SPARK’S NOSE ITCHED. But he couldn’t move his hands to scratch.
Forcing one eye to a slit, he wasn’t in his room, but still in the motel. Damn. He’d fallen asleep.
Opening both eyes, he blinked the fuzziness away and lifted his head. His arms were stretched high above his head and his wrists ached. He darted a glimpse above him.
He was tied to the headboard. Acid gurgled in his stomach. “What the hell!” He gave his hands a jerk, but the rope held them tight. “Fuck!”
Jerking a glance around the room…there she was…sitting in the chair, her legs crossed and a look of satisfaction covering her pretty features.
“What the fuck is this?” Now he understood why Ms. Stone had been throwing herself at him. “Talk to me!” he demanded.
A sticky, tingly sensation brought his gaze lower and on his legs. He squinted. Both legs were covered with some sort of pink, glossy paper. “And what in God’s creation are those?”
She got up, stood at the end of the bed, a smirk curving her lips. “Wax strips.”
“Get them off me and let me the hell out of this bed!” he snarled
“Are you sure you want me to help you with the strips?” One thin brow curved maliciously.
She reached down, grabbed the corner of one strip and pulled.
“Ow!” he squealed as a fire like none other raced through his leg. Clenching his teeth, he looked at her through narrowed gaze. “What the hell was that for?’
“You did ask me to help you. So I did.”
“I’m talking about all of this—the rope, the shit on my legs.” He forced a breath through tight lips.
Smugly, she crossed her arms. “This is a lesson earned.”
He popped up a brow. “A lesson? For what?” Bringing his gaze back to his rope twined wrists, he visually examined the headboard. The cord was wrapped around his wrists, fashioned through the five-inch gap into the wooden detail, then pulled back through and tied in a knot. From what he could see, and with another tug, it wasn’t a bad knot.
“I’m sorry, but I have plans so I must hurry. I won’t spend much time with my explanation. You played my sister. Therefore, I’m showing you what it’s like to be played.”
He perused his brain, trying to find a clue as to what she was referring too. He came up blank. This had to be a joke! “Lady, the only one of us who is a player and a manipulator is you.” Seeing a flicker of confusion, he chuckled. “Yes, that’s right, Jewels Stone.”
One brow snapped up and her hands clenched into fists. “So…so, you knew who I was all along?” Her lips thinned. Good thing she didn’t have a weapon, otherwise he’d be dead, he was certain.
“What? You don’t like being caught at your sordid game? Pot. Kettle. Black.” He gave his arms a jerk and the bed creaked.
She darted her glance to his bound wrists, but only a mere flash. “Don’t talk or I’ll have to get the tape and cover your mouth.”
Anger sliced through his gut. Damn, woman! He didn’t doubt for a minute that she’d do as she threatened.
With a cold glance in his direction, she bent and grabbed something. His jeans! She dipped her hand into the back pocket and withdrew his cell. Now what was she doing?
“Be thankful that I’m not cruel, otherwise I’d leave you tied up here until the cleaning lady came, and considering I rented this room for two days, that’d be a long time to stay bound to the bed. Imagine the laugh the employees here would have.”
“Letting me go would be the best decision you’ve made, before things got out of hand.”
“Are you threatening me?” She shook her head. “Tsk, Tsk.”
“You have a warped mind, don’t you?” Pulling himself up, he heard the wood crack and the springs pop. It wouldn’t take much pressure for him to break the bed, but he’d have no way of getting the rope undone. Apparently, she was thinking the same thing because her eyes widened.
“Let’s get this over with, shall we?” She came to stand beside the bed. “Who would you like to call to ask for help?”
“9-1-1,” he grumbled.
“And imagine the story you’d tell. You were sleeping so hard that a woman tied you to the bed and placed hot wax strips on your legs. That’d be another group finding the humor in this scenario. So, would you like to change your contact person?”
He hated it, but she was right. How the hell had he slept so soundly. He guessed after being awake for twenty-four hours, he had been tuckered. He’d have a hard time explaining how a big man like him was tied up by a woman who wasn’t even half his size. Some would probably think he was stupid for complaining.
Hell, he knew he wouldn’t bother with the police anyway. As peeved as she looked, he didn’t feel like his life was in danger.
“Call Clay Silver. He’s in my contacts.” She clicked through his phone. Thankfully, he didn’t have anything secret. Clay would also get a good laugh from this crazy shit. Usually, his buddy got into messes. A thought made his lungs cease. “Wait.”
She looked at him over the phone. “Change your mind again?”
“No. I want to know, what makes you think I’m the cowboy who played your sister?”
“Spark Ryder. You hang out at Two Step. And don’t even try suggesting that Spark isn’t your name. The bartender pointed you out and I looked at your driver’s license. Nice snapshot, by the way. I think I’ve seen some just like yours on the funniest ID pictures ever taken. Were you having a bad hair day? I also saw your age. I never would have thought my sister would find an older man attractive. Old enough to know better.” She rolled her eyes.
Every hair on his body lifted as realization broke through him. He wanted to laugh, but this was far from an amusing predicament. “I can explain. I’m not who you think I am.”
“Like I said, don’t say a word.” She reached down, grabbed one of the strips and ripped it off.
Spark considered himself a tough guy. He’d ridden five-hundred pound bulls who could toss a rider as easily as a paper doll. He’d served four years in the military, went through boot camp and dangerous conditions in the Middle East without blinking an eye. He could wrestle a cow with his bare hands. But never in his life had tears come to his eyes from physical pain. His rough and tough reputation was taking a hard hit. He doubted his ego would ever be the same—and he was an innocent man.
I want to give away two copies of UNDER PRESSURE (Book 1, Rhinestone Cowgirls). Leave a comment and include your email. Two winners will be chosen randomly.
If you want your hot cowboy now…click below and take him home.