Her Savage Mountain Daddy
Mailing List Sneak Peek
“Have another shot!”
Carrie screams the words into my ear, but I barely flinch. Heck, I can barely hear her over the thundering, thumping bass music surrounding us in the dim, sultry blue-lit club.
I can already feel the effects of the first sugary-sweet shot she’s forced on me that tasted vaguely of lemon and vanilla. Ick. I can feel it warming it’s way through my stomach, making my head spin a little with heady rush of the alcohol. Or maybe that’s the music, and the throbbing mass of people dancing and swaying and grinding all around us. But it’s probably the drink.
I’d say I don’t normally drink, but that’s putting it lightly. The sugary shot I’ve just downed is my second drink ever. The first being the half-warm beer that Teddy Genaro convinced me to drink at the bonfire party he dragged me to a week after graduation. The beer was gross, but Teddy trying to put his hands up my skirt was even grosser. So, my whole first foray into drinking was cut pretty short when I’d slapped his hand away and walked home in a huff.
But Carrie? And Lauren, and Kendra? Well, they’re a different breed. Carrie’s my roommate over in the freshman dorm of Cartwright College. Lauren and Kendra are two other girls who are pledging Delta Pi Kappa along with Carrie, and this is certainly not their first time drinking. Or second. And judging from the way Kendra is giggling at the way the guy she just met five minutes ago is sliding his hand up her leg past the hem of her skirt, I’m pretty confident they’ve done a whole lot of that before too.
Clubs are not my scene. Neither is drinking, obviously. But after coming up with lame excuses for the last two months of living with Carrie as to why I couldn’t or wouldn’t go out with her for the night, I guess I finally ran out of excuses.
Well, that and…well, that.
What I saw four days ago.
I shake my head, hard, trying to knock the memories and the visuals of that scene from my head. Carrie turns, beaming wickedly at me like she can’t wait to further corrupt me. She presses another of the sickly-sweet lemon-vanilla shots into my hands, and this time, I don’t even hesitate. I knock it back, my cheeks burning hot as the alcohol slides down my throat. The more experienced girls cheer and snap pictures, like this is some sort of occasion.
My blood pumps hotter as the shot settles into my stomach, and I force a smile to my face. But, the visuals are still there. The images.
The side street I had no business walking down that late at night, all alone. The man on his knees in the alley, pleading up at the three men standing around him. The tall one, with the slicked-back, bleach-blonde hair laughing as he pointed the gun at the man on the ground. The thought in my head that this couldn’t be real - that this must be a movie shoot that I’ve stumbled into. This isn’t real life - people don’t hold guns to other people’s foreheads in dark alleys in real life, right?
But then there’s the shot, and the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. And the blood, everywhere. I’m barely aware of the scream wrenching from my mouth, the world blurring past me as I turn and run - I run faster than I’ve ever run in my life, my heart and my screams caught in my throat until I make it back to campus.
That was five days ago, and not a moment has gone by when I don’t feel like there’s a shadow behind me. Not a night that’s gone by when I don’t wake up to the imaginary sound of a gun going off.
So, yeah, that’s why I’ve run out of excuses for why I won’t come out with Carrie. Because tonight, I’m done with the feeling of dread that I can’t escape. Tonight, I’m trying Carrie’s way. Tonight, I’m done being the good girl. I’m going to get drunk - real good and drunk. I’m going to follow these girls’ leads, and let my hangups and inhibitions go.
And maybe that’s what I need. Maybe that’s what it’ll take to finally just forget about what I saw.
Another shot get’s pressed into my hand. My head’s spinning, and my face feels hot. God, my whole body feels hot. Carrie and Lauren and Kendra are laughing, and even if I kind of get the feeling that they’re laughing at me, I push it away. No psychoanalyzing tonight. No second-guessing. Just go with it.
Someone bumps into me, skin teasing across my bare midriff. I hug an arm around myself, once again really feeling how out of place I am. How not “me” I am right now. The tiny tank top that ends about four inches under my breasts. The strappy heels. The ridiculous short little skirt that makes me feel like I’m showing my underwear off to everyone with every freaking step. All of it borrowed from Carrie, of course, since this is a hundred miles from anything even close to what I’d usually ever wear. She even made me go out with her earlier and buy the underwear I’m wearing - this ridiculously flimsy little strip of lacy pink thong.
But again, I have to stop overthinking everything. Tonight, I just have to let go and see if finally going wild for once will push the memories of that night out of my head. I push a loose tendril of my blonde hair back behind my ear, smiling at my roommate and her friends.
They laugh, again, probably at me, but I ignore it as I knock the third drink back. A hand slides across my hip, and I startle, choking a little on the last of the drink before I turn. The guy is probably a year or two older than my eighteen, with brown hair cut into a very jock-looking look and a thin little line of a beard drawn across his jaw. He’s cute, sort of, in a way. Even if that facial hair is all sorts of creepy.
Carrie snickers behind me. “Go for it!” She giggles into my ear, pushing me into the guy.
All I’ve told Carrie is that I don’t have “a lot of experience”. I haven’t told her that, specifically, I have zero experience, because I was too embarrassed. I felt like a loser bringing up my total lack of any sort of sexual history after she let loose on day one of being roommates about the multitude of guys she’s done all sorts of things with.
“Looking for a good time tonight?” The guy says cooly, his eyes hooded and his hand lingering on my hip.
Not really? Not with you? This isn’t like me at all and I just want to go home and watch a movie on my laptop?
But, something stops me from saying any of those things. Maybe it’s the horrible memories of the man getting shot. Maybe it’s the alcohol. Or maybe it’s just me being tired of being the good girl. Maybe it’s time to be a Carrie, or a Lauren, or a Kendra for once. After all, this is college. And, isn’t all this exactly what I’m supposed to be doing? Getting drunk? Going out dancing? Getting wild with strange, somewhat cute boys?
And so I don’t say no.
He grins. “Maybe you and I should have a drink then.”
It’s a blur of my roommate and her friends giggling behind us, and the guy high-fiving the guy who’s been all over Kendra for the last few high minutes. Apparently they’re buddies. The guy with his hand still on my hip turns and yells an order over the noise at the bartender, and turns back a minute later with two clear drinks over ice.
“Vodka soda your drink?”
No? I have no idea?
I drink it quickly, feeling the music and the neon blue lights wash over me. The guy moves closer, and suddenly, he pulling the drink from my hands.
“How about we go somewhere?”
I feel my cheeks burn, and a little knot of worry burning in my stomach.
He grins. “Knew you were down for a good time. Men’s room is this way baby.”
He takes my hand and starts to drag me away. Panic jolts through me, and my eyes dart to Carrie. But she just smiles and gives me a quick hug.
“Hey, just have fun, okay? Girls night out, Nina!” She whoops, hoisting her drink up in the air and cheering with her friends as the guy with the weird facial hair pulls me away through the dark club.
Part of me wants to just pull away, and run away. But then, the other part of me doesn’t do a thing. After all, maybe this is what I need, right? To forget everything I saw? After all, why not? People are always saying that virgins make sex a bigger deal than it really is. I mean, it’s just sex. Again, this is what I’m supposed to be doing as a college freshman, right? Getting wild? Getting drunk?
…Losing my v-card in a club bathroom to a stranger?
Suddenly, it’s like the real me inside finally breaks free of the little cage I’ve stuck her in all night, and I stop short. The guy glances back when I stop letting him drag me along.
“I- I’m sorry,” I shake my head. “I can’t do this.”
He frowns. “Huh?”
“This,” I mumble, the alcohol blurring through me. “I don’t want to do this.”
His frown turns into a scowl, which almost looks comical with his boyish features and his stupid little strip of facial hair.
“Oh, so just leading me on for a free drink, huh bitch?”
“No, that’s not it-”
He starts to drag me down the dark hallway, away from the thumping music and blue lights towards what must be the men’s room. Panic lances through me, and I try yank my hand back from his grip.
“I’m serious, okay! Look I’ll pay you back for the stupid drink, just-”
“Oh, you better believe you will.”
I gasp as he whirls us, pushing me against the wall. His hand grabs my bare thigh, and I recoil.
“Yeah, you like that don’t you baby? You like it when Mikey puts his hands on you, huh?”
I don’t even finish the sentence before “Mikey” suddenly goes flying away from me, like magic. I blink, trying to make sense of how exactly he’s just managed to skip backwards and crash into the wall opposite me so fast, when suddenly, I turn, and I see him.
My heart stops for a second, and a heat I’ve never felt before blooms across my skin. He towers over me, his huge shoulders heaving and the dark scowl on his face deepening as he takes a step towards Mikey. There’s a dark shadow of a scruff on his perfect, chiseled jaw, clenched tight. He runs a hand through his dark hair, and my eyes follow the way his thick arm muscles ripple, the tattoos covering his skin dancing in the low light.
He’s much older than me, and while there’s this air of scariness and danger to him, he’s also totally gorgeous.
“She asked you nicely.”
His deep, dark voice resonates right through me, even if he’s talking to Mikey. It tingles through my body, vibrating through every part of me and making me gasp quietly.
“Look man, who-”
The man growls, like an animal, and when he takes a step towards Mikey, the creepy college boy whimpers and recoils across the floor.
“Smart. Now you fuckin’ stay there and count to hundred before you get up.”
And slowly, he turns, and his eye lock right on me. I gasp, swallowing as those piercing, ice-blue eyes lance right into me, burning something fierce and hot right through me, like his eyes are nailing me to the wall at my back.
“You,” he growls, softly this time.
“Me?” I squeak.
“You’re coming with me. Now.”
I shiver, his words melting through me before I suddenly blink. Wait, what?
“Wait, excuse me?”
“We don’t have time for the banter, princess,” he grumbles, glancing over his shoulder back towards the bar before turning back to me. “Let’s go, now.”
“Uh, no? I’m here with my frien-”
“I’m counting to three,” the big, gorgeous, dangerous looking man.
“And what happens at three?” I croak out.
“I throw you over my shoulder and carry you out of here.”
“You wouldn’t da-”
I blink, my eyes darting to the creep on the ground before glancing back at the big man.
“Who are you?”
“Cormac,” he mutters quietly. He glances over his shoulder one more time, and I watch his jaw tighten as his eyes dart back to lance into mine all over again.
“My name is Cormac, and you just ran out of chances.”
I start to open my mouth, when he beats me to it.
He’s on me before I can even process it. His strong, powerful hands grab me, and I shriek as he suddenly lifts me up, tosses me easily across his hard, muscled shoulder, and storms down the dark hallway.
“Let go of me! Let me-!”
The door at the end of the hallway slams open when he plants his booted foot against it. The chilly night air hits me, teasing up over my bare skin and up under my tiny skirt. The man - Cormac - storms towards a black Escalade parked out back of the club.
Panic grips me as he yanks the door open, and effortlessly tosses me into the passenger seat. I scream, twisting and lashing out with a heel. He grunts as I catch him in the thigh before his powerful hands grab my foot and shove it back into the car. I lash out with my nails this time, but he growls as he catches my hand before I can reach his face.
“Listen, princess!” He roars, instantly shutting me up. “We both know what you saw the other night.”
The blood drains from my face, and a cold chill suddenly slices through me. And instantly, I know what this is. He must work for the men I saw. And now, he’s here to silence the one witness to what happened in that alley.
“Please, you don’t have- please don’t kill me!”
A tear starts to roll down my cheek, when Cormac frowns.
“I’m not here to kill you, princess,” he growls quietly, his piercing blue eyes burning into mine as he hovers over me, holding me down in the car seat. “I’m here to protect you.”
His jaw tightens, and for whatever crazy reason, believe him.
“Now let’s go.”
He slams my door shut, and I watch, my pulse pounding as he marches around to the driver’s side and gets in next to me. The Escalade rumbles to life.
“Go where?” I say quietly.
“There’s a cabin, on a lake. By a place called Blackthorn Mountain.”
He turns, his eyes flashing as they pierce into mine.
“It’s somewhere safe. A place where no one is going to find you.”
…I’m still trying to decide if that sounds hot as sin or absolutely terrifying coming from him as he roars the SUV to life and peels out into the night.