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Runaround (Getaway #4)
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Can two people perpetually moving in opposite directions ever end up in the same place? Or will love just keep giving them the runaround?
Webb Bryant is intimately acquainted with every type of trouble there is. Trouble is all he’s ever known and the only constant in his life.
Tennyson McKenna makes it a point to be diligently cautious in all aspects of her life. She learned the hard way that leading with your heart instead of your head gets you nowhere.
Ten’s a woman stuck in a frustrating rut. After a string of failed relationships lands her back home, a pit stop to mend her broken heart becomes a hole she’s lost the will to dig herself out of. Coasting through her days was easy until Webb Bryant crash-landed in her path, complete with bullets, blood, and a grin far too charming for his own good. Webb is anything but safe and predictable. He’s everything Ten swore she would never gamble on again, but it’s impossible to ignore the way trouble follows him around like a shadow. And every single time Ten pushes Webb away, she finds herself chasing after him before he’s gone for good. When Webb’s past finally catches up to him, Ten has to decide if she’s brave enough to put her heart on the line for a man who might be gone tomorrow.
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Trouble taking over my life was nothing new.
We were old friends, and we went way, way back. Sometimes we had a good time . . . a really good time. Trouble could be a lot of fun if you knew how to play with all of the sharp, enticing edges of it. Sometimes trouble and I had a falling out, and I tried to get my act together, telling myself I was going to do better, be better. But, like the most talented and determined of lovers, trouble always came calling. And like the weak bastard I was, I always gave into the temptation. Always put my hand directly in the flame, even though I knew I was going to get burned.
Trouble was familiar.
Trouble was so easy to slide into, and I couldn’t ever walk away. Most days I didn’t know who I was if I didn’t have trouble trailing after me, dogging my every step, luring me into dark corners toward bad decisions I knew would hang around my neck like a dead weight for the rest of my life.
Today, trouble had the worst timing imaginable when it decided to show up. I was acting right and had been keeping my nose clean. I landed a job on a friend’s ranch in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, foolishly thinking I’d put enough distance between us that it wouldn’t be able to find me. I should’ve known better. Trouble was crafty and persistent. Trouble never let go. Trouble had its claws dug so deep into my skin, I’d ripped flesh and bone away when I ran the last time I’d attempted to leave it in the dust.
Trouble wore a lot of different faces. It came in all different shapes and sizes, so I never quite knew what to look for or when to run.
Today I was at a wedding, a celebration of life and love. I was surrounded by happy people, smiling children, and my family. I also couldn’t take my eyes off the only thing in the world I’d ever encountered that tempted me more than trouble: a woman. A beautiful, brave, smart-mouthed woman, who made it clear she didn’t have the time of day to give me. Tall, blonde, with shrewd green eyes set in a face that told a story, Tennyson McKenna was not a woman who suffered fools, or lovesick city boys, lightly. She wanted nothing to do with me, which made her smart and told me she had good instincts. Her blatant dismissal and outright hostility did nothing to cool the heat that pooled low in my gut whenever I caught sight of her. Every rejection she fired my way only made the challenge of chasing her infrequent smiles and rare laughter all the more thrilling. I wanted her. So much so, I forgot that I already had a mistress who liked to come calling when my back was turned. Trouble was a tricky bitch with a nasty bite. Trouble showed up in the form of a swarm of black-garbed FBI agents waving around a warrant for my arrest and making a scene on a day that was supposed to be goodness and light.
Trouble was splashy and loud this time. It was the center of attention when all eyes should have been on the bride and groom. Every instinct I had was to fight, to push back, to tell trouble now was not the time or place. However, when trouble came with a badge, armed to the teeth, I knew the only thing I could do was to go with it quietly so that the people who mattered could try and salvage what was left of their special day. I’d done this dance more times than I could count. I knew all the steps, even if trouble was singing a new tune this time around.
A big guy looked at me like I’d crawled out of the sewer. He was from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, the division responsible for this part of Nowhere since Wyoming had so few residents and such a low crime rate for federal offenses. He informed me that my picture was on surveillance footage and my DNA was found several armed bank robberies throughout northern Wyoming and Montana. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t defend myself. I didn’t declare how the evidence was impossible because I knew it wouldn’t do me any good. I listened quietly while they read me the rights I already knew by heart. Trouble made sure I had my back against the wall. It was smug and confident, and it had me right where it wanted me.
I went quietly, my older brother not so much. Wyatt was the only blood family I acknowledged. He was the only person in the entire world I gave a shit about. Up until a few months ago, when I stumbled upon the woman who made my heart race. For once, Wyatt had been the one tangled up in trouble’s sticky web, and when I’d gone to get him out, I found myself in the middle of a place I never wanted to leave, surrounded by the kind of men and women who made me regret giving trouble free rein in my life up until then. Wyatt was a DEA agent, one of the good guys. We’d always been as different as night and day, but he’d never stood by and let trouble roll over me. It was his life’s mission to keep me from getting crushed under the weight of my poor choices and desperate decisions.