Authors: V. Vaughn
Winter Valley Wolves, Volume 2
Published by Violet Vaughn, 2015.
Copyright © 2015 by V. Vaughn
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Cover by Croco Designs
Editing by Jodi Henley and Red Adept Publishing
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evon Reilly had a plan – run a successful hair salon and make enough money to move to Paris to find love. When Bosun Lindholm crashes into her she finds a man that turns her world upside down within days. Suddenly the need to leave Winter Valley disappears as she falls for someone close to home. But Bosun’s more than just a sexy auto-mechanic, and the truth he reveals spins her out of control.
Bosun Lindholm used to burn through women faster than a tank of gas. Bored with his life he’d sworn off dating, until the day he runs into a fiery vixen that makes his engine purr. Devon is his true mate, and he’ll do anything to make her his wife. But this time he’s met his match, and he’ll need more than charm to win the woman of his dreams.
t’s the kind of spring morning that was made for rolling down the windows in your car and singing to loud music. I tap my shiny red fingernail on the steering wheel to the beat as I wait at a traffic light. Glancing to the right, I notice a guy in a beater truck next to me. He’s smiling down from his high perch, and he gives me a wink.
I lift my sunglasses up and wink back, because even though his vehicle is butt ugly, he’s super hot. He’s got that long hair in his eyes and tight T-shirt thing that says bad boy in a big way.
My VW Bug engine roars when I rev it, as if I want to race, and his face breaks into a grin before he slides his aviator-style glasses up his nose. I give him a hair flip and prepare to gun it when the light turns green. The crossing cars stop, indicating it’s almost time, and I grip the gear shifter tight to click it down and take off a second before I should.
The road merges into one lane fairly quickly, and my lead puts me in front of the guy. I lift my hand and wave to him as I laugh. Watching him in the rearview mirror distracts me long enough that I don’t see the old Cadillac pull out until I’m upon it.
I slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me. Almost instantly, I jerk forward violently as I’m struck from behind.
A loud snap startles me as the airbag deploys. I push the bag out of my way. Great. Just freaking great.
I sit for a moment in a daze before the pain of my seatbelt digging into my shoulder makes me face the reality of what just happened. The nylon strap zings into its housing when I release myself, and I turn off the car. My poor Cherry. A deep voice makes me turn to my open window. “Are you all right?”
“No.” I slap white powder from the airbag off my clothes. “You hit me.” I shove the door open, making the hot guy stumble back. “Do I even want to see what you did to Cherry?” My car door slams when I shut it, and a piece of my back fender shakes. I scramble back and scoot down to inspect the damage. The rear of my car is crunched up like an accordion, and I don’t think I’m driving away from this.
The guy has followed me, and he asks, “You named your car Cherry?”
I glare up at him as I stand. It pisses me off that he’s smiling, and I’m not sure where my reaction comes from, but I kick him in the shin with my pointy-toed pump.
“Oww!” His expression reminds me of a little boy punched by a friend, and the hurt in his eyes makes me flush with shame when he asks, “What’s wrong with you?”
He moves back, shaking his head.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” I step toward him, and the guy holds up his hand.
“Don’t come near me. You’re dangerous when you’re mad.” He chuckles, and it wipes away any sympathy I had.
I cross my arms. “You’re just plain dangerous. I don’t suppose you have any insurance to pay for this?”
“What?” He’s still amused by me, and my temper flares when he says, “Oh, you’re a piece of work, sweetheart. This was your fault.”
I throw up my hands and stomp back to my car as I call out. “Fine. I’ll call the police and let them deal with you.” I yank my door open and yell back to him. “Jerk!”
But as I dig though my purse for my phone, it occurs to me that this is partially my fault, and since my insurance is sky high with the number of speeding tickets I’ve had, it may be more cost-effective to work out a deal instead.
I sigh and get out of the car to walk back to the mud-splattered truck. While it’s most definitely ugly, it’s tricked out by someone who cares. The body is high up above the tires, and the chrome that’s visible is gleaming. There’s a metal grate-like attachment on the front that probably didn’t even scratch when it crushed my Cherry.
I swallow my pride and approach the driver’s side, where the guy is leaning against the door. “Look. I’m sorry I kicked you and called you a jerk. I don’t like it when people laugh at me.”
“Fair enough. I’m sorry I laughed at you.”
I bite my lip, and something flickers across his face before I say, “I don’t really want to report this, because my insurance is through the roof as it is.” I flash him my doe-eyed look and ask, “Maybe we can work out a deal?”
He smiles and scans my body quickly with his eyes before he holds out his hand. “I’m Bosun. And I’d be happy to make a deal.”
I squint at him and ignore his hand. What a dick. “Not that kind of deal. I—”
He interrupts me. “I know what you meant. You’re so easy to tease, I couldn’t help myself.”
“Oh.” I stick out my hand. “Devon Reilly.”
His calloused fingers are strong with his grip. He doesn’t let go and says, “You’re going to need a tow. But you’re in luck, because I know just the right guy.”
He’s good, because the combination of his deep voice, pale blue eyes, and warm skin makes my irritation with him melt away. I manage to speak one word. “Okay.”
Bosun releases me and pulls a phone out of his back pocket to tap out a number. He puts the cell up to his ear and says, “Hey. I need a tow on Fairfield Road. Just past where it merges, beyond Patterson.” He listens to the guy, and I take the time to check him out. He’s at least six feet tall, with blond hair women pay good money to attain, and he has the broad chest of a guy who works out. I’ve gotten to his hips and wonder what his butt looks like when he says, “Thanks.”
He lowers the phone to stick it back in his pocket, and my brain kicks in, so I ask, “Where are you taking my car? Shouldn’t we make the deal first?”
“Cherry will be well taken care of by someone who knows how special she is to you. And he’ll only charge for parts. We can split the cost. Deal?”
“Wow. That’s some friend. Thank you. I’ll take it.”
“You’re welcome. Do you need a ride anywhere?”
“Oh.” Bosun is doing me a huge favor, and I don’t want to overstep things, so I say, “I’m good. I’ll call someone.” I walk away before he can object, and when I get to my car, I grab my cell to call my best friend, Katie.
Once the arrangements are made, I make my way back to Bosun to work out details. “We should exchange numbers.” I hold out my phone. “Here, my contacts are open.”
“Sure. Hang on.” He taps his phone to open his address book and then trades with me. When I hand him my cell, he flips it over in his hand to look at the back of my case. It has an image of the Eiffel Tower and reads, “Let’s fall in love in Paris.” His eyebrows rise as he smirks and then turns it over to plug in his number.
Anger surges in me. “You find me amusing, don’t you?”
He hands me my phone. “I do, Devon.”
His voice saying my name races though me and down to my toes, making me want to touch him. I snort and roll my eyes then wander around his truck, inspecting it. I flake dried dirt off with a fingernail.
“You might consider a car wash.” I realize I’m not being grateful for the huge favor he’s doing for me, so I add, “I mean, it looks like you’ve put a lot of time into your truck, and it’s a shame to cover it in mud.”
Bosun has his arms crossed, and I notice how the sleeves of his shirt are straining around his biceps. He asks, “You like my truck?”
“It fits you.”
“Because it’s dirty?” He chuckles. “Let’s see. You’ve called me dangerous, think I’m dirty, and”—he looks up at the sky for a moment—“you called me a jerk.” Bosun leans in close to me to gaze into my eyes. “You want me.” His voice is a low, sexy growl that makes my toes curl.
I step back as flashing yellow lights approach us. My insides are quivering in response to him. “Wow. You’ve got quite a healthy self-esteem. But I recall you called me dangerous, a piece of work, and sweetheart. Maybe it’s
Bosun licks his lips as if he’s considering my words, and the sound of the tow truck’s door slamming carries over to us. “Maybe I do.”
He turns to the guy who is now by his side. “Greer, this is Devon.” He points to my car. “And that’s Cherry. She needs a tow.”
Greer says, “Got it.” He smiles at me. “I’ll treat her with kid gloves.”
Katie has pulled over in front of my car, and I turn to Bosun. “My ride’s here. Thank you.”
“Okay, I’ll call you.”
“Right. Bye.” I wave like a child would and remove myself from the situation. When I get in Katie’s car, she asks, “Was that Bosun Lindholm?”
Oh my God. He’s my best friend’s brother-in-law. “Yup.” I sigh.
“Oh man, Devon. Don’t tell me you’re crushing on him. Bosun’s dangerous.”
“What? No.” I turn around to catch a glimpse of him before we leave. Bosun waves like I did to him. I squint my eyes in annoyance at his smirk. “Not at all.”
atie’s been my best friend since we met in freshman year of high school. We were biology lab partners. She tutored me then, and she’s about to tutor me now in all things Bosun. We’re on lunch break at my hair salon, and I hoist myself up to sit on the receptionist counter. Devon is sitting in a rolling chair, and she rubs her eyes. I ask, “Another long night with the babies?”
“Yeah, I think Wyatt’s teething.” Paper crinkles as she unwraps her sandwich.
Katie had twins last December. “What do you do for that?”
She picks tomato off her bread. “Nothing, really. It’s so hard to know what’s really going on. Sometimes babies just cry.”
I grab the tomato slice and take a bite. Trying to be casual, I speak around food in my mouth. “So why’s Bosun dangerous?”
Katie knits her brow and says, “Truck-club type. Seriously, Dev. You don’t want to get involved with him.”
There were a group of guys in high school we nicknamed the truck club because they all drove tricked-out pickups, wore lots of flannel, and hung out together sometimes to the point of being exclusive. But Katie’s married to one. “Seems to me, that kind of danger works for you.”
“Brindle’s different.” Katie sets her sandwich down. “Bosun has a reputation as a player. Do you really want to go after someone who will just add you to a long list?”
“So you’re saying he has references?” I grin at her.
“Cute. What I’m saying is, that list is made up of a lot of broken hearts. I don’t want that for you.”
My legs are crossed, and I twirl my high-heeled foot. “I think you’ve forgotten I don’t know how to fall in love.” It’s not that I haven’t tried, but for whatever reason, as soon as a guy says those three little words most girls want to hear, I freak, and the relationship is over.
Devon grabs my foot to stop me. “I’m serious. I don’t know what it is about that guy, but women fall hard for him, and he walks away unscathed.”
“Maybe Bosun hasn’t met the right one.” I sip diet soda from my straw.
“I thought the plan was to save money for a couple years and go find that sexy Frenchman.”
“It is. But I might as well practice before I go, right?”
“You aren’t going to listen to me, are you?” Katie crunches a potato chip.
“Do I ever when it comes to men? Besides, he sounds like a challenge.”
She sighs. “When do you see him again?”
“I have to meet him at the auto repair shop where his friend is working on my car this afternoon.”