X-Treme Love Series, Book 7
When prominent Austin attorney, Hindley Hagen puked all over her prospective new client outside a trendy downtown nightclub, little did she know she’d met the man of her dreams. Pro athlete, Rory Gregor made a promise that night to keep Hindley safe. A year later, he’s keeping his word.
As Hindley prepares for their wedding day, a different man stands in the way of her happily ever after. With the news of her assailant’s pending prison release, Hindley must do the unthinkable and face her attacker once again. Can she find the strength to stand on her own, or will the threat of a new trial destroy her?
Memories of his childhood and the sister he couldn’t save torment Rory Gregor. With his fiancée’s ultimatum to make peace with his past before they marry, he must expel the ghosts that haunt him or risk losing her. As Rory travels back to his home in Colorado to unearth the truth behind his sister’s death, he discovers more haunting details about his own life that threaten to push him over the edge…again.
With the countdown to their wedding looming, can Rory and Hindley find the strength they need to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way to a happily ever after? Or will the demons from their past prevent them from making the ultimate promise…til death do us part?
Extreme Promise is a stand-alone book but you are encouraged to read Extreme Risk and Extreme Devotion, X-Treme Love Series, Books 1 & 2 first to avoid spoilers. Extreme Promise is the 7th and final book in the series. To achieve the ultimate in your reading experience, it is recommended that you read all six books in the X-Treme Love Series prior to Extreme Promise.
Read an Excerpt
I bolted toward the exit of the dress shop, jaw clenched as I shoved the glass door so hard, the frame bounced back and nearly smashed me in the face. Their exasperating jeers echoed behind me.
The cool winter air hit my skin but didn’t temper the heat coursing through my body. I jammed my hands deep into my coat pockets and scanned the city sidewalks right and left. Should I scream? Should I run? Maybe both.
Suddenly, my phone vibrated. Again. Shit.
I didn’t need to see the phone to know who was calling. The man had been blowing up my phone for days. He’d left several messages, none of which I’d listened to for fear his words would send me spiraling out of control.
Run, definitely run.
My heels set a blistering pace as I raced down the street toward Dana’s car.
“Hindley!” Rory shouted behind me.
I sprinted down the street and never looked back. I refused to acknowledge his presence. He’d humiliated me.
“Hindley, wait!” Dana’s voice joined in.
Their cries didn’t faze me. I was on a mission. Get home, vomit, crawl into bed and hide from the world. I’d developed the pattern years ago.
I searched up and down the street. Bustling cars jammed the busy thoroughfares of downtown Austin. In my periphery I spotted Rory and Dana gaining on me. I darted out into traffic, narrowly missing a car and two bicycles.
“Fucking cyclists,” I mumbled.
“Hindley!” Rory’s frantic cries drifted down the street.
Good. Be worried. Served him right.
I leaped onto the sidewalk across the street just as strong, beefy hands grabbed my shoulders.
I squirmed out of his hold and prepared for an all-out sprint to Dana’s car. I positioned my feet like a runner on the starter block but one massive arm grabbed my waist and lifted me off the ground before I could dash away.
My body trembled. Oh, God, not again. He’s back. Back for you. Run!
“Hindley, what the fuck?” Rory grumbled in my ear. His voice wavered with fear and annoyance.
I beat his hands that were clasped across my stomach and kicked my legs as they dangled in mid-air. “Put me down!” My voice resounded across the street and caught the attention of a few passersby.
“Not until you tell me what the fuck is going on with you.” He gripped me tighter.
His deep voice brought me back to the present. It was Rory. My Skater Boy. But I was still pissed at him.
“What the fuck is going on with me?” I mocked. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Rory’s hold loosened.
I slid down his chest and whipped around, my eyes darting between his.
“Hindley, what’s wrong?” Dana scooted up beside Rory and dropped her hands to her knees as she gasped for air. “You nearly got waxed by three cars crossing the road.”
“Like you care.” I rolled my eyes and folded my arms across my chest.
Dana straightened and her head jerked back as if I’d taken a swing at her. In reality, my words had. If anyone cared about me, my best friend, Dana Di Grazio did.
I scanned both their faces. Their expressions mirrored my own. Anger, resentment, but most of all fear.
“You both told the dress designer that her material looked like baby shit yellow,” I huffed as my fists pounded my hips.
Rory and Dana glanced at each other but had the decency to stifle a laugh.
“I’m sorry, baby, but it did.” Rory’s smirk slid up one side of his face.
His mischievous expression normally warmed my heart, along with other parts of my anatomy, but not today.
The sting of unshed tears burned my eyes. I refused to cry. Not here. Not now. Not over such a lame excuse.
“It’s three months before the wedding,” I held up three fingers and shoved them in his face. “Three!” My eyes narrowed and my chest heaved with frustration. “I lost one dress designer already. The other has a wait list well into next year.”
I gazed along Rory’s lean body, at his legs encased in denim, showing off his muscular form. Not now. I shook my head to clear the sordid thoughts. Sometimes I hated how much he affected me.
“This woman was my last chance,” I choked out, “my last chance.” My words broke with my statement. But my emotions had nothing to do with a fucking dressmaker. The countless voicemails and phone calls barraging me had created the real fear and anxiety coursing through my mind. The anticipation of listening to the caller’s voice scared the shit out of me. What could he possibly want?
“Baby, I’m sorry.” Rory scooted closer.
I backed up.
“Hindley?” His brow furrowed.
Rory was scared and he understood my mood had nothing to do with a dressmaker. I both loved and hated the fact he could read me so well.
Dana darted between Rory and me. “Hey, why don’t you and I stop at one more store? Regan told me about some awesome chick on the East Side.”
Regan was a mutual friend who owned a sex shop in Dallas. I’d designed sexy stripper clothes and lingerie for her when I was in college and law school.
I stared at Dana, furrowing my brows. I didn’t want to wear crotch-less panties with my nipples showcased through teaser holes in my wedding dress when I walked down the aisle.
“She doesn’t specialize in wedding shit, but her designs are amazing.” Dana shrugged her shoulders. “It’s worth a try.” Sensing I needed distance, Dana grabbed my hand and pulled me further away from Rory.
“Hindley?” Rory’s usual husky voice broke in a whisper.
I wanted to reassure him everything was all right, that three months from now we’d be joined in wedded bliss. But the vibration of the phone in my pocket stole my confidence.
Could Rory endure the inevitable pain with me? For me? Could I even ask him to?
I gazed at him for answers to my silent questions as one lone tear rolled down my face.
Rory moved to wipe the moisture from my cheek.
I didn’t stop him. I needed to feel his touch, even if the connection was fleeting.
“Can we go to dinner tonight? Just the two of us?” He slid closer.
His scent enveloped me like a warm blanket. I needed time and Rory understood. He was willing to give me the space I needed. But for how long? Long enough for me to sort out my shit and make things right?
“She’ll call you.” Dana jerked on my hand and pulled me away from my fiancé, the man who’d had my heart for almost a year.
I stumbled as Dana dragged me down the sidewalk with her not-so-unusual display of strength.
“Please call me, Hindley.”
I glanced over my shoulder.
Rory’s once bright blue eyes grew darker as he beseeched me.
He needed reassurance that I wouldn’t run away for good. I nodded once. I would call him. I just didn’t know if he’d ever want to see me again after I told him about the calls.
Was he strong enough to endure this battle with me, possibly for the rest of our lives?
Dana shoved me into the passenger seat and raced to her side then cranked the engine. As we drove away I glanced back at Rory.
One hand was shoved deep in his jeans pocket and the other gripped the nape of his neck. He released his hold and gave me a single wave.
“Mind telling me what the fuck is going on?” Dana asked as she maneuvered through the busy streets.
I twisted around in my seat and let out a sigh. I hated scaring Rory, but I needed time to think.
“This.” I held up my phone. The screen illuminated the familiar name along with his title.
Dana stopped at a red light and glanced at my phone. Her gaze darted from the screen to mine, her eyes growing wide. “Shit,” she whispered.
“Yeah. Shit.” I repeated. Read more…