Hey, ManWARriors. Welcome to the official preview of Fast Lane, which is now available as an ebook. We start, appropriately enough, at page 1:
The limo jerked hard to the right, sending Lara Dixon sliding across the slick leather seat.
That can’t be good.
The man seated across from her—the man Gina had found to introduce her to Clay Creighton—scrambled upright and banged on the plexiglas partition separating them from the driver, a uniformed woman who had quarter-inch silver hair peeking from beneath a livery cap.
“What the hell?” he demanded as the partition slid open. “Did you hit something?
The driver met Lara’s questioning gaze in the rearview mirror. “Oops.” The partition slid shut.
That really can’t be good.
Lara flipped down a mirror to fix her hair. Her natural color shimmered through the semisweet chocolate veneer. Hard to get used to after thirty-two years as a blonde.
“Just a bump in the road.” Anton Roche worked his neck like a preening turkey and settled back in as the limo raced past Paradise Cove on the road to Malibu.
“As I was saying, the girl thought she was the aurora borealis, Liberty’s torch and the leprechaun’s pot o’ gold rolled into one. But she knew she looked even hotter in my bustier.”
Lara suppressed a sigh. How does Gina put up with this guy? The lingerie designer had prattled about his life with the glitterati from the minute he’d picked her up at her humble Santa Monica apartment. She wished he’d let her concentrate on this new experience of riding in luxury. After tonight, she might never step into a limo again. Then again, Roche had put his turkey neck on the line to talk up Lara to Clay Creighton.
He has his own axe to grind, but I should at least pretend to be interested.
“Why is it the ‘STP’ bustier?” Lara asked, though after weeks of researching Creighton’s Fast Lane empire, she knew the answer. Never hurts to practice. You’ll be lying all the time if everything goes right tonight.
Roche straightened with pride. “‘Seconds to Paradise.’ It’s goddamn brilliant. Builds up the bust—and a man can unhook it one-handed like that.” He snapped his fingers. “You know how much money Creighton’s made from that thing? It’s the biggest seller in the Toy Store. But do I get the credit?” He looked more closely at Lara. “It wouldn’t have been a bad idea for you to wear one tonight.”
Lara had considered buying one from Fast Lane’s notorious online gift shop back when she was married. “I thought STP had something to do with gasoline.”
“Yeah, well…Fast Lane: Racy cars, the high life…and all that.”
Fast women, fast cars, fast living. I know all about Fast Lane and Clay Creighton.
Lara looked out the window as Roche chattered on. The sun drifting down through the maritime haze toward Point Dume reflected in her diamond-blue eyes. The conflagration of red, orange and purple looked no different from here than it did from the bluffs on the other side of Santa Monica Bay.
The limo jerked again as they turned up a gravel road. Lara’s heart quickened. We must be close.
“We’re here!” Roche announced as the car turned into a driveway that twisted skyward through desert terrain. “Are you ready?”
Lara thought about the weeks she’d spent in the gym. The coaching sessions on how to lie with a mysterious woman whose name and accent changed daily. The hours poring through the enormously popular Fast Lane website, reading Creighton’s daily encyclicals on materialism and carnality until she could easily extemporize on the advantages of gadgets she’d never use and the attributes of running backs she’d never cheer for.
But everything she learned did nothing to change her opinion: Fast Lane was nothing but a place where men like her asshole ex, Kyle, could leer at naked women and find validation for believing they deserved their own harems.
An instructional guide on how to fuck over your wife.
She closed her eyes and her mind to escape Roche’s jabber. When she had approached Gina Wray, creator of the pro-woman website HardCoreGrrrls.com, with the idea of infiltrating Fast Lane to reveal its sordid secrets, Lara had never expected to be the one doing the infiltrating.
“I know plenty of people who’d like to bring Clay Creighton down—people who’d pay big bucks for an exposé,” Gina had told Lara. “Putting an end to The Rotation wouldn’t be so bad, either.”
The Rotation consisted of three women who were at Creighton’s beck and call 24/7. Every six months, he dumped the most senior member and introduced a new plaything. Relationships arced, he said, starting out passionate and ending up routine, so a man had to bring in “new talent” to keep things exciting. Gina’s plan was for Lara to become the first woman in The Rotation’s disgraceful sixteen-year history to dump him instead.
“I don’t know,” Lara had protested. “I’m not exactly Fast Lane material.”
“The material is there,” Gina had assured her. “You just have to move it around a little.”
Nothing’s simple. The world is warm and cool and open and mysterious and bright and muddled—all at the same time. How do you live with that?
Lara opened her eyes to see Roche staring at her chest. He frowned. “Can’t you show a little more cleavage?”
Lara reflexively looked down the ruffled collar of her dress—a sleeveless midnight blue Roland Mouret crepe Gina had purchased for this night. Lara marveled at how easily the twenty-five-hundred-dollar price tag convinced her the dress fit and felt better than anything she’d ever worn.
But does it look good enough?
Even with her new body and hair, even with every follicle below her forehead sugar-waxed and ripped clean, her nails filed, polished and buffed to a mother-of-pearl sheen, her feet soaked in lavender-scented Dead Sea salt water and tucked neatly into a pair of Guillaume Hinfray platform slingbacks, even after two months of Gina’s pep talks, she had to ask this clown, “Do you believe I can even get into The Rotation?”
Roche leaned back against the velvety leather, his beady black eyes taking in Lara’s slender five-foot-eight-inch frame, long legs, toned and spray-tanned arms. She held steady under his gaze. He reached up and pushed a lock of hair off her forehead. She knocked his hand away and moved the hair back.
“Eh,” Roche said. “Stranger things have happened.”
Just what I needed: a big boost of confidence.
The limo crested a hillock and slowed to a stop. A busty young woman wearing the lowest-cut Lakers jersey Lara had ever seen opened the door. “Welcome to the ICE House!”