Ayden K. Morgen
Deny Me: An Excerpt
This week, I have an excerpt from Deny Me for you. Deny Me is the first THREE books in the Her Best Friend's Father Saga. Follow Mila and Roman as they fall in love amidst the chaos of a gang war in this steamy series. The book is currently on sale for .99c on Amazon, and is free in Kindle Unlimited.
"What the fuck?" I mutter as I pull into the driveway, staring at the red Dodge Charger parked in my garage. I've never seen the car before, and I know Talia isn't here since she texted me two hours ago to tell me that she and Trent are already in love with their new place in Sacramento. The lights in the condo are off, the entire place shrouded in darkness.
Warning bells begin pinging in the back of my mind.
"No fucking way they've found this place already," I tell myself. The condo isn't even in my name or any alias I've ever used. I buried the purchase under a mound of paperwork when I bought the place. I come here when I need to get away. It's quiet, peaceful, and close enough to Berkeley that I could spend time with Talia before she graduated, without worrying about who might find out about her. Finding me here would take a fucking miracle.
The reminder doesn't relax the tension coiling my muscles into tight knots.
I kill the headlights, back out to the road, and roll three houses down before reaching into my glove compartment to grab my Glock. After thumbing off the safety, I shove my phone into my pocket in case I need it. Once I kill the engine and step out of the truck, I keep to the shadows, circling around to the back of my property with my gun held firmly in my grasp.
I strain to hear anything over the crashing waves as I move through the shadows, but the house is silent.
That fact doesn't help relax me any, either.
Moving quickly, I slip through the side gate. The hinges squeal, but the sound is so faint, the wind quickly swallows it. I stay in the shadows for a long moment, watching for any movement through the floor to ceiling windows. The house appears to be as vacant as I left it after Talia's graduation.
I make my way to the back deck and then stop before my boots hit the first step. The back door is standing open, and the lamp beside the couch is on, casting the room into muted shadow.
And then I see her.
Talia's best friend, and the entire reason I have a rule about not fucking my daughter's friends.
Blondes with green eyes are a dime a dozen in California, but blondes like Mila? Not even close. She has no clue how fucking gorgeous she is. She's curvy, soft in all the right places, and has the longest, sexiest legs I've ever seen. Her ass should be criminal. It's soft and round, and I want to know what it feels like in my hands while her legs are wrapped around my waist and I'm balls deep inside of her. I want to know what that soft voice sounds like screaming my name.
I've fantasized about her so much over the last four years, it's ridiculous. Since the day I met her, she's looked at me like she knows exactly what I'm thinking. Like she might not object if I gave in to the filthy thoughts running through my head and claimed her.
That's a problem for me.
I don't fuck my daughter's friends. Ever.
"Shit," I mutter, my heart hammering against my ribcage as I put the safety on and tuck the Glock into the waistband of my suddenly too-tight jeans. Instead of going inside, I stand there for a minute, watching her, trying to get my heart rate and dick under control.
She leans over the back of the couch, her gaze focused on something out of sight, her shorts barely covering her round ass and thick thighs. And her legs. Goddamn. Those legs are going to be the death of me. They're completely bare and on full display, making my cock painfully hard. Her blonde hair tumbles in waves down her back, loose from the bun she usually contains it in. Her full lips move as if she's talking to someone, but she's alone.
What is she doing here?
Shit. She can't be here. Not right now. Not when Guerrero and el Demonio may be looking for me.
Before I can even process the sliver of fear working its way through me, I'm moving quickly up the steps onto the deck, and then striding toward the open door.
She jumps backward when I bark her name, a startled cry falling from her lips. Her hip bumps against the table behind the couch, and the glass of wine resting on top wobbles and then crashes to the ground. Shattered glass and white wine spread across the floor at her feet.
Mila's gaze meets mine, those green eyes wide and dilated with fear and something else. Sadness. It clings to her, lingering in her eyes and the dark shadows beneath. And fuck me. The sight makes something possessive twist through me hard and fast. I want to pull her into me and tell her that everything is okay, protect her from whatever has her so fucking sad. I don't do that though.
"You can't be here," I say instead. The words come out a lot harsher than I intend, but I don't call them back. I fucking can't. For more reasons than I'm willing to admit, even to myself.
She stares at me for a long moment, and then shakes her head as if clearing it. "I'm sorry, Mr. Gregory. I didn't know you were going to be here. I–"
I jolt forward to stop her when she steps backward, but it's already too late.
She cries out as her right foot comes down on a shard of glass. Blood immediately begins dripping onto the floor, running in a rivulet from her heel.
"Shit." I grab her around the waist, plucking her up out of the floor and into my arms. My cock jerks as soon as I have my hands on her. Her skin is soft, and she smells like peaches and sunshine. That combination sends heat twisting through me.
Gritting my teeth, I try to ignore my body's reaction to her. I hold her weight easily, tucking her into my chest. Glass crunches under my boots as I stride toward the kitchen.
Mila whimpers, clinging to me like she's afraid I'm going to drop her, but there's no chance in hell of that happening. She may be curvy, but she's little. Standing upright, she barely reaches my chest. She fits in my arms like she belongs there.
"I've got you," I say into her ear to reassure her, and then flip on the kitchen light. Turning toward the sink, I set her on top of the counter before spinning to grab a hand towel. I try hard not to think about how soft her body is, or about how she curled into me the instant I had my arms around her.
"I'm so sorry," she whispers in distress, her eyes wide as she stares at her blood smeared down my shirt and jeans.
I don't respond, instead turning on the faucet and letting the water wash away the blood still dripping in a steady stream from her foot. She cries out when the water rushes over the cut, and the sound goes right through me. I hate knowing she's injured and in pain because I was being a dick.
I turn the faucet off once most of the blood has washed away and then adjust her so I can see how bad the damage is. The cut isn't large, but there's a sliver of glass still imbedded in her skin. I hand her the towel, instructing her to hold onto it, and then move to grab the first aid kit out of the drawer across the room. Once I've gotten everything I need out and ready, I look up at her.
Her plump bottom lip is between her teeth. Tears shine in her green eyes.
Fuck. I'm an asshole.
"This is going to hurt," I warn her, speaking quietly. My throat is dry, my voice husky.
She nods bravely, clenching her hands into fists around the towel I gave her.
I grit my teeth and work quickly to remove the piece of glass with a pair of tweezers, trying not to hurt her. Once the glass is out, I pry the towel from her grip and hold it against her foot. She doesn't make a sound as I apply pressure to slow the bleeding. Doesn't even flinch.
When I glance up at her, she still has tears in her eyes, but they haven't fallen. She may be in pain, but she isn't delicate. She's a fucking warrior. Since the day I met her, she's been that way.
Pride for her bravery twists through me, leaving me feeling unsettled and turned on at the same time.
I remove the towel and clean the cut as gently as possible. Yet again, she remains quiet, not even making a sound when the alcohol pours over the cut, and I know that has to hurt like hell.
She doesn't say anything when I bandage her foot, either.
By the time I've finished, an awkward silence has settled over both of us. I avoid looking at her as I move around the kitchen, cleaning up the mess and trying to get myself under control. Once I feel a little less off-balanced, I turn around to find her gaze focused on the countertop, her shoulders slumped.
She looks miserable, and I feel like an ass all over again.
"I'm sorry," I say.
"I'm sorry," she blurts at the same time, looking up.
Her gaze tangles with mine, and once again, I'm struck by the sadness in her eyes. I've tried like hell to avoid spending a lot of time with her over the last four years, but I've never been able to avoid her completely. When I would visit Talia and Mila was around, I always found myself paying a hell of a lot more attention to her than I should have. She's never been very loud or in-your-face, but there's always been a certain confidence in her eyes, a little gleam of contentment, like she was happy with the way her life was unfolding. I don't know what changed that for her, what shook that confidence, but I don't like it.
"You have nothing to be sorry for," I growl, causing her to flinch away from me. I fight the urge to scowl at her reaction and try to soften my tone. Every move she makes has me on edge, ready to crawl out of my skin. I know part of that is the situation with Guerrero. But the biggest part? It's her and those big green eyes. "I shouldn't have startled you."
"It's okay. You didn't know I was here."
"Why are you here?"
She flinches again and I bite back a curse.
"I…um, I broke up with Damien."
I'd forgotten all about the dick she was dating. I met him only a few times. I didn't like him, and he didn't deserved her. He was an ass, and spent as much time looking at every other woman who walked by as he did at Mila. Can't say I'm disappointed he's out of her life.
"Talia told me I could stay here for a few weeks while I look for a place," she says, hopping off the counter. She tries to put weight on her foot and hisses in pain before squaring her shoulders and trying again. She takes a step forward, limping, and then another, refusing to let the pain win. "I didn't know you were going to be here or I wouldn't have come."
I don't know why that statement pisses me off, but it does.
"I'll get my things and get out of your hair," she continues before I can say anything.
"I'm so sorry for inconveniencing you, Mr. Gregory."
Inconveniencing me? Is that really what she thinks? That's she's an inconvenience? What the fuck?
I reach out and grab her arm, halting her before she can limp past me.
"Stop apologizing to me," I demand when she meets my gaze again. "You haven't done anything wrong. I didn't expect anyone to be here, and I was an ass." It's not really an excuse, but it's the only one I can offer her. I don't talk about my cases with anyone, especially not with Talia's friends. And I'm not even sure why the thought of Guerrero or his men getting anywhere near Mila bothers me as much as it does…but it does.
"It's okay, Mr. Gregory," she says quietly, pulling her arm out of my grasp. She offers me a wan smile, one that doesn't reach her eyes. "Really. I don't mind going."
"Stop calling me Mr. Gregory."
"I…Okay?" Her brows crinkle, confusion pulling the corners of her full lips down into a frown.
She's called me Mr. Gregory since the day I met her, and I love and hate it in turns. The way she says it in that sweet voice is erotic as all hell. But hearing it reminds me why I can't have her, and that pisses me off. I'm used to taking what I want, when I want it. With her, I can't. I can't explain that though, so I don't try. I just tell her what I want, demanding she give it to me. Just once.
"My name is Roman. Say it."
I think she's going to refuse me, but she doesn't. Instead, she whispers my name. Her eyes darken and the tip of her tongue darts out, sweeping across her bottom lip as if she's tasting my name.
My cock hardens immediately. I want her. Right or wrong, I want to hear her scream my name in that sweet voice.
"Stay," I blurt out before I can stop myself. It's a bad idea. No, it's a fucking terrible idea. Her staying here will lead nowhere good for either of us. She's Talia's best friend. She's half my age, barely even twenty-two. There may be people looking for me. She just got out of a relationship. I want her way too fucking much.
But fuck if any of that matters. Not when she's looking at me with her lips slightly parted. Not when the sound of my name still echoes between us. Not when I still remember how she melted into me when I had her in my arms.
"What?" Her eyes widen and her gaze locks with mine again.
"I want you to stay," I tell her, boldly holding her gaze.
"I–" She searches my face, her bottom lip between her teeth again. I don't know what she's looking for, but whatever it is, she finds it. She stands up straighter, and her shoulders go back again. "Okay," she whispers, a sweet smile twisting at her lips.
That smile sends a bolt through me, twisting deep. Christ, she's so sweet. So innocent.
She's your daughter's best friend.
I am so fucked.
Two weeks. No strings. No commitments. Those are the terms Mila Lawson offers Roman Gregory when they find themselves living together in Santa Cruz.
With a violent gang gunning for him and a cartel threatening to go to war, the last thing the ATF agent should be thinking about is claiming his daughter's twenty-two-year-old best friend. But after four long years of lusting after the gorgeous little blonde from afar, once Roman has her, he's not willing to give her up.
She may be off-limits, but something about Mila drives him wild. There's nothing sweet about the things he wants to do to her, and nothing gentle about the way he takes her. She makes him crave a future he never envisioned for himself…one so much better than he ever dreamed was possible.
To keep her, he'll be forced to face the daughter he adores. To save her, he'll break every rule in the book.
Nothing will stand in his way. Not his daughter. Not the gang hunting him. Not even the law itself.
Deny Me includes the three steamy novellas in the Her Best Friend's Father Saga (Devour Me, Destroy Me, and Defend Me), plus bonus content. The over-the-top older alpha male, younger BBW series is now complete.
Get Deny Me on Amazon:
Deny Me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46265441-deny-me
Deny Me on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/deny-me-her-best-friend-s-father-the-complete-series-by-ayden-k-morgen
"What an enticing read! Roman’s and Mila’s chemistry sizzles off the pages and leaves you wanting more, more, more." Jolanda Gelissen, Amazon Reviewer
"Amazing, captivating story. I'm in love with the characters and cannot wait to read what happens next!!! 100% recommend!!" G. Kendall, Amazon Reviewer
"A gripping, salacious read told from both Roman and Mila’s POV." AnnieB (Amazon UK Review)
"The series so far gets 5 shooting stars!!" Angie_stl (Amazon Review)