Date Published: February 7, 2017
Working for a cranky, old hermit in an isolated house sounds like Ruby’s idea of heaven – but her boss isn't quite what she expects.
Tex is a fugitive from the rock and roll world – a tragedy abruptly halted his career. No one knows why he quit, no one knows where he is.
The two of them live in the same house, avoiding each other, until Tex screws up, endangering their lives and forcing them to move into close quarters. Suddenly, the idea of human contact seems more appealing, if only with each other. The sanctuary they have built is enough for Ruby -- the man she grows to love is Tex the hermit, not Tex the rock star -- but the outside world encroaches.
She thinks their fledgling love can’t shine brighter than the rock dream but can Ruby bear to let Tex go?
A man stood in the middle of the kitchen who most definitely had to be a burglar. He wore a hoodie and stubble covered half his face. He looked like he hadn’t bathed in a while. He wasn’t a ghost but he was scary.
“Stop right there, buddy,” I said.
I tried to sound tough but my heart pounded like a wild thing. He had a look of desperate danger in his eyes and looked like he hadn’t been outside much. Maybe because he’d been in prison.
He really did seem like he might have killed a man once. Maybe more than once. Bits of broken crockery splayed around his feet – those plates I’d spent all day cleaning.
I lunged at him, even shocking myself with my bravery. I was the head bitch of this house and no low life was stepping on my turf. I’d spent the day cleaning that kitchen and he was NOT going to trash it. The rush of adrenalin overruled my brain. He obviously wasn’t a guy to be messed with but he was near my phone. I had some pretty damn personal stuff on that phone. No way was he stealing it.
As I got close to him, he grabbed my hand and twisted the pencil out of it, then he backed me up against the bench, pressing his body against mine. He had me pinned tight.
I struggled but couldn’t get loose. He hadn’t looked that strong but he had some power in his grip. His body felt like steel against mine, harsh and unyielding. And he towered over me.
I’d die there in that kitchen and no one would even find out until I was just bare bones.
I didn’t know what was going on with his hands. My skin buzzed in a most disturbing way where he touched me. Was it a chemical thing?
I swung my foot and I kicked him really hard in the ankle. He didn’t loosen his grip. He didn’t even react. I was screwed.
Maybe it was really inappropriate in the circumstances but I noticed that despite his ragged, unwashed appearance, he smelt really good. The smell of him tantalised my nose and stirred some of those nerve endings that never, ever stirred in my body. It just wouldn’t do. It might’ve been an age since I’d been that close to a man but I sure as hell wasn’t desperate enough to get turned on by a manky house robber.
“You’ll want to bugger off, buddy. My husband is in the other room and you won’t want to mess with him.” I figured, if he thought there was another man in the house, it might scare him off. Not likely but it was worth a shot. He might not know that I was alone in this house in the middle of nowhere with no one but a feeble old man.
The man chuckled and let go of my arms. For a moment, his face softened and his eyes wrinkled into a smile – just for a split second – until he put the tough guy face back on.
That smile disarmed me, like the zap of an electric fence that makes the fillings in your mouth zing and your body hairs stand on end. He really was one of your better-looking robbers. He had a chiselled face and well-defined jawline. Not to mention, strong eyebrows. He leaned against the bench like he owned the place. I guess robbers could be disarmingly good-looking with a huge measure of arrogance thrown in.
About the Author
Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.
Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.
But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.
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