Scott and Brandi

These are the deleted scenes from Scott’s time apart from Tori, when he had a brief stent with Brandi. A lot of this was shortened and recapped in Brandi’s head as memories in her book, to give my readers a gist of what was going through her head, but you never got the full details.

I think it really shows how Scott is still obviously in love with Tori, and how him and Brandi were just not a good fit, but this was just TOO much of another woman/another man to add to the other books, so it ended up on the chopping block.

**Disclaimer** These deleted scenes have NOT been through my editor, so please forgive any typos in them!

“What’s all this?” Scott asked as he walked into his condo. Brandi had opened up several boxes and was sifting through them.

“I figured I could help you unpack,” Brandi shrugged. “With the storm outside, I didn’t have much else I could do, but it looks like it’s starting to let up.” She nodded to the snow falling outside the large windows. 

“That’s sweet of you.” Scott wrapped his arms around her and gave her a kiss.

“How was the interview?” 

“Good,” Scott said furrowing his brow.

“But…” Brandi looked at him knowing full well he was holding back. 

“They want me, my resume is impressive, it’s just…”

“It’s the leg.” Brandi frowned.

“It’s gonna be a hard sell to get people past it.” Scott shrugged. 

“You know, you don’t have to do this, Scott. You could come back to Texas, live there, you could get some land, raise cattle like your daddy…” Brandi trailed off. “DC is really no place to raise a family anyway…” She made a sour face. “You have nothing to prove anymore, you’ve served your time so bravely.”

Family? Woah, slow down. He liked Brandi, a lot, but he wasn’t ready to walk down the aisle yet. Not until he had a career again, and raising cattle, living on the farm was not what he wanted to with his life. 

“You haven’t even seen the city yet,” Scott protested. “The public school system is in dire need for good teachers.”

“I saw the airport, and it was disgusting. So was that cab.” Brandi wrinkled her nose. “I shudder to think what the public school system is like here.” 

Maybe his dad had a very valid point. Brandi did not seem like she was exited at all about the prospect of DC. Flaw two, Brandi was a bit of a snob. 

“Let’s go out.” Scott nodded to the window. “The snow is letting up.”

“Oh, can we go to the Smithsonian? Pretty please?” Brandi seemed excited about that prospect. 

“Which one?” Scott asked. 

“There is more than one?” She asked curiously.

Scott blinked for a moment, not knowing how to answer that.

“I’m kidding silly man, I know there are more than one. What kind of teacher do you think I am?” 

Scott laughed. “You had me worried there for a minute. Get your coat on, we’ll grab a cab.”

His phone vibrated in his pocket as Brandi went to get her things. He pulled it out and glanced at the screen.

Tori: Hey sexy, how’s it going? Haven’t heard from you in some time. You off saving the world again?

Scott sighed, and debated on not responding. Why not respond though? They were friends, actually she was practically his best friend and he missed talking to her. 

Scott: Interview today, not sure how it will pan out.

Tori: How so?

Scott: Hard sell getting them past the nub.

Tori: Well, fuck them then. They don’t know a good thing when they see it. Bastards. Just keep at it. Don’t fucking give up on your dream. Don’t settle. Ever.

“Ready?” Brandi asked as she came out of his bedroom dressed warmly and ready to go. 

Don’t settle. Those words felt like a knife being twisted in his chest as he stared at the wonderful woman in front of him. Was he settling? 

“Yeah.” Scott nodded, shoved his phone in his pocket and grabbed his coat.

* * *

Scott took Brandi to the Natural History Museum. He figured with her being a teacher and all, that would be a good place to start. There was no way they’d get through it all, but he could at least show her a little bit of DC. As they stood in Ocean Hall in front of the large whale, he was shoved to the side by a large school group that came through. 

“Lord, will you try and stay caught up with the group please!” He heard a familiar, yet exasperated shrill voice echo over the crowd of unruly children. Scott turned around and there stood Keith, badge around his neck, and headset in his ear. His face was as red as his hair and he looked positively spent. 

Keith didn’t even notice Scott standing there, arms crossed, just watching him, totally amused at how out of his element Keith was trying to wrangle all those kids. What on earth was he even doing there? This wasn’t even his museum. 

Keith glanced at his watch. “Oh thank Lord, it’s lunch time.” He clapped his hands. “Alright kids! Back down the stairs, follow your teachers!” Keith began ushering them out of the area and he stopped and took a double take when he saw Scott, standing there, grinning ear to ear.

“Scott Harris? What the hell are you doing here?” Keith placed his hand on his hip.

“I could ask the same for you. I thought you worked at the Hirshhorn?” Scott laughed. “What in the world are you doing trolling around with a bunch of kids on a field trip?”

“A favor for a friend.” A sly grin morphed on his buddy’s face.

“Why do I have a suspicion this has something to do with sex?” Scott whispered slyly so the kids wouldn’t hear him. Brandi cocked her head to the side and turned around. 

“Because you know me well.” Keith cackled and wiggled his brow. “Worth it.” His blue eyes darted to Brandi curiously. “Who do we have here?” 

“Brandi.” She offered her hand to Keith, who accepted it and greeted her with a kiss on the knuckles.

“Brandi, this is Keith, a good friend.” Scott introduced them.

“Former roommate as well. Pleasure to meet you, hun.” Keith’s eyes raked her over, sizing her up. “You’re positively stunning.” He smiled warmly at her and glanced at Scott, a smirk tugging at this lips. “You sure do like them blonde, don’t you?” 

Brandi chuckled coyly and she leaned her head on Scott’s arm, feigning embarrassment. Scott rolled his eyes at Keith, but didn’t acknowledge his snarky comment. 

“Heard from Vic lately?” Keith grinned like the devil. Scott reciprocated with a fuck-you glare. Damn dirty of Keith to mention her, then again he was Tori’s best friend.  

“Yeah, here and there,” was all Scott offered. 

“Sounds about normal.” Keith snorted. “Listen, I gotta go.” He waved as he flittered away. “Call me and let’s do lunch!” 

“He’s…flamboyant,” Brandi said with a smirk once he was out of earshot. 

“He’s a red-hot mess.” Scott just shook his head and they walked along looking at the exhibits in awkward silence.

“Scott, who’s Vic?” Brandi finally asked.

Who is Vic? He frowned, not knowing how to answer the question. To say that Tori was just a friend was a lie. She was far more than that. To say she was a former girlfriend, also another lie. Tori was a big grey area topped with a huge question mark. After four years of knowing the woman, he still couldn’t figure her out.

“Tori is…” Scott sighed. “Tori’s my best friend.” That was honestly the most truthful answer that he could give Brandi. 

“Well then, silly, we should go meet her. I want to meet all your friends,” Brandi said warmly. 

Yeah, not happening.

“Well, she’s in New York last I heard.” He shrugged. 

“Oh.” Brandi frowned, seemingly chewing on that nugget for a moment. “Well, I’d love to meet her, someday.” She slipped her hand into Scott’s and they continued on. 

* * *

Back at his loft that evening they settled in on his sofa, watching some mindless television. “Oh come on, you have to at least try it.” Scott held the glass of whiskey out to Brandi.

“I don’t drink hard liquor, Scott.” She pushed the glass away. 

“One sip, for me, pretty please?” He gave her a sexy pout.

Brandi curled her lip and crossed her arms, pretending to be exasperated with him. It was so adorable when she made that face. “Fine. One sip, just for you.” She took the glass from his hand and took a swig. She swallowed it. “Not bad.” She tried to keep a straight face, but Scott could tell she didn’t like it.

Scott narrowed his eyes. “You’re so bullshitting me.”  

Brandi let out a breath and made a grimace. “Yes, it was terrible.” 

Scott laughed at the expression on her face. It wasn’t even straight whiskey. It was mixed with Coke. “So prissy.” 

“Prissy? Just because I don’t like a drink?” She huffed, stood and walked into his kitchen, uncorking a bottle of wine. She poured it into the glass, and placed it down on the counter. “Scott Harris you should be ashamed of the amount of mail you have piled up here,” she said, shuffling through the pile that was on his counter. 

“Eh, it’s mostly junk. All my bills are auto paid and I get e-statements. I don’t really even bother anymore with it.”  

“Well, you have a handwritten letter here it looks like it got sent to the wrong address. It’s addressed to Mike Reynolds, hmm, Canadian postmark from a Sheriff Rusty Cote. Someone must have sent it to the wrong address.” She hummed then cleared her throat. “You also got an invite to a gallery exhibition from Victoria Johnson, I’m assuming that’s your friend, Tori.” There was a definite edge to her tone.

Fuck. He rubbed his face, shifted in his seat and took a swig of his drink. “Just let it be. I’ll sort through it all later.” Brandi seemed to be a bit nosy, between her unpacking him the day before and sifting through his mail.

She waltzed back over and curled up next to him with her glass of wine, and turned her head to the TV. Scott went back to watching reruns of The Office

“Are you going to go?” Brandi asked after several minutes.

“Go where?” Scott turned and looked at her.

“To Tori’s gallery thing, silly.”

“Oh.” He shrugged. “I haven’t even looked at the invite yet.”

“Well, it’s this weekend. Tomorrow night, actually.” Brandi handed him the invite and Scott looked it over. It was here in town. Tori must have been coming back to DC for the weekend for it.

“Oh, well then, probably not.” Scott focused back on the TV. Jim had put all Dwight’s office supplies in Jello. He snorted in laughter. This episode was one of his favorites. 

“So, you’re telling me that you don’t want to go to see your best friend? Seems kinda rude if you ask me.” Brandi sipped her wine. “We should go support her. She’s obviously important to you. I’d like to meet her.” 

Scott sat his tumbler down on the coffee table and rubbed his face. Brandi and Tori meeting was not on his agenda. Ever. Scott thought about the finality of that and it twisted his gut. Things were turning serious with Brandi, so really that meant that his “friendship” with Tori was over. That thought caused a hollow ache in his chest, and not just because he’d miss fucking Tori. Sure, Tori was, well, she was fucking amazing in bed. The best he’d ever had. That’s not what he’d miss the most though. 

That laugh of hers. That stupid, loud, obnoxious laugh, that was first on the list of things he’d miss. Nobody could make him laugh like Tori did. He’d miss how uninhibited he was around her. That woman brought out the wild in him, probably to an unhealthy degree, but that’s what good friends do. He’d miss that. 

He looked over at Brandi. She was so beautiful, kind and had so much innocence to her. She was rock solid. Steady. Always made the right choices. Things were going good with Brandi. This could become something really amazing, and if he wanted to keep it that way he’d need to cut ties with Tori. It was the right thing to do. 

“This is our weekend to be together.” Scott rubbed Brandi’s leg. “Tori will understand, the art stuff, it’s not really my thing. She doesn’t expect me to be there. I never go.” 

“If you say so.” She shrugged, sat down her wine glass on the coffee table and went back over to one of his packed boxes, ripping it open.

He groaned. “What are you doing? I thought we were relaxing?” 

“Eh, this show isn’t really my thing. I don’t understand it. They just follow them around like a documentary, but it’s actually a sitcom? Putting office supplies in jello, isn’t that kinda mean?” 

“You said the word funny wrong.” Scott laughed. Brandi smirked and rolled her big, brown eyes. 

“Seriously Scott, you need to unpack. Unless you don’t plan on living here, just let me be your girl and help you.” Brandi’s voice went up an octave. Yeah, she’d only dropped a thousand hints over the past two days that she wanted him to move back to Texas. So much in fact, he was actually debating it. “Let’s see what’s in this box…” 

Scott pinched his nose, leaned over, flipped off the TV and stood, giving in to her. “What’s in the box? What’s in the box?” he wailed woefully. Brandi’s brow went up, not catching the reference.

“Seriously?” Scott raised his hands as he walked toward her. “Haven’t you ever seen the movie Seven?” 

“No.” She shook her head. 

“Oh my god, forget packing you have to watch it. It’s about a serial killer who kills his victims based on the seven deadly sins,” Scott explained. “It will leave your head spinning. It’s fucking great.”

Brandi cocked her head to the side. “You have a filthy mouth, Scott Harris.” She gave him a wide grin. “I can think of much better uses for that filthy mouth of yours.”

“Oh, can you now?” Scott growled and pulled her in close, kissing her neck. He felt her soften in his embrace as his lips grazed her creamy skin. “How about I toss you on this sofa, and bury my filthy mouth between your thighs?” 

“That does sound much more fun than unpacking.” Brandi giggled as Scott yanked down her pants and tossed her onto the sofa.

Scott climbed on top of her, planting his lips onto hers. “Say it.” Scott’s brown eyes looked into hers fiercely. “Say you want me to fuck you.” He ran his fingers over her full lips. 

Brandi’s brow furrowed, her lips tightening. “Scott…”

“Come on Brandi, say it,” he whispered in her ear. “Tell me how bad you want it.” He nibbled her ear. He wanted to hear that sweet voice of hers whisper filthy things. 

She let out a soft moan. “I want you, darling.” The way the word darling purred out of her mouth with that sweet little accent made his cock so damn hard. He wanted to hear more from her.

“Please what?” He lifted up her shirt and began showering kisses on her belly. His fingers clasped the side of her panties and pulled them down with a swift yank. Scott looked up at her and grinned, breathing his hot air onto her crotch to tease her, making her squirm. “What do you want, Brandi? Tell me what you want me to do to you.” He took his finger and rolled it in circles around her clit, then shoved two fingers and shoved them up inside her. She gasped in pleasure as a wide grin crept across her face.

“I want you to make love to me,” she breathed.

Scott tried to read her expression. Her eyes were clouded with tears it seemed. He knew it was time to back down with the dirty talk, because even though it worked for him, it obviously wasn’t working for her.

“You got it, beautiful.” Scott grinned and buried his face into her crotch.   

* * *

Scott walked into the kitchen the following morning and grabbed a mug out of his cabinet and poured himself a cup of coffee. “Ok, seriously what’s up with you and the unpacking?” he teased as he walked into the living room. Brandi stood over an open box and he admired the view of her from the backside with her little lacy panties sticking out from underneath her nightshirt. “I’m not ready to unpack yet, still thinking things over.”

Brandi didn’t say anything, her back was turned to him. Did she not just hear what he said? He was trying to give her what she wanted. He leaned against the counter and sipped from his mug. “Hello? Earth to Brandi.” 

She turned to him, her head was down staring at a frame she held in her hands. Her head slowly lifted up and he could see moisture in her eyes. “She drew this?” she hissed through her quivering lip. 

Shit. Scott put down the mug and walked over to her, prying the naked drawing of him that Tori made out of her hands. “That is from a very long time ago, Brandi.”

“You said you were friends.” A tear rolled down her cheek.

“We are,” Scott said honestly. 

“Best friends,” her tone grew icy, her normally warm brown eyes dark and cold. 

“We are.”

“You’ve slept with her.”

Scott looked at Brandi with softness. He wouldn’t ever lie to her. “I have,” he said plainly. 

She shook her head as tears rolled down her cheek. God, he felt like a bastard. “I don’t understand.”

You and me both. “Listen. Tori and I, we are…” He searched for the right word.

“Are or were?” Brandi placed her hand on her hip, cutting him off. He could see that Texas fire flash through her big brown eyes. He half expected her to haul off and slap him. It’s what he deserved after all for making her cry. 

He ran his fingers through his hair. “We were friends who occasionally fucked, that’s all.” That’s what he told Brandi even though he knew full well that Tori was far more than that. “She does her thing, I do my thing, every once in a while we’d hook up for fun. No strings attached.” 

“Do you love her?” Her brow went into a high arch.

“She’s just a good friend. She was there for me this past year, she helped me get through it all. I owe her a lot.” He knew he loved Tori as a friend and cared for her. Brandi still didn’t look convinced, and neither was he from the hollow ache in his chest.

“So that’s it?” Brandi asked, her expression softening. “She’s just a friend who’s on booty call?” 

“Pretty much,” Scott said as he wrapped his arms around her, feeling like a damn son of a bitch for lying to her. But Tori and him probably would never happen. It was exhausting chasing that woman. It was time to take the easy road. “I’m with you now, so that’s over. That is why I don’t want to go to her exhibition. I want to be here, with you.” Scott lifted her chin and gave her a kiss. “I will never be unfaithful to you. You have my promise.” 

Brandi opened her mouth to speak as Scott’s phone rang. He glanced over to it and let it ring. It could go to voicemail. She was more important.

“You need to get that.”
“It can wait.” Scott squeezed her hand.

“It could be them calling about the job, Scott,” she said wisely. 

She was right. Scott walked over to the table and grabbed the phone. “This is Scott.” 

“Harris! This is Jack Riley. Hey we’d like you to come on in tomorrow for the final round of testing. Need you to plan to stay all night through Monday if possible.”

A wide grin crept across Scott’s face. “Wow, that was fast.” He scratched his beard as his eyes bulged. He was really not even certain that they were going to consider him as a legitimate candidate, much less call back so quickly for the final round. 

“You sound surprised.” Jack’s laugh bellowed through the line. 

“I, I just…” Scott stammered. He wasn’t usually at a loss for words but they failed him at the moment. 

“Didn’t think we’d get past that nub?” Jack chuckled.

“Well, yeah, that was my initial impression.” Scott raised his brow in acknowledgment.

“Nonsense. That’s not gonna hold a guy with your credentials back. As long as you pass through the next round Harris, I can say with confidence we’d be glad to have a man like you aboard.” There was some shuffling on Jack’s end of the line. For the next several minutes Jack briefly went over with him everything he’d need to do for the physical and psychological examinations. “I’m assuming you got yourself a proper running leg for that nub of yours?” 

“Yes, I have one,” Scott said. Thank god he was smart enough to go to the clinic in San Antonio and get fitted for one before he left. It was quite simple since his socket was a great fit now. They just used the same mold to create the new prosthetic. He hadn’t spent much time on it and he hoped that didn’t bite him in the ass. He figured it would be weeks before he heard back from them and he’d have plenty more time for more practice on it. 

“Alright then, Harris. We will see you tomorrow.” The line went dead. Scott sat there staring at his phone for a moment.

“Well?” Brandi said, her brown eyes were wide as he turned to her slowly. “Was that good or bad?” 

“They want me to come in tomorrow for the final round. They want me.” 

Brandi smiled warmly but her mouth twitched in the corner, as if the smile was forced. “Well of course they want you.” She opened her arms up to him. “Well get over here and let me congratulate you.” 

Scott walked over to her and lifted her off the ground and spun her as she squealed in amusement. He finally planted her firmly back on her feet. “I have to go run.”

Brandi looked outside at the snow falling. “Are you suicidal? It’s coming down hard out there.” 

“Good, it will give me a challenge.” Scott nodded to the window. 

“Or make you split your head open after you slip on a patch of ice.” She frowned. “Then you won’t be able to do their standards at all. There has to be a better idea.” 

Scott scowled. She didn’t like him questioning him, but she had a valid point. If he got injured he was out of the running. “I have an idea.” Scott picked up his phone. “I think I know just the place where I can go.” 

* * *

“Well hey there fucker.” Nicole put her hands on her teeny hips as Scott walked through the door of the PT room on base. “I heard you cheated on me and went to San Antonio, and now you come crawling back to me.” She scowled and pretended to be angry but a wide smile broke across her lips and she flung her arms around Scott. 

“Good to see you, Piccoli.” Scott said as she beat her hand on his back. “Ow! Easy there killer.” 

“Who’s this?” Nicole let go of her embrace on Scott and nodded to Brandi.

“This is my girlfriend, Brandi.” Scott placed his arm around Brandi and gave her a squeeze. 

“So very nice to meet you,” Brandi said sweetly and extended her hand.

“Ditto.” Nicole gave her a hearty handshake, releasing a labored breath. “Alright, let’s see this blade they gave you.” 

Scott leaned over and unbuttoned the sides of his jogging pants, and pulled them off, revealing his shorts underneath. Nicole bent down and examined the blade, running her fingers along it. “Not bad, not bad at all.” She stood up. “How’s the socket?” 

“It’s great. They molded the one you had made for me and used that to make this one.”

“They better have. I nearly killed myself trying to get that damn thing to fit your shape shifting nub.” Nicole crossed her arms and frowned, which just made her traps look even more immense. The girl was a powerhouse. 

“Yeah, they had to adjust it a bit around the top.” Nicole nodded in understanding as he said that. That had always been one of his problem areas. “It’s still shrinking, but the bottom feels great.”

“Ok, so if it fits so great, why are you here, Harris?” Nicole raised her brow.

“I have a PT test tomorrow…” Scott started.

“Are you getting back in?” Nicole exclaimed and a wide grin broke across her face. “God damn that’s great news. I knew you had to miss hunting men.” 

Scott laughed. “No, not going back in, I have an interview with a private contracting firm.” 

“Oooh.” Her lips puckered. “Someone wants the big bucks.” 

He grinned sheepishly. Yeah, the money was good in the private sector. “Anyhow, I’ve had this thing about a few weeks now, and I haven’t had much practice time. I was wondering if you could maybe take a look at my gait and give me some pointers.” 

“How far do you have to run in it?” 

“Three miles.”


“Twenty-nine minutes.” 

“Three miles is a lot.” Nicole whistled.

“There’s more,” Brandi interjected and nudged Scott in the arm. “Tell her, she’s here to help.” 

“I’m listening.” Nicole crossed her arms.

“Fifty yard body drag at my weight.” Which was currently two twenty-five. “Agility test, shuttle sprint between cones,” Scott sighed, “and, three-hundred yard sprints in kit to include ballistic plates and magazines,” he scratched his beard, “and scale four foot wall and climb a twenty foot ladder.”

“Fuuuuck,” Nicole whispered. “You’re out of your goddamn mind, you know that?”

“You can’t tell this man to back down from a challenge. I”m learning that.” Brandi frowned and looked at Nicole, almost as if she was pleading her case and expecting Nicole to jump onto her side. At least that’s what Scott assumed. She must have saw him frowning, because she backpedaled quickly. “But, I know he’s going to be just fine, in fact I bet he will blow the rest of them away.” Brandi reached over and rubbed his shoulder, trying to dig herself out of the hole.

A smirk tugged at Nicole’s lips. “You’ve got this Harris. Come on you crazy bastard, let’s head over to the gym and get you ready to blow their fucking minds.” 

“So where’s that other chick? Tori was her name, right?” Nicole whispered to him as he climbed up on the treadmill, once they were out of Brandi’s earshot. Her eyes darted over to said subject—who was sitting on a nearby bench watching them intently. 

“New York,” Scott said abruptly.

“You know that’s not what I mean. I liked her. What happened to you two?” 

“We were never together.”

“Bullshit.” Nicole cocked a brow. “You were living with the girl for Christ sake.” 

Scott laughed. “It sooooo wasn’t like that.”

“Whatever you say, Harris.” Nicole rolled her eyes as if she didn’t believe that for a second. “So are you seriously with this Barbie Doll now?” She nodded to Brandi. 

“Brandi is sweet. You need to stop it,” Scott growled at Nicole, growing protective. He wouldn’t put up with anyone talking shit about Brandi.

“She actually is really sweet, and gorgeous, I’ll give her that.” Nicole gave her the once over. “Maybe we could use a little sweet in our lives. You may be onto something here. Who knows.” Nicole shrugged. 

Scott sucked in a heavy breath. “Let’s just do this.” He flipped on the treadmill and began bumping the speed up. He didn’t come here to talk about his relationship with Nicole. 

“You may want to take it slow at first,” Nicole warned.

Scott bumped up the speed higher and flipped her off. 

“You are a stubborn asshole, you know that, Harris?”

“You know you love it.” Scott flashed a wolfish grin. 

* * *

Brandi lay there staring at the ceiling. She’d had a hard time sleeping ever since she got to DC with the noise from the traffic of the city. It was not something she was accustomed to. She was a country girl, through and through. 

She looked over to Scott who was sleeping soundly next to her. Was she falling for him again or just the idea of him? She wasn’t sure if she was in love with the man he is now, or the boy she met back in high school. The military had changed him. It had hardened him. She couldn’t begin to imagine what he went through over there. What it must have been like to lose part of himself. She hoped that playful boy she knew years ago was still in there. She’d seen sparks of it in the past few weeks, but he always seemed so solemn, so serious. No matter how hard she’d tried, she couldn’t bring out that kid again. 

She quietly got out of bed and wandered out of the bedroom, kicking the heat up a notch on her way into the kitchen. His apartment was so cold and industrial, and it matched this city—and his current personality. She’d hoped to help him unpack and make the place a little more homey. Ok, that was a lie. She’d hoped that he would just seal the boxes up and move back home to Texas. 

If he loved you, he’d do it. He’d go to the ends of the earth for you.

She poured herself a glass of wine, hoping that would induce sleepiness. As she stood in the kitchen taking a sip, Scott’s phone vibrated on the counter. Text message from Tori, it read. 

Brandi reached out for the phone and hesitated. She didn’t want to be one of those girls. The girls that were so insecure that they couldn’t trust their man. Her mind flashed to her ex-fiance, Cody. The sight of him on his knees in her living room in front of his best friend was seared into her mind to this day. A pang went through her chest as she shoved the memory aside. 

Really, it wasn’t Scott that she didn’t trust. It was this girl, and the hold she feared she had on him.

Scott is a good honest man, she reminded herself. If Scott says there was nothing going on, then there was nothing. It’s not like she hadn’t been with a few other men in their years apart, hell, she’d been engaged. Of course she never called those men her best friends—not even Cody. Brandi gulped down the rest of her wine and picked up his phone, clicking on the message. 

Tori: Damn. Saw your Facebook post. That running leg is sexy, just as I suspected. You’re still a fucking badass. I knew you had it in you still. Hope you can make it to my exhibition this weekend. Bring the panties, gorgeous.

Brandi dropped the phone like it was scalding her hands. She should not have invaded his privacy like that, and she felt ashamed of herself. Bring the panties? What on earth did that mean?

And that’s where the deleted content ends! If you’ve read Fighting the Blaze you know that Brandi snagged the invite and snuck into Tori’s exhibition, and if you haven’t well…I suggest you go read that now to find out exactly what happened.

She then came back to Scott’s apartment, packed her bags and broke it off with Scott (as we saw in Chasing Fire).

These two were good people, just not good with each other. Scott needed his Tori, and Brandi needed her Blaze.


Blondie and Blaze

This was a deleted scene from Chasing Fire. When Scott and Tori first show up in Miami, he leaves Blaze in charge of his girl and they wind up shopping and then Tori gets a tattoo. Blaze winds up in bed with the girl from the swimwear shop…and it does NOT end well. This ended up cut because length of the first book and it was taking too much focus off Scott and Tori at this juncture of the book. I do reference the memory in other books. In Smoke and Mirrors when Tori has to go rescue Blaze after he got robbed, he says they’re even after she drug him shopping all day. Then again, I reference this in Blaze and Brandi’s book as well. 


After Scott took off Tori and Blaze walked down South Miami beach for a few hours. Tori knew the poor man’s patience was wearing thin with her dragging him in and out of shops, but he was a trooper.

“Come on, one more please,” she begged.

He groaned. “When Scott said to keep his girl out of trouble I figured our day would be full of much more excitement than you dragging me from store to store. Now I’m just your steward carrying your bags. I guess I had you pegged all wrong. You’re just a girly girl who wants to shop just like the rest of them.”

Tori huffed and crossed her arms defiantly. “Last one. I promise. Then we’ll do something really fun.”

“Fine,” Blaze said, opening the door for her, “But only because this one is called Beach Bunny Swimwear. After you, Blondie.”

She looped her arms with his as he guided her through the door. It was the same song and dance at every store. Eventually a sales associate would see them and come up and ask to help once they saw the white cane.

Footsteps approached. “Can I help you find something?” a young female asked, Tori suspected in her early twenties.

“Ask miss Shopaholic here, honey. I ain’t the one looking for a string bikini,” Blaze snorted.

Tori elbowed him in the side. “I’m looking for a hat. Something cute to wear on the beach. Straw, not overly big and obnoxious and also a swimsuit cover.”

“Well, you came to the right place,” she said. “Follow me.” Blaze led Tori over following the associate.

“Our covers are here on this wall; did you have something in mind?” she asked.

“White preferably…” It was hot out and she wanted something cool. “…and sexy,” Tori added with a sly grin.

“Ok, I think you would look super-hot in this one.” A few moments later fabric was in her hands. “It’s sheer and lacy, split open down the back, with little straps across the shoulders that cut open to the sleeves that are long. Very sexy. Want to try it on?” she asked as Tori ran her hands along the fabric, getting a feel for it.

“Please.” She nodded.

She guided Tori to the dressing room in the back. “Ok, so I picked you out a medium, but if you need another size, just holler at me ok?” she said sweetly. “Your boyfriend is super cute by the way. You two are adorable together.”

Tori snorted. “Thanks, but he’s not my boyfriend, just a friend.” Well, she supposed he was a friend. She’d known the man all of three hours now, but she had a feeling they were going to become great friends.

“Oh,” the girls voice went up an octave.

“I think he’s single.” Tori grinned, playing wing man. “Go flirt with him a bit while I try this on. See if he bites.” She jutted her chin.

Several moments later the associate came back, knocking on the door. “How’d that work out?”

Tori opened the door up. “Great. I was about to ask the same for you,” she teased.

“He flirted back a bit,” she said coyly. “Let’s go find you that hat.” She looped her arm with Tori’s and led her over to the hats.

“Ok, you would look super cute in this little straw fedora. It has a paisley black and white ribbon around it. It’s neutral and will go with anything,” she said placing it in Tori’s hand. Footsteps drew close, Blaze’s she assumed, followed by a clearing of his throat.

“How’d it go, Blondie?”

Tori placed the hat on her head turning in the direction of his voice. “Good. What do you think?”

“Looks fine.”

“Oh, come on you have to do better than that!” She frowned.

“I dunno what am I supposed to say?” He sighed. “Oh. My. God. Super cute!” he added with a valley-girl lisp followed by what sounded like him slapping his face.

The associate and Tori rolled in laughter.

“See, that’s the response I was looking for!” Tori giggled. “Now you sound like my best friend, Keith. You’re making me feel right at home.” She reached out and squeezed his arm. “You aren’t by chance a fiery red head, are you?” She trailed her hand up his arm to his head and pulled on a strand of his hair, realizing his hair was quite longer than she guessed.

Blaze chuckled. “Not even close. Keep guessing.”

Tori pulled the hat off her head and ruffled her hair. “I’ll take it, can you ring me up please, so I can relieve this poor man of his suffering?” She turned to the associate.

“Sure thing.” The woman plucked the hat from Tori’s hand and her footsteps faded.

Tori hooked her arm to his. “She’s hot for you by the way, if you didn’t catch that,” she whispered in Blazes ear as they walked.

“Oh, I caught that alright.”

So modest.

“Well is she cute?”

“She’s not bad. A bit young but doesn’t look jailbait.”

“Then get her number already.” Tori nudged him as they approached the register.

The associate rang them up and thanked them. Tori could practically hear the drool hitting the counter as the poor girl fumbled over her words. She figured Blaze had to be extremely good looking to elicit that type of reaction.

“So, what’s fun to do in Miami?” Tori asked the girl, trying to keep the conversation flowing. “I want to go dancing tonight, preferably Latin music. Know anywhere nearby for that?”

“Well if you’re into Latin music you could go to Mango’s…but honestly, it’s a bit of a tourist trap in my opinion,” she advised.

“Agreed,” Blaze said. “Mac’s is good, local dive bar. Not salsa music though, but also no shiny-shirt guys.”

“Yeah Mac’s is good if you’re looking for hookers, local weirdos and a bar where you could possibly get stabbed.” The associate groaned. “Although tough guy like you wouldn’t have much trouble there. I can see why you’d like it.” She cleared her throat. “I did once find roach in my drink.”

“Hey, that’s protein honey,” Blaze said as his arm rose and fell next to Tori’s with a shrug.

Tori slapped the counter. “Hookers and weirdo’s sounds fantastic! Who needs Latin music when you have that to look forward to?” She giggled.

The associate chuckled. “You all have fun tonight. Nice meeting you.”

“Maybe we will see you there?” Tori asked. “Blaze will keep an eye out for ya, when he’s not checking my drinks for roaches. Won’t you Blaze?” She jabbed him in the side.

“Maybe I will,” the girl said. “Have a great day.”

They got outside. “What the hell are you doing, Blondie?” Blaze asked.

“Getting you laid. It’s the least I could do after dragging you shopping all morning.” She pulled the hat out of her bag and placed it on her head.

“You say that as if I have trouble getting laid.” He laughed as if it was the most absurd thing he’d ever heard.

Tori shrugged. “She said you were really cute, but she could have just been being nice since I can’t see you. You could be a total troll with a hunchback for all I know.”

“You’re out of your mind,” he laughed, “Let’s just say the ladies like what they see.”

“Long, dark hair, blue eyes, devilish grin?”

“Keep guessing,” He chuckled. “Now where, Blondie?”

“Any tattoo shops nearby?” She flashed a wide grin.



Chasing Fire Soundtrack

When I’m out and about and driving in the car, typically I’m listening to music and thinking about my characters. Sometimes I’ll hear a song that I know just FITS or I’ll hear a song that will inspire an entire scene.

I’ll come home and play that song on repeat and sit there and write as the inspiration pours out of me. From being online in the writing community I know I’m not the only person that does this.

Art imitates art.

I posted the link to my Spotify playlist at the beginning of my e-book for Chasing Fire, but I also just created a YouTube one as well for those that may not subscribe to Spotify because I want all my readers (if they so desire) to be able to access the playlist of songs that helped inspire Chasing Fire.

Originally I had each of these songs at the beginning of each chapter (and I had planned to link to them) but SEVERAL CP’s suggested that most folks wouldn’t care about this and that it would be distracting. The last thing that I wanted to do was to pull readers out of the story, so I decided to eliminate them since a good portion of my readers probably wouldn’t listen anyway.

The songs go pretty much in the order of the book, so if you’ve read it (or are listening while reading) you will understand why each one fits where it does. The first and last song (Horns by Bryce Fox and Wicked Game by Chris Isaak) kinda cap off the entire novel. Those were my overarching two main songs. In fact, I almost named the series Wicked Game but there were SOOO many books with that title that I went with Fire and Fury (not political, I promise). Tori represents fire and Scott is fury. I have a whole blog post here that explains the agony I went through titling these books.

Anyhow, I digress. There is a part of me that knows there are others like me that WOULD want to hear the music that inspired the author when writing the novel, so I decided to share here.

So here is my list embedded on the blog for you to listen, OR use the links above. Listen to it as you read if you like, and feel free to ask me WHY I picked each song. I’d love nothing more than to engage with my readers and explain why each song struck such a personal chord with me.



Chasing Fire is LIVE

Today I sent my babies out into the world. Chasing Fire is officially LIVE!

Let me recap my past month.

I spent countless hours painstakingly pouring over the changes sent to me from my editor.

It took me five days, 352 pages of edits and clocking in at 98K. My hands were nearly too tired to type another word, but the final draft of Chasing Fire was finally finished. I did two final read throughs and tried to catch every last thing.

In between working on the edits I put the book on Amazon for pre-order and it was approved by Amazon, so my plan was to launch the links for order on Monday April 2nd (which I did).

For fun on April 1st I checked the pre-sale stats and expected too see nothing. After all, I’m a newbie author with zero reader base and I haven’t even promoted the links yet.

Then I saw that I had orders.

Holy freaking crapola.

I blinked several times and stared at the screen. This can’t be real.

My hands started to tremble and tears began streaming down my face. This was becoming REAL. This was happening. Five long years of labor on this book baby and it’s going to be in the hands of readers.

Today that dream became a reality.

Over the next several weeks orders continued to trickle in. All this time I was formatting the ebook using Scrivener (then converting it to a .mobi file by using Calibre – I’ll go over this whole process in a separate post). I was also working in InDesign for my print copy and blasting promos on social media.

My Amazon ranking steadily climbed. I sent out ARC’s and had an overwhelming response for my first novel. Then this week was basically promo…wait…promo…wait.

Tuesday my print proof came in the mail. I can NOT tell you what it feels like to hold that baby in your hands. It’s like holding your newborn (but not QUITE as emotional). I did cry though. Big happy tears.

All this time lingering self doubt clouded my brain. Then, something miraculous happened. The ARC’s started coming in. People LOVE Scott and Tori.

Here are a few of the words that have made me cry this week from advanced readers:

It was phenomenal. Tori and Scott are wonderful characters. These books must be a part of my library.

I absolutely loved Chasing Fire by Avery Kingston! I was captivated from the very first chapter, I liked Tori immediately she seemed like she was so much fun, and Scott wow totally Alpha loved him! The feels in this book, I was all over the place!!

Chasing Fire was fantastic. I can’t believe this is a debut novel. Amazing writing, superb characters, a vivid and honest portrayal of military life, and plenty of yummy steam make this a total must read.

My biggest hope as an author is that readers will find my characters authentic. I wanted them to fall in love with Scott and Tori as much as I did. Scott and Tori are SO VERY REAL to me, and I needed them to be real to others as well.

I can’t wait to continue their story. I can’t wait for readers to find out what is in store for them. Lots of angst, drama, pain and joy is coming in the future.

Hold on tight readers. You’re in for one wild ride.
avery signature


Chasing Fire available for pre-order

Chasing Fire is officially up for pre-order! Grab it today and it will be delivered to your Kindle on April 20th.


A military alpha hero. A flirtatious vixen. A crazed game of seduction.

One pair of panties changed his life.

“I’m putting my panties in your back pocket. You have until two am to get them back to me. If you do, you will be rewarded. Handsomely.”

Those were the words Victoria Johnson whispered to Scott Harris after she stuffed a pair of lacy red panties into his back pocket. That was Tori’s favorite game: No strings attached sex. But he’d have to chase her first.

Years later, when Scott returns from Afghanistan minus one leg, he thinks the sexual games are over.  His military career is over. Hell, his life is over.

But then Tori shows up in his hospital room as fiery and flirtatious as the day he left. It turns out she’s more than just a beautiful disaster with sexy red panties.

Much more.

She may be trouble but she’s everything he’s ever wanted. Except for Tori, things are never that simple. Because Tori faces a tragedy of her own. An accident that rips her life apart, leaving her without sight and struggling to recover the woman she once was.

For Scott, Tori’s still the one he’s waited his whole life for. He’s done letting fate tear them apart. It will be a challenge to win her shattered heart once and for all.

Lucky thing Scott Harris never backs away from a challenge.

Chasing Fire is a full length romance with LOTS of steam and a HEA. Featuring a hot-as-hell alpha and a sexy artist who both have filthy mouths. Intended for a mature audience.


Tori’s heart pounded nervously as she walked down the hall toward Scott’s room. She may have gone home from the bar a week ago and cried herself to sleep worrying about him. She may have lied to Keith when he’d walked in that night and caught her sobbing. She may have spent the last week checking her phone every five minutes. She may have texted Shauna and asked her to drop some hints to Scott.

She quietly cracked open the door to his room. The blinds were drawn shut, and he lay sleeping in the darkened room. She shut the door gently behind her. It had been almost two years since she’d laid eyes on him. She crept closer to the bed, glancing him over. Slightly leaner, but still in impeccable shape. His facial hair was thick and unkempt, framed by a tube giving him oxygen. 

He had some bruising and stitched cuts, but it didn’t detract from his looks at all, and she ashamedly thanked God the explosion spared his beautiful face; many of the men she’d passed in the hall were not as fortunate. She could see under the loose sheet where the mound of his left leg stopped and was missing. 

An IV bag was hooked to his arm, which donned a new tattoo of what looked like a Spartan with some lettering on his forearm extending below the tribal on his bicep she was familiar with. She lightly touched his fingertips, leaned closer, squinting in the dark room to make out the words. It looked like Latin or Greek, but she wasn’t sure. 

His hand gripped her wrist, yanking her down. Tori gasped, and her eyes bulged. He studied her for a moment. Gradually, his dark, cold expression faded, his grip loosened, and those soulful brown eyes softened. Her unease disappeared as a slight smile crept across his face.

They locked eyes, neither of them saying a word, barely breathing. He pulled her in close by the back of her neck and kissed her sweetly. Familiarity washed over her as his lips touched hers, and a soft moan escaped her mouth.

“Hey, you,” Scott said, his voice hoarse. He had the sultriest look in his eyes, slightly tainted with the weight of all he’d endured. He kissed her gently once more and caressed her cheek. 

“Hey, Sailor.” She pulled back and studied him. 

“You’re a sight for sore eyes.” His eyes raked her up and down. “You cut off your hair?” He tugged a strand of her blonde waves between his fingertips.

She tucked it behind her ear and fiddled with her earrings. Her mouth quirked up as her eyes darted to the mound under the sheet. “You cut off your leg.” 

His face broke into a wide grin, and he laughed loudly, which made him cough and wheeze. “Touché.” 

Tori loved the way his eyes creased in the corners when he was amused. He carried a perpetually pissed off look that some would be intimidated by, but it was that impish grin that brought out the playful Scott, the Scott she’d met that night in the bar. God, he looks good.

“Sorry I startled you, was checking out the new ink.” She nodded to his arm. “I like it. It’s sexy,” she added with a playful wink. “Although I have no idea what it says.”

“Molṑn Labé,” Scott replied. “It means ‘come and take them’,” he explained further. “Legend is that Xerxes, king of Persia, demanded the Spartans surrender their weapons, and King Leonidas responded with this phrase.”

“Defiant.” Tori wrinkled her nose. “I like it.” 

He chuckled. “Speaking of ink, I noticed from your photo you had some yourself.”

“Yeah.” She turned and lifted her little blue casual dress, exposing a purple, lacy thong with the red lips on her right cheek at the hip. “Got this and another one I like even more.” She traced the lines of her tattoo. 

“Another?” His brow arched. “I’m not sure what can top saying kiss my ass.” 

She smiled. “You’ll see it sooner or later,” she said coyly. “When you’re up to it.”

“Now you have me intrigued.”

“Good.” She grinned. 

Tori pulled up a chair and sat next to his bed, kicking her feet up on the side lazily. She folded her arms across her chest, heaving a big sigh. He looked down at her sandaled feet, fiddled with her toe rings, and traced his fingers over the feathered tattoo wrapping her ankle.

“So how have you been?” He rubbed her calf with his rough hand. 

“Better than you, I presume,” she said kindly with a long breath. “I’ve been good. Got into grad school at Georgetown next fall. Getting ready to move in with my friend Keith after graduation. He’s got a kicking job at the Smithsonian and has a small place in Georgetown. He’s renting me his spare room. I’m hoping he can put in a good word. My degree requires an internship at a museum next summer, right after I finish spring semester, either in London or New York.” 

“Look at you, all grown up, going legit. I had no idea you had it in your bohemian blood. I’m impressed.”

“You should be. I’m kinda a big deal.” She made a silly face, crinkling her nose.

“So, who is this Keith dude you’re moving in with?” His brow wrinkled.

Tori tilted her head to the side, and a calm smile fell over her face. “Is someone jealous?” She let out a huge laugh as Scott rolled his eyes. “Keith is as gay as a row of pink tents.”

Scott laughed loudly, which made him cough again. 

“Hungry?” she asked.

“Very. Food here sucks.”

“I figured.” She bent over and grabbed her suede purse with the fringes on it, digging through it.

“Fringes?” he teased her about her purse, as he did about most of her clothing all the time. “You’re such a freaking hippie, Tori.”

“And you’re a wounded vet. Look how stereotypical 1960s we are.” She stuck her tongue out at him.

“Sneak in any cigarettes in there?” He nodded to her purse.

“You know I don’t smoke,” she smirked and added, “not cigarettes, at least. That shit will kill you.”

“So will explosions, but I’m still here.” He raised his palms.

She pursed her lips into a displeased scowl. From the sound of his lungs, the last thing he needed was a cigarette. She pulled out a large bag of chips. “Brought you some non-hospital food, Lieutenant Dan.” She tossed him the bag.

“Haha. Very funny.” Scott caught the bag. “Funyans. Fancy.” He opened the bag and popped one into his mouth.

“Oh, don’t act like they aren’t your favorite. I remember.” 

“That you did.” He grinned smugly. “Burgers are also my favorite.” 

“Hey! I’m a poor, starving artist living off my meager earnings from selling my paintings.” She leaned over and grabbed a chip from the bag and tossed it into her mouth. “That bag of chips was the last few dollars in my wallet”—she crunched on the chip—“and out of the goodness of my heart, I spent it on you. I probably won’t eat the rest of the week now.” She licked her fingers clean. 

“Well, I guess I better share. I can’t have you starving all week. Get over here, beautiful.” He patted the mattress next to him.