the top of his game. He’s a handsome, eligible bachelor who could have any
woman…except the one he wants. Marisa Blake is the love of his life, the one
who got away. Ben is willing to do whatever it takes to win her back.
family is falling apart. Her parents are involved in a well-publicized scandal,
and both her and her sister’s names are being dragged through the mud. Just
when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Ben shows up at her doorstep. He
was her college boyfriend, and a serial cheater.
ever had in common, and Marisa is determined to keep things physical. Still,
she finds herself falling for him. Again.
Marisa with information that will destroy what’s left of her family, Marisa is
forced to make a decision: sacrifice Ben to protect her sister, or forsake her
family to follow her heart?
caught up in some dirty little lies…
and I have a long and storied history. We were the kind of tumultuous
romance that makes for one hell of a cautionary tale. Together, we had a
cyclical thing, and the cycle always begins something like this:
I’m emotionally vulnerable, Ben shows up looking like sex on a stick,
acting like I always hoped that he would. Caring, like he actually gives
a shit about what’s going on in my life. Loving, like he wants the two
of us to be happy this time around.
now, so of course he knocks on my door out of the blue. This is the way
things work between us. Or, it’s the way things worked between us. I
haven’t seen Ben in nearly five years.
the front porch of my brownstone, the surprise is overtaken by a quick
wave of familiar desire. He’s dressed casually, like he came over here
on a whim. Low-slung jeans, a dark shirt, his hair tousled and messy,
like he’s been running his fingers through it all day. God, he looks
good, and that is absolutely terrible news for me and my willpower.
since Ben and I met, I’ve been attracted to him on a cellular level.
I’m fine as long as we’re apart, but the second we’re in the same
vicinity, every fiber of my being is drawn to him. Even now—even though
we haven’t spoken since I broke up with him for the last, devastating
time—I feel the pull.
he breathes on an inhale, looking at me like he’s surprised I’m
standing right in front of him. Like I might not be real, like maybe he
dreamed me up. “How are you?” His blue eyes are dark, and he speaks so
softly, like he’s worried he’s going to scare me away. I haven’t been a
part of a gentle, kind conversation in a long time. It’s that gentleness
in his voice that makes me want to cry, and I’ve done such a good job
of avoiding that lately. I’m certainly not going to allow myself to do
it around him.
part since my family fell apart in the most scandalous, public way
possible. We’re tabloid fodder; papers with our names and faces on them
are everywhere. The destruction and downfall of the Blake dynasty is
impossible to miss in this city. Some people are delighting in it, and I
don’t blame them.
illustrious Gloria and James—aren’t the people that my sister and I
thought they were. They’re exactly who the Feds thought they were,
though, given the incredibly damning case they’ve built up against Mom
and Dad, details of which are all over the evening news these days.
why Ben is here, I’m sure of it. This is what he does: he shows up when
I’m feeling low, and somehow manages to leave me feeling even lower.
Still, he’s one of a very few friends—past or present—who has contacted
me since this scandal broke, so I’m reluctant to send him away.
holds out a bottle of my favorite wine and says, “I was going to wait
until the Murphy benefit to talk to you, but I read something this
morning that made me think that I shouldn’t wait.”
short little sigh of relief, glad that he decided not to rehash whatever
terrible thing he read about my family this morning that made him think
that he needed to check in on me. The very last thing I want to hear
about tonight is my parents. At this point, I feel like I could do
without hearing about them ever again.
shake my head. I don’t want to talk about it, especially not with him.
Besides, talking? That’s not what Ben and I do. We fuck, and then I try
to turn that into some kind of a relationship. I give it my all, but he
inevitably cheats on me, and breaks my heart. Then he begs me for
forgiveness, and asks for another chance. Like a fool, I always give him
now I’m smart enough to know that I can only rely on Ben for
mind-blowing orgasms. He’s amazing in bed. Out of it? Not so much.
Whenever I expect or hope for anything more from him, I get my heart
broken, and I can’t handle any more heartbreak right now. His body was
the only thing that he ever freely gave to me, and sex with him had been
almost…transcendent. Ben always used sex to make me feel better, so
there’s no doubt in my mind that’s what he’s here for tonight. There’s
no use in trying for anything more when that only ever ends badly for
lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes.
Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for
most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably
find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80′s sitcoms.