I promised a very cool reader/blogger a sneak peek of Fall Guy, but totally lost track of time yesterday and didn't get to put it up!
Easily remedied! Here is a little snippet from Fall Guy, my New Adult, due out the end of this month. Evan and Winch keep bumping into one another, going crazy and stumbling over problems. And it's making things hard and exciting and oh so full of angst. Read away and enjoy ;)!
And sharing today makes awesome sense, because the lovely Indie Bookshelf is running a Fall Guy Friday-a-thon until this book comes out! What a rad way to end the week! Head over there later this evening for a swoon-worthy review of Forgiving Trinity, which, if you haven't read it, might be something you'd like to check out until I get this bad boy up and running.
This morning has been like every other tangled, crazy, hot time Winch and I collide. It’s strange how it’s possible for me to go from thinking he’s the only guy I’ll ever want to be with, to considering slicing him out of my life completely and possibly punching him in the nuts as a sendoff.
But there’s something about him that keeps me right in the eye of the storm, no matter how nasty it gets.
And it’s just gotten rip-off-the-roof, flood-that-will-float-your-car-away nasty.
I snuggle in his arms, enjoying the clover and spice tang of his skin, my tiny bikini burning to have his eyes all over it (and his hands all under it) when his damn phone plays “She’s Like the Wind.”
My first thought is, Who the hell would he use that ringtone for?
My second thought, tripping right on the heels of my first thought, is, It’s not “House of the Rising Sun!”
My second thought is so overwhelmingly ecstatic, it blots out my first entirely, and I don’t even have the urge to vomit over that cheese-tastic ringtone or grill him about who would have inspired it.
Until his mouth opens and he starts to say words I’m not ready to hear.
“It’s Remy, Evan. I’m so sorry—”
“No, no, no, no, no,” I interrupt, pressing my fingers against his mouth urgently “No! I’ve got a bikini on. A scandalous bikini. I ordered it from Paris. No one in America has a bikini this sexy.” I push close to him, the phone locked in his hand between our bodies. “Winch, you promised me, ten minutes ago, you promised me things would be different. You promised—”
Winch closes his eyes and groans. “Oh, baby. Please. Hear me out.”
It’s the first time he’s called me ‘baby.’ A pleasant tingle thrills through me, up my arms and down my spine, in direct contrast with the molten anger that’s volcanoing through my blood “Explain, then,” I demand. His eyes fly open, and I take two big steps back before I cross my arms in the international girl-sign that unequivocally communicates ‘watch what you’re going to say very closely.’
He clears his throat, runs a hand over his hair, double checks the message on his phone, moves toward me, groans when I move back, and finally opens his mouth to talk. “Remy’s about to fight.”
He stops. I glare. “Really? Behind the baseball dugout at three sharp? What is he, in middle school? If your brother wants to fight, let him fight.”
Winch grips the roof of the car and grimaces. “Okay, listen. You’re gonna hate this, but listen. My family…where I come from, a fight is more than a fight, okay? When the families fight, there’s a lot at stake, and Remy just picked a really, really powerful family to throw down with. Pissing them off isn’t a good idea, and it will mean a lot of bad for everybody if he loses. Basically he can’t lose. So I gotta go. It will take half an hour, an hour tops, then I come back, get you, and you let me see that sexy-ass bathing suit that’s already making me crazy.” He holds his fists out in front of his body hopefully and gives me his best, charming, begging smile.
“You know that saying, ‘A picture’s worth a thousand words’?” I ask. Winch nods with slow uncertainty. “Well, a live fight is probably worth twenty-thousand questions.So I’m in.” I pull on the passenger door handle and attempt to swing the door open, but Winch already has his hand on the frame and is shutting it before I can slide in.
“Out of the question.” He takes me by the shoulders and moves me two steps over, back toward my grandparents’ house. “A fight is no place for you. It’s dangerous. I’ll be out there in the mix. I won’t be able to help you if anyone messes with you, and—” He pulls back and lets this long, low whistle escape his mouth. “You’re gonna get messed with. Look at you.” He shakes his head. “Anything else you want, you got it. Anything. Just not this.”
Every internal alarm bell is sounding off like crazy, and I decide to give Winch a final trial by fire. “What if I asked to be invited to dinner at your family’s place? And go to mass with you? Next week?”
The color leaks out of his face and leaves it looking drawn and ashen. His mouth pulls tight and his eyes blink fast. Then he looks at me levelly and nods. “Okay. Done.”
“Really? You’d do that for me?” My heart does this little slide, shuffle, slide before it leaps up and kicks its heels together.
He delivers the sweetest half-smile, all sexy curve of the lip and gorgeously half-lidded eyes. “Of course. You’re my girl. You gotta meet them all sometime anyway. Might as well be sooner than later. I’m gonna warn you, though; they are crazy as hell.”
The fear and worry on his face is so bald it’s almost dizzyingly hilarious. I slide my hands down his arms and pull on his elbows. “I don’t want that until you’re positive you’re ready.” The color springs back to his skin, and he sags with visible relief. “But I do want to come with you to this fight. Now. No more arguing. And I can take care of myself.”
He tenses back up. “No way. Dinner every night with my family for the rest of the month if you want. By the way, I’m positive you’re gonna regret asking for that. My family is not the party you think they are.” I purse my lips and he rushes to add, “Dates. Weekly dates. Phone call check-ins, love letters, that sonnet I promised you. Anything, Evan, but not this.” He comes towards me and takes my hands in his. “I’m begging you, not this.”
It’s romance. Every word out of his mouth is like the first time I wrapped my arms around a boy’s gangly neck and slow-danced in eighth grade; thrilling, exquisite, exciting romance. But I’ve let him direct enough of this relationship, and I know I have the leverage to make this happen.
“I. Want. To. Go.” I set my feet apart in a determined stance and radiate a pure refusal to back down.
Does Evan go?
Does Winch stick to his guns?
Will Liz focus and get today's chapter done?
I can't tell you the answers to the first two, but the answer to the last is: YES!! GOING RIGHT NOW!!
Have a lovely weekend, all!!