Publication date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Sometimes, love comes with a price…
The past is always gonna try and bring you down, but you gotta fight. Fight hard for what you love. Fight to win is what twenty-two-year-old Dominick Anderson believes, but his life is a struggle. Growing up with an abusive father has made Dominick slow to love and trust, and he relies on his brother Kevin to keep him on a straight path. Dominick fights his demons every day, every night. Now a sophomore at the University of Washington and working a steady job at a mechanic’s shop, Dominick wants to create a better life and find the future his father never wanted him to have.
Dominick suppresses his identity and feelings until he meets Denise Ramsey. Smart, stunningly gorgeous, and sharing his love for motorcycles, Denise is everything Dominick longs for in a girl but knows he can never have. When a past love threatens her life and brings out Dominick’s suppressed dark side, he must decide if she’s worth the risk.
She grabs my arm and pulls me across the main room toward another, smaller, black-lit room full of couches, padded benches, and beanbag chairs.
A few couples occupy the neon-glowing couches, while others lounge around in the other seats. I manage to finish my drink before Denise swipes the ice-filled cup from my hands and tosses it in the garbage.
She pushes me backwards onto an oversized beanbag chair and plops on top of me. She plants her lips onto mine and kisses me hard. My hands fall to her hips as I welcome her forcefulness. Her dress gives off neon sparkles under the overhead black light. The music shifts again and the thumping, possessive beat returns, making the room vibrate. She cups my face with her hands, kissing me deeper, and I feel her tongue prod my lips.
Oh, fuck yes.
Chauncey’s is pretty busy by the time we arrive. With the place being only blocks away from campus, it’s one of the most popular bars, and our favorite hangout spot. Kevin finds a space across the street to park, and we get out, hustling across the street as rain pelts us.
“You know, you look ridiculous wearing those at night.” I point at his sunglasses.
Kevin adjusts his ball cap and stuffs his hands in the pockets of his brown hoodie. “I don’t give a fuck. I’m not in the mood to deal with fans right now.”
Dim lights and the smell of stale beer welcome us as we enter. The groups of college students that frequent here are standing or sitting around in their usual spots. Kevin and I find two empty stools at the bar, near where a bunch of frat guys are playing darts.
“You’re Miss Dee Dee tonight, li’l bro,” Kevin says with a smirk, and then points out the vodka to Olivia, the bartender.
I roll my eyes. It’s an inside joke Kevin and I have whenever we go out and drink. The one who’s named “Miss Dee Dee” first is responsible for driving, so they’re not allowed to get hammered.
“Whatever you say, Miss Daisy,” I say, and order my usual.
Olivia fills three shots and slides them in front of Kevin. He downs the first one in a single gulp, and then winces and hisses through his teeth.
I spin around in my stool so my back’s against the counter and watch the crowd at the dartboard. I recognize a few guys from Xi Rho Nu. The girls watch each guy who takes aim like predators assessing their prey. I look sidelong at Kevin, who quaffs his second shot. “Hey, Kev. You still single?”
Kevin looks up. “What the hell kinda question’s that?”
“An important one, ’cause . . . well, I met this girl at the club the other night, right? Name’s Trinity. Pretty sexy. Thing is, she’s one of Denise’s friends. She knows you and I are brothers.”
“Mmhmm.” Kevin downs his third shot and then signals Olivia to fill up three more.
“She’s cool,” I say. “But I don’t think we’d make a pair, y’know?”
“What? You can’t like her?”
“Not anything more than friends. I mean she already knows I have a thing for Denise. But the moment I mention your name her panties practically drop.”
Kevin smirks. “I tend to have that effect on the honeys.” Three more shots slide his way. He picks one up and tips his head back, emptying shot number four.
“She’s a good girl who’s looking for love, bro. You should talk to her.”
“Naw. I’m done with relationships for a while. Not after the shit I went through with the last one.”
I shake my head. “Seriously, I don’t think she’s anything like that. She’s Denise’s best friend, and from what I’ve seen, Denise doesn’t hang out with skanks like Justine.”
“Justine was worse than a skank.” Shot number five disappears quicker than I can blink.
“Trinity loves the fact that you play basketball,” I say.
“You told her that?”
“Yeah. And she thinks it’s hot.”
“Does she, now?” He traces his thumb across his smiling lips.
“Yup, and she said she wants to watch you play sometime.”
He nods absently. Has the vodka already started to kick in?