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Authors: Pepper Anthony

Macy’s Awakening

BOOK: Macy’s Awakening
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Macy’s Awakening

by

Pepper Anthony

Macy’s Awakening

Copyright © 2011, Pepper Anthony

ISBN: 9781937325091

Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.

Electronic Publication: October, 2011

Editor: Pamela Tyner

Cover: LFD Designs

eBooks are not transferable. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Back Cover Copy

Can Macy and Jerrod overcome the differences in their age and race to find lasting love?

On Macy Wilson’s first grown-up adventure to the big city, she inadvertently ends up in jail. Her father hires an old college friend, defense attorney Jerrod Preston, to get Macy out of trouble. Jerrod is more than willing to help out his buddy by representing the gorgeous young black woman, but finds he must first battle his intense attraction to her, especially when the judge puts Macy under his protective custody.

Still an innocent at the age of nineteen, Macy ignores the differences in their age and race and sees the opportunity to learn all about sex from the handsome older man. On her second night in his home, a naked midnight rendezvous at the hot tub proves too powerful for either to resist, and Macy is awakened to pleasure like nothing she could have imagined.

But the morning brings feelings of remorse on both their parts. Macy knows her father wouldn’t approve, and Jerrod is convinced Macy should be with someone closer to her own age. They settle into an uneasy platonic relationship, both secretly longing for the love that now seems just beyond their grasp.

Then an unforeseen circumstance raises the stakes, and Macy must make the toughest decision of her life. When she lays claim to the man she can’t forget, will Jerrod send her away, or dare to open his heart to love once more?

Content Warning: explicit sex

Dedication

For Amy and Kaylie, my awesome critique partners, whose friendship and support has never wavered. I could not have made it through this year without you!

Chapter 1

She wasn’t at all what Jerrod expected. He had imagined Chuck’s daughter would be a lot like her dad—big, loud and boisterous, with skin the color of black coffee. But the girl perched on the edge of the metal chair in the visitors’ room was none of those things. He stood looking at her for a moment through the one-way window before going into the room. It wasn’t the first time he’d done a favor for an old college frat buddy. Probably wouldn’t be the last.

She looked up, her eyes full of questions and unshed tears. He smiled, trying to set her at ease, and put his briefcase on the floor. Then he extended his hand.

“Hi, Macy. My name is Jerrod Preston. I’m an attorney, an old friend of your dad’s. He hired me to take over for the attorney the court appointed you this morning.”

The hand that slipped into his was slim and cool, but her grip was surprisingly firm for such a petite young woman. According to the police report, she was only three years older than his own daughter, Allie, but already he could see that Macy Wilson had the poise of an adult.

“Thank you for coming, Mr. Preston. I’m so grateful you’re here. I guess my dad told you I’m in big trouble.”

“Yes. I read the charges. Grand larceny. That’s no small thing.”

“I didn’t do it. I swear.” She met his eyes, and the openness and clarity of her expression caused a jolt of awareness straight to his gut. He believed her. No question.

As he settled himself in the chair across from her, he quickly took in other details. Her eyes were an amazing color, blue-gray with flecks of gold, rimmed with impossibly long, spiky lashes. They perfectly set off the smooth golden color of her skin, the soft halo of dark waves around her heart-shaped face, her ripe pink mouth.

Unable to stop himself, his gaze skimmed lower, to her slim shoulders and the points of her breasts almost hidden by the standard-issue orange jumpsuit.

He could see the resemblance to her mother, Karen, the beautiful blonde girl Chuck had dated in college and married two weeks after graduation. Crazy about each other, and ignoring the doomsayers who thought a mixed marriage would never work, they’d started a family right away.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened.”

“There’s not much to tell. I’m just in town for a few days for a friend’s wedding, and I was in the mall shopping for shoes, minding my own business. I guess I walked past a jewelry store, but I don’t remember it. Some guy went running by me. The next thing I knew a couple of security guards had me by the arms and were taking me to jail. They said someone had stolen a diamond bracelet from the jewelry store and passed it on to me. I told them they were crazy. But then they searched my bag and found the bracelet in there. They think I was in on it from the beginning.”

As she spoke, her voice shook. He glanced again at her file. She’d been in custody a little more than twenty-four hours. It had taken that long for Chuck to get word of it and fly up here, and a few hours more for him to track Jerrod down. After meeting with his old friend earlier that afternoon, Jerrod had cleared his calendar and come straight to the courthouse building. Meanwhile, Macy had been arraigned and bail set. A girl this young and pretty shouldn’t have had to spend even one night in jail.

“Don’t worry, Macy. We’ll get to the bottom of it. I already have my staff investigator double checking all the facts and leads. Meanwhile, your dad has posted your bail and you’re free to go.”

“Oh, thank God.” A single tear coursed down her smooth cheek. She wiped it away with the back of her hand. “I just want to go home.”

He waited a few beats, then cleared his throat.

“About that…the judge has ordered you to stay in Multnomah County. Your dad and I talked it over. He has to get back to the job site first thing tomorrow. I promised him I’d look after you myself until your trial. I have a guest apartment over my garage. You’ll be comfortable there while we get this thing straightened out.” He gave her a fatherly smile and patted her hand.

“But I want to go home.” A second tear trickled down.

“I know. I’m sorry. I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with my place.”

“All right,” she finally whispered, giving him a shaky smile. “I really do appreciate everything you’re doing for me. Can I see my dad now?”

“He’ll be waiting downstairs when they process you out.”

“Great.” She grinned at him then, a real smile, showing her straight white teeth, and the force of it nearly overwhelmed him. God, she was a gorgeous little thing. If he was twenty years younger…

He stood and picked up his briefcase.

“We’ll see you downstairs shortly.”

An hour later, he stood off to the side as Chuck and his daughter clung to each other in the parking lot, saying their goodbyes. It was obvious they were unusually close, which perhaps wasn’t a surprise considering Karen’s untimely death ten years before.

Chuck opened the door to the rental car.

“Don’t worry, sweetheart, I’m putting you in good hands. Jerrod’s the best defense attorney on the west coast.” He gave her one more kiss on the cheek. Then he jabbed a sausage-sized finger toward Jerrod. “You take good care of my baby girl, Jerrod. She’s all I got.”

They watched as Chuck drove away, and then walked the two blocks to Jerrod’s car. As he negotiated the downtown traffic, pointing the Lexus toward his home in the west hills, the gravity of her situation seemed to settle once again on her slender shoulders. She let out a long sigh and turned her head away. He adjusted the radio dial to something lighter and lowered his window a bit. Scents of the warm July evening swirled through the car. He tried not to stare at her creamy brown thighs, bared by the denim shorts she wore.

“You know, I hadn’t planned on a guest for dinner. I’m pretty low on groceries. Maybe we should eat out tonight.”

“Please don’t go to extra trouble or expense for me,” she said, without turning. Her posture was painfully stiff.

“There’s an efficiency kitchen in the garage apartment, but it’s not stocked. Tomorrow we can go shopping, but for tonight I think I’ll swing by Joe’s Burgers if that’s all right with you.”

“Sure. A burger sounds good.” Now she did glance his way, a hesitant curve on her full lips.

* * * *

Macy wiped the juice from her chin with the scratchy paper napkin and gave a deep sigh of satisfaction. “So much better than jail food!”

He threw his head back and laughed. Her gaze was drawn to the sound. For the first time, he seemed like a real, warm-blooded man, not the uptight suit who’d showed up at the jail earlier to rescue her. They were sitting across from one another in a high-backed booth in the hot, crowded burger joint. The vinyl seat kept sticking to her thighs. She wished she’d had time to change out of the shorts and skimpy top they’d given her back at the jail, but it was her father who’d checked her out of the motel and packed up her belongings. It was good that Joe’s Burgers was strictly casual.

If anything, Jerrod Preston was the one who looked out of place. He’d left his suit coat and tie in the car, and opened the top two buttons of his white dress shirt. But even with the sleeves rolled part way up he was overdressed.

Not that he wasn’t great looking. Macy studied him covertly when his attention was on his food. For an older guy he was pretty hot. Almost movie-star hot, with his longish hair, straight nose and masculine jaw. Oh, and the little threads of silver above his ears.

And those intense, sea-blue eyes that seemed to look right through her.

Speaking of which, he was watching her again. She shifted in her seat and looked out the window, pretending to check out the cars in the parking lot. She didn’t really mind the feel of his gaze roving over her. It didn’t seem at all disrespectful, like the way some guys looked at her.

From the minute he had walked into the police station, she’d been drawn to him. She liked that he was tall, and broad across the chest and shoulders. He really looked the part of someone who could help her get out of this mess. She tried to picture what it might be like to sit in a jury box and hear him declare that she was innocent. He would be convincing, she was sure of it, just because of the way he carried himself and the deep, commanding tone of his voice. Not that she really knew what a courtroom was like, other than what she’d seen on TV.

She knew that Mr. Preston and her dad had gone to college together, but it was hard to picture them as friends. Her dad owned a construction company. In her home town of Medford, Oregon, population 75,000, he was a big fish in a small pond. But even though they were pretty well off, he didn’t have the polished air of confidence and class that Mr. Preston exuded.

He leaned his elbows on the table, staring at her thoughtfully.

“So you just turned nineteen,” he said, steepling his fingers. “You go to college?”

“I’ll be a sophomore at Southern Oregon University.”

“Good school.”

“I like it.”

“How are your grades?”

“Excuse me?” A hot spark of irritation flared up inside her. Now he sounded just like Dad, the way he was always checking up on her. Maybe they were more alike than she’d thought.

“I need to know about your character, Macy. That’s all. The prosecutor and the jury will want to know too. Who are you? A serious student—or a party girl?”

She sucked in her breath. She must be imagining the suggestive tone in his voice. A strange little flutter happened in her belly.

His eyes held hers relentlessly, waiting for her answer. Heat crawled up her neck into her cheeks. She swallowed hard.

“I’m a B-plus student.”

“Good girl.” He smiled, and any hint of sexual innuendo was gone. He was just her attorney, simply gathering information. That was all. She burned with embarrassment at the improper direction her thoughts had taken. It was good he couldn’t see inside her head.

He popped the last french fry into his mouth. “Did your dad tell you I was an usher at your parents’ wedding?”

“No. You knew my mom?”

“Only slightly, way back in college. Your dad pretty much monopolized all her attention.”

A wave of old sadness passed through her. “I can hardly remember her now. I was in the fourth grade when she died.”

“I was sorry to hear about that.”

Macy nodded, studying her empty plate. Although she had gotten used to being without a mother, the loss still blindsided her sometimes. There was a hole left in her life that would never be filled, as much as her dad tried. Like right this minute…she would have given anything to have a mom to tell her fears to.

Dusk was falling as they pulled into his driveway half an hour later. The posh neighborhood was quiet. Large, contemporary homes were spaced widely apart and expensive cars nudged every curb. As she got out of the car he was there, opening her door, just the way she’d seen it done in the movies. She looked up at him and smiled.

BOOK: Macy’s Awakening
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