Gunner’s Girl by Christine Paige

My guest today is new author, Christine Paige who is going to be sharing an excerpt taken from her new release, Gunner’s Girl.

Thank you for having me here on your blog Char, I am so excited to share with your readers, a little about myself and my new book Gunner’s Girl.

In my teenage years my stepmother, Rosie, introduced me to the love of romance novels and ever since I have been hooked on a happily ever after ending.

With the encouragement of my boyfriend I decided to try my hand at writing fiction, this is my first try into actually writing a novel.

In the nineties I was a technical writer for a health and safety business.

I was raised in the great Pacific Northwest and after 18 years in New York City, I decided to move back to my roots.

I love being able to look out my window onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

When I am not dreaming, I am taking care of my 4 rescue dogs, who are all in different stages of blindness, and remodeling my little home.

Please join me on:

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Gunner’s Girl on Amazon

Five years ago, Veronica was forced into hiding. Despite being completely human, she finds sanctuary in a small community of shifters in the town of Stone Canyon. But after personal items went missing and the feeling of constantly being followed, she realizes her past may have caught up to her.

Desperate, she turns to the sexy shifter Gunner Blackwood for help. Gunner agrees to help her, but despite their explosive chemistry, there’s just one problem – How can she trust a man who hates her entire species?


Excerpt taken from Gunner’s Girl

Gunner

FUCK!

The smell of fear collides into me with the power of a fully loaded Harley; if I wasn’t already sitting down, it would have knocked me over. This scent of fear is beyond just being afraid; instead it’s so primal. I almost lose my concentration on this ridiculous phone call.

My office is located at the back of the garage, as it’s the best place for me to take phone calls, especially conversations like this. Even though my office door is close it doesn’t completely muffle out the typical sounds of the shop, we love to turn the stereo volume as high as possible to drown out the noise of the power tools we use on the bikes.

The scent of fear has made me forget what I was saying to the newbie on the phone. I tilt my head to my right and listen to everything my ears can detect, but this conversation.

In the central part of the garage, the music from the stereo doesn’t quite drown out the laughter of my pack mates. They’re all fine. The ticking of the clock turns my attention to it for a moment, it’s letting me know it is almost quitting time. Once I am done with this call, I can call it quits for the day. Why is it, once some young fool buys a bike, they instantly become experts? Andrew is a good kid he just wants his bike the way he saw on some cable reality show, in six months he will hate what he had us do and insist we change it yet again.

I lift my nose into the air and inhale deeply, the odors I detect are normal for the garage: gasoline, grease, exhaust, and burnt coffee; someone didn’t turn off the pot again.

The scent of fear is becoming stronger by the second. Making it almost impossible to focus on Andrew and his long list of demands. Someone is terrified for their life. I shake my head and look around. No one is here in my office; I would know if they were. I would have detected their scent.

I can smell this fear.

Where is it coming from?

What in the hell is happening to whoever is afraid?

My pack mates don’t seem to notice this scent of intense fear or they’ve decided it’s a problem I can and will deal with. Some emotions affect only soul mates, such as fear from a distance. I don’t have a mate. No one other than my immediate family is close to me.

Shit! I don’t even do girlfriends.

Let alone mates.

“Hey man, I need to go. Yeah, I promise we’ll get your bike finished by the end of next week.” Without waiting for Andrew to acknowledge my promise, I hang up the old landline phone and drop it on the cradle. There are papers piled high all over my desk along with bike parts, catalogs, and today’s lunch wrappers. No one has ever called me neat and tidy. I have a disorganized filing system, if it’s on my desk, I can find whatever I need. When the bookkeeper comes into my office every two weeks, the first thing she does is straighten everything up. It takes days to convert my desk back to my normal.

I twisted my head towards my office door, this intense fear has left a metallic taste in the back of my throat, which means whoever is frightened, is close. Very close. I can feel the waves of despair as they push through the entryway.

I thought having an old Victorian solid wood door with hand carvings of botanical motifs would drown out all the noise from the bay area. Maybe, I need to find a better place for it and replace it with one that has a window in it. That way, I will tell who wants to enter if I don’t know by their scent.

Sitting at my desk, I can hear whispering on the other side of the door. A female voice, she must be giving herself a little pep talk before approaching me. “I can do this. I have no choice. Sadie and Hailey are correct; he is the only one who can help. Why didn’t I ask Hailey, to come with me?” Her voice is mixed with determination and fear. This human should be hesitant to ask for help. A few seconds pass, and there’s a barely audible, hesitant knock on the door.

“Enter!” I bellow.

The door opens slowly, a small woman slides through the opening and closes it quickly as if the door would hold off whatever is terrifying her. She leans against it with her hands behind her back, bracing for something. My eyes do a quick survey of her body. No blood, no visible injuries. I know her. What’s her name? Veronica, that’s right. She’s my sister, Hailey’s friend. Hell! Most of the men in my shop love this human, or least they love her baking skills. I notice, her light ginger hair is hanging down her back in a long, thick braid; I prefer my woman’s hair hanging loose down their back, it’s easier to grab. She’s pretty, with freckles across her nose and dotting her cheeks which are nearly obscured by the blush quickly filling her high cheekbones and the bit of baking flour smeared across her left cheek. She most likely doesn’t even know it was there. It suits her. She allows a deep breath to escape from those full and the color of fresh strawberries, ready for picking lips. Looking at her chest, those perfect C cups are moving up and down quickly now in her tight mint green t-shirt, I can tell she is close to passing out from hyperventilating. Her short in stature body has plenty of curves in all the right places.

“Hi, Gunner. Sorry, Mr. Blackwood,” she quickly corrects herself, as she scans the office before meeting my eyes for only a moment, then dropping hers to look at the floor. She has the most gorgeous piercing ice-blue eyes against her alabaster skin. I can tell they are open wide with fear. They cut right into me, burning into my heart, my ice-cold heart.

I nod and wait. The taste of terror has gotten more pronounced. Being in my office has not calmed her anxiety. Instead, it has increased it. Hmmm.

She pushes herself off the door, pulls her shoulders back, and walks towards me with her hand extended. “I’m Veronica, Veronica O’Callaghan, I was wondering if you would teach me some self-defense moves? I know you teach the young kids at the youth center.” She stammers, “… and it’s just, I was hoping maybe you would instruct a private class or two?”

Instead of taking her delicate hand, I just fold my arms across my chest. I know, it’s an asshole move, I’m an asshole. Ask anyone in town. But when humans or shifters need their dirty work cleaned up or if they are in any sort of trouble, I’m the first person they come to. My bear, by his nature wants to protect the weak. My wolf and I believe a pack, is only as strong as the weakest member, and humans are weak.

“I know who you are, Veronica.” I need to turn this woman away. There is no way I will help her. I don’t trust humans, and definitely not females of the human species, they are weak little liars. They are cunning and deceiving by nature. Been there, done that.

Hell, with being burned, she scorched me.

She looks at me then at her hand, which she still has reaching out towards me; shaking her head, she allows her arm to drop to her side. She looks around my office; there are two old wooden office chairs in front of my beat-up desk. There’s no reason to have any fancy office furniture in a motorcycle repair shop. She walks from the door to the chairs and takes a seat, smoothing her skirt and folding her hands on her lap, so prim and proper. I love to see her messed up, hair out of place, and her lip gloss smeared.

Veronica lifts her face, so her eyes look straight into mine and begins to plead her case, “Please Mr. Blackwood; I really need to learn how to defend myself.” Since I haven’t gotten out of my chair when she walked in, I make myself more comfortable. I lean my chair back against the wall and look at her, letting her tell her story of woe. Most men can’t help themselves; they always feel the need to rescue a damsel in distress, not me. One of my favorite past times is to see a woman squirm, especially under my hands.

STOP! I want to help. She is ours. My bear growls at me.

She’s human. I remind my bear. I don’t do humans; therefore, she is not ours. I look her over as she waits nervously for me to answer her question. She gives a hesitant, nervous smile; a hint of perfect dimples appears with the curving of her lips. I wonder how deep and gorgeous her dimples would be if she graced me with a full-on smile; those stunning dimples would drop me to my knees. I noticed when she walked to the chair, she had a perfect ass for spanking. I want to grab a handful of her braid and pull her head back just before I claim her lips. Those full lips are perfect for kissing. After I’ve had my taste of her mouth, I would bend her over my desk to receive a spanking just for the hell of it. So many ideas are racing through my brain.

Where in the hell did those images come from? I feel my beasts move inside of me. They approve where my thoughts are going. I need to stop thinking of her like this. Yes, she stirs me and makes me want to throw her over my desk, take her and make her mine.

I won’t.

I can’t.

This is one of those times, I wish the Council of Elders would revoke their ruling of allowing humans into our small town. Whenever humans get involved with shifters, there is always a situation, and rarely does it work out for the shifter community. It’s time to get her out of my office and my life.

“OURS!”

My beasts want her, my wolf is now agreeing with my bear.

They want to protect her. To claim her.

Hell, no! I will never get involved with a human, ever again. They’re weak. Proof of their weakness is sitting in front of me.

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