Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wicked White Chapter 1

First Chapter intro peek for Wicked White!

Chapter 1 

This place is a fucking circus. Sure, on the outside it may appear to be a well-oiled machine, but to someone who lives it every day, the music business is a crazy ride. My band is headlining Summerfest tonight. One of the biggest music festivals in America, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for eleven straight days. It’s pure insanity here. I sit on display like a monkey in a cage under a white-topped tent in the blazing ninety-degree weather while a line of fans as far as the eye can see wait to get my signature. I’ll give the fans one thing—they’re dedicated, because this heat is miserable. Jane Ann, my road manager, hovers behind me as the fans come through one by one to get their thirty seconds with me while I sign whatever crap they just bought from the merchandise booth with my band’s name on it, Wicked White. I hate it when she does that—monitors my behavior. It’s times like these when she’s a thorn in my side. If she wasn’t so damn good at her job, and the reason the band gained the notoriety it has, I’d tell her to take a hike. “Ohmygod! Ace, I love you,” the busty blond wearing a too-tight tank top squeals as she approaches my table. “Will you sign my chest?” I fight the urge hard to not roll my eyes at this chick. This is the part of my job that I absolutely loathe—signing another human being’s skin. Most of these women have no shame and will flop their tit out on a dime for the thrill of me touching it with a Sharpie. It kills me that I can’t refuse. Jane Ann has made it perfectly clear to me what my role is as a rock star—I’m to smile and sign whatever they ask me to. “Never refuse a fan. The media is everywhere. One negative video posted to the Internet can ruin your career and the brand we’ve worked so hard to create for Wicked White,” Jane Ann told me last time I complained. As much as it pains me, I smile at the blond and wave her in closer. “Sure, babe. Just point to the spot.” The woman giggles and her friends shove her forward, almost daring her to approach me. She grabs the front of her shirt and yanks one side down along with her bra, far enough that half of her nipple is exposed. She runs a finger slowly over the mounded flesh and licks her lips. “Right here.” I know it’s an act of seduction, and on most men I’m sure this would get the girl noticed, possibly gaining her backstage entrance from a horny motherfucker looking to score with a groupie. That shit don’t work on me, though. I want a nice girl. Someone who I could take home to a mother—if I had one. The groupie sighs happily as I etch my name with a black Sharpie across her warm skin. It’s completely illegible, but that’s irrelevant considering she’ll more than likely sweat it off before the day’s end. The rest of her friends, following suit, have me sign their bodies in different places as well. “After these three, wrap it up. We’ve got to get Ace backstage,” Jane Ann tells the guy in the yellow security shirt standing next to my table. Great. Nothing like pissing off a couple hundred fans after they stood in line for an hour to meet me. Jane Ann needs to implement the ticket idea that I suggested earlier this year, but I know she’ll never do it. Limiting tickets limits merch sales, and there’s no way she won’t squeeze out every penny that she can, so that’s out. After I finish with the last woman, the guard says, “All right, folks, Ace has to go.” A collective sound of boos flows through the air as I stand and turn away from the table. Jane Ann waits for me with her flaming red hair tossed casually over her shoulder. The bright red leather pants she’s wearing are about two sizes too small, and the low-cut blouse shows entirely too much skin, but that’s her normal, everyday gear. She threads her arm through mine and stares up at me with her blue eyes as she leads me out of the tent toward the backstage area. “The women are really starting to take notice of you, Ace. You’re well on your way to becoming a true sex symbol. Soon Ace White will be a household name.” I shake my head, not caring a bit if the world knows the stage name the record label gave me. “I could give a shit about that. You know all I care about is the music. Speaking of . . . did you tell the label I plan on writing the songs for the next record?” She sighs and rolls her eyes. “I did, Ace, but you know how the bigwigs are. They want to make sure the songs appeal to the mass market, so they want to bring in the same producers you worked with on the last album. Johnny Moses has some terrific songs picked out that really fit your voice.” I pull back, halting her in place. “Hold up. You’ve heard the writer’s demos already and didn’t send them to me?” “You’ve just been so busy making appearances that I figured you wouldn’t have time and would be happy with what I chose. Don’t you trust my judgment anymore?” She raises a perfectly manicured eyebrow. “Remember, it was me helping you change your style that took you to this new platform. This is the level we’ve been dying to get to.” I shake my head, my dark hair falling into my eyes. “My music would’ve eventually gotten me there.” She pats my chest as a look of pity crosses her face. “Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, but we both know it was me and the choices I made for you that pushed you to this level, not those sad little acoustic songs you sang to bar crowds of twenty people. This is the big leagues, kid. You’d do best not to throw a fit over something as simple as a song choice. You need to give the fans what they’ve grown to expect from you. They’re what bring in the money. Trust me.” This should shock me, her treating me like a puppet on the string that she controls, but it doesn’t. It’s true that over the last two years since she discovered me, Jane Ann has morphed me into a million-dollar singer. Fronting a band that Mopar Records created should’ve been a dream job, but it’s not. I don’t get to sing any of the music that I enjoy singing—and writing? Forget it. The label won’t trust me with creative liberties one bit. That’s what pisses me off the most. I’m an artist. I don’t want to keep recreating someone else’s vision for my entire career. I want to be free to express myself and control my own success or failure by allowing the fans to hear my original songs, not ones I’m forced to sing. But it’s been made very clear to me by Jane Ann time and time again that if I want to continue to have label backing, I have to play what they give me until the record label says otherwise. I know she’s patronizing me, but if I don’t want to lose everything I’ve worked for, I have to go along. For now. “All right, but can I at least listen to the new songs I’ll be recording?” I ask, completely deflated. A satisfied smile pours over her face. She’s clearly delighted I’m giving in. “Of course, darling. After tonight’s show I’ll play them for you.” Once upon a time I believed this woman was actually my friend. But that was before the piles of cash were rolling in and I became her primary source of income. She told me our friendship didn’t have anything to do with money. Having friends has never been one of my strong suits in my last twenty-six years, so I desperately wanted to believe that Jane Ann was someone I could actually trust. She seemed genuinely to have my best interests at heart regarding my music career when I first met her, but now I’m not so sure that she does. It was lonely growing up as a foster child, bouncing from place to place—never really having a steady home. I never had time to make friends, not real ones anyway. That’s what led me to music. It was the one constant in my life. The one thing no one could ever take away from me. I spent most of my youth alone in my room, learning to play every instrument known to man. Focusing on something other than the fact that my real mother didn’t want me anymore seemed to keep me out of trouble. I walk next to Jane Ann as we wind our way through the maze of roadies and stagehands working to get everything ready for Wicked White’s set. “Are the rest of the guys here?” “Yes. Already warmed up and ready. They were waiting until you were done with your autograph session to go over tonight’s set list with you.” “Good,” I say. “I hate when they’re late and we have to go round them up.” “I’ve spoken with them about their tardiness and explained just because they were the best the studio could find for the job doesn’t mean they aren’t replaceable. Everyone is replaceable.” Even me is what I’m dying to say, but know that she’d just laugh and yet deny it. Jane Ann is a label talent scout but has put that position on hold to be my tour manager since this is my first major tour and I have issues with trusting random strangers. Jane Ann also gets a percentage of all my money like an agent would. Last year alone Wicked White grossed over six million dollars from the tour, not counting any of the money made on music downloads and miscellaneous shit that got sold with the band name on it. Wicked White is not a real band, but a product. The cell in my back pocket buzzes with the alert of an incoming call, so I grab it and check the screen. The name that flashes isn’t one that I’ve seen in a long time, but it’s always nice to hear from the one person that I actually care about. I pull away from Jane Ann. “Excuse me. I have to take this.” After I take a couple steps, I press the green button. “Hey, Mom. How are you?” “Ace Johnson?” The deep voice on the other end is one that I don’t recognize. It puzzles me how this strange man knows my real name, and why is he calling from my foster mother’s home number? “Yes. Do I know you?” “No. I’m afraid not. I’m Officer Butler with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, and I’m afraid that I have some upsetting news. Ms. Sarah Johnson was found in her home unresponsive moments ago. She’s been transferred to Grant Medical Center in critical condition. As you’re listed as her son in her address book, we thought you would like to be notified.” His tone is very businesslike as he rattles off the specifics on where the hospital is located, but I’m barely registering what he’s saying. I swallow hard as I’m faced with the hard reality that the one person in the world that gives a shit about me may not make it. I need to be with her. I have to get there. Now. “Thank you, Officer. I’m on my way.” When I end the call, I stuff my phone into my back pocket and turn to find Jane Ann staring at me with narrowed eyes. “Where exactly are you on your way to?” I square my shoulders. I know she’s not going to like what I have to say, but it doesn’t matter. Not Jane Ann, or anyone else for that matter, is going to stand in my way of getting to Mom. “My mother is sick. She needs me.” I turn in the opposite direction of the stage, but Jane Ann is quick to follow on my heels. “You can’t leave now!” “Watch me,” I say. “Ace, wait!” Jane Ann grabs my arm and jumps in front of me to halt me from going any farther. “Let’s think reasonably. You’re on tour. There are fifteen thousand people out in that crowd tonight that have paid their hard-earned money to see you. Just go out and do the show, then we’ll talk about you driving to Ohio tonight. You can’t make the fans suffer. It will kill your career if you stand them up.” I pinch the bridge of my nose. A huge part of me wants to tell her to fuck off and just go, but there’s a part that hates the idea of losing my career. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I’m at, so I’m torn. After a few moments of debate, I sigh, deciding that I can just jet after our set. “Fine. Let’s get this show on the road.” Jane Ann smiles, her white teeth sparkling, when she’s figured out that she’s gotten her way. “You’re making the right decision, Ace.” Anger boils within me that I’m stuck here, unable to leave like I want for fear of what I’d lose. Jane Ann hooks her arm through mine and leads me toward the stage again. Once we make it to where the rest of the guys in my band are standing around waiting to take the stage, they all glance up in my direction. The guys have on their standard 100 percent white stage attire, a corny gimmick Jane Ann thought would be good as our signature look on stage. JJ’s blue eyes meet mine, and then he quickly glances in the opposite direction. He always looks pissed off. The dark hair and tan complexion he has just increase his menacing appearance. JJ Kraft, known as JJ White to the world—another ridiculous demand by the label for us to all use White as our last names on stage—is the lead guitarist for Wicked White, but that job isn’t the one he really wants. It’s been difficult becoming a cohesive unit with the guys in the band, namely because we never knew each other before the label slapped us all together and told us if we wanted a deal, we needed to get along and be professional. Money and fame are two things that are difficult for any band to struggle with once they come their way, but it’s even harder when you have no personal connection with one another. JJ has always had his eye on my job. He wants to be the front man so bad he can taste it, and I guess having to follow my lead is enough to set him off every damn day. It’s like he’s just biding his time, waiting for me to screw up so he can jump in and take my spot. “I’m glad all you guys are here on time,” Jane Ann addresses the band as we stand in a circle. “I see my little warning of imposing fines for tardiness has made a difference.” “Not all of us have you as our personal fucking wristwatch,” Tyler, our drummer, answers snidely, a piece of his dirty-blond hair falling into his eyes. “Why don’t the rest of us get the same coddling that Ace gets? You always take it easy on him.” Luke, our redheaded bass player, laughs beside him, obviously in total agreement that I’m babied. I could try to defend myself—tell these guys to fuck off because I don’t get any special treatment, but I can’t. I know I get treated differently. Time and time again when I ask Jane Ann to stop making a fuss over just me all the time, she tells me that I’m the true talent of this band—the rest of the guys are a dime a dozen. But me, I’m the star—the one people pay good money to see. “So what’s our set list like for tonight, Your Highness?” JJ asks mockingly. My nostrils flare as I attempt to rein in my already boiling anger. “Same set as last night, but we’ll be canceling the next couple our shows on the tour.” “What?!” Jane Ann and JJ ask in unison. I flinch, completely flustered as to why Jane Ann acts like this is news to her. We just talked about me leaving a few minutes ago, so this shouldn’t shock her. Now JJ, on the other hand, I knew he’d be pissed. If we don’t play the dates booked, we don’t get paid. “What the fuck do you mean we’re canceling?” Luke asks, his fiery tone matching the color of his hair. “We’ve booked enough dates to be set for a long time. We can’t go canceling shit now.” “Look, guys, I’m sorry, but my mother is sick—” “That’s horseshit. You don’t even have a mother. You were a fucking orphan.” “Shut your damn mouth before I shut it for you,” I fire back. JJ takes a step closer to me. “That sounds like a threat.” “You bet your ass it was.” My pulse races under my skin as JJ and I stand almost toe to toe while we stare each other down. I’ve got him by at least two inches with my six-foot frame, but he’s got about sixty pounds on me. He’s a gym rat where I pride myself on speed and agility with running. I don’t like to fight. It goes against the mellow life I want to lead, but I’m not afraid to defend myself or anyone else that may need my help. Jane Ann wedges her small body between us when she sees that neither of us plans on backing down anytime soon. “Both of you knock this shit off right now. I won’t tolerate physical violence of any kind. This isn’t going to happen if you want to stay on Mopar’s payroll.” JJ takes a step back and raises his hands in surrender. “Fine. Just keep Boy Wonder here out of my face.” I tense and begin to lunge forward, but Jane Ann’s hand on my chest stops me. “Cool it, Ace. This is neither the time nor place.” She turns to the rest of the guys. “You three, go wait side stage.” I take a deep breath and blow it out through pursed lips as the guys walk away from me. Never did I imagine a music career being this full of utter bullshit. Not only do I constantly have Jane Ann up my ass about doing what’s best for Wicked White, but the label and the band love to jump on me every chance they get. I fucking hate it. I wish I’d never signed that deal. I wish I still played to small crowds and lived in the land of obscurity. Jane Ann whips her head back in my direction. “What in the hell were you thinking telling them you’re canceling shows? You don’t have that kind of authority.” “But you just said that I could go after the show tonight,” I argue. “Why wouldn’t I tell them I’ll be gone for a couple days?” She shakes her head. “I never said that you could go. Do you know how much money we’ll lose if you don’t show up at those next two shows? You aren’t going anywhere.” I open my mouth to protest, but Jane Ann begins shoving me in the direction of the stage the moment Wicked White’s name is announced. “Now get out there.” Flabbergasted and almost in a dreamlike state, I allow her to keep pushing me until I’ve got one foot on the stage. Tyler, Luke, and JJ begin playing the first song in our set list, and I stare at Jane Ann. This woman isn’t my friend. I turn and take in the faces of each of my bandmates one by one. None of them are my friends. They could give a shit less about me. I just told them my mother is sick and they all blow me off like my feelings don’t matter. I thread my fingers into my bronze hair as it hits me hard. I hate these people just as much as they hate me, and I can’t be around them for one more second. I don’t care what I’m losing. It’s nothing compared to my sanity and the self-worth I’ll lose by sticking around and continuing to be used. To make sure they get my message above the deafening music that’s playing around the outdoor stage, I raise both of my hands to the guys and flip them the middle finger before I storm off stage.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Naughty King is Live!!

The King Always Gets His Way.
Women, business, pleasure: When I want it, I get it.
I’m never denied.
Including her. 
I will break her.
I will show her who the king of this city really is.
The Feisty Princess of Manhattan will learn I am not a man that can be tempted.
No matter how d@mn bad I want her in my bed.
What Reviewers are saying:
"OH MAH GAWD! This book was HOT. It has all of my favorite things rolled up in one perfect package." --Heather, A Book Whores Obsession
"Naughty King was freaking awesome, really freaking hot, and fanfreakingtastic. I'm freaking out here, can you tell?" --Jen, The Book Avenue
"I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes away. This is the most hilarious book I have read probably in 2015. I literally almost peed my pants." --Sammies' Book Blog
"Wow, I LOVED this one!!! This was my first time reading anything from Michelle A. Valentine, and I’m not sure why seeing as she’s been a huge hit with a lot of my Goodread friends, which is why I jumped at the chance to read Naughty King." -- Cathy, Forever Reading Book Blog
"If you do not add this one to your TBR list, then you are going to miss one h*ll of a good book." -- Hooker Heels Book Blog
Book one in a three part erotic romance series from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Michelle A. Valentine (Rock the Heart, Phenomenal X, Wicked White, Demon at My Door).
Naughty King (A Sexy Manhattan Fairytale: Part One)
Feisty Princess (A Sexy Manhattan Fairytale: Part Two) -- Coming Soon
Dirty Royals (A Sexy Manhattan Fairytale: Part Three) -- Coming Soon

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Naughty King: Chapter One

I STARE DOWN AT THE woman on her knees in front of me. Her eager hands work quickly to undo my belt then they move on to my zipper.
She tosses her blonde hair back and grins. “I’m gonna suck your cock so good, baby, you’ll be begging for more.”
I thread my fingers through her mass of curls and fist them, forcing her to look up at me. “Coming in your mouth has a two hundred dollar price tag. You’ll do the job I paid for, and then you’ll get the fuck out. I’ll want nothing more to do with you after that. Understand?”
She narrows her brown eyes at me. At first, I think this one might actually have a little backbone to her, and may just tell me to go to hell like I deserve, but she doesn’t. They never do. Instead, she gets right to work rubbing my semi-hard cock through my boxer-briefs.
The only thing women see when they are in my presence is money—I’m surrounded by it. They see the material shit I have and their eyes light up like they’ve just found their golden fucking goose.
It’s been both a curse and a blessing since I was twenty years old and inherited my father’s billions. Every single woman I’ve ever been with has convinced herself that she’d be the one to tame me. That her magical pussy would make me fall madly in love with her—that I’d marry her and sign over half of my fortune.
Not fucking likely.
I know this looks bad. Most people would be both disgusted and curious as to why a devastatingly handsome, shrewd, successful businessman like myself would stoop to hiring a hooker. Truth is? It’s fucking convenient. I send a text, and I get whatever I’m in the mood for. No questions asked.
That’s why for the past few months I’ve relied on paying for escorts from a discreet service. It’s less hassle than trying to find a slutty socialite to bang. I did that for two years straight, and it created more work for me than the lay was worth because I had to deal with kicking their annoying asses out the next day.
That shit gets exhausting.
The blonde reaches down inside my shorts and then shoves them down, resting the waistband under my ball sack. There’s a wicked gleam in her eyes as she licks her lips and then pops my head into her mouth.
Now we’re fucking getting somewhere.
The bitch goes to work licking, sucking, and deep-throating my cock. Her saliva coats my shaft, and I lean my head back against the leather couch in my office as I finally start enjoying what I’ve paid for.
There’s nothing like a blowjob to start my day off right.
The handle on my office door moves, and my head snaps up just in time to make direct eye contact with my new secretary, Margo, as she steps into my office, unannounced, closing the door behind her. She’s been doing that for the past two days. This girl needs to fucking learn how to knock before she comes waltzing in here. I’m about to teach her that lesson right now.
I fully expect my mousy new employee’s cheeks to flush as she rushes from my office, but she surprises me as she stands there, only allowing her mouth to fall open as she takes in the sight of the woman pleasing me.
The blonde attempts to stop, but I’m enjoying making Margo uncomfortable, so I place my hand on the back of her head and order, “Don’t you dare fucking stop.”
Margo gasps, raising a well-manicured hand to her pouty lips while her blue eyes widen behind her dark-rimmed glasses.
It takes her a minute, but when she turns to leave, I have a different idea in mind. “Margo, if you walk out of that door, you’re fired.”
She halts mid-step at my domineering command. She needs this job. She and I both know it.
Margo smoothes back her black hair which is still perfectly in place in her uptight bun, and slowly turns back around to face me. “Why do you want me in here?”
I give her my cockiest shit-eatin’ grin. “Because I want to stare at you while I come in this bitch’s mouth.”
She shakes her head. “This is absolutely insane. I’m not going—”
“You will stay,” I order again. “Because if you don’t, I’ll make a phone call to Daddy and tell him that our little deal is off. Your call, princess.”
She folds her arms over her chest, and I raise my eyebrow in challenge to her. That bitch honestly thinks she’s better than I am. She’s so uptight and highfalutin. Ever since she walked in here two days ago, I’ve wanted nothing more than to break her. I’ve been thinking of creative ways to show Margo that I run shit around here, and that the only reason I’ve even allowed her to have a job in my office is because her father begged me. Part of the deal to buy out his company included that she’d have a secure job.
Margo needs to know that I’m her new daddy. She’s no longer the princess of a million-dollar empire because as soon as I ink this deal to bail her father out, I’ll own her, just like I’ll own her family’s business.
I lick my lips while I wait on Margo to make her move. Her eyes flit down to my mouth and then down to the blonde who is now gagging herself to please me.
I lift my hips off the couch as I hold the blonde’s head in place and fuck her mouth while Margo watches me.
Margo’s chest heaves and my eyes are drawn to the tops of her tits mounding out of the top of her blouse.
I quickly close my eyes because I don’t want to think about Margo’s tits, but for some strange reason, I can’t stop. Suddenly, it isn’t some random prostitute sucking me off. It’s uptight Margo in her naughty wannabe schoolteacher outfit.
I slide my teeth along my bottom lip then bite down as I suck in a quick breath. My eyes snap open, making direct eye contact with Margo as I come hard, shooting my load down the blonde’s throat as my employee watches with a scowl on her face.
A shudder rips through me as I bask in the afterglow of one fine orgasm. I smile as the blonde unwraps her mouth from my cock and licks the tip of my dick to make sure she swallows down every last bit of come.
Margo continues to shoot daggers at me. This is all kinds of wrong and a fucking sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen, but I honestly don’t give a shit.
All I care about is making sure my point is crystal clear with my new bitch of an employee—she is here to serve me. Not the other way around.
I sit up, stuffing my cock back inside my underwear before zipping my pants up. “Margo, pay the lady.”
Margo’s plump lip curls in what I’m sure is an expression of thorough disgust. “Pay for your own fucking whores.”
Her words shock me at first, but then I find myself highly amused. I burst out in a deep laugh, which only makes Margo’s face even redder before I fish my wallet from my back pocket. I lay two hundred-dollar bills on my knee for the hooker while never taking my eyes from my heated secretary. “You’re free to leave now.”
Relief floods Margo’s face as she turns, but I stop her. “Not you, Margo. I was talking to my . . . guest here.”
The hooker stuffs the money down in her bra and then winks. “You tasted yummy. Request me anytime.”
Margo rolls her eyes behind the woman and shakes her head, but I simply nod at the woman. “What was your name again?”
“Candy.” She grins.
“Of course it is,” Margo scoffs.
I push myself up from the couch and button my jacket, putting myself back together. “Sorry, Candy. I never request the same girl twice. More than once and you bitches get clingy and forget I hired you just to get me off, not to talk. Matter of fact—” I glance down at my watch. “—it’s time for you to get the fuck out. I’ve got a meeting to prepare for.”
Candy’s nostrils flare. “You can’t treat people like this.”
“Of course, I can. I’m Alexander King, and I can do whatever the fuck I please. Now leave before I call security and have you forcibly removed from the property.”
“Asshole,” Candy calls over her shoulder as she leaves without another word of protest.
You would think being called that would cause me to flinch, but no, I revel in the name. I like that women hate the way I treat them. It ensures they keep their distance.
The door slams and Margo points her gaze in my direction. “I assume you’re done with me now that the show’s over?”
Since we’re alone, I take my time to rake my eyes over Margo. She still appears angry enough to chop my dick off.
I want her to hate me.
I want to make it clear that we are not friends.
“Margo . . .” I can’t help smirking as I adjust the cuff of my jacket. “I’m just getting started with you.”
She arches a perfectly manicured eyebrow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I laugh. “You seem like a bright girl—I mean, not just anyone earns two degrees from Harvard. You know that sooner or later you’ll be on your knees before me.”
She laughs bitterly. “You can’t be serious. I would never be one of your two-dollar whores.”
I take a step toward her, reducing the gap between us to mere inches. She’s close enough that I can feel her breath coming out in warm little puffs. “Don’t pretend like that didn’t turn you on. I saw you watching—waiting your turn like a good girl. Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance someday.”
“Fuck you,” she spats.
“Not yet, but you will.” I trace the exposed flesh on her chest with the tip of my finger. “You’ll beg me for it. You’ll beg me to fuck you, hoping that it’ll be you who changes my asshole ways and makes me fall in love.” She opens her mouth to protest, but I press my finger to her lips, cutting her off. “You will. I have that effect on women, but you’re smart enough to know that if you do that—if you let me have you—you’ll quit when you don’t get your way like the spoiled little brat your father has raised. And we both know that you quitting will piss off Daddy, don’t we?”
“I needed a secure job that will pay the bills after my family goes bankrupt. You know that. It’s part of the deal with my father,” she argues, but I’m not stupid enough to buy into that.
“Don’t lie to me,” I scold her roughly, and she stiffens. “We’re both highly intelligent human beings so let’s not play dumb. You’re here to spy on me—to figure out a way to stop me from buying your father’s company for pennies and then sell off everything he’s worked for piece by fucking piece, in turn making me an even richer man.”
She lifts her chin. “You’re a bastard, you know that?”
I shrug. “Maybe so, but I’m honest and just to show you that infiltrating my business doesn’t scare me one damn bit, I’m going to allow you to stay. But know this: I’m going to make your life a living hell while you’re here. I’ll have you dying to fuck my brains out or needing to walk away before you kill me with your own bare hands. Either way—you’re fucked.”
Margo takes a deep breath and closes her eyes, giving me a chance to study her features. She wears the dark hair on her head pulled back, but I imagine that when she lets it down, it hangs in long loose waves around her shoulders. When she opens her eyes and gazes up at me, I notice the blue of her eyes standing out against the contrast of her dark hair, and it hits me—I bet she’d be an amazing lay.
She licks her lips, not in a way that’s meant to be sexy but in the way people do when they’re nervous, and my eyes are instantly drawn to her mouth.
Dammit all to hell. This would be so much easier if she was ugly—to humiliate her by playing with her emotions and knowing there’d be no way in hell I would actually fuck her except out of spite. The problem is that’s not the case. She’s exactly my favorite type of woman to fuck: beautiful and bitchy. When I take her, I can’t allow myself to enjoy it. I won’t give her that satisfaction.
Margo stares at me for a long moment, and just when I think she’s about to lay into me again, she twists her hand around my tie, yanking me closer. Without warning her tongue darts out and touches my top lip, causing a tiny shudder to tear through me before she pulls back with a sly smile on her face. “That’s where you’re wrong, Mr. King. That prediction implies that I would actually fall for your juvenile antics of seduction.” Her hand presses against my chest and then moves down to my stomach, drifting even farther south. “Those boyish tricks would never work on me. I’m a woman who always gets what she wants.” I let out a low grunt of half pain and half excitement as she grabs my semi-hard cock through my slacks. Stilling her hand on my cock, she leans into my ear and whispers, “When I want it.” The urge to throw her onto my desk and fuck her senseless surges through me. Never has a woman asserted herself with me, and as much as I fucking hate to admit it, I’m totally turned on by it.
Margo kisses my cheek before she pulls back and releases a hearty laugh. “Who’s fucked now?”
Angry that I allowed myself to be distracted for one moment, I shove her away a little rougher than I mean to. “Get the fuck out. We’re done here.”
Margo laughs as she takes a step back toward the door. “Oh, Mr. King, that’s where you’re wrong again. We both know this little game of ours has only just begun.”
“I said we’re fucking done with this conversation.” I glare at her.
“As you wish.” She smirks and actually fucking curtsies before heading out my door, invoking my hatred even more.
The moment the door closes, I plop down in my chair and loosen my tie. How in the holy hell did that just happen?
My nostrils flare and I take a deep breath, trying to maintain my composure and not throw something. The one thing I fucking hate is to be shown up. I’m always the winner—number one at all times. She will not take control of this situation.
No fucking way.
I won’t allow that to happen. Ever.
If Margo Buchanan wants a fucking war with me then, a war is what she’s going to fucking get.

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iBooks: Still Pending

Monday, March 2, 2015

Black Falcon Box Set! Limited Time Only!

Black Falcon: Complete Series Collection is now LIVE on all sites except iBooks (Still waiting on that one). Get this Box Set now for only 99 pennies for a very LIMITED time.
Includes New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Books: Rock the Beginning, Rock the Heart, Rock the Band, Rock My Bed, Rock My World, Rock the Beat, Rock My Body, Two Bonus Scenes, Playlists and Character Bios

Google Books: http://goo.gl/F6smF8

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Naughty King Teaser Compilation!

Are you ready to meet the Naughtiest man in Manhattan?? 

Add Naughty King to your Goodreads HERE!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Resurrection Vengeance Free Read!

Find this book on Wattpad! Read along as I write the story and post it for you to read free!


Waking up fifty years after fleeing a horrible prom date is the least of Sydney Archer’s problems. Through a scientific breakthrough made by her baby brother turned world-renowned scientist, Sydney has been brought back to life with the help of alien DNA. Now, not only is her
sexy alien donor linked to her for life, but she also discovers she’s only half-human. 

Ozu Qeth Haddoxian was one alien secret the government intended to keep hidden from society forever. Haddox has a different idea, and he’s willing to exchange his own secrets for sweet freedom. But once he allows the scientist to reincarnate Sydney using his DNA, he realizes their destiny is set, irrevocably intertwined. And no amount of fighting his attraction to Sydney will change that. 

Now, the government has captured Sydney’s brother, leaving her with nobody but Haddox. As the only living aliens on Earth, they’re extremely valuable, and there are people who would love to unlock all of Haddox’s secrets. Sydney refuses to allow them to catch her. After all, how many times can a girl be reincarnated? To survive, she must learn to master her new-found alien abilities to outrun people who want her dead. With Haddox by her side, she just might be able to save her new species...but only if she ignores the undeniable magnetism drawing her to him because, if Haddox is to be believed, a relationship between them might just off them both.

ROCK THE BEGININING (Black Falcon Prequel) Full Story

Rock the Beginning (Black Falcon Prequel to Rock the Heart)

Chapter 1
Freshman year…

So this is it? Freshman year. I stand in the pristine hallway of Cedar Creek High School next to my best friend Cassandra Lutz as we survey the same faces we see year after year. Nothing in this town ever changes. I was hoping that I would be wowed in high school—dramatically swept off my feet on my first day by a dashing upper-classmen—living the dream of going to the prom as a freshman. Well, at least it’s a big dream of mine.  
But sadly, I’m disappointed yet again.
I sigh heavily and lean my back against the red locker and squeeze my books tighter against my chest. I can’t wait to get out of here and run off to a big city where I can make something of myself. I’ve always thought a job in advertising sounded fun. Maybe I’ll try that someday.
“Just once I’d love to have some fresh meat in this place,” Cassandra says pulling her brown hair into a loose bun on the top of her head. “I hate knowing everything about these guys. There’s no mystery. None of them do anything surprising.”
I nod in total agreement. “Where are all the guys I read about in books—the ones that know exactly what to say? The first day of school is practically over and nothing remotely exciting has happened yet.”
The moment the words leave my mouth, a crash against the lockers a few feet to my right draws my attention. I suddenly feel the urge to take back the last thing I said. This is not exactly the kind of excitement I was hoping for.
All the kids in the hallway stop dead in their tracks in unison and stare at the scene playing out before us like a bad teen sitcom. Roger Robertson, the guy we all know as the school bully, grips Wendell McFarland, a kid in my grade, by the collar of his shirt. Roger’s large arms twist as he repositions his wrists in order to get a better grip, while he wears a sickening smile on his red, pimple-covered face. Roger isn’t the kind of guy you want to mess with. His temper is about as red-hot as the flaming color of his hair and we all know he’s been held back to the freshman level three times now. If Roger walks down the hallway, you get out of his way or duck for cover. His reputation of assholism precedes him.
I instantly feel sorry for Wendell. His tiny, pencil-like frame is no match for the likes of Roger. “Give it up, you fucking pussy.” I flinch as Roger yanks Wendell forward and slams him back even harder. “Don’t make me tell you again. I know your parents are loaded. Cough up the dough.”
Wendell gasps for air as Roger shoves his knuckles into his throat. “I don’t have any money.”
Another slam and Wendell’s glasses slip down the bridge of his nose. “Cough it up you little shit stain.”
My mouth gapes open and my eyes grow wide. It’s painfully hard to watch. Someone has to stop this.
I glance around. Several of my classmates stand frozen. No one is making a move to stop this outright appalling display of human behavior. This makes me sick. What’s wrong with these people? A desperate need to make this stop fills me.
Before I even realize what I’m doing I take a couple quick steps and open my mouth. “Stop it! Leave him alone!”
It’s like a movie when a hush falls over the crowd. I know this isn’t the smartest move, but I just can’t stand by and do nothing to stop this. And, okay, I know the odds of me being able to stop Roger physically are about as good as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, but I can’t idly sit by. I wasn’t raised that way.
Cassandra grabs my arm and whispers harshly, “Are you crazy, Lanine? What are you doing?”
I pull my arm from her grip and frown as I take in the fear from her brown eyes. I straighten my stance. I have to appear brave. “Someone has to stop this, Cass.”
Roger’s gaze darts from me to Wendell. His eyes are so brown they almost appear black and the pure venom in them causes my legs to shake. A deep laugh bursts out of his mouth and holds me in place. “What do we have here? Is this your little girlfriend, four-eyes? Is she here to save you?”
“N—no,” Wendell stutters.
No one should be able to get away with treating people like this. “Stop it, Roger!”
Roger flings his gaze at me. “Or what, Shirley Temple? You going to make me?”
I stare down at the pink sun-dress I’m wearing. While very cute for my first day of school, it doesn’t exactly scream badass, but this guy doesn’t know what I’m capable of, so I can’t let him rattle my nerves. “I might. Now, leave him alone.”
Roger sneers while opening his large hands and makes a show of letting Wendell go. As soon as Wendell is free, he takes off running without looking back to make sure I’m not the one getting pounded now.
Thanks for the back-up, Wendell.
The bully turns to me and taps his lip. “Happy now, Shirley? I let him go, but it seems we have a small problem now.”
I lift my chin as Roger stalks towards me with slow steps like a tiger stalking his prey. “What’s that?”
“Someone is going to have to pay me. You see, I need money for a new tire and since you chased my little buddy off who was about to pay for it, I guess that leaves you.” He grins at me in a way a serial killer would right before he murders his victim.
I grip my books tighter and my hands turn clammy. If he comes at me this Geometry book is going to make one hell of a weapon. “Fat chance. I’m not giving you any money.”
He shakes his head as he steps in front of me. “That’s where you’re wrong. Guy, girl…doesn’t matter to me. I’ll still beat you into submission in order to get what I need, and what I need from you is money. You’re going to get that for me. A nice girl like you seems good for it.”
I narrow my eyes. “No, I’m not.”
Roger slaps the books from my hands and leans into me like he’s about to attack, but a voice stops him. “Listen, bitch—”
“Pick those up.” My neighbor and childhood friend, Noel Falcon pushes his way through the crowd. Once he’s through, he narrows his eyes at Roger, daring him to cross him. “Pick those up, or I swear to God you’ll pay.”
The guy in front of me takes a step back and smirks as Noel steps between us, using his body to shield me from Roger. At first I’m scared for Noel’s safety, but I quickly notice he’s nearly an even match for the guy that’s much older than him.
When did he get so tall and buff?
I guess I never noticed Noel’s muscles before. The way they stretch his black t-shirt and how board his shoulders have actually gotten has somehow slipped past me all summer long. Granted, I haven’t seen him as much as I normally do over the summer. Noel magically became busy every time I asked him to come over and go fishing off the dock behind my house like we always did, which was…strange considering we use to spend all of our time together.
His hair grew too. The shaggy hair he sported last school year as he got into rock music would probably touch his shoulders now if he didn’t have it pulled back into a low-set ponytail. I admit, he’s looking pretty good.   
Roger straightens his shoulders and rocks his neck like a trained fighter before he sets his eyes on Noel. “You’ll walk away if you know what’s good for you. This is between me and Shirley here.”
Noels fingers fold into fists at his side. “I think you got that backwards, fucker. It’s you that needs to beat it.  No one messes with Lane. No one.”
“Brave words. You’re going to wish you’d walked away when I gave you the chance after I beat your face in,” Roger sneers.
“I’ll never walk away from Lane. You fuck with her. You fuck with me.” There’s a growl in Noel’s voice I’ve never heard before. It’s low and threatening. I never knew Noel could be so scary or bad-ass or…hot.
Oh my God. What am I thinking? Noel isn’t hot. Noel is…Noel, my friend—best friend since kindergarten.
I can’t ponder on that last thought too long because Roger’s laugh pulls me out of that bubble. Without warning Roger draws his arm back, launching it full force towards Noel’s face. Two things happen so quick the scream building in my throat doesn’t have time to come out. The first is Noel dodges the blow with ease and blasts Roger in the face first while simultaneously pushing me out of harms way.
I fall to the floor in all the commotion just as Roger tackles Noel and they crash to the ground. At first it appears that Roger has the upper-hand until Noel uses some quick UFC style movements and turns the tables. Noel flips Roger onto his back and straddles him before gripping a handful of Roger’s shirt in his hand and blasts a right hook into the monster red-head’s face. 
My mouth gapes open as the boy I’ve known most of my life defends me like no one else ever has.
A hand grips my shoulder and pulls me up off the floor. “Jesus, Lanie. Are you all right?” Cass asks. “Thank God Noel showed up when he did.”
I’m about to agree with her just as the guys roll around in the hallway again and this time Roger’s in control. Hell. No.
This weird urge to protect Noel comes over me. I fling myself on Roger’s back without thinking ahead any further what I would do next. I wrap my arms around his neck and hold on tight. Not getting anywhere, I get desperate and grab a handful of red hair and yank as hard as I can. “Get off him!”
I ignore the distinct sound of tennis shoes scuffling on the tiled hallway as I tighten my grip on his hair. There’s no way I’m letting anyone hurt Noel.
I’m pulled back but I refuse to release my hold on Roger. “Young lady, let him go!”
My head snaps in the direction of lanky man with thinning brown hair I recognize as being my English teacher, Mr. Jones. Then it dawns on me. Oh crap! I’m in deep shit. Dad isn’t going to the let the fact that I’m involved in a fight on the first day of school go without some sort of punishment. There’s always the argument I was helping someone else that was getting bullied, even though that someone ran off and would probably be too scared to side with me against Roger. Surely one of these witnesses would attest to the fact this all began over Wendell and Roger isn’t the innocent victim here.
I loosen my white knuckles and Roger’s hair falls free from my hands. “Crazy bitch,” Roger mumbles under his breath. “Umph!”
I snicker as Noel brings his knee back down from Roger’s groin, shutting him up completely. Roger falls over cupping his crotch in the universal sign that a guy has been nailed in the balls.
Noel stands and kicks Roger in the stomach one time for good measure. “Don’t ever talk to her that way again.”
Mr. Jones sets me on my feet and turns to scolds the boys. “Knock it off and get to the principals office.” I turn to head in the opposite direction, thinking I’m in the clear because I’m a girl. “Not so fast. That means you too.”
I stop dead in my tracks and turn slowly on my heel.
Damn. Can’t blame me for trying.
Noel smoothes his hair back, tucking the loose strands of hair behind his ear. He touches his tongue to the corner of his mouth and I notice the small cut on his bottom lip.
I tilt my head as I examine the rest of his face. “Are you okay?”
He shakes his fingers like he’s trying to get rid of the pain from landing a couple punches to Roger’s thick skull. “I’ll be okay. What about you? I can’t believe you had that in you to attack a guy like that. I haven’t seen you go after someone since the third grade over a Barbie.”
I shrug. “I couldn’t let him hurt you.”
Noel’s eyes search my face and he swallows hard just as he takes a step towards me, nearly bumping his chest into mine. “I know exactly how you feel.”
 “Y—you do?” Where is all this nervous energy coming from? I’ve been in a closer proximity many times with Noel. Why does this time feel different—like all the air around us is charged?
“I said get to the office,” Mr. Jones raises his voice causing me to jump and Noel wraps his arms around me. “You two need to get to the office while I finish helping Roger up. Don’t make me tell you again.”
Noel salutes the teacher and I giggle at his new found attitude of anti-authority. I pull away from Noel and turn towards the office. His steps fall in-line with mine and he reaches down, threading his fingers through mine. 
He’s held my hand before, but never like this. This moment feels like the beginning of something beautiful.
Chapter 2
One Week Later…

The air is cool for a September night in Texas, but my entire body is warm and alive with excitement. Sure, I’ve snuck out of the house many nights before to meet Noel on this dock for a late night swim before, but this is different. Things have certainly changed quite a bit over the last week.
Somehow over the summer we’ve gone from best friends to more. We’ve never really discussed this new territory of hand holding and hugging that we’ve worked our way into or what it means for us exactly. Maybe the subject will come up tonight.
People at school aren’t surprised, I guess. Everyone knows Noel and I are close, so our new bouts of P.D.A don’t raise too many eyebrows.
Doesn’t mean we’re ready to make our parents aware that our long-time friendship has blossomed into more. They’d never let us be along together again.
I tip-toe down the hill to the dock behind my house and allow my eyes to adjust in the moonlight. At the end of the dock Noel leans against the wood railing of the dock with his arms crossed against his chest, waiting for me. I’m not sure what tonight will hold for us, I just know I can’t wait to see what unfolds.
A wide grin stretches across his face the moment our eyes meet. The features on his face are well defined like the new physic he acquired over the summer. His blue eyes shimmer with excitement the moment my feet hit the wood on the dock and my breath catches. Every time I see him now it’s like my heart skips a beat.
I bite my lip and shove my hair behind my ear as Noel reaches his hand out to me. I slide mine into it without hesitation and my stomach flips.
He pulls me into his side. “I wasn’t sure if you were coming.”
I tilt my head. “Of course I was. Have I ever stood you up on this dock before?”
He swallows hard and pinches a lock of my long, brown hair before twirling it around his finger. “No, but things are a little different now, aren’t they?”
I nod and notice my breathing picks up a notch. “About that…what are we doing?”
Noel’s hand trembles a little as he releases my hair and touches my cheek with his fingertips. “I think it’s pretty clear.”
I know exactly what he’s getting at, but I want to hear him say it. “You think so?”
He stands a little straighter and cups my face in his hands while staring into my eyes. “We’re falling in love and finally giving into what fate has planned for us.”
My heart thuds against my ribs. “Are you saying you love me?”
The grin on his face lights up my entire world. “You know I do. I think I’ve loved you since we were five. I’m just the idiot who didn’t realize how much in love I was until this summer when I found myself getting jealous over any guy I caught looking at you. The feeling that you’re meant to be mine won’t leave me, and I don’t know what to do about it or if you even feel the same way.”
“Is that why you stayed away all summer?” I ask.
“Yeah. I was hoping it would go away and we could stay friends, but all that went to hell that first day of school when I saw you and you needed me to help you. I knew then I could never be just your friend. I’m always going to want more with you. I feel like you’re my forever or something.”
Emotions from within me take over and tears well-up in my eyes. “It might’ve taken me a little longer to come to the same conclusion, but I feel exactly the same way.”
Noel’s thumbs trace over my cheeks. “I love you, Lane.”
I smile as a tear falls free from my eye. “I love you too.”
He leans in and presses his lips to mine. My eyes drift shut and I fall into his kiss—fall into him. This is everything I never knew I always wanted. His lips part and mine move in sync with his until he finally slips his tongue in my mouth. This isn’t my first kiss, but it is the first time I’ve ever felt something kissing a boy. It’s like tasting my future and I can picture my entire life in my mind—a life with Noel.
With more skill than I knew we both possessed, we slide down to the floor of the dock without breaking our kiss. I grip hands full of his shirt and he teases the skin on my back just under the hem of my blouse. This is moving entirely too fast, but I can’t find a logical reason in my brain to stop the madness. Being so close to Noel feels incredible and I don’t want it to end.
Noel lies back, pulling me on top of him, allowing me to feel the bulge in his jeans against my thigh.
I’m scared as hell, but the way his lips move against the soft skin on my neck makes it a little less intimidating. “We don’t have to go any further than you’re ready for, Lane.” He says—his breath hot and tempting on my flesh.
I press a feather-light kiss on his cheek. “I love you and I’m ready. We aren’t strangers, and I can’t think of one other person I would rather experience all my firsts with.”
Noel tucks my hair behind my ear. “I want to be your only.”
There’s no fighting against that. That kind of magical romance is something all girls dream about. I’m just lucky I’ve found my prince so soon.
“I want you to be my forever,” I tell him before he crushes his mouth to mine and we head into our forever.

Chapter 3
End of Junior Year…

The drums pound out the last few beats of the song and I grin as I look at my band mates. “Yeah! I think we finally nailed it!”
Sam, the drummer taps the high-hat with his drumstick. “Finally! It only took us fifteen tries. You have to stop being such a fucking perfectionist, Noel, or well never have enough of our own songs to make a demo. We can’t keep spending more than a month on one song.”
“We need to have our shit together because after graduation next year we need to get on the road and find paying gigs like we talked about,” I answer and then run my fingers down the thread of the guitar.
“We need to play more covers,” Leon says, scratching the back of his shaggy head. “That’s what people want to hear.”
I stare at the two other guys in the band dumfounded. Sam pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose and glances toward Leon as they wait on me to say something. Don’t they see that originality is everything in the music business? Labels want bands that are different. We have to stand out and be the best.
I shake my head and smooth my dark hair back into my pony tail. “We’re going to practice our own shit until our fingers bleed. We have to be on point if we want a record deal. Don’t you guys want that?”
Leon shrugs and sets his bass in its case. “We do, but we aren’t obsessed with it the way you are.”
I open my mouth to protest, but Sam cuts me off. “Leon and I have been talking.”
I narrow my eyes. “About what?”
Sam shoves his fingers through his bright-red hair. “We aren’t going with you after graduation.”
I shake my head. Unbelievable. These two jackasses are supposed to be my best friends—the guys who have the same goal as me. “We’ve talked about this!” I throw my head back and growl. “What the fuck, guys? I thought we were taking Thunder Dome on the road as soon as schools over?”
Leon sighs and his scrawny shoulders slump a bit. “I’m a senior, dude. My mom had me fill out some college applications, and I got into a few, some offered scholarships. I’m heading to Kentucky University next fall on nearly a full ride. I can’t pass that up.”
“Who gives a shit about college, man? We have a great thing going here with this band. We could really be something one day. Don’t you want that?” I argue. Why would anyone pass on the opportunity to become a rock star verses going to college. That’s so fucking lame.
“I know you don’t like it, Noel, but I’m applying to colleges as well. Music will always be there. You should think about going too, and once we get done with school, maybe we’ll try then.” I study the freckles on Sam’s face as he speaks and try not to completely lose my shit while he’s talking.
College will never be an option for me. Never. It takes me five times longer to read something than the rest of the kids in my L.D. class. Having Dyslexia hasn’t been a fucking picnic in high school. Things get so jumbled in my brain and I know there’s no way in hell I can make it through college courses.
I’m so glad Lane and I are on the same page about this.
“Whatever. You guys do whatever you feel like you have to do. I’m going on the road as planned as soon as we graduate next year. Lane will travel with me while I play solo shows until I find a band to hook up with.” Both guys look at each other with an expression on their face that almost looks like pity and it makes my blood boil. “You know what, fuck you guys!”
“Noel…” Sam tries to stop me as I unplug my guitar and flip it around to rest against my back. “Don’t be like that, man. We’re just trying to be honest with you. Do you know what the odds are of us actually making it in the music industry? Slim to none. I’m just trying to be realistic. We need to go to college. It’s the sensible thing to do.”
I throw my hands on my hips. “"You know what's sensible? Following your dream when you have the talent and the drive. I know I'm going to make it. It’s okay if you guys don’t believe in me. Lane does, and she’s the only person I need to believe in me.”
I turn to walk out of the Sam’s garage just as Leon says, “You don’t know Lanie as well as you think. Seems to me like you two have different ideas about the future.”
I whirl around. “What’s that suppose to mean? I know my girlfriend—better than she knows herself.”
Leon shrugs indifferently. “Maybe you do, but that doesn’t explain why she was in the guidance counselor’s office getting college applications today if she isn’t planning on going.”
I shake my head and storm out the door. “Whatever.”
I rub the back of my neck as I walk towards my black Chevelle and pull the strap from around my neck and lay the guitar along the backseat. Surely Lane would tell me if she had doubts about the plan we’ve had in place since we became official our freshman year. She wouldn’t just leave me hanging. We’re forever and there’s no way I can spend years without her on the road.
I slam the door once I’m inside and fire up the engine. It roars to life and the only thing on my mind is finding out if Leon’s claim has legs.
A few minutes later I park in Lane’s driveway. This place has been like a second home to me since I was a little kid. I love her parents as if they are my own—another reason why we are perfect for each other.
The white cape code with a red roof, shutters and door fits perfectly into the scenery next to Cedar Creek Lake. It looks happy, like Lane. I love living on the water, and someday when I’m a famous rock star I’m going to buy a place on a lake for Lane and I to live in and start a family. She’ll love that.
I knock on the door and step back as Lane’s dad opens the door. He grins the moment he see’s me. “Hi, Noel. How are you, son?”
I shove my hands in the pockets of my jeans. “I’m fine, Jim. Is Lane here?”
Jim scratches his dark bearded jaw-line and nods. “She’s down at the dock, fishing, I think. You’re welcome to grab a pole from the garage if you like.”
“Thanks. I think I’ll do that.”
Jim steps out of the house, closing the door behind him, and pulls out a set of keys from his pocket. “Let me unlock the man-door for you.”
I follow Jim inside the garage. It’s funny as a kid I thought he was a huge man, but now at seventeen my height nearly matches his six foot frame. Time really does change everything.
He hands me a black rod. “She should have bait down there.”
After I thank Lane’s dad, I make my way down the hill to the dock. There’s always a certain level of comfort that falls over me when I come out here. Most of the major events in my life have taken place on this very dock—bonding with Lane, telling her I loved her, and even our first time together has all happened out here. This is most definitely our spot.
I lay my pole down and sneak down to where Lane sits on the edge, dangling her feet over the end. I place my hands over her eyes. “Guess who?”
She grins. “Um, Ryan Reynolds.”
I laugh and kiss her cheek. “Fuck Ryan Reynolds. You’ve got Noel Falcon, and I’m much better.
“I don’t know…” she trails off in a sing-song voice.
“That’s it,” I growl and tackle her down to the dock and straddle her.
Lane squeals as I tickle her ribs and kiss her neck. “Stop! You’re going to make me pee.”
I laugh. “Never. Not until you tell me I’m the best.”
She tries to catch her breath. “A little conceited, aren’t we?”
“Only when it comes to you—I know I’m the best man for you.”
She adjusts her back against the wood and I smooth her hair back from her face. “You’ll get no argument from me.”
I grin and lean in and kiss her lips. “That’s good to know.”
As much as I want to take this to the next level I know I can’t. Her parents could be watching us out their back window and wouldn’t that be awkward for all of us. I pull back and push myself up so I can sit next to her.
After helping her back up to a sitting position, I grab my pole and begin to poke around in the tackle box to find some plastic bait.
“How was band practice?” Lane asks.
I stiffen a bit, knowing the fact that this conversation will probably lead to an argument, and I hate when we fight. “Not good. The guys are both punking-out on going on the road after graduation. Looks like it’ll just be me and you.” I cast my line into the water and I notice Lane fidgets a bit. The best thing to do is get things in the open. “Leon has this crazy idea that you don’t want to go either. He’s not right, is he?”
She doesn’t look at me as she cranks her reel. “I want to go with you. You know that. But, I think maybe going to college first is a pretty good idea.”
I roll my eyes. “Not you too. Come on, Lane. We’ve talked about this a million times. Don’t you want freedom? The chance to go on the open road together before we have to face all that grown-up shit, like bills that people always bitch about.”
Lane sighs. “It’s not that easy, Noel.”
“Yes it is, Lane. Do you want to be with me or not?”
Her head snaps in my direction. “Of course I do. Why would you even say something like that?”
“Because if you want to be with me, then we have to be together.”
“Then why don’t you enroll in a college with me.”
I shake my head. “You of all people know I can’t do that.”
“I’ll help you.” She places her hand on my thigh. “We can get through school together just like we do everything else.”
“Not college. I’m not cut out for it and I can’t go. Not even for you.” The moment the words leave my mouth I instantly regret them.
Lane’s face twists. “You’re an asshole.”
She shoves herself up from the dock and takes off, sprinting towards her house.
“Fuck,” I curse myself as I break into a full run to chase her down. She makes it half-way up the hill before I grab her from behind and spin her around in my arms. Her breaths are ragged and her olive skin flushes. “I’m an idiot. I’m sorry. You know I didn’t mean it the way it sounded.”
A tear streams down her cheek. “I don’t get you, Noel. Is music so important to you that’d you’d throw everything we have away to get it?”
I shake my head, but I know it would be a difficult choice. “No. You’re all that matters to me.”
“Then show me,” she whispers.
I wipe away her tears with my thumbs before I press my lips to hers. “I will.”

Chapter 4
One Year Later—Graduation Night…

There are at least ten parties going on tonight, and we’re going to make our rounds, but first, Lane wants me to meet her on the dock for a private celebration. I grin to myself knowing this will be the last night we have to hide in order to have sex. This time tomorrow Lane and I will be out on the open road, making our way with no solid plan, going in whatever direction the music takes us.
I know she has her doubts. She expresses them nearly everyday, but I know she doesn’t really mean them. Once I get her out on the road everything will be fine. I just have to prove it to her that I can make it as a musician. I want her to be proud of me.
She’s already waiting for me at the end of the dock. Her long brown hair falls in waves around her shoulders. The loose strands blow idly in the light breeze coming in off the lake. A tight jean skirt and cream color shirt accentuates the deep tan she’s already gotten even though it’s only the beginning of summer. My girl is so damn beautiful. I’m a very lucky guy.
Excitement overtakes me and I rush down and scoop her up in my arms, lifting her off the ground. “We did it, babe. Can you believe it?”
She laughs in my arms. “I’m so proud of you, Noel.”
I nuzzle my nose into her hair. “Not as proud as I am of you. You aced every single test they threw at you. You’re a fucking geniuses. When I become a famous rock star, I’ll pay for your tuition—anywhere you want to go.”
I cut her off, not allowing her a chance to argue with me. “Anywhere. I won’t take no for an answer.”
Lane frowns. “I can’t let you do that.”
I furrow my brow. “Of course you can. You’ll deserve it. It’ll make the little bit of struggle we have to go through at first totally worth it.”
“Noel—” I cut her off again while I go on about the fancy house and cars I’m going to buy her, and she pushes on my chest.
I frown and set her on her feet. “What’s wrong?”
Her delicate fingers rub her forehead before running through her hair. “I don’t know how to tell you this.”
I trail my hand up the bare skin on her arm and then stop when it reaches a strand of her hair. I wrap it around of my finger suddenly nervous about what she has to say. There’s a slight quiver in her voice, and that’s never a good sign. That only happens to her when she’s nervous, and there’s not one thing she should be nervous to tell me.
I lick my lips. “Whatever it is, just tell me. We’ll get through it together.”
Lane shakes her head. “This time we won’t.”
I take her face in my hands and force her to look into my eyes. “Lane, you’re not making any sense.”
She closes her eyes. “This is so hard.”
I feel her tense under my touch as a tear falls down her face and my heart falls to the pit of my stomach. Lane never cries and it’s something I can’t stand to see. “Please don’t cry. Baby, I’ll fix it. Whatever it is, I’ll fix it.”
She opens her green eyes and stares at me, her eyes searching my face for answers. “Don’t leave tomorrow.”
I flinch. “The way you just said that makes it sound like I’ll be leaving by my self.”
“You will be if you go,” she whispers.
I shake my head. “No. You promised you were going with me.”
“I can’t go with you, Noel.”
I drop my hands from her face. “What do you mean, you can’t? We talked about this since freshman year.”
“Exactly,” she cries. “We had no clue what we were talking about back then. Things change, Noel. I don’t know why this is such a huge shock to you. I’ve been telling you for the last year that I want to go to college.”
“I didn’t think you were serious. Damn, Lane. Why are you waiting until just now to tell me this? We had a plan.”
You had a plan. Not me. Not one time have you asked me what I wanted!”
I close my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose. “Yes I have.”
“No. No you haven’t. Have you heard anything I said about going to college and living in a dorm?”
“I heard you. I just didn’t think you were serious.” I sigh. “I can’t believe you’d pick going to college over being with me.”
“That’s the same way I feel every time you pick music over me.”
“I never pick music over you!”
“No? If I won’t go with you, are you going to go anyway?” she challenges.
“Yes! Because that’s been our plan,” I raise my voice, completely frustrated by this blindside. “Music is my fucking life. You know that. It’s all I have.”
“You had me.” Lane bites her plump, bottom lip as forces a cry back. “Then this is the end for us.”
My heart squeezes so hard in my chest that panic starts setting in. “Please, Lane. Don’t do this.”
She kisses my cheek. “Goodbye, Noel.”
My body turns completely numb as she turns and runs away from me. I should pull it together and go after her and force her to understand and try harder at convincing her to come with me, but I can’t move. The idea that Lanie Vance is no longer mine hits me hard and I drop to my knees, shaking uncontrollably. I grab my hair in my hands and allow myself to cry for the loss of the only girl I’ll ever really love.