December 1, 2016 | by Three Girls And A Book Obsession | 1 Comment
From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn, comes a richly moving story about heartbre…
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.
About Jennifer L. Armentrout
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.