A Wild Ride (Thompson & Sons Book 4)

A Wild Ride
Vivian Arend
A Wild Ride

 

He’s the golden boy with a secret past

 

When Nicole Adams abruptly cancels their secret fling, Troy Thompson is stunned. The sex between them is sizzling, but she’s ready to move on—find a reliable guy, settle down, pop out a few babies. The thought of Nic in another man’s arms is maddening. And while her agenda freaks him out, Troy knows there’s no one in town nearly good enough for her. No one, that is, except
him
.

 

She’s his redemption and his future

 

Nicole doesn’t regret her sexual romp with Troy, but when he insists on taking the next step with her—marriage and parenthood—she figures he’s out of his goddamned mind. Troy? Husband and daddy material? Oh, he’s sexy beyond belief, with the ability to melt her panties with a single command, but the man’s not known for being responsible. Trying for forever with Mr. Frivolous? Everyone thinks it’s a fool’s game.

 

Everyone except Troy, who’s determined to make Nicole see the real him under the shiny exterior.

 

 

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Thompson & Sons Series
 

Rocky Ride

One Sexy Ride
 

Let It Ride
 

A Wild Ride

Baby, Be Mine (bonus book! Time overlaps with Rocky Ride)
 

Author Note

As an author, the Thompson & Sons series has been an incredible journey from the word go. BABY BE MINE began as a twinkle in the eye of Twitter, ROCKY RIDE carried the venture forward into a self-published anthology with two amazing authors then ONE SEXY RIDE and LET IT RIDE wove in and out of the Six Pack Ranch series.

 

Now here we are—the end of a saga.

 

As A WILD RIDE brings the last of this generation of Thompsons to his happily-ever-after, I’m so glad you’ve taken the journey with me. I still have lots more stories to tell. Firefighters, cowgirls, country rock stars… Who knows where we’ll end up next.

 

But first, let’s finish this adventure. I hope as you enjoy Troy and Nicole’s story you’ll feel as if you’re visiting with good friends. See you on the other side—have a great ride!

Chapter One

July, Rocky Mountain House

A rapid, intoxicating beat filled the air as country music echoed off the wooden walls of Traders Pub. Troy Thompson eased his hands around the young woman in his arms and guided her expertly across the floor in a madcap, whirling two-step.

The sweet young thing was wrapped around him tighter than necessary, pressing her breasts to his chest as her eyes flashed with desire. The dance floor was crowded, but they didn’t need to be rubbing together like two pieces of kindling.

Normally, he didn’t mind when a lady made it clear that after the dance floor, she’d be game for a little dancing of the more sexual nature, but Troy was currently off the market. Had been for the past six months, which was in some ways really strange since no one knew.

No one, except him and his secret lover.

He’d never had trouble finding female company, but Troy didn’t flip from bed to bed. Sticking with one woman at a time was fun enough, and made it easier to remember what things a girl liked and what she didn’t.

But since January he’d been having the time of his life fucking around with Nicole Adams. It wasn’t intended to be long-term or permanent on either of their parts, and the arrangement was working fine.

Nic had insisted no one else could know,
especially
not her twin brother, Mike. Who, coincidentally, was Troy’s best friend and roommate.

That was one conversation he was eager to avoid.

“You’re
such
a good dancer,” his partner announced loud enough to be heard above the music. “And
so
strong.” Her fingers squeezed his shoulder as she hummed her approval.

In answer, Troy twirled the woman faster, forcing her to cling for dear life instead of stroking him. The up-close-and-personal time with a woman who was not Nicole might help keep the gossips at bay, but he wasn’t going to do anything more than enjoy the young lady’s company on the dance floor.

He wouldn’t drop her on her ass, but he wasn’t going to get her hopes up, either.

He was already looking forward to slipping over to Nic’s place later that Friday night. It seemed nobody thought anything of him dropping in at strange hours. Not with the way their families had been good friends for years.

Thoughts of Nic made him ease his grip on the woman in his arms, guiding her toward the far side of the dance floor in anticipation of the music ending.

Once this dance was over he’d be that much closer to heading out so he could go find Nicole and fuck her senseless.

Near the doorway, a woman with painted-on jeans stood with her back to him, her heart-shaped ass drawing his eye as she spoke with some guy he didn’t recognize. Her flannel shirt was tucked in tight at the waist, hips flaring wider as her jeans lovingly caressed sweet, womanly curves.

Dark hair with rich golden highlights hung to her shoulders, swinging in a blunt cut that framed the sides of her face in the brief glimpses he caught.

The music changed, and the woman in his arms gave him a
look
.

Troy forced himself to focus even as his attention kept drifting toward the door. He tucked his fingers under his partner’s chin for a moment, tilting her head back. “Thanks for the dance, darlin’,” he said.

“You know where to find me for another round. Any time.”

Her lashes fluttered, lips pouting in invitation, but Troy just smiled good-naturedly then patted her on the ass and sent her back to the table where her girlfriends were eyeing him and giggling. Talking behind hands.

He took a quick glance toward the door, but the mysterious woman still had her back to him, leaning close to speak in her date’s ear. Troy made his way across the room back to the table where his friend Mike waited, an arm draped around a familiar redhead dressed head to toe in black leather. Tessa, one of the waitresses from the café.

“You two dancing some more?” he asked, leaning an arm on the table as he looked Tessa over. Just because she was with Mike didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy the view.

She eased back against Mike, jutting out one hip. “We’re heading home. You want to join us?”

Oh boy.
Troy glanced at Mike, but his friend shrugged at the invitation, leaving it up to him to accept if he wanted. It wouldn’t be the first time they’d had a woman between them, but it wasn’t on Troy’s radar at the moment.

“I’ll leave you two to it,” he replied. “Though I’m honoured by the offer.”

“Your loss,” she returned with a wink. “If you change your mind, you know where to find us.”

“Hey, bro, who’s the fox by the back exit door?” Troy asked before his friend could run away.

Mike turned, peering toward the door with interest. “Which one? Blonde?”

“Brunette. Wearing the fuck-me boots and—”

A fist smashed into his shoulder. “Ass.”


What?
” Troy glanced again at the door. “I’m just saying I would—”

Damn
. The woman turned to the dance floor, and Troy swallowed the words he was about to say which were something along the line of how hard he would hit that if he got a chance.

“You’re such a shit. Always joking around.” Mike laughed. “Yeah, I didn’t recognize her at first either. I guess the new hairstyle goes with my sister’s fancy job at the law office.”

“Nic looks good,” Troy said, wary but needing to be honest. “It suits her.”

“She’s my sister,” Mike replied, as if that fact made her one step away from a eunuch. He wrapped his fingers around Tessa’s hip and pulled her with him. “We’re off. Have fun.”

Troy was pretty positive he was going to have a blast. He turned to get a better view, taking in the full effect of Nicole’s new look.

The shorter hairstyle was seriously professional, the front cut into a heavy set of bangs that set off her high cheekbones and narrow chin to perfection. It was a big change from her usual ponytail or braid, and combined with the makeup she wore, her green eyes were mesmerizing. Deep-red lipstick accentuated her soft, kissable lips.

Oh yeah, he was going to have a good time dropping by her place later tonight. He checked his watch, resisting the urge to march across the dance floor and take her in his arms for a spin. Nothing dirty, just a casual dance between friends—at least as far as everybody else knew.

She was already headed for the door, slipping away before temptation made him do something stupid.

Casual. That’s what they’d promised each other, and that’s what he’d give her until this thing between them was over. Then they’d go back to being friends, no one the wiser. No hurt feelings, no harm done.

Troy checked his watch again, calculating how long he needed to wait before he could head to her house and make both their evenings.

 

 

“House rules?” her date asked.

Nicole wasn’t sure how to answer. She hadn’t played Monopoly except for a few times with her family, and that had been ages ago. They hadn’t cared enough to make special rules. “Tell me what rules you play by,” she suggested.

Jason went into some long explanation about how no one was allowed to buy St. Charles, and if you owned two out of three properties you could put houses on them, but not hotels. Nicole nodded as he spoke, but she wasn’t really listening.

First dates? Sucked.

Dinner had been great, but then she’d taken him by the dance hall. He hadn’t wanted to stay at Traders for more than a few minutes, claiming it was too loud for them to talk. He’d been open to her suggestion that they should go back to her house, but…

She couldn’t believe they were going to play a board game. Then again, she didn’t know that much about serious dating, not with a professional guy like Jason.

She didn’t know much about serious dating, period.

Until now she’d been having fun with her friends, hanging out with groups and hooking up with guys she hit it off with. No one on a regular basis, though…

No one, except Troy Thompson. They’d been fooling around on the sly for a while, which was great and wonderful because, my
God
, the man could just about make her orgasm by
looking
at her.

She was no fool—hot freaky sex on the regular with a guy who looked like Troy
and
knew where to find a woman’s clit? Other than keeping it on the down-low from her family because Troy and Mike were BFFs, she’d had a blast.

Only the fling was over, and it was time to move on—

A loud crash sounded outside. They both glanced toward the back porch as another followed hard after it.

Drat
—sounded as if she had unwelcome visitors.

Nicole interrupted Jason’s explanation. “Hold that thought. Bet it’s the neighbour’s dog in the garbage cans again.”

He rose halfway from his seat. “I’ll help.”

She waved him down. “Thanks, but I don’t want to spook Pookie. Go ahead and get the game ready.”

“Okay. I’ll set up the bank.”

She headed for the back door, a deep sigh escaping her. Obviously she needed to adjust her expectations now that she was playing the dating game. Slow and boring seemed to be the agenda.

Stop that. He’s a nice guy
, her conscience poked, but all Nicole could think about was how different tonight had been compared to the last time she went out with a group of friends. They’d watched a movie then hung out. The evening had been full of laughter, lighthearted fun, and had ended with some spine-melting sex that had made both her and Troy damn happy, no strings attached…

Only she wasn’t fucking around anymore. It was time to get more serious about relationships. Thus the official date.

Thus the official boredom.

God, was she
ever
going to have sex again?

She opened the back door, ready to chase off whatever was on the porch, only to be trapped by a pair of dark-brown eyes set on
smolder
.

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