By Jay Crownover
Release Date October 18, 2016
Don’t be fooled.
Don’t make excuses for me.
I am not a good man.
I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.
The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.
I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.
Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise... I’m the one standing front and center.
She harrumphed and slid off the desk so she was towering over me in those killer heels. I was glad she was back in her right skin.
I nodded solemnly and ran a tired hand over my face. It was a deal with the devil, but we both knew she was going to make it anyway.
“Very lucrative and profitable business only, and if for some reason the cops shut me down, I’ll return your investment plus fifty percent of my own.”
“How much did you sink into this place? And how much do you expect me to buy in for?”
I shrugged. “I spent enough to make it what I wanted and you can pay in the same Race did. Two hundred K. I’m the primary backer, so my word is law, but if you see something now working or a way I missed to bring more money in, we can have a discussion.” Race had actually put in double that amount, but I wasn’t about to tell her that, and no one had ever accused me of being honest.
She whistled. “That’s a lot of money.”
“You have it.” She would hate to know that I knew exactly what her bank balance was. It paid to have a computer hacker on the payroll. There wasn’t much about her I didn’t know, both inside and out.
“I do have it. I just don’t know if I want to give it to you.” It sounded like she was taking about a lot more than money.
“We open this weekend, so you don’t have much time to decide.”
“I feel like I never had a choice. The second you showed up in Denver, this was all bound to happen because you always get your way.”
I shook my head slightly. “Not always.” We both knew that.
Her eyes sparked with charcoal flecks and she took a step closer so that she could bend down and put her hands on the arms of my chair. She leaned closer and closer until her mouth was hovering a mere millimeter away from mine. When she spoke, the words danced across my lips and tasted like victory and fate.
“No, not always.” Her lips pressed into mine and I had to curl my hands around the arms of the chair to keep from grabbing at her.
She teased the clamped seam of my lips with her tongue and lightly scraped her teeth across my bottom lip. I wanted to toss her backward on the desk and bury myself inside her with no finesse, just pure, animalistic lust. She brushed her lips back and forth and laughed lightly as I bit down on my already injured tongue to keep from reacting. If I mauled her now, it would undo any progress I might have made with her.
he pulled back and reached out to run her finger over each of the high arches of my eyebrows. It was the softest, gentlest touch I had ever felt from another human being and it made my focus on her pulse even more heavily in my veins.
“Fine. I’m in. I’ll write you a check.”
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.