So, after attending the rodeo for years over Labor Day weekend, I of course had to write a rodeo book. The Devil Inside, a Samhain release, is about a bullrider who gets injured during the rodeo, and the EMT who nurses him back to health. Here's an excerpt:
Cody woke to darkness.
Cody woke to darkness.
Where the hell was he?
“Are you awake?” A cool hand smoothed the hair back from his forehead.
“Unfortunately,” he muttered, which made her laugh softly.
Her. Her who? Damn, he’d been on the road for a long time, but forgetting the woman he was with…
That was bad. Even for him.
The room, what he could see of it, was unfamiliar. Not surprising, considering how many days he spent on the circuit each year. But this wasn’t a hotel room.
And he couldn’t place the woman standing next to the bed.
It didn’t help that his brain felt stuffed with cotton, and the room kept wavering in and out of focus.
“Pain pretty bad?” She leaned over him, straightening the sheets. He knew that scent. Why didn’t he recognize the woman?
Okay, start with the basics. It was night. The shadows in the room were deep and quiet. And his mystery woman, the one now checking the bandage on his arm—holy hell, how had that happened?—was wearing a nightgown.
The light from the hallway spilled into the darkened room, putting her face in shadows but turning her virginal white gown almost transparent. She probably thought the long-sleeved garment was modest, but with the light behind it, Cody could see every curve of her body.
His groin tightened, an instinctive response to this woman. He did know her. Or at least his body did, if his instant hard-on was a clue. Gritting his teeth, he searched his fogged, noncompliant brain. Why couldn’t he place her?
“Hang on,” she said, turning toward the nightstand. The light through the thin fabric outlined one taut nipple.
Hell. He was clinging by his fingertips here.
She held out a couple of pills in one hand and a glass of water in the other. “It’s time for your next dose,” she said, helping him to a semi-upright position. As she leaned over him, her chest brushed against his arm. He tightened his jaw for reasons other than the pain coursing through him.
She tipped the pills into his palm, but he shook his head.
“I’m okay.” He hoped she couldn’t see the sheen of sweat on his brow that proved he was a liar.
She pursed her lips, obviously not fooled. She set the medicine down on the nightstand, within easy reach. “Your call.”
He closed his eyes, willing the room to stop swimming.
She sat down next to him, careful not to jostle the bed. Lifted one eyelid, then the other, which was kind of weird. “What year is it?”
“How about the president? Do you know who’s president now?”
There was that scent again, something sweet and fresh, like fresh-baked vanilla cookies. God, she smelled good. He captured her hand with his and tugged gently. “Stop asking foolish questions and come back to bed.”
She didn’t move. She didn’t say a word. But her tension level spiked off the charts.
“What is it?” He rubbed his thumb over her knuckles. “Come on, baby.”
“I’m not your baby, Cody.” She tugged her hand from his and stood. “And I haven’t been in your bed for thirteen years.”
Thirteen years? He stared at her.
“Not that you were particularly happy to find me there. Booted me right quick. You were pretty insistent on that.”
He’d kicked her out of bed? Was he insane?
“You have no idea who I am, do you?” She shook her head. “Do you remember getting thrown off the bull? The ambulance ride? Hospital? Anything?”
“I’m a little confused,” he admitted.
“Please tell me you remember signing the release papers…”
He probably looked like a deer caught in headlights.
“Crap.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I knew I should have stayed away. The rodeo is nothing but trouble.” She glared at him. “And that goes double for you, Cody Ringo Shaw.”
Oh, shit. Nobody knew his middle name except family and… “Sam?” No wonder she sounded familiar, looked familiar.
Hell, even smelled familiar.
“Got it in one,” she said dryly. “You’re good.”
Cody struggled to sit up, gasping as pain hit him from all over. Damn, he was in worse shape than he thought.
“Sam, I’m sorry.”
She shrugged. “Forget it.”
“Why am I—”
She cut him off. “Rodeo accident. You’re on bed rest for the next seventy-two hours. After that, who knows?”
Bed rest? “Here?”
“Yep.” Sarcasm lurked behind the terse reply. “Lucky me.”
Shoulders set, she stalked out of the room.
Lucky? Cody fell back against his pillows. It seemed his luck had just run out.
You can find The Devil Inside here. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt!
Tomorrow, I'll post an excerpt from my rodeo WIP.