We met five years ago when I was her family’s bodyguard.
Our time together was a secret.
Her touch was different…. addictive.
I fell hard and fast and then I left.
I’ve thought about her every day since.
As I sit here at a wedding watching her with her new boyfriend……I have regrets.
Regrets for the past things I’ve done.
But I won’t regret what I’m about to do.
She's telling me no but her body's telling me yes.
I need her beneath me.
I’m having her tonight.
It’s the little things I remember about Ben.
His smile and the icing sugar he had on his pancakes.
What started out as private jokes between us soon turned into private visits.
The quiet man at the back of the crowd.
His dry wit made me laugh.
His dominant body ruined me forever
He never told me he loved me, until he was leaving.
That was five years ago.
Things are looking up for me.
I met someone, someone special.
But Ben is back.
I find myself thinking about him ......more than I should.
No matter how hard my heart is freefalling from my chest.
I will never go back there.
You only get to break my heart once.
This is a stand alone, Contemporary romance.
“Don’t look at me like you want me… not if you don’t,” I murmur into the silence.
He sits back and readjusts himself in his pants. His dark eyes hold mine, yet he doesn’t answer me.
The water laps around me as I lie on the inflatable mattress, floating around the pool in my white string bikini. The sun is just setting, and everyone has disappeared to get ready for dinner.
His eyes are locked on me from his poolside deckchair position.
He has no right to look at me, to watch me with wanting eyes.
But he does.
And I still like it.
Ben is my sister’s family’s bodyguard and the head of their security.
Things are difficult between us, to say the least.
The attraction between us wasn’t supposed to happen, but forbidden had never felt so good.
Six-foot-three-inches tall with sandy hair, honey-brown eyes, and a large, muscular physique, he’s a by-product of being ex-military.
Ben Statham is one hell of a man.
From the lingering looks, the clenching deep in my sex when he looks at me, the smouldering fire whenever he would sneak into my room late at night…
It led to our story beginning six months ago, when my sister Natasha became involved with her then-boyfriend, Joshua Stanton.
I was always with Tash, and Ben was always with Josh. We came together through circumstance. Acquaintances and nothing more.
He was the strong man at the back of the crowd, watching over everyone.
I was busy watching him.
The rest of the world was concentrating on my beloved sister and Joshua’s blossoming relationship.
I was concentrating on fighting the attraction, but the pull to him only grew day by day.
Laughter turned to conversation, conversation introduced lingering looks, and lingering looks turned to goose bumps, until one day in the kitchen pantry it happened.
Ben kissed me.
It was the most perfect kiss I’ve ever had.
It was sweet, sexy, and it opened a world of passion I never even knew existed.
For three weeks we snuck a kiss in where we could until, in a moment of foggy passion, I asked him to come to my room after everyone went to sleep that night. He did.
We made love. Storybook love.
The perfection we’d created carried on for six weeks, until tragedy struck our family. As the head of security Ben blamed himself, and pulled away from me.
When I needed him the most, he was nowhere around to offer support.
We’ve hardly spoken since.
And now we’re here on a family vacation in Kamala, Thailand.
My feelings for him haven’t changed.
He’s still the head of security.
I’m still his boss’ sister-in-law.
But he left me when I needed him the most, and I won’t forget that anytime soon.
Our eyes are locked.
“Why would you think I don’t want you?” he whispers in his heavy South African accent.
I frown, unsure how to answer. Eventually, I reply, “Do you?”
He sips his beer, contemplating the right way to answer.
I run my fingers through the water beneath me as I try to articulate my thoughts.
I don’t know what’s going on with us, but I do know I can’t stand feeling the way I feel.
I can’t go on without him giving me the answers I need. He’s a strong man who doesn’t show his true feelings, but what happened to us? How do you go from passionate lovers to being nothing, without even a conversation?
There was no fight, no discussion. Just silence.
He doesn’t answer my question. His jaw clenches as his gaze holds mine. My eyes search his.
What the fuck is going on with him?
Does he want me to beg?
Answer me, damn it.
I climb off the inflatable mattress and make my way to the pool steps. I want to be the one who ends the conversation, not the other way around.
Who am I kidding?
I’m the only one in this conversation. I slowly walk out of the pool, and his hungry gaze drops down my body. I bend and pick up my towel to wrap it around my waist, and with one last lingering look I walk inside.
His refusal to address our issues infuriates me.
It hurts me, and it makes me wonder if everything we shared was an illusion.
I know he’s strong. I know he’s not a talker. But those nights in his arms were filled with tenderness and love.
Where is that man?
Because I want him back.
I lie in the darkness at 1:00 a.m. The sound of the ocean drifts through the room, and a soft breeze rolls over my body. As usual, I’m torturing myself with thoughts of Ben Statham and his beautiful body. Where is he now? Is he asleep?
The last time we were together I told him I loved him. I never meant to, but I couldn’t help it. I was all soft and emotional from my orgasm high, and the words just slipped out.
Is that why he ran?
I blow out a deep breath and stare at the ceiling as I go over that last night we spent together for the ten-thousandth time.
If I knew it was to be our last night together I would have done more, said more, done anything to make him stay.
The door opens, and I roll over. My heart catches in my chest.
“Ben,” I whisper.
He walks in and closes the door behind him, his hands clenching at his sides. He seems nervous.
I frown into the diluted light as I watch him.
“I wanted to see you,” he whispers.
I lie still. He can do the talking this time.
“I look at you like I want you…” He pauses and clenches his hands at his sides. “…because I do,” he whispers.
“You have no idea how badly I want you, Bridget, or how hard it is for me to stay away.”
“Then why? Why are you doing this to us?” I whisper.
He sits on the side of the bed and cups my face in his hands, his eyes searching mine in the moonlit room as his thumb gently dusts over my bottom lip. He hesitates, and frowns as if pained. “I’m not who you think I am.”
I sit up, resting on my elbow, and I frown as I watch him. “Are you married?” I whisper. Oh, no. My heart starts to hammer. He has a whole other life in South Africa, doesn’t he? I have no idea what’s going on at home for him.
He shakes his head, and a soft smile crosses his face. “No, I’m not married.” He frowns harder, and leans in to kiss me softly. “But I’m not able to give you my heart.” Tears fill my eyes.
He shakes his head. “Please…” He pauses. “Know that I love you,
“Ben,” I whisper. “What’s going on? Talk to me.”
He leans in and sweeps his tongue gently between my lips, and I scrunch my face up to fight the tears.
It’s there again, the urge to tell him that I love him.
This man makes me so weak.
I sit up and wrap my arms around his broad shoulders. We kiss slowly, and I feel my arousal start to rise.
“I’ve come to say goodbye,” he whispers against my lips.
“What?” My eyes search his again. “But you said—”
He cuts me off. “I can’t be who you want me to be, Bridget.”
“Yes, you can, Ben. You’re who I want,” I whisper angrily. Damn it, I hate this sneaking around shit. I can’t even raise my voice the way I want to.
He runs his thumb over my cheekbone as he studies my face. “I have a past, Didge, one that I don’t want to ever catch up with you. I won’t bring that into your life.”
I shake my head. “What are you talking about? We all have a past. We can work it out together, Ben.”
“Goodbye, Bridget,” he whispers sadly before he tries to stand, but I grab his wrist.
“No. Don’t go,” I beg as I lose control. “Don’t leave me. I love you.”
He bends and kisses me gently. “Remember me with love, angel.” I stare at him through my tears.
“I love you,” he whispers.
I suddenly become panicked. “Don’t go,” I beg.
He stares at me in the darkness.
I shake my head, unable to stand it. I need more time. I need more time to try and make him stay. “One more time,” I whisper. “Say goodbye to me properly.”
“Bridget,” he breathes.
“Ben, it’s just the two of us here.” I pull him down to kiss his lips softly. “If you want to say goodbye to me, do it when you have to. I can’t bear to let you go tonight.” My voice cracks in pain.
“Baby, shh.” He calms me as he sweeps the hair back from my forehead and studies my face. “It will be all right.”
“How can it be all right if you’re leaving me?” I whisper through tears.
He takes me in his arms and we cling to each other tightly; so tight that it feels like I might break if I let him go. Maybe I will.
“I need you,” I murmur against his lips as he kisses me. His tongue dances with mine as his hand roams over my hip and he squeezes it with force.
“Bridget,” he murmurs, and I know that he’s having an internal battle with himself.
He wants me, but he thinks this is the wrong thing to do.
But making love to Ben could never be wrong, and I’ll face those consequences tomorrow. I slowly sit up and slide my white silk nightdress over my shoulders and throw it onto the floor. His eyes drop hungrily to my breasts. I lay back and spread my legs as a silent invitation. His eyes drop to the crotch of my pale pink panties.
His eyes darken and his tongue darts out to swipe over his bottom lip.
Oh… he wants me all right.
I run my hand up over my breast and squeeze it. “It’s been six weeks since you’ve been inside me, Ben.” I arch my back off the bed. “I can’t stand another moment without you.”
He frowns, and I see the last of his resistance teetering on the edge. “Fill me up, big boy. Make sure I never forget you.”
His jaw clenches as his eyes flicker with arousal, and he stands in one quick movement to take his T-shirt off over his head.
My eyes roam over his thick, broad chest that’s covered with a scattering of dark hair. His arms are huge, and I can see every muscle in his stomach. The distinct V of muscles that disappear into his jeans holds me captive. I drag my eyes to his perfect face, and my heart somersaults in my chest. He has the most beautiful body in the world… but it’s his soul that I love. The dominant alpha man who has shown me what it’s like to really love someone.
What it feels like to be adored and loved by someone so deeply that nothing else matters.
He knows what my body needs more than I do, and I wriggle on the bed as he slides his jeans down his legs. My mouth goes dry.
Holy fucking hell. He’s a god.
His thick, hard cock hangs heavily between his legs, and he takes it in his hand to stroke it three times as his eyes hold mine.
“You want this, Bridget?” he whispers as he strokes himself.
I nod as my mouth goes dry, my eyes fixed on the pre-ejaculate that drips from the end. Fuck, yeah.
“You get over here and suck me. Make sure I never forget you.”
Our eyes lock, and he gives me the best ‘come fuck me’ look I’ve ever seen.
Suddenly, I’m desperate. Desperate to please him.
Desperate to make him stay.
I scramble towards him on my knees and take him deep in my mouth. He inhales sharply.
“Good girl,” he breathes as his hands fall to the back of my head.
My insides begin to melt, and I moan around him. He pushes himself deep—so deep—and his eyes close in pleasure. I have to concentrate to block my gag reflex.
Fucking hell. Bringing him to his undoing is my favourite thing in the whole damn world.
He hisses as he builds a rhythm, my hair gripped tightly in his hands.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he murmurs under his breath.
“You like that, baby?” I whisper around him.
His eyes flicker with arousal. “I fucking… love that,” he pants. A sheen of perspiration covers his skin and it revs me up even more.
He loses control and throws me onto the bed. I bounce high and then he’s on me as he slides my panties down and throws them in the air, off the bed.
His lips trail down over my breasts, and he takes them into his mouth to suck them one at a time. His suction is so hard that my face scrunches up in pain and my back arches off the bed.
This is what he does to me.
He gets me so hot for him that I beg him to be rough, like I’m some kind of crazy animal beneath him that needs to be tamed.
His lips drop lower… and lower… and I hold my breath and close my eyes.
Oh, dear God, he’s amazing at this.
His tongue sweeps through my flesh, and he grabs my legs and forces them back to the mattress. “Open up,” he growls as his dark eyes hold mine. He tenderly kisses my inner thigh.
This is too much, too intense, too intimate. I look away.
“Watch me, Bridget,” he commands.
I drag my eyes back to his.
“You watch my tongue lick up your cream and make this pretty little cunt dance.” He licks his lips and sucks me again. The look of sheer pleasure on his face makes me blush.
I begin to convulse. For fuck’s sake. How is one man so hot?
He bites my clitoris and I throw my head back and come in a rush.
Fuck’s sake, I lasted two minutes.
He smiles as he licks me up, and then lifts one of my legs and then the other over his shoulders. In one sharp movement, Ben slams home deep.
“Ben!” I cry out.
“I got you, babe,” he murmurs against my lips, and lies down on me.
Then he kisses me, and it’s soft and tender and caring and… God.
This can’t end. What we have is too good to ever end.
As if sensing my feelings, his face creases with pain against mine and he holds me that bit closer.
His body starts to ride mine. Long, slow, and deep. Our eyes are locked, and damn, this is the best sex I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Who am I kidding?
Every time with Ben is the best time of my life. The man is one hell of a lover.
Perspiration covers us as we drink each other in.
“Now…” he whispers, sensing his fast-approaching climax. “You need to come now.” He picks up the pace and I clench around him.
He moans a guttural sound and buries his head deep into my neck, while I smile at the ceiling.
You won’t forget this in a hurry, big boy.
His pumping gets harder and deeper, faster and faster, and I clench around him before I fall.
“Ahh…” I breathe.
I scrunch my eyes shut to stop the tears. He moans as he comes deep inside me.
We kiss, for a long time. It’s soft and tender, and his body is still in mine, slowly emptying itself with slow pumps.
“I love you, Ben,” I whisper.
“I love you, too,” he breathes as he rests his head against my cheek. He pauses for a moment. “That’s why I have to leave you.” He pulls out of my body in one quick rush.
What? I sit up. No. “What are you talking about?” I whisper. “We can work it out.”
His eyes search mine. “This is goodbye, Bridget; don’t make this any harder than it already is.”
“Ben…” I whisper. My body is still throbbing from the beating he just gave it.
He pulls on his clothes and I watch on in silence.
Don’t go. Please, don’t go.
With one last, lingering kiss, he stands and leaves my room without looking back.
I stare at the door after it closes behind him.
No. Please, God.
That didn’t just happen.
Despair fills me.
I curl into a ball. My heart physically hurts in my chest, and I weep.
FIVE YEARS LATER
I smile at my beloved sister across the backseat and squeeze her hand. “God, it’s so good to see you,” I whisper.
Tash smiles sadly. “It really is.”
“How long has it been since we were in the States?” Abbie frowns.
“Five months.” Natasha sighs as she blows out a deep breath. “But remember, you’re coming over for Thanksgiving.”
“Try and stop us,” Abbie murmurs as she reapplies her lip gloss. She rolls her lips as she studies her reflection in her compact mirror.
We’re in the back of Natasha’s car on our way to a cocktail bar to meet the boys. Natasha, my sister, has lived in the United States with her husband, Joshua, and their children for five years, and now she’s come home to Sydney, Australia, for a family wedding tomorrow. I’ve been so excited to have her home, I haven’t been able to sleep all week.
Our best friend, Abbie, is with us, along with Natasha’s two security guards who are in the front. Max is driving, and Anton is in the passenger seat.
Joshua, Natasha’s husband, is an app developer who hit the big time. Security is ridiculously high around her and their kids after everything they’ve been through.
Tash holds her hands in the air in an over-exaggerated gesture. “So, tell me everything. What have I missed?”
I shrug. “Well…” I glance at Abbie. “I don’t know.”
“I can’t wait to meet your new boyfriend, Didge.” Tash smiles.
I smile. Everyone calls me Didge. It’s short for Bridget.
“I can’t wait for you to meet him, either. He’s coming to the wedding tomorrow.” I smile proudly.
“Great,” Tash beams.
“Eric is…” Abbie pauses, and narrows her eyes as she thinks of the perfect analogy. “You’ll hate him, Tash.” She smirks.
My mouth drops open, but I’m unable to contain my broad smile. “You will not.” Bloody Abbie and her far too honest opinions.
“Will, too,” Abbie snaps. “Wait till you meet him. He spends more time looking in the mirror than looking at Bridget. He thinks he’s
Starsky or Hutch, or some shit.”
Natasha’s eyes flicker to me in question.
“He’s not that bad.” I laugh. “And yes, he’s a cop… and he’s smoking hot, so he’s got a lot to love. Keep your opinions to yourself, Abs. Please remember you’re dating a gorilla on steroids. You can’t exactly judge.”
Natasha and Abbie laugh, and I glance up and see Max smirking in the rearview mirror.
“Yeah, well, that gorilla is an animal. I’m so down with gorillas.”
Tash and I smirk because Abbie is a slut—a bona fide, self-confessed, slut. She loves men and sex, and she’s enjoying every perk of being a super attractive single woman. Her hair is long and golden, and she has a kicking body that she shows off unashamedly.
She has every man she meets eating out of her hand.
Her mantra is no boyfriends, no strings… just fun.
And, boy, does she have fun. I don’t know how she has the energy, to be honest. It seems like a lot of work.
The car comes to a slow crawl before it stops, and we climb out to make our way to the bar where we’re all meeting.
Joshua, Cameron, Scott, and Adrian are all sitting at a table, and we make our way over.
“Didge!” Cameron calls as he grabs me in a headlock. I laugh and make my way around the table to kiss them all on the cheek.
“Oh, it’s so good to see you all. I’m getting a drink first and then I’ll be right back.” I smile.
I walk to the bar, buzzing because my family is home and it feels so damn good.
We’re in for a great weekend. They’ll all get to meet Eric tomorrow, and things are going to plan.
“Hello, Bridget,” a familiar voice sounds from behind me.
I turn in a rush and then step back in shock.
The blood drains from my face.
“Ben?” I whisper. He towers over everyone around him and, as if my body recognizes the strength he holds, I immediately weaken.
I stare at him for a moment, trying to register what I’m seeing, and my heart starts to hammer in my chest. “Ben?” I say again with a frown before I shake my head. Well, blow me down. “What…” I have
no words. “What are you doing here?”
His gaze moves down my body. “I’m here for you.”
I frown. “What?”
“You heard me.”
I raise my eyebrows. Is he fucking kidding me? “You came all the way to Sydney to see me?” I ask sarcastically. Funny that, because the dipshit hasn’t even called me in five years.
I glance over at my group of friends and fold my arms in front of me defensively. “You needn’t have bothered,” I snap.
He smiles sexily, and I narrow my eyes. Don’t get fucking cute now, asshole.
I’m so over you.
“When I got the invite to come here, the first thing I asked was ‘is Bridget going?’ I wanted to catch up and see how you’re doing. It’s been a long time.” His eyes drop to my lips, and it makes me uncomfortable. Don’t look at me like that.
My eyes widen with horror. “Y-you’re coming to the wedding?” I stammer.
He raises an eyebrow. “I flew in this morning especially for it.” He glances over to our table. “I’m here with Stan, Cam, and Murph. A reunion, so to speak.”
I stare at him as my brain tries to keep up.
Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m introducing my new boyfriend to everyone this weekend. I don’t need my long-lost asshole ex thrown into the mix.
This is so fucking typical.
I lift my chin defiantly. “You should have checked with me first to see if that was okay.”
My eyes roam over his broad chest beneath his black T-shirt, and then I find myself glancing down to his faded blue jeans that fit snugly in all the right places. His strong forearms are screaming for more focused attention, but I refuse to give in, and I quickly snap my eyes away.
Why does he have to be so gorgeous? It’s annoying. Surely, he should be bald, fat, and ugly by now.
He smiles cheekily. “And is it?”
I frown. “Is it what?”
“Is it okay that I’m here?” he asks sarcastically.
“No.” I flick my hair over my shoulder in annoyance. “Actually, it’s not. You should crawl back under the rock you came from.” He smirks and gives me that cheeky look he’s perfected so well.
I begin to perspire as I look around at my surroundings.
Don’t start with your being hot now. I exhale in annoyance because I don’t need this crap. I glance down at my jeans and my off–the shoulder flowy cream top. Why didn’t I wear something sexier tonight? I knew I should have worn the red dress.
I internally kick myself. Stop it!
Who cares what you’re wearing? Ben is an asshole, you have a boyfriend, and this is a fucking disaster.
His dark eyes return to focus on my lips, and I feel the nerves in the pit of my stomach start to simmer.
Oh, I remember that look.
“What will it be?” the bartender asks.
I lean over the bar. “Can I have three margaritas, please?” I smile.
It’s the cute bartender serving—the one we often see here.
He winks with a friendly smile and turns to make our drinks.
Ben shuffles around and then stands directly behind me. Close… too close… and I feel his hard body fit snugly up against mine. He’s warm and hard.
I close my eyes as my body starts to thump.
It’s just a tight space, that’s all. He’ll move in a minute, I tell myself.
Why does his body radiate so much power?
Somebody pushes us from behind. His hand drops to my hip as his body pushes up against mine with force.
I stand up from my leaning position in a rush.
“Whoa, baby,” he whispers in my ear from behind. His body is snug up against mine and his hand is still firmly on my hip, his lips at my ear.
“Ben,” I announce as I look straight ahead to the bar. “Get your hand off my hip and your lips away from my ear before I glass you.”
He chuckles, and I feel his breath dust my neck. “You’ve still got that snarky sense of humor, I see.”
I want to reply, and you’ve still got that big beautiful dick, I bet, but I stop myself.
He moves closer and his lips brush my ear again. “It’s good to see you, Bridget. You feel so good pressed against me.” I swallow the lump in my throat. Christ Almighty.
I pull away from him in a rush. “Listen, Ben. You don’t get to touch me anymore. In fact, you don’t even get to talk to me.”
He smiles a slow, sexy smile and steps toward me. “Really?”
I nod nervously and fold my arms in front of me. “Really. I have a boyfriend,” I spit.
He steps forward again until his body is towering over mine, and he bends and leans in to whisper in my ear. “Bring him to me. We need to meet.”