Josie Banks is a girl without a past. After being found unconscious with no memory, she was shuffled in and out of foster homes where she suffered years of abuse. An experience that left her broken, damaged, and clinging to drugs and meaningless hook-ups to numb her pain.
Josie craved his touch and she couldn’t understand why they hadn’t had sex yet, or any form of it. She wanted it; her fingers ached to touch him in places she’d only yet imagined. It was obvious that Tristan felt the same way, so she failed to make sense of his need to take things slow. She longed to feel his sweat slicked skin against hers and inhale the scent of their bodies combined. Not ready to admit any kind of emotional connection, she desperately needed a physical one. It was the only thing she was comfortable with.She found it curious that her dependency seemed to be shifting. No longer did she need meaningless sex or drugs to numb her. Josie only wanted to submerge herself in Tristan, to soak up everything he offered. He was her new addiction.Tristan was in a constant state of arousal in Josie’s company. Never able to completely relax, his muscles remained tense and rigid with yearning. If it had been any other girl, he would have taken her already, hard and fast, several times. But he knew that Josie used sex to avoid attachment. He didn’t want to be just another mark on her therapeutically notched bedpost. To him, Josie was something new, yet familiar, something he wanted to cherish. He felt like two ancient souls, separated for a lifetime, had suddenly been reunited.Unable to contain the sexual tension clawing at her skin, Josie slid her notebook from her lap and straddled Tristan. He gave her his lopsided grin as his long fingers wrapped around her waist. Josie smiled triumphantly, thinking that she’d already won.“What are you up to?” he asked, dipping his head so that his lips pressed ever so softly to her shoulder.“I need to feel you Tristan. Just touch me.” The sound of Josie’s words echoed around the quiet room. “I want you.”Those three little words left him breathless. Such a brazen statement from Josie sent his willpower into a faltering tailspin. He hummed in agreement, sliding his kisses down to her neck.Josie ran her nails along Tristan’s scalp, making his eyes close in contentment. The feel of her hot body pressing down on him caused momentary insanity, totally emptying his brain of rational thought. He wanted her more than anything he’d ever wanted before. Not here, not now. There was so much more to say.“Can I take you out?” Tristan asked, suddenly moving his hands back down to her waist and resuming a neutral position.“Out of the apartment?”“Out on a date,” he clarified.“A date?” Josie asked, her frightened voice making the words sound foreign.“You know, an appointment for a particular time, especially with a person to whom one is sexually or romantically attached.”“Are we attached?” she asked, not really knowing what she wanted the answer to be.“More than you know,” he answered.
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Season Vining is the author of Beautiful Addictions, a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel from St. Martin’s Griffin. She received her three-book deal and agent representation as a result of attending the 2013 Jambalaya Writers’ Conference. She first gained attention for the book in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in which the story was a Quarterfinalist. Season is a graphic designer by trade and adores all form of art. She’s a fan of live music, vintage cars, and people who know the difference between their, there, and they’re.
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