BUY THE BOOK
My mother used to have a saying for everything.
“You can’t be pretty and lucky.”
She wasn’t pretty or lucky.
“You have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your Prince Charming.”
I kissed too many of those. Sorry, but Prince Charming isn’t in Hicktown, Kentucky.
“The good ones go to Heaven; the bad ones go to Hell.”
Guess I’m going to Hell.
“Hell is paved with good intentions.”
Surprisingly, that one is true. Why? Because …
I intended to stay away from Calder Riggs.
I intended not to fall in love with him.
I intended to find a man who wasn’t a loser or a joker.
Oh well, I’ve never been afraid of Hell, anyway.
That’s why I’m Crazy Bitch!
“That wasn’t polite,” he mumbled as they continued up the stairs.
“I didn’t like the way you were looking at Jewel.”
“I don’t look the way you look at Shade, Knox, or Rider.”
Crazy Bitch didn’t say anything until they reached their room.
“I didn’t like the way you looked at Jewel, so I said something. If you don’t like the way I look at other men, say something. I’m not a fucking mind reader.”
Tossing his bag onto the bed, he angrily stalked to where she was standing by the door. “I don’t like it.”
“Then I won’t do it anymore. Satisfied?”
He placed his hands on the door, caging her in. “When I’m with you, I’m never satisfied. I always want more. I’m not even satisfied when I’m done fucking you. I’m not satisfied when you come on my tongue and don’t beg me for more. I’m not satisfied that, if I walked away from you, you wouldn’t give a flying fuck. You know what would satisfy me? You quit playing around with me like you’re expecting me to fuck up and give you an excuse to stop seeing me.”
“You are going to fuck up—that’s what men do!”
“Woman, you act like you’re made out of armor. The problem is, it may be protecting you, but it’s keeping me away.” He traced the line of her stubborn jaw with his thumb. “You don’t have to protect yourself from me. I’m so crazy about you that I’m jealous over every man you look at.”
“I don’t want you jealous.”
“What do you want?”
Her eyes shifted sideways. “I want you to say you like me.”
Calder was stunned at her simple request. She wanted what no one had given her before. His heart ached that the only thing she wanted didn’t cost a dime, yet to her, it was as valuable as gold.
“Anna-Kate, I like you a lot. In fact, I like you so much I’m falling in love with you.”
“You are?” The woman whom he had considered to be hard as stone gave him an uncertain smile.
“A hundred percent.”
“You can’t go any higher than a hundred percent.”
“No, you can’t. I guess that settles it then. I’m definitely in love with you.”
She gave a smile so radiant he had to blink to make sure he was seeing it. It was like a flower that had unfurled in the sunlight, trying to catch the first rays of the morning. There was also wariness, but a gradual openness that let him catch sight of the gentle soul she kept guarded within her. As if one careless step would trample the budding love she was feeling for him.
He embraced her so gently he heard her breath hitch in her throat.
“Do you know how long I’ve been in love with you?” she asked.
“How long?” he asked huskily.
“When I looked over the edge on Black Mountain and you pulled me back. I’ve never had anyone do that for me.”
He frowned. “What, keep you from falling off a mountain?”
“Usually, people want to throw me off them, not hold me back.”
“That’s what makes me different. I would have gone over the cliff with you before I would have ever let you fall.”