Ready to officially meet Landon?

“Oh, come on! Asshole,” I shout at the television from the couch, PlayStation remote in my hand with the urge to sling it at the screen from my loss. Instead of picking my dead ass up and playing another round, I fall back against the back of the couch, bored as hell. Constantly surrounded by people and the one time I get a house alone—something I’m used to—I’m losing my mind. I’m confined to a rig around guys twenty-four-seven at work for two weeks at a time. I usually prefer to be alone for the most part when I’m off, at least during the day. Normally, I’d be in a tree stand hunting at least once a day during November. 

I don’t know what the hell they’re doing to me. Or why I continue to agree to come here where everyone is coupled up and going at it all the time instead of going home where I want to be. It’s a mystery to me. I like having my own space, no itinerary or coordinating plans with roommates, and sitting on my back porch at night with drinking buddies while we talk shit well into the night. 

Maybe you come because you’re only twenty-four and act like you’re sixty at home . . .

My phone vibrates on the glass coffee table in front of me, lit up with a text notification on the screen. I toss the controller aside and pick it up. 


Trinity: Are you back in from work? Was going to see if you wanted to come over tonight . . . 


I laugh out as I reply. Once a whore always a whore. 


Me: No can do, slut. Not in Mississippi at the moment. You’ll have to find someone else to service you while your husband is off making you money.


The text typing bubbles start up immediately. 


Trinity: Lol. You’re an asshole.


Funny thing is, she thinks I’m joking. 


Me: Doesn’t stop you from bouncing on my dick.


A knock sounds at the door at the same time her message comes through. 


Trinity: Not my fault you have a big dick and know how to use it. Don’t make me sound bad. I told you we have an open relationship at the moment until we know if we want to split up for good or not. When he’s home he does his own thing—girls included. He’s fine with it as long as I do it when he’s gone, which works perfectly because he’s on the opposite shift as you. Come on, it’s been over two weeks. You were fine with someone else until you found out we’re married.


Me: You usually hit me up when I’m drunk. Secondhand pussy is as good as any when I’m intoxicated.


Trinity: OMG! I’m not double-teaming. We aren’t having sex with each other until we figure things out, hence the open relationship. I’ll make it worth your while. I have some new neon pink lingerie that complements my blonde hair and makes my rack look great. 


Another knock sounds, reminding me everyone is gone. I stand and head in that direction as I respond. 


Me: Hope you stocked up on batteries for your toy. In Miami. Will text you when I get back.


I grab the door and open it, still looking at the screen as the message comes through. 


Trinity: You suck.


Me: Sucking is your job.


“You must be one of my sister’s little live-in projects. Name? I’ll try not to forget it.” I glance up at the sound of a female voice dripping in sarcasm, my eyes hitting a pair of blues that are very similar to Presley’s in color and shape, but then they descend, confirming that’s pretty much the only similarity. This one looks like she could be the older one. She’s hotter too. Brown hair the same color as mine at the top, but halfway down starts turning blonde, until the bottom half from her chest to below a large rack is almost white. Nose ring in a small nose. Plump lips coated in lipstick to make them look fuller. Tan skin. Tiny little body. Low cut shirt. Based on the amount of cleavage, definitely a pushup bra. Skin-tight jeans. Heels. Christ. She looks like one of those girls you see in a lingerie magazine. How old did they say she was again? My eyes return to hers. “Are you deaf or just slow, country boy?”

My cock jerks. Oh. She’s one of those—Grade A bitch. I straighten, sliding my phone into my jeans pocket despite it vibrating, suddenly much more interested. “Last I checked my hearing and brain worked just fine. Who are you? No one here will be needing your services. They’re all married.”

She walks forward and steps over the threshold, squaring toe to toe with me. She’s on the taller side, like her sister, but still shorter than me. She smirks, drawing my attention to her lips. “Oh yeah? What about you, country? You married?”

“Not interested,” I tell her, wishing like hell she didn’t smell so good.

Her smile grows. “Not interested, huh? That must be a flashlight in your pocket then.” 

I look down at the bulge sitting nice and fat to the left of my zipper. Goddammit. When I look back up, we’re so close our lips brush. She hasn’t moved back an inch. If anything, she stepped closer, as if anything with a pussy could intimidate me. “Don’t flatter yourself. Someone else did all the work before you got here.”

She turns her head just enough to bring her lips to my ear, and then her hand is placed against my torso. I don’t move a single muscle. “You can’t lie to a liar. No one here could handle me anyway. Be a gem and bring in my luggage, will ya. Thanks.”

And then she walks around me, her heels clanking against the floor as she puts a growing distance between us. Suddenly I’m staring at a large designer rolling suitcase and a matching carry-on. I shake my head as I walk outside and grab both, carrying them inside for the little bitch that can’t do it herself. I put them down inside the door and shut it. They’re heavier than they look. Fucking girls—they overpack for everything.

I fish my phone out of my pocket and search for the right contact, before holding it to my ear, letting it ring. “Hello.”

“Hell’s calling. Satan is missing one of his angels.”

“Shit! I was supposed to get her from the airport,” Presley says. “My mother is going to crawl up my ass. I forget everything lately. I’ll be there in thirty minutes. What has she done?”

The right side of my mouth pulls up. “Nothing, aside from giving me a strong urge to shut her up by shoving a dick in her mouth. I bet the brat isn’t so cocky choking on a cock.”

She sighs. “Please ignore whatever she said. She has issues. I’ll deal with her as soon as I get there. I’m sorry.”

“How old did you say she was?”

“Paxtyn just turned seventeen in September. She’s a junior in high school. Thrives on drama and is the vainest person I know. She’s the baby of the family—which makes her a bitch—and uses it against everyone. She’s been hell on heels since she turned thirteen. My parents don’t really know what to do with her. She’s a troublemaker; acts out a lot. I’ll try to keep her on a leash. She wanted to come out for my birthday. I couldn’t really tell her no. She’s my sister, and she has a few good moments. This is her first time to visit since I moved here.”

Paxtyn. My eyes lock on her out by the pool. What the hell has happened to the gene pool? Seventeen-year-olds did not used to look like that. They were still awkward and figuring shit out, like how to look hot. Problem is, her issues interest me, and I lack a certain moral compass the rest of the dicks in the house possess. “Where do you want her shit?”

“Uh, would you be okay with me putting an air mattress in the main space of the basement? If not, I can figure something else out.”

Keep your hands to your fucking self. “It’s your house. I’m just a guest.”

“No, that’s your space at night. If she doesn’t behave I’ll move her.” She removes her heels by the jacuzzi. I move a little to see better, just in time to watch her unbutton her jeans and work them down her legs, stepping out of them. Whatever that shit is she calls panties doesn’t even cover half her ass. God, what an ass that is. Her shirt follows, revealing a matching bra equally as slutty, making me hard again. Cock tease. Is that a belly ring? “Landon, are you there?”

“Sure thing. I’ll move it down there,” I say into the phone, still watching her adjust shit that doesn’t need to be adjusted, hanging up my phone and returning it to my pocket when she steps in the jacuzzi. 

I force my eyes away, quickly grabbing her luggage and carrying it toward the basement. It’s time to start drinking. The more I consume the easier I’ll pass out. I should probably jerk off in the shower before bed too. That way I won’t be tempted to leave my own fucking bed. It’s a fail proof plan. I’ve done it plenty of times before.  

AUTHOR NOTE: Please read books 6-8 prior to this title.

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Fate by forgiveness sneak peek!!

Chapter One

May . . .


My heart starts pounding when we all pull up at the house in Konnor's murdered out Tahoe. Sayler's white Lexus LC sits in its usual place beside my old school black Chevy Silverado—the same truck I drove in high school—telling me she's home.

Fucking rich kids. Back in high school I despised them. I hated their arrogance. The way they flaunted shit they didn't even pay for. They thought the world bowed at their feet because of how much money their parents had. They were all the fucking same—lame, predictable—and nine times out of ten, they treated people like shit that were less fortunate than them.

A deep rumble tumbles from my lips as I look out the dark, tinted window, elbow on the door, seeing my black truck in contrast to her white car. A person's ride says a lot about them, and it's ironic between the two that there is a dark and a light, just like us. A week gone. I've been wondering what the little brat has been up to. Her cryptic text messages are enough to make me crazy.

"Damn," Maddox says. "Is that blondie's car?"

My mouth tips under my index finger. Welcome to the fucking rich club, bro. Maddox was raised with a blue collar family too. He just had both parents instead of my one. But both of his parents worked their asses off. "That would be the princess' car," I say.

He nudges me, already laughing and trying to piss me off. I can tell. "Your piece of shit in the driveway is devaluing that big-ass house. Surprised the HOA hasn't had it towed."

"Well, yours is about to be next to it. As soon as it arrives."

"I'm not driving the same piece of shit from high school," he muses. "Real men work for their toys. My Ford Raptor will look a hell of a lot better than your metal junker."

I roll my eyes. He knows I don't give a shit. "I'm not paying a note either, dipshit. I'll keep my piece of shit and my money."

The SUV pulls inside of the garage, blacking us in as the door rolls down behind us. The click of the doors unlocking sounds inside of the vehicle, and Presley turns around from the front passenger seat, smiling just as big as she has been since she asked dumbass here to move in. "Sayler said your furniture and stuff is sitting in the middle of your rooms, waiting for both of you."

I open the door and hop out, hurrying to the back to grab my suitcase from the cargo area. "Can you grab mine?" Maddox calls out, digging around in the back for something.

I smirk, grabbing my bag and leaving his. "Mama ain't here to do it for you anymore, pretty boy. Get your own shit."

He scoffs, staring through the vehicle at me while he winds up his cell charger as Konnor and Presley clean out the garbage from the food bags and cups we got from a drive-thru once we left the airport. "I paid my parents rent, asshole. They pretty much lived at the camp. Don't act like I'm some worthless twenty-four-year-old that lived with my parents to make me look bad. And just because I own clothes with a little style and color doesn't make me a pretty boy. You don't have that many more tattoos than me."

I shrug, holding back the smile. He's not the only one that knows how to get under my skin. You learn a lot of shit about a person over time. Their strengths. Their weaknesses. What makes them paranoid and what builds their ego. "If you're not a pretty boy then why are you getting so offended?" I say, already making my way to the door.

I turn the knob and walk through, slamming the door behind me, not waiting for a response. There's someone I'd rather look at than him. Preferably naked with my cock somewhere inside her body. I leave my suitcase by the door until I can take it upstairs. There is no noise aside from the dryer running. "Sayler."

The house is vacated, and mostly dark, too, the only light coming from the sunlight filtering in through the large uncovered windows of the great room, but with the natural bamboo floors and the neutral paint colors, light is rarely needed here during the day.

I move farther inside, looking around. She hasn't answered my texts since before boarding back in Mississippi, but I'm discovering that's not all that uncommon where Sayler is concerned. She has a tendency to put her phone down and walk off, before getting distracted with something else.

I know she's here if her car is here, unless she's somewhere with that dick Nolan I'm not too fond of still. He thinks she belongs to him in ways, and I don't like it. I can see the possessiveness in his stance and stare every time we're all around each other, and though it may not be sexually, it's enough to piss me off.

Maybe she's in her room. It's a big enough house that despite it having another floor overhead, you'd never hear what was going on up there. I pass through the kitchen on my way to the staircase, spotting her smartphone laying on the massive, white island next to a bottle of tequila and margarita mix. I scan the area, taking in the blender pitcher in the sink, filled with water and suds to soak.

She's drinking alone?

Traipsing through the house, I make it to the stairs, taking them two by two until I'm standing at her cracked door on the second floor. "Sayler," I call, pushing it open. Everything is immaculate, like it always is, not a single item out of place. She's not in here.

Out of curiosity I walk next door to my room and open the closed door. My bed is put together, but everything else sits scattered. Taped up cardboard boxes sit in no particular order along every wall, black words written on the outside with permanent marker, revealing what items are inside. My guitars are laying on top of the sheetless mattress. And my desk and dresser were just shoved against the first wall the movers came to, sitting side by side. I'll have to go buy a TV later. I sold the one I had in the living room of my apartment forever ago for drug money. Abby wasn't attached to it. She liked to read. Rarely turned that thing on. That's why we didn't have one in the bedroom.

Sayler hasn't been in here. I half expected it to be put together, honestly—clothes in the dresser and hung in the closet. She's bitched about my folded clothes against the wall one too many times. Even offered to go buy me a dresser. I wouldn't let her. Sayler likes to clean. She likes organized perfection. No mess. No clutter. Everything has a place. It's the first thing I picked up on once we all moved in here. I'm a little more organized chaos. I've gotten so used to just living out of a suitcase it's weird to see my furniture again.

Then it dawns on me. Where the hell is she? "Goddamn! That's blondie?" Maddox says, making my blood run cold. My feet take off, my hand gripping the frame of the door to keep me upright as I swing around it into the hall. I trek down the stairs, following his voice.

"Um," Presley says. "I forgot to warn you."

Warn you? What the hell?

I storm through the great room toward them, every muscle in my body tense. They're all standing next to the wall of windows that leads out to the pool. The entire wall is made of sliding glass doors that make it an indoor-outdoor space. Konnor looks at me as I approach, all of them shoulder to shoulder, my eyes hard on Maddox. Fucker better shut up. He knows when his jokes go too far. "Don't do anything stupid," Konnor says. "You know pissing her off doesn't work."


Presley's head falls back. "Why don't you just go unpack and let me wake her. I was supposed to text her when we left the airport. I forgot."

"I totally get it," Maddox says, pulling my eyes back to him. I'm about to break his nose. "Bitch is hot. That body . . . I'd be a little pissy too if I were you."

And then I think about what it takes to piss Maddox off in terms of a girl. He's as possessive as me, if not worse. It has to be a southern boy thing. And I remember how Sayler is. "Move outta my fuckin' way."

He slides to the side, almost in a dance. He knows. The fucker knows what he's doing. I look out the glass, and the urge to tear something apart overwhelms me. I'm gonna kill her. Or fuck her to death one. Whichever comes first. I can't move. I'm rooted to my place. Everything is tinted red from the palms moving with the light breeze to the sky I know should be blue. "Scatter."

Footsteps pad across the floor, fading with every second, but a hand squeezes my shoulder. "Possession is the key to everything," Maddox whispers, before walking away, but I can't even think I'm so mad. Abby wouldn't have been caught dead like that.

I slide open the door and walk outside, rounding the pool in the direction of her lounger, and stop next to her, crossing my arms at my chest as I take her in. The tip of my boot hits the empty margarita glass sitting on the cement, shoving it over an inch, under her chair.

I throw a leg over the lounger, a boot on each side, creating a wall between her and anyone stupid enough to still be watching. My dick is a solid rod of steel, barely masked by my jeans. Her white-blonde hair is pulled into a messy fold on top of her head, springs fanning out like some pieces are shorter than the rest of her hair.

Her face is clean of makeup, except maybe a little mascara, only noticeable because her eyes are closed. Her full, pouty lips have a waxy coating on them, like she's wearing chapstick, and her head is rolled to the side enough to show she has wireless ear buds in her ears. I glance around, wondering what they're connected to if her phone is inside, then I spot an iPad right under her chair, out of direct sunlight.

Her birth mark is showing, making me want to flick my tongue over it like I always do. The oil coating her bare skin makes her entire body glossy. My mouth waters, imagining my tongue looping around her pink nipple, perfect in size. With every breath her tits move, teasing me. And that tiny scrap of fabric that only covers her mound before it goes to nothing but strings has my heart racing. What the fuck kind of swimsuit bottoms are those? They leave not a damn thing to the imagination.

I exhale. God, she's beautiful. I'm mesmerized by her. I don't understand it. And I think that's what pisses me off the most. She's terrorizing my mind. Wrecking my world. Making everything in this god-forsaken world seem so trivial. With every day that passes it's hard to remember my life before the three of them barged in. I can't see past these people anymore. The drug cravings are still there, but they're a hell of a lot less potent.

And, I shouldn't be a dick to her. Especially when the little bratty rich bitch looks like an angel when she's sleeping. So peaceful. She didn't know another man was going to be drooling over her bare tits. I highly doubt she planned to fall asleep when she took her top off. And the entire backside of the property is fenced off for privacy.

But, I've gone a week without her pussy and I'm on edge. And I don't like her rack on display—the most perfect set of natural tits I've seen to date. Just over a handful. Symmetrical. Perky. If you placed a pencil underneath them it wouldn't stick. Perfect ratio between breast volume and nipple size. It spikes this jealous side of me that is still so foreign. She brought that on herself. It's her fault I am this way.

The bigger of a dick I am the more of a little spoiled tyrant she becomes, and maybe, I even like it. Her tantrums send a rush of adrenaline straight for my groin. She fucks so good when she's angry. Maybe her little bratty behavior is what hooked me, or it could be that a princess like her should be with a handsome prince. Not the tattooed villain with anger issues and a grudge against the world.

We don't belong together any more than Abby and I belonged together, but maybe I like going after the ones out of my league. Whatever the reason is, it's still fun to dirty that little crown of hers. Just like Abby, she has so much power over me already, but it wouldn't benefit me to lay all my cards on the table, now would it?

I run my eyes down her body one more time, taking in the slight bend of one leg, turning her thigh upward, and making that foot perpendicular to her calf of the straight leg. I groan. I'm about to make her scream.

Leaning down, I pluck the AirPods from her ears and return to full height. She jerks upright, already fumbling for them, and her mouth comes crashing against my fly. "Princess, if you wanted to suck my dick why didn't you just say so?"

She rears back a little as she blinks to focus in front of her, and wipes at the corners of her mouth, checking for drool. Then she looks up, those bright blue eyes staring right at me. "Oh, please. You wish."

I tilt my head. "Scared you're gonna be shit at it?"

"Maybe I just don't want your dirty dick in the same place I shovel food."

Uh. God, girl, you make me so hard.

"What's fair is fair, princess. I lick all over that pretty little pussy of yours. You don't seem to have any problems with my dirty dick when it's making you come. Open up. It's time to pop that mouth cherry. Just lick it like a lollipop. I promise it won't take long to get to the center."

She scowls at me. "Eat shit. You're being extra dickish today. Find a whore back home?"

What would possibly compare?

My mouth tilts. "Wouldn't you like to know . . ."

She narrows her eyes and purses her bubbly lips. Knowing her dad is a plastic surgeon I'd think she had them filled, but knowing her, I know they're real. "Then maybe I invited a few guys over, played strip pool downstairs, and let them all run train on me in the bed you've been sleeping in."

My smirk disappears. I lean in and grip her chin, hard, holding her to me. She tries to pull away. I clamp tighter. "Only if you want to dig the grave the fucker will be buried in."

She smirks. "I take it you missed me then?"



Fuck. My cock is throbbing with blood. I need release. I growl out, just before capturing her lips with mine. She moans against them, already fisting my dick through my jeans. Both mouths open. Tongues touch. Flicking and swirling and swiping. My hand glides up her oily thigh. "I'm not leaving you next time. My dick was too lonely."

"Yes," she whispers. "I had to get myself off. It was no fun," she says in a pouty tone that I like way too damn much.

Fuck me. The tips of my fingers dig under the material at her bikini line, skimming the soft skin. "Did you pretend it was me touching you?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" she says, tossing my earlier phrase back. I pinch her lip, drawing a yelp out of her. "Yes," she says, changing her answer.

I slip a finger inside her wet heat. "Did it feel like this?"

Her head drops back and her legs spread on the lounger, giving me more room to pump in and out of her. Her nipples come to a point. "No. It's not enough."

I insert another finger, slowly working the two in and out. "Shit."

"Like this?"

"No. You're bigger. I had to make it feel like you."


I slide in a third. "How about now? Does this feel like me?"

She grinds against my hand. "Yes."

The crotch of my jeans is so tight. I want to feel her insides. My fingers are soaked. I pull out and run the tips of all three fingers up her slit, before massaging in circles over her clit. She lifts her pelvis off the chair, eyes closed, chasing her orgasm. And now the fun begins.

I stop and pull away, no longer touching her. She looks up at me as I stand, angry, not liking the teasing. Yeah, well, no guy likes a cock tease either. "Hey. What the hell? Why did you stop? I was about to come. Don't be an asshole. You started it."

"I don't like coming home with my friends and your tits being on display. Konnor is used to your lack of modesty. He can't see past Presley. Maddox is single. He thinks with his dick. His eyes control it. Now he's going to be up there on the third floor stroking his cock to your rack—my rack—because of you. He has that golden boy personality with a bad boy edge. Everyone likes him. If you so much as look at him the wrong way, let alone flirt, I will kill one of my best friends. Don't be that girl."

Her eyes round out, and then she looks down at her bare torso, her arm flying across her nipples. "Shit!"

She starts looking around. I pick up the crumbled fabric off the edge of the cement, not far from slipping into the pool, and hand it to her. She pulls it on, the ragged edge stopping at the top of her ribcage. It's a cut-up tee shirt. I shake my head, wanting to drive it against a brick wall. "What now? Sorry, okay. I fell asleep. Do you know how much tan lines suck when you're trying to wear cute tops?"

"Like that's any fucking better. I can still see your nipples."

She smiles. "They're just boobs. My God. My dad looks at boobs daily. Are you jealous someone might see?"

"Fuck yes. They are for me to suck and fuck and lick and pinch. Girls going to get boob jobs also don't have tits that look like yours."

She throws her leg over the chair and stands, her mouth open. "They wouldn't be hard if you'd stop talking like that!"

I drive my shoulder into her stomach and stand when she leans forward to get her iPad, her body now folded over me, my arm around her thighs. She pounds her fists into my back. "Put me down. I have to get my stuff."

"Later," I say, making my way back toward the house with her hanging over my shoulder. "You got me hard. You're going to take care of it."

"I'm not sucking your dick," she says. "I told you I don't do that."

I'm so hard it hurts. "Don't speak too soon, princess. Eventually, you're going to let me in that pretty little mouth of yours. In fact, I'm going to wait until you beg me for it."

"Never gonna happen," she retorts, making me smile.

We'll see.

The door slides open, Maddox standing out of the way, struggling not to look at her ass. I haul her inside, glancing at him, ignoring the smirk on his face. Sayler pushes against my back to elevate her body, and holds out her hand toward him. "Sayler. I'm assuming you're—"

"Doesn't matter," I tell her. "To you he's just the stranger on the third floor."

I continue toward the stairs, listening to Maddox laugh behind me. "Catnip," he shouts. I flip him off. A week is way too long, apparently. Time to catch up.

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Chasing Fate is LIVE!

Chasing Fate is LIVE!



Two and a half years later . . . 

I shade the last bubble on my Scantron and stand, before descending the row of steps with my backpack on my back and purse in hand, taking it to the professor's desk where I lay it on the existing pile. The only sounds are the footsteps of the occasional student exiting, pencils coloring on paper, and paper flipping on the test booklet.

Finals day—the day I look forward to all semester. It marks the end. It's a milestone for any college student to complete another credit, placing hours under your belt toward the bigger picture.

I push open the heavy wooden door and walk out into the hall. It's mostly empty compared to normal daily class change, students currently scattered and scarce according to how fast they finish testing. I stayed in the library half the night studying and went through two large iced coffees from the adjoining coffee shop just so I could fast track my way to summer. Caffeine shakes from my extra shot of espresso this morning is all worth it to know I'm leaving behind a still full auditorium of test takers.

Down two flights of stairs and a short hallway walk and I feel freedom as I exit the science building. The sun instantly heats my skin and the smell of surrounding food chains has my mouth already watering. I take the sidewalk in a hurry to get to my Jeep in sorority residential parking. Across campus walks are great for my ass but not great for a quick commute.

I've already loaded everything to head back home for a few weeks until my two summer classes begin. A full summer vacation would probably be nice, but I have too many classes to take before I can even apply to the Veterinarian program at State to take long breaks. I have no desire to be a professional student. The sooner I finish the better.

School all year round isn't as bad as it seems with all the breaks between semesters. And I'm constantly back and forth between home and here for it to really feel like I'm gone from either place too long. Dad needs me. I only stay on campus at all because the drive from home is too far for daily schedules, and with a large student body you don't always get the schedule you want, especially being a science major.

I pass one of the residential parking lots on my walk and stop when I notice a popped hood on a dated, blue, Chevy Silverado. Probably about ten years old if I had to guess. A guy is standing in front of the grill, hunched over, with his hands gripping the metal as if he's looking at the engine.

Nice ass.

Even better arms.

Is that a hint of a tricep tattoo peeking out from his shirtsleeve? Damn.

The brand name jeans and polo suggests he probably doesn't know shit about the mechanics of a truck. Not to mention his shoes don't appear to have a speck of dirt on them.

I sigh. So unfortunate.

Boys like that would have Daddy cursing in a heartbeat. I can hear the generation cut downs already. Shouldn't be driving if you can't fix it when it breaks, he would always say, because being stranded on the side of a road is no way to be. Luckily, I think of myself as a little less judgmental. Not everyone was raised with a do-it-yourself-er like me.

"Need some help?" I call out.

The second he turns around I'm regretting my words. Fisher Austin. Breyson's friend. If I were honest—probably one of the hottest guys I've ever seen if he didn't have his choice of sport standing in his way. First-string quarterback. Panty-snatchers those are. No thank you.

And oddly, he's nice to me when he really has no reason to be. My bitterness toward ball players affects my mood when in their presence. Without putting it mildly, I'm a bitch to him. I have to be. His interest in me has to end. There is nothing to fancy about me. Knowing he probably has girls all over him, I'm going to guess it's just a quest to get in my pants. Sadly for him, I have a type, and that type wears Wranglers, boots, and a cowboy hat.

He leans back against the front and crosses his arms over his chest, bringing my attention to the bulky muscles that become of them. I suppose it does make sense for a quarterback to have a strong throwing arm. "Am I suddenly good enough for the Karsyn Davies to look my way?" His lack of smile and hostile tone confirms it's not a joke, both catching me off guard and making me smile.

I roll my eyes. "Just looked like you were strugglin' a little bit. Thought I'd offer a hand."

"What does a girl know about fixing trucks?" His sarcasm hasn't softened in the least. I hold my jaw closed to contain the laugh inside. If only he knew. Part of owning a ranch is fixing everything that runs it. Most of the equipment has seen better days, trucks included. Countless nights I stood on a stepladder and held the light for Dad or Grandpa, because the days were too busy to stop and work on shit ninety percent of the time.

My eyes dramatically rake down his body. "Probably a hell of a lot more than you."

He narrows his eyes at me, clearly getting angrier with every cut to his precious ego. Good. If he can't stand me it'll be much less awkward when Breyson and Kinzleigh decide to make us both tag along. He steps to the side. "Well then, help yourself."

I step off the sidewalk and cross the small stretch of grass before walking onto the loose gravel, the lumpy rocks pushing against the thin sole of my leather flip flops. He watches me the entire way, his gaze searing into the side of my face. I drop my purse and backpack to the ground, before removing my ponytail holder from my wrist and pulling my blonde hair back, now sweating from the heat of the sun, even in the denim shorts and tee shirt I'm wearing.

"What's it doing?" I ask, peering over the front on my tiptoes, my short height making it difficult to see all the way back.

"Won't start. I thought that much was obvious."

I cut my eyes at him, my heart rate accelerating when I realize he's closer than he was; much too close for comfort, his face merely inches away as he moves in beside me, already bent forward with his forearms propped on the frame. Normally my height ends at the top end of his chest, but this way, we’re almost exactly eye-to-eye.

I can smell his cologne masking the air around us. It's an enticing fragrance. The fact that it makes it hard to think is pissing me off. His muscles are relaxed, but if I look real hard, it appears to be that he's hiding a smile. I don't draw attention to it. "Does it turn over at all?" I return with an agitated edge to my voice. "Or does it just make a clicking sound?"

He looks amused. I want to slap the smug look off his face. "Turns over. Just won't catch."

I grip his bicep in one hand and the frame in the other and place my foot on the lip of the bumper to hoist myself up. Dear lord, he's solid. I push him back. "Some room please."

I refocus and lean over into the truck, checking everything I know to check off hand. Belt seems to be intact. Could be the alternator not charging. "How old is the battery?"


I look back. "What?"

He quickly shoves his hands in his pockets and leans forward somewhat. He's not looking directly at me. "Replaced it over Christmas break."

I turn back to the truck. "Okay then." I check the battery cables to make sure they aren't loose. They aren't. Darn. The ash-like substance that rubs off on my fingers reminds me. "Hey, can you look in my backpack and hand me that Coke?"

Within seconds he's handing it to me. I twist off the cap and slowly drizzle it over the battery posts, letting the acid eat away at the green corrosion covering it and the connectors. When it fizzles out I pour a little more. "You got a pocket knife, spare key, something?"

"Hey, Fisher," a female voice follows behind. I glance over to a girl around my age standing in a school shirt and denim capris, her hair falling in long, brown iron made curls, her lips painted pink. Instead of a backpack she's carrying a single three-ring binder. She reminds me of . . .

"What's up?" he answers from behind the open driver's side door of his truck as I move my gaze to him. His key ring is in the hand on top of the doorframe, the other hidden. He's adjusting something—maybe pulling up his jeans. Our eyes lock. “Here,” he says, extending his keys.

"Need a ride? I just got done with my Algebra final. I'm done for the day," she says, reminding me that I'm standing on his truck with my ass in the air—not girly behavior in the least. And that's my cue to leave.

"Nah, I got it. Thanks, though."

"Oh, okay," she returns, still standing there, obviously in no hurry to leave.

I hop off the bumper and grab my stuff, pulling my backpack on. "Probably good, but if it still gives you problems scrape the connectors and posts. Likely just not getting a good connection," I say, quickly walking off toward the sidewalk.

Ten steps in and a large hand wraps around my upper arm, pulling me back. "Karsyn." I look down at it, trying not to linger too long on the one thing that turns me on—hands. A make or break for me. His strong grip and large size doesn't go unnoticed. I force the thought away, and then look back up at the person it belongs to. "Let me give you a ride."

She's still standing by his truck, waiting, and with one more glance her way too many memories come blazing forward, making it hard to breathe. I pull my arm from his grasp. "I can walk just fine. Your friend is waiting."

The confusion takes over with the dip of his brows. "She's just a cheerleader."

And with one simple phrase my feet quickly move forward before my emotions give me away, because with every inch I put between us, I lose it a little more. Hating him is so much easier than letting him in.

It's Friday!

Good morning! 

Hope all are doing well. Just wanted to let anyone reading know that I'm over halfway done with writing Chasing Fate! Maybe more, depending on length. I must say, I'm loving Karsyn and Fisher. I hope you do as well.

I have had the original cover redone, as well as all previous Fate books. Can't wait to get them up as I complete re-editing them. I've finished Lasting Fate but holding on the cover to do them all together, and currently am working on Accepted in my free time. It may take me a while, as it's actually quite a bit of work since it was my first book. If you have previously purchased the old editions, I'm allowing my readers the opportunity to get the new versions from me as they're available through my Facebook reader group. Join to find out how!