Loving her is easy. Proving to himself he deserves her? Baby steps…

Playing With Fire, Book 4

King of one-night stands, all-around man whore, that’s Eric. And you know what? He doesn’t give a rip. After being dumped by the two people who mattered most to him, numbing himself with alcohol and anonymous sex was the easiest thing to do. Men, women, they’re all the same to him. Feelings, caring, it all just gets in the way.

Then he meets Stacy. Sweet, beautiful, a delicate combination of shy and forceful, she’s unlike anyone he’s ever known. She sees right through his façade and makes him face his ugly truths, brutal reminders he doesn’t deserve her. He wants her like no one else—and it scares him out of his mind.

Stacy can’t help herself, she’s attracted to gorgeous, sexy, hurting Eric. There’s more to him than meets the eye—even though what’s meeting her eye right now is a complete mess. Broken hearts will do that to the strongest man—she should know. If she can get him to forgive—especially himself—maybe things could work out between him. But first, she can’t let him get away.


I don’t want it.” Stacy shoved at Eric’s chest, and he released his hold on her hand. Watched helplessly as she turned on her heel and strode away from him, toward the gold Altima just up the street.

He followed after her. No way was he going to let her leave, not tonight. “Why not?” he called after her.

“Because it’s full of expectations and bullshit that I don’t want to deal with,” she answered from over her shoulder.

She wouldn’t even turn to face him. Not that the view from behind was bad. She wore black pants that stretched across her ass and the sight of her ass made his mouth water. Her shirt was made of a skimpy sparkly fabric. He could see the tank top she wore beneath it, and he itched to touch her again. Slip his hand underneath those shirts and feel her skin warm beneath his fingertips.

He wanted her with an intensity that scared the shit out of him. And tonight, sober and without any sort of defenses up, he wanted to experience it. Experience her.

Just once. Just to say he had.

Eric frowned. That wasn’t true. He’d let her have him for as long as she wanted him. Which right now, didn’t look to be for very long at all.

She hit the keyless remote she pulled out of her purse and a beep sounded, the car lights flashed. She rounded the front of the car, her hand reaching for the handle and he was on her. Pressed her against the side of the car, her back nestled to his front. She struggled against him.

“Let go of me,” she yelled.

“Hell, no.” He pushed her harder against the car, his groin nudging against her ass. She felt amazing. Smelled even better and he breathed deep, buried his face in her hair. “I need you to listen to me, Stace.”

“Stop calling me that.” She struggled some more but he swore she weakened just the slightest bit.

“Calling you what? Stace? You don’t like my nickname for you?” He nuzzled the side of her head, his lips brushing against the soft skin of her forehead and his cock hardened.

“I hate it.” She went limp in his arms, her head falling forward to press against the top of the car. “I hate you.” Her voice was weak, she felt suddenly fragile in his arms and guilt assuaged him.

But he couldn’t stop. Couldn’t let her go until he pleaded his final case.

“You don’t hate me.” He spun her around by the waist so she faced him and she glared up at him. Her expression was one of mass confusion. “You can’t hate me no matter how much you try.”

“You are so arrogant.”

“I’m telling the truth and you know it.” He cupped her face, his thumb skittering across her cheek, along her lips. “Can’t you feel it?”

“Feel what?” She knew exactly what he was talking about, he knew it.

“The connection.” With the subtlest of movements he thrust his hips against her. Let her feel exactly what she did to him. “Between us.” He was only repeating the words she said last night.

“Eric.” She rested her curled fists on his chest and hit him once. Then again, lighter this time. “I want you to leave.”

“No you don’t.” He traced the outline of her lips, then drew his finger along the seam. Her lips parted, and he dipped his finger just inside. Felt the warm dampness of her mouth and his cock surged against the fly of his jeans. “Let’s go back to your place and hang out, Stace. What do you say?”

Before she could answer, his hand fell away from her mouth and he kissed her. Gently, sweetly, most likely the sweetest kiss he’d ever given another person ever. He wasn’t forceful, he wasn’t passionate and crazed and full of lust like he wanted to be.

This was going to be a slow and steady seduction. It would have to be, what with how jumpy she was.

“I should say no,” she whispered when he broke the kiss.

He smiled, knew he had her. “Then I’ll keep kissing you out here in this very public place until you finally say yes.”