UntamedS. C. Stephens
Table of Contents
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This book goes out to all the Griffin fans who ceaselessly asked for more, more, more! Since his first appearance in Thoughtless, you’ve laughed with him, laughed at him, and watched him grow. If you haven’t already, I hope you completely fall in love with him after reading UNTAMED. I know I have.
Aside from Kellan Kyle, Griffin has to be my favorite D-Bag. Everything he does makes me laugh. But what I really love the most about him is the growth he’s had over the course of the series. Finding a way to continue that growth for him was tricky, but I think UNTAMED accomplishes that, and I’m very proud of his journey.
This book would not have been possible without the love and support of my readers. Thank you for being so patient with me! I know my books take a while to get to you, but I hope you find them worth the wait. Each one represents countless hours, numerous doubts and fears, and more than a few tears. Writing is not an easy profession, but seeing the final product and hearing your praise and encouragement makes all the blood, sweat, and carpal tunnel worth it.
I would like to thank all the authors who have supported me. For this being such a competitive business, I’ve never felt anything but encouraged by my peers. To K. A. Linde—my friend, my sounding board, and my rock—I adore you! To Nicky Charles—the reason I self-published in the first place—I can’t thank you enough for showing me the ropes. To Jenn Sterling and Rebecca Donovan—the two of you are bright spots in my day. Thank you so much for your endless sweetness! To Katy Evans—your tweets and retweets always make me smile. Thank you for sharing me with your fans! To K. Bromberg—my release-day buddy! You have such a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing your day with me in such a kind and generous way. To Sunniva Dee, Danielle Jamie, Alexa Keith, Alex Rose, and more—thank you for sharing your stories, your excitement, and your support! And much love to the authors who move and inspire me—Jillian Dodd, C. J. Roberts, Kristen Proby, Tara Sivec, Nicole Williams, Tarryn Fisher, T. Gephart, Katie Ashley, Karina Halle, Christina Lauren, Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, Jamie McGuire, A. L. Jackson, Tammara Webber, Emma Chase, Kyra Davis, Kim Karr, Claire Contreras, Cora Carmack, and so many more!
A huge heartfelt thank you to the bloggers who have endlessly supported me—Totally Booked Blog, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog, Fictional Boyfriends, Schmexy Girl Book Blog, Three Chicks and Their Books, The Rock Stars of Romance, Shh Mom’s Reading, Kayla the Bibliophile, Maryse’s Book Blog, Brandee’s Book Endings, Martini Times Romance, The Autumn Review, SubClub Books, Sammie’s Book Club, Lori’s Book Blog, The Book Enthusiast, Bookish Temptations, Verna Loves Books, The Book Bar, A Literary Perusal, We Like It Big Book Blog, Bare Naked Words, Fictional Men’s Page, Love N. Books, Vilma’s Book Blog, Southern Belle Book Blog, Kindle Crack, One Click Bliss, Kricket’s Chirps, Perusing Princesses, Talkbooks Blog, BJ’s Book Blog, Nancy’s Romance Reads, Literary Gossip, and many, many, many more!
Much love to the tweeters and posters who make going online so entertaining—Janet, Shelley, Christine, Sue, Simmi, SL, Jamie, Bianca, Jane, Jasmin, Tam, Deb, Keisha, Tiffany, Joanne, Katie, Ellen, Denise, Erin, Natalie, Lisa, Charleen, Nicky, LJ, Nic, Sharon, AM, Laayna, Christy, Liis, Glorya, Gerb, Chelcie, Sam, and way too many more to name! Your frequent messages warm my heart, make me laugh, and lift my spirits!
To all the Thoughtless support groups and fan pages out there—just knowing these exist is surreal. Thank you for all the time, effort, and passion that you pour into your pages!
I cannot fully express my thanks to my agent, Kristyn Keene of ICM Partners—your help and guidance on this book were invaluable! As were the numerous pep talks and words of encouragement that you shared over the last year. There were times when I sorely needed the boost! Many thanks to my amazing Forever/Grand Central Publishing family—Beth deGuzman, Marissa Sangiacomo, Julie Paulauski, and Jamie Snider. You’ve all made me feel so loved and welcome! And a special thank-you to Megha Parekh, for your mad editing skills!
And lastly, much love to my friends and family for their endless patience. Especially when a deadline has me scrambling out the door, canceling at the last minute, or locked in my office all night. So sorry!! And to my kids…you have no idea how much I love you…but please stop screaming at the top of your lungs, or coming up to me and saying, “Mom, hey Mom…hi,” when I’m trying to finish a scene. Just kidding. I will always make time for you. ♥
There Is No Cure for Awesome
I wasn’t one to brag, but I had a good life. Screw that. I was one to brag and I was going to do it as often and as loudly as I could, because I had the greatest fucking life in all the history of great lives. Not many people could boast like I could boast. Not many people were in the most successful band in the world. Just me. Oh, and my bandmates. I guess. Whatever.
And in thirteen days, eighteen hours, thirty-two minutes, I was going to be on the road again. The summer tour for the D-Bags’ second number-one album was coming up fast, and I was itching to get started. I’d waited in the background long enough, been playing an instrument that had been assigned to me long enough. This tour, everything was going to change. It was my time to play lead guitar, my moment to shine in the spotlight. I was going to rule that fucking stage, and no one was going to stop me.
When I first joined the D-Bags a few years ago, I had been under the completely logical assumption that once my overall awesomeness was known, I would replace my cousin as the lead guitarist; I’d even told the guys as much when we’d officially formed the band. And even though Matt had agreed with me, telling me, “Whatever you say, Griffin,” the band had yet to give me a shot at being the musical star. They’d shoved me in the bassist position and then left me there. I belonged front and center—lead guitarist was practically tattooed on my forehead! All the guys knew it, and whenever I brought up the fact that Matt and I should switch instruments, they blew off my request with ridiculous comments like, “Matt has more talent.” Whatever. My left nut had more talent than Matt; he wished he was as awesome as me. The guys were all just worried that they’d be forgotten if I was really given a chance to shine. Well, fuck that. I didn’t plan on staying in the shadows for long. Nobody put the Hulk in the corner. Nobody.
Thankfully, I had been blessed with panty-dropping good looks, a smoking physique, more sexual know-how than an A-list hooker, and more talent in my pinkie finger than most possessed in their entire bodies. I was a lucky son of a bitch too, and things had a way of working out for me. I guess I had good karma or some shit, because even bad situations ended up being fucktastic. Take my childhood. When my mom found out she was pregnant with me, we lived in Wichita. Yep. I was almost born in fucking Kansas. Kansas! But my dad lost his job and we had to move in with his brother, so I ended up being squeezed out in the Land of Spotlights—Los Angeles. Straight out of the womb, I’d been destined for greatness.
Even at a young age, being a rock star had appealed to me—I dressed up as Gene Simmons for six Halloweens in a row. I think it was the idea of millions of people screaming my name, crying when they saw me, idolizing me. The thought of being put on a pedestal was intoxicating. Who wouldn’t want that? Plus, what profession, outside of porn and prostitution, guaranteed you all the sex you could handle? None that I could th
But I supposed Matt was the real reason for my career choice. We’d lived together for the first eight years of our lives, then we’d lived on the same street, then we’d moved out together. Even though we drove each other crazy more often than not, we were almost always around each other. There was no one I liked making fun of more than Matt. And for as long as I could remember, Matt had been obsessed with music. Like, unhealthily obsessed. On-the-verge-of-needing-an-intervention obsessed.
When we were preteens, he used to say shit like, “Music is life,” and “Everything else is just background noise.” I think crap like that was why Matt had been a virgin until he was nineteen. And a half. He’d devoted his entire young life to music, but what he’d failed to realize was that music was just a means to an end. From the beginning of time, music was only designed to do one thing—get people laid. Sex was life…literally…and everything else was just background noise. After Matt’s first time, I think he started to understand that fact. He’d certainly eased off on the “Music fuels the world” comments.
Unlike me, Matt hadn’t really planned on being a rock star though. He’d thought it was a pipe dream, but I’d known it was inevitable. All we had to do was wait for the right moment. Wait for fate to find us. And it had.
After high school, I’d kept my options open. It used to drive my parents crazy that I hadn’t done anything productive after I graduated—by the skin of my teeth. I’d sort of ambled around for a couple years like a lost degenerate. That’s what my sister said anyway, but I’d known what I was doing. Timing was everything, and I couldn’t take the risk of being stuck at some lame-ass job when fate came knocking on my door. It wasn’t laziness, it was preparedness. I needed to be free, to be one with the winds of change, or some poetic shit like that. I had to be ready. And it was a good thing I was too, because if I’d had commitments I couldn’t get out of, Matt and I never would have been able to form a band with Kellan and Evan.
We met them at a strip club. It wasn’t often that I could get my cousin to go out for a little bump and grind with me, but after a few shots at the bar, I could have talked Matt into anything. Fucking lightweight. Matt, as always, was completely uncomfortable being around mostly naked girls. Because I cared about his personal growth, and because it was hilarious to watch him turn bright red, I did what I could to help him with the girls. We were kicked out of the club twenty minutes later. It wasn’t my fault though. I mean, how was I supposed to know that bringing a pogo stick up on stage was frowned upon? In my humble opinion, I thought I was improving the show.
Evan and Kellan had been at the club that night and had found us in the parking lot after we were rudely evicted. As usual, Matt was whining when they’d approached us—something about how much of an idiot I was. I don’t know, I hadn’t really been listening. But after introductions, the conversation had shifted to music, and Matt had finally been in seventh heaven. He was happier discussing music styles with a bunch of dudes than he had been watching silicone jugs jiggling up and down in front of our faces. I’d suspected it for years but had known without a doubt in that moment that Matt was completely out of his mind and would never be right in the head.
The two of us had signed on with Kellan and Evan and—boom!—the D-Bags were born. And I discovered that, as I’d predicted, music was a surefire path to sex. And, oh my God…there was so much sex to be had! Backstage sex. Parking lot sex. Wall sex. Bathroom sex. Whips and chains sex. Cosplay sex. One-night stands. Threesomes. Orgies. And a partridge in a pear tree.
It was a never-ending smorgasbord of carnal delight. All I had to say was, “I’m in a band,” and whatever chick I was talking to was instantly intrigued. It was so easy it was almost too easy. No, not really. It was fucking amazing and I loved every second of it.
The only thing that put a slight damper on the awesomeness of my life was my inferior position in the band. The guys had no idea what a gift they had in me, and even though I told them repeatedly that I deserved a shot on lead guitar, time and time again, they kept holding me back. That was my only real complaint about being in the band. Oh, that and fucking Kellan routinely stealing my pussy! Even when I called dibs! Before he went and got all “domesticated,” that used to really piss me off. And then, to make things even worse, the fucking thief wouldn’t even share sex stories. If you’re gonna swipe my slit, asshole, at least have the common courtesy to share the deets!
But no, Kellan would get all weird and tight-lipped. Almost embarrassed. Didn’t make sense to me at the time. Still didn’t—I sang that shit from the rooftops! But, then again, I was amazing in bed. I was such a good lay, even I wanted to sleep with me. Kellan probably sucked at it. He only got the chicks because he had the “lead singer” badge. The girls probably cried afterward it was so horrible. Yeah, that made sense. Poor pathetic asshole. Maybe I should cut him some slack? Nah. It was his obligation as the front man to be good at sex. If he couldn’t hack it, I’d gladly replace him. I could sing and thrust my hips. Easy as nailing an unsatisfied wife after Mother’s Day. Yeah…I could totally do it. Fuck being lead guitarist. I could be lead everything.
I pictured myself standing in the center of the stage, the fans hollering, jumping up and down, flashing their tits as they screamed my name. Kellan shrank into the background, smaller and smaller, until finally the darkness at the back of the stage swallowed him whole. I could only see shadowy, fingerlike shapes lightly flicking the bass line strings. He was messing up the song, but I let it go…because I was awesome like that. I’d talk to him about it later though, maybe give him extra rehearsals. Ha!
It was hot under the center lights, but I loved it. The heat was like a lover’s fingers over my bare skin. If only I were naked, so I could feel the warm vibrations everywhere. The crowd would go crazy for that. They were already clambering to get to me; security was having a hell of a time keeping them back. By the looks on their faces, I knew that if they did make it up on stage, they would tear me to pieces. Being mauled to death with love, lust, and desire…not a bad way to go.
They started chanting my name, over and over. “Griffin! Griffin! Griffin!” I held up my hand to appease them…
“Griffin…do you have a question?”
My vision of writhing fans evaporated as a pair of emerald-green eyes came into focus. Anna. My gorgeous, sensual goddess of a wife. “No…I wasn’t listening. Can you start over?” The full lips below the penetrating eyes frowned, but I knew she wasn’t really all that upset. My mind often wandered; she was used to it.
It still surprised me some that I had taken the plunge, cut myself off from the pack, picked just one type of cereal to eat. Forever. But when the cereal in question was chocolate-coated chocolate flakes dipped in fudge and covered with chocolate sprinkles, it really wasn’t that much of a sacrifice.
Anna and I had met several years ago, before the D-Bags were big. She’d thought I was the shit, even back then, when the pool I’d been floating in wasn’t all that deep. I dug her even more for that. I’d dug her, but that hadn’t stopped me from banging babes after we hooked up. Not even after we’d repeatedly hooked up. Her either. Anna and I’d had a whenever-works-for-you-works-for-me relationship, and I had continued reveling in eager-to-please groupies for a long time. But then, somehow—and I’m still not sure how—everything had started to change. After being with Anna, every other girl had left me wanting. The two of us together were explosive. No, mind-blowing. No…life-altering. I supposed that was why no one else could compare. Anna just got me, and fully satisfied me like nobody else.
Other girls…well, it was like drinking from the ocean with them. Sure, the momentary ache was gone, but I felt worse afterward. Thirstier. I’d just wanted Anna, all the fucking time, and nobody else would do. Admitting I was whipped was the hardest fucking thing I’d ever done, but denying it was getting me nowhere. Anna was enough for me. No, she was it for me. So I fucking married her before anybody else could.
Anna sighed, making h
er lips part in such an erotic way that I almost got distracted with another vision. God, her mouth on me right now would be fantastic. I wonder if what she has to say could be said naked? I didn’t see why not. She was already halfway there. I was sitting on the bench in our walk-in closet while she picked out something to wear for the day. All she’d picked out so far was a black bra with matching black underwear, and even though they were stretchy, supportive maternity underwear, they were hot. I wanted them in my teeth.
“The tour…I decided to come with you. Gibson and I both. Plus Newbie. We’re all three coming with you.” She placed her hands on the sides of her stomach, outlining the shape of the baby in her belly. Our second kid. According to the doctors, it was another girl, but since those fuckers had told us Gibson was a boy right up until the day she was born, we weren’t holding our breath on this one. We’d know what the baby was when Anna popped him/her out.
I shrugged. “Okay, sounds awesome.” Made no difference to me. In fact, it would make my life a little easier if she did come. I wouldn’t have to jack off so much. Although I might have to right now if she bent over again. Sweet Jesus, my wife is a fucking masterpiece.
Anna turned back to the rod holding hundreds of outfits. I swear she had more clothes than most department stores. This wasn’t even our only closet. There was one off the master bathroom too, and another one in an unused guest room that she used. It was almost ridiculous, but she looked so fucking good in everything she owned, I never complained about it. Even still, as good as she looked all decked out, she looked even better naked.
She already had her shoes picked out for the day; she was holding them in her hand while she flipped through her fashion choices. They were black high heels that would make her legs look a mile long. I was getting hard just thinking of her wearing them. Why the hell hadn’t she put them on yet? She was teasing me…