The One I Always Dreamed Of


It’s funny that no matter how hard you try to outrun it, your past catches up with you every single time. I thought it would be fun to see an old friend, visit old haunts, relive the best days of my youth. And it was. It was glorious. A much needed break from my current day-to-day. I just had no idea the worst part of that time would be there, too: Carson Brandt. Though that’s a lie. He wasn’t the worst part, just a part I had no idea how to handle. I was too young. Too inexperienced. He was older, hardened. It was over before it even began. I moved on. Or I thought I did. I thought he did, too. But there’s the past again, the one we shared, and now he’s sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.


Sometimes, out of nowhere, your past jumps up and slaps you in the face. Or bites you somewhere painful. Like your heart. I didn’t go to New York expecting to see Eva Channing again. I went for work. Sure, being there always takes me back to the years we worked together, laughed together. Slept together… I shouldn’t have looked her up afterward. I should’ve left her consigned to the part of my life that’s long gone. Because she’s been keeping a secret all these years. One she had no right to keep. Not from me. A secret named Zach.

“… a beautiful, contemporary romance about two emotionally scarred people who have come to a crossroads of their lives. I would recommend this book to anyone.”

Finally they reached the door to the gymnasium. He put a hand flat on the sign that said, “No Admittance—Photographic Equipment in Use,” and pushed. The cavernous room, dimly lit and darkly shadowed, echoed the sound of Eva’s laughter.

“What are we doing in here, besides breaking more than a few rules?”

“We’re adults. The rules are for the kids.”

“We’re chaperones.”

‘Most of the kids are gone. The chaperone ratio won’t be undermined if you slip out for a quickie.”

A quickie?” she asked, and her eyes flashed. Even in the dimly lit room, her eyes flashed.

He placed his hands on her shoulders. His palms skimmed both red silk and flesh. “I’ve wanted to get my hands on this dress since I walked into your bedroom.”

“You have?”

He nodded, skated his fingers down the line of her spine and dragged his palms to her sides. He measured both the strength and the muscles of her back, and the decidedly female indentation of her waist. “I’ve wanted to get you out of this dress since I walked into your bedroom.”

“I don’t think this is the time or place.”

Her voice quivered, and he knew she was only giving lip service. His hands had reached her stomach now. He opened his fingers wide and pressed upward, cupped the fullness of her breasts. “I’m going to get beneath this dress and I’m not going to wait until we get back to your bedroom.”

“Here? Now?”

Her unbound nipples pebbled in the center of his palms, and she pulled in a thready breath when he tugged. “Now? Yes. Here?” He glanced around. “Not exactly.”

He took her hand and drew her forward, past the doorway to the weight room, the dressing room, and then around the corner and down the narrow aisle that separated the gymnasium bleachers from the wall.

And there in the darkest corner, he blocked her body with the bulk of his, reached behind her, and tugged up the hem of her dress to expose her bare bottom and her garters.

“Carson. I don’t think we should be here.”

He didn’t care what she thought. He grabbed her bottom and squeezed. “Unzip my pants.”