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Cushion

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 31,670
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Natalie Kliebert finally has the perfect life she spent years dreaming of. She's on the fast track to her fantasy-come-true career as a therapist. If she can help pop star Billy Chambers, it will be her greatest achievement and even sweeter than earning an "A" grade.

The last thing Billy Chambers wants is anyone's help, especially when he doesn't see a single thing wrong with his life. When bossy Natalie becomes his court-appointed personal therapist, sparks fly from day one. Annoyance was never so arousing. Hooking up should be easy, but an undercurrent of evil is coming for Natalie, which may force her to reveal her deepest secret.

The problems of their pasts are no match for today's demons. Natalie and Billy must come together and be the allies they were meant to be in a supernatural fight that may cost them their lives.

Excerpt

Billy watched her cheeks bloom, and she looked down at the sand. “Um, pestering you is more what I meant.” He watched as her painted toes drew little circles in the sand. “Billy, how long have you been drinking heavily?”

He shrugged, his mind going immediately to some of his darkest memories. “All of my adult life. When I shot to superstardom with my band in the nineties, I think we all had a lot more fun than we should’ve. They moved on to build new lives when the fame was over, but me…well, I kept drinking.” His brows drew together in a frown. “But this doesn’t mean that I’m anywhere close to any of those things the judge labeled me. I know I drink too much sometimes, but I can handle this on my own.”

Natalie shook her head slowly. “I don’t think so. You recognize you have a problem, and that’s a great start for our work together, but your mistake lies in thinking you can, and should, conquer this on your own. If you think I’m wrong, prove it to me.”

He gave her an assessing look. “Prove it? How?”

She placed her hands on her hips, tilting her head slightly. “Empty your pockets.”

Billy had a sinking feeling and closed his eyes for a moment. “What? Why?” Her expression never changed, and he knew she had him beat. For the moment, anyway. He slowly reached into his shorts pocket, pulling out his wallet and cell phone.

She showed him no mercy, as he had fully expected. “Now, the other pocket, please.”

He reached into his other pocket and slowly pulled out a silver flask full of vodka that he kept on him most of the day. Before he could say a word in his defense, she snatched the small, silver container and emptied the liquor onto the sand.

“Hey! What the hell—”

Natalie turned and handed the flask back to him. “You won’t be needing that while we’re working together, and if I do my job, you won’t need it after. This has to be a collaboration between the two of us, and keeping you from drinking is the first step to making sure you’re totally on board.”

Billy rubbed his face, trying to ignore his panic at the thought of no alcohol. “This is, in no way, a ‘collaboration.’ I never would’ve chosen to toss out good liquor. That was solely your decision. We’re not really a team. It’s just you telling me what you want me to do and me hating it.”

She patted his chest lightly, and his body reacted to the touch of her warm hand. The dread he had earlier returned. The last thing he needed was an attraction to his court-appointed she-dragon of a babysitter. His idea that he could play her like a violin was swiftly vanishing. She headed farther down the beach, looking over her shoulder.

“Come on, let’s keep walking for a while longer. The fresh air and exercise will help you.” She grinned. “Tomorrow, we’re throwing away your whole liquor stash.”