Teaser Tuesday: Moment of Trust

Summer House Book 4
Moment of Trust

Six years ago Penny Munez made the mistake of leaving home too young and moving in with a man who beat her for recreation. She'd fled with the shirt on her back, no pants and no shoes and jumped into a car that had stopped at the traffic light, urging them to drive anywhere.  She didn't care where.  Now that she's on an island surrounded by water, the fear of looking over her shoulder hasn't stopped.  She doesn't trust anyone.  That is until Drake Sutton decided he was going to give her a reason to trust again. Drake knows a dark past when he sees one because he’s lived it on the streets and done things to survive that he’d rather forget.  Now he owns a successful business and he's calling the shots. But can Drake's love break down walls Penny has fought hard to erect to keep her safe?

This series is an erotica series that contains sexual situations that are not intended for readers under 18 years old.

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Only weird people love playing in dirt. Well, it’s only weird when you’re twenty-two years old and still playing in the dirt like I am. Maybe it’s the dirty feelings inside of me. The ones that I find hard to let go of. But I like to think it has more to do with good memories of making mud pies in the side yard with my next door neighbor when I was a four instead of the four years that are closest in my memory. The ones I want to forget.

Maybe that’s why I’d taken this job working for a landscaper. Sure, Drake Sutton is a hottie. Any girl who spent two seconds with the man would think that he belonged on the cover of a magazine, not playing in dirt like I do every day. But I’m the lucky one.

Yeah, lucky.

“Shit. Worms are eating the flowers.” I drop the bag of mulch I hoisted out of the back of the truck at our job site and crouched down to take a closer look at what I know is happening. Destruction of all our hard work this summer. The sun did its job. The rain fed the soil. But worms had conquered and are taking over the beauty of all the begonias lining the side of the Wayside Inn.

Turning one of the leaves over in my hand, I see the telltale marks that Drake warned me about when I’d started working at the Sutton Landscape Company at the beginning of the summer. I look at another plant. Then another.

Beverly Pickam isn’t going to be happy about this.

“Drake?” I call out. When I turn, I see my boss headed my way carrying another bag of mulch. His body is slick with sweat that has seeped through the white T-shirt he’s wearing. He always wears a white T-shirt because he says it reflects the sun when he’s working. He works hard and expects the same out me and Gus.

It had rained hard over the weekend and most of the mulch that had been on the ocean side of the Wayside Inn, had been washed down the sidewalk. It wasn’t enough to just sweep the mulch back into place. Drake wants it to look perfect all the time so he’ll be a shoe-in to get the contract again next summer.

He’s not going to like this either.

As I look at the begonia leaves I’d planted in front of the Inn earlier this summer, I sigh. Why does everything beautiful have to be destroyed by something?

This should be a normal job. Pull some weeds. Replace mulch that rain and wind had eroded from the flowerbeds. Then on to the next job site. They were going to have to fix this before they could move on.

Drake, the owner of the landscape company I’ve been working for this summer, walks up behind me and peers down at the brown leaf with holes burrowed out of it.

He yanks a leaf off the flower and then says, “Shit. Well, doesn’t this just suck?”

I chuckle as I look up at him, shielding my eyes from the hot sun. “What do you want to do about it?”

He sighs and glances down the length of the flower bed on the side of the building. “We still have a full month of tourist season to get through before I pull these flowers and put in mums to last through the end of October. Beverly likes her flowers pretty. In fact, this side of the building is normally her turf. She specifically asked for a little space.”

“Her turf? I thought the whole thing was her turf.”

“Her little garden. We planted the begonias. For some reason she put in petunias everywhere. We didn’t. I don’t know where she got these flowers from. They could have been from someplace with infested soil. That’s probably how these plants became diseased and infected the surrounding plants. I didn’t see any signs of this when I spread out the new mulch in the front of the building.”

“Damn. Regardless, we have to eat the loss and replace these flowers with healthy ones or it’s only a matter of time before the front looks as bad as the side and it’ll ruin my plantings for the fall. I’ll grab some spray.”

“We? If Beverly tampered with your landscaping, shouldn’t she be paying for it to be fixed?”

Drake stood still and looked up at the Inn. I can tell he’s pissed, but he has so much control over his emotions that I’m constantly surprised by his reaction to setbacks, no matter how big or small. When Gus, the other landscaper I work alongside with every day, got arrested the other night and dragged back to the mainland, I thought for sure Drake would fire him on the spot. Instead, since Gus is dating my roommate Lily, he stayed in constant contact with Lily about what was going on with Gus. He didn’t yell about being short a landscaper for the jobs he had scheduled for the week. I’d been all ready to defend Gus to Drake since I’d been there the night at the club when a fight broke out and Gus had to help drag my other roommate, Heather, out of harm’s way. I wanted Drake to know it hadn’t been Gus’s fault. He’d helped save Heather.

But Drake never uttered a harsh word about Gus and how he’d landed in this situation. He just took the news that Gus was sent to the mainland and went back to work as if I’d told him that Gus had called in sick with the flu or something.

“If I want to stay on the island and have any chance of getting next year’s contract, I’m going to have to take the loss.” He sighs as he looks down at his hand and crumples the dry leaf in his fist.

I watch him walk back to the truck. Such control.

“You plan on staying on Nantucket after the summer?”

Drake glanced toward the long stretch of beach the Wayside Inn was located on. “Don’t you? How can you leave a place like this?”

I wanted to say it was easy. Rachel always says that women like me need to move on. But I can’t deny that leaving here will be hard. I only have another month on the island then…I’ll be somewhere else. Meeting new people. Trying to make new friends.

I look at Drake and the thought of it leaves me cold.

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