Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Jon Bradbury
Word Count :33073
Publication Date :2022-07-15
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-3567-7
Justin likes being the lone wolf. What will make him rejoin the pack?
Grace Maravilla has a little problem with a stalker. All she knows is that, whoever he is, he won’t leave her alone and seems to delight in scaring her. What will it take to get rid of him?
Enter Justin Pearson, former Navy SEAL and FBI agent, disillusioned with playing by the rules, now a lone wolf who sells his services to the highest bidder. But can the Latina bombshell whose music videos sold a million copies defrost her lone wolf?
All Justin knows is that he hates to see a scared young woman. But will she capture his heart?
I was feeling fairly safe sitting there in a salon, in a room full of women, getting my nails done. Looking back, I should have been more afraid. But when I was in a salon, I wasn’t thinking about any danger.
The nail tech, Lupe, looked at my hands, then looked at me. “What do you think?”
I lifted my hands, admiring the effect of my French nails, loving how the light reflected off them and how my skin stood out against the white. “I like it,” I said. “Thank you.”
“Sure!” She stood. “Let’s get you over to the register so you can get out of here.”
“Right.” I rose from my own chair, a sumptuously comfortable armchair upholstered in black leather, and followed her over to the register up front.
Just as I did that, my cell phone began to ring.
Lupe gazed at my purse. “Aren’t you going to answer that?”
“They can wait,” I assured her. “How much do I owe you?”
Just a minute or two later, I gave Lupe a tip for her excellent service, then started to fish my cell phone from my purse to see who or what was so important.
But just as I did that, it started to ring again.
I looked at the number. My heart fluttered in terror. No.
Quietly, Lupe said, “What’s wrong?”
I was immobilized by fear, afraid to say anything, afraid to answer the phone, because I knew who it was. I decided to answer the phone. He would just keep calling until I did. “Hello?”
“Did you think you could hide from me in there?” The male voice was familiar, not just because I’d heard it before, but because once again I had the maddening feeling I should have known who it was.
To stall, I said, “Why, are you afraid to come into a salon? There’s just a bunch of women in here with me.”
There was a moment of silence. I cringed, mostly at my inability to hold my tongue. But I couldn’t have unsaid what I’d just said, even if I wanted to.
“You stupid slut! You can’t hide from me!”
“Who is this, anyway? And why can’t you leave me alone?”
“You know who this is,” said the male voice, sounding angry for the first time. I didn’t get it. Apparently he, too, thought I should have known who he was.
But I didn’t know. And I felt like I should have known. The voice was so familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was a maddening, frustrating feeling.
“I just wanted to congratulate you on your choice of nail color.”
“What color did I get?” As I said that, I turned around and looked out the salon windows, hoping to catch a glimpse of my stalker.
There was nobody standing around in the parking lot.
I took comfort in his wrong guess―what comfort I could, anyway. Wherever he was, it wasn’t inside the salon or watching me some other way. Otherwise he would have known how I chose to get my nails done.
“This is a great conversation, but I really must go,” I said.
“But you can’t go,” my stalker said, sounding vaguely whiney.
“Watch me,” I said.
“Oh, I will,” the voice replied.
That only made my skin crawl. “Goodbye.”
And I hung up on him.
Somehow I managed to get back to the house without any further incident. But once I got in the front door and armed the alarm, my publicist Marco, who was at the house that day seeing to a few things, spoke up to me. “What do you intend to do about this asshole? We can’t have him continuing to disrupt your life.”
“No shit,” I said sharply. In a more civilized tone, I added, “If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.”
As if in answer, he picked up a magazine from the coffee table, flipped it open to the ads in back, and handed it to me.
Circled in red was an ad in black and white, for a company called Security Consultants, Inc.
I gazed at the ad. “Is this the company you were telling me about, Marco?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, it is.”
“And you would recommend these people?”
“Yes,” he said promptly. “Definitely. Absolutely.”
“Good,” I said. “Somebody hand me my phone.”
Up until the stalker, my career had been one major success after another. I literally couldn’t do anything wrong. I must have been born under a lucky star. Or something.
My singing career started off pretty modestly—doing covers of popular songs and then posting the videos and recordings online, on YouTube and such. Then I was contacted by this dude from a recording studio. He said he was a producer.
At the time, I didn’t believe him. I thought it was a big joke.
My parents didn’t say so, but I think they had agreed with me—until they took the contract to a friend of theirs who happened to be a lawyer, who said the contract was legit, and would make me a very wealthy young woman.
They stopped laughing after that―unless they were on their way to the bank.
Once they had confirmed the contract was legit, I had their blessing to travel to Los Angeles, which wasn’t very far away, to record my first album.
Mom and I were headed to the salon one Saturday afternoon a few weeks later, listening to the radio, when the DJ came on. “Hi, everyone. I hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday. It’s a sunny seventy-five degrees out there. And for your listening pleasure we have a new artist, and a local girl, at that.”
And they started playing my song!
Mom pulled over so we could scream safely, out loud, at the tops of our lungs. By the next weekend, I literally could not turn on the radio without hearing my song.