Series: Wait for You #6
on November 28th, 2016
Genres: New Adult
From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn, comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…
Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.
She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.
Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.
Brock dropped his hand and walked inside, his head turning as his gaze swept over me. I closed the door.
“Nice socks,” he commented. “You know, it’s like you’re recognizing two seasons right now—summer and winter.”
I glanced down at myself. Oh crap! I’d forgotten I was wearing cotton sleep shorts paired with knee-high socks. And these were short shorts. Grateful that I was wearing a long cardigan over the shirt, I self-consciously tugged on the hem of my shorts while he looked around the apartment. I saw he had a little brown bag dangling from his fingertips.
“So,” I said, fiddling with the sleeves on my cardigan, “what did you bring me?”
“Oh, so now you’re curious about what’s in the bag?”
Crossing my arms, I stared at him while I hoped it wasn’t obvious that I wasn’t wearing a bra, because I could feel my nipples pressing against the shirt I wore.
Brock chuckled as he lifted the bag and reached inside, pulling out a small white carton. He then turned, spying the small kitchen. “So, how long have you lived here?”
“Um, I don’t know.” I watched him walk over to the island and place the carton and bag on it. “I think I moved in here about four years ago.”
“Nice place.” His gaze strayed to the stack of books on the other end of the island, and a fond smile appeared as he started to open the carton. “It’s safe here?”
“Yeah. There have never been any problems here.” I crept closer. “Most of the people who live here are married or work in D.C and commute.” My gaze dropped to his back. Did he ever get the large phoenix tattoo colored and filled in? I bet he did and it looked amazing. Then again, his back with all those ropey muscles always looked amazing. “So, where…where do you live now?”
“I bought a house outside of Shepherdstown,” he told me. “Got an amazing view of the river. You need to see it.”
I stopped walking, thinking his fiancée might not be too keen on that. Then again, I doubted she would see me as a threat.
Brock turned sideways, sliding the carton toward where I stood. I glanced over, and I stopped thinking when I saw what he’d brought.
“Glazed doughnuts,” Brock said. “Just glazed. Nothing weird hidden inside them. I know how much you used to hate biting into something and having no idea it’s filled with cream or fruit. They’re fresh, too. Picked them up at the bakery in Shepherdstown that makes them all day.”
I did hate biting into any food and having something unexpectedly squirt into my mouth. It was freaking gross, but I wasn’t focused on that aversion.
Sitting atop wax paper really were large glazed doughnuts.
It was so simple. Just glazed doughnuts. Nothing fancy or spectacular. But he remembered, and I didn’t know why that meant anything to me. I was sure serial killers remembered things about their victims, but I felt some of the tension easing out of my stiff muscles as I blinked back sudden hot tears.
Gah, I was so over-emotional. It was just doughnuts. “Thank you.” I cleared my throat. “That’s really nice.”
His gaze flew to mine, and I hastily lowered my chin, walking past him into the kitchen. “Jillian—”
“You’re eating one if I am,” I said, snatching several sheets off the paper-towel roll. God, I was such a damn mess, but I…I missed this—missed having someone in my life who knew me inside and out, because no one, no one knew me like Brock had. I turned around only when I was sure I didn’t look like I was seconds from exploding into tears, and went to the island, placing the towels on the counter. “I mean, I’m not going to eat three gigantic doughnuts.”
A strangled laugh escaped me. “Well, I’m not seventeen anymore.”
“I can see that.”
A fine shiver coursed over my skin as I looked up. There was an intense, almost predatory glint to his stare, one I didn’t understand. And it suddenly struck me, really hit me, that after six years, Brock Mitchell was standing in my apartment, in my world, and I would never in a hundred years have expected this.
But there he was, larger than life itself, turning what was a roomy apartment into something that now felt entirely too small. He was one hundred percent grown man who was not just breathtaking to behold, but a walking legend in the world of mixed martial arts. More than that, though, he was a man who overcame such a terrible childhood, beating statistics and naysayers. Demolishing everyone’s doubt as he rose through the ranks, suffering a career-threatening injury to come back and win it all, over and over.
Brock had fire in him.
He always had.