When Roxanna Chase finds herself alone in her tiny hometown of Haven, Indiana on Thanksgiving eve, she decides to do the one thing she always swore she’d never do: attend Chatterfest, an unofficial high school reunion held every year the night before Thanksgiving at Haven’s busiest bar, The Watering Hole. After a couple of cocktails and reminiscing with a classmate, Roxanna is overwhelmed, and a little turned on, when her old high school crush Nicholas Birch approaches her at the bar. He’s still as tall, broad-shouldered and sexy as he was thirty years ago. Since he’d dated her best friend in high school, Roxanna had always placed Nicholas in a box marked ‘hands off.’ When Nicholas admits he had feelings for Roxanna in high school, the two decide to leave the bar together and see what happens next. They quickly find that when old flames are rekindled, they can ignite into an inferno that refuses to burn out.
They drank their beers and shot darts all while talking and reminiscing. Nicholas won every single round of darts. Roxanna pretended to be a sore loser.
“Talk about an unfair advantage. You’re much taller than me, so it’s got to be easier for you to hit the bull’s eye,” she told him with a laugh.
“I could play the next round with a handicap. How about blindfolded? Or with one arm tied behind my back. Or how about both? I’d probably still win,” he told her with a good-natured smirk.
“Damn, you’re modest,” Roxanna told him with a playful shove. The solid wall of his muscular chest felt so good under her hands that she wanted another excuse to touch it. “You know, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I had a wicked crush on you in high school. Then when you and Bonnie became an item, I always felt like I was betraying my best friend by drooling over you, even if it was just in the pages of my diary.”
“Really? You had a crush on me?” Nicholas asked as his hand came up to his chest to wrap around hers.
Roxanna looked at the way his hand had clasped her own and wondered if she’d gone too far. Was he trying to remove her hand from his body or hold it in place? Maybe she shouldn’t have admitted her feelings for him. She started to open her mouth and apologize to Nicholas. She was about to tell him she’d had too much to drink and that she was out of line when he surprised her by what he said next.
“Do you want to get out of here?” Nicholas asked her as his thumb stroked the inside of her wrist in a circular pattern that was both hypnotic and erotic.
She was sure he could feel her racing pulse under the thin flesh of her wrist. His touch caused her core to ache with a desire to be filled. The apex of her thighs began to swell. She felt her nipples harden into stiff peaks against the soft, lacy fabric of her bra. Her body told her the undeniable answer to his question was hell yes, she wanted—and now needed—to get out of there. She needed to leave with him. But could she allow herself to?
“I…” Roxanna began.
She started to tell Nicholas she didn’t know if she could. It had been so long since she’d been with anyone. Then she reminded herself of how long she’d been alone. Of how many nights she’d crawled into her cold bed by herself. Of many nights she’d wished for the company of a man, if not always for sexual fulfillment, just to be held. To have a sense of human contact. To hell with it. In the morning she’d console herself with the flimsy excuse of consuming too much alcohol.
“Yes, let’s go.”
About the author
Ariel Storm believes that fantasies are meant to be explored, on the pages of her manuscripts, and beyond. Ariel fell in love with all things paranormal, magical and mystical at a young age. Her obsession with the dark, dangerous and forbidden began in her teen years as a way to rebel against her strict religious upbringing. Her stories can range from contemporary BDSM to new adult to paranormal. One thing will never change, and that’s writing scorching hot erotic romance with unconventionally sexy alpha heroes.
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