Sheryl Brewster, one of the best investigative reporters for the Detroit newspaper, The Gazette, is assigned to do an in-depth story on the homeless in her city. She never expects to meet and fall for the charismatic J.C. Chandler. As she gets to know J.C., she feels more and more connected to him and eventually refuses to do the story. Too late, however, J.C. finds out who she really is and wants nothing more to do with her.
J.C. Chandler is content with living his life on the streets. That is until he meets Sheryl. She infuriates him, but at the same time, he’s drawn to her like no one else. Guilt over a past tragedy in his life keeps him from opening his heart to anyone else, but once he does, it’s shattered by Sheryl’s betrayal.
Can Sheryl and J.C. overcome their issues and find happiness with each other?
Warnings: This title contains graphic language and explicit sex.
Word Count: 35,226
J.C. opened his eyes several hours later and glanced around at his surroundings, disoriented and briefly panicked about where he was. Then the memory of what had happened came back to him. The argument with the teenager. The stabbing. Hearing Sheryl reveal her true identity.
There was a dim light shining through the open curtains. J.C. pushed himself up in the bed and let out a low groan when the movement tugged on his wound. He glanced down and saw small drops of blood seeping through the gauze on his belly.
"You're awake. How are you feeling?" Sheryl said as she stood near the curtains.
J.C. glared at her in anger. "Why do you care?"
"Because you've been out for the entire day, J.C. and because I feel partly responsible for you getting stabbed." She crossed the room to sit in the chair beside the bed. She reached for his hand and sighed heavily when he pulled away from her.
"Who are you, really? I know you're not homeless, so tell me who you are." His eyes flared with anger and hurt, Sheryl had to turn her gaze away from his.
"My name is Sheryl Brewster and I'm a reporter for The Gazette."
"And it was your job to expose my life to everyone willing to pay a buck fifty?"
"No, J.C. It wasn't like that."
"Then what was it like, Sheryl? I trusted you. I believed everything you told me. I thought we were friends."
"We are friends, J.C.” And I was beginning to feel we were becoming more than friends.“My editor wanted me to do an article on the homeless in this city. He wanted to know why people ended up the way they were—"
"So you latched on to some poor sap who could give you the information you needed to do your story. You used me."
"No," she said, trying desperately to hide her tears. "I was—I wanted to—"
"You wanted to what, Sheryl? You wanted to see how much of my life you could exploit just so you could do your job?" J.C. ignored the pain shooting through his body as he swung his feet over the side of the bed and stood up.
J.C. glanced around the room and spotted his clothes folded neatly on a chair in the corner. He grabbed them, shoved his arms into the shirt sleeves then slipped it on over his head. As he pulled on his jeans, he glanced around for his shoes. "Did you take my shoes?"
"Where are you going?"
"Anywhere away from here, away from you," he said, spotting his shoes in the small basket under the bed.
"You're in no condition to go any—"
"I'm not staying here."
She still fought to hold back her tears. "J.C., please, don't go."
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't?"
"Because you just got stabbed!"
"Not a good enough reason." He headed for the curtain and glanced left then right, looking for a way out.
"J.C., please! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you!" Sheryl said as she followed him.
"Save it, Sheryl. I can't believe a word you say anymore. You people are all alike," he said, rushing through the double doors toward the exit.
"J.C.! Dammit, J.C., come back here!"
He didn't stop, he didn't respond. He needed to get as far away from her as possible. To think I was actually beginning to feel something for her! He stalked down the sidewalk toward the road.
This book was added to our catalog on Saturday 19 May, 2012.