Author: Ashley Wilcox
Release Date: January 13, 2014
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Bartender, dirt bike racer, and far from settling down…until that one race, and that one girl that changed everything.
Amelia took Merrick by surprise, bringing out emotions that he never knew existed. Amelia stole his heart…
Only to break it.
When fate puts Merrick and Amelia back together, it doesn’t come without a price- it comes with vengeance, determination, and putting his life on the line for the one he loves.
But, how much is Merrick willing to put on the line to have a future with no reason to hide? In the end, fate will decide...
Some words, a disclaimer, from Merrick Drake, himself:
I’m just going to put it out there…I’m sorry I’m a f*cking pussy at the beginning of this book. It isn’t any secret, Amelia burned me bad—like motherf*cking, stab me in the heart, leave me lying there by myself bad, but dammit, I wouldn’t change anything if I was ever given the chance. You’ll see that Amelia is damn near perfect and worth every second of misery she put me through. If you find yourself saying, “Jesus Christ, this guy needs to grow a set!” I don’t blame you, but just keep reading. I redeem myself pretty damn well, if I do say so myself, but beware, because holy $hit do things get intense! Enjoy reading, my friends—my life is a whole clusterf*ck of crazy, but somehow it all comes full circle by the end.
~ One week since Amelia ~
It was just past two o’clock in the afternoon. The sun was shining, the streets buzzing below…everything was just as it usually was except for one thing—it was another day on the imaginary calendar that I had in my head that counted the days I hadn’t heard from Amelia.
We completely hit it off the night of the race. We spent that entire night together, woke up the next morning wrapped around each other, then spent that whole next day together with breakfast at the local coffee shop, lunch at my favorite burger joint, and dinner ordered in and eaten naked on the couch. I was dumbfounded. Everything was fucking perfect, and now she’s just—poof!—gone.
The fucked up kid from Jersey wasn’t supposed to find a girl like her. I thought she was too good to be true, and now I see that I was right, because it’s been a week—seven long days since I woke up to an empty bed and no fucking clue what went wrong. No calls, no answers, just her voicemail, unanswered texts, and now a telephone line that’s no longer in service. Somehow the perfect girl wasn’t so perfect…at least not for me.
I couldn’t stand the douche that I’d become since she bounced in and out of my life. I was never the guy that moped in my apartment. I was never the guy that let my heart get in front of my dick. I wasn’t a player, an ass, or even a man-whore, I just didn’t do relationships. I’d always done my own thing, really. I hooked up with girls here and there, when the situation and girl were right, and always treated them with respect, not just like a piece of ass. But I never got attached. Never. Not because I didn’t want to or had commitment issues, I’d just never had that connection. I never had that mad desire (or any desire, really) to get to know them better.
Amelia was different. She caught my eye immediately. I didn’t meet her in my bar. She wasn’t begging for attention. She was chill, hot, and easy to talk to. The night of the race was one of the best nights of my life. Even with all the alcohol we consumed in those hours, I could remember it vividly—clear as fucking day…
“I can’t believe you own this bar!” Amelia’s eyes had spread open with shock when she stepped out of the taxi next to the curb.
“You’ve been by here before?”
“Well, yeah. I’m just a few blocks up,” she had said, speaking the obvious, her smile radiant against her flawless skin.
I couldn’t stop fucking staring. It was like she was an accident I couldn’t look away from; my eyes kept returning to her. I tried not to make it obvious, but she caught me a few times between the train and taxi ride back into the city. She smiled every time. Either she was just a nice ass girl or she could feel it…the connection. It was fucking ridiculous—I didn’t know what it was—some kind of draw, almost like an addiction. Being with her was intoxicating.
I placed my hand on my heart, acting hurt. “And you never stopped in?”
Her cheeks flushed an adorable pink as a smile peeked out of the side of her mouth. She glanced down to the ground, almost seeming embarrassed before she looked back up to answer. “Yeah, I don’t get out much. I guess you could call me a homebody.”
Though the smile remained on her face as she said it, there was distance in her eyes. They spoke. They spoke of heartache, of a past she wasn’t proud of. I wanted to ask what it was—what shit for life hand she had been dealt. Because through our non-stop conversations, I knew that I had totally misjudged her—she wasn’t the spoiled, rich bitch that I thought she was. Well, she still could be…possibly…but not the whole bitch part—she was far from that. She definitely was shaping out to be the total package actually: hot as hell and super easy to talk to. There wasn’t a second throughout the ride back that we weren’t talking, laughing and stealing quick glances from each other, but on top of everything, she was into dirt biking—what chick could you say was all of that? You couldn’t! Amelia was fucking perfect, one of kind, and if I knew girls the little bit that I did, I’d say that she wasn’t too opposed to me either. She did the whole blushing, bashful, sweet ass grin thing that girls did when they were interested, but on a whole different level. It wasn’t annoying or over the top—it was cute and I think actually shy, and hot as hell at the same time.
Still, I knew there was much more than what she showed on the outside. Only people like us could see more, could see the shitty part. She carried something dark and I wanted to know; I wanted to know it all, just like I wanted to know her inside and out. I was about to ask, so fucking intrigued, but I bit my tongue—too soon. I didn’t want to seem annoying, needy, or overindulgent, because I was far from that. I just…I don’t know…cared, I guess.
It dawned on me how much Amelia and I were panning out to be alike. She had a past just as I did, and one she wasn’t interested in discussing. She had a passion for riding just like me. She was someone that I’d not only like to see sprawled out naked below me, but someone that I felt a connection with, someone I had things in common with that I didn’t need confirmation about to understand. And those eyes… they spoke the same depths of pain that I’m sure mine had so many times.
“Well, with a fucking body like that, I don’t blame ya,” I joked, not believing the dumbass line that just came from my mouth. Fucking tool! I shook my head, looking down, embarrassed. Who fucking says that? Her being hot means she can’t go out in public? Good fucking God.
She didn’t say anything, but I was sure she was about to. I could see her cracking her knuckles, fidgeting as I tried to get my stupid shit together.
“Don’t respond to that,” I added once I finally had the balls to look up, taking her hand and turning to the entrance of the bar to get inside before making a bigger ass of myself.
I unlocked the deadbolts then held open the door for her to walk in first. Micah and the guys were already there—they had a key to the back entrance that they used at their leisure. They all started shouting and acting obnoxious when they saw us walk in. I shook my head and smiled.
“If it ain’t number one and number two,” my buddy Grant greeted us immediately.
I nodded my head with a grin. “Grant, Amelia. Amelia, Grant,” I introduced, motioning my hand back and forth between them.
Grant wiggled his eyebrows, impressed, making me punch his arm. He immediately gave me a dirty look. “What the shit, Drake?”
He looked totally confused and I guess I could understand why. He knew there wasn’t shit going on with Amelia and I. She was available…to the naked eye. But I don’t know…maybe not from my point of view. Dammit, what the hell was going on?
“She’s not a fucking piece of meat, bro,” I told him, trying to play it off neutral, respecting her as female and not as anything more.
But did I want more? Dammit…maybe.
“Sorry, they can be a little much,” I whispered into Amelia’s ear after Grant gave me a suspicious glance then walked away.
She shrugged her shoulders, a smile reaching both sides of her face, seeming amused. “They’re fun!”
I blew out air, relieved. She didn’t see my cock block, claiming her from Grant. Shit, I might as well piss on her leg, too while I’m at it for the guys here to acknowledge.
It didn’t get much better once we got a few more feet in. We were getting high fives and pats on the back, and alcohol was handed to us from all angles, which was cool, but the looks—holy shit were my friends fucking pigs. Not that I could blame them, Amelia was fucking hot as hell, but Jesus fucking Christ did my blood boil each and every time one of the dumbasses said some wise-ass, perverted remark to her. She laughed it off, probably used to it, but not me. I, for some reason, inched closer to her each and every time. Apparently I was still pissing on her leg. I was being a fucking idiot, leaving my balls back somewhere at the damn track.
“Aw, thanks, man,” Micah said as he reached for the pint of beer in my hand.
I took it back, giving him a “yeah, right” smirk before handing it to Amelia. “Get your own fucking beer! This one’s for my girl.”
Amelia raised her eyebrow, intrigued with my statement. Micah mirrored her movement.
“You’ll see, sweetheart,” I told her with a mischievous grin. “You’ll be my girl in no time.” I looked at my watch and winked. “Probably by the end of the night.”
“Quite confident, aren’t we?” she practically purred.
God, her voice was sexy. How in fuck’s sake I thought she had an annoying voice, I don’t know, because it was damn near impossible to resist her once her beautiful lips moved. She was intoxicating as fuck!
“I’m just…um…gonna go over here,” Micah said as he backed up, bumping into Maddy as he did.
I laughed at his awkward voice. Apparently he was seeing what I was feeling with Amelia. It was that fucking obvious.
As soon as Amelia and I were somewhat alone again—as much as we could be when the bar’s packed—I leaned in and whispered in her ear, “I’m quite confident, by the way.”
She snickered with an adorable grin, but her flushed cheeks were unmistakable. She was affected by my words, just as I was with hers. I didn’t need any verbal confirmation—she wanted me just as much as I wanted her. It was crazy as fuck how quickly the spark between us was growing, but it was there, clear as fucking day. Only a dumbfuck would deny it, and as much of a stupidshit I was, there was no way in hell that I would be walking away from this one. I was hooked.
By two in the morning, Amelia and I were quickly moving from flirtatious comments to wandering, needy hands. We were by no means acting like two hormonal teenagers eager to get to the next base, but our bodies were definitely finding ways to touch and our lips were getting dangerously close to connecting. The space between us was minimal and the hardness in my pants wasn’t going away anytime soon. If anything, my fucking cock felt like it was going to explode if it didn’t get some relief.
Needing to adjust myself, I walked over to the bar to get us another drink. I poured two perfect drafts and turned around to see her sexy ass black thong showing above her jeans. It wasn’t hanging out purposely, like some slutty ass bitches in the bar have shown, it was peaking out just enough; just enough to get a vivid picture in my head, the elastic only skimming the top of her jeans, showing the “T” it formed. Immediately, I was envisioning what the rest looked like—was there a pattern on the front? How far did it cut down? Was it barely covering her sweet little…
Dammit Merrick! I shook my head. I was about to have a wet dream just by staring at her, picturing the damn panties alone! This girl….shit, did she do some crazy shit with my head.
I took a deep breath before walking over. I had to. My sanity was teetering. “Your thong is showing,” I whispered into her ear before handing her the beer.
Her body visibly sank into the stool as her tongue wet her lips. Another deep breath was needed. My fucking cock was beginning to ache—that tongue…that mouth…fucking shit, she was hot!
Amelia’s eyes glanced up, peaking through her thick batting eyelashes, making me melt even more. “So?” she answered.
Oh man, I was borderline caving, ready to throw her over my shoulder and carry her upstairs, but there was something holding me back. I couldn’t understand why, because I wanted her so fucking bad it hurt and I was sick of diverting my horny ass head. There’s only so many times you can think about baseball—talk about fucking blue balls—but as much as I wanted to have Micah lock up and carry her away like a caveman, I wanted to wait just as much. I didn’t know why, but treating her like I just wanted to fuck her right this second didn’t seem right. Amelia wasn’t just any girl. I wanted to take my time with her, savor each second. And I really was enjoying just hanging around and talking and drinking. That can’t be said for other females.
Conversation aside, controlling myself wasn’t easy, and when she looked up at me like that—Jesus. That girl knew exactly what she was doing with the lost-little-girl eyelash thing. My hand was already working with a mind of its own, sliding down her back, slipping under the top of that black thong, pushing it down and away from anyone else’s eyes. Christ, her skin was warm; it felt like silk beneath my fingers, and I didn’t want anyone getting a look but me, because that bit of fabric, the sight mixed with the feeling… Damn. Amelia may not be technically mine, but she definitely was tonight.
Her body immediately went straight, stiffening. I smiled. Hell fucking yeah, I smiled. She liked my hands on her body so much that she was fighting it, trying to control the sensation moving within.
Our eyes were glued together, glossed over with a mutual understanding—we wanted each other…badly. My mind was racing. I wanted to say something, but didn’t know what. I wanted to just invite her upstairs but I didn’t know how without sounding like a douche. I was sweating, almost nervous, like a virgin waiting for someone to make the next move.
Amelia’s eyes drifted to my mouth then carried back to my eyes before she stood from her stool. “I have to use the bathroom,” she said, her low, warm breath radiating off my skin.
She was so close that it would have been easy to just lean in and kiss her, and I wanted to—damn, I wanted to so bad—but I didn’t. I smiled an amused, captivated, douchebag grin, before responding, “K.”
She stared a moment longer, our faces only inches apart, her teeth clamped on her lower lip. My chest was visibly rising and falling and my heart was beating out of chest. And then I did it. I leaned in and placed my lips on hers. They were as soft, as pure, and just as silky as her skin. She kissed me back, helping my free hand find the back of her head to hold her in place in front of me.
We stayed like that for minutes. No tongue, just lips, but the most amazing kiss I had ever had in all of my life—I felt it in every inch of my body—it was real, tantalizing, and a moment I would never forget.
I ran my hands over my face. I had to stop thinking about Amelia and that night. It was done. Over. The past. It was just another night with just another girl.
Amelia was just another girl.