Ruin Me, Page 1Jessica Sorensen
Ruin Me (Nova, #5)
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Copyright (c) 2015 by Jessica Sorensen
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
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Table of Contents
About the Author
Over the last few weeks, I've been having a dream about a girl I think I might be in love with; the taste of her lips, the softness of her skin as my hands travel all over her body, memorizing every inch of her. Even though the dream is fucking fantastic, I don't mind waking up. A couple of years ago, I would have. I wouldn't have been able to go to sleep in the first place.
Of course my new life has downfalls too. Like how I get woken up in the mornings.
"Ha, ha! Gotcha!" Mason laughs as he pours apple juice on my face.
My eyes shoot open, and I bolt upright in the bed as he runs out of the room, laughing. My hair and face are sticky and my sheet's a mess. The little rugrat. He's lucky I love him so damn much otherwise I'd be pissed.
"I'm going to get you back!" I shout at him, hearing fitful giggles bursting from the living room.
I wipe my face off with the top of my shirt then roll out of bed to take a shower. As I'm grabbing some clean clothes, my sister Avery sticks her head into my bedroom. Her brown hair is damp, and dark circles reside under her eyes.
She takes one look at me and sighs. "Aw, man, he got you, too."
"Yeah, and I'm guessing by your wet hair, he did the same thing to you." I select a pair of clean jeans and a grey shirt then slide the dresser drawer shut. "Apple juice?"
"No, mine was orange juice." She combs her fingers through her hair. Tiny flakes of pulp are stuck in the brown strands. "This gotcha game is getting out of hand. I wish Tristan would have never taught it to him."
"You should be glad he did. Tristan's a good guy. And, after everything you went through with Conner, you deserve good. You and Mason both do."
Conner is Avery's abusive ex-husband and Mason's father. After almost destroying their lives, he's now behind bars where he belongs.
She reclines against the doorframe with her arms folded. "I know he is, but I have to be honest; I'm a little bit nervous about him moving in."
"You'll be fine." I wind around the bed toward her. "You guys are good together."
"Yeah, we are." She stands up straight. "I just feel bad that you're moving out in a month."
"I'm not. As much as I've loved helping you out over the last couple of years, I'm ready to start my own life."
"I know. And you should be. But it doesn't mean we won't miss you any less." She sighs, her eyes welling up. Avery always gets this way when it comes to what she considers "me growing up too fast," even though I'm nineteen years old. But with a nonexistent father and a deadbeat, drug addict mother, Avery pretty much took on the role of my mother the day I was born.
"Come on. Come get a hug. You know you want one." I open my arms for her.
"You found a place to live, then?" Her voice is muffled against my chest as she hugs me.
"Yeah, you remember Clara McKiney, right?" I ask, and she bobs her head up and down. "Well, my place is in the same complex as hers."
"Is it in a good neighborhood?"
"It's in an affordable neighborhood."
"I don't want you living any place rough."
"It not rough. Just eccentric." Besides, with going to school full-time and my part-time job helping out at the college lab, it's all I can afford.
She moves back, dabbing her teary eyes with her fingertips. "Just promise me that, if you ever need any help at all, day or night, you'll call."
"All right, I promise." I draw an X across my chest. "But you do realize my place is only a ten minute drive from here. And you can stop by anytime." That seems to satisfy her, although I predict more waterworks in the future when I actually have to pack up and move out.
She makes a grossed-out face as she glances down at the orange juice soaking her shirt. "I'm going to go shower then make breakfast."
Avery is a terrible cook, yet always attempts to make nice meals.
I open my mouth to decline her breakfast offer, but snap my jaw shut when I realize there won't be many more breakfasts together for the three of us after I move out.
After I shower, I put on the ring my mother gave me when I was five years old. It's the only present I've ever received from her and honestly I think she forgot she gave it to me; otherwise she would have asked for it back by now. It's welded with silver and black and has a few diamonds in it. Girly, I know, but it belonged to my grandfather. At least, that's the story my mother told me. I wouldn't be surprised if she stole the ring while she was spun on crystal then conjured up a fairytale about where it came from.
I collect the car keys to the beat up Jeep I bought off Avery a month ago when she got herself a newer car. I'm heading to a party later tonight after I get off work. Lyle, one of my friends from Psychology class, is the one who invited me. I'm not much of a partier, because I usually spend a lot of time helping Avery with Mason. But after getting a better job and a more stable boyfriend, Avery's reached a groove in her life where she doesn't have to rely on me so much. Part of me is sad about the loss--I'd gotten used to being needed--but another part of me is relieved, like I can finally live my life without worrying about my sister or my nephew.
By the time I leave work, it's after eight o'clock at night. Fifteen minutes later, I arrive at Lyle's house, which is smack dab in the middle of the suburbs. The charcoal sky is smoldering with stars, and the muggy air is dense against my lungs and skin. But that's North Carolina for you.
"Hey, man." Lyle gives me a fist bump as I step into the foyer crammed with sweaty, drunk college kids, then he shoves a cup of beer in my hand. "You made it."
I scan the people's faces, searching for someone in particular--the person I came to this party for, the girl I was dreaming about this morning. "I told you I would." I sip the beer, despite not being a big drinker. I'm just really nervous about seeing Clara and need to chill out.
"If you're looking for Clara, she's in the kitchen." Lyle guzzles the rest of his beer and crunches the cup.
I take a swig of the frothy alcohol. "Am I that obvious?"
"Yeah..." Lyle's gaze tracks a chick wearing a tight red dress. "Hey... I'll see you later, okay?" He chases off after her like she's a magnet and he's made of metal.
I push my way through the mob and into the kitchen where I immediately spot Clara in the sea of bodies. She's near the counter by the booze, laughing at something her friend Dana is saying, her crystal blue eyes crinkling at the corners. She's holding a cup and must be a little bit drunk because she ends up spil
ling her drink on the floor.
"Whoops. I'm such a klutz." Her voice floats over the voices and music, swirling around me.
I linger in the doorway, watching her talk and laugh. I'm fixated on the way she keeps brushing her hair off her shoulder, the way her lips move, and how when she shifts her weight, the hem of her red and black dress curls against her long legs.
Finally, her friend spots me and leans in to whisper something to Clara. Clara twists around and her eyes find mine. She sucks her bottom lip between her teeth, and I know what she's thinking because it's the same thing that's on my mind.
I want to rip her clothes off. Take her upstairs and strip her bare. Kiss her and never come up for air again.
Okay, so her thoughts might not exactly match mine. At least the last part. Friends with benefits--that was the agreement we made three weeks ago after our third hook up. I have to remind myself it's all Clara wants. That she's not looking for more, even though I am.
She weaves around the people, pushing her way to me. "Hey, you." She grins as she reaches me. "How long have you been here?"
"Like ten minutes maybe." My heart does this stupid little pitter-patter inside my chest when her gaze deliberately drinks me in.
"I thought you were going to text me when you got here, so we could..." Her cheeks flush then she bites her lip again and looks away.
"Fuck," I finish for her, even though I'm a bundle of nerves.
I don't hate that I'm nervous. I prefer it. I started dating when I was sixteen, although the term "dating" might be a stretch since I never stayed with anyone for more than a few weeks. It wasn't like I bailed on the relationship. Things just crumbled the moment they realized I came from a shitty home and had a mother who whored herself out and was constantly doped up on heroin. I never took it too hard when they bailed out, because I couldn't really blame them.
When I was seventeen, I moved from my hometown in Wyoming to North Carolina to live with my sister. The list of reasons why I moved is endless. Shitty living environment. Crappy mother. My fifth stepfather had started using me as his punching bag. My mother had also disappeared at the time. Just up and left with no reason, something she did a lot. At that point, I didn't trust anyone. Hook-ups filled my weekends, and I never felt anything for anyone.
Then, a little over six months ago, I met Clara.
She was wearing scrubs with kittens on them the first time I met her, looking absolutely adorable. We quickly became friends. She made me smile. Laugh. She made me nervous in the best sort of way. One night, we accidentally hooked up at a party after too much Bacardi. Neither of us were drunk enough to forget what happened--how fucking amazing we were together. When the next weekend came, the same thing happened. I realized maybe I wanted to try the girlfriend and boyfriend thing. Problem is, Clara's still afraid of commitment for whatever reason, which is the main reason I haven't told her I'm moving into the same apartment complex as her--she's going to flip out.
She shakes her head, still avoiding eye contact with me. Her flush deepens. "You have such a dirty mouth."
"What? I'm just saying it like it is."
Our gazes weld, and her breath hitches in her throat.
"Fine, Jax Hensley, I thought you were going to text me when you got here so we could fuck." She elevates her brows, arrogantly challenging me, even though her face is bright red.
"Jesus, Clara." My eyes mockingly widen. "You're making me blush."
She swats my chest, laughing, and the sound is better than the music. "Ha, ha, you think you're so funny."
"No, I don't. I think I'm fucking hilarious."
She rolls her eyes. "All right, Mr. Hilarious. Where to this time?"
I chuckle lowly. "Always straight to the point."
"You knew that about me before we," she gestures between the two of us, "started doing this."
"True." I glance at the overly stuffy kitchen, the trashed living room, then at the narrow stairway leading upstairs. "Follow me, my lady." I offer her my hand, grinning.
She promptly shakes her head and shuffles back. In the beginning stages of our fling, I thought her offish behavior stemmed from her embarrassment to be seen with me, considering I'm a year and a half younger than her, but I know the real reason now.
I wait for her to say it.
Because she always does.
"No hand holding, remember?" she reminds me apologetically.
"Sorry, I forgot," I lie then push a path to the stairway that leads to the second floor.
I've only been to Lyle's house once so I don't know my way around. When we make it to the top of the stairway, I knock on the first door we come to. No one responds so I figure the room is vacant and open the door. I end up getting an eyeful of a couple ripping off each other's clothes. It would be fine--I mean it's not anything I haven't seen--except the dude's sporting an odd leather getup, which includes suspenders.
"Whoops." I slam the door then move to the next one.
"Be careful," Clara warns. "I don't want to see that again."
I rap my knuckles on the door. "What? Leather doesn't turn you on?"
"Not when it looks like that." Her face scrunches in disgust.
I laugh as I crack the door open and strain my ears for voices on the other side. After I'm convinced the room is vacant, I enter the small room and flip on the light.
"It's an office," Clara remarks, her gaze roving across the mahogany desk, bookshelves, filing cabinets, and leather chair.
"I can go check the other room." I turn around to leave, but she captures the hem of my shirt.
"No, this works." Her cheeks pink as she sucks her bottom lip between her teeth.
My brow arches. "You have an office fantasy or something?"
She reluctantly shrugs then releases my shirt. "Maybe." She gives me a sidelong glance and desire burns in her eyes.
"Busted." A grin curls at my lips. "You so do."
"So what if I do?" She faces me with her shoulders squared. "It's not that strange of a fantasy."
"Nope, not at all." I grin. "Do you want me to go find a suit and tie for you and put it on? I could dress the part of the powerful business man so you can play the naughty secretary."
"Whatever. You know me well enough that you'd have to play the naughty secretary and I'd play the dominant boss."
"All right, then." I span my arms out as I back further into the room. "Come on boss. Come dominate me." When my ass bumps against the edge of the desk, I hoist onto it with my legs dangling over the edge and wait. I fight back a smirk as she fidgets with the bottom of her dress, like she's unsure of what the hell to do next. "Oh, my God." I press my hand to my chest. "Did I actually strike Clara McKiney speechless?"
Her eyes narrow and she elevates her chin. "You know what? You asked for it." She struts toward me, emphasizing the sway of her hips.
My heart thumps inside my chest, like a goddamn drummer on crack. I grip the desk to stop from reaching out to grab her, wanting to let her do her thing.
"Aw, look at you and your swagger," I joke, my gaze drinking in the curves of her body.
"Jax?" She wets her lips with her tongue when she reaches me.
My eyes distractedly drop to her mouth. "Yeah...?"
"Shut up." She slams her lips against mine so forcefully our teeth clank together. I end up biting her lip, and she groans in response, grasping at the front of my shirt and yanking me closer. "Take off your pants," she breathes against my mouth then nips at my lip.
I willingly lean back, tug my shirt over my head, and discard it on the floor. Then our lips magnetize together, our tongues tangling as her breasts smash against my chest. She flattens her palm across my stomach and groans again, intensifying the kiss, sucking the breath from my lungs. My hands travel along her curves, grip her waist, and fist the fabric of her dress.
"Clara," I whisper huskily as my fingers travel to the bottom of her dress, "take it off."
She moves back, grabs the bottom, and lifts it over her head.
Her eyes are wide and glossy as she chucks the dress on the floor, and her chest heaves as she stands vulnerably in her lacey bra and panties. I've never seen her without so many clothes on before. Usually she won't undress more than necessary.
Her skin is like silk, the curves of her body flawless, and I want nothing more than to bite her toned ass.
"God, you're beautiful." My hand drifts toward her, but her fingers enfold around my wrist.
"Slow." Her attention darts back and forth between the dress on the floor and me. She looks like she wants to get dressed again, but I kiss her before she can.
Gripping her ass, I pull her up on the desk. She whimpers as she lands on top of me then scrambles to try and climb off. I quickly cup the back of her head, tangle my fingers through her hair, and tug at the roots, guiding her mouth back to mine. I kiss her fiercely, and she relinquishes, straddling my lap.
My fingers sketch a path down her spine, causing a shiver to course through her body. Her back arches, and her hips thrust against mine as my hand reaches the bottom of her back. Even through my jeans, her warmth makes my cock hard. I moan as she lightly traces her teeth across my tongue. My body convulses as if I'm a fucking virgin again.