Author: M.R. Field
Series: Running On Empty #3
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
If love were a battleground, then we waged a war upon it.
We’d been best friends for years, and then we were wayward lovers. It was meant to just be an itch to scratch—some harmless fun. But once he had me under his thumb, tied in his binds, he became my undoing.
These days, he consumes my thoughts. I’m powerless under his touch.
He makes me ignore the guilt from my past that consumes me when I don’t deserve to forget. With him, I am raw and exposed, yet he continues to move closer to me.
He’s willing to fight, but my armour has been dented enough.
Secrets have the power to make or break you—mine have the power to do both.
After being lied to by my own family, I know the power of deception. Now, I’m afraid that withholding the truth will be my ruin.
Especially when all my secrets are attached to her.
She is my muse. My salvation. The reason my past didn’t destroy me.
She makes me feel. She makes me want. She’s the gasoline to my fire.
All’s fair in love and war.
For us, it’s time to strike the match.
Series: Running on Empty #3
Author: MR Field
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: By Hang Le
Release Date: October 25, 2016
No, step back.
You can’t touch it.
The amused clerk stares at me, stupefied.
“What?” I ask, clutching the plastic-covered goods. I’m only hugging a magazine. What’s wrong with that? Pressing my thumb and index finger together, I feel the thickness of the comic. Is it thicker, this edition? I glance down at the glossy contents, trying in vain to guess the page number. Does she finally see him?! Oh my God! He can’t be captured! My excitement flares until the clerk’s eyes clash with mine.
“Haven’t you worked out internet shopping yet? You can order it online and have it delivered to your front door, you know.” He hands me the receipt for my precious purchase, but I can’t move. His sheer stupidity has me frozen to the ground.
I stare at him. Right at him. Why was he discouraging customers from coming in?
Can I poke him on the forehead to check for any sign of life in there? Check that he isn’t a damn fool?
I snap out of my trance and snatch the receipt out of his villainous fingers.
“And you fucking work here,” I mutter in disgust. “The whole purpose of coming in here is to immerse myself in the vibe. The unity of like-minded people in one place.
You clearly do not have the said vibe to be standing behind that desk.” I stand on my tiptoes and look over the desktop at him. “You’re not even dressed like you belong
here. Where are your Docs? Where’s the metal in your face? Where’s the chain to your wallet? You’re wearing ordinary jeans … did you lose your way from the GAP?”
He leans forward and stares down at my outfit, paying significant attention to the cherry blossom tattoo that crawls over my shoulder. Stare at my boobs, buddy, and my shoe goes up your arse.
“Did a Smurf attach itself to your head?”
I touch my tongue to my labret and run a hand quickly through the loose ends of my bun, unweaving it to form a ponytail. “Well, there was a Smurf orgy, actually. They all got excited and left a mess.” His face stills as he stares at me. “Yeah, I know, I took it too far. But, you have to admit, you kinda don’t fit in here if you can’t take on the weirdos.” I chuckle as I bring the comic closer to me.
“I get off in fifteen if you want to hit a pub and yell at me some more.” He winks, leaning his elbows on the desk. “We can see how weird this conversation can really get.”
My chin flinches in surprise. He’s cute. I’ll give him that. He has short blond hair and blue eyes, but that familiar feeling of interest doesn’t come. No accelerated heartbeat, or pulse—nothing.
A year ago, I might’ve said yes, the quick thrill of want overriding anything else. The need to escape my clouded thoughts had been easily fixed with a cheap screw. So why not now? ’Cause I had a boyfriend? We weren’t even classified that.
I consider my response for a moment longer, not realising that I’ve kept him waiting until he clears his throat.
“So, I take it that’s a no, then?” He tilts his head, leaning closer to me, but I take a step back. His cuteness does not lure me in. He chuckles and winks. But, again, nothing. No twitching—nothing igniting between my legs. I honestly think my vagina is on a hiatus or holidaying in the Bahamas. All the while it sunbakes, waiting for Theo. We need to sort our shit out.
“Sorry. I’m not able to,” I say, clutching the mag to my chest. “But … um, thanks?”
“You’re asking a question?”
“It’s not every day you get a backhanded compliment after being accused of a Smurf invasion.”
He smiles and points to the magazine that I grip at my chest. “Off you go on your special adventure with that.” He gestures as the magazine crinkles slightly between my protective fingers. “Try to avoid any Smurfs on your way home.”
I release the magazine in one hand and point up towards my left. “I think once you’re up those stairs, the GAP is that way.”
Under the lights, amongst the jazz shoes, blistered feet and caked faces of the dance troupe, you pretend you’re someone else. The melody begins and your body responds. You allow it to weave into your skin until it’s made itself home in your soul. It is that dance that drives you. It is that dance that will continue to save you. It is that dance that will release you.
Until your heart can no longer shut him out, even after he’s pushed you away.
You can’t let him in again, can you? There’s only so much of your heart left to give.
She is the reason I can’t stay. The reason that the covered bruises, the lies and the hurt are too much. I am no good for her. But when I see her again, I can’t stay away. Like Dante said, “The path to paradise begins in hell.”
I’ve spent my younger years acting, safe in a world of make-believe. I learnt to transform into roles to hold onto a sense of harmony in my life.
Years later, still in that moment, I am another face. Another mask. I am not me—the forgotten daughter, the quiet friend, the unrequited love.
Until the pretending becomes meaningless.
And my life hardens again.
I’m tired of acting for my friends when my parents ignore me. I’m tired of acting for myself when I want the world to stop being so hard. I’m tired of holding back from the only man I’ve ever loved.
Even though being drawn to him petrifies me above all else.
When I act to him, he sees right through me.
Each and every time.
She has haunted my dreams for years. The girl I teased to watch her blush. The girl I watched in quiet agony. The girl I had a chance with, one I ruined when I pushed her away.
Now, after all these years, she’s returning to work for me. A ruse to make her mine.
I will show her that she deserves to be cherished, and loved. I’ll bring back that goddess who took my breath away when I was twenty.
You only live once. Side by side, I only want this final lifetime spent with her.