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Excerpt: Silver-Tongued Devil

Excerpt: Silver-Tongued Devil

Book 1: Portland Devils

It wasn’t Jerry. That much, she could tell as he got closer. It was somebody a whole lot slimmer. Tall, check. Short dark hair, check. Black shirt, check. But no gut, and she thought there was some darkness around the jaw that wasn’t quite a beard. Another security guy. She could be cute enough for him. Maybe. What would he care, really, what she did?

“Hi,” she said as he approached. “Next time maybe don’t yell right when I’m jumping.” Taking the initiative. Projecting confidence. She was better at that than “cute.”

“Hell of a graceful landing,” he agreed, and glasses or no, she could see the flash of white teeth through the dark stubble just fine. Also that he had a pair of shoulders to die for, and some very nice arms in that T-shirt. Not to mention long legs in dusty jeans and work boots, and about six foot three of lean muscle. Nobody she knew, because she’d have noticed him. She might not be able to see him, exactly, but she could see enough.

“If you’re security,” she said, “I was just going.”

“I’m not security. And I hope that’s a lie that you were just going, because that looked real fun.”

He had a southern drawl she’d surely never heard in Wild Horse. Slow as molasses, and just that thick and sweet. Ah hope thass a lah that you were juss goin’. “Let me guess,” she said, feeling a sneaky little surge of excitement. “You’re out here to do wrong. Sign says ‘No Trespassing,’ and you’ve been given the big lecture, but you’re not worried, because you’re a badass like that.”

Some more grin. “Could be. Is that water deep enough to be safe? We’re both too pretty to get ourselves paralyzed.”

“Oh, yeah,” she assured him. “Best spot on the lake for it. No place else has rocks like this or a pool this deep. Which means, of course, that the Man comes and fences it off and tells you that you can’t use it anymore, even if you’re working out here. Gotta love capitalism, and this is about the worst.”

He gazed into the distance and scratched thoughtfully at his cheek. “Bad place to work, you think? Huh.”

“I wouldn’t do it for a heartbeat if I didn’t need the money. You could say that I’m not in love with Mr. Blake Orbison or his company. But you know, we all need the money.”

“That we do. Arrogant guy?”

“Let’s say that I don’t like the way he treats people. On an . . . institutional scale.” Whoa, girl, she told herself. Lose the bitter and get back to reckless. More attractive, and a whole lot more fun. Trust her to meet a truly prime specimen of manflesh for once and immediately put him off. “So I’m sure I shouldn’t jump off his rocks. But hey, what’s life without a little danger?” There, that was better.

“Now, see, darlin’,” he said, his voice getting even deeper, the accent going a shade richer, “that’s what I tell myself all the time. It’s a real shame that so few people think like us.”

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