Fire and ice the locklai.., p.1

Fire & Ice (The Locklaine Boys #1), page 1

 

Fire & Ice (The Locklaine Boys #1)
 


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Fire & Ice (The Locklaine Boys #1)


  Table of Contents

  Front Matter

  A Note From The Author

  Other Books By Jessica

  Dedication

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Epilogue

  Acknowledgements

  Copyright © 2016 by Jessica Prince

  All rights reserved.

  Visit my website at www.authorjessicaprince.com

  Editor: Erin Garcia

  Proofing by: Jennifer Van Wyk, JaVa Editing

  Cover Designer: Najla Qamber, www.najlaqamberdesigns.com

  Interior Designer: Jill Sava, Love Affair With Fiction, www.loveaffairwithfiction.com

  No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Fire & Ice is book 1 in the 2 book series, The Locklaine Boys.

  This series is a spinoff of Love Hate Relationship, where we first met Rowan Locklaine. If you read LHR then you’ve already had the pleasure of meeting the crazy/sexy, Griffin Locklaine and the spicy, Pepper O’Malley.

  Now, it’s not completely necessary that you read LHR in order to read Fire & Ice, but I do strongly suggest it. Not only because I want more sales (JOKING!! – or am I?), but mainly because I want you to get a feel for their relationship before diving into their story. And believe me, Love Hate Relationship will leave you wanting more of this volatile couple.

  But no matter what you choose to do, start with LHR, or jump feet first into Fire & Ice, I promise you’ll enjoy the ride.

  So buckle up, brace yourself, and hang on!

  Love,

  Jess.

  Oh, and P.S.

  You didn’t really think you’d seen the last of Richard Locklaine, did you? ;)

  I suggest you be on the lookout for his story later this year.

  THE PICKING UP THE PIECES SERIES:

  Picking up the Pieces

  Rising from the Ashes

  Pushing the Boundaries

  Worth the Wait

  THE COLORS NOVELS:

  Scattered Colors

  Shrinking Violet

  Love Hate Relationship

  Wildflower

  THE LOCKLAINE BOYS (a LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP spinoff):

  Fire and Ice – Griffin and Pepper’s story

  Opposites Attract – Richard and Delilah’s story (coming July 2016)

  THE PEMBROOKE SERIES (a WILDFLOWER spinoff):

  Sweet Sunshine (Derrick and Chloe’s story – coming May 2016)

  Untitled #2 (Ethan’s story – coming late summer 2016)

  DEADLY LOVE SERIES:

  Destructive

  Addictive

  OTHER TITLES:

  Nightmares from Within

  To Josh,

  Seven years of marriage and you still don’t mind my crazy.

  That says soul mate right there, buddy!

  Love you.

  I’D SEEN THE LOVE of my life approximately four times in the span of nearly a decade. And every single time I laid eyes on that picture of male perfection my heart rioted in my chest, my skin grew clammy, and my stomach flip-flopped so many times it could give a gold-medal gymnast a run for her money.

  The first time I met Griffin Locklaine I was only twelve years old. He was friends with my older brother, Dexter. He and his cousin, Rowan, had come home with my brother for Thanksgiving break. It was love at first sight. My tiny, pre-teen heart went all a-flutter the moment he walked through our front door. He was everything a girl could ask for in her dream man. Tall, muscular, with a face so beautiful it belonged on a magazine. His brown hair was so dark it looked almost black, and the unruly waves that flopped over his forehead made him look almost innocent. I knew he had to be intelligent if he was going to NYU with Dex. They didn’t let just anybody in there, after all. Or at least that’s what my mom loved to say every time she bragged about my big brother.

  But it was his eyes that drew me in the most. From the moment his icy blue gaze hit me, I knew that was it. He was The One—capital letter worthy—and in my little girl imagination I was already planning our wedding, complete with a horse-drawn carriage and doves releasing the moment we kissed. It was all grotesquely romantic, completely unrealistic, and kind of nauseating whenever I thought back on those particular fantasies.

  Unfortunately for me, there wasn’t much a twelve-year old girl could do to hold the attention of a twenty-one year old man. I was still in a training bra for God’s sake! So there I was, suffering in silence for an entire week, holding my love deep inside so no one could have possibly guessed how I felt.

  Oh, and just an FYI, if you hadn’t yet figured out that I was an overly dramatic kid, let me just clear up any misconceptions.

  I totally was.

  Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

  I was in love. And the object of the slightly obsessive, somewhat misguided fantasies barely even knew I existed. The only words he spoke to me the entire week were, ‘What’s up, Red?’ causing my pale skin to glow as brightly as the fiery hair I’d inherited from my father’s Irish side. It was in moments such as those that I cursed my handsome brother for getting everything from our mom’s side while I was stuck with hair that shined like a glowing beacon under any and all florescent lighting.

  I wanted to run and hide in my room—which was basically what I did most of the time, only coming out when my mother practically dragged me down the stairs, insisting I socialize.

  It should also be said, that at that point in my life, I kinda hated my mother. But I digress.

  I did the best I could to avoid being in Griffin’s presence for the rest of their stay, only finding comfort in the rare times I was able to watch him, unknowingly, from afar.

  Like a total creeper, but whatever. Unrequited love would do that to a young girl, after all.

  THE SECOND TIME I saw Griffin I was fourteen, having my first period while experiencing the worst breakout in history. And wearing braces with neon colored rubber bands.

  It was a travesty the likes of which humanity had never seen before.

  He was twenty-three, fresh out of the police academy, even better looking than the last time I saw him, and with his girlfriend.

  With.

  His.

  Girlfriend.

  Her name was Heather. I hated Heather. I wanted to throw her out in the frigid Buffalo winter and watch her slowly freeze into a ditzy, blonde dumbsicle. I hadn’t thought it was possible, but watching him kiss her or lean in and whisper in her ear, or hell, even smile at her, hurt like tens of thousands of tiny paper c
uts. My heart was broken. My melodramatic, hormonal teenaged world had come to an abrupt end. There was nothing in life worth living for if Griffin Locklaine didn’t know I existed.

  Okay, yes, so I was a teensy bit overemotional. But I was a young girl, premenstrual for the first time in my life. Add raging hormones and a whopping dose of adolescent angst together and the combination was catastrophic

  THE THIRD TIME I saw Griffin was pure happenstance… or fate, depending on how you looked at it.

  Just a heads-up, I totally saw it as fate.

  I’d moved to New York City shortly after graduating high school, determined to fulfill my dream of opening my very own high-end clothing boutique, so I was going to school for business and fashion merchandising, living in the same city as my brother and my forbidden crush.

  I might have changed substantially over time, physically and maturity wise, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t reduced to a bumbling idiot when I just so happened to stumble into him and his date on a random sidewalk after seeing a movie with a few friends.

  “Pepper? Is that you?” I nearly choked on my tongue as his familiar voice broke through the laughter of me and my friends as we made our way home from a late show. “Holy shit! Is that really you?”

  I didn’t know whether or not to be offended or flattered by the bewildered look on his face. Yes, I looked different. Gone were the knobby knees and pointy elbows, and in their place were curves that rivaled ones I’d seen in women in magazines. I’d discovered a smoothing cream that managed to tame my wild, frizzy hair that no longer glowed neon orange, thanks to the deeper red and brown lowlights I added. I wore makeup—correctly. I dressed in clothes that fit my frame. I’d come out of my shell, grown up. I’d developed my own style and personality. I wasn’t that same shy, nerdy little girl I used to be.

  That was, until I crossed paths with my unobtainable crush after almost five years… while his arm was wrapped securely around a blonde that barely deemed me worthy of acknowledgement.

  “H-hey, Griff,” I stuttered as my two girlfriends gawked at him with undisguised longing.

  “No fuckin’ way!” he laughed excitedly, and I nearly dropped dead right there on the sidewalk as he released his life sized Barbie doll and wrapped me in a tight hug. “Look at you, red. All grown up.” He grinned affectionately as he placed his hands on my shoulders and held me away from him so he could get a better look. My heart tripped over in my chest at the gleam I caught in his frosty blue eyes. If I squinted juuuuuuuust right, it looked a teeny-tiny bit like lust. I was sure of it.

  “Come on, babe,” the blowup doll behind him whined in a nasally voice. “We’re going to be late for the movie. You know how much I like watching the previews.”

  It took everything in me to suppress the urge to lunge for her and snatch the extensions from her hair as Griffin let go and stepped back.

  He shot me a friendly grin as he pulled the blonde against him. “It was good seeing you again.”

  I wanted to die as I forced a smile of my own. “Yeah, you too.”

  “Well, see you around, kid.”

  With that, he was gone.

  Kid?

  Kid!

  Yep, I was most definitely dying inside.

  THE FOURTH TIME I saw Griffin was the night everything would change. I was twenty-one years old and in the middle of the grand-opening celebration for my boutique, Fire & Ice. I’d done it. I was living my dream. I had my own shop where I sold some of the finest clothes in the city. I was on cloud nine, so euphoric that I didn’t even cringe at the sight of Griffin walking in just behind Dex. I was totally blissed out and slightly buzzed from the glasses of champagne to even care about the whole kid incident from three years earlier.

  That night was nothing short of magical. As the hours ticked by and the party grew livelier, to my ecstatic surprise, Griffin actually seemed to notice me. I couldn’t have imagined feeling happier than I was right then, standing in the shop of my dreams with the man I’d loved for nearly a decade by my side. I was convinced that this was as good as it could get.

  I’d been wrong.

  It got even better later that night when I gave my virginity to Griffin, knowing, deep down in my bones that it was the start of something epic between us. I finally had everything I’d ever wanted.

  So imagine my surprise when I woke with the sun the next morning and rolled over, wanting nothing more than to snuggle against my man, only to find the sheets cold and empty and myself completely alone.

  I HAD TO HAVE been getting sick. That was the only feasible explanation. Hitting a club or a bar for a guys’ night out was something I usually loved after a long, exhausting week of seeing shit that only the lowest dregs of humanity could be responsible for. Shit that was burned into my fucking brain.

  Going out with the guys usually meant tons of drinks and a guarantee of finding a hot, willing piece of ass to keep me company for a few hours and exhaust me to the point where I’d be able to do nothing more than collapse into my bed and pass the hell out once I got home.

  But for some strange reason, I wasn’t feeling it tonight. Maybe it was the start of a head cold, or perhaps a migraine was brewing? I couldn’t pinpoint exactly when my interest in the fairer sex had taken a steep decline, but ever since it happened, I’d been freaked the hell out. Whatever illness was poisoning my body had to be pretty fucking serious. And instead of being concerned for my wellbeing, the assholes I called friends were too busy busting my balls. For all they knew, I was only moments away from keeling over, but did those bastards care about the life-threatening illness I could’ve potentially had? Hell no. It was official. I needed replacement friends.

  “You think he started his period?” my cousin, Richard asked his twin brother, Rowan. I lifted the beer bottle to my lips and took a hearty gulp at the same time I flipped both of them off. What the fuck had I been thinking, expecting these douchebags to be able to play acceptable wingmen?

  Rowan Locklaine was happily shackled to his pint-sized fiancée and all about monogamy after years of sticking his dick in any-and-every available woman to cross his path. My best friend and partner, Dex O’Malley—a man who’d been addicted to commitment since I met him in college—was so pussy whipped his wife kept his balls in a jar next to her side of the bed. And Richard Locklaine… well, that was a horse of a different color. Poor Rich had been epically fucked over by his blood-sucking leech of an ex-wife and was still somewhat gun-shy when it came to the opposite sex.

  Hell, I couldn’t really blame the guy. Not only had he been trapped in Holy Matrimony with a raging harpy, but the bitch had also managed to fuck-up his relationship with his own brother for years. Rowan and Rich had only begun mending the rift between the two of them recently. And Rowan’s girl, Navie, played a massive part in that.

  But despite their downfalls—and there were many—I was closer to the three of them than anyone else in the world.

  “Fuck off, dick breath,” I muttered into my beer as my eyes roamed the club once more. I sent up a silent prayer that someone would catch my attention. Christ, we’d been there for two hours already and there wasn’t a single woman who’d so much as given me a half-chub. I refused—refused!—to consider the possible reason for my dick’s lack of interest that evening. That train of thought led nowhere good.

  “Seriously, man,” Dex chuckled as he gave my shoulder a shove. “This isn’t like you. Usually you’d have some chick on her knees in a bathroom stall by now. Your dick broken or something?”

  No, I thought silently as I shot him a murderous glare. It just refuses to get hard for anyone but your sister.

  Of course I couldn’t say that out loud. If Dex thought I had the slightest interest in his little sister, he’d beat the ever-loving shit out of me. If he had any clue that I’d spent an entire night, years ago, making her scream my name so loud her neighbors felt like they knew me personally… well, they’d never find my body. That was one little morsel of information my partner could ne
ver, ever know.

  Because, in his eyes, there was no way I’d ever be good enough for Pepper O’Malley. And the fact that I fucked her even though I knew it was forbidden would only prove his point.

  That particular night was a constant source of lust and guilt all at the same time. Lust because Pepper was, hands-down, the best I’d ever had. And guilt because I’d betrayed my best friend. There wasn’t a single doubt in my mind that there was a special place in Hell for me when my time finally came.

  Just as I was about to open my mouth and respond with some smartass remark I felt something brush across the fabric of my shirt sleeve softly. “Hi,” a soft feminine voice spoke just loud enough to be heard over the music.

  I turned my head to take in the stunning brunette who’d just wrapped herself around my arm, making sure I felt her large, fake tits pressing against me. I let out a defeated sigh when my poor dick didn’t even so much as twitch.

  “Remember me?” she purred, batting her eyelashes and running her tongue along her painted lips seductively.

  It really was such a shame. Everything about the chick was my type. Hot, ready, and willing. I wasn’t a difficult guy to please. But ever since my impromptu trip to Wyoming with Rowan, Navie, and Pepper a few months ago, I couldn’t get my damned cock to cooperate! All it wanted was Pepper. I got hard every time I saw her. Hell, just thinking about the pain-in-the-ass woman made my pants uncomfortably tight. But if it was anyone else, no matter how beautiful, I got nothing.

  I gave the chick on my arm my most charming smile. “Sorry, sweetheart, it’s been a long week. Can’t say I do.”

  “That’s okay,” she grinned, trailing her fingernail along the buttons of my shirt until she hit my belt buckle. “I’d be more than happy to refresh your memory.”

  A few months ago, I’d have jumped at her offer. I would’ve dragged her off to the closest secluded corner of the club—never one to waste time with such formalities as getting to know a woman—and fucked her senseless before heading home for the night, sated and alone.

 
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