jamila jasper

Romance Novel Excerpts: Book #4 | The Navy Seal Brotherhood | BWWM Brotherhoods Series

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Coming this February is something a little new for all of y'all. You may have read London Brotherhood Book I, Book II, and Book III. This month, Jamila Jasper presents Book IV: The Navy SEAL Brotherhood. So uhhhh... Why are you doing this? You might be asking yourself. Not everyone loves mafia romance and in 2019, I wanted to write a LONG interconnected series so we may not say "final" goodbyes to our characters and we can cherish them all year long. I also wanted to build a connected universe where events in one part of the series may play a big impact later on.

That being said, I know why y'all are here. Hell, it's why I'm here. We love romance stories. We love steamy scenes, sexy white men, and all the thrills that come with it.This book will have all of that. And the bonus? You can read this as a standalone or continue the series. You won't be missing out. OK, I've chatted a lot about this book. All of this to say that if you're looking for what is expected to be one of the top romance novels of the year from Jamila Jasper, a Navy SEAL bad boy romance or if you just love romantic stories, you'll want to check this one out. Read the FREE sample below.

Watch the trailer here first: http://smarturl.it/navysealbtrailer

Romance Novel Excerpts | Book #4 | The Navy SEAL Brotherhood 

MACE HARWOOD JR.

“I don’t want to hear another word of complaint. Usmanov is paying us each five figures for a two day trip and I know all of you motherfuckers need the money.”

We stood shoulder to shoulder, at attention, as Tyrese walked back and forth in front of us with a mean look in his eye, desperate to convince us that this mission was worth an iota of our time.

“CHUBB!” Tyrese barked, “With the gut you’ve been putting on, I know you need money for more food.”

Chester Chubb’s sallow cheeks turned scarlet. Tyrese stopped in front of Robbie next.

“PEÑA! Your mamá needs her rent paid and we all know it. If you stopped spending money on liquor and girls, maybe you wouldn’t still be here.”

Robbie didn’t flinch at Tyrese’s denigrations. By now we were all accustomed to his method of motivation. Tyrese’s boots crunched into the earth.

“HARWOOD! You don’t need the money, but you’re a crazy motherfucker and we can’t do this shit without you.”

“YES, SIR!” I replied.

Tyrese continued.

“ELLIS! We need you ‘cause you’ve got a kid in every country your sorry ass set foot in and when these ladies come knocking on your door for child support, you’ll need every dime you can get.”

“YES, SIR!” Bubba Ellis shouted, with a vigor that only a man who has successfully dodged child support in multiple countries for a decade could muster.

“ZHANG! Stand up straighter, boy. We need you more than anybody ‘cause you’re the only motherfucker who can keep these bastards in line. NOW, DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY MORE COMPLAINTS?”

“NO, SIR!” We responded in unison.

“Excellent. At ease gentlemen. Let’s review the mission after training tomorrow. I want all of you there at 0800 sharp.”

“YES, SIR.”

“Good. You’re dismissed.”

An intense morning workout left all of us dripping in sweat. Six months ago, we’d begun our work as a team rooting out Muslims in the desert and tracking Syrian ex-pats who might have been spies out in Kuwait. Our last teams had… disintegrated so to speak. Tyrese and I were the only ones to survive a mishap out in Iraq, and he’d been promoted to team leader of this new band of America’s most dangerous soldiers. SEAL Team Gamma formed six months ago and since then we’d been on mission after mission in the desert, interspersed with week-long training camps in the harshest climates in the world from the Australian outback to Siberia. When we heard about Tyrese’s latest plan for us while we waited for our next government contract, none of us were thrilled.

In the locker room after our intense workout, we stripped down, except Ellis, who never showered after workouts, and lathered up. Peña was pissed. So was Chubb. Zhang never let anything ruffle him and didn’t talk much anyway.

“Lorde has lost his damn mind,” Chubb grunted with his harsh Georgia twang.

“A princess,” Peña sneered, “We’re Americas most dangerous soldiers and he expects us to transport a fucking princess.” 

“He’s lost his damn mind,” Chubb replied.

Zhang added calmly, “We’re getting paid, at least. Well.”

“Fuckin’ chinks only care about money,” Chubb sneered.

“Watch your language,” I retorted, “That ‘chink’ is your brother.”

“Whatever,” Chubb replied, “Ain’t like he minds.”

Tim Zhang remained quiet, coating his body in soap. We’d lost our shyness about showering together during bootcamp. It made no difference who was naked and for how long anymore. We’d seen too much together and been in too many situations where showers were never an option to be too particular about it.

“We leave tomorrow too. A Russian princess, what the hell does she look like you think?” Chubb asked.

Peña snickered, “I’m sure you’d like to give it to her but you’ve got to get through Ellis first.”

Chubb hollered, “Ellis? That motherfucker can’t have any more kids without his wife losing her damn mind on him. See I know women, Penny, I know women, and she’s had it up to here with his cheating.”

“What do you know about women, Chubb?” 

“Hey, I’m married motherfucker. I’ve been married. More than you can say.”

“I don’t need marriage to get what I want from women.”

“OHHH, burn!”

“Shut up, Penny,” Chubb snarled.

He’d never learned to pronounce Robbie’s last name right so he called him whatever his little Southern mind told him too — often some butchered version of Robbie’s actual name. This week he’d settled on “Penny”. 

“She’s a spoiled Russian princess,” I reminded them, “It’ll be over and done with in two days. It can’t be that bad.”

“I’m sure she looks like Ivanka,” Chubb said, practically drooling.

Robbie and I wrinkled our noses in disgust.

“Ivanka Trump looks like the bottom of my shoe,” Robbie snickered.

I couldn’t help but crack a smile, knowing that it wouldn’t take more than that to get under Chubb’s skin. He threw a punch, and Robbie dodged it easily. Robbie tossed the soap to me and I lathered up, cracking a smile as I watched the two idiots try to wrestle each other naked. Robbie at least, seemed to be enjoying himself. Chubb finally caught hold of him and threatened him, but before he could land an actual punch, Robbie managed to diffuse the guy’s anger and he let go.

“Fuckin’ beaner,” Chubb muttered under his breath.

“Careful, Chet,” Robbie replied.

Chubb scowled, but he didn’t push Robbie any further. We left the locker and went our separate ways. I didn’t say much, but I had my own questions about what Tyrese was playing at. He didn’t explain it too well when I asked him privately. All I heard was that he owed someone — not the Russian — and that this man, some Oliver Cook, had saved his ass a long time ago. He owed him, and now, we were about to fly some Russian chick from New York City to Europe. This wasn’t exactly in the purview of the SEALs usually, except this woman’s father was a Russian oligarch and a US diplomat with enough clout in the country to make it a matter of national security. It didn’t make much sense to me, but Tyrese said all he was gonna say about it and it’s not my place to question my team leader. Start doing that and the whole team falls apart quick.

We had all we needed to know: One Russian chick needed to be brought safely from point A to point B. We had permission from Tyrese and high command to do the job, and once we were done, we’d get paid enough money to kick back and relax.

The next morning, I woke up at 0400, did calisthenics until I couldn’t breathe and then I pumped iron until my muscles shook. An easy mission like this meant busting my balls in the gym so I didn’t get lazy. I finished my workout a 0630 and downed breakfast: a protein shake with raw eggs, spinach, goat milk and ice. A day hasn’t begun until I’ve worked myself to the bone. The addiction to the endorphins kept my ass out of all the trouble liquor tried to get me into.

I showed up at the meeting place at 0745. Zhang was the only one there. He crouched outside the building in a squat with his eyes closed.

“What are you doing, fuckin’ meditating?”

Zhang opened one eye.

“Good morning, Mace.”

“Where are the guys?”

“Not here.”

“Not even Tyrese?”

“No.”

“Mind getting on your fuckin’ feet?”

Zhang rose slowly out of his squat, balancing on one foot before putting the other down.

“You’re a fuckin’ freak show, Zhang.”

“Thank you.”

“Wasn’t a fuckin’ compliment.”

“I know,” Zhang replied.

Man that guy didn’t let anyone ruffle his feathers. Not even me. We waited a few more minutes. Robbie showed up next, then Tyrese, then Chubb, then Ellis. Our six man team assembled right at 0758 — early enough not to cause Tyrese to blow a fuse.

“Now that you’re all here, we’ll go to the office across the street. Look smart fellas. Usmanov is a tough guy and despite his protected status by our government, don’t think for an instant that he isn’t dangerous. Any perceived slight and I can’t control what happens to you. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir!” Our voices sounded in perfect unison, like our training had taught us. We were one voice and one brotherhood whenever we wore the uniform. We walked in single file, steps in line with one another across the street. This part of the city was barely awake. An old Jewish woman selling roses was the only sign of life. She pretended not to be eyeing us curiously, but I could sense we were an unusual sight for this part of the city. Tyrese rapped his fists against an old wooden door.

A voice barked back in Russian. Tyrese responded some mumbo-jumbo I couldn’t understand and then the door opened. A dark haired man with icy blue eyes glowered at us and spat a single English word.

“Identification.”

“Fellas, pull ‘em out,” Tyrese commanded.

We pulled out our IDs and the Russian checked them like he meant it. One at a time, he allowed us in. They were all armed, though if we’d meant business, their weapons wouldn’t have done any good. Each of us could take down three grown men, weapons or not. We were warriors. Guns were just a bonus. We walked down a long hallway. The deeper we got into the house (if you could call it that) the stronger the stench of vodka. At the end of the hallway, the fella who led us there pushed the door open and we entered a large study. Tyrese whistled and the six of us stood shoulder to shoulder in order of rank. 

It was clear who the Russian was, but I couldn’t figure out where his daughter was. He had a young woman standing next to him. I assumed she was his mistress. Her skin was dark, so dark that it was almost purple. She was tall, too. And skinny. 

“Mister Usmanov, thank you for agreeing to meet with us. These men are the proud soldiers of SEAL Team Gamma. They’re brave, smart, and best suited for the protection of your daughter.”

Oleg nodded.

Spasibo.”

His soldier left the room. We stood at attention, looking Oleg Usmanov dead in the eye. 

“Introduce yourselves,” he commanded, taking the reins of leadership from Tyrese effortlessly.

“Robert Pena, sir.”

“Thomas Zhang, sir.”

“Mace Harwood, sir.”

“Chester Chubb, sir.”

“Bubba Ellis, sir.”

Oleg nodded.

“Milena, step forward.”

The dark-skinned woman standing next to him took a step forward.

“This is my daughter, Milena Aminata Usmanov.”

The dark-skinned girl bowed her head.

“Hello,” she said quietly.

None of us dared say a word, but we were all thinking it. How the hell could a man the color of a fresh snow have a daughter as dark as a blackberry. Tyrese held his head high, as Oleg stared at each one of us, analyzing us with a vicious stare. I could smell the vodka on his breath, but he was by no means drunk. He walked down the line of us, just like Tyrese did.

“I want you to take my daughter away tonight. Do you understand?”

We paused for a beat. Tyrese nodded.

“Yes, sir!” 

“If anything happens to her, I have your names. I know your families. Even you, Mister Ellis, I know how many children you have. I can name more of your children than you can. Da?”

“Yes, sir!” We repeated.

“Take care of my daughter. If not, I do not need to say what will happen. Da?”

“Yes, sir!”

“Good.”

Oleg rested his hand on his daughter’s shoulder.

“Aminata, you are to go with these men.”

“Papa!?”

“Aminata, we discussed this. You are in danger. I promised protection.”

“I expected bodyguards, papa, not this.”

She still hadn’t looked us in the eye. Oleg rested a hand on his daughter’s shoulder and she brusquely brushed him off. 

“No, papa. I will not go with them.”

“This is not discussion, Aminata,” he growled, his English slipping as his daughter’s disobedience turned his cheeks a flush mauve.

“I don’t see why I have to leave.”

“It is not safe,” Oleg growled, visibly unamused to have his word questioned in front of his fresh hires.

“I am not going to leave, papa. You can’t make me!”

Her accent was surprisingly cosmopolitan. Except when she said papa, she would have sounded completely American, but with a nondescript accent that only comes from picking up the sounds of intonations of Americans from Texas to Boston. 

Oleg removed his hand from his daughter’s shoulders forlornly.

“I’m sorry, Milena.”

Her expression softened.

“Papa—”

Oleg interrupted her before she could continue.

“Gentlemen, are you ready to prove you’re worth the money I spent?”

We waited for his command.

“Take her.”

“Sir, take her?”

“By any means necessary — without harming her,” he added the last bit as an after thought.

Hearing her papa suggest that she was now at our mercy sent the poor woman into what can only be described as a fit of madness. Her eyes widened and she turned away from us, forgetting the dignity and manners that had made her seem so poised and collected before. She screamed at her father.

“Papa, are you crazy!”

“I’m sorry, Aminata.”

“You’re crazy! None of you will tell me what’s going on. Not Vasily! Not Feodor!”

Tyrese nodded and Bubba Ellis lunged forward and grabbed the woman around her waist.

“AIIIEEEEE! PUT. ME. DOWN.”

Oleg nodded and muttered, “Gentlemen…” before exiting the room. I guess he wanted us to do the dirty work but that didn’t mean he had to sit there and watch it happen before his very eyes. His daughter’s squealing hadn’t let up. Despite his size, Bubba struggled to hold onto her.

“PUT. ME. DOWN.”

“PAPPPPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

Robbie jumped in to help Ellis, and kicking and screaming, we took her out of the building and tossed her in the back of the car. The old Jewish woman was no longer selling her flowers, and the streets were empty. In the back of the soundproof vehicle, Robbie and Bubba sat on either side of her. I hopped into the driver’s seat and Tyrese in the passenger side. The other two followed in their own car. We put up the partition between the two of us, drowning out her sound even further.

Despite all that, she screamed for a full hour before she must have tired out and fallen asleep. Ellis put the partition down just a tad after she was quiet. Yes, she was definitely asleep.

When the book is live, you'll be able to find it here: smarturl.it/navysealb. You can buy the book directly from my website. Click here to buy direct. Thank you for reading through this excerpt. You can find a longer excerpt 100% FREE here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/8nkrobrqgk

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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Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play BWWM Book List | Published Wide Interracial Romance

Hey everyone, this is my master list of BWWM romance novels I have published WIDE. Beneath each book, I will list which platform each book is available on for your convenience. "Bookmark" this page as I'll update it often as I work on expanding my catalog to have a further reach.

The list will take you from "most recent" to least recent releases. If you have a book that you want to see on a non-Amazon platform that isn't available, COMMENT on this post. I take my customers wants seriously and aim to make reading my books a comfortable and easy experience for you.

 

Read more to get all the links you need in one convenient location >>>>>

 

9-Inch Addiction

Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/9inchaddiction

Platforms: Amazon, Nook/Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, 24 Symbols+

Coming Soon: iBooks/Apple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killer Love

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Platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Coming Soon: Apple, Kobo, iBooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Winter Lust 

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Platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

COMING SOON: Apple, Google Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Stuffing 

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Cocked & Unsheathed

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play [IN PUBLISHING], Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Hard Soldier

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Sleeping With The Mafia

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple [IN PUBLISHING], Barnes & Noble [IN PUBLISHING], Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bound & Gagged

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Situationship 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of Bondage (Book #3 Becoming A Riccardi Series)

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Family Secret (Book #2 Becoming A Riccardi Series) 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Mafia Love (Book #1 Becoming A Riccardi Series) 

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

Full Series Boxed Set Link [discounted]:  http://amzn.to/2tXQxzT

Full Series Boxed Set Audiobook Link [Audible, Amazon, iTunes]: http://amzn.to/2C5sdkU

 

 

 

 

 

Father By Choice

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Platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue-Eyed Hunk

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Platforms: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, Thalia, Inktera  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stripped Bare 

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Free Romance Novel Excerpts: Extra Stuffing by Jamila Jasper

romance novel excerpts jamila jasper bwwmSteamy hot holiday romance Extra Stuffing coming soon to Amazon! Scroll down so you can check out the description and read this lengthy free sample of this interracial romance story launching in a few days.

Extra Stuffing has been an intense book to write, filled with so many twists and turns plus a satisfying ending.

If you enjoy sports romance stories with HOT alpha males and SPICY love scenes, you'll enjoy this read.

Check out the description and then the sample below.

Description:

GRACIE GOODWIN

We broke up… For a good reason too.

So why did I fall into Peter Roman’s arms so easily?

OK, it might have something to do with the fact that he’s smoking hot and plays for the NFL now.

But there’s something I haven’t told Peter — something that could change the way he looks at me forever.

 

PETER ROMAN

I want Gracie back. I don’t care what I have to do to keep her.

I’m not the dumb a$$hole I was in college.

I’m different and I have the bank account to match.

No matter what, I’m going to make her mine. 

This time, we’ll last forever. 

Romance Novel Excerpts: Extra Stuffing

 

 

2017.

New York City

 

“I want to fuck you.”

 

His gruff, husky voice weaseled its way across my neck and into my ears. My pussy throbbed. I couldn’t believe I was here again. Ten years after college and here we were again in each other’s arms. Except this time things were different. Trust me. Peter Roman clutched my hips and pressed me against the wall. I giggled as my back smacked against the drywall and I submitted my weight to his powerful grasp.

 

“Easy cowboy.”

 

I giggled, always light in Peter’s arms. 

 

“Just take those fuckin’ panties off,” He growled.

 

I couldn’t say no. I eased out of my panties, giving Peter access to what he wanted.

 

“I’ve missed that beautiful pussy of yours,” He muttered as he rolled a condom on his cock.

 

I imagined for an NFL player, that was quite the compliment. Yes, ten years later, Peter Roman wasn’t just my college ex-boyfriend he was a starting quarterback for the New York Giants. He’d grown a lot since then, in so many ways. There was part of him that had stayed exactly the same and at that moment, that was the only part of him I cared about.

 

Peter hoisted me up against the wall again and tilted my neck to the side so he could graze his tongue along the length of it and press his lips to mine. He’d become a much better kisser over the years. He smelled different now too. He’d ditched his cheap Axe body spray for Armani cologne. His scent drove thrills down my spine. I felt Peter’s hardness pressing against my wetness. I gasped as he began to slide into me… and I slid back into 2007. 

 

Memories of ecstasy flooded me. This part had never been bad between us.

 

His cock pushing past my entrance forced my tightness to stretch. Making love to him always felt sinful, like a betrayal of my common sense. (This time, it really might have been.) I moaned as his full nine inches thrust my pussy lips apart, sending pleasure shooting through my body.

 

“Ohhhh,” I cried out.

 

“Easy babe,” He moaned.

 

Peter thrust one last time hard into me. I gripped his back and he began pumping into me furiously. Our loud banging against the wall meant all his other house mates (you know, New York Giants) could probably hear every last whimper and moan. With Peter’s thick cock plunging between my folds, I couldn’t bring myself to care. I moaned as I climaxed. No one’s home anyways. Right? My eyes rolled far back into my head. Black spots in front my lids threatened my consciousness. Peter pumped into me a few more times until I climaxed again. My thighs shuddered. I pressed my heels into his buttocks, securing him closer. 

 

Then we were done with the wall. I wrapped my lithe legs around him and squeezed tightly as he moved my slight frame from against the wall of his large, Tribeca bedroom to his king-sized bed. Peter and his teammates might have had to share an apartment in the city but trust me, this was not the type of apartment sharing that goes on between broke post-graduates.

 

As my head touched the pillow of Peter’s bed, he wasted no time before plunging into me again. I couldn’t even appreciate the down pillows or the cozy firmness of the mattress. Maybe that was for the best. Peter thrust into me deep. I cried out and arched my back to meet his ardent thrusts. He pushed my hair out of my face and planted a long kiss on my lips as his hardness penetrated my damp cavern and forced me into another climax. 

 

“Cum for me baby, cum all over my big dick,” He grunted.

 

I exploded, juices leaking from my wetness as Peter continued to slide between my hot folds. I dug my nails into his back as I quivered beneath him. I ran my hands through Peter’s hair again. From college, his hair hadn’t thinned at all; his blond strands were just as thick as I remembered. He kissed me again and whispered into my ears. The sound ticked the hairs on my neck.

 

“You’ve gotten hotter Gracie… I wish I could cum right inside your tight little pussy.”

 

I cried out again as I came. The thought of Peter emptying his seed inside me was both terrifying and thrilling. My toes curled as shivers of pleasure forced my thighs to quiver with desire. I almost begged him to take the condom off. But I was different — responsible now. I wrapped my thighs around him as he continued to pound into me. Peter always got too dirty when he was hard. The heat of the moment subsumed him.

 

“Fuck me Peter… Harder…” I whimpered.  

 

Peter obliged, pressing his cock into my little honeypot deeper than before. I gasped as his cock reached untouched depths of my wetness. My pussy gripped him like a vice as he kept pumping me with those slow, deep strokes. He couldn’t hold back any longer. His touch had sent my brown skin ablaze with desire and he responded to it. My writhing and moaning beneath him had forced an eruption. Peter grunted as he came.

 

I felt his monstrous cock pulsing with startling rhythm whilst buried deep between my legs. I couldn’t help but whimper again as he forced the walls of my pussy to tremble. Peter pulled out of me with a big, bad, naughty look in his eyes. He could see how climaxing had shaken me loose. My shoulders visibly relaxed and my breathing slowed.Peter pulled me up so I could sit up in his bed, my perky breasts hanging down whilst my dark nipples pointed at him. He tilted my chin up to kiss him as he rolled the condom off.

 

“I’m not finished with you yet.” 

 

He disposed of the condom and then ran his fingers through his long blond hair. That was another way he’d changed. His blond hair now hung down to his shoulders, like Thor in those old comic books I used to steal and then sell to the boys in my elementary school class at a mark up. As I ogled Peter coming back into bed to join me, the only thing on my mind was that I was so glad I’d left Hell’s Kitchen for this. 

 

I’d gone south to this man from my past, to the man I hadn’t spoken to in nearly a decade up until two weeks ago.

 

Peter joined me on the other side of the king-sized bed. His apartment’s cavernous size reflected so much of how I viewed him: larger than life; fantastical almost. I hadn’t known Manhattan made bedrooms that could accommodate a king. 

 

“So,” Peter started, running his hands through his hair again, “Why can’t I come to your place. What are you so afraid of?”

 

I looked into his green eyes and told him the truth.

 

“You.”

 

“Stop bullshitting,” Peter chuckled.

 

I wasn’t “bullshitting”.  Peter and I hadn’t exactly ended on good terms. While he’d become an NFL player, I’d lived a whole life too. He didn’t know me anymore and I didn’t know him. I’d pursued my dreams and I’d made a hell of a lot of them happen. What I hadn’t done was figure out how to let a man back into my life the same way I’d let Peter in so many years ago. I was finished with that. Falling into bed with him scared me because it didn’t feel like progress. Chronic high achiever as I was, I needed to feel like I was heading somewhere. 

 

I preferred things this way: my world was mine and his world was, well, a place I could visit every once in a while. 

 

He could sense my discomfort. I didn’t hold out hope that he could grasp why I was so uncomfortable. So much time had passed since Michigan. We hadn’t spoken since the day of our breakup. Then again, we’d fallen into bed with each other again within two weeks of reuniting. It was as if no time had passed at all in the bedroom. I had to be careful.  Could I really have casual sex with Peter Roman? Not after our history together. Casual was all he could do. That had spelled trouble for me before. I had to force myself to be wary of him. So no — no seeing my Hell’s Kitchen studio.

 

Bed was the last place I wanted to talk about the past. It had been six months since I’d even seen a man’s junk and the last time I had, trust me, he wasn’t nearly as attractive, successful and skilled as my ex-boyfriend.

 

“You have nothing to be afraid of,” Peter lied. (I assumed he was lying.) 

 

I grinned, masking my discomfort, “I’m too old to believe that.”

 

“Well if you don’t believe me, let me at least try to prove it to you.”

 

He leaned in and kissed me. A kiss proved nothing.

 

“How on earth would you do that?”

 

“Shhh,” Peter hushed me and then pressed his warm lips to mine.

 

He pushed me onto my back and spread my legs wide, urgent and sudden. I thought Peter would slide between my legs again but I was wrong. He kissed the fleshy mounds of my bosom and then my flat tummy and then he spread my legs apart and ogled my dripping wet pussy that he’d just been buried inside of.

 

“You look… delicious…”

 

He paused as if pondering something serious.

 

“I can’t wait to eat you ’til you scream.”

 

Maybe Peter had changed. Giving oral hadn’t exactly been his biggest passion when we were dating. (Had he changed in other ways?). He spread my legs wide and ran his finger along the length of my wetness. I shuddered as the soft pad of his index finger flicked across my clit. He spread my pussy lips apart, ogling the engorged, purplish brown lips before diving his tongue between them.

 

I gasped as Peter’s tongue went deep between my folds. Pleasure exploded from my core and I slammed my head back into the down pillow. My hips thrust upward, following my body’s natural undulations. Peter pressed my thighs into the bed forcefully and continued to slip his tongue between my inner and outer pussy lips. He wrapped his lips around my engorged clit and began to suck on the hardened nub until I yelped in pleasure and faded into soft moans.

 

“OHHH!” I moaned, “YES! YES DADDY!” 

 

I could practically feel Peter smirking. He began to lap at my folds faster, getting me wetter and wetter. I moaned and whimpered in pleasure, my mouth twisted into an opera singer’s perfect “O” as I belted out notes of pleasure. I climaxed hard, forcing juices to ooze from my honey pot and onto Peter’s lips. Sweat pooled at my forehead and every inch of my skin flushed a deep mulberry. He seemed to be savoring the taste of my juices as he stopped to lick his lips and then dove hungrily between my legs for more.

 

His greed meant my pleasure. I cried out and climaxed again as he began to thrust his hardened tongue into my entrance. He used his tongue to make love to me, to squeeze out every last drop of desire that he could while he could. My body dripped in sweat, my thighs trembled and my pussy quivered as I came again. Peter’s tongue and lips were relentless. Just when I thought I would be free from these non-stop earthquakes of pleasure, he would nibble gently at my folds and dive his tongue in again, slipping between dripping folds.

 

It took him hours and over twenty climaxes before he tired of pleasuring me with his tongue. My pussy was dripped, swollen with desire and reddened. Desperate for a fresh breath of air, I pulled away from Peter as he lifted his head from between my legs. He ran his hands through his hair with a dopey little smile on his face. I pressed my elbows into his firm mattress and then raised my back. 

 

“What?” I asked.

 

“I’ve never seen you cum like that before.”

 

I rolled my eyes. I was pretty sure he had seen me cum like that before. Many times. It’s just that each time, it was new to him — exciting. 

 

“Don’t make me blush,” I teased.

 

“I’m not joking.”

 

A decade had passed and I knew that Peter Roman was dangerous for me. Still, I was drawn to him. Less of a cynic and I would have blamed fate. When we’d broken up, a bomb had gone off in my dating life. I still hadn’t finished picking up the shrapnel. I picked at my nail beds, waiting for him to say something else, or maybe waiting to come up with something to say that sounded witty or flirty. 

 

“Thanks for answering my call,” Peter said, still grinning like a high schooler who stumbled upon his first PlayBoy. 

 

Two weeks ago was the first time I’d talked to him since our break up. It didn’t take long for us to take reminiscing to lovemaking. It had switched in an instant as if the lack of closure alone had forced us together. The major difference was that now we were  older and in theory, wiser. This was just supposed to be two old friends in their thirties meeting up to scratch each other’s itch. It happened sometimes. Dating was hard.

 

At first, I’d thought that I was the only one who had showed up to Peter’s apartment with lingering, decade-old feelings. Then he kissed me again.

 

It wasn’t the kiss that changed my mind though. It was what he said afterwards.

 

“I’ll be in Tribeca when I’m not playing out of state. If you won’t let me see your place, I’d better let you know that you’re welcome at mine.”

 

“It’s not that I don’t want you to see it,” I lied.

 

“Then what?”

 

Okay, it wasn’t a full on lie. But it wasn’t a full on truth either. I didn’t want to let Peter in because letting him in had proved dangerous. I didn’t want to let him in because my studio apartment in Hell’s Kitchen that I’d worked my ass off for looked mediocre compared to his six bedroom penthouse in Tribeca. I knew it was absolutely stupid to compete with my ex who played professional football, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted to prove I’d thrived after the breakup. Doing better than him meant I won — after all, he couldn’t break me.

 

At least that’s what I told myself. I wasn’t broken.

 

Then the scary thought entered my head: What if he’s right? What if he has changed, and I’m the one stuck in the past. How did that place me in my unspoken contest?

 

“I just can’t take you back to my place okay? The neighborhood’s shit.”

 

Peter chuckled, “Gracie, we grew up in Queens for fuck’s sake. Don’t be fooled by all this bullshit.”

 

“Oh so what? You’re a down to earth guy?” I teased.

 

I knew from the tabloids that Peter was likely not a down-to-earth guy. Not like I resented him for it. Hell, if I had millions of dollars from throwing a ball around a field, I’d be pretty cocky too.

 

“Yes,” Peter replied, “I am. If you read the tabloids, you’ve got the wrong idea about me. I’m Peter Roman from Queens. Just a regular guy.”

 

I looked away from him, worried that if I looked into his green eyes he’d read my thoughts again. The blond strands that framed his face were caught in my peripheral vision. He exhaled warm and deep. The peppermint on his breath wafted over to me.

 

 

Fine. According to him, the tabloids were lying. But that didn’t mean we hadn’t broken up on horrible terms and then never talked about it. That made this sort-of-romance unusual

 

“Why did you call me?” I asked.

 

There goes Gracie, always looking for trouble.

 

“Because I missed you. Plus, you’re the only person in this fuckin’ city who doesn’t look at me funny.”

 

Right. Poor him. As an NFL player, Peter couldn’t go anywhere without people going gaga over him. I still went gaga over him, but it wasn’t because of the NFL thing. I guess he wasn’t adapting well to fame.

 

“So I should feel sorry for you because you’re famous?”

 

Peter chuckled, “No. You should feel sorry for me because I’m a man in my thirties who plays for one of the most popular football teams in America and I still get lonely.”

 

A rare moment of vulnerability for Peter. I stared into his eyes again. He was genuine. He pulled me in for another kiss. Trusting him had been too hard for me. I was the one who had ruined things, ruined us. I’d pushed him into someone’s arms.

 

“I can tell you’re over thinking,” Peter whispered.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Don’t play dumb with me.”

 

I picked at my nails again and looked away from him.

 

“Listen Peter, I need to go.”

 

“Right,” Peter nodded, “Why exactly?”

 

“Because,” I lied, “I have work in the morning”

 

“Uh huh. I’ve got practice. So stay over and I’ll have my driver get you to Hell’s Kitchen in time for work.”

 

His driver? Peter and I really did live in two different worlds. Panic settled in my chest, forcing my heart to push against my ribs. My nail beds ached.

 

“No, it’s fine. I’ll enjoy the walk.”

 

“You’re walking?”

 

He stood up, always ready to step in and take charge.

 

“Only to the subway.”

 

“Bullshit. I’ll pay for a cab.”

 

“You don’t have to,” I argued, dressing quickly. 

 

Peter dressed faster and he was far more stubborn than I was.

 

“Stop messing around Gracie. I’ll get you a cab home.”

 

I was reminded of our petty arguments from our university days. A smile warmed my face and this time, I decided to let Peter win. We walked out of his room and thankfully, none of his other bachelor housemates were around. I didn’t get along well with them. If I thought Peter could be an asshole, I thought his house mates were the supreme creators of asshole-ry. 

 

We took the elevator down. Peter kept looking at me as if he were trying to read my mind. I kept trying to stop him. My mind was spinning, over thinking, over worrying, absolutely terrified. I’d just had the best sex of my thirties (I wasn’t very far into my thirties, but still) and the only thing I could think about was something that was buried a decade into the past.

 

The doorman tipped his hat to Peter and I as we left. I wondered if I’d get the same reception on my own as a black woman in this neighborhood. Peter hailed a cab. Cabs couldn’t ignore all 6’5” of him and instead of waiting a yellow cab skidded over to us. Peter took out a wad of cash and directed the driver toward Hell’s Kitchen.

 

Before opened the door to the cab, he held my waist and kissed me.

 

“Don’t be a stranger, Gracie.”

 

I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him back.

 

“I won’t be.”

 

Peter opened the door for me and I slid into my free cab ride to Hell’s Kitchen. When I got home, I couldn’t sleep. I knew I had to bring up the awkward, ugly, elephant in the room with him eventually, but I didn’t want to. I knew I was making the same old mistakes I had been in college. I knew that communication was important. But I couldn’t help it. Peter Roman made me scared. Whenever he was around, I always had to face those ugly parts to myself that I’d kept hidden.

 

Being in love with him had made me crazy. I didn’t want to risk that happening again.

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