Vanessa must learn to open her heart to the one man with the key to hers in this sexy ebook from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Nicole Edwards.
Vanessa Carmichael will never forget that horrible day for as long as she lives. With Zane fully on the mend from the brutal attack he suffered right in her very own yard, she knows she should be grateful, which she is. She also knows that walking away from Zane might be the only way to keep him safe. Despite her denial, V knows she can’t trust her own heart, especially when it comes to the youngest Walker brother, but he’s not the kind of man who will walk away when there is something he wants. He wants her even if it isn’t safe for him, and she’s not sure she is strong enough to walk away.
Zane Walker might have been brutally attacked and after months in the hospital, walked away with his life spared, but now that he’s out of the hospital, he has only one goal in mind. Getting the girl. From the first time he kissed her, Zane knew V was the one for him. He also knew that getting her wasn’t going to be as easy as he hoped. She’s stubborn and the walls she has erected around her heart are nearly impenetrable. However, there’s one thing about Zane—he never gives up. And he’s not about to start now.
Can V learn to open her heart to the one man who is desperate to get past those walls she has erected, or will she walk away to protect him? How long will Zane allow her to deny what he knows is growing between them? Or is the only option to obscure the underlying emotions with spine-tingling lust?
When V and Zane come together, smoke detectors go on the fritz, but when they bring Zane’s best friend, Beau, into the mix, extra fire extinguishers are needed.
WOW I can't even think clearly right now after reading this Book. It was 100% Hot steamy Alpha Man intoxicating.
Zane (Alluring Indulgence, 2) - prologue
The rapping of knuckles against the door announced Zane’s arrival, effectively causing V to pause in her own kitchen. It wasn’t as though he could see her from where he was. Nor could he hear the way her heart began to race, or the little marching band that had taken to running around like ants on crack in her stomach. She was both anxious and nervous to see him again. Although she had repeatedly refused to go to Alluring Indulgence’s ground-breaking ceremony with him, he wasn’t giving up. His appearance on her front porch was proof of his persistence.
Realizing she’d been standing there for far too long, V rushed to the front door, pulling it open to see Zane’s sexy smirk shining brightly back at her. No matter how much she tried to stay away from him, one tip of those beautiful lips had her pulse racing and her heart giving up the fight to keep her distance.
“Give me one minute. I just need to get my purse,” she told him and turned back to the kitchen. The last thing she needed was for him to come inside because if he did, she knew they’d probably never make it to the ceremony. He’d have her flat on her back and naked in the blink of an eye. For some reason, when Zane was close, her clothes just seemed to fall off.
Glancing one more time in the mirror in the entry way, V smiled at her reflection. Her brain was a scrambled mess of emotions lately; most of them had something to do with Zane and his relentless pursuit of her. She wasn’t used to that sort of thing from a man, and quite frankly, she’d gotten so good at turning men down, she wasn’t sure how to handle Zane. He didn’t seem like he was giving up. And as much as she dreaded going out with him, she had also been looking forward to it. For days. No matter how many times she turned him down, she always secretly hoped he’d never give up on her. So far, he hadn’t.
Reaching for her purse and grabbing her keys and cell phone, V was startled by a loud noise that sounded as though it was right on her front porch. Rushing over to the door, wondering what the hell could have happened, V was frozen in place at the scene playing out right there in her front yard.
Dropping everything in her hands, V raced to the door, the wooden screen slamming against the wall as she barreled through it, a loud noise piercing the air around her. She realized immediately the sound was coming from her. She was screaming as she raced down the stairs, stumbling over the last step and falling to her knees.
“Go back inside, V. Right now!” Zane yelled at her, but V couldn’t understand what he was telling her. She heard the words, but she was too distracted, by the four men standing around him, to try and comprehend his instructions.
Her heart began pounding harder, the sound of her own blood beating in her ears and her breaths soughing in and out of her lungs. From where she was, she could see blood on the back of Zane’s head, but he was standing on his own two feet, poised like a fighter in a ring as he moved slowly, trying to keep all four men in his sights.
Suddenly there was movement. Lots and lots of movement.
All four men rushed Zane at the same time, each of them holding something in their hands. Metal. They were holding metal bars in their hands and without hesitation they began slamming them against Zane repeatedly as he tried desperately to fend them off. V watched in absolute horror as Zane stumbled to the ground before pushing himself back up again.
“No!” V screamed, pushing back to her feet and stumbling yet again as she tried to get closer. “Stop!”
The words never stopped coming. She kept screaming over and over, trying to get closer, but unsure what to do. For a fraction of a second, she looked down at her hands, wondering where her cell phone was. She needed to call for help, but it was nowhere to be found. Pushing back up to her feet, her adrenaline racing like a freight train through her bloodstream now, V ran directly into the melee, watching as the four men continued to attack Zane with the weapons they wielded over and over.
He was bleeding profusely by the time she got close enough to do something. What? She had no idea. She wasn’t armed, and there was no one around to help, no one responding to her screams.
There was so much blood. Right before her eyes, Zane was crumbling to the ground, but she watched in amazement as he tried to hold his own. His fist slammed into the face of one of his attackers, and the guy stumbled back, holding his nose as blood spurted everywhere.
“Go inside!” Zane’s voice didn’t sound nearly as charged as it had moments before, but V didn’t listen to him anyway. She had to do something. She had to help.
Continuing to scream, she ran forward, lunging into one of the guys closest to her and slamming into his back, knocking him sideways. Before her brain could tell her feet what to do next, V felt herself falling, her feet unable to hold her up as she went flying backward, landing with a hard thud on her back, knocking the breath from her chest as her head slammed into the ungiving ground. She tried to get up, but the pain was intense.
Opening her eyes, a wave of dizziness crashed into her. V watched in absolute terrified horror as Zane was beaten over and over again by three of the four men standing in her yard. He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t trying to get up, and the loud screeching sound was making her brain hurt more.
It was her. She was still screaming at the top of her lungs.
Trying to pick herself up off the ground was harder than she expected, but she managed to make it to her knees, a wave of nausea rushing over her and making her drop her head to the ground. The sound of metal against bone and flesh was too much. The sickening crunch echoed all around her, and she knew they were still hitting Zane although he wasn’t moving. She lifted her head enough to see that they were now kicking him, punching him time and time again.
She tried again to get to her feet, but she fell. Her head was pounding from where she’d hit it on the ground, but she had to get to Zane. She had to stop them.
The next thing V knew, there were more people. Her neighbors. Running toward them from all directions and V saw the four men scatter like birds. Somehow she managed to crawl over to Zane, her hands running over his beaten and bloodied body while she screamed his name over and over.
He didn’t respond.
He wasn’t answering her!
Vanessa Carmichael was about to go out of her mind. Despite the fact she was the one who called 911, or that she was the one who told the police all of the gory details, no one was telling her anything. Begging and pleading hadn’t worked, so here she was pacing the emergency waiting room floor.
Surrounded by people she didn’t know, some waiting to be seen by a doctor, others waiting patiently for someone or something, V paced back and forth praying that someone would tell her something. Anything. The EMT’s had whisked Zane away without preamble, leaving her to try and explain what happened to the police. After she refused medical treatment, she answered a barrage of questions, but the only thing she could think about was getting to Zane. They hadn’t even let her get her phone while they questioned her.
By the time they let her go, V hadn’t even contemplated calling anyone in her race to the hospital. It wasn’t until the nurse at the desk asked if she was a family member, did she realize that his own family didn’t even know what was going on. When it was painfully obvious they weren’t going to let her see him, and they weren’t going to tell her anything, she texted Zoey.
Since then, V had answered her phone at least ten times, every time speaking to a different brother or Zane’s parents and even one time talking to a man named Luke McCoy, whom she didn’t even know. Supposedly, according to the brief phone conversation she had with Lorrie Walker only minutes before, they were on their way to the hospital and she was to sit tight.
Right. As if she could even sit down.
She knew they were close, but they weren’t getting there fast enough. They’d left the ground-breaking ceremony after her initial text.
The ground-breaking ceremony.
Where she and Zane were supposed to be.
Her head was pounding with what the EMT’s told her was probably a concussion, but her heart was racing ninety miles a minute from not knowing what was happening to Zane. She didn’t care about herself. She needed to know how Zane was.
How bad was he? What were they doing to him? Was he going to be all right? Those were only a few of the questions running at lightning speed through her brain, the same questions that everyone who worked in that damn hospital refused to answer for her.
The other question – where was Zoey?
V desperately needed a distraction before she started chewing off her fingernails. A terrible habit she had broken years ago, but one that was threatening to reemerge with a vengeance.
A loud commotion at the ER entrance caught her attention, and V swung around to see a group of people – a large group at that – pushing into the small waiting area. Coming in with them were the chaotic murmurs of concerned family.
“Zoey,” V whispered her friend’s name as she emerged from the group of massive males, making a beeline straight for her. Never in her life had V been happier to see her best friend than she was right then.
The second she came in contact with Zoey’s much smaller body, she nearly fell to her knees. Overwhelmed by the enormity of what this all meant, V began sobbing like a baby.
“Honey, I’m here.” Zoey whispered in her ear, holding her tightly against her and running her hand through her hair. Being held had never felt so good, and V was relieved to have someone she knew she could turn to.
The chaos ensued around them, but V didn’t look up, nor did she stop crying as she sent up a steady stream of silent prayers for Zane. Even when the buzz of more Walker males speaking around them, she continued to sob, never speaking, just quietly begging.
Please, God, please let Zane be ok.
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