Happy Wednesday, and thanks again to the lovely Angelica Dawson for organizing the MidWeekTeases 🙂
This week’s tease comes from my new dark romantic suspense FIERY 10-16.
Dawn admitted, “My husband found the money.”
From the firefighter’s wild, brown eyes and hard features, her words hit home—he cared about her. He wouldn’t be so angry if he didn’t. The realization relieved some of the tension within, and the bathroom walls stopped shrinking around her. She took a deep breath, waiting for him to say something.
“And then?” he asked, after a beat of time.
She heaved her shoulders, as if to say, “That’s it, nothing else happened.” Runo—that was his name, if she remembered well—didn’t need to know about the beating that ensued, or the rape. Her intimate parts still burned from that.
It was just her luck. Any other alcoholic wouldn’t be able to get it up, but Joe did, at all times, and he used his hard, punishing cock to inflict even more humiliation.
Runo lifted his brows. “What did he do after he found it?”
She sighed, pretending he annoyed her, but inside, she jubilated. He really, really cared. Whoa, such a good feeling to have after all the bad stuff she’d endured before Joe passed out from the drinking.
Runo was not only concerned about her, he was amazingly handsome, too, with his half-African traits, tanned skin, and captivating gaze mirroring honesty. If he played the town hero card a little more, she’d fall flat for him. If she hadn’t already. He was irresistible.
He pushed from the door and took a step toward her. “C’mon, Dawn, tell me what he did after he found the money.”
“He bought booze, dass’ all.”
“Yeah?” He leaned closer, his scrutinizing gaze ping-ponging between her eyes. Clearly didn’t believe her.
“Yeah. And then he drank and fell asleep.”
“What were the bruises you showed us earlier? Huh? Is he beating you?”
Shit, the bruises. The blood drained from her head. She’d forgotten about that episode. Not about being so near the firefighter—a vivid déja-vu sensation reminded her they’d had the same closeness when she kissed him, and the memory made her breath catch—but she’d forgotten about showing the marks on her ribs. Lately, she’d developed a habit of using anything in her favor to get out of trouble. And now, what she did in the supermarket was back-firing.
He deepened his frown. “You need to tell the truth. It’s the only way we can help you.”
Ha! If he thought she’d tell him about the beatings and then have him go to the police, he could think again. The case would be dismissed, Joe would be released from custody, and, completely pissed, he would increase the punishment tenfold for sure. Take it out on the kids, too. Alarm shot through her, causing pressure on her chest. She froze.
No, she couldn’t let that happen. She needed to stall Runo, distract him, divert the subject.
What better way than to seduce him? She had plenty experience in that department. From the manner he had looked at her earlier, repeatedly dipping his gleaming gaze into her cleavage, it wouldn’t be difficult to steer him in a direction that suited her.
It didn’t matter he was a gentleman and she used his sex drive to get what she wanted. Even if that made her a hypocritical bitch. An abuser. Hadn’t she learned from the best? Sarcasm filled her with ugliness, but she needed to focus on the priorities.
Do everything it takes to protect the kids, remember!
It wasn’t her fault she’d become a desperate person. Life had forced her to be dark and manipulative.
Pfft. Playing on other people’s feelings was just one of many acts in her register.
What now? She could put a hand on his broad chest and caress him, play with his nipple, or grope his thick groin package again, but she’d already tried that and he’d been unwilling. She needed to come up with another idea.
Oh, yes. Faint.
She blinked a couple times before closing her eyes, letting her body soften, and weakening her knees. Seconds later, she slid down onto the floor and hit her head against something hard. A wall, maybe. Or the toilet. Not the most hygienic place to spread her hair and body parts, but a girl had to do what a girl had to do.
A male exclamation sounded, then a thud hit the ground beside her—he probably went down on his knees—and strong arms slipped beneath her back and legs and lifted. “Dawn! Dawn, do you hear me?” The exasperation in his voice gave her a hint of bad conscience, but she enjoyed her victim role too much, being lifted onto his muscular thighs and lying safely in his arms.
“Shit, shit, shit.” He shook her shoulders a bit. “Dawn!”
Hot breaths brushed her chest. Her nipple, in fact. Had her dress slipped in the commotion and exposed a breast? Perfect.
She fluttered her eyelids and caught a glance of him. He didn’t stare at her breast—though he undoubtedly did seconds before—but at her face, his features concerned. “Wake up, Dawn.”
His voice sounded so warm, so comforting, that alone made her feel cocooned. She opened her eyes wide and took the rest of him in.
Hard, bulging muscles tented his shirt in all the right places.
My, my, isn’t he built like a grizzly!
Joe may be surprisingly strong despite his drunkenness, but in comparison, the firefighter looked like Hulk. He must have the strength to give Joe the beating of his life.
Ha ha! She imagined her husband taking a mighty blow to the chin and flying backward in the living room, crashing into furniture and collapsing like a lifeless puppet on the floor. And then her hero—this very piece of hotness holding her in his arms now—would make passionate love to her on the kitchen counter. Make her scream.
Copyright (c) 2017 Lea Bronsen
Runo Wiggins is a scarred man, the wounds etched into his psyche deeper than those on his skin. But he loves his job: fighting fires helps reenact his survival of a house fire as a teen, one that killed his mother and brutal stepfather.
Dawn Caravello is married to a psychotic drunk. She can take his beatings as long as he doesn’t touch their children, and she’ll do anything to put food on the table, even if it means stealing from the town hero.
When Runo meets the fiery Dawn, sparks fly. But he suspects she is victim of the same abuse as his mother was. As day turns to night, the past and the present blend in an exhausting, nerve-wrecking chase to prevent another death.
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