June 18, 2015

Blog Tour Promo Post: Burned by Melody Anne

at 6/18/2015 12:01:00 AM

Forbidden Series #4
Author: Melody Anne
Publication Date: June 16

Tyler Knight isn’t nearly as hardened as his brothers. He was too young to remember the horrific death of his parents, the betrayal of his mother, or the weakness of his father. But he’s watched his brothers, and the hardened life they have led, and he’s always been the calm in the storm for them all, bringing light to an otherwise darkened world.

When he watches his brothers find a ray of sun in their otherwise turbulent lives, he wonders why he can’t find the same and he goes on a quest, for the first time doing it all on his own without the negative words of his brothers in his ear. But he’s about to learn that no matter how much he may want to hide from his dark past, it’s something that won’t disappear. And it’s about to catch up to him.

See the exciting conclusion to NYT best-selling author Melody Anne’s Forbidden Series with Tyler Knight’s story.

Excerpt

Prologue 

“We’ll be best friends forever, right?” A very young Tyler Knight, then age thirteen, turned to look at ten-year-old Elena Truman with a raised eyebrow and crooked grin that later in life would be one of his most recognizable expressions. “I can’t be best friends with a girl,” he said with his impression of a scoff. “You promised we were best friends,” she told him. “Okay, we’re best friends, but that’s only between us. If my brothers knew I was best friends with a girl, they’d pummel me,” Tyler said as he kicked the hard clump of dirt in front of him. “They’d mock me mercilessly.” “That’s not fair, Tyler.” “Life’s not fair. Get used to it.” “Why are you being so mean to me right now?” Tears filled Elena’s eyes. “I’m older now. I’m a teenager, and my brothers said that girls are for one thing only.” “Huh? What thing is that?” “You know, the kissing and touching kind of thing,” he said nervously as he looked away from her. “Why do girls and boys have to do that?” she replied. “It’s stupid.” “It’s just what they do, Lanie. See, that’s why we can’t be friends. You’re too much of a baby.” “I can kiss!” she insisted. “I’m not a baby.” “Prove it,” he said, and he stepped closer. Her heart was racing a million miles a minute as her best friend, the boy she’d been inseparable from for five years, was now only a couple of inches away from her. “Just do it,” she said. Elena was so afraid of losing him. He leaned forward and then he was pressing his closed lips against hers. Neither of them moved; they just stood there with their lips touching, their hands at their sides. They didn’t have a clue what was supposed to come next. He finally took a step back and Elena opened her eyes. That wasn’t so bad after all. She could do something like that. “See, we can still be friends,” she told him with a bright smile. “That was stupid, Lanie. You don’t know how to kiss,” he said with a look she’d never seen on his face before. The tears that had been threatening her earlier now spilled over. “You don’t either, Tyler,” she sniffled. “Why don’t you grow up and then come around again?” “Fine. I don’t want to be your friend anyway. You’re a big jerk,” she told him before turning and stumbling several steps away. “And you’re the one who needs to grow up.” She took off running, refusing to analyze whether she’d been shouting or wailing when she said those last few words. “Good riddance,” Tyler called after her, making her heart break even more. Boys were nothing but trouble. 

Chapter One 

“You’ve become boring in your old age.” A remark like that from his best friend? What was the world coming to? Tyler shot the guy a look that no one could interpret as friendly, picked up his drink, and downed the rest before he bothered to reply. “It’s called growing up, Matt. We all have to do it sometime.” “If growing up is so much damn fun, then you can count me out,” Matt told him before scanning the room. “I hardly expected you ever to do such a reasonable thing,” Tyler told him. “I know you too well.” “You and I are both only thirty-one, Tyler. It’s not as if we have one foot in the grave now.” “There are days I feel like I do, Matt. Work can be draining, all-consuming,” Tyler said, feeling much more advanced in years than he should. “If you’d let your hair down once in a while, old boy, maybe you wouldn’t be so damn miserable. All work and no play makes you incredibly dull.” “I can’t win, can I? If I go out on the town too much, the papers label me a damn playboy. If I stay out of the tabloids and work, then I’m a hermit. You can all piss off,” Tyler said, holding up his hand for a refill. The freaking bartender should certainly be more on top of his job. “No one has ever said that life is easy,” Matt told him with a laugh. “Why don’t you find a girl and take her to your room and fu…oops, I mean make love till the morning light is breaking through the windows?” “Make love? And they say that I’m the romantic one in my clan,” Tyler snickered. “I’m trying to be sophisticated,” Matt replied. “After all, we’re in a higher-class bar right now.” “And whose damn idea was that?” Tyler said, scanning the room with distaste. A good rowdy pub was far more his style or at least it had been his style until last year, when he’d decided to try growing up a little bit more. Or to look as if he’d grown up a bit. Maybe he did need to get laid. It had been a while — way too long. When was the last time he’d had a woman moaning beneath him? That he even had to search his memory told him it was past time to do something He needed a good lay, and he wasn’t thinking of poetry. Nothing flowery at all. Hell, pin the broad to the mattress and do what nature intended the two of them to do. He fought with his brothers on a constant basis, telling them that love was real, that it could be achieved, but his last relationship had ended in disaster. Utter disaster. He’d been willing to give the woman a six-carat diamond along with his heart. And then he’d found her in the broom closet at his oldest brother’s wedding — with the bellhop. Bryan had pointed out to him that night that women couldn’t be trusted. Tyler wasn’t ready to go that far, but as far as looking for happily-ever-after… Well, maybe he’d just look for Ms. Right Now. But here was the problem. No one was catching his eye, and he was growing bored with this bar, so he decided to write this night off as a bust. Get real. It was time to hoist himself up off this bar stool and get the eff out of Dodge. But just then he heard the sound of laugher, and something about it caught his attention. He looked off to the side and couldn’t help but noticing right there before him an appealing backside, exposed by a low-slung silky red tank top. Whoa. “Hmm, maybe tonight will be more interesting than I’d originally thought,” Tyler told Matt. “What makes you think she’ll have anything to do with you?” Matt replied, zeroing in on the woman with that fabulous ass, but whose face they couldn’t yet see. “If I want her, she’ll be more than willing to have something — more than something — to do with me.” “If only I could be one of the infamous Knight brothers for a day,” Matt muttered. “Shut up, Matt. Don’t even pretend you’re humble,” Tyler told his friend, still gazing at the woman, not wanting to miss the moment when she turned around. After all, she could be a dog. “Compared with you and your brothers, I’m a damn saint,” Matt said, the smile obvious in his voice. “Maybe so, but I’m the nice guy of the three of us young Knights,” Tyler told him. “The sad thing about that statement is that it’s true,” Matt muttered with a laugh. “When you’re raised by narcissistic parents — to use a fancy psychological term — parents who then get murdered before your eyes, it tends to make you a little bit…shall we say, aloof,” Tyler replied. “Then how have you always been able to stay so positive?” “I don’t know. I was so young when it happened. My brothers got the worst end of that stick. I guess I just feel that life is too short to dwell in the past. My philosophy is that a night in the arms of the right woman can heal the most wounded of souls.” “Then why haven’t you bedded anyone lately?” Matt asked. “How the hell do you know that I haven’t?” Tyler grumbled. “You’ve been complaining about it for a while,” Matt pointed out. “Yeah, I need to learn to keep my damn mouth shut.” “So why not settle down?” “ I was ready to and I failed epically in choosing the right woman. I don’t know, man. I think it’s harder than people realize to find that one woman you can’t live without. I love women, love how they feel, how they smell, how they…taste. Then their true colors come out, and their claws sharpen. If I could find that girl without a hidden agenda or a tendency to fuck strangers in a closet, then maybe, just maybe, I would do exactly that. “Damn, Tyler. Should I call up Oprah now?” Matt asked with a laugh. “Go to hell, Matt. Maybe my future wife is right over there in a very appealing red tank top,” Tyler said as he stood up. “Well, then, go and get her, tiger.” Matt signaled for the bill. The woman finally turned, and when she looked up, her eyes met with Tyler’s across the room, and he felt as if he’d been punched in the stomach. “Who in the hell is she?” he whispered, though he wasn’t looking for a response. “Holy shit, she’s gorgeous,” Matt muttered. “There’s no way that woman is available.” Just then she lifted a delicate hand and brushed back her sun-kissed golden brown hair, the thick strands falling over her shoulders and hanging midway down her back. The bar was dim, but even from about twenty feet away, Tyler could see that she had light eyes, shining eyes, and her lips — damn, her lips were plump and pink, and they were calling to him. Tyler didn’t give a flying whatever if the woman was taken. He knew for sure he wasn’t leaving this bar without her. 

Chapter Two 

“Do you know the man who’s looking at you like you’re dessert?” It took several moments for Elena to realize that her friend Piper had spoken to her, because, yes, she did know exactly who was looking at her. And her gaze was fully captured by the one and only Tyler Knight. “Hello. Earth to Elena,” Piper said, and she laughed as she bumped into her. Finally, Elena was able to break the eye contact with Tyler, and she looked back toward her friend, feeling slightly dazed. “Yes…um…yes, I know who he is,” Elena said as she lifted her drink and took a long swallow. “Do you care to share?” Piper said with impatience. Shaking off the shock of seeing the man who had once been her best friend, and then who had humiliated her almost beyond repair a little later on, Elena was suddenly filled with anger. How dare this worthless bastard look at her now as if he wanted to devour her? “Okay, let me rephrase this,” Piper said, placing her hands on Elena’s shoulders and shaking her to get her friend’s attention. “You will tell me who he is!” “He was my best friend when we were children — until her realized he was too cool to play with a mere girl anymore. Then, when I was in college and working…” She trailed off. This wasn’t something she wanted to talk about. “You mean when you were going through your geeky phase?” Piper asked. “Thanks for being so supportive,” Elena said through gritted teeth. “Just tell me what happened and I’ll be nice,” Piper promised her. “There’s no time,” Elena told her. “It looks like he’s gonna walk over. Maybe it’s my turn for a little revenge. Why should he get away with being a complete dick without suffering any consequences?” Hey. She really liked this idea. Was it just the booze talking? “I don’t know, Elena. Revenge never ends well.” Piper swiveled around and saw that Tyler certainly looked as if he was going to walk over. “For the loser it doesn’t,” Elena said. “It’s all a matter of perspective. Just have my back.” “I don’t know. You’re acting a little crazy right now,” Piper told her. “I’m fine. I just wasn’t expecting to see him ever again — that’s all,” Elena told her before taking another gulp of liquid courage. “I think you’ve had enough to drink. Elena. I also think you should abort this mission right now.” “I’m fine. I promise you,” Elena said. She gave her friend a determined look, but she put down the drink. “Look, Elena, it’s been a lot of years, and maybe Tyler isn’t the monster he once was. People change,” Piper said, peeking back across the bar. “But he seems to be coming this way, so you’d better make a decision, and fast.” “The panic in your voice isn’t helping me right now, Piper. No way. And don’t let his looks or his charm deceive you. Tyler Knight does what he wants when he wants, and he doesn’t give a damn about who gets hurt in the process.” “But that all happened so long ago…” “Stop talking about it now. He’s almost here. Go to the bar and flirt with the bartender, and most importantly, have faith in your best friend,” Elena whispered frantically. “I’ll be watching.” With that Piper walked away. Elena only had a moment to compose her features before she felt Tyler behind her. She didn’t even need to turn to know he was there. Damn, the man had been blessed with more charisma than any one person deserved. It just wasn’t right. He’d had it even back when they were kids, and later in life, when she’d been gangly and he’d been perfection in a suit. She just hadn’t known then what the hell charisma was. It hadn’t taken her too many years to figure it out — or to blossom from the longlegged, too skinny, dirt-faced young tomboy she’d been when she was ten years old. She hadn’t spoken to Tyler in ages. This reunion was long overdue, and her dislike of him had grown fierce with time. After he had rejected her early on, his meanness hadn’t been good enough. No, he had to then come into her life once more and humiliate her when she twenty. In theory, she’d been a woman for two years by then, but she’d been shy and awkward, little more than a girl, really, and he’d made it so much worse for her. Just her luck. Well, this time, Tyler would be the one to feel something other than smugness. He could feel what it was like to be humiliated and left wanting something that he couldn’t have. “Good evening.” Even the sound of his voice right behind her ear sent shivers traveling through her body. This wasn’t going to be as easy as she’d envisioned just a minute before. But Elena wasn’t a quitter. Never had been, and never would be. This was a battle she would most certainly win. “Are you speaking to me?” She turned around slowly, her eyelids lowered just the slightest bit, her lips in a perfect pout. A femme fatale was so not like her. But anyone could learn if they tried hard enough. “I don’t play games,” he told her, and he invaded her personal space. She wanted to take a step back — all she could do now was breathe his scent — but a seductress would never do that, so she thrust her chin out and moved an inch closer to him. “Neither do I,” she practically purred, hating herself just the tiniest bit for doing it. “I’d like to take you home.” “Well, that was forward,” she said with a tinkling laugh. “And what makes you think for even a moment that I’m the type of girl who would take you up on an offer like that?” “We made a connection, even in a room full of other people. Don’t tell me that you didn’t feel it.” “Oh, believe me, I felt it,” she said, lifting her hand and tracing a perfectly manicured fingernail down his arm. “But I have some standards, sad to say. Here’s one of them — I don’t go home with strangers in the night, particularly ones I meet in a bar.” “And I told you that I don’t play games,” he said, moving yet another inch closer. Her breasts were brushing against his impressively hard chest. A shudder rushed through her and she knew she was out of her league. She thought for a moment of crying mercy and bailing out on this impromptu mission, but then he lifted his eyebrow just the way he had the last time he’d rejected her, and she knew she wasn’t going anywhere. But she knew something about gamesmanship. She had a degree in it, as a matter of fact. “Fine. Walk away, then,” she told him with a careless shrug. She turned back to the bar and lifted her drink. If he called her bluff and left, then she’d have to come up with another strategy, but everything inside her was saying that he wasn’t going anywhere. When he brushed up against her back, his hands closing over her shoulders, she knew she had him, hook, line, and sinker. She’d never felt anything better before. The power of knowing she had him. “You’re making me break my rules,” he said, his breath whispering across her ear before he turned her around to face him again. “Tell me your name.” “Do you always talk as if you’re commanding people?” “I can be laid back. But not quite yet. And when I want something, I go for it. Tell me your name.” She smiled, this time a real smile, and his eyes dilated, making the flutters in her stomach take flight. “You tell me your name first,” she said, her voice just a little too breathless, and she didn’t need any acting skills to achieve that effect just now. “Tyler.” He didn’t add anything. He just waited. “Elena,” she finally said. There was no recognition in his eyes. Of course, he’d always called her Lanie when they were younger. But why would she think for even a moment that he would remember her? She was just one more castoff in his life, one of a long line of castoffs. “Got a last name, Elena?” he said after a few moments of silence. “My last name has to be earned,” she told him. It took a moment, but then his face was transformed. His lips turned up first in a wide smile, and then he laughed. A deep-in-the-gut happy laughter that had her own lips turning up too. “I think I could like you, Elena. Let me buy you a drink,” he said. Without waiting for a yes or a no, he held up a hand, and a bartender came over. “I guarantee that you’ll like me, Tyler,” she said. “I guess I’m going to have to break another of my rules, then,” he said as he took her arm and led away from the crowded bar and took her to a private corner in the back of the room. She waited, but he didn’t elaborate. “And what rule is that, Tyler?” she finally asked him. The smoldering look he sent her had her entire body responding to the man, fully against her will. Then he leaned forward as if he were about to impart a great secret. “Let the games begin.” He said no more, and Elena could almost hear the dinging of a bell as round one got underway. “I thought you said that you didn’t play games.” “As I said, I’m breaking one of my rules. And all in your honor.” Ah. So he was telling her he was more than ready to play with her. “Yes, Tyler, let the games begin.” 

Chapter Three 

There was something so familiar about this woman’s eyes. But Tyler had been sitting there in the bar with her for over an hour, and he just couldn’t place her, so it all had to be an illusion. Elena wasn’t the type of woman a man could forget. She was certainly the type of woman a man broke the rules for, though. Tyler could easily walk away from most of the women who crossed his path. Yes, he sometimes spoke of marriage and babies and growing up, but the reality of doing just that terrified him to the very depths of his soul. He still had that diamond ring, as a reminder of his near escape. And he was a lot more guarded now. He always came on strong. Why not? He was great-looking, rich as sin, and had what one ex had referred to as the ultimate swagger. Tyler knew he was a catch. Most of the time, he didn’t have to break a sweat to get a hot babe into bed. So why had it seemed crucial to his very existence that he stay and talk to this woman, a woman who clearly had some sort of agenda? He had no clue what that agenda was, but he could see someone who was playing a game a mile away. Elena had secrets, but they were ones that Tyler wanted to figure out. Most certainly. Was she after money? Fame in the tabloids, maybe to help her jump-start a modeling career? Or was there something deeper? Darker? More sinister? The idea — the uncertainty — ought to terrify him. Instead, he was more turned on than ever before. He should have just blown her off, but something about her made him willing to play along, willing to almost get down on his knees and beg her to let him just stay in her presence. He was taking a dangerous road, and yet he couldn’t seem to look for an exit. “Are you seeing anyone, Elena?” He watched her reaction. And his question didn’t make her jumpy in the least. “Not at the moment. I like my freedom,” she told him. “What about you? Any girlfriends about to come out of the restroom and fight me for the privilege of seeing you?” She had such quick comebacks, and he loved them. “I can’t guarantee that won’t happen,” Tyler replied. “Then maybe I should change seats,” she said. “Are you afraid of a challenge, Elena? You don’t strike me as the type of girl to run from a fight.” “Oh, I’m not afraid of any woman you probably take out on dates. Let me guess. They’re the stick-thin Barbie doll types with bigger bust sizes than brains.” Elena said this all so casually that it took him a moment to realize she was insulting him. “Then what am I doing sitting here talking to you? Your bust size is respectable, of course. But are you a ditzy sort of girl?” She laughed openly at that. “Ditzy! Nice word, and it pegs you as a retrograde. I have a college degree — maybe more than one. I don’t think I could be called stupid.” “It depends what level and what area the degree is,” he countered. “You haven’t earned that information yet.” “That’s the second time. You’re incredibly good at dodging any kind of question about yourself. Is that on purpose, or are you running on automatic?” She looked down for a moment, and Tyler instantly reached across the small table and lifted her chin. He couldn’t read her if he couldn’t see into her eyes. That wouldn’t work for him at all. “I don’t know you enough to let you inside my head, Tyler. Has anyone ever told you that you’re too damn pushy?” She shook off his hand. “I’ve been told that a lot. But the thing is,” he said before leaning back, that appealing crooked grin on his lips, “I always get what I want — one way or another.” “Maybe not this time,” she said, and he saw a flash in her eyes that he couldn’t quite interpret. Fascinating. This witch, this foxy lady, had him even more intrigued than before. Tyler had to know her story. And he would. His body was humming with lust, but even more than that, he was actually interested in this mystery woman. She somehow compelled him, and she made him want to trust her. That was insane. She was playing him — he knew that beyond a reasonable doubt. But what could he do but go along? She had him by the short hairs. He had to say something, so he came out with this. “Tell me something real about yourself.” “I’ve been telling you things about me for the past hour,” she replied. “No. You’ve been holding me on a fishing line just enough to keep me hooked, but not enough to reel me in,” he countered. “Tell me something real.” She froze and her eyes flew open with something like shock, but she managed to mask her expression in an instant. She was good at that. “You tell me something real about yourself first, and then I’ll do the same,” she said. Tyler laughed again. He’d found himself doing that a lot in the last hour. Another interesting thing in Elena’s favor. “Fine,” he said. “I have nothing to hide.” He thought for a moment and then grinned. “I’ve never slept with a woman.” Her mouth dropped open, but after a few moments, she sent him a withering look. “If you honestly think I’ll believe that, then you are about the stupidest man I’ve ever met.” “It’s a fact.” “Really?” Her words dripped with scorn. “You come over to me and tell me you want to take me over to your — what? bachelor pad? — but you’ve never done that before?” Man, was he enjoying himself, and he couldn’t help but smile. His buddy Matt was definitely going to have to get another ride, because one way or the other Tyler was taking Elena home with him. “I’ve certainly done that before. I’ve just never slept with a woman.” Her glare turned to confusion as she was trying to figure out what he’d just said. And he wasn’t going to help her out. He wanted to see how smart she really was. “Ah, so you’re the dine-and-dash sort of guy?” she finally said. “No. I always treat my women with the utmost respect. We do what we do together for the same reason — to feel good.” “That’s so admirable. But you screw them and then leave immediately. I bet you have all sorts of hotel rooms on standby just for these special occasions.” “I wouldn’t characterize myself quite that way, but I do like a good night’s sleep. Alone,” he said before leaning closer. “And yet I have a feeling you might change my mind about that.” There was no need to talk about his last long-term relationship. No, he’d never slept over at her place, and she had never slept over at his, but that was mostly due to work schedules, and he must have know then that something just wasn’t quite right. Elena was silent for several heartbeats before she threw him a smile, and she leaned toward him, their faces now only a couple of inches apart. “I guarantee you that if we were in bed together, even if you managed to stick around for a whole night, you’d have a good night, but not much sleep,” she said in a throaty purr that went straight to his groin and left him aching in a way he hadn’t ached since high school. “Prove it.” 

Chapter Four 

Elena took long, deep breaths in front of the restroom mirror. She was in a major battle to get her heart to quit racing. Those words, those exact words he’d spoken to her twenty years before, had been too much for her to handle. She’d been unable to speak. She’d just lurched up from the table and run. “What’s wrong? What happened? Are you okay? Let me get you a washcloth.” Her friend Piper had rushed through the door and was talking a mile a minute and not giving Elena a chance to answer. But Elena couldn’t answer yet anyway. She was too frazzled. Piper handed her a cool washcloth, and Elena pressed it to her forehead. “Okay, I’m giving you exactly sixty seconds to pull yourself together and to tell me what in the hell is going on. If I need to go and kick that guy’s ass, then I’m your girl. I’m officially a brown belt in karate now.” The fact that Piper was deadly serious yanked Elena’s mood completely around. She broke out into a smile and then began laughing uncontrollably. “I’m starting to get really worried now, Elena. Seriously. If you don’t stop laughing and talk to me, I’m going to have to call in the paramedics,” Piper said, folding her arms across her chest and tapping her foot impatiently. “I’m so…so sorry Piper. It’s just that you are the best friend that any girl could ever have, and I love you so much. Thank you,” Elena said between fits of laughter. “Yeah, yeah, you’re my bestie too,” Piper snapped. “Now, tell me what is going on! I mean it, Elena. I’m serious!” “Okay, okay. It’s just that things are going just fine. I know he wants me, wants me desperately, which is pretty great, actually — all things considered — but then the bastard tells me to prove it and I just lost it and headed for the hills.” She didn’t have to expand on that. Piper knew the entire story. She knew what those words meant. “It’s settled. I am going to kick his worthless ass. Truly, I am,” Piper said as she made one hand into a fist and hit the other one with it. “No. Don’t do that,” Elena said, overcome with a fit of giggles again. “You’ve done exactly what I needed you to do. I needed a minute to calm down. I need to end the evening on the proper note. With the proper touch. Or maybe not so proper.” Her friend looked at her dubiously. “Then we’re leaving?” “In a few minutes,” Elena told her, and Piper threw up her hands. “I’m going to go back out there, sweetie, so I can get him hot and bothered and then leave him wanting more. I need you to come out of the bathroom in exactly five minutes and tell me it’s time to go, and then we’ll talk more. I promise.” “I don’t like this, Elena. I don’t like it at all.” “I know you don’t, but because we will do anything for each other, you’ll carry through with my crazy plans,” Elena said before checking herself out in the mirror. She looked slightly crazy, but then she was feeling a little bit crazy at the moment. She was insane, actually, to think she could carry this off. But she was doing it, and she was doing it well — so far, at least. “Fine. You have exactly five minutes,” Piper warned her as she plopped down on one of the benches in front of the full-length mirrors. “Thanks. Love you tons.” With that, Elena walked steadily ahead, took another deep breath, and swung the door open. When she turned the corner of the short hallway, she found Tyler leaning against the wall, His expression was unreadable, but that was fine by her. She could wear a pretty damn good mask of her own, if she had to say so. “Are you okay, Elena?” That was all he said. “I’m sorry. My drink hit me wrong and I got overheated — hot all over. I had to cool down,” she said as she slinked up to him. His eyes widened when she put out a hand and caressed his chest. “I believe you told me to prove it.” And she leaned against him, circling her hand behind his head and pulling him down to her. She captured his lips and opened herself up, her hands splaying across his chest, her tongue tasting his excitement. Tyler’s shock at her boldness lasted only a second, maybe less, and then he was pinning her against the wall as his mouth devoured hers. Elena had been prepared for the kiss, or at least she’d thought she’d been prepared, but as his tongue traced the contours of her mouth, her stomach tightened and her core grew dangerously wet. And she knew that no amount of preparation in the world could have clued her in to how good it would feel to be in his arms. She was no longer a little girl fumbling with what to do, and this wasn’t an innocent kiss. His body was hard and unyielding, and he was running his hands up and down her sides, drawing closer and closer to her breasts with each pass. What he was doing with his mouth — she’d never experienced anything like it before. His touch was searing her, and when a low groan erupted from his throat, the sound traveled straight through her veins and pulsed deep inside her. No, she hadn’t thought this revenge plot through. Not at all. “Oh, Elena, are you as turned on as I am right now?” He leaned back only far enough to trail his lips across her jaw and trace the skin at her neck. “I…uh…we… Too pubic…public!” she stuttered, her embarrassment quickly forgotten with her hunger so exposed. Her desperate fingers were clasping his shoulders, holding him to her. She was trying to stop, but her body was rebelling. “No one is back here,” he said. He slipped his hand beneath her shirt and stroked her now quivering stomach. When he reached the underside of her breasts, she held her breath. She should tell him to stop. This wasn’t part of her plan, but she waited, instead, for what was coming next. She was aching for this. He didn’t disappoint her. His hand traced over the lacy fabric of her bra, and his palm cupped her jutting nipples, making her moan in pleasure. “You like my touch, don’t you, Elena?” he said. He sucked her bottom lip into his and bit down gently. “Yes, I can feel how much you do,” he answered for her. “Let’s go back to my place.” She was trying to remember why she couldn’t do that, why she had to say no. “Um, Elena… Hello!” Elena heard her name, knew it wasn’t Tyler speaking, but for the life of her she couldn’t drag herself out of the sexual fog that was surrounding her. “Go away. Elena’s busy,” she heard Tyler growl. “I don’t think so,” Piper replied. “Piper!” Her friend’s irritated voice brought Elena back to reality, and she managed to push, rather than pull, against Tyler’s chest. That was all it took for him to take a step back. “I’m ready to leave now,” Piper said, sending a meaningful look Elena’s way, reminding her that this was what she’d asked her to do five minutes ago. Five minutes ago seemed liked eons. “I’m sorry. Yes, it’s time to go,” Elena said. She hoped no one noticed that she was panting. “Don’t,” Tyler said, almost a panic in his eyes. “I’ll take you home later.” Elena was oh so tempted, but she needed to pull herself together. If she went home with this guy tonight, she would be the one losing. Yet again. “Sorry, Tyler,” she said, the purr back in her voice. “I have to leave now.” After walking a couple of steps away, she turned back around and pulled a piece of paper and pen from her purse, jotted down the number and moved back over to him. She slipped it right there into the front pocket of his trousers, and she let her hand linger there, so close to where she knew he was the hardest. Damn, how she wanted to touch him. Touch wasn’t the word she was really thinking, of course. “You may call me,” she said with just enough sass that she watched a spark light his eyes. She didn’t look back at him again. She took her friend’s arm and walked away, and she didn’t breathe again until they were outside in the fresh air. “You are so spilling,” Piper growled as she hailed a cab and they slipped inside. “I will. I promise,” Elena said, leaning her head back against the vinyl headrest. “Just not yet. For now, I’m going to close my eyes and try to get my body under control.” “You’re in trouble, Elena, big trouble. If you carry through with this, I don’t think Tyler Knight is going to be the one who gets punished.” “Yeah, I know that too,” Elena said. And then she was done talking. Her friend was right. She was in trouble — big, huge, monstrous trouble.

About Melody Anne 

Melody Anne is the author of the popular series, Billionaire Bachelors, and Baby for the Billionaire. She also has a Young Adult Series out; Fire and Moon - Rise of the Dark Angel. She's been writing for years and published in 2011. She hold a bachelors degree in business, so she loves to write about strong, powerful, businessmen.

When Melody isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and pets. She lives in a small town that she loves, and is involved in many community projects.

See Melody's Website at: www.melodyanne.com. She makes it a point to respond to all her fans. You can also join her on facebook at: www.facebook.com/authormelodyanne, or at twitter.

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