Olivia Barrett’s always had a weakness for bad boys and Tyler Chamberlain is no exception. His tattoos, his piercings, and even the fact that he has a girlfriend doesn’t keep her away.
Interested in Tyler since she first saw him pick up a guitar, she’s been trying to find ways to be with him for years. He’s the one Livvie runs to when she needs a friend, the one who makes her laugh and holds her when she needs to cry. Unfortunately, they are never single at the same time and sneaking around is getting old.
Now, tired of making bad decisions, Livvie’s making changes. Her friends are all starting to grow up and she doesn’t want to be left behind. Terrified her friends are moving on without her, she’s’s determined to make things work with Emmett, her on-again off-again boyfriend since high school.
The only problem? Tyler isn’t ready to let her go. Despite her boyfriend and his girlfriend, these two are drawn together like magnets. When she’s with Emmett she wishes she was with Tyler and vice versa.
Will Livvie ever get tired of pretending and pick one guy? Or will she keep bouncing back and forth between the two of them indefinitely?
He makes me so mad! It’s my birthday, and instead of celebrating with my boyfriend, I’m at home, fuming over the stupid shit he always does. Emmett knows today is my birthday, but instead of making plans to spend the night with me, he’s with his teammates. I mean, come on! I bailed on plans with SB, Jess and Lily tonight to spend time with my boyfriend. I was actually planning on giving up my virginity tonight…I figured hell, I’m eighteen now, I’m an adult, sex is my decision right? Wrong, apparently.
My bedroom door shuts behind me and I whirl around, thinking he’s followed me in, but no, of course not. It’s Tyler, Chris’s friend and old bandmate. A guy I’ve had a crush on since he started coming around when he first moved to Nashville from London. Looking over at him in shock, because I really didn’t expect to see him, or anyone here tonight. My parents aren’t home, which is par for the course, and my brother…oh shit! Chris is home on leave so that means the rest of the old band is here too. They always hang out and play when he’s home.
“What’s wrong Livvie-girl?” His softly spoken words, in the accent that’s not as pronounced as it was the first time I met him, saying the nickname he gave me, bring tears to my eyes.
Turning back away from him, not wanting him to see me cry, not over something as stupid as my boyfriend having an away game on my birthday. Trust me, I know the way I’m acting is selfish, but it just feels like everyone has abandoned me this year. My parents are out of town, my boyfriend refused to blow off his game, and I can’t beg my friends to hang out with me because I already told them what my plans were for tonight. If I call any of them, they’ll just feel sorry for me.
Tyler’s hands land on my shoulders, squeezing gently before he turns me back around to face him. The concern in his eyes unravels me; I just want to be close to someone, to feel like someone cares. I collapse into his chest, crying softly while he strokes my hair, murmuring sweet words to comfort me. We only stand like this for a few minutes, just until I can get my emotions under control.
“Are you ready to tell me what has you so upset, love?” He tips my chin up so I’m looking into his eyes, but I don’t want him to see just how messed up I am tonight. I just want to forget everything, forget how cheated I feel. Tonight was supposed to be the night…my eighteenth birthday, the first time I go “all the way” – which sounds really corny by the way. We’ve done everything but the actual deed so I shouldn’t feel so cheated. It’s just, I’m tired of being one of the only ones in my group of friends who hasn’t done it yet. It’s just SarahBeth and me and she’s waiting for someone who will never, ever notice her like that. I don’t want to end up like her, alone and pining for someone I can’t have.
I can’t say any of that to Tyler though, so I just say, “I’m just upset because I’m spending my birthday alone.” There, that should suffice. I shouldn’t have to elaborate on those words. Besides, now that I’m in here, in my room…alone with a boy, a boy that I’ve always wanted to be alone with, I’m getting ideas. Ones I shouldn’t act on, but I’m angry, still feeling the sting of rejection from Emmett refusing to blow off his game.
“Ahh,” he says knowingly, “your birthday? How old are you now?” He tilts his head sideways, studying me as he waits for my answer.
My smile turns wicked as I trail a finger down his chest, then his really nice abs, stopping just above the snap on his jeans. Looking up at him, I breathe the word, “Eighteen.” His light brown eyes darken until I’m almost unable to tell where his pupils end and the color begins. This so isn’t me, but I like the effect I’m having on him.
“Mmmm, that’s a good age, Livvie-girl,” he says, his voice suddenly much deeper. I know I’m playing with fire, but I just can’t help myself. Tyler rubs his thumb against my bottom lip, prompting me to touch the tip of my tongue against it. His indrawn breath makes me feel powerful, like I’m doing something naughty when I shouldn’t be. Which of course, I am. Technically, I have a boyfriend…at least I think I still do. I’m not really sure because I told him that if he didn’t blow off the game, he shouldn’t call me again. It’s not the first time I’ve made the threat and I’ve never followed through with it before, but Tyler’s finally paying me attention. I’ve wanted him to notice me since the day I met him, the broken boy who’d just lost his mom and moved in with a father who didn’t know he’d existed until the day his mom’s will was read.
I’m feeling reckless and bold, and I’m not sure if it’s because it’s him or my birthday, or just the idea that I’m doing something I’m not supposed to be. I talk a lot of shit, but deep down, I’m really a good girl. Always doing what my parents tell me, never really getting into trouble. Up to this point, the only rebellious thing I’ve done is putting a bright red streak in my dark hair. My parents freaked about that one until I assured them it was temporary – even though it’s not.
Tyler’s free hand strokes down my arm leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake before settling on my waist. The warmth of his hand seeps through my light shirt and into my skin as I stretch up on my toes to brush my mouth against his briefly. His hand tightens as the other moves from my chin around to the back of my neck, tangling in my hair and holding my head still. Before I can ask what he’s doing, his mouth lands on mine, kissing me roughly. I’ve never been kissed this way, and when I don’t push him away, he pulls back just enough to trace the seam of my lips with his tongue, silently asking for acceptance.
I don’t even think of denying him, opening immediately and sucking his tongue into my mouth. He growls, pulling me harder against him and letting me feel his obvious erection against my stomach. I’ve made out with a few guys, but none of them have ever made me feel like this. I feel like I’m freezing and burning up all at the same time. Tyler knows exactly how to touch me to make my body ignite, and I’m wondering why I bother with high school boys when the older ones are so much better.
Stacey is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of Second Chances (co-authored with H.M. Ward) and the Nashville Nights series.
She is also a wife, mother, writer and self-professed bookwhore – not necessarily in that order! As the mother of three growing boys, her Kindle has become her temporary escape from the insanity of boys, dogs and her husband. Stacey can usually be found curled up with her iPad when she’s supposed to be writing or creating endless playlists on Spotify.