Untamed (A Moretti Novel)

Untamed

 

By MJ Carnal

 

 

Moretti Novel, Book 5

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination.  Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2014 by MJ Carnal, author.  All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute or transmit in any form or by any means.  For information regarding rights, contact the author.  Republishing without permission is strictly prohibited.  If you are reading this book and have not purchased it from a reputable site such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
iBooks or Kobo or have not been given a copy by the author, this book may have been illegally copied.  If you downloaded this book for free from any other site, it is a pirated copy, stolen without permission from the author and is in violation of copyright infringement.  Please report the site that offered the book to you and purchase a copy at one of the above sites.

Cover photo by Eric Wainwright, Wainwright Images,
Portland, Oregon.

Cover Model: Preston
Tate  www.facebook.com/prestontatemodel

Book cover by Dawn of Dark Dawn Creations

First Edition June 2014

The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked names and owners.

This book contains adult themes and content.

Dedication

To Rachel Van Dyken for always inspiring me.

To Janelle for always pushing me to become better.

To you, the readers!  Thank you for your constant support.  The Moretti Novels were successful because of you.  Thank you for going on this journey with me.

Prologue
The Moretti House
the night before Hawaii

Sophie skipped into the kitchen with a grin on her face.  In just a few days, she would be Mrs. Mark Moretti.  Her college roommate and best friend, Lily, had arrived from Georgia
the day before and she was excited to introduce her to everyone she hadn’t met.

Steve shut the refrigerator and jumped when he saw Sophie standing behind him. “Shit.”

The giggle was the first thing he noticed.  It was like music to his ears.  Her blue eyes sparkled as they met his.  He had suddenly forgotten how to breathe.

“Steve, this is my friend from home.  Lily this is Steve
Wainwright.  He’s one of Mark’s friends since, what would you say, birth?”

Steve laughed as he took Lily’s hand and shook it.  The electricity he felt when he touched her had him feeling complete guilt.  He’d been with Amber for seven years.  She’d been his first real love.  She’d dated Mark through high school but had left for college right after graduation.  He’d run into her at
a bar the summer after college and the rest was history.  They’d gotten engaged after four years, bought a house the year after that and Steve spent all his time making sure she was happy.

“It’s nice to meet you, Steve.”  Lily winked and he shivered.

Mark’s laughter from the doorway had him pulling his hand out of Lily’s.  “How’s it feel when you get that little jolt that makes you realize you’re not with the right person?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  Steve uncapped his water and took a few chugs.  “Amber and I are good.”

“Come on, man.”  Ryan shook his head.  “Amber’s not good enough for you.  You’ve heard the rumors. Have you asked her about them yet?”

“Guys, lay off.” 
Layla rounded the corner.  “You can’t help who you love.  If Amber is the skank we all think she is, she’ll show her true colors.”

Steve growled as Mark and Ryan laughed.
Sensing everyone’s discomfort, Kevin turned on the stereo and pulled Andi into his arms.  “Dance with me, doll.”

“Don’t
rub up against me.  I don’t know what I could catch.  I’d prefer my shit not itch.”  Andi pushed him back as Lily broke into hysterical laughter.  “Lil, you rubbed him last night, please, cut in.  I insist.”

Lily danced with Kevin as Andi grabbed Caleb from the couch. 
Steve couldn’t take his eyes off of her.  She was gorgeous.  Her blond hair fell down her back and looked like silk.  She was tiny, not much more than five feet tall.  She was the first person in seven years that had turned his head. 

“She’s stunning, isn’t she?” 
Layla’s voice broke into his thoughts.

“She is.”  Steve gulped his water. 

“I’ve never seen that look on your face before.  I wish you could see it.” 

“Lay, I’m engaged. S
top pushing.”  Steve pleaded with his eyes.  “Amber has been good to me.”

“No she hasn’t.  I just don’t understand why you’re the only one that can’t see it.” 
Layla groaned.  “There’s so much you don’t know about her.  I just wish you could believe one of us.”

“If that’s true, Lay, I will learn my lesson the hard way.  I just don’t want to believe that about the woman I love.”

Several weeks later, Steve stood outside the home he shared with Amber.  The bomb that she had slept with Mark his first night back in Los Angeles hit him with such force that he couldn’t breathe. Steve’s hands shook.  Amber had been gone for three nights with no contact.  He was convinced her absence was due, in part, to his game of twenty questions the other night.  Same ole Amber.  Run when things got hard.  Lie when things got serious.  Not anymore.  He had dedicated years of his life to her. He had sailed through their relationship with blinders on, blissfully happy with the success of both his personal and professional life.  Stupid and Naïve. 

She admitted to bedding Mark his first night back in LA with a smirk on her face like she was
the victor in some evil game.  She admitted to a few random kisses at the night clubs.  She adamantly denied anything else.  She had called Mark her moment of weakness and had fallen to her knees with tear filled eyes begging him to forgive her.  His heart and mind had gone to war that night. He loved her and wanted more than anything to believe that she was being truthful.  He had no proof to the contrary and talk was cheap. 

Thank God for Andrea Allen.  During their trip to Hawaii for Mark and Sophie’s wedding, Andi had kept him company during all the required couple activities.  He had known Andi her whole life but she had just been Caleb’s little sister.  The Hawaii trip changed things.  She was just like her brother,
honest to a fault and generous beyond reason.  He had been drawn to that right away.  It didn’t hurt that her Puerto Rican roots made her one of the most beautiful women on earth.  She had listened to him when he confessed the rumors he had heard about his own fiancé. She had been there when he made his sixth attempt to call her with no answer. She had also been the voice of reason when he spent any time with the amazingly beautiful Lily and felt like his whole body had been hit by lightening.

Lily Ann Lee.  She was a goddess with golden hair and a southern accent.  If it hadn’t been for
Andi’s reality check, he was sure he would have been tempted to commit the very thing he was convicting Amber of.  He had been a gentleman.  He would continue to be one.  It had been simple when he knew Lily was going back to Georgia.  Now that asshole, Kevin Merck, had gotten her a job in the city and she was staying. The guilt wrapped around him and he pushed Lily from his thoughts.  Regardless of what was happening with Amber, she was still his fiancé and his heart was still tangled in her web.

Lost in thought, he hadn’t heard Andi approach. 
“Hey Stevie.  What’s up?”  She hugged him and smiled.

“A site for sore eyes.”
  Steve laughed when she smacked him. 


You ready for this?”  Andi took his hand and squeezed.  The simple act gave him courage.  “It’s like a band aide.  Just rip it off.  If she’s here, you get some stuff and go.  If she isn’t, then you don’t have to worry about what to say.”

Steve looked at the two story house he had purchased for them a year ago.  He had been promoted to the morning show on one of the most popular radio stations in LA.  The promotion came with a fat pay increase and Steve had invested wisely. 
His one potential error?  The house in Malibu that he bought so they could get married and start a family.  It had been a hard decision, but he was going to stay in Caleb’s guestroom for the week.  He wasn’t sure what he was trying to accomplish.  Part of him hoped Amber would miss him so much that she would come running back. 

The house was dark when they entered.  Dread immediately filled Steve’s body.  Muffled voices sounded from upstairs and he took the steps two at a time.  He eased the door open. 
His bed.  His fiancé.  His radio co-host.  His heart shattered. He swore he could hear it break and the agony he felt brought him to his knees.  Caught up in the heat of the moment, they didn’t realize he was even there.  

“Get out.”  He didn’t even recognize his own voice.

Amber jumped off of Justin and covered herself with the sheet.  Her face paled and tears filled her eyes.  “Steve.”

Andi stared at the bed.  She had no idea what to do and for the first time in her life, she felt completely helpless.  Rage
coursed through her veins.  Her first instinct was to attack Amber for hurting someone she cared for but the look of dread on Steve’s face stopped her in her tracks.  She was frozen.

Amber scrambled from the bed.  She yelled at Andi for being in the bedroom and at Justin for still being in the house.  She was frantic as she grabbed at Steve, who knelt nearly lifeless on the ground. He didn’t try to push her off.  There was no fight left in him.  Reality crashed down on him and it was a truth he was not ready to face.  Tears flooded his face as he stared wordlessly at his now empty bed.  In one second, his life had been changed forever. 

“Get out.” His voice was stronger now.  “Get out of my fucking house.  You have ten minutes to pack a bag.”

“Baby.
  Please don’t do this.  I’m so sorry.”  Amber’s eyes filled with tears.  “I’m so sorry.  I don’t know what happened.  Please.”

“You’re down to eight minutes.  Get your shit.”  Steve stood and walked out of the room. 

Amber glared at Andi.  She didn’t even try to hide her hatred.  “If you think it’s over and you can have him, think again.  I’ve been here for seven years and I’m not going anywhere.  Keep your trashy hands off him.”  She shoved her finger in Andi’s chest.

Andi laughed and it only made her angrier.  “I am going to warn you once. Get your hands off me.”

Amber didn’t move.  Her jaw tensed and she pushed a little harder.  “Don’t threaten me.”

“Do you even realize what you threw away?  What an amazing person you had?
For what?  A cheap night and a quickie orgasm? I should thank you.  Now he’s free to be with a real woman.”  Andi swatted her hand away.

Amber grabbed for her.  “This is my house.  That is my bed.  Don’t forget that when you’re getting my sloppy seconds.”

Andi looked her right in the eyes and smiled.  “There’s not enough time left in my life to get all your seconds.”

She lunged but Andi was quicker.  Grabbing Amber’s hair, Andi pushed her to the ground.  “I warned you not to
touch me.  I mean it.  Don’t be stupid.  I will not hesitate to kick your ass for the fun of it.”

Amber kicked her leg out and Andi stumbled backwards.  Taking advantage of the misstep, Amber landed a punch.  That was all it took.  Andi punched back, landing the blow right under the jaw.  Amber dropped to the floor.

“I told you not to touch me.  When you wake up, you can thank your precious Mark Moretti for teaching me that move when he came home from the marines.  Sleep tight you crazy bitch.”  Andi closed the bedroom door behind her and set out to find Steve.

He was sitting on the bottom step, his breathing shallow.
  He didn’t even look at Andi, just took her hand and followed her from the house.  Tonight was a night he would never forget and it was an image that was burned into his brain forever.

“Never again, Andi.
  Never again.”  Steve’s voice broke.  “No one can hurt me if I don’t let them in.”

Chapter 1

“Your obsession with zombies is getting
seriously out of hand.”  Steve read the return label on Lily’s most recent envelope and threw the mail down on the counter. 

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