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Rebel

By:Skye Jordan

One

Rubi Russo whipped her brand-new Aston Martin onto the set of the new Bond film and into a parking spot reserved for the film crew. Even though Los Angeles traffic kept her from pushing the legendary sports coupe anywhere near its top speed of two-fifty-one, she’d enjoyed her first ride off the showroom floor.

She shut off the engine and grabbed her purse from the passenger’s seat. Through the window, her gaze halted on the charcoal four-wheel-drive Ford F150 parked nearby, and her mind veered toward its owner. He’d become a permanent fixture in her mind—those wide shoulders, that lazy stance, his cocky grin.

A giddy, tingling lust tightened her insides. Eye candy always enhanced a girl’s mood, and there was no better place to grab a little sugar than among the studs of Renegades. But she’d come to prefer the company of one stud in particular.

She smiled down at the collection of notes she kept in the ashtray—ones he’d started leaving on the windshield of her car at different times of the day, almost every day, for the last two months. Because they always made her smile, she’d transferred them from the Ferrari when she’d traded it in. Sometimes the note of the day was a cartoon or a joke. Often it was some funny reference to physics, something they talked about regularly since she’d started designing a series of stunt apps for the Renegades.

Today’s had read:

I’M AMPING THE PUCKER FACTOR TODAY.

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS THRILL RIDE.

Which had been the first she’d heard of a stunt running today. Confirmation of a stunt had come from the owner of the Renegades in a phone call later that morning.

She grabbed her phone and notebook and stood from the car, turning her face up to the midday Southern California sun. Warmth bathed her skin, draining some of the morning’s tension from her shoulders. It felt good to be out of the house, away from all that computer code, like a real person with real friends. Which was one of the major benefits of creating these apps for Jax—she got to hang with this dynamic group of adrenaline junkies.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that she and Jax had agreed that in exchange for building the applications for use on devices such as iPads and iPhones, she would be free to sell them, as she did her other apps and programs. The power she planned to incorporate into these apps with detailed physics calculations and mathematical equations for every aspect of every type of stunt, no other apps out there could even compare. She’d make a decent chunk of change once she put them out on the open market.

The rumble of a motorcycle engine drew her attention down the long strip of concrete known as the Sixth Street Viaduct. The man-made cement canal guided the Los Angeles River through the heart of the city, but was now cluttered with all sorts of machinery, cameras and props.

She started toward the action, smoothing her hands over the filmy skirt that rode too high on her freakishly long legs. Tried to tug at her halter’s bottom edge exposing a bare inch of skin, but ultimately couldn’t hide the diamond stud at her belly button without exaggerating her cleavage. Oh well.

Finger-combing her hair off her forehead, she sauntered toward a group of tall, well-built men loitering near one of the cameras. She spotted Jax Chamberlin, the owner of Renegades and her best friend’s new love, gesturing as he spoke to Daniel Craig’s costar on the film, Jason Bolton, and the director. A couple of younger men Rubi knew as production assistants hung at the edge.

She passed one of the site’s security guards, who grinned and saluted. Rubi returned the gesture.

She approached the set and focused on Wes Lawson, Renegades’ top stunt driver, where he straddled a cherry-red Ducati—one of the world’s fastest motorcycles. There was no outward sign the man covered in black from helmet to boot tips was him. It could have been any of the other Renegades’ stunt men who rode motorcycles, which was, of course, all of them. But what gave Wes away completely—beyond the studly build she’d memorized—was his impatience. He navigated a slow, tight pattern around the group, like a circling shark. Occasionally, he revved the engine, smothering their conversation with the bike’s growl.

He maneuvered dangerously close to Jax on each pass, the action surely designed to either annoy Jax or hurry him up. Maybe both. Rubi grinned at his antsy behavior—ever the kid who couldn’t wait to reach the playground. Every last one of the Renegades she’d met was a kid at heart. A smart-ass, feisty, too-sharp-for-his-own-good kid inside a hot man’s body. But Wes was the most mischievous, most daring and, by far, the sexiest of them all.

The click of Rubi’s heels drew the director’s attention. The rest of the men followed his glance—all with the same stupefied expressions. All except Jax.

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