Trick - By Lori Garrett
Copyright © 2013 Lori Garrett
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without prior written permission of the author except where permitted by law.
Published by Lori Garrett Books
Cover design by: James at goonwrite.com
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
“You look like you’re asking for trouble,” Daisy singsongs as she tries on another halter top.
“Maybe I am.” I smooth my tight, tiny denim skirt down over my hips and step into the worn cowboy boots I’ve kept stashed in the back of my closet since that summer. When I turn sideways in the mirror, I’m glad I laid out all day yesterday. My tan is deep and even, and I want to look my best tonight. “You really think you saw him?”
“Sweetie, you’ve made me look at that damn picture a thousand times. And I feel like I could pick him out of lineup by his freaking toenail, you’ve told me so much about him! If this guy isn’t your guy, I resign from my position as your best friend and the best snoop in the world.” Daisy comes to stand next to me and look in the mirror over my shoulder. Her light brown hair is sleek and straight down her slim back; mine is curled all around my shoulders. Her dark eyes make her look sexy and mature; my light blue eyes make me look like a little girl. Ugh. Isn’t that what Gunner called me the night he ripped my heart out and said goodbye?
“No tears, little girl. You’re meant for someone better. You’ll forget you ever met me by the time you get back to that big ol’ house.” His eyes, my favorite shade of deep green, were nearly black in the dusk.
I circled my arms around his waist and held him tight, wishing I could see the color of his eyes. Especially if this was going to be the last time. No. I couldn’t accept the idea that I’d never see him again.
“Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. Why can’t we keep talking? Why are you doing this?” My voice was choked with the tears that didn’t stop that night or for so many nights after.
He pulled me back and the look he gave me was hard and fierce. “Why? Because I love you like no man ever will. You hear me, Harlow? I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you. And I’m a selfish motherfucker ninety-nine percent of the time, but you’re my one exception. I won’t be selfish. I’ll let you go.” He crushed me close to him, and I could feel the beat of his heart through his white v-neck.
“No,” I pleaded, my hands catching the fabric of his shirt and holding on for dear life.
“Shit, baby, don’t do this to me.” He stroked a hand over my hair, and I grabbed his hand, kissing the tattoo on his wrist, the one he shocked me with a few weeks back, when it felt like we’d never spend another second apart. My name on his skin. Forever.
I’d cried when I saw it, and he kissed me until I stopped crying and it was nothing but our moans in the night.
“Don’t do this to me,” I begged. “You are good enough for me. I need you in my life, Gunner! I can’t go back to being Little Miss Perfect, doing what everyone else thinks I should. I never feel more like myself than when I’m with you. I’m ready to be with you always.”
“Don’t be a damn fool,” Gunner bit out, taking me roughly by the shoulders. “That life you’re so ready to run from? That’s where you belong. You need to be surrounded by nice things, nice people, a chance at an education, a family who can take care of you the way you deserve. That’s the life that’s good enough for you, and I don’t fit it. So I’m gonna bow out. Because I want every good thing to come your way, but I sure as hell can’t sit by and watch you live a better life without me. I’m not that fucking good.”
I stood up on my toes to kiss him, my lips hot on his, my tongue sweet in his mouth. I knew from