First Comes Love(8)

By: Emily Goodwin

Chapter Two


“WE’VE GOT TO stop meeting like this.” I smile as Officer Reilly uncuffs me. I bring my hands around to the front of my body and rub the sore skin. Asshole tightens them on purpose.

“I won’t hold my breath,” the cop sighs. “Live and learn doesn’t apply to you. Especially when that old man refuses to press charges.” He casts his gaze at Joey, the owner of The Roadhouse. He’s been like a father to me over the years and never presses charges. “One of these days you won’t get so lucky,” he warns me.

“Yeah, yeah.” Deep down I know it’s true. Another bar fight turned drunk and disorderly, leading to property destruction. Basically, I got pissed at someone for something that’s not important enough to remember and used a window to break his face.

Or something like that.

The guy was drunker than me and took a swing at Officer Reilly, diverting the attention away from me. I got lucky.

And luck runs out.

I’m willing to push it a little bit farther tonight and go back into the bar, staying for another couple hours before heading home to my apartment. It’s been home for the last two-and-a-half years and has more space than I actually need, with a huge kitchen I never use filled with brand-new appliances and shiny, granite countertops.

I pull my keys from my pocket the same time the woman across the hall opens her door. Our eyes meet and I smile, tipping my head toward my door. She returns the smile and crosses the hall.

“Just getting in?” Melody asks, reaching for me. “Late night.”

I put my arm around her slim waist and pull her in. “It’s about to get later.”

“I like the sound of that,” she says and we move inside, clothing coming off instantly. Melody isn’t beautiful, but she’s hot by anyone’s standards. She’s tall, fit, and tan. Her hair is dyed blonde, usually done up, as well as her makeup. Her tits are as fake as her new nose, but what the hell? You’re only young once. She told me her goal in life was to look like a blonde Kardashian, whatever the hell that means.

We fumble our way into my bedroom and fuck on top of my unmade bed. I collapse next to her when we’re done, and she rolls over, running her fingers through my hair like she did the last time we fucked.

“Noah,” she pants.

“Melody,” I say back.

She pushes up, large breasts smashed against my chest. Melody moved in across the hall three months ago, and we’ve hooked up several times. It’s been a good arrangement. She makes up some excuse to come over, then another to take off at least one item of clothing, then we end up in here, naked and tangled together.

Or sometimes I bang her in the kitchen.

Or against the large, floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room.

She hangs around for a while then leaves. The rules have been unspoken, but she knows I’m not one to date. What we have—or don’t have, really—is working out great.

“I’ve been thinking,” she starts, speaking slowly as she traces a tattoo on my chest with her finger. I flick my gaze to her face. Fuck. She has that look in her eye. I should have known better than to shit where I eat.

Or in this case, fuck who lives across the hall from me.

“Oh yeah?”

“We should go out sometime.”

I flip her over on top of me and smack her ass. “Why should we do that when we have so much fun in here?”

She laughs, but it’s not enough. Fuck me. “I’d love to introduce you to my girlfriends.”

“Some other time, babe,” I say, not wanting to cross her off just yet. This is what my life is about.

No strings. Nothing to hold me back, to slow me down. Fucking, drinking, and raising hell might catch up with me someday, but not today.

“I gotta get ready for work,” I tell her.

She sighs and gets up, putting her clothes back on. “I’ll see you again?” she asks.

“Sure thing. We live in the same building.”

She gives me a “that’s not what I meant” look that I ignore. Just take the hint so I don’t have to tell you. I’m don’t deliberately break hearts. Just accidentally.

I’m not against a relationship. Having a steady girlfriend, someone to come home to … someone to love. But I won’t settle. I’ll keep looking for that one woman I can’t live without, the one who completes me in a lame Hallmark card sort of way. Though really, I don’t have to search hard. I know exactly where that woman is, where she’s been all these years.

Problem is, she’ll never love me.

Chapter Three


I TAP MY nails along the pink case of my phone, watching TV while checking the time every thirty freaking seconds. My date is five minutes late, and every minute that ticks by tells me this is a horrible idea.

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