When Love Finds You
Publication date: August 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
After pasts riddled with pain, can Hadlee and Bryce let themselves love again?
He was the perfect vacation fling.
I needed to get laid and live a little. One night with him would revive my shattered heart and arouse my senses. I could cast aside all my inhibitions and let my lust guide me.
And the best part, I would never have to see him again…or so I thought.
She was my last taste at freedom.
I used her, just like all the others that came before her. The women I chose to be with had only one purpose…to fulfill my needs, and then I was done.
But she was different. She put me off balance and got under my skin.
But what did it matter…it’s not like one night was going to change my future.
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It’s the very early hours of the morning, a few rays of sunshine are peeking in through the curtains at the sliding glass door, and I’m just waking up. There’s a gentle rocking to the ship, and I no longer hear the roar of the engines, so we must have arrived at our next port. Rolling onto my side, I immediately feel a throbbing in my head so intense, I moan in pain. I squeeze my closed eyes even tighter, willing the throbbing to ease as I take a few slow, deep breaths. Within moments, the pain eases, allowing me to snuggle in the covers and drift back to sleep.
As the ship sways, more and more sunlight pours through the curtains. I dread getting up, but coffee and a hot shower always help my headaches. The bed’s so warm and cozy, I can’t muster enough energy to move, let alone open my eyes. I drift in and out of sleep for a bit longer until I get the oddest sensation, I’m not alone in my bed. This sort of thing happens to me more often than I care to admit, but this time, the feeling is slightly different but not enough to alarm me. Thinking my mind is once again playing its usual tricks, I grab the cover tighter to my body and ease back into my pillow.
The mattress moves, and a muscular arm wraps protectively across my waist, pulling me flush against his body. I’m not fully awake yet, so it takes me a few seconds to realize I’m not
dreaming. When I feel a gentle breath on my neck and hear a small moan, my eyes fly open. Holding my breath, I look around, realizing I’m in Bryce’s cabin. My heart sinks and guilt cascades over me. I need to get out of here… now!
I can’t think and can barely breathe, listening so intently to the man behind me, trying to figure out my next move in full out panic mode. I’m trying so hard not to move or hyperventilate. I need to calm down, clear my head, and devise a plan to get out of here… and fast. How the hell did I get myself into this mess? Ah, yes, my sister. I can’t believe she talked me into this! She made it sound so simple, but I have no clue what I should do. I’m dumbfounded and frozen with fear.
Why didn’t I pay closer attention to my girlfriends’ stories? They’ve all been in my shoes, and each one has relayed a wonderful tale of how they gracefully and skillfully escaped unnoticed from a lover’s bed. Why can’t I remember anything they did? Damn! All I know is what common sense is telling me to do. I need to get untangled, get myself out of this bed, get dressed, and slip out the door. I have to be quick and quiet. I can’t run the risk of him waking and seeing me. What would I say then? ‘Uh, good morning, that was fun, thank you, and goodbye, then run out the door?
I’m a coward, I know, but I suck at confrontations, and I will do whatever it takes to find the easiest way out of an uncomfortable situation. Slipping out the door unnoticed would be the easiest thing for me to do right now, so why can’t I move? Why do I feel so protected and content, lying here in his arms? Why does this feel… right?
I slowly lift Bryce’s arm and rest it behind my back. He doesn’t move or say anything, which gives me the confidence I need to continue. Inch by inch, I slowly shift my body to the edge of the bed, using swift, fluid movements, so I don’t shake him too much. Once I’m perched on the edge, I hold my breath and listen. I pray he hasn’t noticed my absence, but I’m way too scared to look over my shoulder. When I hear nothing but slow, steady breathing, I assume Bryce is still asleep. It’s now or never. Holding my breath again, I carefully remove the sheet from my body, slowly swing my feet over the bed, and stand. I frantically look around the room, searching for my clothes, but I can’t seem to focus.
I’m buck ass naked and covered in goose bumps, my heart is racing, and I’m shaking. It would be all too easy to crawl back in bed, but I shake my head at that crazy thought. I need to stick to the mission—get out and get out fast! I quickly scan the floor at my feet. Shit, where are my clothes? I feel like I’m on a scavenger hunt as I scurry around the cabin, looking for anything to put on. I spot my shirt and pants by the couch and quickly dress. Scanning the cabin again, I find my panties and bra near the bathroom door and my shoes on top of the dresser. I gather them quickly and tuck them all under my left arm as I make a beeline for the door. As soon as my hand hits the knob, my body freezes. My heart’s screaming at me to look back. I can’t leave Bryce forever without taking one last look at him.
Damn, my memory was right. My mouth literally drops open. Bryce is absolutely gorgeous. The covers leave little to the imagination. I obviously did a horrible job slipping out of the bed, and when he rolled to his back, the sheet went missing. My eyes glued to his chiseled six-pack and strong, muscular chest, I stand there gawking, as last night’s memories flood my brain. Damn, he was way more than I bargained for. He was an incredible lover, and he outdid any fantasy I ever had. If circumstances were different, I would stay. If I was a stronger person, I would stay. But my past has ruined me. My heart is still shattered, and Bryce was just a one-night stand. I used him to revive my broken heart and arouse my senses. It’s been far too long since I had a connection with a man, but there is no way I’m ready for more than what Bryce and I had last night. He was just a quest, nothing more. Turning back to the door, I quietly slip out.
Lynn Wolff is a contemporary romance author and poet. She’s a wife, a mother, an animal lover, and a huge romance junkie. She likes her heroines smart and strong, her heroes with charisma and style, and she has never read a romance hero she didn’t like.
She lives in the northeastern region of the United States with her family but is ready to ditch the cold winters and move to warm, sunny Florida. She would much rather be shoveling sand than snow. When she isn’t plotting or furiously tapping away on her keyboard, she is deep into the art of poetry, creating mini stories through rhythm and rhyme.