Let’s Do It
Journey’s End, Book 2
Five brothers. One small town. Journey's End.
Reeve Banks desperately needs a clean break from her dark past. Luckily, today marks her triumphant return to her hometown.
Until a nail sticks it to her tire, stranding her by the side of a country road.
And an intriguing stranger, Mr. Tall, Dark and Sexy, shows up to rescue her…
Read an Excerpt
Change the damn tire.
Peeking inside the car—Muffin the cat, apparently now disgusted by the sight of her, didn’t deign to look in her direction—Reeve make sure the parking brake and hazard lights were on and rolled up the windows in case the threatened storm became an actual storm. Then she opened the trunk and got an unpleasant wake-up call: spare tire and accessories were buried beneath layers of luggage and boxes full of medical texts and a lot of the other stuff that comprised the last four years of her life.
Grumbling, she unloaded some of the junk, making a neat stack on the berm, and was just dragging out the spare tire when she heard the approaching purr of a sleek engine.
Straightening, she glanced over her shoulder in time to see a slowing blaze of headlights roll past and park in front of the Saab.
Black BMW SUV with some sort of a sports rack on top, she saw at a glance. Propping the spare tire against the car, she make a quick reach for the tire iron, just in case, and stared at the BMW, which was pretty sweet. A few years old, but still pricey enough to finance a couple years of tuition at her former med school.
Must be nice, she thought, shooting the Saab a sidelong glare.
She watched as the driver’s door opened, feeling forty percent hopeful and sixty percent uneasy. If the local serial killer was on the prowl for an abduction, rape and murder, this was a pretty good scenario, wasn’t it? Other cars continued to race past, so there’d be plenty of witnesses to the crime, but still. She’d prefer not to make tonight’s local news.
A guy wearing a black T-shirt, faded jeans and hiking boots climbed out of the Beemer, but he might as well have been climbing out of the pages of Men’s Health. He was a few years older than Reeve, she guessed, putting him in the early-thirties-ish range, and looked athletic.
Brown-skinned, he was on the tall and lean side, which made him the basketball type rather than the football type, and his sable hair was an unruly mass of curls. He had thick brows to match the hair, straight lines of attitude over hooded black eyes, and his cheeks and nose were sharp, but his full lips softened his edges a little. He sported the kind of five o’clock shadow that was the Central Casting requirement of hot guys everywhere—a walking cliché—and it worked for him. Probably because he was also working the kind of gleaming-eyed intensity that proved his facial hair was not an affectation. He seemed like a guy who rolled out of bed in the morning, decided whether he felt like shaving or not, then told people to go screw themselves if they didn’t like his choice.
All the air left Reeve’s lungs in a single breathless whoosh.
The guy was the anti-Adam, darkly imposing compared to Adam’s olive skin, amber eyes and brown hair, and so unreasonably hot that she could almost see waves of steam rippling over his body as he strode toward her. Dumbstruck, she stared at him, tracking his easy stride and the way he now seemed to own the road and the situation.
That was the word she was looking for. This was the sort of man who’d instruct pirates on pillaging, generals on leading and Don Juan on seduction. He was—
Hang on. Suddenly becoming aware of her tightening skin and shallow breath, Reeve mentally backhanded herself across the face and snapped out of it. He was good-looking, true, but so what? Ted Bundy had been handsome, too, and it hadn’t stopped him from raping and murdering all those women in the 1970s, had it?
Lightning flashed just then, emphasizing the glint in the guy’s dark eyes.
Widening her stance a little, she gripped the tire iron and waited.
“Hey,” he said, eyeballing Reeve and the metal with a healthy respect.
He had a drawling voice, husky and deep, and it wasn’t hard to imagine him singing in a blues band. When he wasn’t bludgeoning helpless young women to death by the side of the road, that is.
“You’re not going to hit me with that thing, are you?”
She shrugged. “Depends.”
One dark brow headed north. “On?”
“On whether you make any funny moves or not.”
His lips pressed together. Crouching, he examined the flatter-than-a-pancake tire and stood again, looking grim. “Suspicious, much?”
“Well, I stopped to help. I’m not a murderer.”
She frowned at him, torn between wanting to believe him and a double dose of caution.
“Do I look like a murderer?” he asked when it took her too long to respond.
She pointed out the obvious. “What you look like and what you are could be two different things.”
The edge of his mouth curled. “Are you going to give me the tire iron so I can get started, or not?”
“No, thanks. I can handle it,” she said, motivated by an irritating combination of lingering caution and stubborn pride. Why did everyone think she couldn’t handle a simple tire change?
The guy’s gaze swept her up and down, skimming her white tank top, frayed jeans shorts and hot-pink-painted toes in flip-flops. His attention lingered on her bare legs for a beat, after which his jaw tightened. Then he made a skeptical noise she didn’t appreciate.
His gaze flicked back to hers as he studied her face. “You. Can handle it.”
“Yes. But if you’d like to be helpful, please stand guard and make sure none of these speeding maniacs swipe off my butt when I’m bending over.”
“And that would be a real shame.”
“What did you say?” she asked, shocked and not sure she’d heard him right.
She and her butt had a troubled history together, probably because it insisted on being way bigger than it should be, even now that she’d shed most of her med school freshman forty, and she wasn’t always a fan of it.
And what kind of Good Samaritan commented on the needy woman’s ass, anyway?
“Nothing.” His expression was bland, but exasperation crept into his voice. “Look. Give me the tire iron so I can work on the lug nuts for you. It’s about to rain.”
She glanced up at the sky, which now looked as if it were thinking about spawning a tornado. The wind was a continuous swirl, and the lightning flashes were coming on top of each other.
All in all, there was no cause for optimism, but she didn’t let that stop her.
“There’s plenty of time,” she said.
“Yeah, okay. Buh-bye.”
With a dismissive wave over his shoulder, he stalked back to the BMW and leaned against the safer passenger side, crossing his arms and ankles the way she’d done a few minutes ago. She thought she heard him murmur something like Unbelievable as he went, but it could just as easily have been Idiot.
In a classic example of poor timing, the first cold sprinkles began to fall.
“Really, God?” Reeve asked the sky.
More sprinkles. Harder sprinkles.
Galvanized and muttering, she stooped and went to work loosening the lug nuts with the tire iron, which was difficult given their ancient condition and the guy’s unwavering attention.
Uncomfortable with an audience, she decided to ignore him.
Tried to ignore him, anyway, but his watchful gaze was like a warm finger pressed to her nape…