Series: Play On
Published by Self on 5/17/20
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Also in this series: As Dust Dances
To my siblings, Jane was a friend. A pseudo-sister, the girl we grew up with.
To me? She was everything.
Our passion consumed us.
When our world fell apart, I thought our love would be the thing that held us together.
She was the love of my life. But she abandoned me when I needed her most.
And I’ll never forgive her.
For years I’ve been planning my revenge against the people who took everything from me.
Jane won’t be an exception. I’m coming for her.
She knows it.
She says she wants to help me serve my version of justice on the people who hurt me.
I’ll let her.
She probably thinks it will save her from me.
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I stared dully at my painting. My creative mood had left the building, under the weight of the many questions going around and around in my head. Adrenaline made it hard for me to sit still. Cursing Jamie under my breath, I grabbed my laundry basket and headed toward the front door. Peering through the peephole, I double-checked his door was shut before I left my apartment. Glowering at his door as I passed, I hurried downstairs. How the hell had he maneuvered himself into my building? And why?
To my gratitude, the laundry room was empty as I crashed around inside it. I hauled out my stash of detergent and softener from my allocated locker and started separating my whites. That rat bastard. My heart raced, sweat gathered under my arms, and it agitated me. An encounter with Jamie was the equivalent of fifteen shots of caffeine.
And I hated that he knew I was lying to Asher. Something he could easily hold over my head.
“You are a very angry laundry doer.”
Jamie’s deep, rich voice startled me. Trying to control my breathing, I glared over at him standing in the doorway. Arms and ankles crossed as he leaned casually against the jamb. He wore a T-shirt and jeans. Nothing had changed there.
He was still the sexiest man I’d ever seen.
God, I hate him.
“What the hell are you doing in this building?” I turned my back on him, marching over to the stacked washers and dryers.
“I had no idea you lived here,” he lied, his voice growing closer as he crossed the room toward me.
Attempting not to react physically, to not hunch my shoulders in tension, I stared unseeing at the machines. What was I in the middle of doing again?
“What a surprise to find out you’re my neighbor.”
I snorted in disbelief and turned around, shocked to find him already in my personal space. “Liar.” I dragged my gaze insolently down his body and back up. “Move away. And I mean that in more ways than one.”
“Oh, does my presence bother you?” His wicked smile caused somersaults in my belly.
“What are you doing here?” I ignored his proximity. Okay, I tried to ignore his proximity.
In answer, he stepped into me and I stumbled against the machines at my back. Jamie pressed the palms of his hands on the dryer, caging me in. My breath caught and held as his scent flooded me. That dark, earthy scent was enticing, and my body betrayed my emotions.
Feeling panic rise, I pushed at his chest, but he wouldn’t budge. “Jamie?”
Those ocean eyes wandered over my face, cold, calculating. “He doesn’t know who I am. You haven’t told him.”
I lowered my hands. Touching him was even more discombobulating. “No.”
He bent his head toward mine until our noses almost touched. I sucked in a breath. “I wonder why you’re keeping it from him?”
Determined not to let him see how much he affected me, I glared up at him. He’d only have to touch me, hold my hand, to realize I was trembling. His face was so familiar. His lips were lips I’d thought I’d kiss for the rest of my life. Why did the pain of it never dull? Why did it still feel like a shard of glass through my chest? “Did you leak those tapes of Foster Steadman to Asher’s mom?”
Something menacing flashed in his eyes before he banked it. “And if I did?”
“Are you being smart, Jamie?”
“Are you asking out of concern for me or for your billionaire boy toy?”
“Never mind. I don’t care.” The bastard dipped his nose to my throat, and I tensed against the stacked machines. He inhaled, his nose brushing my skin, and my fingers bit into the washer behind me. “You smell different,” he whispered, lifting his head to my ear. “Expensive perfume. You’ve come up in the world.”
I felt his breath caress my skin seconds before his teeth touched my earlobe. Gasping, I instinctively pushed my palms against his stomach as he bit down hard, causing a flush of heat between my legs.
With a dark chuckle, Jamie released my ear after one last nibble and whispered, “Is he the jealous type, Jane?”