For years, I lived for the job and let it control me. Violence was all I knew. I protected, killed, and served. My name is Blake Evans, one of the best undercover cops in the country. I thought I was about to live a quiet life on my ranch in Wyoming until an old friend showed up and changed everything. He brought me her, Hadley Rivers, country music sensation and the one woman I couldn’t have. I didn’t want her but she had me completely roped in.
My job is to protect her, to keep her away from some psycho who wants her for himself. However, there’s more to her story than I was led to believe. I promised to keep her safe and I won’t back down . . . even if I have to die trying. I can’t let him have her.
The sound of crunching gravel caught my attention. I turned to the driveway. “Dammit! He’s back already?” Shit, shit, shit. I patted Nightshade’s nose and hopped off the fence. “I gotta go, boy. I’ll give you another apple tomorrow.” By the time I got to the barn and peeked around the corner, Blake had already parked his truck in front of the house. I was hoping like hell he didn’t see me.
“Hadley, I know you’re out there,” he called. He took off his T-shirt and crammed it into his back pocket.
“Dammit,” I hissed, crouching down low.
“Don’t you think it’s time we talked? You can’t hide from me forever.” His footsteps grew closer, so I hid inside one of the empty stalls, hoping he’d walk past. I slid down into the corner and held my breath as he walked by. “I want to say I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings the other night.”
“Just drive the wedge in even harder, asshole,” I mumbled to myself.
“I need you to come out and talk to me. I can make you if I have to, which might be kind of fun for me. You don’t want me to enjoy this, do you?”
What I really wanted to do was smack him on the head. He was baiting me, but I couldn’t figure out the game.
“Hadley?” His voice grew farther away until I heard his footsteps leave the barn. Once I heard the patio door of the house slam shut, I knew I only had a couple of minutes to get out of the barn. Taking a deep breath, I slowly got to my feet and glanced over the stall; the coast was clear. I had no clue where I was going to go, but anything was better than being stuck in a stall.
The wooden door of the stall creaked and I froze. Fuck. I held my breath and listened, but there were no footsteps approaching. As quietly as I could, I tiptoed my way to the back entrance of the barn and turned the corner, only to run right into Mr. Let’s Talk. He reached for my hand, but I jerked away from him.
“You didn’t think you fooled me back there, did you?”
“Fuck you,” I spat, turning on my heel. I marched off but he followed close behind. “I have nothing to say to you.”
“Well, too bad. I have a shit-ton to say to you. Now stop being a childish brat and give me one minute.”
Sucking in a breath, I froze. Did he really just call me a childish brat? Gritting my teeth, I faced him head on. I half expected him to smirk, but there was nothing but seriousness in his stormy gray gaze.
“All right, this ends now,” I snapped, pushing on his chest. He stepped back, his jaw clenched tight. “You may think what I’ve done is childish, but I’m pissed and embarrassed. I show up naked in your room, just to have you turn me down; to tell me you wouldn’t want to take a chance on me. I may have had a little buzz at the beginning of the night, but I was nowhere near drunk. It was the only thing that gave me the courage to tell you how I felt.”
Huffing, I turned and marched out of the barn. “Now I just feel like a fucking idiot. So, by all means, make me sit down and hear all the reasons why you don’t want to be with me. Go ahead and call me childish. I don’t care anymore,” I said, waving my arms in the air. “At least I wasn’t afraid to let you in.”
My heart thundered in my chest. It felt good to scream out my feelings, but now they were no longer mine. Anger could make a person say just about anything.
Out of nowhere, a rope lassoed around my body. I screamed when it bit into my skin, burning as Blake tightened it, roping me in. I struggled to break free, but it was so tight, even my hands started to tingle. I tried to stand my ground, but the harder he pulled, the tighter it got.
“Dammit, Blake. Let me go! I can’t feel my hands.” I had no choice but to willingly move my feet. If I didn’t, he’d drag me across the ground through the dirt. My dignity was more important.
“You shouldn’t have walked away,” he growled, his voice by my ear. He jerked me around and pushed me into one of the empty stalls. I turned my face away, but he grabbed my chin. “I don’t think so, princess. You’re going to look at me when I say this. Do you want me to tie your hands and feet together too?”
I had no doubt he’d do it. “Fine,” I spat, lifting my glare to his. “What do you want?”
His lips closed over mine, hard and raw as he forced his tongue inside. I tried to fight him off, but it was a half-assed attempt. Who was I kidding? I didn’t want him to stop. Not to mention, I couldn’t move. I was at his mercy, and I liked it. He pushed me into the wall, rubbing his arousal against me. Moaning, I bit his lip and he pulled away.
“You,” he growled, leaning his forehead to mine. “I’ve always wanted you, even when you thought I didn’t.”
Don’t miss NO LIMIT (An Armed & Dangerous standalone)
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over twenty novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management for dramatic rights.