Happy hump day! We’re here to banish your mid-week woes with a super-hot excerpt from Joanna Wylde’s Reaper’s Fall, available November 10 — that’s next week, people! You know we love us some brooding, MC bad boys!
Levi “Painter” Brooks did hard time for the Reapers MC. He’s not the type to settle down, but he would never have made it through without Melanie’s unshakable love and support. Now that he’s out … things are heating up. Get ready lots of sexual attention!
“…It’s my job to protect the club, and part of that’s protecting the brothers who keep the club alive.”
“That’s crazy,” I said. “What about your life? Doesn’t that matter?”
“The club is my life, Mel.”
Gee, brainwashed much? His hand rubbed me soothingly as he spoke, which sucked because I wanted to hit him or yell at him or at the very least give him a stern lecture, although I don’t know what it would be about. Maybe the top five reasons jail sucks?
But I guess he already knew that a lot better than I did.
Instead I settled into his form, forcing myself not to think about what he’d said—there were plenty of other things to focus on. The warm night air. The frogs. The way his hand felt, still rubbing up and down my back, soothing and distracting. Then his fingers caught on the bottom of my tank top, sliding it up just a couple inches until I felt his skin bare against mine. My stomach twisted.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked, feeling almost desperate.
“Touching me. You’re sending some seriously mixed signals for a guy who’s not interested.”
He froze, the hand on his chest reaching to catch mine.
“I never said I wasn’t interested,” he replied, his voice quiet with a hint of strain. “I said you deserved better.”
“God, you’re so fucking frustrating,” I said, pushing myself up to glare at him. “You ignored me when you got out, you made me come last night, and now you’re sticking your hand up my shirt while you’re telling me I deserve better. Have you ever considered seeing a shrink? Because I think you could use one.”
He gave a low chuckle, his hand sliding my shirt back down across the small of my back.
“No, but earlier tonight someone else told me I should talk to a professional.”
“Well maybe you should,” I huffed, glaring at him. “Because you’re playing games and that’s not very nice.”
“I’ve never pretended to be nice,” he said, his voice hardening. “And I’ve never promised you anything, Mel. Remember that. Nobody made you come riding with me tonight—not like I held a gun to your head. What the fuck do you want from me?”
“The truth,” I snapped. “Let’s start with that. What the hell do you want from me?”
He gave a low, dark laugh.
“We’re not going there.”
“Oh yeah, we are,” I informed him, poking his chest with a finger. “Because I’m done playing mind games with you—we’re hashing this out, here and now. Otherwise you’re taking me home. Or I can call someone and get a ride.”
Painter’s eyes narrowed, then his hand caught mine, holding it tight.
“You’re not calling anyone—I’ll take you home when I’m ready. And you think you want answers? How’s this for a fucking answer. I want this.”
He dragged my hand down his stomach toward the front of his pants. My pulse rate rose. Then he was pushing my hand down across the length of his cock, which was hard and ready. His hips lifted under my touch and his fingers squeezed around mine, gripping himself tight.
Need wrenched through me.
“What I want is to fuck you,” he said, his voice a harsh, intense whisper. “I want to fuck your pussy, I want to fuck your face, and I’ve given some serious thought to fucking your ass, too. I want to lock you up and play with you . . . Sometimes I think about owning you, and what I’d do if you tried to get away. Christ, you have no idea.”
He pushed my palm down hard across the top of his erection, hips twisting under my touch. His other hand reached down to catch my butt, digging in deep. My leg went up and over him, which was perfect because it brought my clit into contact with his thigh.
God, why were we wearing so many clothes?
“Oh crap,” I whispered, dropping my head against his shoulder as his fingers worked down between my ass cheeks, finding the crotch of my pants. Why hadn’t I kept my mouth shut? Wait, fuck that. Why the hell hadn’t I worn a skirt?
The whole time, he kept my fingers wrapped around his dick, jacking him slowly through the fabric while his fingers danced between my legs. His hands were big, strong, working me as the world started spinning. Then his hand slipped off mine, coming up to catch the back of my head, forcing me to meet his gaze.
“Here’s the ugly truth, though,” he whispered. “I’ll want all of that—all of you—for about a week. Then I’ll get busy or bored or whatever, and I’ll stop calling you. That’s how I am, Mel. I’m the guy who doesn’t call and I don’t even regret it, because I truly don’t give a shit who I hurt. Except for some fucked‑up reason, I care about you. If some guy treated you the way I dream about every night, I’d kill him. I’m not into suicide, so that means we can’t go there. Got it?”
Our hands had stopped moving as he spoke, although his cock still pulsed under my hand. His fingers dug into my ass, holding me captive against his body even as I processed his words.
“You’d really do that to me?”
Painter’s mouth tightened.
“Yeah, Mel. I’d really do that to you. We’d have a few great days, maybe a week. Then I’d get bored and dump you, because that’s who I am. But you’re the only female friend I’ve ever had and I actually give a fuck about you, so I don’t want to hurt you like that. Is that such a terrible thing?”
My breath caught, torn between the rush of joy at hearing us called friends and utter, pissed-off disgust that he’d assume he had the power to break me. I opted to run with the angry disgust—far more empowering.
“You know what?” I said. “I get that we don’t have a long-term romantic relationship ahead of us . . . but don’t treat me like a child. I’m an adult and I can make my own decisions. If I get hurt, that’s on me, not you. You don’t have that kind of power, asshole.”
Painter’s eyes widened, and a slow smile crept across his mouth, utterly confusing me.
“God, you’re amazing,” he said, loosening his grip on my hair. “I need you, Mel. I need you way too much as a friend to risk it. I know I’ve done a truly shitty job trying to communicate with you about this, but if you had any idea how important you are to me . . . Christ, you’re one of the few things that kept me sane inside. Thinking about you, getting your letters. We gotta find a way, babe. We can’t do this.”
“I hate men,” I muttered, rolling off him and onto my back, glaring at the sky. How could one guy be so evil and so sweet at the same time? Because he was sweet. I swear, my heart was melting even while I wanted to strangle him.
I wasn’t ready to forgive him, though. Not yet.
“And take your fucking arm out from under my head. Cuddling is for closers.”
Reaper’s Fall will be available in print and digital on November 10. Preorder a copy: Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance | IndieBound. If you’d like some more Hump Day excerpts (who wouldn’t?) we’ve got you covered.