The next 2 titles in the RAY series by E.L. Todd are now LIVE!
RAY OF TIME (Ray, #4)
RAY OF HEART (Ray, #5)
Zeke and I are finally together.
Going from best friends to lovers is surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. We do everything together, and of course, the sex is fabulous.
Everything is great until Ryker shows up. He says he needs to talk to me and I think I know what it's regarding. If my suspicion is right, he's in for rejection.
Because he missed his chance a long time ago.
Ray of Time (Ray #4) by E. L. Todd:
An Excerpt from Ray of Time
“Time for the dance card fundraiser.” Tom, the VP, stood on the stage and called up the woman with number one taped to her front. She was in her thirties, a cute woman from accounting.
The bidding began, and men fought for a dance.
“I’ve got five bucks—ten—twenty anyone?” The numbers kept moving higher. “I’ve got thirty-five. Can I get forty. Forty!” The bidding ended at fifty dollars, and the woman walked off the stage and joined the man who paid for a dance.
Jenny had returned from the bathroom, and now she sat beside me. “This is kinda barbaric, don’t you think?”
“It’s just a dance, Jenny. It’s not like it’s a date or something.”
“But still. It would have been more fun if the girls bid on the guys.”
“True.” But the only man I would have bid on wasn’t in the building.
“And you know who I would have bid on?” She chuckled and batted her eyelashes. “Mr. Price. I would love to feel those manly hands on my hips.”
I never told her about Ryker and me. Since we worked together, I kept it a secret. No one needed to know the boss had broken my heart. It was easier this way. “He is a looker.”
“He’s gorgeous.” She swooned right on the spot, her hands against her chest. “He said hi to me in the hallway once. My knees practically gave out.” She clearly warmed up to him even though she was once terrified of him being the new CEO of the company. She nearly quit her job because of it.
Tom went down the list of women, and the ninth contestant took home the winning bid of a hundred bucks.
“Your turn,” Jenny said. “I think you’ll break the record.”
“I hope this ass fetches a decent price.” I smiled before I walked to the front of the stage. When I was positioned beside Tom, I waved to all my coworkers in the audience.
“Here’s the lovely, Rae,” Tom said. “A environmental chemist down in the lab. We’ll start the bid at five dollars. Do I have any takers?”
Before anyone could make a bid, Ryker raised his bidder number into the air. “Two thousand.”
Everyone in the audience craned their necks to look at their CEO, shocked by the fact that he just bid on one of his own employees and started at such an outstanding amount.
Even my jaw hit the floor.
“Uh…” It took Tom a second to recover. “Uh…Twenty-one hundred, anyone?”
Nothing but crickets.
“Sold to Mr. Price.” He hit the mallet against the surface of the podium. “Gentleman, take your ladies to the dance floor.”
I stared Ryker down from my spot on the stage, still shocked by the stunt he’d just pulled. He brought unnecessary attention to the two of us, and of course, everyone was wondering if there was something going on between us. It wasn’t clear what his motivations were. If he was trying to make me laugh, it was a terrible joke.
I walked down the steps, and he met me at the bottom, his hands in the pockets of his slacks. He eyed my legs the whole way down, and once I was on the floor, he was still taller than me despite my heels. “What the hell was that?”
The slow song came over the loud speakers, and the couples paired off.
“What?” He grinned as he grabbed my hand, interlocking our fingers just the way he used to. Once, he pinned me to the bed with my hands above my head as he thrust into me. The touch immediately elicited memories I forced myself to forget. “I did it for charity.”
“You could have bid on someone else.”
He led me to the center of the dance floor then pulled me into his chest. One hand snaked around my waist while the other grabbed my hand and held it against his chest. He took the lead and began to sway with the music. “Why would I bid on them when I could bid on someone I actually like?”
“It would be a great opportunity to get to know them.”
“No, thanks.” His face was dangerously close to mine. If we weren’t in public, I would worry he might kiss me. His hand tightened on my bare back, his warm fingers feeling the smooth skin. “Money spent on you is money well spent.”
“Thanks,” I said sarcastically. “You make me sound like a nice whore.”
He chuckled. “Definitely not a whore. You’re a diamond.”
“A diamond?” I asked.
“Yes. A diamond in the rough.” His gaze turned serious as he danced with me, guiding me across the floor gently as the music played overhead. He glanced at my lips before returning his gaze to my eyes. He suddenly turned vulnerable, letting me see a side to him I’d only seen a few times. His thumb brushed across my fingertips, and he pulled me closer into his hard chest. “The rarest and most beautiful gem in the world.”
Speechless, I stared at him. At first, I thought it was just meaningless flirting, but now it seemed to be something more. He hardly ever looked at me that way, letting me see past the steel bars that were always present in his eyes.
He looked down for an instant, breaking eye contact. “Rae…” He paused before he met my look once more, the same expression on his face. Like an open doorway, he allowed me to walk through and see exactly who he was. “I was stupid and—”
“Sorry I’m late.” Zeke’s deep voice sounded in my ear as he walked up to us on the dance floor. His tone was clipped, full of irritation, and a little bit of rage. Every emotion was obvious in those three little words. “But I’m here now.” His arm snaked around my waist and he nearly yanked me out of Ryker’s hold. When he looked at Ryker, a declaration of war was on his face. If he’d had a knife, it would have been in Ryker’s neck right now. “So, you can get lost.”
Ryker’s softened expression disappeared the moment I was taken from him. Now his look was hard like steel, unbreakable. He wanted to mutilate Zeke then and there, regardless of all the people standing around to witness the show. It was impossible for Ryker to stand down, so he didn’t. He remained beside me, his hands balled into fists. “I paid two thousand dollars for this dance. She’s mine.”
“My girl isn’t for sale.”
Ryker narrowed his eyes. “If you cared so much, maybe you should have been here on time.”
“Maybe I would have if I didn’t have to bust my ass through medical school to be a doctor. Not everyone gets handed a company for sitting on his ass all day. Real men have to work for what they want.”
God, this was just getting worse.
“You wanna talk about real men?” Ryker stepped forward, getting closer to Zeke. “A real man would have asked her out before some other guy, a better guy, took her.”
Zeke got in his face. “You won the sprint, congratulations. You got her, had her, and threw her away. But I’m here for the marathon. I’m here for the long haul. I’m here forever. You know why? Because real men wear their hearts on their sleeves, worship their women, and never give them a reason to walk away. I’m not gonna burn out like you did, Ryker. I’m keeping up my pace to finish the race—and win the race.”
RAY OF LIGHT (Ray, #1):
RAY OF HOPE (Ray, #2)
RAY OF LOVE (Ray, #3)
Bestselling author, E. L. Todd, was raised in sunny California where she still lives today, claiming it’s the best place in the country. Easily hypothermic and hateful of the cold, she prefers to be warm all year round. She attended California State University, Stanislaus and received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, but still pursued her dream to be a writer. She’s written several novels and many series’, and her imagination can’t seem to stop. She tries to find the good in people and she exploits that in her writing, proving that people can make mistakes and rise above their past. Her hobbies include sunbathing, swimming, eating at Surf Taco in San Diego, reading, and learning everything she can about hippopotamuses’, her favorite creature. Her greatest dream is to make people forget about the harshness of reality and dive into a good story with lovable people. When fans tell her they love her work, it gives her the greatest sense of accomplishment.