Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!


It's the most romantic day of the year, folks, so I'm celebrating with a giveaway. One lucky winner will walk away with a $25 Amazon gift card and a couple new eBooks at the end of the weekend, so make sure you enter! 

I hope everyone has an amazing V-day! 

Link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway: 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2014

WRECKED Chapter 1



Good morning, everyone! As I promised earlier this week in my last post, here's the first chapter to Wrecked. This is a NA STANDALONE novel that is approximately 100,000 words (my longest book to date!). The official release date for this will be officially announced when it comes back from my freelance editor later this month, but the date is sooner rather than later (think early March).



This book can be found on Goodreads here: WRECKED on GOODREADS


CHAPTER 1


Last night, I dreamt about my sister. 

She looked the same as the last time I saw her, with her golden brown hair pulled into a tight ponytail at the nape of her neck, her red and white track windbreaker halfway unzipped, and the corners of her honey brown eyes crinkled because she was smiling. Always smiling. That was what everyone loved about Lily, and one of those things that had frustrated me to no end when she was still alive. I’d been too much of a bitch to appreciate her optimism while I still had her, and even after I realized just how much I lost the day she died, I was too selfish not to feel sorry for myself.

“Get up and get it over with, Evie. You’ll thank me when you graduate,” Dream Lily had whispered. It was the same thing she’d said to me every morning when she dragged my ass out of bed for school, and just like two years ago, I got up. But this time, I was soaked in cold sweat, and I hadn’t argued. I had slid my feet into a pair of worn flip-flops and crept silently down the hall, past my mother’s bedroom door and down the steps, taking care not to topple over any of the boxes and luggage waiting to be taken off to my new college the next morning.

I had downed a glass of OJ, not caring that the expiration date was three days ago, and then I had sat on the floor next to the fridge with the hardware from one of the cabinets shoving into my back. I’d hugged my knees close to my chest and clenched my hands.

“I can’t screw up this year. I won’t. I will not wreck things this time,” I’d said.

Now, twelve hours later, that mantra, the same one that I’ve been repeating for a little over three months, since the start of May when I returned home to Bristol, pings sharply through my mind. It seemed to help during summer break. I hadn’t gone out of my way to screw up my own life—hadn’t tried to see how far I could push myself away from everyone I know, everyone who’s left. But then again, I guess the fact I had exiled myself to a house that could only be described as a warzone thanks to my parents couldn’t really be described as progress. 

This year was going to be different. Everyone who’s screwed up says that, but I owed it to myself, to Lily. And it wasn’t just because I dreamt of her last night. My sister hadn’t even had a chance, and yet I had all but ripped apart every opportunity I’ve been given. 

The sensation of someone’s bony fingers squeezing my shoulder, followed by a soft voice saying, “Evie? Hey, Evie, are you okay?” jerks me back to reality. Which, at the moment, is freshman orientation. It’s the second one I’ve attended since I graduated from high school fifteen months ago.

My first two semesters of college? Just one of the many things I’ve ruined over the last couple years.

“Are you—”

“What?” I snap a little more briskly than I intend to as I stare down at my new roommate, Corinne. 

“You’re not, you know, ADHD or something, are you?” Throwing back her mane of dark brown and red corkscrew curls, she shields her green eyes with one hand and squints up at me inquisitively. “Because, I’ve been talking to you for a good minute or two, and you haven’t heard a word.”

She and I have known each other for approximately three hours. Not only has she given me her entire life story—she’s seventeen, she graduated a year early, her boyfriend and she are taking a break, she’s a communications major but she’s seriously considering education—she’s already telling me that I’m distracted. It reminds me of my mother, who spent all summer pointing out everything that’s changed about me over the last two and a half years. 

And that irks me.

“Having a filter is a good thing.” Shoving my hands as far as they’ll go into the shallow pockets of my frayed shorts, I manage a taut smile. “But, no, I’m not ADHD. Are you?”

She flinches, twisting her glossy lips to the right as she lowers her eyes to the stretch of sidewalk that we—along with forty other freshmen who live on the seventh floor in the Campbell building—are loitering on, accompanied by the resident advisor who’s been tasked with introducing us to the campus. 

“No … crap, sorry about that. Sometimes I don’t …” Corinne cuts herself off and looks straight ahead, nervously biting her bottom lip. 

I bite the inside of my cheek. Okay, my tone was harsh. And still being on edge from spending the summer with my separated parents is no excuse for being a bitch for no reason. While I doubt I’ll ever be “besties” with Corinne—or anyone else at this university, for that matter—I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.

“Don’t worry,” I begin, and Corinne’s face snaps back up to mine. “I’m not pissed. Trust me, I get that question a lot. Maybe a little too much.” Running my tongue between my teeth, I grimace sheepishly as her shoulders relax. “What is it you wanted to tell me?”

She moves her petite dancer’s body to the side to let a huge guy with the body of an offensive lineman shuffle between us. Once he’s out the way, she sidles up to me again. “Nothing, really. Just that this place is even more amazing than it was when I came here in March.” Bouncing on the toes of her cushy flip-flops, she drops her voice to an excited whisper. “I mean, I still can’t believe we’re here! Parties and being away from my dad … Ahh! I’m in heaven.”

Whoa. This all feels way too déja vu. 

In fact, it feels like I’m looking at the Evie Miller from exactly a year ago. Only then, I’d been speaking to my boyfriend James in that same conspiratorial whisper. I had already started drinking, mapping out my party plans for that evening as we followed our annoyingly perky sophomore tour guide around a campus a quarter of the size of this one. Now that I think back on it, I’m 99 percent sure James had been just as wasted as I was during that campus tour last year, even though he’d sworn he was fine.

Not that it matters now. Plus, thinking about my ex puts a sour taste in my mouth. I try to swallow it down. Focus on something other than bitter memories that are impossible to change.

Clenching my fingers in the thin, soft fabric in my pockets, I rake my gaze over my new surroundings. We’re standing in front of the health and fitness center, fifty feet from the main campus courtyard, where an elaborate fountain sits in the center of lush green grass and red brick sidewalks. And staring at it all, taking in the numerous faces that pass our group, I’m relieved. 

I don’t tell Corinne, but this morning was the very first time I’d laid eyes on this place. The first time I’d ever even stepped foot in Richmond. I had applied last minute without visiting the school, letting the photos on the website act as my guide. The fact that they accepted me despite my shit grades from last year, that was a definite plus. But the biggest draw is being four hours from my last school, and nearly five hours from Bristol, where I grew up. 

Nobody here knows me.

Corinne clears her throat. “And you’re doing it again.”

“This place is amazing,” I agree, meaning every word. Because nobody knows me here. “Happy?”

“Are you always sarcastic?”

Snorting, I suppress a grin. “Almost. Just about every time I open my mouth.”

We shuffle across the courtyard, which is teeming with students back from break, and up the dining hall’s back steps behind the rest of the rest of our hall’s residents. Corinne steers the topic to a party she was invited to by the hot juniors—her words, not mine—who helped her move this morning. I pretend to focus intently on the RA at the head of the group. She’s giving us a frazzled, over-rehearsed spiel about the wonders of on-campus food. I’ve heard all this before, but it’s better than talking about party plans.

I partied so hard last year that I still feel a little tipsy.

“Never heard someone talk about it like that.” 

Startled, I look to my left to the boy speaking to me. He’s a couple inches taller than my five foot seven, and he’s squinting up the stairs toward our RA, but once he realizes he’s snagged my attention, he drops his gaze to my face. He has classic good looks: brown eyes, curly blonde hair, and athletic body—the kind I used to see plastered on the walls of Abercrombie and Fitch. My sister used to drag me with her to that store every time we went to the mall. 

I swallow hard, hoping to push down the painful vise that squeezes around my throat whenever I think of Lily in the past tense. It still doesn’t seem right, even after two years. It probably never will. 

“Talk about what?” I ask Abercrombie, my voice hoarse. 

“Steak wraps. She’s used the word ‘succulent’ three times already.”

“I don’t know. I’m pretty sure using the word ‘succulent’ is a prerequisite for any of those Food Network shows.” I tilt my head to one side, causing a few strands of my wavy chestnut hair to fall out from under the floppy hat I had jammed on my head before leaving my room. “But, then again, I’m not a steak girl.”

“Still, it’s kind of sexy, don’t you think?” His brown eyes dance in amusement, but I don’t miss how they dip to give me a swift once-over, from the brown suede fringes of my sandals to the hat on my head, taking in every inch of my olive skin that’s visible along the way. “The food talk, that is.”

“Right.” I feel Corinne nudge me knowingly on my right side, but I shoot her a glare before adding, “Sadly, chipotle dip and the softest whole grain wraps in history don’t do it for me.”

Abercrombie winks at me. “I’ll remember that.” 

“Looks like we’re going in.” I climb two of the steps towards the cafeteria, putting a little distance between us as I give him a serious look. “Make that steak wrap your bitch, okay?” I don’t hear his response because Corinne links her arm in mine and drags me up the rest of the steps to where our group is filing a few at a time through double glass doors.

“Okay, he was hot,” she murmurs, obviously impressed. “Totally different from the guys back home.”

“He is? I could’ve swore I’ve seen him at least a dozen times under the tiki hut at Hollister.” 

Corinne snorts in disbelief. “Do you at least know his name?”

I shake my head. “Not my type and no, I don’t know his name, but I’m sure you’ll run into him sooner or later so you can ask him yourself.” 

After all, we live on the same hall.

Rolling her green eyes dramatically, Corinne let go of my arm and steps inside, muttering something that’s lost on me as she rushes off to catch up with everyone else. Fussing with my hat and hair, I follow her blindly, jerking to a stop only a moment later when I ricochet off a tall, incredibly toned male body trying to leave. 

“Holy shit, watch—”

His quick apology, murmured in a slight Southern accent, brings my chastising words to a sudden halt. “You all right? Sorry ‘bout that.”

A few years ago, I’d picked up my mom’s copy of A Literate Passion—her book club’s flavor of the month—and had flipped through it, pausing briefly on the line about voices reverberating against bodies like a caress. Now, hearing that accent asking me if I’m all right once again, I have an idea of what Anaïs Nin was writing about.

I glance back just as he turns to look at me. His mouth is the first thing I notice—full lips framed by the faintest dark stubble—followed by a straight nose and strong, square jawline. But it’s his eyes that steal the air from my lungs. Set in a face that’s still a little tan from summer vacation, those eyes are beautiful, not quite green or blue but an unsettling place in between.

Come to think of it, everything about this boy, this man, is just a touch unsettling and without a doubt beautiful.

And also, oddly familiar.

“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” he questions, his eyebrows—the same off black shade as his messy, medium-length hair—arched together in concern. 

“No, I’m fine, I swear.” I take a few steps back, until my shoulder blades bump a wall covered in flyers and brochures. I know I’ve seen this guy before. The question is … where?

When?

He’s not from Bristol, is he?

“You dropped your hat when you tripped all over yourself.” He gestures down to the floor between us but doesn’t budge move to pick it up.

I belatedly realize my hair is all over the place, obscuring parts of my face, and my hands automatically fly up to smooth down the untamed locks. He’s watching me carefully, smiling at me, which means I probably look like a dumbass. 

“I’m pretty sure you tripped all over me,” I say, but he shakes his head.

“I wasn’t the one staring down at the floor.” He cocks his head to the side, squinting at the student ID badge hanging on a lanyard around my neck. “Evelyn.” Very few people call me Evelyn, but hearing him do it sends a little shiver through me, despite the stifling heat inside the dining hall. 

“So I guess I just won the graceful freshman award, huh?” Before I can move, he kneels, keeping those eyes on mine the whole time. Holy hell. Standing, he places the floppy fedora in my outstretched hands, his thumbs skimming my fingertips as he pulls away. “Thanks,” I say, my fingers tingling as I dust the brown felt material off before pulling it over my head. 

He backs away slowly, drawing his bottom lip between his straight white teeth as if he’s fighting the urge to smile. Or laugh at me. “If it makes you feel any better, I can name about ten people right off the top of my head who could beat you for that clumsy freshman award. Myself included, many years ago.”

So what does that make him? A senior? A graduate student? Better yet, why do I even want to know so badly and where the hell have I seen him before? I cross my arms over my chest. I can feel my heart pounding against my forearm, and I don’t like it one bit.

“It doesn’t help,” I say, “Not even a little.” 

The corners of his mouth finally pull up in a crooked, apologetic smile, and he rubs his palm over his straight brown hair. “Sorry, again, but the damn doors are too tight for the two of us.” He dips his head at the orientation group. “You should catch up with the rest of your group, Evelyn.” 

I whip my head around. Sure enough, the rest of the orientation group is several feet away, moving through the wide space between two pillars into the seating area. When I return my gaze to him, all I see is the back of his gray Lucky Brand tee shirt that hugs his ripped shoulders and biceps as he ducks through the double doors. 

Instead of catching up with Corinne and everyone else, my feet take me in the opposite direction. I stare out the glass as he jogs down the brick steps, desperately trying to remember how I know him. He stops for just a moment in the courtyard to speak to a blonde girl, the corners of his eyes crinkling as he laughs at something she says before wrapping her up in a quick embrace. When he pulls away from her, she too is left staring after him long after he’s gone.

I snort, irritated with myself. Ugh. First drop-dead gorgeous guy I run into, literally, and I fall all over the place thinking I somehow know him. What I do know is I can’t afford falling for anything this year. 

“I can’t screw up this year. I won’t,” I whisper, my voice a broken hiss. “I will not wreck things this time.”

I had done enough of that last year to take me through the next three and a half years.

I push myself away from the doors and trudge through the dining hall in search of my group. Corinne spots me first, waving her hand wildly, and I sit down beside of her. Across the table from us, Abercrombie is sliding a saltshaker between his hands, and he lifts his chin in acknowledgement before I tune in to our tour guide, who’s currently rambling on about D-hall hours.

“Ugh, I’m starving,” Corinne complains. She looks back at me. “What happened to you? Did you get lost?”

“Something like that.” 

“Daniel and his roommate have invited us to Baseball House for a party tonight,” she says. When I cock an eyebrow because I have no idea who she’s talking about, she bobs her head toward Abercrombie, who sends me a tiny smile. “Are you in? Because I am.”

Maybe it’s because I’m still so flustered from running into the guy with the eyes or because I know the crap that happens at these parties and Corinne is so new to it—so much younger than I am—that I shrug distractedly. 

“Whatever, I’ll go for a little while.”

And here I am, less than half a day in and already throwing myself headfirst into another potential screw-up.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Recent Questions (Including "Where is Consumed?")

Hi guys! I thought I'd make a quick post about where things are with Consumed. As many of you all know it was available for about 5 days on several of the big sites in early January, but had to be taken down due to additional rights issues, and I've removed it from my blog as well until all those issues are resolved. I promise that as soon as it's available to go back up, you all will be the first to know, and I'm hopeful that will be sooner rather than later. I've had questions asking if it was gone forever, and that answer is no. I've also seen a few people ask if I purposely took it down and that answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT (although I did remove the purchase option from my blog) . More than anything, I want the book in your hands and I've spent many nights fretting over this and many days being unable to write because I've been so worried over Consumed. For those of you who purchased the book from my blog at any point that find that you have download issues, please email me at (emilysnowbooks@gmail.com, which was the email address listed by the download link) so we can resolve.

I've also been asked what I'm working on next. I've got a few books that I'm working on, including WRECKED (standalone new adult), UNCOVERED (standalone romance), and DAMAGING ME (Savor Us volume 2 - Sinjin's story). The first of those that will be released is WRECKED. I'm hesitant to commit to release dates until I receive the manuscript back from the freelance editor I've hired, but I can tell you that it will release in March 2014 (the moment it comes back from editing I'll announce an official date). The synopsis and cover for that one is on Goodreads, and I'll also be posting the first chapter on Thursday of this week. To stay up to date on all my releases, sign up for my Newsletter (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emily-Snow/363370467075260?id=363370467075260&sk=app_100265896690345). You can also join my YTS Support Group on Facebook for extra teasers, etc.

Next, I've been asked what events I'll be going to this year. I should be updating these on my blog and website soon and I'll post the links here the moment Some of the places I'll be visiting are: Charleston, Louisville, Knoxville, Orlando, and New York (and other amazing cities, too).

Sorry this post was so long, but I wanted to catch everyone up! As always, thank you ALL for your support and for reading my books. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This was supposed to go up on Christmas, but the scheduling wasn't set up correctly. So . . . Merry belated Christmas from me, Lucas, and Sienna! I know a lot of you have been waiting on this book (and I thank you for loving my characters) and since I can't post either my Thanksgiving or Christmas short story until it's out there for you, I wanted to give you a glimpse of Consumed.



Chapter One
Sienna

Lucas’s car comes to a slow stop and he cuts the engine, stopping Cavo mid-song. At the sound of his door opening and closing, the air flies out of my lungs. I embrace this moment of breathlessness, the sudden burst of uncertain excitement that hums through me.
Where are we, and what have I gotten myself into?
Grasping the hem of my shorts, I run through a list of places he might have brought me. I rule out hotel or airport. We’ve been on the road for what seems like hours, and Gram’s house is only a stone’s throw from Nashville’s airport.
Exasperation kicks in, and I bring my hands up to my blindfolded eyes, but the passenger door swings open. Lucas clears his throat. Though I can’t see him, I swear I can feel his hazel eyes burning against the side of my face.
“We’re here,” he announces.
“I figured as much. Where exactly is here?”
His calloused fingers close around my wrists, and he tugs me out of the car toward him. I stumble a little, the front of one of my flip-flops bending enough that the warm pavement brushes the tips of my toes. Lucas steadies me, placing his other hand on the curve of my hip. We’re chest to chest. Late night breeze whispers against our skin, but I’m not cold. Not when he’s so close I can practically taste the spearmint on his tongue as I breathe him in.
And no matter how many times I’ve attempted to convince myself otherwise, I have missed breathing this man in.
“Lucas.” My voice is strained. “Where are we?”
 Letting go of my wrist, he moves both of his hands up my body, not stopping until he touches either side of my face. “You ask so many fucking questions, Sienna.” He works his fingers beneath the silky blindfold and dips his mouth to my ear. “Just enjoy the moment.”
“Hard to when I can’t see a damn—” I begin, but he lowers the fabric from my eyes.
“You look stunned.”
What did he expect after everything that’s happened between us just in the last several hours? “I doubt that’ll go away any time soon.”
A new emotion passes over his features—one that makes me uncomfortable—and I look away. Beneath the pale glow of moonlight, there’s nothing but mountains and lush trees as far as I can see. The only house around is the one we’re parked in front of, a massive three-story cabin—twice as large as my grandmother’s place in Nashville—with floor to ceiling windows on the second level.
“We’re still in Tennessee?” I ask.
“Gatlinburg. I needed you all to myself, Si. I needed these two days without interruption, to win you back and make-up for my fuck-ups the right way.”
“All to yourself, huh?”
A few locks of messy, dark hair fall over his hazel eyes when he nods. “The way I should have done months ago.” Spinning me around so that I’m by his side, he runs his palm down the inside of my arm, lacing our fingertips together. 
I hold on to him tightly, not wanting him to release my hand, to release me.
***
While Lucas takes our luggage out of his car, I explore the cabin’s main floor. Other than the ceiling-height stone fireplace in the center of the living room, the house has none of the usual rustic charm. From the black sectional couch that surrounds the fireplace, to the equally dark furnishings, and even to the gleaming black countertops in the kitchen, something moody and sexy pulsates through the atmosphere.
It’s definitely familiar.
I rest my back against the stainless steel refrigerator, my eyes scanning the open, state-of-the-art kitchen.
Then it hits me: this house reminds me of Lucas’s place in Los Angeles. I’ve only been there once, more than two years ago when he took me there for what had been a catastrophe of a date, but it’s impossible to forget.
I return to the living room but stop short as the front door closes. Running my fingertips across the blindfold still hanging around my neck, I look at Lucas, who’s standing in the foyer. His back is turned to me, but even under the dim lights, I’m able to admire him—too-long, too-messy dark hair; olive skin and muscles that any sane person would envy; and the intricate tattoos that cover more of his body than not.
Simply put, Lucas Wolfe is beautiful
The sound of me pushing my hands into the pockets of my shorts catches his attention. He turns his face slightly, giving me a clear view of his profile. “You hungry?”
“No.” I step in his direction. “This place is absolutely amazing.” Two more steps closer, each one wider, each one making the pit of my belly clench a little more. “I’m guessing it belongs to you.”
He turns all the way around just as I step into the foyer. I’m struck by the soft look in his hazel eyes. Lucas Wolfe has never been the type to do emotions—well, none except for anger, disinterest, and lust. But tonight?
Tonight he’s mind-fucked me.
“It’s for you,” he says.
“What?”
He inches closer to me. “This house. I bought it for you. I—“ He clears his throat and rubs the palm of his hand over the gorgeous angles of his face. “I lost my last vacation house in a bet. So this is for us, Sienna.”
For us.
Those words catch me off guard—wrap around my heart and give it a firm squeeze—but he doesn’t seem to notice because he turns his attention to the alarm system on the wall by the front door.
Just a day ago, if someone had asked whether or not I’d ever see Lucas-Fucking-Wolfe again, I would’ve laughed off the question. Lucas and I were through; he hadn’t wanted me—at least not enough to make us work—and besides, I had no place in a rock star’s world.
Lucas had sent me away just when I realized that I had fallen in love with him.
Now, standing inside of a house that he says is meant for us, I decide it’s a good thing nobody has ever asked me about the future of Lucas Wolfe and myself. My answer would’ve been wrong.
The alarm beeps twice. His thick eyebrows knit together. “You okay, Si?” he asks. I nod, but he doesn’t look convinced. “Because, you’ve got that fucking look.”
“What look?”
The soles of his black Converse squeak on the hardwood as he takes two long strides to reach me. I’m ridiculously tall for a woman—five foot ten— but he’s several inches taller than me. I have to I tilt my head far back to stare up at his face.
“It’s that look like you’ve got something you want to say,” he finally says.
I cross my arms over my chest, but he grabs both my wrists, pulling my body hard against his. This is the first time he’s put his hands on me since he removed the blindfold, and I crave more of his touch.
Less than five hours with him, and already he’s like a drug to me.
“Answer me, Si.”
I shrug. “I’m shocked you didn’t try to screw me on the way here.”
“Oh, I wanted to fuck you, but the steering wheel got in the way, and I wanted to do this time the right way.” Without warning, he pulls the bands out of my high ponytail, breaking the rubber with his fingertips. He says something under his breath when my red hair falls in tangled waves around my shoulders. He’s always had a thing for my hair. “Anything else you got to say?”
“No.”
He places his rough fingertips over my lips, working the tender flesh between his thumb and forefinger before cupping the sides of my face. “Talk to me.”
Closing my eyes, I swallow and count to five to collect my thoughts. The last thing that I need to do is ramble and come off sounding like a blubbering idiot. “You sing a song about me,” I start tentatively. His thick hair sweeps back and forth across my forehead as he nods. “Don’t get me wrong, “Ten Days” has got to be the most ridiculously romantic thing anyone’s ever done for me. But then you show up at my grandma’s house. You tell me that I owe you two days and that you’ve got somewhere to take me. You bring me here, to the mountains.”
“Yes.”
“And you told me you love me.” The last two words come out in a fierce whisper.
“Open your eyes.” When I don’t immediately obey him, his fingertips thread into my hair, pulling gently. Electricity hums through every part of my body. “Open your eyes.”
This time I listen. He gives me a crooked smile and slides a few locks of my hair between his fingertips.
“I brought you here because I didn’t have the patience for Los Angeles, where I should’ve taken you months ago. You’re here because I plan to enjoy every inch of your body and fuck you speechless without interruption.” His mouth is just a mere centimeter away from mine. I can smell the spearmint from the gum he chewed while he was driving intermingling with the scent of the cologne he uses. It's intoxicating, and suddenly, my mouth is dry.
“I brought you here because I do love you. Because I plan to love you on my terms—at least for the next few days. And you came, Sienna. Don’t ever forget that.”
But he’s already lost me. What exactly does he mean by on his terms?
I jerk away from him and walk backwards to put enough distance between us to give myself a chance to think clearly. I stop when my ass hits the bannister. He cocks his head to the side, and I reach behind me, squeezing the wood for support.
“What about my terms?” I ask as calmly as possible. “You’re not going to pull a bunch of shit on me again, Lucas. You’re not going to use me for two days, or two weeks, or however long and screw me over. I won’t let you.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Because, if you tell me to leave again, I . . . ” But my voice gives. I don’t actually know what I’ll do if Lucas pulls a repeat of what had happened in February. Or what happened in Los Angeles two years ago.
What I do know is I’d rather not have him at all if a repetitive loop of break-ups and make-ups will be the bitter reality of our relationship.
He comes over to me, trapping my legs between his so it’s impossible for me to walk away again. With nowhere to go, I challenge his gaze.
“I’m with you now.” He hooks his index fingers under the tight waistband of my cutoff shorts and pressing his thumbs against the strip of pale skin exposed right above them. “I’m with you,” he repeats, each word a harsh whisper.
Ninety percent of my body molds against his as if we were made to do this with each other and nobody else, but I firmly lay my palm flat against his chest to prevent him from claiming my lips.
“But for how long?”
“I’m keeping you this time. You’re mine, Sienna.”
Dropping my hand away from his chest, I close the remaining space between our bodies. His tongue is harsh as it parts my lips. I moan at how delicious he tastes. His hands explore my body roughly, possessively, and I grasp the soft cotton of his T-shirt.
“I can’t get enough of you, Sienna, and I sure as fuck don’t want to try to stop,” he says when we finally break apart. He tugs my bottom lip with his teeth before releasing it and making a low noise in the back of his throat. “You taste like sin—the best kind imaginable.”
This isn’t the first time Lucas has told me this, but it doesn’t make it any less sexy. Now, there’s a raw desperation in his voice. It just makes me want him even more. “I need you.” I point my gaze to the top of the staircase behind us, and then back to him. “Now.”
 “We should eat,” he whispers against the column of my throat, as his hand squeezes between my legs. “There’s food in the fridge.” His fingers glide under the hem of my shorts. “There’s—fuck, you’re wet.”
Shaking my head, I respond in a deep voice that doesn’t sound at all like me, “No food—not now, okay? Just you. Just me.”
This does the trick. His eyes sweep over me a few times, and then he nods. “Upstairs.”
Our mouths are still connected, tasting and exploring and reluctant to break apart as we make it up the stairs. When we reach the top, I shove him against the wall. He leans his head back, gazing at me incredulously as I push the bottom of his shirt up.
“Patience is a good thing,” he drawls.
But he’s already dragging the dark cotton over his head, revealing a chest and abs that come from years of strict gym dedication. I touch him—trace my fingertip around the outline of the dagger-filled heart tattoo in the center of his chest.
“This is coming from the guy who couldn’t wait until he got back to Los Angeles?” I scrape my fingernail along the last dagger. Before I reach the hilt, he grabs my finger, sliding it into his mouth, skimming his straight teeth along my skin.
“Never claimed I had shit for patience, Red.” He leads me down the hallway into the master bedroom. Like the rest of the house, this room is incredibly similar to his bedroom back in Los Angeles—decorated in a startlingly erotic contrast of red and black.
He supports his shoulder against the doorway and trains his gaze on me. “Get naked,” he commands. He’s grinning—a hungry look that makes me grind my teeth. “And that thing with your teeth drives me fucking insane.”
Quickly, I unbutton my shorts and shimmy them down around my hips. When they fall to the floor around my feet, his chest visibly constricts. “Do you know how many times I’ve thought about you, Sienna?”
I pause, waiting for him to give me an answer, but he motions for me to continue undressing. As I drag my white tank top over my head, I hear his footsteps drawing closer. “Do you know how often I’ve woke up needing you?” He kneels down in front of me and presses his mouth to the cotton “V” of my panties.
“No,” I whisper.
His warm breath fans my skin when he continues. “Every single day since you left.” He skims his hand beneath the pink fabric of my underwear and lets out a low, animalistic growl when I tremble at his touch. “So no, I’m not letting you go this time, Sienna. There’s not even a chance.”
I nod, unable to speak. Because by the way his hands are holding on to me as if I’d disappear if he so much as let me go, I know there’s nothing in hell that will keep Lucas Wolfe away from me.
Not even Samantha.
My hands clench by my sides as he drags my panties down my hips. No, I refuse to think about his crazy ex, at least for now. There will be plenty of time for him to give me answers about her later.
Right now is for him and me.
Running my tongue across my dry lips, I find my voice and ask teasingly, “What? You going to tie me to your bed to keep me with you?”
Lucas finishes pulling the pink lace down my legs before lifting his eyes to mine. They’re full of lust and need. “Later?” he asks, and I nod. He gestures for me to step out of the panties, and I comply. “Fuck yes, I’ll tie you up later.”
Though I didn’t believe it possible, even more heat pools in the pit of my stomach. “God, Lucas—” I start, but he drags me down onto the floor with him, causing me to gasp. “What are you doing?” I struggle to get up, but he places one of his hands firmly over my belly button to still me.
“Relax.” He eases my knees apart with his body. “I’m going to taste you, Sienna.”
Even though I’m expecting it, I still jerk against him and grasp at his hair the moment his tongue darts across my clit.
His fingers replace his mouth, spreading my slick folds as he glances up at me with a warning expression on his face. “Do that again, and I’ll tie you to that bed.” He jerks his head in the direction of the four-poster bed several feet away, in the center of the black and red bedroom that’s completely out of place in this house and yet so Lucas.
My thoughts instantly go back to several months ago, to the infamous red guitar pick he’d flicked across my breasts whenever I gritted my teeth, and I lay back, balling my fists into tight balls.
Lucas dips his head and kisses a hot trail from my stomach to my inner thigh and then back up again, stopping only once to touch his mouth to my center. “I’ll never get enough of the way you taste,” he whispers against my flesh.
“Lucas—” I want to respond, but it’s cut off by a hoarse gasp that slips through my lips when he circles his tongue around my clit roughly.
“Make that noise again,” he says. When I do, he splays his hands on the insides of my thighs, digging his fingertips into my soft skin. “I want everything from you.”
Everything.
There’s a part of me that wants to give him everything he asks for without asking a single question, but there’s an alarm blaring in the back of my head.
“What’ll you give me back?” I dig my fingernails into my palms a little deeper. A little harder. I tremble violently as he slowly glides two of his long fingers into my body. “Everything?”
“Always,” he says, and I feel my heart beat even more erratically. “Whatever you want.” Then he lowers his mouth back to my clit, tasting and touching until I cry out and my back arches up. Whenever I grind my teeth, he stops, pulling away for several seconds, drawing his fingers completely away from my body, until I manage to control myself.
It’s torture—both pleasure and pain.
“I want you,” I finally say.
“You’re going to have to do better than that.”
“Fuck me, Lucas.”
His hazel eyes stare up my body wickedly, and he shakes his head. “Not yet.”
“Why?”
“Come first,” he orders, and when I try to protest, he reaches up my body and covers my lips with one hand and my breast with the other as his tongue picks up speed. I can taste myself on his fingers, and my own hands wander up to his shoulders. I scratch into his flesh instead of my own this time, digging my nails into his skin. I’m hardly aware I’ve tangled my fingertips into his hair again until his hands leaves my mouth and breast to clamp around my wrists. He doesn’t release them until I come, until I’m writhing and moaning beneath his mouth. Even then, I’m still saying his name over and over again.
Slowly, he slides his body up mine. He doesn’t stop until we're heart to heart and eye-to-eye, and he’s grinning. “Why are you looking at me like that?” I ask once I catch my breath. I run my fingers along his jawline, and he grabs my hand, bringing my palm to his lips.
“Because, I want to be inside of you. Right now.”
About damn time.
“Yes.”
He sits up on his knees before he pulls the blindfold away from my neck. Dangling it on the tip of his finger for a moment, he glances between it and me as if he’s trying to decide what he wants to do. Finally, he takes my hand in his and begins wrapping the fabric carefully around my wrist. “And because I plan to tie you to the bed before I fuck you.”
“Okay,” I agree hoarsely.


Chapter Two

“Why did you make me leave?” I ask Lucas a little over an hour later. He’s several inches away from me on the oversized bed, the back of his finger stroking my right palm in wide, circular motions. It feels good, right.
“Because even I fuck up.”
Tugging the soft black sheets over my breasts, I turn my head so that I can look at him. It’s dark in here, but I can easily make out his frown thanks to the sliver of light coming from beneath the bathroom door. “So what exactly happened?”
“Does it matter now?”
I sink my teeth into my lip to stop my snippy response. How the hell can he even ask me if it matters? One moment we were making plans that would turn our temporary arrangement into something permanent once we returned to Los Angeles together, and the next he was telling me I needed to leave.
“Oh yeah, it matters,” I say.
“Because I froze. I was—”
When his words catch, I ask, “Afraid?” He doesn’t confirm or deny, so I continue, “Of Samantha?”
He immediately corrects me. “Of what she might do to you.” As if to drive his point home, he twists a thick red strand of my hair between his fingers before pressing his lips to it. “There was no fucking way I was going to let her screw with you to get to me.”
I start to sit up, but the crimson-colored blindfold is still binding my left wrist to the bed. Lucas uses this opportunity to slide closer to me, tugging the sheet back down to my waist. He glides his tongue around my belly button.
I won’t let him do this to take my mind off of Atlanta.
“You should have given me an option. You should have given me a—” I shiver and dig my toes into the sheets as he presses his fingertips against the sensitive part of my hip. “God, don’t do that right now.”
This time he uses his mouth, keeping his eyes on mine the entire time. I sigh. “The point is, I’m a big girl, Lucas,” I say.
“Sam is a crazy one, though.”
“What does she have on you?”
Lucas smiles, probably to make me feel better about the situation, but his smile isn’t reflected in his eyes. “Nothing.”
Nothing my ass. When he came to me last night right after I finished watching the “Ten Days” music video premiere, I was sure he was ready to tell me what Sam was holding over his head.
And now this?
“Don’t treat me like an idiot.”
“I’m not. Sienna, you need to understand—”
“Will you understand if I decide to go my own way?” I clear my throat. “If, after I finish the two days that I owe you here, I go back to Nashville?”
Sitting up abruptly, he looks down at me, his hazel eyes narrowed into dangerous slits. For a lengthy, awkward moment, he doesn’t say anything else, and all there is between us is the sound of angry breathing.
At last he snaps, “Don’t do that shit. It’s what she would do. I love you, and I’ll do everything I can to keep you, but I don’t need you doing what she’s done to me already.”
I suck in a deep breath through my nose. Squeezing my eyes closed to stop the burning at the corners, I exhale through parted lips. I will absolutely not cry because that won’t get anything accomplished.
“I’m sorry,” I say. Because I don’t want to make demands or be anything like his ex, and I feel wretched that he even made the connection. I’ve only met Samantha once, at a birthday party for Cilla, the lead singer of Wicked Lambs, but I learned all I ever wanted to know about Lucas’s ex-wife during that brief encounter.
At the same time, I want to know the truth about why she had so much control over him. I need honesty just as much as I need Lucas.
He traces the oval-shaped outline of my face, studying every freckle and laugh-line, every long black eyelash and every twitch of my lips. Finally, he reaches across my body to unravel the fabric from my wrist. Once my hand is free, he lowers his lips to mine, running his tongue over the center of my lips until I part them and give him complete control of my mouth.
My body reacts to his almost immediately, and I drape my arms around his neck, desperate for some part of him to hold on to.
Screw him for making me feel this way.
When he draws away, his expression is pained. “Let me deal with Sam, with my past. I promise I’m going to keep her away from you. All you need to do is just let me love you.”
God, if only it were that easy.
“I don’t want you to get hurt.” I clench his shoulders more tightly, pushing my fingers against the center of a black and gray five-point star tattoo on the ride side. It matches the stars on his wrists. “You said it yourself that she’ll try to ruin us if we’re together.”
The cocky look that takes over Lucas’s face is heartbreakingly familiar, but I can’t help wondering if it’s not all an act now. If he’s not just as worried about Sam. “I said she’d try, Red. I won’t let a goddamn thing touch you.”
Why does he have to sound so confident all the time?
I’m still worried, but I murmur, “Okay.”
“Good.”
He plops back down on his side of bed, grasping my hips and pulling me on top of him in the process. I dig my knees into his side, which only prompts him to smack my ass. I gasp at the sharp sting, and of course, he grins.
“Sienna?”
“Mmmhmm?” I trace along the intricate tattoos on his forearms, following the path my fingers make with my gaze. “What is it?”
“I want everything from you.”
 “You told me that already,” I tease as his hand tangles into the hair at the nape of my neck. Warmth spreads through my body, from my scalp to between my legs, and I move my hips.
He lets out a low growl and sits up a little so that his mouth touches the delicate bones of my throat. “No, I mean, I want you to work for me.”
When I realize he’s said these exact words to me before, the day he offered me the opportunity to save my grandmother’s house by working as his personal assistant for ten days, I frown and push him away from me, leaving us eye-to-eye. “We’re not role playing, are we?”
The fact that I’m pushing him away doesn’t deter him from touching me—his fingers are still in my hair, and he drops his other hand to the curve of my hip. “As hot as that would be, no, we’re not. YTS is going on tour in a week and a half.”
YTS, Your Toxic Sequel, is the band Lucas fronts. They’re best known for their raunchy lyrics, kickass live performances, and well . . . Lucas-Fucking-Wolfe himself. I’d forgotten that they were going on tour this summer, even though I frequently talk to Lucas’s sister, Kylie. Aside from last night when she told me to watch the music video that he had dedicated to me as an apology, she hasn’t exactly mentioned her brother, his music, or the band.
“On tour?” I repeat, and he nods.
“Different city every couple nights, big-ass bus fill of shitheads with too many vices.” He lifts his broad shoulders. “You’d like it.”
I’m certain I know where this conversation is going, and suddenly I’m nervous. I manage a shaky laugh. “You’re not asking me to be a back up singer, are you? Because I seriously blow at music.”
Releasing my hair and my hip, he moves both his hands down so that he can grip my ass. “I don’t know about all that. Never met anyone who plays piano like you.” He looks so ridiculously sexy right now that I can’t resist moving my face closer to his until our lips touch. “Besides, if I wanted you to sing, you’d do it,” he says in a low voice between kisses.
“Abso-fucking-lutely not,” I murmur as he moves his erection up against me.
He shifts his hips, rolling me onto my stomach in a couple of well-executed motions. “Put your hands against the headboard.” I am utterly vulnerable to him—completely his—and I feel the wood against my fingertips just as he nudges one finger inside of me. I cry out.
“Come on tour with me, Sienna.”
And there it is. Five words not spoken in a question, but a statement, and each word scares the hell out of me. Not even 24 hours have passed since Lucas literally forced his way back into my life. Since he ran out on me earlier this year, I have an entire new list of commitments.
I still haven’t talked to Gram to let her know I’m okay—I had simply left a note and a voicemail when I picked up and left last night.
“I need you with me.”
I peek back over my shoulder at him. “What about—” I start to mention my job, but he glides another finger into me, and I splay my hands out on the headboard and squeeze my eyes shut. “Fuck,” I groan, burying my face into pillows.
“Oh don’t worry, I’m getting there, Sienna. After you say yes. And before you ask, you’ll have a job,” he says, and I open my eyes to look at him. The grin he’s wearing widens. “I need your wardrobe expertise, but I’m not going to lie and tell you my reasons for wanting you with me aren’t mostly fueled by greed.”
The part of my brain that’s not a blurry hot mess from what he’s doing to my body realizes just how much sense this proposal makes. I’ve been working as a personal wardrobe consultant ever since I moved back to Nashville—and I’ve worked freelance for a few musicians. Plus, Lucas’s music and my job are the reason why we initially met two and a half years ago in the first place. I’d worked wardrobe on the set of the “All Over You” music video, and Lucas and I had hit it off. Clearly, it hadn’t worked out, but my time on set with his band had a lasting impression on me.
“I’m not much for cramped spaces,” I blurt out.
“I am.” He gives me a wicked smile as his fingers pick up speed inside me. I dig my fingernails into the pillows, the headboard—whatever my hands come in contact with— and he rubs the pad of his thumb around my clit. “And don’t worry, we’ll be in a hotel more than on a tour bus.”
But we’d still be on a bus. And despite what Lucas has said about wanting to keep me around, anything could happen. I’m not aware that I’ve started to clench my teeth until Lucas stops touching me. It’s always been a nervous habit of mine and it drives him insane. “Please don’t stop,” I hiss. 
“Come on tour with me.”
He’s asking a lot, he has to know that. I can’t give him a direct answer right now because it’s not possible—how can it be when I’m shivering beneath him, and I can feel every inch of him pressed up against my hip as he touches me?
I run my tongue over my lips and nod. “I promise I’ll think about it.”
His shoulders relax a bit, and I let out a satisfied moan when he slides his erection inside of me. He takes his time, going agonizingly slow, until he’s balls deep and I’m biting my lip to keep from clenching my teeth. And he sighs. Lucas-Effing-Wolfe actually sighs. For me.

 “I’ll just have to fucking convince you to come,” he growls.
 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS