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I was supposed to move away with him. Instead, I’m left scrambling to pick up the pieces. No job. No recording studio. A house that is falling apart. Literally. And no way off this island. Until I get offered a deal of a lifetime.


Leo yawned and pushed away from the counter. “I’m going to head upstairs. I’ll see you in the morning.”

He turned and headed for the door, but I didn’t want him to leave. I wanted to talk more, to kiss him again, jeez was I mess. “Do you think that selling this place is a bad idea?” I blurted the question out before thinking.

He stopped in his tracks and turned back toward me, folding his arms over his chest and leaning against the wall. “That’s entirely up to you.” He glanced around the kitchen. “If it was up to me, I’d stay, but I’m a homebody and would love to leave the hustle and bustle of New York.”

I popped another pepperoni in my mouth as I mulled over his words. “I’m questioning everything right now. It’s crazy to think you know what you want, but then to start second guessing yourself. You know?”

“Sometimes life throws us curveballs.” He shifted, taking the weight off his bad knee. “Only you can decide what you want, though.”

Darn him for making sense. “I suppose you’re right.” I looked up at the ceiling as I blinked away tears. “When I got into Julliard, I was over the moon. It was everything I wanted and I think I held onto that even after I couldn’t go. Daryl was my big chance to chase that dream, but I’m wondering if my life isn’t going down a different path.”

“I thought I’d fly in the Air Force until I was forced out due to my age. The crash took that away from me. The thought of getting into a cockpit again…is terrifying.” He paused and frowned as he looked away from me. “Some things in life we get to choose. Some things are decided for us regardless of how we feel. This is your choice. Take your time and think about it.”

I nodded as I took in his words. “The realtor I spoke with back when Daryl and I were getting married has been asking me about this place. Properties in Hawaii are hot right now. She wants to know when I can list. The more she asks, the more unsure I am.”

“Don’t let her push you in any direction.” He dropped his arms to his side and made like he was going to go again.

“So are we…okay?” Why was I trying to keep him here? I’d already rejected him after throwing myself at him. I was being stupid. Leo was a friend and here to help me. We couldn’t have a relationship. Right?

I drew in a deep breath as Leo made his way to me. He put both hands on the counter and stared down at the countertop. “You are a great person, Carly. I’ve come to like you and care about you…as a friend.”

My heart fell when he said friend. Though I didn’t miss the pause before he said it. I licked my lips and opened my mouth to say something, but he beat me to it.

“I hope we are okay.” He stared at the counter for a moment longer before finally meeting my eyes.

His dark eyes swirled with emotion. He was so close that I could smell his musky scent. He shouldn’t smell so good with all the sweat, but somehow he did. The glossy look made him look even better. “We are good.” I put my hand on top of his.

“Good.” He looked down at my hand and then back up at me.

I drew in a shuddering breath as our eyes met. My gaze flicked to his lips. I wanted to kiss him again. Something was very wrong with me. Or maybe for once  I finally had it all right. “Leo.”

“Carly…I should go to bed.” He took a step back and tried to move his hand.

I grasped it tighter. “Leo. I…um…” Words escaped me as I closed the distance between us. This was crazy. I was losing my mind, but I wanted Leo more than anything else right now.

His lips were soft and unmoving. He stood in front of me frozen stiff. I drew in a deep breath and pulled back, but only so I could look into his eyes.

“I don’t understand what is happening,” Leo said as his brows dipped together into a scowl.

“Me either.” I closed my eyes and sighed. “But whatever this is…I want more.” I leaned forward and pressed my lips to his again.

He was hesitant for a long moment, but then he carded his fingers through my hair and drew me close with his other hand. “I’m all sweaty.”

“I don’t care,” I mumbled against his lips.  

He grunted and pulled me close, dragging his tongue against my lips until I parted them. He flicked his tongue over mine and then skimmed it along my teeth. Just as quickly, he pulled away. “Are you sure about this?”

I cupped his cheeks with my hands. “Yeah. I don’t know what is going on in my crazy life right now, but I am sure that I want you. Right now.”

He studied me for what was probably seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Then his mouth descended on mine. His lips met mine with fervor and his hands dipped down to my butt, lifting me up.

I squeaked in surprise as he deposited me on the counter and then pushed between my legs. His hardening length pressed against my inner thigh. I trembled at the feel of him. Heat rushed to my core, and I scooted forward so I could grind against him.


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