Authors: Amber Skyze
Got tequila? Sierra does, and Reed isn’t afraid to use it. He’s determined to do shots on every inch of her skin, but Sierra has insecurities preventing him from exploring intimate areas. Her insecurities won’t stop her from lavishing
body with the heady liquor though.
Ten years ago an accident tore Sierra Allen and Reed Walker apart. Now a chance encounter has them burning for each other. A bottle of liquor and a pool table has this duo ready to quench their thirsts with one night of body shots. But will one night be enough?
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Body Shots Copyright © 2009 Amber
Edited by Helen Woodall
Cover art by Syneca
Electronic book publication December 2009
The terms Romantica® and Quickies® are registered trademarks of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
I’d like to dedicate this book to a dear friend who passed away in January. She was my best friend for a long time and then we had a falling out. We lost touch with each other for over twenty years. I always dreamed about ways we’d reconcile, but all those dreams were shattered when she lost her battle with cancer. She’s survived by three daughters and a husband. Their marriage was a true life fairy tale. They met as teens and fell in love. They were together for over twenty-five years. It’s through her passing I realized life is too short to live with regrets. Forgive your enemies and follow your dreams. Live for today because tomorrow may never come. While I never got to say goodbye I can follow my dreams. I’m going to continue to write stories of true love, the kind Lisa lived.
I’d like to thank my family for continuing to support my crazy writing life, especially my husband who reads every single story. My dear friends who buy my books—you know who you are. And the fellow authors who help promote my work as release day approaches. Without you, writing wouldn’t be the same. And my wonderful editor, who makes my work shine! She’s truly a blessing.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following
mentioned in this work of fiction:
, S.A. de C.V. Corporation
Jet Ski: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Reed Walker leaned his massive frame against the wall. His leg bent, his boot-clad foot tapped against the wall to the rhythm of the bass drum. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, as his eyes gazed upon the singer crooning the soft rock ballad. She was gorgeous by every standard of the word. Long flowing black hair, dark mysterious eyes, her arms sleeved in tattoos. Dressed only in black leather pants and a matching leather bra, her rock-hard stomach revealed she worshiped the gym but Reed wasn’t here for the singer. She wasn’t his type any longer.
Another time, another place maybe.
Not tonight. Tonight, he was here for the owner of the bar.
Looking to make some extra cash doing something they loved, Reed and his fellow band mates decided to reunite after a ten year hiatus. Reed, having always been the businessman of the group, took on the task of going to different bars and clubs to see if they were interested in adding his band Foul Play to their lineup.
When he walked into Crimson Nights he thought he was walking into a dream. Never in his wildest imagination had he thought he’d come face to face with the only true love of his life—Sierra Allen.
The look on her face when he walked up to the bar and asked to speak to the owner was one of shock.
Like seeing a ghost.
And that’s how he felt. Oh, she’d cut off most of her long red hair but she couldn’t deny the scar on her right cheek. It had faded some over the years and she tried covering it with her hand most of the time they spoke but he knew it was her. She told him her name was Laura but Reed knew better. Those haunting green eyes couldn’t be mistaken.
He went along with her charade, though it killed him deep inside. She had run away from him after the car accident without so much as an explanation. The weeks he spent by her side, holding her while she cried over what she felt was a deformed face.
The painful recovery from the shards of glass that cut her, when the windshield shattered.
He stood by her side, loving her, wishing he could take away her pain. Wishing it was him who suffered instead of her, only to have her up and vanish when she was released from the hospital.
Now she was pretending she didn’t know him. It didn’t make sense. He’d let her go a long time ago but this time he wasn’t going to leave without finding out why. It was the least she could do. She owed him an explanation.
She shocked him when she agreed to let his band play. He fully expected a flat-out “no”. Why would she want his band playing there if she was hiding her identity? Was it a ploy to make him believe she was this Laura she pretended to be? Or was she feeling the connection too? If it was to prove her charade, she was sadly mistaken. Reed wasn’t stupid enough to be fooled by a haircut or name change.
Reed would wait until the night was done and the bar empty before he confronted her but he would and when he did, Sierra had some explaining to do.
He scanned the crowd. The place was full of drunks. There was a table full of college-age guys looking like they had been served one too many. They were getting rowdy and Reed had a feeling before the night was through there’d be trouble. He eyed the group of young guys doing shots. They were hooting and hollering to the singer requesting she flash them some boobs.
Reed cringed. It wouldn’t be long. He cased the bar searching for any signs of a bodyguard.
What was Sierra thinking? She couldn’t possibly run a bar without the help of bouncers. What did she do when patrons got out of hand? She couldn’t wait around for the local police to come. Christ in this small town it could take forever.
He swigged the ice-cold Corona and
his attention back to the bar. She was laughing and carrying on with a group of women sitting at the bar. She looked happy. A small stab of pain filled him. In some ways he wished she wasn’t so happy. He wished after all these years she regretted walking away from him, disappearing without so much as a goodbye. But that didn’t seem the case.
Just the opposite.
He did notice from their brief conversation that she wasn’t wearing a wedding band on her left hand. That was a promising sign. At least there wasn’t a husband for him to contend with. Because Reed was determined to get his answers and get this woman out of his every waking thought once and for all.
“Come on, bitch. Stop teasing us and show us those boobs.” One of the drunks shouted as he moved closer to the stage. He threw his drink at the singer, splashing the cold liquid all over her.
Reed pushed off the wall and rushed through the crowded tables to where he stood.
The singer continued with her song, ignoring him, adding fuel to the fire. He tried getting up on stage when Reed lunged forward, tackling him.
“Get the fuck off me, asshole,” he cried. His arms attempted to lash out, punching Reed.
Reed pinned him down and looked him square in the eyes. “I’ll let you go if you agree to keep your hands to yourself. You and your buddies pack it up and call it a night. You hear.”
Who died and made you boss?”
He spat at Reed.
Reed wiped the remnants of saliva off his face, before punching the jerk in the jaw.
“Ouch!” he cried.
Blood dripped from the kid’s bottom lip. “I’m warning you one last time. You get up, get the hell out of here or I’ll have to hurt you.”
Trusting him, Reed climbed off him and helped him to his feet. “Now move along.”
At this point the music had stopped and the entire bar watched
waiting to see what would happen next.
As the kid started to walk away, Reed bent and picked up a small towel sitting atop one of the speakers, turned and tossed it to the singer.
“Business as usual,” he said.
She nodded and directed her band to start back up.
Reed headed toward the wall he’d been leaning against for the last hour when someone jumped on his back.
“You can’t mess with me you son of bitch. You obviously don’t know who I am.”
It was the stupid drunk kid. He had his arm hooked around Reed’s neck, trying to choke him. Reed bent forward, flipping the kid onto his back. He pressed the heel of his boot against his neck.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass
you are. I told you to leave and I wasn’t kidding.”
Tables were pushed out of the way and a crowd surrounded them. This had the potential to get really ugly and Reed knew he could be outnumbered. His band mates hadn’t arrived yet and he wasn’t ready to take on more than this kid but he would if it meant the safety of the other people in the bar.
Luck was on his side and someone had called the police. Two officers barged through the crowd took one look at the kid lying on the floor. The older one spoke.
“Johnny, what kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into now? Your father isn’t going to be happy.”
He picked the kid up off his sorry ass.
“Tough. I don’t give a shit what my father thinks,” he said, wiping off his clothes. He lunged toward Reed taking another shot.
“Easy there tough guy.”
Two officers grabbed him and carted him off. “Let’s go see your father, Johnny.”
“Yeah, let’s go see about your jobs, assholes.”
The kid was full of piss and vinegar. Reed didn’t envy the officers their job. He was obviously a spoiled punk. Reed watched as his buddies followed close behind the officers. They didn’t seem to feel the need to jump in and help their friend.
Lucky for Reed.
Reed noticed everyone was looking to see what he would do next. “Show’s over folks.”
He stomped off to his wall, while the crowd cheered for him. They shouted their thanks. When he returned to the same position against the wall he waved his hand in thanks.
As quickly as the ruckus started the crowd returned to normal.
The crowd went back to talking in whispered groups while the singer belted out a rock tune.
Tucking a strand of his shoulder-length blond hair behind his ear he felt her eyes on him.
A glance over at the bar proved correct. She was standing wiping a glass dry with a white dishtowel staring intently at him.
“Thank you,” she mouthed.
He nodded, gave a quick smile and turned his attention back to the stage. He’d deal with Sierra or Laura or whoever the fuck she was calling herself these days later. Right now he wanted to finish his beer and concentrate on the night ahead.
Sierra shivered. Why had she agreed to let Reed and the other members of Foul Play, be part of the lineup at her bar? She was beginning to believe that along with lying to him about who she was, this was one of the dumbest ideas she had. But when he entered her bar, she panicked. So she resorted to the only thing she could think of—being someone else. They say everyone has a twin in the world. Ha! What were the chances of having a twin with the same scar on her right cheek? Slim to none.
And what if someone blew her cover? Everyone knew her by Sierra. Would she make it through the entire night without someone calling her by her legal name?
So why had she risked it all and agreed to let him back into her life, even for one night?
Because she couldn’t say no
It didn’t matter that ten years had passed. No. He still held a place in her heart and she couldn’t refuse him. And it was a good thing she hadn’t. She didn’t know what would have happened if he weren’t here tonight. No one else stepped up to Johnny when he got out of hand.
No one but Reed.
And Sierra feared he might find himself in a heap of trouble down the road. Johnny McCoy didn’t take kindly to being challenged. Topped with the fact Reed had made him a laughingstock. He’d likely be out for blood. No one intimidated him.
And his daddy might not like it too much either. But Reed had no clue
his father was. He stood up and took out the trash so to speak. Sierra always let Johnny and his friends do as they pleased. After all he was the son of the sheriff. She couldn’t mess with that. Not if she wanted to keep her liquor license.
She was very thankful for Reed’s help, she just hoped it didn’t come back to haunt her, in the form of Sheriff McCoy.
* * * * *
band finished Sierra watched the singer as she made her way to Reed. The two seemed to be chatting easily. Jealousy filled Sierra as
laughed at something Reed was saying. Would they hook up before the night was over? She wasn’t sure she could handle something like that. She wasn’t ready to witness Reed with another woman but she couldn’t begrudge him happiness either. Oh why had she agreed to this mess? The least she could have done was scheduled them for a different night, when
All the men drooled over her. Normally she didn’t seem interested but tonight she did.
A twinge of pain seared her heart as
reached out and touched Reed’s arm. He pulled her into a hug, their bodies lingering longer than a friendly embrace. She tried shaking the anger and feelings of betrayal overwhelming her. He wasn’t hers. He never could be.
Foul Play finally went on stage and Sierra breathed a sigh of relief. Reed would be busy and couldn’t catch her staring at him and
. The few times he came to the bar, he caused her heart to flutter. But he immediately returned to
She ran her finger over the scar. It was her reminder that no man would look at her the same. She was damaged goods. Yes, the scar had faded over the years. The plastic surgeon had done the best he could at the time but it didn’t erase the disfigurement she’d lived with all these years. And the other scars.
The ones hidden by her clothes.
She had to live with the horrific memories of the accident. Though the nightmares weren’t as frequent, she sometimes pictured the moments after impact and Reed wasn’t beside her. He’d landed in the backseat when the driver’s seat tore out of the floor. He was the lucky one. This was the one time
having a seatbelt on saved a life.
She often wondered how she might have fared if she hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt. Would things have been different? Would she have run away? It didn’t matter. The simple fact was she didn’t fare well and she had scars.
Sierra tried dating. What a mistake that turned out to be. The rude comments of some of the men she’d dated over the years had sent her into a depression. No man wanted to see her body a second time.
The scene with her last date played over in her mind whenever she thought about trying to date again. The look on Bruce’s face was etched in her mind, when he’d looked at her in disgust and asked, “What the hell happened to your stomach?” He’d looked like he wanted to vomit at the sight of her scars.
Sometimes she thought she would too. But they were her demons and it was her life.
She’d resigned herself to the fact that she was never going to get married, settle down and have a family. No, she was going to live a lonely existence as a bar owner the rest of her life.
She poured herself
and seven while listening to Reed’s band play. Tonight was about facing the last of her demons.
If she thought him being on stage would be a distraction, she was sadly mistaken. It took two songs before he began singing the one song she had pushed to the back of her memory. The one she’d long since buried. It wasn’t like she’d forgotten about
she just didn’t want to remember.
“That love of a lifetime.
A love to stand the tests of time.”
His soft voice mesmerized her. This was her song. The song he’d written only for her. The promise they would be together forever.
Until the accident.
“I love you now, as the first time I laid eyes on you. Time will never change what I’m feeling inside. Oh…”