A memory—just a flash, a feeling—of him moving against me, the fine hairs of his legs just the right amount of rough along the smooth bare skin of my thighs, made me shiver. The silence that followed felt thick and unyielding, though the feeling was likely all one-sided.
I was the only one who remembered.
I was the only one who still revisited the memory.
I was the only one who woke in the middle of the night from dreams of being touched by his hands, his mouth, his—
Determined, I repressed the recollections—I repressed it all—instead counting the strokes as I dug my fingers into his calf.
He sucked in a sharp breath.
“Sorry. Too hard?” I gentled my touch.
“No. No, it feels good. I like it hard.”
I nodded, my eyes on my hands and not his leg. Anterior. One, two, three, four . . . Lateral. One, two, three, four . . . Medial. One, two, three, four . . .
“God, that feels good.” Bryan moaned, covering his face with his forearms.
I gritted my teeth, hating myself when his sounds made something twist low in my belly. You are a terrible person, Eilish Cassidy. A terrible, terrible person.
He moaned again. My nipples hardened.
“You have magical hands,” he groaned.
Ignoring the raspy, roughened quality of his voice, I used my weight to increase the pressure. He’d used that very same tone during our one night together. In fact, he might have said those very same words.
I clenched my jaw, because he had said, Don’t stop five years ago, and he’d said it exactly like he’d just said it now. Except five years ago, I’d been massaging a very different part of his body.
“So,” I cleared my throat, unable to tolerate his moans of pleasure and praise any longer, “uh, what are your plans for the weekend?”
“The weekend?” He sounded a bit dazed.
“Yes. This weekend. What do you have planned? Planning on busting up any parties?” I asked lightly, not wanting him to know that I was unaccountably breathless. I moved to his other knee and discarded the towel.
“Ha. No. Not unless those wankers down the hall give me a reason to.” Removing his arms from his face, Bryan’s voice was thick, gravelly as he responded, “I, uh, have some furniture to assemble.”
“Really?” Surprised, I stilled and stared at the line of his jaw. The creases around his mouth—when he held perfectly still—made him look mature and distinguished. Actually, they made him even more classically handsome, if that was even possible.
“Yes. Really. Two IKEA bookshelves.”
I slid my hands lower, behind his ankle, waiting for him to continue. When he didn’t, I prompted, “That’s it?”
“No.” He sighed, hesitated, then added, “I need to stop by the hardware store. The tap in my bathroom is leaking and one of the drawer handles in the kitchen is missing a screw. I just repainted the guest room, so I have to take the excess paint cans to the chemical disposal place; it’s only open on Saturdays before noon. And then I promised my mam I’d take her to dinner.”
My mouth parted slightly because the oddest thing happened as he rattled off his list of chores.
It turned me on.
Even more so than running my palms over his luscious legs.
That’s right. His list of adult tasks made my heart flutter.
I rolled my lips between my teeth, not wanting to blurt that I, also, needed to go to the hardware store over the weekend. As a treat to myself, I was planning to organize Patrick’s closet and wanted to install shelves above the clothes rack. Truly, Sean’s penchant for buying my son designer suits and ties was completely out of hand. Without some reorganization I would run out of space.
That’s right. Organizing closets was something I loved to do. I couldn’t get enough of those home and garden shows, especially Tiny Houses, because I adored clever uses for small spaces. I was just freaky enough to admit my passion for storage and organization.
But back to Bryan and his moans of pleasure, adult chores, and luscious legs.
I would not think about Bryan Leech adulting. I would not think about him walking into the hardware store in his sensible shoes and plain gray T-shirt—that would of course pull tightly over his impressive pectoral muscles—and then peruse the aisles for . . . a screw.
Ignoring the spark of kinship, I set to work on his knee, again counting to distract myself. It worked until he volunteered, “I’d like to install some shelves in my closet, but that’ll have to wait until next weekend. Honestly, I’ve been putting it off. I’d do just about anything to get someone to help me organize my closet.” He chuckled.
I’d like to organize your closet.
I fought a groan, biting my lip as I removed my hands, turned from his body, and rinsed them under the faucet.
“We’re, uh, finished for today. Ice your knee when you get home and use the elliptical instead of running. The less impact the better.”
He was quiet for a moment, but I was painfully aware of his movements. In my mind’s eye, I saw him sit up, stand, and straighten; his large form intoxicatingly imposing, coiled power behind an achingly handsome face.
“Thanks,” he said haltingly, as though he wanted to say something more or he didn’t quite know what to say.
I made a show of looking at my watch, turning from the sink and wiping my hands. “Not a problem. I’ll check back with you on Wednesday.”
Sending Bryan a quick, flat smile, I rushed past him.
I rushed out of the training room, down the hall, up the stairs.
I ran to the women’s locker room and into a bathroom stall, locking the door behind me with shaking fingers as the wave of emotions finally caught up to me.
I sat on the closed toilet lid, my elbows on my knees, my face in my hands.
But I didn’t cry.
So many feelings—a potent mixture of self-loathing, desire, regret, sorrow, and shame. I wanted to cry. I tried. But I didn’t. No tears would come.
I was a mess. I never used to be, but I was now. And I didn’t know how to untangle myself.
I wasn’t certain I could.
Released: February 14th 2017
Series: Rugby #3
Published by Self Published
Third book in the USA Today Bestselling Romantic Comedy Series
Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.
Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.
Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.
The only problem is, no one believes him.
Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.
The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.
Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.
Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.
But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?