[Siren Classic: Contemporary Romance, HEA]
Brooklyn Rogers knew her mom was on a bad path, but she had no plans to follow it. She did her best to work hard for a living and prove to the people of her hometown that she was nothing like her mom. She trusted her boyfriend Jordan Merrill to know these things so she opened up her heart to him. Because of wild rumors he broke up with her and broke her heart. Brooklyn vowed to stay clear of romance.
“Brooklyn, what’s wrong?” Brooklyn cursed her rotten luck when she heard the deep male voice behind her. Great, Jordan was the last person on this earth she wanted to see right now. She was still wounded by his actions, his quick decision to cut her off so easily when she would never have turned on him. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with a tissue, avoiding looking at him directly. She knew the desire hadn’t died, and if she was honest, her feelings hadn’t either.
“Nothing is wrong. Just leaving,” she mumbled, looking down at the beige dreary tiles of the station, ignoring other people walking in and out of the busy building. She hurried out of the double glass doors of the station and out into the fresh crisp air where she could breathe again. Life went on as usual, so why did hers feel like it was ending? She heard footsteps behind her and knew Jordan followed her. Why couldn’t he just leave her alone? His presence hurt. It reminded her of what she couldn’t have. Love.
“You’re upset. Just sit for a minute. Talk to me, Brooklyn.” He led her by her arm to a wooden bench in front of the station building. She had to fight against the tenderness in his voice, the sincerity of caring. It was false. She couldn’t fall back into that trap again, or her soul would be destroyed forever. She forced a polite smile to her face and sat on the wooden bench outside of the sheriff’s station. He blocked the sun with his big body. She inhaled, trying to calm her breathing. The sun was out, but it wasn’t very warm yet, just less chilly than the winter months. She grabbed her zip up jacket and closed it tighter around her body. She huddled into the warmth of her jacket. Noises of lunch time traffic filled her ears. She ignored it all, feeling disillusioned by the events of the last two months.
“I’m fine thank you, Officer Merrill.” She was proud her voice came out even and not all shaky and emotional. How many times had her mother told her most of her problems were because she got too emotional and took things too personally?
“Brooklyn,” he chided, sitting next to her. His thigh touched hers, and she wanted to move away from him. Being around him but knowing he wasn’t hers and he hated her was like a knife jabbing her right in the heart. Would she ever be free from heartache?
“We’re past the Mr. and Miss stuff, aren’t we? Talk to me. What’s going on?” he persisted. He reached out as if to touch her but pulled back at the last minute. It hurt her feelings. She took a steadying breath. She focused on cars driving by in an effort to remain calm. She was tired of the gray cloud enveloping her life. Hopefully a new city would bring a new change. She was counting on that.
“Why? We’re not friends. You hate me, remember? I’m a cheater. I have no morals. The list of my sins goes on and on.”
“I never hated you, Brooklyn. I was hurt and I let myself react in a foolish way, but I could never hate you,” he said softly. His sincerity was almost her undoing. She ignored the temptation to throw herself in to his arms. He wounded her deeply, and a few words would not fix that. She had to stay strong. Love hurt too much. She was better off without it. She could never depend on this man in hard times. Yes, Jordan was sexy as hell. Even now, her body jumped with excitement at his closeness, his thigh touching hers. Looks didn’t count. What was inside counted more in her book. She needed someone to lean on and fight for her. Someone who would believe in her. She’d never had that. Her dad was a good man, but mostly she remembered him working hard and arguing with her mom all the time. She’d done her best to stay out of their way with all the screaming that often took place. Her mom had run wild as soon as her husband died in a car accident. Brooklyn lost both of her parents. She felt the emptiness of not having a family all of her life. She didn’t need to feel it with Jordan. He never introduced her to his parents or friends. Why hadn’t she seen he was ashamed of who she was? She had been naive but no more. She had to depend on herself.
“I had to give my statement for the upcoming Nate Brannon trial,” she admitted finally, clenching her fingers into a fist. “It brought back a lot of anger and fear. I didn’t ask for Nate to notice me. I never spoke to him or sought him out, but I’m paying the price. I’m tired of trying to prove I am nothing like my mother. I am tired of people, including you, finding me guilty without any evidence.”
Nate scared her, that was true, but also the memory of how Jordan cruelly dumped her on the word of his coworker Lucy hurt her too. A few whispers from people who had nothing better to do with their lives added to his resolve to kick her out of his life. He’d always listen to gossipers. People would never stop talking about her and painting her in a dark light. She was glad she was off today. Going to work in this condition would be awful. She wanted to go find solace in her apartment. Emotions were just too overwhelming sometimes.
“I regret how I ended things between us, Brooklyn. I was wrong to not believe you or give you a chance to defend yourself. I know you can’t forgive me, but I am sincerely sorry.” He looked reluctant to bring up the subject. She had no desire to pick the scab off of an old wound, so she shrugged casually as if they were discussing the weather. Sorrow crossed his face, but it was too late now. Now he believed her when Nate was being charged officially. Why hadn’t he stood for her then when she needed an ally?
“Well, that is all water under the bridge. No need to open it all back up. I see you have moved on with Lucy, so it’s all good.” She cleared her throat, swallowing down her emotions and memories of the past. She had to act like she was okay, and maybe someday she would be okay. Away from this town and its bad memories would go a long way into achieving that goal. “I’m leaving town soon, so I am hoping an official disposition will allow me not to have to testify in court.”
He looked at her sharply, the shock clear on his face. “Where are you going?”
“I got a job in Chicago.” She smiled brightly even though she felt the trembling of her lips. She was excited to start fresh, but she had lived here all of her life so part of her was sad too. “I can’t wait to get out of Brook Hollow.”
Brooklyn looked at him suspiciously. They had rented movies a few times when they were dating, but he always ended up making love to her without finishing a movie. “You hate watching movies.”
“Not true. The movie just couldn’t hold my interest when I had a beautiful, sexy woman sitting next to me,” he explained, pulling her closer. He felt her tense up, then she relaxed against him. He could spend his time talking, or he could show her how much he still felt for her. He caressed her hair and was happy when she leaned against him. He let his fingers run down her bare arm and felt her shiver. He kept the smug smile to himself. She felt desire for him. It was a start.
“I miss you, Brooklyn. I miss us together before I fucked everything up,” he whispered against her head.
“I miss us, too,” she admitted softly, as if not wanting to. Sadness filled her eyes and made his heart ache. “I fell in love with you, Jordan. I had hope and then it was crushed. Do you know how much that hurt?”
“I am so sorry, Brooklyn. Words don’t fix your pain, but they are sincere,” he whispered, letting his regret be heard. He was going to be open with her from now on. She deserved his honesty. “I knew you touched my heart and soul the moment I looked into your bedroom eyes. I saw myself as a career man devoted to the job. Yes, I liked dating and spending time with you, but I never saw myself settling down. My mom did her best to set me up with suitable candidates, but I always resisted them and it was easy. Then I looked into your sweet brown eyes, and all my ideas fell to the wayside and I got scared. I should have embraced and celebrated what you made me feel instead of fighting it. From now on I will not hide how I feel about you.”
“A tough guy like you doesn’t get scared, Jordan,” she argued, her gaze focused on his face.
“I do. I just hide it well. I missed you and ached for you, but I let my pride prevent me from calling you. Never again,” he swore. He tilted her face towards him and leaned down to kiss her. He meant for it to be tender, but he wanted her so much. Her mouth opened up to him, and he heard himself groan as her tongue connected with his. His stomach had that familiar funny feeling. He welcomed it now. It was Brooklyn who put it there. He put a hand under her shirt and cupped her soft round breast. He felt her nipple harden with his touch. He stopped kissing her. “Will you come to my room with me? Let me show you how much I love you.”
She looked ready to protest, but he put his fingers over her lips and shook his head. “No more talking. Just let me show you how I feel.”
Her eyes softened, and she nodded yes. He pulled her off the couch and dragged her to the bedroom like a caveman. He wasn’t giving her a chance to change her mind. His cock was ready to burst free from his jeans. He didn’t know if she fell on the bed or he pushed her on to it, but he found himself lying on top of her, kissing her with all the pent-up feelings inside of him. He tore at her clothes until she was naked, then he removed his own. He was hungry, and he was excited. It had been much too long. He had to slow it down, or it’d be over in seconds.
“I dreamed of having you underneath me again, Brooklyn. I’d wake up miserable, knowing it wasn’t real but a fantasy in my head. Remembering your smell, your touch,” he whispered into her neck, nibbling the skin lightly. She smelled like soap, and he inhaled her scent. Her hair smelled like a field of flowers in the spring.
“Me too. I couldn’t sleep, thinking of what we had,” she admitted with a soft moan, her hands rubbing his bare back. His cock was already positioned at her entrance, but he didn’t want this to be a quick fuck. He took a deep breath and leaned down to kiss her again. He took his time exploring her mouth as his hands pinched her nipples. He knew she loved when he played with her nipples, making her come before he even entered her pussy. Her legs spread open and ready for him. He felt his forehead collecting drops of sweat. He took a pink tip of her nipple and sucked it into his mouth. He loved the small noises of satisfaction Brooklyn made. Her enthusiasm at his touch excited him and made him feel good inside. She didn’t play coy. She was open and honest. It was refreshing. She liked his touch, and she let it show. He felt her body wriggle wildly underneath his. He let go of her nipple and looked down at her with all of his emotions showing for the first time since he met her months ago.
She gasped and touched her hand to his cheek. Her breathing was labored and heavy. “Oh, Jordan, you are so hard to resist. How is that fair?”
“You are, too, Brooklyn. You are beautiful inside where it counts the most and sexy as hell on the outside. My heart couldn’t hold up the walls I built over the years. I want to enjoy this for the next sixty years,” he swore, looking into her soft eyes, her plush lips, and her chest breathing in and out. The air between them was electrified.
“Careful, Officer. That sounds like a scary commitment,” she teased. He kissed her again, spreading her thighs wide with his. His cock was hard and ready to explode, but he wanted this to last. He bent down and took her lips in a heat-filled kiss. He explored her mouth as his hands ran over her body, every crevice, every smooth silky flat surface. She arched her back up, letting him see how his touch excited her. His hand wandered down to her pussy, finding her wet and ready to receive him. He swiped his thumb over her small clit, making her arch up. He played with it, loving her groans of pleasure.
“You are one sexy woman,” he swore. “You make my heart ache to just look at you and think I am one lucky bastard that you’re letting me touch you again.”
She smiled brightly, looking shocked. He had complimented her body parts, but he never let her see how deeply he felt for her. He was such a bastard, but no more. He was a changed man. Didn’t she see how beautiful, how wonderful she really was? Well, he was about to show her. He let his tongue travel down to the tips of her round, soft breasts. He suckled the pink tip of her nipple, paying attention to both of them. Little sounds came out of her mouth and his cock twitched with readiness to enter her, but he wanted her crazy with desire. They had always had great sex during their relationship. He wanted to remind her how good it could be between them. He traveled down to her flat belly then between her thighs, opening them wide and bending her knees so he could view her pretty pink pussy. She didn’t wax herself bare, but she had a neat blonde triangle instead. He could see pools of moisture gathering between her thighs. “You want me, baby?”