Learning to Trust: Sweet Temptation (17 page)

BOOK: Learning to Trust: Sweet Temptation
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His
breath lodged in his chest as he looked down at her dark hair spilling over her
creamy shoulders. Oh, she was a sight to see.

She
would be somewhat hidden by the wood slats in the railing, but he wasn’t. When
she looked up at him and smiled, Kane damn near lost it.

“Don’t
move your hands from the railing, or I’ll stop,” she told him, looking serious.

She
didn’t have to worry. There was no way he was moving from this spot. When she
gripped his cock, her silky fingers sliding along the hard length, Kane hissed
out a breath.

She
was going to kill him before the night was over, he knew it. When her lips
wrapped around the engorged head, he suddenly realized that if she did, he
couldn’t ask for a better way to go.

Continue reading for an excerpt from

ZANE

The SECOND book in the Alluring Indulgence Series.

 

Check
out more from Nicole Edwards:

www.nicedwardsauthor.com

 

 

The Club Destiny Series:

Conviction

Temptation

Addicted

Seduction

Infatuation

Captivated

And coming later in 2013 –

A secret project (Hint: Luke, Sierra, and Cole)

 

The Alluring Indulgence Series:

Kaleb

And coming in
2013 –

Zane (Spring 2013)

Travis (Fall 2013

Zane (Alluring Indulgence, #2)

 

Prologue

♀♂

 

The
rapping of knuckles against the door announced Zane’s arrival, causing V to
pause in her own kitchen. It wasn’t like he could see her from where he was,
nor could he hear the way her heart began to race, or the little marching band
that had taken to running around like ants on
crack
in her stomach. She
was both anxious and nervous to see him again. Although she had repeatedly
refused to go to Alluring Indulgence’s ground breaking ceremony with him, he
wasn’t giving up. His appearance on her front porch was proof of his
persistence.

Realizing
she’d been standing there for far too long, V rushed to the front door, pulling
it open to see  Zane’s sexy smirk shining brightly back at her. No matter how
much she tried to stay away from him, one tip of those beautiful lips had her
pulse racing and her heart giving up the fight to keep her distance.

“Give
me one minute. I just need to get my purse,” she told him and turned back to
the kitchen. The last thing she needed was for him to come inside because if he
did, she knew they’d probably never make it to the ceremony. He’d have her flat
on her back and naked in the blink of an eye. For some reason, when Zane was
close, her clothes just seemed to fall off.

Glancing
one more time in the mirror in the entry way, V smiled at her reflection. Her
brain was a scrambled mess of emotions lately; most of them had something to do
with Zane and his relentless pursuit of her. She wasn’t used to that sort of
thing from a man, and quite frankly, she’d gotten so good at turning men down,
she wasn’t sure how to handle Zane. He didn’t seem like he was giving up. And
as much as she dreaded going out with him, she’d also been looking forward to
it. For days. No matter how many times she turned him down, she always secretly
hoped he’d never give up on her. So far, he hadn’t.

Reaching
for her purse and grabbing her keys and cell phone, V was startled by a loud
noise that sounded like it was right on her front porch. Rushing over to the
door, wondering what the hell could
ha
ve happened, V was frozen in place
at the scene playing out right there in her front yard.

Dropping
everything in her hands, V raced to the front door, the wooden screen slamming
against the wall as she barreled through it, a loud noise piercing the air
around her. She realized immediately the sound was coming from her. She was
screaming as she raced down the stairs, stumbling over the last step and
falling to her knees.

“Go
back inside, V. Right now!” Zane yelled at her, but V couldn’t understand what
he was telling her. She heard the words, but she was too distracted by the four
men standing around him even to try and comprehend his instructions.

Jake
Sanders.

Oh
God!

Her
heart began pounding harder, the sound of her own blood beating in her ears and
her breaths soughing in and out of her lungs. From where she was, she could see
blood on the back of Zane’s head, but he was standing on his own two feet,
poised like a fighter in a ring as he moved slowly, trying to keep all four men
in his sights.

Suddenly
there was movement. Lots and lots of movement.

All
four of the men rushed Zane at the same time, every one of them holding
something in their hands. Metal. They were holding metal bars in their hands
and without hesitation they began slamming them against Zane repeatedly as he
tried desperately to fend them off. V watched in absolute horror as Zane
stumbled to the ground before pushing himself back up again.

“No!”
V screamed, pushing back to her feet and stumbling yet again as she tried to
get closer. “Stop!”

The
words never stopped coming. She kept screaming over and over, trying to get
closer, but unsure what to do. For a fraction of a second, she looked down at
her hands, wondering where her cell phone was. She needed to call for help, but
it was nowhere to be found. Pushing back up to her feet, her adrenaline racing
like a freight train through her bloodstream now, V ran directly into the
melee, watching as the four men continued to attack Zane with the weapons they
wielded over and over.

He
was bleeding profusely by the time she got close enough to do something. What?
She had no idea. She wasn’t armed, and there was no one around to help, no one
responding to her screams.

Oh
God!

There
was so much blood. Right before her eyes, Zane was crumbling to the ground, but
she watched in amazement as he tried to hold his own. His fist slammed into the
face of one of his attackers, and the guy stumbled back, holding his nose as
blood spurted everywhere.

“Go
inside!” Zane’s voice didn’t sound nearly as charged as it had moments before,
but V didn’t listen to him anyway. She had to do something. She had to help.

Continuing
to scream, she ran forward, lunging into one of the guys closest to her and
slamming into his back, knocking him sideways. Before her brain could tell her
feet what to do next, V felt herself falling, her feet unable to hold her up as
she went flying backward, landing with a hard thud on her back, knocking the
breath from her chest as her head slammed into the ungiving ground. She tried
to get up, but the pain was intense.

Opening
her eyes, a wave of dizziness crashed into her. V watched in absolute terrified
horror as Zane was beaten over and over again by three of the four men standing
in her front yard. He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t trying to get up, and the loud
screeching sound was making her brain hurt more.

It
was her. She was still screaming at the top of her lungs.

Trying
to pick herself back up off the ground was harder than she thought, but she
managed to make it to her knees, a wave of nausea rushing over her and making
her drop her head to the ground. The sound of metal against bone and flesh was
too much. The sickening crunch echoed all around her, and she knew they were
still hitting Zane although he wasn’t moving. She lifted her head enough to see
that they were now kicking him, punching him time and time again.

She
tried again to get to her feet, but she fell. Her head was pounding from where
she’d hit it on the ground, but she had to get to Zane. She had to stop them.

The
next thing V knew, there were more people. Her neighbors. Running toward them
from all directions and V saw the four men scatter like birds. Somehow she
managed to crawl over to Zane, her hands running over his beaten and bloodied
body while she screamed his name over and over.

He
didn’t respond.

Oh,
God!

He
wasn’t answering her!

 

*****

 

Vanessa
Carmichael was about to go out of her mind. Despite the fact she was the one
who called 911, or that she was the one who told the police all of the gory
details, no one was telling her anything. Begging and pleading hadn’t worked,
so here she was pacing the emergency waiting room floor.

Emergency
Room
.

Surrounded
by people she didn’t know, some waiting to be seen by a doctor, others waiting
patiently for someone or something, V paced back and forth praying that someone
would tell her something. The EMT’s had whisked Zane away without preamble,
leaving her to try and explain what happened to the police. After she refused
medical treatment, she had answered a barrage of questions, but the only thing
she had been thinking about was getting to Zane. They hadn’t even let her get
her phone while they questioned her.

By
the time they let her go, V hadn’t even contemplated calling anyone in her race
to the hospital. It wasn’t until the nurse at the desk asked if she was a
family member that she realized his own family didn’t even know what was going
on. When it was painfully obvious they weren’t going to let her see him, and
they weren’t going to tell her anything, V had texted Zoey.

Since
then, she’d answered her phone at least ten times, every time speaking to a
different brother or Zane’s parents and even one time talking to a man named
Luke McCoy, whom she didn’t even know. Supposedly, according to the brief phone
conversation she had with Lorrie Walker only minutes before, they were on their
way to the hospital and she was to sit tight.

Right.
As if she could even sit down.

She
knew they were close, but they weren’t getting there fast enough. They’d left
the ground breaking ceremony immediately after her initial text.

The
ground breaking ceremony.

Where
she and Zane were supposed to be.

Oh
God!

Her
head was pounding with what the EMT’s told her was probably a concussion, but
her heart was racing ninety miles a minute from not knowing what was happening
to Zane. She didn’t care about herself. She needed to know how Zane was.

How
bad was he? What were they doing to him? Was he going to be all right? Those
were only a few of the questions running at lightning speed through her brain,
the same questions that everyone who worked in that damn hospital refused to
answer for her.

The
other question – where was Zoey?

V
desperately needed a distraction before she started chewing off her
fingernails. A bad habit she had broken years ago, but one that was threatening
to emerge with a vengeance.

A
loud commotion at the ER entrance caught her attention, and V swung around to
see a group of people – a large group at that – pushing into the small waiting area.
Coming in with them was the chaotic murmurs of concerned family.

“Zoey,”
V whispered her friends name as she emerged from the group of massive males,
making a beeline straight for her. Never in her life had V been happier to see
her best friend than she was right then.

The
second she came in contact with Zoey’s much smaller body, she nearly fell to
her knees. Overwhelmed by the enormity of what this all meant, V began sobbing
like a baby.

“Honey,
I’m here.” Zoey whispered in her ear, holding her tightly against her and
running her hand through her hair. Being held had never felt so good, and V was
relieved to have someone she knew she could turn to.

The
chaos ensued around them, but V didn’t look up, nor did she stop crying as she
sent up a steady stream of silent prayers for Zane. Even when the buzz of more
Walker males speaking around them, she continued to sob, never speaking, just
quietly begging.

Please,
God, please let Zane be ok.

BOOK: Learning to Trust: Sweet Temptation
2.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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