Oxygen Deprived (Kilgore Fire #3) - Lani Lynn Vale


FuriousFotog: Thank you so much for taking these photos for me. They’re beautiful, and you have such incredible talent it’s unreal.

Gary Taylor- One day I’ll meet you! And when that day comes- I’ll tell you in person just like I’m writing you now, that you are a very beautiful person inside and out. Thank you so much for posing for this photo. You make a wonderful Drew!

No take-backs.

That was the motto that Drew lived by in all things, including his love life.

He’s a player, pure and simple.

He’s learned the hard way that women aren’t all hearts and flowers. Sometimes their sexy bodies and beautiful faces are just a pretty shield to hide the crazy, and he’s so freakin’ over crazy.

Been there, done that. He has the divorce papers to prove it.

Karma hits like a bitch.

Aspen needs a break. A long one that doesn’t include anything with a Y chromosome. Not even one as tempting as her new neighbor who just moved in across the street. Men are trouble with a capital freakin’ T, and she has the ankle monitor to prove it.

The last man she gave her heart to was a police officer. A man whose life was dedicated to protection, and he was supposed to protect her heart—not break it.

She decides right then and there that she’s done with being the better person.

Everything happens for a reason.

A rash decision—undoubtedly regrettable, undeniably unforgettable. In the heat of the moment, Aspen’s actions with a tire iron and her ex-boyfriend’s brand new SUV land him in the ER getting stitches and have her seeing the inside of a jail cell for the first time.

It’s just her luck that the whole town is there to witness the result of her poor decision, including her police officer brother and the neighbor that already made it more than clear she was more trouble than she was worth.

House arrest never looked so good.

Hide your crazy.

Drew enjoyed the show, though. For the first time in a year, he’s thinking about his life, and how it would be a lot more enjoyable with a woman like Aspen at his side.

Maybe crazy isn’t so bad after all.


Twenty years earlier

Beavers Bend. Broken Bow, Oklahoma

I watched him play football for nearly an hour with my brother, completely and totally enraptured by him.

“Mom!” I hissed at my mother. “Do you see that teenage boy over there?”

My mother turned from the magazine that was in her hands, to me.

“Yes, baby,” she said. “What about him?”

Everyone had seen him. I’m not sure why I was bothering pointing the man—teenager—out to her.

“I’m going to marry him,” I informed her.

She blinked.

“What?” She whispered in shock. “Why do you say that?”

I looked back over at the teenager, that wasn’t so much of a teenager but more of a young man on his way to adulthood, and back to her.

“We just are. I’ve decided.”

She laughed.

“You’ve decided, huh?” She teased.

I nodded.

“And how are you going to accomplish that?” She wondered.

“She’s going to demand it of him, Mother,” Downy, my brother who wasn’t very happy about being on vacation with us, drawled.

Downy and the teenager were probably similar in age, although that’s where the similarities ended.

Downy had red hair, where the teenager had blonde.

Downy’s ugly eyes had nothing on the teenager’s gray eyes that looked like they were ringed with green.

I couldn’t tell for certain, though, which was why I moved closer.

And found myself next to a couple that was excited about something.

“He’s getting married,” the woman was saying to the man. “To Constance. Isn’t that something?”

The man shrugged. “She’s not the best, but I guess she could be worse.”

The woman snorted. “Don’t let him hear you say that. They’ve been dating for four years now. And he knows everything, don’t you know?”

The man sighed.

“She’s cried every night this week because he’s been gone to the fire academy. How do you think she’s going to fare when he’s gone once every three days?” The man continued.

The woman had nothing to say to that, and I sat down in the chair right by them, hoping it wasn’t obvious what I was doing. I crossed my legs and started swinging my foot.

Then in a rush of moving limbs, the teenager took the seat, in between his parents and me.

He had his shirt off, and his skin was bronzed from the summer sun.

“Your mother tells me you’re getting married,” the man said to his son.

“Yep,” he confirmed.


The teenager paused. “Because I love her, Dad.”

My heart thumped painfully, and I couldn’t help but look