A Reason to Stay

A Reason to Stay

Delinda Jasper

Cedar Grove

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Ellie loves her hometown, job, and best friend Jake. But Jake is a ladies man that will never settle down. Ellie can’t stand to see him with other women anymore, so she is packing up and leaving Cedar Grove and everything she loves to start over. A night of unexpected passion makes her start to think maybe things can work out between them, until she happens upon a secret Jake has been keeping for more than a year. Will their friendship be forever torn apart? Or will Ellie find A Reason to Stay?

 
PUBLISHED BY: Accomplice Press
ISBN:
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT:
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 4 4 4 4
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Contemporary, Erotica, Rubenesque
KEYWORDS: love, romance, erotic, friends,
 

EBOOKS BY Accomplice Press

EBOOKS BY Delinda Jasper

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Delinda Jasper/2009

Tears rolled down Ellie’s face as the movie credits rolled on the TV screen. She always cried at this movie. But tonight, her tears were more for herself than for the bittersweet happy ending of the movie.
Though she hadn’t wanted the night to end, it seemed as if the hours had flown by. It had been a wonderful evening. They’d pigged out on Chinese food, drank a little too much, laughed and talked all the way through the action movie as Jean Claude Van Damme kicked butt, then snuggled under a blanket for the next movie. All in all it had been a standard, fun Movie Night. Jake had been a bit distant at times, but Ellie chalked that up to woman problems. It happened all the time. The woman of the hour would become clingy and start "wanting more" out of their "relationship". At the first mention of the word commitment Jake would start getting antsy, trying to figure out a way to bolt without hurting the woman’s feelings.
Whenever that happened he’d be distant for a day or two, then when he was ready he’d tell Ellie all about it. He always had. Ellie couldn’t count the number of times Jake had come to her with, Suzie wants me to meet her parents, Janet gave me a key to her apartment, or the biggie, Lisa wants us to buy a dog together. Do you know how long dogs live? These desperate declarations had always been followed by I’m just not ready for that kind of thing, Ellie.
It had been a while since he’d come to her with such a problem, but she should have known it would be coming. It always did. Ellie wracked her brain to remember whom it was he was dating now, but the name didn’t come to mind. Well, it didn’t matter. It was someone. There was always someone. At least this time when he had this problem, he would have to call her to tell her about it. Maybe having hundreds of miles of phone line between them would dull the pain of hearing the details of yet another of his conquests.
Ellie forced the distressing thoughts from her mind. There would be enough pain tomorrow when she said goodbye to Jake, and plenty of pain and loneliness in the coming weeks. She wouldn’t let it ruin tonight for her.
But tonight was over. The last movie had ended and now she would have to leave her warm and comfy spot nestled against Jake and go lay down in that big, lonely guest bed. She knew, from many movie nights spent there, she’d be able to hear Jake’s soft snoring through the wall. The sound would be comforting to her as she drifted off to sleep. Sitting up, she turned to look at Jake.
"Could you hand me a tissue?" she asked, motioning toward the box on the table near him.
Wordlessly, Jake retrieved a tissue from its container. But instead of putting it in her outstretched hand, he brought the tissue up to her tear stained cheeks. Softly, he began wiping the tears from her face.
His voice was soft when he asked, "Why do you cry at movies like that? I mean, the ones with happy endings. I understand crying when it’s sad, but when they end up together, what’s there to cry about?"
"Oh, I don’t know." Crying had left her voice a bit rough, and his question took her a bit off guard. Her voice was low and quiet as she answered, "I guess it could just be the emotion. Happy endings make me feel happy, and you know how I am. I’ll take any opportunity to cry."
He laughed at her answer, but before he could say anything else, Ellie went on.
“Or, I guess it could be jealousy, or whimsy, or some such nonsense. Maybe its just self-pity and I’m crying for myself. Everyone else gets their own happy ending with someone to share the rest of their life with, but I’m still alone."
Ellie let out a tiny gasp. She couldn’t believe what she’d just said. She and Jake had always shared everything, but this was a bit more honest than she’d meant to get with him. Clasping her hands together on her lap, she stared down at them and tried to think of what to say next. She tried to think of a joke to make light of her too revealing statement.
His thumb replaced the tissue on her cheek. Gently, he rubbed it over the tear blotched skin, tracing a path over her high cheekbones. His touch scorched her skin. It seemed to her that every ounce of his body heat was flowing through that one thumb and into her.
"You’re not alone. You have me."
His tone was so gruff and low she almost thought she imagined that he’d said it. Her eyes flew to his, seeking some clue as to what he’d meant, what that note in his voice was that she couldn’t identify. What she saw nearly took her breath away. His charcoal eyes were darkened to jet-black with some emotion she was afraid to name. She was drawn into them and felt her chest tighten. She couldn’t breathe. His gaze bore into her, searching her face for something, she didn’t know what. She felt as though she would melt into a pool of liquid heat under his gaze. Was that really desire she saw in his eyes?


 

 
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