IF ONLY FOR TONIGHT
Ten years ago Ash and Jadyn were madly in love. What should have been a beautiful time of carefree splendor was instead a fight for their lives. When the discovery of their love led to violence, they split up in order to survive. After eluding their attackers, Jadyn waited anxiously for his mate to come to him. She never did.
Neither of them is prepared for the reunion they never expected to happen. A chance encounter opens the door on a decade of pain, longing and love. Old wounds are made new again and a fire that was never truly extinguished blazes hot once more.
The pain seemed to bleed from the pages as two wonderfully strong, complex characters were finally reunited. – Literary Nymph Reviews
Paranormal Erotic Romance
“Go ahead then,” Jadyn growled. “Tell me why you left me waiting for you. Tell me how I never meant anything to you.”
Ash shook her head vehemently. “No. You’re wrong. I didn’t make it to the bridge. Someone was following me. I lost him when I jumped into the creek and swam the rest of the way. But I knew they were after you and I was afraid. I went for help.” She watched Jadyn’s reaction carefully. His emotions were raging out of control. She could feel it. “I made it home and Mark was there waiting for me. I begged him for help and he refused. He gave me an ultimatum. I could leave town and my pack would leave you alone or I could stay and they would kill us both.”
Just being able to say those words was a relief. She’d held it in for too long. Mark, her Alpha, had abandoned her. He’d put her in a position where she felt the only way to protect Jadyn was to do as Mark said.
“Just like that? You bailed and left me behind because of an ultimatum from a dirtbag like Mark?” His tone was ice but some of the rage had faded from his eyes.
“I was protecting you.” Ash’s voice broke then and she had to stop. Staring down at the diamond pattern on the casino floor, she prayed for strength and the right words. “Your pack almost killed us. I thought it would be best for you if I left. You’d be safe.”
Not one word was a lie. If only he would see that. Leaving had been the last thing she’d wanted to do. It was Jadyn’s welfare that made her decision for her. If she was gone, his pack would have no reason to kill him. Neither would hers. Their rivalry was beyond all reason. There was no explaining reason to the unreasonable.
Jadyn sighed and merely stared at her. She fully expected him to tell her what bullshit that was and leave her standing there quaking and alone. She didn’t expect him to close the space between them, take her face in his hands and kiss her with ten years of pain, longing and passion.
Slipping his tongue between her lips, he claimed her mouth with a wanton hunger. His fingers shook ever so slightly against her cheek, betraying the emotion that racked him. There was a possessiveness to his kiss that sent Ash back in time. It was real. This was real.
She responded to his kiss with an intensity she felt to the tips of her toes. As their tongues danced together, entangling in a moist caress, a tear slipped free to streak a wet path down her face. His close proximity surrounded her with his scent. Breathing deeply, she lost herself in the intoxicating rush of Jadyn’s kiss.
“I can’t believe you’re really here,” Jadyn whispered against her lips. “I keep expecting to wake up.”
“If you’re dreaming, then I am too.”
“I spent so much time imagining why you never came back. I knew in my gut you were alive. I couldn’t figure out why you left me.”
Reaching to run her fingers through his short, soft locks, Ash bit back a sob. “I never left you. I saved you.”
Jadyn nodded, his forehead brushing hers. She could tell he wanted to say something, to question her further. It killed her that she didn’t have the answers that he longed for. She could tell him nothing other than the truth.
“I saw you at that Blackjack table and I thought I’d lost my mind. The chance I’ve been waiting a decade for. I wanted to tell you how you broke my heart. I wanted to hate you.” Jadyn pulled back and looked deep into her. “But I just need to touch you and prove to myself that this isn’t another dream.”
Ash bit her lip as she struggled to make sense of everything. It was too much to process. As much as she wanted to dive headlong into this moment, she was hesitant. Could ten years so easily fall away after what she’d done?
“It’s been so long, Jadyn. Things happen and people change. I don’t want you to spend the rest of your life believing that leaving you didn’t tear me apart.”
Grasping her hand in his, Jadyn’s gaze smoldered. “Some things never change.”