Authors: Kele Moon
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary
Battered Hearts 2
Copyright © July 2012 by Kele Moon
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Editor: Maryam Salim
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
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To my friend, Karen M, one of the most kick-ass women I’ve ever met. You’re vibrant and
beautiful, and I adore you not just for being fun, interesting, and having the remarkable ability
to always get things done, but for your deep compassion and loyalty. Those are your most
shining qualities. More than the foiled bank robberies and high-speed foot races—likely in high
heels—to tackle some poor fool who decided to break into your car, knowing you’ve ALWAYS
got my back makes you the most amazing friend. Your magic rubbed off on this story, and I’m so
excited the world gets to read it. This one’s for you!
Special thanks to:
Laurann Dohner—Who held my hand through this whole story and dropped everything
whenever I needed an opinion. You helped me through more than a few crises in the creation of
this book, and I love you to death! Thank you!
Lori Toland—Thank you for being my BFF and listening to me ramble on for hours over
this story. Our long walks mean more to me than you’ll ever know. I don’t know how I’d iron
out plot holes without them. Love you like whoa!!
Saritza Hernandez—Thank you again for all your help on this book! You’re always there
for me, and I’m so very lucky to have an agent like you! More than my agent, you’re my friend,
and I love ya!!
Maryam Salim—I’ll brag to anyone who’ll listen that I love my editor. Your enthusiasm
for my stories makes me try harder and write faster. You make me a better writer, and I
appreciate you so very much for it!
Everyone at Loose Id—You guys are all wonderful. Thank you for making my books the
best that they can be. I’m so happy to have a home here!
“I’m thinking of taking Clay up on his offer to be my training partner.” Jules closed her eyes at the smooth male voice that sent a shiver of pleasure running up her spine. She pressed the cell phone closer to her ear as she stared out at the street where lights blinked merrily at her in a wide array of color from the neighbors’ Christmas display and lawn reindeer.
“No,” she whispered. “Please don’t.”
Jules laughed incredulously. “You need a list?”
“Yeah, gimme a list.”
“My brother thinks you’re trouble,” Jules started. “He says your family’s involved in organized crime.”
“I’m not holding it against you that your brother’s the sheriff of Hicksville and an asshole besides. Seems unfair you should be judging me by who I’m related to.” Jules hated that she enjoyed his voice as much as she did. His New York accent sounded warm and exotic to her ears when she should use it as nothing but a reminder that they were too different to be together.
“I don’t do fighters.”
He snorted. “Really? You could’ve fooled me.”
“That was an extreme situation. It shouldn’t have happened. You need to stop calling me.”
“You gave me your number.” He was quiet for one long moment before he confessed. “And I think about you—a lot.”
She thought about him too.
In fact Jules couldn’t
thinking about him. She’d barely gotten any sleep in four nights, and it was starting to affect her life. The Christmas lights blurred to misty streams of color as she admitted, “I think about you too, but you can’t call me anymore.
It was fun, but it’s over.”
“I’m saying yes to Clay,” he said dismissively, ignoring her wishes in a bullheaded way that was totally infuriating. “I’m coming to Hicksville. I wanna see what the hell they put in the water that makes such badass fighters. Clay took a bullet like he was friggin’ superman and then lay there bleeding like it was no big deal. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“You better not,” she warned, wondering how on earth she’d ended up falling into bed with the one man she couldn’t intimidate. “I grew up drinking this water, Romeo. You come here and start messing with my life, you won’t have time to worry
’bout Clay and Wyatt. I’ll dent that hard head of yours personally.”
“That sorta turns me on.” Romeo’s voice was taunting and sexy. “I like ’em feisty.
Especially with that twangy accent you got going on. I’d give my last UFC check to see you in a pair of Daisy Duke shorts. With those long legs, I bet they’d look amazing.”
“I ain’t kidding. Three rounds in the cage with me and you’ll be running back to New York with your tail between your legs. I’m a scary bitch. I can give you a long list of references confirming it.”
“You can get me in a cage anytime you want. If it turns you on, it turns me on too.
Bruises don’t scare me. Hurt me, baby. I like it.” Jules let her head fall into her hand. She knew there were several good reasons why fighters were off the menu. She couldn’t exactly intimidate a guy who made a living in the cage. “This ain’t happening.”
Romeo was quiet on the other end for one long moment before he said in a soft, sensuous voice that sent goose bumps dancing over her skin, “Juliet.”
“Don’t call me that.” She sighed, hating that both her body and mind responded to her name on his lips. “Just don’t call me. Period.”
“I wouldn’t tell anyone. It’s not exactly stellar timing for me either, but no one has to know what’s between us.”
“Are you joking? Is this a fucking joke? You wanna keep it a secret?”
“As soon as I get all my promotional shit cleared up, I’m moving my training camp to Garnet. I wanna know what it’s like to live by that good ol’ country integrity you guys seem to thrive on. I need a new training partner and a new team. Clay’s offer is a little too good to pass up,” Romeo said rather than argue with her. “And now I got you to look forward to. You intrigue me, Juliet. I wanna get to know you, and I think you wanna know me too.”
call me that,” Jules ground out, her pulse picking up at the realization she’d see him again. Her body throbbed at the memories she’d been trying
hard to forget the past several days. “I’m gonna kill Clay ’cause this is the last thing I need. I can’t handle drama like this.”
“Calm down, Juliet. This isn’t worth getting upset about,” he told her with a sincerity that was a little too endearing to stay mad at. “Life’s pretty friggin’ mean most of the time. People got real problems and real shit to cry about, but this isn’t it. This is the good stuff, and I’ve been kicked by life one too many times to just ignore it when something sweet falls in my lap.”
She sighed, feeling her defenses falling as easily as they had the last time she’d tried to resist him. “Why do you keep calling me that?”
“’Cause I’m a romantic.”
“I ain’t sweet.”
“Yeah, you are.” His voice dropped down, low and husky. “I tasted you. Twice. I
you’re sweet, and I can’t stop thinking about it.” 6
Jules sucked in a sharp breath she knew he heard, but she couldn’t seem to help herself. She closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against the icy window. Her body throbbed. Her pussy ached. As crazy as it was, she missed him, and she’d just met him.
She wanted to think this couldn’t be real, not this fast, not with this level of yearning.
But hadn’t she just been crying over her loneliness? Romeo was every bright color in a life that’d been nothing but dull and organized until he fell into it. It was terrifying and dangerous, and she felt alive because of it.
“Talk to me,” she whispered into the phone. “Turn me on.”
“You want me to tell you I’ve been jerking off to the image of you spread out on that bed in Las Vegas, blonde hair on the pillow, those long legs open wide…waiting for me?”
“Yeah,” she said, her voice still soft and breathy, the white-hot rush of lust making her entire body tingle. “Then what’d you do?”
“I crawled onto the bed, and I tasted heaven.” His voice was rough with a catch of desire. “You sounded good. Real good. It makes me hard just thinking about it.” Jules wasn’t seeing the street anymore. She was seeing Romeo in Las Vegas, pulling off his clothes for her, undoing the button to his slacks with a confidence that was very well deserved. “Are you?”
“Hard? Fuck, yes.”
“Will you jerk off for me?” she asked, swallowing roughly against the rush of desire as she thought of that long, thick cock of his. She wanted to be the one stroking it and sucking him until he let go. “I wanna taste you too. We never got a chance, and I’m mad ’bout it.”
Romeo groaned, making it obvious he was doing what she asked. He was jerking off, and he was thinking of her while he did it. With the exception of their one night in Las Vegas, Jules had never been more turned on in her life.
He groaned again, his words suddenly breathy with pleasure. “Touch yourself for me. Lemme hear you.”
Jules didn’t even argue; she just turned around and pressed her back against the glass. Then she spread her legs wide on the window seat, remembering Las Vegas as she slipped her hand beneath the lining of her pajamas. She was wearing long-sleeved red flannel, which wasn’t very sexy, but it didn’t matter. Tonight she was back in Las Vegas, naked and sweaty with Romeo’s big, powerful body pressing her to the bed.
“God.” Jules moaned, her head falling back against the window. She pushed two fingers deep inside her wet and aching pussy. She curved them up, rubbed against her G-spot, arching her hips against her hand. “I miss your cock.” Romeo sucked in a sharp breath. “It misses you too.”
“I still ache, ya know?” Jules told him, her breathing already sharp and labored, her eyes squeezed shut against the pleasure. “I still feel you.”
“Fuck,” he growled over the slap of his hand against his dick. Jules imagined he did it hard and fast in the same wild, unpredictable way he fought—and fucked.
Jules wanted to give herself one of those long, slow orgasms that curled her toes and left her sweaty no matter how cold it got in this old house. She ignored her clit and focused on her pussy instead, rubbing her fingers against her sweet spot.
“Tell me what you’re doing?” Romeo panted, making it obvious he was close.