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Authors: M. Leighton

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All Things Pretty

BOOK: All Things Pretty
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ALL THINGS

Pretty

 

By

 

M. Leighton

Foreword:

 

 

Thank you so much for following the Locke
family to Sig’s story. He captured my heart from his first
appearance over breakfast with Sloane in
All the
Pretty Lies
, and I’ve looked forward to the day when I could
tell his story. It’s an intricate story, however, with plenty of
twists and turns, and I wanted to do it justice, so I had to make a
choice.

 

You see, due to contracts with my amazing
publisher, when I publish an
independent
release, it is
restricted to no more than 65,000 words. Well, I probably could’ve
told Sig’s story in that amount of words, but I feel like it
would’ve been rushed and I would’ve had to sacrifice details that I
feel are important to the story. So, what I’ve done is break the
book into two parts. This is part one. It ends at the upswing into
the climax, so be prepared:) LOL Rather than charging for part two,
however, what I want to do is make it available to anyone who wants
it for free. It will be ready in just two short weeks (10/14/2014)
and will be delivered to you (in the format of your choice)
FREE
OF CHARGE
. To receive it, you only need to sign up for my
newsletter
,
which has an automated component and will send you the file
immediately upon release.

 

I hope you fall in love with Sig, just like I
did. He’s more than I ever hoped he would be. But then again, he
always told me that he never disappoints. I guess I should’ve
believed him.

To Kevin

 

My inspiration

My husband

My Sig

 

 

I thank God for every day that I get to wake
up beside you.

Smashwords Edition

 

Copyright 2014, M. Leighton

Cover photo by 
Viorel
Sima

www.shutterstock.com

 

http://www.mleightonbooks.com

 

All rights reserved. Except as permitted
under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication
may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any
means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the
prior permission of the author.

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you
are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase
your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this
author.

This book is a work of fiction. Any
resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or
occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and storylines
are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously.

ALL THINGS PRETTY

 

Pretending to be something they’re not,
afraid to trust anyone completely, destined to tear each other
apart– this is the story of unlikely love and unbearable
consequences.

 

Sig Locke is a cop.  He was raised by a
cop and all his brothers are cops. He bleeds blue, believes in
right and wrong, and sees in black and white, never in shades
of gray.

 

But that was before he met Tommi.

 

Tommi, with her long legs and bright green
eyes, she captured Sig’s interest from the moment he saw her. Even
after he discovered who she was–the girlfriend of a drug dealer,
the beauty behind a criminal–he still found her utterly
irresistible.  What Sig
doesn’t
know, however, is that
she has a secret even a cop can’t uncover.

 

Tommi Lawrence hasn’t had an easy life, and
it only got more complicated the day she met Sig.  She learned
long ago that she can’t trust anyone.  Her gut tells her that
Sig is no exception; her heart tells her that he is. But that was
before she found out his real identity.

 

Can love be forged in a fire of lies? Or will
the truth destroy them both?

 

 

CHAPTER ONE- TOMMI

 

The little thingy on the end of the jack
slips off the lug nut and I smash my finger against the hot
pavement. Again. I resist the urge to stick my throbbing middle
finger into my mouth and I swallow the curse that’s swelling in my
throat.
Don’t cuss! Don’t cuss!
I’m like a well-trained dog
these days. I act just right, dress just right, talk just right.
I’m all about appearances. I have to be. Lance demands it. And I
need Lance, so I play ball.

I wipe the back of my hand across my damp
forehead and try again.
Just one more nut, just one more.
I
sigh in relief when I put all one hundred and twenty eight pounds
of my body weight on the car jack and the stubborn lug gives. I
unscrew it and pull off the flat tire, rolling it over to lean up
against the back fender of my car. Dusting off my hands, I check my
nails to make sure none are broken –God forbid I show up for drinks
with a gnarly manicure– as I walk to the trunk to remove my
full-sized spare.

After I manhandle it out of its little cubby
beneath a false panel in the back of my car, I let it drop onto the
asphalt, thinking I’ll roll it into position. And that would’ve
worked just fine if my spare weren’t flat, too.

“Noooo!” I cry aloud.

Oh for the love of god! Are you kidding
me?

I start to get frantic as I glance at my
watch again. At this rate, I’ll never have time to change and then
make it to the hotel on time. But if I show up dressed like this,
I’ll never hear the end of it. I know better than to wear things
like these shorts and this tank top, but sometimes I just can’t
resist feeling just a tiny bit like
me.
The
me
that I
used to be. The
me
that I still am, under everything
else.

“Why didn’t you accept help when it was
offered, Tommi?” I mutter, eyes closed, face turned up toward the
sky.

Being a blonde female stranded on the side
of the road isn’t always a bad thing. Thankfully, it usually draws
a lot of men who are more than willing to be the hero and save the
poor damsel in distress. This time was no different, only I
politely turned each of them away. I mean, most of them were creepy
and I
am
stranded out here alone. Not the smartest thing. So
now, here I am. Stuck. Hero-less, helpless, and frustrated.

“It’s not too late, ya know,” an incredibly
pleasant, amused voice says from behind me.

Startled, I yelp and whirl around. There’s a
darkly handsome man standing behind me. He’s so close and so tall
that I take a step back, tripping over my flat spare tire and
nearly landing myself, butt first, in my own trunk. All my classy
grooming goes right out the proverbial window as I flail to regain
my balance. “Holy assmunch shitface!” I squeal in surprise.

Two big, strong hands reach for my bare
upper arms to pull me upright and save me from a humiliating
blunder. The electricity in his touch combined with his husky laugh
causes chills to break out down my arms. Attraction vibrates along
my nerve ends like tremors of an earthquake. “Part beautiful woman,
part sailor. My kinda girl.”

Oh God,
I think, embarrassed. But I
quickly forget why when I get a good look at my rescuer.

I’m face to face with the most stunning guy
I think I’ve ever seen–soft brown eyes that glisten in the dying
sun like two chocolate diamonds, long black lashes that frame them
like feathers, and a smile that threatens to melt me where I stand.
Holy lord. And I have to look way up to see him, which is saying a
lot because at five-nine, I’m a tall girl.

“Pardon the expression. Y-you scared me,” I
stammer, curling my fingers around muscular forearms before I can
think better of it. They flex beneath my fingertips as he holds me
steady. We stand touching each other for several heated seconds. I
know I should back up, protest, feign outrage, do
something,
but I can’t. As unwise as it is, I don’t want to do anything
because I don’t want him to let me go.

“Don’t apologize. I love a woman who talks
dirty.”


That
wasn’t dirty,” I defend
weakly.

One sable brow arches inquisitively and I
realize how bad that sounded. “So there’s
more?
Dirtier?

Despite the oppressive heat, I feel a blush
warm my cheeks. A
blush!
I can’t even remember the last time
I blushed. I’ve seen and done things in my life that have
desensitized me to the point that I would’ve sworn nothing could
embarrass me. And yet here I am, blushing for a perfect (perfectly
hot) stranger.

I take a shaky breath and smile, easing away
from him as the danger of my situation finally dawns on me. This
guy could mean to do me harm and I’m practically drooling all over
his chest. His wide, hard, muscular chest.

I squeeze my eyes shut.
God! Stop it,
stop it, stop it!

“Are you okay?” Perfectly Hot Stranger asks,
all playfulness gone from his voice.

Avoid eye contact.

When I crack my lids, I purposely look down
at my dirty tank top, straightening it as I step out from between
his impressive body and my open trunk. “I’m fine. I just…ummm…it’s
pretty hot and, uh, I’m changing my tire. I’m just…hot. And tired.
And…”

I back around the corner of my car, thinking
that my purse and my phone are but a few steps away should I need
them.

I watch as Perfectly Hot Stranger kicks my
spare with the toe of his boot. “I hope this is the one you just
took off.”

Oh crap! How could I forget my conundrum?
I’ve got
two
flats!

I’m as deflated as my inner tubes as I watch
him walk around to the other tire, noting its floppy side. “I’m Sig
by the way,” he offers casually. He crosses his arms over his chest
as he stands back to survey my predicament. “And it looks to me
like you might need a tow.”

A tow. Yes! I race to the driver’s side and
lean in for my cell phone, all too aware of my cut-off denim shorts
and the way they’re riding up my legs as I stretch. I hurry back
out, brandishing my iPhone like a weapon. “Yes! I need a tow. I’ll
call now,” I say, trying to ignore the heat of his warm eyes as
they unabashedly make their way up from my legs.

I start to search for a towing company, but
instead, I just stare at the blank screen, knowing that my dilemma
is much worse than this man assumes. If I get my car towed, I’ll
need a ride into town, which means I’ll have to waste more time
waiting for a cab to arrive. Then I’ll still have to stop to buy
clothes so I can make it to drinks on time, which will put me even
later, but at least I’ll be dressed appropriately. But either way,
it’s lose-lose. I’ll be late and car-less. And Lance will be
furious.

Long, tanned fingers cover mine and force my
hands to drop a little lower. He bends until his face is in my line
of sight. “Do you need some help? Because I stopped to help you.
Nothing more.”

His eyes are earnest, but there’s a twinkle
to them, like he knows what I’m thinking, like he knows I got
suspicious. For some reason, I feel ridiculous all of a sudden.
Something tells me that he’s being honest, that he’s only here to
help, not to hurt me. And, as I look up into his striking face, I
do the unthinkable.

I agree.

“I do need some help, actually.”

“Yeah, I kinda figured. What can I do? Give
you a ride? Wait with you while the tow truck gets here?” A short
pause. A long, wicked grin. “Give you a strong, incredibly
attractive shoulder to cry on?”

I can’t help smiling. “And here I thought
chivalrous egomaniacs were all dead.”

“This one’s alive and kickin’, sweetheart,”
he declares with a wink. Between that and the southern, manly way
he calls me sweetheart, I fight the urge to shiver. “Now, where do
you need to go?”

I glance back at the shiny, black truck
parked behind my car. I must’ve been in more distress than I
thought not to hear that thing pull up. “Are you sure you wouldn’t
mind? I have somewhere to be, but I need to make a super quick stop
first. Would that be okay?”

“As long as it’s ‘super quick’,” he
teases.

“So quick it’ll make your head spin.”

“My head’s already spinning,” he says with a
grin that makes my stomach flip over. “But I’m in no rush. Take all
the time you need.” He’s appreciative gaze and casual demeanor say
that he’s more than happy to spend time with me. It makes me feel
like blushing again. What the heck is this guy doing to me?

I open the car door and slide behind the
wheel, making sure all the windows are rolled up before I grab my
purse and lock up. When I get back out, Perfectly Hot Stranger
(otherwise known as Sig) has already put my spare back into the
trunk and is reattaching my flat tire, I guess for towing
purposes.

BOOK: All Things Pretty
3.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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