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Lucy Burchett is the heiress to a notoriously disastrous family, and she's left home for good. But when she runs a big, black pickup off the road, totaling it, she finds herself stuck in the middle of nowhere with the driver. He's got a body to die for and a hair-trigger temper. Vince Russo looks like a felon, but he's also pretty funny. He’s on the lam from the cops… and a psychopathic, Russian mob boss who wants to put his balls on a barbeque. Literally.
After a night of ill-advised cocktails and bathroom-wrecking sex, Vince just can't get Lucy off his mind. But he's got plans to rob her. And Lucy’s life is about to get a little bit criminal too.
But can a bad boy and a good girl really escape from their troubles together? Can they trust each other at all?
In the steady march of disasters that follow them west, they fight and they laugh. They tease and they’re tender. They’re either oil and water, or chocolate and peanut butter.
Except, they can’t run from the real world forever. And there’s a hell of a surprise in store for both of them…
He runs his hand through his thick black hair. “When I was your age, music was sexy. Seriously fuck-worthy.”He brings his lips right close to my ear. “Not like this shit playing now.”And then he pulls away. He slides his stool back from the bar and gets up. I watch him walk over to the jukebox. Even the way he stands is incredibly aggressive, masculine, and sexy. Can a stance be dripping with testosterone? Apparently.
He turns and catches me staring. The jukebox goes silent, and there’s just that one second of anticipation in the air. He hitches up his belt and gives me this predatory stare. I resist the urge to place my forehead on the bar. Mercy.
But then it happens.
Electric guitar strum.
He walks back towards me and sits down, dead freaking serious, not a glimmer of fun in his eyes. Unfortunately, deep, deep down, I feel a laugh coming up. One of those incredibly painful church-and-funeral laughs. Phil Collins?
A little honking laugh does shoot out of my nose. I can’t help it. I’m only human.
He looks wounded. “This is classic music, Peaches.”
I move my hand to his forearm and grip it. I mean it to be apologetic, but the way he feels under my hand…it gets sexy in a hurry. “I thought you were going to go for something a little more…”I look him up and down, “broody.”
He’s dead serious. Phil Collins is obviously not a joke. “This is the sexiest song in the entire fucking world,”he says. Not for one second, not even to blink, does he look away from my eyes. And then he puts his hand to my waist, gripping me tight.
He nestles his chin in close to my ear and draws my body closer, between his parted legs. With his tongue just sweeping against my earlobe, he growls, “I can feel it…in the air tonight.”
My neck slides back for him. I feel the seam of his T-shirt under my fingers. Oh, Lord.
“I've waited for this moment…”He runs his finger up my arm. I breathe him in. “…all my life.”
Eye to eye now, he brings his fingers up my neck and knots them in my hair. I feel goose bumps down my spine. He draws my head to his. The feel of his stubble is harsh and gritty against my skin, almost scraping me. The hand on my waist slides me over my bar stool. I let my legs press hard and hot against his.
His tongue makes its way up the curve of my neck.
His lips are almost touching mine now. “The hurt won’t show, but the pain, it grows…”
As the drums come in, his other hand comes up and takes my cheek in his palm. I feel my body heave slowly towards him, like a surrender. I can’t help myself, and groan, “Oh, Lord.” Out loud.
The pressure of his head changes against mine, and he leans in like I’m making him weak. He nudges me with his nose again, like he did on the ground earlier. So close I can almost taste him. But not close enough.
I press my cheek to his and whisper, “Kiss me.”
I feel the smile more than I see it.
Both hands come to my face, and he pulls me in. He decides the depth of the kiss and moves his tongue all the way into my mouth.
Oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord.
Phil Collins hits us with the drums, announcing the obvious: This is a guy who knows what he wants and is going to take it. Who knows what he’s doing and is going to show me what he wants too. He tips my face in his hands, kissing me deeper, sweeping my tongue aside with his. I feel my grip weaken, and one of my legs slides off the stool. He wraps his huge arm around me. But then he pulls my lips from his, and I open my eyes a second later. “Why do I want you so bad, huh? Helen?”He drags his tongue along the edge of my ear.
“I don’t know,”I moan. “But I can feel it.”
He nods. “In the fucking air tonight.”
I inch my hand toward his hard-on.
He kisses me again, starting out way more tenderly than he left off. He fits his fingers between my ribs and grips me hard. I am outrageously wet and can feel the slippery wave between my thighs as I move my legs to bring him closer. I feel my wetness outside my panties even, in a cold smear on my thighs.
My fingers find their way to the back of his head to the base of his neck. I feel the muscles rippling even there. Solid columns of tension.
“I want to hear you scream,”he whispers. Phil Collins starts to fade out.
“I want you to make me scream,”I say.
I let my lips just brush his ear. “Should we get out of here?”
“Room’s not ready,”he says.
His jaw nudges mine aside and then he explores my neck through a kiss. I go limp in his hands, but he keeps me right where I am. How he can be so tender and so vulgar, I don’t even know. He makes me want to do things I’ve never done before. He makes me want to set fire to all the rules of polite society. This guy here? He makes me want to get in trouble. Big trouble. “I’ve never had sex in a bathroom.”
He groans again. “Fuck you,”he says. “Get out of my head.”
He presses his mouth to my ear. His voice, it’s dark and dangerous. “Meet me there in two minutes. Don’t you dare make me wait.”And then slowly his stool screeches on the floor as he steps back from the bar.
Nicola Rendell writes dirty romantic comedy. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She grew up in Taos, New Mexico; after receiving a handful of degrees from a handful of places, she now works as a professor in New England. An Amazon bestseller, her work has been featured in USA Today's Happy Ever After and the Huffington Post. She is represented by Emily Sylvan Kim at the Prospect Agency.