Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school—only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate, Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.
Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain—he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything…because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.
It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken, there’s another that can make it complete.
Hours later, I stirred in increments, then snapped alert when I realized Max was spooning me. His arm was strong and warm across my waist, hips snug against my ass, and I felt each slow breath into my hair. Well, crap. No good deed and so on. It seemed unlikely that I could get away without disturbing him. The bedside clock read 5:45, so it was still mostly dark. As I shifted, he tightened his hold and nuzzled my neck. Obviously, it felt incredible, but it had been eight months. These days it didn’t take much to turn me on. But I wasn’t a shy virgin trembling with fear that he’d ravish me. So I lifted his arm and crawled out of bed. Max was rubbing his eyes when I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and get dressed.
“Okay, did I imagine—”
“Nothing happened.” I wasn’t about to tell him that he was crying in his sleep so I figured I better go on the offensive. “My bed had janky springs, that’s all.”
“Uh huh. Anyone ever tell you your hair smells like lemons?”
“That’s the top-notch motel shampoo.”
“Couldn’t resist me, huh? This always happens, sooner or later. Should we just do it already, defuse the sexual tension?”
“As if. You were on my side of the bed. There are Russian hitmen who would pay big money to spoon this.” I slapped my ass with a teasing grin and yanked the covers off him. “Come on, get up.”
He immediately grabbed a pillow, going for basic crotch camo. “Are you kidding?”
“Oh. You already are. I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“I have to pee,” he mumbled.
“Take your time. If you need me to step out, so you can—”
“So help me, Kaufman, if you don’t stop talking, right now, I’ll make you.”
Smirking, I did a taunting little dance, hip swivel and half-turn. “Sure you will. What, you gonna kiss me? Now that’s original. Besides, I’m way too good at it, remember? Pretty soon you’ll be dry humping me and then come all over yourself. Let’s not go down that road.”
He scrubbed a palm across his face. “It’s too early for this.”
“Exactly my point.”
Max slammed the bathroom door after stomping past me. He was in there long enough with the water running for me to consider teasing him, but honestly, what a guy did in the shower stall of a crappy motel bathroom was between him and the tiny soap. So I didn’t say anything as we packed up and headed out to the bike. But I was thinking about it, wondering a little, when I swung on behind him and nestled close.
I could get used to this.
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.