A familiar voice near Eli’s truck broke her reverie—Ned’s, a voice she hoped she wouldn’t hear again tonight or ever. “Like I said back there, we came to settle the score.”
Stede looked at the ground, the words soft and low. “Jesus, some mule-headed assholes never learn.”
“Maybe not but Jasper and me talked it over.”
“Yeah,” Jasper said with the crooked smile of an idiot. “We never got to ask Eli our question, the one we gotta know the answer to.”
Silence descended. No one moved except Hollis. She hugged her waist, panic invading every cell in her body.
Ned turned his reptilian eyes on her before focusing on Eli again. “See, me and my brother been wonderin’ if you get sloppy seconds when Stede’s done with her.”
Someone sucked all the air from night. Like the predatory stealth of a cat, Stede stepped forward…and then he charged, taking Ned down at the knees. Eli jumped Jasper, and with a swift uppercut, sent him spiraling backwards. His hand covered his nose, thick, red blood oozing between his splayed fingers.
Ned and Stede rolled and tumbled through the dirt like rabid dogs, with Stede gaining the upper hand. Straddling the stout man with his knees, Stede raised his fist, prepared to crush his face.
Eli scrambled toward him and grabbed his forearm. “Don’t, Stede!”
“Get off me, let go of my arm!”
“Don’t do it, man; he’s not worth it.”
Regaining her senses, Hollis rushed forth and knelt beside Stede. “Look at me, right here, look into my eyes.” She shuddered from the lethal look in his when their gazes locked. “Trash, Stede, that’s all he is. Eli’s right; he’s not worth it.”
Eli pulled him off Ned but not before he leaned down and whispered in Ned’s ear, “You even look at her again, I’ll kill you.”
“That a threat, Marrow?”
An arctic chill crossed his features. “No, a promise.”
“Come on,” Hollis said grabbing Stede’s elbow. “Let’s go.”
They left Jasper and Ned on the ground and climbed into the truck, Eli’s heavy foot on the gas pedal churning up dirt as they roared out of the parking lot.
Available April 1, 2016 on Amazon
Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn't writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. She adores animals and has made it her mission in life to help feed hungry children in the USA. Greatly disturbed by the statistic that one in every five children goes to bed hungry, she donates her time and support to local food and animal shelters.
A multi-published author in both erotic romance and gay fiction, her erotica novel Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the MOLLY contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America and has been nominated for a Red Carpet Award in 2014. Her paranormal novel Where the Rain Is Made has been nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark. Her historical novel Sky Tinted Water has been nominated for a RONE Award by Ind'Tale Magazine. Keta's books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from the top professional review sites.
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