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PROLOGUE

Joey

Before tonight, my most significant sexual relationship has been with my shower head.

Let me just say it takes guts to purchase a removable shower head from DeLuca’s Hardware Store when Mrs. DeLuca’s eyeing you like she knows you’re going to blast it against your privates when you get home.

Unfortunately, bravery has been fleeting in my life, but that was one of my more courageous moments. 

So is this one. 

For some reason, though, I’m not feeling the relief I thought I would.

And I’m not talking about the lack of an orgasm.

This—hooking up with Trent—is supposed to be about me letting go of the past, of someone I can’t have, and forging ahead. Of living my life instead of always feeling like I’m trapped in the back seat of someone else’s journey.

Trent is trying his best. Going slow and speaking softly. Being gentle.

And the sex is… fine.

Except my body aches, and not in pleasant ways. But a girl’s first time doesn’t always feel good, right?

I blink, wondering if I’m supposed to feel so numb. So disconnected.

But like I’ve just been hit by a car and it’s taking my body a few seconds to process the pain, the dam of emotion finally breaks.

One tear. Then two. Until a whole river cascades down my face, my conscience objecting to what I’ve just done. 

Objecting to the man hovering over me with his brow crinkled in concern. Because he looks all wrong. Smells wrong. Feels wrong.

Black hair instead of dirty blonde. Brown eyes instead of blue. Smooth hands instead of rough. 

“Joey, sweetheart. Are you okay?” Even the way he talks to me is wrong.

I shove him off me, wincing when he exits my body, and curl into the pillow that smells like the rest of this hotel. “Yeah. Just had too much to drink. Sorry.” I try to muffle the sob by burrowing deeper into the bedding.

His hand runs along my spine, a gesture to soothe me, I’m guessing. Trent’s a good guy. It’s not his fault I’m in love with someone else. In fact, we bonded over our mutual heartache. He’s recovering from a bad breakup. It was his idea for me to “break the seal” and use him to forget Logan.

Not that Logan was ever mine.

Trent probably just wanted to get off. I can’t blame him. A sure-thing hook-up with a twenty-two-year-old virgin with no strings attached? What red-blooded man declines that? No one I know. 

But this is supposed to help me cut ties with Logan. That’s what this trip to Florida has been about. To grow up and get over him.

I needed to do something. What self-respecting woman in this day and age spends her whole life pining for the boy next door when he’s made it clear she’s not his type? That he loves her as a friend. That he sees her as his bud. His sidekick. Maybe even a little sister.

I cry harder. Because I know—as certain as I’m sure the sun will rise in the morning, despite the dread burning in my soul right now—that Logan loves me. As a friend. That even after not talking to him for months, he’d probably take a bullet for me. That he’d likely be pissed I gave it up to some guy I’ve only known for a few weeks after spending a lifetime waiting to give myself to someone I love.

Well, I got tired of waiting.

After years of watching my best friend hook up with other women, I finally grew a backbone. I only wish it felt better.

It doesn’t matter because Logan will never know what I’ve done.

I’ve been friend-zoned, and I’m ready to move on.

And by the time I see him at his brother’s wedding this summer, I hope my heart has let go of him too.

Breathless is a standalone in the Texas Nights series, but if you'd like to read them all, start with Shameless and then Reckless. Each book features a different couple. 

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