BOOK 3 in The Forbidden Men Series
Contemporary New Adult Romance
Orginally published August 2014
123,560 words, 380 pages
3-Flame Sensuality Rating
Once upon a time, there was this pampered rich girl who was kind of full of herself. She really only cared about appearances and hiding all her dark, ugly secrets under the guise of an opinionated snob. But then Eva Mercer got pregnant, shot by a psycho, and kicked out of the only home she knew. Now she's broke, unemployed, and has to start anew with a newborn to raise. But how?
On the other side of town, sexy, tattooed orphan, Patrick Ryan, can't get a break. He's out on parole for defending the last damsel in distress while trying to help her support her child, but all he wants is to find his one true love. He knows this woman by scent, smile, and laugh, but he's never actually met her. He doesn't even know her name. He just knows she's the key to fixing everything.
One kind of hero can save you from physical harm. Another can rescue you from a different kind of doom. To reach their dreams, Eva and Pick can save each other. But first, they must open their hearts and learn how to trust.
As Harvey and I crouched behind the lilac bushes in front of the old decaying house, a stiff breeze burst upon us, stirring a batch of dead leaves around my knees and freezing the fuck out of my arms.
I had decided coats were overrated after last week. I'd asked Vern, my newest foster dad, if he'd buy me a jacket since the weather had turned cold and I'd outgrown last year's winter coat. He'd told me he'd consider it--if I sucked his dick.
So being a human icicle wasn't the worst thing that could happen to me.
"Jesus, Pick." Shivering beside me, Harvey wrapped my last year's coat tighter around him--since it actually fit him--and burrowed deeper into its warmth. "Did you feel that? She must know we're out here. She's already casting some kind of voodoo shit spell on us. Let's bounce already."
"It's called wind, you moron." I smacked him lightly on the back of the head. "I seriously doubt she can make the wind blow. And we're not leaving until it's done."
"Bet she can. She's a witch. She can do anything. Just look at what she did to Tristy."
My teeth clenched. What had happened to Tristy was exactly why I wasn't budging until my mission was accomplished. I wasn't leaving this place until the witch had paid for what she'd done.
Spurred on by the fresh wave of rage Harvey had instilled in me, I tightened my grip on the brick I was holding and darted out from behind the bushes. Spotty clumps of dead brown grass made the ground uneven, but even that didn't deter my step. Sprinting for all I was worth, I reached the huge bay window of Madam LeFre's home and wound back my arm.
She'd get the message I'd tied around the brick. Leave Tristy Mahone alone. And she had better abide. Tristy had been through enough already.
Tristy and I hadn't lived in the same foster home for over a year, not since I'd called the social worker on my last foster family and told them what was happening to her. But we still kept in touch, and I looked out for her. So when Harvey had told me why she was in the hospital, I felt as if I'd failed her. I never should've let her visit Madam LeFrey, who never gave anyone a cheerful fortune reading. I should've prevented it somehow.
But what was done was done, and I had to placate myself with paybacks. The shatter of breaking glass told me my avengement was complete. "Oh, shit." Harvey's voice carried from the bushes. "You did it. You really did it."
Shit, I really had. I'd never been the perfect choirboy type, but this was my first stint at vandalism. I thought I'd feel satisfied. Vindicated. But Tristy was still in the hospital with her wrists taped together. And I was still a low-life deadbeat who'd never amount to anything. Madam LeFrey would no doubt continue to freak kids out by giving them doomed fortune readings.
I stood there like a complete dumbass just staring at the cracks spider-webbing through the parts of the glass that were still intact. But now I was more pissed off than before because breaking a window had accomplished absolutely nothing.
Madam LeFrey's porch light sprang on, jolting me out of my rigor mortis. As the ancient paint-chipped front door creaked open, Harvey screamed for me. Anxiety spurted through my veins in a panicked mess; I needed to reach him. Protect him.
I scrambled toward him, but to get there, I had to pass by the front porch where the witch was rushing from the house, toting--holy fuck--a shotgun that looked bigger than she was.
I skidded to a stop so fast the wet dead leaves under my shoes gave way, and I slid down, landing hard on my ass. I caught myself with one hand; my fingers dug into the muddy cold earth before I found enough purchase to push myself back up.
While I was busy wiping out, Madam LeFrey was equally busy wracking a shell into the chamber. The distinct sound of a loading gun echoed through my ears until that was all I heard. Springing upright, I stumbled away before I'd regained my footing. If I could just make it to the corner of her house, I was sure I could get out of her view long enough to find a nice dark shadow to escape into and be able to evade the mad old woman.
But I never made it to the corner.
I stepped on something solid that made a metallic click before it gave way and sucked my foot down. Sharp, knife-like teeth bit into my ankle and trapped me. I shouted out as I collapsed. The cold, wet earth enveloped me, and I curled into a fetal ball, clutching my shin. Waves of agony screamed up my leg while the ankle trap held me prisoner.