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Billionaire rocker Arlo Jones is Cold, Hard, and Heartless, and he's all yours in MV Ellis's latest novella. Get up close and personal as he learns to live, love, and give a fuck. He vowed to protect the broken shards of his heart, until she etched herself on his soul. Cold. Hard. Heartless. If I don’t rise, I can’t fall. If I don’t give, I can’t take. If I don’t love, I can’t lose. If I don’t break, I can’t heal. If I don’t care, I can’t hurt. And if I don’t expose my heart, it can’t get broken. As a boy, Arlo Jones learned that hearts could literally be broken. His shattered into a thousand tiny pieces when his dad died, and he vowed to never let that happen again. He had to be cold, hard, and heartless. As a man, he has his shtick with chicks. He's never been in love, or even in lust. He gets horny, fucks, and sends them on their way. Rinse. Repeat. It ain't broke, so no need to fix it. Until London. Meeting her is the start of something big, like the first bump of coke or hit of the pipe. From day one, the only way forward is deeper in, and there is no easy way out. If this is love, he's never going to be the same again.

Cold, Hard, & Heartless Š 2018 by MV Ellis All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any written, electronic, recorded, or photocopied format without the express permission from the author or publisher as allowed under the terms and conditions with which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution, circulation or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly. Thank you for respecting the work of this author. Cold, Hard, & Heartless is a work of fiction. All names, characters, events and places found therein are either from the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to persons alive or dead, actual events, locations, or organizations is entirely coincidental and not intended by the author. For information, contact the publisher, Hot Tree Publishing. Editing: Hot Tree Editing Cover Designer: Claire Smith ISBN: 978-1-925655-99-5

For Lynford. Cancer stole you from us way before your time. We weren’t ready, and neither were you. You were in your prime. You’re gone but not forgotten. Forever remembered in our hearts.


Prologue Fifteen years earlier Better to be hard and heartless than to love and lose.

Arlo Jones

We sat at your hospital bed and watched the life ebb from you. Slow… painful… undignified. As we walked out of your hospital room leaving your cold, hollow body, I knew I would never be the same again. Shouldn’t be. Couldn’t be. Didn’t want to be. Cold. We watched as death clawed at you from beyond. Every day it beckoned you nearer. It dragged you kicking and screaming to the point of no return. It left its indelible mark on your mind, body, and soul. You became a shell of your former self. It broke your spirit and stole your pride. We lost our father and friend. Your warm body grew cold. We watched as life went and you went with it. We watched.

Hard. Death isn’t a beginning, it’s the end. It saps us of light, laughter, sunshine, and happiness. It puts an end to plans, fun, possibility, and promise. It snatches away childhood, innocence, optimism, and joy. It steals light and replaces it with darkness. Death is the end of tomorrow. The end of hope. Heartless. If I don’t rise, I can’t fall. If I don’t love, I can’t lose. If I don’t think, I can’t feel. If I don’t care, I can’t hurt. If I don’t expose my heart, it can’t get broken. *** Fuck cancer. The thought dominated my mind while asleep and awake. I could hardly think of anything else. The last thing I thought before my head hit the pillow, and the first thing when I pried my heavy lids open again. Although, in reality, I hardly slept at all. Not that I didn’t chase those Z’s, because I did, but I’d go to bed, and sleep would slide away from me like sand slipping through my fingers. If I was

lucky, I would go under, only to be called back to consciousness by the nightmares. Fuck cancer. I lifted open the garage door and was met by four pairs of angry eyes. Luke, Stevie, Jake, and Ryan all looked at me as though I was cancer. So I was half an hour late to the first ever rehearsal of the band I’d pulled together. So what? It’s not like any of those losers had anything better to do anyway. And really, we weren’t a band yet, just a group of guys who kind of liked to play and sing. They all needed to take a chill pill. Fuck cancer. My father’s body had been rotting in the ground for two weeks, and I needed something else to focus on before I lost my fucking mind. Giving this band a try was better than the other legal options available, and less likely to give our mom a heart attack than the illegal things I had in mind. Besides, girls loved guys in bands. Anything that helped me get laid was high on my list of things to do.

Not that I needed help in that area, but there was no such thing as too much pussy, right? Fuck cancer. We argued for weeks about what to call our band of not-so-merry men. Ninety-nine percent of the suggestions were so lame I wanted to pull the plug on the whole thing. Because how could I possibly make music with guys who thought those things were even remotely cool? If Luke had his way, we’d be called Conspiracy Theory; Stevie put forward Yoshi & Peach; Jake’s vote went to Aural Combat, and Ryan suggested Mic Drop. Not even close. Fuck cancer. Two weeks ago, I’d realized that hearts could literally break. Mine had shattered into thousands of tiny pieces. Too many to ever be able to put them all back together. I could never let it happen again. I wouldn’t let it happen again. I knew I should never let it happen again. I needed to protect the shards I had left. I’d guard them with my life. We were the Heartless Few.

Fuck cancer. I walked out of band rehearsal and straight into Marnie. I guessed she’d been waiting for me, as she so often did. I asked her what she wanted. She seemed surprised, and stared at the ground, following the movement of her toe as she traced patterns with a pebble in the dirt. She opened and closed her mouth. I knew what she wanted, and today I wanted it too. I was thinking and feeling things I wanted to block out. I needed a distraction. I looked into her jet-black doe eyes, and figured she’d do nicely. I crashed my lips down to hers and waited. She yielded, opening her mouth, letting me invade it with my tongue. When my dick was as hard as it had ever been and she was squirming against me, anxious with need, I led her by the hand to my room. Heartless by name. Heartless by nature. Cancer could eat a giant bag of festering dicks all the way to hell and back. Fuck. Cancer.

Chapter 1 Present Day

Jet. Coke. Gin. Airport. Car. Club. VIP. Vodka. Tits. Coke. Bathroom. Redhead. Ass. Body. Shots. Blonde. Table. Cristal. Tequila. Dance floor. Brunette. Shots. Booty. Ebony. Cristal. Rinse, repeat. Vodka. Dance floor. Marnie. Coke. Office. Body. Shots. Hall. Marnie. Lot. Lights. Camera. Action. Drone. Car. Coke. Marnie. Bed. Marnie. Marnie. Marnie. Fade. To. Black.

Chapter 2 “Motherfucker!” I whisper-yell under my breath, although there’s really no need. I’m alone. In this part of the house anyway. Even if Luke were here, I wouldn’t give a fuck if he heard me. My house, my rules. He knows how it goes. Probably best that I don’t raise my voice anyway. My head already feels like someone has cracked it open down the middle like a walnut, is holding both sides of the wound open with a vise, and pouring acid into the fissure. After hitting the booze (and the rest) pretty hard for as many years as I have, I’ve built up quite a tolerance, so for me to be feeling this shitty means I must have pulled out all the stops last night. I’ll have to take my body’s word for it though, as I only have very fractured recollections of the events of the past twelve hours. I decide the only way to chase off the party-induced demons is to complete my “death drill” in the gym. This is a short but mighty HIIT routine that I put together with a PT

a little while ago as a quick but effective workout I can do anywhere when I’m on the road. It doesn’t need much space and can be done totally without equipment if there’s none available. There’s nothing guaranteed to sweat out a hangover more than that. It’s also likely to have me in the ER hurling up a lung, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. If I’m honest, I kind of like doing this routine after ultra-heavy nights as a perverse penance. It’s like my form of church— you fuck up, you hit the confessional, or the weight room, and you feel absolved until the next time. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. I head into the bathroom to splash my face with cold water and brush my teeth before going back into the bedroom, pulling on a pair of shorts, and shoving my feet into my Nikes. After taking a moment to recover from the exertion of getting dressed, I take the elevator down to the basement gym, heading straight to the weight and cardio room. I idly wonder how I’m going to make it through this

ordeal, given that I barely survived tying my shoes. This is going to be fun, and by fun, I mean worse than hell. Is there such a thing? Worse than hell. Like a compartment below hell, they save for the really bad people. If so, I think just about everyone else I know, and I will be going there. Maybe we’ll be able to turn it into a desirable “destination” like the latest celebrity chef restaurant, or 12AM Mass. A hot ticket—pun intended—VIP section of hell. If your name’s not on the list, you’re not coming in. The idea makes me laugh. Internally, at least. Externally, there’s no way I can pull off a bout of laughter without splitting my head open completely. Not. Gonna. Happen. Again, I question the sanity of attempting to complete a workout in this condition, but I’m going to do it anyway, because… Arlo. I work out until the urge to hurl gets too much. For most of the session, I push through it, but when it gets to the point where the bile is building at the back of my throat, I

decide to quit while I’m ahead. Or at least, less behind. My headache is still raging, but judging by the amount of vodkainfused sweat covering my chest, I’ve worked the majority of the alcohol out of my system, so I’ve achieved my aim. All I need now is a shower, and part two of my go-to hangover cure—a big greasy Sam’s burger with everything, large fries, and a fat Coke. Follow that with a little more sleep, and by early evening I’ll be good to hit the circuit again. As I emerge from the weight room and make my way across the huge dance studio space—complete with sprung floors and floor-to-ceiling windows—to the bathroom, something catches my eye. What is that? I get closer and realize it’s a pair of cutoff shorts. Tiny little denim batty shorts. Most definitely not mine. I’m pretty sure they’re not Marnie’s either. When we got back here last night, we screwed a few times, and then as always, she was history shortly afterward. Postcoital spooning’s not my bag. I can’t

remember what I said or did to “encourage” her to leave, but I’m sure given how fucked-up I was, it wasn’t polite. Besides, if my memory serves me correctly, she was wearing an ultrashort, ultratight leather skirt and no panties, which made for easy access. Regardless of what she was wearing, we wouldn’t have been down here last night anyway. The kind of workout we give each other has nothing to do with the gym. I wince both at the recollection of my behavior and at the pain in my head. In addition to the bubbling acid, it now seems that someone is trying to use a hook to pull my brain out through my nostrils, like they used to do to the ancient Egyptians. That shit hurts like a motherfucker. In fact, even moving my face enough to wince is painful. I’m ruined. Next I spot a small heap of black lace and elastic. I approach cautiously, picking it up gingerly with the tip of my index finger. It appears to be a bra, but it’s smaller and

flimsier than most I have encountered in my life, and there have been many. It’s really just two tiny triangles of lace joined together by a few lengths of thin elastic. What the hell is going on? I fleetingly toy with the idea that the clothes could have been hastily discarded by one of Luke’s lays in the throes of passion, but dismiss the thought almost as soon as it occurs to me. Although Luke more or less lives here, and I don’t much care what he does or with whom, it has never really been his style to make his presence felt in such an obvious way. He’s way too uptight for that. He’s clenched so tight, I’m pretty sure he shits diamonds, whereas I’m the definition of letting it all hang out. Oil and water, that’s us. I’m starting to feel a reverse Hansel and Gretel vibe as I follow the trail of clothing. The next item seems to be the last. A few paces from the bathroom door, I see what I immediately recognize to be a pair of panties. Hot pink. Whoever our mystery naked woman is, she’s not fond of big

underwear. The panties aren’t much bigger than the bra. The hot pink does unnatural things to me, and my dick twitches slightly at the thought. I just about resist bringing them to my nose and sniffing. Just. The trail ends there, so I push open the bathroom door and receive an unexpected assault on my senses. Steam infused with the scent of citrus-fragranced body wash billows onto my already overheated skin, and I hear the rush of water from my German-engineered shower. The biggest shock by far, though, is visual. Before my eyes is a vision of naked loveliness. So lovely, in fact, that my first thought is that what I’m seeing is a ghost or a hallucination or some shit. Maybe this is heaven. Less than an hour ago I was sure I was in hell, but if this scene is anything to go by, my celestial luck has definitely improved. A lot. I may be hungover as fuck, with reduced brain capacity and a certain level of physical incapacitation, but one part of me that is still in 100 percent working order is

my dick. I swear, even when I croak, I’ll be buried with a hard-on. The sight of her has me at attention in seconds. I wonder if this is how the three bears felt when they found Goldilocks sleeping in their bed? Or Papa Bear, at least. As I watch her wash her hair, the dark ringlets skimming the dimples at the top of her butt, I almost shoot my load in my shorts. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited I’ve embarrassed myself before the main event, but I come close right now—pun intended. It’s like tenth grade all over again, only with fewer pimples and better hair. After an extended period of staring at her in mesmerized, mind-melted amazement I come to the conclusion that I’m not dead, but in fact still very much on the mortal plane. Which means there really is a fucking naked chick in my shower. She’s kind of side-on to me, so as well as a good look at her butt and side boob—which is the side boob to beat all side boob—I can also see some of

her face, especially when she tilts her head back to scrub at her hair. I appraise her slowly, starting from her birdlike ankles, almost touching with her feet pointing to ten and two. Her legs are lean and strong-looking, definitely more athletic than her slight stature would suggest. They’re also disproportionally long, considering her height. She’s what, maybe five feet two, three? Yet her legs seem to extend to her armpits. Not that I’m complaining—it’s a great “problem” to have. From my vantage point at the threshold of the bathroom, I am well placed to appreciate the scoop of her toned, sexy back and the tantalizing curve of her ass. The sight of the water cascading over her as she repeatedly soaps and rinses her body is the hottest thing I’ve ever seen. Bar none. Her body. Her. Motherfucking. Body. Her body is…? My brain is too broken from last night’s exploits to begin to grapple with the right word. Although I wouldn’t have

believed it was even possible, the mere thought of slipping my dick between her pert cheeks causes my dick to swell even further. This has got to be some kind of record. Thank Christ I’m wearing comfortable shorts, but even they are struggling to accommodate me. I push the waistband down over my hips, allowing them to fall to the floor, before stepping over the crumpled heap of fabric. My straining cock springs into action, bouncing against my stomach, clearly relieved to be free of restraint. I look down taking note of the veins standing at attention along the shaft. So ready. I take it in my hand, pumping a few times, enjoying the friction against my warm palm, and knowing that without a doubt it would feel even better slipping back and forth between the folds of my new houseguest. A drop of precum appears at the tip. I waste no time striding toward the shower. Before I enter the cubicle, I take one more long look at my caramelcolored Goldilocks. In actual fact, her hair is dark, almost

black, blended with rich tones of maple syrup. It hangs in thick glossy ringlets that swish back and forth across the top of her buttocks as she moves. Holy shit. I need to be inside her. Stat. I open the cubicle door, thanking God I had the foresight to install an oversized shower—we’re going to need all the space we can get, and then some, for what I have in mind. As she hears the door open, she turns to me, her eyes widening in surprise. She smiles as she notices I’m erect and ready for her. With one hand she begins tweaking her nipples, alternating between them, moaning as they pebble at her touch. The other hand skates down her soapy body, skimming her modest curves and further stoking my need. As it moves between her legs, she curls her middle finger, slipping it inside herself. Maintaining eye contact, she slides her finger back out, reaching up to push it into her mouth, sucking hungrily. Fuck. I don’t know if I’m even going to make it inside if she carries on like this.

As though reading my mind, she turns, taking a few steps toward the back wall of the shower. Placing her palms against the wall to brace herself, she bends slightly, angling her butt out toward me. Her intention is clear, and I don’t hesitate in accepting her invitation. In a few quick strides I’m against her, my chest to her back, pushing my painfully hard dick toward her urgently. She yields to me immediately, opening her legs and rising on tiptoe to allow me in. As I slip inside her, I’m sure I’ve died and gone to heaven. If I haven’t, but were to die right now, at least I’d die happy. Very. Fucking. Happy. As I push in to the hilt, she shudders and clenches around me. Shit. She’s as ready for this as I am, and I know it’s going to be fast and frantic. The first time, at least. I take a moment to situate myself and allow us both to adjust to what we’re feeling. After that, there’s no holding back. I thrust into her like both our lives depend on it. Each thrust takes us closer to our shared climax, and neither of us are

interested in taking our time. We set a breakneck pace, desperate for our eventual release. I give one last hard thrust as we both come and… …I realize I’ve zoned out, standing in the bathroom, staring at the naked intruder. What the fucking fuck is that about? Is there even a name for that? A waking wet dream? An erotic daydream? I don’t know, but I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m going out of my tiny little mind. That shit cannot be normal. I thought the workout had done me good, but maybe I’m still drunk. Or high. Or both. I turn my attention back to Not Goldilocks, still scrubbing herself in the shower, apparently blissfully unaware of my presence—and boy is she scrubbing. She’s alternating between her body and her hair, and seems to be on a mission to rid herself of her skin and scalp. Why else would she be going at such a frenetic pace? What’s the story? Fleas? Lice? OCD? Flesh-eating bacteria?

Fuck if I know, but I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that this definitely isn’t heaven. Though the vision in front of me is beautiful enough to feature in a tableau depicting the delights that await us on the other side, something here isn’t quite right. In fact, it’s not right at all. There’s no reasonable explanation for the fact there’s a naked woman scratching in my shower, no matter how unbelievably hot she is. Fuck me sideways. These paparazzo motherfuckers stooped to new lows every day to get a scoop, and last night I played right into their hands, throwing them a juicy bone, fucking Marnie in a parking lot while a drone flew overhead. Or should that be boner? Either way, the fallout is going to be ugly. The thought both snaps me out of my reverie and propels me another step closer to sobriety. Suddenly, my previously dusty and fuzzy mind is razor sharp. There’s an itchy naked chick in my fucking shower.

Oh. Hell. No. She picked the wrong guy to fuck with today. I’m not about to fall for some kind of honey trap bullshit. So I make my fantasy about taking her in the shower a reality, and then what? How long before the photos, or worse still, videos, are doing the rounds of the international media? Last night’s fiasco was an error in judgment of epic proportions, but even hungover, or still drunk, or however my current state can best be described, I have my shit together enough not to let lightning strike twice in the same twelve-hour period. The paparazzi have had all the tabloid trash they’re going to get from me for the foreseeable future, so I hope they enjoy it.

COLD, HARD, & HEARTLESS Amazon US: Amazon UK: Amazon CA: Amazon AU:

Amazon US: Amazon UK: Amazon AU: Amazon CA:

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Sample: Cold, Hard, & Heartless  

Billionaire rocker Arlo Jones is Cold, Hard, and Heartless, and he's all yours in MV Ellis's latest novella. Get up close and personal as he...

Sample: Cold, Hard, & Heartless  

Billionaire rocker Arlo Jones is Cold, Hard, and Heartless, and he's all yours in MV Ellis's latest novella. Get up close and personal as he...