Get ready to fall into the raw, sexy, and emotional roller-coaster that is
YOUNG LOVE by Alyson Santos TODAY!!!
“You okay?” I ask, pulling back and searching tired aqua eyes.
“Fine, yeah.” Another quick smile and he’s heading to the stairs. “Mind if I take a quick shower? I came right from work.”
I follow his exhausted climb to my suite and watch as he fishes through a bag he brought. A bag? Who takes a suitcase to work?
“You sure everything’s okay?” I ask.
“Absolutely. I’ll just be a minute.”
There’s nothing sexy about watching the man you care about lie to you. This time when he strips and cleans up there are no games, no flirting glances from either of us. He’s focused, shoulders sagged, and I’m hurting for him. I only wait for a few minutes before I decide to distract myself by preparing food. I leave him to finish up and head down to the kitchen.
I’m chopping lettuce, veggies, and grilled chicken for a garden salad when he joins me, looking much more like the sexy, confident man I know.
“Looks great,” he says, moving behind me and slipping his arms around my waist. My body instinctively relaxes into his, my knife stalling on the cutting board. We’re so beautifully connected right now, so why is he lying to me? I let go of the knife and turn so we’re facing each other, but his lips erase any chance of a confrontation. I weave my fingers through his damp hair to take in more. He hardens against me, and my hips respond with an agonizing jerk. His reaction intensifies, and soon we forget all about food and lies. We are hands and mouths and need, undulating in unison against the counter. I moan at the effect of his mouth on my neck, his hands running over my curves, god, my need to feel every line of his body. I push my hands over his ass, forcing our hips into perfect alignment.
“Dessert first?” he breathes against my ear. “Yes, please.” I pull off his shirt, suffering—savoring—the streams of tiny explosions firing through my body as I enjoy my favorite picture: Jace Beckett, bare, hungry, messy hair falling in his beautiful eyes, that guitar pick chain slightly askew against his tanned, hard chest. I could stare all day and never get enough. I reach for him with trembling fingers. If I touch him will he be real? But the heat radiating through my fingers is from skin not stone. His eyes close as he draws in a long breath.
“What’s really going on?” I whisper, tracing the stubble along his jaw.
I almost shudder when his eyes return to mine. “I’m scared, Sienna.”
Oh god. The glisten in his eyes is so painful. Something I never thought I’d see, never wanted to see. I’m filled with a sudden intense hatred for everything in this world that would hurt him.
“Please tell me.” I center his face with my palms, brushing lightly with my thumbs.
It’s right there. Whatever it is, is about to shatter my world too when--
Jace’s gaze locks on her first, and I twist my head back. Crap! As if I needed more reasons to resent my mother. “We’re having a private conversation, Mom. Can you give us a second?”
Her brows lift, lips forming into a thin line. “I can see that. I’ll be in my room.”
Mortified, I’m almost afraid to face Jace again, but his face has come alive with humor when I finally turn back.“Who would’ve thought it’d be your mom getting in our way?”
“I need her to go back to Florida,” I whisper because I’m still ten years old when she’s in the house.
His laugh, usually so soothing, shoots a wave of disappointment through me, regret for the moment we lost. It’s not the sex I miss, but the intimacy of the secret he’d been about to share. The opportunity is obviously gone when he backs away and pulls on his shirt. I study him for another second as he starts gathering utensils for dinner. He’s scared. I believed it fully in that moment. Now? He hides in plain sight like no one I’ve ever known. Another pang shoots through me.
“Jace… What you were saying before—”
He shakes his head. “It’s nothing. Want me to start the carrots?” When his back turns, I know he’s gone. I’ve lost, stuck once again with the version of Jace Beckett everyone gets. It’s not fair because he’s the only one who sees me. I try to muster anger at the injustice but he’s impossible to resent. I just end up smiling at the way he attacks the carrots and cucumbers.
“Those peelers are meant to glide over vegetables, not hack them to death.”
“What’s with this thing anyway? Don’t you have a normal peeler?”
“What’s a normal peeler?” I ask.
“I don’t know. The ones with the”—he waves his hands in an unhelpful demonstration—“the thing with the thing.”
“Ooh, right. The thing.”
He snorts and bumps my shoulder with his. “Sorry if I’m not a gourmet chef.”
“No one’s perfect.”
He hands me the shredded carrots to chop. “You pretty much are.”
“Me?” I choke out.
Zero: the number of times I ever thought that.
Zero: the number of times others have.
“Why are you so shocked by that?”
“Because! I…” …what? Just because.
That cucumber looks dangerous in his hand. Then again, I bet he knows how to kill someone with it.
“Do we need to have this discussion again?” he asks, jabbing it toward me.
He lowers the vegetable to a safer angle. “Sienna, you’re amazing. You are instinctively compassionate. It’s incredible the way you want to jump in and save everyone.”
“You’re one to talk,” I mutter.
He smiles. “And you’re so smart. You picked up the guitar, the karate stances, everything, so quickly. And your career? I couldn’t begin to figure out all those numbers and spreadsheets.” He shakes his head. “I have no idea what you see in me.” I stare over at him in disbelief. “You’re joking, right?”
He shrinks a bit, smile growing at my animation.
“Unbelievable,” I say. “What I see in you? Do you honestly not understand what I see in you?”
I drop my knife and force him to face me again. “You...” My voice gets lost in his gaze. “You’re everything,” I whisper, pulling him in for a long kiss. He deepens it, and I know, I know, Jace Beckett will be the love of my life. No doubt, no turning back, and no choice left except to absorb the abject terror of that reality.
Sometimes you need to let yourself fall…
Recently divorced Sienna Porter has the life she’s supposed to. A house, career, even a hot young contractor working upstairs to distract her. At thirty-eight, she’s entitled to a little fun (according to her best friend, anyway).
Pain, though— it’s so clever in the way it infects hope and poisons happiness.
Jace Beckett should be flying high. Talented, driven, and disciplined, he’s far beyond his twenty-three years. He’s used to the game, the attention his looks and highly trained body get from women. Doesn’t mean he likes to play.
Doesn’t mean his own secrets aren’t intent on tearing him down.
It’s just a fling. Sexy. Temporary. It’s not supposed to last. It’s not supposed to transform into love. It’s certainly not supposed to become the air you breathe and everything worth fighting for.
I write what needs to come out, whether it’s pain, tears, or laughter. I write people and relationships, about the beauty and horror of what we do to ourselves and each other. I write Love. Vengeance. Compassion. Cruelty. Trust. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Darkness, and the incredible way humans destroy and heal each other.
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