ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND:
Temporary. That’s the word I’d use to describe my life right now. I’m temporarily working double shifts—at least until I can break free. I’m temporarily raising my little brother—since apparently our actual mother doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I always end up as nothing but the temporary girlfriend—the flavor of the week for every guy who’s heard the rumor that I give it up so easily.
At least Drew Callahan, college football legend and local golden boy, is upfront about it. He needs someone to play the part of his girlfriend for one week. In exchange for cash. As if that’s not weird enough, ever since he brought me into his world, nothing really makes sense. Everyone hates me. Everyone wants something from him. And yet the only thing Drew seems to want is . . . me.
I don’t know what to believe anymore. Drew is sweet, sexy, and hiding way more secrets than I am. All I know is, I want to be there for him—permanently.
The second we walk into the guesthouse, I exhale a huge sigh of relief, thankful to be out of that stifling house where I grew up. I still can’t believe how Adele acted toward me, like a jealous girlfriend ready to sink her claws into Fable. Calling her my little Fable, what the hell?
And my dad blatantly checked her out. It made my skin fucking crawl and I’m not the one who got the once over. This is far worse than I thought it would be and I’m embarrassed.
Maybe we should leave. Maybe I should put Fable on a bus and send her back home so I don’t have to subject her to this any longer. It’s awful and I don’t want to put her through it. I’ll even let her keep the money.
“Your parents are freaks.”
Her sweet voice insulting the people who raised me shocks me so much I start to laugh. And once I start, I can’t seem to stop. It feels good. When had I last laughed like this? I can’t remember.
“Are you laughing because I’m telling the truth, or because it’s better to laugh than yell at me for knocking your parents?” Fable sounds a little nervous, but I detect amusement in her tone too.
“You’re brutally honest and I appreciate it,” I finally say once I find my voice again. “And I agree. They are freaks.”
“It was so tense in there. I don’t get it.” She glances around the guesthouse. With its open floor plan and near identical wall of windows facing the ocean like the living room in the main house, it’s still impressive, but on a less grander scale. A lot more comfortable in here, doesn’t give off that ‘look but don’t touch’ vibe. “Oh, you have a deck outside. I want to check it out.”
I watch her slip through living area, heading toward the door, which she unlocks and opens without hesitation. I follow her, curious to hear more of her observations of my freaky family and I slip outside onto the deck.
She’s already leaning against the railing facing the ocean, the wind blowing through her long pale hair. She reaches into the pocket of her thin black coat and pulls out a single cigarette and a lighter, her expression full of embarrassment. “I’ve pretty much broke the habit I swear, but I like to carry a few cigs with me in case of an emergency.”
“And what happened in there is considered an emergency?”
Fable flashes me a quick smile before she cups her hand around the lighter and flicks it once, twice. Three times before it finally ignites. The cigarette dangles from between her lips and she brings the lighter to the tip, taking a drag and causing it to light. “Oh my God, totally.” She blows out a stream of smoke over the railing and the little gray cloud hovers in the darkness before it slowly disappears. “Your dad…I think he was checking me out.”
“He was,” I agree, my voice low. “I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault.” She waves her hand, as if waving away what my dad did.
“I brought you here. Technically it’s my fault.”
Another wave of her hand as she dismisses my words. “I don’t look at it that way. I’ll just say this. Next time you bring a fake girlfriend, maybe you should prepare her a little better.”I chuckle. There’s no way I’m bringing another pretend girlfriend here again. If I had my way, I’d never come back. I don’t care how beautiful this place is. I hate it. This house is like a prison to me.
From breakout New Adult author Monica Murphy comes the exhilarating conclusion to Drew and Fable’s story—the star-crossed young romance that began in One Week Girlfriend.
SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND:Lost. Everything in my life can be summed up by that one sickening word. My football coach blames me for our season-ending losses. So does the rest of the team. I wasted two whole months drowning in my own despair, like a complete loser. And I lost my girlfriend—Fable Maguire, the only girl who ever mattered—because I was afraid that being with me would only hurt her.
But now I realize that I’m the one who’s truly lost without her. And even though she acts like she’s moved on and everything’s fine, I know she still thinks about me just as much as I think about her. I know her too well. She’s so damn vulnerable, all I want to do is be there to help her . . . to hold her . . . to love her.
I just need her to give me one more chance. We may be lost without each other, but together, we’re destined to find a love that lasts forever.
“I thought you said you were hungry.” He glances up, his gaze catching mine. “What are you in the mood for?”
, I want to tell him, but . I had him not even an hour ago. What’s wrong with me? I go without Drew for a couple of months and now I act like I need him every minute of every day.
“I don’t know.” I open the menu to check out my options. I’ve never eaten at this restaurant. It’s close to Drew’s apartment and I’m rarely in this part of town. “What’s good here?”
“Fable.” His deep, quiet voice makes me glance up and I find him watching me, his dark brows drawn, a little frown curving his mouth. “Are you okay?”
He’s got both elbows propped on the table now, his hands clasped together, and I want those hands on me. His black long-sleeve shirt clings to his arms, accentuating his bulging biceps, those broad shoulders, that wide chest. I’ve explored every inch of his body the last few days and it’s still not enough. I can’t believe he’s really mine.
And I can’t believe I’m his.
“I’m not very hungry,” I admit.
His frown deepens. “You’re the one who wanted to come here.”
I shrug, feeling silly, my gaze locked on his hands. They are so big. Long fingers, wide palms, a little rough, a little smooth. I love how they touch me, sometimes gentle, sometimes with force. I like it best when he wraps my hair around his fingers and tugs. Oh God, I really love it when he does that . . .
I want those hands on me. Now. “I guess I’m not as hungry as I thought.” My stomach is fluttering with nerves. I don’t want to eat. I want Drew. I feel sort of crazed with it. Like I need to have him as much as possible before he slips through my fingers and I lose him forever.
But I’m not going to lose him. We’re in this together. I need to remember that—and believe it.
“You’re being weird.” Worry fills his eyes. “Are you mad? Did I do something?”
Just his breathing—that does it for me. “I’m not mad. I’m, um . . .” I let my voice trail off, feeling like an idiot.
“I’m looking at your hands,” I admit with a little sigh. Can I admit out loud that I’m horny? That would sound ridiculous.
Those dark brows shoot up practically to his hairline. “Why?”
My cheeks are hot. I squirm in my seat again. “I’m . . . remembering what they did to me earlier.”
The frown is gone, replaced with a wicked smile that sends my body temperature skyrocketing. He leans across the table, his voice so low it vibrates through me and settles between my legs. “Maybe we should go back to my place so I can do that to you all over again.”
Oh my God, that sounds like the best idea ever. “Maybe we should.”
The smile never leaves his face. In fact, it grows bigger. My quiet, hesitant Drew has morphed into some sort of cocky sex god. “You don’t want to order anything?”
I slowly shake my head. “Can’t we just get pizza again? Later?” We had it last night, too. “From somewhere different this time. You know, just to mix it up. Or maybe Chinese? I love Chinese.”
He laughs, the sound husky. “You said you wanted to get out of the house for a while because you worried we were becoming addicted to each other.”
“Is that what I said?” I honestly can’t remember. What’s wrong with being addicted to each other? Aren’t we still in this pretend mode where we’re normal people who like to have sex without hangups or issues? I wonder if Drew has ever had sex like this. Carefree and so . . . normal.
“Yep.” He nods.
“Maybe I like being addicted to you,” I admit softly. We haven’t said we loved each other yet. I can’t work up the nerve. Maybe he can’t either. Silly, considering how consumed with love I am for him. He is just . . . amazing. Sweet. Attentive. Funny. Smart. Sexy.
I understand him. He understands me. We’re perfect for each other.
Maybe we’re perfect together. Too perfect doesn’t really exist. This could all be a façade. Just like our week together over the Thanksgiving break.
That week fake, though. Surreal. There were real, grounding moments, but for the most part, we were caught up in an act. Maybe we’re pretending right now too, but I’m trying to be as real as I can with him. Without the baggage and the heartache and the trouble hanging over us. For at least a little while.
It’ll all come crashing down upon us soon. That’s a reality I don’t want to face quite yet.
He reaches across the table for my hands and takes them in his. “I really like being addicted to .”
The smile I send his way is so big it hurts my cheeks. We are so in this addiction together.
For once, I know I’m not alone.
“Let’s go home and play true confessions,” I suggest because I’m feeling silly. “Nothing heavy, though. We can keep it light and easy.”
“True confessions? I’m intrigued.”
“You should be,” I say coyly. “It’s going to be a sexual true confessions.”
He stiffens the slightest bit and I squeeze his hands in my grip. We need to be open with each other and while the sexual connection we have is amazing, I know sometimes he holds himself back. I understand why. Sort of.
That’s where we’re complete opposites. I was the type who gave it away just so I could feel something, anything, for a little while. He’d rather box himself up and feel absolutely nothing.
“Fable . . .” His voice trails off and his smile fades. “I don’t know if I’m up to that yet.”
“It won’t be anything crazy, I promise.” I lean over our linked hands and bring them to my mouth, pressing a lingering kiss to his knuckles. “No pressure. Just fun.”
“Just fun?” He brushes his thumb over the top of my hand and my entire body reacts.“Always fun,” I whisper.
Monica Murphy returns with her most beloved characters, Drew and Fable, in this eBook original short story that brings her bestselling New Adult series full circle.
(Releases January 14th-Just $.99 right now!)
ABOUT DREW + FABLE FOREVER NovellaFantasy. How I ended up with NFL player Drew Callahan, the guy every woman wants, is beyond my wildest dreams. All I know is that once he chose me as his one and only, I sure wasn’t looking back. I had past wounds and he showed patience and concern—even accepting responsibility for my messed-up kid brother. Now, yet again, he's found a way to blow my mind: an exotic wedding and honeymoon miles and miles away from home. What else could a girl ever ask for?Reality. Except now the honeymoon’s over. Drew's football schedule takes him on the road constantly, while I need to stay put and look after my brother until he finishes high school—because God knows our sorry excuse for a mother won’t. I know Drew loves me with all his heart, and I’ll always be over the moon about him. This just isn’t how I imagined life as newlyweds . . . dealing with the distance, missing him constantly. But we’ve gone through hard times before. We can get through this, too, right? We’re Drew and Fable, together forever. At least I hope so.
“We should check out Ocean Avenue tomorrow,” Drew whispers close to my ear, amusement tingeing his deep voice.
“What? Are you serious?” Even though I’ve come to terms with being here, it doesn’t mean I want to linger and make it a serious vacation. Besides, Drew needs to get back home so he can resume practice.
“Well yeah, remember the spot where we kissed?” His eyes are warm as they search my face, filled with so much love I feel my heart swell.
“Yes,” I whisper achingly. “Of course I remember.”
“I want to go back there.” He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear, his index finger lingering on my skin. “I want to kiss you again in that little alley and remember how wet we were from the rain. How nervous I was. I was scared you might reject me.”
I’d felt the same way. We’d dealt with much of the same feelings and fears and hadn’t even known it.
“I want to take you to that store where you got the dress that just about killed me and buy you whatever you want,” he continues, his fingers drifting across my jaw. My eyes flutter closed as memories rush back at me.
“I want to sit outside the dressing room and have you come out to show me every single thing you’re trying on.” That he remembers all the little details sends a thrill of pleasure spiraling to the very depths of my soul. “And then I want to wander off for a bit and let you do whatever you want, secretly hoping that you’ll send me a text that says marshmallow. Though if you don’t that’s okay because I’ll send you one instead.”
He offers up a crooked smile and the sight of it cracks my heart wide open, overflowing with so much pure love for him I want to cry. “Because we made a deal. Whenever we see or hear that word, the other comes running. I’ll always be the one to rescue you, Fable. You never have to worry about that.”
Breakout New Adult sensation Monica Murphy returns with a hot new contemporary romance—a heartfelt story of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.
ABOUT THREE BROKEN PROMISES
Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life.
I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.
“You’re going to turn me away yet again, aren’t you?” she asks when I don’t say anything. The irritation in her voice rings clear as her entire body goes tense. “I can’t believe it. I offer myself up to you with no strings attached and you’re trying to figure out how to let me down easy. God, I am such a moron.”
Unable to hold myself back, I rush toward her, angry that she would insult herself. Panicked that she really is going to walk away and I’m going to lose my chance. Thinking too much sucks. I need to just let it happen. Take this opportunity that she’s presenting me.
And let her go when our time is up.
“You’re not a moron,” I murmur, reaching for her. I cup her face in my hands and position her so she has no choice but to meet my gaze. I skim my thumbs across her cheeks, feel her shudder at my touch. “You make an offer like that and a man needs to process it first.”
The unshed tears still glimmer in her eyes and one escapes, leaving a damp trail across her skin. Leaning in, I stop its descent with my lips, tasting the salt, hearing the catch in her breath. “We do this and it’s not going to be some half-assed thing, you know,” I whisper.
She closes her eyes, her tears tangled in her long, thick lashes. “What’s it going to be, then?”
“A discovery.” I nuzzle her nose with my own, breathing in her scent, her very essence. God, I could devour her! It’s taking everything within me to keep calm and not unleash all over her. “An exploration.”
“That sounds like . . . research.” Her breath hitches in her throat when I drop a tender kiss on the tip of her nose.
Chuckling, I shake my head. “It’s the farthest thing from research.” I drift my lips across her cheek, blazing a hot path on her petal-soft skin. “You’re right when you said I don’t do commitment. The closest thing I’ve ever been to commitment is . . . what I share with you.”
She tentatively places her hands on my hips, her fingers curling into the waistband of my jeans. Having her hands on me sends little darts of fire throughout my insides, making me harden in an instant. She has no idea what sort of effect she has on me. How much restraint I’m using at this very moment not to throw her over my shoulder like an oversexed caveman and cart her off to my bedroom.
“But it can be no more than friendship with added . . . benefits.” I lift my head so I can look into her troubled gaze. She doesn’t like what I have to say and I don’t like it either, but I have to be honest. Stringing her along and making her believe this is something more is a mistake.
The two of us together would never work. I’m too damn selfish. I’d disappoint her. I’d hold her back when she needs her freedom. I’m not worthy of her. She’s everything sweet and good in my life, where there’s little sweet and good remaining.
I’ve kept her—and our relationship—as pure as possible even after all of these years. With the realization that she’s leaving me, that we’ll never be together again, I need to take my opportunities where I can.
Jen bites her lip and drops her gaze. “I can handle that.”
Her body language is more than telling me she doesn’t really want to handle that, but I can’t worry about it now.I want her too damn much.
New Adult bestselling author Monica Murphy winds up her sensational series with this sexy story of two college kids with nothing in common but a bunch of baggage and a burning attraction.
FOUR YEARS LATER (Releases February 25, 2014)
Over. That about sums up everything in my life. Suspended from my college football team and forced to cut back my hours at The District bar because of my crappy grades, I can’t keep turning to my sister, Fable, and her pro-football playing husband, Drew, to bail me out. I just can’t seem to find my own way. Weed and sex are irresistible temptations—and it’s messed up that I secretly hand over money to our junkie mom. A tutor is the last thing I want right now—until I get a look at her.
Chelsea is not my type at all. She’s smart and totally shy. I’m pretty sure she’s even a virgin. But when she gives me the once over with those piercing blue eyes, I’m really over. But in a different way. I won’t deny her ass is killer, but it’s her brain and the way she seems to crave love—like no one’s ever given her any—that make me want her more than any girl I’ve ever met. But what would someone as seemingly together as her ever see in a screwed up guy like me?
ABOUT MONICA MURPHY:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.
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