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Olivia’s Ride

By:C.A. Harms


Prologue





Olivia



“Olivia.” I turned around to find Landon Murphy jogging in my direction. To say I was a little shocked would be an understatement.

Landon was a jock, a very popular and somewhat wild guy on campus. We rarely talked, but shared some of the same friends.

He stopped just before me and I stepped back to allow a little more room between us. “Hey, Landon.” I offered hesitantly.

He shot me that smile I was sure worked on every girl he gave it to, but it didn’t have the same effect on me. I knew what type of guy he was and I wasn’t interested.

My uncles and even my father would have a field day with a guy like him. Hell, they would have him squealing like a pig and hightailing it back home within seconds with his tail tucked between his legs. The thought brought a smile to my face.

Of course the arrogant ass took it as a flirty smile meant for him, and he kicked his efforts up a notch.

“So, I was wondering if maybe you wanted to go out sometime, maybe during break.” I tried not to laugh because that would have been rude. But as he continued to stare at me, giving off a vibe like he had just scored big, the laughter bubbled up and spilled over.

“You’re joking right?” I asked, biting my lip to control myself.

“No, actually; I am being serious.”

“Listen, I’m not trying to be a bitch, but I’m gonna be completely honest with you.” I paused just to make sure the meathead goon was still with me. When he nodded, I continued.

“I’m not that girl, Landon. Believe me when I say your games won’t work on me. I grew up with one very protective father and two ass-kicking uncles. I know the games men play to get what they want from girls because they made sure I knew. I don’t fall for lines men throw out because frankly, I smell bullshit from a mile away. You, Landon, are a bullshitter.” He squinted his eyes and started to argue.

“No really, let’s just save us both some time here. I’m friends with Payton. You do remember Payton, don’t you? She was your girlfriend, or so she thought, until she found you in bed with Kara.” He took a step back and his hands fell to his sides. Yeah, he had nothing to say then.

“Now I’m gonna let you walk away and pretend this whole thing didn’t happen, because I can assure you I won’t think twice about it.”

I watched as he slowly backed away and turned around, walking back toward the direction he had originally come from.

Landon Murphy, the asshole of all assholes. I had always thought of myself as lucky that he had steered clear of me. It saved me from having to be the girl who told him no.

I never once showed any signs of interest, but I guess he finally went through every girl within our circle; now I was the unlucky target of the week.

I shifted my bag a little higher on my shoulder and turned toward my dorm. All I wanted to do was get to my room, finish packing my things, and get ready to go home for break. I missed my family and the sweet little faces of my twin brothers.

Walking with my head down, I didn’t notice anyone standing in front of me until I collided with what felt like a brick wall.

Two hands gripped my arms to secure me from falling backward, and my head lifted to find the source of my current situation.

As I scanned the broad chest before me, leading up to a thick neck and strong jaw line, I swallowed hard. When my eyes found his mouth, it tilted up in a grin. A grin that made my stomach lurch.

Oh my god, was I panting?

“Sorry about that, sweetheart.” A deep southern drawl ran over me like honey. “I was damn impressed with the way you handled that arrogant asshole. I didn’t get a chance to move out of your way before you came barreling through.”

When my eyes met his, I swore my knees were going to give out. He was without a doubt one of the most gorgeous men I had ever met.

“Sorry,” I whispered, because I had nothing else to offer. My tongue felt like it was three sizes bigger than normal.

“No need to apologize. I was the one in your way. It’s not every day you see a pretty girl put a guy like Landon Murphy in his place. If you don’t mind me saying, it was pretty damn impressive.” His smile was perfect.

I stood there in front of this nameless, sexy guy, and must have looked ridiculous. I couldn’t form a complete sentence. All I did was stare and nod my head like some freak.

Where the hell did the “take no bullshit” girl from five minutes ago go?

Oh I know—she was momentarily wrapped up in the gorgeous eyes of this complete stranger who still stood before her, smiling sweetly.

And that was when I knew I was in for some trouble.

I spent my entire upbringing being trained, so to speak, to face these types of situations. My father and uncles would sometimes spend hours prepping me for what they referred to as the bullshit tactics of so-called men.

They were brutal in their preparations.

But nothing prepared me for what I felt when this gorgeous specimen before me flashed that sweet dimple. It was the icing on this “Oh, shit” sandwich because I was hooked. Anchor to my ankle, sinking faster than the Titanic. So much trouble.

I must have looked as if I suffered from some antisocial disorder, because I seriously had no idea what to say.

Who was I and what had I done with Olivia? When it was necessary, I usually had no problem spouting off my mouth at any point in time. Except today. I was mute.

Right now I could use some of the Sawyer sass.





Chapter One





“I stood there like some damn fool,” I complained as I flopped down on the stool across the counter from my stepmom, Amber. “And he just kept smiling, as if I was the funniest thing he had ever seen.”

I had been back in Livingston for less than two hours, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the most embarrassing yet tantalizing moment of my young adult life.

“Sweetheart, if that man stood there staring at you with a smile on his face, I can almost guarantee he wasn’t thinking you were a fool,” Amber assured me as she wiped down the counter. “What else happened?”

“He introduced himself and I held out my hand to shake his.” I allowed my palm to slap against my forehead as I remembered yet another dumb ass move. “He looked at my hand and then back at me before laughing. Yep, he literally laughed.”

I lifted my head and Amber was standing before me her arms crossed over her chest, with a displeased look on her face.

“Okay momma bear, don’t get all volatile; he did call me cute.”

Before I could say anything further, my dad’s loud voice startled me, and I spun around to face him.

“Who called you cute?” he asked.

Choosing to ignore his question, I jumped off the stool and practically jumped into his arms as he accepted me without hesitation.

I had the most amazing father. He was stubborn and sometimes a little hard to handle, but he was also one of the very best friends a girl could ask for. He always had my back, no matter what. He and I had been through some pretty heavy things, yet somehow we always came out on top.

“I’ve missed you,” I said as he lifted me off the ground and squeezed me tight.

“Missed you too, kid. And there are two little boys who missed you too.” My twin brothers Rory and Rogan—I adored those sweet boys.

“Are they at Gran’s?” I asked.

He nodded and I reached around to grab my bag from the counter.

“Well, let’s get going then,” I advised as I stepped around my dad and waited for him to say good bye to Amber. She still had another hour before the bakery closed.

I stood in the doorway ignoring the kissy face they had to play before he finally followed me.

As we exited the bakery, my father wrapped his arm around my shoulder as we walked toward his truck. “Don’t think I forgot about the conversation I walked into.” I could feel the fluttering in my stomach kick into overdrive. I should have known he wouldn’t let it go.

“Spill it, Liv,” he pushed further.

“It was nothing, really,” I attempted once again to brush it off.

I swear the guy had a built-in bullshit meter. “We can dance around this or you can just tell me, but either way in the end I’ll find out. Why don’t you save us both the trouble?”

I climbed up in his truck as he walked around to the driver’s side. When he got in and started the truck, we both remained silent.

I knew how it would all go, it always went the same.

That lecture about college guys and the things they all thought about. My father was always so one-sided when it came to what he felt was best for me, and it was never a gentle conversation.

My choice in colleges had a lot to do with the distance it put between me and my father. I loved the man truly but I wanted some freedom from his hovering. Not to mention my uncles were just as bad as he was. Together the three of them were a force to be reckoned with.

“Do I need to visit A&M and kick some little shit’s ass?” he asked, causing me to laugh.

“No, Dad,” I replied. “It’s nothing like that.”

“Then what is it?” he asked, and I knew there was no way around it. He was a very stubborn man. He wouldn’t stop hassling me until I came out with it.

“I made a fool of myself and the guy called me cute.” I couldn’t help but smile when he gripped the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white. “My hell, between you and Amber. The both of you are ready to throw down instantly. You do realize I am twenty, and I don’t need you all ready to beat ass at every turn.”

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