The Road Is His Future…
Longtime steel hauler, Mason Kaine, a.k.a. Renegade, only needed a few things to be happy–The whisper of his tires on that long ribbon of highway in front of him, money and a life with no complications. Being an Asphalt Cowboy means long, lonely hours on the road, dedication to the job and going wherever the loads are needed. Mason liked it that way. Meeting a feisty blonde whose allure is more potent than the finest Kentucky bourbon was not on his itinerary. He knows he should just walk away and leave the woman to deal with whatever mess she’s in. But can he really just leave her alone and injured at a truck stop when he knows she’s in way over her head?
She’s Running From Her Past…
Savannah Somers has been on the run and in hiding for more than four years. Working at a truck stop hundreds of miles from her former life, she’s been able to blend in and stay safe. That is, until two people from the world she left behind and Mason Kaine walk into her new life on the same day. With her past chomping at her heels and Mason Kaine’s scorching sex appeal, Savannah finds herself on a path with twice the danger and more than just her life at risk.
Can Savannah find the safety she’s always needed…in the arms of a man like Renegade?
Will Mason be able to save Savannah without finding himself chained to a lifetime of complications?
It’ll take more than one hot load to find out if they’ll make it together…for the long haul.
**Asphalt Cowboys Do It With Straps & Chains**
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Now that Renegade has arrived, I think it’s time to share a bit more about it. So, check out this excerpt:
“Where’s your car?” The sound of Suzi’s high heels and squawkin’ like a hen in anger at their backs, made Mason pick up his pace a bit.
“It’s in the back lot. But I don’t have my purse or anything. It’s back there.” Savannah thumbed over her shoulder towards the store.
Damn. In his efforts to get her out of there, he hadn’t thought about the fact that she might’ve had personal items she’d need to take with her. “Okay. Look, I’m taking you to my truck. I want you to stay inside, lock the doors and don’t open them for anyone except me. Got it?” She nodded. “Good girl. I’m heading back inside to get your things. Is there anything else you need?”
“Ya know, you don’t have to do this. I can just wait until they leave and head back in by myself. I don’t want to hold you up. I know you’re a busy guy. And I’m not some damsel in distress. Besides, after the way I spoke to you last night, you’d have every right to just hand me over to them.”
Mason couldn’t figure her out. All he knew was that the woman needed a friend. She was a confusing mixture of sadness, courage and feisty strength. If he thought about it too much, he’d have himself convinced that she was perfect.
“We all have bad days. I’ve heard worse. Believe me. I’m not leaving you here with them.” Unlocking the door to his Pete, he grabbed the chrome handle and used it to steady himself as he stepped on the first aluminum step and sat her in his seat. “Can you hobble to the back? Or do you need me to help you?”
She looked around his cab. “I’ll be fine right here. There’s no need to go back there. Ronnie will know where my things are. Just ask her when you get back in the store.”
“Got it. Sit tight.” He saw tears well up in her big, brown eyes and it made him slightly uncomfortable—angry even. He hated it when a woman cried. Mason had never known how to deal with it.
As he locked and started closing the door, Savannah put her hand out, stopping the heavy steel. “Mason? I’m sorry about last night and thank you for stepping in tonight. I really appreciate it.” A single tear slid down one of her perfect cheeks.
Mason swallowed the lump in his throat. “Don’t mention it. I’d do it for anyone. You’ll be home and away from this in no time.” He shut the door and jogged back into the plaza.
“Ronnie,” he found her sweeping up the mess left behind from Savannah’s falls. “I need her purse please. She needs to get home before they can find her again.”
Ronnie’s face was pasty white. “She’s in real trouble. Those people are no good.”
“Do you know why they were here?”
She nodded. “Yeah. She’s gonna run again. She needs to. They were on the phone with that Vinny guy. And then I overheard the manager talking to them. They convinced him they were her brother and sister-in-law from back home. Earl said they needed to know where she lived to protect her from some guy who’s looking for her. Before I could stop him, he gave them her address. You need to beat them over there.” Her lips quivered and tears streamed down her cheeks. “If Vinny gets his hands on her…”
“He won’t. Trust me. I’ll get her to her house and have the cops there waiting for us.”
“No! No cops. Just get her there so she can get her things and get on the road. You cannot involve the police. Trust me.”
“Okay. Fine. I’ll tell her to get in touch with you as soon as she can.”
“Thank you. But I know I won’t ever see her again. Tell her I’ll miss her and I love her. Godspeed to the both of you, Mason.”
What the hell had that girl gotten herself into? What had he done by getting involved with the ordeal? He certainly didn’t need this shit. He’d get her to her car and wash his hands of the whole thing. He was out.
In less than five minutes he was back to the truck with Savannah’s purse in hand. “Time to go, sweetheart. You’ve got to get a move on. Is your ankle any better?”
Savannah climbed out of the truck and only winced a bit as she put pressure on it. “Sure. Thanks, Mason. I’ll let you be on your way. Safe travels.”
He handed her the small purse and watched as she turned away from him quickly, limping away. Obviously she wasn’t doing any better. Mason ran his hand from his forehead to his chin. If Suzi and Earl were waiting for her at her house, there was no way she’d get away from them. Oh well, it wasn’t really his problem. He had a load to deliver and he needed to get on the road if there was any hope of delivering on time. Reaching for his door handle, Mason saw her stop, favoring her injured ankle and guilt washed over him. Damn it.
“Savannah! Wait a minute.” With a few long strides, he was at her side. “You can’t do this alone. They could be waiting for you at your house.” Taking her right arm, he looped it around his neck, propping her up as she gimped along.
“What do you mean? They don’t know where I live.” A tremor in her voice gave away how terrified she actually was.
He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Savannah, your boss told them where you live.” Mason explained everything Ronnie had said and watched as her facial expressions changed from anger to absolute terror. “So you see, you can’t go back there alone. Especially seeing as how you can barely limp along on your own.”
Savannah let go of Mason’s neck and leaned against the side of her compact car. “What am I going to do?” She covered her face with her hands, quiet sobs wracking her body and Mason thought he’d lose it right then and there.
After a few moments, he spoke. “You’re going to pull yourself together. Crying won’t solve anything. We’re going to your house and we’ll get you all settled in. After that, we need to call the cops and have them send someone over to watch the place so you’ll be safe.”
She shook her head vehemently. “No cops. They can’t help. They won’t help. In fact, you can’t even help me. I tried to tell you to let me handle it. This is my problem. You are right about one thing; crying isn’t the answer. They won’t go to my house. They probably gave my address to Vinny. The last I knew, he was in Florida and he hates flying. So, best case scenario, I have a thirty-hour start on him. I’ll pack a bag and catch a plane somewhere before he can even get close. I’ll be okay. Sorry for my little breakdown. It’s been one hell of a week.”
If she was going to completely skip town at the drop of a hat and if she’d truly been hiding for this long, Savannah was in real trouble. She might not think Earl and Suzi would go to her home, but Mason wasn’t as confident. Somehow he thought they’d be there waiting, watching—if not something worse.
“Give me the keys. I’ll drive you home, take a look around and grab a cab back to my truck if everything checks out. Deal?”
“Really, it’s not your concern. I’m a big girl. I’ve gotten through all of it this long on my own.”
Her tough side was showing again and he knew another approach was needed if he was going to get her to agree. “Do it for me. For my own peace of mind. I’ll feel better knowing you’re able to get your things together and get away safely. I don’t know everything that’s happened, but I do know that I’d like to know you make it out of here in one piece.”
“Fine. Whatever. But you’re wasting your time. What if you’re late delivering wherever you’re on your way to? I’ll feel horrible if this whole ridiculous situation holds you up.”
Taking her soft, smooth chin between the pad of his thumb and the knuckle of his forefinger, he gazed into her eyes. “I’ve never been late before. I’m great under pressure. Trust me. I always deliver. No matter what it takes.”
They didn’t call him Renegade for nothin’.
Copyright © Madison Sevier2015