I’ve been called a smart-mouthed, tattooed firecracker with a penchant for
running straight into trouble, but after coming off the worst break up in
history, all I want is to get my life together. No more trouble, no more
So when my best friend changes the rules on me, I’m not sure how to react.
Though my body sure knows how to react seeing him without his shirt on. Where
did all those muscles come from? And when my ex comes back to town to wreak
havoc, my lofty plans go right out the window.
I fell in love with Amelia in the sixth grade when I pulled her off another
girl in a hair pulling fight. And she put me directly in the friend zone. We’ve
been through everything together from ER trips after skateboarding mishaps to
fighting off a peacock with a mean streak. But the one thing I’ve never told
her is how I really feel. Now that Amelia is single again, it’s time to make my
move. But Amelia has never gone down without a fight involved, and this will be
Either she’ll fall in love with me like I hope, or Amelia will unfriend me forever.
I stepped closer to the window, seeing our overflow dirt parking lot. And then my gaze slid left where I saw Titus standing by a huge pile of wood and drywall that he’d ripped out of the guest room. His T-shirt was off and there was a healthy dose of sweat dripping down his torso. He twisted off the cap to a water bottle and chugged the whole thing, his Adam’s apple working to hypnotize me. When was the last time I’d seen him without a shirt?
Because that? That specimen with six-pack abs and a chest you could bounce quarters off of wasn’t the Titus I remembered. He’d always been lanky, which made sense, given his extraordinary height. And he’d always had muscles because he was athletic in school and his job required strength. But holy wow. What the hell had happened over the last year?
My nose hit the cold glass and I jumped back, rubbing it as I pondered the changes in Titus when I hadn’t been looking. The steady hum in my gut also gave me pause. Was that…lust?
My brain screamed at me to walk away and quit staring at him, but my body was having nothing of it. We were gonna pull up a chair and stay for the show for as long as the show lasted. Better yet, why not go out there and see it up close?
Good judgement had always been a weak spot in my character, but I never shamed myself for it. I went with impulses, so what? Sometimes they worked out great. Other times, not so much. But the way I figured it, you never got some excitement in your life unless you made the leap. And right now, I wanted some excitement in the form of a half-dressed Titus. I’d worry about what it all meant later. Much later.
“Yo, T!” I hollered as soon as I turned the corner outside and stepped off the blacktop onto the dirt.
Titus swiped the sweat from his forehead with his bulging bicep. His face lit up in an easy smile when he saw me. “Hey, Lia. Almost done here.”
I sauntered over, not looking where I was going. “Yeah, I see that.”
There was a bead of sweat sliding down right between his pecs. A fascinating journey of bumps and valleys.
A throat clearing had me looking up. Titus had a playful look in his eye, his mouth tugging into a smile. “Are you undressing me with your eyes, Amelia Waldo?”
I guess I was, but he didn’t have to call me out like that. “Are you kidding me? You can’t walk around half-dressed and then blame a girl for looking. If I was half-dressed, wouldn’t you be looking at me?”
Titus took a giant step forward and flicked the collar of my shirt. He didn’t even touch me, but I could feel it all the way to the tips of my toes.
“Hell, yeah, I would. I’d ogle you until my eyes bled.” His gaze flicked down the length of my body and suddenly I needed to squeeze my thighs together.
“Are we actually doing this? We’re flirting? You and me?” I whispered it, afraid to say it too loud. Like the volume of my voice would make it something real I couldn’t take back.
Titus shrugged slow and lazy, his eyes heating further. That finger still toyed with my shirt. If he didn’t stop, I might melt into a puddle at his feet.
“I don’t see why we shouldn’t. You’re hot, I’m hot. Kind of makes sense to flirt.”
I smirked. “Wow. Nice ego you got there.” I studied him seriously. “You don’t worry about harming our friendship?”
Titus’s eyelids slid down and I wondered what it would be like to kiss him. He had to be a good kisser after kissing the entire female population of Auburn Hill.
“Sometimes friends make the best lovers.”
spends her time behind a computer crafting stories, walking the beaches of
southern California, and making healthy food for her kids and husband whether
they like it or not. Prior to writing novels, Marika held various jobs in the
finance industry, with private start-up companies, and then in health &
fitness. Cats may have nine lives, but Marika believes everyone should have
nine careers to keep things spicy.
enjoys writing all types of fiction novels, based on what inspires her. Right
now she’s working on a new steamy RomCom series along with sweet romances to
make your heart explode. All her books come with a money-back guarantee that
you’ll smile at least once with every book.
information can be found at www.marikaray.com