Snippet Saturday – Beginnings

The beginning of a relationship is exciting. It’s scary as hell too. There are all sorts of emotions running through your head and sometimes you even second guess everything that is said or done by either of you.

It’s no different in a romance novel. The hero and heroine go through the same things, the same mixed bag of emotions. They each have their own hurts and vulnerabilities and issues. And while we may not always think so, those things are part of the excitement, too.


Oh God. She was really there, staring at him, and he — bless his gorgeous face — he looked happy to see her. Looking at his smile, she suddenly felt out of her element again and for some reason not quite up to the dress code in her denim knee-length skirt and brown hoodie. Her pink painted toes curled under as she shifted her weight nervously from one foot to the other in the cute, sparkly flip-flops Alli had talked her into wearing. But there wasn’t a dress code, given that he was in faded, threadbare jeans with holes in the knees and one of the back pockets ripped at the seams. His T-shirt was black with a washed-out logo she couldn’t make out, and his sneakers had seen much better days. Still, she felt uncertain about how she looked to him standing there while they stared at each other. What was it about him that drew her and scared her all at the same time? Maybe it was his freshness, his youth, his smile that was flawless and bright and aimed at her.

He stopped in front of her. “You’re here.”

“Yes. I-I hope it’s okay that I just showed up like this without calling first.”

“Yep. I’m glad you’re here. I can stop checking my phone every thirty seconds now.”

Checking his phone? Was he serious? Surely not. “I-I’m sure you have things to do. I just wanted to…” Lily hated that she was stumbling all over herself and couldn’t seem to get a string of words to come out in some semblance of order and make sense. The man had her all tongue-tied and she wished she hadn’t had that particular thought, because she would love to be tongue-tied, naked, and wrapped around him.

Dammit. She really had to stop thinking things like that. If she could just stay focused on the fact that he was so much younger than her, she might actually get out of this awkward mess unscathed.

And he had to stop looking at her like he wanted to devour her.

“I have nothing else that I’m needed for until tomorrow, so that means I’m all yours tonight.”

“Oh.” She likely hadn’t hidden the surprise at his choice of words, because he laughed. All hers? Yeah, right. In what universe was a man like Cam Carter ever going to be “all hers”?

“You like that idea.”

The man was reading her mind again, just as he’d done at the autograph session. She had to learn not to be so transparent. Alli was forever telling her that everything she thought or felt could be seen in her eyes and in the expressions on her face.

“Well, yes, of course. How could I not?” She’d play along, though. How often did an average, ordinary music teacher and orchestra member get this kind of opportunity? “I’d be crazy to not want you all to myself.”

“Great. Because that’s how I want you.” He stepped closer and lifted his hand, then traced the outline of her cheekbone, causing her breath to catch in her throat. “I want you all to myself.”

He was going to kiss her. She knew it because he took off his sunglasses, because the pulse beat in his neck had kicked into high gear, because his lips actually brushed hers. Oh. My. God.

He’s too young. He’s too young. He’s too young.

Her mind rattled off the litany. She promised herself she needed to remember it in the event she got carried away and gave serious consideration to spending any kind of time with him. But all of it flew away in the breeze when she let herself get swept up in the softness of his lips, the insistent tip of his tongue, the feel of his hand sliding into her hair, holding her mouth to his.

It was a brief kiss, just a taste of him, but it was enough to whet her appetite for more. The little devil inside her head laughed. As if she needed her appetite whetted. She had thought of little else in the last six days, and she’d never wrestled with anything more. Should she or shouldn’t she? Should she call or just show up?

More than once, she’d picked up the phone and dialed his number but never let the call go through. What if he hadn’t remembered her by just her name and voice alone? What if he put her off or changed his mind or hadn’t meant for her to take the date and time on the picture seriously?

She’d been so uncertain that Alli had actually followed her to the race shop and waited while she got out of her car and sat down on the bench. As soon as Alli left, Lily had entertained the same notion, but then Cam walked out, and she couldn’t walk away without trying. Trying what, she didn’t know, but there was definitely something between them, some chemistry even she couldn’t deny.

“Just as sweet as I knew you’d be.”

Lily smiled, unsure what to say. You are just as hot as I remembered, and I want to see how hot you are naked in bed.

“What do you want to do? Dinner? A movie? A concert? A club? Whatever you want to do, we will do.”

“A date?”

“Yes. What did you think this was?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t know you wanted to go out with me. On a date. In public.”

Cam looked at her curiously, his smile faltering, his eyes hooded and unreadable. “Was I being presumptuous in thinking that you might like to?”

“I… No. No, not at all. ”

The light returned to his face and it took her breath away. Again. Damn. The effect the man had on her… Cam Carter wanted her, wanted to spend time with her, go out on a date with her. She wasn’t strong enough to deny him or herself. He was offering her a chance few women ever got. Why not make the most of it?

“Just so we’re clear here, I want more than one date, Lily.”

Well, she wasn’t expecting that. She swallowed hard. “More than one date?”

“Oh yes. A lot more than one.”

“What do you mean?”

Cam smiled at her and bent to kiss her again, short and sweet, just a meeting of lips. “We’ll talk about it later. What do you say we go have dinner? I’m starving, and a steak sounds great.”

“Right. Okay.”

“Do you mind if we take my truck?”

“Truck? You drive a truck?”

“Yeah. What were you thinking I drove?”

“Honestly, I don’t know, maybe a sports car, but a truck never entered my mind.”

“My family lives for trucks.” His grin was megawatt as he slid his sunglasses back on.

“I can drive my own car.”

“I know, but I’d rather us take one car. Like a proper date. Besides, this way I know we’ll get to where we’re going together, and you won’t run on me.”

Lily laughed. “Yes, but you’ll have to bring me back here to pick up my car.”

“I don’t care. Just gives me a little more time with you. C’mon.”

He didn’t give her time to say anything else, because he took her hand and pulled her along behind him. And the view was amazing. Her “good girl” side was admonishing her for staring so blatantly at Cam’s ass, while her “devil girl” side was rooting her on with fist pumps in the air.

The man had a fabulous set of buns in denim, and she wondered if he was a boxers or briefs kinda guy.

“You can find that out for yourself later if you really want to know.”

Oh God. She’d said that out loud? Humiliation stopped her in her tracks, and she covered her face with her free hand. She was so embarrassed. What the hell had gotten into her? She couldn’t look at him, even when he tried lifting her chin with his fingers.

“Oh Cam. I am so sorry. I…”

“Why are you sorry? I’m flattered that you want to know. I am more than flattered.” He waggled his eyebrows at her, and she could barely contain her smile. “I am eager for you to know. I can’t wait for you to find out. So don’t be embarrassed. Besides, I want to know what kind you wear too.”

Oh my.

“Yes, I want you like that. I want to take you out on dates, and I want to take you to bed.”

“I don’t know what to say.” And she didn’t.

“Don’t say anything other than yes. Don’t think anything other than yes.”

Yes. Yes. Yes.

She repeated the word inside her head as he tugged her along behind him again.


Visit the following blogs for more Beginnings snippets:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Leah Braemel
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


NaNoWriMo and Other Stuff…Like A Trading Card Giveaway!

It’s gonna be a busy few weeks and I have lofty goals and plans for the next month during NaNoWriMo. For those of you who do not know what that means, well, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in 30 days. The book I’m working on for it is Drive Shaft, the second race car book for Loose Id.

I have attempted NaNoWriMo the last couple of years, but have not finished. Last year I kind of choked under pressure and didn’t write for a few months. This year, I’m going about things a little differently and am feeling really good about my writing. Forcing myself to put out the 3 short male/male stories has helped me a lot. Even though they’re not selling well, I’m enjoying the sense of accomplishment. I’m learning. I’m experimenting. And I’m trying not to get down that they’re not selling well. It’s been almost a year since I’ve had a good size book come out and that’s no one’s fault but mine. I take full responsibility for it.

I am writing a lot right now. I am finishing up Revealed, what I think is going to be the final installment of Bobby and Thor’s little erotic romance. It’ll be slightly longer than Unmasked, which was slightly longer than Masked. Revealed has more than one scene, more than one POV, and a whole lot of verbal interaction between Bobby and Thor. They are beginning and this story is not meant to be a full length book, it’s not meant to iron out every last detail. It’s a beginning…

I am also working on Trouble In The Making. I’m going to finish that one if it kills me! The awesome artist Kendra Egert of Creations by Kendra is working on the cover and as soon as I have it, you’ll get to see it. She’s also going to be creating some trading cards for me too…

I am very excited about Twisted Up. I mean HUGELY excited about it! I want to spend most all of December talking about it, planning some promo and contests for it. It’s a fun, sexy book with A LOT and I mean A LOT of sex in it. There’s some intense emotion. There’s some laughter. But THERE IS A LOT OF SEX. Just warning you now.

I want to say that I appreciate all of you, my readers. Y’all have kept me going, especially the ones who email me with threats. Those of you who comment on my blogs, who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, who tell other readers about my books. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I’m going to ask you to do something I’ve not asked you to do before. Rate my books. On Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Wherever you buy them from, please go out and rate them, review them. Good or bad. (Good preferably, but most of all HONESTLY). Give them a Like on the Facebook button too. I mean really. There are a lot of readers out there who don’t know Vinter! Surely they deserve to know the man! Think of how deprived they are with him… Just sayin’ ya know… for the good of the readers, y’all!

How about this? Go out and rate/review one of my books, all of them, whatever… Go forth and give your opinions, come back here and tell me you have, and I’ll have a contest for Vinter, Buck, and Cam trading cards on Thursday at 7pm!

I now have to get back to writing. NaNoWriMo writing is done for the day, but I still have to work on Revealed and on Trouble In The Making.

Have a great Tuesday!




Guess What, Y’all?

Yesterday, Bethany, my editor with Samhain Publishing, offered yours truly a contract for Cowboy Justin, his girl Ella, and their book, Twisted Up.

The earliest the book will come out is December, thought it may even be January. I’ll let y’all know when I know. I have also turned in the partial of Forever in Blue Jeans, Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 3. We’ll see how she likes what I’ve got so far and if she’s interested.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say I’ve got anything new coming, but WOOT! I’ve got new stuff coming! I’m still working on the book that I will be self publishing this summer, Trouble In The Making. I will also be turning Masked, my free read, into a longer work (though not by much) and self-publishing it. After I finish Forever in Blue Jeans and Trouble In The Making, I’ll be getting back to work on Drive Shaft (Alli’s book from Stick Shift) and Too Bad (Jackie and Mac’s book from Ink Spots).

I’m working on a lot of stuff so just bear with me. It’s been a lean year for us, I know, but there will be a few things this year and then next year will be full!

Thank you to all my readers that have been so very supportive and unwavering in your loyalty. Thank you to those of you that have sent me wonderful and encouraging emails, even if some threatened me with bodily harm if I didn’t get another book out. Grins… I love all of you more than I can say.(Just imagine the release party we’ll be having for Twisted Up!)

Back to work now…


The Lines of a WIP

As y’all know, I’ve been writing. And as you know, I usually always have more than one book being written at a time. Usually when I get close to the end of one, I’ll concentrate on it solely until it’s finished. Or sometimes I’ll even work on one a lot until I get to a place where I’m not sure how to continue and I’ll work on another book until I figure the first one out.

I’m still working on Cowboy Justin and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I thought today that I’d shared with y’all some lines from my current Works In Progress. You can see on the sidebar over there that there are quite a few of them. So, let’s get started, shall we?


Twisted Up (Cowboy Justin and his girl, Ella)

She never saw him lift the jug and hold the bottom in his palm. She never saw it coming at all until the water hit her, soaking her face, her hair, the tee shirt she wore.

She sputtered and he laughed.

“Wha—Justin …”

“I told you to stop that.”

She wiped water from her face and he helped by slicking her hair back, just as he had his own. “I can’t help it if you’re so good looking. Go get ugly or something and I won’t gawk.”

He pressed a kiss to her soaking wet head and turned her so they could walk back to the house with his arm around her and tried to keep from looking down at her nipples, which were at present trying to poke holes in the shirt she wore. “I don’t want to get ugly. I like you gawking at me, but I have other plans for us for today that don’t include a mud bath.”

Too Bad (Jackie and Mac)

“Why do you do this, Jax?”

She loved his little nickname of Jax for her. He was the only one that called her anything other than Jackie and she loved it. She’d never tell him that though. He made her feel… Hell, she wasn’t sure what he made her feel. Which was a completely lie. She knew exactly how he made her feel, what he made her feel.

“I’m not doing anything.”

She just wished he would stop treating her special and start treating her like he treated everyone else. She wished he would stop looking at her with that all knowing little smile and that twinkle in his eyes. He wanted her. He knew she knew it. She wanted him. He knew she knew he knew that too.


“What do you want me to say, Mac? Great, I’m glad you’ve decided we should finally fuck and get it over with?”

Drive Shaft (Alli and Jason)

“Not bothering me. How about you, Jake? Are you bothered that Alli stopped by?”

“Nope, not a bit.”

Jake had come to stand beside Cam against the side of the car and suspicion started to set in. She looked back and forth between the two men. What the hell was going on? “Okay, well, on that strange note, I’m gonna be going now. I’ll call Grant from the car to find out why he sent me over here.”

Alli turned around and put one foot in front of the other, continuing to look over her shoulder. Both men were staring after her, the oddest looks on their faces.

“You’re here for me.”

That was a voice she hadn’t heard before and she stopped in her tracks. Alli spun on her heel and looked beyond Cam and Jake to the office doorway. “I’m here for you?” Which was fine with her given the yumminess of him. He was young, shaggy blond beneath his cowboy hat, long and lean in dark jeans and cowboy boots. A tee shirt stretched across his chest, but not too tightly. There was a little scruff on his face. And he was young. Damn good looking from across the room, but young. Too young.

Had she told herself enough times that he was young? The way her belly did funny little swirly-do’s she didn’t think she had. Not near enough.

“Yes, ma’am.” He winked. “Me.”

Alli groaned and the sound echoed around the cavernous room. Oh dear God, he called her ma’am. With a wink. Yep. Way too young. “I don’t understand.” But she was afraid she did. She just needed some clarification.

Hot Yummy took a few steps toward her and those swirly-do’s in her belly picked up speed. If they kept it up, they were going to end up as a full blown twister.

“Grant set us up. A blind date.”

Forever In Blue Jeans (Blue and Cort)

“Shit.” Shit. Shit. Shit. Cort couldn’t stop the word from repeating itself inside his head. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes again. He looked up through the windshield, hoping the woman’s face and hair and body were different than the face and hair and body of the one he’d first glimpsed when he pulled up in front of the large house. It wasn’t. She wasn’t. All of it was the same, every last inch of every last feature he could see. “Shit.”

Did she recognize him? He hoped not. On the other hand, he hoped like hell she not only recognized but remembered in great detail every moment from that one night, every moment up until the time she left while he was still blissfully, ignorantly snoring.


He made a big production in the cab of his truck and was pretty sure he looked like a raving lunatic tossing notepads and pieces of paper up, down, and across the seat, but he really didn’t give a fuck. Especially not in front of her.

When he finally did get out of the truck and proceeded to slam the door behind him to make a point, if only to himself, his boot slipped and he nearly fell on his ass in the wet red clay that was synonymous with the South. He gripped the door handle and held on for all he was worth, pulling himself up, rigid and locking his knees until he regained his balance.

“Careful there,” she called from the porch. “The rain we had last night hasn’t dried out yet and that is some slick stuff you’re stepping in.”

Yeah, no shit. Instead of actually saying those words, he simply slid her a look that had she been closer, would have spoken for him. Another deep breath. A clenching of his jaw until it hurt. An almost painful grip on the door handle…

Slowly, Cort put one foot in front of the other and walked away from his truck. He kicked off what mud he could when he got to the small gravel lined walk that led to the steps. She was waiting at the top for him, looking like she hadn’t a care in the world and could wait all day for him. Too bad she hadn’t waited for him to roll over and wake up all those years ago in that Savannah hotel room.

Get Lost (Annabeth and Billy)

Annabeth peered inside the coffee container one last time just to be certain she hadn’t just imagined the contents were all gone. Nope. Not imagined. Actually gone. Every last ground bean was gone.

With a calm she still couldn’t seem to muster up on the inside, she set the canister back down on the counter and stalked through the bedroom into the master bathroom she shared with Dave. She whipped open the shower curtain.

“Babe, what the hell?”

“Did you drink the last of the coffee?”

Dave pulled the curtain closed. “I was going to go get some after my shower.”

Annabeth yanked the curtain open again. “But you did drink it? The last of it? Dave, there was enough in there for both of us for this morning. And you drank it all.”

“Shit, Beth will you stop doing that. You’re letting all the steam out.”

“Unfuckingbelievable. First my mother calls all night long even when I told her not to, and now I wake up to no coffee in the house. You know I can’t do anything without my morning coffee. You know this. Why would you drink it all?”

Before he could say anything in response, she stomped out of the bathroom and over to the dresser for a pair of socks. Once she had those on, she forced her feet into her slippers and pulled on a sweatshirt over her pajama top. She should be warm enough to go down to the Starbuck’s on the corner. It might have snowed last night but she should be okay to get there and back before she froze.

Grabbing a beanie hat off the hook by the front door, she let herself out. The elevators looked promising but at the last minute she decided the stairs would be the better way to go. The running down of three flights would heat her up inside and keep her warm. And if she power walked from the downstairs door to the corner, she might not even feel the cold at all.

She pushed the stairwell door open and took the stairs at a decidedly moderate clip. Her slippers weren’t the best running shoes around. A small bit of heat started to flow through her blood by the time she got to the door that lead outside. She took a deep breath and pushed it open, swearing like a sailor as the cold wind hit her smack in the face.

Well, if that wasn’t enough to wake her up…

No matter. Nothing was going to deter her from her destination. Starbucks. Coffee. Caffeine. More important than the blood flowing through her veins at that moment.

Annabeth dodged piles of snow and stepped into foot holes where others had trod before. She was almost there. Almost… just a few feet more… just… “What the fucking hell?”

Dumbfounded she stared at the sign that in big black letters read “Due to a water main break, we are CLOSED”.

The growl and scream that came out of her throat startled those passing around her but had no effect on her at all. She didn’t care that she was making scene and losing her mind there on the sidewalk. The meltdown had been coming for a while. She’d been feeling it for months. The knots in the back of her neck and the tightness in her shoulders. The need for more and more caffeine. The long walks around downtown that she’d started taking more frequently to get away from people demanding, bitching, whining. She was due to explode and here in front of the Starbuck’s with a broken water main was where she did it.

Trouble In The Making (Johnny and Liz)

He leaned down toward her and brushed his lips against her ear lobe. “Naughty girl. Your mind is in the gutter.”

She shook her head and her hair brushed over his face. He did laugh then. She was exactly as he remembered her. Shy yes but beneath it, wanton, wild, sexy as the day is long. He’d been such a fool to turn her away. He wouldn’t be making that mistake again.

“I just thought… With what you said… People are watching, Johnny.”

“Let them watch, Liz.”

“I don’t—”

“You do.” He lifted his head and looked down at her. He always had towered above her and he’d always felt protective of her. The people that milled around them, that waved and pointed, that stopped to say hi, that were figments from a past that he could care less about meant nothing. Sure, they’d been friends for four years during school, shared classes, had parties and proms, shared a lot of memories that he’d always have and remember, but they meant nothing in the grand scheme of his life now.

“Say the word, Liz. We’ll stay or go.”

“You’d do that for me?”

Johnny nodded. “I would. If you want to stay, we’ll stay all night. If you want to go, we’ll leave right now.”

“Will we have to come back tomorrow to the brunch and the other activities?”

She had that anxious look in her eyes again and again the thought flashed through his head about how she would survive being on the road and surrounded by people with him, but he pushed it aside. He’d bring that up later. “No, not if you don’t want to.”

“Then I’d like to go and not come back.”

“You know what I’m going to do with you instead, right?”


Okay well… Guess I should get back to work, yes? Are you tempted at all? Are you feeling the slightest bit of teasing? Even just a little hint of it?


Snippet Saturday – Active

Happy Saturday! If you’re reading this and you’ve been caught in an area of bad weather as most of the Southern US has the last 36 hours, I hope you and yours are safe and sound.

Today’s theme is Active… dancing, singing, sports, etc… So, I think in the spirit of all things Talladega and NASCAR I’m going to pull from Stick Shift. There’s been talk over the years that race car drivers aren’t true athletes because they sit in a car and turn left most of the time. Well, you try driving at 200MPH with 42 others driving at 200MPH and you tell me how non-athletic these guys are. And that’s when things are going smoothly. Think about hitting a wall at 200MPH…  Most of the drivers and those that work with them and those that watch them would heartily disagree. The mental and physical exertion they put their bodies and minds through is amazing. Many of them train and hone their bodies to peak performance… I admire them as much as any football or baseball player, dancer, rock musician, etc…

As a writer, I should do more to improve my activity level, my mental awareness, my body’s performance on a healthy level. I will not, give up coffee though… We can discuss anything else, but coffee, no…


Lily’s heart threatened to pound its way right through her chest wall as she was strapped into passenger side of the demo race car. She’d never been so nervous or scared in all her life, and she couldn’t stop checking to make sure that the helmet was on her head as tight as it could be and that her safety belts and neck restraints were secure enough to prevent her heart or any other part of her person from becoming detached.

Cam climbed in through the driver’s side window and grinned at her. “You’re a little on the pale side inside that helmet, and your eyes are really wide. You okay, baby?”

Lily just nodded, quite certain that she wouldn’t be able to find her voice.

“Do you want to get out? We don’t have to do this. I just thought you might have fun.”

“I-I’m just a little nervous.” A little nervous, hell. More like a lot nervous. Her voice was barely a squeak, but she managed to get the words out. She had a death grip on the padded straps that looked like the harness on a roller-coaster ride and held her against the seat.

Cam reached over and curled his hand over one of hers. His warmth, his smile, the reassuring look in his eyes calmed her like nothing else could. He squeezed his fingers over hers and winked, then sat back. One of his crew helped him get strapped in while Cam put on his helmet. Attaching the steering wheel was the last thing he did before he flipped the ignition switch.

The thick lining of the helmet did little to muffle the roar of the engine as it came to life. The car vibrated around her and for a few minutes she felt as though her teeth were going to rattle right out of her head.


She turned her head as Cam’s voice sounded in her ears. She hadn’t known there was a radio inside her helmet, and if she could have him talk to her throughout this little track adventure, she felt sure she’d be okay.

She nodded at him, and he nodded back, then peeled out of the pit box. Being that there was no race and no one else was using the track, there was no pit road speed for him to be cautious of, and Lily couldn’t stop the little scream that escaped her throat.

Cam laughed. “Hold on.”

Their speed steadily climbed and never dropped, even as they took the corners. The butterflies in Lily’s stomach went crazy. Being on the track like this was like nothing she’d ever felt before.

Cam used up the whole track, riding up high against the wall, so close Lily didn’t know how he avoided slamming into it, and riding so low to the apron, she didn’t know how he kept control and never once went below the yellow line, though he seemed at times to be jerking sharply on the wheel.

“You want to go around some more?”

Lily nodded and then loudly said, “Yes.” And so, they did. Half a dozen more times, he drove at two hundred miles an hour, giving her one of the most exhilarating and thrilling experiences of her life.

She loved it. She loved the feeling, after she’d gotten used to the quivering in her belly and the thumping of her heart, of course. But she loved the feeling of flying while still on the ground, the speed, the sound of the engine at full throttle, the man in the seat next to her. She loved how he gripped the wheel because it was how he gripped her body, firmly, with utter control and confidence.

When he pressed on the brakes, she could smell a mix of rubber, dust, hot concrete, and oil. She loved that. A stock car fan all her life, she was finding a new appreciation for it. The look and feel he’d given her in the last hour between the tour of the garage area and the ride… Damn, why hadn’t she thought of being a driver?

Once they were back in the pit box, Cam twisted and unlocked the steering wheel from the steering column and slid it up on the dash. He then went to work on his helmet, tugging it off his head, then finally worked on his safety belts and neck harness.

Lily had barely gotten her helmet off when the window net on her side of the car was pulled down and one of Cam’s crew members reached in to help her with her buckles, hooks, and catches.

“Have fun?”

Lily looked up at the kid. Well, he wasn’t a kid really, but he likely wasn’t any older than Cam. That brought her up short. Looking back and forth between the two men, young though they might be, there was a vast difference in their faces. Cam had youth, but his eyes seemed older than his actual years. The man at the window helping her seemed more like a boy than a man. Cam had responsibilities on his shoulders that most men her age wouldn’t be able to handle. Cam carried the weight of his crew, his sponsors, his bosses, his managers, and his family on his shoulders. They depended on him, and he depended on them.

Lily swayed when she stood on the ground, and the kid held on to her arm just a bit longer. She leaned back against the side of the car and took a few deep breaths.

“You okay? Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get your bearings again after a ride like that if you’re not used to it.”

Lily smiled at him. “I’m fine, just needed to catch my breath.”

Snippet 2…just because:

The green flag dropped, and the cars picked up speed over the start/finish line.

She would focus on the race. She had been in one of these cars going two hundred miles an hour, and she’d sat up on the pit box. She had such an intimate knowledge of things, more so than she’d had before, more so than a lot of people would ever know. The word “intimate” ran in circles inside her mind. Just the word and she felt her hunger for Cam pulse.

Shaking her head to try to clear it some, she sought out his car and grinned wide, yelled loudly as he flew by. More people turned to her as she cheered him on. Some had astonished faces, some just laughed at her, and some glared. She truly loved it, all of it. Cam was still in the lead at lap thirty and was coming up on lapped traffic. Things could get dicey. The flagman waved the blue flag with the diagonal orange stripe as a signal that the faster, lead lap cars were coming, but it didn’t seem to be working. No one was moving out of the way; no one was giving up the tenuous hold they had on their position.

Cam drifted down to the inside groove, trying to pass the same car that had wrecked him the week before. Lily tensed as they came around turn four, headed for the front stretch and turn one. Jake Curtis bumped the rear quarter panel of Cam’s car, causing him to swerve down onto the apron in order to not wreck other cars. Son of a bitch. Jake was trying to screw Cam again.

“I wish we had the headsets like we did down in the pits,” Alli yelled.

Lily nodded her agreement. She’d love to hear what Cam was saying, what was going on. Not for the first time, she was regretting the decision to sit in the stands.

Cam pulled back in behind Jake, and each time he tried to pass, Jake blocked. She wanted to believe Jake was just trying to keep from going another lap down, but at the same time, she couldn’t. It was no secret in the racing community that there was animosity between the two drivers, but it seemed lately that Jake was blatantly out to get Cam rather than to simply race him hard.

She didn’t understand it, why it appeared Jake hated Cam. Sure, Cam had a few racing moves that mimicked some of Jake’s from earlier in his career and Cam drove the wheels off his car every race. No one was immune to his aggressive style, but he didn’t deliberately try to wreck others. He was just out there to win. The fact that he could and did more often than not…well, she figured that rubbed other drivers the wrong way. He wasn’t afraid of nudging someone out of the way and he wasn’t afraid of payback. He liked good hard racing, the way it used to be.

Just before Cam and Jake got to turn one, Cam tried to make one more pass. He pulled up alongside Jake on the inside. He had the pass made cleanly, and then…

“Shit! No!” Lily screamed.

Jake spun Cam out by catching the tail end of the car. Cam slid down onto the apron, then back up the track, catching traffic on all sides. By the time he came to a stop, the front end of the race car had been sheared off, the back bumper and driver’s-side quarter panel were gone, and the driver’s-side door was smashed in. The cheers in the crowd during the crash sickened her. She couldn’t believe the happiness people showed at what might be a fatal crash.

She stood there on trembling legs, trying to keep from hitting something, someone, anything to get out some of her anger. The car was pressed right up against the wall, and she couldn’t see what was going on with him other than what the JumboTron in the middle of the field showed her, which wasn’t much at all.

Her heart beat wildly in her chest, and fear traveled up and down her spine. Was he okay? Was he hurt? She couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but the knot in her gut. Her gaze was fixated on the giant screen, which was now centered on the window net of Cam’s car. It was still up and that wasn’t a good sign. The signal that he was okay was for the window net to be down and it wasn’t. She was shaking, so scared because she didn’t know what the hell was going on with him. She’d never invested in a race scanner since she didn’t go to races as often as she wanted, but she wished she had one right then so she could at least hear what was being said on the radio. Damn damn damn.

“C’mon, Lil. We’re going to the infield. That’s where we should have been in the first place.”

Alli grabbed the small duffel bag that held their wallets, a couple of towels, drinks, and snacks. She snagged Lily’s hand and gave Lily no choice but to follow her.

“Awww, you leavin’ already? If you backed a real driver, yo –”

“Oh fuck off, asshole!” Alli sneered at the man in front of them.

Lily turned her gaze to her friend, her eyes wide. Alli was definitely more outspoken and more brash than Lily, but she’d never heard that kind of language from her. Lily grinned.


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Jody Wallace
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Have a great weekend, y’all!


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