Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward ~ Excerpt Reveal

 

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pwmackdaddybookcover5x8_bw_high-fixedFrom New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy.

I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

 

Author’s note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel.

 

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MACK DADDY EXCERPT

Copyright © 2016 by

Penelope Ward

 

 

It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.

Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.

A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”

I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.

“What are you doing here?”

He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.

He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”

“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”

“This is the right place for me tonight.”

“This meeting is for serious participants.”

“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”

“No.”

“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”

What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.

“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”

“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”

“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”

He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”

I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.

A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.

I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”

Mack raised his hand.

“Yes?” I asked.

“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”

“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”

“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”

I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.

“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”

“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”

An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.

He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”

“Thank you.”

Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”

Not a single person budged.

One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”

I’m sure you will.

Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.

 

 

 

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Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

 

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Married A Stripper by M.S. Parker & Cassie Wild ~ Promo

I should have known that going to Vegas with Astra would cause more problems than it solved, but I never imagined that her latest scheme would completely change my life.

Senator’s daughter, Piety Van Allen, wakes up in Las Vegas with no memory of the previous night’s escapes. Not only does she find a naked stranger in her bed, but when she learns that she’s now married to the handsome Australian stripper from Flames Down Under, panic erupts.

However, her best friend, Astra, comes up with a plan that could solve everything…or cause even more problems.

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M.S. Parker is a USA Today Bestselling author and the author of the Erotic Romance series, Club Privè and Chasing Perfection.

Living in Las Vegas, she enjoys sitting by the pool with her laptop writing on her next spicy romance.

Growing up all she wanted to be was a dancer, actor or author. So far only the latter has come true but M. S. Parker hasn’t retired her dancing shoes just yet. She is still waiting for the call for her to appear on Dancing With The Stars.

When M. S. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading- oops, scratch that! She is always writing.

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Mastering Her Sense by Laura Kaye ~ Chapter Reveal

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Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

 

 

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About MASTERING HER SENSES (Blasphemy #2, 2/21/17):

12 Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…

When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

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Dear Readers,

I’m having so much fun writing in the sexy, sensual world of Blasphemy that I couldn’t wait until release day to share a chapter from my next story in this series, Mastering Her Senses. Quinton is funny and sexy and smart as hell, but he also has that intense, dominant side that I just can’t get enough of! The Blasphemy series are stand-alone erotic romances all set in an exclusive play club located in the ruins of an abandoned church in downtown Baltimore. That means you can read them in any order and enjoy them all! Now, read on to meet the next Master of Blasphemy!

And don’t forget to preorder – now available everywhere!

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

 

MASTERING HER SENSES (A BLASPHEMY BOOK)

BY LAURA KAYE

CHAPTER ONE

Quinton Ross was in his happy place.

Standing behind the bar at Blasphemy, the club he co-owned with eleven of the coolest assholes he’d ever known, he surveyed the roomful of wonderfully kinky people wearing a whole lotta nothing. Totally his jam.

And the fact that he’d get to play with one of them later? Seriously, a man’s life didn’t get any better.

Well, having a submissive of his own…that could be better. Theoretically.

Except the one and only time he’d attempted that, the woman had screwed him over so royally he’d almost needed lube. Heh.

But, whatever. Quinton tried really frickin’ hard to let things roll off his shoulders. People had much worse shit in their lives than him. Most of the time, he considered himself lucky and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. Besides, he never lacked for company or partners around the club, and no submissive ever left him anything but fully satisfied. He made damn sure of it.

“Hi, Master Quinton,” came a feminine voice from further down the counter.

He turned to find a blond-haired woman with a sleek, silver prosthetic arm leaning against the marble of the ornate bar. Kenna Sloane. And right behind her stood her big mountain of a Dom and one of Quinton’s best friends, Griffin Hudson. “Aren’t you looking lovely tonight, Kenna,” Quinton said with a smile as he made his way to where Griffin was sliding into a seat and pulling Kenna’s slim hips between his legs. “And am I wrong or is this some snazzy new hardware?” He nodded at her arm. She’d lost everything below her right elbow while serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. If she and Griffin hadn’t been fuckin’ fated, Kenna might’ve been Quinton’s kind of woman.

Adventurous. Brave. Willing to push life to the extremes.

But they were fated, something the diamond on her finger and the platinum collar with its unique interwoven knot sitting at the hollow of her throat both indicated. Loud and clear.

Kenna smiled, so much more comfortable here at the club—and seemingly in her own skin—than she’d been when she and Griffin had first reconnected a few months back. “I have a couple different sockets. And a girl has to coordinate,” she said, holding it up to the almost sheer sparkling silver halter top she wore.

Chuckling, Quinton nodded and clasped hands with Kenna’s Dom. “Master Griffin, how the hell are ya?” Their wrists bore matching leather cuffs with embroidered Gothic M’s. Every Blasphemy Master—the experienced Dominants who owned the club and took turns running and monitoring it—wore one like it.

“Never better, my friend. Never better.” The skin crinkled around Griffin’s dark eyes as he spoke, his smile coming a million times easier than it ever had before. Quinton guessed that was what happened when you were not only able to correct one of the biggest mistakes of your life, but find a submissive who was also your soul mate in the process.

Lucky fucker.

“I know that’s true,” Quinton said, winking at Kenna. She ducked her chin but was smiling bright enough to light up the whole room. And that was saying something given the size of Blasphemy. Located in the renovated remains of an old abandoned church, the massive rectangular nave formed the central part of the club. Filled with lots of seating and play areas, it had a soaring ceiling, massive stained-glass windows all around, and a performance and demonstration stage where the altar had once been. Themed rooms and other private spaces stretched off from the main floor. In addition to the very private and exclusive Blasphemy, the public front of their business—Club Diablo, a three-story dance club in a renovated warehouse—stood across a courtyard.

And Quinton provided hands-on management over it all.

He’d been with the clubs from the beginning, and had used his savings and the money he’d made selling a small but successful bar of his own to purchase his ownership stake in Blasphemy, a deal that got even sweeter when his partners had offered him the job of managing the bars and all the food service at both clubs. Food, drink, and sex all tantalized the senses and therefore were equally high up on the list of things he loved, and always had been. Given his prior experience, he pretty much had full control of the operation. Just like he liked.

Griffin placed an order for him and Kenna, then asked, “You have a scene set up tonight?”

Quinton got busy making their drinks and shook his head. “No,” he said with a grin. “But I’m looking forward to the thrill of the hunt.”

Griffin chuckled. “Good luck with that.”

The quip on Quinton’s tongue died when a flashing red light under the bar’s edge caught his eye. An emergency in one of the rooms. He glanced at the tag over the light to determine which one, then slammed the drinks down in front of his friends harder than he’d intended. “Shit, G, sorry. Emergency in the dark room. Get someone to cover?” he said, moving without waiting for an answer. He knew Griffin would have his back.

Quinton moved as fast as he could without calling undue attention. Their members knew that the Masters and a team of other Doms who worked as monitors responded to all sorts of problems around the club, some as mundane as an equipment malfunction and others more delicate situations involving disputes between players in a scene. Hell, a few months ago, Quinton had responded when Kenna broke down during a bondage scene, and Griffin had called for help extricating her from his intricate ropework. Sex at the extremes was bound to run into a few issues, which was why consent and safety were hallmarks of BDSM and Blasphemy itself. But none of that meant any of them wished to distract players from their pleasures with worry or curiosity, either.

Off the main floor, Quinton picked up his pace as he moved down the long hallway off of which most of the themed play rooms were located. The dark room was at the far end. Master Wolf came up beside him. “Hey, man,” he said.

Quinton gave him a nod. “Didn’t know you were on tonight, Wolf. Good to see you.”

A little taller than Quinton, the guy had dark blond hair, the brightest green eyes you’d ever seen, and a chiseled Scandinavian face that turned heads all over the club. “Running the security control room. Relieving Isaac because the baby’s sick,” he said, referring to Isaac Marten, their head of security operations, who had a two-month-old son.

“Damn. Sorry to hear that,” Quinton said as they closed in on their destination. The dark room was actually a series of three interconnected rooms. In the center was a pitch-black bedroom, accessed only through two changing/waiting rooms on either side of it—one of which let out into this hallway, and the other of which let out into a different hallway so that the players couldn’t run into each other before or after the anonymous scene. The dark room was very popular, and given Quinton’s interest in sensory deprivation, it was one he’d used many times.

He heard someone in distress before they even got inside.

Quinton and Wolf burst through the door to find one of the monitors trying to calm a woman curled on the floor, gasping like she couldn’t breathe. She wore a slinky bronze dress that bared most of her legs.

“What happened?” Quinton asked, grabbing a blanket from a shelf and going to his knees beside her. He tucked the soft fleece around her.

“I don’t know,” the monitor said. I sounded the alarm but she told me not to call an ambulance when I asked.

“She just freaked out. I swear. Nothing hardly happened between us,” a shirtless man said from the doorway to the dark bedroom.

Quinton hadn’t even noticed him there, but Wolf was already questioning him. He nodded to the monitor, a Dom in his forties, and then peered up at Master Wolf. “You all clear out. Debrief him and get his information.”

“You got it, Q,” Wolf said, motioning the other men out into the hall. “Call if you need help.”

As they left, Quinton brushed the woman’s shoulder-length hair back off her splotchy face. “We need to get your breathing under control or I have to call an ambulance.”

“No…no…I…it’s…” Clenching her eyes, she shook her head and growled as if in frustration.

Damnit, he needed to do something for her. The part of him that needed to care and soothe decided, and he scooped her off the floor and carried her to the couch. Everywhere they touched, her pulse hammered against her skin. If this was a panic attack, it was one of the worst he’d ever seen.

He sat with her in his lap, the blanket still wrapped around her, and cradled her so that they were facing each other. “Breathe with me, little one. Do you hear me? Look at me and breathe with me.” Striking hazel eyes with flecks of gold cut to his. Almost familiar…

Focusing, he exaggerated one breath, than another, and another, until she struggled to match her rhythm to his.

Griffin appeared in the doorway, questions clear on his face. Quinton spared him the smallest of glances and gave a single shake of his head. Griffin nodded and closed the door. Quinton had this. The others would be there in a heartbeat if he was wrong, but he didn’t think he was.

Because the woman’s body was calming. Her breathing was evening out. Her pulse was slowing. Her muscles were losing their tension.

“That’s it. That’s good. Just watch me and breathe with me. Don’t stop. We’ll kick this thing, don’t you worry.” He stroked his hand over her hair, wanting to soothe her. The color was so rich it almost matched the bronze of her dress. Her hair was beautiful and soft. As was the rest of her, all golden skin and pretty curves. Her weight felt good in his arms. She turned her face into his hand, just the littlest bit, and he stroked her hair again. A jagged scar ran along her forehead and into her hairline over one eye.

The scar triggered the oddest thought: That wasn’t there before.

His gaze cut back to those eyes. Hazel with the gold. And he suddenly knew he’d seen them before. Years ago. Right here at Blasphemy. A name clicked into place.

“Cassia?” he asked. Cassia. As in Cassia Locke, a submissive he’d flirted with quite a few times and was once supposed to play with…but she’d stood him up the night of their scene.

“Y-yes, Sir,” she whispered. “H-hi, Mas-ter Q-quinton.”

So she recognized him, too. Did she remember that night? He shook off the thought. Their history wasn’t something to deal with just then.

“Hi yourself, kid.” He gently scratched his fingertips against her scalp and concentrated on taking slow, deep breaths that she mimicked. Studying her, Quinton noticed another scar on her right shoulder. Her hair was also much longer than the almost boyish style she used to wear. Finally, Cassia went limp in his lap, and her ease unleashed a satisfaction in his blood. “Feeling better?”

She gave a long sigh, the sound exhausted and defeated. “As better as I can feel after utterly humiliating myself. Sir.”

He shook his head. “No such thing happened. Not as far as I’m concerned.”

Her gaze skittered away.

“Did I tell you to stop looking at me?”

Cassia’s eyes snapped back to meet his. “No, Sir.”

Her obedience unleashed even more of that satisfaction. The attraction of BDSM, to him, was as much about the psychology of it as the physicality of the acts. Her reaction—that obedience—represented an ingrained instinct, a need to serve, a desire to surrender. And that fucking heated his blood. He arched a brow and nodded. “Good girl.”

She shifted in his lap, but kept her eyes on his. The movement reminded his body that he’d been planning to find a partner, but he locked that shit down tight. First, because she’d been through something tonight he didn’t entirely understand. And second, because given that she’d stood him up and never bothered to follow up to explain, he wasn’t sure what to make of her anyway. And trust was kind of a thing, for him. Well, for most Doms, really. Which meant he needed to know.

“Now, tell me what happened,” he said, nailing her with a stare. “And tell me the truth.”

 

 

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Books in Series:

Hard to Serve #.5

Bound to Submit #1

Mastering Her Senses #2 – 2/21/17

Eyes on You #3 – 7/11/17

 

 

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Join the MASTERING HER SENSES Facebook Party on February 21st!
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Laura Kaye - headshotAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

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Royal Blood by Victoria Renteria~ Blog Tour

Synopsis

After being reunited with the only man she’s ever loved, Kylee Parker willingly returns to the hell from which she was rescued in hopes of saving others from the nightmare she endured. While attempting to find strength in this newfound power struggle, Kylee begins to question her sanity.

Alexander Grant’s sole mission has been to serve his country, until the day his Goddess walked into his life and tilted his world on its axis. Having rescued her from her captors, he thought he would spend the rest of his life making up for lost time, but his world goes dark when she deliberately walks back into the hands of the underground mafia.

Can Kylee survive the evil surrounding her to avenge what she has lost, or is she destined to become what her mother always wanted? Will Alex risk it all to follow her into the depths of hell, or will he uphold the oath he swore to protect his country?

As Kylee and Alexander fight their way back to each other, love and honor will be put to the ultimate test in this shocking conclusion to The Betrayed Series.

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Former Director for a major corporation, Victoria has spent most of her life inside of a book. When she wasn’t reading, she was busy scribbling down stories of her own. Meeting her husband while he was in the United States Army, Victoria quickly adapted and learned the role of the military spouse.

After finishing her Business Management Degree in college, she spent years working in the corporate world where her writing quickly fell to the wayside. Finally, taking time away from the corporate world, Victoria has been able to dive into her stories and create a whole new world for you to live in.

She now resides in the sunny Tampa, Florida area with her husband, son, and two amazing boxers. When she isn’t writing, you can find her on the beach or hiking. Maybe even writing on the beach . . .

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Heart of a Savage by Lashanta Charles ~ Release Blitz & Giveaway

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Title: Heart of a Savage
Author: Lashanta Charles
Genre: Romance — Contemporary, Sports

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They call him THE SAVAGE PRINCE.
He told me to call him MY SALVATION.

synopsis

Bailey Ross-O’Malley has spent her whole life catering to others. She used to enjoy it. Until her father died. In an attempt to protect her, her father chose Connor to be her husband, but that was a mistake. Connor was supposed to love her, be her rock – but some rocks need to be tossed as far away as possible. She only has one source of happiness now, her son, and if Connor doesn’t get his way, he’ll take that joy from her as well.

 

MMA fighter, Dominic Prince, has only one mission in life: forget his past. Forget the pain, the drama, and the loss of things taken away from him too soon. He’s guarded and secretive and that’s the way he likes it. He was doing a damn good job of keeping it that way. Until her. Bailey showed up and Dominic’s life became a minefield. He can’t decide if he wants to kiss her or shake her, but he does know that he’ll fight to keep her safe. He’ll be as savage as he is in the octagon, outside of it.

 

Neither of them wants to accept it happening, but the past has a way of sneaking into the present. Hearts will be shattered and bonds will be broken. Will they survive it?

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excerpt

As I lock the door Tyrese and one of The Isley Brothers are extolling the virtues of having a girl who loves them. Why the fuck did he think it was a good idea to team up with Tank and Ginuwine? Something small and soft touches my forearm and I barely resist the urge to jump a mile because, what the fuck, I see a hand. A hand with long, slender fingers and neon pink nail polish, sharp in its contrast to the smooth, mahogany skin. I follow an arm covered by a leather jacket to a face with big brown eyes, stretched wide as they look up at me, a small nose, and luscious lips. Her brown eyes are surrounded by long, dark lashes and arched eyebrows. They’re beautiful. She could be beautiful. She’s not though. There’s something blocking it and against my better judgment I want to know what it is. A beanie covers her head, but short black hair peeks out from one side. Those luscious lips move and I remember I still have my headphones on, but I also remember that since Janae, I hate being touched. I should really go talk to someone about these issues I’m having, but I’m a guy. Soooooo . . . I look back down at the hand that’s still on my forearm and she quickly pulls it back before dropping her gaze to the ground. I slip my headphones off just as she speaks again.

“I’m sorry. I was trying to ask you about the gym, but I knew you couldn’t hear me.”

And Junior has decided he likes her fucking voice. Soft and sweet and conveying utter innocence, even with her mumbling like she’s scared out of her mind. I would contribute that to my size, but she’s pretty tall for a chick. I’d say about 5’ 9” at least. Not to mention that chicks seem to be more turned on by my size than afraid of it. Being bigger means I can protect them. Not her though. I expect her to run for safety at any moment. She hasn’t made eye contact since I initially turned to her and she’s fidgeting. I take in her clothes, which look like they could be expensive, and I notice that she’s skinny as hell. No hips, no ass, no tits, just slim and athletic. So why in the hell is Junior stepping up to full throttle? The icing on the cake? I feel beads of pre-cum. Eleven months dry as the desert and this timid little boy-girl is un-manning me. That gets my blood boiling and for a second causes me to question my masculinity, which is totally unacceptable. Did I just say totally? This girl is destroying my vibe.

“What the fuck are you doing creeping around here this late at night?”

She squeaks. Literally jumps a foot in the air and squeaks like a scared little mouse. Granted, I did snap at her, but come on. Really? I glance around the parking lot and around the building. She can’t be out here by herself, but there is no one else and I don’t even see a car. When I look back at her, she’s hugging herself and slowly backing away. I reach out and grab her by both arms and she whimpers, her face a mask of terror. What the fuck?

“Please,” she begs. “I’m s-sorry. I-I only wanted to ask about the gym. I’ll leave. I promise.”

“You think I’m going to hurt you?” I try to keep the growl from my voice, but I can’t. Everything about this girl is irking the fuck out of me. Why would I want to hurt her and why in the hell is she so scared when she sought me out? She shrugs her shoulders in answer and although she tries to cower away, she doesn’t physically try to get free. Now I’m upset and confused. Either she’s scared or she isn’t. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m going to let you go and you’re not going to run, okay? You’re going to tell me what you’re doing out here and why you’re alone.” She nods her head in agreement and I let her go. She keeps her eyes trained on the ground and that gets to me even more.

“How’d you get here?”

“I walked . . . from the bus.”

“Why?” The bus stop is roughly a quarter-mile from here. This isn’t a bad neighborhood, I made sure of that when I picked the location, but she’s a female and no place is really safe for her to be alone at night. But shit, why do I even care? Why does her being here, alone, unsafe, bother me so much?

“The gym.”

Captain Obvious. Of course she’s here for the gym. She’s literally at the gym. And why is she still mumbling? “Why?”

“I looked online. It said you have self-defense classes.”

At no point would I have considered that to be her reason. She’s asking about self-defense classes and yet she’s here alone this late at night. She risks a glance at me just as a pick-up truck pulls into the parking space in front of where we stand. I groan because I know that as scared as she is, it’s about to get ten times worse.

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lashanta-charles

LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She’s a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they’re extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??

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