Roughneck…Don’t Mess With His Rules

Well… Anxiously awaiting a new release – my sexy little roughneck/cowboy/Marine piece that’s sure to sizzle your kindle. I know – LOTS of sexy men do, but Jack Stone is the kind of guy who refuses to give into our heroine’s antics, and she has plenty of those! A roughneck’s work is particularly dangerous but when you mix in the fact a woman is thwarting every moment of operation AND she has a dark secret… Just imagine. A little taste for you.

ROUGHNECK

“Put me down, you brute.” She pummeled her tight fists against my back.

As if she could cause me any pain.

I’d certainly endured more than my share during my tenure in the military. This was roughneck_fullnothing but an aggravation as well as a total turn-on. My God, she was more than a handful, the kind of brat that set me on edge.

Vulgar.

Rude.

Bratty.

But I knew exactly what to do with her kind of behavior.

“Not a chance, sugar,” I stated casually.

“Asshole. You’re a fucking asshole. Do you know that?” she huffed, struggling to get out of my arms.

My jaw tightened in an effort to keep from snapping back some nasty reply. She took my silence as a weakness, laughing and cussing under her breath as I headed into the hallway.

“I heard you’re some big-wig military hero or some shit. Well, you’re nothing but a chicken-shit as far as I’m concerned.” She laughed, managing to knee me in the gut.

Bristling, I gritted my teeth and threw open my cabin door, taking long strides inside and kicking it shut. I tossed her down onto her feet only to have her hand slap me across the face.

What. The. Fuck?

Summer seemed to understand almost instantly that she’d crossed the line. Slapping both hands over her mouth, her doe eyes were open wide. They were the greenest eyes I’d ever seen, shimmering even in the dim lighting, long eyelashes framing her high cheekbones. Whew. Her lips seemed permanently stained a luscious raspberry color, as if she’d devoured a bowlful. She was a handful and then some. She took two decided steps backwards, her heavy boots thumping on the tile floor.

I took several deep breaths before addressing the situation. “Here’s what I figure. We can handle this one of two ways.”

“This is bullshit! I didn’t do anything wrong. Your crewmembers are dim-witted!” She huffed again like a five-year-old and crossed her arms, crooking her lips into a mournful pout. As she moved from foot to foot, I could almost hear a distinct whine.

“Nothing wrong, huh? What about bossing the crew, my crew to be exact, cursing at them like some foul-mouthed sailor? What about throwing tantrums when you don’t get your way? Hmmm?”

“If your crew had any intelligence, I wouldn’t have to.”

Oh, that was it. It. I was finished with her princess attitude.

I cocked my head, lifting a single eyebrow. She was far too beautiful for her own good and she knew it too; voluptuous breasts that would fit into my hands nicely, a thin waist with rounded hips made for fucking, and those plump lips.

Damn it all to hell.

Somehow, the feisty little broad had gotten under my skin.

I held up my index finger, waiting until she stood still.

Like a good little girl.

“You call me an asshole one more time and I’m going to tan your hide until you won’t be able to sit down for a week. Do. You. Hear. Me?”

She seemed shocked by my statement, her entire body slumping. Then the wild child reared her ugly head. “You can’t do that. I’ll have you arrested.”

Breathe.The little wench was playing that card. Oh, two could play at that game. “Uh-huh. As I was saying, and you will notinterrupt me again, you only have two choices. Am I clear, Summer?”

Silence. Rebellious silence.

Oh, for crying out loud, one way or the other she was getting a spanking, over my knee and pants and panties down. She remained defiant, glaring at me like a pistol before rolling her eyes.

All I had to do was take a single step closer and her lower lip quivered. Maybe she knew I meant business.

“Yes. Okay,” she finally said.

“Better. Here’s what we can do. One, I can send you packing on the next transport helicopter, back home to wherever you came from with a note to Mommy and Daddy stating that you are never allowed on a rig again.”

“No!” she snapped. “You wouldn’t dare!”

“Oh, I can, and I will.” I’d found her weakness. She was trying to prove something to Mommy or Daddy. I suspected her father. I made mental note to find out exactly who her parents were.

The silence only added fuel to my fire.

“Wha-what else?” she asked sheepishly.

“O-kay. My earlier idea seems to be one that you need desperately. The only other thing that can happen is that you’re going to receive one long, hard spanking. And every time you disobey me, you’re going to get another one. Always on your bare ass.”

Summer blinked once, twice then she jutted her head forward, a sly smile crossing her face. “You are out of your fucking mind.”

“Am I?” This time, I crossed my arms, keeping my face expressionless.

She chewed on her cheek as her eyes darted back and forth across mine. I waited. I had all the time in the world.

“You’re not kidding.” All the bravado had been tossed out the window.

“Nope. Not in the least. Your choice.” I was shocked at the sinful revelations flowing in my mind, every cell ignited as if I hadn’t been with a woman in years. Truth was, it had been almost twelve full months.

She sputtered and moaned, beads of perspiration appearing over her luscious mouth. “You can’t tell my father. I’m my own woman. I can do anything I want.”

“You’re under my direction now, so you are required to follow rules, but I won’t tell your father anything.” I purposely pulled out my office chair.

“You won’t?” she asked sheepishly.

“As long as you accept the second deal.”

Nervous as a kitty cat, she huffed and puffed as the wheels in her mind churned, her face turning the same color of crimson I imagined her bottom would be after I was finished.

“If I comply, you’ll let me go back to work?” she asked, rather timidly at this point.

“If you behave, then we’ll see. You need a huge amount of discipline in your life and I’m the man who’s going to give it to you. Again, your choice.” By now, my balls were blue, but I slapped on my supervisor hat, trying to keep my libido from getting the best of me.

“You’re not my father! You don’t have any right.”

“Oh, I have all the right in the world.” After thirty seconds, I threw up my hands. “Fine. The deal is off the table.”

“Please. No! I’ll be good. I promise.”

“Then submit to a spanking, just like you deserve.”

What do you think? Does she deserve harsh punishment? I’ll post the link later. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for juicy secrets, deals and Indiana Jones and MacGyver’s world adventures!

Kisses and spanks…

Piper

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Sexy Aliens

Hey, aliens can be very sexy, right? Do you remember when you thought about aliens, they were all little green men with huge heads and even large bug eyes? Times have changed. We’ve romanticized our concept of aliens, which makes writing romance oh-so delicious. For everyone who had a feeling that there might be a second in the Cenzan world, you were right. Releasing on February 22nd, you just might find out some answers.

Maybe…

Take the very first taste of what is now called Mastering Their Mate – but the title is going to change.

“Take her. Now! She will be punished severely.” The commanding voice was husky, laced with the kind of sensuality that would leave any woman panting with desire – human or otherwise.

alien oneI wasn’t one of them.

“Yes, captain.” The second voice was just as dark, a sneer remaining on his face as he looked me directly in the eyes.

The five creatures standing in front of a wayward group of humans were massive in size, their violet hued muscular bodies and piercing tangerine eyes demanding surrender. They were spectacular in every manner, their bodies chiseled from fine marble, skin glistening in the late morning sun as if flecked with sprinkles of gold. Their leader was regal, standing at well over six and a half feet tall, his long dark hair accentuating his voluptuous lips. Even the deep baritone of his husky and sensuous voice could be considered paralyzing for several reasons.

They were from the Cenzan race, a species that had touted their friendshipfrom the second they’d appeared, but I’d never been stupid enough to buy their crap.

They’d arrived on Earth almost two years before with little fanfare, crowding our airspace and attempting to become our friends. I’d seen their arrival, my face glued to the telescans like so many others in the surviving countries. There’s been so much trepidation then eagerness, like puppies longing for a new master. So many humans had bought their bullshit, falling for their handsome, rugged features and seductive manners.

The aliens.

Predators.

The bastards who’d killed my father.

Fuck them.

I took a decided step backward, defying the leader’s command, sneering at him in my usual defiant manner. “Stay away from me, you beasts. Fuck you!”

“You will not talk to the captain that way or you will be killed!” The Cenzan’s angry voice was more like a snarl.

Captain, huh? Who the hell cared?

“Oh, no.”

“Be quiet, Lexi.”

“Don’t anger them.”

I rolled my eyes hearing the various whispers – human whispers.

The other members of my hidden city stood huddled in fear, their breathing scattered as they attempted not to draw any attention to themselves. I’d done that for all of us. They’d hunted us like wild animals, breaking through our defense systems easily.

The great captain took a giant stride forward, his penetrating eyes concentrating on only me. I refused to blink.

I’d learned to hate the alien creatures. In my mind they were ruthless barbarians who had no care or understanding of human life. We were nothing to them but flesh and bone, men forced to work like imprisoned dogs, providing them nourishment. Sadly, the fate of fertile female humans was much worse. What little news traveled the airwaves told of horrific deeds, women abducted against their will. I’d followed the news since their arrival, making note of everything I’d heard. So much was confirmed by my father, a true hater of their kind. Then he was gone, taken from my mother and I in a flash.

The Cenzans believed they could rule our kind, stripping away what was left of our humanity. That would never happen as long as I was alive.

I was a fighter, a highly acclaimed astro-physicist, as well as a daughter of two highly trained scientists. I was also considered important to the lives of those living in Virginia City. Perhaps I’d turned into a dreamer, longing for what I’d been taught as a child, a kinder, gentler Earth.

That was no more.

The Cenzans were preparing to take over.

An earlier war had destroyed much of our lands, killing millions of people. We’d fought for our basic survival, only to be conquered by the most savage creatures in the entire solar system. My skin crawled just thinking about them. And here they were, attempting to punish me for protecting my people.

The leader gazed up and down the length of my trembling body, the look raw and visceral.

I was shaken, much more so than I wanted to let on and lifted my weapon. “Stay away from all of us or I willkill you.”

The leader took two giant strides, slapping away the weapon with ease, his hand snapping around my arm as he scanned the crowd. “This is what happens to those who do not obey us.”

As I struggled to get out of his powerful hold, he unfastened his belt, yanking the leather strap from the loops. I was stunned, unable to get away, fear crowding out any concept of breathing. “Let me go!” I finally screeched, longing for anyone in the city to stop him.

But they didn’t.

There was no way of knowing just how many monsters there were surrounding us and what they intended on doing. The boom only minutes before had been earthshattering, followed by flashes of searing white light, eradicating several of our specialized scientific equipment. Chaos had ensued, members of the city racing for cover. I’d had seconds to grab my gun, racing toward the entrance, the first to encounter the Cenzans entering our secured space.

“Get off me, you bastards!”

Issuing a series of guttural and very dark sounds, the leader wasted no time in doling out punishment, ignoring my defiance.

As the leather strap came down against my backside, I sucked in my breath, refusing to give the monster the satisfaction of hearing my cry. I was mortified, rage encompassing every inch of me. How in the hell had they broken through our cloaking device? Our heat sensors were blocked off, cooled to the point only a few instruments of any kind would be able to detect our presence.

He brought the strap down again. And again. The strikes were hard, the force jerking my body forward. The pain didn’t register at first but when it did, awakening every nerve ending, tears formed in my eyes. The moment was shocking, driving me to a heightened level of absolute shame. How could any creature do this for simply questioning what the hell they were doing?

What do you think? As you’ve learned, I write in several genres. You never know what’s going to come next. My latest release is all rugged cowboy. He’s a Marine, a survivor and has his eye on the very woman he fell in love with ALL those years ago. HOT off the presses.

TAMING HIS BRAT

The music seemed to stop, creating a vacuum as she turned to study the cowboy. The voice was so similar to Rex’s, a deep baritone, but there were no shivers, no wetness. He black and white cowboy twojust wasn’t the one. “I appreciate the offer, but I’m a little tired.”

“Well, if you rest up, little lady, come find me.”

Giving him a polite nod, she quickened her step, happy to see she was the second person in line. The wine in her hand, she headed for the bank of trees and picnic tables, far removed from the crowd. She leaned against a large oak tree, still tapping her foot in time to the music. The moon was almost full, creating a light show with the stars. She’d forgotten how beautiful Texas could be, especially at night. “I wish I may, I wish I might…” She allowed the words to die off.

“Wish upon a star tonight.”

Shards of electricity sheared along the backs of her legs, pulsing into her pussy, forcing her nipples to harden. She swallowed when he flanked her side, gazing up at the sky, his face pensive. The awkwardness was palpable. “What did you wish for?”

“Same thing I always do.” Rex kicked his heel into the grass.

“Mmm…”

“What about you?” he asked, darting a look over his shoulder.

“I don’t have a wish.”

“Everyone has a wish, even though we can’t be certain it’ll come true.”

She studied his long neck and strong shoulders, the short cropped blond hair, long legs that were to die for, and the most tantalizing lips she’d ever seen. “Why didn’t you call me?” Perfect conversation.

“When?”

“After the night in school.” Cooper whispered the words.

He seemed taken aback, turning to face her. “You remember that night.”

“I’ve never forgotten anything about that night. Everything was magical, special. Then you didn’t call and left town. I thought I’d done something wrong. Then I hated you, figuring you were just one of those guys.”

Rex lowered his head, brushing one hand through his hair. “Cooper, I loved the night we shared. Truth is, I wanted more.” He seemed to hesitate.

“Okay.” She had no idea what to say. “Then you should have called me. You should have said anything to me. Anything to help me understand.”

“You’re right. I was an asshole,” he whispered as he gazed up at the sky, shaking his head. “You have no idea how much I wanted to see you again, but I didn’t want to start anything because I knew it would have to end.”

“Why? I don’t understand.”

“You don’t know?”

“Know?” she repeated, inching closer. What was she supposed to have known?

He scrunched his face. “Where I’ve been.”

“No. I just got back into town myself. I didn’t talk to anyone and came back only twice for Christmas. I just wanted to get away, you know?” She took a sip of her wine, hiding behind the glass. Another song started, and she tipped her head, smiling as she looked in the direction of the band. “Do you remember this song?”

“Not easy to forget. Rascal Flatts—‘I Won’t Let Go.’” When he said the words, he inched closer.

“That was my dream and with you. I realize we were just kids, but everything was magical,” she said then exhaled, swaying her hips back and forth.

“Yeah. I’ve thought about us more than a few times.”

His voice sounded so haunted, full of pain. “Where did you go, Rex?” she dared to ask.

“The reason I didn’t call you was because I’d signed up for the Marines.”

Narrowing her eyes, she had no idea what to say. “I honestly had no idea. You enlisted?”

“Yep. I wanted to get away from my father and the ranch. I wasn’t that good in school, so I had limited choices for college. Seemed like the right decision to make. Fight for the rights of people, ensure the safety of my beloved country. Our country.”

“Then you’re a hero.” As soon as she said the words, his expression changed, becoming darker and even in the moonlight, she could see the mist in his eyes. “No matter what happened during your time, serving alone makes you a hero. Never forget that.”

He looked away, a deep breath escaping his lips.

“I wasn’t teasing. I wouldn’t tease about something like that. I just… Well, I just wanted you to know.” Cooper felt like the same young girl who’d thought she was in love with him.

Rex smiled and nodded, closing the distance and taking the wine from her hand. Every move deliberate, he eased the plastic glass onto the table and took both her hands into his. “How about a dance?”

She wasn’t certain why tears formed, threatening to reveal her sappy inner self. Perhaps because of her thoughts and wishes regarding the past or because of the sadness in his eyes, but she dug her nails into his hands, shaking. “I don’t do this very well.”

“Neither do I.” As the song continued, the sultry lilting sounds floating in their direction, he took the lead, keeping their bodies moving in time to the beat.

Relaxing, she gave him a shy smile and glanced down at her feet. There were so many words she wanted to say, thoughts about the past, but there was no reason. Six years had passed and they’d both changed. Maybe too much. “I would have given you my virginity that night.”

His eyes opening wide, he lowered his head, pressing his lips against her forehead. “And I would have been honored.” He eased one hand around her waist, pulling her close.

Cooper stiffened at first then as the tension passed, she eased her head against his carved chest, drinking in the strong scent of musk and testosterone. Just being in his arms created a wave of heat between her legs, yet she had no idea what to say or how to think. The slick wetness soaked into her already damp panties and with every shift, her erect nipples became a distinct reminder of her complicated yearning.

He pulled her even closer, his hips swaying, his footsteps leading them in a wide arc.

The feel of his groin against her stomach stole her breath, the way he throbbed, his hardness allowing her to know his feelings, his longing. Closing her eyes, she fell into the moment, clutching his shirt, her legs quivering. When he leaned in, holding her even tighter, the entire world seemed to melt away, leaving only the two of them. Her breath skipped, electricity searing every nerve ending. Everything about this was a sinful temptation or maybe a reminder of exactly what she couldn’t have.

Now, what are you reading this weekend?

Kisses and spanks…

Piper

PURCHASE LINK

 

Breathless Bad Boys…

Don’t we all love a bad boy? Even heroes can have a streak that is oh-so delicious and dark, a man we love to hate. I’ve been so proud to be a part of Hero Undercover – a compilation of 25 novellas with 24 other award winning, best seller authors brought to you by Blushing Books. The stories are all very different and in my opinion, the perfect poolside read. Think about it. You’re already… HOT. and. WET.  I know, I’m allowing my bad girl side to show. Right? This is the last day that the 1776 page book is going to be a tiny little $.99 so grab a copy. Blushing Books is also having an amazing give away and I’ll provide the link down below.

I hope that if you’re new to Piper Stone, you’ll take the opportunity to read some of my other books. I have a new release and a fantastic sale going on in honor of both Hero Undercover and my latest release – Maverick Rescue Me. So leet’s get started.

Here’s my piece in Hero Undercover. I have a love of red wine and women who are brassy and bold. When you combine an undercover case involving wine fraud and a cowboy detective. Well, the purr-fect recipe for turning up the heat.

A TASTE FOR RED

Private Investigator Shanna Jacobs has no issue chasing scumbag criminals down on her Harley. Blackmailed into working with the local police department, the case involving wine fraud utilizes one of her many talents. However, going undercover correct hero undercover coveralongside a sexy cowboy cop may destroy her mask of steel. Detective Cody Walker is estranged from his ranch in Montana, taking the only job offered after his involvement in a horrific incident. Working alongside, Shanna and Cody realize the case isn’t what it seems. As they delve into the clues, sparks fly, but both refuse to accept their growing need. Can he save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?

I write in several genres and don’t mind stretching the envelope with regard to kink. A Power Exchange in a relationship is exactly what you think. You’re giving up your power to another. Women who are very dominating in business often prefer to be very submissive in their desires and in their relationships, giving up full control. When the man is utterly powerful, a man most fear and so many hate, the perfect woman is the one who can tame him. This is the first in a collection of stories involving the ultimate Power Exchange. On sale for only $2.99 at Amazon – see what you think…

BECOMING – POWER EXCHANGE

SYNOPSIS

Blackmail – the ultimate in power…

Christopher Patterson is a business mogul, his prowess and influence creating a commanding empire. His methods of takeover are ruthless, garnering every expensive toy money can buy. He holds many secrets, ones that would obliterate his empire if discovered. His nemesis waits, shadowed in the darkness, determined to destroy everything Christopher has worked for. A tortured man, Christopher’s dark needs for complete control prove unsuccessful when dominating a woman. That is until Genevieve Tallen came into his life.

Becoming EbookGenevieve is a successful entrepreneur, her advertising agency well respected. Lonely and unfulfilled in every relationship, meeting Christopher is electric. She’s able to release her submissive side and become the woman she finally learns to accept. Drawn into a twisted relationship, satisfying their respective kinky desires, there is no way for her to know she’s fallen into a scandalous web of deceit. A secret men’s club, one fueling every deep-seated fantasy, is the backdrop for blackmail.

Two men vie for a woman’s submission, at the risk of losing their livelihood as well as their very souls. Forced to face a damning past, Christopher has a decision to make, one that could change his relationship forever. Obedience tested, only Genevieve can snap the tangled noose, the one dragging Christopher into the pits of Hell.

Danger. Dominance. Destruction.

Are Christopher and Genevieve strong enough to face and accept their needs? Is their relationship strong enough to weather the upcoming storm? Will their love survive?

 

EXCERPT

You have to have her, take her, use her.

The words were never far from his mind.

Christopher wasn’t entirely certain what to expect when he walked into her home, her gleaming kitchen. All afternoon, his anticipation of seeing her, being with her, had kept him from his allotted duties. Even his assistant had commented that his mind was elsewhere. For once, he didn’t mind a bit being sidetracked. Just after four, he’d left the office and headed for a bar. Somewhere along the way, he was sidetracked, taking a detour to the local Home Depot. He hadn’t been in a Home Depot in over a year. There’d been no need in his life.

He chuckled as he held out the new, red rope he’d secured. Seeing the face of the store clerk, who made the mistake of asking Chris what he was purchasing this particular type of rope for, was priceless. The mixture of shock and horror when he answered honestly was quite pleasing. Perhaps he was a sadist. You are a sadist. The thought was comforting.

“You truly look beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you, Sir. I prepared everything as required,” Genevieve said quietly, her eyes shifting down to the bondage material in his hands. “Have you been shopping?”

“Nothing but the best for my girl.” His laugh was much needed, and he could feel his tension easing. She always had a calming effect on him, a moment of pure peace in a sea of bullshit. Dropping his things, he moved toward her. Hearing her call him ‘Sir’ made his cock swell. “Did you forget your required greeting already, my dearest?”

She jerked her head up, her lower lip quivering. “No, Sir. Well, maybe yes, Sir. Ugh.” Very slowly, she leaned over at the waist, lifting the hem of her teddy. A slight moan escaped her lips as she spread her legs and reached her arms back.

He walked closer, every move deliberate, as he surveyed the objects on the table. A smile curled at the corner of his mouth. For some reason, he could tell a difference within her, as if she were ready to let go of the last snippet of control. His submissive ‘G,’ a pet name he’d coined in the beginning, continued to have her ways of usurping his authority. There was no method of breaking this down, only time and complete trust would allow her the freedom of unleashing old wounds. This, he very much respected. “Open those lovely ass cheeks of yours.” As soon as he issued the command, he could hear the single grunt.

“Yes, Sir. I, um…”

“Yes?” He could already tell what she’d forgotten. As he moved behind her, he could hear her breathing change, becoming scattered. He pressed down on her back, fingers drumming against her skin. “Genevieve.”

Yes, he is sexy but can you see the love-hate relationship?

My latest release is a true series involving the love of animals and how they can save and protect our hearts, souls and very lives. Maverick is a Golden Retriever, a carbon copy of one of my furry babies in actions and love. This is my heart child book. A suspense thriller that will keep you on your seat, the passion and love is something you won’t soon forget.

MAVERICK – RESCUE ME

 

If I can’t have you, no one will…

The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including Maveric_500x755the chance at love.

Until he finds her…

Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.

Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.

Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego?  Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?

The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?

Just released and all from Blushing Books. You can find Maverick on Amazon and the Blushing Books site. I also have a pretty sexy release going on at Amazon. You can win a free copy – no purchase required. Just follow this link! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8c68ecfdf4a1e21e 

Here is Blushing Books fantastic hourly give away. You can’t go wrong with this one!

http://www.blushingbooksblog.com/prizes-every-hour-25-00-amazon-gift-certificate/ 

Finally, through today only. If you purchase a copy of Hero Undercover on any site – Amazon, iBooks or B & N and pm me on Facebook or at piperstonecreations@gmail.com a snapshot of the purchase, I’ll gift you two ARC copies of any of my books – your choice. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!!

Kisses…

Piper

HERO UNDERCOVER AMAZON LINK

 

Struggling for a New Life…

It’s interesting how people view abuse in books. As we know, OF COURSE, there are various kinds of abusive from physical to mental, from lovers to employers and everything in between. No abuse is okay at any time for any reason. Period. However, this is a sad part of everyday lives and I think stories of heroic efforts to change, move on, start a new live or find lawful methods of retribution need to be told. If some of my passages make you wince, cry, rage in horror and finally smile in Maveric_500x755peace, then I’ve done my job. Yes, I understand abuse in certain ways. I don’t think there’s a human being alive who hasn’t experienced or at least been a party to some form. Sad state our world is, but this is our truth.

The Rescue Me Series isn’t about the constant happy times couples have. They aren’t simple romances with fluffy animals. They are a telling of love, strength, horrors, happiness, anger – you get the message. Every story has a hero or two – including those in furry bundled love. I’m very proud of Maverick and would like to bring you another taste. I do so hope you enjoy. More will be coming later…

MAVERICK – RESCUE ME

EXCERPT

Guilt settled into McKenzie’s system. She stood staring at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, worried to death about Maverick and wondering how in the hell she’d gotten herself into such a mess in the first place. Anthony wasn’t a monster. Or was he? She wasn’t certain of anything any longer. Yes, she’d known about his anger issues as well as his arrogance. For some reason she thought love could conquer all. The bad boy and the good girl. She’d ceased being good a long time ago. He and his family had infected her mind if not her very soul.

After another gulp of wine, she set the glass on the counter and peeled off her clothes. The bruises on her face and neck would heal in time. The scratches on her arms would fade away. The scars on her heart would never leave.

She touched her face, memories of the good times providing a tearful moment. She’d loved him, even after his personality had changed. Now this. She might lose everything but she refused to give in, stay married to him for another month. Hissing, she started the shower. His rich family would no doubt stand behind him as they always did.

“She’s not good enough for you.”

“She’s beneath you, Anthony.”

“You can do so much better. The family deserves better.”

The family. What a crock of shit. The tainted words remained furrowed into the back of her mind. She stepped into the shower, allowing the water to cascade down over her head. Not a single member of his family had ever accepted her or their marriage. She’d wondered often if Anthony had gotten hitched to her simply to piss off his parents. What did the concern really matter any longer? They had their wish now. He was free as a bird and had all but destroyed her in the process.

Palming the cool tile, she dropped her head as the tears began to fall. How many times had she promised herself that she’d never cry again? How many times had she allowed him to slither back into her life? She was done. Finished. She had to be strong. She would fight. She would prevail.

cowboy standingYou’re so full of shit. She gulped air as the tears continued to fall, loathing her inner voice, the one that had kept her questioning every move she made. She slapped the wall and tilted her head back, issuing a strangled scream. “Why? Why can’t I have a normal life?”

Because you’re worthless. You have no skills. You are nothing without me.

She blinked and shook her head, the wretched words, his words would forever haunt her. “You’re wrong. You fucking asshole. You’ll see.” Yeah, she’d show the world. Her thoughts drifted to Maverick and her legs began to shake. She knew he was badly hurt. Even the good doctor was concerned. She could tell by Diego’s expression and the wretched look in his eyes. He didn’t want to tell her the truth. She was going to lose the one thing she loved in this very world, the only thing that she could love.

Crumpling to her knees, she cradled her arms around her legs, pulling them to her chest. The water continued to pound down, mixing with her tears. She rocked back and forth as flashes of the past fueled her now vile anger. She was going to destroy Anthony, no matter how long or how much money she had to spend in order to do so.

Maverick. She could hear his fearful whimpers in her mind. She knew he was looking for mommy dog. He was all alone and scared. He’d tried to protect her. He was her savior. No, he was her salvation. Strong. You will be powerful and you will fight. Sniffing, she whipped the salty beads away, determined to close down her emotions.

After a few minutes, she rose to her feet and finished her shower. Tonight, she’d placed her beloved pup’s wellbeing in the hands of a stranger. Karma was kicking her in the ass. This was going to be the toughest thing she had to deal with in her life.

McKenzie found a robe on the back of the bathroom door. A smile crossed her face as she studied the red and blue plaid design. Somehow, she couldn’t see the cowboy vet in something like this. Still, the flannel was warm and cozy, the scent all male. She held the material close to her nose, drinking in his essence. A staunch sense of embarrassment, she shook away the thought and donned the attire.

Antsy, she retrieved her wine and walked toward the kitchen to refill her glass. She stood staring out the window, thinking about the last year. There was nothing she could do but fight Anthony, demanding a divorce. He’d grow bored soon enough, preferring to play with one of his blonde bimbos.

Her thoughts drifted to Diego. The cowboy was certainly a breath of fresh air. He also understood her desires, not judging or condemning her. The concept was not what she’d expected from anyone. She could remember the look in her best friend’s eyes when she’d expressed her desires for discipline, being punished for being a bad girl. The admittance had almost cost them their friendship. As if that mattered. She’d left everyone behind forever.

“Stop,” she muttered. She had to start thinking clearly so she could develop a plan. Maybe Diego could help. Groaning, she rubbed her eyes.

What was it about this man, this stranger that intrigued her so much? Why was she thinking about future possibilities when her life was in ruins? Perhaps she’d never figure out the answer but certainly not tonight. Resigned, she sipped her wine and said a prayer for Maverick.

Chuckling, she noticed the orange glow in the distance and frowned, uneasiness settling into her system. She couldn’t help but wish Anthony would die in a massive fire. Yeah, then she wouldn’t have to worry about the crap she was going to have to go through. Yes, the concept was delicious.

Snorting, she settled on the couch, propping up her feet and finishing her wine. Minutes later she began to nod off. As vivid images settle into her subconscious, she smiled. If only there were bears in the Virginia woods. Perhaps a pack of wolves would do the trick. Or a hitman.

If only she had the courage.

SYNOPSIS

The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including the chance at love.

Until he finds her…

Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.

Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.

Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego?  Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?

The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?

I so hope you enjoyed! 

Piper

Give Away – Enter for a chance to win a copy!! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8c68ecfdf4a1e21e

PURCHASE LINK

 

 

Release Day Celebration

I am so excited and thrilled that today is release day for an amazing group of stories. 25 sizzling bad boy novellas from some of the hottest authors in the industry. HERO UNDERCOVER is about – you guessed it, heroes who romance, thrill, chill and sometimes piss us off. But in the end, they are the prefect rugged man, the one we dream about. I want to say congratulations to my fellow authors and a huge thank you to Blushing Books for their help, love, dedication and belief in all of us. I correct hero undercover coverstill have my sexy contest going so help me get to 100 followers on my blog! Don’t forget to take a peek at one sexy trailer at the end. You are so going to love it!

BTW – Blushing is donaties to several charities upon each sale. The following are just two of them. Something to keep in mind. 

http://www.lawmemorial.org/http://www.copline.org/

Please enjoy a taste of my romantic suspense novella:

A TASTE FOR RED

SYNOPSIS

Private Investigator Shanna Jacobs has no issue chasing scumbag criminals down on her Harley. Blackmailed into working with the local police department, the case involving wine fraud utilizes one of her many talents. However, going undercover alongside a sexy cowboy cop may destroy her mask of steel. Detective Cody Walker is estranged from his ranch in Montana, taking the only job offered after his involvement in a horrific incident. Working alongside, Shanna and Cody realize the case isn’t what it seems. As they delve into the clues, sparks fly, but both refuse to accept their growing need. Can he save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?

EXCERPT

Shanna held up the wine glass. The moonlight cast a smoky haze through the thin crystal. “Stoker and Scotty boy know each other.”

Cody coughed and eased beside her, sitting with his knees bent by the edge of the pool. “You’re observant.”

“Very. I need to be in my line of work. I suspect the little pudge ball of a man works for him. That’s my gut feeling.”

“You made such a wonderful impression on the poor, unsuspecting store clerk.” Cody chuckled and sniffed the contents of the glass.

Dangerous man with gun“He’s a putz. You really don’t know very much about wine. Do you?” Seeing Stoker at the store had almost derailed her.

“Enough to get by when taking a lady out to dinner. Granted, that’s been a solid two years.”

The comment surprised Shanna. She tipped her head in his direction. “Why? Don’t tell me you’re a closet gay guy.”

“You don’t mince words. Do you? And no, I’m not gay. Just…” He looked toward the pool, his brow furrowed.

“Some lady did a real number on you.”

“About as much as whatever guy made you hate all men.”

Shanna snorted. “Let’s drink to remaining single.”

“What’s so special about this wine anyway?” He took a sip of wine.

“Well, it’s priced at almost a thousand dollars a bottle and difficult to find in small wine shops.”

Cody choked, wine spewing past his lips. “Shit. I just lost a good fifty bucks or so. You bought two bottles of thousand dollar wine?”

“A message was sent. Very few people know their wines. They may pretend, purchasing something a friend told them about or a trendy wine, but this one is a sleeper varietal. If Scotty is in the middle of the game of fraud, ears have been perked up all over town.” She’d noticed at least two customers who she knew they’d see again. After taking a sip she smiled. “This is one of the finest wines I’ve ever had. Very seductive in the aftertaste. Rich with a floral aroma that just tickles your nose.”

“You do know your wines.” Cody polished off the remainder. “Let’s have another glass. Shall we?” He stood and grabbed the bottle from the table. When he sat back down he grinned. “Here’s to a one thousand dollar date. One of the best ones I’ve had in a hell of a long time.”

She held out her glass as he poured the rest of the wine into their glasses. Enjoying the moment, she bit her lip and kicked her feet out in the water. The lights were soothing, crimson and electric blue, creating shimmers in the lapping waves. She couldn’t think this way. She had to stick to her guns. There was no going back. Why? Why? Her inner voice had been nagging her all day. No, she couldn’t cave in. Business. Get back to business. “I do know my wines.”

“A resume builder?” He plopped back down and grinned, clinking his glass with hers. “Teasing. Can’t you take a joke? Lighten up.”

“Christine and I have gone to many wine tastings. That’s how she knew I could pass for an expert.” She turned her head before rolling her eyes. After this case, she’d terminate her relationship with Taylor and King. She refused to have anything held over her head. Why did his lips look so kissable tonight? She swallowed hard and hid behind her glass, catching her breath. The wine. Her reaction had to be because of the wine.

“Stoker is attracted to you. That’s for certain. Shit, I don’t blame him. The way you look in that dress. Whew.”

“Why do you say that?” She could tell what Cody was thinking. While his lurid thoughts should make her uncomfortable, instead, she was wet with desire. This wasn’t good. Not at all.

“He in as much told me that I need to control you and that he’d be happy to help. Are you certain he’s never seen you before?”

Shanna laughed. “I kept in the shadows the entire week I was following him. Control? The man has no idea how to control a woman. He’s merely an abuser, just like the majority of men.” Yes, her words were laced with bitterness, her usual defense. “Don’t ask, Cody. Leave it alone.”

Cody sighed and mumbled under his breath. “Wouldn’t dream of delving into your private life, but I’m sorry. You don’t deserve to be hurt in any way. I only hope you can chip away at that block on your shoulder before it’s too late. You also deserve happiness.”

Happiness. She’d love to be happy, sharing life and love with a man, dreams coming true. “You don’t know me. You don’t want to know me.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. I’d like to get to know you, if only you’d drop that suit of armor you’re wearing.” He reached out, brushing the back of his hand across her arm.

Thank you so much. I’m a part of an amazing blog tour. Here’s a link to a raffle. Good luck on the win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PURCHASE LINKS

http://tinyurl.com/y9gjs7tj   iBooks

amzn.to/2s1di5J  Amazon

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SEXY TRAILER

A Disgraced Cowboy Cop. A Feisty Female PI – Together – BOOM!

I’m so excited! Hero Undercover is finally releasing tomorrow!! While it’s been on pre-sale for a couple of weeks, the actual release of any book is terribly exciting. I’ve had several people read my sexy novella and they seem to love. I have a rather warped brain and my characters have a feisty, ballsy quality – whether male or female. I also love cowboy cops – they just have everything you desire in a hero. They’re sexy. Commanding. Rugged. Handsome. Did I say sexy? Imagine the hot guy holding a lasso or a gun. Whew… Is it hot in here? I have another excerpt for my piece, a little novella I’ll expand later and I’m very proud of. I’m also thrilled and proud to be a part of this amazing collection. Don’t forget to pick up a copy for only correct hero undercover cover$.99. This lasts through July 3rd only!

A TASTE FOR RED

SYNOPSIS

Private Investigator Shanna Jacobs has no issue chasing scumbag criminals down on her Harley. Blackmailed into working with the local police department, the case involving wine fraud utilizes one of her many talents. However, going undercover alongside a sexy cowboy cop may destroy her mask of steel. Detective Cody Walker is estranged from his ranch in Montana, taking the only job offered after his involvement in a horrific incident. Working alongside, Shanna and Cody realize the case isn’t what it seems. As they delve into the clues, sparks fly, but both refuse to accept their growing need. Can he save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?

EXCERPT

Shanna flipped through her notes. “Stop here.”

“Here?” Cody eyed the busy street, searching for a location to park. The sidewalks were crawling with activity. Sidewalk cafes were packed with tourists and locals alike enjoying the warm evening, the atmosphere relaxed and inviting. “Why here?”

“Wine store. One of the best. We should be able to find what I need.”

He had to wonder what she believed necessary. He maneuvered the Ferrari into a space. “Let’s keep a low profile, or as low as possible anyway.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked then climbed out of the car.

“You should have placed a neon flashing sign around your neck. You’re overdressed.”

“My style. Not yours. Remember?” She shot him a look of disdain and slammed the car door, taking off down the sidewalk without waiting for him.

Cody caught up to her quickly and wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her in close and whispering in her ear. “You don’t have to like me but you do have to pretend. Remember, anyone could be watching.”

She tilted her head. “Yes, of course. I hope you brought the credit cards.”

“Always the ballbuster. Now, I’m going to take your hand. Act like you adore me instead of wish I were dead.” He grabbed her hand, interlocking their fingers, and tugged her down the sidewalk. The touch was electric, far too intense. His hands sweated instantly and his heart rate skyrocketed. Shanna had managed to get under his skin.

While she didn’t pull away, she remained stiff until they walked inside the quaint shop. When she pulled away, everything about her demeanor had changed. “Look darling. This is the little shop I was telling you about.”

“Find whatever you like, baby. I want you happy.” He scanned the store, making mental note of the various patrons. The majority were well over forty and he suspected given the few prices listed on selected shelves, they were all wealthy.

Shanna swayed her hips as she walked toward the counter, pushing aside several customers. Her smile was huge, her eyes twinkling with mischief. “You know I will. You owe me for last night.”

Cody resisted reacting. They’d already been noticed by just about everyone close by. Flamboyant was her style. “But you said I was delicious last night.” The comment had mixed reactions but none that stood out. Like looking for a needle in a haystack.

She pushed her long hair behind her shoulders and leaned over the counter, winking as the well-manicured man behind the counter flushed. “I’m looking for something extra special tonight. Hubby and I are celebrating.”

Emmanuel 15The man cleared his throat then smiled thinly. “We have many incredible wines. Did you have something in mind?”

“Hmmm…” Brushing the tip of her finger across her lips, she exhaled in an exaggerated fashion her eyes darted to the gold nametag on the clerk’s lapel. “I’m thinking Merlot tonight, Scotty.”

“That’s Scott and all right. Let me show you the section where I think you’ll find exactly what you desire.” The man eased from behind the counter.

She held out her arm, twisting her index finger back and forth. “I always know and get what I want and right now, I desire that you find the wine I’m looking for, sweet Scotty.”

Cody folded his arms. He had to admit, the woman was good. At least six people were lingering, drinking in every detail. Five of the six were men. Two he ruled out immediately. The pudgy golfer types were definitely tourists. The woman was intriguing. Her necklace full of what appeared to be diamonds, she reeked of money. The other three men were all in their mid to late forties, impeccably dressed and extremely attentive. He memorized their faces. They weren’t the few on the suspect list.

Scott’s forehead glistened with perspiration. “What wine would you like? I’ll see if I can find. Please keep in mind that our wines are very expensive.”

Cody was forced to look away for fear of bursting into laughter. At least three people murmured under their breath.

“My dear, sweet Scotty. Money is no object. Isn’t that right, babycakes?” She flashed a look in Cody’s direction.

“As I said, anything your heart desires, my love.” So much for laying low. Cody shifted and walked to the other side of the store. From the vantage point, he caught a glimpse of Stoker Wilde entering the store. An interesting coincidence? Maybe.

“I’d like a bottle, no two bottles of Opus One. Since you’re such a fine establishment, I’m certain you carry the wine?” Shanna twisted, enabling the men already ogling to catch a better glimpse of her cleavage.

“We have a fine 2009 but it’s almost two hundred dollars a bottle,” Scott said in a clipped tone.

Shanna rolled her eyes. “Not the 2009. That’s like drinking grape juice. I’m talking the 2011.”

Whatever kind of wine she’d asked for garnered several reactions from the bystanders. Cody inched closer as did Stoker until they were only two feet apart.

“Your wife has excellent taste,” Stoker said, his tone husky and low.

“Her tastes match her proclivities, a bit wild,” Cody countered. Stoker owned several businesses in the Napa Valley including what many in law enforcement believed to be an exclusive BDSM club. Throwing out the bone was only one tactic.

“Hmmm… You’re a lucky man, although if you ask me, she’s a bit on the impetuous side. If she were mine, a round of discipline would be in order. Yes, she wouldn’t be able to sit down for days.” Stoker grinned and walked away, but his eyes never left Shanna.

One human trait he knew about Stoker was that he usually marked his territory. Stoker’s statement was of intent to conquer. This was Cody’s intuition and not just because he was a cop. As they left the store, walking hand in hand, he noticed Stoker watching their every move. He shivered and he wasn’t entirely certain why.

I so hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget – like my page and if I have 100 likes through July 3rd – I have a sexy give away. Speaking of which, Blushing Books is giving away an  iPad. The link is below!  Good luck!!

PURCHASE LINK

B & N   tinyurl.com/ycktvt24 

Amazon amzn.to/2s1di5J 

iPAD LINK

http://www.blushingbooksblog.com/ipad-mini-giveaway/

heroundercoverbanner

Imagine Needing Rescue…

We’ve been talking a lot about heroes as of late and again, I’m so thrilled and proud to be a part of Hero Undercover – a compilation with 24 other authors from Blushing Books. The huge collection is all about heroes. Well, heroes come in all shapes and sizes – including furry ones. My love of all things animal related has always been a part of my writing, but I wanted to highlight just how amazing in particular dogs can be. I have two beautiful Golden Retrievers and they are my world. They’d also super intelligent.

Rescue Me is a series revolved around animals and whether humans rescue them or Maveric_500x755the other way around, the love and honor given by fur babies is amazing. The first, and I have to admit, is all about a beloved Golden Retriever who is the only thing left in our heroine’s world. She’s gone through trauma, forced to leave everything and everyone she knows and try and forge a new life.

Unfortunately, monsters – the human kind – really do exist. They feed on our nightmares, our insecurities and they know how to destroy us. Or do they? The first coming from Blushing Books on June 27th. Please celebrate with me the extreme love and a book I’m so  very proud of.

MAVERICK – RESCUE ME

SYNOPSIS

If I can’t have you, no one will…

The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including the chance at love.

Until he finds her…

Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.

Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.

Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego?  Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?

The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?

EXCERPT

Diego’s car careened to the side. He twisted and turned the wheel but skidded straight into a ditch. His body jerked forward, constrained by the seatbelt, yet the force knocked the wind out of him. When the car stopped, he sucked in his breath and shook his head. He blinked until he could focus and grabbed the rearview mirror. He’d hit something, but what? The darkened road was all he could see. He peered out of the windshield and controlled his breathing. Maybe a tree limb?

“God help me.” Fiddling with the belt, he struggled to release the clip. As he scrambled out of the car, he blinked in an attempt to make out anything. The wind howled but he heard a distinct whimpering sound. Swallowing hard, he lumbered forward. The rain continued to pour, making seeing anything all but impossible. Shaking, he stopped and listened.

“Eeee…”

He folded his arms across his chest and continued trudging in a straight line as the wind slashed rain across his face.  A lump formed in his throat. A knowing.

“No! My baby. No!”

cowboy with lassoHe heard anguish in a woman’s voice. The sound was close. Too close. Gulping, he held his hand over his eyes and continued walking. “Hello?”

The woman was crying hysterically, her wailing heard above the storm. “No! Please God no!”

“Miss, are you all right?” Dear God, let her be okay. Please God. Please.

“My baby. You hurt my baby,” she screeched. “What’s wrong with you? No. No. No.”

“What?” Diego could no longer feel his legs. He closed the distance and peered down. A dog lay in the middle of the road. The pup’s chest was heaving and the breathing irregular. This can’t be happening. “Oh God. I’m so sorry.” He looked up and down the road. If anyone came around the blind corner, they’d be crushed.

“You have to help me! He’s all I have. Why? Why?” She was shaking, her voice rattled.

“Hold on. Let me see. I might be able to help.” As he knelt down he touched her shoulder. She flinched and kept her hand on the dog’s head.

“Why? Why didn’t you stop?”

“I didn’t see you. The storm and…” He couldn’t finish his sentence. What if he hadn’t been distracted? What if he’d kept his eyes on the road?

Crack!

As the thunder rolled, a flash of lightning gave him a momentary view of the injured animal. There was a massive gash on the dog’s neck as well as one of the back legs was twisted in an unnatural position. He realized that the animal could be in critical condition. Talk to her. Keep her calm. “What’s his name?” He eased his hand down the length of the dog’s torso. The heart rate was fast, but strong.

“Maverick. His name is Maverick and he’s all I have. All I have.” She crouched down, placing her face against the dog’s. She moaned as she rubbed his back. “He’s everything.”

The name stunned him momentarily. “Maverick?” An unwelcome memory surfaced and he was momentarily lost, the past strangling his breathing.

“You have to help him.”

“I’m trying. I don’t know what you want me to do.”

“He’s dying. You can’t let him die,” she wailed as she clutched his jacket, tears streaming down her face.

“I…I can’t. I don’t know how.”

“Mister, are you hearing me? You have to help him.” The woman turned her head in his direction. “You just have to make everything okay. Do you understand me? Do you!”

“I…” Diego jerked back to reality, shaking from the intense vision. Another flash of light and he managed to see her horrified eyes as well as her swollen lip. They’d both been running from something. You can do this. You’re trained. You know what to do. “Okay. I’m a vet. Let’s try and get him to my car. We’re not safe here on the road. Are you able to walk?” Placing his hand on Maverick’s heart he knew the situation was dire. There was no doubt the dog had to have internal bleeding. He had no choice but to move him.

“Yeah,” she mumbled and wiped rain from her face.

Maverick lifted his head, a single whimper escaping his lips. He lifted his paw to Diego, his eyes imploring.

Diego calculated the dog’s chances of survival. He believed that things occurred in the world for a reason. Tonight, his entire being was being challenged, let alone his very soul. “Come on buddy. It’s going to be okay.” He gingerly lifted the dog into his arms and rose to his feet, nuzzling the injured pup close to his chest. He prayed the car would start and he could get out of the ditch.

“Careful. Don’t hurt him. Please.” She huddled behind Diego as they struggled to get back to his car.

He opened the back door and eased Maverick inside. From the amber glow of the interior light, he managed to study her features. Whatever had occurred, the woman had suffered almost as much. “Go to the side of the road until I can get the car out of the ditch.”

“I’m not leaving him.” She gripped his jacket, her fingers digging into his arm. “Never. Do you hear me?”

Feigning a smile, he patted her hand. “And I’m not going anywhere. Okay? Trust me.”

In a few seconds she released her hold and took a step back, looking over her shoulder. She bit her lip. “Looks like you’re stuck. Why did this happen. Why?”

“Don’t count my old steed out just yet, missy. I’ve been through much worse.” Diego crossed his fingers as he climbed into the driver’s seat, leaving the door open. He’d seen her terrified expression. Someone was after her. “Here we go.” The engine clicked twice before turning over. The roar of the V-8 was at least a good sign. He pushed the gear into drive and pressed his foot on the gas pedal. The tires did nothing but whirl, spinning in the mud. “Damn it.”

“Too much gas and power. Put the gear into first and tap the pedal.”

I so hope you enjoyed.

Have a sizzling day

Piper