pressing his fingers to my lips and flicking them.

 

“Why the long face? You ain’t find us funny?”

 

“No,” I spat back.

 

“Hey watch your mouth,” Rhys spat, “You’re nothing but a piece of meat and if you catch an attitude I’ve got no problem ditching your sorry ass on the side of the road.”

 

“Hey!” Heath interrupted, “Leave her alone.”

 

Rhys snickered.

 

“Whatever man, don’t defend her.”

 

Don grunted, “Don’t be a pussy Heath, he’s only joking. No one’s going to harm princess over here.”

 

The men laughed again, like I was some big joke. I kept my gaze steady, trying not to care. I wouldn’t be stuck with them much longer. Five minutes later, Angie and Jacob emerged from the woods holding hands and laughing.

 

“Not much stamina, Jacob?”

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Angie spat, “Watch your mouth Don or I’ll cut your tongue out?”

 

“Why so you can shove it up you —”

 

“Watch the way you talk to my lady buddy,” Jacob interrupted, stepping in front Angie.

 

“Geez, it’s just a joke.”

 

“Yeah well fuck off leprechaun.”

 

“Me ma’s Irish, that’s why I’ve got this red hair,” Don replied, doing his best imitation of an Irish accent and breaking the groups tension, sending everyone into fits of laughter.

 

“Let’s get out of here,” Angie said, “Princess looks like she’s going to shit bricks.”

 

She jutted her chin towards me, drawing even more attention than I wanted.

 

“I’m fine,” I spat.

 

Angie winked, her brilliant blue eyes twinkling with excitement. Her daisy dukes barely covered her thin, pale legs with blue veins trailing through them. Her long chocolate hair hung to the middle of her back and she fixed it into a ponytail before donning her helmet and hopping on her bike.

 

“Time to ride…”

 

I had no choice. I hopped on the back of Heath’s bike, clutching his torso as he revved the engine up.

 

“Don’t let go sweetheart,” he both commanded and taunted me.

 

I wouldn’t let go. With only twenty miles to the next fuel station, all I had to do was wait. Once we got there, I’d go to the gas station restroom and make my break for it. I knew these backroads well enough and this would be my last chance to escape before these hooligans dragged me God-knows-where.

 

We drove down the highway, wind whipping my dreads into the breeze and my breath fogging up the helmet. I clutched Heath tightly because I had no choice. I had no choice but to hold onto his body or go flying down the highway. 

 

The road stretched out for miles before it curved, deserted since rush hour had passed. We were deep in the New England boonies and wouldn’t hit traffic until New York. The Steel Dragons spoke about going around the city when they thought I wasn’t listening. I’d been preparing to take my last stand. 

 

However they managed city traffic wouldn’t be my problem. I needed patience. Heath’s gaze fixated on me whenever we’d stopped. I’d have trouble getting out of his sight at the gas station but he couldn’t follow me everywhere. I hadn’t said much, hoping they’d underestimate me. He kicked the stand up and I squeezed my arm around him tighter.

 

The bikes roared and they kicked up dust as they accelerated down the highway. Jacob and Angie rode side by side in the front, Rhys and Heath rode together behind them.

 

Holding down the flank were Don, and Clay. Don would be the hardest one to get something past. He was too sharp and he didn’t trust that I’d stay with the Dragons in the first place. He’d begged Heath not to bring me along but Don didn’t make the rules around here — Heath did. 

 

I breathed a sigh of relief when we pulled into the gas station as they’d planned. My heart skittered in my chest. I was too accustomed to fear to allow it to paralyze me. I got off the bike and took my helmet off.

 

“You stay here,” Heath growled as he walked to the pump.

 

“I-I need to go to the restroom.”

 

Heath looked me up and down.

 

“Fine. Be quick.”

 

He gestured for me to hand him the helmet so I did, relieved that I was now unencumbered. 

 

The gang stared at me as I entered the gas station. I could feel their eyes on my back and of course, Rhys dog whistled which earned him a warning punch from Heath. A tinny bell rang as I thrust the door open and as the door closed behind me. 

 

I stood alone with the attendant, tempted to ask him to call the police. If the police found me, they’d find out quick that I knew Trey Holt. They’d want me to talk and if I dared say one word my life would be on the line. No cops. I didn’t need them. The attendant at the desk eyed me and then eyed the gang, clad head to toe in black leather in stark contrast to my jeans and white tank top.

 

“You with them?”

 

“Y-yes,” I replied.

 

I was too scared to say much to anyone. The man snorted.

 

“You don’t look like the type.”

 

“C-can I use the bathroom?”

 

“You sure you okay ma’am?”

 

“Yes,” I replied, “I’m sure.”

 

“Okay, it’s back there behind the hot dogs.”

 

“Thanks,” I mumbled.

 

I’d been here before with Trey. A girl had been working that time but the gas station had no reason to change. I walked into the bathroom and closed the door, turning the lock and exhaling.

 

“Pull it together Kaja,” I muttered, wiping my sweaty palms on my jeans and looking up at the window, perched a few feet above me just as I remembered it.

 

I stood on the toilet, grunting as I shoved the small window open. I was small enough to fit and I’d considered running away the last time I’d come with Trey so I’d thought the plan through before. I grunted again as I thrust the entire window open. I reached up to the sill and grunted as I pulled myself up, shuffling my body through the window.

 

There was an eight foot drop from the window that landed on a patch of grass. Lucky freaking me. I tucked and rolled as I dropped. I stood to my feet and without looking back, I turned tail and ran.

 

The gas station was just outside of a small town with plenty of New England charm and an absence of any people. My feet pounded the pavement as I hurried towards the trees. My heart thumped in my chest and my stomach tightened. If I didn’t get away this time, Heath would be pissed and the rest of them would be pissed. I’d be stuck riding to California with a bunch of crazy assholes — who hated me.

 

I burst through the clearing and stopped to catch my breath, bending over my pressing my palms into my knees.

 

“THERE SHE IS!”

 

Shit. Angie ratted me out. So much for girl power…

 

I picked up the pace, adrenaline bursting through my chest and forcing my legs to carry me. At the other end of the clearing I’d have to cross the highway and then I could get to the strip mall. Once I got to the strip mall… Well someone in there had to have a phone. I could call Julie and she’d come get me. Wouldn’t she? I knew she was Trey’s sister but come on, Trey got me into this mess. It’s not like I wanted to be here in the first place.

 

I ran towards the light, through the trees, hopping over felled tree branches and avoiding deep murky puddles with rotting leaves. 

 

“Don’t you dare shoot her!” A voice called — this time Heath.

 

Yeah, I’m sure he wanted Don, Rhys or whoever had pulled the gun to keep their hands off his precious cargo.

 

“She’s heading to the mall, guys we have to split up!”

 

My chest tightened. They knew where I was going and they planned to stop me. I couldn’t stop running. I was less than 1/4 mile away from the entrance to the highway and if I was lucky, I could find someone passing by who would stop and pick me up. 

 

I heard the sound of motorcycles revving in the distance but I didn’t stop running until I exited the deep woods and stood at the edge of the highway on the other side of the guard rails. Traffic was far from heavy, but the roads weren’t deserted with a few family cars heading up to the Berkshires for the weekend. 

 

I climbed over the guard rail, listening for the choking and heaving of the motorcycle mufflers  and waiting for the right time to dash across the road. I stuck my thumb out as I waited, hoping for one of the two options to work out for me. 

 

My heart raced faster, my eyes snapped wider taking in every detail of the landscape from the tall evergreen trees to the leafy green maples to the dust kicked up by the Volvo rushing past. I stuck my arm out and waved but nobody stopped.

 

When I got a break in the road I started to sprint.

 

“Gotcha,” the voice came first them I felt the arms around me.

 

“AHHHHH!”

 

Heath. He’d caught up with me.

 

“Stop squirming and this will over soon.”

 

“LET. ME. GO.”

 

I shrieked.

 

I kicked back and struggled against him. Having height, weight and size as an advantaged meant I was powerless against him. It’s not like I couldn’t throw a punch mind you. With Trey, we’d had to defend ourselves a few times as we rode across the country from bar fights to fending off muggers. 

 

Heath stood a full foot taller than my 5’6” and he kept his body in immaculate physical condition. I screamed and kicked again but he pulled me deeper into the woods, back towards the gas station.

 

“Pull shit like that again and I’ll strip you down and leave you on the side of the road,” he growled.

 

“PUT ME DOWN! PUT ME DOWN! HEEELLLLPPPP!” I screamed.

 

“Shut up!” He growled.

 

“I’ll shut up when you put me down!”

 

“You tried to run. You lost the right to stand on your own two feet when you did that.”

 

Gasping for breath and desperate to stop his thick muscular arms from crushing me, I whimpered, “If you put me down I won’t run. I’ll go with you.”

 

He dropped me and I fell to the ground, screaming as my back hit.

 

“Get up,” he growled.

 

“OW!”

 

I sat up and glared at him as I got to my feet and dusted my hands off.

 

“That hurt.”

 

“Listen up missy.”

 

“What?”

 

“I won you fair and square… You aren’t going anywhere unless I tell you to.”

 

“It’s illegal to hold people captive you know.”

 

He chuckled, “Yeah, ‘cause I’m a real good guy right? Like Trey?”

 

“Don’t bring up Trey.”

 

Heath chuckled again, “I’ll bring up Trey if I want to princess. You’re mine.”

 

He snarled the word mine with such vitriol I flinched. 

 

“Y’know the way back is much faster running than walking.”

 

Heath chuckled, “Nice try. Make a run for it again and you’ll regret it.”

 

“Won’t be my only regrets,” I mumbled.

 

“Hush. Too much talking.”

 

The rest of the way back to the gas station we walked in silence. Heath walked behind me with his quiet long stride. When I burst through the trees fear gripped my chest again. 

 

“Keep moving. Say nothing.”

 

I nodded and kept going. Angie and Jacob straddled their bikes, visors turned up as they watched me.

 

“How far’d she get?” Angie asked with a wicked smile.

 

“Not very I bet,” Clay added.

 

The entire bunch of them laughed again and clinked their soda cans against each other before chugging them down and dropping the cans on the ground.

 

“Ready to ride outta here?” Don asked.

 

Heath grunted, “Yeah.”

 

“Get her on the back of your bike and make sure she doesn’t try anything else,” Rhys drawled with his thick Texas accent, “I’m sick of this. When you made that bet—” 

 

“Quiet,” Heath growled, “I don’t want a lecture.”

 

Angie nodded and gestured Rhys away from us.

 

“C’mon, leave him alone before he hits you again.”

 

Heath smirked at that. Angie got on her bike and led the charge, speeding out of the gas station with Jacob behind her.

 

“She gives too many orders for a woman,” Clay grumbled.

 

He and Don bumped fists and laughed, flicking down their visors and revving their engines into action. Heath turned around to face me before getting on.

 

“No more funny business.”

 

“Yeah. Whatever.”

 

“Listen,” he growled, “If your stupid boyfriend hadn’t bet you like a fuckin’ poker chip, you wouldn’t be here. So blame him.”

 

“He’s NOT my boyfriend!”

 

“Do I look like I give a rat’s ass? Boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, fuckin’ preacher, whoever the fuck he is, he owes me ten thousand dollars.”

 

“What if I could give you ten thousand dollars?”

 

He grunted and laughed.

 

“You don’t have ten grand. Put the helmet on and hold tight missy.”

 

He slammed his helmet on and flipped the visor down after handing me mine. I put it on. He was right. This was Trey’s fault. Trey had lost the right to call me his boyfriend the moment he’d traded me over to the leader of his rival gang. He’d apologized — of course, he always apologized — but that time I’d had enough of him..

 

Tensions had been flaring between me and Trey for a while. I’d been waiting for the chance and as I kicked and screamed slung over Heath Danger’s shoulder, there seemed to be no better time.

 

I straddled the bike, wrapping my arms around him. He adjusted my grasp and revved the bike up. The sound was like a drug to me. I squeezed tight as he started down the highway getting faster and faster until he caught up with the rest of the gang.

 

I grabbed onto his coat, my fingers cold without gloves. The scent of leather and dirt wafted in through the helmet. My faux leather jacket barely protected me from the elements. 60 mph. 70 mph. We were all headed west over 80, each of the dragons as fearless and furious as the wind.

 

Sunset approached and they’d have to stop again soon — this time for sleep. I hadn’t planned to be with them so long. My escape attempt failed and I feared what they’d do to me if I tried again. But if we stopped for the night, I’d have another chance. I clung to Heath until we stopped just after sunset.

 

“Let’s get some grub then we’ll head to the house,” Jacob said once the bikes had been parked.

 

“Did any of you stupid fucks tell Hannah about her?” Angie asked, jutting her chin towards me.

 

“I’ll deal with Hannah. Jake, keep your girl in line,” Heath growled.

 

“What the fuck did you say to me?” Angie asked, folding her arms. 

 

Jacob stepped between them.

 

“Hey, hey can you two cool it for a sec?”

 

Don grunted, “Keep her quiet. We’ll eat. Heath will deal with Han.”

 

Clay nodded, “Sounds good.”

 

We walked inside the Ponderosa and Heath chose our seats, ignoring the chipper hostesses direction.

 

They all ordered and as directed, I stayed quiet. I didn’t think they’d feed me but Heath got me my own steak dinner. I’d barely eaten all day so I didn’t mind staying silent while I wolfed down the entire steak, the mediocre mashed potatoes and the horrible coleslaw. 

 

Who knows when I’d get my next meal, especially if I managed to break away in the middle of the night. So far Heath hadn’t been cruel but I was still his prisoner.

 

Once I was done, Angie slammed down a little over a hundred on the table and tipped the waitress a fifty. The money they’d made for their last deal covered the gang as they traveled across the country to California to make another deal with Angie’s step-brother in L.A. 

 

I got back on the bike and we entered the small blue house with the white door one after the other after the men parked their bikes. Hannah wore nothing but a thin camisole with her nipples poking through and yoga pants. Her hair was a mess, she reeked of menthols and she kept itching her wrists as she told us which rooms we’d have.

 

“What’s her story?” Hannah asked about me.

 

“Mine,” was all Heath said. He didn’t answer any questions about me after that. I knew better than to open my mouth and speak when I hadn’t been spoken to.

 

He marched me upstairs and pointed towards an air mattress on the radiator.

 

“This is our room.”

 

“Our?!”

 

“Listen cupcake this ain’t the fucking Ritz Carlton.”

 

He prodded me until I entered the room. 

 

“Get on the mattress.”

 

“What?” 

 

I turned to face him, fists clenched, ready to fight him off if I had to.

 

“Get. On. The. Mattress.”

 

My chest heaved with my anxious breathing and I stood my ground.

 

“No.”

 

He grabbed me by the wrist and sat me down on the mattress. I squealed as my back sank into the rubber. He pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his jacket and handcuffed me to the radiator.

 

“That’s so you don’t try to make a run for it while we talk business.”

 

I shook my arm and rattled the handcuffs against the radiator. Heath smiled.

 

“No making a fool out of me tonight,” he growled, “Stay nice and quiet and we won’t have any trouble.” 

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