Thu
Oct 5 2017 12:03pm

Sherilee Gray Excerpt: Broken Rebel

Sherilee Gray

Broken Rebel by Sherilee Gray

They used to be best friends...but now, all they do is fight each other at every turn. She's loved him since he saved her from her evil stepmother all those years ago. He's sworn to never love her for fear of tainting her innocence with his criminal past.

What do you do when the one person you love is the one person you can’t have?

Get a sneak peek at Sherilee Gray's Broken Rebel (available October 10, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

CHAPTER ONE

Ruby

“Good class tonight, guys!”

I clapped with everyone else then headed to my bag, grabbed my towel, and wiped the sweat from my face. I’d been coming to this self-defense and close quarters combat class for three months. It was good, really good, but I was ready for more, for the next step. I wanted to learn holds and some kick-ass defensive moves. I wanted to be able to disarm a hostile skip during a fugitive recovery and then immobilize his or her ass so I could take them in. I wasn’t going to get that here. I needed to find a new class, something more advanced.

If Neco wasn’t such a goddamn control freak, I could ask one of the guys from the King Agency—the P.I. firm where I worked as a receptionist—to train me. But he was a control freak, completely unbendable, and I couldn’t see that changing any time soon. So, that ruled that out.

I enjoyed my job. I was grateful that Van and Hunter King, brothers who had grown up in the same neighborhood as me, had been willing to give me a shot behind the desk, but now it wasn’t enough. I needed more.

Becoming an agent was something I’d wanted for a very long time. Van knew, and had made rumblings about training me, but nothing ever came of it. I knew Neco was behind it.

It hadn’t been easy, not after the shit I’d been though, but I knew who I was, what I wanted out of life. Yes, I slipped occasionally. I had my insecurities and fears like everyone else. But I was a different person. I was strong and resourceful and confident. Neco refused to see that, though. He refused to see any-damn-thing except what he wanted to when it came to me.

So, I’d been forced to take matters into my own hands. I’d been moonlighting at Hains Investigations for three months now. Harry, the owner, was teaching me how to research and trace, and had sent me on a couple of surveillance jobs. Nothing risky or anything, but it felt good. He’d also referred me to a friend who gave weapons training. I liked that he had faith in me and my abilities. I finally felt like I was heading in the right direction.

Of course, if Neco found out what I was doing . . .

Yeah, that wouldn’t be good.

I waved to my instructor, swung my bag over my shoulder, and headed out onto the street.

God, Neco drove me nuts.

He also heated me up like no one else, turned me into a drooling, idiotic mess . . . that was, of course, when he wasn’t pissing me the hell off. More than once I’d seriously considered firing my computer at him across the office. The man was stubborn, arrogant, and when it came to me, utterly immovable.

I wanted to lick him from head to toe and kick him in the nuts all at once.

But make no mistake—Neco Malik took care of what he considered his.

And I was his . . . just not in the way I wanted to be. He’d appointed himself as my protector, my hero, when I was just a little girl. Now I didn’t know what he was to me. I just knew I pissed him off equally as much. Which, I could admit, was kind of my own fault.

I’d been . . . messing with him, for lack of a better word, for a while now. Calling him to bail me out of situations I’d put myself in, asking for help when I was perfectly capable of sorting the problem out myself. I don’t know why I’d started doing it . . . no, that was a lie. I knew exactly why. I’d wanted to spend time with him, just him and me, like it used to be, and I’d wanted him to see me as more than the scared, heartbroken little kid standing outside his bedroom window. I wanted him to see me as a woman. So far, my plan had been a monumental failure. All I’d succeeded in doing was convincing him I was an irresponsible moron who constantly got myself into ridiculous situations that he needed to bail me out of. The complete opposite of how I wanted him to see me. It was like I was on this runaway freight train, heading full-speed for disaster. We were caught in this vicious cycle and I had no idea how to stop it.

We were dysfunctional, as messed up as two people could be—and we were also inexplicably connected. We were like a Russian wedding ring. When all the pieces were linked, lined up perfectly, it was intricate and complicated—a perfect, beautiful mess. But as soon as you removed one of the rings, the whole thing fell apart. That was us.

We needed each other.

Unfortunately, Neco didn’t agree, or at least refused to admit it. Because apparently, he needed everyone but me.

And so, the cycle continued. I tried to make him see me as more than an annoying little sister, while he worked at fucking his way through every available woman in New York City.

I turned down the next street. It was out of my way, taking me farther from my place, but I couldn’t help myself. Usually I resisted, but tonight something inside me made it impossible to ignore. Four blocks later, I was standing outside Neco’s apartment building.

How badly I wanted to make him drop his guard, knock on his door, and make him give me back my Neco.

Shaking my head at my own stupidity, I started to turn, to head back the way I came. Why the hell did I keep doing this to myself? I lifted my head to check for traffic before I crossed the street, and that’s when I saw his SUV. Shit. I quickly stepped back into the shadows of the shop behind me and watched him pull up outside. He climbed out and I sucked in a sharp breath. I may want to strangle him, but he always succeeded in knocking the breath from my lungs. He was wearing soft, worn jeans that hugged his long legs and heavy thighs. His long-sleeved T-shirt was black and clung to his chest and abs in a way that made my mouth water. All that sexy ink was covered—all except for the ones you could see on his hands, and the skull tattoo on the right side of his neck. God, he was beautiful. He’d always been beautiful.

The passenger door opened and closed.

He wasn’t alone.

A woman climbed out as well. She was tall, had long, dark hair, serious curves. Her dress was short and showed off her rack and long legs. She looked like a runway model.

Everything in me coiled tight. I hated her instantly. Jesus, I didn’t want to see this. Then why couldn’t take my eyes off the nightmare in front of me? Why couldn’t I tear my eyes away as Neco walked around and swung his arm over her shoulders, leading her to the main entrance of his building. Her hand slid down his back and she grabbed his ass, and as much it made me want to hurl, I couldn’t blame her. Who wouldn’t go home with him if he asked? I couldn’t imagine any woman turning him down, ever.

Neco stopped and turned to her then, and I watched in horror as he dipped his head.

He was going to kiss her.

My body jerked back, like I’d been struck by lightning. There was no way Neco could’ve see me, could even be aware of my presence, but his eyes lifted at that moment, and locked on me, like he was seeking me out through the shadows. I held my breath, not moving a muscle. Don’t panic. He can’t see you. There’s no way he can see you.

The kiss Neco was about to plant on supermodel girl’s lips suddenly veered off and instead landed on her forehead.

Heh.

His “date” frowned up at him.

Maybe she had onion breath. I started to grin, thought he might actually send her on her way. But of course, I was wrong. He grabbed her hand again and a few seconds later, they’d disappeared inside his building.

My smile vanished and I stood there for several minutes after, heart racing.

Why the hell had I come here? It was like the universe had sent me, giving me a great big slap upside the head, telling me to move the fuck on.

I spun and headed for home.

The universe had a point. Maybe it was time I listened.

***
Copyright © 2017 by Sherilee Gray.
***
Learn more about or order a copy of Broken Rebel by Sherilee Gray, available October 10, 2017:

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Sherilee Gray is a kiwi girl and lives in beautiful New Zealand with her husband and their two children. When she isn't writing sexy, edgy contemporary romance, searching for her next alpha hero on Pinterest, or fueling her voracious book addiction, she can be found dreaming of far off places with a mug of tea in one hand and a bar of Cadburys Rocky Road chocolate in the other.

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