Each day it’s something new, a new piece of my property vandalized, and I’ve had enough.
Wanting a security system, something with cameras so I can catch the vandal, I let my best friend hook me up with her cousin, a private investigator with the PRG Investigations team.
His name is Vance and I’ve secretly been in love with him for three years. He’s a badass, a little scary, incredibly hot, and he’s never showed an interest in me … until now.
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“You know,” Piper says, settling in, pulling her legs up under her. “I think this is exactly what I needed. I don’t remember ever feeling this relaxed. Not even in Mexico.”
I laugh. “We’ll have to make this a regular thing then.”
She looks at me, a tiny frown tugging her lips. “Do you do this a lot?”
“Do what?” I ask curiously.
“Make picnics and bring girls out here,” she asks, her voice hesitant, as though maybe she doesn’t actually want to hear the answer.
I stare at Piper.
She stares right back at me.
Jesus, she sounds … jealous. She looks it, too.
It’s a pretty look on her.
Always so damn pretty.
I grin at her, and then pull the lid off the cooler, reaching in and retrieving a beer.
“You’re the first,” I say, twisting off the cap and handing it to her. “Don’t bring too many people out here, actually.”
Her eyes widen. “What?”
“You’re the first,” I say again, reaching over to her, lightly trailing the back of my knuckles along the curve where her neck and shoulder meets. It’s a barely there touch, but the contact makes her shiver and blush. “And I’ve never made a picnic for anyone before you either.”
“I, uh, I …” her blush deepens and her voice wobbles. “Really?”
She’s nervous and she takes a long pull from her beer.
“Really,” I say, letting my hand fall away, wanting to put her at ease. I reach into the cooler, grabbing a beer for myself, twisting it open.
When I glance back at her, she’s staring at me, confused, as though I haven’t answered her question at all, so I decide to elaborate.
“This is my getaway, the place I come to clear my head. The guys come out with me every once in a while, but for the most part I keep the boat to myself. It’s … special to me, sacred even. I don’t bring just anyone out here.”
“So it’s a special place,” she reiterates, surprised. “Your special place.”
I take a pull from my beer. “Essentially, yeah.”
My response relaxes her, and she beams at me as though being here makes her special, too.
She is special to me.
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In July 2012, Ashley published her first novel, The Soul's Mark: FOUND, and shortly thereafter, she was honored with The Royal Dragonfly Book Award for both young adult and newbie fiction categories.
An avid reader, Ashley enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she's not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family, watching cheesy chick flicks or buying far too many clothes.
Ashley loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to connect with her online.
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