Mustang Wild Excerpt

Prologue

 

"Come on, come on, baby," I muttered listening to the motor choke and stutter—almost there. I was only a mile from my apartment and through my rain splattered wind screen I willed my truck to get me there. My beat up Chevy paid me no mind, the engine gurgled a long a lingering death cry and cut out. I coasted to the side of the road until it came to a halt. Motionless. Cursing, I violently twisted the key. Straining my ears, I listened to the desperate putter then nothing. Fuck. I smacked my hands on the steering wheel. It was said things came in three's and this was bad luck number two to hit me in so many months. For a moment I just sat there on the edge of town listening to the rain drumming furiously on the roof, leaning my head on the steering wheel before looking at the dash.

10:30 pm.

I cursed again. Well waiting for a white knight to rescue me wasn't going to get me anywhere, that stuff only happened in fairy tales. Gritting my teeth I grabbed my walking stick and levered myself out of the cab. Checking the knife in my boot I slung my bag over my shoulder and started the very long hobble to my place. I was chilled to the bone and my clothes were plastered to my body in minutes. My leg started to throb from standing all day. I had to be up in six miserable hours.

 

* * * * *

 

"I want a word with you," I rolled my eyes to the ceiling, those words never sounded good coming from my boss.

"Can it wait until I finish my baking?" I asked with a raised eyebrow, trying to ignore the inkling that I had flour dusted across my nose.

"Sure," Jacob replied pulling up a chair and crossing his long legs at the ankles.

Urgh.

"I may be a while," I hinted not too subtly, having a fair sized idea what this was about.

Pushing back his hat he watched me with narrowed eyes. "I can wait."

That's what I was afraid of.

Determined to make him wait, I finished making the lunch for the hands as slowly as possible, washed my hands free of flour and hobbled stiffly over to my own seat.

"What's up?" I asked perkily. Ignorance is so the best policy.

"I heard from Tom that your truck finally broke down," he started, levelling me with his straight stare.

"Oh?"

"And I was just wondering how you got back home when your truck is pulled up a good mile outside of town?"

"There is quite a logical explanation," I said sweetly. "I used two legs."

A scowl rolled over the older man's features. "You what?" he growled quietly.

I swallowed hard at the familiar feeling of my belly clenching and my pulse began to climb. I told myself to stop being silly. This was Jake, he wouldn't hurt me.

"I walked."

"You what!"

I raised a brow at the volume. "Ya' know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome."

"It was the middle of the night, a mile from town, with a storm opening up and you with your bum legged decided to walk it. Why the hell didn't you ring one of us, woman?"

I frowned. "I didn't want to disturb anyone and I am a grown woman perfectly capable of looking after myself, thank you."

"Dammit, if you had met a drifter—"

"But I didn't and if I did I would have taken care of it," I said calmly, raising wonkily to my feet.

"Now, please excuse me. I have food to prep to make sure your crew doesn't faint from empty stomachs."

I considered the matter closed, even if the old man muttered that I needed a man to tame me after a good tanning.

Oh, I wasn't worried. Jacob Clain's bark was worse than his bite. If I'd been his daughter I might be in for it, but Jake was a sweet man fifteen years my senior and had given me a chance when very few people would have. Even now when I could no longer ride, he put me to work in the kitchen. But, he seemed to have some misplaced notion that he was responsible for me ever since a waif turned up on his doorstep clutching a tattered newspaper ad for a rider in her hands asking if he was still hiring. I'd been here four years since that day.

"Yo, boss." Matt knocked on the outside of the kitchen door. "There's a fancy looking dude just pulling up. Doesn't look like he's from town."

Jake's brow furrowed in a deep frown, before heaving his massive frame off the chair. "Probably another damn yuppie wanting to do photos," he growled under his breath and the sides of my lips twitched in a smile. Matt's eyes found mine and he smiled warmly tipping his hat before following the boss, whistling a funeral march as he went. I couldn't keep a straight face and burst out laughing, almost feeling sorry for the poor unsuspecting man.

Little did I know how appropriate that would be.

"Aideen, can you come out here for a minute, honey?" Bewildered I limped to the door wiping my hands on a cloth.

"What is it, boss?"

"This lawyer says he is looking for you."

The way he said lawyer was the same way he said rattler.

A slicked hair man that gave off the asshole vibe was standing next to a dust covered car that obviously belonged in the city. He'd probably killed the suspension just getting here.

"Are you Aideen Shannon?" His lips curled like he had just sunk his leather shoes in a horse pile.

I leaned back against the porch, sliding on my best poker face. "Depends who's asking."

"I am Tobias Montague, from firm Laurence & Montague and am looking for the woman Aideen Shannon. According to our information, she is twenty-three and used to reside in Prairie Dog Creek, Nevada, at the Dranthorpe Ranch formally known as the Blue Moon Ranch."

I started rolling a cigarette under the disapproving glare of Jake—yeah, still not your daughter.

"Yes, I'm Aideen, what of it?"

"I'm here to inform you your father has died."

I stopped rolling the cigarette and it paused half-way to my mouth. I then put it between my lips, lit it and exhaled a ring of smoke while smiling sweetly.

"And may the bastard rot in hell."

 

 

Chapter One

 

I leaned my forehead against the cool window of the bus, going back to the town I'd sworn I'd never step foot in again. The bastard who had died was not my father but my snake of a stepfather. The lawyer was laboring under the gross misunderstanding that the ranch belonged to said snake and as such was passing to his son. Except, other than a will, there was no documentation to that effect and I had been accused of stealing said will. Sadly, with my reputation as a selfish, vindictive, bitch from hell they had taken Ed's word for it.

I had taken numerous documents the night I ran for the sole purpose that when my time came, I could prove it was mine. The thing is after four years, I'm not sure I wanted it. Staying in a town that viewed me as the devil incarnate no longer appealed to me. I could sell the property and have enough money to start afresh.

The bus pulled in to my stop. I took a deep breath and walked out the door into what was sure to be my own personal hell. A smiley blonde bounced and squeaked, waving madly at me.

"Aideen!" She wrapped her arms round my neck, nearly taking me off my still unsteady feet.

"Penny—can't breathe!"

She quickly loosened her hold and smiled sheepishly. "Sorry."

"So, how are you?" she asked hesitantly, awkwardly tucking a blonde lock behind her ear.

I tried to smile but it turned into a grimace. "I've been better."

She reached and grabbed my case before I could get it. "Come on, you're staying with me for however long you want."

"Penny, that really isn't necessa…" She was already striding away, leaving me to follow.

A ghost of a memory caused a ghost of a smile. Penny looked like an angel with her blonde hair and baby blues but she had a will of iron and a mischievous imp that would raise its head from time to time. Driving down the silent streets, I tried again. "Penny, I don't have to stay at your home, just take me to a motel."

"Nonsense," she snorted shortly.

"Look, Penny, I'm not exactly welcome in town and I don't want to cause any trouble as this could get ugly."

"It probably will. Which is why you need someone to watch your back," she said, turning off at her house and into the drive.

The headlights fell on a pickup truck, and a man started to get out.

"Oh shit," she muttered, obviously uneasy.

The silhouette started walking towards us with a determined stride, broad powerful shoulders and long strong legs. All the better for hitting and kicking you, my dear.

"Should I be drawing my knife right now?" I whispered.

She shook her head in disgust and exited the car. "It's just Ethan. Just stay in the car okay?"

Ethan. Ethan Randle, the foreman for the Willow Creek Ranch and working for Bryce Carlisle.

Shit indeed.

But to hell with staying in the car.

"I told you to stay the hell away from her. Dammit it woman. Aideen Shannon is a menace."

Penny squared her chin and leaned casually back against the hood of her car.

"And I replied that I don't abandon good friends, so the whole fucking town can go fuck themselves," Penny snarled back.

His whole persona changed in that instant, his face coming to a decision. He grabbed her arm. I pulled my Bowie knife. It was a hell of a draw.

"Let go of her arm, Ethan," I demanded in a calm clear voice. His eyes snapped to me, trained on the hand that delicately clutched the tip of the blade, ready to throw it blade over handle if he charged at me.

"I throw as well as you are probably remembering."

His nostrils flared and his hands clenched—all signs of aggression I knew oh so well.

"No, Aideen! Wait!" Penny squeaked trying to shake free of his grip. "Ethan won't hurt me."

"Really," I drawled conversationally, looking relaxed while every nerve in my body was strung tight like a bow, "because I know that grip is going to sure leave some ugly bruises."

His eyes flickered down to his hand and I slowly watched his eyes widen in horror before he released Penny like her skin scolded him.

"Penny, I'm sorry."

Her eyes glowered at him as she rubbed her arm. "I think you need to go, Ethan."

He backed off softly. "Okay, baby. Look just take her to a motel and we'll talk it over."

"Penny," I called quietly, still keeping my eyes trained on the mountain of a man. "I don't want to cause any problems. I'll stay at a motel."

She slammed her palms on the hood of the car in frustration. "You," she said as she jabbed her finger in my direction, "are not staying at a motel." She swung that finger round stabbing it in Ethan's direction and he stumbled back like she was pointing a loaded gun. "And as for you—you can get the hell off my land and don't call and don't write unless you can pull your head out of your ass."

A vein started throbbing in his neck and jaw. "Penny—"

"No buts," she snapped decisively. "That's all I'm saying. Come on, Aideen." With that, she sailed passed him like he was beneath her notice. Fixing me with a menacing glare, he growled, "Hurt her and I'll make sure you—"

"Pay?" I added innocently as he stalked past keeping the knife firmly between me and him until Ethan climbed in the truck and was gone.

"Well, don't wait there for another freaking idiot to accost us. Get your ass inside the house," Penny called after me, still obviously wound up from her confrontation.

Me? I scuttled inside, too tired to argue anymore.

 

* * * * *

 

I was sitting on the bed in my pyjamas, when I heard a knock at the door.

Penny stuck her head round. "Hey, mind if I come in? I bring hot chocolate."

"Sure," I replied sitting crossed legged on the bed and reaching for the offered cup, cradling the hot chocolate between my palms.

"Ethan wouldn't have really hurt me y'know."

I snorted into my mug. "Yeah, right."

"I know what it looked like to you, honey, but I deliberately pushed his buttons because I'm so sick of having the same old argument."

Blowing her wispy bangs out of her eyes, she said, "He's asked me to marry him and I keep saying no. It's kinda driving him a bit loopy but he still wouldn't hurt me." She stressed, holding direct eye contact.

"You don't love him?"

"Nope, love the daft lug to bits. It's because I won't have him telling me who to be friends with."

"I never meant to come between the two of you," I said quickly, not able to feel much worse.

"You didn't," she said. "It's the principle. How could I look myself in the face when my friend needed me and I turned my back on her? That's not me; so if he can't handle that, then it's better we end it."

We were quiet for a moment.

"You sure he wasn't going to hurt you?"

"Positive." A wicked, naughty grin spread across her face "Well, he was probably planning on giving me a spanking, but the hot make-up sex more than compensates for it."

I think I heard my jaw landing on the floor. "You let him beat you?" I asked incredulously.

"No, honey," she drawled. "I let him go alpha male, smack my backside and carry me off to his man cave to do deliciously naughty things to me." She giggled. "And the fireworks are definitely worth it."

I just couldn't wrap my head around it but then I was slightly screwed up. "I don't get it, Penny, but if you're happy that's all that matters. But if he ever hurts you, just tell me okay? I'll cut off his balls and give them to you on a silver platter."

She laughed around a mouth full of hot chocolate, not an easy thing to do. "Thanks, but at the moment I kinda like them exactly where they are," she said with a lascivious grin. My cheeks heated and she cackled with glee.

"I guess I better apologise to him at some point for pulling my knife." I sighed, taking a gulp of chocolate and pretending it was tequila.

"It might have been a slight over reaction, but once he understands you drew it to protect me, he should be fine."

 

* * * * *

 

The cool air pebbled my nipples, the silk shift caressing my skin so foreign but so sensual.

"Have you been a naughty girl?" The words rumbled softly, his lips grazing the shell of my ear. A delicious shiver danced upon my nerve endings. Callused hands cradled my hips guiding me back against his chest. I stretched rubbing my bottom shamelessly against his groin.

His low chuckle caused my stomach to clench and my womb to do a jig.

"I take that as a yes." I froze staying perfectly still as his hand traced up my spine, then flowed down. My mouth dry, I licked my lips, my bottom encased in a lace thong with a teasing bow at my back, the curves of my buttocks jutting out just below the hem. Without conscious thought, my hips reached back wanting to be touched. It was all the invitation my lover needed. The calluses on his fingertips added friction to the delicate area where bottom met thigh. My breathing hitched as my heartbeat sped up. Squeezing one cheek caused me to let out an involuntary groan, the fire at my center burning hotter as he fondled me but refusing to touch me where I needed it most. "You know what happens to naughty girls?"

His knuckle grazed the very edge of my crotch and I shook my head frantically, wanting him closer.

"They get spanked." My thighs clenched and my skin flushed. The open mouth kiss on my collar bone distracted me from hands running up my flanks until his fingers laced through mine. Guiding me back until my palms flattened against the cool wall, his large tanned hands placed over and encasing mine. Arms caging me in, I was completely trapped but I knew with absolute certainty that I was safe.

"Now, stick that mighty fine ass out," he drawled.

Obligingly, I braced my weight on my hand, curving my spine. I felt the shift slide upwards exposing my proudly jutting globes. "Beautiful." The growl was a raw primal sound.

Tapping the inside of my thigh, he ordered, "Spread them."

A blush suffused my cheeks, my dark curtain of hair effectively hiding it as I did as commanded. What I must look like?

"Good girl."

I gasped at the first slap. It sounded worse than it was. Keeping it light, I could feel my bottom wobble with each light swat, the heat spreading evenly.

"That all you got?" I purred, playfully glancing over my shoulder.

The feral grin I got flashed white in the gloom. The next one was slightly harder and I groaned. Stretching, my bones protesting as I tried to reach closer to him. The last dozen built in intensity. I gave little breathy squeaks as he moved to my sit spot.

He stopped and rubbed, scraping over heated skin I hissed and flexed my hands.

Feathered touches hovered over the scrap of material that covered my core. The teasing was driving me insane and causing a fever in my blood.

"Please," I begged.

Feeling so, so empty and desperate to be filled, I squealed at the unexpected spank.

A finger pushed past the throng, entering slowing and I emitted a long drawn out groan, my head lolling down.

"Patience," he growled, the finger lazily thrusting. "Someone got turned on by their spanking." He added another finger and picked up the pace.

My breathing increased, "But—"

Spank.

"you—" Spank.

"must—" Spank.

"learn—" Spank. "patience." 

Almost there. A soft mewling noise gathered in my throat. "Please!" Fingers strummed my clit, ratcheting it up tighter. The pleasure was mind boggling as I slammed my hips back and forth. Desperate for relief. Please, please, please. I repeated it over and over again like a mantra. Desperate for the slow burning to find relief.

Then, simultaneously, he pinched my clit and delivered and stinging slap and I came. An uncontrollable cry was ripped from me as wave after wave crashed over me as his finger kept moving, forcing me to ride it out. Boneless, his arm wrapped round my waist bracing my weight against his, I didn't think I could stand. I gazed into keen blue eyes darkened with passion, so familiar but unable to see his face. I ran my fingertips along the hard angle of his jaw, stubble scraping at my skin.

"So that was an appetiser. What's for main course?" I purred with a smile.

Laughing, his firm lips closed over mine and I responded whole heartedly. Dissolving in a sea of sensation, I was pulled away lost within my lover.

I snapped upright in bed, my skin sheened with sweat. I was so turned on, I actually ached, desperate to be filled, my breasts heavy. That was one heck of a dream. Huddled under the covers in the middle of the night, I felt hot. My skin was too tight and it was impossible to settle. I kicked off the covers and stretched my arms over my head feeling my tank top ride up and the warm air kiss my bare skin. My eyes closed and the stranger's confident blue gaze flashed back at me. I snapped them open. Shit, I knew those eyes. Though why the hell Bryce Carlisle was starring in a fantasy hot enough to scorch town hall was anybody's guess. I needed a shower. My center throbbed again and I groaned into my pillow. A cold shower. Penny's talk had rattled old memories that I had hoped to bury. Four years ago, I had thought there was no better place than wrapped in Bryce Carlisle's arms. I had thought I was safe. His tender words rumbled in my ear as he gripped my hips. The odd slap on my bottom usually heightened my pleasure as he rang my soft cries from me. My thighs tightened and my stomach fluttered at the memory. But my chest ached, my heart feeling like a lead weight till I was on the verge of hyper ventilating. I had loved him. But once, I now remembered clearly when we were having a blazing row, I can't remember what about other than I was in a towering rage, I snarled at him and turned to walk away. He had grabbed my arm and spinning me back into his chest, his hard hand had come down on my jean clad backside.

"Don't even think about it, Aideen, if you try I swear I will turn you over my knee."

Bryce masterfully stopped my default furious response with a kiss that made me melt. He now hated me. Even when I had dragged myself to the phone, his had been the number I had called for all the good it did me. As soon as I said his name the phone had slammed down.

I felt my eyes burn with tears and I stuffed my fist into my mouth and stared up at the ceiling willing my eyes dry. I never cried, no matter what happened to me or where I went. I had my pride and sometimes it just wasn't enough.

 

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