Grant, here. I’ve been asked about how I spend the holidays. Well, I suppose I don’t spend it like most folks. When you are a wanted man the world over by both the good and bad guys, there is no going home for the holidays. Such is the life of a criminal.
Growing up in the shadow of Houston, Texas, where people owned horses and wooded lots, I had the ideal Christmases. It was the same every year—racing and shoving my brother to the living room, counting presents under my Mom’s artificial flocked tree decorated with homemade ornaments and colorful bells; breakfasts of egg taquitos, biscuits smothered in apricot jam, hash browns with bell peppers, bacon, lots if bacon, and orange cinnamon rolls; Dad adding yet another shot of alcohol to his coffee; and the cat throwing up tinsel...again. After gifts, we’d gas up the ATVs and ride through the winding trails behind our house or shoot skeet for hours until the turkey feast. When I got old enough to chase tail, I’d spend Christmas Eve making out with some ripe young thing in the cab of my pick-up while the bonfire outside blazed.
Those were good times long past. Good for memories. That’s all they’ll ever be now.
It's all good. Nothing compares to spending the holidays with Reilly. Every Christmas is spent in a new place. Out of necessity, mostly. Maybe it’s the spirit of the holiday or maybe it’s being on the run, but there’s something different, enchanting, or some shit, in every little detail about Reilly at Christmastime. The glistening snow in her auburn hair as we stroll the Paris streets, her musical laughter as we recite scenes from A Christmas Story over duck in a Tokyo restaurant, the feel of her waist as we dance under the colorful lights strung across a sailboat’s yardarms off the coast of St. Croix, damn that woman brings about the nostalgia and romance. Huh...me, romantic...
Then there were those two years without her, those two years we were apart, it was a dark place. I won’t admit it again if asked, and I’ll deny it, but I was...fuck, lost and lonely. It was worse than my tours of duty in Afghanistan.
This year, now that I have her back, I’m going to do something special. Like me, she can never go home. It pains me. It's my fault. Maybe one day we’ll be able to stop running, but for now, we’re in Morocco, casing our next heist. I’ve rented a secluded chalet near the coast. Though I can’t give her a traditional Christmas, I’m going to surprise her with a tree on the beach and a box of ornaments. We’ll trim the tree, drink champagne, and toast to the stars. And then I will unwrap Reilly like an eager boy ripping open a new set of Hot Wheels. Hell, yeah! I’m gonna secure my place on the naughty list.
Tell me about your holiday traditions. Or just give me a shout-out. Harlowe will be giving away to one lucky person who comments a digital copy of KITTY KITTY, BANG BANG featuring me and a $10 iTunes gift card. And if you visit some of her friends during this Holiday Hunk blog hop and leave a comment, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 grand prize. Check more out about it at Nice Girls Writing Naughty.
Update: Martha Hawkins was randomly drawn by the Winner-O-Matic. Congrats Martha!
Wonderful news! KITTY, KITTY BANG, BANG was chosen as the winner of the Las Vegas Romance Writers I Heart Indie contest in the Erotic category. I am truly honored as the competition was tough.
*pop* Champagne, anyone?
What better way to launch into the fall than with a blog celebration with my fellow Nice Girls, complete with loads of prizes! This month, we are exploring our delectable heroes and what they may have been like in school. You know, as teacher's pets.*grins wickedly* It's a scavenger hunt! Of sexy men! With prizes!
What happens if you play along—besides an A+, of course? A chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Amazon. Check out this post here for your assignment (details). This will be better than any class you take.
That's not all! Each Nice Girl will be giving away prizes, too. Mine will be a free eCopy of KITTY KITTY, BANG BANG and a $5 Amazon gift card. Just click the Rafflecopter link below.
Are you ready to meet Harlowe's pet?
Grant Aubrey is a tactical security specialist turned international burglar and the sexy anti-hero from Kitty Kitty, Bang Bang. Learn more about him in his Fast Five.
Grant's Fast Five:
The hottest teacher at Oak Collins High was Mrs. Treptow and she taught Biology. Yeah, I studied a lot of human anatomy that year. Just not the kind in the textbooks. Officer Brown of the school district police was pretty smokin’, too. I’d skip class just to have her escort me to the principal’s office. It was worth D-hall.
Growing up, I wanted to be in the air force, like my grandfather. I succeeded, it was where I learned my, um, skills. But I’d rather not talk about it.
When I graduated high school I was voted most likely to become a stuntman. Guess I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
On Friday nights you’d have found me on the football field. I was a running back for the team, though I was far from a football star. After the season ended, you’d have found me under “the bridge” drinking with the boys and dancing with a girl or two to the car stereo. Or drag racing my Camaro on the Goodnight Trail.
The craziest thing I did in high school was rewiring the PA system. Instead of Principal Parks’ morning announcements, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” blared through every classroom. Off campus, I base jumped from the 400 ft tall microwave tower. Broke my ankle from a hard landing. Good times...
And now for an excerpt from Kitty Kitty, Bang Bang.
Grant was no fool. She tried to distract him with her body. Twice it had worked. But he refused to take the bait again. And he would not let the momentary fear flitting through her eyes sway him. It was time to get his revenge.
Shit. Who was he kidding? After all this time festering over her treacherous back-stabbing, he should have already made good on the promise he made to himself two years ago.
But he hadn’t, and now he wasn’t sure he could. He still loved Reilly deeply, wholly. The realization had him stunned. Resolute plans deteriorated the longer they toyed around. And to top it off, he began to doubt his anger.
Damn it. Now what? He needed time to think. Grant wanted her to pay. But he couldn’t kill her. He should just leave her to Kalfas. Let him deal with her. If he got to Reilly, her death wouldn’t be on his hands. Would it?
“Tell me the truth, Grant,” she whispered. “What happened in Paris? Why did you turn on me?”
He laughed outright. “Me? Turn on you? Don’t try to twist this around. Don’t act like you don’t know what you did to me.”
She slapped him across his cheek. “How fucking dare you, you selfish bastard.”
The sting fueled his fury. “Go ahead,” he sneered. “Do that again.” He shoved the gun harder into the soft flesh under her jaw.
She accepted the invitation, slapping him again. This time, it hurt.
“Careful, babe. I have an itchy trigger finger.”
“So do your friends.” She grabbed the hem of her collar and yanked to the side, revealing her delicate shoulder, and a nasty scar.
“You were shot.”
He bit back a curse. The bullet wound had likely been excruciating, especially if she hadn’t sought medical attention. He succumbed to the overwhelming urge to touch the puckered remnants.
“From Paris, with love,” she sneered.
“You blame me?”
“Why did you do it? When did you decide to turn on me?”
She was fucking delusional. “I didn’t turn on you. It was your own distorted ego that did you in. You became too good, too full of your ability.” He slammed his fist into the wall, and she didn’t so much as flinch. “It was you,” he spat. “You were the one who hammered the wedge between us.”
Problem was, Reilly didn’t need him. She was that good. She could pull off the most dangerous of heists single-handedly. And that burned Grant with consuming jealousy.
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