Break Even by Lisa De Jong – Cover and/or Excerpt Reveal
Release Date: December 27, 2015
Cover Designer: Mae I Design and Photography
Photo Credit: My MoJo Photo
My story isn’t a love story … not the typical kind anyway.
As a lawyer, I’m used to discovery, but I never saw this one coming.
Every day, River gives me ten reasons to stay away, and then eleven reasons why I can't. Our relationship was to remain strictly business, or at least I tried.
Four years of marriage, and everything with Cole has changed. I never knew two people who lived together could be so distant. But I’m not ready to give up on him.
One man wants to break me.
The other is just trying to get even.
Both are lying to me.
He puts the SUV in park and turns his body toward me. “Most things you can, Mrs. Mason. Hang around me for a little while, and you’ll find out how.”
“For instance,” I tease, still feeling some of the vodka. “You can’t make me take your case. If I wanted to, I could dump you as a client and there wouldn’t be a damn thing you could do about it.”
He scoffs. “But you won’t.”
“How do you know that?” I grin back at him. Conversing with River has become a game.
“Because right now, I’m the most exciting thing you have going on in your life.” He brushes a stray piece of hair away from my eyes. “You get up every morning and throw on one of your expensive business suits. You wear your hair the same way, take your coffee the same way, and leave for work at exactly the same time. Your life revolves around the four walls that make up your little office, but your clients—they aren’t like me. You work late because your husband either isn’t home or he’s home but he’s not really there, not the way you want him to be anyway. That’s your life, Marley.”
“You don’t know anything.” My voice bellows.
“Then tell me what part of that I got wrong.”
I open my mouth to argue, but he has me pegged. One freaking day, and he has me all figured out.
“I need to go,” I say, pushing the door open. I punch the numbers into garage door and pray it opens before he has any thought of coming after me. It works the first time, and as soon as I close the door and walk into the kitchen, I hear his SUV pull away.
This isn’t going to work.
I ache to be touched … to feel wanted. His fingers reach mid-thigh, and I close my eyes. His fingertips circle my upper thigh, slowly inching my skirt up. Desire radiates. He caresses everywhere but there as I bite down on my lower lip to stifle a moan.
I’m pathetic. I imagine him touching me there. I imagine pulsing around his fingers. I imagine pulsing around him.
“What are you thinking about?” he asks, breaking me from my erotic dream.
The truth will come with consequences. He won’t let me forget my next word.
“You,” I breathe, still feeling the physical effects of his touch.
His finger slides along my panties. “Do you want me to touch you here? I’d fuck you for hours, beautiful, and when I was done, no one else would ever be enough.”
“River,” I moan, his finger tracing the line of lace.
“I’d show you heaven and hell all in one night. Is that what you want, Marley? Do you want me to fuck you?”
I grip the door handle like it’s my lifeline, unable to speak. Instead, I open my eyes and stare at his profile. There’s so much I don’t know about River, but for some damn reason I need him.
He’s a magnet.
He wants me.
I need to feel wanted.
Days of loneliness, and he’s filled each one.
He stops along the side of a quiet street, pouring rain now making it impossible to see more than a few inches in front of the car.
It’s too hot. I feel too much … too much desire … too much guilt. It whirls until I can’t take it.
“Cole!” I scream, curling my fingers around the edge of the counter. He pulls out slowly then thrusts back inside me; there’s nothing soft and tender about it.
During the first few years of our marriage he made love to me. His lips would brush against my skin from head to toe and his hands would caress my inner thighs until I ached for him to be inside of me.
He had me gasping for breath before he even reached where I needed him most.
He knew exactly how I liked it; it was insane bliss. It was the reason I sped home from work every night. It was one of the reasons I knew he was the one—our maddening physical connection translated into every aspect of our relationship. Every last inch of me was wrapped around him. Everything: heart, soul, and body.
He pushes in again until it aches, burying his head deep in the crook of my neck.
“Don’t stop,” I moan, slipping my fingers between us. I need to come so badly. Three weeks and four days… that’s how long it’s been.
Sex isn’t about me lately, and it hasn’t been for a while.
His teeth dig into my skin. “I can’t stop myself, baby. You feel so good.”
“Cole, please,” I beg, rubbing my fingers in circles. If he notices, he doesn’t acknowledge my need.
He thrusts all the way in. “Christ, Marley,” he murmurs against my skin as he releases into me. My heart sinks, but my desire is stuck at an all time high.
My orgasms have become as rare as a full moon. In less than an hour, it will be three weeks and five days since I last felt what it was like to clench around him over and over again.
My breathing is heavy. My fingers still. His head still pressed against my neck as his fingers run gently along my spine.
“Did I hurt you?” he whispers against my skin.
Not the way you’re thinking.
A knock sounds at my door, and Beatrice walks in with a bouquet of white tulips. “Looks like Cole wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday before his plane landed,” she remarks, placing the vase on my desk.
“Those are pretty,” I say, touching the base of my neck. Cole always gets me red roses. Always. Maybe this is his way of getting us out of our routine.
“Would you like to me run and grab us some lunch?” she asks after seconds of silence pass.
“I’m not feeling all that hungry today,” I answer honestly. Guilt should be a diet pill.
“Are you feeling okay?”
I sit up straight in my chair. “Yeah, it’s just been a long week, and I’m anxious for Cole to get home. Besides, I don’t want to ruin dinner.”
“Well, if you change your mind, I’m running to the deli on the corner. You know my number.”
I nod, focusing my attention on the flowers as she walks out. Anxious, I pull the envelope with my name penned on it and slip the card out. My heart drops.
Last night didn’t go as planned, but I can’t say I regret a second of it … up until I let you walk away. I’m only sorry you felt the way you did after. I understand why you don’t want to see me, but if you decide you want a better man, you know where to find me. The offer I made last night stands.
Happy Birthday, by the way.
Without a second thought, I slide the note through the shredder listening to proof of the biggest mistake I’ve ever made being torn to shreds.The flowers … they stay.