Take a trip back in time in my newest release:
Serendipity Book 4: Paladin
Available from: www.forbiddenpublications.com
What could be weirder than a tattoo artist who spends his summers pretending to be a medieval knight? How about a tattoo artist who spends his summers pretending to be a medieval knight handing out ultimatums in a bathroom stall? That's the situation Cadence finds herself in after fleeing from her overprotective brother in an attempt to make him see that she is an adult and capable of living her own life. Too bad he tracked her down like a stalker… And too bad she laughed at sexy Talis when he told her what he did for a living… And too bad she ran into the men's room to hide when her brother came after her.
Now, in order to stay hidden, she has to agree to travel with a roguish band of bizarre men as Talis's squire for the summer. Not only does she think it's absolutely ridiculous, but the way her blood burns around Talis sends off all of her warning signals. What is it about the calm, composed, devilish man that makes her want to tame her reckless existence and find out what stability is like? More importantly, can Cadence stop her pattern of self destruction, or will she miss out on the chance to win the heart of her very own paladin knight?
"I'm seriously going to burn," Tawny said as she slathered sunscreen across her shoulders.
Cadence giggled. "This was your idea."
"Yeah, I know. I just think I'm stupid sometimes. `Sure, let's go down to the river in the middle of the day when it's a million degrees outside.'"
Cadence wrinkled her nose as her friend made fun of herself. "Come on, we're having fun. If we burn, we burn. At least it's cool in the water."
"Yeah, no kidding. Hey, I have to pee. Come over to the bathrooms with me."
Cadence rolled her eyes, never having understood that whole go to the bathroom in pairs thing. She stood, followed her friend over to the restrooms, and waited outside. It really was about a million degrees. Especially considering it was only late April. It was going to be a horrid summer. She sighed and leaned up against the wall, watching the group of guys down by the shore. She'd been watching them discreetly for most of the day, but that was greatly due to the fact that one of them had long hair down past his shoulders and another one of them was shirtless and had more tattoos than she could count. He had two full sleeves and had many more across his shoulders and chest. It was too bad she and Tawny were swimming so far away. She wouldn't mind getting a closer look…except she couldn't see the tattooed man now. He must have gone somewhere else.
She tore her gaze away from the men and it trailed over to the highway where a familiar-looking white Hummer was making its way towards the recreation area they were all at. Her eyes widened in horror. Lance! Holy crap, the man knew no shame! He was actually searching for her like she was a fugitive. It was insane! She refused to go back to being his prisoner. One of these days he was going to have to learn that what she did with her life was up to her and no amount of holding her hostage was going to change that.
She turned to seek refuge in the women`s room, but Lance would probably just send Rochelle in to look for her. She was pretty sure that the only reason Lance was searching for her in this area anyway was because Rochelle hadn't been able to keep the secret from him. She didn't blame her. She was Lance's wife. Her first loyalty was to him.
As the Hummer neared and she ran out of options, she flung open the door to the men's room and ran for the nearest stall. It wouldn't be as easy to find her in there. She didn't think Lance was bold enough to go peeking under stalls.
She yanked the stall door open and closed it quickly behind her, peering out of the crack to watch the door.
"May I help you?" a deep voice drawled.
Cadence screamed. She spun and found herself staring straight at the tattooed chest of that man she had been watching all day. She blinked in bewilderment. Not only was he tattooed, but he was…well, ripped was a good word. She forced her eyes away from his six pack and all of his ink and looked up at his face. She frowned in confusion. "Silly medieval tattoo artist?" she questioned, recognizing him from the Bleeding Passion concert.
The man winced and rubbed at his ear as if her shrill scream had pierced his brain. "Well, well, well, if it isn't the rude roadie," he grumbled. "What a pleasant surprise." His blue-eyed gaze raked over her body for a second before returning to her face.
Cadence crossed her arms over the green top of her two-piece swimsuit and scowled. "What are you doing here?"
"Well, I was going to the bathroom," he replied. "That's generally what one tends to do when they're in a stall. Guess I'm just lucky to get the stall with the busted lock." He folded his arms, mirroring her posture, and gave her a questioning look. "So, do you make it a practice to just chill in the men's room, or—"
She rolled her eyes and turned back to peer out the crack in the door. "Don't be stupid. I'm not chilling. I'm hiding."
"Oh, so you make it a practice to hide in the men's room?" He snickered. "At least I was fortunate enough to have zipped my pants up before you came barreling in."
"Would you shut up?" she spat over her shoulder. "I'm trying to pay attention."
She saw him smirk out the corner of her eye and he leaned down so that his mouth was close to her ear. "Who are we hiding from?" he whispered.
"Ah…okay. And why are we hiding from your brother?"
"Because he's looking for me and I don't want him to know where I am. That good enough for you?" She shot him an irritated scowl. "And how dare you call me rude. I wasn't rude to you."
He snorted. "So, laughing in my face doesn't count as being rude?"
"When did I laugh in your face?"
He stood back. "Well, you asked me about renaissance faires, and when I told you about what I did in them, you laughed at me. Not to mention you just called me the `silly medieval tattoo artist.'"
She waved it away. "Oh, come on. It's not every day I meet someone who says they pretend to be a knight for a living. It was funny."
"Yeah, well I think it would be pretty funny if I hauled you out of this stall right now and threw you outside." He grasped her arm.
She gasped. "No, don't!" she cried. She looked up at him. "Please! I'm sorry I laughed at you, okay?"
He studied her eyes for a second and frowned. "Why are you so afraid of your brother?" he questioned.
She sighed. "I'm not afraid of him. I just don't want him to find me. He treats me like I'm a little kid and tries to run my life."
She sighed again in exasperation. "Because I was arrested last year."
He frowned. "For what?"
"I beat up a security guard."
His eyes widened in surprise. "You what?"
"It was self defense! He was sexually harassing me. I was let off, but Lance freaked out. Of course it was him who I called to bail me out of jail. I don't know why. He's been attached like a barnacle to me ever since."
He frowned as if mulling something over. "Wait, what? Lance? Who's Lance?"
"Lance Lawson. My brother."
"Lance Lawson!" His eyes bulged. "Lance Lawson is your brother?"
"Yes, and the fact that he's a mega star doesn't change the fact that he's an overprotective pain so just be quiet and let me hide, okay?"
Talis looked down at her and contemplated his choices. She was rude, had mocked him, and didn't seem necessarily sorry about it. It would be what she deserved to have him turn her over to her brother. On the other hand, it wasn't his place to interfere. He didn't know the situation and it would be wrong of him to just stick his nose in and act like he knew what was best… Or… He grinned devilishly and let his eyes study the beautiful tattoo across her shoulders. It was a dragon… An amazing green and yellow dragon breathing fire. So, she must have some appreciation for medieval mythology. "Why should I hide you?" he asked her. "You were rude to me. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't squeal on you."
She turned and looked at him again, as if she couldn`t believe he was actually thinking about giving her away. She rolled her eyes. "Man, I am never going to laugh at anyone ever again," she grumbled. She sighed. "Look, I'm sorry okay? It wasn't right for me to laugh at you. I'm an idiot sometimes. I don't think before I speak."
His lips quirked at the corners in amusement. She seemed sincere, but he was going to milk this for all it was worth. "Apology accepted, but not good enough."
She gave him a genuinely pained expression. "What is your name?" she asked.
He raised an eyebrow. "Talis."
"Please, Talis, you don't even understand. He's driving me crazy. I can't do anything without him asking me about it. He keeps tabs on me all the time like I'm his kid. I can't keep living my life like this. I'll go insane."
An idea was whirling around inside of Talis's mind. An absolutely absurd and reckless idea. He grinned. "I'll make a deal with you. I'll keep you hidden, but you have to be my squire for the rest of the summer."