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Authors: Cher Carson


BOOK: Busted
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Book Five in the Brant County Heroes Series





Cher Carson




Copyright © by Cher Carson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced,
including photocopying, graphic, electronic, mechanical, taping, recording,
sharing, or by any information retrieval system without the express written
permission of the author and / or publisher. Exceptions include brief
quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Persons, places and other entities represented in this book
are deemed to be fictitious. They are not intended to represent actual places
or entities currently or previously in existence or any person living or dead.
This work is the product of the author’s imagination.

Any and all inquiries to the author of this book should be
directed to
[email protected]


Busted © 2012 Cher Carson



One Year Earlier


Charlene McCoy hadn’t been home to Brant
County in months that seemed like years, yet nothing ever seemed to change.
Same familiar faces crowding around the counter at Mavis’s little diner, same
tired cowboys trying to hook up with the same local girls at Dixie’s Bar.
Sometimes she missed being home, but on nights like this, she wished she never
had to come back.

Her life-long friend, Colleen Keyes, raised a mason jar in
her honor. “It’s so good to have you home, girl. Here’s to hopin’ you don’t
stay away so long next time.”

Her other two friends, Rose and Lisa, chimed in, giggling
and clinking their jars together. “I can’t believe you were smart enough to get
out, but stupid enough to come back,” Lisa laughed. “I swear, if I ever had the
chance to leave this place, I’d never look back.”

Lisa’s father got sick a few years ago, and she’d had to
take over the feed store with her younger brother. According to Lisa, it was a
thankless job if ever there was one.

Charlene looked around the crowded bar. She’d been coming to
Dixie’s since the day she was finally able to flash her ID at the door, same as
most of her friends, but their little hotspot paled in comparison to most of
the bars and clubs she’d visited during her years in the big city.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do when I graduate,”
Charlene said, bringing the cold brew to her lips. In a year she’d have her
degree, but she still hadn’t decided whether she would come home to Brant to
appease her overprotective family or branch out on her own and try to secure a
teaching position in a big city.

“Well, you know they’re keepin’ Ms. Ingham’s spot open for
you,” Colleen said. “In case you do decide to come back.”

The second-grade teacher was retiring next year, after forty
years on the job, and since her mother was friends with the principal, she’d
convinced Mrs. Briar to give Charlene the first chance at it.

Charlene propped her chin in her hand and looked around the
crowded bar. “If I did come back, who the hell would I hook up with? Look
around you. We went to middle school with these guys.” Her eyes landed on a tall,
dark-haired cowboy with a shadow of whiskers masking his jaw. “Except for him.
Who is that?”

“Oh believe me, you don’t wanna go there, hon,” Colleen
said, raising her hand.

Spoken like a woman who was getting sex regularly. Too bad
Charlene couldn’t say the same.

As though he sensed her eyes on him, her handsome cowboy
glanced in their direction and grinned when he witnessed her very obvious
perusal of his assets.

That slow, sexy smile shot straight to her core and Charlene
slid her tongue over her lips, daring him to take his eyes off her. “What’s his

Rose leaned in and whispered, “I heard he’s into some
seriously kinky shit.”

Charlene’s eyes traveled over his broad shoulders and narrow
hips to his very fine, denim-clad ass. She wouldn’t mind getting a little kinky
with him. “Where’d you hear that?”

“Kelly Tanner went out with him a few times. Remember her
from high school? She went through the whole football team in alphabetical
order.” All the women laughed before Rose continued, “She said he’s into whips
and chains...” She shuddered, as though she found the idea revolting. “Apparently,
he only likes

Charlene rolled her eyes. Anyone who was a little different
was fodder for Brant’s gossip mill. The little blue-haired ladies must have had
a coronary when they heard about this one. A real live
in their midst, trying to corrupt their daughters and granddaughters. It’s a
wonder the uptight, law-abiding citizens who ran the town hadn’t run him out.

“Give the guy a break, Rosie. Just ‘cause Kelly says he’s
into…” Before she could finish her thought, the man in question walked toward
her, looking as if he might be sizing her up for a pair of fur-lined handcuffs.

He tipped his black cowboy hat and spared a glance around
the table before his hot gaze finally landed on Charlene. “Evenin’, ladies.” He
braced one hand on the table and one on the back of Charlene’s chair before he
finally leaned in to whisper, “You feel like takin’ a spin around the dance
floor, darlin’?”

His husky voice worked like a potent aphrodisiac, arousing
and rendering her speechless at the same time. “I… uh…”

He didn’t wait for her response before grabbing her hand and
leading her on to the dance floor. The live band played an old Garth Brooks
song as he pulled her body flush against his and let his hand dip to the swell
of her bottom. “How come I ain’t seen you around here before?”

She was still trying to find her voice when he started to
laugh, low and soft in her ear.

“Do I make you nervous?”

“No.” But the thought of what he might want to do to her
did, and just imagining what she might want to
him do… If her
girlfriends could read the books hidden behind the innocuous leather cover of
her e-book reader, they’d be shocked and appalled at the things that aroused

“I can tell you’re lyin’. Your girlfriends been fillin’ your
head with all kinds of crazy things ‘bout me?”

She couldn’t confront him with the truth, so she smiled and
said, “Of course not. Why would you think that?”

He laughed. “Honey, this is a small town. Word gets around.”

“How much of it is true?” She dipped her head back to look
at him, trying to pretend she was accustomed to having conversations with men
about their unusual sexual appetites.

“There’s only one way to find out.” His big, rough hands
spanned her waist as he pressed her stomach into the hard length of his
arousal. “Come home with me and find out for yourself.”

Did she really have the nerve to call him on his audacious
proposition? “Are you asking because you think I won’t?” She’d been a good girl
all her life, doing exactly what everyone expected her to. What they didn’t
know was that there was a very, very bad girl waiting for a man like him to set
her free.



“I’m askin’ ‘cause I hope you will.” Cole was so turned on
it took all of his restraint not to drag her out to the parking lot, throw her
in the bed of his truck, and put on a show for anyone who might pass by.

As soon as he’d spotted her checking him out under the veil
of those long, dark lashes, he could tell she was the kind of woman he hungered
for: someone who was curious to explore the darker side of sex, but afraid to
take the leap until she had an experienced guide. He would be more than happy
to be her man.

“I don’t even know your name.” She linked her hands behind
his neck. “How can I even think about… you know… with a total stranger?”

“Sometimes it’s better that way,” he whispered, dipping his
head to whisper in her ear. “Anonymous… no expectations…just one incredible
night where you can live out your fantasies with no regret or shame in the

She trembled in his arms and he knew she’d thought about
what he proposed before. “Whaddya say? You game?”

“I don’t know.” She drew her full bottom lip between her
teeth. “How do I know it’s safe? I mean, I don’t know anything about you.”

He knew she was right; she didn’t know him or what he might
be capable of. “We can go back to your place, if you’d rather do this on your
home turf?”

“No!” She blushed when a few of people crowding the floor
turned to look at her. “Um, I’m okay with goin’ back to your place.”

He’d indulged in his fair share of one-night stands over the
years, and he rarely felt the need to spell out the rules in advance, but for
reasons he couldn’t explain, he needed to know that Charlene understood what
she was getting herself into by agreeing to go with him. “You sure about this?”

She raised her chin and looked him in the eye. “I’m sure.”

Cole said a silent prayer of thanks. Walking away from her
with the promise of what might have been still lingering between them would
have been the hardest thing he’d had to do in a long time. “You probably don’t
want your friends to know what your plans are, so why don’t I head on out to my
truck and wait a few minutes? You can follow me out when you’re ready.”


She looked so sweet, so uncertain, when she looked up at him
with those big, blue innocent eyes that he felt compelled to frame her face
with his hands and whisper, “I promise to take good care of you. We won’t do
anything you’re not comfortable with. This is your night; you decide how far
you’re willin’ to go. No pressure.”

“Are you sure?”

He kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear, “You have my
word. I have a home, business, and family here. I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize

His assurance seemed to put her at ease because she smiled.
“I’ll be out in a few minutes.”



Charlene mentally rehearsed her speech on the way back to
the table. She’d feign a headache, grab her purse, and promise to call her
girlfriends tomorrow. There was only one problem with her plan… she was a
terrible liar. Most people, especially those who’d known her a day shy of
forever were usually able to see right through her.

“Hope y’all don’t mind if I call it a night a bit early?”
She reached into her purse and tossed a few wrinkled bills on the table. “Next
round’s on me.”

Colleen narrowed her eyes as she looked from her friend to
the money. “What are you up to, girl?”

After clearing her throat, Charlene offered a weak smile.
“Nothing. I just have a bit of a headache. I’m gonna go home, take a couple of Tylenol,
and turn in. It’s been a long day.”

“Why don’t I believe her?” Rose asked, looking to her other
friends for confirmation.

“Could be because she’s lyin’ through her teeth,” Lisa said,
bringing the beer to her lips to hide her grin. “Just look at her. That’s the
same look she used to get when she was tellin’ old man Rogers she couldn’t take
gym class ‘cause she had cramps.”

Rose laughed and pointed at Charlene. “You almost had that
poor old fool believin’ you were the only girl in ninth grade who got a period
every other week.”

Charlene should have known she wouldn’t be able to stage
this exit with her dignity intact. “Listen, it’s been fun catching up. Maybe we
can hook up again before I leave town?”

“You’re leavin’ with
, aren’t you?” Rose asked.
She turned around to look for the cowboy in question. “Look at that, he’s
nowhere to be found. He wouldn’t be outside waitin’ on you, now would he?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Charlene frowned
when all three women rolled their eyes at her pathetic excuse for a denial. She
either had to stick to the truth or figure out how to tell a little white one
without making a fool of herself. “Like I said, I’m tired and I have a

Lisa reached for Charlene’s hand when she took a step away
from the table. “Hey, just be careful, okay?”

For the first time since she’d accepted Cole’s proposition,
she began to fear for her safety. There was a fine line between taking a
harmless risk and making a colossal mistake. “I’ll be fine.”

At least she hoped she would.  



Those were the longest minutes of Cole’s life as he waited
for her to make her way outside. He half-expected her friends to start talking
him down again, making the decision easy for her. That was the problem with
small towns, especially when you weren’t one of their own. Everyone knew
everyone else’s business and they weren’t afraid to speculate or embellish the
truth if it was a slow news day.

BOOK: Busted
5.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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