Are you ready for... The Traitor?
In celebration of the release of The Traitor: An Underground Bad Boys Romance, I’m offering you an exclusive snippet that can’t be found anywhere else but my blog.
Knox wiped his hands and rolled his shoulders trying to get rid of the stiffness in them. It was late, the shop had been closed for at least two hours now, but he was determined to finish what he’d started. That old truck had seen better days, and the thickness of the rust underneath it made replacing any of the parts challenging. Only sheer force and determination made it possible to complete the work. It would be drivable for a short time and the only guarantee was it would come back in for more repairs sooner rather than later.
Turning off the lights in the shop, he returned to his office to write up the invoice and put it in the system so Georgia wouldn’t chew his head off tomorrow morning.
It had been a busy day, with everyone making sure their gear was ready for this new bout of snow coming their way. Tom and Marvin had been hopping around too as two snowplows came in for a quick checkup. The town was small, but they were prepared.
That was the reason he’d stayed late. All the smaller jobs had been pushed aside for the emergencies and as he didn’t know if they would be able to open the shop tomorrow, he preferred to get ahead.
Closing his computer, he removed his coveralls and threw them in the corner bin before sitting down again. It wasn’t as if he was in a hurry to get home. On the contrary. Even if it was comfortable, the cabin was utilitarian, and he’d never been a homebody. All his life he’d scurried around the streets, navigating the dark alleys, and dealing with the dangerous night after night. He was one of those creatures after all, born from survival and duplicity. No man would set foot on that road if not for money or power.
His skin felt too tight, and he knew it was all those unwanted feelings surging within him. It was the reason he’d turned his back on his old life and had relocated far away.
The wind whistled all around, announcing the storm was already on its way. He should get in his truck and go, but still he lingered, trying to delay the moment he would be snowed in.
The more he stalled, the more his body felt achy until he realized it was probably due to fantasizing about Josie.
Damn! He wasn’t a college boy infatuated with a girl. He had more gray in his hair than brown now, and enough scars on his skin to know better.
And it had been way too long since he’d fucked a woman. That too played with him and was probably why he reacted to Josie like he did. Not that the women of Landston weren’t interested. Even if he was blind, he would still be able to see the come-ons and flirtations from an array of lovely ladies. What stopped him from taking them up on their offers was always the same reason—Landston was a small community and he wouldn’t be able to discard and avoid his lovers as he usually did.
The thought of having a warm female body wrapped around him, moaning as he sank deep into a slick, quivering sheath made his cock throb painfully in his jeans. Knox only hesitated a second before unfastening his jeans and letting himself free. He fisted his dick, feeling the pulse under his palm.
It might have been something a teenager would do, but it felt good. The base of his spine tingled as he squeezed himself harder. He preferred lubricant rather than his own spit, as it made the sensation rougher, but he was focusing on the ending, not the process.
Closing his eyes, he conjured up images of the last few women he’d had sex with, gorgeous and dirty, exactly how he liked them, but it still felt like something was missing.
His mind went into overdrive, pulling up the weirdest, craziest, and filthiest things he’d ever done so his body could reach release, his hand grasping his cock, stroking with painful fury but still, his orgasm remained out of reach.
Jaw locked, his breath hissed through his grinding teeth as frustration started to take over. Commanding himself to relax once more, he decided to let his mind wander and it was easy to see what, or more accurately who, would fill his fantasy.
Josie’s image appeared in his mind, her pale face, her black hair billowing around her. He had never seen her naked, but he could certainly imagine the curves he’d drooled over when he’d noticed her walking around town. Just before winter had arrived, he’d seen her up close as she headed to work, a deep red sweater hugging her breasts, a pair of torn jeans defining her sinful ass. The fabric was worn and looked so soft, which made him think about her skin and how he would love to slip his palm between her thighs. He was certain they were warm and inviting and he imagined himself being cradled by hers as he plunged into her warm heat, his hand grabbing her thighs hard.
What sound would she make then? The image clear in his mind he saw the full glory of her naked body displayed in front of him as he fucked her hard. Josie would cup her breasts as she looked up at him, her eyes hooded with desire and impatience.
As soon as Knox envisioned her licking her crimson lips, his body came apart in the present. There was no time to cover himself or react, only to feel as he abandoned himself in pleasure. His body shook, blinded by light for an incredible instant, one that passed way too soon.
Breathing hard, his ears still ringing as his body trembled with the remnants of his explosion, he didn’t want to move or return to reality. Regretfully, it wasn’t an option. Letting go of his cock, he looked around at the mess he’d made and sighed. It wasn’t something he wanted Georgia to discover when she walked into his office the next morning, but he stayed on his chair for a moment longer in the cool air of the shop. It was one thing to fantasize about that woman, but another to have his mind filled with her. No way he would ever indulge with Josie. She was way too young for him, and he wasn’t a damn white knight. Not for anything long-term anyway. He was an old dog with no intention of learning new tricks.
Knox cleaned himself up and made sure there wasn’t anything on his desk or floor when he finally switched off the lights behind him. Bundled up, he opened the back door to be welcomed by a gust of wind and a flurry of snowflakes.
Cursing, he started to clear his truck, hoping the roads were still good up to his cabin. It wasn’t far, but it could be a difficult drive in these conditions.
As he made his way out of town, there were still a few vehicles out and about and the snow wasn’t too thick on the ground yet. It was the visibility that was the trickiest. Driving slowly, he was glad he could still see the pavement in some places and his headlights still pierced the white curtain enough to discern the side of the road.
He rolled his shoulders, his body still experiencing pleasant aftershocks but wanting more. His hands tightened on the steering wheel, not happy with the realization. Josie was turning into an obsession. Nothing good would come of it apart from blue balls, a sore arm, and shit loads of frustration.
Knox thought his heart would leap out of his chest as he swerved to avoid what looked like a deer on the side of the road. Distractions could lead to disaster around here and he’d been distracted with thoughts of Josie. Then he blinked and realized it wasn’t a deer. Pulling to a stop at the curb, he looked back and saw a figure walking down the road.
“Fucking shit!” Putting the hazard lights on, he jumped out of the truck and headed toward the figure, his temper flaring. “Do you have a death wish? Are you fucking mad? Walking alone on the side of the road in the dark, in the middle of a snowstorm no less, is suicide.”
The woman pushed back the hood of her brown coat and Knox felt like he’d been given an uppercut to the chin. Josie. His body reacted instantly and he should have known not to get close to her—not when he was still experiencing that pleasurable haze from his release.
Her black hair escaped her hood, and her cheeks and the tip of her nose were red as an apple from the cold wind. Her red lips made him think of Snow White. Georgia’s words rushed in as he remembered she was a victim of abuse, and he regretted coming on so strong with her. He might very well have scared the poor woman. Not giving her a chance to respond, his next words were more order than request. “Get in my truck and I’ll give you a lift.”
Something flashed over her face, but it was gone too quick for him to interpret. Instead, she lifted her head and shook it with a smile and continued to walk past him. “No, thank you, Mr. Knox.”
She knew his name? Then he remembered it was a small community so of course she would. So many thoughts scrambled in his head at the same time, Knox wasn’t certain which one to grasp. It was the wind that made him shake his head and realize he was standing almost in the middle of the deserted road in a snowstorm.
When he turned, she was still there, fighting against the elements to get home.
His first instinct was to grab her and throw her in his warm truck before driving to her place, but he suspected she wouldn’t take that well.
Getting back in the cab, he put the truck into drive and quickly closed the distance between them. He kept the hazards on and slowed his speed until he was keeping pace with her. His headlights shone through the falling snow, and he saw her turn her head and frown before looking ahead once more. It was a couple more miles until they reached her place and with a full gas tank and a stubbornness that could match any, he continued to keep pace with her. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but at least she would be visible and shielded by his vehicle.
It took longer than he expected for her to reach out. And if she’d been annoyed before, the lady was mad now. Josie knocked on the passenger window and he slowly lowered it. “What are you doing?”
The way she blinked, as if trying to comprehend his words was cute as hell. “Then go on.”
“That’s what I’m doing.” And still he continued at a snail’s pace beside her and left his window open.
He heard her grumble something but the wind made it impossible to understand. “If you have something to say, say it louder.”
“I think you’re a damn fool and you have a death wish.”
If she only knew. “I’m not the one that could easily be mistaken for a deer on the side of the road, that’s walking in the dark in the middle of a storm. The road is treacherous around here, with lots of bends. If you don’t get hit by a car, you could fall into that ditch and die from hypothermia.”
She stopped once more and looked at him as if he’d completely lost his mind. “Are you for real? You’re the one making it dangerous. I’m perfectly fine.”
She must have hit a patch of ice just then because she yelped and vanished in an instant.
Knox put the truck in park and leaped out, running around to her. She was on her back, her legs partly under the truck, and scrambling to get her footing. Knox offered his hand, but as he’d expected, she didn’t acknowledge his offer of help.
Ignoring her flailing arms, he grabbed her under the arms and put her up in front of the truck where the road was clear.
She dusted off the snow before turning to him. “What part of I don’t need your help do you not understand?”
He wanted to pull his hair at her stubbornness. “If you’d got in the car from the beginning, you’d already be home by now and off the damn road.”
Her mouth opened to answer, and he knew it was going to be a fiery reply when a car came around the curve. Unable to control the momentum of the car due to the snow, it was obvious the driver had lost control and was heading their way.
It was an instinctive reaction that caused him to grab Josie and jump into the ditch.
He had the good sense to roll in midair so he’d bear the brunt of their weight and the thick snow cushioned their fall. At the angle he was he couldn’t see much and wasn’t surprised hear the car driving away. Pushing himself up, he saw his truck was still in the same spot, and from the tire tracks, the car had barely avoided the truck before continuing down the road.
Only then did he turn to Josie, who looked like a snowman covered in a thick layer of snow, and a smile twitched his lips. “Are you okay?”
Her breathing was labored, but she nodded. “Thank you.”
Being so close, with his truck’s headlights reflecting on the snow, he saw her hazel eyes locked on his face.
There wasn’t much more to say. It had been a while since he’d felt an adrenaline rush like this, and it was difficult to let her go. When he did, he immediately felt the loss.
Wading through the snow, he finally reached the road and turned to help Josie out. This time, she didn’t refuse his hand.
“I’m not the kind of man to beg, but I really want to go home, and I won’t be able to rest if I know you’re still out here. Please, let me drive you home?”
She was clearly debating his offer, and Knox forced himself to stay silent, hoping that she wouldn’t decline him.
That single word helped loosen his jaw. He wanted to open the passenger door and play the gallant card, but his patience was wearing thin and he didn’t want her to misinterpret his actions and change her mind.
He removed as much snow as possible from his clothes before getting in the driver’s side, and Josie did the same. Once inside the cab, he closed the passenger window, blasted the heater, and put the truck into drive.
Josie stayed silent for the entire five-minute drive and Knox didn’t try to make conversation either. When he passed his driveway, he was glad to see it had been cleared although he suspected that during the course of the night enough snow would fall and it would need to be done once more. He slowed to check for the turn to Josie’s place when she told him he was there.
He looked around and didn’t see the opening for her driveway, so he stopped the truck. “Where do I turn?”
“You don’t. I’ll walk from here. Thanks for the ride, Mr. Knox. Goodnight.”
And before he could move, she was out the truck. As she rounded the front, she gave him a small wave and turned to wade through the snowbank. Only then did he realize her driveway probably hadn’t been cleared all winter, and despite the snow and wind, he could see the trail she’d made as she made her way to her home and back. On foot.
Only when she disappeared through the trees was he able to force himself to turn and head home, but he now had a new set of unanswered questions on top of those he’d already had. How could this woman go on like that? Working relentlessly, no car, no money, and a cabin lost in the woods? Even if he didn’t like the fact he was curious and was resisting the compulsion to find out more, he knew the fight might prove to be useless.
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