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Authors: Nicola Marsh

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College, #Teen & Young Adult

Before

BOOK: Before
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Good girl. Bad boy. A world of trouble

 

Good girls finish last? Screw that.

 

Being a small town girl isn’t so bad. Unless Mom’s the town joke and I’ve spent my entire life shying away from her flamboyance. College in Las Vegas should be so much cooler. But it’s not. Bad things happen. Real bad.

 

So when my brother Reid offers me an all-expenses paid vacation to Australia for a month, I am so there. Discounting the deadly snakes on the outback cattle station, I should be safe. Until I meet Jack.

 

Jack defines bad boy and then some. He’s big, buffed, bronzed, and hotter than any guy I’ve ever met. His sexy Aussie accent makes me melt. And the guy can cook.

 

But he’s my brother’s new bestie and he lives on the other side of the world. There’s no future for us.

 

Is there?

 

 

 

BEFORE

 

By

 

Nicola Marsh

 

 

 

Copyright © Nicola Marsh 2013

 

Published by Nicola Marsh 2013

 

All the characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They’re not distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author and all the incidents in the book are pure invention.

 

All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in any form. The text or any part of the publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the publisher.

 

The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the word marks mentioned in this work of fiction.

 

 

 

Author’s note

 

 

In this story, Jack McVeigh is Australian.

Here’s clarification of the ‘Aussie-isms’ Jack uses
:

 

 

Beer goggles – bleary eyed from being drunk

Get pissed – drunk

Shag – have sex with

Arse – ass

Ute – Utility

Shithouse – bad/useless

Crapper – toilet

Root – have sex with

Swag – bedroll

Spuds – potatoes

Pav – pavlova (meringue based, cream filled dessert)

Mum – Mom

Keep your snake in the cage – keep your dick in your pants

Missus – boss lady

Half-arsed – average

Shot through – leave, abandon

Billabong – a stagnant pool of water

Soft drink – soda

Akubra – iconic felt fur Australian stockman/cowboy hat

 

 

 

Discover other titles by USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh at

http://www.nicolamarsh.com

 

 

Recent titles by Nicola Marsh:

 

Brash

Blush

Crazy Love

Lucky Love

The Second Chance Guy

Banish (YA)

Scion of the Sun (YA)

Wicked Heat

Not the Marrying Kind

Busted in Bollywood

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

JESS

 

 

College was overrated. Seriously.

The dorm-hopping, frat-partying, alcohol-imbibing rumors were true. The part where I became a party animal, made a zillion BFFs and took UNLV by storm? Hadn’t kicked in yet. I sucked as badly as a freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as I had as a student at Hell High, my nickname for my old high school in Craye Canyon. Apparently once a geek, always a geek.

In two semesters I’d attended three frat parties, had drunk two vodkas, one rum and a watered down Long Island Iced Tea. And the only other bed I’d graced besides my own belonged to my roommate’s dog, illegally smuggled in whenever she could. Yeah, chalk up permanent virginity status alongside geek. Embarrassing.

On the upside, I didn’t live at home any more. One of the major incentives for busting my ass at high school to enroll at UNLV was the distance. UNVL was over an hour away from my hometown so I’d have to live on campus. Craye Canyon wasn’t big enough for Mom and me.

Pity my foray into freedom hadn’t lived up to expectations. I’d hoped to shed my good-girl image at college. Yet here I was, last day before summer break, still hanging out in the library. Worse? Still a virgin.

“Hey Jess, you’re coming tonight, yeah?”

I glanced across at Dave, my study partner, and bit back my first response of ‘I wish.’ Somehow, I didn’t think the serious bookworm would appreciate the innuendo.

“Think I’ll give it a miss,” I said, packing my satchel for the last time this semester.

I was free for the summer. Without plans. I couldn’t head home, not with Mom in wedding planner frenzy mode. Summer was the busiest month for Nevada weddings and it seemed like every bridezilla in the state wanted Pam Harper to organize their wedding. Poor suckers.

“School’s out, Geekette.” Dave tweaked my nose. “Time to par-tay.”

“That settles it.” I elbowed him away. “No way am I going anywhere with a dork who says
par-tay
.”

“Now you’re just playing hard to get.” Dave slung an arm across my shoulder, a friendly gesture I’d tolerated during our many study sessions together.

“Yeah, that’s me, a regular babe juggling guys along with assignments.” I rolled my eyes. “Besides, I’ve got plans tonight.”

“What plans?” He snapped his fingers. “Quick, the truth, before you make up some crap.”

“I haven’t seen my cousin in a while, thought I’d hang out with her.”

Truth was, my cousin Chantal worked nights as a dancer at the coolest burlesque venue on the Strip. But she had a great apartment I could hide out in to avoid the inevitable end of semester parties.

I didn’t feel like getting drunk, stoned or laid. Not that I’d ever done any of those things before. That Geekette nickname Dave had bestowed on me last August when we both started our undergrad English major? Pathetically true.

“Come to the party with me for a while, then go hang with your cousin later.”

When I opened my mouth to protest again, Dave pressed his finger against my lips. “Not talking no for an answer, got it?”

I didn’t mind Dave’s arm around my shoulder but having his finger against my mouth made me uncomfortable. We were friends. We hung out. Two loners who studied and grabbed the occasional meal. I wasn’t remotely attracted to the six foot, reed-thin Mr. Average and I’d never picked up any vibes off him.

But there was something about the way he was looking at me, the way he was muscling in on my personal space, that had me edging away.

“I might see you there,” I said, slinging my bag over my shoulder and accidentally on purpose bumping him out of the way in the process.

For a second I thought I glimpsed anger in his pale grey eyes before he blinked and I attributed it to the sunlight filtering through the library windows.

“Okay, catch you later.”

I waited until Dave left, watching him lope between the tables and out the main library doors. I liked his easy-going nature, how he joked around without crossing the line. He’d never put the moves on me so the whole touchy-feely finger on the lips? Probably harmless and just me over-reacting to having a long, hot summer stretching ahead of me with not one freaking thing to do.

I needed to get a life.

Fast.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

JACK

 

 

I was a man on a mission.

I needed a bourbon in one hand and a blonde in the other, not necessarily in that order. And the annual Onakie B&S Ball happily provided both.

I’d traveled a long, dusty three hundred miles to attend the black tie Bachelor and Spinster ball in outback Queensland, along with ten thousand other revelers currently jammed into the arena.

Festivities—translated: consuming as much alcohol as humanly possible—had kicked off in the afternoon, gates to the ball opened at seven, which meant there were a lot of B&S’s paired off already. Nothing like beer goggles for making a member of the opposite sex appear overly attractive.

I hadn’t run into anyone I knew, which suited me just fine. No one from the Cooweer Homestead cattle station where I worked had made the long trek. Then again, considering I was the only twenty-year-old on the property, with the next youngest employee being forty-five, it didn’t surprise me. Besides, I preferred it this way. A few hours out of my mundane life to cut free. Go wild. Get pissed. Shag some willing and able chick.

It may not be much, but after spending the last four months working my arse off at the cattle station as a cook, I needed to burn off a little steam.

“Hey handsome. Gotta light?” A thirty-something blonde with sun-wrinkles ringing her big blue eyes touched my forearm, waving a cigarette in her other hand at me.

I shook my head. “Sorry. Don’t smoke.”

“Too bad.” She flung the cigarette away and stepped in closer. “Fancy a drink instead?”

“Got one, thanks.” I raised my bourbon. “But don’t let me stop you.”

Not deterred by my offhand responses, she threaded her fingers through mine. “Let’s go dance.” She paused and sent me a loaded glance from beneath her lash extensions. “Down by the river.”

Code for ‘my Ute is parked at the farthest corner of the compound so we can fuck our brains out and no one will hear.’

This is exactly what I’d wanted. A no-strings-attached quickie to alleviate the boredom. So why did the thought of having meaningless sex with a stranger suddenly sound so unappealing?

She stood on her tiptoes and whispered in my ear. “I give great head.”

I wasn’t too keen, but my cock wasn’t so discerning. It stood to attention, straining to get at the brazen blonde.

Sensing my indecision, she tugged on my hand. “Come on.”

Like any weak-minded guy who allowed the wrong head to dictate his actions, I fell into step beside her. We dodged a crammed dance floor where an international rock band blasted hard core. We pushed our way through wall-to-wall revelers drunk on booze and each other. We wound our way through Utes and 4WDs parked helter-skelter. We sidestepped couples writhing against each other in the dark.

It was nothing I hadn’t seen before. In fact, in the four years since I’d run from the last foster home in Sydney and worked my away across the outback to far north Queensland, I’d attended several B&S balls like this. Lonely people from all walks of life hooking up for a night of raucous fun, endless drinking and faceless sex.

I was over it.

“Here we are.” She paused at the last Ute in a haphazard row. I couldn’t see its color in the dark but it had an impressive chrome bull bar that shimmered in the moonlight. “You up for it?”

Before I could respond, she had her hand on my cock and her mouth on mine.

I wanted sex. Looked like I was about to get it.

Her tongue dueled with mine, demanding and taunting, as she unzipped me.

I groaned when her hand wrapped around my cock and pulled me free. She squeezed and pulled, teasing me, before dropping to her knees.

The moment her mouth closed around my cock, I closed my eyes, savoring the suction. Just the right amount. No teeth. A skillful gliding action of her mouth that milked me in wet velvet.

She was right. She gave frigging great head.

My balls tightened in anticipation but she was good at this, because she knew the right moment to stop sucking, fish a foil packet out of her bra and roll a condom on me in the time it took for my lust-hazed brain to clear.

“Very nice.” She licked her lips with a slow, deliberate sweep of her tongue, before pushing me backward so I was lying flat on my back on the tray of her Ute. “Bet you feel as good as you taste.”

She hoisted up her black satin gown and straddled me, giving me a nice eyeful of Brazilian, which she proceeded to play with. Her finger circled her clit as she sank down on me with a moan that raised the hairs on my arms.

There was something incredibly sexy about an uninhibited older woman bouncing up and down on the end of my cock, so into it that I was nothing but an adjunct to her pleasure.

It didn’t take long for either of us. She brought herself to orgasm as she slammed down on me at a frantic pace, impaling herself so hard I saw stars when I came. Though that could’ve literally been the stars clustered in the clear outback sky framed behind her.

“How old are you?” she said as she clambered off and headed around the side of the Ute to the cabin, giving me time to take care of the condom and zip up.

“Twenty.”

She glanced up from the side mirror where she was busy reapplying a vivid red lip-gloss. “That’s great. I’ve always wanted to fuck a guy half my age.”

She beamed like I’d just presented her with the best gift ever, while my gut twisted. Guess I was as good at judging women’s ages as I was at making decisions about where my life was headed. Absolutely shithouse.

BOOK: Before
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