Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Snip: Second Verse

Hey guys! So, this is a little longer (okay, a LOT longer) than a snip, but I wanted to share the first teaser from Second Verse. I hope you enjoy it! If you haven't read First Verse yet, the links to the free download are right under the teaser!



People asked to hear the most inappropriate songs at weddings—especially weddings that catered to the upper echelon of Atlanta society.

“I’m not sure I know that one,” I told the sloshed blonde standing by the stage, resisting the urge to toy with the hem of my dress. I glanced over my shoulder at the center of the stage, where one of the groom’s former frat brother’s was making the longest speech I’d ever heard. Hopefully, he’d keep up the story long enough for me to wiggle out of the song request—and hopefully, he wouldn’t proposition me again, like he had when I handed him the mic.

I’d lied and told him I was seeing someone—not that he seemed to care.

“Isn’t there something else you’d rather hear?” Anything else, I silently added.

“Nope, nothing else’ll do it for me.” She hiccupped then wobbled in her six-inch designer pumps. The bassist rushed forward to steady her, but she snatched her arm away. “Don’t touch me!”

Damien held up his hands in surrender and backed up, mouthing, Have fun dealing with that one, Kinsey. I shot him a dark look that the blonde was too busy polishing off her drink to notice. As soon as she swallowed the champagne, she jabbed her finger in my direction. “Look, it was on your song list online, so I know you know it. Just sing it or I’ll let Jax know he wasted his money on you.”

I bit my lip to hold back the groan because it wasn’t my website she’d perused, but I wasn’t sure she’d care or listen if I told her that I was doing a favor for a friend tonight by singing with her band.
Julia owed me big time for this.

“So, can you do it or not?” she demanded.

God, she was persistent. Even though I knew every lyric to what was asking me to perform—and I personally loved each and every verse of that song—I wouldn’t want a song about drinking wine and dwelling on my break-up until I tripped over a puddle of my own tears played at my wedding. Besides, while the band was setting up, the maid of honor had given me the bride’s long list of titles that were not okay to perform. Although this particular one wasn’t on it, it fell right in line with the rest of the doom and gloom ballads. 

And speaking of the bride…

Oh, dear Lord. The new Mrs. Jackson Wolfe was headed right toward us, a tight smile stretching her immaculately made-up face into an unnatural expression, her white couture gown swishing around her and reminding me of an avenging fairytale princess.

“Mrs.—” I started, but she held up her french-manicured hand, cutting me off.

“Julia, right?”

I shook my head, long strands of my dark brown hair swinging around my face. “McKinsey. Julia had surgery and I’m helping her out. She cleared it with your planner.”

“Okay, McKinsey ... R.J’s wrapping up his speech, so it’s almost time to go back on,” she addressed me through clenched teeth, never taking her eyes off the blonde who was now brandishing the champagne flute like a weapon. When she spoke again, her words were directed toward the other woman. “Have you met my brother yet, Heather?”

As soon as the bride passed the blonde along to her reluctant brother, she turned to me with her hands on her hips. “Sorry about Heather. Jax’s bitch of a mother thought it would be cute to invite his clingy ex.”

Now the song Heather had asked me to sing made complete sense. The woman was still in love with her ex—the groom.

“Seriously, its fine,” I said.

“After the next few songs, my husband wants his cousin to sing.”

The bride’s voice went from breathlessly ecstatic to dripping with scorn between the words husband and cousin. I followed her gaze across the sea of partygoers, burlap and rose centerpieces, and hanging lanterns to a couple—a leggy redhead and a man whose shaggy dark hair and visible wrist tattoos screamed rocker in spite of his suit.

Immediately, I realized who he was. And I couldn’t help it, I released an awestruck sigh. “Oh, wow … I love his band’s music.”

“Well, I don’t.” She rolled her eyes. “We’ve got so many musicians here, and Jax wants the one who does, like, death metal to sing a song at our wedding, but whatever.” She glanced around me, and let out a huge sigh of relief. “Good, R.J.’s finally done. Do me a favor and sing Take My Breath Away, okay? Thanks.”

Then, she dismissed me with a flick of her head and a swish of her dress as she hurried off in another direction —probably to directly confront the caterer about the canap├ęs.

Only a couple more hours, I reminded myself, returning to center stage and giving the band the bride’s song request. One more hour of this sh*t, and I can get back to my world.

But several seconds later, when I was six words into the song and I was sure the craziest thing that would happen tonight would be the groom’s drunk ex-girlfriend, my eyes landed on the last face I ever expected to see in person again.

It was the boy who’d stolen my breath away eight years ago--the summer I'd gone blonde, the summer I was naive enough to fall for anything, the summer that changed everything for me.

It was the man whose gorgeous, moss green eyes had stared back at me from the cover of magazine after magazine ever since I got out of jail for the crime his scheming sister had accused me of.

And it was the same man who’d said “I f*cking can’t” when I had needed him the most.


-Second Verse, Copyright 2015. Emily Snow Books
Coming end of July


Download the prequel, FIRST VERSE, for FREE right now from the following sites:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011DL90QY
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B011DL90QY
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-Us/ebook/first-verse 
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1018665092 
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/558902 
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/271183269/First-Verse

Completed: Chapter Twenty-Two

Completed: a Devoured novella
Chapter Twenty-Two
One Month Later

Note: This was previously featured on Shh Mom's Reading for Valentine's Day a couple years ago. It was essential that I include it in the story after that last chapter. ;)

***

This was the first Valentine’s in what felt like years that I’ve been with somebody, more specifically someone I planned to marry, but because of our different job obligations, I would be spending it alone. Today, in between working and running errands—a doctor’s appointment, lunch with my friend Ashley, and stopping by my gram’s place for an early dinner—I had constantly reminded myself how grateful I am to be doing what I love to do for a living. Still … coming home to an empty house with a handful of tearjerkers from the Walgreen’s Redbox does make me reevaluate the way I’ll schedule wardrobe assignments in the future.
Especially since I would be taking a lot of time off of work in several months.
I drag in a cleansing breath to flush down the sudden wave of anxiety that hits me. Even though my mom has continued to be scarce, I’ve been overwhelmed a lot here lately, and I’ve found that stopping to take a breath almost instantly makes me feel better.
“Everything will be fine,” I tell myself sternly as I shut off the engine to my sedan. I grab the DVDs, a vase of flowers, and my bag and get out of the car. “Everything will be okay.”
But the moment I unlock the front door and step inside the home Lucas had purchased last year, I’m met with the sound of rock music blasting through the giant house. The upstairs light is on, casting a muted glow over the foyer, and across from where I’m standing, I can tell that the alarm system has been deactivated. My heart flies into my throat, and I take a step backward onto the brick porch behind me.
Someone is here.
Despite my already full hands, I’m reaching for my phone, keys and pepper spray when a familiar voice yells out to me. “It’s just me! No calling the cops, okay? No time for that tonight, Red—I’m cutting it too close.”
Lucas. I start to let out a sigh of relief, but then, just to be sure, I poke my head through the doorway and call his name loudly.
“Relax, and get your beautiful ass back here.” His confirmation puts a complete halt to the fear spiraling through me, replacing it with curiosity. What the hell is he doing here? Your Toxic Sequel has a show in San Diego tonight. When I spoke to him earlier this morning, there had been absolutely no mention of him coming to Nashville. I’m definitely not complaining, but I can’t help but wonder what changed in the last several hours.
But again … I’m so not going to complain. Not when he’s here and only mere feet away from me instead of hours. I haven’t seen him in ten days.
Walking inside, I close the door behind me with the heel of my ankle boot. After I place my flowers, keys and bag on the foyer table, and hang the pea coat that refuses to button quite right in the front closet, I stop and sniff the air.
Flowers. And from the scent of it, lots of them.
“Don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, my ass,” I say breathlessly, repeating the words he had cockily stated to me a week ago when we chatted via Skype. So far, he’s sent me letters, flowers to my lunch date with Ashley, and now this. “You’ve clearly outdone yourself, Wolfe.”
As I walk through the foyer and down the hall toward the sound of a rock cover of “Love Song”, I try to identify each individual scent. Roses. Lilies. There’s another that I can’t put my finger on, but I know I’ll find out what it is any moment now. Fully prepared for the floralpocalypse, I turn the corner and go into the dining room.
The lights are dimmed to the lowest setting, but he’s lit candles of varying sizes, placing some on the floor and a few on the dining room table. In the center of the table is a small box from a Los Angeles-based chocolatier that I’ve always been addicted to and a colorful array of flowers—at least a few dozen.
It’s one of those sights that would make any sane person’s heart skip a beat or two.
“Holy shit, Lucas,” I whisper. I lean against the doorway, breathing in and out for a moment as I scan the room for the rock star himself.
He’s nowhere in sight, but now I can hear his singing—a low and amazingly delicious growl—coming from the pantry that connects the kitchen and dining room. “What happened to San Diego?” I ask loudly enough for him to hear me. His song ends abruptly, and I can almost picture the sexy, animalistic grin that follows.
“Time zones, remember? San Diego’s not happening for another six hours.” Something inside the pantry clangs to the floor, and I cringe and take a few tentative steps further inside the dining room. “This was our first Valentine’s Day together, Red. There was no fucking way I was going to spend it away from you.”
Ah. Well that makes sense. And it also makes him being here right now even that more incredible and romantic. He didn’t come to me because of a cancelled show, but because he needed to see me before the show.
“I was going to—” But I cut myself off. Somehow, I think telling him I planned on spending the night with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams seems kind of lame. “I’m glad you came, Lucas. Really … you have no idea.”
Crossing my arms over my chest, I walk over to the table and slide onto one of the plush chairs. I lean forward, inhaling one of the bouquets sitting on top of the salvaged wood table and studying the beautiful, vivid arrangement of red, pinks and purple. Orchids. The smell I couldn’t place a few minutes ago was orchid.
“This is really—” My breath catches when he comes out of the pantry. He looks casual in a crew neck tee shirt that shows off his tattooed arms and jeans and boots. The corners of his hazel eyes crinkle as he smiles at me – a look that tells me he knows just how much he’s affecting me right now. The thing is, I don’t think there will ever be a moment when Lucas Wolfe doesn’t affect me. I’ve been attracted to him since the moment I first laid eyes on him, and even now, three years later, I’m still utterly stunned.
Only now, it makes me a lot more emotional than it had on the set of one of his music videos.
I press the tips of my fingers to the corners of my eyes so the waterworks won’t start. “What happened to not celebrating Valentine’s Day?” I tease, scooting my chair back to stand up. I meet him halfway, and he reaches around me expertly to place whatever it is he’s holding on the table right next to the box of chocolates.
“Did you really believe that shit?” His hand finds my hip. He gives me a gentle tug toward him, and I swallow hard as my body brushes up against his. “I’m not a big fan of Christmas either, but when you’re around …” He strokes his fingertips up my side until he’s cupping my breast. A jolt of electricity speeds through me and I shiver. Pleased with my reaction, he continues, “Let’s just say everything takes on a new meaning. You understand that, don’t you?”
Nodding, I release a strained noise from the back of my throat. “Keep saying things like that and you will not be going back to San Diego tonight.”
“You think that’s a bad thing, Si.” He slides his strong hands down the small of my back until he’s cupping my ass and bends his head forward until his shaggy dark hair falls over my face. “But they’re expecting me back.” He gives me a regretful smile.
“Hot,” I tease as he lets go of me and reaches onto the table. “Lucas-Fucking-Wolfe following rules.”
He buries his mouth into the crook of my neck, placing hot, urgent kisses along my skin. Dear god.
“I’ve got no control when it comes to you, Sienna,” he growls against my collarbone. “So don’t think I won’t break a rule and take you back with me.”
“Work,” I remind him.
“You can come dress me anytime, Red.” But with those words, he pulls himself away from me and takes a few steps back. Once there’s a reasonable amount of space between us, he holds out a small scarlet-colored box. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
When I don’t immediately take it, twisting my lips to the side anxiously, he cocks an eyebrow. “You’re not doing this again, are you, Red?”
“I sent your gift to your hotel in San Diego,” I explain.
“I’ve already got it.” He grins self-assuredly, even though I know for a fact he probably didn’t receive it before he boarded the flight to come here. Closing some of the space between us, he wraps my fingers around the box, giving them a little squeeze. “You’ve already given me more than I ever imagined. Now, open the gift.”
I open it slowly, hesitantly, sliding my fingers beneath the tape and tugging it off the cardboard. When I take the lid off and pull the thin sheet of cotton aside, I find a sleek black key fob. I flip it over and gasp.
“A Land Rover?” I demand.
Nodding slowly, he says, “An LR4. They’re detailing it tonight, but it’ll be dropped off—”
I shake my head. When Lucas had tried to buy me a car at Christmas, I’d refused. I hadn’t expected him to try again so soon. “Lucas, I can’t— This is too—”
Now it’s his turn to cut me off. “Don’t ruin our first real Valentine’s Day, Sienna,” he orders. He pulls me close to him, silencing my protests with his full lips. Once I’m breathless and dizzy, he ends the kiss, tracing the tip of his tongue along my lips before leaning back to give me a serious look. “You’re going to be my wife. Get used to this.”
Releasing a long exhale, I tilt my head to the side, sending my long red hair tumbling over one of my shoulders. “Not to sound ungrateful, but this is a lot, Lucas.”
He shrugs my words off. “And not to sound like a fucking tool, but it’s got a good safety rating. With a kid it—”
The second he says the word kid—in a voice that’s full of awe and acceptance—I feel my face ignite. Before I can say a word, he jerks his head forward in acknowledgment. “I know this isn’t the way you wanted to do things, but this is the happiest I’ve ever fucking been.” His hands skim across the soft cotton of my shirt over my stomach. “I don’t know what kind of dad I’ll be, Sienna. I’ve been known to be selfish, and a lot of other things, but I do know I love you. That I love anything that comes from you, from us.”
“Okay … how do you know already?” I ask, trying to keep my voice level. I had realized I was pregnant three weeks ago, but my appointment today had confirmed that. I’m terrified—who wouldn’t be?—but I’m also … the happiest I’ve ever been.
He cups my face and smiles at me. This gentle side of Lucas is the one that always make my knees buckle, my pulse speed up, and I wrap my arms around his broad shoulders and hold on to him tight. “I know you, Red,” he explains but then his look turns sheepish. “And you mentioned it in your sleep.”
Sneaky asshole. But I can’t help but smile. “I was going to tell you on your birthday.” I’m having a baby. With the man I love. Wow. “Surprise,” I say in a small voice. “And happy Valentine’s Day.”
“I love surprises.” He slides his thumb over my lips and stares down at me like I’m the only woman he’s ever known. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Sienna. I love you, Red.”
“I love you, too.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Completed: Chapter Twenty-One

Completed: a Devoured novella
Chapter Twenty-One

Christmas comes and goes without a word from my mother and New Year’s follows. I know she’s staying with friends—she’s had contact with Gram (to ask for cash, of course)—but I’ve started to believe that Lucas was right. That maybe his lawyers really have scared the shit out of Mom.

Regardless, I do my best to put her out of my mind when we fly to Florida for a Your Toxic Sequel show in the middle of January. Kylie’s texted every day for the last week, threatening me with bodily harm if I don’t tagalong with Lucas, so I’m ready to spend time with her after we check into our hotel early and Lucas disappears to do band stuff. When I step into the breakfast restaurant she’s picked, it’s the first time I’ve seen her in a few weeks. She stands as soon as she sees me, and I decide she’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in a quirky black mustache-print maternity top, jeans, and knee high boots.

“You are so—” I start as I approach our table, but Kylie holds up a finger and jerks her head from side to side.

“Don’t you dare, Sienna.” But she hugs me tightly.

“Totally cute,” I finish, and she snorts. “Seriously, I hope I look that good someday when I’m pregnant.”

“Oh please, you’re like seven foot tall. No shit you’ll look good.” Laughing, she releases me and we both sit down.  She takes a sip of water and then puts her elbows on the table. “We had dinner with Sinjin last night and I made the mistake of wearing a blue dress. That ass had the nerve to call me Violet Beauregarde.”

I cock an eyebrow. “I have no idea who that is.”

Her dark brown eyes go wide. “Good Lord, woman. She’s the little blueberry from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” She shakes her head, her expression wavering between disbelief and sadness. “I could have sworn you told me you were a Johnny Depp fanatic.”

“I am.” I wink. “Just haven’t seen that particular movie.”

“Where the hell did my brother find you?”

We go back and forth for a few minutes, the conversation light and joking, but after we order breakfast—pancakes for me and an omelet for her—Kylie finally asks about my mom. “Is she still keeping away?”

Slowly, I spin my spoon around my coffee, stirring the creamer until the dark liquid is a light caramel color. “Nothing yet.” I shrug. “But that doesn’t mean anything, she always comes back.”

“You’d think by now she’d just wave a white flag.” Kylie leans close to the table and a grin gradually makes its way across her face. “Want to hear a secret?” When I nod, she dances in her seat. “It’s a boy,” she whispers, and I beam.

“Congratulations! And holy crap, does Wyatt know?”

She bobs her head. “But he’s the only other person who knows.” Her lips thin into a sheepish smile. “We were planning on keeping it a secret, but as you can see I suck royally at secrets.”

“I’m honored.” And I am. I’d been one of the first people she had told about her pregnancy, and the fact I’m one of the only people who know the gender of her baby makes me feel like a million bucks. I lifted my coffee in a toast. “Here’s to Wyatt McRae Jr.”

She rolls her eyes. “Don’t get ahead of yourself, babe.” She lifts her glass. “And who the hell knows, maybe we’ll be sitting here someday toasting to Lucas Wolfe Jr.”

*
It’s not until late the next evening as we’re flying back to Nashville that I really think of Kylie’s words—and I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t accidentally pulled a couple tampons from my bag in an embarrassing search for my license at the airport’s security checkpoint.

Sitting next to Lucas on our flight, I search my brain for dates, trying to remember my last period. I’d transitioned to a different type of birth control right around Thanksgiving, which is the last time I can remember. Biting my bottom lip to avoid grinding my teeth, I try and try to remember a date—any date more recent than Thanksgiving—but absolutely none come to mind.

Holy shit.

“What are you thinking about?” Lucas’s warm breath fans my ear, and I swallow hard. I keep my stare straight ahead at the Sky magazine tucked into the back of the seat right in front of me. “Sienna?”  

“What?” Oh god, why does my voice sound so panicky? Out the corner of my eye, I see his face work into a frown.

“Is everything alright, Red?” He cocks his head to the side, strands of his dark hair falling into his face. Automatically, I brush it back and he catches my hand in his, kissing my palm. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“Nothing,” I murmur, but he cups my face in his other hand, turning my gaze to his. I stare into his hazel eyes, scared out of my mind, wishing I were home right now. “I promise I’m fine,” I say.

*
But five hours later when Lucas is sleeping and I’m alone in one of the guest bathrooms, I’m freaking out all over again.

When I drove to the 24-hour pharmacy a couple miles away, I’d been so afraid I’d make a mistake that I had gotten multiple pregnancy tests.

And they all told me the same thing.


Monday, July 6, 2015

First Verse

Hey guys! So ... you might have seen me post about a new book called Second Verse. I'm so excited to share it with you guys because I love, love, LOVE second chance romances and music and this story has both (plus a surprise cameo from one of my favorite characters).

But, as much as I love second chance romances, I also love reading about what happened before sh*t hit the fan. Which is why ...(drum roll, please?) ... I'm releasing First Verse THIS week.

For FREE.

Links to come later this week, but in the meantime, I'm so excited to share this GORGEOUS cover!



And PS to my girls who love Mr. Lucas-F*cking-Wolfe ... I just scheduled the next two Completed chapters here on blogger. Check back tomorrow night at 9PM EST!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Completed: Chapter 20

Completed: a Devoured novella
Chapter 20


“Later?” I repeat teasingly when Lucas moves away from his spot between my legs. I grin up at him, feeling my heart race when he returns the expression. He touches the button of my jeans, undoing it. Then he yanks down the zipper in a quick, fluid motion. I shiver, the intense ripples dancing through my body and affecting the words I say next, “Later tonight or later—”

Much later,” he interrupts. He drags my jeans—and panties—down my hips, jerks them past my feet, and discards them in a heap beside the couch. Bending, he kisses the inside of my left thigh. “Right now…” He moves his lips to my right thigh. “I’m going to fuck you.”

I gasp when his lips move higher up my leg. “You get right to the point, don’t you?”
Nodding, he circles his tongue over the pale skin a mere few inches from my sex. “And here I was thinking we’d have a sweet night of lovemaking.”

He laughs, and my stomach flutters as his breath warms the sensitive flesh between my legs. Automatically, I clench my core, anticipating, wanting and needing him. “We’ve gone over this before, Sienna. We’ll save that for later, but I need you now.”

He kisses my clit, causing me to grasp the linen material of our couch with one hand and a handful of his shaggy dark hair with the other. His lips move over the throbbing nub softly—almost as if he’s forgotten his own promise from a few seconds ago.

“I could write songs about you all day,” he muses between kisses.

“You’re going to make your band hate me,” I manage to argue, even as the sweet pressure builds in my core. “If all of your songs are about me and my—” He muffles my last few words with a few expert strokes of his tongue. Lucas Wolfe and his mouth are going to be the death of me.

Giving my center one last kiss, Lucas stands up straight. He stares down at me trembling and breathing heavily on the couch. “I don’t give a fuck how they feel, Red, but hate is the last thing any of them would say when it comes to you.” He shakes his head sternly. “No more about the band or your mother. I won’t bring those motherfuckers or crazy ass Rebecca into our bed.”

“Couch,” I remind him. “Technically, we’d be bringing them to our couch.” And I felt all sorts of dirty knowing that we’d eventually entertain guests in this very room.

He shrugs his broad shoulders. “Bed, couch—I can still find a way to tie you up to either.” When I open my mouth, he shakes his head. “And spank that perfect ass on either.”

“Promises, promises,” I laugh, but before I can utter another syllable, he pulls me up from the couch and turns me facing away from him. Cupping my breast through my shirt with one hand, he slaps my ass—once, then twice—with his free hand, drawing a moan brimming with pleasure and pain from the back of my throat. “Ouch,” I pant, and he chuckles.

“Ouch? Next time make it a little more believable because, right now, you sound like you’ll come all over the fucking place as soon as I touch you.” He curves my body to his, so that I can feel his erection through his jeans against my ass. Holy hell. “I keep my promises,” he says directly in my ear. I swallow hard and twist my head to look him in his hazel eyes. “And the way you’re breathing, the way you’re looking at me—” He flicks his tongue over the center of my lips, squeezes my hip, and releases my breast. “Just makes me want to keep them quicker.”

Speechless, I return to the couch and watch as he strips his tee shirt and jeans from his toned, tattooed body. I’ve always been too chicken shit to get a tattoo of my own, but damn, staring at the intricate ink on his tan skin makes the heat between my legs intensify.  I follow the star tattoos down to his cock, and my face goes up in flames. When he catches me staring at him, he faces me directly, grinning broadly.

“Did you just lick your lips?”

“No,” I lie. He climbs onto the couch, positioning himself back between my thighs. He slides his hand between us and I suck in a deep breath as he slides a finger back and forth over my sex, each time coming close to my clit but not quite there. When I see his cocky grin and realize that he’s purposely teasing me, I grit my teeth. “You arrogant shit, of course I licked my lips and—”

I quickly forget what I was about to say next because he pulls a move that’s pure magic—his thumb finds my clit, his erection nudges past the opening of my sex, and that beautiful, talented mouth of his closes around my nipple. I buck my hips. He responds by driving into my body harder. Faster.

I lose myself in him. Feel every nerve ending of my body sing for Lucas. And when I’m seconds away from completely letting go, and I’m telling him how much I love him over and over, I feel his mouth centimeters from mine. “I fucking love you too, Sienna.”

*


Just as he promised, the sweet, unhurried lovemaking does come later. And after we’re done and I’m spooned against him in our actual bed, he keeps his other promise. He brings up my mother.

“How much did she ask you for?” I question, and I feel him let out a breath against the nape of my neck.

“Fifty.”

“Hundred?” I ask hopefully, even though that’s still a ridiculous amount of money.

He laughs. “Thousand, Red,” he says and I cringe. Holy shit. What the hell is wrong with my mom? Turning my head to look at him, I shake my head, and take a few seconds to catch my breath and let the shame roll through me.

“I’m so sorry. And embarrassed. And—” I pull in a shuddering breath, and he feathers his thumb over my cheek.

“You shouldn’t be,” he says. “And no offense, but fuck her.”

I force a laugh. “Did you tell her that?”

“I did.”

“And she didn’t try to burn your eyes out with a cigarette?”

He kisses me between the shoulder blades, and I automatically arch them together. “She gave me a long-winded spiel about ruining my career, then threw in some more pleading. I told her to fuck off again and to have a good time when she tried to shit on my career. My attorneys will eat her ass alive.”

I lift my eyebrow. “And you think that’ll work on her.”

He moves his lips to my neck, and my pulse races when his hand finds my hip. Sure enough, he rolls me over, pulling me on top of him. The last thing he says about my mother before laying claim to my body again is, “She doesn’t have a choice.”


 
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