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Authors: Rebecca Avery

Wild Ride

 

Wild
Ride

Other Books in this Series

 

Rough Ride

Slow Ride

Long Ride

 

 

Wild Ride

Riding with Honor series book
3

 

Rebecca M. Avery

This is an original publication of Rebecca M. Avery

 

This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are being used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Copyright © 2012

Rebecca M. Avery

 

Cover Design by George Guignet (Miserable George)

[email protected]

 

 

All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.

 

 

Library of Congress Catalog

 

ISBN- 978-148258153
9

 

 

 

Wild Ride

Rebecca M. Avery

 

To Harley
who has overcome obstacles in her life no child should have to and to Kristi for helping me find my voice.  Life is a gift and living it to the fullest is a choice.  Thank you both for showing me that. 

 

Chapter One

 

“I don’t want to meet him, Mom.  Please just close the door and leave me alone!” Meredith Johnson said.

“You’re going to have to meet him at some point.  He will be spending quite a bit of time here and if something comes up…” Carla Johnson began.

“I don’t want his help and I don’t need his help!  All he needs to do is watch out for Ben and Matt and whatever else you need him to do around here,” she interrupted angrily. “Please just go.”

When
Carla exited her bedroom, Meredith lay back against the pillows on her bed and stared at the ceiling.  As if she didn’t feel guilty enough that she was unable to contribute to the family in any meaningful way, her mother allowing a
convict
to watch her two younger brothers didn’t help those feelings in the least.  Her stump itched but to scratch it would give credence to her situation.

“Is
Meredith coming down to meet Charles?” she heard her youngest brother, Ben, ask their mother.

“No
.  Meredith isn’t feeling well today so you two need to stay out of her room and behave yourselves for Charles,” she heard her mother reply.

Benjamin was the youngest at only five
, six in a few days, and would be starting Kindergarten in a couple of weeks.  He was an active little guy that would require a caregiver more able than Meredith to keep up with him. 

Matthew was the middle child at nine and not as active as the youngest but was more reserved and quiet, at least since the accident.  If not for the accident, the new
babysitter
would never have been necessary.

Ben rarely asked or talked about their late father but it was obvious that Matt missed him as much
, if not more, than Meredith did.  She closed her eyes against the devastating images of the crash that had ended her father’s life and made her into the cripple that she was.  She had been the reason they’d been out driving during that severe thunderstorm. 

The guilt
alone was enough to make her hold herself up in her room and stay away from them.  Seeing her would only unleash fresh grief for everyone… including their mother.

The sound of a motorcycle pulling into the driveway brought forth a shout from Ben
, “He’s here, Mom!  Can I go see his motorcycle?”

What had Grandpa Patterson been thinking?
Talking her mother into allowing a criminal into their home to help with the boys would end up being a mistake…she didn’t doubt it for a second. 

She only hoped the son of a bitch wouldn’t cause even more pro
blems for their family than she had.  The boys and her mother had been through enough.

“Hi, come on in
,” she heard her mother say and then the door closed several seconds later. “I’m Carla and this is my son Ben and my other son Matt.  It’s nice to meet you, Charles.”

“Chuck
,” she heard a man say. 
His voice was nice but everyone had at least one good quality.

“Well
, Chuck, let me give you a quick tour of the house before I have to leave,” her mother said.

“This place is like a mansion or some sh
it… thing,” she heard him reply.

He’d just cussed! 
Had her mother not caught that?
  She pulled herself up so she could better listen to what was going on at the foot of the stairs.  She realized the necessity of her mother going back to work, but this would never work.

“Our home is comfortable but it’s not a mansion…Chuck
,” she heard Carla reply, clearly leery of the man. 
It was about time her mother came to her senses.

She listened as the group consisting of
Carla, the two boys and Chuck made their way from room to room downstairs and then headed up to the second floor.  Footsteps and conversation continued as they made their way into each of the boys’ rooms, the spare bedroom and the bathroom.  Then she heard them outside her door and her stomach rolled in fear that her mother would bring him in. 

“This is my daughter Meredith’s room.  She’s resting at the moment and prefers not to be bothered
,” she heard Carla say and then shuffling as they headed back downstairs.

“Your house is epic
, Mrs. Johnson,” she heard Chuck say.

“Well…thank…you
, Chuck,” her mother stammered. “I have a menu posted on the refrigerator and Matt here can help with setting out the ingredients and knows how to work the stove, microwave and dishwasher.  He may just need a little guidance and help with dinner preparations.  He can take Meredith’s dinner to her and I’ll clean it up when I get home.”

“No problem
,” Chuck replied as they headed away from the stairwell. 

She let out the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding upon hearing them enter the kitchen. 

“Here is a list of contact numbers if you need anything,” Carla said. “Did you have any questions?”

“No
, I’m good,” Chuck replied. 
He sounded like a complete idiot…even with the sexy tone of his voice.

“Ok then, I should be back by
nine thirty or ten this evening.  Bedtime is eight thirty for them both with lights and television off at nine,” her mother said. “Give me kisses, boys, I have to go.”

After some shuffling she heard the door close and a few minutes passed and then Ben said
, “Your motorcycle is cool, can we ride on it?”

“You should’ve asked your mom before she left.  You can look at it and sit on it but no rides until you ask her
,” Chuck said.

Mom would never allow it.
  She listened as they filed out of the house.  A small part of her wanted to go to the window and watch to be sure the scumbag didn’t do anything to endanger the boys. 

If moving
wasn’t so hard now she would.  She could hear Ben’s voice high and shrill from excitement though she couldn’t make out what was being said.

After a few minutes had passed she heard the door to the house open and Matt yelled
, “I’ll get it, be right back!”

Get what?  What the hell was going on?
  Matt sounded excited and his enthusiasm only seemed to make her more nervous.  He rarely showed any emotion anymore and she hadn’t heard him yell like that since before the accident. 
What were they doing?

She heard Matt running up the stairs and into his room.  After muffled shuffling and banging she heard him hurry back down the stairs and slam the door behind him. 
Damn it!
 

She was going to have to get into her chair so she could wheel over to the window to check on them.  This was exactly why this
whole thing was a bad idea from the start.

Using her arms she maneuvered
the wheelchair over closer to the bed and locked the breaks.  Throwing back the covers she moved her good leg over the side of the bed and sat up and forward. 

Then balancing on her good leg
, she stood up and used the arms of the chair to swing herself around and sit down.  Using her only remaining foot, she put the foot rest down and then unlocked the breaks.

Using her arms she wheeled the chair backwards and then over closer to the window
.  She pulled aside the heavy curtains and looked down into the backyard past the pool. 

A blonde guy with baggy pants and a t-shirt was hunched down facing away from the window.  He held a football to the ground and Matt stood behind him.  Ben was running wildly around the yard yelling
, “I’m open…here I am Matt!”

They were playing football…in this heat?  Was he criminally
insane
?  The earlier rain shower had cooled it off
some
but not by much.  She watched as the guy…
Chuck
…hiked the ball to Matt who barely caught it.  Then he pumped his arm as though instructing Matt how to throw it. 
Surely he didn’t mean for Matt to throw it at little Ben?

She caught her breath in shock as Matt released the football which sailed through the air
toward Ben…missing him by mere inches.  Chuck ran over and grabbed the ball off the ground and turned back and walked to where Matt stood.  He meant to have him do it again!  Ben was too small… too young for that!

Tattoos covered both of the guy’s arms and he had one on the back of his neck as well.  He appeared to be
a little over six feet tall and had broad shoulders and muscles…lots of muscles…in his arms, shoulders and back. 

His face was well sculpted with chiseled cheekbones, firm lips and a strong jaw covered by a shadow of beard growth.  When her eyes finally made it to his she realized he was looking up…
right at her.
  As their gazes met a lazy grin spread across his lips and he winked at her.

Startled
, she jumped back from the window and let the curtains fall back into place. 
Oh my God!
  He had seen her after all… because she hadn’t stayed in bed.  She’d let her concern for the boys and, in all honesty, her own curiosity get the best of her. 
Great!
  And he had winked at her?  What was up with that?

His blue eyed gaze had made it feel as though he
knew all her deepest secrets and desires…
all of them
… and she could feel herself blush.  No criminal should look that good…and certainly shouldn’t leave her breathless and flustered. 
What the hell?

She wanted more than anything to re-open the curtains and watch him…them…the boys play football, but what if he was still looking?

“Ok, this time throw it at me with all you got but wait until I say,” she heard Chuck say. “Now watch how I catch it, ok, little buddy?”

Little buddy?
  The boys weren’t his
friends
…they were his job…his community service rather.  Unable to stop herself, she reached up and pulled the curtains aside slightly.  Just enough to look out but hopefully not enough to draw his notice again.

“Ok, let ‘er rip
,” Chuck yelled.

She watched as Matt again threw the ball and Chuck caught it and then looked to Ben
. “Now you’ve got to take me down!” he yelled.

Ben ran at him but then stopped when he got close.  “Don’t stop!  If I get to the fence that’s a point for me so one of you have to tackle me
,” Chuck said over his shoulder as he ran slowly toward the fence. 

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