Meet River & Marley in this emotionally twisted - unconventional stand alone by Lisa DeJong
Break Even is NOW AVAILABLE!
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My story isn’t a love story … not the typical kind anyway.
As a lawyer, I’m used to discovery, but I never saw this one coming.
Every day, River gives me ten reasons to stay away, and then eleven reasons why I can't. Our relationship was to remain strictly business, or at least I tried.
Four years of marriage, and everything with Cole has changed. I never knew two people who lived together could be so distant. But I’m not ready to give up on him.
One man wants to break me.
The other is just trying to get even.
Both are lying to me.
***This is a standalone contemporary romance (though a little unconventional and twisted!)
My eyes never leave my guest who’s dressed in a crisp navy blue suit, white shirt with the top two buttons undone, and expensive brown leather belt and shoes—the kind Cole works so hard for. River carries the look with ease.
“I hope I didn’t interrupt,” he says, sauntering toward one of my guest chairs.
He shrugs, relaxing into his seat. “I was bored, and I’ve noticed you like your coffee, so I thought I could buy you a cup. It’s the least I can do since you’re going to have to put up with me all day.”
“Who said you could barge into my office?”
He smirks. Stupid dimple. “Your secretary was missing so I helped myself.” His eyes stare into mine—too long and far too intense. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your phone call with Mr. Mason, by the way.”
“Something tells me you’re not feeling all that guilty.”
“You’re right, but I did learn something about you.” His elbow rests on the arm of the chair, index finger brushing his chiseled jaw.
“What’s that?” I ask, unable to look away.
“You profess love with indifference.”
My mouth falls open before I realize it. I quickly recover, searching for my voice. “What do you know about love?”
“Enough,” he says simply.
“What?” he asks, leaning his elbows on the table.
“This,” I say, gesturing between us, “would never last more than one day.”
The ultra-cocky grin he had on his face the first day I met him in my office is back. “You might think that, but there’s something I know that you haven’t figured out yet.”
“And what’s that?”
He closes some of the space between us. “Every inch of your perfect little body is aching to know what my hands would feel like. Every. Fucking. Inch. You hold a shield up, thinking it will keep me away, but there’s nothing I don’t see.”
My mouth hangs open. He’s so wrong, but he’s so right. River is unlike anyone I’ve ever met. He’s untouchable—unobtainable—and I’m married. The holes in my marriage have led me to think about things—him—in a way I normally wouldn’t. When Cole touches me, he just doesn’t reach deep enough. It’s left a void. I hate to admit it, but that’s just the way things are.
Before I can come up with a rebuttal, the waitress brings us our plates and sets them in front of us. Staring down, I pretend my salad is the most interesting thing I’ve ever seen. The strawberries and blueberries make it pretty.
“Did I strike a nerve?” he asks, sliding the plate of fries so they’re within my view.
“You’re on every single one of them.”
He laughs sadistically. “But I’m right.”
“You’re wrong. I wouldn’t let you near me even if I were single.” I pick up a piping hot fry and carefully bite into it.
“If you were single, I guarantee I’d have you in my condo naked right now.”
River sets a tray down on the counter, startling me. “You do that a lot?”
“Do what?” I ask, relieved to distract myself from the pressure of the situation.
“Bite your lip.”
“I was just thinking,” I admit, resisting the pull the ocean has on me.
He cups my face in his hands. “Don’t let yourself ruin this weekend by overthinking anything. It’s ours, and I’m not willing to give it up yet.”
I open my mouth to speak, but he kisses me instead. The picture within the clear blue water fades. River kisses me until I’m blind of my worries and guilt. Whoever said an ocean is better than a river has never met my River.
“Better?” he asks as he pulls away.
“Much.” I watch as he sits on the edge of the tub and turns the water off. When I first met him, I saw him differently. His compassion was veiled by arrogance. If River Holtz wanted, he could make a woman happy for more than a night.
He motions me over to where he sits.
I lift myself from the counter, slowly walking to him. When I’m close enough, he reaches for me, pulling me against his rock hard body. His chin rests on my chest as he looks up at me. “You’re mine until tomorrow morning. Don’t forget that.”
I comb my fingers through his hair. “I haven’t. And, I also haven’t forgotten that after I leave here tomorrow, we’re nothing.”
“Not true,” he says, kissing between my breasts. “I’ll always be the guy you wish you could have again. The one you’ll compare everyone else to.”
“Do you shower yourself in arrogance every morning, Mr. Holtz? You may want to use a little less next time.” My toes curl in the water, but I hold my voice steady.
He grips my hips, sliding my body close to his. If his cock is any indication, he’s just as turned on by this back and forth as I am. “Just admit you like it. You like having someone take care of your every need. You like having all my attention, and you definitely like my cock.”
“River,” I breathe as he kisses a line from my jawline to my shoulder.
“Admit it. You like me,” he says, his lips moving against my skin.
My fingers curl against his back. “Make me,” I taunt, enjoying the way he teases.
He groans, his lips pulling away from me. He stares, his eyes only inches from mine. He’s baiting the truth, but something tells me he already knows. And, I can’t stand that he’s not touching me, not when his words still play over and over in my head. I want to know what he’s capable of; it’s hard to believe I haven’t already seen and felt the best of him.
He cocks his head to the side, and I can’t take it. “I kind of like you. Now, kiss me.” As I hear my own words, I realize they’re true. I kind of like River Holtz, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.
“Kind of?” he asks, lifting his brow.
Damn him. If someone would have told me eleven days ago when River walked in my office that I’d be telling this man I like him let alone naked in his tub, I would have called them crazy.
“I like you,” I blurt before pressing my lips to his. I’m completely consumed. Addicted.
About the Author:
Lisa De Jong is a wife, mother and full-time number cruncher who lives in the Midwest. Her writing journey involved insane amounts of coffee and many nights of very little sleep but she wouldn't change a thing. She also enjoys reading, football and music.
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