Excerpt from Angel Blues by L.J. Garland

Copyright © L.J. Garland, 2017

Ford drove his SUV through the rain-drenched streets of Fort Worth, his windshield wipers batting away the storm riding over them. In the passenger seat? His fantasy come true—Angelina Bluemel, soaked to the skin, her T-shirt doing little to hide her lush curves. Oh my my my. Mmhmm.

Eyes on the road, Ford. He snapped his gaze forward. Easing around a curve leading toward her house, he spotted the hyper red-and-blue strobes of police lights not far down the road. He slowed and, when an officer waved him down with his flashlight beam, stopped.

Ford lowered his window. “Evening, officer.”

“Evening.” Water dripped from the brim of his hat. “River flooded. Bridge is out. You’re gonna have to turn around right up there.” He aimed his light.

“Yessir.” He rolled his window up and wheeled his SUV onto the side road then backed out, heading the opposite direction.

“W-wait. I appreciate you giving me a lift home, but we can’t take a detour. The next nearest road to my house is miles from here, and it’s getting late.” She twisted to look out the rear window—giving him a perfect view of her perky breasts. And, damn, he almost swerved off the road. She faced front and sighed. “The other road’s probably washed out, too. Damn this hurricane. Just take me back to the bar.”

“Your car’s dead.”

“I know.” Defeat mixed with heavy sarcasm. “But it’s my car. No one can kick me out.”

He glanced at her. “You mean to sleep there?”

She looked out the passenger window. Yeah, that was her plan. And he’d be an ass to let her. At the next intersection, he took a right. Several miles later, he pulled into his driveway.

Angelina sat up. “This isn’t the bar.”

“Nope.” He pressed a button on the remote attached to his visor, and the garage door slid open.

“Whose house is this?”

He drove inside the garage, shut off the engine then pressed the button again. The door closed the storm outside. “Mine.”

“B-but…my car.”

“Is broken down.”

“I know. But….” Her eyes glistened with sudden tears. But then she swallowed, her spine becoming steel. “I can’t….”

“Sure you can. My SUV has more room than your little sedan.” He wanted to reach out, hold her hand, ease whatever pain she endured. But he’d no doubt she’d be insulted. So, he’d find other ways to make her feel better. “Or….”

“What?”

“I have a couch.” He opened his door, got out then leaned down to peer inside. His gut tightened at the sight of her beauty, her vulnerability—he wanted to make everything right for her. His dad’s words of wisdom came back to him. You got battles, Ford. Some yours. Some not. But you ain’t got to fight none of ’em alone. Angelina looked like a fierce fighter. “You hungry?”

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