by Samantha Young. · 2, Ratings · Reviews · published · 2 editions. An On Dublin Street Halloween is a free Joss and More. Want to Read . Earlier this year, I read and really enjoyed On Dublin Street by self published author Samantha Young (I wrote my Top Ten reasons to read it. On Dublin Street has 26 entries in the series. Samantha Young Author Paula Costello Narrator (). cover image of Echoes of Scotland Street.
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An On Dublin Street Halloween is a free Joss and Braden short read about the couple's second Halloween together. An On Dublin Street Halloween is a free Joss and Braden short read about the couple's second Halloween together. He didn’t know I was coming tonight and under my short Snow White costume was sexy white lingerie to match the white silk thigh highs I was wearing. In the wig, slightly. An On Dublin Street Christmas (On Dublin Street #) Jocelyn Castle Hill (On Dublin Street Book ) - Young, ronaldweinland.info KB.
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Despite my tendency to keep eighty percent of myself to myself, I liked being surrounded by people. If I wanted a little life around me, I needed to get a roommate. On the plus, this apartment was mere streets away from my job. As I tried to shove down the anxiety of finding a new place, I also kept my eye open for a cab with its light on.
I eyed the ice cream parlor, wishing I had time to stop and indulge, and almost missed the cab coming toward me on the opposite side of the street. Throwing my hand out and checking my side for traffic, I was gratified that the driver had seen me and pulled up to the curb.
Instead of the door handle, I grabbed a hand. Bemused, I followed the masculine, tan hand up a long arm to broad shoulders and to a face obscured by the sun beaming down behind his head.
Tall, over six feet, the guy towered above me as most tall people did. I was a smallish five foot five. Wondering why this guy had his hand on my cab, all I really took in was the suit. A sigh escaped from his shadowed face. And his definitely did, despite the terse question. I guess. Oh okay. Perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties, I could tell from the lines of the extremely well-tailored, expensive silver-grey suit that he wore, that the Suit worked out. He sat with the ease of a fit guy, his stomach iron flat under the waistcoat and white shirt.
I preferred blondes. Always had. Yet none of them had ever made my lower belly squeeze with lust at first sight of them. A strong, masculine face stared into mine—sharp jaw-line, a cleft chin, wide cheekbones, and a roman nose. Dark stubble shadowed his cheeks, and his hair was kind of messy.
Altogether, his rugged unkemptness seemed at odds with the stylish designer suit. The Suit raised an eyebrow at my blatant perusal and the lust I was feeling quadrupled, taking me completely by surprise.
I never felt instant attraction to men. As soon as the thought flashed through my head I stiffened, surprised and unnerved. My defenses immediately rose and I cleared my expression into blank politeness. I looked away from his knowing smirk, pretending boredom and thanking the heavens that my olive skin kept the blushing internal. As irritated as I was by my reaction to the Suit, I decided the less conversation between us the better.
Who knew what idiotic thing I might do or say? It was said with a metaphorical eye-roll. Like students were bottom-feeding bums with no real purpose in life. I snapped my head around to give him a scathing set-down, only to catch him eyeing my bare legs with interest. This time, I raised my eyebrow at him and waited for him to unglue those gorgeous eyes of his from my bare skin.
Sensing my gaze, the Suit looked up into my face and noted my expression. I rolled me eyes, fighting the flush of heat between my legs. Dual citizenship. There was nothing better. Nowhere better than being here with Liv. Nothing had ever felt more like home. Her inner muscles clenched around him as she cried out in climax with tears shimmering in her gaze. That and the pulsing of her sex around his cock was more than he could take—his release floored him. His hips shuddered against hers as he came harder than he ever remembered coming….
Needing to get away and as fast as possible, he pulled out of Liv, rolling away from her without meeting her eyes. He felt sick. Fingers shaking he reached for his shirt and shrugged it on without answering. How the hell… why… how….
Dragging a hand down his face, Nate braced himself to say what needed to be said. Reluctantly, he met her gaze. The pain in her eyes made him feel about two inches tall. Fear turned to anger. To desperation. Make love to you? That was never what this was about. But as he watched her angrily throw herself out of bed to pull on a nightshirt Nate stood frozen in confusion. Why was she reacting this badly? This was always going to end between them, they both knew that.
If you were going to end it? Lost but so un-fucking-believably found. Her anger was making his panic increase, but more than that the hurt in her eyes was killing him. It was all so messy.
And it pissed him off. We agreed that this was just sex. And you promised. I cannot lose you, too. We make each other laugh and we get each other. Terrified, Nate stared at her, aghast. Rage and fear mingled with guilt he was frantic to push aside. And then her low but soft voice reached him. You did that. Liv was right. He had done all that. There were moments when I felt you pull away and I thought that was it—this, between us, was over.
Glancing up at her Nate almost shrank back at the tears, at the accusation. God damn her! But Liv had lost all control on her anger.
She was determined to push his buttons. Come on. Just say it! His frayed nerves just snapped. What kind of man did it make him to stand there and cause a good woman pain because he was… what… scared?
He scoffed bitterly at himself and prayed to God that Liv had it in her to forgive him for his weakness. The sound of her bitter laughter gouged into his hope that their friendship could be salvaged. So today, as you try to teach me the opposite lesson, I say fuck you. All or nothing. He had to save their friendship somehow.
It had the opposite effect of what he wanted. It only infuriated her. Liv sagged, stumbling back from him wearily. The urge to reach for her was so great he had to clench his hands into fists at his side. The accusation in them burned him. We blurred the lines. At least I can admit it. Finding himself afraid more of her hate than of her love, Nate attempted to make her see sense.
I admit it. I thought we could be best friends and have sex. But you know me. You know that. Just be. The look of incredulity on her face chipped at another piece of hope.
For the sake of my sanity I have to. You walk out that door, Nate. Her sad eyes tore through him. Babe, you have no idea. Surely, she had to see that that meant something. This was it. The crack on his ceiling appeared longer than it did … well, than it did for however long Jake had been lying on his bed staring at it. That could have been an hour, two, maybe even two days. Staring at the crack did nothing to change it.
As he lay there, it was going to splinter into more cracks. As was the pressure. It was like he was weighed down at every angle by a piece of stone. He felt bruised. One a bully, the other a reluctant pacifist. Because of whom? Was it her? Egging him on. Alex Roster? It was his house, his party, his alcohol. His kitchen knife. New guy. Reluctant pacifist too. Stupid decision to go to the party. Yeah, you did. My blood. Your hands, Caplin. Jesus, I hate that thing.
Lifting his head, he pulled his right hand out and held it up to examine it. It was clean. Not once. Shoving his hand back under his head, Jake let the weight settle down all over him again. A sensible man would have just walked away. He glared at the uplighter again. Or was that the same thing? What power? What power did I ever have over you?
Movement caught his eye and he lowered his gaze from the ceiling. The sight of Charley standing in his doorway was a punch to the gut. He answered his own question. Disquiet moved through him as she shrugged out of her jacket, kicked off her shoes, and walked toward him like she could save him from the guilt slowly eating away at his insides.
She lay down beside him, not touching him, but close enough he could smell her perfume and feel the heat of her body trying to warm his. How many times had Charley told him to ignore Brett? How many times had she stopped him from putting a halt to it once and for all?
He saw Charley bending over Brett, her hands covered in his blood as she pressed her jacket to his wound. He saw her calm surety as she told him to call Her kindness as she sought to soothe Brett. Her cool hand in his as they walked toward the patrol car. Her loving voice promising him she was there with him. I love you, Jake. Jake waited for her to put on her shoes and jacket. He waited for her to walk out the door.
He waited for her perfume to fade from his pillow. He was glad she was gone. A building rage … with himself. No, once again Charley had done what he should be doing. Impotent anger, the frustration of injustice, of being made to feel a victim, consumed Jake as he followed his concerned mom through the hospital. Jake took in the sight of his brother sitting on the end of the bed, his eye swollen shut, and he felt his fingers curl into fists. They should leave us alone. What did we ever fucking do to these people?
Luke somehow managed to grin, even with half his face mashed. She jumped in front of me and told them that if they wanted me, they had to go through her.
Was she insane? Jake had the sudden urge to grab her arms and shake her hard until some sense slammed into her. As the doctor bustled around with discharge instructions, Jake stewed in thick silence.
Something like resentment built within. She followed him and his family into the parking lot. Jake could feel her. Not then. For now, he had to focus on being the kind of guy he could live with. Memories tried to press at him. Precious, joyous, exciting, fucking beautiful memories. A lifetime of wonder crammed into just a few short months. And stop shutting me out.
Trenton and his goons are getting restless. They know it was an accident. An accident. An unfortunate incident that happens unintentionally or unexpectedly, typically resulting in damage or injury. It was months of pent-up resentment of a boy likely under the influence of mental, emotional, and possibly physical abuse on the part of his dickwad father, all of that fury aimed at the wrong guy.
Everyone had seen it coming. Charley tried to tell him otherwise. He had to give it to her—he thought she might really mean it too. Jake stared at her. As long as he felt this numb, he could do this. He could look at her and he could do this. Jake wondered for a moment why he could barely hear her and then it shocked him to realize his heart was racing and pounding so hard, the blood whooshing in his ears deafened him.
He looked away. The unevenness of her breathing punched right through the numbness. He was going to throw up. Right there. Cast up the guilt all over her. Charley was calm, in control, trying to save people. To save his brother being beat up.
Trying save him! Jake turned back, spewing his fury all over her, and it came out all wrong. He said all the wrong things. It was just a second of thought. But a second was long enough. Feeling as if he was going to come out of his skin, Jake needed this to end now.
She held onto him, her hand burning through his shirt, her warm eyes hot with fury and pain and every ugly, dark thing Jake had only ever wanted to protect her from. He would lose what little shred of self-respect he might have left. For now … Jake knew that if he was going to get through this, he needed that power, that control, back.
He stared through her as she began to make her way through the five stages of grief. Then anger. Now she was bargaining with him.
At his words, Charley looked broken. Jake felt like someone had rammed a spike down his throat. He struggled to breathe through the agony as he turned away from her.
Jake knew nothing could change his mind in that moment. He was desperate to leave behind Lanton and everything it had taken from him. Like cutting someone open just so he could end the conversation and get away as quickly as possible.
In her freshman and sophomore years at Purdue we know Charley was determinedly moving on from Jake with Alex, Claudia and their friends. Have you ever wondered what was going on with Jake… and his inevitable jump into a new relationship with Melissa? Beck snorted but shut the door so there was no possibility of one of their suite mates overhearing. Something going on there? It had stopped doing that a while ago.
They both knew he lied, but Beck never called him on it. Melissa is one of my best friends. Jake was afraid that might be true. Whenever Melissa hinted about it, Jake carefully avoided the subject. As much as he wished he could. This was true. Jake felt restless. Beck squinted at him. Deciding it was better to be restless in company than alone, Jake followed Beck out of Kemper and turned left toward Bobb-McCulloch Hall.
Not that it was ever difficult to find a party when you were best friends with a rock band. He was some fancy-ass CFO in some fancy-ass division of some fancy-ass conglomerate that dealt in cars, media, and whatever else. He lived off the royalties in a house he already owned. He and Jake applied to be roommates and their neighbors turned out to be Lowe and Matt. Upon discovering fellow musicians among them, Beck started the band. They met Denver at a party and welcomed him on board as their bassist.
The Stolen was formed. Jake would always love music but he was practical by nature. He was a mathematician, a problem solver, and industrial engineering was a better fit. It was all about optimizing how something worked, whether a process or an actual organization. Jake loved the challenge. They wanted to be musicians. Engineering was just a back-up plan. Eyeing the front of Bobb, Jake shook his head. Beck smacked Jake hard on the back.
We have to pull you out of this funk. They turned to see Melissa hurrying toward over. Her girlfriends strolled at a distance behind her, smirking. Beck had slept with at least two of them. Jake smiled as Melissa bounced to a stop in front of him. Just like always, he felt attraction zing through him. Melissa was at once beautiful and adorable. Dark hair, tall, olive skin, and dark blue eyes. Not to mention she was sweet and compassionate and a great friend.
Jake nodded, knowing Beck was making his escape from the past conquests who had suddenly reached them. I really need to talk to you.
Jake nodded and turned toward his dorm, not saying anything as Melissa looped her arm through his and walked beside him, pressing her body into his. He had a feeling he knew what she wanted to talk about. Not only would he have to call on his willpower if she came onto him, but he was worried that what he had to say would send her running. He really cared about her. That meant Melissa had known about Charley almost from the very beginning of their friendship—Charley was the reason he was at the fair.
It became clear that despite wanting to see Charley, wanting to apologize, wanting closure, Jake did not want to see Lanton.
Beck had made him pull over and trade seats so Jake could sit in the passenger side, hiding behind sunglasses. They sat down the street from her house for fifteen minutes while Jake tried to gather the courage to knock on the door. The front door opened before she could even knock and suddenly, Charley was right there.
Freshman year was a blur of school, partying, and girls. It was easy to get lost. Jake was convinced that though it felt empty to move from one girl to the next, it had helped him deal with the fact that his life would never have Charley in it again. It was something Melissa knew.
She knew because after they discovered they were going to the University of Edinburgh at the same time, Jake found himself telling her the truth behind why he was going.
Because Charley might be there, and this time he might not be such a pussy. This time he might have the courage to get out of the fucking car and tell her he was sorry.
Once inside his dorm, Jake watched Melissa as she moved through his space. She smiled at him as she flopped down on the bed. Jake was surprised and also impressed. Melissa had never crossed him as the most confident girl when it came to men, so the fact that she was putting it out there blew him away. It was brave. Even if it did put him in an uncomfortable position.
That could get awkward. Believe me. It had devastated her. Just give me a chance. Jake eyed her carefully. His body was suddenly at war.
Melissa nudged his knees apart, insinuating herself between his legs as she curled her fingers into his hair. Jake stared up at her, feeling a surprising amount of longing. Hands shaking, Jake reached for her, pulling her down onto his lap, bringing their faces close. Her hair slid across his chest and he felt the pressure of her weight as she pushed herself up.
Finally registering the serious tone in her voice, Jake pried his eyes open, a satisfied smile curling his lips as he took her in, in all her naked glory. Jesus, she was gorgeous. Sometimes he wanted nothing more than to jump in a car and drive and keep going until he felt his insides settle down.
Melissa was completely drama-free. They never argued, got jealous or possessive, or felt like they were coming out of their skin with the intensity of what they felt for one another. It was soothing. As he stared into her eyes, tenderness washed over him. He did truly care about her. They had it good, they had it easy, the sex was great, and there was definite affection there.
A beautiful smile lit up her whole face. Jake felt like a jerk for not saying it sooner. If this were to be his life, at least it would be sweet. Jake pushed her back. You get that, right? Melissa shook her head, still smiling. I love you that much. You need closure. Jake still thought it was a bad idea but he wanted to do right by her. A while later as Melissa snored lightly beside him, Jake got out of bed and reached for his wallet.
Inside was a picture of his family. Dropping his wallet, Jake hovered over the trash can, the picture suspended above between his fingers. Heart pounding, Jake stumbled back over to his wallet and hurriedly slipped the photo back in behind the family picture.
He braced his hands on the desk, taking deep, even breaths. Jake shook his head adamantly. It was the just guilt. It was haunting him. Glancing at his sleeping girlfriend, Jake rubbed a shaky hand over his short hair and decided Mel was right. They needed to go to Edinburgh so he could apologize and find some closure. Under the guilt that seemed to be a constant in his life, Jake felt that stirring of hope again. Melissa had done a one eighty from insecure girlfriend to pretending like none of it was happening.
He guessed he should be glad, but it gave him the strangest sense of foreboding. He searched the shelves in the reserve section for an article he needed for one of his minor classes.
Jake grinned. It was not an opportunity he could pass up. Moth to the flame, he strode over to her. Startled was understating her reaction. She jumped, her arm flailing out toward him as she turned. Charley glared at him, resting her hand on her chest as she tried to catch her breath.
Creepiness often precedes death. God, he forgot how adorable she was. How much she made him laugh. He tried to contain his amusement since she seemed pretty annoyed.
Jake studied her as she turned to look back to the shelf. Attraction flared in his gut as he took in her delicate profile, an attraction he tried to squash but instead leaned into. She flicked him an unamused look. And suddenly he was sixteen again, falling for a girl by the light of a bonfire.
To his delight, Charley agreed to have coffee with him. She was guarded and even he was guarded, but the ability to just be with one another was still there. Like two pieces of a puzzle fitting together.
He knew as she agreed to hang out with him at the gym that she was going to try to forgive him. The last few weeks had been filled with self-inflicted torture for Jake. Being with Charley and not having her, and knowing that despite their friendly banter, she was never going to forgive him.
He knew it. Melissa knew it. The connection between him and his girlfriend was strained. They were constantly on the verge of arguing, and Jake felt like he was about to come out of his skin all the time. Melissa stood silently at his side, hurt and pissed off and making him feel angry and guilty all at the same time. Charley had promptly disappeared with Beck but now Beck was back, making out with some random girl, and Charley was … fuck.
Charley was walking toward them. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Matt grab her into a bear hug and put her down beside him. The way Jake was feeling, even that pissed him off. Charley was drunk. It pissed Jake off even more. Charley laughed and let him drag her away, while Jake stood there helplessly. His hands hung at his sides in tight fists as he brooded after them.
They could hear the chatter of her roommates in the kitchen, but Melissa walked past the door, heading for her bedroom. She stood across the room from him, beautiful and in love with him, and it no longer affected him how it should. Instead of feeling grateful for it, it exhausted him. Almost resentful, the guilt it piled on top of him. Not for me. Standing at the taxi rank with Melissa, the smell of winter and exhaust fumes and Chicago all around them, Jake was reeling. There were times it worked.
Like the times Melissa subtly reminded him that Charley would never see him in a romantic light again. She never touched him casually unless he initiated it, her smiles were guarded, her laughter not as carefree, and he rarely caught her looking at him. This convinced him Melissa was right.
Confused, Jake had turned to Mel, who in turn had told her Lowe was seeing things through the eyes of a guy with his own issues, a guy who was projecting those issues onto them. More than that, suspicion niggled at him. And it occurred to him how stupid he was for not questioning them in the first place. She wanted to be with him.
Would she say anything to make that happen? He was still to blame. Just angry. Before Jake could reply, a cab pulled up to the rank. The cheery driver got out to help Jake put their luggage in the trunk. Then Oak Park. The radio was the only sound in the cab as they pulled away. Jake watched the driver give the two of them a curious look in the rearview mirror. The guy opened his mouth as if to ask a question, but Melissa beat him to it.
He would never cheat on anyone.
And he most definitely would never cheat on Jocelyn. He loved her. But for now he felt less burdened than he had that morning because he knew without a shadow of a doubt that Jocelyn Butler loved him back. They both knew. It was a Saturday night and instead of going out and relaxing with some mates he was at home, working. Adam frowned, pushing his laptop away. Why did he have to go and think about that?
Ever since he discovered that treacherous little git had been using Ellie as part of some melodramatic corporate espionage crap, the blood in his veins had been pumping at a melting hot temperature. Any man would be lucky to have Ellie Nichols and that punk idiot had made a crack about Ellie being nothing more than a bonus hot fuck. It had taken everything within Braden not to fly at the arsehole. Rich hurt someone he cared about.
It was more than that, though. His feelings for Ellie were anything but brotherly. He wanted her. The searing possessive jealousy that had coursed through him then coursed through him last night when Rich Stirling bragged about her. It was about the continual frustration he felt that he could never have what other men could have from her. Not if he wanted to keep Braden and his sister in his life forever. They were his family. End of.
He needed something to take his mind off… everything. He checked his phone. Maybe he should catch up with Braden out on the town. Just as he was about to call his friend his phone started ringing. Instead of being annoyed that the object of his distraction was now in his face distracting him, Adam felt concerned.
Ellie had had one helluva week and he had to make sure she was alright. Are you okay for me to come up? He opened his door and leaned against the doorjamb, waiting for the lift doors to open. When they did something in his chest squeezed. Ellie stepped out, dressed casually and she somehow still managed to look like a supermodel. She raised an arm, waving a bottle of wine at him. The hem of the cropped top she was wearing rose revealing her toned waist and creamy skin.
Adam ignored the heat that flooded him and gave her a curious smile, pretending to be completely unaffected by her perfection.
She sighed at the question in his smile. She particularly hated when he was involved in a brawl, no matter the circumstances. Ellie reached it at the same time he did and as she leaned against the counter her hem rose again, flashing more tempting skin. He looked away quickly, pouring her a glass of wine.
It was my pleasure, believe me. I mean, he really fucked with you. An image he did not want in his head lambasted him and the anger he felt from before threatened to rise to the surface. She had such delicate hands for a tall girl. They were so small against his.
As soon as he did he felt another wave of angry satisfaction roll over him. Christ, did Ellie still have feelings for that moron? Relieved that was her reason and unnerved by his relief, Adam pulled his hand gently out of hers.
According to sources I was nowhere near New Town or Rich last night. Something she did when she was nervous or worried. She walked away from him. Instantly disliking the distance she was putting between them Adam followed her as she walked into the sitting area and sat down on his couch.
Deliberately, he sat down close to her, putting his arm along the couch behind him, effectively trapping her. She flicked him a look. He had to comfort her not rile her. Ellie smiled suddenly. Any guy would be lucky to have you. His eyes flickered over her and his mouth went dry. He grabbed up his wine glass and took a drink, trying to erase the thoughts he was having.
As they sat and talked any attempt to fight his attraction to Els was foiled at every turn by her. She was an affectionate person but tonight she was being really touchy feely.
She was flirting with him. Satisfaction thrummed through him. It was wrong that he cared that Ellie had feelings for him. He knew that. But there was a selfish part of him that was elated that Ellie wanted him in return, that was glad the frustration he felt was also felt by her.
He should have stopped her when she put her hand on his thigh or squeezed his hand. So she pushed it. He was in the middle of talking about his absent parents when she yawned, stretching her arms up. The movement forced her breasts out and her hem rose up revealing even more toned, silky skin. She was trying to kill him. She had the longest legs… those legs… he tensed at the thought of having those legs wrapped around him. But it could never be just a casual thing for her because… Adam knew she loved him.
And why oh why did that make him even more turned on. He needed her to leave. In answer she put her hand on his leg and slowly glided her head up his thigh. The heat zinged in his blood, his dick so hard for her he was in pain. Her fingers neared his straining zipper and his eyes fell to her trembling mouth. He had to stop this. He should stop this. Adam grabbed her wrist and yanked her to him.
Then he was kissing that mouth that provoked him so much. The kiss turned wild almost instantly. She was suddenly straddling him as he tasted the hot and sweet on her tongue. His hands were everywhere, desperate to touch every part of her beautiful body. His control was gone. All that mattered was the girl in his arms and tasting every inch of her. She rode him as their kisses turned dirty and deep, wet and biting.
His denim covered erection throbbed against her cotton-covered sex, and his grip on her sweet arse tightened as his tension increased.
He growled, amazed by the excitement between them. It was addictive. He pulled away, needing to see and feel more of her. Soon Adam had divested her of her top and bra and her perfect breasts were unveiled to him. She sighed, this breathy little sigh as her nipples tightened. He reverently cupped her breasts in his hands and drew one nipple into his hot mouth. She went wild in his arms. He pushed her on her back, ripping his shirt off before pulling her skirt and knickers off.
Needing her mouth again, he braced himself over her, her nipples brushing against his bare chest as he kissed her. He insinuated himself between her legs, the kiss turning more desperate as he shuddered with the need to be inside her. Apparently she was too impatient to wait any longer, her slim fingers working at the zipper on his jeans. She pushed his jeans and boxers down and his throbbing, hot dick pressed against her sex.
She tilted her hips and grabbed his ass, silently pleading with him to take her. This was Els. Adam froze, his eyes locking with hers. More than anything he wanted to tell the world and all its occupants to bugger off so he could slide inside this beautiful, sweet woman who meant everything to him. But the world and all its occupants included his only real family—Braden. Or to Ellie. He hurried off her, pulling up his boxers and jeans.
Catching sight of her naked gorgeousness tempting him on his couch, he tossed her clothes at her. Sexual frustration and panic made him curt when he realized she was still naked.
Regret and guilt pierced him in the chest. Something like panic began to creep into him. The thought was agonizing. The raw expression in her eyes gutted him. He had to explain, he had to take away that pain somehow.
She looked betrayed. Without a word she whirled around, grabbed her jacket and hurried toward his door. Desperate to fix this, Adam tore out of the flat after her. She was fast. Her footsteps pounding down the stairwell. But when he barreled out of the building she was running across the street, her long hair whipping behind her.
Talk to me! Adam ran out onto the road, racing toward it. He was nearly at its back wheel when it took off into the traffic, taking Ellie with it. Distraught, Adam stumbled onto the pavement and dragged his hand through his hair. His heart was pounding in his chest and not because of the running. It raced out of fear. Somehow he had to make amends for the loss of his control.
Somehow he had to win Ellie back and at the same time make her see what a mistake it would be for them to be anything but friends. He would do it. There was no other option. And now that he knew that Ellie in his arms was like his own private Elysium, Adam was going to have to work harder than ever to convince himself to keep his distance from her.
Cole took the proffered hand. The kid was cool, and they had a lot in common. He was coming out of his shell more and more with Cam and it felt nice to be there for someone who needed him.
A bit like how his dad was with him. A tall, slender woman with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes appeared in his doorway. She smiled at them and Cam felt a swell of emotion in his chest. He had to admit there was a bonus to being a stand-in big brother to a great kid like Cole. His big sister. Johanna Walker. She raised one perfect eyebrow at her grinning, sweating brother.
She turned back to Cam and made a face. Really close. He was addicted to her despite the obstacles in his way. Cam was in turmoil over the situation, and honestly he just wanted some reassurance that Jo was feeling as mixed up as he was.
And she had to be. The chemistry was there between them.
It had been from the start. Jo took a wary step back, just as he thought she would. This will help you learn to deal with the way you freeze up.
The idea obviously had merit to her…but still she shook her head. You want a cup of tea? The smile immediately tightened as the smell of her light perfume caused his blood to heat.
He frowned and headed into the kitchen toward the kettle. Heart in his throat, Cam spun around, eyes searching her for injury. Jo was afraid of spiders. Stop panicking. I thought you were frightened of it.
Christ, she was beautiful. So fucking beautiful. Her beauty was like a massive kick to the chest every time he glanced at her. He felt breathless for a moment. You just… nothing. He wanted to kiss her. He was getting so sick of not being able to kiss her.
The spider? He felt the weight of the pan in his hand. I just needed something to put it in. Those two small words seeped into him and turned his blood molten. Slowly, Cam turned to look at her.
It hurt to look at her. He could no longer be that guy who fantasized about another woman. It was more than that too—the feelings he had for Jo eclipsed the sexual attraction between them. They were living a lie, but this right here between them, right here in this moment in his kitchen… this was truth. Before he could stop himself he crossed the room to her as though something outside of his control was slowly drawing him to her. His skin prickled and heated at the feel of her breasts brushing his chest.
Her perfume surrounded him and he inhaled it, drowning in the scent of her as he clasped her slender arms in his hands. He felt her relax into his touch and the strongest, most urgent sense of satisfaction moved through him.
With it was the real truth. He was falling for her. Jo melted against him and he felt her shiver with want. A rush of need exploded through him and he closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against hers as he struggled to breathe, to control himself. Cam wanted their feelings out in the open and he wanted to make it a clean break with their partners. But then she whispered his name with such longing. He groaned and slid his forehead down the side of her face.
His nose skimmed her cheek, her jaw. Her skin was so soft… he nuzzled his cheek against her throat and her head fell back slightly in invitation.
The temptation was just too much. Cam brushed his lips over her skin, once, twice. The devil on his shoulder urged him to take more. He flicked out his tongue, tasting her, and Jo shuddered, her breasts pushing into him, her whole body asking him for more. Frustration burned in his throat. He gritted his teeth to keep from growling in irritation and reached for his phone as it buzzed on his counter.
Caller ID told him it was Becca. Guilt crashed over him. He searched her eyes for reaction finding her own remorse there—and something else too. Cam was sure Jo must realize that too. Malcolm is picking me up in a few hours. Was she fucking kidding him? She immediately flinched at what she saw. She was out of his kitchen, out of his flat, before he could even articulate a word.