New Release: Falls Boys by Penelope Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

โ™ฆ โ™ฆ โ™ฆ

๐‘จ๐‘น๐‘ถ

Hawken Trent. So polite. So sweet. Such an upstanding young man. 

A virgin, too, I hear. He never gets naughty with a girl. Probably because Jesus told him not to. 

And now here he is, trying to be the hero by protecting another girl from me. 

He calls me a bully. ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ. ๐˜œ๐˜ฏ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜ˆ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ. He can call me anything he wants, Iโ€™ve heard worse. 

And he can try to stand between me and my money, but heโ€™s never had to fight for food. That rich, clean, school boy doesnโ€™t have what it takes. 

๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘พ๐‘ฒ๐‘ฌ

I surprised her. You shouldโ€™ve seen her face. 

๐˜‘๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ, ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜โ€™๐˜ฎ ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜โ€™๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต.

That is until I realize I ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ท๐˜ฆ actually gone too far this time. 

Sheโ€™s there. Iโ€™m there. The scene of the crime. 

Itโ€™s dark. The police show up. 

We have no choice. We run. Down High Street, into Quinnโ€™s bake shop, and I pull her through the entrance to the old speakeasy that everyone forgot was here decades ago.

The door locks, the cops circle the building, never knowing weโ€™re right here, and Iโ€™m hidden in plain sight, indefinitely, with someone who’s awful. 

๐˜”๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ. ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ. ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜บ. 

A thief. A delinquent. 

Until one night, lost in all of these rooms together, I donโ€™t see any of those things anymore. 

Sheโ€™s smart. Daring. Soft. 

Hot…

Everythingโ€™s changing. Itโ€™s this place. It does something to people. 

We have a silly urban legend in Shelburne Falls about mirrors. Theyโ€™re a gateway. Donโ€™t lean back into them. 

But we came through front first. 

I donโ€™t care what the county records say. This was never a speakeasy. 

Itโ€™s Carnival Tower. 

*๐น๐ด๐ฟ๐ฟ๐‘† ๐ต๐‘‚๐‘Œ๐‘† ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘Ž ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘’, ๐‘›๐‘’๐‘ค ๐‘Ž๐‘‘๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘ก ๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘  18+. ๐ผ๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘  โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ โ„Ž ๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘”๐‘ข๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘’, ๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘’๐‘›๐‘๐‘’, ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ฅ๐‘ข๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ . ๐‘…๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐น๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™ ๐ด๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘–๐‘  โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘™๐‘๐‘“๐‘ข๐‘™, ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ก ๐‘›๐‘’๐‘๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ.

#FBRD-5

โ™ฆ โ™ฆ โ™ฆ

#FBRD-7

MArch 17

March 21

 

 

 

 

 

โ™ฆ โ™ฆ โ™ฆ

#FBRD-12

ARO

We sit in silence, me forcing my eyes closed when I really just want to watch the door of the garage. He taps away on his phone before turning on the music.

But after a few, heโ€™s antsy. โ€œThis doesnโ€™t feel right,โ€ he murmurs.

โ€œItโ€™s only been three minutes.โ€

โ€œWe shouldnโ€™t have sent her in there,โ€ he tells me. โ€œAnother fucking mistake. All Iโ€™m doing is making mistakes.โ€

I open my eyes, staring ahead at the garage down the street. โ€œIโ€™m going to remind you one last time before I beat it into you,โ€ I grit out and then look at him. โ€œNo one needs you. Reaction is still action, and you broke the law too. Donโ€™t put this all on me. Iโ€™ll use you like youโ€™re using me, but make no mistake, Iโ€™d get it done without you.โ€

โ€œYouโ€™d be in jail already or dead if I didnโ€™t show up last night,โ€ he says, looking down at me.

I just snicker. โ€œThis isnโ€™t my first adventure, Pirate. I got along before you, and Iโ€™d still be kicking the shit out of your friends right now if you hadnโ€™t come along and stuck your goddamn nose into everyone elseโ€™s business, like Iโ€™m quite sure you have a habit of doing because youโ€™re a control freak who needs to insert himself to feel superior.โ€

He just laughs, shaking his head. โ€œThis conversation is tedious.โ€

I tip my head back, staring up through the sunroof as I mock back. โ€œThis conversation is tedious.โ€

โ€œStop acting like a child,โ€ he growls. โ€œAnd Iโ€™m not a control freak.โ€

I turn my head, gazing over at him. โ€œYou watch everyone in town. Like God.โ€

He canโ€™t argue that, can he?

โ€œDo you get hard when you do it?โ€ I ask.

He goes still.

โ€œKnowing where everyone is at any moment?โ€ I go on. โ€œWhoโ€™s skipping classes? Which spouses are cheating? Who stopped off at a liquor store, three sheets to the wind, before climbing behind the wheel of a car? Having the power to ruin a life whenever you want?โ€

Heโ€™s clearly smart if he knows how to gain access to that surveillance, but itโ€™s still not clear what heโ€™s doing with it. Or with that place. I searched the rooms. Thereโ€™s only one bedroom with clothes, personal items, and a bed that looks like itโ€™s been slept in. Heโ€™s not sharing the hideout. He stays there alone.

โ€œI wouldnโ€™t blame you,โ€ I admit. โ€œIt would feel good to have some power like that. But donโ€™t worry. I know it doesnโ€™t turn you on.โ€ I lay my head back again and close my eyes. โ€œThatโ€™s not why you do it.โ€

It takes him a few moments, but eventually he speaks. โ€œWhy do I do it?โ€ His voice is soft, like it was last night when he patched me up.

I smile, not sure Iโ€™m ready to play that card yet. Or that heโ€™s ready to hear it.

When I donโ€™t answer, he exhales hard and then I hear him open his door. โ€œShe hasnโ€™t texted,โ€ he says. โ€œSheโ€™s supposed to text every five minutes.โ€

I open my eyes, immediately spotting something ahead.

โ€œIโ€™m going in there.โ€ He starts to climb out of the car.

I grab his arm. โ€œWait.โ€

He looks back at me, but Iโ€™m looking out the front windshield. โ€œThere she is,โ€ I tell him, sitting up.

She taps away on her phone, looking at ease like I told her to, and then she passes Hawke and climbs into the backseat.

โ€œWhatโ€™s the matter?โ€ I ask her.

โ€œAre you okay?โ€ Hawke slams the door and turns in his seat, looking back at her.

She just nods, pulling on her seatbelt. โ€œYeah. Itโ€™s done.โ€

He and I exchange a look.

โ€œAlready?โ€ I blurt out. โ€œI told you to take your time. To relax. To blend in.โ€

โ€œAre you sure no one saw you?โ€ he questions.

She just laughs under her breath. โ€œMost people donโ€™t.โ€

We both stare at her, but I glance behind me to make sure no oneโ€™s following her. Hawke turns and loads the camera onto his laptop.

โ€œDonโ€™t worry,โ€ she tells me, relaxed. โ€œWeโ€™re good.โ€

But Iโ€™m still on the fence, looking behind me once again for any sign that she was followed. Just walking in and out like that is suspicious.

But then Hawke just laughs. โ€œWell, shit.โ€

I follow his gaze, seeing the workroom appear on his screen, the camera positioned just like we told her. Two guys play pool, but the flood of activity that usually happens at night has quieted. Itโ€™s a pretty clear picture. I look up at Hawke. Where else does he have his own hidden cameras posted? I would post them everywhere. This is kind of fun.

Tommy clears her throat. โ€œYouโ€™re welcome,โ€ she sing-songs.

I smile, and Hawke flashes her a warm look in the rearview mirror. โ€œThanks, Dietrich.โ€

If that was this easy, we might use her again. One camera might not be enough.

โ€œSo, what do I get?โ€ she chirps, doing an excited little bounce in her seat.

Hawke meets her eyes again, like he hadnโ€™t expected her to demand anything other than the pleasure of hanging out with him today.

She looks at me. โ€œI mean, I should get paid, right?โ€

โ€œYep.โ€ I cast a look at Hawke.

Like the Joker said, if youโ€™re good at something, never do it for free.

She grins, gazing at Hawke again. โ€œI want to go to the Loop.โ€

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

โ™ฆ โ™ฆ โ™ฆ

#FBRD-9

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, Birthday Girl, and Credence. Please look for Tryst Six Venom and Motel, as well as the Hellbent series, coming next!

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

#FBRD-10

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