Title: Start With Me
Series: Start Again Series Book Three
Author: J. Saman
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: October 16, 2017
No relationships. No falling in love.
Those are my rules. Simple. Easy. Uncomplicated.
Then Kyle Grant walks into my life and tries to mess all that up with his GQ looks and irresistible charm.
He’s everything I want.
But can never have.
The moment I laid eyes on Claire Sullivan, I knew she was different.
Then reality hit me. She’s my brother’s assistant. She lives in Seattle and I live in New York.
As if that wasn’t enough, she reminds me with annoying frequency that she doesn’t do relationships.
But I don’t care. I want her.
Now I just have to convince her to be mine.
We trek down the mountain and simply going by the laws of gravity, it takes us half the time to get down than it did to get up. By the time we reach his car, we’re exhausted.It’s also pitch black and raining. Hard. A torrential downpour complete with thunder and lightning came out of absolutely nowhere.“Shit,” Kyle laughs as he starts his car. “It’s awful out. And there are no lights around here.”“Then I take it you didn’t noticed that there is a car blocking you.”
“What?” Kyle’s head snaps around like he can see in the dark out of his even darker back windshield. He can’t. So, he puts his car into reverse and the backup camera comes to life on his navigation screen.
“Shit,” he says again, because some asshole seriously blocked us in. They’re parked in just such a way that we can’t get out because if we go forward and try to readjust ourselves, we’ll roll down into a gully.
“So, I guess I am a camping girl, after all. At least we’re warm and dry in your car.”
“Yeah. I have gas, but not a full tank and this car has a big engine, which means we don’t have enough to get through the night and drive home tomorrow.”
“That’s not exactly environmentally friendly.”
“Yeah. Thanks. I’m an asshole Yuppie.”
“I think your kind is actually referred to as the one-percenters now. Yuppie went out with acid-washed jeans, Studio 54, and blow.”
“Again, not very helpful. As I was saying, we have some gas, but we’re going to need it to get out of the fucking mountains. So, I’m going to have to turn off the car soon. We’re stuck out here, cupcake. Do you get that? We’re going to have to sleep in my car in the middle of the goddamn forest.”
He’s freaking out. Which is oddly endearing. I get it, though. He grew up in Philly and then lived in New York City, so roughing it in the wilderness is really not his thing. It’s not exactly my thing either, but I’m definitely more of a roll-with-the-punches person than he is.
“On the bright side, I packed plenty of water and snacks, and we have the whole back of your car to sleep in.”
He looks at me and I don’t think he’s seeing the bright side quite the same way I am. But really, we’re not so bad off. We have shelter, jackets, food and water. Could be so much worse.
“Claire . . .” He looks over at me, nonplussed.
“Oh, come on, Kyle. Adapt with me.” Heat is brushing our faces and it’s warm and cozy in here despite the monsoon outside. It’s actually pretty noisy, but in a comforting way. Is it weird that I’m not at all disappointed about being stuck out here with him?
Other than the fact that I have to pee. That part kind of sucks right now. And the sound of the rain is definitely not doing me any favors.
“Adapt with you? Are you willing to sleep with me in the backseat?”
“That’s oddly reminiscent of a high school proposition I once received.”
“I’m being serious.”
“I can see that,” I say with a smile, hoping to relax him. “Yes, I’ll gladly snuggle up against you. But first, I have to pee.” He looks at me like he might be ready to kill me. “It’s the sound of the rain. It cannot be helped. I’m going to pee and probably be soaking wet when I return.” Again, not amused. “Just keep the heat on, okay?”
I start to take off my jacket, followed by my shirt.
“What the hell are you doing?” he practically yells at me.
“Seriously?” I look over at him incredulously. “If I go out there fully dressed it will not only take me longer to do my thing, but I’ll be soaking wet when I return. I’m stripping down now so that when I come back, I can put on dry clothes and not freeze my ass off all night.”
He stares at me, his eyes slightly bulging. I shimmy out of my jeans and then I’m sitting on his front seat in my bra and panties.
“Fuck,” he hisses, but I don’t waste time on his reaction to my almost nudity.
I hit the unlock button and hop out into the freezing rain. “Holy hell,” I scream, running down to the car next to us and squatting in front of it. Kyle can’t see me from here and considering I’m already shaking and shuddering, frozen and soaked through, I wouldn’t care if he could.
I do my business in record time, rub my hands together because they’re already wet, and then I jump back into his car.
I’m drenched. Water is running through my hair and down my body in rivulets. My panties and bra are not even salvageable. I shiver, trembling uncontrollably. Because goddamn I’m freezing.
“C-close y-your e-e-e-eyes.” My teeth are chattering so badly I’m afraid I’m going to chip one. Kyle has the sense to turn up the heat to full blast, pointing the vents at me.
He looks at me and then I glare and he gets it. His eyes shut, but a small smile twitches up the corner of his lips. “I already looked.”
“Y-yeah, b-but I’m a-about to get n-n-n-naked”
“Why?” he asks, suddenly all Zen with an even bigger smile. Asshole.
“B-because I’m w-w-wet.”
He groans, throwing his head back and everything, and suddenly I’m flooding with heat.
I rip off my bra and panties, sitting naked on his passenger seat, which is nicely warm since he also turned on the butt heat for me. I use one of my t-shirts to wipe down my body—my frozen sodden body—very grateful that I thought to wear multiple layers. Between the blasting heat and the warmth from my seat, I’m already feeling better, and my teeth have thankfully calmed down enough for me to speak. “Are you looking?”
“No,” he says, that impish grin still in place. “But I have the perfect image of you mostly naked and soaking wet with your hard nipples poking through your bra, so I’m good.”
“Asshole,” I mutter, as I slip commando into my jeans and throw on my long-sleeved thermal followed by my jacket. I twist my soaking wet hair up into a bun and secure it with an elastic. “I’m good.”
“No baby, you’re fucking gorgeous.” His eyes open and he looks at me with a devilish smile I feel all the way in my toes. “How on earth am I going to sleep next to you and keep my hands to myself?”
He shakes his head, his eyes dark and filled with lust. Damn, I want to straddle him in his seat and ride him until morning.
I hand him a package of trail mix and a bottle of water from my backpack and we eat, accompanied by the sound of the pouring rain and the radio. We don’t speak. Our sexual tension is too tightly wound for words.
He silently shuts off the car, bathing us in blackness. The rain makes loud clanking sounds against the metal of the roof of his car. Lightning flashes violently, lighting up the black sky for a fleeting second followed closely by an angry ripple of thunder.
“You ready to try and sleep in this hellhole?”
“Yeah,” I say, my voice thick, my breaths coming out just a touch faster.
He flips on the flashlight app on his phone, hits a button on his car and the back seats go down.
“Bow chicka wow wow,” I sing playfully.
He laughs and then we wordlessly crawl back into our new bed.
We settle in, my back to his front. My ass far too close to his dick.
“Claire?” he whispers, the darkness and our proximity requiring that level of intimacy.
“I promise to be good,” he says and then pauses. “But you should know that I’m having all kinds of thoughts. All. Kinds. So, if you wake up to a wandering hand, I’m apologizing in advance.”
“You’re forgiven,” I breathe and giggle a little, trying to play his words off as a joke.
He drops an open mouth kiss to the crook of my neck. Once. Twice. It’s not enough. My eyes clench shut at the warmth of his mouth on my skin, a moan caught in the back of my throat. My eyes blink open and I stare into the blackness in front of me. It would be so easy to ask for more.
So, goddamn easy.
And so fucking stupid.
Then he pulls me into his chest, his arm wraps snuggly around my waist, forming my body to his incredible heat. I can’t get close enough.
I sigh. He sighs. I close my eyes and I spend the entire night talking myself out of turning around.
Author J. Saman lives in New England with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing romance and looking after her busy family, she works as a nurse practitioner. J. is a lover of picking at old wounds and second chance romances. She likes strong female leads and sexy alpha men with a sweet side.