The rules at The Club were simple:
Keep your mouth shut.
Keep your mouth shut.
Keep your mouth shut.
This was a rule Starr Fields could follow. After searching for years, she finally found what she thought was home. A place where she could go in, keep a bar between her and the customers, pour drinks, make good money, and go home. A place where she didn’t have to worry about her mama’s boyfriends thinking she was fair game. A place where she could simply be.
Bryant Harrison was new to Karim, Texas. After years of moving around and buying one company after another, he threw a dart on a map and decided to move his home base from New York City to where it landed. Now he had every failing business man in town trying to get him to take their problems away.
One glance was all it took for these two to know this was going to be more than a casual meeting. Their feelings were growing quickly as the air became crisp and the leaves changed color. As Halloween approaches, it would seem the unknown monster that hunted Starr wasn’t going to just watch from the shadows for much longer.
Can Bryant be her Knight in Shining Armor and save her in time, or will she slip away as quickly as they fell in love?
**Warnings: This book is intended for adults over the age of 18, includes sexual content, language and possible triggers for certain readers**
This is a multi-author project; you can find all The Club books at http://www.theclub.website/
I leaned on the table, getting closer to her and lowered my voice. “We’re both adults, we know exactly where this is heading. Why don’t we say no more games and get down to business?”
She mimicked me and also leaned in. “Tell me, Bryant, is that all this is to you? Business?”
“Do you believe in fairytales?”
She raised an eyebrow at me. “Well, there’s a change of subject.”
“Not really, bear with me and answer the question.”
“No, no I don’t.”
“Hmmm… now that is strange.” I picked up one of her hands and started playing with her fingers. “I’m going to stereotype genders now, but typically the female is the one who believes in them, even to adulthood, and it’s the male who doesn’t. It would seem in our case, it’s reversed.”
Starr shrugged. “I wasn’t raised with them. Since I didn’t have the typical childhood, I never had friends growing up to even know what I was missing.”
“I’m sure it’s different for girls, but for boys, the fairytales were all about the adventure. Slaying the dragon, saving the princess. Even as adults, even though we would never admit it, we still want the adventure, we still want to find our princess and slay her dragons, keep her safe. So what I mean by getting down to business is the fact that I’ve found you, and now I’m looking around for your dragon that I need to slay.”
“I don’t have any dragons.” She shook her head.
“Are you sure? It doesn’t have to be your typical evil queen or wizard, maybe it is as simple as getting past the castle walls you’ve built around yourself and showing you it’s okay to let someone in. I’ve been listening to you talk all evening, and you’ve lived alone more than with someone, even when you were with your mother, she was never really there. I can be there for you, but you have to give us a chance.”
“Do you understand how strange this all sounds? We just met for Christ’s sake. Things like this don’t happen unless…”
“Unless you’re in a fairytale, or a movie. But really, go on any social media site and ask the question, ‘Does love at first sight happen in real life?’ and I’ll bet good money you will get dozens of stories within the first hour of people who met their spouses and fell in love at first sight, or at least within the first few dates. It does happen, Starr, and it’s happening to us.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“How can you not be sure? Tell me, has anything like this ever happened to you before? I’ll answer for you, no it hasn’t. Close your eyes.” I waited for her to do it and I laced my fingers through hers. “How does it make you feel when I hold your hand like this?”
She took a shaky breath. “I feel your strength, your conviction, your honesty. My stomach is full of butterflies as I see a future like none I’ve ever dreamed of.”
“Do you want that dream?” My voice was hushed, her answer meant so much to me.
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Then just let it happen.”
M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her debut novel After the Storm. She is a self-proclaimed dork that loves to make people laugh and can trip over nothing. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd but is quiet and shy on the outside.
She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people.
When not writing you can find M. watching football (Go Bears!), NASCAR, or classic movies, watching her husband and father restore classic cars, and seeing who can be sillier, her or her son, and of course reading.