Still having fun sharing excerpts–something I seldom do on The Write Stuff. (At least not from my own books, though I do intend to get my #ExcerptWeek series for guest posters going again before long.) Today, I’m sharing one of the lighter scenes from Finding Hunter that I hope will make you chuckle. To say Hunter Painter has issues would be an understatement, but he’s a kind and gentle soul through and through, in spite of the things life throws his way. Happy reading!
Finding Hunter takes a look at the devastating effects of a family torn apart by a horrific tragedy, pitting brother against brother, and focusing on battling PTSD with the redemptive power of unwavering love and support.
HUNTER GROANED, PULLING his feather pillow over his head not only to block out the world, but just in case he started shouting in frustration.
What the hell happened? What the bloody hell just happened? Everything was fine. It was going better than I ever thought it would, and then suddenly it all went crazy. She kissed me! Why the hell did she kiss me? How the hell was I supposed to resist that?
The memory of that kiss rocketed into him so hot and fast, it scorched a path through his soul. Never in his life had a kiss transported him that way. He could still feel her mouth under his, sweet and yielding, and burning like fire. The raspberry scent of her hair lingered on his hands, and he would never, ever forget the taste of her skin. Every nerve ending in his body felt burned raw from the experience—so sensitive, the slightest breeze sliding over it would cause unbearable pain.
But somewhere in his torment, he also remembered how she had responded to him, moaning into that kiss, and whispering his name over and over as they clung to each other. She wanted him, too, a concept that had never once seemed a possibility in all the years he had loved her.
Doesn’t make it any better, does it, you stupid fool? Still never gonna happen. You don’t belong with Willow Greene, and nothing’s going to change that. All you’re doing here is torturing yourself.
He swore into his pillow. “’Take a chance,’ Gunn said. ‘Call her up,’ Gunn said. I’m gonna find that bastard and pound him to death with one of his own cameras!”
That image distracted him from his woes for about thirty seconds, and then he slid even deeper into the hole of misery he’d dug for himself.
Never gonna leave this room again. Can’t be trusted to go out into the real world and behave like a person with a single, functioning brain cell. Just gonna have my meals delivered right here, and Dad can walk Biscuit. I’ll tell him I’m sick—and keep telling him that for the rest of my life.
A sudden rap on the bedroom door interrupted his maudlin thoughts. “Hunter? Are you awake?”
“Yeah, Dad. You can come in.”
His father stuck his head in the door. “Sorry to bother you, son, but … well … there’s a young lady down here says she wants to talk to you.”
Horrified, Hunter bolted upright. “What? What’re you talking about?”
“I’m talking about this pretty little thing at the front door, says she has to talk to you. Real long hair, sweet smile, named … um …”
Hunter smacked his head. “Willow.”
His dad nodded. “That’s it. You wanna come down?”
“No! Did you already tell her I’m here?”
“Well, sure. Should I be lying to young ladies who are looking for you?”
“Yes! I mean, no, not generally. Just this one.”
“You do something to her, Hunter?”
“No, of course not. Well, not like you mean. It’s just … aw, it’s complicated, Dad. Can you just tell her I wasn’t up here, or I’m asleep, or I’m sick, or I’ve gone to China? Something? I’m not coming down there!”
His dad gave him a disapproving look. “Okay. Have it your way, but no, I’m not gonna lie to this little gal. I’m just gonna go tell her you don’t want to see her.”
Flinging himself back down on the bed, Hunter growled in frustration. “Fine. If that’s what you want to do, do it. I’m still not coming down.” He clamped the pillow back over his face, and refused to say anything else.
His dad sighed, closed the door a little too hard, and stomped down the stairs.
Two minutes later, Hunter heard a tap, and the sound of the door opening again.
This time, he didn’t bother to lift the pillow. “Did she go away?”
“No, I didn’t go away, Hunter. And I’m not going to.”
Once again, Hunter bolted to a sitting position. He dropped his pillow and stared at Willow, mouth agape. “Willow! You can’t just walk into my room. It’s … you … this isn’t …”
“Oh stop, Hunter. I’m here. And you and I are going to talk.”
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Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the second Riverbend novel! Thanks so much for reading and helping me get the word out!