Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Now Leaving Sugartown

Hiya Poppets,
So I've said before that there will be four books in the Sugartown series and seeing as Holly and Jack finally came to their senses in Enjoy Your Stay, and Greetings from Sugartown gave us the highly anticipated (and very dramatic) conclusion to Ana and Elijah's story, that really only leaves us with one couple left to read all about.
Yep, you guessed it!
Sam and Pepper!
Who knew that little Sammy Belle and Pepper Ryan would grow up into a pair of hellions hell bent on making one another's life, well ... hell!
Okay I did, but did you? And with a family like their's is it really any wonder?

Now Leaving Sugartown is the story I've been dying to write since this series began, so in celebration of the fact that I'm knee-deep in creating the little universe Sam and Pepper have carved out inside my head, you guys can get a sneak peek!
This baby doesn't have a blurb yet, or even a cover, but it has a first chapter, and you can read it below! 


Holy shit, it’s even worse than I remembered.
It’s funny the things you think when you’re staring down the bowels of Hell. I pull the van to a jerky stop on the shoulder of the road, and gawk at the tiny town spread out before me. It’s eight am, and it’s thriving with life. Cars bustle every which way, school kids are decked out in their blue uniform, chatting animatedly as they cross the road, and the traffic actually stops to allow them safe passage. The shops on Main Street are all freshly painted in pastels. Flowerbeds line the footpath, and brightly-coloured petunias pop out of the soil to greet you. It looks exactly like Stepford threw up. Twice.
Jesus Christ. I’m gonna need a bottle of Jack, and an entire prescription worth of anxiety meds just to get through five minutes in this shithole town.
I ease the car out onto the road—maybe ease is a stretch. What I mean to say here, is I slam my foot to the accelerator and fly down Main Street, doing sixty kilometres in a fifty zone. I would have gone much quicker, but I don’t need the cops riding my arse and asking questions about my newly acquired ride. Technically, if you factor in that my arse-wipe boss hasn’t paid me for a month, I do kinda own some of this van, like a tyre, or the second-hand freezer he installed last month. Though considering I probably owe him damages from punching him in the face, breaking his nose, and stealing his phone so he couldn’t call the cops on me, I guess this could still be considered theft.
It’s not like I set out to steal his ice cream van, but the slimy bastard had rubbed his greasy, chesty Bonds-covered beer gut against my arse one to many times. When his meaty hands slipped under my skirt, and boldly tried to go where no balding, impotent, bogan, fifty-year-old scumbag’s had ever gone before, I put those lessons Uncle Elijah had taught me to good use, and elbowed him in the face. I maybe could have done without the boot to the balls, but violence excites me, and it was a heat-of-the-moment type of thing. Of course, once I’d driven my stolen van home to the shitty Fitzroy apartment I shared with my soon to be ex-boyfriend—on account of him being an inconsiderate, selfish, but hot-as-fuck douche—the gravity of my situation sunk in. I had no money, nowhere to go, and a possible warrant out for my arrest.
Coop, my biological dad, is in LA, so even if I could get him to wire me the cash, it wouldn’t be here before night fell, and I needed a place to stay. I needed to get the hell out of the state. I needed to go home.
I supress the hysterical laughter that thought produces, and unscrew the cap on my meds. I empty two into my palm and throw them back with the remainder of my flat, warm can of Coke. God damn, do I wish it were mixed with something alcoholic.
I’m busy punching the buttons on the piece of crap stereo when I glance up, and some moron in a fluoro yellow vest and matching hat is standing in the middle of the road holding a stop sign. I hit the brakes. The van swerves and skids all over the asphalt, screeching to a stop just inches from the man, and a gaggle of horrified-looking children and their outraged mothers.
The lollipop man is tall. His wide shoulders barely fit in the fluoro vest, and the sleeves of his shirt strain against bulging muscles. His hair falls into a messy, blonde just-fucked shag around his face, and a set of gorgeous baby blues glare at me through the windscreen.
“What the hell, lady? You didn’t see the gigantic neon stop sign?” he shouts, holding his arms out to either side of him. He lost the sign about the time I imagine he thought I was going to plough into him. “You coulda killed me. You could have killed these kids!”
I ignore the fission of heat that spreads out from the centre of my belly all the way to my cock socket. I have a thing for the mean ones.
“Yeah, I saw it. About two seconds before I slammed on my breaks,” I scream back through the partially rolled down window. I unbuckle my belt that sits way too loose over my hips, because my lard-arse boss stretched it all out of shape, and throw open the door. It groans on rusty hinges. “So, little Sammy Belle grew up to be a lollipop man.”
“Do I know you?”
“You should,” I say slamming the door, folding my arms, and coming out from around the vehicle to see him better. “We used to bathe naked together.”
“Naww, you do remember me.” I bat my eyelids coquettishly, then give him a devilish grin.
Sam folds his arms, assessing me from my long pastel-pink hair right down to my calf-length leopard print Doc Martens. I don’t miss the way his gaze rakes over the ink sleeve on my right arm. Or the roses on my thigh playing peek-a-boo with my short skirt. His eyes flit back to mine with a grin.
“Huh,” he says.
I frown. “Huh what?”
“You grew up, is all.”
“So did you.”
“I’m six years older than you, darlin’. You would hope I’d have grown up by now.” And there it is, the reminder I spent my entire adolescent life trying not to hear: Sammy Belle is too old for me. Six years too old for me. You might not be thinking that’s such a big deal. Twenty year olds fuck men forty years their senior all the time. But most of those are money-grubbing whores and well, when you’re a horny fourteen-year-old girl lusting after a hot twenty year old, who’s only ever behaved the way a brother would, and you throw caution to the wind, remove your bikini top and hurl yourself at him? Yeah, trust me, you’re not ever going to forget something as insignificant as a six-year age difference. The memory of my humiliation comes unbidden into my mind, and I chase it away with an appraisal of my own.
Sam looks older. Good. But older. He’s tanned, and has lost that baby-faced boyish charm. He’s a man, and from the looks of the front of his jeans, he hasn’t forgotten that in my presence. I share a wry smile of my own, flicking the tiny Monroe piercing in my upper lip with my tongue. He clears his throat.
“You look good, Pepper,” he says, before checking himself, and shutting his face down into a stoic expression. “Now, if you’re done terrorising the neighbourhood, I gotta get back to work. Someone has to keep the kiddies safe from Harajuku nut jobs, intent on flattening them with their ice cream van.”
I clench my jaw. “You did not just call me Harajuku.”
“Run along, Sailor Moon,” Sam says, and winks. “Just be careful not to run anyone over, this time.”
And just like that, he dismisses me. Sammy fucking Belle, the lollypop man, the guy who took me to my year twelve formal, the guy who sat and made fun of all the other arseholes dressed in their tuxes and frilly pastel dresses while I wore combat boots, ripped jeans and a corset. The guy who told me not to give a shit that they were staring, because I was the most beautiful girl in the room, and he couldn’t take his eyes off me. The guy who I stole my first kiss from—that Sammy Belle, who’s a tanned, sunshiny real-life golden boy, dismisses me.
I laugh, humourlessly.
Run over? Oh no, Sammy. I’m going to run rings around you.
Jumping back in the van, I twist the key in the ignition, and feel a sense of pride when she sputters out a big black cloud of exhaust smoke. She backfires, and I know without a doubt that every single pair of eyes in that street is staring at me. I flip the switch on the dash and “Greensleeves” filters out through the giant speaker on top of the van. The kids’ mouths open in excitement, because no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what time of the morning it may be, that sound means one thing: ice cream.
An errant little boy escapes the clutches of his pink tracksuit clad mother, and heads right for me, shouting, “Ice Tweem!”
When he’s close enough to the window I roll it all the way down, hang out my head and hiss at him, which sends him scurrying off the road and back to his mother. Then I skid out and slowly, and very deliberately drive a dawdling circle around Sammy. He stands in the centre and follows me through the 360◦ revolution, eyes tight, face guarded, and arms folded against his broad chest.
Sam the lollipop man is pissed.
On the second drive-by, he just shakes his head, and I think I see a dry smile twist the corner of his mouth. I grin back, throw him a wink, and flatten my foot to the floor. The van lurches forward, and the gearbox protests as I grind it into second and zoom off in a cloud of black exhaust and squealing tyres.
Sugartown might be the absolute end of the earth, but now that I’m a little older, I think I might actually have some fun here.

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