Hey, angels! here’s a little sneaky peek at the start of the next book I’m working on. The first draft is done and I’m editing before it goes to the editor. Should be out before Christmas… excited! Lemme know how you like it so far xoxo

Chapter One


“I have to admit, I love waking up with you in my arms,” he whispers.

I giggle as Lennon rolls over on the bed and pulls me into his embrace, kissing me with the same hot passion he had when we first met. Nearly a year later, and I can’t believe he still can’t get enough of me. I sigh as he gently strokes my cheek, his eyes locked on mine. My heart races, like it always does when he looks at me that way.

“Me too,” I whisper, suddenly feeling shy.

“We really need to do this more often,” he teases. “When are you going to give in and stay over at my house? Or at least get yourself a bigger bed?” he chuckles.

I roll my eyes at his little dig because he knows as well as I do that staying over at his place isn’t allowed, at least, not yet. He shouldn’t even be staying here tonight, but I gave in because it’s my birthday.

“You know how my parents are,” I say, feeling a twinge of annoyance. “It was hard enough getting them to accept you’re my boyfriend. I really don’t want them to know we’re having sex as well.”
He laughs. “You think they haven’t figured that out? You were anything but quiet last night when I went down on you. I’m surprised they didn’t assume you were in pain and call an ambulance, or something.”

“Shut up,” I hiss, my face heating up as I remember screaming uncontrollably with the pleasure I’d felt. My body tingles at the memory of his hot tongue down there. Licking… sucking… probing. God, it felt so good, but the last thing I want to think about is my parents being any part of that! He laughs and pulls me even closer into his arms again, peppering me with kisses as I try to squirm away.

“Come on, Darcy. Would they even care?” he says, sitting up. I glance at his muscular chest, my heart racing again as my imagination runs wild with some very naughty thoughts. God, I feel so lucky to have this guy in my life. I look up at his face, suddenly remembering he was in mid-lecture. “You’re nineteen, for God’s sake. You’re an adult. A grown woman. You’re not in school anymore. The agreement was, they’d accept us as a couple once you’d graduated, and that was over two months ago.”

“They have accepted us,” I counter, but even as I say it, I know it’s not completely true. To them, I’m still their little girl, and especially today. Mom always gets emotional on my birthday since it reminds her I’m growing up. I’m not the same cute little girl she saw me as when I was a child. I am a woman now. Of course, Lennon’s right, but this isn’t a discussion I want to have with my mom and dad today. Scrub that. This isn’t a discussion I want to have with them, ever!

“Besides, maybe we should talk about how accepting your mother and father have been of our relationship?” I say, my voice sweet.

He glowers at me, but doesn’t reply because he knows I’ve hit a nerve. His parents seem to despise me, and that’s okay, because I’m not too fond of them either. I hate the way they treat Lennon. They make him feel like crap for wanting to follow his dreams. He tries so hard to be someone they can be proud of, but nothing’s ever good enough for them. I take his arm and try to yank him out of my bed.

“Enough of the arguing. Please, Lennon? It’s my birthday,” I say, frowning. He grunts, but I know he feels bad at the thought of ruining my day. “Now, get your cute ass out of my bed and out of that damn window. Look lively, mister.”

Chuckling, he finally gives in and pulls on his jeans while I sit back and admire the show.

“So, exactly like we planned then?” he smirks. “I have to walk around the front and pretend I just turned up to see you?”

“Yes,” I pout, frowning at his amused expression. “You have a problem with that?” But, before he can respond, my bedroom door swings open and I gasp in shock as Mom walks in, carrying a cupcake, complete with a fat pink candle flickering away.

“Where’s my birthday gir—”

Her eyes widen, and she stops mid-sentence when she looks up and sees Lennon standing there, half-naked. Thank God she wasn’t thirty seconds earlier or she would’ve really got an eyeful.
“Mom! Don’t you knock?” I shriek, diving under the covers to hide my naked body.

“I—I’m sorry!” she cries, closing her eyes. “U—um, hello, Lennon,” she stammers, her face glowing red.

“Oh, um… good morning to you too. I—uh… how are you today?” Lennon stutters, clearly blindsided by the unexpected intrusion.

“Well, I was fine,” she says, almost throwing the plate and cupcake onto the bed, then spins around, hurriedly heading toward the door and running her hand through her hair like she always does whenever she’s stressed. “I didn’t think I had to…” then suddenly, she stops, turns around again and glares at me. “Hold on a minute. Why am I the one apologizing? You know the rules, Darcy. If you wanted Lennon to stay the night, you should have asked us first. If I’d known he was here, there’s no way I’d have ever have just walked in on you.”

“That logic is screwed, Mom,” I retort, my cheeks red with embarrassment. “Lennon or not, you can’t just invade my privacy like this. You have no idea what I do in here when I’m alone,” I growl. I hear a snort from Lennon’s direction. I shoot him a death glare and he promptly stops laughing. I turn my attention back to my mom and plead, “Can you please go so I can get dressed? I do appreciate the cupcake and I’ll be down in a few minutes, okay? And, I’m sorry, Mom. I should have asked you,” I say, contritely. I knew I had to take some responsibility for the situation.
“Fine,” she mutters and quickly rushes out of the room, closing the door behind her.

“Don’t say a damn thing,” I growl at Lennon. His eyes twinkle as he stares innocently at me.

“What could I say to you that you’re not already thinking?” he grins. He wanders over and kisses me tenderly on the lips. I melt into him, my stress levels dropping instantly. “Happy birthday, sweetheart.”

I break the kiss and still insist he leaves through the window and goes to the front door, just on the off chance that Mom hasn’t told Dad. I know it’s unlikely, but I’m hanging onto that hope more than anything else.

I nervously pad down the stairs, one at a time, refusing to think about the incident, because it’s just too embarrassing. The only thing that could’ve topped it was if she’d walked in while he was going down on me.

“Morning, Darcy,” Mom says breezily. Her eyes lock onto mine as I walk into the kitchen. I try to read her expression, but she’s not giving anything away.

Dad looks up from the table and smiles at me. “You’re up early,” he says, smiling. “Anyone would think it was your birthday or something.”

I roll my eyes at his attempt at humor and sit down opposite him, but inside I’m dancing. It’s no secret I’ve always loved my birthday, even more so now I have someone like Lennon in my life, and Dad takes every opportunity he can to remind me I’m still a big kid at heart. At least, in his eyes, I am. Before I can think of a comeback, there’s a swift knock on the door.

“Lennon? Already?” Dad grumbles, shaking his head. “He’s here that often, why doesn’t he just move in?” Mom snorts and I shoot her a glare.

“Dad,” I warn him. He shrugs and promises to behave.

“I’m surprised he’s even up this early,” Mom says with a knowing grin. Ignoring her, I’m about to stand when Dad puts his hand out to stop me.

“My daughter doesn’t answer the door on her birthday. At least, not on my watch,” he mumbles, and I wait until he walks out of sight before I interrogate Mom.

“You didn’t tell him?” I ask, eyeing her skeptically.

She simply shrugs her shoulders and says, “It’s your birthday. I’ll let you off, just this once.”

“Mom,” I say with a sigh, wishing she didn’t always treat me like I was ten, “I’m nineteen years old. I’m grown now.”

“Then start acting like it,” she replies. “You think I care that he stayed over? It’s the fact you hid it from us, Darcy. Just tell me next time, okay?”

“Okay,” I mutter, then a big smile creeps across my face when I see Dad leading Lennon into the kitchen.

“Well, look who I found loitering out the front,” Dad says. He claps Lennon on the back and sits down. Lennon slides down onto the seat next to me, his hand resting on my thigh underneath the table and his fingers gently stroking me. I shiver, and place my hand over his, squeezing it tight. I feel the luckiest girl in the world to have him as my boyfriend.

“So, how’s my birthday girl?” he asks with a smile.

“Pretty good,” I admit, nodding my head.

“Sleep well?” he asks with a wry smile, his eyes twinkling.

God, no wonder he and Mom get along so well. “Yes, thank you, and you?” I reply, shooting him my sternest glare while Mom places a stack of pancakes on the table, followed by a heaped plate of bacon, eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms—all my favorites. My mouth waters, and I forget my annoyance at him trying to put me on the spot.

“Thanks, Mom,” I say with a smile as I pick up my knife and fork.

“You’re welcome. You know, I’ve done this every birthday since you were old enough to feed yourself. You’re still my baby, no matter what. You’ll always be my baby.”
I roll my eyes, embarrassed, but also grateful my parents love me so much. I glance at Lennon and wonder what his birthdays were like growing up.