Meet Declan James and Holly Ryan
“Where do you want them?” he asks, flashing me his dimpled smile.
“On the table would be great.”
After he sets them down, he takes a seat and looks up at me with his sex gaze. It only fuels my already super-charged hormones. This is going to be a long freaking day.
“You know, Holly, I’m much better equipped for your needs than a vibrator. Want me to help you out of your bind?”
“Not even if you were the last man on earth and my vagina would atrophy without you.”
His laugh makes me tingle all over. The laugh I fell in love with at fifteen, the one that used to make me smile. Until he broke up with me to be a manwhore. Now that laugh reminds me of all the reasons Declan James needs to stay out of my life.
“I did it for us, Holly. I know you’ll never believe it, but I swear we needed time apart so we could be better together.”
With a roll of my eyes, I pour myself a cup of tea. “Keep telling yourself that, Declan. In the meantime, get out of my apartment, okay?”
He steps behind me and pins me between him and the counter. Dropping his mouth to my ear, his husky voice washes over me like a million rays of sunshine. “I still love you, and I always will.”
My hands tremble against the counter, but I won’t let him suck me in. I’ve tried so hard to get over him. “You can love me from afar, Declan. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”
He caresses my arm as he backs away slowly. I hear the door open, followed by his words, “I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth if that’s what it takes.”
“Yeah, and what about all the other women? You’ve got a rotating succession of them at the snap of your fingers.”
“You’re the one who owns my heart. All you have to do is tell me to stop, Holly, and I will.”
I flip around to face him, nailing him with a steely gaze. “Are you saying you won’t have sex with anyone else if I tell you not to?”
“If there’s a chance for us to be together again, I won’t.”
“Prove it.” I’m pissed, finally letting my anger lead the discussion.
“Sure. Define sex and name the terms,” he says, shrugging casually with his hands in his pockets.
“Fondling, penetration, stroking, oral, and anal. Also, no dating, kissing, or flirting. Other women in general are completely off limits.”
Declan needs women and sex like he needs air; I can’t see him agreeing to my demands.
“Porn?” he replies with a smirk.
“No live webcam porn where you can interact with the people on camera.”
His mouth drops. “Do you think I do that?”
“Wouldn’t put it past you.”
“Do you do that?” he asks with a slow, decadent smile.
“Ew, Declan, don’t be so nasty.”
Laughing, his eyes light up. I hate the way he makes me feel inside when he does that. “You’re the one who brought it up, Holly. But okay, I’ll play. What do I get in return?”
This is where it gets tricky. Once I let him back into my life, I’ll never want to let him go. Even worse, I’m not even sure I want him back in the first place. “What would you want in return? Not saying I’ll give it to you, but hypothetically speaking.”
“You in my bed, every night for the rest of my life.”
“Not happening,” I retort, but he’s not fazed in the slightest.
“Didn’t think it would, but I had to aim high, right? How about your friendship, and at least one date a week, plus sex with each other when you need it?”
“When I need it?” I ask with a raised brow.
Leaning against the doorjamb, he crosses his feet in front of him. “If I asked for sex when I need it, we’ll never leave the apartment.”
His words make me blush.
“How long do we play this game?”
Stalking toward me like a man on a mission, Declan grabs my hand, placing it over his heart. “As long as it takes for you to realize you’re the only one who has ever owned my heart and you’re the only one who ever will.”
The frantic beating of his heart under my palm makes me want to fall in love with him all over again. The truth is, I miss him. I’ve never missed anyone the way I miss him and he only lives ten feet away.
“Holly, the two of us are meant to be. What will it hurt to try again?”
“You … I …” Releasing a frustrated sigh, I pull my hand away from his chest. I can’t think with Declan touching me. “If we try this and it doesn’t work out, you need to move. Those are my terms. When it ends …”
“It won’t,” he emphasizes.
“When it does—”
“If it does,” he corrects, moving further into my personal space.
“You’ll move and leave me alone. Losing you once nearly killed me, Dec, losing you twice would …”
“Holly,” he says, his lips hovering a breath above mine, “I’m not stupid enough to lose you twice in a lifetime.” His lips cover mine in a soft, quick kiss. When he pulls back, he smiles bigger than I’ve seen in ages and walks away.
MORE ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF US
They say most people meet the person they will marry while in high school. Balancing one another perfectly, Holly Ryan and Declan James were together through most of college—until their relationship blew up, leaving Declan with more questions than answers.
For the past two years, Declan has tried everything he can think of to earn Holly’s forgiveness, but even if he manages to help her let go of the past and give them another chance at happiness, she still has a secret. Not to mention, she can’t get over the revolving door of women he seems to have coming in and out of his apartment.
Declan is desperate to prove to Holly she’s the one for him and isn’t above using his celebrity status or enlisting the help of their friends to win her back. All’s fair in love and war, right?
*Mature Content- This book contains situations not intended for persons under the age of 18. Including, but not limited to - sexual situations, cursing, alcohol and/or drug use, and possible triggers.*
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Kelly has been writing since she was young and took joy in spinning stories to her childhood friends. Margaritas and sarcasm make her smile, she loves the beach but hates the sand, and she believes Starbucks makes any day better.
A contemporary romance writer, D. Kelly’s stories revolve around friendship and the bond it creates, strengthening the love of the people who share it. For all things D. Kelly, you can visit her website.