The Following is the first four chapters of my New Adult Contemporary Romance Novella, Another Man's Treasure!
Another Man's Treasure
Book 2 (Musicology Series) (Diamond & Ryder)
New Adult Contemporary Romance Novella
Mature Audience 18+
Twenty-four year old, Ryder Gillian, former lead singer for the Stone Ryders, returns to Atlanta, GA after being away for five years. There's only one thing on his mind. Stay away from trouble. Well, trouble didn't get that memo. Entangled in a web of deception Ryder is desperate to break free from the shackles of his past. Freedom has a name. Diamond Anderson. Freedom has a price. His heart.
Ryder tossed back his fourth shot of whiskey. The burn in his chest lessened with each drink.
"Yo, Cliff." Ryder raised his empty glass in the air. "Two more."
Cliff, the bartender, nodded and poured two more shots of Jameson. He placed the shot glasses in front of Ryder. They made no eye contact.
Ryder had walked into the bar with one thing on his mind. Numb the pain. The more shots he had the closer he was to reaching his goal. The brown liquid slid down the back of his throat with ease. A warmness coated his insides. He licked his tingling lips and sat the glass down hard onto the bar top.
"Excuse me." A small voice tickled his ear.
He turned his head slowly to the right. Beautiful blue eyes smiled at him.
"You're Ryder Gillian, right?"
He didn't answer.
"I'm Sophie. I'm a big fan of yours. You probably don't recognize me now. We used to be in the same class until I dropped out." She pushed her stringy brown hair behind her ears. "Look, I don't mean to bother you I just want to give you my condolences. I heard about Daniel on the news."
He stared at her.
"I'm sorry." She placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Hey, what the hell are you doing man?" A loud drunken voice came from behind him. "You talking to my girl, man?" A strong hand pushed Ryder in the back.
Ryder looked into the mirror behind the bar. A bald headed, stocky dude stood between him and Sophie. Ryder sized him up. The dude was definitely out of shape and about four inches too short to cause a real threat. A strong stench hung onto his every word.
Ryder shook his head and raised the shot of whiskey to his mouth. The dude pushed him in the arm and the glass fell out of his hand. Whiskey splattered onto his shirt as the glass bounced onto the bar.
"Charlie, for Christ sakes! He wasn't trying to talk to me." Sophie tugged at his jacket. "Come on, you're always starting something."
Charlie jerked free. He stood beside Ryder. They stared at each other through the mirror. "Answer me, boy!"
"Hey, Charlie, what are you doing man?" Cliff said, walking to their end of the bar. "If you're going to start trouble you gotta get the hell outta here. You know I don't play that in my bar, man."
Charlie threw his hands in the air and backed away. "Alright, alright. Just tell that pussy to keep his hands off my girl and it won't be no trouble."
Ryder grabbed a few napkins to wipe up the liquor.
"It's okay man, I got it," Cliff said, wiping the bar with a wet towel. "You okay?"
He was far from okay. He had just buried his best-friend, Daniel. The guy who'd been by his side since they were toddlers. A brother from another mother. Tears stung his eyes. He quickly wiped them with the back of his hand and rose from the barstool. He pulled out his wallet.