Collision Control (Crossing Forces #4)
by C.A. Szarek
Published October 3rd 2014 by Totally Bound
*can be read as a standalone
A one night stand can’t possibly mean forever…
Detective Jared Manning met his match at a bar. After a night of passion, she sneaks out of his bed without so much as a note. Problem is, now he can’t find her.
Kindergarten teacher Melody Nash doesn’t do one night stands. Embarrassment gets the best of her and she lies about her name.
When they collide at her school, Mel resists his pull. She won’t risk her heart on the obvious playboy, even though she can’t stop thinking about the night in his arms.
Stress engulfs both Jared’s personal and professional life. His brother is at the centre of the joint case he and his partner are working in cooperation with FBI. He puts his job on the line when he fails to share his blood relation—a complication he doesn’t need, considering the FBI agent on the case is convinced his brother killed her fiancé.
Balance is the name of the game. Can Jared save his brother and convince Mel they’re meant to be together?
Reader advisory: This book contains references to past sexual abuse and rape that happened when the character was a child.
From Chapter Three (PG-13)
Val pushed the passenger door open from the driver’s side, flashing a grin. “Slut puppy taxi at your beck and call. No charge for the first ride. Congrats on the end of a loooooooooong drought! Step on up.”
Mel glared and stalked to the car, ignoring her bare feet.
“Oh. My. God. You look like you’re having a walk of shame. Wasn’t it good? That guy is smokin’.”
“Shut. Up.” Mel climbed into Val’s Jeep. She slammed the door and snapped her seat belt on.
“Hey, now. Don’t take your bad sex life out on my baby. Least you got some.”
She reclined in the bucket seat and closed her eyes. Can’t believe I’m gonna say this. “It wasn’t bad. It was…awesome.”
“Then what’s with the ’tude? And where the hell is my other shoe?”
“I couldn’t find it.” Mel flashed her friend a sheepish smile.
Val frowned and tapped on the overhead light. “Dude, those are my Louies!”
“Val, seriously. I don’t think I can take you without caffeine.”
“Mel, seriously. They were expensive.”
“I’ll buy you another pair.”
“What is wrong with you?” Val frowned. “You should be relaxed if your new friend is good in bed.”
“I’m fine, but thanks.”
“I have a better idea than buying me new shoes.”
“What’s that?” Mel arched an eyebrow.
“Go back upstairs, get his number and tell him you want to see him again. After all, if you got laid on the first date, the second one’s gotta be awesome. Oh, and you can get my damn shoe.”
Val’s blue eyes narrowed. “I will totally kick your ass if you’re going to let that piece of shit David ruin a perfectly good romp with the hottest guy that’s ever given either of us the time of day.”
Mel bit her bottom lip.
Like beautiful Val, naturally blonde, big blue eyes, five foot seven, real double Ds and one-hundred-twenty-five pounds soakin’ wet couldn’t get a guy like Jared to give her a second glance.
Mel didn’t know what to say, so she looked out the window.
“That’s it, isn’t it?” Val demanded, finally pulling out of the parking lot of Jared’s apartment complex.
Her best friend’s tirade against her ex continued down Main Street.
“No. It’s not David,” Mel said. It was only half David, but she wouldn’t admit it aloud.
Val snapped her mouth shut and stopped at a red light. “Then what is it? I know seeing him at school was more than a shocker, but I’m sure Jared helped. There’s something wrong in your head if he didn’t.”
“First of all, finding out that the guy I thought was the love of my life not only left me at the altar but also had been cheating on me the last six years of our relationship, and had a child with someone else and didn’t bother to tell me is more than a shocker, Val. David Junior better not end up in my class. I might kill a kid.”
“I like you riled up. I didn’t say you couldn’t be upset. That’s why I took you out last night. Emily and Kara both agreed you needed out. And lo and behold, Mel got herself a new man!”
“I did not.”
“Why not? Damn, he’s hot.”
“Yeah. I have eyes.”
“Hmmm. Lucky ones. And lucky hands…and lucky everythings. You got to do a hell of a lot more than look at him.”
Mel sighed and shook her head. She loved Val to death, but her friend would never get it. Val looked like someone Jared should be with. Mel didn’t. “I was going to ask you how much you paid him.”
Val’s head shot around, and their eyes locked. “What’re you talking about?”
“He walked up to me.”
“When I was at a table with you, Em the hot redhead, and Kara the bad boy magnet.”
“Correction, I am the bad boy magnet.”
Mel glared and Val smirked. “You know what I mean.”
“No, actually I don’t.”
“You guys are hot…and I’m…me.”
It was her best friend’s turn to glare. “Melody Renee Nash. I am going to stop this car and kick your ass. You are so stupid sometimes I wonder if you have mirrors in your house. You’re flippin’ gorgeous.”
Mel rolled her eyes. “I do have mirrors in my house. Which is my point.”
Val pulled the Jeep into McAuley’s parking lot and shut it off. She grabbed both Mel’s hands and squeezed, her blue eyes serious. “I love you. We’ve been through a lot of shit together, but I hate what that son of a bitch did to you. And you put up with it for way too long. I thanked God the day he didn’t show to your wedding. I’m glad you didn’t marry him.”
Author Bio & Links
Bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it’s a good story, she’ll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!
She’s a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!
C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She’s happily married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
She works with kids when she’s not writing.
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