Release day is just a few SHORT days away. Enjoy these teasers and Chapter 1 of 8 Second Decision. Release date is July 21st.
Book #1- 8 Second Decision
Book #2- Rules of the Ride
Book #3- TBA
Each Slatter brother will be getting their own book. First off, you meet Merek Slatter. He’s the wildcard of the family. Book #2 will be Maverik’s book and then Marvel’s book will be #3. All of the brothers will be seen in each installment as they run the family ranch together. Hang on tight & enjoy the ride!
#teamhjb #hjb #readhjb
“Who the hell is she?”
“Back in town for—what?—two hours, and already scoping out a fresh piece of ass, Merek?”
I just raise an eyebrow to my little brother, give him that sly Slatter grin, and toss back my longneck.
“New waitress. Been here about four months. About the time you left for Houston and traveled on down the road riding them bucking horses.”
The tension is evident in my little brother’s voice, with ample amounts of jealousy laced in there. His loyalty has always been to the ranch, Daddy’s legacy and Momma’s heart, and I’ve been the wildcard. Chasing my dreams eight seconds at a time on the road. I love the ranch and the rich history it holds deep in the soil of the grounds, but I’m more of my granddad’s type, wild at heart and addicted to the rodeo lifestyle.
“Yeah, four months, Marvel, and I’ll be home for the next three. Get over yourself.”
“Daddy’s not doing good and—”
I cut his arrogant ass off before he has the slightest chance of giving me his tired-ass sob story. “I send money home. I’ve kept shit afloat, and if you ever insinuate that I’d let Granddad’s ranch go to hell, you can fuck off.”
Marvel receives my message clear as day and the subject changes quite rapidly.
“Fall calves look real good. Prices are high too.” Marvel sips on his whiskey.
I nod at the information and would be lying to myself if I said I didn’t miss the ranch. I’ll just never know if there’s a true balance between chasing that buckle and living on the ranch. Granddad always did it until his body broke down and forced his hand. He’s the only reason I look forward to coming home. Long talks with him always seem to help ground my ass.
“Anyway, what’s her name?” I ask again while staring at the new waitress.
Well, at least new to me. She’s kind of hard to miss with her long, tan legs strutting about in her tight, white shorty shorts. God damn, there’s something about her long brown waves of curls that makes me want to take her on the bar. I readjust myself and try to focus on Marvel rambling on about ranch shit. It’s the same old story. Our dad has blown the majority of earnings on horse racing. He calls it his hobby, but in reality it’s going to be the death of the Slatter legacy.
I don’t miss the quick glances she keeps sending my way either. Her bright green eyes flash over to me as Marvel keeps talking and I keep drinking. The way I see it, the faster I drink the quicker I get her cute little ass over here to serve me.
“Dickface, have you listened to a word I’ve said, or just scheming your game plan to get down her pants?” Marvel tosses the basket of peanuts into my chest, causing nuts to fly everywhere.
“I’m fucking listening.” I toss back the rest of my drink and raise the empty longneck.
She spots me and signals with a nod.
“What are we going to do? Dad owes a bunch of people money.”
“Well, calf prices are good and I’ve got money in the bank.” I relax back into my seat, kicking out my long legs. “We’ll handle it like we always do.”
“Something has to give, Merek. Granddad’s heart can’t take much more, and you know Momma, she’ll never say a word.”
I shrug off Marvel’s concern. He’s always been the bleeding heart in the family, trying his damnedest to restore everything to the ways of our childhood. Our oldest brother, Maverik, is a lot like me and does a lot of shoulder shrugging.
“Did you need something?” A sexy as hell voice invades our table.
Turning my head, I come face to face with a green-eyed beauty and actually stumble trying to talk.
“What did you need? Or is it just normal to wave beer bottles at women?” She plants her hands on her hips, glaring down at me.
I can’t help but flash my wicked grin back at her. Now that she’s closer, her eyes are a piercing green and her skin a stunning olive tan. I try not to stare, but I seem to be pulled into her. Marvel throws an elbow into my ribs. “Quit wasting her time, Merek.”
“Sorry.” I shake my head quickly. “Another beer.”
“That’s it?” Her long brown hair whips over her shoulder.
My cocky meter hits an all-time high with the mixture of her voice and attitude toward me. “Yeah, that’s fucking it.”
“Well, next time march your happy little ass up to the bar and order.”
I catch sight of her rather large silver buckle resting below her sliver of skin that’s showing. It’s a state champion buckle and one that’s near elusive to win in Texas with such stiff competition. As she walks away, I can’t help admire her backside as well.
“Never seen a girl get to you that fast, little bro.” Maverik pulls out a chair, swings it backward, rests his forearms on the back, and settles in. His best friend, Jake, a black and white cow dog settles underneath him. They’re inseparable. Jake was a birthday present from Granddad for Maverik’s tenth birthday. All of us boys were damn jealous of that beautiful pup. “Order me a drink, bitch.”
Maverik glares down at Marvel and then slugs him in the arm. Marvel doesn’t even argue because he knows it’s one argument he’ll lose. I let out a loud laugh and send a head nod to my older brother.
“Back in town, uh?”
“Yep, three month break. Figured I’d come raise hell around here.”
“Good, we missed your ugly ass. Did you bring me any puss home?”
I toss the empty peanut basket back at him. “Naw, man, you’ll have to stick to hometown puss for now.”
“Asshole.” Maverik slings the napkin dispenser toward my side of the table.
A longneck amber brown bottle slams down on the table with gold liquid sloshing down the sides. “Here’s your beer, Champ.”
I look back up into the lustful green eyes that seem to love to glare back at me. Not an ounce of amusement rests on her face this time. Damn, I was hoping to pique her curiosity just a bit, and it’s clear someone filled her in on who I was. Well, it’s about time she understands who she’s dealing with.
I rise to my feet and close the space between us. I feel her move back until she’s up against a wall, and I follow her until our bodies are softly pressed into each other.
“I’m not Champ. I’m Merek.” I run my palm up the skin of her arm, leaving goose bumps behind. “But I can make you feel like a champ. Just give me one night.”
I watch as her eyebrow rises in curiosity and I know I have her right where I want her. I fall further into her, listening to our buckles scrape together and then run my hand right back down the same path.
“Meet me outside after your shift.” My palms settle on her hips and I’m surprised how she doesn’t fight me touching her. “What’s your name, gorgeous?”
I watch as she breaks into a fit of laughter under my touch. Tears begin trailing down her cheeks as she tries to calm her howls. Her hands settle onto my chest, and the next thing I know I’m being pushed back down into my seat with more force than I would’ve expected the little bombshell to have.
“My name is Challis and I’ll break it to you easy. You don’t stand a fucking chance with me, Champ.”
She turns to walk away, leaving me with my jaw on the motherfucking floor, and then I do what I do best, play the dick card.
“How many guys did you have to blow to get that buckle?”
My words stop her mid-stride, but she doesn’t turn around to battle back. Instead, I watch as she lifts both arms and sends me the bird over her shoulder. And my God, if her little action didn’t cause my jeans to get tighter where they shouldn’t be.
My brothers’ roars of laughter drag my attention from Challis’s ass sauntering away from me.
“Damn, I’ve never seen a woman do that to Merek.” Maverik grips his hat waving it in appreciation toward Challis and her turn-down.
“How’s it feel, asshat?” Marvel stares me down.
“Shut the hell up, I was just dicking around with her.” I toss back half of my beer before coming up for air. “I can get a piece whenever or wherever.”
Maverik leans up on the table, firmly planting his elbows down. “You did notice her buckle was for chasing cans, so I’m pretty sure she didn’t have to suck any dick for it.”
My eyes widen trying to recall exactly what her buckle had on it. The letters for the state association are the only things I can remember.
“Nah.” I shake my head from side to side. “There’s no way in hell some state champ is in here bartending and not rodeoing for a living.”
“Here she comes.” Marvel slaps my arm. “Look.”
Challis passes our table quite swiftly, but I catch sight of the barrel racing decorating her buckle and the year. Well, if it’s hers she’s about four years younger than me, yet a bit older than Marvel.
“She’s Challis Jones. Remember old man Jones from Fulton County?” Maverik watches me, waiting for a light bulb to go off. “Wine Cup Ranch, the godfather of bucking bulls.”
Then it hits me. “She’s a Jones?”
“She’s not just a Jones. She’s Cody Jones’ only child, and a daughter at that.”
I shudder thinking about the heir of Cody Jones in the same bar as me. Country roots don’t get any deeper than Cody Jones. He lived and breathed everything rodeo until he was buried six feet under. My body shakes remembering the gruesome details of the accident.
“What the fuck is she doing here? She’s at least a good couple of hundred miles from home.”
“Who knows?” Marvel shrugs. “She’s kept her distance from everyone in town.”
“So, she just rambled in one day and lives in the alley?” My frustration level is evident in my voice, and I’m done waiting for answers.
“Still an asshole.” Maverik relaxes back in his chair, avoiding eye contact with me. “Lives with her aunt out at Lazy Hat Ranch.”
“Tori, the one who owns this place?”
“Yep, I guess that’s her aunt,” Maverik replies.
“Tori is related to Cody.” I tip back the brim of my cowboy hat and lightly scratch my head, struggling to put the puzzle pieces together.
“Yeah.” Maverik stands, downing the last of his drink. “No one knows her story and she’s never come across friendly enough for anyone to be brave enough to ask. I have a party waiting for me. Later, pussies.”
Before I can ask another question, Maverik is heading toward the door where a brunette awaits him while his faithful companion, Jake, trails right behind. I shake my head wondering if things ever change. Maverik is a playboy at heart and as the years pass it seems he’ll never settle down. He had one true love who broke him, and I don’t think he’s capable of ever loving again, but my thoughts quickly go straight back to analyzing Challis. I’m not bashful about staring her down or studying each of her movements.
“Let’s go.” Marvel slaps my arm. “I’ll go pay the tab and get the truck.”
I just nod to him as I continue staring down the beauty behind the bar, appreciating each of her moves and the way her hair dances up and down her back as she pours drinks. Against my better judgment, I stride up to the bar, continuing to stare her down, and apply a bit more pressure with my presence.
“What?” Her voice is filled with displeasure.
“Your brother just paid the tab.” She points toward Marvel at the end of the bar. “Time to go.”
“I’m a big boy.” I adjust myself before sitting on the barstool and don’t miss the fact her view seemed to appreciate every single movement.
“Fine.” Challis whirls around, snags a beer from the tub of ice behind the bar, and sends it sailing across the bar top toward me. I catch her wrist with one hand before she has the chance to escape and the chilled beer bottle in the other.
Staring into her green eyes, I feel chills run up and down my spine. “I just wanted to say nice to meet you, Challis Jones.”
I let go of her wrist and am surprised not to see her bolt. She stands straight up, rubs her wrist. “Wish I could say the same back to you, Champ.”
I relax back onto the barstool, holding my cold beer to my chest. “In time, Challis. In time you’ll be impressed.”
“Fuck off.” Challis turns on her heels, whirling her long brown hair in the air and is off.
I try not to stare at her and keep pleasantly distracted with hometown people coming up and welcoming me home. Soon a large crowd settles in around me as we shoot the breeze. Challis remains cold and distant toward me and the people surrounding me.
“Merek, you’re home.”
Craning my neck I see Madison Nicholson standing behind me bouncing up and down on her toes. I flash her a grin and tip my hat to her and then extend my arm out to her. I feel her fingers wrap around my hand as I pull her into me. Bodies part to make room for her, and I can’t help but smile when I look up at her.
Madison and I were high school sweethearts at one point in time. But it was evident our paths were never going to mesh, so we settled for fuck buddies when the time was convenient for both of us.
“Home from doctor school?” I ask her, brushing her blonde locks from her face.
“Duh, winter break.”
“Excuse me, smarty pants.” I slap her ass, making her squeal.
She leans in, resting her hand on my chest. “Got plans tonight, Merek?”
“I think I just made some.” I wink at her.
Without warning, Madison leans down and places a kiss on my lips. It’s light and sweet just like her. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch Challis staring at us, so I pull Madison in, deepening the kiss. A loud crash rings out in the small bar, and when I look up, I see the front door slamming and Challis is gone.