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Shifting to rest on his back, Luke pulled Aris to him and they lay quietly with her head against his chest. Minutes passed as he stared at nothing, hesitant to say anything as he fingered a strand of her hair.
A part of Luke had expected that being inside of Aris once would be enough to get over his infatuation, to finally lose that ever-present edge he had been feeling since they’d met. In his mind, their unexpected connection was something he’d given too much thought to, something he simply needed to resolve so he could move on, get her out of his system and continue the life he was living with Jessica before Aris invited him into hers. Tonight, his only goal had been to douse the flames but, with her body pressed against him now, all he’d done was expose the answer to a question he’d had no business posing.
And now that he knew, he couldn’t un-know it.
What the fuck was he supposed to do now?
Aris stirred against him and snuggled closer. Even in that moment, he couldn’t stop himself from needing her again. He wanted to touch her, to replace what had just happened between them with something less dicey and perverse, something that would be a truer reflection of what he wasn’t quite ready to put into words but still needed her to understand. Instead, he continued playing with her hair knowing that anything he attempted in this moment would come off wrong, inadequate…selfish.
So he did nothing.
More time passed as Luke kept thinking, the pressure in his chest building so strong that he suddenly felt like he was suffocating…until Aris lifted a hand and placed it over his heart. Though his mind continued to race, her touch immediately calmed him…as it always did.
“Sorry I was so rough,” she blurted, breaking their silence. “Did I hurt you?”
Before he could stop it, a laugh bubbled up and tumbled from his lips in response. His mind immediately flashed through every moment of passion they had just experienced, how she’d matched him with equal fervor, how they’d been consumed with each other. Dropping his hand to brush his palm over the curve of her ass, he was more than happy to know that the intensity was mutual. “In the best way.”
He could feel her smile as she began trailing soft kisses down his torso, lightly grazing his skin with her teeth along the way.
Suddenly, she lifted her head and caught his eyes. “Can I hurt you again?”
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Aris Collier is chasing her dreams…at a snail’s pace. With little money and big talent, she works tirelessly to perfect her craft…even at the expense of her relationships. When Aris walks away from yet another dead-end entanglement with the hopes of finally getting her life on track, the last thing she expects is a fast friendship with her neighbor, Luke. They couldn’t be more different but soon the two become an inseparable pair, leaving Aris both surprised and disturbed that Luke understands her better than anyone else ever has…
Luke Donovan has it all—looks, career, money and status. Most importantly, he has the bold, brave and beautiful Jessica Knox, a woman he’s been building his impeccable life with since college. But as Luke continues his corporate climb, he soon realizes that the view from the top isn’t so great and the future laid out in front of him is very far from his true definition of happiness. For the first time in his life, Luke is unsure…until he meets his quirky neighbor, Aris, who just may help him discover what love and life are really all about…