Authors: Aubrey Irons
I don’t give a f*ck if I die tomorrow, as long as I get her tonight.
I’ve been to war. I’ve lived in the streets. I’ve beaten the needle, and I’ve looked death in the face and laughed.
So what the f*ck do I want with a sassy, smart-mouthed spitfire like Peyton Rivers?
There are a thousand reasons I should stay away, beyond the fact that she’s my best friend’s sister. She’s just as broken as me. She’s seen the face of the devil and taken the time to spit in it, and she’s got scars like mine to prove it.
Oh, and we’ve been down that road before, and it ended in blood and rain.
But like I said, I’m a fighter. You gotta fight for what you want. And Peyton -- the sassy, hard-knocks girl from my past with a body made for sin -- is gonna be
The sins of the past never quite stay where you put them, do they?
I worked hard to get to where I am. Stable, healed, and somewhat normal -- with a family to call my own.
I shut the door on Bryce Connors a long time ago. What we had was wrong then and the ghost of that memory is worse now.
It’s just that there are people who tie us together, blood bonds that can’t be broken. But when our family is shattered, our friend stolen from us, the two of us are thrown together all over again until we get him back.
Great; high stakes, high tensions, and halfway across the world with the one man I can’t seem to resist, even when everything about him makes my heart
What could possibly go wrong?
Copyright © 2015 Aubrey Irons
Cover Photos: SergioPhoto
Cover Design: Aubrey Irons
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, actual events or locales is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status of products referred to in this book and acknowledges that trademarks have been used without permission.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations used for review purposes.
This book is intended for mature, adult audiences only. It contains sexually explicit and graphic scenes and language which may be considered offensive by some readers. Please do not continue reading this book of you are under the age of 18 or are offended by content of this nature.
All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age or older and all acts of a sexual nature are completely consensual.
To the readers, for doing what you do so well. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
To my husband, for being wonderful.
And to Ben Howard and Noah Gundersen; you will probably never read this, but thank you both for being the soundtracks to my drafts.
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believe you!" We've marched back to the room in silence; past the glimmering candles of the light festival and through the shadows dancing on the old stonework walls of the city. But once we're back in the hotel room, I whirl on Bryce.
"Excuse me?" He growls, slamming the door shut as he loosens the tie at his neck.
"You're going to ruin the one chance we've got of getting Logan back, because your fucking
won't let you just
do what I have to do!"
" He explodes; "You think I was going to sit back and just
that happen?!" He tears his tie off his neck and whips it across the room, his eye steely fire as he glares at me; "Jesus fucking Christ, Peyton, you were shaking back there. You were losing it yourself."
in control!" I lie, hoping the anger in my voice covers how unconvincing I know I sound.
I whirl and start to storm away, but he grabs my hand, pulling me back and spinning me into him. I gasp as I come crashing into his chest, my hands against him as I look up to see the dark storms of his eyes boring into mine; “I couldn’t watch him just fucking
like that,” He growls. I can feel the heat throbbing between us, thick with the unspoken and the words held back; “I couldn’t watch him or any other man in the world put their fucking hands on you.”
“You don’t own me,” I say lowly, yanking my hand away from him storming off towards the bathroom door.
“Yeah? Who’re you trying to convince, sweetheart?” He throws after me.
I slam the door and lean against it, feeling my face burn and my pulse race;
. Damn the way he gets ahold of me like that, damn him for getting under my skin and into my thoughts, and damn him for knowing exactly what to say to me at every turn.
The steam rises quickly from the tap as I crank the hot water up, shedding my clothes as storm-clouds brew across my face. There’s just too much going on right now, too many ups and down and spikes of adrenaline for one night. And truth be told, I need to shower after that debacle with Anderson. I shiver again, thinking of his hand on mine, his thuggish, leering looks stripping away my clothes right there at the table.
But then, as I step under the cleansing hot spray of the water, I think of Bryce. Bryce stepping in to stop it, Bryce taking me away from it all. I don’t need
. I’m not some fucking damsel in a tower that needs a knight to come swooping in while I faint delicately in the background. But what I need, and what I’ve always needed, is just someone to show they
. Someone to step up to the darkness and face it right there with me, if only just to say “you’re not alone.”
And that’s what he is.
He’s not my savior, he’s my strength. He’s the match that lights the kindling beneath me. For better or for worse, and no matter how much I want it not to be true after what happened a year ago, that’s the role he plays.
My mind betrays me as I lean against the shower wall, letting the scalding hot water draw the tension from my skin. I start to think of
things that Bryce Connors does to me. The way his eyes pierce into mine, seeing right into me like no one else ever has, or the way his hands feel sliding over my skin, as if memorizing every curve and every flaw.
And I think of the way his lips feel on mine; the way he kisses me with a searing need and a blazing passion that has me falling apart inside.
My body betrays me then too, and my wayward thoughts of the man I swore to forget but just can’t turn deeper; darker. I think of the ways our bodies fit together, the way his skin feels on mine, the way he gets me trembling and begging for him; the way he makes me come. My nipples slowly harden under the teasing hot spray of the shower, the electric drops of the water sending little sparks through my body as they tease across my chest. Heat blooms forbidden and tempting between my legs, and I bite my lip as a traitorous hand begins to slide down my tummy, over my my hips and down between my legs to feel the slippery wetness there.
The door to the room suddenly opens abruptly, and I gasp, yanked from my reverie by the sound of Bryce jumping out of my forbidden fantasies and storming into the here and now; “What the
” I shriek, yanking my hand away from myself and turning away from the door; “Bryce-“
“Tell me you’ve never thought of us,” His silhouette growls from the other side of the curtain; “Tell me you’ve never thought of what was, that you’ve never second guessed any of it, and I’ll walk back out that door right now.”