Stay With Me Chapter 1 Reveal

Some quick backstory – “Two Years Later” is two years after the prologue.
So in this current timeframe, Tripp is 20 and Magnolia is 18 (about to graduate high school).


Two Years Later

“Get that Swedish Fish-sized boner away from me.”

Jesus fucking Christ.

“C’mon, Daisy. Let’s go.” I grab her shoulders in an attempt to steer her away from whatever douche was stupid enough to grind on her. If I knew she couldn’t handle herself, I would’ve taken care of the asshole myself.

Of course, in true Magnolia fashion, she jerks out of my grip.

“Don’t call me that,” she grinds out, whipping around and narrowing her eyes.

My lips curve up in an amused grin because no matter how many times she scolds me, I’ll never stop our little inside joke. Calling her any flower name except her own. She claims to hate it, but the blush on her cheeks tells me otherwise. She loves having my attention.

Sunflower, it’s time to go,” I emphasize my favorite flower name for her. Usually Sunny for short.

Mag-no-lia,” she drawls out in slow, drunken breaths, poking me in the chest three times right above my left pec where Billy’s name is inked on my skin.

“I’m gonna call you pain in the ass soon if you don’t get movin’.” I pull her finger off me. “My truck’s outside.”

“Where’s Noah?” she asks, glancing around for her best friend—and my little sister—as more people bump into us. They’re two years younger than me and get on my nerves regularly.

“Landen already took her outside. We’re just waitin’ on you, so…” I motion for her to get moving, but then a guy stumbles over with a red cup in his hand and tobacco chew on his lip.

“You’re lookin’ sluttier than usual, baby pop. Wanna go upstairs?”

I squeeze my eyes to stop myself from punching his brains out. But in reality, between the two of them, it’s Magnolia I should be holding back.

Excuse you? Did you just call me a slut?” She stands straighter on her heels, which only pushes out her already revealing chest more.

His gaze lowers down her half-naked body, and he licks his lips with a throaty groan. “You got a rep for a reason, baby girl. Show me how good you suck dick so I can experience it for myself.”

Magnolia’s jaw tenses as all five foot two inches of pure sass squares up against his six feet of muscle. “The only thing I’m gonna show you is—”

“And we’re leavin’…” I bend my knees, lift her up, then haul her over my shoulder. Her mouth’s unfiltered on a good day, but when she’s been drinking, there’s no telling what’ll come out. The last thing she needs is to get arrested and expelled before graduation.

“Put me down, Tripp Hollis!” She pounds her fists against my ass. Landen notices us approaching and quickly opens the back door. My brother’s two years older than me, and the only one out of the four of us actually legal to drink.

She squeals when I toss her in next to Noah, then I slam the door before she can cuss me out.

Fucking hell. I didn’t sign up for this bullshit, but when my little sister called and needed a ride, I couldn’t say no. So I dragged Landen out to come help since I knew Magnolia would be a handful.

“You can’t just throw me ’round like a rag doll,” she slurs once I hop in the passenger’s seat.

Landen backs out of the driveway while Magnolia continues running her mouth. He gives me a sideways grin and steals a glance at her like a lovesick puppy.

“Are you listenin’ to me?” She leans forward and flicks my ear since I ignore her. Once she gives up, she rests her arms on the back of my seat as Landen drives us down the dark country road.

I tilt my head to where she’s hovering and get a whiff of her coconut shampoo. Even drunk off her ass, Magnolia Sutherland still smells like fucking heaven.

And I hate it.

“Tryin’ not to,” I murmur.

After five minutes of driving, Magnolia covers her mouth. “Oh shit.”

“Oh shit, what?” Landen asks in a panic.

“Pull over!” Noah yells.

When Landen jerks my truck to the side of the road, we jump out. Noah helps Magnolia down, and  the moment she bends over, she empties her stomach.

I shake my head. “Fuck. How much did y’all drink?”

Noah holds Magnolia’s ponytail and rubs her back. “I only had a few, but she was takin’ shots in between playin’ beer pong.”

“I’m totally fine.” Magnolia stands a moment later, wiping her mouth and chin.

I snort at her ability to act normal two seconds after throwing up.

Her dark brown hair is a wild mess, her makeup is smeared, and her white top is covered in beer stains.

But still, she’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen.

And equally off-limits.

I try to keep my distance, but she’s been around our family for as long as I can remember, so it makes it hard. Wherever Noah is, Magnolia’s close by.

“No pukin’ your guts out in the truck,” Landen warns. “No one wants to smell that. You good?”

“Definitely!” She puts a finger to her nose, then switches hands and does it again. “Practically sober now. If I knew how to drive a stick shift, I could drive y’all home myself! But no one will teach me.” She pushes out her bottom lip in the most adorable pout.

Landen laughs, holding the door open and motioning for her to get back inside. “Even if you did, Tripp doesn’t let chicks drive his truck. It’s a rare beauty.”

“Wow, sexist much?” she scolds.

“It’s a 1974 Ford 250 Highboy Crew Cab! I’ve been workin’ on it since high school,” I defend. “The only reason Landen’s allowed to drive it is because he helped me restore it and knows I’ll kick his ass if he treats it badly.”

“That’s right, baby!” He waves his fingers at her. “These aren’t only good for hand necklaces.”

“You’re gonna make me throw up again.” Magnolia makes a gagging noise as he helps her into the back seat. She stumbles slightly, and Landen snorts at how drunk she clearly is.

“Ma’s gonna kill you,” he taunts Noah when Magnolia drapes across the bucket seat.

She shoots him a death glare. “Not if she doesn’t know.”

“There’s no way she ain’t gonna hear the four of us walkin’ upstairs, especially with your drunken asses trippin’ along,” I say, then buckle up again.

Magnolia sits up and leans forward until her face is perched between Landen and me. “Guess y’all will have to carry me bride-over-the-threshold style.”

Landen snorts and puts the truck into gear, then glances at her. “Could haul you over my shoulder with one hand, sweetheart.” He flexes his arm, then smacks his palm over his bicep.

I roll my eyes, then suppress a groan when she squeezes his muscles. I’m the one who just carried her out of that party without breaking a sweat, and she’s acting like Landen’s a god when he flexes.

Get me outta here.

“But I ain’t riskin’ Ma catchin’ me sneakin’ y’all back inside. Last time I got in trouble, she nearly shipped me off to Canada,” he adds before pulling back onto the road.

“Well, we can’t have that now, can we? So we’ll have to make a plan…” Magnolia emphasizes the last word. “Noah and I will sneak up to her room first and make sure no one wakes up. After a few minutes, we’ll text you when it’s safe to come in.”

I look over at Landen, surprised he’s actually considering it, and then he nods. “Fine. But after ten minutes, I’m comin’ in.”

Ten? I’m waiting three tops.

As we get closer to the house, Landen turns off his headlights. I don’t bother moving but look back to make sure the girls are getting out.

“Ten minutes,” Landen reminds them.

“Keep your panties on.” Noah snickers.

They use their phone flashlights and slowly make their way up the porch steps before opening the front door. Dad sleeps like the dead after working twelve-plus hours a day, but my mom’s always been a light sleeper. Having a houseful of five kids made her aware of every little noise.

“So what was Magnolia doing when you found her?” Landen asks when the silence gets too loud.

“Two seconds away from kickin’ some guy’s ass for touchin’ her,” I say flatly. “Then two seconds after that, another guy came up and called her a slut. That’s when I hauled her ass out of there. I knew the moment she kicked him in the balls, a fight would break out, and it wouldn’t be too much longer before the cops showed up.”

Landen chuckles. “She’s a fiery little thing.”

“Tell me again why you like her?” My voice is mostly taunting since I have no room to talk.

“Besides how beautiful she is?” He arches a brow. “She’s fun, has a good sense of humor, a playful personality, and as you know, she can handle herself. Bold and sexy. What’s not to like?”

I nod in agreement but keep my mouth shut.

It’s one thing to know who your brother likes, but it’s another when it’s the same girl you’ve liked for years.

When I found out he had feelings for her, I shoved mine aside the best I could and pulled away. Landen and I have always been close. I’m not sure what he’d say if I told him I like her too, but I didn’t want to find out and have a girl come between us. Landen’s a great brother, a good guy, and after the heartbreak his high school girlfriends put him through, he deserves a nice woman in his life.

“It’s been five minutes. Let’s go.” I grab the door handle before he can stop me.

Moments later, he’s following me up the steps, but we both freeze when the doorknob doesn’t turn.

“Those little shits,” Landen murmurs, reaching for his keys to unlock it.

But the door doesn’t open when he turns it.

“What the hell?” I ask, shifting the knob back and forth. “They deadbolted it.”

Landen grabs his phone and clicks on Noah’s name. After one ring, it goes to voicemail.

I call her next but get the same thing.

“Goddammit. We go save their asses, and they pay us back by lockin’ us out of the house. If Ma wakes up, she’s gonna think we were the ones out past curfew.” I shake my head, my hands balling into fists. Although Landen and I are adults, we still live at home and abide by the rules as a form of respect for everyone who gets up early to work on the ranch and retreat.

Pulling Magnolia’s number up, I call her next. To my surprise, she picks up.

“Hey, handsome. You lookin’ for a rowdy cowgirl for the night?” Her seductive drunken tone nearly has me choking out a laugh, but I’m too pissed to give in.

“Open. The. Door.”

“You sound mad, cowboy. You need a little relief? That’d make ya smile, wouldn’t it?”

“Oh my God! Stop using your porn voice on my brother!” Noah scolds in the background.

Pinching the bridge of my nose before I lose my patience, I blow out a slow breath. “Unlock the deadbolt and let us in.”

“And what’re you gonna do for it?”

I look over at her car parked next to my truck.

“I’ll tell ya what I will do if you don’t…” I threaten.

“Mm…tell me more.”

“That little red Beetle of yours is gonna find itself floating in the pond if you don’t let us in.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Her voice is harsh now as if that slapped her back to reality.

The pond’s located on the retreat side of the ranch and would take us less than three minutes to get it there.

“Don’t think I can hotwire a car? Think again, Marigold. I’ll push it in myself and watch it drown.”

“You’re evil,” she hisses.

“Way to fold, Mags!” Noah snickers.

“He threatened Big Red! What am I supposed to do?”

“You know he’s lyin’. But go ahead and let him win. Just don’t stumble on your way down,” Noah warns.

“You really thought this was the best way not to wake my parents?”

“I was hopin’ we’d make a deal of sorts, but since you’re no fun…”

Seconds later, the door whips open and Magnolia stands in front of me in nothing more than a baggy T-shirt.

My T-shirt.

I mimic her amused expression. “What kind of deal?”

Landen sidesteps me with a muttered finally and walks around Magnolia. Considering we work in a few hours, I don’t blame him, but I stay planted in the entryway because I’m too intrigued.

“One where I tell you a secret, then you tell me one.”

I move closer, shutting the door behind me and never taking my eyes off hers. Magnolia’s chest rises and falls rapidly as I hover above her.

“Where’d you get that?” I jut my chin toward her body.

“Your closet.” Her voice is barely above a whisper.

I reach for the hem, then roll the fabric between my thumb and finger. My other fingers graze against her soft, tan skin, and her breath hitches.

“Why’re you wearin’ it?”

The corner of her mouth tilts up. “It smells like you.”

Licking my lips, my throat tightens as I battle with the words I want to desperately say but can’t.

Take it off. Let me touch you. Give yourself to me the way I want to give myself to you.

But I don’t say any of those words.

When Billy died, a part of me did too. It doesn’t feel right to be out having fun when he can’t. He made one bad decision, and it affected everyone who loved him for the rest of our lives. I want to hate him for being so stupid, but he was hurting and acting out the only way he knew how.

And it cost him his life.

So instead of partying and making the same mistakes, I focus on my family and work, which has been enough for me. It helps keep the anxiety attacks away—usually.

But Magnolia tempts me. She gives me hope, and that’s a dangerous feeling.

It’s bad enough that Landen wants to date her, but if there’s one thing I know to be true about her, she goes back to her dipshit ex anytime he decides to get his head out of his ass. Travis is a year younger than me, and when we played football together my senior year, we actually became friends. They’d been on and off all through high school, which is why I never took her little flirty comments to heart, but it’s also why I never reciprocated them. Bro code means you don’t date your friend’s exes and you most definitely don’t date your brother’s crush.

Taking a step back, I shove my hands in my pockets and lower my gaze to her bare legs. “Put it back in my room when you’re done.”

Without waiting for her to respond, I walk away.

Goes live on Feb. 1st on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play.
Launches on Amazon and into Kindle Unlimited Feb. 7th

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When they’ve been apart for ten years and he says…

“I’m sorry I had to start over without you. Not a day goes by that I haven’t thought about you. Wonderin’ how you were doing. If you were happy and safe. If a man was treatin’ you right. My biggest regret in life was havin’ to walk away from you.”

Meet Ayden & Laney in the Sugarland Creek prequel, 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑴𝒆 💙💙 Available on Amazon and KU
#comewithme #brookemontgomery #sugarlandcreekseries #cowboyromance #secondchanceromance #smalltownromance #romancestagram #romancebooks #romancereader #romancereads #romancerecs #kindleunlimited #kindleunlimitedromance

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ICYMI in my newsletter, I announced the audiobook narrators for 𝑭𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑴𝒆 that`s coming sometime in August. I`m so excited to hear @aaronshedlock and @stellahunternarrator as Landen & Ellie!

There will be no pre-order, but I’ll announce it as soon as it’s live on Audible 🎧
#audiobook #romanceaudio #fallwithme #brookemontgomery #sugarlandcreekseries #kindleunlimited #smalltownromance #cowboyromance #grumpysunshine #amnesiatrope #hefallsfirst #romancereader #romancereads #romancestagram #booklover #kindeunlimitedromance

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