Authors: Tonya Ramagos
|Ramagos, Tonya - Running from Angel [Sunset Cowboys 4] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)|
|Siren-Bookstrand, Inc. (2011)|
Running from Angel
Angel’s spent a year rebuilding her life with one goal in mind—to experience the dark pleasures she saw in her rescuer’s eyes. Fate puts Jacob in her grasp, but he won’t touch her alone. Armed with a newfound stubbornness and strength, she squares off with Mitch and Jacob, determined to prove she’s the woman for them.
Convinced Angel is too innocent and damaged to be the submissive lover they crave, Jacob and Mitch made a vow to stay away. Now she’s come looking for them. One touch and Jacob knows he can’t walk away again, but Mitch’s hard head isn’t going to make having her easy.
Mitch kept his distance from Angel, believing his dominant needs would shatter her. But the woman she’s become is nothing like he remembers. Sassy and strong, her challenges push him past his breaking point, feeding his need for ownership and control.
Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
RUNNING FROM ANGEL
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
RUNNING FROM ANGEL
Copyright © by Tonya Ramagos
E-book ISBN: –
First E-book Publication: November
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
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Running from Angel
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Angel’s pulse quickened. Desire whipped through her system in rhythmic time with the low-rumbling engine of the approaching truck. She closed her eyes, tightened her grip on the cell phone at her ear, and braced her free hand on the frame of her car as she breathed. Simple, slow, deep, calming breaths would give her the control she needed to face what she had come to find.
“What’s that sound?” Marcy’s voice took on a whole new tone of worry on the other end of the wireless line. “Angel, is that a car passing by?”
“Actually, it’s a truck.” Angel licked her suddenly dry lips. She didn’t dare turn around. She didn’t need to. Instincts served her as well today as they had nearly fifteen months ago. Anticipation tingled through her veins, heating her in places that only memories had managed to warm since that unforgettable day at the Applebranch Mall.
The gravel crunched more slowly beneath the truck’s rolling tires, giving her a clear indication the driver had no intentions of passing her by. The truck slowed, pulled to the shoulder of the road, and came to a stop a short distance ahead of her broken-down car.
“You should get into your car, roll up all the windows, and lock the doors. For Christ’s sake, Angel, you’ve been through enough.”
If anyone understood the hell she had gone through, her best friend, Marcy, did. Though she hadn’t met Marcy until the bitter end, when she had already become stronger, wiser, and halfway to freedom, Marcy turned out to be her rock, her confidant, even her protector when things threatened to get sticky again.
“You’re on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere!” Marcy reminded her. “I’ll call the police. They’ll find you. They’ll help you.”
“Someone’s already found me.” The low rumble of the motor silenced. A nanosecond later, the sound of the truck door closing traveled to Angel on a light breeze of wicked warning. Electricity sparked at her ankles and sizzled up the backs of her legs and buttocks on a direct course to her head. Fifteen months had done little to dull the memory of his gaze or the effect it’d had on her system. “And he’s got the help I’ve been looking for.”
“I’m calling the–” Marcy stopped abruptly, her alarm morphing to obvious confusion. “Wait, what did you say?”
Angel couldn’t help but laugh. “Chill, will ya?”
“I’ll chill when I know you’re safe. I can’t believe you went out there alone in the first place. What were you thinking? Do you know how many women have been beaten and raped and even
on the side of a country road exactly like the one you’re stuck on?”
Angel straightened, careful not to hit her head on the raised hood of her car as she slowly turned around. Dark-tinted shades shielded his eyes, but the easy set of his lips offered her a quick and remembered comfort. She leaned against the frame of the car, electing to watch his steady approach with an undisguised attraction she felt certain he would detect. Whether or not he would act on it, however, was precisely what she had been on her way to find out.
“I’m not about to be beaten, raped, or murdered,” she assured Marcy. She didn’t see anything threatening in the relaxed way he held his hands at his sides as he came toward her. If anything, they were the direct cause for the moist little tugs of arousal stirring between her legs. If she got her way, she would be bound, caressed until she begged, and pleasured until she thought she might die from the bliss. Damned if she could find any horrid statistics in that possibility.
“It’s him, isn’t it? It’s the guy from the mall, the one who stopped Mack from hurting you that day.” Understanding warred with disbelief in Marcy’s tone.
Angel’s mind did a quick spin to that day in the crowded mall food court. She could still feel Mack’s fist gripping her hair, yanking her out of her chair. She saw the insane fury in his cobalt eyes and remembered thinking the end had finally come. Then two figures had appeared in her peripheral vision. One direct look at them both and she had known she was in trouble, a far different, much greater trouble than she had ever faced with Mack.
“It’s one of them.” Angel slid her attention up the corded muscles of his arms, recollecting the one and only time she had been embraced by the strength those arms possessed. Broad shoulders made for a woman to hold onto led to a rippling chest that stretched the material of a solid-gray T-shirt. She wasn’t surprised by the spasms of lust that ricocheted through her insides as her gaze glided down again, this time to narrow hips clad in worn denim and strong legs carrying the entire do-me package on a steady path toward her. She recognized her body’s reaction as surely as she did the man and intuitively knew there would be no turning back, no walking away this time, by either of them.
“Oh my god, what are the odds?” Marcy gave a half laugh.
“My mother always said to be careful what you go looking for ’cause you just might find it.”
“I thought it was be careful what you wish for, but okay.”
“Either way, what I’ve been looking and wishing for is walking toward me right now. Gotta go.”
“Angel, you don’t know much about this guy. Tell me you know what you’re doing,” Marcy demanded quickly. “Tell me you’re certain this is what you want.”
“I know all I need to, Marcy. I’m certain this is what I want.” Angel paused and puffed out a hard breath. “And I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“Great, that’s really going to help put my mind at ease now. Thanks.”
Angel grinned. “Anytime,” she said as she touched the phone off and slid it into the front pocket of her denim shorts. She put a hand behind her, gripped the cool metal of the car frame, and used it to steady her as he neared. The ecstasy pumping off him hit her with a dizzying intoxication that made her head swim.
“Good evening, ma’am.” He touched the brim of his cowboy hat in greeting and stopped barely an arm’s reach away.
Angel snapped her gaze back to his and stifled a frustrated sigh when she met her own reflection in the shiny surface of his sunglasses.
? Didn’t he recognize her? For half a second she feared he didn’t remember her after all these months. Could fate really be so cruel? Something in the faint lines etched in his face and in the subtle inflection of his voice erased her alarm. He knew her. For whatever reason, he was playing it cool.
Two can play that game
She shifted, leaned forward slightly, and looked up at the sky. “It is getting dark mighty fast, isn’t it?” And the darker it got, the less need he would have for the sunglasses. She wanted to see his eyes, to experience the same welcoming assurance he generated inside her the last time she had crossed paths with this man. More, she wanted to see the desire flaming in their cornflower depths, the instant yearning he had been unable to hide…or hadn’t bothered to try.
“Car trouble?” He indicated her car and the raised hood with a lift of his chin.
Angel gave him her best “duh” look and swore she saw his lips twitch. “That depends, I suppose,” she answered smoothly. “If a loud clang followed by total engine shutdown is the norm for a ’ Camaro, then it seems I’m just having a leisurely rest on the side of a lonely country road.”
The grin she had detected him holding back came slow and sexy. Jacob Shelton possessed a face that could make a woman wet. The proof of that gathered along the folds of her pussy and begged for escape.
“I guess I deserved that. Mind if I take a look?”
“I hoped you would.” She wanted him to take a look at a whole lot more than her car. She shifted to her right, far enough to afford him the room to look beneath the hood but not so far that his upper arm didn’t brush hers as he closed the distance and leaned forward. That simple touch sent prickles of sensational pleasure dancing below the surface of her flesh even as it raised goose bumps all over her body.
If it affected him at all, he did a superb job of hiding it. He pulled off his shades, hooking them in the collar of his T-shirt before removing his cowboy hat. He braced his free hand on the frame of the car, leaned in farther, and studied the engine. “You said you heard a loud noise just before it cut out?”
The only loud noise she heard now was in her mind and belonged solely to her, concocted by the devilish images of Jacob stupendously naked, heavy on top of her, and rock hard between her widespread legs. Cream seeped from her folds to dampen the thin strip of cotton covering her pussy.
“What did it sound like?”
Angel blinked and forced herself to focus. “Like the whole engine fell out from under the hood. It surprised me that I didn’t find it back there in the middle of the road when I looked in my rearview. I coasted to the shoulder, and here we are.”
Jacob nodded slowly, his attention still roaming the parts beneath the hood. “My best guess is you threw a rod into the block.”
Angel winced. The calamity of that helped her focus. Damn it, she really loved this car. “That’s bad, isn’t it?”
Jacob slid his gaze her way. The full impact of his attention, now that he had removed his shades, sent her thoughts scrambling. “Let’s just say it’s not an easy fix.”
“Few things ever are.” The whispered words rolled from her lips before she could stop them. The innuendo hit home. Understanding swamped his face, and she saw the same needs in his eyes that she had felt tearing through her very core for far too long.
Angel looked away, pretending to take in their surroundings while the past clashed with the present in her thoughts once more. She had spent two years seeking an easy way out of a horrible relationship only to fight tooth and nail for fifteen months for even an ounce of the safety she had gained since her escape. She had needed strength, courage, self-assurance, all of which she had found in herself, but only after she came in contact with the promise of what she could have, and discovered wants buried so deeply she hadn’t known they existed.
“So what do I do? Unless there’s a garage with a tow truck handy somewhere back there that I somehow managed to miss, I’m stuck out here in the middle of nowhere-ville with a car that won’t go. Got any suggestions?”
“I can think of a few.” Jacob put his hat back on his head and dusted his palms on his jeans as he straightened. “How about we start with you telling me why you’re out here in the middle of nowhere-ville in the first place, Angel?”
And the cool game ends
Her first instinct was to lie, and it galled the hell out of her. Honesty, no matter how black, white, or colorful, had always been the code of conduct she tried to live by, until the day she’d had to learn to lie to survive. After being with Mack and the abusive hell he’d put her through, the lies had started to come easily. Too easily.
“So you do recognize me.” She chewed her bottom lip, buying time, though for what she couldn’t quite say. “I wondered about that.”
“No you didn’t. You knew I would. You knew I did the moment I started walking this way.”
And deep down she had also known she would never be able to lie to this man, no matter the consequences. “Then why the game? What was with the ‘ma’am’ crap?”
“You could’ve stopped it at any time. You chose not to.”
The same as she chose not to stop him now. He sidestepped, moving in front of her, standing so close even oxygen had trouble separating them. Reflex, more than fear, had her stiffening, her breath catching in her throat. Expectation clambered through her system only to be let down when he didn’t touch her. Maybe he didn’t trust himself to touch her. Or maybe, she thought as she struggled to breathe and keep her scruples through all the sexual heat charging between them, maybe he’s challenging me, waiting for me to make the move.
She had been wrong. The game hadn’t yet ended. She wondered how long they would play before one of them claimed the win and, dear God, did she really stand a prayer in heaven of being the victor?