Sour Apples - Book cover

Sour Apples

Jeordie Draven

Age Rating


Layla Potter, Texas-raised country girl, is plagued by night terrors that seem to hint a past that she has put out of her mind is trying to be remembered. Lucas Foster, the incredibly handsome but cranky neighbor of her parents, has his own traumatic past to deal with. Layla is convinced they can help each other, but Lucas can’t bear the thought of losing her—just like he’s lost everything he’s ever loved. Can Layla help Lucas find a way to live, not just survive? And can Lucas help Layla recover her memory? Maybe—if Lucas can keep her alive long enough to face her demons.

Age Rating: 18+

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46 Chapters

Chapter 1

Knock, Knock

Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4

Big Bad Wolf
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Knock, Knock

“You know better than to go on his property.” Gretchen flipped her baseball cap around. “It literally reads No Trespassing and No Soliciting on signs all over this place!”

Layla looked around. “It’s a flyer. What harm can it do for me to hand the man a flyer?”

“He’s probably got a million shotguns in there. You don’t need to get shot today,” Gretchen pointed out. “And the signs are a good indication that he doesn’t want to be bothered. Ever.”

Layla licked her lips. “But his mailbox is on his porch. Maybe I’ll just slip it in there.”

“You know damn well you’re going to knock on that door.” Gretchen smiled. “Get a nice, good look at that Lucas ‘Hot As Hell’ Foster!”

Layla shrugged. “The worst thing that can happen is he slams the door in my face.”

“Or shoots you…” Gretchen pursed her lips together. “Or takes you in his bedroom and ravishes the ever-loving daylights out of you!”

“Take care of my dog!” Layla mused, dramatically tossing her head back. “And you can have all of my vinyls!”

“All of them?”

“Shush… Are you coming with me?”

“Hell no!” Gretchen’s black braids were frizzing in the humidity. “This is one Texas girl who is not dying today.”

“If anything happens, you’re my bestie and I love you!”

“You know he’s so damn fine though,” Gretchen reminded her, as if trying to talk herself into walking up to his door for a look-see. “Lucas Foster might be an asshole, but holy shit balls. I’d like to have that man every which way possible!”

“I am aware of what he looks like.” Layla smiled. “And for an older dude, he’s got it, but that’s not why we’re here.”

“He’s not that much older,” Gretchen scoffed. “Maybe forty? A fifteen-year age difference ain’t nothing, sis. Sounds like my parents.”

Layla was suddenly lost in a lustful haze of impure thoughts about Lucas Foster. She was already taken, but it didn’t mean she couldn’t fantasize.

“Yeah, he’s thirty-nine or forty, but I don’t remember.” Layla shook her head. “Ugh, stop it! You’re trying to stall me. I’m going up there.”

She twirled her auburn hair into a huge knot and was struggling to get her finger out of it. “Well shit.”

Gretchen laughed. “Hold on.” She helped her friend untangle herself and motioned for her to go. “It’s been nice knowing ya, babe!”

“So dramatic,” Layla mumbled as she made her way across the street and to the front gate of the large two-story house on the corner.

It was nice, with a well-manicured yard. The driveway was a bit of a walk, and she prayed that Lucas hadn’t acquired some sort of lethal guard dog since posting the signs.

“You can do this. It’s just Lucas. You sort of know him. Your parents live right down the road. He’s just a dude. He’s a maniac. He’s crazy. What am I doing?” She was talking to herself, struggling in the Texas heat.

Lucas’s house was the last one they were going to hit for the day.

Layla and Gretchen were passing out flyers and talking to people who wanted to help the local farmers keep their businesses and farms from being shut down.

Surely, Lucas would want that. He wouldn’t want all of this beautiful land to be desecrated.

“No guard dog.” Layla breathed a sigh of relief, noticing Lucas’s truck and his motorcycle parked in the driveway.

Even though she said she wasn’t going to talk to him, what would be the harm? It was just a little old conversation between two human beings, right?

Ding dong! Knock, knock!

“This is fine. Everything is fine.” Layla held the flyer tightly, staring at the mailbox standing right next to her, then looking around the patio. “What lovely potted plants.”

“The fuck do you want?!”

“Ahhh!” Layla let go of the flyers, watching them flutter to the ground as the front door came swinging open. She knelt down and began to pick them up frantically.

“I’m—uh—I’m Layla… You know that… And I’m passing out these flyers to help spread awareness about the local farming industry, and it’s also got the time for a scheduled meeting of the city council to help—help the local farmers…and to…”

She gathered all of them, then stood up on wobbly legs and looked into the eyes of Lucas Foster, certified madman.

However, he was not hard on the eyes at all.

Tall, built like a bull, tattoos, a bit bronzed from being out in the sun, dirty blond hair, and light stubble dancing across his cheeks and chin—and shirtless.

Of course she had to glance quickly at his bare chest, chiseled and sweaty. For half a second, Layla wished she was inside his blue jeans.

“That’s fucking delightful, but are you illiterate?” he asked, pointing to his signs.

“N-no…,” Layla stammered. She pushed the paper out to him, but he didn’t budge. “C-can I put this in your mailbox?”

Lucas sighed heavily. He wore no smile, and she couldn’t read him at all. She was thankful her friend was waiting for her. At least the authorities would know where to look for her body.

Lucas stepped out onto the porch flush with her because—of course—she was too frightened to move. He loomed over her, so she practically sprained her neck to look up at him.

“If you’d wanted to put it in my mailbox, why did you knock on my door?” he asked, his green eyes blazing into her dark blues.

Layla shrugged. “We’ve been talking to everyone—”

“Annoying the fuck out of everyone, ya mean?”

Layla huffed. “It’s an important issue. I’d think you of all people wouldn’t want a condominium right across the street from your lovely ranch.”

Why was she still on that porch and why were her lips moving?

Lucas grinned, a crooked little sinister grin, but he didn’t move.

She could feel his heat against hers, practically taste the sweat coming off of him. Glancing behind him through the open door, she glimpsed some boxing gloves chucked onto the floor.

“You box?” she asked him.

“Go. Away.” His smiled faded as he snatched the paper from her hand. “Now.”

And with that, he slammed the door behind him.

Layla had no idea how she made it back down that driveway, but she was still losing her shit when she and Gretchen drove off.


“Well what? I’m having a heart attack,” Layla heaved.

“What does he look like? Smell like? Act like?”

“Hot, hot, hot, and very angry.” Layla giggled, twirling her hair again. “But he did take the flyer.”

“Mission complete!” Gretchen gave her a high five.

“Let’s get ice cream,” Layla offered.

“Oh, need to cool down?” Gretchen joked.

“Something like that.”


Lucas tossed the flyer into the garbage and settled down for a nice cold beer.

“Fucking hippies,” he grumbled as he downed the booze. “Nice ass, though.”

He thought about Layla and how she’d had the balls to show up at his front door like that—not that it was the smartest thing to do, but it was ballsy.

She was a looker, but she was young—maybe twenty-four, twenty-five. Not too young, but not his age of forty.

He hadn’t gotten laid in quite some time, and just the thought of her made his dick twitch. She was absolutely breathtaking and smelled so fresh, like new linens mixed with expensive floral potpourri.

He knew all about the people trying to take his land and the land of the local farmers around the area. It didn’t take a young, college-educated, tree-hugging hippie to tell him the news.

He’d seen her plenty of times in his life, always happy—smiling, wearing big dresses and skirts, running around music festivals where he was head of security, watching her paint flowers on the children’s faces, protesting against wars he’d fought in.

The fucking audacity.

Of course, some people didn’t like him. They knew his past and he had his close friends, but not many in the area.

He liked it like that. People didn’t need to know his business, and they didn’t need to keep feeling sorry for him. He couldn’t stand that.


“It was a shame when his wife died,” Gretchen was saying as they ate their ice cream.

“They never had kids, right?” Layla asked her.

“Not that I know of. I wouldn’t mind having his babies though.” Gretchen giggled. “I wish I’d gone up to his house now.”

“I could almost taste him, girl.” Layla shook her head, her blue eyes widening. “He’s scary.”

“You gotta like those bad boys.” Gretchen nudged her.

“Listen, I know I’m not overly adventurous in my dating life, but Paul and I are doing well.”

Gretchen crinkled her nose. She wasn’t a big fan of Paul Gates, but he was Layla’s boyfriend, and Layla was her best friend.

“He’s a nice guy and we have a lot in common,” Layla told her again.

“Like what? You’re both in love with the planet? He’s so—so…Paul…”

Layla frowned. She wasn’t the best judge of bad character, but Gretchen was. He wasn’t what Layla truly wanted, but it’s what she had, so she was content—which was exactly what Gretchen couldn’t stand.

“You’re too comfortable.”

“Should I be uncomfortable?” Layla laughed.

“You are a free spirit, but you don’t push the limits. Let’s go out this weekend.”

“Where?” She looked at her friend’s little devilish grin. “Oh, no, I am not going clubbing with you.”

“Oh, come on!” Gretchen begged. “Just this one weekend. Please?”

Layla pursed her lips together. She had so much classwork to catch up on, and Paul wanted to hang out.

“How many weekends are you going to give to him? Come out with the girls!” Gretchen pouted.

“Fine, fine…” Layla waved her hand. “You know I love you, but the club thing just isn’t my scene.”

Gretchen rolled her eyes. “I know. Sing-a-longs and campfires and protesting injustices are all the rage with you—not to mention your incredibly large collection of rocks.”

“They’re my healing crystals, thank you very much.”

“Rocks, that’s what I said,” Gretchen teased. “So it’s settled! We’re going to paint the town, sista.”

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