COMING UNDONE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing January 2010
Elise worked in her front yard, cleaning out the flower beds and getting some new plants in. As she did, it wasn’t like she couldn’t take a look from time to time as a new, hot-looking bad boy rode up on a big motorcycle. For someone so big and sort of scary-looking, that guy who lived across the street was pretty hot. His friends too.
Apparently Elise had a thing for bad boys. Hmm. Well okay, so that wasn’t so much of a surprise, but hopefully the bad on those boys was the good kind.
And since this was just a conversation going on in her head and all, it was nice to know that after two years of having sex with no one but her hand or her toys, her libido could still rev up at the sight of something so spectacularly male. She could look, store up some fantasy fodder for her dates with her hand and also know men like her neighbor were totally out of her league.
But holy shit, all the hard thighs encased in faded denim, the tight asses, the tattoos and general bad-boy air going on was more than enough to overcome any discomfort at being on her knees in the dirt. She had on sunglasses and a ball cap, so it wasn’t like they could see her ogling them or anything. She could objectify and fantasize to her heart’s content. Mmm.
The earth was warm, the scent dark and rich as she dug and planted, tore out and worked. It felt good to make a physical change with her hands. To create a difference in her environment.
“Momma, we need more pink flowers. We don’t have enough pink.”
Grinning, she looked up the filthy legs of her monkey of a child and into a face dirtier than her clothes. “I’d be challenged to find a spot on your body not covered in dirt. Honey, have you been eating dirt?”
“Ew! As if! But a girl has to get her hands dirty when she’s working in the garden. That’s what Gran says.”
Elise laughed, thinking of her mother saying exactly that, though usually as she ordered someone else around to do the gardening for her while she watched.
“We can go to the garden center later today, if you like. Then you can pick out the flowers you’d like to plant. Maybe after we get some lunch. What do you say? A girl’s lunch date and then some shopping?”
Rennie’s big blue eyes lit. “Awesome.”
“First, you need to be cleaned up and changed. Good Lord, I should just hose you off out here.”
Rennie squealed as Elise grabbed the nearby hose and gave her daughter a squirt. The squealing rose in volume and pitch as Rennie grabbed the watering can, tossing the contents at her mother.
“Oh, I’m gonna get even with you for that!”
Rennie hooted some smack-talk her way as she streaked through the freshly painted arbor over the opened backyard gate, her mother in hot pursuit.
Ben looked up from his bike and toward the noise across the way and then back over to Brody. “Dude, when did you get a new neighbor? I thought an elderly couple lived over there.”
Brody caught the sight of two females, one grown chasing a smaller one, laughing, water spraying from the hose. He smiled briefly at the idyllic scene and the flash of pale blonde hair as they rounded a corner. “Dunno. I noticed a new car in the driveway, but whoever they are I haven’t met them yet. Maybe a young family or something.”
“Maybe a hot single mom,” Cope, Ben’s younger brother, added.
“That would be nice.”
“I’m not looking for hot single moms. I don’t need any baggage or ex-husbands hanging around.” Christ, why would he? There were plenty of single women without kids and exes around. Anyway, she probably had a husband, not that he’d noticed one way or the other.
Cope snorted and got on his bike. “Not for you, dumbass. For me. You can get your own pussy, I’m not your pimp.”
“Don’t fuck anyone in my neighborhood, Cope. The last thing I need is to be involved in a situation where some woman is brooding over you when you dump her. Don’t fuck where I sleep.”
“You wish I’d fuck where you sleep.” Cope raised a brow, smirking before he slid his shades up over his eyes.
“Ha! If I liked men, yours wouldn’t be the ass I coveted. You’re too short. I couldn’t fuck you without bending my knees and straining my back. Plus, you’re not as hot as your brother, who I’d totally fuck if my sister wouldn’t kill me.”
Ben laughed, tossing a towel at his little brother. Considering that Ben was fucking not only Erin but her husband Todd, who was also Ben’s boyfriend, Brody wasn’t too far off the mark. Both on Ben’s attractiveness and his sister’s willingness to kill anyone who tried to filch one of her men.
“I’d be fucking you, old man.”
Brody barked a laugh. “Now it’s you wishing. Stop harassing my neighbors and their children and let’s get this show on the road.”
Brody snorted, shaking his head as he climbed aboard his bike and keyed it on. He slid the strap of his helmet home, tightening it, and adjusted his ass on the seat. A new splurge, comfortable for long rides just like the one he was about to take.
Six of them roared down the street, toward the freeway and a day of riding out in the gorgeous weather. Freedom.