IGNITION (The Redline Series, 1)
A sought after car thief for hire, Colt will do anything for a high—anything for the deafening rush of blood and chemicals that tames the ongoing anarchy in his mind. Fast cars, pain, alcohol, women… his vices come in many flavors, but one woman tempts him closer to the line he can never come back from. She’ll be his hardest theft yet—an action that will set the looming conflict with his brother on a new and violent path.
Aubrey has two choices. The first she knows too well: the alluring businessman who entwined her in his deceptive plots. The second is a stranger. He makes his promises not with a silver tongue but with harsh, blunt observations that Aubrey can’t ignore. Either way, she’s caught between two brothers each seeking the other’s downfall—and neither has a problem taking her down in the process
I wrung my hands—they were clammy and cold despite the oppressing heat backstage. The music thumped through my body, embedding its rhythm deep into my bone marrow, until it felt like every cell thrummed and vibrated under the invisible assault. The resulting tension was the only thing keeping me upright.
Devlin sauntered up next to me, freshly pressed in his expensive black suit. His naturally tanned skin looked even darker in the dim lighting, while his dark brown eyes bore through me as he handed me a mini-bottle of water. I took it with both shaking hands—afraid that with the state of my nerves I might drop it.
Everyone talks about the consequences of making stupid decisions—this wasn’t one anyone had ever mentioned to me.
“You’re up in fifteen,” he said impassively, his warm hand stroking my jaw as I took a long swig of water. To all outward appearances, he was a walking oxymoron—hot and cold rolled into one. His touches perceived as caring, his voice as if he couldn’t give two fucks. But there was no dualism about him. His intentions were refined and single-minded—every action was carefully concocted.
I ignored his touch as much as possible, but I’d learned long ago that trying to avoid his passes was futile.
“Try to look like you’re enjoying yourself,” he said.
Beyond his shoulder, I watched the other girls, gathered along the wall on the opposite side of the stage entrance. A clique that I didn’t belong in and never wanted to. I was here for one thing, and then I was gone—utterly convinced that I was not and would not ever be anything like them. Their robes hung open revealing their tiny and glittery stage costumes underneath. Most of them had already performed and now they giggled—usually glancing sideways at me and making crinkled expressions that looked less than amused at my presence.
As if I wanted to be here dressed in this gaudy costume that pinched my boobs, poked at my ribs, and chafed everywhere it touched only to barely qualify as decent. I expected a boob to pop out before I even made it half way across the stage, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if at least one nipple made a premature appearance—not that anyone would complain. To make matters worse, the whole ensemble was brought to a painful close by the tall stilettos that pinched my feet and left me as wobbly as a drunken teenager.
I was still wearing far more than I would be when I came back off stage after my eight-minute routine. That thought did little to calm my nerves. I wanted to be done with it all, and yet I dreaded the end more than anything.