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What the Hail (Hail Raisers #4)
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He’s wanted her since he repossessed her car and made her cry.
Baylor Hail knew two things. One, he hated crying females. Two, it was even worse when he was the one to make that female cry.
He never meant to do anything but his job, but when one thing leads to another, suddenly all he can think about is the broken woman whose car he towed.
She’s wanted him since he patted her back and told her it was okay to cry even though she knew he was lying.
Not when she got married. Not when she tried to leave her abusive husband, and not when she arrived in a new town with a fresh, clean slate.
That clean slate came courtesy of a secret organization that specializes in helping abused women find a way out. They set her up with a whole new life. It just turns out that it happened to be right smack dab in the middle of another woman’s old one.
That woman also happens to be down on her luck, something that Lark learns the hard way when on her first day there, her car is towed by a handsome stranger.
It’s been two years since she’s felt any kind of sexual attraction toward a man, and she reacts badly. We’re talking full-on, hysterical breakdown as he loads her car onto his tow truck while looking at her like she’s lost it.
Maybe being crazy isn’t all that bad.
The next thing she knows, she’s spending time with the sexy stranger and life couldn’t be better—even though she still doesn’t have a car.
She thinks she’s in the clear, that she’s got it all figured out… well, that is until her ex-husband finds her again.
Turns out, for Baylor Hail, maybe it is.
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Never treat a woman like an object. It hates that.
-Things not to say to a woman
“We’re going to send you to Hostel, Texas,” the big man in front of me named Sam, said. “We don’t normally send two birds to the same place just in case, but we have one who’s just left there, and all her old contacts are still in place, so it works out, plus we have allies there that’ll watch over you. Do you have any questions?”
I looked at the packet of information he’d given me.
A new ID. A stack of bills that established my new ‘identity.’ A thousand dollars in cash. Everything someone might need to start all over.
“I’ll have a job?” I looked up.
He nodded, the scar on his face pulling with the movement. “You will. All the stuff that’s there right now of the old bird’s will become yours. Her car. Her house. Her things. You won’t be her, but you’ll be using all of her stuff. Our contact there at the grocery store will advance you a paycheck so you’ll have money to pay those bills. Got it?”
Then I blurted out what was on my mind. “Why Lark?”
The big man grinned. “Lark is a bird name. You’re one of our birds now. Really, the name is more of a category so we can keep facts straight on our end. You’re currently Lark, III.”
I grinned at that, then tried to calm myself.
“Uncle Sam, did you make sure to catch up on the car payments for her loan?”
My eyes flicked to the beautiful woman that was sitting at a desk in the corner of the room. She was furiously writing on something, her hand periodically going to a piece of paper that she’d flip over to the small stack that was steadily increasing in height on the corner of her desktop.
“Shit,” Sam grunted. “Yeah, I’ll do that. The car that you have hasn’t had its note paid yet. I think the old bird was a month behind because of some doctor bills that she’d accrued while she was there. I’ll make it current, though, and we’ll make sure you start fresh.”
“Okay,” I whispered.
I was so tired of being scared. Would I be scared once I got to this new town, Hostel?
I sure hoped not.
Not sure if I attract crazy, or I make them crazy.
-Baylor’s secret thoughts
I grunted as I pulled the last of the chains off the truck.
Today was normally my day off, but since we were short staffed—like always—I came in anyway.
Now I had to deal with this bullshit.
“Listen,” the woman whose car I was repossessing pleaded. “If you take the car, I have no way to get to work.”
I looked over at her, then dropped down to my knees and started to crawl under the car to attach the chains.
They weren’t needed, not with today’s technology and advances in towing, but I was old school. I liked them on there because it made me feel better. So sue me.
That’s when I felt something on my foot.
I looked down at the woman—girl really. What was she, all of twenty-two?
“Don’t touch me,” I ordered, looking over to see her hand on my ankle.
I hated being touched by people I didn’t know. Fuck, that was why I hadn’t had sex in over eight years.
I was seriously on the verge of kicking out with my foot when she let go and then fell to her ass in defeat.
“Perfect,” she whispered.
That’s when the tears started to drip out of her eyes.
I hated when women cried. Especially young, pretty ones.
Shit, fuck, damn.
I attached the chain and scooted out from under the car, not bothering to dust the dirt and grass off my back. This wasn’t the first time I had been on the ground today, and it wouldn’t be the last. That much I knew for sure.
“Where are you taking it?”
Since I was repossessing it, I’d be towing the vehicle to our impound yard.
Though, not all of my pick-ups were repossessions.
Sometimes they were wrecks, or the car was broken down. Then I either took them to a mechanic or a body shop.
And most of my pickups didn’t come with crying women. The majority of them came with little to no trouble at all, but if there was trouble, I preferred it in the form of a man swinging his fist at my face instead of tears. Especially tears of a woman.
But that’s just me.
I lived for the adrenaline spikes that this job offered me.
“Come on, darlin’.” I held out my hand. “I’ll take you where you need to go.”
She looked around the parking lot—the mall parking lot—and swallowed.
She didn’t take my hand.
“That’s okay,” she whispered. “I’ll walk. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.”
That was my very first encounter with Lark Lawrence, but it wouldn’t be the last.