They’ve loved each other for years, but they’ve never been intimate before.
Marissa has decided to live without sex, since it’s brought her nothing but trauma. At twenty-three, she’d rather just be celibate, and not even her best friend, Caleb, will change her mind.
After spending his childhood touring as a concert cello prodigy, Caleb is experimenting with living a stable life. For years, he has refused to commit to anything except his friendship with Marissa, but his feelings for her have never been romantic. Until recently.
So now he has to show her that sex doesn’t have to hurt.
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.
Now she was looking at him strangely. “Are you all right?” she asked, moving closer to him. “You look like you’re about to fall over.”
He shook his head roughly and took a step back. “I’m fine. Sorry. Just been a strange night.” He saw the concern on her face, noticed her unconsciously licking her lips. Felt himself grow even harder. “If you’re all right, I think I’ll get going now.”
“Fine. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. And don’t forget that retribution is in the works.”
He turned and walked quickly to the door, wanting only to get away from her so that he could regain his senses again.
“Caleb,” she called out after him.
He halted and glanced at her over his shoulder. She looked flushed and rumpled and affectionate. He gulped. Felt another tug from his disloyal crotch.
“I don’t really hate you, you know,” she said huskily.
And that completely did him in. He was fully erect and starting to throb. He had to get out of here. Now. Before he did or said something utterly stupid. Something he’d regret for the rest of his life.
“I know,” he mumbled. “Talk to you tomorrow.” And without even giving her a chance to reply, he left the apartment.
He went directly back to his apartment. Decided maybe he should go to bed early, since he was clearly suffering from some kind of malady.
A malady that was affecting his brain. And other parts of his body.
The erection hadn’t gone away, but Caleb refused to do anything about it. Instead, he sat on his couch, drank two beers in a row, and glared at the bulge in his pants.
It would go away eventually. Just like these crazy reactions to Marissa would go away. He supposed it was too much to expect that they could be friends as long as they had without something like this occurring.
It was nothing to worry about. Because tomorrow these feelings would be gone.
And he could return to the security and comfort their relationship had always been to him.
Caleb didn’t care if his arousal pulsed insistently. He absolutely refused to jerk off. Because he knew, if he did, he would be thinking about Marissa.
And he just didn’t think about Marissa that way.