Hello my ducklings! (I mean who doesn’t love ducklings?! I love them…) You may know, June is my birthday month. If not, I’m telling you now June is my birthday month! So the idea is for me to superload it with fun fun fun! Also, because every week there’s a Guest Author & A Giveaway post. And … it almost seems like Maisey Yates is a June TT staple – just check out the archives . I got her to agree to provide an exclusive excerpt for us – and who knows, I might be lucky enough to get the other authors in this [series] too! Whee!
So without further ado, Avenge Me!
Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York’s elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof?
Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen’s reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?
He had no right to be lusting after her like this. Not now. Not when he’d walked in on her like that without an announcement.
Of course, she’d been the one in his shower. His shower, when there was one right near her bedroom that she could have used. And all her girly shit was spread out all over his counter. As though she had every right to come in and take over his space, her things landing everywhere like a cloud of frilly locusts.
That was her fault.
She appeared a moment later, looking fresh scrubbed and wary, wearing a pair of gray sweatpants and a long-sleeved pink top, her hair wet and hanging loose.
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you knocking is polite?”
“You were in my shower, baby. I didn’t expect to find you there.”
“The music and running water weren’t a clue?”
“They were a trail of bread crumbs I felt obliged to follow. I honestly didn’t expect to find you naked and dripping wet in my shower when you have your own.”
“Well, you told me to make myself at home.”
“So you decided that meant going into my bedroom?”
He’d never had a woman in his personal space before. Ever. He’d had girlfriends, yes. But he spent the night at their places typically. Or he took them out and they spent the night in hotels. He wasn’t a hugger. He didn’t talk about his feelings. He didn’t let women leave their trappings all over his room.
There was room for one toothbrush in his bathroom, and that was his.
“Well, yeah. You railroaded me into moving in with you. You’re a Treffen therefore my trust in you is…eh. And so I decided to snoop around in your stuff. Then I saw your shower.”
“You went through my things.”
“Yes. And I’m not going to apologize. Anyway, no whips, chains or invoices for sexual favors. On that score you check out.”
He crossed his arms. “The lack of whips and chains. You like that sort of thing.”
She arched a brow. “You got your rocks off that night too, so don’t go putting it on me.”
“You were out of line going through my things.”
“Are you really all up on my butt for being intrusive?”
“Are you really getting on my case for being intrusive?” she repeated, her hands on her hips. “Because the last I checked, you got me fired from my job. You effectively got me evicted from my apartment. You forced me to move here by default and then you said, make yourself at home. And so I have. And now you’re mad at me? You’ve interfered in every corner of my life and you’re pissed because I used your shower?”
“And left your girl crap all over everything.”
“My girl crap? What are you fourteen?”
“No, but I don’t share my space.”
“Yeah, well, newsflash, Austin, I haven’t done anything but share space my entire life. I’ve had had to make sure my schedule was conducive to taking care of my younger brother. I had to make sure my emotions never made a blip on the radar, because I had to keep things smooth and stable for Trey. Then I moved to New York and moved in with a roommate who had her name on the lease and who I had to tread softly with so that I wouldn’t find myself out on my ass. Then, guess what? Because of you I did find myself out on my ass. And now? Now I’m sick of treading lightly. You said make myself at home, I’m going to make myself at home. I’m not here because I want to be, buddy, I’m here because you stuck your all-powerful Treffen hand in my life and screwed with things.”
“So that means my punishment is…leg wax on my bathroom counter and music that…was it talking about…?”
“Yes,” she said, her cheeks turning pink. “Yes it was. I like that song. Sorry if it bothered you. Or maybe I’m not sorry if it bothered you. Grow up.”
“Did you just tell me to grow up?”
“Yeah. I did. Like you can’t handle song lyrics about sex. Again I ask: are you fourteen?”
“It didn’t bother me.”
“Well then why are you complaining?”
“You have a bathroom. You could use that one.”
She arched a brow. “It doesn’t have three shower heads in the shower.”
“So? You don’t need three shower heads,” he said.
“Says the man who has three shower heads,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “Personally, I value the ability to cleanse myself with the ‘rainforest mist’ setting on. It makes this whole ordeal feel less traumatic.”
“I think you’re milking it,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back against the wall.
“Do you?” she asked.
“Yes. I do.”
“I don’t know if you know my pain and suffering. I was fired and thrown out of my house on the same day.”
“All right. If you want to use my bathroom, that’s up to you, but I’m not knocking on my own bedroom door and I will use my bathroom when I feel like it. If you’re so married to the shower heads, that’s your business, but you may end up with a guest.”
Her eyes widened. “I thought I told you I wasn’t sleeping with you.”
“And I thought I told you not to trust me.” The air thickened between them, her lips parting, her eyes darkening. “And you definitely shouldn’t look at me like that,” he said.
“Like you’re considering letting the horse out of the gate again.”
She blinked. “I’m not. I just wanted your shower, not your body. Calm the hell down.”
“Have you eaten?” he asked, deciding it was best to change the subject. And to take the conversation into neutral territory. And to move them to neutral territory. Territory that didn’t have a bed with a very useful looking headboard…
“No,” she said. “I was going to order something.”
“Anything in particular?”
“I was sort of craving Thai.”
“I’m very good at ordering takeout,” he said. “Cooking not so much.”
“I can cook,” she said, following his lead and leaving the bedroom, heading down the hall a couple of paces behind him. “Really gourmet stuff. Ramen noodles, with some vegetables for added nutrition. Mac and cheese. In the blue box, I don’t screw around. Also, beanie weenies. A can of pork n’ beans and some cut up hotdogs. My skills cannot be beat.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever had any of that.”
“Not even in college?”
He tossed a look over his shoulder. “No. I had a meal plan.”
“Oh, yes, of course. How could I forget? You’re all steeped in privilege. Which I guess I should remember since I just used your shower. Three shower heads.” She held up a matching number of fingers. “Three.”
He shrugged. “Yes. Yes I’m privileged. Lucky, lucky me. My dad is a pimp.” He headed down the stairs and he could hear her behind him.
“There are different kinds of privilege. I mean, sure, that’s a sucky reality you have to face. But I grew up in terrible circumstances and I didn’t get to eat good food. So you know…”
“Yes. Life was easy for me then. I won’t lie to you and pretend I had any great struggle. But looking back and realizing just how little I saw outside of my bubble? That’s hard. I’m not stupid. More than that, in my line of work, I’m trained to read people. I have to know how to read between the lines, how to re-interpret what they’re saying I have to know how to manipulate. But even with that, my world was so insulated, so damned perfect, that I just couldn’t imagine the kind of thing my father was doing. I couldn’t have imagined Sarah’s pain. I’ve seen more since then. I know more about human nature. About how truly horrible life can be. I look back…I hate that idiot that couldn’t see past the glitter all around him. Who thought bad things happened to other people. To other classes of people.”
“And since then you’ve learned…?”
“Life is shit for everyone. It’s just that for some people it’s shit with three shower heads. Pad Thai sound good to you?”
I also cajoled Maisey into a giveaway – cuz you know – birthday month! She’s willing to give one lucky commenter her (or his) choice of Avenge Me in print or e! Whee! So what’d you think of the excerpt? Also, there’s a free prequel right now – Take Me and you should get that [too]!