Read the 1st chapter of Surrendering To Him by Hope Jones

March 2, 2020

Boom Factory Publishing is excited to give you a sneak peak into Surrendering To Him by Hope Jones.

Copyright © 2020 by Hope Jones.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Published by Boom Factory Publishing, LLC.

Chapter One

Huxley fuckin’ Carson

I opened my eyes, immediately squinting at the bright light that filtered into the once dark room. There was a shadow of a man standing in the doorway. I knew that shadow. I knew that frame.

Huxley.

Fucking Huxley.

My eyes squinted again, this time for a whole different reason.

Anger.

I. Was. Pissed.

Huxley hovered at the door, feet planted wide, arms crossed against his massive chest. His face was set in granite, and he didn’t look much happier than I felt.

I swung out of the bed, marching to the now unlocked door, hoping he wouldn’t speak to me or touch me. I might snap if he tested me further.

Just as I was a couple feet from him, his muscular arm shot out and grabbed me around the waist, hauling me toward him. I stumbled and my body slammed into his. Drawing in a much needed breath in order to calm myself—it didn’t help—I extracted my hands from between our bodies. I shoved his chest but to no avail. He wasn’t budging.

Damn his strong arms for keeping me trapped.

Fuckity, fuck, fuck.

“Phoeb—” he started.

I cut him off by holding up my hand, the universal sign to shut up. The stony look he gave me got harder. I had no idea how he was able to get even madder, but he did. If I weren’t supremely mad myself, I may have taken a moment to appreciate all the beauty that was a pissed off Huxley Carson.

Alas, I was also supremely pissed.

“Don’t,” I hissed when he started to open his mouth again.

I tried shoving him away once more, but his arms were locked tight, so I wasn’t going anywhere.

Fuckity, fuck, fuck, again.

I decided a new tactic was the best move.

“I can’t believe you,” I seethed, resting my hands on his unbelievably hard chest.

Huxley tilted his head to the side, his expression one big question mark.

“I cannot believe you!” My voice rose an octave. I was going to cause a scene, and Huxley’s coworkers would be front and center to witness it, but I was too far gone to care.

My feet shuffled backward as Huxley pushed us back into the room where I’d been locked for the last however long.

“I don’t even know you, and you… locked… me… in your offices.” I registered Huxley’s face changing from anger to amusement, causing my temper to ratchet up even more. “But did you stop to think about that before you kidnapped me? Nope!”

My arms were flailing as my heart beat wildly in my chest and my temper reached its boiling point.

Mimicking his voice, I said in a mocking tone, “Oh, look at me. I’m big, bad Huxley and I can just lock strange women in my offices.”

Big, bad Huxley’s jaw was so tight I thought it might break, but his eyes were lit with humor. I had no idea what was so funny about my anger, and I didn’t want to find out.

“You need to open that door again and let me go. I need to call my friend and let her know I’m okay and then salvage the interview you so rudely interrupted.”

I did need to call Millie, but I highly doubted she was worried about me. She knew where I was. I called her before my phone died to alert her of my whereabouts, hoping she would find a way to get me out. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the reaction I was looking for. She was practically giddy about me being at Huxley Carson’s office. Not only didn’t she find a way to help me escape, but she didn’t even try. I didn’t know that for sure, but I knew it. She was so damn happy that Hux and I had finally come face-to-face, since she’d been nagging me about introducing myself to him for the more than two years Huxley had been in town.

Sometimes, it sucked having a hopeless romantic for a best friend.

Suddenly, I felt the air being sucked out of the room and tension flooding in its place. Chancing a glance at Huxley, I noticed the humor in his expression was long gone and had been replaced by fury.

A lot of it.

He was even hotter when filled with white-hot rage, so I really needed to get out of here before the stupid in me came out and I did something I shouldn’t, considering I was supposed to be pissed.

“Not doing that interview, babe,” he told me.

My mouth dropped open; he couldn’t possibly think he had any say-so. Huxley must’ve lost his ever-loving mind. “Says who?” I snarked after I gathered my wits.

He didn’t respond. Really, he didn’t need to. The look on his face told me that he was the one who said I couldn’t.

“Oh my God, you think you can tell me how to do my job!” I shouted, fed up with whatever we were doing, almost laughing at the absurdity of the situation.

“Not doing the interview,” he, again, told me.

“Two things: One, why would I listen to you? Two, who do you think you are? You forcefully removed me from a journalistic interview, locked me in this room, and now are telling me how to do my jo—”

My words were cut off by Hux’s lips, which pressed firmly against mine. Sadly, my first thought was how soft his lips were. I should be biting him, but no, my treacherous body liked his mouth. How did the day turn into this? When I woke up this morning, I would have laughed at anyone who told me I would be kissing Huxley Carson.

Let’s go back a little, and maybe you’ll understand.

**

My name is Phoebe, and I’d been an investigative reporter for East Haven Daily for six years in a small town in South Carolina. I spent my days searching for my next story, and because I worked from home, I was on my own schedule and had the privilege of walking around my house half naked—‘cause really, who needed pants unless you were facing the world? East Haven Daily is fantastic, because they allowed me to find my own stories instead of shoving something boring at me and demanding I write about it. I was good at my job. I wrote pieces about topics people wanted to read about, topics people would buy a newspaper for, like a man who was arrested last year for having body parts that weren’t attached to a body in his trunk. I never missed a deadline, and I had a lot of passion for what I did.

East Haven, South Carolina was a town close to the beach, where most people knew each other, but we still had some privacy. Last year we “elected” a new sheriff. I say elected in quotes because I suspected the votes were fraudulent. The man who ran against Sheriff Douche— Kian Briggs—should have won by a mile. Kian was a good man, born and bred in East Haven until he set off for the Marines when he turned eighteen. I wasn’t exactly sure what happened, but rumor had it Kian lost his entire unit and decided not to reenlist afterward. He came home and immediately applied for a position at East Haven Police Department where he worked as a detective. The town loved him and the general consensus was that the town needed a change, since the crime rate had been going up and the tourism East Haven thrived on had been going down. Kian pledged to address these issues during his first year in office.

After Sherriff Douche won the election, everyone balked.

Therefore, my investigative brain started working double-time after the election, and I’d been poking around ever since.

Enter Huxley Carson.

My work took me out in the field quite often. I didn’t just sit behind my computer and talk to folks on the phone. No, I nosed around, I did interviews, and I met shady people. My job kept me on my toes and excited me. Therefore, I’d seen Huxley a few times, since his PI job brought him to the streets as well. We’d never really spoken more than a couple words to each other, but Huxley was well known around town. An ex-FBI agent turned PI, he was the local badass. He had his nose in everyone’s business so he could remain sharp on the job. I knew this, because I liked to put my nose in other people’s business too. Huxley was good at what he did and never seemed intrusive when he was conducting his investigations. The few times I saw him interviewing anyone, he came across as genuinely curious and not like he was just trying to pump the person for information.

I had been trying for two months to score an interview with Sheriff Douche—which, by the way, isn’t really his name; it’s Sheriff Romer, but he’s a douche, so… and he finally caved. A source who worked in the police station told me that at the beginning of the campaign for sheriff, Douche seemed to be a solid dude. His hands were clean, he didn’t have any debts, no huge mortgage, and no mountain of bills. But halfway through the campaign, things changed. According to my source, the sheriff started meeting with people who had arrest records miles long. He also began accessing arrest records for drugs and prostitution and made them disappear off the system as if they never happened. My source witnessed him doing this.

So yes, I started poking around and asked for answers Sheriff Douche didn’t want to provide, but for whatever reason, Sheriff Douche was now ready to talk. I arrived for our 2:00 p.m. meeting and had just opened the voice memo app on my phone when things went to shit.

Huxley busted into the sheriff’s office, literally threw me over his shoulder, and began to carry me out of the station. When he turned to walk out, Sheriff Douche’s face turned red with anger.

“What the hell?” he boomed, standing from his chair.

Huxley turned around and stood there for a minute. After a few moments of silence, Huxley spun and started walking again. I had just enough time to catch the look on Sherriff Douche’s face, and he looked a tad frightened.

Hux proceeded to throw me in his car, handcuff me to the door handle, and drive me to the underground parking garage where his office was located. We entered an elevator that looked and sounded so dilapidated I was terrified of plummeting to my death. When the doors opened to Huxley’s office three floors later, I was in awe. Rich, dark tones were clearly the look Huxley was going for, if the dark paint and hardwood floors had anything to say about it. There was a small, mahogany desk along the left side of what I assumed was the reception area, and a comfortable looking black couch directly across from it. Huxley walked us down a long hallway with two doors on the left, three doors on the right, and a door at the very end, which Huxley let my arm go long enough to unlock and then he shoved me—gently—into the dimly lit room and shut the door behind me. 

For the first fifteen minutes, I searched the sparsely decorated room to see if there was something I could use to help me escape. The only thing in the room was a bed, and off to the right there was a bathroom. There weren’t any windows or even a mirror, and the door locked from the outside. I checked my phone, and the time read 2:45.

Deciding it was time to bring in reinforcements, I called Millie, my best friend, and hoped like hell she wasn’t at work so she could come get me. She picked up after three rings.

“Millie,” I whispered.

“Phoebe, why are you whispering?” She automatically mirrored my tone.

“I’m locked in some weird room at Huxley Carson’s office,” I told her, huffing in frustration, wanting to bang on the door, but I knew it wouldn’t help.

“You’re… what?” she gasped.

“I was just about to begin my interview with Sheriff Douche, when Huxley barged in, threw me over his shoulder, and kidnapped me!”

What if it was a torture room? Oh my God, what if there were blood stains under these tan sheets? Grossed out by the thought, I jumped off the bed and sat on the floor.

“Why did he lock you in there?” Millie asked, more than a little humor in her voice. As a matter of fact, I believed she was on the verge of outright laughing.

“Millie! This is not a laughing matter. I’m pissed and being held against my will!”

“No, no. You’re right,” she said, trying to smother her giggles. “Okay. So why did he lock you in a room? And I really don’t think you have much to worry about. This is Huxley Carson. He’s very straight-laced. I think you’re safe.”

“I don’t have a clue! He didn’t say a single word to me. I need you to break me out of here, so I can rip him a new asshole. I know I’m safe, but I don’t want to be here,” I told her.

  “Honey, no,” she said.

  “What?” I yelled, tugging at the ends of my hair.

“I’m not getting you out of there. This is exactly where you need to be.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Y’all have been tiptoeing around each other for, like, two years now. It’s time y’all finally met for real and talked.”

“Millie, this isn’t going to go like you hope. You think everything is gonna be sunshine and rainbows. But when he lets me out… if he lets me out… what it’s really gonna be is me on an episode of Snapped.”

“Girl, that man is fine as hell. You are not gonna kill him,” Millie stated—matter-of-factly and rather smugly, I might add.

“Please, come get me,” I begged, praying she would get this romantic notion out of her head.

“I’m not doing it. Call me when you’re back home.”

Click.

The line went dead.

That little hooker hung up on me.

I was so going to kill her for this. I really was going to find myself on an episode of Snapped. Since I wasn’t getting out until Huxley released me, I did my best to entertain myself. I watched a little bit of Netflix on my phone but got bored of that quickly. My butt was really starting to hurt from sitting on the floor, so I checked the sheets on the bed to make sure there weren’t any bloodstains. Satisfied they were clean, I laid down and played Mahjong until my phone died. It was a little after 4:00 p.m. last time I looked, and I had no other entertainment, so I fell asleep.

Which led to me waking up with Hux standing in the doorway, which led to Hux’s lips pressed against mine.

Fuck, why couldn’t I pull my mouth from his? Why couldn’t I bite him? And not in a good way. I tried telling myself I didn’t want his kiss, but my body betrayed me, and I found myself leaning into him. He tasted like spicy, mint gum, and I wanted to explore further to see what the rest of him tasted like.

Oh my God. I was such a whore. I barely knew this man, had only spoken a few words over two years, and here I was tongue-deep in his throat.

Huxley pulled away, which was good, since I couldn’t force myself to.

“Seems that’s the only way to stop you from talking,” he said in a rumble.

My eyes—lidded and heavy with lust—snapped open and I glared at him. “Do you want me to start ranting again? ‘Cause I can. Be careful what you say, Huxley Carson. I was already pissed off before you kissed me.”

“So, my kiss also calms her,” he said to himself.

Waking myself out of what I decided to deem the Hux Fog, I knew I needed to bring up the interview again, no matter how much it pissed him off. I was not about to let any man dictate my life, even if he was hot as hell.

“Honey, I hate to tell you, but I am not calm, and the subject of my work is not closed,” I said, pointing at him and narrowing my eyes.

“It is,” he fired back.

“Seriously, you can’t tell me I can’t do that interview. This is my job. This is what I do to support myself and pay my bills. I have deadlines to meet, and you’re kinda hindering that by keeping me here,” I told him, waving my hand around the barren room.

“Well, babe, hate to tell you this,” he repeated my earlier words, “but that interview is not happening. I will lock you in here or handcuff you to the bed to stop you.”

The anger that melted away when Huxley’s lips touched mine resurfaced with a vengeance. I mean, who did he think he was?

“I don’t understand why! You and I have seen each other around town for nearly two years now, and you’ve never interfered with my work before. Huxley, what the hell?”

His big hand cupped my cheek and he bent so we were at eye level. He was at least 6’4” to my 5’6”, so he had to do some serious bending.

“It’s not safe,” he stated, determination in his eyes.

“Well, duh!” I yelled. “None of what I do is safe, but I’ve been doing it for how long without your protection?”

His hand moved from my cheek to the back of my neck, pulling me even closer. Our lips were almost touching, and I was starting to slip into the fog again, but I couldn’t afford to get sidetracked, so I tried pulling away. His touch tightened, which let me know I wasn’t going anywhere.

“This is different,” he said, his lips brushing against mine.

“How?” I whispered, trying to steel my resolve against his closeness.

Huxley’s face shut down, cutting off my ability to read his thoughts, and he didn’t answer the question. Apparently, he didn’t know me too well; otherwise, he’d know I could be like a dog with a bone. I was stubborn. I wasn’t going to give up that easily on a story I was passionate about just ‘cause big, bad Huxley said it wasn’t safe. Nuh-uh, that explanation was not good enough.

“How?” I repeated.

“Babe,” he said.

“Hux,” I warned.

“Fuck, woman! It’s just not safe. Why is that not good enough for you?”

Seeing a break in his emotionless mask, I felt proud of myself for causing him so much frustration. It was good to give him a taste of his own medicine.

“Because I have bills to pay! Dammit, Hux, I don’t live in the same ivory tower you do. Not to mention, this is my passion, my calling. Something is up with Sherriff Douche, and it’s my duty to inform the citizens of East Haven what it is.”

“Fuck’s sake, I’ll pay all your damn bills for the year if you’ll leave this the hell alone!” he roared, backing away from me. He was livid. “Would you rather be dead or can you wait to write the damn article after I make it safer for you?”

My body jerked like I had been shot, and I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. He landed a blow he didn’t even realize to a place I kept hidden for a long, long time. But I wasn’t about to let him know he hit a soft spot. I needed to cover that wound back up.

“Take me home,” I whispered, turning my back to him. I wasn’t going to let him see the lone tear that trekked down my face.

“No, not until we talk,” he said.

I could hear the frustration in his voice, but I was done talking. I wasn’t going to say another word.

“Phoebe,” he whispered against the nape of my neck. I shook my head.

“Baby,” he whispered again, this time at my ear. His hot breath shot goose bumps all the way down my spine. I tried fighting the shiver, but there was no point. He had to know I was affected by him; he had to have felt how my body responded to him. I was proud of myself though. I still hadn’t uttered a sound.

He moved from behind me then sighed and said, “Let’s go home.”

* * *

We hope the first chapter has got you hooked into finding out more about Phoebe and Huxley. You can preorder your copy at:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
Amazon CA

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