Sometimes loving someone means letting them go.
After allowing Alexander James to walk out of her life, Elyssa Hart falls into a dark spiral of deception, submission, and grief. In Alex’s absence, the determined Oliver Prescott has the opportunity to win over Elyssa’s affections. But, when untimely events bring Alex back from New York sooner than expected, Oliver soon realizes that battles of the heart are not easily won.
Coming home to an empty house, an empty heart, and a constant reminder of heartache is just the tip of Alex’s troubles. He not only has to vie once again for Elyssa’s heart, but also show her a sense of security that’s been destroyed. Can he rebuild the foundation they built before he left or has he lost her for good?
Alex’s return coupled with Oliver’s advances has Elyssa not only stuck in a triangular love affair, but caught in a web woven so tight by Arianna Salerno. Alex’s past, constant threats, and a relentless watchful eye are only a few tools in Arianna’s bag of torture as she pushes Elyssa further and further away from the only man she’s ever loved.
Meet the Author:
Ann currently lives in Las Vegas with her beautiful family. Ann has a Bachelors degree in Business Management and is currently pursuing a Masters degree. A year ago she took a leap of faith and decided to pursue her dreams of becoming an author. When she’s not at work, school, or spending time with her family…she’s usually completely absorbed in a book!
Stephanie Nash is originally from Post Falls, Idaho and is thankful for the peaceful surroundings which gave her stability and sense of direction. Currently residing in North Las Vegas, Stephanie has gotten to experience a life outside of the beautiful Northwest and was given the opportunity to live a life far beyond her expectations. After spending five years as an undergraduate, ending up at UNLV, she decided to take a chance at love and passion and quickly became immersed with her true passions: Writing, Reading and her loving boyfriend of ten years.
Alex pushes me up against the brick wall and not lightly I might add. With his arms encapsulating me, he rests his forearms on the wall beside my head and its déjà vu all over again. I remember us being in this same position not that long ago. Not the same bar, but the same feelings of having him so close, yet so far. So much has changed since that first night, but one fact still remains the same: I want him.
Alex leans his forehead against mine and pushes himself closer. I can feel his ire melting off of his body as he slumps against me, breathing me in. I know what this is doing to him. His arms, normally so strong, are trembling. His breath, normally so calm and even, is ragged. And don’t count the bulge struggling to break free from his jeans. Again, my eyes involuntarily flutter.
“So, here we are again.” Of course, he’s referring to our compromising position. It was just yesterday that Alex was stroking me, kissing me, running his mouth along my body. I had the strength to push him away then, but I don’t know if I have it tonight.
I raise my eyebrows and give him a questioning glare. “Is this your way of giving a girl time?”
“Don’t know…I’ve never had a girl ask me to give her time. Then again, I’ve never loved a girl enough to care about what she wanted.” His statement is honest, laced with confidence and sincerity. “So, is that what you want out there? Is that how you want to spend your time? You know, if that’s what does it for you, all you had to do was ask. I’ll always take care of you.” A cocky grin touches his lips. I’m not sure if I want to slap him or kiss him. He leans back, perusing my plunging neckline and skin tight dress. “I can tell by that dress alone what you came in search of tonight.”
My face feels flushed even though I should be insulted. “I know what you can do, Alex. Trust me. I know firsthand what you’re capable of.”
“Really? What’s that?”
I gulp as his finger travels down the line of my cleavage, toying with the neckline of my dress. No. I won’t allow him to do this to me. Not after seeing him with Sandy tonight. Not even his touch, nor his words, can bring me out of this despair.
“Your touch is tantalizing, yet tainted. I know where your hands have been. Every touch, every kiss, they’re no longer special because you’ve shared them with so many different women. You’re right, I don’t need anything from the men out there nor do I need anything from the man in here,” I lie. I really wish that I could say that with more conviction.
“Tantalizing, huh?” His dimpled grin is heartwarmingly adorable, but it upsets me that he suffers from selective hearing and only focused on a portion of what I said.
“Alex, you have to stop this,” I practically whisper.
“Look at me, Hart.” I concede and stare up into his demanding blue eyes. “What exactly is this?” His eyes rake over my body, making me quiver with each inch he visually covers. “Are you talking about the fact that I can feel how much you want me?” He leans down, whispering in my ear. “I bet if I dipped into those sexy panties you’re wearing you’d be soaking wet. I can practically smell you and trust me when I say that you smell just as good as you taste.” He runs his nose along my jaw line drawing a small moan from me as he inhales.
“I didn’t come here for you,” I breathe back.
“You sure as hell fooled me with the way you’re panting. If I’m not mistaken, with the look you’re giving me, you’re attempting to figure out the quickest way to get my clothes off and inside you. Am I right?”
“I-I came here f-for Janice,” I stutter, after foolishly attempting to push against his chest. I can feel his heartbeat underneath my palms. And even though Alex seems calm, his heart is frantic as he pushes against me.
“Listen, she just broke up with her boyfriend. Honestly, I’m just trying to help her get over him. Nothing more, I promise.”
Ice melting. That’s the look Alex has in his eyes with the mention of heartache. “Oh, you would know something about that, wouldn’t you?” And just like that, the switch has been officially flipped. No longer is sexy Alex out to play. Nope, now it’s time for brooding Alex to take his turn. “You two are two peas in a fucked up man-hating pod. You decide the best way to forget about an ex-boyfriend is to just move on to someone else? Sounds familiar. What do they call it…a rebound fuck?” I reach up trying to slap him, but Alex reflexively grabs my wrist, stopping me. He knows nothing of the ache I feel inside, an ache that is unrelenting no matter how often I try to keep busy in an effort to not think of him.
“Her man cheated on her! With a client! I’m sure you know a lot about that.” Two can play at this game. Alex’s grip loosens as his face turns to one of confusion. “What is she supposed to do? Mourn some asshole who didn’t appreciate her?”
“Wasn’t it not that long ago that I let her leave work to go home and take care of herself? How do you go from being heartbroken to chatting it up with strippers in the matter of seconds? I swear I’m the chick in this relationship…talking about respect and actually giving myself time instead of jumping on the first warm body.”
“Are you kidding me? Look at you talking about warm bodies and rebound fucks, being Mr. High and Mighty, when you just left this very room less than twenty minutes ago with your precious Sandy!” I hate the taste of her name on my tongue. I hate even more that I just let Alex know that it’s bothering me.
“What in the fuck are you talking about?” He seems anxious. He must think I’m an idiot if he actually thinks I believe their visit was innocent.
“I’m not stupid, Calvin,” I answer through gritted teeth.
“Don’t call me that. EVER.” Alex leans in, his face mere inches away from mine. “Don’t fucking push me, Elyssa.”
“Again, I’m not stupid. I saw with my own eyes. You were with her today and I definitely remember you leaving with her yesterday. So next time you want to try and control my life whenever you see fit, just remember who is rebound fucking who! This is my life! I can make my own decisions, just like you appear to be. If those decisions are wrong, then God forbid that I actually get the opportunity to make a mistake.”
Visually Alex looks like I just ran him over with my car. He doesn’t know how to handle me when I’m being defiant. More calm than before, “I’m not trying to control you. I just want you to admit that you’re not over me.” He pushes closer again. “Just like I’m not over you.” He lifts my chin, forcing me to look at him. “I don’t want some asshole taking my place while I’m giving you your space. Seriously Elyssa, their like fucking vultures waiting for the death of our relationship. I won’t let you go.”
“You think I’m not scared of the same thing? Especially when it seems like you’ve already gone and found yourself something to tide you over.” My eyes dart to the closed door.
“What?! Are you talking about Sandy?” I nod my head as I pull my face away from his touch. “
“Would it bother you if I started seeing someone else?” His voice is soft as his fingers trace my lips.
“It would shatter me,” I mutter the truth against his fingers.
His hands move to the nape of my neck. “Then why are you doing this?”
“I really should go check on Janice.” I push against him trying to escape this conversation before I tell him something I know I shouldn’t.
Alex pushes me back against the wall and places his weight against me. “I miss you. I’ve never ached for someone as much as I do for you. I watch you every day as you go on with your life as if we never happened and it kills me.” The shiver that rocks me to the core is nothing I’ve ever felt before. I can barely breathe. “Please…tell me why,” Alex begs, letting his head rest against my shoulder.
I run my fingers through his hair, just as I have many times before. Only this time I’m trying to comfort him when I know I can’t give him any more. “You’re past is part of you. I get that, I really do. The problem I’m having is that it haunts me.” Literally. ”I need to know that I can get over the fact that you’ve shared yourself with so many women, when I’ve given myself to you and only you completely. You’re the only one who’s had all of me.”
“Don’t you see…you’re my only one. The women before meant nothing…they mean nothing. You’re my Hart.” Alex steps away, head down, defeated as I step around him and open the door. I don’t look back. I don’t dare for fear that I’ll crumble in front of him.
Elyssa … Minka Kelly
Alexander … Chris Hemsworth
Oliver … Alex O’Loughlin
Cole … Cam Gigandet
Arianna … Julianne Moore
Sandy … Charlize Theron
Nana Molly … Helen Mirren
Janice … Jayma Mays
Autumn … Isla Fisher
Rachel … Olivia Wilde
Bryan … Greg Vaughan
Travis … Dominic Purcell
Trevor … Tyler Hoechlin
Maggie … Gina Gershon
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