Publication date: November 2nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
He was supposed to glue my broken heart back together. Instead he threw me away.
Now he’s just another rock star asshole.
He gets everything he wants.
But not me. Not again.
Ethan Strong was the first man I ever loved. He was the one person who understood me, the one person who made me feel whole, the one person who set my body on fire.
We were supposed to be together forever. Then things got hard and Ethan forced me to choose between him and everything I’ve worked for.
Now he’s back in my life. He says we’ll be friends. It’s been a long time. I can forgive, but I can’t seem to forget. The taste of his lips, the sound of his groans in my ears, those calloused fingers between my legs– I’m going out of my mind remembering all the pleasure he brought me.
Worse, I keep thinking how happy he made me.
I can’t fall back in love with Ethan. It doesn’t matter how badly I crave his gorgeous blue eyes, his tattooed arms, and his strong guitarists’ hands. It doesn’t matter that his smile still lights me up inside. It doesn’t matter that I need him like I need oxygen.
I’m not giving Ethan another chance to throw me away.
His eyes meet mine with this look that begs me to spill my guts.
He waits to speak until his drink is melting ice. “I know you think Mal is pulling strings to get us back together.”
“Is there a reason why you don’t object to this?”
“Mal doesn’t listen to anybody but Mal. Besides, I’ve seen him stressing about numbers. He doesn’t have the expertise. And I’m not saying you do, but he’s right. You’re somebody we trust.” Ethan’s eyes find mine. “If you want the gig, you should take it.”
His voice is even, effortless. Usually, Ethan wears his intentions on his face. But not right now.
No. That was the old Ethan, the one I knew. This playboy rock star version of Ethan… who knows what he does or why.
I take a long sip of my now lukewarm drink. “Won’t that bother you?”
“No.” His voice is shaky for a moment. “Just, well… I’m not gonna be celibate just because you’re around.”
“I get it. You think I’m a manwhore. I won’t argue.” He runs his hand through his wavy hair. “You’re right. I fuck a lot of women. That isn’t going to change if you join us on tour.”
“Thanks for the update on your sex life.”
“Don’t want you to get upset if you see me with someone else.” His voice is clipped, his expression is frustrated.
But why? I stare back at him. “I don’t give a fuck where you stick your dick.”
“Yeah, great. Is that it?”
I stare back at Ethan. I’m getting in the last word here. “Goes for you, too. I didn’t swear off sex when we broke up.”
Okay, so I’ve only slept with one guy since Ethan and I broke up. Denny and I dated for a few months. He was crazy about me—he wanted to move in together—but I never felt the same. After we broke up, he nearly evaporated from my mind. It still goes back to Ethan every time I pull out my rabbit-style vibrator (he did buy it for me). Or every time I touch myself sans mechanical assistance.
I clear my throat and smile my most confident smile. “Don’t get upset if you see me with someone else.”
“You’re sleeping around?”
“That’s not a crime, is it?” I chew on my lower lip. It’s not the case either, but he doesn’t need to know that.
“No. Of course not. I’m glad. Anybody I know?”
“You coming often, at least?”
“We’re gonna be around each other. We should be friendly.”
“Pretty sure you coming often goes past most people’s idea of friendly.”
“Of course, Vi. Would never want to make you uncomfortable.” He smiles, the look in his eyes screaming I guess that’s a no.
I clear my throat. “Yeah, I’m coming a lot. Every night.” By my hand, but that’s a technicality. “Sometimes multiple times.”
His expression flares with frustration. “Great.”
“And you? Enjoy screwing strangers at bars?”
“Depends on the stranger.”
I laugh-scoff. “I guess it would.”
Even though we’re hate-flirting, I fucking melt.
Crystal Kaswell writes scorching hot new adult romance. When she isn’t writing, she is chain drinking tea, binge watching Law and Order, practicing yoga, or debating which fictional character would be the best in bed. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband.
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els amazing being submerged, like the water is enveloping me in a hug.
Damn, I almost forgot how much I love swimming.
I do a few somersaults and spins then I surface. “Your turn.”
“Fair is fair.” Ethan rubs his hands together, getting ready, then he does a cannonball. He laughs when he surfaces.
I grab my now soaking wet t-shirt and toss it onto the concrete.
“You’re still part mermaid, huh?” he asks.
He raises a brow. “Cali girl.”
“Cali girls are blond and tan. I’m a pale-as-the-moon ginger.”
“You’re a gorgeous strawberry blond with a complexion to kill for.” His breath gets heavy. He shakes it off. “You know how to surf and you used to work at a Jamba Juice. Cali girl.”
“Agree to disagree.”
He smiles as he shakes his head. “You owned Hollister jeans.”
“That’s a secret! You can’t tell anyone. You’ll ruin my reputation.”
“You used to call everyone dude.”
I squeal. “Ethan! Those are secrets. People won’t think I’m cool anymore.”
He laughs. “I’m sure you can convince me.”
He nods and splashes me.
I splash back. “You’re going down.”
“That can be arranged.”
God, I want that to be arranged. But I’m taking this slow. I move to the shallow end to do a few handstands and cartwheels. Ethan leans against the edge of the pool, watching me with delight in his eyes.
Then he’s joining me, copying my moves. He catches on quickly.
We swim around, laughing and splashing, until I’m too cold to keep swimming. I pull my arms over my chest and rub my triceps
“Come here. I’ll keep you warm,” he says.
No thinking here. I nod.
He moves closer. Then his body is against mine, his arms are around waist, his breath is on my neck. “You look fucking amazing, Vi.”
My chest flushes. I’m warm and cold at the same time. “You look amazing too.”
“God, last night… I wanted you so bad. Almost dragged you back to the couch.”
I press my forehead to his chin. “What stopped you?”
“I don’t want to scare you away.” He slides his hands to my ass. “Tell me you want to fuck me.”
“I do.” I drag my fingertips over his side. He’s wet and slippery but he’s still so damn warm. “But… I… you destroyed me, Ethan. I don’t want my heart broken again.”
“Me either.” He presses his palm into my ass and pulls my body against his.
“I want to fuck you, Vi. I want to bury my cock in you.” His voice gets low, needy. “But I want you to come on my hands more.”
“Tell me you want me to get you off.”
I shudder as his lips brush my neck.
I look into his eyes, trying to find his intention. I haven’t got a clue. The only thing I see is desire.
“What does it mean?” I ask.
“Been trying to take this slow, but I want you too badly for that.” He presses his forehead to mine. “It means I want to feel you come.”
“But after that?”
“After that, I want to make you come again.”