His life is chaos and confusion. It"s a storm of uncertainty and raging emotion.
Sutton Warner is a mess. Everything in his life feels like it"s unraveling.
He"s let a lot of people down lately, including his daughter. Sutton always promised his little girl he would never disappoint her and that he would always be there when she needed him. Until he wasn"t.
The truth is, he"s used to disappointing the women in his life. First was his mother who couldn"t find a reason to stick around when he was growing up. Then there"s his ex. The woman who takes unbridled delight in making his life incredibly complicated.
Luckily, his daughter is still young enough to believe her old man is some kind of hero. But, he knows the day is coming when she realizes the truth, that he"s just a man with some serious flaws and a list of ever-growing weaknesses.
Finally, there"s the woman he"s desperately trying to forget with every shot tossed back and each pill popped.
He more than disappointed Emrys"he almost got her killed.
Her love is steady and sure. It"s a shelter shaped by conviction and silent assurance.
Emrys Santos is lost. Everything in her life feels pointless and futile.
She"s been busy running away from her feelings and all the people who love her the most"including her best friend, the one person who knows exactly what she"s been through. They promised to always stick together and to lean on one another. It was a promise Em had to break so she could lick her wounds and figure out her next move. For once, there is no easy way out of the tangled web of emotions she"s caught up in, and right now, she recognizes that all roads lead back to Wyoming"and back to Sutton.
The man she nearly got killed.Books in Series:Getaway Series by Jay CrownoverBooks by Author:Jay Crownover Books
Six months earlier . . .
It was all my fault the guys with guns had caught up with us.
I knew they wanted to hurt us.
I knew they were faster than us on their dirt bikes and ATVs.
I knew they wouldn"t hesitate to kill us.
They were dumping bodies in the river like they were garbage, and I knew if they caught up they were going to do the same to us.
I understood they were willing to go to extreme lengths to protect acres and acres of an illegal marijuana farm hidden deep within the national forests of Wyoming. They couldn"t afford to let us leave the mountain alive. There were some secrets worth killing for . . . and this was one of them.
I knew all of that, but I still forced Sutton Warner to stop.
I wasn"t as comfortable on horseback as he was, especially at the blistering pace he"d set for us to get safely back to his family"s ranch. The rest of the group I"d been vacationing with had branched off in different directions trying to outrun the drug growers and armed men protecting the fields hidden deep within the Wyoming wilderness. Sutton and I were the smallest unit: just the two of us tearing through the forest at breakneck speed. The hope was that we would be able to get to the ranch and call for help before anyone else got hurt. We were supposed to be moving faster than any of the other groups, but there was no way to gauge if that was true. Sutton"s older brother and another guest, who had been searching for a harmless vacation like I was, had already been seriously injured when the dealers pinned down our campsite in a hail of bullets. In the blink of an eye, our circumstance deviated from the peaceful, serene week in the mountains I"d planned with my best friend. Now, it was a life or death race against some seriously bad guys packing some seriously big guns.
Sutton wanted to keep going; I was starting to breathe heavily and was having a hard time staying upright. It had been non-stop movement since we"d split up. There was no time to stop and rest, no time to eat, and no time to think about just how dangerous our situation was. The horse I was barely staying on was also starting to show signs of fatigue. The poor, overworked animal kept stumbling and was fighting every jerk of the reins and every tap of my heels against its heaving sides. I hurt from the top of my head to my toes, and I could hardly see the big, blond man sitting on his horse in front of me. He hadn"t said much when we"d started on this journey. Hell, he hadn"t said much before we started. He didn"t hide the fact that he considered my tagging along on his furious trek back to the safety of his ranch a burden and hindrance. He"d mentioned more than once that he would be twice as far along if he didn"t have me to worry about.
He wasn"t very friendly or very nice. He hadn"t given me a single encouraging word since we started out. But he did stop anytime I told him I needed a break, and I fully believed he would do his absolute best to make sure no harm came to me. He was alert and aware of everything happening around us, hyper-focused on the task at hand. He was equally as worried about his two brothers, the men who had acted as guides on the trip and led the rest of our motley crew through the woods. A lot had happened over the course of the last week, and this scramble away from killers was just the tip of the iceberg. My best friend was somewhere out in the wilderness with Sutton"s older brother, and they were also running for their lives. Lucky for her, that particular Warner seemed to like her just fine and didn"t treat her like she was a nuisance"unlike my current companion.
I could see Sutton was annoyed with me when I told him we had to stop again. I knew he wanted to argue with me, that he didn"t think it was a good idea, but I literally couldn"t stay in the saddle anymore. My ass had gone numb an hour ago. The horse stumbled and listed to one side. I was too tired and too stiff to react properly and slid sideways in response to the jerky motion. I hit the ground with a yelp and heard the blond man swear softly under his breath. He pulled the speckled Appaloosa he was riding around and swung out of the saddle in one fluid motion. If I hadn"t been so close to passing out, I would have swooned at the gesture. Before coming on this trip, I"d been reading a lot of romance novels featuring sexy cowboys and rugged ranchers. A hot boy in tight jeans and cowboy boots had always been a secret fantasy of mine. I liked that they were a throwback to what I imagined a real man was like. One who could kill his own dinner and change a tire. The kind of man who knew how to take care of women in and out of the bedroom. There weren"t any of those kinds of men hanging out in my social circle in San Francisco. I knew a lot of artists and poets. I attracted actors and musicians. I ended up with creative types who never seemed to have a steady income and wanted me to give them a place to stay more than they wanted me. I had been giddy when we stepped onto the Warner Ranch and were greeted with three different varieties of real-life cowboys right out of the gate.