by Janine Infante Bosco Nomad #3 Publication Date: June 13, 2017 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, MC, Romantic Suspense, Can be read as a standalone
Deuce: The first moment I stared into Ally’s tortured blue eyes, my subconscious knew I’d never escape her. She called to the darkest part of my soul and made it impossible to ignore the strange pull I felt towards her. Some things are just meant to be. As long as we were both breathing, my heart would do time with hers. Like the famous outlaw lovers, Bonnie and Clyde, Ally and I committed the perfect crime. I claimed her heart, and she stole mine. I only meant to save her. To heal her. Now, my past threatens to ruin her. Wanted dead or alive, I’ve got her by my side and together we’ll ride.
Ally: I thought the world forgot me. That I had died at fourteen. But, I never knew life until I knew him. Rescued and healed, I found love in the face of an outlaw. Whether he fails or flies, I’ll ride until I die. I’m his Bonnie and he’s my Clyde. A love as strong as ours will never die.
***NOTE: Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, offensive language, and mature topics. This book deals with sensitive subjects, such as kidnapping and human trafficking. Please be aware of these triggers and keep them in mind while reading. Through the sensitive subjects, the storm passes and the sky clears….there is a happily ever after waiting on the other side. ***
EXCERPT #1: “The First Kiss”
Admitting I haven’t tried Sushi makes me realize there are plenty of things I missed out on experiencing. That’s not saying I would have necessarily wanted to try different things or even liked them once I had, but I never got the chance to make those choices or decisions.
Aside from different foods, I missed out on a bunch of firsts too.
“Hey, are you okay?” he asks, tilting his head to the side as he stares at me. “If you don’t want Sushi we get something else…”
I shake my head.
“It’s not that.”
“Then what is it?”
“I just realized I’m twenty-six years old and not only are there so many things I probably haven’t tried but there are things I never got the chance to experience. Things I pushed out of my head because I told myself there was no point in dwelling on it. Now that I’m free, it feels wrong, if that makes any sense. I mean I know I lost twelve years and everyone keeps saying I’ve got a second chance to make a life for myself, but all those things I missed…I can’t get that back. I can’t replace all the miserable moments with what should’ve been. I guess what I’m trying to say is…I can’t trade my painful firsts for the firsts I dreamed I’d have.”
My brows knit in confusion and I blink as he turns fully, propping his leg on my bed.
“Name one first you wish you could change.”
“Why? You can’t change them.”
“Maybe not all of them,” he says with a shrug. “But if we can manage to change a few that should count for something.”
Biting down on my lip, I think about his suggestion.
“My first kiss is something I wish I could change,” I say honestly, lifting my head to meet his expressionless face. “Papa,” I mutter, cringing as I say the name. “That’s what he made me call him,” I explain, watching Deuce’s jaw go rigid.
I shake my head.
“Yankovich,” he growls.
For as long as he kept me, I never knew his real name. Hearing it now sends chills down my spine as I recall the first time I was kissed and how Yankovich’s lips felt against mine.
“It was rough and not in a good way,” I confess. “It wasn’t done in a way to make me feel desired but in a way where I was scared of what would happen if I didn’t oblige. So, I kissed him back and hated myself afterward.”
Muttering a curse, Deuce runs his fingers roughly through his hair before turning back to me.
“Close your eyes,” he directs.
“I won’t hurt you,” he promises, evading my question. A foreign feeling erupts inside of me, one I can’t quite place and I find myself closing my eyes, not because he ordered me to but because I trust he won’t hurt me.
Seconds tick by before I hear Deuce’s exasperated breath. Then I feel the mattress dip and as I continue to keep my eyes closed I subconsciously lean forward. His hands lift to my cheeks and the next breath he releases brushes gently over my lips.
Then it happens.
Deuce lays his mouth over mine.
For a moment neither of us move as our lips stay locked on one another. Slowly, he then moves his mouth, taking my lower lip between his and giving it a gentle tug. Sucking softly, he parts my lips and a small gasp spills from my mouth into his.
My heart pounds against my chest as he applies more pressure, making our kiss rougher in all the right ways. I’m not scared or trying to drift away. I’m right there with him, flying high on sensation and adrenaline. His tongue touches my lips, prying them open. Following his lead, I part my lips. He pushes his tongue into my waiting mouth and glides it over mine, tasting me—teaching me that some firsts can be rewritten.
Pulling back slightly he pecks my lips once more and I open my eyes. Keeping his eyes fixed to mine, he licks his lips and drops his hands from my face.
“There you go,” he rasps, as if what just happened didn’t shake the ground beneath us. Unsure what to say, I lift my fingers to my lips and watch as he leans his elbows on his knees. Silently, he stares into space before he slowly turns to me. His eyes immediately dart toward my mouth but quickly lift to my eyes and I wonder if he liked it as much as I did.
“You still got those matches I gave you?” he asks suddenly.
Biting my lip, I stare at him for a moment then lift my hips and reach into my pocket. Pulling out the book of matches my cheeks flush and I turn my palm over to display them. His lips quirk slightly as he slaps his hands against his thighs and rises to his feet.
“Let’s go,” he says, reaching for the hoodie I draped across the back of a chair. “Is this all you took from Reina?” he asks, tossing it onto the bed and crossing his arms as he leans against the wall.
I didn’t know I wasn’t going back there,” I reply, taking the hoodie from the bed. “Wait, where are we going?”
“To get food.”
“Raw food?” I question, slipping my arms through the hoodie before getting up from the bed. “No way.”
“Won’t know if you like it unless you try it,” he retorts, raising an eyebrow “Gotta strike the match, girl,” he adds, tipping his chin toward the book of matches I’m still holding.
“Are you daring me?”
“Maybe,” he says with a shrug. “You accepting?”
Licking my lips, I shove the matches back into my pocket and take a deep breath. If trying Sushi is anything like my new first kiss, then joining the land of the living might not be so bad. It might be scary but it’s a leap I’ve got to take.
“Under one condition,” I say, stepping closer to him. Continuing to lean against the wall, he raises an eyebrow as amusement flickers in his eye.
“You have to get me ice cream too.”
“You like ice cream?”
“We’re going to find out,” I tell him as I brush past him and walk into his room.
Grabbing the keys off the table, he follows me toward the door and reaches around me to open it.
“With manners like that it’s a wonder your room is a mess,” I tease as I walk outside.
“My room isn’t a mess…it’s lived in,” he argues, slamming the door shut behind him.
“I don’t have to wonder if you wear boxers or briefs,” I call over my shoulder as we head toward Wolf’s truck. “However, I’m not going to lie, I’m a little disappointed.”
“Yeah, why’s that?”
Pulling open the door, I climb inside and turn to him.
“I took you for a commando type of guy,” I tell him before shutting the door. Standing in front of the car, he braces one hand on the hood and peers at me through the windshield with a dumbfound expression on his face.
Something amazing happens then.
Something genuine and natural.
Something so unfamiliar to me but common to others.
Then he smiles too and I decide Deuce has a great smile, one that if you stare at it long enough it can become an addiction. Isn’t that funny? I never knew a person could crave something so simple like someone else’s smile. I wonder if too much of someone’s smile can be bad for another person. I’d like to think not but what do I know—I’m the girl who never thought she’d smile again.
“Looks good on you,” he comments as he slides into the truck.
“Yours isn’t so bad either,” I point out, realizing I’m still smiling. His lips quirk again as he pulls out of the lot and I find myself staring at him while he drives. The first time I saw Deuce, I didn’t think much about him. I don’t know if it was the drugs or something else, but at the time he was just another person. When you’ve spent most of your life surrounded by animals, you don’t take notice of people. They all look the same. They all act the same. You’ll expect them to hurt you and take from you. You give up hope that there are still people worth knowing. You give up on the good folks and lump everyone into one category.
In the days since I was rescued I’ve been noticing things. I’ve been noticing people, and right now I’m noticing Deuce. I’m noticing there is a twang hidden underneath that raspy voice and every now and then it becomes more prominent.
“Where are you from?”
He looks at me out of the corner of his eye.
“Caught that, huh?”
“Were you trying to hide it because you’re not very good at it,” I reply.
Not expecting that response, my eyes widen at the admission but I quickly recover.
“Is it true everything is bigger in Texas?”
Another quirk of the lips.
Yeah, I was addicted.
“I’m not touching that one,” he quips.
Realizing the innuendo, I slap his arm and attempt to call him a jerk but I get distracted by the size of it.
Things are huge in Texas.
EXCERPT #2: “Red lipstick at Target”
There are two fucking things I despise in this world. The first is admitting when I’m wrong and the second is shopping. I really fucking hate shopping. So tell me, why the fuck am I pushing a red wagon into Target? Better yet, tell me why this was my idea? Actually, I’ll give you a gold star if you can explain why I’m not bothered by it so much either?
“I thought you said we were getting food,” Ally says as we step inside a shopaholic’s mothership.
Yeah, so did I.
That was the fucking plan.
I should probably stop planning anything considering none of them seem to go accordingly. Making a note of it, I try to place where I went wrong. Sitting in my room and staring at the wall that separated Ally and I was probably it. I thought putting her in Cobra’s room was a no-brainer. She had her own space, and I had mine. There was a connecting door in case she needed anything, but other than that we could go about our business.
Yeah, not so much.
The truth was, before the fucking world flipped on its axis I was rarely ever at the motel. Other than sleeping and showering, I didn’t do much there. When I wasn’t riding or fucking my way through life, I was playing the Satan’s Knights prodigal cowboy, shooting shit and digging graves. Not one to be confined, I was climbing the four fucking walls of that room.
After Ally’s moment outside the hospital, I listened as she relived another traumatic experience. It’s one thing to assume what she’s been through but hearing her say it—shit, that left me reeling. I spent half the night wondering if she was okay or if she was reliving more agony. I could have checked in on her during the night but I was too chicken shit. Sure, I was experienced in post-traumatic stress but not Ally’s kind. I knew Stryker had suffered after the war and there were certain triggers that left it impossible to obtain peace. I feared handing that helmet to Ally had opened the door to a night full of terror and that bothered me. I didn’t want to be the one who enticed her demons to come out and play. I wanted to be the guy who gave her a reprieve from all that shit, the guy who could maybe show her there was a great big world out there waiting for her.
Like it or not, she was my responsibility now. Her well-being and her peace of mind was my newfound commitment.
That’s why I opened that door today.
That’s the fucking reason I sat on her bed and counted her freckles.
After realizing she was okay, that she was just bored, I should have left her alone and gone back to my room, but then we started to talk. Talking to Ally was an experience. Hell, you couldn’t go a moment without wondering what she was going to say next. One minute she was an ordinary woman making it easy to forget her story. The next minute she was the wounded warrior, holding onto a book of matches, fighting for the strength to overcome her past. I was getting whiplash trying to keep up.
What broke me though was when she willingly gave me more of her story. Trust isn’t something I imagine comes easy for her and knowing she trusted me enough to confide in me did something to me. It fucked with me in more ways than one. It made me want to rewrite her past. Knowing that was impossible, I did the stupidest thing I could have ever done.
I kissed her.
I fucking kissed her.
And Jesus Christ, her lips were plump and pliable—fucking perfect.
And her taste—fuck me.
Someone needs to create a word for how fucked I am.
Motherfucked isn’t cutting it anymore.
The torture didn’t stop there though.
Nope, it continued when Ally pulled out her ace.
She smiled and I folded.
No fucking sane man could compete with that smile let alone one who had lost all his fucking logic. It was breathtaking and intoxicating all the same. Fucking captivating was what it was.
And like a fool, I wanted to see more of it.
“You need stuff, don’t you?” I ask, pushing the cart like a total jackass. Grinding my teeth, I make a turn and nearly take down the display of Goldfish crackers. Give me two wheels and I’ll make that baby purr, give me a horse and I’ll make her gallop, give me a red wagon with a bull’s-eye and I’m an imbecile.
Frustrated, I park the cart in the center of the aisle and turn to Ally.
“Take this fucking thing, please,” I grind out, taking both her hands and placing them on the handlebar. There, that’s better. Stepping away from the offensive death trap, I pull my shit together and focus.
“Coconuts,” I say finally.
“You want to buy me coconuts?” she asks, looking at me like I’ve got a third eye.
“Your hair smelled like coconuts the other night,” I clarify. “I don’t have any of that fancy shit back at the motel and I’m pretty sure your brother doesn’t either.”
“Oh,” she replies thoughtfully. “That was Reina’s.”
“Well, time to get you some of your own,” I tell her, scratching the scruff lining my jaw. Looking away, I take in the products on the shelf and pick up a toothbrush. Chucking it into the wagon, I glance back at her. “You see something you need you throw it in the wagon.”
“I’ve been shopping before, Deuce,” she says, taking the toothbrush out of the wagon. I’m about to argue with her when she grabs a green one instead. “I like this one better,” she adds, reaching for the toothpaste. She grabs two different types and studies them with deep concentration.
“What’s the difference?” she asks.
“Get both,” I reply automatically. She turns to me and I shrug my shoulders. Waiting for her to argue with me, she fools me and dumps them both in the cart. Her eyes travel the length of the aisle and she adds mouthwash, floss and some sort of whitening kit to the growing list of dental products. Once she finishes scoping out the aisle, she grabs the cart and pushes it down the next.
Following her down the aisles, I watch as she lifts things off the shelves and decides what she likes. A half hour goes by and we’re barely out of the toiletry section, not to mention the wagon is half-full.
Turning down the next aisle, she turns to me. A crease works the center of her forehead as she glances at the shelves.
“I never understood the difference,” she says, waving her hand at the condom selection. “Do you have a favorite?”
Unlike the toothpaste, I can’t tell her to grab every variety and give them a whirl, so I say nothing as she grabs a pack.
“Ribbed,” she mutters.
“Fuck,” I hiss.
“You don’t like ribbed?” she questions, lifting her gaze back to me.
“Ally,” I warn. Quickly, she glances around the store, over her shoulder and back to me.
“What? Are people looking at me? I sort of feel like they are. You know, like I’m a fish out of water?”
“They’re not looking at you,” I grind out.
“So I blend in?”
Doesn’t every girl comparing condoms fit in with the crowd at Target? Fuck my life. Man, you can’t make this shit up.
“Totally,” I say, taking the condoms out of her hand. Chucking them into the wagon, her eyes widen and she pokes a finger against my chest.
“You do like ribbed!”
Gripping the wagon with one hand, I grab her arm and lead her out of the aisle.
“I thought you said you’ve been shopping before,” I mutter.
“I have, but this is the first time ever I get to pick anything out,” she says, pushing me aside to take control of the wagon. “Rush would pick everything out, getting me stuff he liked best. I had no idea there were this many choices.”
“This store has everything, huh?” she adds as we head down the make-up aisle. I don’t say anything as she mulls over eighty-seven tubes of lipstick. Fuck, I’d buy every single one if she decided she liked them all. Then I’d kiss her like I really want to and smear those colors all over her pretty lips.
“What do you think about make-up?”
“I think it looks awful on me.”
Again, she smiles and I lean against the wagon taking it all in.
“I bet,” she replies as she dumps a few things into the wagon. “I never learned how to put it on properly. I always felt like I put so much on that at times I resembled a clown or one of those guys from that band Kiss.”
Unable to stop myself, I let out a laugh.
“What else do you need?” I ask, watching as she throws a tube of red lipstick in the wagon. My eyes dart to her lips and I imagine what they might look like painted that shade. She might not know her favorite color yet but I know now mine is undoubtedly red.
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ABOUT JANINE INFANTE BOSCO
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.
She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.