"Aidan" She had a nice smile. Her navel flaunted a piercing between where her tank top ended and the waistband of her (short) shorts began. She had fallen all over me, like women always do. Before I could even open my mouth to ask for a drink I got the batting eyelashes, the stare down like she would much rather devour me than listen to anything I had to say. Like I’ve never been given that look before, honey. She was just like the rest, happily unaware that appearances don’t mean shit when you carry internal scars like mine. Last night with Robin was an exception to my learned distaste for the chase. Between the stress of my past and present colliding, the eventual one-too-many shots she poured, and my new surroundings (where I can blend in semi-unnoticed), she piqued my interest enough that I entertained her flirtations. She left before one day turned into the next, with enough time for me to sleep off one too many. And before the dreaming began. Nightmares have been hindering my rest since I returned to New York. I've been in the city of Stanton for almost a month. I sleep less here, dream more. Maybe coming back here was a mistake. Coward. I shudder, hearing the bastard's voice in my head. F*ck you. I do not run. You're the coward. I find some driving music to motivate me during my usual eight miles through the city streets where I run and run and run. In the dark, in a city where no one knows me, I run. I run not to escape, but to chase down demons, using the darkness to see myself. To bring me back to the surface. To obliterate haunting memories and remember who the f*ck I am. I am Aidan Michael Pierce. And I am no f*cking coward.


"Alexis" I'm intrigued and have to get a look. I feign like I'm looking for someone as Aidan Michael Pierce comes into full view. Dang. Wow. And holy f*ck. So that's what all the fuss is about. His caramel brown hair has a rough-around-the-edges cut. His eyes are the same pearlescent blue as my convertible and they are quite piercing indeed. Everything about him is unforgettable. He would have been just another rich brat, a millionaire's son born to aristocrats Reginald and Veronica Pierce. Instead, he started his own company after graduating from Cal Tech. He later sold the company to a much larger one to make his first few million (all before completing graduate school at Yale, of course). He recently stopped dating someone, Stella Something-or-other. Beyond this, I know nothing about the eye candy seducing my ears, his voice amplified by the microphone. I consider lifting my phone out to snap a picture until I realize why those eyes seem so intense. He's still talking without missing a beat, but his eyes aren't on the crowd ahead of him. His gaze is trained to his left. He's staring right at me. Somehow (maybe just by my choice of outrageous footwear today), I'm emboldened. I straighten my posture and look up at the podium, squaring my eyes with his in a manner of defiance. I'm about to be entranced by his stare, but before I can be defeated, he turns back to the rest of the audience, seemingly satisfied. He just wanted you to pay attention, Greene! The few women in the room are swooning, waitresses included. I roll my eyes and sip some water. It is unbelievable the effect this guy has. Even the men seem enthralled. Right there I vow not to lose my wits because of this man. Nope, not this girl. Despite his mussed, I-want-it-to-look-this-way hair and intoxicating voice. Despite his striking features and mesmerizing persona. This playboy will not have this girl melting into a puddle. I'm so above it.

Excerpted from Balance by M.J. Woods. Copyright © 2016 by M.J. Woods. Excerpted by permission of Dog Ear Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.



The "AMPED SERIES" contains adult content. Not intended for audiences under 18.