tereotypical trailer trash. That’s how people saw me. I’m
Karmen Butler, the girl everyone teased, tortured, pranked—bullied.
fter graduating high school, I left my shithole of a town
behind with no intentions of ever returning. My dreams were within my grasp. Or
so I thought…
uck. That’s what was on his side. Brayden Stephens was on
top of the world and the biggest prick of all. At least that’s how I remember
him. Then he lost it all. His vices took over and now he’s a washed-up has-been
with a cocky smirk and arrogant attitude.
alued. That was how he made me feel. One night changed
everything for us. In an instant I was lost to his touch, his voice. Everything
about him captivated me.
gainst my better judgment, I
let him in. I let him see the real me. Since he’d walked into my office, he’d
been trying to redeem himself of his past mistakes.
limpses of a love and life I’d never known before were all
he had given me. Now he’s done it, the one thing he said he wouldn’t. He’s
broken me. AGAIN.
xcuses are what I was fed. The truth restrained him, bound
him to his past, and now, I’m left to deal with the aftermath.
Is there anything left to SALVAGE?
I don’t know…
You tell me.
stands next to the kitchen table looking at something. In just a towel, I walk
past her towards the coffee pot. As I pour my steaming cup of Holy goodness, she says, “Well…I’m just going to
come out and say it, okay?”
around, one hand clutches the end of my towel to hold it in place. My eyes find
hers over the rim of my coffee cup. I nod as I blow on the steaming liquid. I
watch as she focuses in on my lips, so I purposely blow a little harder.
her eyes and looks down at her fingers, concentrating on picking at the red
nail polish on her nails. “I want us to be friends not just at work but out of
work too,” she blurts out.
At this I
snaps up and she glares daggers at me from across the few feet separating us.
“Is it so funny to think of us being friends?” The sharp tone of her voice
tells me she really thinks that I wouldn’t want to be friends with her. I do.
But I want more, much more.
laugh at me?”
kind of already thought we were
friends.” I shrug. “And after that kiss, maybe even a little more.”
as her body sags in relief, and hope begins to build that maybe she might want
more, too. “Brayden, I already told you we cannot go there.”
seeing as we already did ‘go there,' I
don’t see what the problem is. You
kissed me, Karmen. I know you felt what I felt in that kiss.” I place my mug on
the counter, my coffee is forgotten as I
take a step in her direction. My tone drops to one of seduction. Like
yesterday, I pull her back under my spell. “You can’t tell me you didn’t feel
the fire.” Another step. “The heat.” I drop my voice another octave as I close
the distance between us. My face closes in on hers. Instead of claiming her
lips like I want, I skim the tip of my nose along her jaw, up her neck in
agonizingly slow strokes, before growling in her ear, “The hunger.” I look
down, her chest rises and falls in rapid breaths that fan out against my own
neck. Blood rages through my veins like an addict getting the first hit of the
rush they so much crave. My hand lands on her back. I pull her flush against my
body, the towel separates my skin from touching hers. The contact forces an
erotic groan past those luscious lips I’m dying to kiss again. “Things could be
so good between us. Even now, I can feel the tremble of your body against
mine.” I nip at her earlobe and murmur, “The way your heavy breaths hit my
neck, I can feel how hard your nipples are. They’re begging to be sucked,
right? Do you want me to touch you? Put you out of your misery?” I groan, and
she nods her head like the wanton woman she is. Slowly, I glide my hand up along her side, and with the briefest of touches I let my thumb
graze across her tight nipple. She whimpers and I add, “You want me and I want
you.” Absentmindedly, she nods her head vigorously, and at that moment I know I’ve got her. I pull back to see her eyes
closed, her lips slightly parted. “But since you only want to be friends
then that’s what we’ll be.”
I know as
soon as my words sink in. Karmen’s eyes pop open and she gasps in shock. I tilt
my head to the side and stare back at her.
an ass,” she snaps, flustered.
But I proved my point. We’ll be friends.” I drop my hands from around her waist
and step away from her. “I’m giving you what you want. I’m a very giving man.”
I grin at her and wink. “You should remember that.” I grip the towel tighter, to keep from
reaching out to her. My feet carry me towards my room to get dressed, but her
parting words halt my movements.
kiss didn’t mean anything,” she says nonchalantly.
back at her over my shoulder, and my grin turns into a full-blown smile. “You
keep telling yourself that, babe. Your body doesn’t lie. It didn’t lie
yesterday when your hands were fisted in my shirt, and it didn’t lie a second
ago when you were putty in my hands.”
give her a chance to refute what I’ve said. We both know I’m right. I’ll play
her friends card. But just like a spark eventually becomes a flame, that flame
will sooner or later turn into an inferno. I’m betting whatever this is between
us will be ablaze in no time.
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