Running off to Amsterdam is the best decision Ella ever made in her life. In just a few months, she’s been able to put her past behind and has found a new family and friends. She can almost ignore the voices in her head telling her this idyllic scenario is temporary.
When Lou Rivers shows up in Amsterdam, he’s the constant reminder of the life she led and the mistakes she made. As the two of them embark on an emotional and musical journey across Europe, Ella will have to face her own insecurities and make a decision that might break them apart forever.
So wrong for each other, not that that was an issue for us.
Because Boyd Rivers had one rule: ONE NIGHT ONLY.
And that was fine by me.
We didn’t even live in the same country.
So it's not like we saw each other often.
But when we did see each other it always ended the same way...in bed.
And the world around us would disappear.
Not the fighting.
Not the chaos.
Not the distance.
When we were together, it was easy to believe we were made for each other.
But we weren’t. This wasn't about love.
It was just no-strings-attached sex.
Or so I thought.
But sometimes, fate has other plans…can it really be not about love?
- This Love -
“Come on. You want it. This isn’t the time to second guess yourself. Sit,” he said, motioning me to sit on the piano bench.
I sat absent-mindedly, took my jacket off and placed it on top of the piano.
I cracked my fingers, and I placed them on the keys.
I lifted my eyes to meet his.
“What do you want to hear?” I asked.
“Anything you want to play,” he replied.
I took a deep breath trying to shake off the nervousness.
He leaned down, moved my hair behind my shoulder and looked into my eyes.
“No one is here to judge you,” he said in a low voice, his face inches away from mine.
I looked into his eyes and told him “I’m ready.”
I finally settled on a piece, and I placed my fingers on the keys. I couldn’t look at him while I played, but I was all too aware of his eyes fixed on me. I could feel his eyes look at my hands, and go up to my face, probably focusing on my lips and my purposely closed eyelids. Knowing he was looking at me sent shivers down my spine. Since my circumstances had changed over the last few months, playing the piece I had chosen felt completely different. I got giddier note after note. The sound coming from the piano vibrated through me and it felt liberating. A small smile spread on my face and I heard Lou chuckle. He was standing to my left, facing me, and I knew if I looked up for just a moment, I would have gotten lost in his eyes and lost my focus. I felt completely ecstatic playing Liszt’s piano concerto No. 1 in e-flat major s. 124, and toward the end, I couldn’t hold back my smile anymore. I bit my lip, incredulous, trying to remember the last time I had so much fun playing classical music. I must have been a child.
When I was done, I finally looked up and met Lou’s eyes. He gave me a soft smile at first, but when he read the expression on my face and saw how giddy I was, his smile stretched into a huge grin. We both laughed, half surprised, half ecstatic.
“Are you done?” He asked, the smirk still on his face.
“That was it,” I said smugly, biting my lip.
He looked like he wanted to say something, but we just kept staring at each other. Then, a few seconds later, he leaned on his elbows on a corner of the piano and started speaking.
“Do you want to know what I think?” he asked.
“Duh! Of course I do!” I replied.
“You probably already know what I think… I’m trying to come up with the right words to say, because I don’t want to scare you…I don’t want to pressure you.”
“You aren’t,” I reassured him, smiling.
I don’t know how much longer I was going to deny I was head over heels in love with him. He reached for my hands and took them in his.
“You know you are far too talented to not play. I’m not saying you should go back to doing what your parents wanted you to do and what they wanted you to be. You should play what you want, but you should definitely play. Throwing this kind of talent away…it’s stupid, really.”
I struggled to find the right words to say to him. I was surprised and a little astonished by the fact that someone that had known me for such a short amount of time would be so supportive, so encouraging. His words made me feel like I was being lifted up on a cloud, like I could do and accomplish anything I’d set my mind to.
“So you might not be good enough to be a concert pianist,” he added, “who cares? There are a million other things you could be doing. Didn’t you say you tried writing songs before?” he asked.
I smiled at him and tried to say something, all while getting up from the bench, but he had other ideas in mind. Just as I was standing up, he leaned down to kiss me. I don’t know how we didn’t slam into each other, because his kiss surprised me. I was trying to reciprocate it, but I lost my balance, falling backwards. I tried to hold on to him, grabbing the lapels of his jacket and ending up making him fall on top of me. My head hit the floor, and the legs of the bench screeched loudly as I fell and involuntarily pushed it aside.
And now I was lying on the floor of a closed music store, in the middle of the night, with Lou Rivers plastered on top of me.
Hysteria took the place of embarrassment, and I started laughing uncontrollably, my laughter vibrating through our bodies. Lou eased himself up on top of me, but didn’t get up; he merely adjusted his weight so he wouldn’t be pressing on me as much.
“Shhhh,” he fought a smile, “Ian is going to kick us out. Keep it quiet. Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked, trying to caress the back of my head to see if I was hurt.
“Leave it to me to do something like that,” I said, the laughter finally subsiding. I exhaled deeply and looked at his face. “Pretty sure Ian will not let us do this again anytime soon,” I laughed.
“Probably not,” he whispered, “but we are here now,” he added, and the southern drawl made an appearance once again. I loved when that happened. It made it impossible to resist him.
We were almost in complete darkness, but there was some light from a back window coming in. It made Lou’s eyes look gray instead of green. I never made love by lantern shine, I thought, singing in my head the song he played for me earlier that day.
“I thought we agreed we weren’t going to kiss anymore,” I whispered.
“That was your decision. How’s that working out for you, by the way?” he asked with a smile, staring at my lips, grinding his hips ever so gently against me. He knew how to tempt me. Nerves fired up in my belly and suddenly I couldn’t think. He stared at me, waiting for an answer.
“It was…working out okay.”
“Now I’m not so sure anymore.”
He lowered his head and kissed me, this time taking it slowly, using the position to his advantage. He placed soft kisses on my mouth, and when my lips parted, he wrapped his tongue around mine, cradling my jaw, bringing it up to him. His kisses were deep and hungry, nipping at my bottom lip from time to time. They left me breathless, and when he looked at me as if asking for permission to continue, my heart felt like it was going to explode. He was beautiful, but it was more than that. It was something more between us. I felt like he was the only one who understood me, like he and I were in our own world even when we were in a room full of people. Most times, it seemed he knew how I felt, with just a look. The way his kisses branded my skin, had me realizing it was much more than purely physical pleasure. I had never felt like this with anyone before. Was this love? Fuck, I was falling in love with him. Oh, what a stupid, stupid notion. You’re going to get hurt, I told myself, and surprisingly, I didn’t care anymore. Getting hurt was going to be worth all of this.
Suddenly, it seemed like my hands had a mind of their own. They started exploring his body, everywhere, squeezing his butt, running up his back, and making their way down to his erection, large and arousing. My mouth couldn’t get enough of him either, kissing every inch of his face and neck. The low growl coming out of his mouth told me he quite enjoyed handsy Ella. His hand made its way under my sweater, caressing my skin, before traveling south of my navel, inside my yoga pants. My back arched, and a moan escaped me at the touch of his long, skilled fingers. He moved slightly to my side, giving me room to part my legs and grant him better access. In between choked moans and heavy breathing, our eyes locked. He seemed as focused as ever on the task at hand. His thumb pressed and circled and teased my clit while his index and middle finger made their way in and out of me. I hadn’t forgotten about him, and I wanted to go further than rubbing my hand on him through his jeans, but he stopped me when I tried to undo his belt, pointing at the ceiling and telling me to be quiet. His fingers were working me faster and faster, and I rocked against his hand, chasing the crescendo that would tip me over the edge. He urged me to be quiet, but there was only so much I could do to contain the strangled cry of pleasure coming out of my mouth. He kissed my lips softly, encouraging me to let go. The orgasm unraveled through me like waves, my pounding heart loud in my ears. When I opened my eyes again, he was watching me, a soft and amused look in his eyes. Still panting, I pulled him down to me to kiss him stupid, but he ended up bumping into the piano bench. It made the same screeching noise again, and I barely had time to press my lips to his before we were both laughing, unable to keep quiet any longer. A noise from upstairs startled us, and we quickly disentangled, got up and straightened our clothes.
We left the store running like thieves, laughing and kissing all the way home.
- Not About Love -
“Boyd, I can’t fucking believe you!” Ally yelled. “How could you be so careless?” she asked in disbelief.
“I was drunk!” I said, trying to excuse myself. I knew it wasn’t a good enough excuse. I was guilty. She had every right to yell at me.
“That’s no excuse! I was drunk, too, but if you had told me you weren’t wrapping it up, I would have done it myself!”
“Oh, please! You didn’t even realize I didn’t have one on. That’s how far gone you were, too!” She scowled, and I shrugged as she let out an exasperated growl. The fact that I was trying to downplay it made her even more mad.
“If it makes you feel any better, it felt wonderful. You felt wonderful. If I could go back…I’d probably do it again.” She raised her eyebrows, and her eyes widened in disbelief.
“How I felt? So you go from having total amnesia to remembering details of that night? Do you want to know how I’ve really felt in the last few weeks? This whole time I thought it had been my fault! I thought I had done something wrong.” She raised her hands up in the air and gave me a pointed look. The woman did know how to be dramatic, but I had to hand it to her…she wore it well. I didn’t hate the scowl on her face, especially if it meant I’d have to work my way back in. I loved to chase her. I’d chase her to a bedroom for the rest of my life.
“You thought it was your fault? And, enlighten me…what could you have possibly done wrong? Made my condom disappear with one of those magic moves of yours?”
“Haha, very funny. I should be even more pissed at you now, especially after all those weeks of not hearing from you at all. You just signed your death sentence, buddy,” she said with a sly smile, her index finger pressed to my chest.
“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s kiss and make up. That’s all behind us. I’m here, with you. Let’s hug it out. I’ll make it worth your while.” I opened my arms to embrace her, but she shoved me away. She was about to slap me, but I raised both my hands to cover myself. I did it to tease her more than for self-defense, and it worked. She tried to keep a straight face, but the tight line of her lips turned into a smile, and she started laughing.
I laughed with her, thinking this was the first time in a long time I’d felt truly happy. Our eyes locked. This time, when I went in for a hug, she let me embrace her.
I kissed her on the lips.
“It was meant to be, Red. It only happened once, and you and I both know we had sex dozens of times. Just once, and yet, my little sperm made it all the way to your egg and scored a big, fat touchdown. What are the odds, huh?” She closed her eyes and shook her head. I tipped her chin up with my finger.
“Look at me,” I told her. She did as I asked. Our eyes locked, and after a few seconds, the angry glare changed into a softer look.
“Meant to be, you say.”
I smiled. “Mmm.” I nuzzled her neck, trailing kisses on her skin, and she sighed.
“You think I have magic moves?” she asked in a low, breathy voice. I stopped and looked at her. I smiled, the fire in her eyes rendering me powerless. Was I ever going to stop wanting this woman? Seal the deal, a voice inside me said. I pushed the thought away and focused on her lips, then my eyes traveled to her gorgeous breasts. They had gotten even bigger since she’d gotten pregnant, and I couldn’t say I didn’t love that. Now that she was a few months in, her curves were even softer, her belly slowly shaping up as our son or daughter kept growing. She was beautiful, all around.
“You do have magic moves. Those hips of yours don’t lie.” My hands grabbed her hips, and I rocked myself against her. She let out a sigh.
“One thing is for sure,” she murmured. “We’re really, really good at this.”
Hilaria Alexander was born and raised in the south of Italy, where her family still lives. She was bit by the travel bug early on and lived in Tokyo and Orlando for a while before settling down in Oklahoma City with her husband and kids.
She loves books - obviously - as well as movies and TV, and is addicted to award shows. She can't play an instrument to save her life, but she loves music, which is one of her biggest inspirations when plotting new stories. If you have questions about her or her books, ask her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a Reply.