Home > Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island #22)(3)

Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island #22)(3)
Author: Marie Force

“If I let you borrow the Porsche, you have to promise nothing will happen to it, because I’d hate to have to kill you.”

“I promise. Nothing will happen to it.”

“When I say, ‘kill you,’ I hope you know I mean it.”

Grinning, Cooper said, “You’d never kill me. You need me around for comic relief.”

Jared rolled his eyes. “If you hurt my baby, I will kill you.”



Chapter 2



Jared was going to kill him. He was a total idiot for trying to get a selfie with Gigi and the car at the bluffs. And now the car was hanging off the edge of a cliff, and he’d about crippled himself trying to stop it from going over. Only a rotted log stood between him and certain disaster.

Gigi was on the phone with the fire department dispatcher. In the distance, he could hear the trucks coming.

They weren’t going to arrive in time.

He couldn’t hold on much longer. He’d have to let go of the car or go over with it. Going with it might be preferable to dealing with Jared if his precious car ended up at the bottom of a cliff.

In trying to stop the car from going off the edge, Cooper had smashed his ribs by slamming against the log. He wasn’t sure what he’d done to his face, but it hurt like a mother-effer. That probably happened when he lunged for the car as it started to roll toward the edge.

Gigi had screamed and run for more stable ground while he waged war with gravity—a war gravity was about to win. He had one, maybe two minutes before the car would be a total loss.

“Cooper, let go!” Gigi screamed at him. “It’s not worth risking your life! Jared wouldn’t want you to do that!”

Jared would want him to do that, and Cooper wasn’t letting go until he absolutely had to. If it felt like his fingers were about to separate from his hands, well, then, so be it. The sirens were getting closer. If he could just hang on for another minute, he could save the car and his own life. Pain radiated from his hands and arms through his entire body. Every muscle was engaged in the effort to hold on.

“Cooper, please! Let it go!” Gigi sounded like she was crying now, and he hated that. He’d wanted this to be such a fun night for them, and it’d turned into a disaster.

The sirens were close enough now that their volume hurt his ears. That was a good sign, right?

He was at the end of his rope in every possible way by the time a firefighter appeared next to him with a chain that he wrapped around the car’s bumper. “You can let go now.”

Cooper’s arms and hands were so strained that he couldn’t get them to comply with the firefighter’s directive.

Gigi appeared at his side.

“Get back,” the firefighter said to her. “This ground isn’t stable.”

She pried Cooper’s hands from the car’s bumper and half dragged him to safety. “Jesus H. Shitballs,” she muttered when the two of them landed on the grass. “You scared the fuck out of me.”


A paramedic approached them. “Are you hurt?”

“I, uh, I think I might be.” The pain coming from his chest was too intense to be ignored.

“He landed against the log when he lunged for the car, hit his face and chest,” Gigi said.

Cooper could only recall realizing the car was going off the bluff and that he had seconds to stop it.

“His hands are messed up, too,” Gigi said.

“We’ll take him to the clinic and have them check him over,” the paramedic said.

“Gigi, are you okay?” another guy asked. He had to be at least six and a half feet tall and wore a white shirt, whereas the other firefighters were in blue shirts.

“Oh, hey, Mason. I’m fine. My friend Cooper just kept his brother’s car from going off the bluffs.”

“Holy shit,” Mason said. “You’re lucky you’re not dead.”

“Believe me,” Coop said, “I know.”

“Cooper, meet Gansett Fire Chief Mason Johns. Mason, this is Cooper James.”

“Thought I recognized the Porsche. Your brother is Jared?”


“You want me to notify him?” Mason asked.

“God, no. I don’t want him to ever know this happened.”

“Ah, okay. Good luck with that on this island where everyone knows everything.”

Cooper groaned. Jared would kill him for the near miss, not to mention whatever damage the chain around the bumper would do as the firefighters cranked the car back to solid ground.

“How’d the car get that close to the edge?” Mason asked.

“He wanted a selfie with me, the car and the sunset,” Gigi said.

“Somehow, I knew you were going to say the word ‘selfie,’” Mason said. “If you knew how many people have fallen off these bluffs in recent years, you wouldn’t have driven around the barriers.”

Cooper wanted to tell the guy to take off with his lectures. Yes, they’d done something stupid. Yes, they shouldn’t have done it. Yes, they’d learned their lesson. Did he honestly think they hadn’t gotten the message when the car started rolling toward the edge of the cliff? And he’d been so certain he’d left it in gear when he got out.

He was spared further lecturing when the paramedics loaded him—painfully—onto a gurney and rolled him across bumpy ground to the ambulance. “You can take the car home,” he said to Gigi.

“I’m not going home. I’ll follow you to the clinic.”

“You don’t have to do that. This isn’t what you signed on for when I asked you to go out with me.”

“This is the most exciting night I’ve had since I came to Gansett Island.”

“That can’t possibly be true.”

“It’s true, and I’m not going to ditch you.” She gave him a saucy wink. “Not yet, anyway.”

After Gigi headed for the car to follow the ambulance, the younger of the two paramedics stared at Cooper, his eyes wide. “Holy shit, was that Gigi Gibson?”

“The one and only.”

“And you were on a date with her?”

“I was. Not sure what you’d call it now.” Disaster was a good word.


“Believe me, I know.”

“I heard a show was filming here, but no one said it was them.”

“I think that might’ve been deliberate. They wanted to surprise their viewers.”

“Color me surprised. How’d you meet her?”

“She’s a friend of a friend.”

“Quit bugging him and give him something for the pain,” an older female paramedic said.

“Don’t give me anything that’ll knock me out. I have to drive later.”

“You’re not doing any more driving tonight, sport,” she said. “And you should take the meds before they examine you at the clinic.”

“Fine,” Cooper said with a sigh. “But don’t knock me out. I don’t need this guy moving in on Gigi while I’m out of it.”

“Haha, as if,” the young man said. “She wouldn’t look twice at me.”

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