Forbidden Men # 5
By: Linda Kage
Releasing March 30th, 2015
Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It'll be fun, they said.
I know I've closed myself off in a major way in the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It's past time I try to live again or just give up completely. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I'm standing outside Oren Tenning's bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he'd probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.
Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.
She was Noel Gamble’s one and only sister; I could not fuck her. No matter what.
Ergo, I needed to take drastic measures to keep her at arm’s length. I needed to...okay, fine. Fuck. I just needed to be me. Not really so drastic once you think about it, even though it probably seemed that way to her.
So I let her have the full intensity of Ten. I stopped watching what I said when she was around, and I let all my base, disgusting thoughts bleed out of my mouth like I usually did. I stopped smiling at her, stopped paying her special attention with little courteous things like holding doors open for her or asking her how her day went. I completely stopped being a nice guy. I backed off and pretty much ignored her, unless I could think up something crude to say in her direction. I made sure to chase other women when she was around. And I felt like shit every night I lay in bed, unable to get to sleep, because I’d relive every awful thing I’d done to her that day.
No matter how deeply my actions ate at me, though, it didn’t stop me from making her hate me and killing any soft feelings she’d ever had for me.
It should’ve been easy to accomplish. Everyone who knows me knows how fast I can piss off a woman.
But nothing about Caroline has ever been easy.
That’s the curious thing about temptation. It festers and grows. You feed that bitch enough and she morphs into craving, and then craving turns into obsession. Pretty soon, nothing in your life is as important as that one thing you want but can’t have.
I wanted her and I couldn’t have her, so I fed the temptation, I flooded the craving, I would’ve fucking nursed the obsession from my own tits if I could’ve. I made sure I got little doses of her here and there. Except something incredibly enlightening happens when you spend enough time in one woman’s company. You start noticing shit about her, little useless shit that actually begins to mean everything, like how she brushes the hair out her face—even if there isn’t any in her eyes—whenever she’s unsettled, or how she chews on the end of a pen during class whenever she’s listening to something that captivates her attention. You learn all her different laughs and know what each one means. You learn what pisses her off the most, or what makes her the happiest. You discover how smart and witty and sarcastic she is, and that her mind is almost as dirty as yours. You see how passionate she becomes when she defends those she loves, and you start to fall. Hard.
So, this is my Pathetic Loser’s confession: I am Oren Tenning and I have fallen. Hard.
Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.
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