Addison Peacock has been stuck in the same seaside town her entire life. When her college boyfriend proposes the night before graduation, she can finally see the future she’d always dreamt about. But the sudden illness of her father causes her to put that future on hold, and her soon-to-be husband leaves, with nothing but a promise that one day he’ll return.
Now, five years later, he’s kept that promise. There’s only one problem . . . he’s already married. Crushed twice by the same man, Addison needs a distraction, someone to get her back on her feet and mend her broken heart. As luck would have it, Damian Walker has just moved in next door.
Having rebuilt his own life after a drunk driver stole his career, his heart . . . everything, Damian knows what it’s going to take to get Addison’s life back on track. But he’s not going to be anyone’s rebound. His life is complicated . . . there’s no room for one-night stands. Until Addison knows what she’s looking for, neighbors are all they’ll ever be.
One shared wall, two sun-kissed balconies, and a chance at love...a twist of fate. Could the possibility of a future be right next door?
Barreling out of her apartment in black leggings and a white tank that accentuates those perfect breasts I’m thinking this run, may be the death of me. I already want to trail my hands along the smooth curves of her hips and take those tight black pants right off her body. My breath gets shallow as I near her, my body reacting to what she does to me.
She seems tense, worried about something as I approach. Her top lip is securely hidden under her straight white bottom teeth and she’s eyeing me as I walk toward her.
“Loosen up, Addison. I’m not going to bite.” Running my hand along her ponytail, I give it a slight tug before heading down the stairs, assuming she’ll follow. “Unless of course you ask me to.”
I’m at the bottom of the staircase stretching, and she’s still waiting up top. Where’s the playful girl from ten minutes ago?
Whatever had been bothering her seems to vanish as she puts her smile back on and bounces down to me. “Not yet,” she mumbles as she descends the stairs. It’s clear she was talking to herself, not realizing that her double meaning was loud and echoing in my own ears. I instantly get a semi erection at the image of those intense eyes glossing over in ecstasy, her lips parted and my name falling off her tongue.
Standing close, she places a hand on my shoulder for support as she grabs her foot to stretch. Her head is right under my chin, her soft scent surrounding me. Gently I hold onto her arms and keep her steady as she changes legs. The urge to lean down and kiss her overwhelms me as I hold her delicate shoulders, her bottom lip secure under her front teeth.
She’s stunning; her long dark hair is pulled back, her eyes deep in concentration on what she’s doing. I want to tell her how beautiful she is, caught up in this moment with her. The words are on the tip of my tongue when she steps back and pats my ass, taking off at a slow jog. I smile to myself and watch her from behind. Next time she touches my ass, I’m kissing her, no questions asked.
She’s keeping up with me stride for stride as we take off down the beach path. Her breath is coming in gasps, and a sheen of sweat has begun beading on her forehead. I’m barely breaking a sweat, but I’ll get my workout in tomorrow morning at the track, or if I’m lucky, maybe tonight between my sheets. Looking down at her from the corner of my eye, I’m happy to see that she’s now more relaxed.
“How’s the girlfriend search?”
I almost trip on that damn tree root.
“That doesn’t answer my question.” She’s having a hard time talking, winded from our pace and I think I should speed us up further so she can’t talk at all.
“I’m working on a few prospects at the moment. If any of them pan out I’ll let you know.”
She rolls her eyes and I want to throw her in the sand and kiss her, make her forget she asked me a question in the first place.
“Do you always run at night?” she asks between labored breaths. What’s with the twenty questions?
“No. I’m a morning person.”
Her eyes dart in my direction, as a curious look crosses her face.
“You have a dirty mind, Green Eyes.”
Bumping into me, she argues the topic, barely getting her words out she’s straining so hard. “How do you know,” she takes in a big breath, “what was on my mind?”
“Everything you think is written all over your face. And for your information, yes, I love the mornings.”
She stops mid-stride and bends over in laughter, her arms across her midsection as she tries to catch her breath. Suddenly she’s in the sand not even trying to get a handle on the giggles erupting from the depth of her gut. Sand is in her hair and sticks to the sweat that’s covering her skin. Her cheeks were already a rosy color and now they’re turning bright red.
I sit down beside her, my arms propped up on my knees waiting for her to calm down.
When she finally gets a handle on herself, she lies flat on her back and stares up at the sky, her eyes suddenly far away, looking like they’re searching for answers to some unasked question. “My ex was a morning person too. I loved it. It’s quiet outside, and still dark in the bedroom. It’s like a secret time where you feel like you’re the only two people on the planet awake and you’re sharing a piece of yourself with each other. A silent communication that only the two of you can understand.”
Unexpected sadness washes over me listening to Addison long for a situation that clearly doesn’t exist in her life anymore. Whoever her ex is must be a real asshole.
She deserves better than an asshole.
She deserves me.
About the Author:
A.J. Pryor lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. If not home writing, you can find her at the beach, the yoga studio or the soccer field with her girls. An avid reader of contemporary romance, new adult and young adult novels, her Kindle is always within reach. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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