I’ve teamed up with over 30 fantastic romance authors to bring you the spectacularly steamy, limited edition anthology Tease Me, available now for pre-order.
❤Buy Now For 99 Pennies!❤
Each full-length novel in the Tease Me Boxset guarantees a swoon-worthy book boyfriend! Pre-order yours today!
Want to read more from K.L.? Check out this excerpt from Until June.
Excerpt from UNTIL JUDE BOOK 1 OF THE PULSETUNES ROCK GODS SERIES. by K.L. SHANDWICK
“Fuck,” I mumbled and ran back down the stairs in the direction of the kitchen, with the sound of the Slipknot’s tune still so loud it resonated in my chest. The closer I got to where I’d guessed Joe was, the stronger the smell of burning. Breathless, I reached the kitchen door where smoke bellowed out of the oven, and I eyed flames licking inside the glass door, from the other side of the central breakfast island.
The whole expensive chef’s kitchen looked as if a flour bomb had gone off. On the floor lay three raw, broken eggs, and by the look of the impressive skid mark that extended from them and the ‘dance moves’ footprints beside them, he’d obviously trodden on them. Two large bowls half full of raw ingredients sat to one side, like he’d abandoned those and started again. His laptop was perched on the halogen hob, open at a cake recipe page, depicting a picture of a perfect cake, he had likely been following.
“Jesus Christ, Joe, what the fuck?” Rushing forward I turned the oven off, opened the patio doors leading out to the decked area, and waved a glass cloth at the wired in fire alarm. “Damn,” I cussed as I strode over to Joe, and shoved his shoulder to rouse him. He looked sluggish and unfocused when he peered back at me through bleary eyes.
“Aw, man,” he mumbled as he slowly lifted his head a little off his forearms where he was perched on a stool at the kitchen counter. His head obviously felt too heavy and flopped to one side as he gave me a vacant look.
“This isn’t just weed. You’re totally stoned. What the fuck did you drop?”
“Just a couple of downers, I couldn’t sleep,” he mumbled almost incoherently.
“You were baking a fucking cake … you weren’t supposed to be sleeping,” I barked angrily and rolled my eyes when I caught sight of Esther standing with a worried look on her face, at the kitchen door. The sound of the two-tone siren of a fire engine grew nearer and my eyes closed as they rolled to the back of my head.
These people will be the death of me.
When I opened my eyes, I softened my gaze at the sight of Esther. “Are you all right, sugar?” I asked calmly, noting that I’d seen her, but I couldn’t spend time babying her until I knew Joe was alright. I turned and strode over to the open fridge, grabbed a bottle of water, and went back to my bandmate. “Get on your feet and drink this,” I said, shoving the cold drink at him and dragging him to his feet.
“What happened?” Esther asked quietly from the kitchen door. I figured from where she stood, she couldn’t see the oven had been on fire. Fortunately, the cake fire had burnt out and the fresh air had dissipated most of the smoke from the room.
“Joe happened. Fucking baking,” I added as if that explained everything. A sharp knock on the front door was simultaneously accompanied by a burly firefighter who’d turned up at the back and peered inside the French doors.
“Everything under control?” he asked, looking past me in a quick assessment of the scene when he stepped into the kitchen without being invited.
“If you mean is the fire out, yeah, I caught it in time,” I replied. “As for everything else being under control, unless you got a set of cuffs and a cage on your person, I doubt it,” I replied, nodding toward Joe. As if on cue, he climbed back onto the seat and resumed his position on the countertop.
“You’re Jude Collymore, right?” he asked, slipping his helmet off and wagging his finger.
“In the flesh,” I muttered. Hearing how pissed I’d sounded, I flashed him a smile. “Sorry, dude, I’d just come through the door to all of this,” I explained waving my arm at him and then wider to the new Slipknot heavy metal song blaring through the air and the averted disaster in the kitchen.
“Looks like he’s living the dream,” the firefighter joked, glancing at Joe who had fallen asleep again at the counter.
“He’ll be living a nightmare when he sobers up,” I shot back. “I have no idea where he even got the ingredients for all this.
“You okay in here?” another firefighter asked when he appeared with Esther and interrupted the fireman and me laughing. I realized she’d answered the front door while my attention had been elsewhere. Moving around him she came closer and stood beside me.
“Yeah, it was just Julia Child here baking a cake,” the firefighter standing near me remarked.
“Right,” his colleague replied sounding less impressed. “You okay, sugar?” I asked Esther again, unconvinced by her initial reply earlier. It had only been a little over three weeks since her mom had passed and she’d been thrown into what could easily have been regarded as a mentalist’s nightmare. She’d looked a little freaked out, so I slung an arm over her shoulder and pulled her closer.
She glanced up at me and shrugged that time as if to say, “I have no choice, I need to be.”
“Okay, Jude, we’ll check the rest of the place out, just to be sure, reset the smoke alarms, and get on our way.”
“Thanks guys, sorry for the disturbance. I’ll make sure we get this idiot a babysitter in future because he sure as shit isn’t baking a cake again.” The serious firefighter’s lips quirked but he stopped himself from laughing.”
“Meth n’ Motorcycles is a dope album by the way,” the first firefighter admitted, which had been our second album release.
“You’re a fan?”
“Sure, got tickets for the gig later this week down south.”
“Amazing. Leave your email and I’ll get our assistant to arrange a backstage pass for you to come hang out with us after the gig if you want.”
“Fantastic, there’s four of us … would that be, okay?”
“Sure, I’ll get Bernadette on it later.”
He strode over and shook my hand while his partner had already turned and wandered back out into the hallway.
I realized I still had my arm around Esther’s shoulder and glanced back down at her.
“Never a dull moment with these guys, huh?” I asked.