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Authors: Lynda Chance

Sarah's Surrender

BOOK: Sarah's Surrender
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Sarah's Surrender
Lynda Chance
(2012)

A note from Lynda: The hero in this story is über alpha. Proceed carefully.
John Garrett is a cynical multi-millionaire who is rarely denied anything he wants, until the day he meets Sarah McAlister. Sarah's been hurt in the past and everything about the brooding rancher sends her defenses on high alert. She tries her best to stay out of his path, but his relentless pursuit makes him all but impossible to resist.
Excerpt:
John knew his voice was rough, and the hesitation he could see in her only confirmed it. She paused in the act of climbing up. Her foot on the running board was as far as she got before her eyes lifted to his with a look of extreme caution.
He tried to control his voice, but he knew it was a futile attempt. "Get in the damn car, Sarah."
He watched as she licked her lips and took a deep breath. Then she lifted herself onto the plush leather seat and pulled the door closed.
He activated the locks immediately.
Her eyes flew to his and he leaned over and pulled the seat belt strap over her shoulder. He could feel the subtle trembling of her body and knew she was out of her element and probably even scared. He couldn't find it within himself to care; she had him on a knife-edge and had since the first day he'd seen her. He was purely pissed off by the ring on her finger and felt the need to punish her for it. He snapped the seatbelt in place with a discernable click and then lifted her chin and gripped it between his fingers. "You don't think I intend to let you go now, do you?"

Sarah's Surrender

by

Lynda Chance

****

John Garrett is a cynical multi-millionaire who is rarely denied anything he wants, until the day he meets Sarah McAlister. Sarah's been hurt in the past and everything about the brooding rancher sends her defenses on high alert. She tries her best to stay out of his path, but his relentless pursuit makes him all but impossible to resist.

****

KINDLE EDITION

****

Sarah's Surrender

Copyright © 2012 by Lynda Chance

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author or publisher except for the use of brief quotations in critical articles or reviews.

****

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, businesses, characters and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events or locales is purely coincidental.

****

Dedication

To everyone who loved 'Staking His Claim' and asked for more of the same.

John Garrett is for y'all. :)

And to Clayton, as always.

****

 

Chapter One

John Garrett stuffed his checkbook in the back pocket of his jeans and turned and walked away from the school administrator. He swore to God, the next person who asked him for money was going to feel the brunt of his fury and aggravation. Impatience caused an added spike to his already soaring temper.

Did the good people of Duluth, Texas believe he wasn't already sharing his wealth? Did they think he kept his millions to himself and never supported even the smallest charity? He gave all right, and very generously so.

But evidently, it wasn't enough and the populace of the town was always coming up with new and better ways to spend his money. Just this month alone, he had paid for a new cafeteria for the local Baptist church. A church into which he'd never set foot, and never planned on setting foot, either. He'd funded a new wing of private rooms at the clinic that would raise the level of continuing care to that of a small hospital. And just this morning, he'd written a check big enough to supply every student in the school district with the latest iPad.

What he needed to do, and do quickly, was set up a foundation for the people of the county and hire someone competent to run it, thereby leaving him alone and keeping his interaction with the people to a minimum.

He fully admitted to himself that he was unsocial. He flat-out didn't enjoy people. Didn't care for large crowds, didn't like small talk of any kind.

He kept to himself for the most part. His housekeeper bought his groceries; he did all his banking online. He was a loner, and he liked it that way.

He had one reason to seek out company, and one reason only. And that was for sex. If he didn't have such a rampant sex drive, he'd probably never even feel the need to leave the ranch.

But he'd always had a very active libido, and when he showed his face in town, somebody or other was always after his money. The problem was, he'd lived here all of his life and the story of his success had grown and spread far and wide. Everyone either knew him by sight or reputation.

He took long strides across the school parking lot and opened his truck door. As he pulled away from the school and headed into the town proper, his mind was on the most expeditious way to set up a foundation. He truly didn't mind sharing his money; it was dealing with the people and the myriad details that drove him crazy. He didn't want to be bothered with it anymore. But the more times he contributed to some cause or another, usually just to get rid of someone, the more it spread around that he was the go-to guy.

His mind focused on the problem, he pulled into one of only two gas stations the small town of Duluth possessed and idled up next to the diesel pump. He climbed down from his four by four, stuck his debit card in the slot and began pumping diesel into the first of the two tanks his truck held.

A car pulled in on the other side of the pump and a woman stepped out. She was of medium height and medium build but that was all he registered because the gas pump stood between them. He didn't recognize the older model sedan, and he figured she was just passing through town and not a local citizen.

The pump clicked, indicating his first tank was full and he moved the nozzle to the opening of the other tank. He pulled back the lever so it would continue to fill automatically and went inside the convenience store to buy a bottle of water.

He unscrewed the lid, downed half of it, and walked back to his truck.

He had to walk right past the woman at the pump, and it was obvious she was having trouble. Silently cursing incompetent people and women in particular, he stopped and forced himself to speak to the slim line of her back as he came up behind her. "Need help?" His voice was rusty from little use and sounded short and anything but helpful, even to himself.

****

Sarah McAlister pressed repeatedly on the pump handle and attempted to make it give the universal clicking sound that signaled its readiness to fill her tank.

No such luck.

She bit the inside of her cheek, stuck her credit card in her back pocket, and knew she was going to have to make the humiliating walk of shame into the store and admit she couldn't get the pump to work. She almost groaned out loud. She
hated
failing at pumping gas. Every station seemed different; every pump had a mind of its own. Why was it that she could control an unruly classroom full of teenagers while tearing apart a quadratic equation, but she couldn't get a simple gasoline pump to work?

She was about to hang the nozzle back up when she heard the deep, almost disgusted words coming from behind her. Which would be worse? Walking back into the store and listening to the disgruntled instructions of a store clerk and then coming back out here to maybe fail again? Or accepting help from a man whose deep voice conveyed she was no more than an imbecile?

With those choices in mind, she turned in a graceful arc to face the man who, admittedly, she had already prejudged by the tone of his voice. As she swung her body around, he stood directly in front of her and her eyes landed on his chest and travelled slowly up to his face. She barely managed to control the gasp that tried to leave her throat.

Her first thought was that it was a shame that a guy who looked like this had to have an attitude. But then, didn't they all? Didn't every man who was on this guy's level know he was God's gift to women? And weren't they all so spoiled rotten that they thought they could get through life being as rude as they wanted and putting not one bit of effort into basic politeness? Or maybe he thought that by even offering his help at all, he was doing his duty.

His duty, his nod to human kindness.

Right.
He didn't look as if he had a kind bone located anywhere in his body. His indescribably hot body. The guy was fine, no question about it. There was also no question that he knew it. She felt her defenses go on alert and her muscles tense as she stole a few seconds to study him. He was tall with broad shoulders that he held in a rigid posture, making him seem even more unfriendly than his tone of voice conveyed. His body was lean and muscular, with a solid density that screamed power and capability. He exuded an air of self-confidence that came off him in arrogant waves.

Looking up into his eyes, Sarah's breath caught again at the striations of color that came from the dark, glistening orbs. His eyes were so dark brown they were almost black, and she was far too uncomfortable looking directly at him, so her gaze swiftly left his and moved to detail the rest of his face. He had olive skin, and the suntan highlighting his features only added to his swarthiness. He had a sharply chiseled chin and twin grooves bracketed his mouth. There was a frown line on his forehead between his eyes in the shape of a V, and it looked to be permanently carved into his skin. It was the single imperfection in his otherwise completely handsome face, and it only added to his inherent masculinity. His hair was cut short and brown in color, but the kiss of the sun had highlighted it with so many different variations that it almost seemed salon-contrived. But she knew it couldn't be.

This wasn't a man who had ever stepped into a salon before. She was sure the closest he had ever come to a professional cut was no doubt the proverbial barber-shop.

His skin was pulled tautly over his cheekbones and his bone structure was magnified by the darkness of his eyes. It was an extremely handsome face, but there was nothing sensitive about it. This man was no doubt what God had in mind when He created 'man.' Although his face was good-looking, it wasn't good-looking in a way that could be described in any feminine terms. He wasn't pretty, and he certainly wasn't beautiful. He had a guy's face, with a broad forehead and a too-large, blunt nose. For a moment she was hit with what he would have looked like as a boy. He would have been pure boy, probably almost plain because he wouldn't have had a bit of 'cuteness' about him. The kind of boy her grandmother would have made a comment about.
That's what a boy is supposed to look like. A boy. Not pretty like a girl.
And this then, is what a boy like that would look like when he grew to be a man. All man. Pure masculinity without an ounce of anything that would soften the rough edges.

All of these things ran through her head in a single blurred thought as he looked down at her. The look on his face made her feel like a bug he wanted to squash just so he wouldn't have to bother with it. He didn't smile, he offered no consolation in the form of simple courtesy or even patience. He held himself so stiffly that he looked like granite, like he was set in stone. The few words he had spoken were harsh, inflexible, and the obdurate glimmer in his eyes was implacable, filled with a mulish, unemotional glint that sent a cold chill down her spine.

Her nerves stiffened and she knew, without a doubt, she didn't want his help. She'd rather leave without making a purchase and tempt running out of gas before she'd accept help from him. She didn't want to stand close to him for even one second longer than she absolutely had to. She swallowed deeply and began to sidestep him as she answered his question as shortly as he'd asked it, "No, thanks."

His body blocked hers in a move so sudden and smoothly executed that she couldn't believe he'd done it. Her eyes flew to his in slight panic.

"Lady, you need help, right?" His voice when he spoke this time was slightly tempered, and she had the uneasy feeling he could see into her and knew he had set her nerves on edge and was trying to remedy that.

She had to answer him quickly so she could get away from him, but she wasn't a rude person by nature and didn't care for confrontation of any kind. She just wanted to move past this and get her gasoline and get on down the road. "Yes, but you seem to be in a hurry and I don't want to be a bother."

"It's not a problem, honey." His voice dropped an octave and as he tossed his water bottle in his truck window and moved toward her car, the subtle change in his manner didn't get past Sarah. The fact that he called her 'honey' in a softer voice and that the impatience that had radiated from him at first seemed to have disappeared meant only one of two possible things. He'd either had second thoughts about his rude actions and was now contrite, or he'd gotten a better look at her and liked what he saw.

BOOK: Sarah's Surrender
3.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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