Authors: V. Murphy
“I’m not very good at sharing, especially when it comes to you Harper.”
A pain too hard to understand.
A struggle too deep to reach.
A love too complicated to work…but too intense to let go.
Harper Mae ran as far away as she could from her abusive past. She went to a different city and numbed her pain by using men, never sleeping with the same guy more than once.
Ryder worked at a coffee shop trying blend in with the rest of the world, desperately trying to live a normal life. After leaving a relationship and losing his family, he vowed never to fall in love again.
Until one day they are unexpectedly drawn to each other unable to let go.
Harper and Ryder’s turbulent relationship, two people who are struggling to find themselves, realize the answer lies within each other.
Secrets, so deep, that both have, end up surfacing causing irrevocable pain.
Will their love be strong enough to survive or will their pain be the downfall to their relationship?
Will Harper open up enough to share her past with Ryder or will he be just another number on her list?
To my grandparents,
I did it, I achieved my goal and I hope
you are looking down today at this today.
I gently pushed
open my eyes, despite that my head was screaming from the inside out, and stretched my arms forward only to be interrupted by a figure sleeping quite loudly next to me. Crap. I didn’t expect to sleep with him last night, but once the alcohol started to take over there was no stopping my body. The pounding of my head slowed my thought process, but I knew that I had to push him out of bed to avoid doing anything more with him.
This is the part of the
morning that becomes so awkward: me trying to push guys out of the bed so that I can get dressed in peace. The last thing I could imagine doing would be showering with these kinds of men, unless we were doing it in the shower. I hated getting ready with a man sitting next to me. Mental note for next time: just kick them out when I’m satisfied. I rolled over and glanced at the clock. SHIT! I was supposed to meet Skye at 11 AM and it is 10 AM now. Skye was a complete stickler for being on time, so I knew I had to get moving and start my day. I pushed carefully on the guy hoping he would take a hint and get up. He grunted at the forcefulness of the push.
As he opened his eyes
, he whispered, “hey sexy,” in my ear as his hands slid up my thighs indicating that he wanted more than just coffee this morning.
“Dude, it’s time to get up. I am meeting a friend soon so you have got to leave,” I said quite bluntly, hoping he would understand the meaning behind my words. I hated men. I sincerely despised them because most of the time men became just as mushy and annoying as some romance squealing chick. I hated men and their emotions that would toy with you, playing every game possible just to break your heart into small fractures. People thought women played head games? They clearly haven’t met the men I have been seeing.
I just wanted a good fuck
; a no strings attached kind-of deal. There is nothing I despise more than these guys who try to manipulate your emotions and get more. I don’t want more. The guy next to me, gosh what was his name again? Anyways, he is nothing but a good lay, if that. If anything, I could try and get 10 more minutes out of him before I have to get going.
I pushed hi
s hand off me, pinned his hands down to his sides and straddled his hips. You could tell he was getting horny by the way his mouth was watering and his dick was responding to this newfound dominance. Just as I was about to push myself down on top of his swollen cock, the clock buzzed as my alarm went off. I was too late; this was going to have to wait for another night, another time, and definitely another person. He groaned as he realized nothing further was going to happen.
buddy, but your time is up.
“I really have to go!” I jumped off him
, gathered his clothes in a ball and pushed him out of my bed and towards the door. As I handed over his clothes, he tried to kiss my neck as if this was obligatory. Who dictated these dating rules anyways? I personally would like to give them a swift kick in the balls for thinking of such stupid stereotypical rules.
I pushed away and impatiently waited as h
e buttoned his jeans over an impeccable set of abs. What a shame. I was actually a bit disappointed I wouldn’t be seeing him again, but I can’t get committed to this guy. He was going to be like every douche bag out there and eventually he would want more; more that I could not give him. Commitment isn’t for a girl like me. Not with these guys.
“So um…” he started to speak as if he wasn’t sure what to say. “Can I get you
r number or something?”
Ugh. This was going to be harder than I thought. I uncomfortably shifted my feet knowing that Skye was going to get irritated if I wasn’t on time.
“Listen, it was a great time last night, but I'm not really looking for anything so let’s just cut our losses and move on.”
I could almost he
ar a sigh of relief come from his mouth. I opened the door and he walked out with nothing else, not even a goodbye. Whew. A relationship was the last thing I was going to need. Once I slammed the door at his back, I turned to face my empty apartment. It was a moment of peace and serenity where I felt completely alone in the chaotic world around me. I wanted to be alone. I wanted the solitude. I chose this life.
I quickly jumped in the shower and
threw on a pair of plain jeans, black flats, and a sheer sweater. I knew Skye was going to get mad. No, actually she was going to kill me for running this late. I grabbed my bag and stuffed it with books before running out the door.
As I zipped into my new car, I punched in the directions to the coffee shop Skye wanted to meet
at for our study session. I was nervous about seeing her, knowing that she would want every detail about my nightly romp. I would give her the obligatory “he was so hot.” I wished I could share more with her; tell her that I felt empty and alone when faking the orgasm. I wanted to share my longing for comfort, but the trepidation of it stopped me.
I suppose that’s just what you get when you’re broken: a life of loneliness.
“Harper! Over here!” screamed Skye over the obnoxiously quiet coffee shop, just as I opened the door.
I walked over to the corner where Skye had unloaded her entire brown spiked leather bag and noticed the small table was overrun with notes from our class. She was the opposite of me and studied last minute for class. In fact, she was the opposite of me in every aspect. She has beautiful blonde hair that cascades past her shoulders accompanied by rare emerald green eyes. Her hands were manicured in a perfect French manicure and she wore a beautiful silver chain that slipped right into her voluptuous cleavage. She had nude lips and a sun kissed tan that can only be developed in tanning beds. She displayed gross amounts of wealth in her clothing, even though she was wearing a simple white sheath dress and a pair of coral colored wedges. She was bubbly and consistently going out at night, hence why she was always studying at the last second possible. She wanted nothing more out of life than to live it as outrageously as possible, however lately she caught the settling-down bug even though she still believes the best way to meet a husband is in a club.
“Harper Mae! I want to know everything about last night,” Skye screamed at me when I approached the table she had settled at. My cheeks flushed red as I looked around, hoping that the other patrons weren’t paying any sort of attention to us.
I was so completely opposite of Skye that I often wondered how we even became friends. I had medium brown hair with slight reddish highlights and anything-but-special large brown eyes that set deep in my face. My hair was in a constant straight state and never showed any indication of volume. I had tan skin, but I never went tanning. My eyelashes were far too large for my face and I always went for the natural look when using make-up, the less the better. Freckles grew around my face and I cursed my Irish-side for them. I was told that I was pretty by many guys and I appreciated the looks I had, but always felt second-rate to the lavish Skye. I had a small waist and slight curves, but when I went out I knew how to work with what I had.
I grew up in an upper-middle class home where I got everything I needed, but was told never to display wealth. I worked hard at school and wore simple non-designer brand clothing. I tended to drift towards the back during class and shy away from saying much.
How Skye and I became friends I will never know but during our freshman year we were in the same human sexuality class and bonded over “how to properly place a condom” on bananas. Three years later as juniors in college, we have been completely inseparable. Skye was impatiently tapping her pen against the little table while fumbling with her blinged-out phone.
I walked over to the table, with my
sunglasses over my head trying to hide the deep circles under my eyes. I pulled out the old wooden chair and was actually shocked she decided to meet at this coffee shop. It was an off campus place, on the edge of town away from the hustle and bustle of campus and far removed from the center of San Diego. It wasn’t the usual chain shop that contained perfectly manicured tables and chairs, but rather it was casual with a deep maroon color on the walls and a clear display case of pastries, which made my mouth water as soon as I turned to see it. There weren’t women in heels spreading the latest gossip but rather artist-types minding their own business.
“Oh my, looks like someone had a good time last night.” She giggled and acted like this was the first time she saw me hung-over from both an abundance of alcohol and sex.
“Skye, before I have to re-teach you this entire class in 24 hours please let me grab a coffee and something to eat.”
Skye shriveled her nose in disgust
. This is the part where she lectures me on the amount of calories in the croissant I was about to purchase, but I quickly turned my back to avoid any such lecture. As I walked towards the front of the coffee shop where the register was, I took note of the people who were stuck in their corners in their own little world. I knew how they felt at the moment. Being stuck in a world where you feel as though time just stops, but in reality everyone else is moving quickly around you; a world where life just stands still, frozen.
As I grew closer towards the
counter, I looked in the display case and my mouth watered on command at the golden croissant. I must have been staring a little too long as I heard a person behind the counter clearing their throat. I looked up and my words were stuck in my mouth.
He was absolutely beautiful. You could describe him with adjectives such as hot or sexy, but beautiful is really what he commanded. He
could have been on the cover of every GQ magazine, he was THAT good looking. When he looked at me, I felt a shiver spiral down my spine.
He had deep ebony black hair that
was cut longer and slicked back, his bright blue eyes sparkled brilliantly. He appeared to be around my age, 22 or so but no more than 30. He was wearing a cute black apron over his long-sleeve work shirt and he leaned his hands on top of the display case waiting for me to answer. He was bronze. He was not tan in a fake tan way, but as though he spent his entire morning out on the ocean surfing. His arms flexed as he placed them delicately on the display case, I could see the cuts that defined his muscles. He was strong and muscular, not in the gross body building way though. His eyes flicked to mine as a smile spread across his face, dimples in his cheeks prominently on display. He was really something to look at. Every fantasy was running through my head, my mind was listing the things I would do to him in detail.
What the hell was wrong with me? Snap out of it Harper! I’m normally so confident around men. I was able to approach them with ease at the clubs and bars. No man had made me stutter like this in a long time. There was no way I was going to let nameless coffee boy make me stutter. I had to get it together; it was just a damn coffee. I brushed the hair out of my face and looked back up at him. He was staring at me with his blue eyes while sporting an impermeable smile that made me breathless just looking at him. He motioned with his finger for me to come closer to the case and it took me a second to realize he was talking to me, even though no one else was around us. I held my breath in as I approached him thinking that I might just pass out from his scent. I hesitantly moved closer and closer towards him, noting his gorgeous biceps that flexed as he moved his hands closer to the edge of the case.