nude with bookZoe Green was shelving books and didn’t hear the man talking behind her.  She didn’t realize she appeared rude, until she was grabbed roughly by her upper arm and spun around.  She was so startled that the books she’d been shelving fell from her hands to the floor.

The man was taller than she was, as most adults were, rather on the skinny side, and reeked of Tic Tacs.  A single Tic Tac was refreshing…pleasant.  She could tell this man ate them compulsively; probably several every few minutes.

The smell was cloying as she found him in her face, far too close.

He was shouting, trying to keep Tic Tacs from flying out of his mouth, which distorted his lips to the point that she couldn’t read them.  She tried to sign but he grabbed her by both arms and shook her like a rag doll.  Her teeth clacked together and she bit her tongue.

She was disoriented and dizzy.  Then her body was lifted and placed behind a brick wall of a human being who now had Tic Tac man by the neck and upper arm.

Looking around his body, she read him saying, “She’s deaf, you piece of shit, and if you touch her again, I’ll break every bone in your useless body.”

Who was this guy? 

She held her upper arms where Tic Tac guy had likely left bruises.

The little man was sputtering in fury.  “The library shouldn’t hire someone incapable of helping patrons.  Ridiculous that she’s even here.  I’ve been calling to her for five minutes.  Idiot.”

Her would-be protector went very still.  “One more word, one more insult, and I will physically hurt you.  She isn’t at the customer service desk where they are waiting breathlessly for jerks like you.  Being deaf does not make her an idiot.  Thinking such a thing makes you an idiot.”

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tumblr_m40thkEt5F1qb5t88o1_r1_500Eight years ago…

Camden Nichols and Brett Holland went to rural Tennessee that summer to earn cash. There was a trip to Europe their senior year of college and they wanted money to burn. The work they hired on to do at two adjoining farms was hard but the pay was good.

As for the perks…hell, nothing beat the perks.

Their first day working, they looked up to see two of the hottest country girls sitting on the low branches of an apple tree, sipping Cokes. They watched them work shirtless in jeans and work boots.

Unable to resist, the men approached, silently praying they were women…not girls…because they were hot. As they moved closer, Charlotte must have read their minds.

She told them with a sexy grin, “We just graduated…all legal and everything.” Then she winked.

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Hudson - Shayne McClendonPrologue

Eighteen months ago…

The Barter System Essay Directions:

Please write an essay about one intangible thing that would change your life for the better if you were in possession of it.  Complete all personal information.

All essays are confidential – as is every piece of data shared by participants.  Spelling, grammar, and technical writing are unimportant.

The end result is what counts.  ~Riya

ESSAY

Subject Name:  Hudson
Subject Age:  38
Subject Career:  Real Estate
Marital Status:  Single
Children (Y/N):  N
Annual Income:  $1M plus
Location:  Manhattan

I’m not a writer.

I have everything I need.

I lack for nothing.

I’m perfectly content.

However, since I must write something, I will say that since I was a young child, I fought for everything I needed for my family and myself.  I learned control.  I learned tenacity.  I learned discipline.

I did not learn gentleness.

I do not understand the nuances of gentle people and their behaviors.  I equate the trait to weakness and do not believe I possess it.

I sometimes – rarely – wonder what it would be like to treat a woman gently, to experience her gentle treatment in return.  I do not think I need this in my life but I admit to curiosity.

Should I never have an opportunity to witness or feel gentleness that is not associated with weakness, I will not consider my life incomplete.

I have Domination.

It is a different breed of gentle.  It is outside the boundaries of what most would consider tender, kind, or loving.  Most are unable to understand the care, the restraint, and the force of will involved in the full application of control.

Having the ability to crush a woman’s will, to break her spirit – yet not doing so – while pushing her through pleasure so intense that she is made incoherent: that is power.

Perhaps gentleness is not something I will know.  It may not be meant for a man like me.

In any case, your research interests me.  Unlocking the male psyche?  A substantial goal.  I wish you success.  Your brilliant mind is apparent.

My curiosity is peaked.

What specific information could I impart?  Would you be too different from me?  Would you enjoy the darkness?

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532235_468215793188905_1876796974_nFuck them both.

For three years, they’ve been fightin’ over me. Competin’ in some game where they were the only ones who knew the rules. I’m stuck in the middle and as of today, right now, I have nothin’ to show for it.

I’ve had it. I’m gettin’ the hell out of this town. Away from them and their testosterone-filled drama.

“I don’t need this. I don’t have time for this. I’m not takin’ another damn minute.”

Anyone who knows me and my ongoin’ relationship with Kyler and Dustin Pope wouldn’t be surprised at either my temper or the fact that I’m sittin’ here talkin’ to myself in front of God and everybody at the Sippy Cup. I’ve always had a temper. The schizophrenic behavior is new and also their damn fault.

My old pickup rumbled in the drive-thru and I took a long pull of my sweet tea while I waited for my change. The radio was blarin’ and I was singin’ along to Undo It by Carrie Underwood, gettin’ madder by the minute.

“You’re lookin’ awful pissed, Crista girl. Them Pope boys givin’ you hell again?” With one quick nod of my head, I took my change. “Here’s a pie for you, honey. Maybe that’ll make you feel better.” Bunny handed me the warm cherry pie and said, “Don’t let it get to you, all men are jackasses. Come back now, hear?”

“Thanks, Bunny. I wasn’t here.”

I pulled out and headed to Daddy’s place outside town. It was where I’d been stayin’ since my mom remarried last spring to the ‘grabber.’ My last night over her place, I knocked out one of his capped teeth and let him know I’d spin his goddamn head off his shoulders if he ever grabbed my ass again.

Mama tried to keep the peace by tellin’ me to calm down and I was like…really? Oh hell no. Her man told my own mama I got a ‘flair for the dramatic’ then gave her his I-have-lots-of-money-and-I’m-better-than-you greasy smile. I told him I also got a flair for whoopin’ asses of old men who pawed me and left.

Damn. I love my mama but she’s country. This guy buys her an electric skillet (“oh, Raymond…I don’t have to use the cast iron no more?”) and she sold him her soul…cheap. She’s real pretty but not real bright and Raymond is smarmy as they come.

There’s no convincin’ her that money does not equal class.

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tumblr_mj3fv3lREw1qh8dpxo1_500One fucking night. Was that too much to ask? Gloria wanted one night to hang out with her friends, to have a few drinks, to relax.

God, she had to move out of this town if she was ever going to get any peace. They’d been divorced for eight years – when was he going to leave her alone?

When she’d left the house a few hours earlier, she felt amazing. A new cut, a fresh dye job to cover those pesky greys, a mani-pedi earlier with her bestie, and an electric blue dress that Kathryn had insisted she buy.

It was out of her wheelhouse, so to speak. Not something she ever would have picked for herself. It wrapped around her body and highlighted her breasts beautifully. The silver stilettos put the entire outfit on the fringe. She couldn’t recall ever even trying on a pair of stilettos before yesterday.

Normally, she was more a jeans-and-sneakers kind of woman.

Kathryn had been her best friend all her life. Outgoing, smart, gorgeous – she was the life of every party and the “good time” everyone around her wanted to have.

After dinner with a few of their other friends from high school, she’d been talked into coming here. It was the bar where all the local firefighters and cops hung out. They were laughing, having a great time, and drinking far too much.

None of those things had helped her avoid noticing when her ex walked in.

Since their divorce, he’d been with at least a dozen different women. Most of them from the local cosmetology program at the tech school where he worked.

He flaunted them in front of her as payback. She’d dared to leave him when his gambling and cheating were no longer a “maybe” but an “absolutely” and she had to get the fuck out.

The younger, firmer women he dated were intended to make her feel bad about the fact that she was nearing fifty. It didn’t work. She liked the person she was. She liked her laugh lines.

She had earned each and every one of them.

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A new roommate at Casa McClendon

October 23, 2014 Good Girl Talk
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October 21st of 2014, a dog found his way to my house after I suspect he was dumped by his previous owner. Injured and afraid, he didn’t so much as growl, much less bite as I got him home and installed in my garage to keep him from being pummeled by my other dogs while […]

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Free Excerpt | Leap of Faith by Shayne McClendon

October 20, 2014 Books
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PROLOGUE It was the last play of their season and the final touchdown of Tucker Irvin’s career. Putting him back on the field as the starting quarterback hadn’t been enough to take them to the Super Bowl, but he’d managed to save the last few games from the over-confident rookie. The young man for whom […]

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Leap of Faith by Shayne McClendon | Erotic Sports Romance

October 20, 2014 Books
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Available as an Always the Good Girl exclusive! Sometimes you have to go with it… Sasha Fowler knows allowing Tucker Irvin into her life will be complicated, stressful, and downright rag-worthy. She’s determined to fight her attraction every step of the way. Tucker understands why Sasha is leery of getting involved with professional athletes. She’s […]

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Free Excerpt | Hart of the Matter by Shayne McClendon

October 16, 2014 Books
Hart of the Matter Sports Romance Novella by Shayne McClendon

<< Back to Love of the Game Home Did you get your F*R*E*E Story? I’m getting great feedback on Hart and Bailey’s love story – a parallel plot line I pulled from “The Three Pointer” (the last novella in the “Love of the Game” box set).  I’d love you to have it and you get […]

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Legacy | A Barter System Short Story by Shayne McClendon

September 19, 2014 Books
The Barter System (dig) - Shayne McClendon

Carlo Larrosa had worked in the building since he was eighteen years old.  Originally hired by the new owner, his plan at the time had been to help his mother and get a different sort of work experience than he was used to before considering college. Less than a year after taking the job, his […]

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