Where she’s been for the last two and half years is a mystery, and so is the reason she left in the first place. Now, though, she’s back in their hometown of Shelton Bay, South Carolina, at the same time Conner’s band Dirty B is home on a tour break.
Sofie Callahan has spent the months since her father’s death avoiding anything to do with her home town. But with her brother in Afghanistan, she has no choice but to return and sort out her father’s house, even if it means facing the boy she fell in love with and revealing the reason she left.
Conner has questions, and when his broken heart and her guilty one collide, Sofie has to start answering them. Their present is rocky, their future unknown. Only one thing is certain:
Sofie’s daughter will change everything.
“Any reason you’re faceplanting the wall?”
“Yup. I’m trying not to talk to you, so you should leave before I get mad.”
“Mad at me?” Conner responds incredulously.
I stand up straight and face him. “Yes. So go, because I don’t have the energy to be mad today.”
“What the fuck did I do?”
“Your asshole move at dinner!” The words snap out of me. “Bringing up the pregnancy rumor. What, you think I don’t beat myself up enough in private and I need to do it in public, too? That it?”
“You’re mad at me for something you did? Fuck, Sof!”
“No, I’m mad at you for bringing up somethin’ you didn’t damn well need to!” I yell. “Now I’m not in a position to be talking about feelings but, damn, Conner! How do you think that made me feel? I’m a bitch, I know. I’m every-fucking-thing under the sun that’s bad, but at least save it for private!”
“I was adding to the conversation!”
“In the most asshole way ever!” I push past him.
He grabs my arm and spins me round, his eyes blazing. “I’m entitled to be an asshole, don’t you think, princess?”
“When we’re alone! You’re not entitled to be an ass when your family is around!”
“I think I am! Especially when I want to hate you so badly!”
“Then hate me!”
“I can’t! You make it fucking impossible for me to hate you.”
“I don’t do anything!”
“You’re here! That’s it!” His nostrils flare and he dives his hand into my hair, cupping the side of my head. “You’re here, and it’s like nothing fucking changed. You look at me the same, you talk to me the same, and it pisses me off because I wish you weren’t still the girl I fell in love with.”
“I’m not her,” I protest. My skin is tingling where he’s holding me, and there are goosebumps all over, and oh hell, my lungs are constricting. “I’m older and I’m wiser and I’m more resilient than she was. I’m ten times the girl you fell in love with.”
“And there’s the biggest problem,” he breathes, his eyes pained and angry and heated all at the same time. “You’re her but you’re not, and it’s the same but it’s not, but I still can’t hate you.”
His lips, against mine. They’re hot, soft, smooth. Gliding over my mouth, probing, pressing, pleading. Desperate, angry, sad, needing. They’re everything, every sensation, every feeling, just everything.
Shivers cascade down my spine as he pulls me into him. I slide my fingers up his chest and around into the messy hair at the nape of his neck, winding its softness through my fingers, kissing him back, because I can’t not.
I’m powerless in his arms.
It’s slow and it’s easy, but then it’s hard and it’s rough, but it’s still everything, it’s still everywhere. Until he pulls away, and it’s nothing but a swollen memory lingering on my lips.
“I do hate you,” he growls, releasing me fully. “I hate you because you’re still fucking mine, and I don’t want you to be.”
And I’m cold, so cold, now that he’s not there. The warmth that is his solid body is gone and I shiver, wrapping my arms around my middle, desperate to alleviate it.
Because running back to him isn’t an option.
“Then don’t let me be,” I say, barely making a sound. “You’re not mine, Con, not anymore.”
His chest heaves as he takes in an audible deep breath, and I know I’ve hurt him again. But it’s the truth, he’s not mine because I won’t let him be. I won’t tie him to me that way. I won’t open myself to the hope of something only to end up with nothing.
Just when I think he’s going to step back, he grabs me and tugs me to him. His lips are on me once again, searing into me. His hands are gripping me tightly, his fingertips burning my skin.
I hold the collar of his shirt, leaning up on tiptoes as he kisses me roughly and harshly. His hands are under my shirt, tugging up, and mine are doing the same to him, and we part. We come back together, bare skin against bare skin, and I wind my fingers into his hair.
He pulls me back toward the door and grabs my thighs, lifting me up. I wrap my legs around his waist and he carries me upstairs, his lips travelling down my neck, his fingers digging in harder and harder, no time for tenderness.
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies - usually wine - and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.