From the Author
"I don't do this stuff, Addie. I don't do relationships or feelings or romance or any of that shit, and that's what you deserve. You need a guy who'll go all-out for you. That's not me."
"Maybe I need you more than I need that stuff. Has that occurred to you?"
He shakes his head. "No, it hasn't. You shouldn't need me. I'm not capable of what you want." His hand slides from my shoulder down to grip my ass. "This, right here, is what I'm capable of. Wanting more than this isn't wise."
"If you've never done it, how do you know you can't?"
"You'll have to take my word on that. There're things about me you don't know, and if you did... Well, you wouldn't want me the way you do."
"Haven't we always been friends? From the first time my dad brought me to work with him on one of your films, haven't we been friends?"
"Not always," he says with a low chuckle. "At first, you used to annoy the shit out of me with your ten million questions and endless curiosity about what I was doing and why. I wanted to muzzle you."
I laugh at that, as I always do whenever he reminds me of what a pain I was on that first set. I was seventeen, he was twenty-four, and I was desperately in love with him from the first time I laid eyes on him in all his exquisite male beauty, not that he knows that. In the ensuing years, we did become friends, even as I dated other guys and he "dated" every vagina in Hollywood--or that's how it seemed to me.
"I grew up, you grew up, and we did become friends. Admit it."
"Of course we're friends, Addie. We're close friends, which is what puts you off-limits to me. There's so much at stake, not just for us but for people we care about. People we love."
"You mean Flynn."
"Among others. He's not comfortable with me seeing you, because he knows you deserve better than me."
"He's your best friend. Why would he say such a thing about you?"
"Because it's true," he says with a sigh. "I never should've touched you the first time, and I certainly shouldn't have done it again."
"You say that as if it was totally up to you, as if I had no say in it."
"You definitely had a say, but as amazing as it is to be with you this way, it can't happen again."
My heart shatters into a million tiny pieces that can never be put back together. It takes every bit of the skill I've picked up from being around actors all my life not to show him how devastated I am to hear him say that. What's so wrong with me that he's unwilling to take a risk with me? So what if it's complicated because of Flynn and our other mutual friends? We're all adults. Or I thought we were.
Though he's drawn his line in the sand, he makes no move to leave. If he doesn't want me or this, part of me wishes he'd just go already and leave me alone. But the other part of me, the part that has loved him for so long, wants to hold on tight and never let him go now that I have him in my bed.
If this is all we're ever going to have, I want more, damn it. I curl my hand around his erection, loving the sharp gasp of his inhale.
"Shut up, Hayden. If you're telling me this is all we're going to have, then let's do it up in style, shall we? Let's do everything."