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MAKE YOU MINE
By Tia Louise
(Brother’s best friend, forbidden love, second-chance romance.)
A promise written on a coaster.
A lost night in a dark room.
Grayson Cole was my brother’s best friend.
He was all of my firsts.
Then he went away…
Drew Harris was just a kid, a senior in high school, my best friend’s little sister.
They said she was too young to know her feelings.
I was too old to have them, so I left to join the military.
Six years passed.
Loss, injury, angry words I can never take back.
I’m home, but I’m not the same.
Neither is she.
Now she’s a woman with flashing blue eyes, long blonde hair, and gorgeous curves.
She’s the same sweet smile, the same sassy mouth…
I could never say No to her before.
I should say No for her sake.
She deserves better than what I’ve become, scarred and damaged.
“They told me to stay away from you.
I went away to try… God, I tried.
Now everything has changed. I’m back, and
I’ll do whatever it takes to make you mine…”
(A full-length, STAND-ALONE CONTEMPORARY romance about first love, redemption, and finding your way home. No cheating; No cliffhangers.)
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EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK
MAKE YOU MINE
by Tia Louise
(c) TLM Productions LLC, 2018
I’ve heard people can change overnight.
I never believed it until that summer.
Gasoline, oil, dirty rags, grease, transmission fluid… the indelible scent of the garage. I don’t even notice it anymore. I don’t see the black behind my fingernails that never completely washes clean. It’s my life, and I’d never questioned it until that day.
“Hand me that socket wrench then get in the cab and spin it.” A cigarette dangles from my uncle’s lips, and the top of his overalls are tied around his waist.
I toss him the tool and climb into the cab of the ancient Chevy we’re repairing. “Ready?”
My hand is on the key in the ignition. He holds up a finger, bending further under the hood before stepping away and circling it in the air. I give it a crank, and it turns over instantly, settling into a low humming noise.
“There you go.” Mack returns the cigarette to his lips and watches a few moments as the truck continues to idle. “Kill it.”
I turn the engine off and climb out. “I’ll write it up. Starter, alternator…”
“Just charge for the alternator. I got that starter off an old Camaro. They don’t have to pay me for it.”
Walking to the office, I call over my shoulder, “You’ll never make money giving shit away.”
“I’m too old to start worrying about money.”
I shake my head and go into the tiny room off the side of the garage. It’s all windows, so I have a clear view of the 1961 cherry red gunmetal Aston-hero Classic Jaguar rolling into the shop.
Damn. The sight of it gives me a semi. “Holy shit.”
The words are a sacred whisper from my lips. I know who it is. I’ve been admiring this piece of machinery since I was a little kid. I can’t believe it’s right here in Mack’s garage.
“Grayson?” Mack’s voice snaps me out of my daze.
I snatch up the clipboard holding the work order for the Chevy and head out to where my uncle stands beside the sexiest of all sports cars.
“What you need, Carl?” Mack steps back as the elegantly dressed man emerges from the low ride.
He gives my uncle a cold nod. Asshole. “Just a tune up. I’m planning to drive out to the lake this weekend, and I don’t want to end up on the side of the road.”
Mack chuckles, but I stay back until I’m called.
Carl Harris is a strange and hateful man. The old ladies say he spends his days drinking whiskey and staring at the photograph of his dead wife. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been invited inside his house, even though he’s my best friend Danny’s dad.
Speak of the devil.
“Hey, grease monkey. Got any bananas for me?” Danny charges out of the passenger’s seat and runs around to grab me in a headlock. “Who won the Kentucky Derby?”
I’m taller than him and stronger, but it still takes a minute for me to escape his grip.
“Charley Horse!” he cries.
I narrowly escape his elbow to my ribs. “Get off me, asshole.”
Mr. Harris’s voice is loud and sharp. “Daniel!”
My throat tightens. I didn’t think he’d hear me swear. Shit.
“You’re such an animal, Danny.” That sweet voice gives me my second hard-on of the day.
Andrea “Drew” Harris walks around the back of the Jaguar dressed in tight white pants that show off her cute little ass and a top that stops right under her breasts, those small, luscious handfuls that seemed to grow overnight.
It also shows off the lines in her stomach, and I wonder what happened to the skinny little girl with stick-straight pigtails running around drinking Mountain Dew and bothering us.
It’s like a sexy version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The aliens took little-kid Drew and replaced her with this grown-up bombshell, who now invades my dreams at night and leaves me with a tent in my sheets every morning.
I stand like an idiot beside Danny with my tongue figuratively hanging out as she walks up to us smiling.
“Shut up, Drew Poo.” Danny yells before breaking into laughter.
Those four words flip the whole scene.
“You are such an asshole!” Drew yells, losing her cool.
I start to laugh. Even pissed, she’s adorable.
“Andrea Rebecca Harris.” Her dad’s voice is another sharp command, but it doesn’t deter Drew.
Her eyes are flaming fire. “I was three years old!”
“Didn’t stop you from shitting on my carpet.”
“I was potty training!”
“Drew Poo!” He sing-songs.
My sex-kitten teenage-dream turns wildcat. She snatches up the socket wrench and starts chasing her older brother around the plastic-covered cars.
“Stop this NOW!” Mr. Harris’s face is beet red. He looks like he might have a heart attack. “Stop it!”
Danny dashes behind me, and I do the only thing I can. I grab Drew around the upper arms, holding her against my body as she struggles to get free. Damn, she feels so good.
She’s soft in all the right places, and she smells like the beach and flowers and everything good. She does not smell like gasoline and oil and dirty rags.
I have to focus so my body doesn’t betray how much I’m into her.
“Let me go, Grayson!”
“You can’t swing tools around in the garage,” I groan, giving her a shake. “Now drop it.”
She struggles a moment longer before giving up the fight. The oversized wrench hits the concrete floor with a clatter. She twists in my arms and looks up at me, and for a minute, I’m lost in her blue eyes. I remember when she was four and a snake scared her in the brush behind her house.
She was crying, and I carried her in my arms to her mamma.
Fast forward eight years, and I remember comforting her after that pretty lady died. My mother died when I was even younger than her. It’s what brought me to this town to live with my uncle in a garage.
This town where people treat us like dirt.
Holding her now, looking into her eyes, the way she’s looking back at me, I’m struck by how much between us has changed.
“Boy!” Mr. Harris strides to where I stand with his daughter in my arms. “Let her go.”
His tone breaks the spell. It banishes me all the way back to where I belong, outside his pristine world, hands off his princess daughter.
My arms relax, and Drew steps away from me. She’s still looking at me that way, but I have to ignore it.
“They were fighting…” My voice dies in the face of her father’s cold disdain.
“How old are you?” His words drip with malice.
“Seventeen. Going on eighteen.”
“You’re leaving for college in the fall?”
My uncle steps up beside me. “Grayson got accepted to state as well as the military college.” His voice is friendly, I’m sure he’s doing his best to ease the tension.
It doesn’t work.
Drew’s messed-up dad steps closer to me, so close his warm breath is on my cheek. “Don’t you ever touch my daughter again.”
It’s low, a veiled threat.
I’ve never been threatened before, but I know it when I hear it. This man has nothing to lose but his legacy, and he’s not going to let me put my oil-stained hands anywhere near it.
“I don’t think Gray meant any harm.” My uncle puts his hand on my shoulder, ducking. It’s a submissive response, cowering in the presence of this old lion.
An old lion with a useless crown.
King of a forest that doesn’t exist anymore.
“As if you’d teach him not to touch what he can’t have.” He’s talking to Mack, but he’s glaring at me.
“Come on, Carl.” Mack’s voice is placating. “You know it wasn’t like that.”
The man lifts a trembling hand, and a sheen of perspiration is on his forehead. I don’t know what they’re talking about, but he looks like he needs a drink. Whatever’s going on, I won’t cower to Carl Harris.
He returns to his car, pointing for his children to get in the vehicle.
“Didn’t you want that tune up?” Mack calls after him.
“I changed my mind. We’re not going anywhere.”
He can say that again. I hold steady as he fumbles with the keys to start the engine. As if drawn by magnetism, my eyes move to the clear blue ones watching me from the back seat with a very different expression.
Drew smiles, and heat fills my lower body. I smile back, watching as she drives away.
“Finish up that work order.” My uncle starts for the T-bird waiting under the plastic cover. “And don’t chase after trouble.”
I tear my eyes off the beautiful blonde in the sexy sports car. I know he’s right. I should stay away from Drew Harris. Nothing good can come of getting mixed up with her.
It’s too bad I’m not very good at doing what I should…
* * *
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