Renegade releases March 9th, 2017 on all platforms. This is an extended sneak peek of the first two chapters. Warning…these two are combustible from the word go!
This is a NSFW version, and you should probably read this at home.
Enjoy & preorder to make you sure you get it on release day!
“Ryan, I’m tellin’ you, I need my hair pulled, a red handprint across my ass, someone licking my nipples, a dick in my treasure cove. I need it all.”
Drunk. I am drunk. Like way past the legal limit – otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here spilling all my secrets to my baby brother’s best friend. The baby brother who had been totally unplanned by my parents. Ten years my junior, baby brother. He and Ryan are the same age; twenty-five to my thirty-five. Makes me feel so much older just thinking about it. Not only by age, but by life experience, too, although they’ve probably got me beat. They’re cops and have served overseas. Dear Lord, I think I sound like Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women. I’m three sheets to the wind, and nobody stopped me.
I see him try to suppress a grin as he brings his beer up to his lips, taking a nice long pull off the wide mouth. I am mesmerized by the way his muscles move when he swallows, pushing the liquid down his throat. No denying he’s all man now. None of his boyish shyness he always had with me is anywhere near us tonight. The palm of his hand completely covers the label, the one drink he takes drains half the bottle. For a second he focuses on my face, squinting as he watches me. “How many of those have you had?” He points the neck of his bottle to the wine glass in my hand.
His voice is as smooth as the red liquid I swirl in my glass. I tilt my head to the side, realizing the whole room goes right along with it. Counting back, I try to think how many I had before he took the seat next to mine, and I can’t remember. “Five or six?” I ask him, like he should know. “What’s it to you, Ren-e-gade,” I sound out his name by syllables. My words sound slightly slurred to my own ears. “Renegade,” I grin. “Anybody ever tell you, you little boys and your nicknames are cute? Just like playing cops and robbers…you with your Renegade, Trevor with his Tank,” I’m giggling for real now. “Pew, pew!” I fake shoot him with my finger gun, thinking how pissed off my brother would be if he were here right now. Not Ryan, though, he’s patient. God bless him.
“You think maybe it’s time you quit for the night?” He gently tries to take what I have left away from me.
His fingers are soft as they try to pry mine from around the stem, but I resist his attempts and pull it closer to my chest. The liquid sloshes and I inhale deeply, hoping not to lose any of it. I’m like a two-year-old with my blankie. This glass of wine is my security and at this moment I’ll protect it with everything I have. Once the security is gone, I’m left with nothing. I can’t be transparent tonight, I need something shielding me from my reality. I’m a woman on the prowl, and a woman on the prowl is confident.
“Quit?” I ask, running my tongue over my dry lips, trying to moisten them so I can form words more easily. “Quitting is not something I do. That’s what my ex-husband did. My mama did. That’s what my former boss did,” I shake my head and try to stand on four-inch stilettos. He reaches out and grabs my elbow, steadying me, being a rock when I haven’t had one in a very long time. “Whitney Trumbolt is not a fuckin’ quitter.” I hope my voice sounds strong, but I suspect I’m slurring.
I can see Ryan try again to keep the smile from his face. The corners of his lips twitch, and it pisses me off. Not because I’m mad, but because he thinks it’s funny. He thinks this is a joke, and it’s not. It’s my life. The life I’ve been trying so desperately to get out from under or save. I’m not sure which yet. All I know is I haven’t been living and I’m damn sick of the in-between.
“You think this is funny?” I take another drink from my wine glass. It’s a big one this time, I empty it. There’s not one drop left when I set it back down on the bar, slapping my lips together with a satisfied pop.
“No, Whit, I think you’re having a bad night.” His tone is one someone would use with a kindergartner, talking them down from a temper tantrum. It pisses me off too.
A bad night? Try a bad decade. If I could do anything, it would go back to the night I turned twenty-five and be the age that Ryan is again. I would do so many things different, I would change so much about the choices I made back then. “You know nothing about me, other than the fact that I’m Tank’s older sister.”
He grabs me by the wrist, locking his hand around the flesh. I feel his fingers lightly touch the skin and bone. It’s more of a caress than a warning. I never realized until this moment how much bigger he is than me. Never really paid any kind of attention to it – oh I’ve paid attention to him off and on through-out the years, but never like this.
Ryan “Renegade” Kepler rises to his full height, towering over me as I do my best to keep my footing and ignore the way my skin tingles where he grips my wrist. He leans in close – so close I can feel his breath on my skin.
“I know a lot of things about you that you don’t think I know.”
His voice is hard and soft at the same time. I close my eyes to savor it, to try and figure out how he’s able to do both. Maybe it’s my drunken mind, but he’s magic to me in this instant. The deep timbre rushes over me as I try to understand his words, but I’m having a hard time. This is the closest I’ve been to a man in a very long time. My body is at attention, as is my libido. I press my thighs together as I dig my heels in deeper, not because I don’t want him to move me, because I ache. It’s an ache that’s never been fulfilled, if I’m honest.
“I know that you love your mama’s fried chicken, your grandmother’s homemade mac and cheese, Alabama football, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. I know that you have a soft heart. Hallmark movies make you cry, you pick up strays on the side of the road, and you always buy that homeless man near the Starbucks a morning coffee,” he lulls me into a sense of security. Making me want to believe there is someone out there who listens when I talk, someone who looks at me and sees a brain behind my blonde hair.
I’m wrapped up in his voice, in the things he does know about me. Things I never knew he paid attention to. I’m swaying, but it’s because his voice is doing weird things to my equilibrium. His other hand cups my hip and I can feel the heat of his body through the material of my skirt. Our thighs burn as they’re pressed together where we stand.
“I know that your ex-husband was a piece of shit. I know that your ex-boss didn’t know what the hell to do with the creative genius that is your mind, and I know that your mama will never forgive you for giving up pageants, but she’ll never forgive herself for pushing you that damn hard,” he stops and pulls back, giving me his eyes and face to stare at.
Our eyes meet – his brown to my blue – and I realize with clarity that I’m breathing hard, hard enough that it feels as if I’ve run a marathon. The loss of his strong body against mine makes me want to cry. I want to grasp at his clothing, pull him back in, and let him heat up parts of me that have been cold for so long.
“You wanna know what else I know?” The question is asked in a way that says he’s not sure if he wants to answer. The way his face closes off and he withdraws slightly into himself make me think this is a secret he’s not shared with anyone. Tonight I want him to share it with me, I want to be the person who confides things to. He knows so much about me, I want to know everything about him too. There’s a string of awareness stretched between us, and it’s pulling me closer.
I’m captivated by the way the dim lights of the bar make his brown eyes darker, I’m enthralled by the fact that it looks like it’s been a few days since he shaved, and I’m even more fascinated by the cut he has on his cheek. He and Tank went out on a call last night, and I can’t help but wonder if that cut is the result of a dangerous night doing a dangerous job.
I shake my head and then nod, because I’m conflicted in my drunkenness, but I do want to find out what else he knows. I step forward, put my arms around his neck, and lean up so that now I’m the one in his ear. The truth of the matter is I need to feel close to him, I want the heat back he’s taken away from me. I’m cold without it, and I’m sick to death of being cold. “Tell me what else you know.”
I see him look around the bar, checking to make sure that we’re not being paid any attention to. He bends with his knees and grips my ass cheeks in the palms of his hands, bringing us flush together so our bodies touch. “I know I’m the one who can put my dick in that treasure cove. I know I’m the one that can pull that hair, I can pull on those nipples, and I can smack that ass. The question is – will you let me?”
It’s not a question I can say no to. The way the air cackles between us, the alcohol I’ve consumed, and the sudden fascination I have with his heat. There’s not any way that I can say no nor is there any desire on my part to deny it. I’ve denied myself a lot of things in this life, and this right here, is not something that I want to brush off. This is God giving me what I want on a silver platter, a sacrificial offering for the shit I’ve gone through the past few years. This is my Cinderella moment and my SEC Championship all tied into one great big bow. Over six feet and two hundred pounds of bow. If I say no, Lord, never offer me anything else because I’m gonna be a nun for the rest of my life.
“You’re what?” He asks, a glimmer of surprise and playfulness in his eyes.
I said that out loud? Never mind, I can fix this.
“Yes,” I breath out, adding on a “please.”
“Oh baby, you don’t have to beg. I’ll do whatever you need me to,” Ryan says as I find my hand in his and stumble to keep up as he pulls us out of the bar. We pass people we’ve known our whole lives, clients I’ve helped to the altar, I’m pretty sure we just passed the Deacon of the church. No one stops us as we hit the front door. I gulp in the fresh air, sure as the world my senses are going to come to me.
Guess what? They don’t. I’m in for whatever this full-moon-lit night is going to bring us. Safe Whitney is not putting the brakes on a ride crazier than a lap at Talladega. No, Wild Whitney has taken her place. Funny how both are four letter words, yet they couldn’t be further apart.
In mere minutes I’m in his truck, and we’re headed towards my house. I will myself not to pass out, because for the first time in years, I want to be here and present for this experience that’s about to happen. I want to remember every damn detail. If it’s only going to be for this one night, I don’t want to miss a thing.
Fun fact: All of the material from my teenage spank bank is sitting in my truck next to me right now. Whitney Trumbolt (thank God she took back her maiden name) was the star of every fantasy I’d ever had when I’d been a young, horny, guy. Back then I’d been skinnier and much less confidence in myself, and if I’d ever been able to get inside her, I probably would have lasted all of three seconds.
Now, I go by the nickname Renegade and I’m a member of a specialized task force, along with my regular job as a cop here in Laurel Springs, Alabama. My job is sometimes dangerous and allows me to put my military training to good use. I get to use my hands, brain, and best of all, I get to arrest dumbasses that love to break the law. All in all – it’s a win, win. We’re not a large enough town to have to worry about crime, but Jesus do we have a booming illegal moonshine business. Even though it’s not illegal to make anymore, it’s sure as fuck illegal not to pay taxes on it and not keep it below the maximum alcoholic volume.
“You still live over here on Magnolia?” I ask. I want her to think I haven’t been keeping track of her, but the truth of the matter is – I have. The fact that Tank is my best friend lets me keep tabs without seeming like a fucking stalker. I simply like to know how she’s doing.
“Yup,” she giggles. “That’s the one thing the motherfucker didn’t get in the divorce.”
My eyebrows raise to my hairline as I hear the words coming out of her mouth. Wow, her tongue has loosened. Normally Whitney is the epitome of a true southern debutante. She wears her pearls, her blonde hair is curled just so, and you won’t catch her skirt over her knee or those words ever being spoken. Maybe I should get her drunk more often. So far it’s been a revelation. “We’ll be there in a few minutes.” I look over at her, realizing she’s leaning against the glass of the window. “Don’t pass out on me now.”
She doesn’t say anything and I wonder if maybe she’s rethought what she offered. Since we got into the truck, she hasn’t turned towards me, she hasn’t tried to touch me, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say she’s almost gone for the night. Part of me expects to hear soft snores coming from her side of the truck. Turning on my blinker, I pull into her drive and let it idle there for a few moments before turning it off. “If you’ve had second thoughts about this…” I start. I’m nothing if not a gentleman and truthfully, I don’t want there to be any weirdness between us. I spend holidays with the Trumbolts. Maybe time and a little bit of sobering up has changed her mind.
God I hope not. When I walked into the bar tonight, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Tank had a date, and I hadn’t wanted my own company, so I’d decided to go have a beer. Imagine my surprise when I walked in and saw Whitney holding court over almost every man there. I’d shot them all looks of death and then taken the seat next to her. When I realized exactly how drunk she was, I made it my mission to find out what the hell was going on.
I steel myself against the realization that this is probably going to backfire in a big way. Allowing myself to glance over at her, I’m surprised as hell when she meets my eyes, offers me a saucy smile and lifts her hips off the leather of the seat. My dick, which has been a good guy throughout all the talk of treasure coves and nipple play, makes itself known at that moment as it punches against the denim encasing it. I reach down and palm the hardness laying beneath the hard ridge of my jeans, hoping to find a more comfortable position for it to lay. When you’re faced with your teenage dreams coming true, you man up and do whatever it takes to make them happen.
“Change my mind?” I watch as she shimmies off her thong and tosses it at me. “Not a chance, Renegade. Tonight I’m gonna do things I’ve never done before.” She lifts her hands up like she did at the bar, making finger guns as she pew pew’s me again, laughing so hard she lets out an unladylike snort.
With that, she’s shrieking and jumping down from my truck, running into her house.
It takes me all of five seconds to follow her. When she playfully slams the door in my face, I wonder if she’s going to lock it, but I test the knob and find out that I can easily turn it. As soon as I enter the darkened house, I’m on high alert. This is what I do for a living, chase people. My hearing is exceptional, my night vision is incredible, and I can sense where someone is, usually within a few inches. This woman has nothing on me. Tilting my head to the side, I hear her, she’s breathing – not as hard as she will be later, if she lets me follow through, but it’s loud enough that I can hear it.
I turn my body to face hers, let my eyes adjust, and see her standing just inside the hallway with her back pressed tightly against the wall. It’s almost like she’s trying to blend in, but Whitney’s never been able to blend in. She’s always had a spark about her, always stood tall and beautiful in the face of any storm. Why she thinks she’ll be hiding in the dark right now is beyond me. Stalking over to her, I box her in by placing my hands on either side of her shoulders and lean forward so close that our lips are almost touching. I tilt my head sideways, almost capturing the kiss I want. We’re sharing breath we’re so close, but I don’t take it. I want the decision to be hers and hers alone.
“Last chance to back out. Otherwise, prepare to have everything you told me about in the bar come true,” I give her five seconds, because that’s all I can wait. It’s all I have the patience for. Teenage me is seeing every one of his wet dreams come true, while adult me is ready to show this woman what I have in my repertoire. “What’s it gonna be, Whit?”
His words taunt me, his body tempts me. There are so many voices telling me I shouldn’t want this, that this won’t end well, but fuck those voices. Those same voices told me that my marriage would last forever and that I’d be a mother by now. They told me that it was my responsibility to be a good wife. I was and the asshole ruined me – he completely broke my heart – and I’m doing everything I can to get a little piece of the old Whitney back. Is this my best idea ever? Probably not, but damnit, I want this, I need this.
Sober Whitney would be telling Ryan to take himself somewhere else, that he’s too young and I’m too damaged, but Doormat Whitney isn’t in charge right now. This Whitney wants everything she’s never had. She wants to experience all the things she’s heard about. Giving myself up for the night, is exactly what I want. It’s only one night…right? After this, I can go back to being the woman who makes dreams come true for everyone else. For one night, I can feel like a real woman. I can feel like someone who’s wanted instead of someone that was thrown away and forgotten about.
My voice is breathless. “I don’t want to back out. I wanna know what you taste like, what you feel like, how your fingers grip me when you’re fucking me. Tonight, I want it all.”
Truthfully, I don’t even recognize my own voice, I don’t recognize the decisions I’m making. These are the desperate decisions of a woman who’s been pushed too far – a woman who’s been told too many times that she’s not worth it. I want to be worth it. I want to feel worthy, even if it’s only once.
“Relax,” he whispers as his hands come off the wall and bury themselves in my hair, making me glad I wore it down and loose tonight.
His fingertips massage my scalp in a motion that lulls me into a sense of security before he tugs slightly, tilting my head back so that I expose my neck to his lips. His mouth is hungry, his tongue wet as it laps at the skin there. I can feel the rasp of his five o’clock shadow, the sharpness of his teeth as he scores the flesh, and then the warmth of his tongue as he soothes the burn.
My arms go around him, holding onto his neck and pushing my fingers up into the short hair on his head, threading them through so I can hold him closer to me. I want him to inhale me, I want him to eat me up and not make any apologies about it. If there’s anything he could give me, it would be the wild rush into passion. I’ve never felt that before. I’ve never had one of those movie love scenes where the two people just can’t keep their hands off one another. I want that tonight, more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.
His hands move from my hair down my shoulders, grasping the edges of my collar. The plaid button-down I have on is only held together by snaps which easily release when he pulls roughly on the seams. Pushing the useless fabric from my body, he devours me. I can feel his gaze on me, but I’m not happy with that. I want to see it, the hunger, the way he looks upon me. Prying my eyes open, I take in the look on his face and hold it tightly. His face says it all; this is a man who enjoys what he’s looking at. His gaze is hot and hungry. It makes me self-conscious and it takes everything I have not to cover myself up. I’ve never felt this exposed before. While it’s frightening, it’s also a huge turn on, especially when I look down and see the hard-on tenting his jeans.
“I’m not young like you’re used to,” I make the excuse, diverting my gaze. So far he hasn’t given me any indication he’s not turned on by me, but some men can get it up no matter who they’re with. “But I work out four times a week,” because I have to, otherwise my anxiety ramps up too much and I can’t even live with myself.
His hands cup my hips, curling in at my waist, squeezing the firm skin before moving them up, towards the material that holds the heavy weight of my chest up. His hands don’t stop as he uses his fingers to push my flesh up over the lacy tops before he leans in and swipes the hard tips with the edge of his tongue. I slap my palms back against the wall, grasping for something to hold onto in order to anchor myself. If this were a movie, it would be Top Gun, you know that scene where all you see is tongue in the moonlight as a shadow? I always loved that damn movie, and I always envisioned having that very sex scene.
I want to believe it, because the way he says it, makes me want to. His voice is raw, the words raspy and gravelly as he breathes them out. They make me want to revel in them. If I were brave, I’d thrust my tits out, spread my legs a little, and welcome him into the cradle of them. Unfortunately, inviting him in here has taken up all my braveness tonight.
“I bet you say that to all the women,” I give him a shy smile, not fishing for a compliment. I’m not used to them, and I have no idea how to react to them. Something tells me that Ryan Kepler is a very generous lover with a totally silver tongue.
“No,” he shakes his head, face serious. “Normally, I just tell them to flip over, stick their ass up, and prepare to be fucked. You,” he stops, running his tongue along his bottom lip as he steps closer into my personal space. “For you I’ll make an exception.”
All of a sudden I’m scared to death, but this fear is something I’ll never run from.
Renegade is a full-length 75K+ novel and the first book in the Moonshine Task Force Series
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