The Tribute

The Tribute

by Beth Williamson

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Overview

The Tribute by Beth Williamson

Can a man who lives in the shadows and a woman who lives in the light find a place to belong together?
Book Six of the Malloy family series
Brett Malloy has always been considered a loner, a man apart from the Malloy clan. Quiet, reserved and intense, Brett hides from the world on his new ranch with only an ex-gunslinger and a runaway boy for company. When circumstances put him flat on his back, his childhood crush, Doctor Alexandra Brighton arrives to nurse him back to health.
Alex has always loved Brett despite the fact that a more difficult man couldn't be found on the face of the earth. A woman who firmly believes everyone should live life to the fullest, Alex takes Brett's quiet surliness as a mission. She's going to teach him what it means to live, and how to find love and passion in the most unexpected places.
When rancher King Dawson claims Alex as his own, Brett has to choose between the darkness of his shadows and the light of Alex's love.
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, violence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599986470
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 12/25/2007
Series: Malloy Family Series , #6
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range: 17 Years

About the Author

Beth Williamson holds a B.F.A. in writing from New York University.

Read an Excerpt

The Tribute


By Beth Williamson

Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Copyright © 2007 Beth Williamson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59998-647-0


Chapter One

He leaned forward until their faces were inches apart. The sweet smell of her breath tickled his nose. This close he could see the thick eyelashes that graced her beautiful brown eyes. Arousal slid through him like hot molasses. Every moment of time he'd spent with Alex in his arms flew through his memory.

The sweet heat, the delicious pleasure, the seemingly bottomless urge to be with her. All of it washed over him in a wave. Although his head still hurt pretty bad, he pulled her to him. The second their bodies made contact, she hissed-he didn't know if it was in denial or not, but she didn't move away. As he lowered his lips to hers, he forgot all his pains.

She was hot, her lips soft and demanding. After an initial start of surprise, she kissed him back just as fiercely as he kissed her. He tasted her essence, the tang of coffee on her tongue and the sharpness of arousal. He deepened the kiss, his mouth fused over hers, fitting together as if they'd been cast from the same mold.

His body reacted as if set aflame. His cock sprang up like a jack-in-the-box, pressing against his britches and pulsing with need. It had been too long since he'd been with a woman, a lifetime since he'd touched Alex.

The slap was unexpected and did more than make his ears ring. His head now felt like it was going to explode right along with his pants. She looked as shocked as he felt. Her brown eyes widened as she stumbled backwards.

"You kissed me."

"You kissed me back." Brett's pulse pounded through his veins, his head throbbing in tune.

"I did not." She touched her lips and a visible shudder wracked her.

"Yes, you did, Lex."

"Don't you dare call me that." Her face flushed, this time not from embarrassment. Her hand shook as she pointed an accusing finger at him. "You have no right."

Brett slid to his feet, his damn legs almost refusing to hold his weight. He took a step toward her and she took a step back.

"Don't."

"Alex, I ... How many times can I say I'm sorry?" He hadn't meant to hurt her. The past should be kept in the past, not dredged up a dozen years later to literally slap him in the face.

"About a million, and even then it won't be enough." She bit her lip and fixed him with a doe-eyed look of hurt. "You broke my heart, Brett. I can't ever forget that."

Brett didn't expect his throat to close up, but it did. Perhaps it was the sheen of tears in her eyes, perhaps it was the aftereffects of the kiss. Perhaps it was the huge thump of his heart letting him know that it wasn't dead.

"Can you ever forgive me?"

She shook her head and left the room, taking Brett's chance with her. He should have tried harder so long ago. She was worth it, yet Brett tucked tail and ran when she'd sent him that letter. Looking back at past mistakes made the here and now that much worse.

Brett should've fought for her back then. Now he'd have to wage war to win her.

Alex sat on the porch and watched the world go by with dry eyes. She couldn't cry any more, but inside, her heart trembled. If only he hadn't kissed her. If only he hadn't reminded her what it felt like to be in his arms, to breathe in his scent and drown in his kisses.

She stayed away as long as she could. It was two hours past dinnertime before she decided she had to go back to feed Brett. Her father was nowhere to be found and because it was a Saturday, there wasn't anyone else around to help.

After slapping together a sandwich for him she stomped in, fully ready to be angry and curt with him. He sat in the chair by the window, looking out into the backyard. His hair stuck up every which way from beneath the bandage, and the shirt her father had lent him lay open, too small to be buttoned.

Brett turned to her and the regret she saw in his eyes stopped her rant before it even began.

"You didn't have to bring me anything. I'm not hungry."

"I don't believe that." She shook herself and walked toward him. No reason to hesitate. Brett had no hold over her.

Liar.

"You need food to heal." She held the plate out to him.

He glanced at the plate and then back up at her. "I hadn't realized you were still hurting."

"Jesus Christ, Brett, just take the food." Her hands trembled with the force of the feelings exploding within her.

"No." He stood, wobbled a bit. "I want you to forgive me."

A million different answers flew through her head, but in the end, her heart overrode them all.

"I can't. You threw me away."

He looked surprised. "I didn't."

Anger roared through Alex and she hurled the plate at him. He grunted as it bounced off his stomach and landed on the floor with a loud bang. The tin rolled away to rest in the corner. The sandwich slid down his stomach and plopped at his feet.

"How dare you! I l-loved you."

Brett frowned. "I never knew that."

Alex put her hands on her hips with a fierce scowl. "What are you talking about? I told you I loved you-you're the one who never returned the sentiment. You're the one who stayed away from me. You're the one who stopped coming by. You're the one who chose work over me." She took a shaky breath and beat back the tears that threatened. "You're the one who told me you didn't think we should get married."

Brett looked as though she'd punched him. Too bad, she couldn't spare a thought for his pain right then. Her own was enough to handle.

She poked him in the chest. "You tossed away what we had and I'll never, ever forgive you for that."

Alex turned to leave the room and Brett grabbed her arm.

"Please, Alex, listen to me-"

"No."

"Dammit." He whirled her around and she slammed into his chest.

His uninjured arm closed around her and she felt a shudder go through him, she wasn't sure if it was from pain or something else entirely. She looked up at him, ready to tear off his hide, but stopped when she caught sight of his gaze whirling with a myriad of emotions. Alex's heart tugged at the most prominent one. Pain.

"I left you alone because that's what you wanted. You told me yourself."

Alex's mouth dropped open. "I did no such thing."

"I never meant to hurt you. I thought you were angry because of all the time I spent at the ranch. You wanted a man who could live in town and be with you. I didn't think I was that man."

Alex knew she had to escape or she'd make a mistake she couldn't afford.

"You were, but you're not anymore." She wiggled in his grasp. "Please let me go.

I can't do this anymore."

His hold loosened and she was finally able to take a breath.

"Can we call a truce?"

Alex let out a sigh. Against all her better judgment, she gave in, but only a little. "I'll try."

Brett leaned forward and kissed her forehead. His touch echoed through her.

"Thank you, Lex."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Tribute by Beth Williamson Copyright © 2007 by Beth Williamson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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I didn't want it to end!
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