COMING AUGUST 1st
25 Brand New Steamy Summer Romances from some of Today's Best Authors!
It was nearly two thirty in the morning when we finally staggered up the stairs to our room. Elissa, Matt, and their friends Rita and Karina were all still downstairs dancing on tables and doing shots with a group of Argentinian soccer players.
I stumbled into the bathroom and started to brush my teeth, hating going to bed without minty fresh breath and hating even more when I woke up with the taste of my last drink in my mouth the next morning. The door to the bathroom opened up, and Derrick stalked in. His brows pinched while he opened up his toiletries bag and squeezed toothpaste out onto his brush. We stood there, eyes locked in the mirror, both of us foaming at the mouth like rabid mongoose, rhythmically brushing our teeth.
I spit and rinsed and then wiped my mouth. “You’re being an asshole,” I said, with a slightly drunken slur to my speech.
He spat and rinsed. “Excuse me?”
“This isn’t my fault, you know?” My hands on my hips, I snagged his eyes in the mirror.
“Are you saying it’s mine?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“Then why am I an asshole?”
“Because you’re treating everyone like garbage. You’re angry.”
He shot me a look and then went to the task of removing his contacts. I turned away. I just couldn’t handle watching someone jam their finger into their eye. Ray had worn glasses and contacts as well, and it freaked me out to watch him put them in and take them out. I was equally disturbed by the site of blood. Med school, no matter how well I had scored on the MCAT, had never been in my future. And I had deliberately avoided any form of criminal law as well, just in case I had to look at images of gruesome murder scenes, instead sticking to corporate law…and look how well that had turned out!
“And you’re not angry?” That chip was still there on his shoulder, and his tone was proof of it.
I snorted. “Of course, I am. I’d like to find the fuckers and castrate them and their first-born sons myself. But I don’t shut people out when I’m angry.”
He flicked the contacts into the garbage and then turned to face me. His hard, shirtless body was big and menacing in front of me. I swallowed and took a step back. “Well, I do. Give me some time, okay?”
I couldn’t handle how intense his stare was, and I let my eyes fly to his big, sexy bare feet. “Okay…you’re not mad at me, though?” I don’t know why I felt the need to ask. I’d done absolutely nothing wrong.
A knuckle came up under my chin, and he tilted my head up until I was forced to look back into his eyes. “No. I’m not mad at you.” He dropped his hand and then turned around to leave the bathroom, I followed him.
“You take the top bunk.” He ordered. “They look sturdy enough, but if for whatever reason they collapse, you’ll be less hurt, because having me fall on you could be really dangerous.”
I shrugged again and started to climb the ladder. “Okay.”
He flicked the light out and climbed into bed. “Goodnight, Piper.”
I pulled the sheet up to my chin, the need to cry suddenly grabbing hold of my chest and throat so fiercely I could hardly breathe. I squeezed my eyes shut. Hot tears trickled down onto my pillow, and the vice around my ribs began to squeeze.
I felt him shift in the bed below and then heard the strained squeak of the metal frame. “Piper.”
I opened my eyes. He stood in front of me, but all I could see was his head. The moon was peeking out from behind the drawn blind and was casting beautiful shadows across his stubbly face.
I fought to control my breath as it came out in staggered gasps.
“It’s nothing.” My voice caught in my throat. “Goodnight.”
“Go to sleep, Derrick.”
“Piper.” Then he reached for me. I was drawn to him, drawn to his kindness, his charisma, the quiet power and confidence that seemed to percolate around him like an invisible ball of energy. I scrambled over the small bed rail, and he caught me, cradling my body against his. He tucked us both into his tiny twin bed, spooning me, protecting me with his warmth. I was asleep in seconds.