Read As Tears Go By Online

Authors: Lydia Michaels

As Tears Go By

AS TEARS GO BY

McCullough
Mountain 6

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lydia Michaels

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Erotic Romance

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A
Secret Cravings Publishing Book

Erotic Romance

 

As Tears Go By

Copyright ©
2014
 
Lydia
Michaels

E-book ISBN: 978-1-63105-407-5

 

First E-book Publication: November
2014
    

 

Cover design by Dawné Dominique

Edited by Faith Summers

Proofread by Rene Flowers

All cover art and logo copyright ©
2014 by Secret Cravings Publishing

 

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PUBLISHER

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Dedication

 

This book is dedicated to those
whose lives have been touched by Autism.

And to
Taviana.

They said you couldn’t speak,
but they were wrong.

Swing away, sweet baby.

Swing away.

 

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Trouble With a Cowboy
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Jacie Hawkins drives big wheelers for a livin'. Something not
a lot of women do. Littleton Oklahoma is just a dry stopover for a few hours of
rest and relaxation at the nearest bar. Jacie needs to find a hot cowboy to
release some of her pent up frustrations on for the night, but wannabe's aren't
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Tucker Marshall needs a big-rig driver to haul his prize bull
to National Finals Rodeo and he needs one fast. Who would have thought he'd
find one shootin' pool at the local bar dressed to kill and takin' numbers?

 

Can some slashed tires and an ornery bull bring two
hard-headed people together for some fun in the sun and a little more?

 
 
 

**
Blood Kisses
(Nightwalkers 1)
, paranormal erotic romance:

Ashleigh
Brown, the author of the popular Nightwalkers series, lives a quiet life free
of the limelight.
 
She keeps her real
identity secret by writing under the pen name, Victoria Allure.
 
She soon finds herself in a bind when she's
kidnapped by a group of handsome vampires seeking Victoria.
 
She then agrees to meet their Master, who's a
huge fan of her books.
 
But instead of
meeting him, she accidentally crosses paths with her rock star crush.
 
He is the sexy muse behind Nightwalkers and
the man she based the hero in the series upon. She would do anything to meet
him but little does she know her crush has a secret...

 

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AS TEARS GO BY

McCullough Mountain 6

Lydia Michaels

Copyright © 2014

 

Chapter One

 
 

“You
just march right on over there and say…
Hi. My name’s Becca. I’m celebrating
the end of a very long and boring marriage to a man who only fucked me on anniversaries
and birthdays, always with his socks on—in the missionary position—until he
decided to seduce our neighbor, the succubus slut from hell, better known as
Beelzebub’s Whore. I think you might possibly be the most beautiful man I’ve
ever laid eyes on and I want to offer you one night of wild, swinging from the
chandeliers, no strings attached, smurf sex.

Becca
Stevens’ lips parted as her insane best friend, Nikki, said all that without
taking a single breath. Shaking her head she swallowed and asked, “Is that
all?”

Nikki’s
lips drew at her tiny swizzle straw. “Mmmm! You should also require he make you
come—
at least
three times.”

“I
can’t say that!”

Nikki
sighed and placed her empty cocktail aside, leveling Becca with an
uncompromising stare. “Honey, it’s been a decade. A
decade
of sad,
unfulfilling, plan your grocery list while he ruts for a grand total of two
minute, unceremonious sex. You
need
to come.”

Becca
rolled her eyes. “I can’t say
any of that
, let alone the part about
coming
!
And what the heck’s smurf sex?”

The
waitress passed and Nikki flagged her over. “We’ll take another round, please.”
She spun back to Becca. “Smurf sex is when you fuck until you’re blue in the
face.”

“Oh.”

Becca
wouldn’t know anything about that. If she calculated all the minutes she’d ever
spent having sex, she’d probably only reach a grand total of two hundred. No,
she was exaggerating. It would probably add up to an hour. Pathetic.

It had
been ten years. Ten years of awful, unfulfilling, sometimes painful, sex. The
realization of how bad her sex life had been came the afternoon she returned
home and thought someone was being murdered in her house.

Cries
built as she’d crept up the stairs to her bedroom, carrying a cast iron
bookend. It was the only weapon she could find.
 
Having never been prone to violence, she wasn’t sure what she planned to
do with the heavy bookend. The capacity to bludgeon someone really wasn’t in
her gentle nature. But someone was definitely being attacked—or so she’d
thought.

Six
months later and she still couldn’t get rid of the image of her husband, Kevin,
drilling into Loretta like he was trying to strike oil. The disgusting sight
was permanently seared into her mind’s eye. In ten years, he’d never once
touched her like that. Not once.

Kevin
appeared in her life at the end of her senior year, right after she and her
mother moved to the area. First, he’d been nothing more than her shy friend.
Over time he asked her out and eventually they wound up making out in the back
of her cramped Beetle convertible.

After
graduation he proposed. The proposal was unexpected, but she’d said yes all the
same. There was a laundry list of unsound reasons why she agreed to be his
wife. All of her friends were a thousand miles away in Florida. She was lonely.
She had yet to make many new friends in Pittsburgh. And, believe it or not,
Kevin was nice. Now, years later and much wiser, she understood he wasn’t so
nice after all.

When
they were kids, Kevin was still in the ugly duckling stage of life. His
confidence was nil and he’d seemed surprised a girl like Becca would notice
him. Not that she was anything spectacular. To her thinking, she’d always been
about average.

Always
the quiet type, mostly because life hadn’t presented her with many exciting
opportunities, Becca learned to value the small things. That made marriage very
easy for Kevin—until life got complicated.

She was
sick of it, sick of being the good girl, the go-to girl, the quiet, don’t make
any waves and take one for the team girl. That was why she’d chosen Nikki to be
her wingman tonight.

The
divorce papers were signed that afternoon, sealing away a decade of her life
she’d never get back. Nikki was well informed about what had happened. The more
Becca confessed about her marriage, the more her friend became utterly
appalled. Becca now understood how truly pathetic her marriage had actually
been.

As
Kevin approached his thirties, he started to change. Maybe he was suffering
some sort of early mid-life crisis. He’d joined a gym, bought a new car they
couldn’t afford, and started fussing with his hair a lot. The whole thing
puzzled Becca until one day she looked at her husband and saw someone she
barely recognized.

His
body trimmed down and his hair magically turned a shade darker than it had
naturally been. His attitude swanked of confidence he’d never displayed before.
Such flagrant boasting grated on her daily. It was around that time that he’d
started acting “neighborly” with Loretta.

It hurt
at first. In the beginning Becca had blamed herself for his cheating, knowing
she’d traded her extravagant side for jaded sensibility several years ago. But
no matter how low key her life had become, nothing justified his infidelity.

Kevin
was the one who needed to prove something. Not once had he come to her stating
he was unsatisfied with their personal relationship.

Their
lackluster marriage was an oversight, sure, but there wasn’t always time to
primp and prep the way a waiting mistress could—certainly not in Becca’s world.
But she held no pity for herself and accepted even less from others.

While
some might view her life as encumbered, she was happy to carry the
responsibilities piled on her. Perhaps if her husband had lent a hand when
family life turned challenging she would’ve been more invested in their sex
life. Her lack of carnal enthusiasm was greatly
his
doing.

Nikki
whacked her in the arm. “He’s leaving!”

Becca
glanced longingly at Mr. Beautiful. It wasn’t like she was going to make the
offer Nikki suggested. He was beautiful, though.

His
hair was the perfect shade of blond, clipped neatly in a way that showed off
the slight waves.
 
The dark blue,
tailored suit he wore matched the sharpest blue eyes she’d ever seen. No ring,
but there was no way a guy that pretty was single. Either that or he was gay.

“You
need to go talk to him before he gets away!”

Becca
let out a disheartened breath. It was a fun fantasy, but that’s all it would
ever be. “No. He’s not my type—” Her chair tipped and she was abruptly dumped
onto her feet, luckily catching herself—none too gracefully—on the table before
she landed on her ass. “
Nikki!

Her
friend glared at her. “Why am I here?”

“Because
you’re supposed to be my friend.” She attempted to reseat herself only to have
the seat snatched away.

Scowling,
and making quite a scene, Nikki snapped, “No. I’m here to make sure you close
out the last ten years of your life with a physical bang and I’m not leaving
until that’s been accomplished. Thoroughly. You, my friend, are banging that
guy tonight.”

“Will
you knock it off?” Becca hissed, her face heating to an uncomfortable burn.

“Not a
chance.
Look at him, Becs!
He’s gorgeous. Can’t you imagine your legs
wrapped all around those strong shoulders and stroking against that fine, wavy
blond hair? No! Of course you can’t, because you’ve spent the last decade
screwing Kevin and his pintsize penis doing a sad impression of a baby toe.
Now, I refuse—
refuse—
to let you go on living, never knowing what a full
body, true, scream your lungs out, orgasm feels like. And that’s the guy who’s
gonna give it to you.”

Her
face had to be bright red. Her chest heaved as she caught her breath. Licking
her dry lips she whispered, “Will you please stop? People are staring at us.”
She didn’t need the whole world knowing she’d never had a real orgasm.

Nikki
reached for her purse. “How much will it take?”

“What?”

“How
much?” She slapped her checkbook on the table and uncapped a pen with her
teeth.

“You’re
going to pay me to have sex with someone?”

“No,
I’m going to pay you to make a proposition. One line, only a few words, to that
man over there, and I’ll cut you a check, whether he takes you up on it or not.
Give me a number.”

She
wasn’t doing this.

“You
know what? Forget it. I know exactly what I’ll do.” Her hand moved quickly as
she scribbled. She tore the note away and handed it to Becca. “My gift, from me
to you. I’m buying you a divorce.”

Becca’s
jaw dropped. Nikki was loaded and Becca definitely was not, but there was no
way she was letting her friend reimburse her the cost of her divorce. “No,
Nikki—”

“Take
the check.”

“No!”

“Take
the check.”

“No!”

“Becca,
take the damn check or so help me God, I won’t be your friend anymore.”

“What
are you, twelve?”

“Take.
The. Check.”

“I’m
not taking the stupid check. Now tear it up or I will.”

“I’ll
tear it up if you go proposition him.” A devious smile curled the side of her
unreasonable friend’s mouth.

Becca’s
teeth clamped tight and she growled, “I hate you.”

Nikki
laughed. “Go on. Before he escapes. And I’ll be watching, so you better offer
him exactly what I said.”

Becca
shook her head, but grabbed her purse, hissing, “I am not saying smurf sex.”
Turning, she stomped over to the other end of the bar. Once she spotted the man
in question her steps staggered. Turning back to Nikki, she cowered as her
friend shot her a threatening glare.

Right.
To the guy.

Heart
fluttering in her chest like a ballistic hummingbird, her lungs drew in a long
ragged breath. He was perfect. Everything about him was a masterpiece.
Sluggishly, she baby stepped in his direction. Her hand casually ran over her
shoulder length blonde hair and she tugged at the bottom of her shirt, trying
to show the slight amount of cleavage she had to offer.

Licking
her lips she jaggedly took the last step in front of his table and froze.

His
head slowly turned as he sensed her presence—the moron standing across from
him, gawking. Blue eyes traveled over her questioningly and she cleared her
throat.

He
smiled a bit nervously. “Hello.”

Oh. She
needed to shut her eyes for a second. That voice was so thick and smooth she
nearly hummed.
Crap. Was she humming?
Her lips firmed, cutting off any
accidental sounds of nervous pleasure.

Forcing
her eyes to meet his gaze, she squared her shoulders.
Deep
breath.
“Hello. My name’s Becca. I’m here celebrating my
divorce.” Why did she sound like a cyborg? “I noticed you sitting here and I
was wondering if you might be interested in a night of…” She could do this.
“…no strings attached sex.
With me.
Becca.
And no strings.
All night. Sex. Anything you want. The smurf
kind even.”
Oh, my God, stop talking.
“Me. Becca.”

Those
blue eyes glanced suspiciously around as though he were the target of a
practical joke. “Is this a joke? Where’s the camera?”

“No
cameras.”

His
teeth flashed, as the corner of his mouth hooked upward in a devilish grin. Oh,
boy. He was really, really pretty. “So then
not
anything I want.”

His
grin was contagious, but confusion cut her smile short. “Excuse me?”

He
shifted and draped his elbow over the back of a stool. His smirk turned cocky
and she shot Nikki a nervous glance. Her friend nodded rapidly and waved her
on.
Dear God, she was starting to sweat.

“So in
all this no strings attached, wild, anything I want sex, no cameras are
allowed? I wouldn’t be able to take your picture?”

W
hat?
“Of course not! Why would you want to?”

He
shrugged. “Souvenir.”

“Oh.”
Was he serious? She couldn’t tell.
 
“Would my clothes be on?”

He
chuckled quietly and she still wasn’t certain if he was teasing. “If that was a
condition, I suppose I could work with that.”

She
chewed the side of her lip. Now it seemed like the joke was definitely on her.
“Okay.”

His
head tipped to the side. “Really?”

“Um.
Yeah.”

“And
you said your name was Becca?”

“Yes.
Becca.”

He held
out his hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Becca. I’m Braydon.”

Braydon—such
a great name—slowly reached for her wrist and lifted her limp arm, placing her
palm softly against his. His fingers gave a light squeeze as he asked, “Do you
live close?”

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