Author: Isabel Love
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Happily ever afterâwhat a joke! I tried that once and ended up divorced.
Now, I only want one thing from men.
Charlie Nelson is good at giving me that one thing. Really, really good.
So good, in fact, I discovered a new side of myself.
I never knew I liked to watch until I saw his talented hands touching someone else.
I never knew I liked to be watched until I felt his searing gaze on me.
Maybe happily ever after isnât always a white picket fence, wedding bells, and 2.5 kids.
Maybe itâs something a bit moreâ¦unconventional.
*Warning: Contains dirty talk, piercings and hot threesomes.
Intended for readers over 18 years of age.
Copyright Â© 2017 Unconventional by Isabel Love
Thatâs some party trick.
Iâm so worked up right now, I almost canât see straight. I had fully intended to fuck Miss Double D, as Quinn so aptly named her, but once the security guard interrupted us and Quinn bolted, having sex with Crystal lost its appeal. All I could think about was Quinnâs gaze on me, watching me touch another woman, watching me make her come. She liked watching. I could tell how turned on she was by the way her chest was rising and falling so rapidly with every breath, the way she couldnât tear her eyes away from me, the sheen of sweat on her upper lip and neck.
My cock throbs in my pants just thinking about it.
Quinn insists on driving as I had a few shots tonight and we decide to go to her place because itâs closer. Quinn lives in a condo thatâs quite nice, actually. Once weâre in her car, I adjust my dick so my pants arenât strangling it.
âCongratulations on your new account, hotshot. I donât know if I told you earlier,â she says.
âThank you. You told me earlier, but you can tell me again. I like it when you praise me.â
âIâm not sure thereâs any room in this car, what with the size of yourââ
âCock?â I interject.
âI was going to say ego.â
âMy cock is pretty big, too, you have to admit.â I look over at her, flashing a naughty grin.
âI do like your cock, you know that. Are you fishing for compliments?â
I chuckle. I love that she admits to liking my cock. Most women shy away from dirty talk, but not Quinn. Sheâs just as blunt as I am and isnât afraid to use words like cock or cunt.
âIsnât there any way you can go any faster? Iâm dying over here.â Iâm two seconds away from pulling my dick out and jacking off while she drives.
âCalm your tits. Weâre almost there.â She rolls her eyes but does push down on the gas pedal a bit harder.
âSpeaking of tits, you liked watching me fondle Miss Double D, didnât you?â
âThat was one impressive rack,â she admits.
âHave you everâ¦been with a woman?â The way she was watching us made me think sheâd like to join in. I could see Quinn experimenting with other women.
âNo, I like dick, if you havenât noticed.â She smiles and glances over at me. âBut I can appreciate that boobs are sexy.â
âWhat about the way she was able to lick her own nipples, wasnât that hot?â I almost came in my pants when I saw that she could do it. Thatâs going in the spank bank, for sure.
âThatâs some party trick.â
âWould you lick your own nipples if you could?â I ask her. Quinnâs boobs are amazing, large and perky, though not quite as big as Crystalâs.
âHell yeah I would. Thatâs like asking if you would suck your own dick if you could. Donât even tell me youâve never tried to; I wonât believe you.â
I chuckle. âWhen I was 14, I tried as hard as I could, but Iâm not that flexible.â
âThereâs a sight I would have liked to see.â She laughs.
âIt wasnât even remotely sexy. I lived in fear that someone would walk in on me and catch an eyeful of me in different contorted positions.â I laugh at the memory. âIt would seem as though you are a closet voyeur. How did I not know this about you until tonight?â
She chews on her bottom lip. âI didnât know it myself. I mean, I like watching porn, but Iâve never come across an opportunity to watch real-life action.â
I file that information away for later and almost weep with relief when we pull into her driveway. We turn to look at each other once the car is parked in her garage, and her eyes roam over my face, stopping on my lips. She leans forward, about to kiss me.
âIs there anything you need to do before I fuck you?â Once I start, I wonât be able to stop until Iâm balls deep inside of her.
I promptly get out of the car and walk around the front to open her door. As soon as sheâs standing, Iâm on her, pulling her face toward mine and taking her mouth in a hot, wet kiss. Her lips are perfect, plump, and soft, and this kiss has the perfect ratio of lips, teeth, and tongue. Her tongue dances with mine and sheâs as ravenous as I am, licking and nipping at me. Her hands are busy too, untucking my shirt and reaching for my belt buckle. Fuck. I love that sheâs desperate for my dick, but I reach down and bat her hands away. We need to take this inside. I reach down to palm her ass and pick her up. Her legs wrap around my waist as I carry her to the door, stopping by the security alarm so she can disarm it.
Once the door is open, I stride inside and sit on the couch with Quinn straddling me. She grinds against my erection as I pull her shirt up and off. She reaches for my shirt next, and I reach over my head to tug it off. She sits back on my lap and stares down at my torso, lust and appreciation shining in her eyes. I also take a moment to appreciate my view of her. She wears a red, silky bra, but it seems like some of the material is missing because only the bottom half of her boobs are covered. The top half is exposed and I can see the pink skin of her areolas just hinting at where her nipples are. I trail my fingers across the edge of the bra, dragging the material down a bit to reveal the rest of her nipples. Theyâre tight little nubs and I pinch them, hard. She gasps and arches her back, bringing her chest closer to my face.
âI really like this bra, Red. It seems like you chose the color just for me.â
âI chose it for me. I like the way it makes me feel,â she corrects me, her voice low and throaty.
âHow does it make you feel?â
âYou donât need a bra for that. Youâre sexy all on your own. Stand up, take your pants off. I want to see the rest of you.â
She stands and starts to unbutton her pants. âIf Iâm getting naked, then so are you. Come on, let me see that gorgeous cock of yours.â
I comply with her request, grabbing a condom out of my wallet before stripping off my jeans, underwear, socks, and shoes. Quinn makes quick work of her pants and heels then goes to take off her panties but I stop her.
âWait, I want to take those off.â I sit back down on the couch and pull her to stand in front of me. The underwear is also silky red, and I love the contrast against her pale skin. Quinn is curvy, her hips flaring out from her waist. I smooth my hands down them before reaching back to squeeze her ass. It bounces when I let go and I canât wait to see it bounce on my cock.
âHow wet did you get watching me earlier?â I know she was aroused, but I donât know how much.
âSoaking wet,â she tells me.
âI want to see.â I reach for the fabric that covers her pussy and run my fingers back and forth, testing the fabric for wetness. Sure enough, itâs soaked. âFuck, Red. I need to taste you.â
âSo taste me.â
I slide her panties down her legs and help her step out of them. I lean forward and nuzzle my nose right in between her legs, inhaling her musky scent, then lick her slit, grabbing her ass and pulling her forward, closer to my mouth. She holds on to my shoulders to steady herself as my tongue laps at her cunt, but I canât quite get the right angle while sheâs standing up.
I stand, and she whimpers. âWhy did you stop?â
I look around her living room and see the ottoman in front of the couch is plush and a decent size. âLie back on this, I need to bury my face in your pussy.â
She shivers at my words and reclines on the ottoman, legs spread wide and leaning up on her elbows so she can watch me. Her red hair is wild, her face is flushed, and her tits are heaving out of her bra as she pants in anticipation.
I kneel in front of her and hold her gaze as I lick her slowly, from opening to clit.
âFuck, that feels good. Donât stop.â
My licks are slow and steady, working her up, but not giving her enough friction to come. She keeps her gaze on me and I watch as she becomes more and more desperate.
âHmm?â I ask, like I have all the time in the world.
Quinn likes to be bossy too, and I like to make her beg. She hates begging, which makes me like it even more. She tips her hips up, chasing my tongue, but I move it to lick her folds instead.
âCharlie!â she complains.
âDid I ever tell you how much I love eating your pussy?â I ask her conversationally in between licks. I could eat her out for hours. Her red curls are neatly trimmed, framing her clit and pussy lips. I spread her wide open with my fingers and lick into her opening, pushing my tongue as deep as I can get it, then licking the walls as I come out. Her taste is addictive. Not all women taste the sameâsome are bitter, some more musky, some sour. Quinnâs pussy tastes divine, the right combination of musky, salty, and sweet. I lap up her juices, avoiding her clit, trying to drive her crazy enough to beg me.
âFuck! Charlie, I need you. Is that what you want to hear?â
Bingo. âWhat do you need? More of my tongue?â I focus on her clit and she moans loudly.
She doesnât answer me, so I back away.
âCharlie! Please, I need you to fuck me, okay? Please fuck me.â She glares at me, pissed that she gave in and begged me, but so turned on.
I chuckle and reach for the condom. âMy pleasure. Why didnât you just say so?â
My body is so desperate to come but his tongue wasnât enough; I need his cock, and that fucking bastard always likes to make me beg.
He rolls the condom on and tugs on his gorgeous cock a couple of times before lining himself up with my pussy. He pulls me forward slightly, making my ass hang just a bit off the edge of the ottoman, and rubs the head of his dick up and down my folds, coating himself with my wetness. I feel his piercing, a stark contrast to the way a cock feels. The metal of the piercing is unforgiving while his penis is hard but soft at the same time. The combination makes my eyes roll back into my head and my clit throbs as I wait for him to push into me. He doesnât though, not right away. He picks up my legs and drapes them up over his shoulders.
âCharlie!â I bark. âNow. Fuck me now.â
At my tortured command, he slams into me. Iâm so wet, he gains entry easily, but his girth stretches me open, making me gasp at the sudden feeling of fullness.
âFuck. This is going to be fast.â
He leans forward, seeking purchase on the edges of the ottoman to hold on. I grab on to his forearms and he starts to thrust into me.
âYessss.â I love his unrelenting rhythm. His cock is big, and I feel the piercing inside, creating more friction with each movement in and out of me. It reaches all the right places and Iâm on the verge of coming.
âI need you to come, Red. Are you close?â
He leans down and latches on to one nipple, pulling it and biting it. Then he tends to the other nipple, and the extra stimulation pushes me over the edge. Pleasure steals my breath and my vision.
âFuck!â I shout, wrapping my legs around his waist so I can keep him inside me. My pussy clamps around his dick while I come and he chuckles sexily.
âI love feeling you milk my cock. Was that good?â
âMmmmm,â I tell him, too far gone for words right now.
He kisses me and stays still as I come down from my orgasm. Then he starts moving again and I realize his cock is still rock hard. âYou didnât come yet?â
âNot yet. Can you flip over? I need to see your ass.â
âIâm not sure I can move,â I groan. My body is always a bit paralyzed after an orgasm.
âIâve got you.â He pulls out of me, helps me sit up, then I turn and face plant into the ottoman. He positions me so Iâm kneeling on the carpet, folded over the ottoman for support, ass sticking out at him. He palms my ass and slaps one cheek, the unexpected sting causing me to gasp.
âDonât fall asleep on me.â
âWell then, give me something to stay awake for,â I retort.
He spreads my ass cheeks apart, so wide Iâm completely exposed to his view. I canât see what heâs doing, but it seems like heâs just looking at me.
âYou see something you like?â I ask him, unnerved at his silence and stillness.
âI wish I could take a picture of you right now, all pliant and satisfied, your pussy wet and pink from my cock fucking you,â he replies, his voice so husky. âIâd title it Satisfaction.â
âI bet you have a collection of naughty pictures, donât you?â He is a photographer, after all.
He slides his cock up and down my crack, teasing me. Then he squeezes my ass cheeks together, sandwiching his dick in between them, and pumps up and down. The condom catches on my skin, not slick enough to glide smoothly, so he spits. The sound is so crass, and I feel the plop as his saliva lands on my skin, but when he starts moving again, the extra spit allows him to slide easily. Fuck, his cock is so big. It makes me squirm every time it passes over my asshole, and that piercingâitâs so unyielding.
âYouâd think Iâd have naughty pictures, but I donât. Iâm not much for remembering past hookups, but fuck, I want to keep this image for my viewing pleasure.â
âMaybe Iâll send you a picture sometime.â Iâve never taken nude photos before, too afraid they would end up online somewhere, but the thought of Charlie jerking off to images of me gets me hot.
âIâd like that.â He pulls back, his cockhead trailing down my crack to rub my clit. My nerve endings are still so sensitive from my orgasm that his touch is almost too much.
âFuck, Charlie,â I hiss, squirming away from his attention.
Surprisingly, he heeds my complaint and finally slides into me. Itâs a slow slide, inch by inch, until his pelvis is flush with my ass, then he stills. Pleasure zings through me at the way he stretches me and my recently sated body wakes up, hungry for more. I need friction, but he isnât moving. I huff in frustration.
âI want you to bounce that luscious ass on my cock,â he says in explanation.
That I can do. I lift my upper body off the ottoman and brace myself. Holding on to the sides, I rock forward until I feel heâs almost completely out then I back up quickly, loving the way he fills me up.
His hands cradle my hips and pull me back to meet him. âThatâs it, Red. God, your ass is fantastic.â
Nothing is sexier than the sounds this man makes during sex. The deep rumbles, the muttered curses, the bossy commands, even the lewd remarks about my body are all so damn hot.
Charlie Nelson is one sexy beast.
Soon enough, he takes control and reaches around to rub my clit. He can read my body so well, and his fingers plucking my clit while he fucks me triggers an orgasm so intense, I practically pass out. I scream my release and try to grab hold of something to keep me tethered to Earth. He pitches forward on one final thrust and shouts hoarsely along with me. His arms come around me, stilling my flailing movements and holding me close as his dick pulses inside me.
âFucking hell, that was amazing.â He pants into my neck.
âMmmm,â I agree.
âYou paralyzed?â He knows this about meâorgasms always steal my coordination and leave me in a heap of spasms and heavy limbs.
âStay here, Iâll take care of you.â Those words sound so foreign coming out of Charlieâs mouth. I know he means heâll take care of my body. Not of me. I donât want anyone to take care of me.
I just want orgasms.
And Charlie is good at giving me orgasms.
Iâll never depend on any man to take care of me ever again.
Charlie returns moments later with a warm cloth and wipes between my legs gently. Then he lifts me easily into his arms and carries me to my bed.
âIs it okay if I crash here? I can be out of your hair first thing in the morning,â he promises.
I usually hate having men stay the night. If it were anyone else, Iâd make them leave immediately. In fact, if it were anyone else, I wouldnât have brought them to my house at all, but Charlie is in this strange category. He isnât some random hookup; heâs someone I see all the time in my circle of friends. I guess heâs my friend with an amazing cock who I like to have sex with on occasion, so I trust him more than a random stranger.
Thatâs the only reason I tug him down into bed with me, snuggle into his side, and promptly fall asleep with the warmth of his arm wrapped around my waist.
Title: The Unrequited
Author: Saffron A. Kent
Genre: Contemporary/Erotic Romance
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: July 13, 2017
Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from unrequited love. But itâs time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive calling.
What she needs is a distraction. The blue-eyed guy she keeps seeing around campus could be a great oneâonly he is the new poetry professorâthe married poetry professor.
Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artistârude, arrogant, and broodyâbut his glares and taunts donât scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry, but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly faÃ§ade, Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.
Sometimes you do get what you want. Sometimes you end up in the storage room of a bar with your professor and you kiss him. Sometimes he kisses you back like the world is ending and he will never get to kiss you again. He kisses you until you forget the years of unrequited love; you forget all the rules, and you dare to reach for something that is not yours.
NOTE: Please be aware that this book deals with sensitive topics like cheating and death. 18+ Only.
99c for a limited time
Thomas & Layla's First Kiss
Itâs Saturday and Iâm at The Alchemy with Emma, Dylan, and Matt. We find a table in the middle of the room and Emma thumps the big bag of goodies down on it. Itâs prompt night for the Labyrinth and Emma is in charge of producing the prompts.
âExplain to me one more time why you need this giant-ass bag again?â Matt says, taking off his coat and hanging it on the chair as he takes a seat.
Dylan gives him a disdainful look. âSheâs got her prompts in it, dumbass.â
Emma smiles in pleasure, her eyes on the bag as she looks for something. Itâs adorable how shy she is in front of him when sheâs normally so self-assured. Dylan and Emma have gone on a few dates this week. Turns out, Dylan loved the tangerine. I knew it.
âAnd why canât you show them a picture or something on your phone?â He bumps his shoulder with mine. âBack me up here, Layla. This freaking bag is a monstrosity.â
âI donât have a problem with it, actually,â I say. âItâs kind of fun to look at something while writing about it.â
When Emma told me about the Labyrinthâs prompt night, my first reaction was panic. I didnât think I could be a part of it. I wasnât prepared. I havenât even read all the books I own.
Reading has become a vital part of my life, now. In the past week, Iâve only roamed on the street once. I havenât been to Thomasâ house at all. I stay up late reading. Thereâs so much to discover, and Iâve been living inside this fog for so long. I feel like time is running out on me. Iâll probably die before reading all the books out there.
I try to calm myself. Iâm here to be a part of something greater than meâartâand I donât have to be perfect. The only thing I should be worried about is seeing Thomas.
Itâs been six days since I cried in front of him, told him my ugly love story, and sort of licked his hand, trying to taste him. Since then Iâve seen him all around campus, at CrÃ¨me and Beans with Nicky, in the corridors at the Labyrinth when Emma dragged me to a play reading. Iâve even seen him in the park, at the bench, the one time I went out at night. He was smoking and battling with himself, as usual, and I was hiding behind the tree.
Itâs like heâs everywhere. My secret keeper. The one person who knows what I did.
And he is disgusted by me. He never looks at me. To him, Iâm invisible. Somehow, this hurts even more because deep down I thought he could relate to me, but he doesnât.
I really am a freak of nature.
The front door of the bar opens and in strides Sarah Turner, followed by Professor Masters and Thomas. The snowflakes swirl behind his back as he enters and the door swings shut.
âHello children,â Professor Masters greets us in a jovial voice as he saunters forward. There is a chorus of chuckles and Hi Professor around the room.
Without paying attention to anyone, Thomas breaks off from the trio and heads for the bar. Sarah throws him an annoyed look but Professor Masters steers her toward their destination.
Thomas orders a drink and sits on the barstool, his long legs straddling the small seat. He takes off his jacket, revealing a plain grey t-shirt that stretches across his shoulders and biceps. His jean-covered thighs bulge as he bounces his right leg with impatience.
The bartender sets down a chocolate martini in front of him and I look away, embarrassed. His weakness for chocolate awakens something raw and melty inside my stomach. I havenât thought about what Iâll do come Monday. Will I go back to class? Will I hide and never show my face again?
Emma gets up from beside me, greets the room, and explains the instructions. She digs inside her bag and fishes something out. âSo the first prompt is this bottle of hot sauce. You have to write a short poem, no more than twenty lines, with whatever comes to mind when you see a red bottle with H.O.T. written on it. Iâm going to pass this around for a bit so you guys can look at it.â
My first thought is that I hate hot sauce. Iâm more of a sweet-loving person. In fact, Iâm the only sweet-loving person in my family or the families Iâve had over the years. My mom, Caleb, my dad, Calebâs dad, even Henryâthey all shy away from sweet things.
The thought of Caleb makes me aware of the phone in my jacket pocket. Since those missed calls at CrÃ¨me and Beans, heâs called several times, but I havenât picked up. I was hoping heâd leave a message or something so Iâd know what itâs about, but he hasnât.
Why does he keep calling me? As impulsive as I am, a strange fear is keeping me from taking his call.
Emma bumps my elbow and tells me to get writing.
Right, hot sauce. I nibble at my pen, trying to thinkâ¦no, trying to feel. How does hot sauce make me feel? H.O.T. Feel. Feel.
I close my eyes and the first thing I see is Thomasâ face. His beautiful, intense gaze. How every molecule of my body, every inch of my flesh burns when he is near. How he has the power to change the weather, cold to hot.
Gasping, my eyes whip open. Thomas Abrams is a fire-breather. He breathes flames and lust, makes me forget everything and say yes. Yes to obsession. Yes to stalking. Yes to insanity. Yes to licking.
With shaking hands, I begin to write and capture him in words. The pen moves and the words flow out. They keep flowing without my knowledge. All I can feel is the heat seesawing through my body.
Next thing I know Iâm jolted by Emmaâs clap and shrill voice. âAll right guys, itâs time to stop. Put down your pens.â
Murmurs escalate and the room breaks out in conversation, as Emma asks someone to volunteer their poem first. With flushed cheeks, I pocket my small notebook. While the entire room is busy, I get up and shuffle into the hallway in the back. I need to get to the ladiesâ room and calm myself down.
I rub my arms at the unexpected chill in the dank hallway and take a deep breath. My legs can barely support themselves. Is this how poets feel when they put feelings into words? Is this how Thomas feels? Itâs like bleeding. Itâs like running for miles and running out of breath.
Before I can reach my destination, Iâm being hauled into a dark, tiny room. I donât even have time to squeal before the flimsy wooden door is shut, and Iâm surrounded by a very familiar heat.
He has me trapped inside what looks to be a storage room, his hand banded around my elbow, pushing me back against the dank wall.
âT-Thomas.â Iâm panting. âWhatâ¦ Whatâs happening? Whatâre you doing?â
His chiseled face is a study of thick shadows and thin slices of light under the flickering yellow bulb. The only bright spots on his features are those fire-starting eyes of his. I can smell the delicious smoke rising from my body, can feel the sting.
Now that the initial shock is gone, my body sags, relieved to be the center of his attention after days. He sees us. There are things to worry about, I know that, but I canât muster the energy to.
âThomas?â I whisper when itâs clear he wonât say anything. âWh-What are you doing?â
His breaths are choppy, short jabs of air inhaled and exhaled as he stares at every inch of my face. âDo you still love him?â
âDo you still love that guy?â
My breaths match his, succinct and sharp. I study him, this man in front of me. Thereâs a hint of vulnerability to him. His usually cool persona is frayed. Is it because I told him my story? Maybe he relates to me after all.
âThomas, whatâs going on?â
âHow much do you love him, Layla? Do you love him so much that you hate yourself? That you canât stand your own sight? Do you constantly think about how to fix it? How to make it better? How to be better?â
He isnât merely frayedâheâs coming apart. Naked agony dances on his features. Itâs too bright and glaring. Itâs too similar to mine, but Iâm not worried about that right now. Iâm worried about him.
âYes,â I whisper. I lift my hand and press it to his stubbled face. His cheekbone is arched and high, seemingly made of granite as it pulses beneath my palm. âBut Iâm so tired of it,â I admit, and his eyes flare. Fire-breathing eyes. I wonder why I didnât notice it before. Itâs so obvious now. They never fail to start a fire in my soul.
He crowds me against the wall, as if sinking his hard body into mine, but there isnât any touch involved. His frame sort of hovers over me, heating me up, jumpstarting my nerves. Iâm a mesh of live wires, firing lust and adrenaline. Iâm sticky as sugar and drunk as whiskey.
Thomas arranges his body and places both his palms on the wall, caging me in. The vein on his bicep becomes taut, a purple string tugging on my senses.
I watch him watch my parted lips, and suddenly, itâs the only piece of my body I can feel. My mouth, throbbing, puffy, swollen with the need.
âMe too,â he whispers, almost to himself.
I wasnât meant to hear it, but I did. Again, Iâm hit by a storm of desire to kiss him better. Itâs a tornado, an avalanche in my body, and in one breathless moment, I decide to go for it. Itâs okay. I can take the blame for it later.
I break the rules and reach up and kiss him. A feathery peck on his plump lips, itâs a kiss of solidarity, a kiss that intends to tell him I understandâbut one isnât enough. It only manages to ratchet up my lust. So I give him another, this time on the corner of his mouth, and then another one on his jaw.
Itâs not enough, these small, barely-there touches. I want more, but I wonât take it. Iâll be good; Iâll only give.
Abruptly, he fists my curls and stops me. I look at him fearfully, ready to apologizeânot for the kiss, but for being the kisser. His gaze reflects passion, stark, raving need, and I shiver, despite wearing layers and sweating with his heat.
âAre you trying to kiss me, Layla?â he rasps, flexing his fingers on my makeshift ponytail.
He couldnât tell? Blush rises to the surface and I know Iâm glowing like a neon sign. Swallowing, I nod. âYes.â
He inches closer to me, still not touchingâas impossible as that isâbut infinitely closer. âYou want to kiss me, Miss Robinson, you do it right.â
Oh God, does he have to call me that? Now, here? My spine arches on its own and my heavy tits graze the contours of his shuddering chest.
âH-How?â I ask innocently, belying the daring action of my body. His stern, professor-y voice is doing things to me, making me wild, uncontrolled.
For a second, heâs silent, just watching. Iâm afraid heâll back out from whatever this is, whatever insanity weâre about to commitâbut then I sense the shift in the liquor-laced air as he opens his mouth and growls, âLike this.â
Twisting my hair in his grasp, he swallows my lips in his mouth. He sucks on the shape of my sensitive flesh and all I can do is let him. I put my palms on his shoulders, feeling the heated muscles under the soft material of his t-shirt. His chest shifts and slides over my breasts, like a wave of water. I want to be drenched with it. I want every drop of his sweat, his lust on every inch of my skin. I pull him toward me so he can crush me with his massive weight.
He doesnât budge though. He stands there, unfazed, still devouring my lips, immobile. His tongue thrusts in and licks me from the insideâthe roof of my mouth, my tongue, my teeth. He is after my essence, the special taste that lives deep. He growls when he gets it, my flavor, and the pressure of his grip on my hair increases tenfold.
Itâs painful, but not enough to tamp down my arousal. I give up my attempts to bring him to me. Rather, I go to him. I lift my leg and wrap it around his waist. My hands creep up and lock around his neck. I climb him like an ivy, toxic and poisonous and shameless.
I press my body to his and kiss him back with everything I am. I pour my soul into it. For these few moments, I become a balm to his pain.
But it doesnât last long. My selfishness and my need for him take over. My core starts leaking and it becomes hard to remember Iâm only meant to give, not to take.
I rotate my hips, searching for that magical friction against the ridged planes of his body. Then I feel itâhis erection against my upper tummy. Itâs huge. Hard. A heated rod. Itâs alive, and when I move against it, I feel it throb. A tortured moan rips out of his chest.
Thomas tears his mouth away from me and even my soul mourns the loss. We stare at each other, gasping for breath. Iâm still clung around him and his cock is still nestled between our aroused bodies. I adjust my thigh around his hip, and it throbs with the small movement.
âDonât fucking move,â he tells me, emphasizing it with a tug on my hair.
âOkay.â I swallow. âIâm sorry.â
A pained chuckle. âFor what?â
âI made you kiss me.â
The legendary tic makes its appearance at the heel of my words. It drums on his jaw like a secondary heart, or maybe a time bomb. âYou did, didnât you?â
Unable to talk, I simply nod.
In answer, he lodges his thigh between my legs and presses on my core. Itâs an electric shock multiplied by a strike of lightning, and I almost burst into flames.
âWh-Whatâ¦â I try to speak but he increases the pressure, eliciting a moan from me.
âWhy?â he whispers, noting my lusty reactions. âWhy did you make me do it, Layla?â
Again, he repeats his movements, reducing me to wordless, needy moans. What is he doing?
âBecause you what?â
âBecause I do this kind of thing. I-Iâm selfish and badâ¦â I moan, doused in shame and arousal. âI take what I want because I canât control myself. I donât want to.â
âAnd you want me, donât you?â When I donât answer, he tugs on my hair sharply. âYou want me, Layla.â
Itâs not a question, but still I nod my head. Yes, I want him. Iâve wanted him since the first time I saw him. I want him more and more with each passing day. I want him because heâs like me. Heâs in unrequited love and I want to save him, somehow.
His eyes shine with satisfaction, a sense of victory at my answer. He loves my desperation and it makes me hornier.
Weâre so fucked, my omniscient heart says. I agree.
âI can do whatever I want with you and youâll let me. Isnât that right, Layla?â He licks his lips as if savoring his own words. âI can tell you to jump and youâll ask how high. I can tell you to strip and youâll strip as if your clothes are on fire.â
âYes,â I moan.
He rewards me by grinding his muscular thigh and my cunt pulses. My lust-addled brain commands me to move, to chase the friction, and I do it. I slide up and down his maddening leg, digging my nails into his scalp as the pleasure mounts.
I feel the angry and rhythmic jerk of his cock on my stomach and I love it. I love the fact that Iâve shed all my inhibitions and am reduced to this, a lust-drunk puppet. I love that it gives Thomas pleasure. He isnât sad anymore, or vulnerable.
Yes, I love all that.
His pain has become my pain, and itâs going to make me come on his leg. I watch Thomas with hazy eyes. I watch the arrogant slope of his flushed cheeks. I watch his dilated pupils, his wet, parted lips. All the while, Iâm moving, humping his leg. Up and down. Up and down.
âOf course you will,â he rasps. âWill you come for me, Layla?â
I jerk out a nod. In the back of my mind, I know how wrong this is, how shameful, but I canât stop myself. As Thomas said, Iâll do anything for him in this moment.
My movements are haphazard now, jerky, epileptic. I want it so bad. I want my cum to gush so hard it seeps through my panties and leaves a wet patch on his jeans.
The graphic, vulgar thought pushes me over the edge. Hard and moaning, I come, just the way I wantedâno, just the way he wanted. I was simply following his orders. My mind is filled with cotton and shooting stars and static. I want to bask in it forever.
Oh God, itâs so good. So good.
The pressure on my body eases. I donât feel his muscles between my legs, and the harsh grip on my hair has vanished. In the wake of my orgasm, Thomas has let me go, and in turn, forced me to unwind my body from his.
Iâm still recovering from my climax, leaning against the wall for balance, but I try to focus. Thomas is watching me, intensely, his flaming eyes working double-time to take me in, his hands on either side of my head.
âDo you understand what Iâm telling you, Layla? Can you hear your heart beating? Is it trying to pound through your chest? Do you think you can control it? Tell it to calm down? Your hips are still shaking. I bet youâre still leaking cum, arenât you? Do you think you can control any of that?â
I shake my head.
âYeah, thatâs right. Youâd be surprised to know how many things arenât your fault at all.â His eyes bore into mine, as if telling me the importance of his declaration.
For a second, I canât make the connection between what heâs telling me and what happened here, but then I get it. Heâs absolving me. Heâs rendering me blameless for kissing him, for making him kiss me. I wonder if this absolution includes what happened with Caleb. Am I free of those sins too?
My heart scoffs. Are you kidding? We tricked him into having sex.
âI saw you,â I blurt out without thinking.
As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I know in my bones that this will destroy whatever kindness heâs harboring toward me.
âThrough the window,â I add, because I canât handle not being blamed.
Everything is always my fault. The broken vases at home. Muddy footprints on the tile floors. The missing bottles of liquor from the cabinet. Calebâs missing underwear. The fact that he ran off to college a month early and wonât even visit home. The fact that I shoplifted, drank and drove numerous times, crashed parties, broke my momâs ice sculpture.
Itâs all my fault. Itâs just like me to do those things. I want Thomasâ accusation too.
âI saw how lonely you were. I saw the anger on your face, the way youâ¦the way you paced around the room, like you were trapped.â The scene plays in my head: his frantic steps, his hands tugging at his hair.
Then the scene changes and Iâm outside his bedroom window. âAnd-And then you were with herâHadley. Iâ¦ You were talking and you looked so sad and angry, and then she left. I kept watching your back and your shoulders. They were so tight and I could see the effort it took you to keep yourself together. Then you picked up a vase and I thought youâd throw it against the wall, break it, because I know your heart was breaking, but you held on to it. You set it down gently. You were better than me. I-I could never have done that.â
Nothing moves on his body. I donât know if heâs breathing, if heâs even seeing me.
âThomas, I-Iâm sorry. I didnât mean to see it. Iâ¦â
Then he shifts on his feet and the overhead light slashes his face into two halves of shadow and light. He appears beastly, like an animal with bright eyes and hard face. For the first time since I began my confession, I feel a tinge of true fear.
I can see he wants to do something, maybe harm me physically. His body is taut with violence. He looks bigger, enlarged with the barely leashed control. For a second, I think he does lose control. His hands jerk and ball into fists, but then he takes a shallow, choppy breath.
âStay the fuck away from me,â he says softly, deadly.
With that, he marches out of the storage room.
Writer of bad romances. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer and poetess. Aspiring Lana Del Ray of the book world.
I'm a big believer in love (obviously). I believe in happily ever after, the butterflies and the tingling. But I also believe in edgy, rough and gutsy kind of love. I believe in pushing the boundaries, darker (sometimes morally ambiguous) emotions and imperfections.
The kind of love I write about is flawed just like my characters. And I hope by the end of it, you'll come to root for them just as much as me. Because love, no matter where it comes from, is always pure and beautiful.
Coming March 20th
Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins' star player. He's brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn't afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.
Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she'd like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?
Brie has been the match to Vaughn's gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part...
Brie's been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn's past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.
“She’s a sweetie, too.”
“Oh, she’s a she?”
“Girls don’t usually like me,” Vaughn Johansson said with his brows pulled together as he looked into the dark brown eyes gazing back at him.
They were full of such hope, wanting… And instantaneously, he fell in love.
“Well, I think she loves you.”
Looking up briefly at the adoption counselor, Vaughn gazed back at the little black French Bulldog and smiled. She was a cutie; her little nub tail was wiggling, and her eyes were so wide that Vaughn felt like he could fall into them. But just as quick as he fell in love, he noticed something was missing. “She only has three legs.”
The adoption rep smiled grimly. “Yes, she was brought in having been hit by a car, and we fixed her up. That’s what throws people off, her not being whole and all.”
Making a face, Vaughn crouched down and took ahold of the fence as the little girl wiggled in excitement. She wanted to come through the fence. He could feel her eagerness, especially when she started to lick his hands, her eyes telling, or better yet, begging him to take her home. The thing was, she didn’t have to beg. The little three-legged dog was his from the moment he saw her. As he leaned into the fence, his nose went through the links before he whispered, “Don’t worry, girl, I’m not whole either.”
She licked his nose before letting out the sweetest little bark, and Vaughn was hooked. Standing up, he clapped his hands together. “I scored three goals last night, a hat trick, so it only makes sense that my first dog be a three-legged one.”
She had no clue what he was talking about. “I play for the Nashville Assassins.”
The lady, who obviously had never seen a game of hockey a day in her life, nodded happily.
“Cool. That’s fun.”
“You know what team that is, right?”
“Yeah, football. Right?”
Vaughn blinked in dismay, but then, what did he expect? She was barely an adult and probably hadn’t been exposed to the great sport of hockey. “Hockey.”
“Oh, I don’t like hockey,” she said, wrinkling her face up. “But the players are hot.”
He couldn’t disagree, but then she looked him up and down with very sinful eye, and he froze. There was no way in hell he was going to prison for this jailbait, so that was his cue to get his dog and bounce. Yet, he asked, “Have you been to a game?”
“Oh, no, I don’t have time.”
Rolling his eyes once more, he looked back at his new girl and smiled. “Well, that’s too bad because I’m naming this girl Tricksie, and that won’t make sense to you.”
“Oh, you want her?”
“Yes, I do. You know what a hat trick is, right?”
The fact that she had no clue what he was speaking of was all over her face as she only nodded. “Like tricks with hats?”
Vaughn wanted to cry. The poor youth of the world. “It’s where you score three goals.”
He might as well have told her the answer to the greatest unsolved math problem in the world, because she was more lost than the three blind mice. “Cool. That’s hard, huh?”
Smiling, he shot her a wink. “For some. But for me, it’s easy peasy, lemon squeezy.”
Her face scrunched up more. She thought he was an idiot. “That’s corny.”
“Well, that’s because you’re ten.”
She pressed her lips together in annoyance. “I’m twenty.”
“Same thing. Can I get my dog, please?”
Rolling her eyes before popping her gum, she turned for the front. “Yeah, let’s go to the office, and Linda will get the paperwork done.”
She started to walk away, but Vaughn didn’t move. “Can I have her?”
Letting out a long breath, she nodded before reaching for her keys, which made Tricksie jump to the best of her ability and howl louder. A huge grin spread across Vaughn’s face as he bent down and the little girl came running for him, jumping into him and scrambling to climb up his body. Holding on to her overactive little body, Vaughn laughed as he stood, kissing her head. “I think she’s happy.”
“That’s an understatement,” the girl said dryly as she started for the front of the adoption center, but Vaughn was in complete paradise.
It had been a long month of looking for a companion, but holding Tricksie, Vaughn was pretty sure it had been totally worth the wait. His need for company came when he discovered he was the only single guy on the team. Everyone had girlfriends or wives and/or kids. Meanwhile, Vaughn was chilling with just an Xbox when he wasn’t working. Hockey kept him busy, but when he wasn’t at the rink, there was no one to hang with, no one to talk to, and he found himself a bit lonely. He wasn’t ashamed to say that; it was a natural occurrence when one didn’t want to put himself out there and find someone to love him. The thing about love was it was just so uncertain, and Vaughn didn’t have the time for it. But a dog, a dog loved you no matter what. Plus, he had always wanted a dog. Ever since he was a little kid, he had yearned for one, but since hockey was so expensive, his dad never got him and his brother one. Along with all the therapy and treatments his brother needed, a dog wasn’t doable. But now, now, a dog was doable.
And Vaughn was convinced Tricksie was going to be the best dog ever.
As Tricksie licked and barked happily, Vaughn couldn’t believe he had waited so long to do this. But then, if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have this beautiful gem of a girl. And boy, what a beauty she was. He couldn’t believe people would turn up their noses at her, all because she didn’t have four legs. She had killer dark-as-night fur, her big, brown eyes were two huge views into her heart, and she smiled. The damn dog was smiling, tongue hanging out as she wiggled in his arms. She smelled a little musky, but that was fixable. No, this girl was the jackpot, and Vaughn was glad he had pulled the lever.
As he walked through the doors leading to the office area—or at least, he hoped this was the right way since the lady who was helping him had disappeared—his phone sounded with a notification from his Nashville Assassins’ team app. It was probably weird that he had the app to the team he played hockey for on his phone, but he liked to know what his team was posting. Plus, he sometimes heard information from the app before he did from Coach. When he pulled out his phone, sliding the tab over, he realized this instance was one of those times.
Jensen Monroe signed to Nashville Assassins for a three-year, three-million-dollar deal.
“Holy shit! Tricksie, look! Uncle Jenny is coming to our team,” he said to his girlie before he laughed out loud. “You don’t know Uncle Jensen, hell, you don’t know me, but you will. Don’t worry.”
Tricksie licked him happily, and he was pretty sure she didn’t care what he said as long as he loved her and fed her, which was his plan. His phone started to ring, and he laughed when he saw it was the man of the hour. “Jensen Monroe, signed to the Nashville Assassins for some bookoo bucks! What’s up, brother?”
Jensen laughed softly, his voice deep. It had been deep since they were, like, thirteen. “Who the hell says bookoo still?”
“Fuck you, dude. Congratulations!”
“Thanks, it’s a great deal, I’m excited. It will be like old times too,” he said with a low laugh, and Vaughn smiled.
There wasn’t a teenage moment that didn’t have Jensen and their buddy Wells in it. The three had been inseparable. When Jensen came to live with Wells’s family to play for their high school team, the three guys just clicked. They played all through high school, went to the same college, and were all drafted the same year too. Even being apart, Wells on the Avalanche, Vaughn on the Assassins, and when Jensen was with the Wild, they all stayed in contact. They were brothers. Always would be too. The guys were there for Vaughn when no one else was, and he would be forever in debt to the two men who became his brothers.
“Wait, what happened to Dylan?”
“He got sent down. Mrs. Adler said she wants someone she knows will win games. He hasn’t won a game since last season. I can win the games.” He wasn’t lying. Jensen was a great goalie, and it surprised Vaughn that he had come to the Assassins as a backup when he had a starting position with the Wild.
“Why did you leave?”
“I wasn’t happy. Yeah, I was winning games, but my contract was up and I needed a change. So I took the deal from Mrs. Adler, and I think it’s a good one. Except now I’ll be fighting the best goalie in the league for playing time.”
Vaughn sucked his teeth. “Yeah, Tate Odder is the best.”
“Thank you.” Vaughn laughed. “Besides, you, duh,” he said, his voice high and playful. “I hate you, but are you still single?”
Vaughn paused. “Shit, are you telling me you’re gay too? I always knew Wells was, but I never suspected it from you. And, dude, you know I don’t bat for that team. I’m a pussy-only kind of guy.”
“No, you douche canoe. Fuck.” He could practically hear Jensen roll his eyes, which, of course, made Vaughn laugh. “I seriously hate you, and I can’t believe I’m about to beg for this, but can I please live with you?”
Vaughn stopped laughing as he looked down to his new ladylove. “I don’t know, man, I just got a new roommate.”
“Yeah, she’s sweet, cold nose, licks a lot, and has three legs, but she’s cute as all hell,” he said as Tricksie kissed him with excitement before barking out in agreement. “And she barks. I’m not sure if it’s a lot, though.”
“You got a three-legged dog?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Of course you did. Who is going to watch said three-legged dog when we are on trips?”
“Wren,” he said simply, and Jensen groaned loudly at the mention of Wells’s baby sister. Jensen had always had a thing for her, but Wren never took notice. She was too busy with her nose in a book. Which he guessed paid off because now she was a hotshot therapist for the Nashville Assassins. Plus, Vaughn was pretty sure she batted for the other team. He had never seen her with a dude, and he had tried to sleep with her plenty. He couldn’t imagine why she’d turn him down if she were straight. Obviously.
“Does she know this?”
“Yeah,” he lied, and Jensen let out a long breath of frustration.
“You never think things through, I swear. But whatever, can you get me from the airport at 9:10?”
Vaughn smiled since he had never said yes to Jensen living with him, for the simple fact that Jensen didn’t have to ask and he knew that. Jensen knew he had a home wherever Vaughn was. “Yup, me and Tricksie will be there.”
“She’s a three-legged dog, and I scored a hat trick last night.”
Jensen paused and then laughed. “You’re insane. See you in a bit, and make sure you call Wren.”
They hung up, and Vaughn rolled his eyes. Jensen was always the do-right kind of guy. While Wells and Vaughn wanted to go out, get drunk, and break something, Jensen would talk them down and convince them that getting drunk and playing on the back pond was a better idea. He was the last one to lose his virginity because he wanted it to be with someone “special.” He never cheated on a girl, and when he broke up with one, he felt bad. When his young marriage broke up, he took all the blame on himself. Never said an unkind word about his ex. He called his mom every day, multiple times, and he hung out with the dorky kids growing up. He was voted Homecoming King of their class because he was so sugary sweet. Not to mention, he looked like a runway model, while Wells and Vaughn looked a little rough around the edges. Still, they were best friends, and nothing could ever change that.
When his phone rang right as he reached the doors to go sign the papers for Tricksie, he looked down to see it was Wren.
“Hey, Wren,” he said, answering the phone with a big smile. “How’s my favorite therapist who won’t sleep with me?”
“Oh, I’m just fine. But funny thing, you didn’t show up for therapy, and then I got a text from Jensen saying you got a dog and I’m watching it. Oh, and it has three legs.”
“Um… Her name is Tricksie and she is amazing, and I don’t need therapy.”
“You do. Tricksie. Cute, but I never agreed to watch her.”
“Yes, you did.”
“When I got you drunk the other night and stole your virtue.”
“Vaughn Johansson, I haven’t had my virtue in a long damn time.”
“But did a guy take it?”
“I will kill you dead, and that’s off the record, mister,” she growled into the phone, at which he laughed. “So you have no leg to stand on, and I don’t think Tricksie can lend you one.”
Vaughn scoffed. “You said I needed a companion. I got one, and in return, you have to watch her when I leave.”
“I meant a woman, but fine, a dog is fine. It’s a step in the right direction, I guess. But I never agreed to this, and I travel too, Vaughn.”
“Not all the time, though. Maybe once a month, and I can board her then.”
“So you have a plan?” she asked, and she didn’t sound convinced because, really, Vaughn never had a plan.
“Yup, sure do.”
“Okay, well, add me in at nine tomorrow before morning skate, and if you don’t show up, I’ll tell your coach.”
Vaughn’s face scrunched up. “You’re mean.”
“I love you too. Bye.”
She hung up, and Vaughn tucked his phone into his pocket before looking down at Tricksie. “That was your aunt Wren and she’s mean to me, but she’ll be nice to you. Are you ready to go home?”
Tricksie began to lick his skin off, and he took that as a yes. As a huge smile covered his face, Vaughn nodded his head. He had his baby girl, his best friend was coming to his team, Wren would watch Tricksie, and he was playing for the team of his dreams. Things were good. Really good.
And loneliness would be a thing of the past; he just knew it.
“Who talked me into this?”
“No one. You did that to yourself.”
“I don’t know. You’re lonely?”
“Oh. I am, aren’t I? Shit.”
“Yup, so may the force be with you, my friend.”
“But I don’t want to do this.”
“Can’t you come with me? There’s still time. It doesn’t start for another fifteen.”
“I’m just sure my fiancé would love that.”
Brie Soledad rolled her eyes as she leaned on the pillar of the ballroom, her eyes burning a hole in the sign that read: Speed Dating for Nashville Locals. It was embarrassing that this was what her life had resulted in, but as her best friend had said, she was lonely. Mekena Preston, though, was not lonely. Nope, she was all happy and in love with her fiancé, while having a great job and a wonderful life, blah, blah, blah. And if Brie was honest, she was jealous as hell and so desperately wanted to get laid, maybe even fall in love. Get the blah, blah, blah.
God, she wanted the blah, blah, blah. So damn bad.
Being a hockey reporter for one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Nashville Assassins, one would think she would be rolling in the men, but she wasn’t. Everyone treated her like a little sister or they ignored her or they treated her like shit. Well, only one did that, but that was beside the point. The point was, Brie needed more. She was happy in her career. It was awesome, she was amazing, and people loved her. She had even won an Emmy the year before; she was kicking ass. The only problem was she didn’t have anyone to share her success with.
Yeah, she had her little brother, Rodney, but he really didn’t understand. Also, he needed to focus on his health and not on her. She was supposed to worry for him, not the other way around. Or at least, that was what she had promised her mom before she passed away from cancer a few years back. Sometimes, it was hard to remember, but she blamed that on the fact that she had no one to lean on. It was just her, with the weight of her job and her brother’s issues on her shoulders.
And plus, she really wanted to get laid.
It really didn’t make sense. She wasn’t an ugly girl. She was short, and maybe she could have skipped a few desserts, but then, what was life without ice cream and donuts? She had a pretty face, big blue eyes, and lips that screamed to be kissed, yet no one was kissing them. It was annoying, and pray God, this damn speed dating worked.
“I’m gonna stay,” she said, coming off the pillar and fixing the skirt of her little blue dress that stopped right at the middle of her thighs. “I need to get laid.”
Mekena stuttered. “Not tonight, though, right?”
“Jesus, Mekena, I’m not a whore.”
“Oh, you’re not?”
And this was the problem with being best friends with a girl she met only a month ago. “I’m not. Asshole.”
She giggled. “Fine, but please text me and let me know you weren’t killed.”
“I’ve got my pepper spray.”
“And your Taser?”
“And my Taser,” she said, rolling her eyes. She wasn’t sure why Mekena was even asking; she was the one who had stuffed it in her purse the day before. If nothing else, Mekena Preston was practical and smart, very smart.
“Good, text me when you leave.”
“Have fun. Find your forever!”
Brie’s face scrunched up. “That is dumb, don’t ever say that again.”
“Hey, everyone says that when they fall in love.”
“God, I hope I don’t.”
“Stop stalling. Go find your forever.”
“That’s disgusting. Bye,” Brie complained before hanging up and then tucking her phone into her pocket and taking in a deep breath. Looking around the room, she noticed there was a decent men-to-women ratio, which was good. She didn’t want to be the only chick in the middle of a sausage fest. While she wanted some sausage, she only needed one. A large one, thick, some girth, mmm… Great, now she was hungry. Pressing her hand to her belly, she rolled her eyes. She needed help.
Or, again, to get laid.
Maybe she should just go home with the first able-bodied man.
When a large, round man stopped in front of her, her eyes widened. He was easily twenty years older than her thirty-two years and he was losing his hair, but he was trying to cover it with a toupee. People still wore those? Pointing at her, he smiled with bright yellow teeth. “Hey, sugar, make sure to stop at my table.”
“Ugh, sure,” she blurted out before hightailing it to the left.
She would not be going home with that guy. No matter how desperate she was.
Standing in the back, she looked over the sea of people as the announcer explained what they were to do. The sad thing was, this wasn’t her first time, so she knew what to do. Last time, she hated it and met no one, but maybe this time would be different. Letting out a long groan, she shook her head. If she could be normal and meet someone in a coffee shop or at her job, that would be awesome. But she hadn’t had luck with guys her whole life.
She wasn’t one of those serial daters or even a casual one. She dated for a reason, and because of that, she had only been in two serious relationships. Both were ended by the guy, which did nothing for her confidence. Both times she didn’t see it coming, and that alone was depressing as hell. Especially Matthew. She loved Matthew—a lot. But when her mom died, he said it was too much and left her high and dry. Not only did she have to pick up the pieces of her heart and Rod’s from her mother’s death, but then she had to pick up the extra pieces of her heart from Matthew’s departure. It was horrible, and because of that experience, she was a little scarred by relationships.
Okay, a whole lot scarred. But she was coming up on a new year, and it was time to turn over a new leaf. She wanted the happiness that being with a guy could provide. It had taken her a long time to love herself again. After the grief was no longer overwhelming, after the pain of Matt was gone, she was ready to love once more. It was time, time for her to venture out and find that guy. The… There was no way she was saying the forever guy, but something along those lines.
“So let’s get started!” the announcer said, and then she rang a really annoying cowbell. Taking the cue, Brie went to the first table and sat down as a guy with hair longer than hers did. He was decent-looking, but no spark whatsoever. Maybe it would come?
“Hey, I’m Brian.” Brie smiled.
“Hi, I’m Brie.”
“Ha, like the cheese.”
She blinked. “Excuse me?”
“The cheese. I love Brie, it’s my favorite. I wonder if you taste like Brie? Wanna get out of here?”
She blinked once more and then let out a hard laugh. “So let me get this straight,” she said, leaning on the table. “First, you compare me to cheese, and not even the most exclusive cheese, kind of midrange. And then you want me to go home with you?”
He shrugged like that was a normal exchange.
“Yeah.” “Yeah, no. And fuck-you-very-much,” she said, standing up just as the bell rang. Thankfully. Moving down the chair, she skipped the guy from earlier, the balding dude, and sat down as a very attractive, clean-cut guy sat down. And wowza, was he gorgeous. Big blue eyes, wonderful angles to his face, and thick, yummy shoulders. He reminded her of someone…but… Whoa, not now, Soledad.
With a bright smile, she said, “Hey, I’m Brie.”
“Tim, nice to meet you,” he said, matching her grin as he looked her up and down. “Let me guess, a doctor?” She laughed. “Reporter for the Nashville Assassins.” His eyes lit up. “Go Assassins!”
She smiled as she nodded. “Greatest team in the league.”
“Agreed, but I’m sad. I could have sworn you were a doctor. That would have worked for me since I’m a lawyer, and I need someone to deal with my crazy hours.”
“Well, I need that too because I leave a lot.”
“Oh, well then, hi,” he said, leaning on the table, and she did the same.
“Family?” She nodded. “A little brother.”
“What’s his name?”
“Is he in town?”
“Yup, over at Riverdale.”
His brows pulled together. “Riverdale? Isn’t that the old folks’ home?”
“They also have a facility for people with Down syndrome.”
“I didn’t know they kept retards too. That place stinks, I had an aunt die there.”
Oh, look, there went all the attraction she even thought she had for this piece of junk. Swallowing hard, she stood slowly and then tucked her chair in. “Actually, not all people with Down syndrome have mental challenges. My brother is highly intelligent. You wouldn’t even know he had Down syndrome if he didn’t have the physical characteristics.”
He shrugged, waving her off. “Same thing.”
She could only blink. “You know what isn’t the same? A dick-fuck and a cuntasaurus.”
“But you know what? You’re both of those,” she yelled. “And we are done.”
“Your loss, sweetheart.”
“No, you piece of dog shit, it’s your loss because I am fucking amazing,” she announced before turning on her heel and walking straight out of the speed-dating event.
My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?