I’m done with love.
That’s why I’m back in the city I ran away from in the first place.
I swear the decision to stay has nothing to do with my new roommate and everything with what I left behind.
She’s easy on the eyes. Smart. Driven.
And we’re on the same page when it comes to relationships: We don’t do them.
But our lives have quickly fallen in sync.
Too easily. Too seamlessly.
I’m laying down roots and making plans for a future I can’t see without her in it.
Sometimes I think I can’t live with her . . .
Holt’s coveralls were filthy. He had a smudge of grease on his cheek. His hair was a wreck, strands of it haphazard in opposing directions.Relief rushed through me even as I stood a little straighter.
“You should lock the door.” He kicked it shut and shucked off his leather jacket, tossing it on the back of the sofa.
My pulse thrummed a rapid beat with every step he took toward the kitchen. His eyes were locked on mine, but I couldn’t read anything but the heat in them. Fury or desire, I didn’t know. He looked exhausted, that much I could tell.
He swiped the glass from my hand and drained half, making a disgusted face when he handed it back to me. “How do you drink that stuff?” He grimaced and went to the fridge, grabbing a beer and twisting the top off.
“Like this.” I made a show of putting the glass to my lips, slowly tipping it back until the dark liquid flowed into my mouth. “Delicious,” I said once I’d swallowed.
His throat bobbed as he watched me. His eyes slid down my body when I lowered the glass to the counter.
“Nice dress.” His gaze lingered at the V where just a hint of cleavage peeked out.
I’d worn the red A-line dress for him. To get his attention. Pathetic.
“That what people who work at a magazine wear?” He pointed his beer toward me, heat burning a trail where his eyes wandered down my body all the way to my heels.
“Only the easy ones.”
“I already explained that,” he said with a hint of impatience.
“I know what easy means.” He had explained and I loved his nickname, but I was still pissy after he hadn’t come home last night. “Apparently you’re well acquainted with the definition.”
He wiped the back of his mouth with his hand. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
I lifted one shoulder to my ear. “Nothing.”
He set his bottle down and closed the distance between us, though he was careful not to touch his clothes to my dress.
“You’d better clarify, Easy. This grease monkey isn’t following.”
I barely heard what he said, blindsided when the scent of motor oil wafted into my nostrils. I gripped the rounded edge of the counter and pressed my lower back into it to get away. It was useless. I was dizzy with the combination of sweat, garage, and Holt.
“I said nothing.” I lifted my chin, as I pretended not to be affected. There was no way I was asking if he’d been with someone the night before. “And stay out of my room.”
“That’s where the only working bathroom is. You knew that when we moved in.”
“Sounds like you’ve got a problem then.” I shrugged, and he scowled.
“No problem.” His voice held dark promise and unspoken desire.
Every inch of me ached for him to touch me, his breath ghosting across my face not anywhere near enough. I clenched my thighs together. That did nothing to stop the throb of heat in my core.
“You stink.” I wrinkled my nose and prayed he believed the lie.
“Then why’d you just inch closer, Easy?”
“I didn’t,” I said indignantly. “Can you back up, please? I have plans.”
He flattened his palms on the stone surface on either side of me. “We have plans.”
I held my breath to keep from taking any more of that intoxicating scent in, but I had to let it go so I could speak. “We do not.”
Holt winked at me, a signature move of the Dixon men. I should have been immune, but I melted. “Sure we do. It’s in our roommate agreement. Friday nights, we hang out.”
I shoved at his shoulders. “What are you talking about?” My voice was shaky, far too affected for my liking. “We don’t have a roommate agreement.”
“Sure, we do,” he said easily. “Did we or did we not agree to be roommates?”
I stared at him a moment. This was a trick question. It was too easy not to be. “Um . . . yes?”
He tapped the tip of my nose and grinned. “Exactly. And since we agreed to be roommates, we agreed to Friday nights. I’m picking this week. Pizza. Beer. And The Walking Dead.”
“Did you get hit on the head at work today?”
“Not that I remember,” he said cheekily.
I quirked my mouth to one side. “Inhale toxic fumes?”
“Probably.” He flashed his perfect white teeth at me.
My gaze dropped to his mouth, and I had to fight desperately to keep from doing something really stupid. Like kiss him the way my lips burned to.
“I have plans,” I said weakly.
“I know. We just went over them. Pizza. Beer—”
I held up my hand. “I got it. I got it.”
“Good.” He dipped his head closer to mine, our eyes locked. His were full of the kind of mischief I definitely wanted a part of.
He rapped his knuckles on the counter twice, and I jumped, narrowly avoiding head butting him. That grin turned knowing before he backed out of my space.
“Wait to change until I’m out of the shower. I need my privacy,” he said over his shoulder as he sauntered toward the bedroom.
I sagged against the counter when he disappeared, blindly feeling around for my wine glass. Once in hand, I downed the rest in one long swallow. Sweet Jesus that man put me in a tailspin.
He couldn’t get that close again. I’d never survive however long we lived together.
I marched down the hall with determined steps.
“We need to establish . . .” I lost my train of thought at the sight of him bare-chested, coveralls hanging off his hips. We had to get that bathroom fixed. Stat.
“Establish?” He twirled his hand in front of him in a finish that thought gesture.
I cleared my throat and dragged my eyes away from those cut abs up to his face. So that wasn’t really a hardship. “Boundaries. We need to establish boundaries.”
He shook his index finger at me. “Yes. I told you I needed some privacy, yet you tear in here like the house is on fire.”
“You can’t get in my personal space again.”
Holt shoved his coveralls off his hips, leaving him only in charcoal gray boxer briefs. “Easy, we live together. You can’t get any more up in each other’s personal space than that.”
A writer. A blogger. United by our love of stories and all things romance. There was definitely some insta-love. Hello? Books involved. A little courting. A lot of writing. The result…Grahame Claire.
Soulmates. Unashamed of our multiple book boyfriends. Especially the ones that rooted in our heads and wouldn’t leave us alone. Don’t worry. We’ll share.
Pleased to meet you.