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Excerpt Thursday! Drive Me Home

What, you gasp? Didn't I just post one in the last few weeks? Yes, actually. Thank you for noticing. But whenever I'm faced with dune-sized snowdrifts my thoughts turn to warmer climes. In this case, my attempts to escape the winter chill send me back to Las Vegas for a new excerpt from the novel Drive Me Home by Chrissy Munder. Available in print and eBook from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_128&products_id=993.

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Las Vegas isn't just a glamorous, glitzy playground for high rollers,Elvis impersonators, and blushing newlyweds. It's also a seedy, worn-out dumping ground for the lonely, the broken, and the lost. Eric Moss is one of those drifters, just marking time, until he meets two very
different men, both of whom could change his life.

Marc Evans is a rich casino owner. He offers Eric safety, security, and a chance to regain some of his ravaged past. Brad Torres is a garage mechanic. He offers Eric nothing at all.

The choice might have been easy, if Eric weren't intensely attracted to both men. He has to choose between Sin City's sparkling lights and a life in the shadows—will he be able to live with his heart's decision?

DESPITE this being Vegas, it seemed Lady Luck wasn’t on his side.

“What the hell?” Gardner exclaimed. He had been on the phone when a disheveled Eric forced his way into the office and told him what he needed. Gardner pushed himself back from his desk and looked at Eric in disbelief. “I don’t keep cash lying around. And I certainly wouldn’t give you an advance of that amount.”

“I’ll take anything you can give me.” Eric tried to keep a tight rein on his temper, but it was difficult. He was too frustrated, and he knew Gardner was lying. He had seen the safe. “I told you I’d pay you back.”

“Yeah? And I’m the mayor of Las Vegas. When exactly are you planning to do that? You think I was born yesterday? Whenever you get back from wherever you have to go in such a hurry? For what? A niece? You expect me to buy that? And what about tonight? What about Marc Evans? Do you realize that if you don’t show we could lose the deal?” The words were spit out rapid fire one after another.

“I don’t give a shit about any deal!” Eric finally exploded. He was fragmenting under the pressure, pieces of who he thought he was spiraling away from his control. He could only watch as one of his hands slammed down on Gardner’s desk for emphasis and caused the older man to jump. “I need a favor. I need time off. I need money, and I need it now.” Eric struggled to level out his voice, to hold on to himself amid the shaking.

“You’d better get a hold of yourself, Eric, before I’m forced to call someone.” Gardner’s voice changed, deepening and roughing around the edges. “You’re acting crazy. You on something?”

“Dammit!” Eric yelled again, his control long gone. “You’ve made a mint off me and this Evans thing. All I’m asking for is an advance.”

“And if you leave you’re going to lose me the Evans thing.” His patience also at an end, Gardner stood and yelled back, his surface layer finally falling away, revealing a tough and steely interior. “Do you have a clue just how many limo companies there are in Vegas? Do you know how many drivers there are in Vegas?” The older man snarled nastily at him. “Drifters like you are a disposable commodity, Eric, and I can replace you with a snap of my fingers.” He sneered and snapped his fingers for emphasis, angry that his plans for getting control of Evans Enterprises’ business were thwarted. “For some reason you’ve been Evans’s flavor of the month, but that can change.”

Gardner reached for a way to bring Eric back in line. “Trust me,you have to ride this out until he’s tired of you and moves on. Then we can talk about some other options. I can use a smart guy like you.”

“Please….” Eric had sworn to himself he wasn’t going to beg, but he found himself pleading anyway.

“I can’t help you, Eric, and if you leave here now, don’t bother coming back.”

Eric could tell there was no arguing. “Just fuck you, then.” Eric knew it wasn’t the most brilliant of responses, but it was all he could muster as he shoved the stacks of papers off Gardner’s desk, watching with bitter satisfaction as they swirled about the office. “Fuck you very much.”

He turned and strode out the office door, pushing his way past the curious onlookers who had been drawn by the raised voices. Rob and Warren backed away from him, and Eric wondered what he looked like. He made it to his truck and leaned against it for a moment, letting his head bang against the hot metal. Pull it together, Moss. They’re depending on you. Don’t fuck this up.

What was he going to do now?