tereotypical trailer trash. Thatâs how people saw me. Iâm Karmen Butler, the girl everyone teased, tortured, prankedâbullied.
fter graduating high school, I left my shithole of a town behind with no intentions of ever returning. My dreams were within my grasp. Or so I thoughtâ¦
uck. Thatâs what was on his side. Brayden Stephens was on top of the world and the biggest prick of all. At least thatâs how I remember him. Then he lost it all. His vices took over and now heâs a washed-up has-been with a cocky smirk and arrogant attitude.
alued. That was how he made me feel. One night changed everything for us. In an instant I was lost to his touch, his voice. Everything about him captivated me.
gainst my better judgment, I let him in. I let him see the real me. Since heâd walked into my office, heâd been trying to redeem himself of his past mistakes.
limpses of a love and life Iâd never known before were all he had given me. Now heâs done it, the one thing he said he wouldnât. Heâs broken me. AGAIN.
xcuses are what I was fed. The truth restrained him, bound him to his past, and now, Iâm left to deal with the aftermath.
Is there anything left to SALVAGE?
I donât knowâ¦
You tell me.
Karmen stands next to the kitchen table looking at something. In just a towel, I walk past her towards the coffee pot. As I pour my steaming cup of Holy goodness, she says, âWellâ¦Iâm just going to come out and say it, okay?â
I turn around, one hand clutches the end of my towel to hold it in place. My eyes find hers over the rim of my coffee cup. I nod as I blow on the steaming liquid. I watch as she focuses in on my lips, so I purposely blow a little harder.
She drops her eyes and looks down at her fingers, concentrating on picking at the red nail polish on her nails. âI want us to be friends not just at work but out of work too,â she blurts out.
At this I laugh.
Her head snaps up and she glares daggers at me from across the few feet separating us. âIs it so funny to think of us being friends?â The sharp tone of her voice tells me she really thinks that I wouldnât want to be friends with her. I do. But I want more, much more.
âThen why laugh at me?â
âWell, I kind of already thought we were friends.â I shrug. âAnd after that kiss, maybe even a little more.â
I watch as her body sags in relief, and hope begins to build that maybe she might want more, too. âBrayden, I already told you we cannot go there.â
âWell seeing as we already did âgo there,' I donât see what the problem is. You kissed me, Karmen. I know you felt what I felt in that kiss.â I place my mug on the counter, my coffee is forgotten as I take a step in her direction. My tone drops to one of seduction. Like yesterday, I pull her back under my spell. âYou canât tell me you didnât feel the fire.â Another step. âThe heat.â I drop my voice another octave as I close the distance between us. My face closes in on hers. Instead of claiming her lips like I want, I skim the tip of my nose along her jaw, up her neck in agonizingly slow strokes, before growling in her ear, âThe hunger.â I look down, her chest rises and falls in rapid breaths that fan out against my own neck. Blood rages through my veins like an addict getting the first hit of the rush they so much crave. My hand lands on her back. I pull her flush against my body, the towel separates my skin from touching hers. The contact forces an erotic groan past those luscious lips Iâm dying to kiss again. âThings could be so good between us. Even now, I can feel the tremble of your body against mine.â I nip at her earlobe and murmur, âThe way your heavy breaths hit my neck, I can feel how hard your nipples are. Theyâre begging to be sucked, right? Do you want me to touch you? Put you out of your misery?â I groan, and she nods her head like the wanton woman she is. Slowly, I glide my hand up along her side, and with the briefest of touches I let my thumb graze across her tight nipple. She whimpers and I add, âYou want me and I want you.â Absentmindedly, she nods her head vigorously, and at that moment I know Iâve got her. I pull back to see her eyes closed, her lips slightly parted. âBut since you only want to be friends then thatâs what weâll be.â
I know as soon as my words sink in. Karmenâs eyes pop open and she gasps in shock. I tilt my head to the side and stare back at her.
âYouâre an ass,â she snaps, flustered.
âMaybe. But I proved my point. Weâll be friends.â I drop my hands from around her waist and step away from her. âIâm giving you what you want. Iâm a very giving man.â I grin at her and wink. âYou should remember that.â I grip the towel tighter, to keep from reaching out to her. My feet carry me towards my room to get dressed, but her parting words halt my movements.
âThat kiss didnât mean anything,â she says nonchalantly.
I look back at her over my shoulder, and my grin turns into a full-blown smile. âYou keep telling yourself that, babe. Your body doesnât lie. It didnât lie yesterday when your hands were fisted in my shirt, and it didnât lie a second ago when you were putty in my hands.â
I donât give her a chance to refute what Iâve said. We both know Iâm right. Iâll play her friends card. But just like a spark eventually becomes a flame, that flame will sooner or later turn into an inferno. Iâm betting whatever this is between us will be ablaze in no time.
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