Neglected, abandoned by a heroin-addicted mother, and placed in foster care at ten, Enzo Jordan has learned one thing…love hurts. At thirty-five, he has a successful tattoo shop and his choice of women. The one-night stands are getting old, and the love he holds for his best friend, Aibhlinn is impossible to hide. When the attraction between them reaches a boiling point, he’s forced to choose between facing his fears and walking away.
Aibhlinn Leahy has been in love with her best friend for years. The Irish-born comic book artist has poured time, energy, and love into the wounded man. His choice to walk away breaks her heart but frees her to explore a new future.
Life is a cruel and amazing thing. An abandoned baby brings the two back together, and they’re forced to examine the love that has long existed between them. This is a story of pain, scars, and fear. We all have demons to battle. The real decision is who’s in control…us or them?
If you told him a few years ago, he would go to the Prom and enjoy it, he would’ve laughed. Yet, here he was lounging on the bed watching television in the hotel room he and Aibhlinn had rented. Their friends had started off partying with them before bowing out to retreat to their own rooms or head on home.
She was still dressed in the blush pink gown that hugged her curves, and belled out into a skirt that brushed the floor. He’d ditched his tux jacket, unbuttoned his top buttons and rolled up his sleeves hours ago.
“We really are morbid you know,” Aibhlinn commented.
“Watching Carrie on prom night,” she said.
“Well, no one dumped pig’s blood on you, so I think we’re good.”
“The night’s still young,” she stated dryly.
Enzo laughed and shook his head. “Like I would ever let that happen.” He felt fiercely protective of his best friend. The girl had cracked opened his chest cavity, wormed her way into his heart…brought him kicking and screaming out of the darkness and into the light. She’d done something few people could, gained his trust. He studied her as she beamed.
Her blue-green eyes sparkled and he could see the small flecks of green inherited from her father. Her thick hair tumbled around her slender oval face in insane curls, and she glowed. Her full lips were tempting him. Bare of lipstick they glistened and glimmered a light shade of pink. Suddenly, he wanted to know what that lip-gloss tasted like, what she tasted like.
“Enz?” she said.
“Shhh.” He leaned forward and cupped her face.
She went still, but didn’t move away.
He took it as permission. He pressed their lips together, and his world exploded around him. She tasted like sugar, sweet, and addictive. He couldn’t get enough. He tilted his head for better accent and she gasped. He slipped his tongue into her mouth.
It was akin to sticking his tongue into a light socket full of pleasure endorphins. Energy rushed through him weaving a seductive spell. His pants grew too tight, and his hunger for more flared. She whimpered, and he moaned. The sound of her surrender tasted better than any of the pleasure filled cries he’d wrung from other girls.
His heart raced, and his hand shook slightly as he brushed her hair way from her face. It was baby soft and smelled like flowers. He’d fallen into heaven. He lowered her body to the bed. Pressed chest to chest, their eyes locked and he knew he was in way too deep. I love her. The words jolted him from his lust. He pulled back, breathing hard. “As good as this feels and as amazing as this would be with you, I just can’t. It would ruin what we have and if I ever lost you, I’d lose my mind. You’re the only female I can trust. I need you to stay that. Do you understand? It’s nothing against you, and everything for you. I’m a bastard and I know it. You deserve romance, flowers and a deep commitment. I can’t give you that, babe.”
“Who says it’s what I want,” she said.
Enzo smiled and brushed the stray strands of hair behind her ear. “It’s what every girl wants, whether they realize it or not. Trust me, I’m older and wiser.”
“Oh fuck you and your six months,” she said with s shaky laugh.
Her eyes looked glossy and he knew if he saw a mirror, his would be the same. If he’d been a better person, someone capable of love the way she deserved, he would’ve continued. He cursed the bitch of mother and the way she’d twisted his dark soul. She broke something inside him, he would never be able to fix. He rested his forehead against hers, and tightened his hold, knowing he would never again get to experience this level of intimacy with the one woman he loved as much as he was able to.