scroll down for excerpt Book 1 in The Mackay Sisters duet
Ali Mackay has dated some real losers in her search for a man who
will love her for herself.
Ty “Ghost” Sinclair regularly rides to her rescue, he always has done
ever since school.
But after one unexpectedly hot encounter between the two best friends,
can Ghost convince Ali to give their relationship a go, or will her fear of
changes ruin everything?
“Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it.” Ali glared at the disappearing taillights of the car.
Great, she was stuck out here in the middle of nowhere. Glancing around, she took in the dark bushes and trees that lined the equally dark roadside. There were no street lights out on the highway and she was stuck out here with no transport.
Mainly because her mode of transport had vanished with her disgruntled date. Ex-date. Whatever. Jerk more suited him.
Heaving a sigh, she hefted her little clutch in her hand and started walking back towards town. It wouldn’t take long, surely, it wasn’t as though they’d travelled far out and – crap. The sign she drew level with plainly stated twenty kms to town.
Hells bells, she’d be still walking when the sun came up.
Unless someone stopped to pick her up. Ali chewed her thumb nail as she trudged past the sign. Of course, whoever stopped might not be a friendly face from town, it could be a menacing stranger who’d murder her and dump her body in the bushes.
Rustling came from some nearby bushes and she shivered, her heart doing a little jump in her chest. Anything could be in the dense bush – owl, fox, feral cat, a snake as big her arm with sharp fangs, an axe murderer, a vengeful ghost…
Really, she had to stop reading her friend’s books.
Squaring her shoulders, she continued walking at a faster pace. There was nothing to be afraid of, absolutely nothing. It was just some animal keeping her company, going about its business, in fact. Doing its thing, just like she was doing her thing.
Namely going home alone, again. Another stupid date gone wrong, this time because she wouldn’t put out for him, and really, did Brian think she would when he’d said he’d never screwed a ‘chubby bubby’ and could she please flip her skirt up for him so he could inspect her thighs?
He definitely couldn’t say that he’d never been slapped silly by a chubby bubby. She’d near on knocked his lights out. Even now her hand still stung a little. His cheek would be bright red for a week.
Of course, that had resulted in her being out here all alone, in the dark, on a deserted highway, walking home in high heels. All alone. In the dark.
Turning, she cast a longing glance down the dim road. No headlights. Swinging around, she sighed and continued walking.
If she had a mobile phone she could ring for a taxi. Unfortunately, the mobile phone wouldn’t fit in her sweet little clutch and convinced that Brian was the real deal, an honourable man, Ali had blithely left it on the dressing table.
Big mistake. In hindsight, everything was a big mistake.
Within ten minutes her feet were killing her. High heels weren’t made for long walks, never mind bitumen roads, and the combination of both had her longing to take them off. Unfortunately, the undersides of her feet were tender as she always wore shoes or sandals, never liking to go around in bare feet, so she was stuck with the blister-inducing high heels.
Damn, what she wouldn’t give for a pair of flats right now, or thongs. Hell, even her slippers.
Plodding onwards, she felt her spirits start to droop. The road stretched out in a long black ribbon into the darkness and now she was afraid that someone would stop and turn out to be a maniac, or that some nice person wouldn’t stop thinking she was a maniac and that she’d still be here come the sunrise. Her sister had the all-night shift at the local twenty four hour service station and wouldn’t notice her missing until she got home at seven in the morning.
It was going to be a bloody long, scary, painful walk home unless a friendly face showed up behind the wheel of a car heading into town.
Hopefully a friendly face and not an axe murderer.
No sooner had that thought again crossed her mind unpleasantly than headlights flickered behind her. Moving to the verge of the road, Ali stood and chewed her lip as the lights shone beyond the bend before coming around fully. Shading her eyes from the glare of the headlights, she watched as the high beam switched to low beam, the car slowed down, indicated, and pulled to a halt beside her.
A dark blue panel van. Thank God, a friendly face.
And a lecture, but that came with the territory.
Folding her arms, she waited for the inevitable.
The window rolled down and a deep voice asked, “Dumped again?”
“Whatever gave you that idea?”
“Oh, I don’t know. The dark, you, no one else?”
“I could just be going for a walk, enjoying the night.”
“Dressed up in high heels and a fancy dress?”
“I’ve heard of weirder.”
“Honey, no one is weirder than you. Get in.”
She didn’t need to be asked twice. Grabbing the handle, she opened the door and sat down in the van. Immediately the fresh pine scent hit her. “Cripes, Ghost, how many of these things do you go through a week?”
In the dim light of the dashboard, he simply looked at her.
Leaning forward, she plucked the air freshener tree from the radio dial and waggled it. “Three? Four?”
Replacing it, she heaved a sigh and buckled up the seat belt. “Okay, let’s get this over with.”
The van rocked a little as he moved, his arm going up, and then the cabin flooded with soft light. Keeping his hand near the switch on the roof, he looked her over.
Ali returned the scrutiny with a raised eyebrow. Ghost was dressed in his usual old jeans that hugged his muscled thighs and the long-sleeved flannel shirt with the arms rolled up to just below his elbows, showing off his muscled forearms. It hung open to reveal the white t-shirt he wore beneath, the soft material hugging all those luscious muscles.
Yep, Ghost was all muscle. You wouldn’t expect that from a bloke who spent a lot of his time pecking away on a keyboard for a living, but she also knew he hit the gym often. Oh, he wasn’t muscle-bound, looking like a weight lifter, but he had muscles to go with his height that made for a very mouth-watering body which had many a woman’s eyes following him.
Ghost’s dark brown eyes studied her closely. Blonde hair ruffled across his brow and a long strand escaped the ponytail fastened at his nape to fall across one broad shoulder. The square jaw was firm as usual, but a muscle jumped at the corner of his full, yet masculine, lips. He drew in a deep breath, the nostrils of his straight nose flaring slightly in disapproval.
“Oh, come on.” She sighed. “Hit me with it.”
“I’d hit you with something, but it wouldn’t be what you expect.”
“Oh yadda yadda yadda.” Propping her elbow on the windowsill frame, she dropped her chin in one hand.
The muscle at the corner of his mouth gave another tic.
She looked away. Now that she was safe, disappointment in the evening’s events flooded her. “Go on. You can’t make it any worse.”
Unclipping the seat belt with one hand, Ghost rocked the van a little as he leaned toward her, his hand coming out to cup her chin and turn her face to him. She could swear his eyes were like x-rays as they scanned her face once more, but his tone was a little gentler when he asked, “Did you get hurt?”
“No, but you could ask him that.”
copyright Angela Verdenius