ROYAL(93)

By: Winter Renshaw



She would describe her writing style as sexy, conflicted, and laced with heart. Her heroes are always alpha and her heroines are always smart and independent. HEA guaranteed.

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BACHELOR (Rixton Falls #2)

Coming late March 2016!

*unedited and subject to change





Sawyer



I watch her watch him.

We’re trapped on a neon party bus scented with a potpourri of stale cigarette smoke, spilled drinks, and dried vomit, and we’re the only two pathetic saps clearly not having a good time.

She’s all dark hair and bored sighs and quick sips of Heineken, and I’m all people-watching and fake-smiling and running an experiment to see if drinking to the point of getting drunk will, in fact, make me lose my concept of time.

This night needs to hurry up.

Scratch that.

This weekend needs to hurry up.

Who the hell does joint bachelor/bachelorette parties anyway? Are the bride and groom that insecure that they can’t spend one last night away from each other? God forbid a stripper with daddy issues gives Duke a lap dance. And God forbid the women go to one of those Magic Mike revues where most of the dancers have a preference for cock anyway.

“Hey, what’s your name?” A girl the size of a pixie with short lavender hair, a cluster of star tattoos at the base of her neck, and a diamond stud nose ring takes the seat beside me.

First and foremost, I didn’t come here to get laid. I’m here because my cousin made me groomsman number eight.

And secondly, I’m not interested in Princess Purple Hair. Everything about her is a desperate scream for attention, a plea for someone to find her interesting or special, and to be honest, it bores the ever-loving fuck out of me.

Lastly, I can’t stop watching the cocoa-haired, tragically attractive Goddess of Boredom at the front of the bus.

She intrigues me.

Every time she takes a swig of her beer, her eyes find their way to the couple sitting across from her. In between those moments, she checks her phone, pressing the home button and slipping it back into her pocket when she sees nothing has changed since thirty seconds ago.

“Sawyer.” I answer the pixie because I’m not rude, and my mothers raised me well. “Yours?”

Pixie grins and wiggles her body until she’s closed what little distance between us remained a second ago.

“I’m Violet,” she says.

Naturally.

“Of course you are.” My eyes travel to her hair as she sweeps her bangs across her forehead.

“Are you a friend of the bride and groom?” she asks.

“Cousin of Duke’s.” I take a sip of my gin and tonic, which oddly tastes better coming from a plastic cup molded in the shape of a crystal tumbler. Duke Seaborn III would never allow red Solo cups at his bachelor party. Hell, I’m shocked we’re all riding in a party bus and not a freshly waxed limousine. Then again, our options were slim because you can’t fit twenty-four twenty-somethings in an extended Benz. “You?”

“Friend of Natalie’s,” she says. “We went to high school together. We go way back.”

Way back . . . what? Like five whole years? This conversation is boring me already.

I glance at the brunette up front again, and she’s still staring at the lovey-dovey couple every chance she gets. Upon closer inspection, I see that one half of that couple is very much pregnant. The guy rests his hand on the woman’s belly, and the brunette stares down the neck of her beer bottle.

She was late getting here, the last to hop on the bus before we left the parking lot of the Rixton Falls Ramada Inn. I’m guessing she didn’t want to sit there. Next to the Happiest Couple on Earth. I bet they honeymooned at Disney World, and I guarantee they wore those wedding-style Mickey Mouse ears with “bride” and “groom” embroidered on the back.

Either she really hates weddings and doesn’t want to be here, or she’s got some kind of history with the daddy-to-be who won’t stop doting on his baby mama.

Probably both.

The bus slows and we all lurch forward.

“Okay, everyone. Thank you all for joining us tonight. We’re so excited to get this party started!” Natalie stands, beaming ear to ear, one hand gripping a pole for balance and the other holding a plastic champagne class. “We’re all going to do one shot and then we’re going to head into O’Rourdan’s for our first stop of the night!”

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