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Every Little Piece of Me, excerpt © 2020 by Lexi Ryan
I run the water cold and brace myself on the sink.
Everything is okay. This is just one moment. Inhale and exhale, and move your way through it.
Once my breathing evens out, I splash cold water on my face and blot it dry with a paper towel. I’m definitely overreacting. There are a thousand reasons he could be in town and want to talk to me alone. Thousands of reasons that don’t begin with the words “You’re the love of my life. Please don’t marry anyone else.”
Because I’m almost positive I don’t want to hear those words. Mostly.
When I step out of the bathroom, Marston is waiting there, leaning against the wall across from the ladies’ room, arms folded, jaw twitching with aggravation. The picture of tall, dark, and pissed off.
When Marston sets his mind to something, he gets it, and tonight, apparently that something is talking to me alone.
“Sorry.” I smooth down my pencil skirt. “That vodka didn’t sit right.” I turn toward the main room.
He catches me around the waist and spins me so fast that I’m trapped between the wall and him before I can blink. “Give me one minute.” He braces his hands above my head and leans forward.
I swallow hard. Not because I’m scared. Marston’s never scared me. But looking up at him when he’s this close is stirring up all kinds of memories. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to look at him without part of me wishing for the future I longed for at sixteen. I place a firm hand on his chest. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
“Was Vegas a joke to you?”
Of all the questions I expected him to ask, that wasn’t anywhere on the list. “What? Of course not. Vegas was . . .” Hot. Impulsive. Crazy. Amazing. Wild . . . everything.
He dips his head until his lips hover right above mine. “Don’t you dare call it a mistake,” he growls, his warm breath tickling my skin.
I ache to close the distance between our mouths, ache to feel his kiss again. I’d never call Vegas a mistake. Maybe I should, but I can’t.
“Fuck, you smell so good. I couldn’t get the smell of you out of my mind for weeks after you left me that damn note. Do you know how crazy that made me?”
My hand is still against his chest. If I pushed, he’d back off. He’d give me the space to clear my head. But when he shifts his mouth from above mine to my ear, I don’t want to push him away. I want to pull him back. “Marston—”
“Is this why you sent me that invitation? Did you want me to come here and remind you what it’s like between us? How it feels when we’re close?” In a breath, he has me pinned against the wall again, and his mouth crushes against mine.
Fireworks explode in my stomach. All at once, the floor is falling out from under me and I’m floating.
The kiss doesn’t last long—I don’t let it. I tear my mouth away before it can swallow me whole.
I shove him back, my lips tingling. “You can’t do that.” The kiss was everything I remembered, everything that’s missing when I kiss Julian. Everything I’ve been trying to convince myself I don’t need.
Lexi Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles. A former academic and English professor, Lexi considers herself the luckiest girl around to make a living through storytelling. She loves spending time with her crazy kids, weightlifting, ice cream, swoony heroes, and vodka martinis.
Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and a spoiled dog. You can find her at her website: www.lexiryan.com
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