Authors: Sassie Lewis
A Diamond in the Dark
A Diamond in the Dark
Copyright © 2015, Sassie Lewis
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: June 2015
Editor: Pamela Tyner
Cover: Willsin Rowe
eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
Back Cover Copy
An untouched beauty, an irresistible cowboy, and forbidden desires. Sinning never tasted so sweet.
How do you get a Texas cowboy to notice you? Tia’s been asking herself that question for years. She’s only ever wanted one man to notice her. The problem is the stubborn, ruggedly handsome guy that she’s obsessed with has always seen himself as her uncle.
What happens when the girl you helped raise becomes a young woman you can’t resist? In Axton’s case, you take a road trip to escape temptation. But when his brother dumps the delectable, curvy Tia in Axton’s hotel room, suddenly the reasons for fighting temptation seem insignificant against the burning need coursing through them both.
Can the heat of their passion ignite a love worth fighting for, or will one accident end it all?
Content Warning: This book contains one hot as hell cowboy and a curvy college student with great taste in men. Some outdoor, indoor, and public loving. These scenes are sure to leave your panties wet and your heart pumping.
I would like to dedicate this book to my sprint team. Susan, India, Cherry, Phoenix, and Willsin. Without your encouraging and calming words, I would have thrown my computer across the room on many occasions. You get my ass moving when I need a nudge. You make me laugh and are there to listen to me cry. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to share this with.
Oh, I feel like I’m at the Oscars or something!
Seriously though, I’d like to say a big thank you to my mum and dad. Who, although they don’t always agree with some of the things I do, have always been there to encourage, support, and love me, despite my faults and frustrating bad habits.
A big shout out to my gang at BREW—my writing group. Through you all, I have learnt so much. You inspire me every day. Without your shared knowledge and advice I would still be pulling my hair out. The life of a writer isn’t an easy one, and y’all have shared your stories and your lives with me. Kisses all.
To my husband and children. Having an author in the house isn’t always easy. My head is often stuck inside a computer screen and my thoughts filled with characters, but know that I love you and appreciate you.
Lastly, but not least Pam, thanks for giving this newbie a chance.
Cheers all. Hugs and kisses, Sassie
Tia rolled over in bed with the biggest headache of her life. Why, oh why, had she kept drinking last night?
Ah, that’s right, Shelley’s whining over her latest break-up. What should have been a night of hanging out with friends, dancing away her own issues—that being her inability to get one stupid man to take notice of her—had instead turned into a night of consoling her friend.
The good Lord knew everything Tia had tried that week to get Ax’s attention had gone unnoticed. If anything, the aggravating man was ignoring her more than he usually did. She had walked into the barn yesterday morning wanting to discuss a matter with him, but before she even had the chance to open her mouth he had run away from her. There had literally been a dust trail following his quick departure. She hadn’t even gotten the chance to ask him about breeding one of the mares with her horse Thunder.
So she had needed a night out to recharge her engine and come up with a better plan. But instead of spending the night concentrating on coming up with ideas to solve her own problems, which included asking Shelley for advice, Tia had spent the time trying to cheer up her friend. She loved Shelley, but the girl had nothing to whine about. At least she was getting some. While Tia was the only virgin over the age of twenty that she knew of.
After listening to Shelley moan and groan about the unfairness of it all, because apparently...what was his name? Oh yeah, Clint. God, sometimes Tia hated her inability to forget stupid shit. It would be nice every now and then to actually forget something so insignificant. Tia now knew that Clint was a sweet and giving person who apparently had no skills in the bedroom. Really, Tia just couldn’t feel Shelley’s pain. The girl had a steady stream of boyfriends since they were sixteen. Yeah, they might not have been love matches, but when Tia hadn’t had an actual date in more than a year, sympathetic she was not.
Tia had done the dutiful best friend routine, which consisted of listening to Shelley’s dribble while doing shots of tequila. Then she had dragged Shelley to the dance floor. After a couple of spins on the floor, and a few Jack D’s later, courtesy of some out-of-towners, Shelley was in a better mood and off talking to some guy Tia didn’t recognize.
As Tia had been heading back from the bathroom she had spotted Ax. Her slightly buzzed brain told her that
had potential. Just as quickly that thought was killed when she noticed the waif hanging off his arm.
You would think a thirty-six-year-old man would have better taste than Mindy Smith. Mindy was just as bitchy as her younger sister Cindy, who Tia had punched in the first grade for calling her
. Who wanted to be nicknamed after a fat, orange cat? And yes, like most kids she had been a little chubby, but that didn’t mean she was going to let anyone call her names. After that incident everyone had taken to calling her Tia—her middle name—instead of Tabbitha.
As Tia watched Ax and Mindy, she shook her head and sighed. Would it seriously be too much to ask for just a little bit of luck? While she’d gone out with the excuse of giving herself time to think up ways to get Axton to notice her, he was shoving another one of his slutty whores in her face.
Tia made her way back to the bar and sat there glaring daggers at Mindy, wishing that all her peroxided blonde hair would fall out.
As a result, her old friend Jack Daniels lost his buddy Coke but met the occasional chaser of beer. After that the rest of the night became a bit of a blur. She was pretty positive she’d ended up dancing on one of the tabletops with some guy. All she knew for sure was by that point she really didn’t care. She just didn’t want to think about Ax anymore.
Having enough of trying to remember exactly what happened during her tabletop routine, Tia rolled further over, in a bid to get out of bed and locate some painkillers. But whoever coined the phrase ‘don’t mix your drinks’ had known what they were talking about. With only the slightest of movements, Tia’s head felt as if it was going to explode.
Very slowly opening her eyes, to make sure that the effort wasn’t going to end in disaster—that being her head exploding—Tia noticed that she wasn’t in her own bed. Come to think of it, she didn’t even remember leaving the Spit an’ Whistle, the only bar within a hundred miles of the ranch that played decent music and wasn’t filled with old folks. So where the friggin’ hell was she? And how did she get there? As that thought entered her hurting, sluggish brain, the sound of a shower being turned off reached her ears.
Before getting a good panic on, Tia did a quick body check. Her short, denim skirt and tank top didn’t cover a lot of her more than slightly curvy body, but the fact that her G-string was at that exact moment very uncomfortably stuck up her ass assured her that everything had remained in place. Dulling her worry about doing something she would most definitely have regretted. Apart from the fact that her shoes were missing, everything else seemed to be intact. Still, it was time to find her boots and get out of there.
Climbing off the bed took more effort than should have been necessary. Everything hurt. Tia swore she could feel every hair follicle on her body screaming in protest at her slow-paced movements, and she was panting like she’d just run a mile. Finally on her hands and knees, she took a moment to catch her breath before lowering herself further, in a bid to search under the bed for her elusive boots. The smell of dirty, musty carpet made her stomach roll in disapproval. Before she could move her face away from the disgusting odor, a sound thundered through the room, causing an explosion of pain to splinter her already tender head, the intensity so strong her body collapsed into a fetal position.
* * * *
Stepping out of the shower, Axton caught sight of himself in the mirror. At thirty-six he still looked good. He had a full head of dark brown hair that hung just below his chin, and while his nose was slightly crooked from being broken a time or two, it didn’t look bad. He stood at just over six and a half feet, and weighed in at around two hundred and sixty pounds.
Turning sideways, he took in his reflection. Yep, he was still solid muscle, which good genes and hard work on the ranch helped maintain. He had no problem attracting women, so why had he just spent the last fifteen minutes in a hotel bathroom jacking off? One word—Tia.
What had started out as a date with Mindy to release some of his tension and take his mind off someone he shouldn’t be thinking about, had turned into a night of rescuing his adopted sister/niece. Both from herself and every male in the bar.
Tia had passed out just as he’d been on his way to retrieve her from the tabletop that she’d turned into her own stripper stage. Not that she took her clothes off; it was more the gyrating and humping she’d been doing with some out-of-towner that made it so erotic. So he’d hauled her sassy ass—well, more like carried her—to the only motel in town to sleep it off.
She was lucky he’d been there. The stranger had been all for taking her back to wherever it was he was staying, more than likely wanting to have his way with the passed-out woman. If Ax hadn’t had his arms full of an unconscious Tia, he would have slammed the guy’s face in
. Fucking pervert.
Axton had to abandon his date, something he was actually grateful for. Mindy turned out to be a first-class bitch who didn’t have a nice word to say about anyone, and she seemed to think she should be treated like royalty, wanting Axton to bend to her every whim. She’d known that the date was simply the prelude to a night of sweaty, no-strings-attached sex.
Instead of enduring an evening of Mindy’s attitude so he could have the uncontrollable itch taking over his body scratched by someone he was allowed to screw, he ended up spending the night lying next to his rather sexy and sassy sister/niece. The fact that he found her sexy bothered him. He had known her since she was two, when his brother Jack had given her mother a job as a cook and housekeeper at the family ranch. A few years later her mother had died of pneumonia. When Tia’s grandparents—her only living relatives—refused to take her in, they had been shocked. Apparently the family had disowned Tia’s mother the day they found out that not only was she pregnant, but she was pregnant by a Native American. As far as Ax was concerned, the racist bastards could go to hell. At any rate, after that Jack had taken Tia in and raised her as one of his. He had already been raising three boys of his own—Rick, Ethan, and Luke—in addition to raising Axton, who he’d been given guardianship of when their parents had died in a trucking accident.
The fact that Ax was unbelievably attracted to someone who the whole family thought of as…well family, was freaking him out. But his cock and brain had no problems with the little fantasy it had concocted while he was in the shower. Especially after spending the night with her snuggling up to him.
Discovering that she talked in her sleep had helped him jerk off twice in the shower. Actually it had more to do with how she spoke than what she said in her dreams that had his cock begging for release. In a voice breathy with sleep, she’d kept moaning his name. With every little puff of her soft whispers his cock would pulse, to the point he thought he would cum just from listening to her.
Not wanting his brother to see her passed-out drunk was the only reason he had decided to bring her to the hotel instead of taking her back to the ranch. Jack loved Tia like she was his own flesh and blood, and he would have been immensely disappointed if she had shown up at the house in the state she had gotten herself into.
What Axton couldn’t understand was why she had ended up that drunk to start with. He knew Tia didn’t normally drink like that. Sure, she could put away a beer with the best of them, but what had caused her to drown almost a bottle of Jack?