- Pub. Date:
After his wife leaves him, Paxton rediscovers his love of writing amidst an online writing forum-but he never expected to create a piece worthy of reading, nor for him to find a kindred spirit in Alissa.
Thousands of miles separate them, yet he's never felt closer to anyone.
When the two meet in person, sparks fly and the line between friendship and something more serious becomes blurred. Paxton finds himself at a crossroads, between following his heart and everything that seems to threaten to bring his potential relationship with Alissa to a screeching halt.
Can he get past his meddling ex-wife, who threatens to take his four-year-old son away, and overcome the geographical distance with the meek, demure woman who has become his salvation in ways no one saw coming?
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About the Author
More than a decade later, with weeks of sleepless nights, where exhaustion settled into her everyday existence, she finally gave and put pen to paper (more like fingers to keyboard). She submitted to the dreams that plagued her. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Carey Decevito enjoys spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, travelling, and playing tourist in Canada's National Capital region. When life gets crazy, she seeks respite through her writing and reading. If all else fails, she knows there's never a dull moment with her prolific story-teller of a four-year-old daughter, her goofy husband, their cat and dog, who she swears are out to get her.
Once Written, Twice Shy is the first in her Broken Men Chronicles series.
Read an Excerpt
Just short of a year later ...
Waiting in the airport terminal, I couldn't remember the last time I had felt like this. The anxiety that consumed me was reminiscent of my first date with my first girlfriend as a teenager.
I looked up at the screen and saw that US Airways flight 2583 to Jacksonville, North Carolina had landed. In a matter of minutes, Alissa would be standing before me in the flesh. My thoughts flittered to that first day, nearly a year ago, when we first made contact.
The conveyer belt that carried the luggage snapped me out of my reverie when it ceased moving and the area around me had become deserted.
Had something gone wrong, had she stood me up?
I lowered myself to the bench behind me and let my head drop into my hands. I sighed. "Serves you right for thinking she'd show," I mumbled.
I was trying to convince myself that I should leave when I felt a soft hand on my shoulder. "Paxton?" a soft-spoken woman said at my side, her voice familiar from our numerous phone calls and Skype conversations.
My heart thumped out of my chest. I felt foolish for thinking the worse and excited that I was proven wrong. I got up to face Alissa, who had a beaming smile splayed on her face. Boy was that smile contagious! My lips tugged upward instantly.
She let out a giggle and after dropping her bag, she jumped me with a hug. Without hesitation, my arms found their way around her waist to return her enthusiastic greeting.
"You looked like a man deep in thought."
I set her back but held on to the sides of her arms. "Can I be honest?"
I breathed easier when she nodded, "I wouldn't expect anything less from you."
I shrugged my shoulders sheepishly and averted my gaze from her momentarily before eying her. "I thought you weren't coming."
She looked as if I'd slapped her.
"Paxton, I would have called or emailed. Hell, I would have messaged you if anything had come up. We've talked about meeting for months. I wouldn't-"
Call it insanity or whatever you will, I did the only thing my brain could process at the time and took the one step toward her. Standing toe-to-toe, I let go of her arms, grabbed her face and crashed my lips to hers in an effort to shut her up. What was most surprising was how natural the act felt.
Her hand flew to her mouth as soon as I pulled back, eyes wide. No big surprise that I hadn't been the only one shocked at my actions.
Where had this sudden forwardness come from? Maybe it had been the relief that she was finally standing before me in person. Maybe it was that she'd proved, with her flustered rambling, that I hadn't been the only one looking forward our meeting.
Yes, things had gotten personal with our countless chats. But despite the numerous times we had flirted, exchanged photos, talked dirty, and even discussed how she had come up with some of the steamy scenes from her stories, I worried that I had crossed a line.
Even when this feels completely natural.
She shook her head and lifted her hand. "I knew that was coming at one point or another. I just didn't expect ..." With a small upward quirk of her lips, she waved her hand in a dismissive gesture. "Never mind. That was nice."
I instantly breathed easier and grabbed her carry-on luggage. "Let's get out of here." I offered her my hand to hold. "Assuming you're still up for it, after my mauling you and all."
She giggled nervously but grasped my proffered grip in hers. I walked us out of luggage claim toward the parking structure with a certainty that I hadn't screwed things up so quick out of the gate, but maintained a level of wariness nonetheless.
With her luggage stowed in the back of my SUV, I headed to open the passenger side door for her.
If I'm going to be honest, my mind was presently stuck on our brief kiss.
Apparently I wasn't the only one.
Before I knew what hit me, Alissa had me pinned against the side of my vehicle, her body and lips smashed against mine.
My hands reached for her hips, pulling her into me as I licked her bottom lip, begging for entrance. The small taste of her in luggage claim had proven one thing – that I wanted more and as long as she was handing out samples, I wasn't going to decline her offer.
With a light moan, she granted me access while her hands found their way around my neck and into my hair. We breathed each other in.
Alissa pulled away first, her chest heaving for air. I was none the better. The woman knew how to kiss. So much so that a certain part of my anatomy had begun to stir with that more thorough taste of her.
Don't judge, it's been a while.
She hid her face in my chest.
I pecked the top of her head. "I guess we're even, huh?" She groaned, making me chuckle. I grabbed her chin, tilting it to reveal a beautiful crimson. A chaste press of my lips to hers seemed to alleviate her sudden embarrassment. "Let's get going." But that flush of colour in her cheeks was so becoming I simply had to tease her. "I can't have you all over me for everyone to see." I winked. Her blush had barely begun to fade as my words caused it to flare up once more, gaining me the reaction I was looking for. "I love that look on you by the way."
She waited for me to get behind the wheel before asking, "What look?"
"Your blush," I said and buckled myself in. "I know you told me about it but it's nothing like I had pictured. You're gorgeous."
She clasped her cheeks with her hands in an effort to conceal another wave of red and failing miserably. "You need to stop that."
In a mocked tone of innocence I said, "What?" I leaned over the middle console to flick her nose with an index finger. "It's true."
A soft laugh escaped her and she nodded toward the steering wheel. "Get to driving, will you?"
I dropped her luggage as soon as we crossed the threshold. Kicking the door shut, I pulled Alissa so her back was against my chest and hugged her from behind, setting my chin on her shoulder and savoring the feel of her against me.
A perfect fit.
"I can't believe you're actually here. You hungry?" It was nearly dinnertime and although I'd had a late lunch, my stomach grumbled.
She giggled at the noise. "A little." She wrapped her arms over mine. "What do you have in mind?"
I'm no culinary savant or anything, but I'm not the type of person to cook until I set fire to my kitchen either.
Until tonight apparently.
Part of it was Alissa's fault, despite the fact that she would beg to differ.
With a faltering grip, white powder filled the room after she recommended I use either cornstarch or flour to thicken the gravy. Flour, as it turns out, was all I had.
A fit of laughter consumed us as we attempted to clean up, making more of a mess out of ourselves than anything else.
She proceeded to wipe at me with a damp tea towel. When she got a little too close to a certain area, I grabbed her wrist to stop her. I pulled the cloth from her grip and wiped at her face while I felt her cool fingers wiping at mine.
Our eyes connected and locked.
Our laughter subsided.
The braised pork chops and boiling potatoes forgotten, we found ourselves wrapped in each other like a pair of randy teenagers. There was no telling who had started it. The chemistry was instantaneous.
When we came up for air, Alissa said, "Is it me or is it getting hot in here?"
As soon as she'd said it, something captured my attention from the corner of my eye, making me turn to look.
Our indulgence had resulted in the potatoes becoming an over-boiled pile of mush. The braised chops were charred, as the pan had caught fire. And the gravy did thicken – to the consistency of a dried up hockey puck stuck to the bottom of its pot.
Suffice it to say, dinner was effectively ruined.
Alissa was giggling into my back as I managed to put a stop to the tiny blaze with the help of a box of baking soda and an expired kitchen fire extinguisher.
Taking a deep breath, and looking over my shoulder at the woman still trying to gain her composure I asked her, "How do you feel about take-out?"
"I think it's a safer bet."
When the kitchen was tidied up, the pots having been left to soak in the sink, and our food ordered, I offered Alissa a shower.
"You go ahead," she said. "I'll take mine after."
"I've got two bathrooms. You can use the one in my room since this is where you'll be staying. I'll take-"
"I can't kick you out," she said. "I could-"
"I didn't want to assume anything and I wanted you to be comfortable. The spare room doesn't have a bed yet, so I'll take the pullout couch. It's fine." I nodded toward the en suite bathroom. "Go ahead, it's through there. I'll take the main bath down the hall."
In a rush to get cleaned up and return to Alissa, I was fresh out of the shower when I realized that I hadn't grabbed any clean clothes to change into.
I wrapped the towel around my waist and headed out to gather something to put on.
Just as I slipped into my room, hoping to make a quick exit without being caught, I was graced with a sight that made my heart stop and start up again at a staccato pace.
Bent over, rummaging through her bag for what I presumed was a shirt, Alissa's heart shaped ass, covered in a tight pair of blue jeans, was facing me along with her blonde locks dripping down her back.
I took a step forward and hadn't expected the floorboards to creak, giving my presence away.
She stood up ramrod straight and whirled around to face me, grabbing the first thing out of her bag to cover herself with.
I looked at it and burst out laughing. "You might need something more than that, sweetheart."
Her eyes looked down in horror when she found herself clutching a black lace bra. Blushing, her mouth opened as if to say something but nothing came out. Instead, I saw her gaze moving up my towel-clad torso, to my chest, her head tilting to the side, eyes widening, and her breathing picked up.
Grabbing her discarded towel, she quickly covered up and said, "I think I'm just going to-" She started to make a quick dash for the hallway with a mortified look on her face.
My hand clasped her arm to stop her. "Let me just grab the few things I didn't earlier and get out of here."
Turning away from her, I searched through my closet and pulled the few items I needed and headed for the exit. "I'll see you when you're done." I paused at the bedroom door before leaving her. "Has anyone ever told you that you're hot when you're flustered?"
I didn't wait for a response. A few steps down the hall, I could hear the woman grumbling to herself and smiled. Things were definitely far from boring with Alissa around.
The pizza arrived while Alissa was still getting herself straightened out. I figured that she was done by now but that she was dealing with some residual embarrassment before coming downstairs to join me. In the short amount of time since her arrival, I had come to think of her meek demeanor as a rather endearing quality of hers.
I poured some wine for us after getting the plates ready, knowing that she wouldn't be that much longer.
I smiled as I replayed the earlier series of events in my head.
Like any normal hot-blooded male out there, I'd be crazy if I said I didn't want to get laid by the woman currently holed up in my bedroom. We had chemistry, there was no denying that, but the gentleman in me urged me to slow things down a bit. There was something greater to lose here; a friendship that I wasn't willing to part with.
And maybe something greater?
The couch dipped beside me and the wine in my goblet sloshed about, bringing me back to the present.
"So, I guess you didn't lie when you said you knew how to make a towel look good, huh?" She smirked.
I eyed her amused face, surprised at her overtness and humored all the same. "I deserve that. I'm sorry for barging in. I-"
She placed a hand on my arm and squeezed lightly. "It's okay. You just took me by surprise."
"Here." I handed over her glass of wine, watching as she took a large gulp of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Trying to get my head back in the game had proved useless with my next statement. "For what it's worth, those jeans look fantastic but I have to confess that my imagination is running wild with pictures of you wearing that black lace bra you were holding on to."
She laughed. "Boy, you're a cheeky one, aren't you?"
I smiled, happy that our familiar playful banter from our online conversations had begun to creep into our face-to-face setting as time went on. I was starting to see more of the Alissa I had grown to know over the last ten months. Witnessing a genuine physical reaction instead of those stupid emoticon faces or some video rendition of her was a refreshing change. I was able to read her like one of her books, and what I took in only made me want to be around her more. There was a level of comfort between us that I hadn't seen coming, despite our few moments of awkwardness.
After dinner, I noticed Alissa fighting off the urge to fall asleep as our movie went on, so I pulled her legs on top of my lap in order to let her stretch out and be more comfortable.
When the credits began to roll, I turned the TV off and lifted the sleeping woman into my arms. By instinct, her arms wrapped themselves around my neck. Nuzzling against my jaw, Alissa mumbled something indiscernible while I carried her to my bedroom.
I set her down on my bed and tried to pull back but she woke and latched onto my shirt, capturing me with those cerulean eyes of hers.
"Please don't go," she whispered and pulled me down. I had to brace myself to prevent from toppling over and crushing her.
Butterflies fluttered about in my stomach. "Are you sure?"
She bit down on her lower lip, making me wish that I could nibble it myself. That simple innocent action of hers had been driving me crazy every time she'd done it.
I felt her fingers around the belt loops to my jeans, forcing me lower.
Her lips brushed against mine. "This is your house, it's a big bed, and you're not sleeping on the couch."
I played with her hair and studied her. "It's not so bad."
"Pax?" Her gaze flittered between my mouth and eyes.
"Hmm?" I leaned toward her.
I never let her finish, knowing that we both wanted the same thing.
She ran her hands from my belt loops to around my hips and under my shirt. The feather-like contact as her fingers traced about my lower back heated my flesh. She nibbled on my lip. Her soft tongue met mine as we sought closeness. She tasted sweet and I wondered what the rest of her would taste like, or if I'd be lucky enough to find out. Something told me that I was well on my way with the way things were heating up.
I let my hand wander from her side down to her hip. Her leg folded up at the knee, allowing me better access to squeeze her jean-clad cheek, causing her to moan into my mouth. I kissed the length of her jaw, down to the side of her neck, up to her ear.
"You have no idea how much I want you right now," I said.
Her body trembled.
I nipped her lobe, eliciting a whimper from her as her hands came free of my shirt and made their way to my hair. I felt the prickling of my scalp followed by a rush of arousal as she pulled.
My pants tightened further. If she had any question as to how much she turned me on, the vixen that lay beneath me had a feasible answer as I pressed my lower half into hers.
Alissa rolled us over and straddled my waist with a wry grin. "If you want something, Paxton, you've got to take it." She grabbed onto the hem of my shirt and I arched my back to help her remove it.
A look of hunger twinkled in her eyes as she studied my upper body. A finger ran up the middle of my stomach, starting at the waist of my jeans, circling my navel. The tickling digit changed to an open palm, which rubbed my chest as she leaned forward to bring her lips inches from mine.
I reveled in all things Alissa.
The woman was a temptress, a master at seduction, and she behaved as if she had no clue to her prowess. That hot and moist tongue of hers, mixed with her nips and the series of open-mouthed kisses heading down my torso, was wreaking havoc on my senses. An internal fight broke out between my urge to flip her over and exact my sensual revenge, and that of staying put to see where she was going to end up next.
Reduced to breathlessness, I managed, "Allie?"
Her fingers toyed with the button at the top of my jeans. Her mouth latched onto one of my nipples, flicking that wicked tongue of hers over the hardened disk. "Hmm?" The vibrations sent electrical currents throughout my body.
She leaned up to kiss my mouth. I felt her smile against my lips and saw the crinkling at her eyes when the button snapped out of its eyelet.
In that moment, something snapped in me also.
I flipped us over, grabbed her hands and pinned them above her head with one of mine. My other hand roamed free to find the exposed flesh around her stomach from her shirt riding up.
Excerpted from "Once Written, Twice Shy"
Copyright © 2015 Carey Decevito.
Excerpted by permission of Emberlust Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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