Authors: Rachelle Ayala
#10 Joe Montijo
“… enchanting story of two people from completely different worlds” – Keli Morgan
© 2015 by Rachelle Ayala
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real events or real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
All trademarks belong to their respective holders and are used without permission under trademark fair use.
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“When life gets too much and you need to escape from it all that’s when your angel can appear and make you understand what you’ve really been missing all along.”
- Rebecca Austin
“Rachelle knows how to add just the right amount of heat and suspense and drama to keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for what is going to happen next!!”
- Debbie Rosa
“It’s a refreshing change to see such a strong heroine who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she wants.”
- Sharon Coady
“A great start to a promising trilogy!”
- Corissa Palfrey
“An enchanting story of two people from completely different worlds that meet and sparks fly.”
- Keli Morgan
“My heart is still full from reading this beautifully touching and refreshingly raw story of two people deeply hurt and scarred by their past who have chosen to push past the fear and dare to hope for more.”
- Amber McCallister
“A flying touchdown straight to my core in a heartbeat.”
- Jessica Cassidy
“Rachelle Ayala makes us dream again with this new story of love and suffering.”
- Elisabete CF Martins
“The story of Cade and Andie is a unique tale of the jock and the nerd, that will have you truly falling in love with them while they fall in love with each other.”
- Terri Merkel
“Great first book in the series got me straight away.”
- Lillian Maddocks-Cummings
“I really enjoyed Andie’s and Cade’s story. Read it in one sitting. Once I started reading I could not put it down. I'm really to read part 2.”
ade Prescott flung
the sleepy blonde’s arm off the shoulder and swept the brunette’s hair from his face. Sunlight peeked in through the plantation shutters, making stripes over his king-sized bed.
His heartbeat pounding like a persistent snare drum, he rubbed his eyes and turned over, dislodging the Asian woman tucked between his legs.
Last night’s pass interception played in slow motion before his mind’s eye. They’d lost the Super Bowl. Lost it on the last play. Didn’t matter that he’d led a seventy-five yard drive. Nothing mattered, except he’d let his team down. Let the entire city down. The entire league.
One of the women moaned, patting her arm around the blank spot he’d lain. Her makeup was smeared, leaving black circles around her eyes, and tiny stretch marks pitted her hips in the bright light of morning. Time for them to leave.
Cade clapped his hands. “Girls, girls. Wake up. Fun’s over. Be sure to pick up a gift pack on the way out. Don’t forget your cell phones.”
He was nothing if not a gracious host, and he required all women to check their electronics to prevent naked photobombs of him showing up on the internet.
Without waiting for a response, Cade lumbered to the shower. The hotel staff would clean up. He’d left gifts at the door: makeup, scarves, seasonal fruits, and an autographed jersey for each of his guests. Not that his autograph was worth anything at the moment.
He’d screwed it up. No excuses. The team had counted on him after the starting quarterback was injured, and he was sure he could have pulled it off. But he’d gotten ahead of the game, thought he’d go deep and glory hog it on first down right into the end zone.
Closing his eyes, he replayed the wobble of the ball and the extra surge of adrenaline that sent it skewering straight into the arms of the surprised defensive back.
At twenty-six years old, he should not have let a Pee Wee league mistake ruin his only Super Bowl appearance. Even though his teammates were gracious, he’d never live down the fact that he, Cade Prescott, had singlehandedly trashed the Los Angeles Flash’s invincible reputation.
Pulling out a pair of scissors, Cade chopped off his flowing hair. In addition to his number, ten, he was the guy with the trademark hair streaming under the helmet.
No more. After hacking off the visible length, Cade stepped into the shower and turned on the water. Taking a razor, he shaved himself bald with the aid of a shower mirror. The light color of his scalp contrasted with the sun kissed bronze of his face. Without hair, the high cheekbones he inherited from his Navajo ancestors jutted more prominently.
Cade narrowed his bushy eyebrows and blinked. His eyes still shone bright blue, but a pair of colored contacts would easily disguise them.
Cranking up the water, he closed his eyes and leaned into the spray. With training camp six months away, Cade was going to disappear from sight. Not even his agent would know his whereabouts.
Goodbye girls. Goodbye city of the angels. Goodbye world.
ndie Wales was
an expert on King David. At twenty-four years of age, she knew more about the Biblical king than all the scholars in Israel, the US, and Canada put together. She didn’t stop at the Bible for her research.
Nope. Andie dug up everything she could about David and devoured it like chocolate mousse topped with raspberries.
Which was why Andie was in deep down in the musty bowels of the Opp Library. Alone. Just the way she liked it.
Fascinating the amount of dirt a Biblical hero could generate. Andie giggled at the accounts suggesting a homoerotic relationship with old King Saul. Supposedly, it wasn’t the harp David was playing when he calmed the king’s headaches and helped him sleep.
Unless it was a mouth harp.
Snort. Snort. Andie couldn’t help her exhalations. A case could be made that Saul was jealous of his son Jonathan for being in love with David. Didn’t help that the rascal basically had both of his daughters, his wife, and his concubine hot for him too.
Andie flipped the page of the scandal rag, otherwise known as a scholarly article. David had been beloved by all the women in the village, or more correctly, everybody in Israel. Every man wanted to be David, and every woman wanted to have him. Beauties like Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba.
Oh, to have been Princess Michal on her wedding night. Andie pictured herself decked out in a beaded headdress, a heavy bridal veil, and yards and yards of sumptuous cloth.
The young warrior would be so eager, yet gentle. His nimble hands, the ones that felled a giant would be on her nipples, kneading her breasts, then slip down her belly to the junction of her thighs.
Andie groaned at the wetness invading her panties. What would it feel like if David were to literally spring from the pages and mount her, right here, right now, in the library?
She snuffled a laugh. Spring and mount like rams rutting in springtime. David was a shepherd boy, wasn’t he? And a mighty good one he was. She moaned at the image of spending a lazy afternoon with him in his tent. Her fingers trailed to her thighs, and she rubbed herself through her jeans.
Closing her eyes, she went back to the bridal tent. How embarrassing it must have been for the princess to have her parents stand outside the tent waiting for her virginity token? They’d hear every moan, every grunt, every heavy breath. Yet somehow, the thought excited her more than it should have. Except the listeners couldn’t be her parents. Oh, no. She’d rather they were David’s band of mighty men. Oh, yeah. Mighty and strong. All heroes and all hunks.
Someone sucked in a breath, and it wasn’t her.
Andie’s eyes popped open and her finger froze. Or rather it jumped from her crotch and pointed at the vision.
A man wearing a knit watch cap stared at her. His eyes moved from her face down to her toes, then traced a sensual path up between her legs, around her belly, lingering at her breasts before moving to her lips.
“What are you doing here?” she hissed in what she hoped was an authoritative tone. “This is the private antiquities collection.”
She’d have him know she was a librarian and a researcher. He, on the other hand, looked like a brute.
Wide shoulders, thick neck, strong jaw with several day’s growth of beard, dark brown. Honey colored eyes. He was either a lumberjack or a stalker, and she was alone deep in the stacks of the library, underground in the bowels of the university. No one would hear her scream. No one would find her body.
He chewed gum and blew a tiny bubble, his pink tongue pointing at her after the gum popped. A smirk lifted one side of his mouth as if he expected her to chastise him for chewing gum.
She obliged. “No bubblegum in the library. I’m going to have to ask you to leave unless you show me your pass.”
Andie certainly hadn’t given him a pass. She’d have remembered him. A man like this giant standing in front of her would cause quite a stir at the circulation desk.
“Sorry, ma’am.” He spread his empty hands. “I heard a noise and thought to investigate. Can’t have any mice chewing up precious documents.”
“A noise?” Holy macaroni. Could he have heard her squeak of delight when she fingered the artist’s rendition of David in the nude?
Quickly, she shut the thick tome and crossed her arms. “Since you don’t have a pass, you must leave.”
“I suppose you could give me one.” His eyes swept her chest, causing her nipples to stir.
Oh, right, her name badge.
“Andie Wales, would that be a Miss or Missus?” The man’s drawl drew shivers up and down her spine.
“Miss, but to you, I’m Head Librarian, and I’m sorry. You must fill out a form in triplicate and have your driver’s license examined before I can issue you a pass.”
“Can’t you make an exception for me?” The giant’s eyebrows perked. “I’m sure you know who I am.”
Andie picked up the heavy book and placed it back on the shelf. Arrogant guys pissed her off, although truth to tell, if this guy had been in this small college town more than twenty-four hours, the entire village would have been buzzing about him.
Handsome, rugged hunks didn’t frequent the backwoods of upstate New York, no matter how picturesque the town and how brilliant the fall colors and slippery the waterfalls were.
Back to the matter at hand. She couldn’t help noticing his hands. Big beauties, with surprisingly graceful fingers, not brutish and too thick, but long and rugged with well trimmed nails. Andie swallowed her drool and narrowed her eyes to sufficiently underscore her authority.
“I don’t care if you’re Prince Harry. You’ll need to fill out a form to access these precious collections.”
“Why? Whatever porn down here has got to be real precious.” The man chuckled in a way that let her know he was onto her. He put out his hand to shake. “Cade Preston, at your pleasure.”
Why was he scrutinizing her like a field geologist perusing a gemstone? Was she supposed to know him? She never kept up with movies or bands. Heck she didn’t even know who the Hollywood celebrities were. Not much happened here in Itasca, a town on the edge of a Fingers Lake, the middle finger to be exact.
Giggling at the imagery of the giant eff-you, she reached out and touched the man’s hand.
Zap. A strong shockwave sizzled on contact, and Andie would have collapsed among the shelves had the lumberjack not steadied her shoulder with his other hand.
Andie gulped as a wave of panic blanketed her. She’d sworn off real life men, period, especially after what her ex did to her. It was much safer to crush on a historical figure, especially one as hot and notorious as King David. She hadn’t had a date in years and she wasn’t sure she could handle the angst.
“I’ve left you speechless,” Cade said. “So, you seriously don’t know who I am?”
“Uh, no. I mean, am I supposed to? Are you an expert on King David? Or were you here to refute the prurient surmising of Davidic chronicler Leroy Chan with regard to King Saul?”
The arrogant man rubbed his chin, making a sandpapery sound. “Actually, I’m interested in …” He cast his eyes on one of the volumes askew on the shelf. “I’m studying ancient beauty secrets and seduction techniques, as practiced in ancient Israel.”
“Oh …” Andie’s jaw dropped and heat flushed her chest. “I know a lot about that. I mean, yes, they used kohl and a foundation made of—”
The man held up his hand. “I’ve watched the movie with Cleopatra. What I’m more interested in is her rug trick.”
“Yes! That was a common technique for seduction.” Andie clapped a hand over her mouth. This man was the real goods. She scrambled down the row of shelves and pulled out a book about Queen Michal. “Look here. Michal, who lived centuries before Cleopatra had herself wrapped in a rug and brought to David. This was during their period of estrangement. The chronicler makes quite a case of them having a possible BDSM relationship.”
“BDSM? In ancient Israel?” Cade’s laughter boomed and echoed in the cavernous shelf space.
“Shhh … There might be other researchers here.” Andie put a finger to his lips, and the rascal darted his tongue and flickered it.
Oh my! If she wasn’t mistaken, this man could be the reincarnation of Goliath. He was definitely too big to be David. But then again, who was to say David was such a shrimp?
Most artists showed him that way to make the case of the shepherd boy against the giant. And there was that niggling detail of how King Saul’s armor was too large for him, but he’d been a boy then.
Surely David grew as he matured.
Andie jumped on her tippy toes and swiped the man’s watch cap from his head.
“What color is your hair, or do you have any?” she asked. “Does it match your beard?”
Cade grabbed his cap and slid it over his shiny pate. “You really don’t know?”
Cripes. He’d been dropping hints left and right. He could be an escaped convict. Perhaps his face was on the post office wall or the FBI most wanted list.
Andie took a big step backward. “I, uh, need to check in with my boss. We have a system here. If someone is gone in the archives too long, a security guard would be alerted to check it out. We can’t have scholars damaging the material. You quite understand, right? I, uh, my fifteen minutes are up.”
“Sorry to have interrupted your, ahem, research.” The big man smirked, his mouth wider than the Niagara Falls. “You go ahead and lock up. I’ll be moseying along.”
Without waiting for a response, he sauntered down the row of shelves, his wide shoulders barely clearing the book spines, and his tight ass, holy salami, his tight ass and powerful legs departed along with Andie’s desire to crack another look at King David’s rod and staff.