It’s Valentine’s Day! Seems like the perfect day to give away a romance short story for free, doesn’t it? Yep, I thought so, too.
Now through Sunday, you can download the ebook, Risk, a billionaire gangster romance short story on Amazon for free. Read an excerpt below.
Liam’s heart thumped like a piston in his chest. The sound of quiet purred like it was unsettled. A neighbor’s dog barked. Once. Three more times.
Something…someone…was out there. He slid open the wooden drawer of his nightstand, slipped out his gun. The window blinds swayed in the breeze, then clapped softly against the sill. His breathing tightened. He got out of bed, slinked through the bedroom of the small house, into the hall, careful not to knock his large frame against anything along the way. He didn’t know his way around the place, not like his house up north. This was a temporary place to stay while he took care of some business not too far away. At this house, he didn’t need to have every corner and loose floorboard memorized. Hardly anyone knew he was here.
He’d thought wrong.
In a few swift motions, Liam crossed the living room, yanked open the front door, and stepped outside, gun ready to shoot. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he’d use it, too.
A woman dressed in black stood in front of him.
The curve of her hips in black leggings gave away her gender. A black hoodie covered her head. Her back was to him as if she’d been prepared to run away.
“Who are you?” His voice rumbled in the dark, loud enough for anyone out there to hear. She couldn’t have come alone.
Down the road, a car peeled off and skidded away.
“Your ride left you,” Liam said. “Put your hands over your head and turn around. Slowly.”
She did as he said. His gaze swept over her curves as she turned, looking for the bulky outline of a weapon. She faced him now, her head bowed.
“Who are you?” He yelled through clenched teeth. “Take off your hood.”
When she did, a gasp left him, and his hand loosened on the gun. “Leticia.”
His mind stuttered. It took a moment to get it back on track. Fingers fumbled over hard steel as he tightened his grip on the gun again. He stomped toward her, pulled her inside the house, and slammed the front door.
He shook her but kept the gun pointed at the ground. “What are you doing? What the fuck is this? Don sent you?”
She trembled under his grip, and when her gaze swept his way, he remembered the chocolate brown eyes that had arrested him six years ago. Her slight accent. Her silk dress. Her ruby lips. The notes of her perfume. His breath hitched at the memory. Rapunzel. Princess Leticia. She was here. This was not in his mind when he made the offer on her uncle’s veranda.
Looking up at him now, she kept her mouth shut. Fear crossed her face.
“You don’t want to talk. Fine.” She winced when he grabbed her wrist and twisted it behind her back. “Do you have any weapons?”
“No,” she whimpered.
He put her against the wall, chest-first, kicked her feet apart and placed her hands against the wall. He swept her for weapons, gliding a firm hand over her arms, down her torso, her hips, her legs. He tucked his fingers inside her shoes. Nothing. Clean.
He maneuvered her around to face him again. Her back thumped against the wall. He splayed his palm on the hard surface next to her. His gaze raked over her. The fear that had crossed her face moments earlier changed. Her eyes softened under his stare.
He shouldn’t be turned on right now. But with her this close to him, he couldn’t help it. She was at his doorstep, and his body responded to her regardless of the circumstances, just like it did six years ago.
She couldn’t have been a threat. If so, wouldn’t she have done something by now?
He bent his elbow to close more space between them. He could feel her heat, her intrigue, her fear. Her eyelashes fanned down, her line of sight moving from his eyes to his mouth.
She must’ve felt something, too.
He leaned toward her ear, glimpsing the long, messy ponytail that draped over her neck. “What brought you out of the castle, Rapunzel?”
She turned her chin away from him, fixing her gaze on the wall nearby.
Gripping her arm again, he pulled her from the wall. “I guess you want to do this the hard way.” He led her to the wooden table, turned a chair around, and pushed her onto the seat. “Are you wearing a wire?”
“No.” Her voice clipped back at him as if his accusation annoyed her.
But he couldn’t be too sure. She’d shown up in a Podunk desert town., found him, and wouldn’t tell him why. Was it El Don? The Feds? He needed answers, whether she wanted to give them or not. And he probably didn’t have much time to find out, because she hadn’t come to this place alone.
He stepped back, glowering down at her. “Take off your shirt.”
Like what you read? Get the full short story on Amazon, free today through Sunday, February 16.