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Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick #3)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Part One

Chapter One

Love at First Sight

It’s happened to me twice, love at first sight.

The first time was Bil y Flynn. The second was Hank Nightingale.

Bil y didn’t take and he broke my heart.

Hank, wel Hank’s a heartbreaker, to be certain, but I wasn’t going to stick around long enough for him to do it to me. It wouldn’t be my choice, not sticking around, but that’s what was going to happen al the same and probably for the best. At least for Hank.

* * * * *

Bil y and Hank are night and day, dark and light, bad and good. Bil y’s the former of al those. Hank’s the latter.

See, Bil y’s a criminal, Hank’s a cop.

Bil y looks like a young Robert Redford but instead of boy next-door charm, he has a bit (okay, a lot) of James Dean’s Rebel without a Cause drifting through him.

I knew Bil y wel ; I’d been with him for seven years (the last three of which I tried to break up with him and that didn’t take either).

Hank looks like no one I’d ever seen before. To put it simply, he’s beautiful. He’s tal with thick dark hair, whisky-colored eyes and the lean, wel -muscled body of a linebacker.

Hank has a cause: Hank’s about justice.

And Hank has more cool in his pinkie finger at any given moment than Bil y would have in a lifetime.

Don’t ask me how I know this because I only knew Hank for a few days. Though, it started when I learned he liked Springsteen. Anyone who likes Springsteen, wel , enough said.

* * * * *

A little about me.

For some bizarre reason my Mom named me Roxanne Gisel e Logan and everyone cal s me Roxie. I have an older brother named Gilbert (we cal him Gil because Gilbert is a shit name) and a younger sister named Esmerelda (we cal her Mimi because Esmerelda is a shit name too).

Needless to say, I lucked out in the sibling name stakes.

Dad let Mom name us. I think he did this so he could give her a hard time for the rest of her life. Dad and Mom love each other, a lot, and show it, a lot (too much if you ask me). Growing up with your parent’s constant public displays of affection was kind of embarrassing. Regardless of this, they were always ribbing each other and arguing… but in a nice way.

* * * * *

I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to live essential y on the run (even though at first I didn’t know that) with a criminal boyfriend, no matter how cute he was. I grew up thinking I’d have a great job where I could wear designer clothes, I’d make a shitload of money and I’d have dozens of peons kowtowing to my every whim.

Before I met Bil y, I was on my way.

Don’t take that as me being screaming ambitious or anything; I partied through high school and col ege. I studied enough to make A’s and B’s (mostly B’s) but it was real y al about beer, the occasional bottle of tequila and rock ’n’ rol .

Dad said I was lucky I was a smart girl or I’d be f**ked.

Mom warned if I didn’t get smarter, I’d end up f**ked (though Mom didn’t use the f-word, I knew what she meant).

They were both right, in their own way, though Mom was more right.

Lucky for me, both my Mom and Dad—and Mom’s father and her grandfather—al graduated from Purdue University (my great-granddad even had his name up on a plaque in the student union because he died in World War I). I was grandfathered into Purdue: in other words, my family had such a history, and so many members in the Alumni Association, they couldn’t say no. I got my degree no matter how much time I spent at Harry’s Chocolate Shop (the bar at Purdue that I’m pretty sure my Mom, Dad, Gramps and great-granddad al spent a lot of time in as wel ).

* * * * *

I met Bil y after I graduated from Purdue. I had a good job. I’d managed to get a couple of summer internships at website developing firms and one in Indianapolis hired me at graduation. I think this had more to do with the fact that I was office entertainment than anything else. I could be a little bit crazy (okay, maybe a lot crazy) and the two guys who owned the joint were hilarious, came to work in slogan t-shirts and ripped jeans and had to own stock in the local coffee chain, they drank so much coffee. My col eague, Annette, also told me I got the job because of the way I looked. I knew I wasn’t anything to sneeze at because I’d won the Teen Miss Hendricks County Pageant (I didn’t go on to the State Finals because of a bout with mono and because beauty pageants kinda sucked).

I look like my Mom’s side of the family; tal , built like what my Dad cal ed a “brick shithouse” (I think this means al boobs and butt but I never real y got the comparison) with dark blonde hair and dark blue eyes. In fact, al of us kids looked like the MacMil an side of the family, al tal , al dark blond, al blue-eyed and my brother had a russet beard like Grizzly Adams and like my Mom’s brother, Tex.

* * * * *

I didn’t know Uncle Tex; I’d never met him. He was in Vietnam and he checked out (seriously checked out) when he got back. None of the family ever talked to him again, except me. Though, I didn’t real y talk to him, just wrote to him and he wrote back. I started writing letters when I was young, don’t ask me how I started, I just did. I wrote to anyone whose address I could get my hands on. I loved putting stamps on letters and I loved getting mail through the post. I wrote so many letters, Mom started to buy me monogrammed stationery when I was twelve and she stil buys me two boxes every birthday; deep lilac with an embossed RGL at the top and on the envelope flap.

Mom told me not to write Uncle Tex. She told me it was a waste of time, he’d never write back.

Talking about Uncle Tex made Mom’s face get sad, which didn’t happen very often. Usual y only when she talked about Uncle Tex and sometimes when she saw me with Bil y and thought I wasn’t paying attention.

Mom and Uncle Tex were super close growing up, but he went into the army on his eighteenth birthday and went to Vietnam close to the end of the war and that was al she’d heard from him.

Uncle Tex wrote back to me though, surprising everyone.

He wouldn’t write back to Mom or Grams or Mom’s two sisters, but he wrote back to me. Even when he was in prison for messing up a drug dealer, he wrote back to me.

Once, when I was fourteen, I caught Mom going through my stash, reading Uncle Tex’s letters and crying. I didn’t let her know I caught her and I had the feeling it wasn’t the first time she did it either.

From his letters, I could tel Uncle Tex was a hilarious guy, crazy, like me (maybe a wee bit crazier). I’d never met him, but I knew why Mom loved him so much and, through our letters, I knew I loved him too.

   
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