Don’t judge a book by its cover. Our heroine may be from the country, but she’s no rube, easy to pushover with legs in the air and undies dangling from one ankle. In this unedited snippet from my latest, hero Hugh finds that the sweet little blonde painter he’s taken a shine to has some teeth. Think you’re just gonna get in here, talk a little fast and the drawls will drop? Nuh uh, buddy. Not so fast. This ain’t that type of party, and our heroine Charlie is about to let your fine ass know…Lucky for us, our hero likes ’em a little fiesty…

Charlie was blazingly angry, but she knew he couldn’t tell. It was that cold survival anger, the kind she hadn’t felt in a long time that always did right by her, herld her down when she needed help. She just hummphed. “I don’t know,” she smirked. “Can you?” She supposed she couldn’t blame him. Man’s interested in a new piece of pussy, if he has the means why not check it out? It might be diseased or in debt and after his money. She wondered if he had access to her medical records. She wouldn’t put it past him.

“I don’t think so, no.”

“Sure you could,” she said pleasantly. “Every motherfuckin’ body else does. So tell me.” She sat back down, stretched her legs out and crossed her ankles. “What did your little background check reveal about old Charlie?”

“26, originally from the wilds of Kentucky, parents deceased, a few aunts and kin scattered here and there, but no one you seem interested in keeping contact with. Graduated high school. Got a scholarship to go to the University of Kentucky to study art, but you fell in love half way through and made other plans. Shall I continue?”

“By all means. I love a little story before bed time.”

He raised a brow at her sarcasm. She raised hers back. Even though she knew she was vulnerable, she suddenly felt a little bit of power. The power that comes with not giving a fuck what happens next as long as she came out on top.

“When the love died, you left the state. Came north, got yourself a few dead end jobs to pay for your paints, and eventually got yourself representation from the owner of one of the most prestigious galleries in the city. She says, and I quote, ‘her talent is both stunning and scary. Which adjective I pick,’ she said, ‘depends on the day and your mood.’”

“Good old, Maude. She’s been very kind to me. And she is a whiz of the masterful understatement, isn’t she?”

“Yes,” he drawled, leaning against a wall. “I think she might be.”

“So, tell me, hero Hugh. What’s the purpose of this here push rewind on my rather boring life? Man as smart as you, I’m sure there’s a point comin’ somewhere, and I’d just as well get to it. I am an artist, after all, and I think I might need to be alone to court the muse.”

He sighed at her sarcasm – and here she thought she’d been subtle – and a few long legged strides later was dropping down beside her on the couch. He was so heavy she leaned toward him.

“I’m not trying to give you a hard time, Charlie. I,” he stopped.

“What is it, man? Cat got your tongue all of a sudden? You were firing on all cylinders a second ago.”

“I’m not trying to hurt you.”

She scoffed, and was up off the couch before he could stop her.

“It’s time for you to leave.”

He threw up his hands and barked out a laugh, but this one didn’t sound happy. “Now, that’s not very nice. What on Earth have I done to make you treat me this way?”

“Don’t run that shit to me, honey,” she sneered, and his eyes narrowed at the you ain’t shit look he could now see clearly on her face. “You don’t sit your narrow ass on my fuckin’ couch, in my fuckin’ house, and tell me all about myself like I don’t know me. I didn’t give you the right to poke into my goddamn business, shovelin’ all this sweet smellin’ shit expecting me to lap it up. Forget it! Find some other poor piece of backwoods country pussy to dirty. Now, I want you hero ass outta here.”


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