Dirty TogetherBy: Meghan March
It takes a fabulous team to coax a spark of an idea along the twisty and crazy path to becoming a finished novel, and I’m lucky to have an amazing one.
Special thanks go out to:
Angela Smith of Grey Ghost Author Services, LLC, my amazing PA and best friend. It’s been a wild ride, but this is only the beginning. I’m so proud of you and blessed to have you in my life.
Angela Marshall Smith and Pam Berehulke, editors extraordinaire, for once again helping me deliver the best story I’m capable of writing.
Chasity Jenkins-Patrick, kick-ass publicist, for talking me off more than one ledge and always pushing me in the right direction.
Natasha Gentile, for being a fabulous beta reader. Love your messages, lady!
Sara Eirew for shooting a fab cover pic, and By Hang Le for the absolutely gorgeous cover design.
The Meghan March Runaway Readers Facebook group, for being the most fabulous collection of ladies I’ve had the pleasure of (virtually) meeting. Hope to hug you all at events soon!
All the book bloggers who take the time to read and review this and any of my other books. Your time and dedication are truly appreciated.
My readers—I’m infinitely grateful that you’ve picked up this book. Without you, I wouldn’t be living my dream.
I wait my turn at the single blinking red light in Gold Haven, Kentucky, and turn left before pulling into the gas station. This is the first place I ever pumped gas in my life. It was a lot cheaper then too. My Pontiac isn’t a whole lot nicer than the 1988 Fiero I drove back then, but in this town, it doesn’t stand out, and that’s exactly what I need. I tug on a trucker hat and slip on sunglasses before opening the door and climbing out.
The old pumps I expected, the ones where the numbers click over as you fill up, have been replaced with newer models.
Even better. It lowers the chance that someone will recognize me if I can avoid all human interaction.
I swipe my card, get my gas, and twist the gas cap back on. When I get back to Nashville, I’m finally going to look into replacing this car. I rarely splurge on anything.
Even though I won a “million-dollar recording contract” on Country Dreams, the amount I saw was laughable. Albums? They’re expensive as hell to produce. And as far as the pay I get per show when I’m on tour, after all the expenses are covered? It’s also nothing to write home about. But as my share of the ticket sales goes up and I build my fan base, that will eventually change.
But for now, I’m saving every penny I can and getting by on the bare minimum because I don’t know when the bottom will fall out.
Not much has changed about that since I married billionaire Creighton Karas. Thoughts of my husband spiral through me, followed by equal jabs of guilt and regret. I can’t believe I did it again. This morning I just up and walked out.
I don’t know what I was thinking beyond . . . if I didn’t get out of that penthouse at that very moment, I felt like something inside me was going to break. I had to get out of that city. I know I’m a coward and an idiot. No one has to tell me that because I’ve already called myself every name in the book.
I tear the receipt off and tuck it into my coat pocket before slipping back into my car. I turn the key.
I try it again.
Shit. I sigh, releasing a huge breath, and drop my forehead against the steering wheel.
This is karma, I’m pretty sure. This is what happens to women who leave their husbands—not once, but twice—without an actual explanation.
Crap. As much as I want to indulge in a pity party, now isn’t really the time.
I gather myself, haul my purse over my shoulder, and push the car door open again. This place used to provide full-service fill-ups, but they discontinued those about the time I was learning to drive—not that I would have paid the extra two cents a gallon for the luxury.
I check my trucker hat to make certain it’s secure before crossing the small lot and turning the corner to the side of the building where the garage bays are. Both overhead doors are closed, probably due to the howling wind, so I pull open the cloudy glass door and step inside the waiting room.
Creedence Clearwater Revival is jamming so loud you’d think you were standing right next to the stage at Woodstock. The cheap wood-paneled walls I remember from before have been replaced with metal diamond plating and spiffy blue paint that matches the outside of the building. The gas station has definitely gotten a makeover since the last time I was in town.
I ding the bell, but it can’t be heard over the ringing guitar riffs.
I don’t listen to enough CCR. But the fact that I could use a couple more upbeat songs takes second place to the fact that I need to have a vehicle that works, and there are no employees in sight here. I decide to take matters into my own hands and sneak behind the counter to the doorway that leads to the garage.