Read The Wild Ones Online

Authors: M. Leighton

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #General

The Wild Ones

BOOK: The Wild Ones
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The Wild Ones

 

Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.

 

Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines.  She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses.  Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future. 

 

But that was before she met Patrick Henley.

 

“Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her.  He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her.  And Trick needs his job.  Desperately.  His family depends on him.

 

The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles.  At least the ones they know of.

 

When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome.  It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.

 

DEDICATION

 

To my husband

My better half.  My soul mate. The love of my life. 

 

You’re my Bo and my Jackson, my Grayson and my Tegan, my Trace and my Trick.  You’re the inspiration behind all the men I love, because they’re all you in some way or another.  I could never write about true love if I didn’t know it personally.  Deeply.  Profoundly.  You’ve given me more than I ever deserve just by making me your wife.  Everything else—all the laughs and happiness, all the support and encouragement—is just icing on the cake. 

I love you. 

Today.  Tomorrow.  Always.

 

To my Ink Sisters.

I love you.  That is all. 

 

Finally, and most importantly

 To my God

With you all things are possible.  Without you, there’s…nothing.

 

Kindle Edition

 

Copyright 2012, M. Leighton

Cover photo by Jarvis Gray

Photo colorization by Matthew Bagley

www.shutterstock.com

 

http://mleightonbooks.blogspot.com

 

All rights reserved.  Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the author.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.  This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.  If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person.  If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy.  Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This book is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental.  The characters and storylines are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE- Cami

 

Sipping my beer, I look around at the familiar scene.  If the honky tonk music blaring from the speakers in the ceiling hadn’t been enough to scream COUNTRY BAR, the sea of cowboy hats would have been.  I smile as I adjust the black one that sits atop my own head.  I love being incognito.  Even if, by chance, someone I know stumbles into the smoke-filled dive, they’d never believe it was me looking out from beneath the brim. 

Something hits the back of my barstool—hard—just as I put the glass to my lips.  Ice cold beer pours down my chin and straight into my cleavage.  I suck in a breath.

“’Scuse me,” a deep voice rumbles in my ear.  Two hands grip my upper arms and pull me back, keeping me from tipping right out of my seat.  I’m looking down at my soggy jeans and t-shirt when I feel the hands disappear.  Half a second later, a face appears in my line of sight.  “I’m so sorry.  Are you okay?”

My fingers stop plucking wet cotton away from my chest and I stare.  Quite rudely, I might add.  I’m speechless. Literally.  And that, like,
never
happens to me.  

The most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen are staring back at me.  They are pale greenish-gray, rimmed in sooty lashes and filled with concern.

A sharp jab to my shin makes me let out the breath I hadn’t been aware of holding.  I see my best friend Jenna’s head poke out from behind the mystery face.  I know she kicked me and I know she’s trying to get my attention, but I can’t look away from these eyes long enough to glare at her.

God, his eyes!  I’ve never seen eyes that make me want to gasp and giggle and do a strip tease all at once.  But these do.

They flicker down, letting me go just long enough to collect my wits.  I find very few of them.  They are well and truly scattered.  When he looks back up at me, his eyes are wrinkled at the corners.  He’s smiling.  And holy hell, what a smile it is!

“Does it make me a bad person for liking your shirt better this way?”

I glance down at myself.  My dark pink bra is plainly visible through the now-wet paper thin material of my pale pink shirt.  So are my very erect nipples.  I blush, mortified.

Why, oh why did I wear a light pink t-shirt with a dark pink bra? 

Because you can’t see your bra through it when it’s dry, dumb ass
.

A thumb brushes my right cheek.  “God, that’s sexy,” he whispers.  Against my will, my eyes fly to his face.  His smile has died to a lopsided grin that is devastation in its purest form.  “I’ve never made a girl blush before.”

I laugh nervously, struggling to find my voice, to find my dignity.  “Somehow I doubt that,” I say softly.

“Wow! The hair of a devil, the face of an angel and the voice of a phone sex operator.  You really are the perfect woman.”

To my utter humiliation, my cheeks burn even hotter.  Curse my fair skin!

Reaching into his pocket, Hot Stranger pulls out a couple bills and slides them across the bar.  “Another of whatever…” He trails off, looking at me in question, waiting for me to fill in the blank.

“Cami,” I say, trying to hold back my grin. 

Smooth way of getting my name.  Chalk one up for Hot Stranger.

“Another of whatever
Cami
is having.”  He turns back to me, a wicked gleam in his smoky eyes.  “Sorry about your drink.  Not so much about your shirt, though,” he admits candidly.

Willing myself not to blush again, I tilt my head.  “So, do clumsy strangers have names in this place?  Or are you just called ‘bull in china shop’?”

The lopsided grin comes back.  “Patrick, but my friends call me Trick.”

“Trick?  As in trick or treat?  That kind of trick?”

He laughs and my stomach flutters.  It actually flutters.  “Yep.  That kind of trick.”  He sobers and leans in close to me.  “Cami, can I ask a favor?”

I’m breathless again.  He’s so close I can count every hair in the stubble that dusts his tan cheeks.  For just a second, his clean manly scent overrides the cigarette smoke and stale beer smell of the bar. 

I lose my voice—again—so I nod.

“Pick ‘treat.’  Please, for the love of God, pick ‘treat’.”

Like an idiot, I say nothing. I do nothing.  I simply stare.  Like a…a…well, like an idiot.

He makes a disappointed noise with his lips then starts shaking his head.  “Too bad.  Woulda made my night.”

He straightens, takes a step back and smiles at me again.  “Nice to meet you, Cami,” he says, and then he turns and melts into the crowd.

 

********

 

“Earth to Cami!”

Tearing my gaze away from the broad-shouldered, slim-hipped view of Trick walking away, I turn to Jenna.  “What?”

“Is that all you have to say?  ‘What’?”  She’s grinning.

“What would you like me to say?” I’m still a little addled.  Or is it bedazzled?

“Um, I’d like to hear your plan for getting your lame ass off that stool and going over there to collect on that treat!”

“Eavesdrop much?”

“He was practically sitting in my lap while he hit on you.  What was I supposed to do?”

“Uh,
move!”

Jenna snorts.  Not a great sound, but somehow she makes it seem cute and girlie.  “And miss that view?  I was all but catatonic just looking at him.  He is seven kinds of hot, Cam!”

I giggle.  “Listen to you.  You’ve got a boyfriend.  Or have you conveniently forgotten that we are meeting people here?”

“I haven’t forgotten.  Have you?”

I nod at her.  “Touché, pussycat.”

In truth, I had.  From the time I’d looked up into Trick’s eyes, I hadn’t thought of Brent one time.  And that can’t be a good sign.  Brent has
never
made me feel what this guy has in three minutes.

“Meh,” she says, waving her hand dismissively as she sips her own beer. “Don’t give it a second thought.  Looking at him is kinda like staring at the sun.  You see spots and you’re dizzy for a while, but then it goes away.”

I wonder to myself if I really
want
it to go away.  I can’t ever remember a guy making me feel this way.

I can’t stop myself from looking into the crowd again.  I scan the endless ocean of hats until my gaze stops on one dark head.  The hair is longish and has a slight wave to it.  I know without having to see his face that it’s Trick.  It just seems right that he’d be the only guy in the place not wearing a cowboy hat.

Almost like he can feel my eyes or my thoughts on him, Trick turns around.  His gaze locks with mine like there isn’t a room full of people between us.  We stare at each other for a few seconds and then, real slow, he grins. 

Good God, he has dimples!  I might die!

Right on cue, my cheeks get hot.  Here we go again.

His grin widens into a smile and he winks at me.  I’m pretty sure my toes are numb.  I watch him turn away.  Before his head completely disappears, I consider what Jenna said.  Maybe I should go and ask for the treat…

 

I jump when I feel fingers at my neck, brushing my hair back.  “You looking for me?”

I recognize the voice.  It’s Brent.  I sigh.  It’s not right that I should feel a little disappointed.  But I do.  The time for me to be reckless has past.  The door of opportunity has officially been closed.  By Brent.

I turn on my stool.  I smile up into the face of Brent Thomason, my quasi-boyfriend. 

Brent is no slob in the looks department.  His sandy hair has that purposefully messy look and his dark brown eyes have an exotic tilt I’ve always found very appealing.  But even as I stare into them, I’m picturing smoky greenish-gray ones.

“Were you looking for me?” he asks again.

I dodge the question, playfully poking him in the chest.  “You’re late!”

“I can’t be
too
perfect.  Gotta keep a girl like you on her toes.”  He kisses the tip of my nose and then brushes my lips with his. 

“Did you get the ‘Vette running?” I ask, leaning back.

“No.  That’s why I’m late.  I just talked to the guy that was supposed to take a look at it for me.  Since I couldn’t even get it here, he agreed to look at it tomorrow night instead.  I’ll get it out there even if I have to have it towed,” he growls in determination.

As usual, I find Brent’s passion about his car a little bit of a turn on.  One of my father’s obsessions is vintage cars.  We have a garage full of them and I know enough about them to talk like I’ve got some sense.

BOOK: The Wild Ones
10.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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