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Whatever this is…
Bennett Ross has a list of don’t-wants. No white dress or happily ever after. She doesn’t want soul-crushing love or promises she’s too broken to keep. Most of all, she doesn’t want anyone to ask her to stay.
Dane Masters might not have a list, but he does have a house and a steady job, and he knows exactly what he wants—Bennett.
When life keeps dragging her back to him, he’s there to give her a reason not to leave again. Each time, she has more trouble walking away, and he falls a little harder when she goes.
Unless Dane can find a way to prove he’s what she’s been searching for, Bennett will always have an excuse to push him away.
And then he’ll risk becoming another broken piece she leaves behind.
A stand alone new adult romance.
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The sweatshirt hangs past the bottom of my skirt when I pull it on, and I hide my hands in the baggy sleeves on my way off the porch. It takes a second to notice his truck, parked in the shadows a few houses down. I’m almost there when the driver’s door slams shut. Dane steps around the hood and into the yellow cast of a streetlight.
“You need to hurry up.”
“You need to learn patience.”
“I have plenty, just not when it comes to you.” He runs his hands over my hips when I reach him and kisses me hard. “See,” he mumbles. “No restraint.” But he finds some after he backs me to the truck. He jerks open the passenger door and picks me up to set me on the seat. “Scoot over.”
I slide toward the middle, and he crawls in. “How’s your grandpa?”
“Shh,” he says, shutting the door. “He’ll be fine, but right now”—he moves closer and reaches past me for something—“we have business to take care of.”
When his hand reappears, he’s holding a cupcake with a single candle in the middle. I get one more kiss before hearing the flick of a lighter. He tosses it on the dash once the candle burns. The cab illuminates, shadows dancing across his face, and I smile.
“This is so—”
“Cheesy,” he says. “It’s disgustingly cheesy, and I’d hate myself for it if not for that fucking smile.”
I shake my head and touch his cheek. “Sweet. It’s so incredibly sweet.”
The stubble on his jaw scrapes against my skin as he turns to kiss my palm, eyes reflecting the flame when he looks at me again. “Happy birthday, Bennett.”
I lean in, and right as I blow out the candle, his gaze drops to my mouth. I have no idea what happens to my cupcake once the cab darkens. Dane’s mouth slams into mine, both of his hands tugging me over to him. He lifts me—not on top of him, but to the other side so that my shoulders press against the door—and he moves across to where I was a second ago, breaking his mouth away from me.
“What date are we on?” he asks. “Five? Six?”
“Does it matter?” I try to pull him closer, but he won’t budge from his spot in the center of the cab.
“I thought since you don’t fuck on the first date, you’d require at least half a dozen before spreading your legs for me in the truck.”
My feet are on the seat between us, and when his hand skims up from my ankle, I wait for it to reach my knee and drop it to the side. His gaze flashes to mine.
“Sixth date it is.”
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