Authors: C. M. Stunich
“This special edition of "Kicked" also includes two full-length bonus novels from my nom de plume, Violet Blaze: "Stepbrother Inked" and "Raw and Dirty". Enjoy!”
Kicked © C.M. Stunich 2016
Stepbrother Inked © Caitlin Stunich 2016
Raw and Dirty © Caitlin Stunich 2016
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
For information address Sarian Royal Indie Publishing, 1863 Pioneer Pkwy. E Ste. 203, Springfield, OR 97477-3907.
ISBN-10: 1938623983 (eBook)
ISBN-13: 978-1-938623-98-1 (eBook)
Cover art and design © Amanda Carroll and Sarian Royal
"Bebas Neue" Font © Dharma Type
"Lauren Thompson" Font © Jerome Delage
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, businesses, or locales is coincidental and is not intended by the author.
this book is dedicated to love.
because that's what life's all about.
I know the feeling well.
I'm the top draft prospect for the NFL, voted All-American last year, and a God at the University of Oregon.
I didn't get here by fucking around or chasing fantasies—and I'll never forget where I came from. A guy like me only gets one chance to get out, to make something of himself.
I thought football
But Teagan Fletcher, she's my obsession.
My childhood friend is now a woman with curves for days and hair like fire.
But she also hates me—and I don't blame her.
I want her. But I can't have her.
I need her. But I don't know how to let go.
One way or another, I'll have it all: football … and Fletcher.
Tyce Winship had a serious god complex.
That was the first thing I noticed when I bumped into him for the first time in four years. I stood there in the middle of the park and gaped up at his smirking face. My breath came in quick, panting gasps as my fingers found the edge of Tyce's sweatpants. My nails scraped over the firm hills and valleys of his lower abs as I steadied myself and tried to keep the shock off of my face.
This is so my luck,
I thought as I stared up at his bare tattooed chest, slack-jawed and surprised as hell.
I go out for a run and
fall into the arms of my childhood best friend.
Not exactly the evening I was expecting.
“Tyce?” I asked, because the second I saw his face, I knew it was him. It was the boy I hadn't seen in years, a boy that had turned into a
A somewhat famous man if ESPN was to be believed. Hell, I'd even seen him listed in
as one of the top ten hottest football players in the country. Hadn't expected to see him out on a deserted trail, a pair of Nike sneakers on his feet and gray sweatpants slung low over his defined hips.
Tyce raised one dark brow at the mention of his name, but his face—his gloriously handsome face—didn't show even an ounce of surprise.
“That'd be me,” he said, his voice that same deep, dark promise of sex and passion that cut straight through me. Of course, I'd never heard that tone directed
Now that's a change,
I thought as I waited for him to acknowledge me.
'Hey, Tea. Long time no talk. Sorry for abandoning you all those years ago.'
“Now how about you tell me your name?”
My … name?
I thought as I struggled to gather my thoughts. I was still reeling from the sheer coincidence of the moment, and Tyce was still … smirking at me. His hands were hot on my upper arms, his fingertips rough but sensual as he kept a firm grip on my body. His touch was intoxicating, but it wasn't enough to numb the sting of his words.
“Or are you more the mysterious type?” he continued, still holding me, still not getting it. Tyce Winship was looking down at me like a conquest, like a find, some beautiful girl that stumbled into him in the dark that needed saving. His face said he was pretty damn sure I'd fall into his arms, that he was exactly the casanova that I was looking for tonight. But to me, he was still that angry little boy from two blocks down. That asshole teenager who broke my friends' hearts, who kept me frustratingly close at the same time he kept me at arm's length. Now … he was a haughty jerk with a perfectly defined 'V' of muscles at his hips, a taut tummy, and a chest that got my blood pumping hot and furious.
Oh, and apparently he must also be suffering from memory problems because he didn't recognize me.
“I'm gonna take that as a
,” Tyce continued as my mind spun in a million different directions and he leaned close—
too close—to my lips. “The mysterious, silent type. I like that.” His lips curved in a sensual smile. The movement of that mouth turned my knees to jelly. “But be careful. Next time you might not have something this sturdy to grab onto.” With a start, I realized my grip was precariously low, my fingers in a hot, sweaty place that they really shouldn't be.
But that they kind of wanted to.
“Sorry,” I said automatically as I unhooked my grip and stumbled back, the shock of the moment making me numb, and, for just a split second there, speechless. Not a usual thing for me. I continued to stare back at Tyce, waiting still for that recognition that I so badly wanted.
together, you asshole. Remember me, damn it.
“No apologies necessary,” he said, his sapphire eyes catching the evening's last golden streams of sunlight. “I'm always happy to help a beautiful girl.”
My heart started pounding again, and I found myself having trouble catching my breath. I'd come to Alton Baker Park to run. After all, I'd just moved to a city nicknamed
so why not try to embrace the local lifestyle? Sweat continued to stream down my face and stray strands of red hair clung to my forehead and my cheeks as I stared Tyce down and tried to figure out what to say or do. I
just walk away and forget I ever saw him, but I was effectively mesmerized by that smile of his.
He was taller than I remembered him, a towering six foot two that made me feel even shorter than usual. And those eyes … had they always been that blue? Two sapphire orbs ringed in gold, the perfect color to offset his chocolate dark hair and that ruggedly sculpted face. His lips looked ripe and moist, wet with sweat, and would've been his most distracting feature had he been wearing a shirt.
I swallowed hard and brushed some hair away from my face, unconsciously wetting my lips at the same time. I didn't mean to flirt. Hell, I was actually starting to get pretty pissed. How could Tyce
recognize me? After all that we'd been through … A part of me had never forgiven him for leaving.
I curled my hands into fists by my sides and listened to the subtle beeping of my Fitbit. It was warning me of my rapidly rocketing heart rate.
Approaching the danger zone.
Like I needed a warning. I could
it in my throat.
“You must be a Ducks fan,” Tyce said, taking a step closer to me. It wasn't a question. He looked down at my green and yellow
University of Oregon
shirt and then lifted up a hand to trace the curve of my side.
His fingers were warm, his touch firm, and when he finally settled his grip on on the round swell of my hip, I felt a distinct tugging sensation in my belly. I was turned on, but I didn't want to be turned on. I wanted to be mad, furious, indignant.
“Not really,” I said softly, registering the confusion on his face.
Good, that makes two of us now.
The nearby oak cast mesmerizing shadows across Tyce's face, highlighting the strong square shape of his jaw and the high but masculine cheekbones that he'd inherited from his mother. A warm coloring of bronze shaded his skin, complementing the dark tattoos near his hip and down his arm. Those were new. When Tyce had left our hometown four years ago, he hadn't had a single one. “My friend gave me this shirt.”
“Well, then, why don't you let me do you the favor of taking it off? I guarantee by the time we're done, you'll be a
fan.” Tyce cupped his junk with his other hand and gave me a look that I just knew had a near one hundred percent success rate filling his bed. I bet the girls at the U of O fell all over themselves for an offer like that.
“You don't recognize me, do you?” I asked as I locked my green eyes with his blue ones and waited for something,
that told me the asshole was still human. I mean, I was surprised to see him, and I was hurt, but I wasn't going to let this wreck me emotionally. I'd been devastated when he left; I got over it.
“Shit,” Tyce said, leaning back, his lean body a hard slice of perfection in the cool, green quiet of the park. He was sizing me up, sliding his tattooed right hand into the pocket on his sweatpants. I stared him down, my hands still curled into fists, and waited for him to redeem himself.
What are the chances I'd run into him here, now, tonight?
We'd both been jogging, and I'd quite literally tripped and fallen right into Tyce.
At the time, all I felt was annoyance. Later on, I'd think it was fate. The thing is, fate isn't always a good thing.
“Have we fucked?” he asked, blinking those long lashes at me, tipping a water bottle back and letting the liquid drip down his throat and onto his chest. Moist droplets slid across the hard swells of his pecks and splattered on the tips of his shoes. When he dropped his head and looked back down at me, I was already shaking mine.
“Never mind,” I said as his brows raised up in surprise.
Not used to getting turned down, huh? Well screw you.
“Forget about it.” I reset my Fitbit, turned around and started running. If he'd wanted to, Tyce could've caught up with me.
And when I looked back, he was gone.
That's how I started my year at the U of O.
It wasn't how I ended it.