Please welcome today’s guest author Hayden Braeburn who is here to chat with us. She’ll be giving away a copy of DANCE WITH ME, and pdf copy of FIGHT FOR ME, her newest release which will be out on November 6. To enter the contest leave a question or a comment for Hayden in the comments section.
Coming November 6 to an ereader near you! FIGHT FOR ME, second in The Everetts of Tyler series finds Cassidy Everett caring for and shuttling around her brother’s hero, Dylan Black.
Cassidy Everett planned on nursing her brother’s protector back to health and moving on, but when an old foe resurfaces, her plans change. Quickly.
Dylan Black may have been shot saving Mason Everett’s life, but that doesn’t mean he can’t protect his own–-and Cassidy is his whether or not she wants to admit it. His injuries don’t matter; all that matters is keeping his Cassie safe.
When the threats towards Cassidy turn lethal, will the fight to survive bring Cassidy and Dylan together or tear them apart?
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
Cassidy Everett rounded the corner just as Dylan Black came down the hall, his bandaged chest bare, his hair wet from a shower. Dammit, she had to get him into some clothes—she was getting entirely too used to a half-dressed man in her house. She had the fleeting thought of licking him all over before she pushed it aside and chose a more suitable greeting. She was supposed to be taking care of him, helping him heal, getting him back on his feet, not waking up in sweaty sheets after hot and heavy dreams revolving around his long, muscled body. She shook her head, sending her ponytail swishing behind her, and pasted on a smile. “Morning. How are you feeling today?” There, that sounded reasonable.
“Besides the fact that I can barely take care of myself, I’m fine,” he said, sweeping his left arm down towards shorts that chose that moment to slip.
Oh lord. His shorts were barely hanging on, and she was torn between helping him by pulling them up or helping herself by pulling them down. She gave herself a mental kick. Get a hold of yourself, Everett. She swallowed and took a step toward him, one hand out, hoping her blatant hunger wasn’t telegraphed on her face. Dylan caught the runaway shorts with his left hand, but not before revealing enough for her heart to speed, thumping loudly in her ears.
His golden eyes heated as he held on the waistband. “Can you help?”
She bit her lip as she contemplated just pulling his shorts down and having her wicked way with him. The fire in his eyes told her he knew exactly what she was thinking. With trembling fingers, Cassidy tied his drawstring, yet couldn’t bring herself to tear her hands away from his body.
She watched him harden and lengthen beneath the red fabric and barely resisted the urge to run her hands over his hardness. Wow. She should step away. Run away. Anything. Instead of heeding the warning bells in her head, she skimmed her hands up his washboard abs to his hard chest. How could he look so amazing in a sling and plastic covered gauze? She knew she should step back, she knew he’d been shot in the back and shoulder less than a week ago, but she stepped forward instead, scooting closer until her hard nipples were against his bandaged torso, separated by only the thin cotton of her shirt. Aching to be closer to him, she shifted to encircle his neck with her arms. He was so tall, she still had to tilt her head to look into his molten gold eyes, the heat of his body burning her through her clothes. She shouldn’t be here like this, shouldn’t do what she was going to do anyway. She shut her conscience off. She would only kiss him once, and then she would worry and feel guilty tomorrow.
She didn’t know who moved first, but his mouth was on hers, the kiss hot and hungry, and she never wanted to stop. She sank into his lips, the hard wall of his chest pressing against her, the beating of his heart vibrating in her own chest. It could have been minutes or hours they kissed in the hallway, but somewhere her brain clicked on. She had to stop before she mounted a battered man. She pushed away from him, her hormones screaming at her as she did. “Um… Wow.” Understatement of the year, Everett.
“I could kiss you all day,” he told her, his breath ragged.
“I had to stop.” Her cheeks heated, and she ran her tongue over her bottom lip. “Otherwise, I’d hurt you.”
“I’m a big boy.”
She couldn’t resist. She ran her hand over the impressive bulge in his shorts. “Yes, yes you are,” she agreed, her voice thick and raspy to her own ears. What had she done? Quickly, she pulled her hand away, clenching her fingers into a fist. She shouldn’t touch him. She turned to face the wall. Maybe if she couldn’t see him, she could tamp down the lust gripping her. She took a deep breath, held it for a moment before letting it out slowly. “I really, really want to do all kinds of things to you I shouldn’t.” She sighed. “For so many reasons.”
He turned her around with his left hand to silence her with another kiss, shorter but no less passionate. “I’m sure we can find a way.” He kissed her again then, stroking her with his tongue. “If you want.”
Oh, did she want. She was practically dripping on the floor, but wanting a man with such intensity was foreign to her. Coupled with the circumstances, she couldn’t risk it. This was a man unafraid to die in the defense of others, a hero many times over. This was a man who could break down her walls, and no matter how tempting he was, she refused to open herself up for that. He was only here until he was able to take care of himself, and then he would disappear. She straightened. “I just don’t want to hurt you.” She stepped from his embrace, wrapped her arms around her midsection. “I don’t do casual sex.”
He crossed to her, tipped her chin up with his left hand. “What made you think I was lookin’ for casual?”
“I…You…” C’mon, Everett, you’re a flippin’ attorney. “I’d hurt you,” she finally said.
“Physically or emotionally?”
She blew out a breath. “Yes.”
Dylan narrowed his eyes as he studied her, and she felt as if he could see straight through her. What did he see? They stood still for long beats, her heart pounding in her ears until he finally said, “Okay then.” He took a step back, putting space between them but not letting her go. “Who hurt you, Cassie?”
Dammit, those eyes saw all. She pulled from his grasp. “It doesn’t matter now.”
“It will,” he promised quietly.
He ran his gaze down her pajama-clad form, the bulge in his shorts making itself known yet again. She was wearing a tiny white top held up by thin straps and a pair of green plaid boxer shorts. She knew he could have her out of her clothes in ten seconds flat, even with one arm immobilized, but he didn’t make a move toward her. She couldn’t decide if she was relieved or disappointed, so she decided instead to ignore it. “We have to get ready for court,” she said over her shoulder as she fled toward her own bathroom.
Dylan stared at the suit he’d had Cassidy pick up from his house. How the hell was he supposed to dress? He could barely pull on a pair of shorts. He was used to taking care of himself no matter his injuries, but dressing for court involved buttons. Sucking up his pride, he hollered, “Cassidy!”
She was at the door quickly, her own navy blue suit in place, the ruffled white shirt beneath her jacket accentuating already impressive curves. He wondered what she wore under the tailored suit. Lace? Satin? He stopped himself. She was convinced she would hurt him, and he had already pushed his luck this morning. He shook his head to clear the images that had run through it. He may never get the taste of her off his mind, but if she wanted to pretend they didn’t want to devour each other every time they were in the same room, that was her prerogative.
She glanced around the room, her delicate brows drawn together. “Do you need help?” she asked quietly.
Since he was still standing there in the same shorts she had tied less than hour ago, he almost laughed at her question. Of course he needed help, otherwise she wouldn’t be staring at him and he wouldn’t still be half-naked. “You could say that. I can do zippers, it’s just buttons and ties that don’t work one-handed.”
Her lips compressed into a line and he could almost see her thoughts. She was afraid to touch him and combust again, but he couldn’t testify in red basketball shorts, bandages, and a sling either. She pinched the bridge of her nose, the battle in her head clearly visible. When she dropped her hand from her face, she let out a heavy breath, and he wondered which side had won. “What do you need me to do?”
He avoided that land mine of an offer, instead asking, “If you could unbutton the pants and shirt for—” he cut himself off when he realized he needed a pair of boxers instead of the shorts they’d struggled with earlier. “Shit. I need underwear first.” Those dark eyes of hers widened as she unconsciously licked her lips and he hid a smile. If the thought of him without underwear could do that… No. He wouldn’t push her.
“I’ll just,” she started, her gaze bouncing around the room. “I’ll let you attend to that, and I’ll be back in a minute.” She turned so quickly she almost fell on her way out his door. He bit back a grimace. The next few weeks would be torture, but he had nothing but time. Cassidy Everett wasn’t a weekend special. She was different, and he was a patient man.
About Hayden Braeburn :
A Virginia native, Hayden Braeburn now finds herself among the bluegrass and rolling hills of Kentucky. Married to her own (former) Marine, and mother to two incredible children, she toils at a day job she actually loves, writing whenever she has a free minute. Admittedly, that makes for a long time between chapters of her serial, SPEEDING (and she really hates to admit how long it takes to write a book) but she sincerely hopes her pieces are worth the wait.
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