Published By: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Published: Aug 06, 2010
ISBN # 9781419928482
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket
Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.
Reader Advisory: Although all sex acts are 100-percent consensual, Willing Victim contains role-playing scenarios that may upset some readers who are sensitive about rape, even in a simulated capacity.
By reading any further, you are
stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of
18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: WILLING VICTIM
CARA MCKENNA, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing,
you wanna lie to me??
gritted her teeth, stared down at the book in her hands, the paragraph
she?d been trying to read for the past five minutes. The afternoon had
started out idyllic?a perfect July day in Boston, sunny with a cooling
breeze, a prime, shaded bench all to herself off the waterfront?s beaten
tourist path. A pleasant escape from her un-air-conditioned apartment and
the glares of her bar exam-obsessed roommate.
the couple had arrived.
been arguing even before they?d taken up residence two benches down from
Laurel. Young, probably early twenties, with accents that suggested both
had grown up in the area. Every fifth word that left the man?s mouth was a
nasal ?fuckin??. Ya fuckin? mothah. Ya fuckin? sistah. My fuckin? douchebag boss.
Laurel sneaked a glance. The guy was white but dressed as though he?d
prefer to be Puerto Rican like his girlfriend. That stereotyped look?baggy
black jeans, pristine work boots, awful pencil-thin chinstrap facial hair
and a white undershirt, which in this case looked as if it deserved the
nasty nickname ?wife beater?. The girlfriend wore a similar top but her
jeans were two sizes too small, the crazy-low-rise style girls constantly
fussed with to keep their ass cracks from peeking.
tried her damnedest to block them out and focus on her book but it was like
ignoring a wasp in her ear. The antagonism escalated.
you call me a liar,? the girl
shouted and stood, shouldering an elaborate gold purse.
guy hopped theatrically to his feet. ?Then don?t lie to me.?
girl tried to argue back but he just kept chanting, ?Don?t lie to me. Don?t
lie to me. Don?t lie to me,? over and over, drowning her out. His tone was
half threat, half jeer, and he came nearer with each repetition until their
faces were frighteningly close.
need to back the fuck off,? the girl said, holding her ground but looking
you need to tell me the fuckin? truth.?
heart pounded. She wanted to find the balls to say something, to do the
right thing, but she was afraid of the guy. He had a mean, dog-fight look
about him and the fact he was posturing made him seem even more likely to
snap. A walker entered her periphery and Laurel?s cheeks burned,
embarrassed to be here, acting as if she couldn?t see what was going on.
The walker, a middle-aged woman dressed for the office, gave them a wide
berth, also pretending to ignore the fight.
altercation paused until the woman had gone, then escalated.
you foolin? with me?? the guy demanded, shaking
his girlfriend by the shoulders.
meekness dissolved. ?Hey!?
guy turned to give her a cursory study. ?Mind your own fucking business.?
touch her like that,? Laurel said, hoping she sounded assertive, glad her
voice wasn?t as shaky as her hands.
woman crossed her arms and cocked her head. ?What d?you
know about it, bitch??
Oh awesome. Laurel gave them each a disgusted look
and pretended to go back to her reading, praying she?d at least embarrassed
or annoyed them enough to prompt a relocation. No
know you fucked him, so just admit to it.?
didn?t fuck nobody,? the girl said.
body buzzed, hot and chaotic. She felt powerless and pissed and worthless,
probably just how this obnoxious girl felt.
?Fuckin? liar,? the guy said.
heard the squeak of a sneaker and whipped her head around as the guy
grasped his girlfriend by her fleshy upper arm, rough enough to bruise.
Laurel grabbed her bag and fished for her phone, ready to announce her
intentions to call the cops, but steps interrupted her?heavy, purposeful
footfalls on the wooden walkway.
turned as a huge man passed in front of her, striding toward the fighting
girl said, ?Holy shit,? but her boyfriend had his back to the other man and
didn?t see it coming when a big hand closed around his neck, turned him and
backed him up against the wall behind them.
man dwarfed the young thug by a good six inches in height and fifty pounds
of muscle. He was built and dressed like a construction worker?jeans,
steel-toes, tee shirt, big arms smeared with gray dust. He held the guy
against the bricks by the throat until the kid?s face turned purple, ignoring
the slaps and punches thrown at his arms.
him go!? the girl said.
man gave the guy?s neck one last squeeze, a motion that thumped the back of
his head against the wall, then he released him
and stepped away.
guy doubled over a moment, coughing. His voice returned as a faint squeak.
?What the fuck, dude??
construction worker took a few sideways steps in the direction he?d been
heading, casting the kid and his girlfriend a warning squint. ?Both of you, grow the fuck up and buy some pants that fit.? With
that, he turned and continued down the walkway.
shoved her book in her purse and went after him. At least fifty percent of
the impulse was her desire to get the hell away from the couple.
jogged to flank the man, having to crane her neck to meet his eyes.
Six-three, she bet. ?Hey.?
help you?? His tone was tough to place?impatient or just no-nonsense. He
had the accent and the look of textbook working-class Boston Irishness, as though he?d come from a long line of coal
shovelers or bricklayers or cynics.
just thought that was awesome.? Laurel offered a smile and took him in on a
primitive level, registering a turn-on she?d never considered
before?brutish, vigilante justice.
nothing more awesome than using violence to fight violence,? the man said.
had it coming. And it was way more effective than when I tried to make them
pace dropped to accommodate her shorter strides. His size gave Laurel a
thrill, exacerbated by the leftover adrenaline of the fight. She glanced at
his left hand?no ring and no pale strip of skin where a ring might live
when he wasn?t on the job.
you on your lunch break?? Laurel asked, wondering who this bold woman was
who?d taken over her mouth and body.
He glanced down at her again?hazel-blue eyes, wary in that standoffish New
Laurel said, ?can I buy you lunch??
rose, brown like his short hair and sideburns and fresh stubble. ?Why??
She grinned at him, wondering if she looked warm and friendly or utterly
point. Yeah, okay.? He turned them toward the financial district, up a set
of steps and through the tidy alley beside the huge waterfront hotel.
was something about him?not charisma. Energy. Laurel had hit an emotional wall in the
last couple years and being so close to all that aliveness felt good. It felt magnetic, as if maybe she could siphon
some of his fuel if she kept her body near enough to his. They strolled in
silence a few blocks to a shabby but popular sandwich joint.
sub,? the man said, letting Laurel head to the back to order for them. She
waited by the pick-up counter, stealing glances at the table her companion
had snagged for them. He stared out the front window at the passing flow of
pedestrians, looking sort of calm, sort of blank, big arms crossed over his
chest. The clerk called their order and Laurel snapped out of her trance.
restaurant was designed to feed people and get them back out the door?the
tables were tall and there weren?t any chairs, the idea being for customers
to stand and for families with small children to find a different fucking
place to eat. Laurel carried their sandwiches over, plus two coffees she?d
ordered on impulse.
the man said but pushed his cup back across the table. ?Don?t drink
Here, mine?s decaf.? She slid him the other cup and he accepted it with a
hesitant face. She?d regret the swap in a half hour when she felt edgy and
restless, but she had an odd, ridiculous desire to please this man.
Laurel, by the way.? She offered her hand. He shook it just how she knew he
would, quick and firm. ?That was awesome, what you did.?
swallowed and unwrapped her turkey sub, picking out the onions she?d
specifically asked be left off. ?Where are you working??
Street. Other side,? he added, waving a hand to mean across the bridge,
probably in Fort Point, a hotbed of renovation and new construction. ?Where
do you work?? he asked.
have today off, but I work up the street. Near Faneuil.? In Faneuil, she corrected to herself
but didn?t feel like telling such a manly spectacle of townie-ness that she pandered to tourists.
you from?? he asked through a mouthful of food.
found it charming. Having a man actively not try to hit on her was strangely alluring. ?I grew up near
Providence. I?ve been in and around Boston for?? She did the math. ?God,
eleven years. You must be from here.?
She decided to flirt, even if it was doomed to be one-sided. ?Say my name.?
smiled back, tight but genuine. ?Fine, busted.?
can you work construction without any caffeine?? she asked, sipping her own
watery coffee. ?Don?t you have to start work at like six a.m.??
But it makes me punchy.?
image of his hand around the other man?s throat flashed across her mind. ?I
could see that.?
nodded, focused on his sandwich.
you single?? Laurel nearly clapped a palm to her mouth, so shocked she?d
raised his face to meet her eyes, chewed and swallowed before he spoke. ?You asking me out??
You?ll never see him again in
your life if he turns you down. Just say yes. ?I don?t know. How old are you??
he said, one eyebrow raised.
I?m asking you out then.?
but I?ll take a pass.?
reply stung her ego a moment but she shook it off. ?Why not??
not your type,? he said and took another bite.
at him. ?And how would you know my type??
not any woman?s type, practically. That?s how I know.?
you gay? Wow, you had me fool??
gay. Just not a big hit with the ladies.?
squinted at him, intrigued. Either he was being serious or he subscribed to
a complicated, psychological-warfare style of flirting. ?Ex-con??
shook his head.
took a deep, demonstrative swallow of the decaf and Laurel figured a man
who abstained from coffee was probably pretty clean.
nodded, brows rising again, false smile curling his lips.
I?ve gone out with plenty of assholes,? Laurel said.
I?m sure you?ve had your fill.? He popped the last bite of his sub in his
mouth and crumpled its wax paper, tossed it in a can by the door.
me one good reason why not,? she said.
make me nervous.?
ran a defensive hand over her ponytail. ?It?s not my natural??
matter, and I?m just fuckin? with you? You don?t
like hearin? no, do you?? He smiled, genuine this
time, and the gesture etched cracks all over his tough-guy veneer.
He tugged a napkin from the table?s dispenser and Laurel dug a pen from her
purse. He scribbled an address in South Boston. ?Friday and Saturday
nights, eight to one. Tell the guy working that Flynn invited you.?
studied his slanted handwriting. ?Okay,? she said, wondering if all this
newfound impulsivity would leave her by the weekend.
that doesn?t scare you off,? he said, ?you can try askin?
me out again.?
take care now. Thanks for lunch.?