NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author
Where love has a happily ever after...
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The bright lights and rowdy crowds of Vegas are giving me a headache, which makes me feel damn old. Andie, who sits opposite me at our table in the hotels glitzy bar, doesn’t seem to be put off by anything. I do sense a sadness within her, and it’s annoying that I’m not having any luck in getting her to open up. She’s become like a sister to me and I really do want to help her, except she changes the subject every time I ask her what’s wrong.
Shaking my head, my eyes flicker from table to table, watching but not really noticing, until my eyes lock with those of a distressed woman. She looks sad and her innocent face makes her look slightly out of place in the busy Las Vegas bar. Her long dark hair is loose down her back and falls in silky waves when she shakes her head. There’s another woman standing next to her, and she appears to be angry, turning away and stomping over to a group of scantily clad women. I watch as she aggressively motions toward my girl…
Whoa, where the fuck did ‘my’ come from?
The women shoot her a glare before turning their backs to her and strutting away.
My eyes dart back to the girl who now looks like a lost child, too scared to approach anyone but too lost to know where to go. Her slim fingers clench tightly around the bottle of beer in her dainty hands. I’m not even sure she’s old enough to be drinking, but when she looks up, her big brown eyes meet my gaze, totally captivating me.
The spell is broken when a guy, who I don’t think she knows, suddenly drops into the seat opposite her. She shakes her head in response to whatever the tool is saying. Her startled gaze darts from him to me and back to him before she shakes her head no again. The man keeps trying to pass a drink to her, but she firmly refuses. She casts her eyes downward, but not before I catch the helpless look in them.
“Andie, are you okay if I split?” I ask her without moving my eyes away from the young woman.
“She looks young,” Andie comments without missing a beat, her tone of voice implying something that she should know better than to think I’d ever consider.
“I know, but I think she needs help. That guy won’t leave her alone.” I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to figure out where this need to protect her has come from so suddenly.
“Go then, I’m going to head up to my room now anyway.” Andie swiftly stands, and after a quick hug, she totters away.
Draining my bottle of beer, I slowly move toward her table and notice the look of confusion and then relief wash over her face when she sees me approaching. Her reaction causes heat to rush through me, to places that haven’t been all that awake for a long time.
The annoying asshole follows her line of sight, his eyes shooting daggers in my direction. Well tough shit.
Holding my hand out, I wink. “Hey, you ready, babe?”
She briefly pauses, then slides her delicate fingers into my palm as I pull her lithely to her feet—she has the softest hands. I don’t have time to prepare for how she affects me as she stands in front of me with her free hand flat against my chest. My breath catches in the back of my throat and all blood drains south at the pure innocence of the beautiful woman standing before me. Trusting me.
“I wondered were you’d gotten to,” she whispers, playing along.
“I’m sorry. I’m here now.” Unable to stop the momentum, my lips press against her forehead and I can’t pull away. Instead my free hand reaches up and cups the back of her head to keep her close. “Let’s get out of here,” I suggest, glaring at the asshole over the top of her head.
She nods her head softly as my grip around her hand tightens.
“Hey, who the hell are you?” the man who had made himself at home with her asks.
“Her boyfriend. You have a problem with that?”
“Um, no. No. Her friends said she wanted to have a good time with me.” He frowns, looking in the direction that her friends had disappeared.
Those bitches will get a piece of my mind if I ever see them again.
“She’s mine.” With those words, I release her fingers and instead, wrap one arm around her shoulders and softly grip her waist with the other, needing to keep her close.
The only place I can think of taking her is to my room, because I want to be alone with her. Sex hasn’t crossed my mind, although my body would say otherwise, I just want to talk to her, watch her, be there for her.
With that in mind, I move her toward the coffee shop and turn her to face me, my arm still around her waist and hers around mine as we stand as close as lovers. “I just want to spend time with you, okay. I know you don’t know me, but I promise you that I’m a good guy. I won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do, but I really just want to continue holding you like this while we talk. That’s all, okay? I would like to take you up to my room so that we have some privacy, but it’s up to you.” I stare at her with hope shining in my eyes.
Her eyes search mine and I let her see the emotion swirling in my blue depths. At her nod of acceptance, my heart feels like it’s about to burst free from my chest. “I need to hear you say it out loud.”
Her small pause as she moistens her lips kills me. “Yes. I want to spend time with you.”
And just like that my legs weaken, and when she drops her forehead to my chest, I feel her deep breaths against me, and my dick tries to punch through my jeans.
Groaning, I quickly get us moving closer to the elevators for our quick ride up to my room. Once inside, I’m thankful that the maid didn’t skip my room because it’s tidy and all my shit isn’t laying where I’d carelessly tossed it earlier.
Seeing her standing in my space makes me nervous as hell, which is totally stupid. No woman ever makes me this uneasy, but watching the young woman looking around with an anxious expression, I’m not sure what the fuck to do. So I blurt out, “Kasey, that’s my name.” I clear my throat with a choked cough and offer her an awkward but encouraging smile. “You going to tell me your name, or is it a secret?” I wink playfully, trying to lighten the mood and make her feel more comfortable.
She giggles, and the sound makes my cock continue to throb. It hasn’t really stopped since we first touched in the bar.
“I’m Felicity.” Her smile lights up her whole face and my mind goes blank. “You have a balcony,” she observes.
My brain scrambles to catch up. “Um, yes.” I laugh and her smile widens. “Let’s sit out there.” I take two quick strides toward the doors, and sliding them smoothly open, I usher her through. Quickly snagging two bottles of water from the mini bar, I drop my ass heavily into the double lounger. Lying back, I pat the space next to me and without hesitation, in fact I’d say with relief, she lies next to me—too far away though.
Smiling to myself, I reach out and pull her against me, and it appears that’s what she was waiting for as she snuggles into my side. Her head rests on my shoulder and one of her slim arms anchors warmly across my stomach. Any lower and she’d be able to feel the way my body reacts to her.
“Why,” she whispers, “do I feel as though I’ve known you forever, when it’s only been about ten minutes?”
I exhale. “I have no idea, but I do know that I feel exactly the same way. From the minute my eyes found you, I was drawn to you. I wanted to pound that harassing asshole into the ground.”
“Mmm,” she sighs. “I wish I could say that I can’t believe Bev told him that I wanted a good time with him, but I really can.”
“She isn’t a friend you want or need, honey.” I soothe her with soft strokes down the long tresses of hair that falls softly behind her.
“She isn’t really a friend to be honest. I try because she’s dating my brother, but in truth, he’d kill her if he knew what situations she puts me into.”
I pull her closer and rest my chin on the top of her head. “She doesn’t sound like a nice woman.”
Felicity gives an undignified snort, and then chuckles. “I can’t believe I did that.” She buries her face against my chest.
“Don’t be embarrassed. I loved hearing that sound coming from you.” Her face heats up as it turns red and I kiss the top of her head. “I’m serious, woman. Now tell me why your brother doesn’t see Bev for the woman she is.”
“She’s pretty on the outside and a nasty bitch on the inside, but of course my brother is a horny dick and only sees her boobs.”
I choke back a laugh. She tips her face up to mine, and smirks. “It’s true, and anyone with a brain above their waist can see that.”
“Do I get points if I admit that I never noticed her…attributes?” I trail a finger from her forehead to her lips, and admit, “I only saw you.” I smile softly as she blushes again.
Felicity grabs hold of my hand and kisses my palm before she wraps her hand around mine and rests it against my chest. “When I saw you watching me, I thought you had to be looking at someone else. No one ever looks at me the way you did.”
“Do,” I correct. “Only I’m allowed to look at you that way.” I cringe a little at how territorial I sound.
“I like the idea of that…so much…but—” she begins to mumble.
“No buts allowed tonight. Tonight it’s just you and me, and I’m hoping by morning that you’ll trust me with your phone number.”
“You might not want it by morning,” she replies sadly.
“Why wouldn’t I want it? I already know that whatever you tell me isn’t going to change the way you make me feel.”
“I’m nineteen,” she blurts, hiding her face against my chest. I’m beginning to think it’s a place she likes. “I can feel your heart racing.”
Closing my eyes, I try to calm down, but fuck, what the hell will she think when she knows my age?
“I told you,” she whispers softly.
My arms tighten around her. “I’m thinking and panicking at what you’ll think when I admit that I’m thirty-two.” I slide further down the lounger so that we’re face-to-face. “The connection was there from the minute my eyes found you in that crowded bar, and the difference in our ages isn’t going to stop me from wanting to be near you.” I kiss her on the nose. “Stop worrying about what I’m going to think, and tell me something about you, your family, or whatever you want to tell me.”
Her eyes search mine and the frantic beat of my heart gradually slows when she smiles and snuggles back into the warmth of my embrace.
I feel like I’m home with her in my arms and that I’m not floundering alone, which has been the case for a while now.
Her hand caressing back and forth along my chest and stomach is driving me crazy and makes my body want more.
“There’s only my brother and me,” she starts softly. “He’s an immature asshole most of the time, but I know that he loves me. It’s because of him that I didn’t end up in foster care when our parents died.” She sighs, nuzzling closer to my neck with her face.
“I was twelve and Blake had just turned eighteen. It was hard for him, and I guess me as well, but we survived each other. I think now at the grand old age of twenty-five, he’s living out the years that he missed because of me. But I know that if I need him, or if someone does me wrong, that he’d be there for me. I know this, Kasey.” She lifts her face to mine and the tears that I see swimming in her eyes hurts me. “I just wish he wasn’t so blind to the bimbo who takes great pleasure in trashing me.”
Kissing her forehead, I tug her back into my arms, and for the first time it registers that she’s lying on top of me. One of her legs is between mine, her hips press tightly against my arousal as a groan slips from between my lips while I hold her still.
“You’ve been through a lot and something tells me that you wouldn’t usually let someone treat you that way.”
“I wouldn’t, but she’s the first woman who Blake’s kept around, so I figured she must mean something to him. He gave up a lot for me. I don’t want to interfere unless it gets to the point that I have to.”
“I get it, but I hate it. You deserve to be treated like a queen.”
She giggles at my words, which was what I intended.
“It’s your turn. Tell me something about my knight in shining armor.” She raises her face and it’s good seeing her eyes alight with mirth.
“I’ve never been called that before,” I admit while she settles back against my chest. “I’m one of seven siblings.”
“Yeah. Dante is the oldest and he’s married to my stepsister, Emelia, who has a baby cooking. That’s one story that I’ll tell you sometime. Then there’s Eric who lives in Lexington with his wife, Sylvia. Aiden is the reason why I’m here in Vegas. It’s his bachelor party, and because he and his fiancée, Sarah, have been through so much to be together they’re having the bachelorette party here as well.” I pause.
“Then there’s Mateo who’s married to Erin and they have the sweetest baby girl, Francesca Marie who is named after our mom. I’m the youngest, but after our mom died, my dad married her best friend to help her out of a sticky situation. She was pregnant with twins, Emelia and Diego at the time. It turned out for the best because their love is obvious although it took awhile to grow. So not only do I have a large family, some of the relationships have been complicated. But at the end of the day, we’re all family and we stick together.”
Sighing, Felicity tells me, “I used to dream about being part of a large family.”
Kissing the top of her head, I tighten my hold around her, wondering what the hell has happened to me. Felicity makes me want to ask her to pack her bags and come back to New York with me. I want to tell her that I’ll protect her, but the biggest thing of all that is on the tip of my tongue is I want to tell her she can be part of my family, which is ridiculous. I met her less than an hour ago—I must be crazy.
“Where do you live?” she whispers the question against my chest.
“My family is based outside of Great Falls, Montana, but for a few years now I’ve been living in New York…What about you?”
My heart sinks knowing that we’re not even living in the same state.
“I’m originally from Boise, Idaho, but my brother got a job in Cleveland about five years ago, so we moved.” She shrugs. “I’ve never wished to be in New York before now,” she whispers.
“I’ve never wished to visit Cleveland until now,” I admit, nuzzling into her neck.
“Only to visit?”
I smile. “I’d be flying home to Cleveland with you from here if I wasn’t tied into a contract that still has another fourteen months to go. We’d be attached at the hip, babe.”
“Mmm, I like the sound of the last part.” She moves position slightly and ends up on top of my dick.
My hand trembles as I clench her bottom to push her against my arching hips. She wiggles again and I groan, pleasure shooting straight to my balls.
“You want me?” she questions, her gaze searching mine.
“Yes, I want you.” I close my eyes before I take what I think she’s offering me, but I snap my eyes open when Felicity straddles my lap. “What are you doing?”
She blushes and looking close to tears quickly scrambles to get off me. I don’t give her the chance to go far and grab her arms. “Not so fast.” I pull her down and pant when my dick ends up right between her legs. My breathing quickens while I’m trying to calm the fuck down, but when she rotates her hips, I see stars.
Quickly rolling us, I keep my hips away from the beautiful woman beneath me, and rest my forehead against hers. “It’s obvious to us both that I want you. I want you so much that I can’t see straight…I just don’t want to have one night with you only to go our separate ways tomorrow. I don’t know what you’ve done to me, but in the very short time that I’ve known you, you’ve gotten under my skin.”
I drop to my back beside her and smile when her delicate fingers intertwine with mine. Very slowly she brings her body closer and curls into my side, so I move my arm and hold her tightly against me again. I love her being in this position, so close and comfy.
“I’ve never had sex before,” she whispers so softly that I barely hear her.
My hand freezes at her words. “Have you done anything?” I ask, trying to act my age instead of jumping up and fist pumping the air at the fact that no other guy has laid a finger on her…at least I hope they haven’t.
“Nothing.” She hides her face against my chest. “My brother is kind of an ass about that sort of thing when it involves me. But realistically, I’ve never been all that interested in finding out what all the fuss is about. Until you, no one made me want to.”
Her admission has my dick trying to punch out of my jeans to get to her, but no matter how much I want to make love to her, nothing will happen tonight, regardless of what my body craves.
“Are you going to deflower me?” she asks, her voice full of mischief.
I burst out laughing at her question, which breaks some of the tension surrounding us. Lifting her closer, we lie face-to-face, our mouths mere inches apart.
“Yes,” I answer honestly, “but not tonight. I want more than a night, and I don’t want to make love to you and then have to get on a plane home the following day. I want to be able to spend the whole day with you afterward. I want to have time to run you a bubble bath the morning after. I want to watch you dress before I feed you breakfast. Not necessarily in that order. Are you hearing me, Felicity? From this point forward, I’m yours. Only yours. And we will be together again soon. If we want something strongly enough, then we can make it happen.” I smile and kiss the tip of her nose before moving to her watery eyes.
“I want that too.”
“I sense a but in there.” I search her eyes with mine.
She offers a small, sad smile. “I’m afraid that when I walk out of this hotel room that you’ll forget all about me.”
I cup her head with my hands. “That won’t happen. I promise. We’re going to exchange numbers before I walk you back to your room.” Burying my face into her neck, I add, “Be mine Felicity, let me be yours, whichever way…just tell me I'm the only guy you’re going to be thinking about from now one."
With her lack of experience, I’m terrified that I’m going to scare her away with my need for her, but I need to know that she’s going to be waiting for me. I need that assurance.
“I promise, Kasey. Please just hold me while I sleep. I feel safe here with you.”
Wrapping myself around her, I hold her close, wondering why she wouldn’t feel safe with her brother.
LOVE IN GAME
De La Fuente Family Series, Book 6
Kasey De La Fuente has felt that something was missing from his life as he’s watched his brothers and sister find love, but nothing can prepare him for meeting the young and innocent, Felicity Kelly. She makes him crave more for himself and it makes him crazy with how quickly his heart becomes involved…and then she disappears while he sleeps.
The connection Felicity felt with Kasey while in Vegas has stayed with her and not a day has gone by in the last three months that she hasn’t thought about him. However, a trip to New York with her brother, Blake, and a chance meeting with Kasey throws her life into turmoil, and it’s only with Kasey by her side that she gets through it all. She needs him to breathe.
The De La Fuente home is outside of Great Falls, Montana, and the new series features each of the De La Fuente siblings: Dante, Eric, Aiden, Mateo, Kasey, and fraternal twins, Diego and Emelia.
Love in Montana #1 (Eric and Sylvia)
Love in Purgatory #2 (Dante and Emelia)
Love in Bloom #3 (Mateo and Erin)
Love in Country #4 (Aiden and Sarah)
Love in Flame #5 (Diego and Rae)
Love in Game #6 (Kasey and Felicity)
This can be read as a standalone and is intended for mature audiences (17+) due to sexual content.
Image Copyright ~ Michael Stokes Photography
Cover Model ~ Jared Miller Brown
Cover Design ~ Robin Harper, Wicked by Design