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Authors: Dahlia West

Tags: #Romance

Tex (Burnout)

BOOK: Tex (Burnout)
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Contents

Tex

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

CHapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Denizens

 

Filed under “Holy Shit, I did it!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Twenty two year old Abby Raines was cruising at 65 miles per hour in her six year old Toyota and singing happily along with the radio when the car started acting sluggish. She released the accelerator, tamped it down again. She got no significant response. She frowned at the dashboard where the Check Engine light had not come on. She put on her turn signal, changed lanes, and then pulled onto the shoulder of Interstate 90 just eleven miles outside Rapid City, South Dakota. She killed the radio, but left the car idling. She yanked on the parking brake, got out and strode to the front of her car, her boots leaving tracks in the damp earth.

 

It was cold, in the mid forties, and March in South Dakota was a hell of a lot more damp than she was used to. But the scenery was downright breathtaking. Highway 90 skirted the Black Forest from the minute she’d crossed the border from Wyoming. The weather would take some getting used to but she already loved the view.

 

She popped the car’s hood and leaned in, listening intently. She heard the telltale crackling noise and heaved a sigh. She stalked back to the driver’s side door, reached in, and killed the engine. She continued on down to the trunk where she opened it and took out a folded white rag tucked into the corner.

 

She was on the last leg of her trip and had risen at 6 am to check out of her hotel in order to get on the road and get to her final destination at a decent hour. It was now going on 2 pm. It was her own fault though, that she was stuck out here, so far from her old home yet so close to her new one. She leaned down and pulled a spark plug out.

 

She was making up lists in her head for all the things she needed to buy for her new place when she heard a low rumble. She peeked around the side of the hood and saw a man pulling up behind her on a black Harley Davidson. He took off his helmet and hooked it to the handlebar and swung his leg over the back. He was tall, she could tell that just by how low the Harley was in comparison.

 

He had medium length blonde hair and was fairly intimidating in his black leather jacket and dark blue jeans. His boots were black, too, and rounded at the toe. As he headed toward her, Abby’s heart knocked in her chest. She wasn’t afraid. She was on a busy highway and if push came to shove she could handle herself. But damn this man was fine. She had seen few men this good looking close up and she was from a town where beautiful people reigned supreme.

 

He stalked up the length of the car and rounded the front. “So,” he said. “Flat tire, huh?”

 

And she laughed. She had expected a man who looked this rough to be all growls and grunts. “I wish,” she replied. “Wouldn’t take nearly as long.” She held up a disconnected spark plug. “I really should have gone for that tune up before I made the trip.”

 

He nodded and his eyes raked over the rest of the car’s engine. “It’s important to keep up with your maintenance.”

 

She sighed and continued to clean the inside with the rag. “I know. But lately it just seems like there’s too much to do and not enough me to do it. You know what I mean?”

 

“Definitely. I’m Tex, from Texas. And you’re coming from Vegas? Says your license plate. You actually live there?”

 

She nodded. “My whole life. I’m Abby.”

 

His eyes glittered with interest. “I never met anyone who actually
lives
in Vegas. I mean...aside from people who work there.”

 

She frowned at him. He was not asking if she was a stripper. She glanced down. Her jeans were not tight at all, her t-shirt wasn’t either, and it showed no cleavage. “Well, I did work there. In a hotel,” she told him quickly. “But I was born there, too. So were both my parents.”

 

He nodded. “You here for a visit?”

 

“No. I just graduated from UNLV and got my first job offer at a hotel in Rapid City.”

 

He studied her. “Aren’t graduations usually in May?”

 

“Usually,” she said, replacing the plug, “But I graduated a semester early. Just ready to get out of Vegas and start my life, you know?”

 

“I can relate. I wanted to get off the farm so badly I joined the Army at 18.”

 

Abby’s eyes widened. “Really?”

 

He grinned. “Yeah, but I had to quit after a while because the food’s so bad.”

 

She laughed again. She’d met all kinds of people in Las Vegas. Bikers weren’t new, but funny bikers were few and far between.

 

“You would think it would have been the people shooting at you,” she teased.

 

“Nah. They missed. Usually. But heartburn from the powdered eggs? That’s a sure thing.”

 

Her eyes widened again, but she couldn’t tell if he was teasing her or not about being shot.

 

“So how did you end up here?” she asked. “Or are
you
just visiting?”

 

“No. I live in Rapid City now. My old lieutenant set up shop in town and the boys from the unit just...kind of fell in line, I guess. We’d spent so many years together at that point that it seemed odd not to just keep doing it.”

 

“Well, he must be a really great guy for all of you to follow him up here,” Abby remarked.

 

Tex nodded. “He is. He’s the best man I know. And since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after the army, I figured why not do whatever Shooter wants to do?”

 

Abby grinned. “And you all have nicknames?”

 

He chuckled. “No way around it. You get them when you enlist and they sort of stick. I’ve always thought mine was unimaginative, but now that I’ve met you, I couldn’t see calling you anything but ‘Vegas’ especially since, like I said, I’ve never met anyone
from
Vegas.”

 

She laughed. “I’m not even to the city limits yet and I already have a nickname. This might be a good sign. What’s Rapid City like?”

 

“It’s a good town. A working town.”

 

She nodded thoughtfully. “Vegas is a working town, too, underneath the glitter.”

 

“You should fit right in. There for damn sure aren’t many pretty girls like you in town. It’ll improve the scenery.”

 

Abby blushed and quickly looked away, shoving the last spark plug into place. She dug her keys out of her pocket, but Tex brought his hand up quickly, capturing her own. “Now that you’ve done all the hard work, let me at least contribute.”

 

He slipped the keys out and she swore he held onto her hand a little longer than necessary. She turned back to the engine. “Thanks,” she told him, in a clipped tone.

 

He headed to the driver’s side door and leaned in, turning the keys in the ignition. The engine caught and she leaned in to listen to it. Hearing no more crackle and not noticing anything wrong with the idle speed, she nodded to herself and stood up.

 

“Looks good,” said Tex and she turned around.

 

He’d come up behind her and for a moment she wasn’t sure if he was referring to her or the engine. Then she shook herself. Of course he meant the engine. Guys like Tex didn’t go for girls like her. He’d said she was pretty, but he was just being polite. Tex was all man. More man than she’d ever dared to look at in the way her mind was turning.

 

She glanced back at the engine. “Yeah, I think we got it. Thanks for all your help.”

 

He laughed as she brought down the hood.

 

“Well, always nice to help a damsel in distress,” said Tex, grinning at her.

 

She couldn’t help but smile back.

 

“There aren’t a lot of bars in town,” Tex told her as she wiped her hands. “Maria’s is the best local watering hole. It’s on the south edge of town. If you’re thirsty, head on over.”

 

She nodded. “Nice meeting you,” was all she could think to say.

 

“You too, Vegas.” He touched his head like he was tipping a cowboy hat.

 

Abby tossed the dirty rag onto the floorboard of the passenger side and signaled before she pulled out into a lull between cars. Tex followed her into town, which wasn’t unusual, she thought, since he said he lived there. But she did sigh a teeny tiny bit in relief when at the end of the exit ramp for Rapid City, he turned right and she turned left.

 

He gave her a wave, which she caught in her window and she beeped her horn once in acknowledgement. She threaded her way through the streets of Rapid City, amazed at its relative quiet compared to home. She was tired. Tired from the road and tired of the glitter of her hometown. Her GPS showed her the last three turns to a new condo development in the western part of town and she drove slowly down the street, looking for the one that was hers.

 

She’d chosen it over the internet and only paid for a six month lease, not being at all familiar with Rapid City and its various neighborhoods. She finally found hers and pulled into the narrow driveway. The bushes were well trimmed and there was no yard to speak of. Which was fine with her not having ever had a yard and not knowing quite what to do with one if she did.

 

She parked the car and killed the engine. She gathered her GPS, her purse, and her small overnight bag out of the front seat and headed toward the front door. The movers had arrived ahead of her, dropped off her small amount of belongings, and left the spare key she had given them on the kitchen counter. She walked through the condo, which smelled of new paint and the carpets appeared new, as well. Her only piece of furniture, her bed, which she had bought and given over immediately to the movers, was in the condo’s only bedroom.

 

She tossed her purse and suitcase inside the bedroom and opened the box marked “bedding.” She pulled out a pillow and a sheet set that had never been used and just managed to make the bed before collapsing on top of it. She closed her eyes and drifted to sleep. “Home, Sweet, Home,” she whispered to herself just before darkness overtook her.

 

 

She woke the next morning, Saturday, or at least she thought it was morning, not having unpacked her alarm clock. She showered and changed clothes from her overnight bag and set about opening boxes. She cut the manufacturer’s packing tape on a small set of pots and pans, not that she had any idea how to use them, and a six piece dinnerware set, not that she had friends.

 

She hung her clothes in the bedroom closet and set up the bathroom with her toiletry items. She checked the time on her cell phone and found it was nearly noon at this point. She opened her laptop and googled the local grocery and headed out with a list that she’d made and hung on her refrigerator.

 

On the way to the store, she caught a glimpse of a sign that said Maria’s and slowed to check the place out. It looked like any restaurant/bar with a large gravel lot in front. There were a few cars and motorcycles for this early on a Saturday and she wondered what kind of food they had.

BOOK: Tex (Burnout)
8.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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