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Her Savage Mountain Daddy
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It’s my job to protect her, my pleasure to possess her.
There are three simple rules to the job: protect, keep safe, keep professional. The Marines and then life as a street cop trained me for the first two.
…She’s going to make me break the third.
Nina’s the sweet temptation I never saw coming. Innocent, untouched…and in a lo of trouble with some very, very bad men after witnessing a crime she wasn’t supposed to see. Now, they want to hurt her. They want to take what’s mine.
…Like hell is that happening.
Protecting her is my job, but once I get my hands on those sweet, soft curves, I know I’ll break every rule to keep her. Once I taste those lips as she begs me for more, and once I claim that innocence, there’ll be no going back.
They want her? They’ll have to go through me.
Nina’s going to be my everything and my undoing. She’ll be my sweet ruin.
She’ll be mine.
And I’ll destroy anyone who tries to take her from me.
This is a standalone story. The books in Blackthorn Mountain Men series can be read in any order.
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“Have another shot!”
Carrie screamed the words into my ear, but I barely flinched. Heck, I could barely hear her over the thundering, thumping bass music surrounding us in the dim, sultry blue-lit club.
I could already feel the effects of the first sugary-sweet shot she’d forced on me that tasted vaguely of lemon and vanilla. Ick. I could feel it warming its way through my stomach, making my head spin a little with heady rush of the alcohol. Or maybe that was the music, and the throbbing mass of people dancing and swaying and grinding all around us. But it was probably the drink.
I’d say I didn’t normally drink, but that’d be putting it lightly. The sugary shot I’d just downed was my second drink ever. The first being the half-warm beer that Teddy Genaro convinced me to drink at the bonfire party he dragged me to a week after graduation. The beer was gross, but Teddy trying to put his hands up my skirt was even grosser. So, my whole first foray into drinking was cut pretty short when I’d slapped his hand away and walked home in a huff.
But Carrie? And Lauren, and Kendra? Well, they were a different breed. Carrie was my roommate over in the freshman dorm of Cartwright College. Lauren and Kendra were two other girls who were pledging Delta Pi Kappa along with Carrie, and this was certainly not their first time drinking. Or second. And judging from the way Kendra giggled at the way the guy she’d just met five minutes before was sliding his hand up her leg past the hem of her skirt, I was pretty confident they’d done a whole lot of that before too.
Clubs were not my scene. Neither was drinking, obviously. But after coming up with lame excuses for the last two months of living with Carrie as to why I couldn’t or wouldn’t go out with her for the night, I guess I finally ran out of excuses.
Well, that and… well, that.
What I’d seen four days before.
I shook my head, hard, trying to knock the memories and the visuals of that scene from my head. Carrie turned, beaming wickedly at me like she couldn’t wait to further corrupt me. She pressed another of the sickly-sweet lemon-vanilla shots into my hands, and this time, I didn’t even hesitate. I knocked it back, my cheeks burning hot as the alcohol slid down my throat. The more experienced girls cheered and snapped pictures, like this was some sort of occasion.
My blood pumped hotter as the shot settled into my stomach, and I forced a smile to my face. But the visuals were still there. The images.
The side street I had no business walking down that late at night, all alone. The man on his knees in the alley, pleading up at the three men standing around him. The tall one, with the slicked-back, bleach-blond hair laughing as he pointed the gun at the man on the ground. The thought in my head that this couldn’t be real—that this must be a movie shoot that I’d stumbled into. This isn’t real life—people don’t hold guns to other people’s foreheads in dark alleys in real life, right?
But then there was the shot, and the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. And the blood, everywhere. I was barely aware of the scream wrenching from my mouth, the world blurring past me as I turned and ran. I ran faster than I’d ever run in my life, my heart and my screams caught in my throat until I made it back to campus.
That was five days ago, and not a moment had gone by when I didn’t feel like there was a shadow behind me. Not a night had gone by when I didn’t wake up to the imaginary sound of a gun going off.
So, yeah, that’s why I’d run out of excuses for why I wouldn’t come out with Carrie. Because that night, I was done with the feeling of dread that I couldn’t escape. That night, I was trying Carrie’s way. I was done being the good girl, and I was going to get drunk—real good and drunk. I was going to follow these girls’ leads and let my hang-ups and inhibitions go.
And maybe that’s what I needed. Maybe that’s what it would take to finally just forget about what I’d seen.
Another shot was pressed into my hand. My head was spinning, and my face felt hot. God, my whole body felt hot. Carrie and Lauren and Kendra were laughing, and even if I kind of got the feeling that they were laughing at me, I pushed it away. No psychoanalyzing tonight. No second-guessing. I just went with it.
Someone bumped into me, skin teasing across my bare midriff. I hugged an arm around myself, once again really feeling how out of place I was. How not “me” I was right then. The tiny tank top that ended about four inches under my breasts. The strappy heels. The ridiculous short little skirt that made me feel like I was showing my underwear off to everyone with every freaking step. All of it borrowed from Carrie, of course, since this was a hundred miles from anything even close to what I’d usually ever wear. She’d even made me go out with her earlier and buy the underwear I was wearing—this ridiculously flimsy little strip of lacy pink thong.