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Forever with You - Jennifer L. Murga Iuliana. Dedication For the readers. None of this would be possible without you. Acknowledgements I can't. 1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new. 27/01/ Download Oblivion (A Lux Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout PDF, eBook, ePub, Mobi, Oblivion PDF.

You are on page 1of 5 Search inside document delicate looking princess cut engagement ring was warm as it rested in my palm. It weighed nothing, but my hand shook. Hell, my hand shook so badly that I barked out a dry laugh that cracked like thunder as I stood in my childhood bathroom. It was crazy. This whole thing was insane. And that would be seven circles of hell kind of awkward with my whole family downstairs. How many circles of hell were there?

I needed to find mine. But they had no idea it would happen Tonight. On Christmas. Which was admittedly cheesy. Made me into a complete cheese ball. Time to get these feet moving. Now or never. Do or die. My feet moved like I was knee deep in wet sand. The twinkling lights from the massive, Lampoon size Christmas Tree led the way My parents got a little crazy with Christmas. Looked like Christmas threw up on the house.

I might actually hurl. That would be romantic. Very sexy. The punched in the chest feeling. Weak in the freaking knees. And in that moment, when her lips curved up at the corners, I heard nothing.

I saw only her. Only her. I bit back a groan. Way to kill the mood. Eyes trained on her, I stepped over the long legs of my friend. He said something. I had no clue what it was. Probably something that will make me want to punch him later, because I heard my sister giggle. But my focus was on her, on those pretty eyes. Her smile spread, crinkling her nose. I knew just how many freckles she had on the bridge of her nose. And a half. She had a couple more in some really interesting places.

Taking a deep breath, I did it. Holy crap balls, I did it. I got down on one knee in front of her. Like a champ. As I stared in the warmest brown eyes, my sister squealed as she shot from the couch like there were springs under her The moment she recognized what I was doing, before I even reached into my pocket, would stay with me for the rest of my life.

She jerked back as her eyes widened, turning glassy with a fine sheen. Her lips moved, silently speaking my name. And that—the movement of just her lips got to me. I was such a Hallmark card right now, but I had no regrets Silence fell in the room. My dad was even quiet. For once. Yeah, she knew. I tugged her left hand away from her mouth I kissed the top of her hand first, and then I lifted my gaze, meeting hers once again.

Frozen in the moment. And then I found my voice. Someone in the room shouted and clapped. I could hear my mom crying I reached beside us, gently lifting her cheek. Yeah, my vision was blurring.

On went the ring. Perfect fit. If you get bored. It was definitely a honed skill, and he was extending an invitation.

Just like that, he put it out there, and I liked that. The sneeze powered out of me with enough force that my ponytail flipped over my head and nearly smacked me in the face. Bent over at the waist, I waited a few seconds.

It had been hard— harder than I realized it would be. Since I was fifteen, it had been just my mom and me. Leaving her, even though that was what she wanted, had been difficult. I rarely cried. Then there were tiny ninja onion peelers lurking under my eyes. But the living room and bedroom were spacious, and I was also pretty sure a cop lived here, because there was a cruiser in the parking lot on and off since I moved in two days ago.

And someone who lived here had a really hot friend named Nick. I carefully undid the bubble wrap, revealing the photo that rested safely underneath. Pressing my lips together, I ran my thumb along the silver frame. A middle-aged, handsome man in beige fatigues smiled back at me, the endless golden desert in the background. A message in a black Sharpie was scrawled next to him. Not nearly as beautiful as you, Stephanie.

I bit down on the inside of my cheek and walked the picture into my bedroom. The gray bedspread and the white, aged furniture had been a gift from Mom and my grandparents.

It was of the girls from college and me, at Cancun during our last spring break. A grin tugged at my lips. Or my butt, if I remembered correctly—actually, that was about all I recalled of that spring break. Everything was definitely bigger in Texas. Like they belonged. I stepped back and for a few moments I stared at the photos and then turned away with a heavy sigh. My mind wandered to Nick and what he had said yesterday about the bar he worked at.

When I drove out to get groceries last night, I had seen it. Biting down on my lip, I shifted my weight from one foot to the next. Why not go out and have a drink? And a drink could lead somewhere quite fun. However, I never understood, and never would, the double standard that existed. It was okay for the guys to take charge of their pleasure, but not women?

Not in my world. If Nick happened to be there and he happened to be as flirty as he was yesterday, then tonight. I was so going to take Nick home with me tonight and do all kinds of bad things to him—naked and fun things that should burn my ears right off my head. Or at least cause embarrassment since I was visualizing said things in a public spot. Not in the very least. A case of instalust had hit me hard. I was attracted to this guy on a pure primal level, and I was woman enough to admit that.

Moss-colored eyes met mine once more. Thick lashes lowered, shielding those extraordinary light green peepers. Such a startling contrast that did very unhealthy things to all my interesting pulse points.

Those eyes gave him some great bonus points. What in the world brings you to Plymouth Meeting, Steph? Not every girl was like that, but most. Which was something I found. So they were just hating on themselves. It did weird me out, and reminded me of a girl I had become friends with my junior year at Shepherd —Lauren Leonard.

She had pretended to be friends with me when she really just hated my guts because the guy she dated had kissed me a year before they even met. An easy grin appeared as Cam leaned against the bar, arms crossed loosely over his chest. I would know. My dad had that look. The look that screamed, I know how to break every bone in your body, but I have a strong moral code that prevents me from doing that.

The guy with russet, wavy hair was really rocking said look. Small world. Brock was an up-and-coming mixed martial-arts fighter and he was a local boy. Everyone seemed to worship him. I took a job in the offices. Business management?

We had been friends, and Cam was a good guy. So was Jase. Speaking of which, when I glanced over to where the crew was crowded around a pool table, it looked like Jase had Teresa in a. I grinned. Nick ignored it. So Cam and Nick were buddies. I was relieved to hear that. I cradled my drink as Cam sauntered back to the pool tables. Maybe I would. Total bonus points lottery with this guy.

I smiled at him, pleased when his heavily hooded gaze dipped again. Women flocked to him at the bar. The other bartender, the girl with the pink glasses, seemed to take it all in stride. Total surprise. The movement drew my attention. I was such a visual creature. Not that anyone would blame me right now. The black shirt he wore stretched around well-defined biceps.

Our mouths were close enough that we were breathing the same tiny patch of oxygen. How about you? He tilted his head to the side, lining up his mouth with mine with just a fraction of an inch between us. I started to feel a little flushed. I shook my head as my pulse tripped all over itself in a happy little dance. Smiling to myself, I wheeled around. The girl with the pink glasses stood right in front of me, so close I almost plowed right into her.

Behind the bar, she seemed much taller, but my five- foot-nine frame towered over her. Up close I realized that she also had a faint black eye. What the.

She shoved out her hand. I know. Avery and Cam had already called it a night. That was an odd statement. She was really. Like I walked into the middle of a conversation. Was her overly friendly welcome linked to Nick?

Perhaps she liked him and had seen us chatting, making plans to get together later. Some of the excitement that had been buzzing around in me dulled. Goodness, I was so cynical. I was going to blame past experiences. Roxy stared at me for a moment and then threw her head back, bursting into giggles as her ponytail swung.

Nick and I are friends. I turned back to Roxy. It was nice meeting you. On the short trip back to the condo, my focus kept moving from the unanticipated run-in with everyone from Shepherd, to the very unexpected quick chat with Roxy, to what was most likely going to happen tonight.

I had no idea what to make of the conversation with Roxy. If I had a dollar for every time some random person told me to smile, I would have more money than the Queen of England. As soon as I entered my apartment, I gathered up the boxes by the door and quickly carried them out to the large Dumpster behind the condo.

As I tossed them into the opening, I stared out over the neatly manicured lawn. Turning around, I hurried across the parking lot. At night, with the sound of distant traffic, it was kind of creepy back here. When I returned, I checked the clock on the stove and then hopped down the hall, toward my bathroom.

There was time for grooming—there always had to be time for grooming. Grinning, I grabbed a fresh razor from the cabinet below the sink and got down to business, all the while my stomach dipping and twisting into pleasant little knots. I felt a little crazy as I got ready, as if I had downed a case of energy drinks. The nervousness came from the fact that I was brutally attracted to him on a purely physical level. Nothing more.

Oh, I so did. But I wanted the kind of love my parents had shared for one another—that everlasting, to the end, kind of love, and I had yet to get anywhere close to experiencing it. And until I did, I had no problem sampling along the way. I mean, would you download a car without test-driving it?

I giggled at myself. I pulled the jeans back on, left my feet bare and settled on a cami with a built-in bra. Pumpkin spice filled the air as I walked back to the kitchen, placing the lighter in the basket.

A loud engine rumbled outside, and I whirled around, glancing at the clock on the stove. Fifteen past one. Could it be him already? I dashed over to the large window and oh so carefully peeled back the curtain and peered outside, like a total creeper.

It was Nick. It was Nick on a motorcycle. I remembered seeing it parked outside Thursday but had totally forgotten about it.

One arm went up and he scrubbed his fingers through his hair. I watched as he turned to the back, behind the seat. Pivoting around, I took a deep breath and waited while my heart rate kicked up, doing a tap dance in my chest. Less than a minute later there was a knock at the door.

Slowing down my steps, I went to the door and peered out through the peephole just to make sure it was him before I opened it. I stepped back. I like that. The glass was cool against my palm. He shrugged off his leather jacket, tossing it on the counter beside the bag. It was inevitable.

You own it. A moment passed before I recovered. Perhaps I should have worn them instead. And where I work. I could totally do a bio on you now. A question for a question. Ladies first. Have you lived here your whole life? I was born near here. Nick arched a brow. Pick one then. Is this your first time living away from home? So, did you graduate?

I wanted to know why he was bartending. I was curious, but not in a judgy way, because there was nothing wrong with bartending. That was too. Tapping my finger on the bottle, I searched for a good one.

My stomach hollowed. Dear God, that was definitely putting it out there, and certain, important points in my body got all kinds of excited upon hearing that.

Favorite hobby? My mouth dried and my mind was skipping around in dirty, dirty places again. I lifted my gaze.

I set my beer aside and clasped the edges of the counter on either side of my hips, waiting for his next question. He was taking his sweet old time. He was grinning that half smile again. Every cell in my body became super aware of his proximity. He held my stare. You started to get hot from the moment I said fucking was my hobby. The bolt of pleasure shot out from my breast and scattered, lighting up every nerve.

I was struck speechless, which was a new thing for me. Glancing up, I let go of his shirt. He pulled out his wallet, flipping it open. Out came a silver foil, and I had to laugh. He tossed his wallet and the condom on the counter. Grabbing the hem of his shirt, he tugged it up and off. Muscles along his shoulders and upper arms flexed and rolled as he threw the shirt to where he laid his jacket. Good God, all I could do was stare.

Boy took care of himself. His chest was well-defined and his waist was trim. His stomach was a work of art. His abs were tightly rolled but not overdone. He reminded me of a runner or swimmer, and I wanted to touch him.

Maybe it was because there were absolutely no expectations between us or because this was only about tonight. The taut set to his lips and jaw was like stepping too close to an open flame, but the heat and intensity in his gaze was what started the fire. The look was hungry, and it was a punch to the chest, stealing the air right out of my lungs. Silently, he lifted one hand and cupped my breast. The gasp that came out of me sounded strangled. He ran his thumb over the hardened tip and then he caught it between his fingers.

My back arched and a smug half smile graced his lips. He needed no further explanation. Nick broke records when it came to how fast he had me out of my jeans. With his hand between my legs, he drew me against him, and I could feel him through his jeans, heavy and hard, pressing against me. My back arched and a breathy moan escaped me as his fingers went to work, slipping inside the material and through the wetness gathering there. I grabbed his arm, holding him to me, and the other slammed onto the counter.

I braced myself as he curved his body into mine, his chest sealed to my back. Tension simmered to life as I moved my hips against his hand, building on top of itself as his warm breath fanned my temple.

I can lift you up, get that sweet ass on the counter. He nipped at the same moment he added another finger, causing me to gasp. Those words almost sent me over the edge, and I was close, so close. My undies were at my ankles and then, over the thunder of my slamming heart, I heard the tinny sound of his zipper going down.

The condom was off the counter and on him before I had a chance to grow impatient. Nick gripped my hips and lifted me up on the tips of my toes, then one hand disappeared and a second later I felt him between my legs. Then I felt it. The pinch of pain faded and the pressure was almost overwhelming. One arm circled my waist, drawing me up against him. His groan was deliciously harsh in my ear, mindlessly drugging. He started moving his hips, rocking in and out of me.

There was nothing slow about this. Each thrust was deep and fast, wholly precise. This was. Pushing back, meeting each stroke just as fiercely. The coolness of the laminate was a shock against my heated skin. The sounds of our bodies coming together, of my gasps and moans and his rough grunts filled the kitchen. The tension built and built, tightening up until my toes started to tingle. One hand slid up the center of my back, balling in my hair as he pinned me there, his hips slamming into mine.

I came in a burst and it was fast, powerful, and damn near blinding. Pleasure poured into me, intensified with each thrust. His hoarse shout joined mine and he jerked, his body going still. Aftershocks sparked. Tiny spasms shook me. Dazed, I let the coolness of the counter seep through my flushed cheek. After what felt like forever, I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the stovetop.

Wait For You - Jennifer L. Armentrout.pdf

My lips curled up at the corners in a lazy smile. Pushing myself away from the counter, I bent down to grab my undies. His pants were already buttoned as he disposed of the condom in the trashcan. I reached for my top, and as I bent again, I was surprised by the amount of wetness between my thighs. I dragged my top on, straightening out the hem.

My gaze lifted to his, and he gave me the lopsided grin. When he was finished, he stepped back. You good to drive? He opened the door and then turned to me. His gaze met mine, and the green of his was light and warm.

Nick opened his mouth as if he were going to say something, but seemed to change his mind. He moved quickly, swooping down before I knew what he was up to. He pressed his lips to the corner of mine, the touch brief and yet entirely startling. It knocked me out of my bliss and forced my eyes wide as he lifted his head. The skin tingled. That was the closest any guy had gotten to kissing me in a long time. I totally got this.

Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Prying it open, I pulled out the small bottle of Tums and popped one. I would not hurl today. Not on my first official day of the rest of my life. That was a bit overdramatic. Today was a big deal, though, as it was my first day as an executive assistant at Lima Academy. After all the education, I really had no idea what to expect. If the latter was the case, it would suck, but I would do it.

No matter what, you had to start somewhere. You had to put your time in. Taking a deep breath, I snapped my purse closed and stepped out of my car. I smoothed my hand over my pencil skirt, drew in another shaky breath, and started across the parking garage, the clicking of my heels echoing my pounding heart.

Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lima Academy was in a huge building downtown that had once been a factory but now was completely upgraded and converted into one of the premiere training facilities in the United States. The first floor was a state of the art gym, equipped with practically every cardio and weight machine one could think of. On the second and third floors there were multiple rings, cages, and areas where mats covered the floor as far as the eye could see. They trained boxers, kick boxers, karate, Brazilian jujitsu, Krav Maga, and during the evening, on certain nights, they offered self-defense classes to the public.

The fourth and fifth floors were currently under construction. At no point during the interview process did I meet the actual Andrew Lima or any of the members of his family, who apparently all worked for him at the academy.

I took the elevator from the second floor hall, which fed into the parking garage, up to the sixth floor. Fixing a small smile on my face, I headed down the center aisle, eased by the hum of conversation radiating around me. Middle-aged and fit, Mr. Browser looked at home here, with his pressed pants and company marked polo. Another man was beside him, dressed in nylon sweats and a T- shirt also with the company logo.

Keith, this is Daniel Lima. He oversees the training facilities here. His grasp was firm and warm. Browser explained as he folded his arms. Without him, Andre and Julio would be rocking in a damn corner somewhere. If I had to guess, Andre and Julio were also a part of the massive Lima family. Good luck. Browser rolled his eyes as Dan made his exit. Keep that in mind. Five, including Andrew. There are numerous cousins and nephews and God knows who else —because I swear, they are related to half of Philadelphia—but most of them you will never see.

I blinked slowly. They have a person for that. I was a total goober, but the desk, the computer and phone, the printer and the file holders, were mine. Well, they belonged to the company, but they were mine. From here I would field calls and take notes, throw together manuals and set up calls and business trips, organize files, and according to Mr. From here I would begin my career at the bottom and climb my way up to the position Mr.

Browser held. Maybe not actually here, at Lima Academy, but somewhere. This was all experience that would someday pay off. I smiled widely as I placed my purse on my desk. Browser stepped back and reached into his pocket, pulling out a slip of yellow paper. There were two of them, and I honestly had a hard time telling them apart at first. Both wore white polo shirts that were at least two sizes too small, as if they were shopping at Baby Gap. Both worked out. Their muscles were hard core.

Shoulders thick, necks wide, biceps like bowling balls, and their hands were meaty fists. And both spent more time staring at my breasts than actually speaking to me. I had no idea what they thought they saw when they stared at my chest.

Unless they had X-ray vision, none of my dress shirts revealed a damn thing. Whenever I caught them, their grins took on a leering quality. They also tried to get me to pick up their dry cleaning, their coffee, print their reports, call to set up sales meetings, and just about everything under the sun. Browser his double shot of espresso and, randomly, fresh peonies for his office, one of the Steroid Twins was hovering near my desk.

I was pretty sure it was the one named Rick. I pretended to not see him as I closed Mr. I set my cappuccino down, sending a hopeful glance toward the phone. There were no blinking lights signaling a message.

Placing my purse under the desk, I powered up the computer and clicked on the Word document. The new employee packet was being revamped, and Deanna had me working on the welcome letter and the company policy sheets. Heavy footsteps drew closer. I focused harder on my notes as I picked up my cappuccino. The tiny hairs along the nape of my neck rose. I could practically feel his gaze boring into the back of my skull.

How long would I have to ignore him before he went away? My eyes widened as the seconds ticked by. Would it be too obvious if I picked up the phone and pretended to be on a call? Rick eased up on the other side of the cubicle, directly across from me. He plopped heavy arms on the wall. His eyes were zeroed on my chest like they held the answers to life.

If you change your mind, you should come. Pink flooded his tan cheeks. Normally they were in the gym, securing new memberships or off lifting weights or something. We could use someone like you on our team. Did he seriously just say the only reason why I was hired was because of my appearance? Like he legitimately said that to my face?

Rick ambled away, obviously feeling very confident about our conversation, while I turned my gaze to the screen. The words blurred as I stared at the computer. Numbness was like ice in my veins.

Browser thought I was pretty. I was hired because I had a 3. I was hired because I aced the fucking interview. I was hired because I was qualified. Well, almost all of them. Who was the girl who had this position and what the hell happened to her?

Chapter 4 The black and white pointed heels with the dainty bow on the back were absolutely darling, but they were brutal. My poor toes were pinched and I was sure almost all the skin along my heel was missing.

I tossed those suckers toward the back of my closet and slipped on a pair of flats that my feet welcomed. Wiggling my toes, I lifted my hands and ran them through my hair. They were jerks—relatively harmless jerks— but they were easy to ignore for the most part.

Every day there was some form of grunt work that involved me navigating the congested streets of Philadelphia either by foot or car to track down something Mr.

Browser just had to have. But I was also learning, and the excitement of the new job was nowhere near wearing off, even if most of the guys on the sales team were total assholes who spent more time staring at my ass or breasts than working. Swallowing a yawn, I closed my closet door and gave my bed a long, lusty look.

I started toward it but stopped myself. I was not falling for that trick again. The last thing I needed was to potentially miss work for being sick, and because of that, I knew I should be staying in that night and resting, but I was bored out of my mind. And it was Friday night. And I missed my girls. Once I was situated, I wanted to make a little trip to see Denise.

Grabbing my purse, I headed out to my car. Truthfully, I was feeling way too lonely and I needed to get out. At least not yet.

Who knew, though? That last thought brought a smile to my face. Music and pool balls clanking off one another greeted me as I stepped through the door. I saw the girl with the glasses first— Roxy. Tonight, both were blue and they matched her shirt. The other guy, the one with the short bronze hair and military written all over him, was also behind the bar. If I remembered correctly, that was Jax, the owner. Near the well, Roxy was working; I squeezed myself in between two stools.

Only a few seconds passed before her bespectacled gaze drifted past me and darted back. Surprise widened her eyes. Jax arched a brow as he glanced in our direction and then shook his head. Unperturbed by the lack of interest on his part, Roxy looked like she was seconds away from doing a cartwheel.

Opening a tab always ended with me drinking way too much. She returned from the cash register after getting a guy sitting two stools down a fresh bottle. Two weeks? She seems like a really nice girl, though. I love it. Super close to the city but still has a town feel to it—one sec. Taking another sip, I turned around and scanned the bar. There was such a unique mix of people here, young and old, all different ethnicities and backgrounds. She grinned when I turned back around.

You had that look on your face. Roxy folded her arms as she raised her brows at the intruder. I turned sideways. A tall man stood there, his close-cropped dark brown hair matching his classically handsome face.

The guy laughed. Roxy had good taste. Reece tapped his fingers on the shoulder of the guy on the stool. The man looked over at him, and Reece raised his brows.

For some reason, I had a hard time picturing her with one. Holding her in place, he tilted his head to the side and really went to town. Good Lord. Watching them, I felt my eyes widen, and also felt the need to start fanning myself. That was a kiss and then some, and it just kept going and going.

A slow grin pulled at my lips, but underneath the amusement, there was a sliver of unsettlement. From a few feet away, Jax turned to us. Someone catcalled, and she blinked rapidly. Narrowing her eyes at her boyfriend, she straightened her glasses. Roxy cocked her head to the side. As he rounded me, he tapped my shoulder with his fingers.

I would. My mouth dropped open. A woman had just walked in, and I. It was a dress. I think. A dress made out of. Skintight, it was nothing more than strategically placed stripes of some kind of black material. It crisscrossed her svelte body, leaving very little to the imagination with the amount of side boob that was visible.

Her heels were high enough to make me feel like a wimp for caving in and going with flats. She strutted in our direction, her hips swaying in a way that drew the attention of nearly every man in the bar. The tall, statuesque blonde had confidence for days. She glanced in my direction and her bubble-gum-pink lips pursed. At all. What in the world was going on here? This is awesome. I knew it. I totally called it. A curse. I fell off a greased-up pole one night. Hit my head.

So you now have our numbers and we have yours. My heart did a little flop, and that shocked me as much as Katie did. I had thought about him a time or two or ten, but those thoughts were fleeting.

So my reaction, the way I felt my cheeks flush and how my spine stiffened, surprised me. Nick strolled out from a hallway on the other side of the bar. He went to where Jax stood talking to Reece, giving us an eyeful as he lifted a case of bottles onto the bar, his muscles rolling and flexing under the shirt.

Reece said something, and Nick stepped back, laughing. The sound was loud and infectious, and my lips tugged up at the corners in response. He replied as he turned in our direction, his smile easy. His gaze lifted, drifting over the bar.

Our gazes collided in an instant. Shock splashed over it, and then he was heading in our direction on his side of the bar, ignoring Roxy as she stepped aside with a look on her face that said the only thing she was missing was a bucket of popcorn. She was also ignored as he stared across the counter at me, his eyes as cool as winter mint.

Tiny knots formed in my belly as he placed both hands on the bar and dipped his chin. I drew back, inhaling sharply as my stomach clenched. The payoff is so much better in the end. See you on Sunday. He lowered his voice. Every conversation I was in felt like I was only hearing half of it. His shoulders tensed when his eyes met mine again. When he spoke, his voice was low enough that I could barely hear him. One time. Anger rushed to the surface, crowding my senses, and for that I was grateful, because beneath the fiery emotion was a keen sense of.

Not his page, obviously. His page had asshole written all over it, over and over again. One night. You said so yourself. I almost laughed, except nothing about this was funny. Someone like you is much better suited for the bars and clubs in the city. And frankly, how I look has absolutely nothing to do with what bars I go to.

You may get to tell other people—other women—what they can and cannot do, but that will never, ever, work with me. Until now. I turned away before I knocked him upside the head with my purse.

I made it two steps before I heard him call my name. My jaw hit the floor as he landed in a perfect crouch and rose fluidly. Was he some kind of superhuman? Roxy stood next to Jax behind the bar. Both had stopped in the middle of handling drinks. Liquid sloshed over the glass Roxy had been pouring. Jax looked torn between laughing and yelling at Nick. Tension seized my muscles as Nick stalked right up to where I stood. He wrapped his hand around mine, the hold gentle. A good head or so taller than me, he towered over me, and all that made me want to do was punch him in the solar plexus.

His eyes softened. We—actually, Nick—was already causing a major scene. Eyes were fastened on us. Heat crept up my neck. Right here.

We can talk. Everyone was watching. One quick glance told me Roxy had recovered enough to stop watering the bar. We headed toward the hallway. Fire was seconds away from bursting out of my mouth. He opened a door to our right, and after I walked in, I immediately yanked my hand free as he kicked the door closed behind us.

Tossing my purse on a black leather couch, I spun around to face him. I stepped toward him, my hands balling into fists as I opened my mouth.

Nick crossed the distance between us in a blink of an eye. He was so fast that I stood there like an idiot as he got right up in my personal space, placing his hands just below my jaw. His hands were large and warm, and he spread his fingers out, his thumbs smoothing over the skin on either side of my lips.

His eyes met mine and they were heated like they had been the night at my apartment. Nick smiled, flashing even white teeth.

Honestly, I was just going to walk around all night with my jaw flapping open. Things always get. The space between us vanished. His hips pressed against my lower stomach, and oh yeah, he was being serious. Planting my hands on his chest, I shoved him hard. The lines around his mouth twitched and he looked away, compressing his lips. Then you opened your mouth with your chauvinistic pig shit and ruined all the warm and fuzzies. We hooked up. You left my place without an ounce of expectations between us, and I was cool with that.

But you obviously think the whole damn world revolves around you. Surprise flickered across his face. And after one night with me you think you can dictate to me where I can go and what I cannot do?

My middle finger might have been extended as I stepped around him and snatched up my purse. Now I clutched the gray chevron pillow to my chest as the countdown began on TV and the camera zoomed in on Drew Barrymore. God, this—this—was one of my all- time favorite scenes in all the movies in the whole wide world.

The moments leading up to when Sam appears at the baseball field, proving that he cared for Josie despite her betrayal. Man, I was such a goober. But I had no regrets. None at all. One of my girlfriends from college, Cora, absolutely hated Drew Barrymore. That movie would so never be made nowadays, but there was just something about that first kiss between them that caused my heart to turn to goo.

I sat up, squeezing the pillow as the clock ran out of time and poor Josie looked heartbroken. Cameras panned on the audience, capturing their expressions of sympathy, and then a low murmur rose, turning into cheers. Everyone turned and there he was.

It was damn near one-thirty in the morning and someone was at my door? Snatching the remote off the arm of the couch, I paused the movie right when Sam hit the field. The knock came again just as I stood. I tugged down on my sweater and crept toward the door, visions of serial killers dancing in my head.

Stretching up, I peeked through the peephole. Nick stood on the other side of my door, his hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans as he looked around the empty hall. I dumbly stared at the distorted view of him.

What was he doing here? I was sure my parting words earlier in the night made it clear that we were so not on friendly terms. Curiosity overrode my common sense in about a nanosecond.

Knowing I should just turn off all the lights and ignore him, I reached down and opened the door. Nick turned to me, pulling his hands out of his pockets. Those light green eyes dipped briefly, all the way to the tips of my fluffy sock-covered feet and then back up.