Excerpt from Deadly Deception

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A voice called to Sean through the darkness, but he couldn’t make out the words over the jackhammering in his head. The constant pounding seemed to be pulling him up, up, up, like the crank on the back of a tow truck. If the pain ricocheting around his body was any indication of what awaited him at the top, he wasn’t sure he wanted to surface.

The voice came again, louder, clearer. The rhythmic beating quieted. The cocooning darkness faded. The throbbing pain increased.

“Sean Burke, don’t you dare die on me. If I kill you, I want to do it with my bare hands, not my car. Do you hear me?”

“Yeah. Loud…and clear,” he mumbled. He managed to open his eyes a slit, but the world was a blur.

Jessie squealed. “Oh, thank God, you’re not dead.”

“I got…the message. You want…to use…your hands.” He groaned at the effort required to speak and let his eyes close. His chest ached as if his lungs had been crushed and were working overtime to inflate. Warm liquid ran down the right side of his face. He wanted to touch it, but his hands wouldn’t respond to his brain. Not good. Not good at all.

“Sean, wake up. Are you all right?”

“What do…you think? You hit me…with a car,” he muttered without opening his eyes. “Slapping me is one thing. Running me down…is over the top.”

“I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t know it was you. I thought you were the person who took my mother. I mean I didn’t try to hit him either. I was calling Luke and dropped my phone. Then I ran off the road.”

Her barrage of words bounced off his brain like sleet on concrete. He flinched.

“Oh no, you’re in pain. Where does it hurt?”

“Everywhere.” When he opened his eyes, her panicked expression gave him some satisfaction.

“Your head is bleeding bad. I should call an ambulance.” She rose from her knees.

“No,” he ground out.

She stopped and rubbed her hand across her forehead. “Well okay. I know. I’ll call Luke.”

“Fuck no,” he snapped, more emphatic this time, and paid the price with a lightning bolt inside his skull.

“But…but…” She dropped back onto her knees next to him. “I’ve got to stop the bleeding.” She leaned across him and moved his hood away from the injury. “Ugh. Your sweatshirt and cut are full of dirt and gravel. I need something clean to press against it. Do you have anything?”

“Not…handy.” He grimaced as a wave of nausea swept through him.

Jessie glanced around in the darkness. Did she expect something to magically show up? His gaze dropped to her clothes.

“What about your sweatshirt?” he asked.

“My sweatshirt?”

“Yeah. This is your fault, after all. You can at least ruin a piece of clothing on my behalf.” He cringed inwardly at the unintended anger in his tone.

“Uh, well, okay.” She glanced around nervously.

Well hell, wasn’t he worth a simple piece of clothing? All he was asking for was a damn sweatshirt, not some expensive dress or something. What was her problem?

Jessie sighed and pulled the sweatshirt over her head. Sean almost choked when her bare breasts bounced into view. And an awesome view it was. Despite his blurred vision and nausea, his dick hardened at the sight.

Avoiding his gaze, Jessie leaned over him again. Her position put a tantalizing nipple within reach. He bit down on his tongue to keep it in his mouth. If he licked her nipple, he was sure she’d get in her car and run him over. Again. Forward and reverse, for good measure.

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