Overwhelm Me

Book one of the Callahan Series
A.C. Marchman
Copyright 2012 A.C. Marchman
 
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, or events used in this book are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or deceased, events or locales is completely coincidental.
All rights reserved. Self published by author. Any use of the book without the author’s consent is strictly prohibited.
Cover design and ebook formatting by JB McGee
Cover photo provided by Shutterstock.com
Editing by author and Kristen Said, MD

To my husband Dan. You are MY DC. I love you!
and
To the SBWM and PTC, you girls rock!

“Oh, crap! I’m late!” I jump out of my incredibly comfortable bed. “I have to be there in twenty minutes!” I yell, not speaking to anyone but myself. I had stayed up all night studying for my final in Ethics of Public Health, but having only gotten four hours of sleep, I am really regretting that decision right now. I am thankful that I was OCD enough to set out what I was going to wear today; I grab my outfit and throw off my pajamas as I race to the bathroom. I take one look in the mirror and groan. I look like absolute hell! My green eyes are swollen and puffy from lack of sleep, my chestnut brown hair looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket, and I really need to get out in the sun more often. I start putting on my favorite purple V-neck t-shirt and jean capris like my life depended on it. I wash my face and brush my teeth. No time for make up. I throw my untamed hair into a ponytail. “There,” I think to myself, "That will have to do.”
My roommate, Livey, is already in the kitchen when I come tumbling down the hall. She is my best friend on this planet, and she knows me better than anyone. She has my coffee the way I like it, three sugars and French vanilla creamer, ready in my Emory University to go cup. “I knew you were going to be late this morning, so I got it ready for you,” Livey says with a smirk on her lips. Her face is round, like a cherub, and her nose is speckled with freckles. Her strawberry blonde hair always looks perfect, not a hair out of place even with this Georgia humidity. She is adorably short and slim. Her sweet Georgian accent is present in every word. I try my best to look offended, but her belly laugh tells me she knows better. I giggle every time she laughs, it’s just so infectious.
“Livey, what would I do without you?” I ask her as I grab my book bag and coffee.
“You would be late with no coffee,” she says, laughing. “Now, go ace that final!” I grin at her as I run out the front door. Thank goodness we live on the first floor of our apartment building in Atlanta. I wouldn’t have the time to run down three flights of stairs. I unlock my cherry red mustang and roar the engine to life. God, I love this car. I have had it since my junior year of high school, and being that my brother Jon is a mechanic, I never had to put it in the shop. He owns his own business back in Lynchburg, the town in Virginia where we grew up. I suddenly miss him and make a mental note to call him once my exam is over.
I am so thankful that I live only a couple streets over from school. As I zoom down Peachtree Road, I realize I need to be in my class in ten minutes! I down the rest of my coffee, whip my car into the closest parking space I can find, and take off toward the building. The building is so stately and large. I start taking stairs two at a time, trying to get in the room before the final begins. I look down at my watch; three minutes to go! As I look up, I run smack into a guy, and we both fall back. Dazed and embarrassed, I pick up my book bag and mutter an apology to the poor guy. He stands, brushes off his navy pin-striped suit, and offers me his hand. My face turns scarlet as I look at the guy I knocked down. He is stunning, to say the least. His eyes are baby blue, the kind that can see right through to your soul. His chocolate colored brown hair flops on his forehead. How I want to run my fingers through it. He is at least 6 feet tall, and it is obvious through his suit that he is in great shape.
“Are you okay?” this Adonis asks me. My heart rate shoots up, and I‘m sure he can feel my quickened pulse. God, I hope he doesn‘t know that I’m wondering what‘s under that pin-striped suit.
“I’m so sorry about that, but I have to get to class fast. I have a final to get to,” I explain as I stand.
“Of course, do you need me to walk you there?” the handsome stranger asks me with a half smile. Holy shit, he’s hot.
“Oh, no thanks. I appreciate it, though,” I mumble.
“Well, good luck on your test,” he says as I rush towards my classroom. “Oh.My.God,” I think out loud. I can’t believe I just ran into that beautiful man and fell on my ass in front of him! I can’t help but look over my shoulder for one last glimpse at him. He’s staring at me, his blue eyes hooded. I feel my face turn a crimson red. Oh, great! He thinks I am a total klutz, which actually, I am. I was too embarrassed to let him walk me to class, though I’m already regretting it. No time to think about him right now; I have to get through this exam.
I walk into class, finally, without a minute to spare. “Ah, Miss Marshall. You decided to show up for your final,” Dr. Wiseman snorts as I take my seat. The class stifles their laughter. “Sorry about that,” I mutter as I sit down. “Traffic was awful.”
“Well, I do hope you are ready for this, Miss Marshall. This class is not a joke, and if you want to get into the Physician Assistant Program, then I suggest you concentrate,” she snaps.
Ouch, that hurt. I have a 4.0, and I know there is nothing to really worry about, but why did she have to call me out like that? I smolder as she passes out our exams. “There are one hundred questions. The exam will cover everything you have learned in your Ethics of Public Health class this semester. Good luck, class, and remember, no talking!” Geez, are we in kindergarten here? I roll my eyes as we begin this final, my mind still wondering back to that beautiful stranger. I flush at the thought. “Okay, back to reality, Marshall!’ I think to myself. I soon focus on the task at hand and feverishly start my final. And to my surprise, the answers come easily, given the events that happened this morning with the Greek god and my annoying clumsiness.
After an hour and a half of the mind numbing exam, I turn my test in to Dr. Wiseman. She looks up from her laptop and grins at me. “All done, Miss Marshall?” she says.
“Yes, ma’am,” I mutter as I lay my paper down.
“You know, Miss Marshall, I should tell you that I’m sorry about my outburst this morning when you were almost late. I do not like tardiness.” I cast my eyes downwards. “However, your grades are outstanding. I also spoke to the director of the P.A. program and gave him a recommendation for you.”
My green eyes widen in surprise. “Wow, Dr. Wiseman, thank you. I don’t know what to say.”
My professor smiles at me and says, “The only thing I want in return is for you to get into that school and be the best Physician Assistant you can be.”
I flush slightly and grin at her like a stupid moron. “I promise, Miss Wiseman.”
“Good, Allison. I hope your family is coming to see you graduate.” I frown, remembering my father and how much he wanted to see me walk in my cap and gown. God, how I miss that man. Tears start to pool in my eyes, so I excuse myself.
“Good day, Allison, and good luck,” Dr. Wiseman says, obviously not understanding why she is the reason for my tears. I dart out of the classroom before I start blubbering like an idiot. I run to the closest restroom and let the tears fall freely. My dad was diagnosed with heart disease at age forty, and I saw him struggle with it every day. One of the last things he told me before I left for Georgia was to live my dreams and not give up, to do my best and forgive myself if I fail. His blue eyes bore into my soul, and I promised him I would not give up. I gave him my word, and Allison Marshall does not go back on her word. I wipe my tears and find my resolve. “I will do it, daddy, I promise you,” I think as I step out of the bathroom.
As I step outside, I look around the school. The grand campus is alive with the signs of summer approaching. Lush green lawns with students scattered everywhere, cramming for their finals.
It’s a bittersweet moment. I will graduate this weekend with my Bachelors of Science. I grin to myself. Emory should hopefully be sending either my acceptance or rejection letter in the mail soon. My interview with the dean in January went great, and it made me hopeful. My heart leaps at the thought. I will be the first one in my family to graduate from college. I know my family is proud of me. My pride swells, and I walk to my car with my head held high. As I reach the steps to the parking lot, I see him again. He is getting into a silver BMW. His eyes turn to meet mine, soul burning blue to wide-eyed green. He slips off his blazer and already has his tie off with the first two buttons undone. He shuts his door and smirks at me. How the hell does my pulse quicken so fast around him? I don’t even know his name! “It’s because he’s gorgeous and out of your league,” the unwelcome thought comes to my brain. I frown, knowing my mind is right, but hey, he is pretty good eye candy.
I watch him pull out of the parking lot. He has my favorite song playing, Jack Johnson singing “Better Together.” I sigh as I throw my book bag in the backseat and get in the driver’s seat. “Oh well,” I think, at least I got to see him again when I was not flat on my butt. I chuckle at myself as I turn the engine on and head for my apartment. I blare the radio, trying to clear my mind. I miss my daddy so much it hurts, and I embarrassed the hell out of myself in front of the most beautiful man I have ever seen. “Man, what a day this is turning out to be!” I speak outloud. “Daddy, tell God I need a good day soon, please.” I smile, because if I don’t, I will cry. I hold back as I pull into my apartment.
I walk in as Livey is getting ready to head for work. “How did you do?” she questions, her big hazel eyes expressing their concern. I give her a shy smile and wait just a few seconds for suspense. “Nailed it, baby!” I scream, dancing in place.
Livey copies my actions, both of us dancing to no music. “Oh girl, I’m so happy for you! I know you studied so hard all year long, we are celebrating tonight! My treat, you pick the place.”
“I’ll get back to you on that one,” I say, as I slip my flip-flops off and sit my book bag down. Right now, I need to call my big brother Jon. We are so close, and I wish he was here with me to celebrate.
Livey yells out, “I get off at seven, so text me and let me know what you wanna do!”
“Will do, now get to work before you’re late!” I holler back to her. Livey works at the Sheffield Medical Center as an x-ray tech. She bounds out of the door and heads to her Explorer. She has on her bright pink scrub pants with a top that has tiny hearts on it. I swear that girl can wear anything and look breathtaking. Her stick straight hair is in a high ponytail. I have no idea how she does, but she can make a potato sack look like the latest fashion trend. As she pulls out of the lot, I think about when we first met and smile at the memory.
I had just moved to Atlanta four years ago. I had just moved in the dorms at Emory. My roommate, Karen, was from Mississippi. She was nice at first, but as the days turned to weeks, she became seriously obnoxious! She was always leaving her dirty clothes all over the room then stealing my clothes when she ran out of her clean ones. I am pretty obsessive compulsive when it comes to my living space. I like to have my clothes neatly folded or hung in my closet. I wouldn’t have minded if she had the decency to ask me first to borrow something, but the fact that she would go into my drawers and pull out whatever she wanted was overly annoying. In order to save my sanity, I had to get a part time job. I was thankful when the Bayside Golf Club offered me a job in the club rentals. It got me out of my dorm room and away from Karen.
My first day at the club was pretty boring: filling out paperwork for W-2s and getting my picture taken for my badge, the usual. The manager, Mike Harris, was showing me around the clubhouse when he ran into the owner. It was so funny to see Mike go from calm, cool, and collected to stuttering wimp. The owner, Harold Trent, was a stern man with big hazel eyes and a receding hairline. He was only around 5’7, but he commanded a room when he was present.
His daughter, Livey, was with him. She was wearing a white skirt with a pale pink polo top. She was immediately friendly and shook my hand. She stood at five feet even, so I towered over her by six inches. She smiled and told Mike she would show me around since she knew the place better than he did. Mike was flustered. How dare that…that kid embarrass him in front of the owner! I stifled a giggle and followed Livey outside.
“Mike thinks he is a big shot around here, until he comes face to face with my dad,” Livey laughed. “Personally, I think he is a dork.” I snorted with laughter because judging by first impressions, that is exactly what I thought. Mike was around 5’7 and wore a horrible red and blue golf shirt with blue shorts to match. His hair was bleached blonde, and his brown eyes were too small for his face. He had the start of a goatee, but it consisted of about six hairs.
Livey and I walked around the first few holes, conversation came easily for us. It was like we had known each other for years. I told her I wanted to become a P.A., and I had just started my first year in Biology. She had just begun the radiology technology program at the local community college. She was very excited about it. I could look at her and tell she had a big heart and wanted to help anyone she met.
After that day, we saw each other almost every evening at the golf club. She would help her dad with paperwork or whatnot, and I would rent out the clubs to the members. After work, we would go to the mall, the movies, or just hang out. Our favorite pastime was reading through Livey’s gossip magazines and pointing out all of the hotties we saw.
Our friendship was great, and it felt good to have a friend I could talk to about my hopes and dreams, my complainants, and just about anything else. I had only one other person I could talk to like that, but that’s a painful journey down memory lane that I don’t like to venture to often. It is the one thing that Livey doesn’t know about, but I can’t bring myself to talk about it. Actually, I don’t want to tell anyone about it.
Halfway through my first year, I had my fill of Karen. I could not take anymore of her taking my stuff then throwing it on the ground when it was dirty. I complained to Livey about it. She said, “Well, I am getting ready to get my own apartment, and it’s two bedrooms. You wanna be my roommate?” After about two seconds of thinking about it, I agreed. We would move my stuff the following weekend. I knew it was the right decision. I wouldn’t have to pay to live in the dorms, and Livey’s dad paid the entire rent for two years. The only thing Karen did was help me pack.
Maybe she wasn’t so bad, unless you had to live with her.
Livey and I became so close fast. She is like the sister I never had but always wanted. We took joy in turning our first apartment into a home. She decorated in reds and golds in the living room with a modern red L-shaped sofa. The kitchen was done in black and white with even the plates and cups matching. In the hallway, we both hung pictures o as she our edilies. Livey had a picture of her dad the day he took ownership of the golf club. “I love this picture of my daddy,” Livey said, smiling at the fond memory of that day. He was holding her in his arms, a huge grin on his face as he looked lovingly at her. I had gotten to know Mr. Trent since I was his daughter’s best friend. He is a gentle man when it comes to his baby girl. Livey got her eyes from him, along with his stature. It is so obvious that she was a daddy’s girl and he loves every minute of it. Mr. Trent is not someone you want to cross. Mike did it once and he was sent packing the next day.
I hung the picture of my family that was my absolute favorite picture of my family. We had gone to Sears to have our portraits done for Easter. I was only nine at the time, and Jon was eleven.
My mom was seated and had a lovely mint green sleeveless dress that she had made herself.
Her brown hair was curled and held in place with a ton of hairspray. I was behind her with my hand on her shoulder. I had on this awful flower dress that my Aunt Stephanie had given me.
Mom insisted that I wear it. My dad was seated beside mom with his hands on hers. He had his best suit on, a grey tailored suit that he wore every Easter, and his favorite gray tie. His blue eyes were sparkling, and his hair was a chestnut brown, like mine. Jon wore his white polo shirt with khakis. We all had genuine smiles on our faces. It was the year before my dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
I snap out of my daydream, and realize I am still looking at that picture. A single tear falls down my cheek. “I promise you, Dad, I will not give up. I will make it, just like I said I would.” I head to my room to call my brother. I am feeling very homesick right now and long to see them soon.
“Alley cat! How were your finals? Did you fail miserably?” my brother jokes with me. Jon and I are the spitting image of each other. The only difference is that he is three inches taller, and he has dad’s blue eyes, where I got my mom’s green ones. “Jon, you know if I did that, you would kick my ass for sure!” I tease him back. “How is everyone doing?”
Jon sighs, “Mom is doing the best she can. She is working all the time and keeping herself busy with yard work. I went over yesterday to cut the grass for her. Jamie and Henry are doing great!
The apple of their daddy’s eye!” I hear . They have r smile in his voice when he talks about his children. Jamie and Henry are three year old twin boys and are a handful to say the least. Red hair, bright blue eyes and smiles that could stop your heart. I love my little nephews, and I miss them dearly.
“Give those boys kisses from their Auntie Alley Cat. I’ll call Mom at work and check on her. I love you, Jon.”
“Will do, Alley Cat. Take care of yourself and come home soon! Oh, and by the way, I would kick your ass if you failed. Love ya, sis!” he says and hangs up. I immediately dial my mom’s work number.
“Hi, sweetie! How are you?” she answers the phone.
“Good, mom, glad you have caller ID at work because that might have been awkward if it had been your boss,” I say, giggling.
My mom laughs and says, “Yes, I’m sure he would not have appreciated that! Anyways, how were your finals, baby?”
“They are done and over with now, thank God! I think I did really well, mom.” I beam, not able to hold my cheesy grin back. “Livey and I are going out to celebrate tonight, I’m thinking Peachtree Tavern.”
“Okay, sweetie, but take a cab, will you? For my sake!” mom says with concern etched in her voice.
I sigh. “Mom, I promise not to drive, okay?”
“Good girl! Well, honey, I hate to cut this short, but I have so much work to get done. Call me later, okay?” Mom says, sounding a bit exasperated.
“Sure, mama. I love you.”
“I love you, too. Bye” I hang up, feeling a bit better after having talked to my brother and mom. I wish I could call my dad.
I shake my head, gather my thoughts and go to the bathroom to take a shower. I undress and let the water run until it’s hot enough for my liking. I glance in the mirror, thinking once again about the beautiful man I knocked down today. I see the flush creep up on my cheeks. Why do I keep thinking about him? “Marshall, get a grip! You are not going to see him again,” my subconscious rears her ugly head. I sigh. “Well, I can at least think about him,” I sneer back at her. I step in the shower and let the hot water fall on my back. It is so soothing. I look down at my pale skin. I really need to get some sun this summer. I won’t have another summer off for some time after this year. I finish washing, get out, and vow to get a tan this time around. I wrap the towel around me and look in the mirror again. I brush out my hair and throw it in a bun. The humidity down in Atlanta is just dreadful, and my hair does not cooperate. I walk into my room to pick out what I am going to wear tonight. I think to myself, “I will have fun! I will not think about the delectable man again.”

Livey is finally home from work, taking her shower. I decided that we would party the night away at the Peachtree Tavern. I have spent the last four hours thinking about Mr. Dark and Mysterious, even though I willed myself not to. I think about how no one has ever made me feel this way, not even the only boyfriend I ever had. I think of how his hair would feel through my fingers and what was under that navy pinstripe suit. “No matter,” I think out loud to myself. “I am going to have a good time tonight!” I peer into my closet to see which outfit I should wear this evening. I choose a plain scoop neck royal blue mini dress with my favorite strappy silver heels. Damn, I can pass for downright hot tonight. I smirk in the mirror at my vanity. I decide to wear my hair down and wavy only because my straightening iron decided to die on me. Sweet Livey helps with my makeup. I always love to be her canvas. She settles on a natural look for me: a touch of blush, a bit of mascara, and some pale pink lip gloss. I frown as I think about Mr. Hotness. Too bad he couldn’t see me like this, instead of sprawled on the ground, looking like a fool. Who knows? Maybe he will show up tonight. I know it won’t happen, but it sure is nice to think about. The only problem is when I think about him, I feel like I need to change my panties. It makes me feel alive with desire.
Livey interrupts my erotic daydream. “Hey! Earth to Allie!” she teases. I shake my head and look at her.
“Sorry,” I mutter, “I was just thinking about someone…thing, something,” Shit, didn’t mean to let that slip.
“Oh, girl! You still thinking about that hottie you bumped into this morning?” I had to tell Livey, she knows almost everything about me. I told her how I looked like such an ass knocking him to the ground and how he didn’t get angry with me for doing so. “Allie, you are a total catch! You know that, right?” Livey exclaims to me. “You have killer legs, a beautiful body and face, and your mind is as big as your heart!”
“Yeah, but I stumble and trip over these “killer legs’ all the time,” I say to her. “Why couldn’t I have been born with grace?”
Livey cocks her head at me, grins and says, “Sugar, we all can’t be perfect, so don’t go tryin’ to be.”
I smile warmly at my best friend. “You’re right, ‘Suga.’” I try to imitate her accent. “Now, go get dressed! I’m ready to have a good time!”
An hour later, we are stepping out to meet our friends Cindy and Jasmine. Cindy and Jasmine are a couple of darling girls. I met them through Livey, and they are just as Southern as she is.
Cindy has dark chocolate brown eyes with hair to match. She is long and lean, keeping toned by hitting the gym every day. Jasmine has beautiful caramel skin, her kinky black curls laying on her shoulders. Her eyes are a beautiful shade of green I have never seen on another person. She is about an inch taller than Livey.
“Hey there, Dr. Marshall!” Cindy shouts as we get close to her Range Rover.
I giggle, “I‘m not going to be a doctor! Close enough though.” The girls run up to us and give us both a big bear hug, like they haven’t seen us in years.
“Damn, girl! Look at you!” Jasmine says, her light green eyes twinkling. “You clean up pretty good! Now, are you ready to hit the town?”
“You have no idea how much I need a good time tonight,” I say with a laugh.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Cindy rings out. She opens the driver’s side door and smoothes her canary yellow maxi dress down. “Let’s get this party started, ladies!” We squeal like teenagers as we head down Peachtree Road.
The line is long at Peachtree Tavern, but moves fast. A trio of guys are staring us down already.
“Those guys are totally checking you out, Livey!” I exclaim to her. “Whatever, it’s you they are looking at!” Livey pokes back. I roll my eyes at the thought. In all honesty, I’m not interested. My mind is still on the wonderful specimen of a man from this morning. I can’t understand why I’m still thinking about him. It was a split second meeting, for goodness sake! Yet, I imagine the blue eyes staring at me, and I start to get hot and bothered right there in line. I know it’s silly to think, but my heart hopes he just happens to show up tonight. I am vaguely aware that we are at the head of the line now. We walk in and the place is lively and packed! I think this is just the thing to get Mr. Hotness off my mind.
All of us head straight to the bar. The bartender winks at us and asks us what our passion is.
Cindy gets a vodka and cranberry. Jasmine decides on a Miller Lite, as does Livey. I am feeling the need to get wasted, so I ask for a Long Island Iced Tea. The bartender gets our drinks, and we pay in cash. We weave our way through the crowd and find a table that doesn’t have any glasses on it. We sit and clink our glasses together. “Cheers, to my baby girl, Allie!” Livey shouts over the people and the music. We tip our glasses up at the same time. The cold alcohol feels so good going down my throat. I don’t normally drink, but after a day like this one, I think I deserve it. We finish our drinks in five minutes tops. Jasmine stands and says, “Next round is on me!” As she walks her way back to the bar, the three of us start to people watch.
Livey points out a random guy. “He’s kinda cute, I think I’m gonna ask him to dance!” Livey stands and makes her way over to the guy. She never ceases to amaze me with how blunt and straightforward she is. As I watch Livey stroll over to the guy with his cowboy hat tipped down, I can’t help but wonder about the sexy stranger. I had never seen him around school before. I wonder why he was there. Students don’t wear suits. Shit, I’m lucky if I throw on jeans to go to class! Cindy sees some of her girlfriends from work and makes her way over to talk to them.
Now I’m alone. I really hope no creepy dude decides to come sit down and talk me up. Jasmine walks back with the same drinks we got before. As I start to down my second Long Island, I feel the alcohol take effect. I am enjoying myself, just watching my friends have a good time.
Jasmine excuses herself to go over to Cindy’s group. I wave her off and smile at her. “I’ll catch you in a bit,” Jasmine yells. I give her the thumbs up sign as she skips to the group of girls and hugs each one. Livey is getting down on the dance floor with a different guy than before. I giggle and think that the first dude looked better from far away. I close my eyes and listen to the music, bopping my head to the pulsating song. When I open them, I am looking right into the sculpted face of the man of my dreams.

Oh my goodness! My eyes fly open in surprise. One of his eyebrows cocks up at me. I am trying to process what is happening here. That beautiful man I almost ran over this morning is standing right in front of me now. He is even sexier than I remember. His eyes are a brilliant shade of baby blue, and his irises are rimmed with a darker hue. His dark brown hair hangs over his forehead and his ears. He is wearing a gray V-neck fitted shirt tucked into a pair of black distressed jeans. His skin is gently tanned, and I notice there is no ring on his left hand. Oh, thank God. His forearms and biceps look very defined. I drink him in for what seems like hours.
He clears his throat and stares at me. I look up at him, my mouth partly open. “May I join you?” he asks. As my brain is still trying to find the ability to speak again, I nod my head. He smiles and sits in the chair closest to me. “Excuse me, I know this is sudden, but would you like to dance with me?” he asks. I gape at him, but his eyes are busy scanning the dance floor, darting back and forth.
“Uh, okay,” I finally manage. He turns back towards me, his blue eyes glimmering. He stands and holds his right hand out for me. I feel a tremor as I place my hand in his. He smiles at me, showing perfectly straight white teeth. I can’t help but return his grin, although I’m sure I look more like an idiot. I stand, straighten my dress over my hips, and follow this god out to the floor. I catch a glimpse of Livey, and her face says it all. Her jaw drops open, and she stands completely still, even though the song “Womanizer” pounds out of the speakers. The guy she is dancing with continues to rub his crotch on her backside, either oblivious or drunk. I mouth to her “Oh my God!” Livey shakes her head with this silly smirk on her face. She turns her attention back to her dance partner.
We end up in the middle of the floor. The upbeat tempo has stopped as if my prayers have been answered, and a slow melody pours out. I am so grateful because my clumsiness does not stop with walking. I also can’t dance without looking like I am having a seizure. The slow dance; however, I can do this. “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts fills my ears. My Adonis turns back to me and slides his hands over my hips bones. My pulse immediately starts racing as the proximity of his sexiness overwhelms me. I put my hands on his shoulders and notice that they feel so toned.
“By the way, my name is Donovan,” he says into my ear as he pulls my body closer to his. I feel a shockwave roll through me, and my breathing stops. Well, my Mr. Hotness has a name.
I remember to get air into my lungs and tell him “I’m Allie Marshall.” My arms wrap around the nape of his neck. In response, he moves his hands from my hips to the small of my back.
Goosebumps form on my arms as surges I have never felt before ripple through me. My head instinctively leans into his chest. I feel the flex of his muscles as his hands travel across my back. He stands about four inches taller than me with my heels on. It’s weird, but I sense his grin rather than see it. I think his breathing stops a beat, then he pulls me in as close as our bodies will allow. We start to sway to the music. He bends down to my ear and whispers, “You can thank me later.”
I pull away to glare at him, my surges of lust replaced by pangs of anger. Who does he think he is? That he is God’s gift to women, and I should feel privileged to be in his arms? I actually do feel like a prayer has been answered, but I won’t let him know that. “What the hell is that suppose to mean?” I shout, the alcohol has made me a bit braver.
Donovan pulls me back with this cocky ass smirk on his face. “Don’t take offense, but see that asshole in the corner? I was standing by him and I heard him say, ‘I wanna fuck that sweet ass until dawn.’ All the while he was pointing to you. It offended me, and I cut him off at the pass when he was starting to your table, so he wouldn’t hit on you.”
My jaw drops open. I gaze up at his gorgeous face and see his blue eyes angry, staring into the near distance. I slowly turn my head to see what his eyes are glaring at. The hulk of a man is standing back about twenty feet from us, and the look he is giving us sent chills up my spine.
He is wearing an Atlanta Falcons jersey and khaki shorts. His left hand is holding a beer with the other hand clenching a fist by his side. He is incredibly huge with biceps as thick as my thigh. I shudder and whirl back to Donovan, suddenly feeling protected and safe while in his arms, even if I had only officially met him five minutes ago. “Don’t worry about him. Let him see us together and be mad,” Donovan says as his attention is directed at me again. His hands are roaming again, down my back and up again. I sigh as my insides clench. His skilled fingers reignite the lust I was feeling before. He passes one last look at the linebacker and cocks up that one eyebrow at him again, silently saying “Back off.” Donovan looks back at me, his eyes suddenly blazing into my green ones.
“Okay, okay. I see what you mean. Thank you.” I cock my head to the side with my lips curving into the most seductive smile I can muster.
“You can thank me by not leaving my side tonight.” Oh, how that one sentence could can hold so much promise. I hold my gaze on him and breathe, “Absolutely.” The song has ended, and we are still in each other’s arms. Donovan releases first and suggests we get a drink. I nod, as he links his fingers into mine.
We make our way to the bar. Donovan asks, “What’s your pleasure?” I blush as I think whether or not to tell him the truth to that question. His accent is surely Georgian, and I could listen to him speak all night.
“I’ll have a cranberry and Absolute, please.” He nods and waves over a bartender.
“What will you…“ the busty redhead barkeep stops as she blatantly stares at my knight in shining armor. His look is impassive as he asks for my drink and a Heineken for himself. The redhead bats her eyelashes and licks her upper lip. I suppose I’m not the only one affected by his beauty. As she starts pouring my cocktail, he turns to me, “I remember you from this morning,” he remarks with amusement.
I feel the burn in my cheeks as I remember knocking him over. “I am so embarrassed! I am so sorry about that. I was rushing to get to my Ethics exam,” I ramble.
He laughs. My heart skips a beat at the sound. Angels in Heaven must have leapt for joy when he was created. “Hey, don’t worry about it. It’s fine, no harm done,” he says with a chuckle. The redhead places our drinks on the bar. Donovan pulls out his wallet and hands her a twenty and tells her to keep the change. The bartender’s eyes light up. She gives him bedroom eyes as she takes the money from his hand, her fingers lingering a little too long for my taste. He waves her off and turns back to me. I see her face darken as she looks at me. My lips twitch into a “fuck you” grin, and she stomps off to help the next customer.
Donovan’s beautiful eyes bore into me, his eyes hooded with an unknown emotion. I wish I could tell what he was thinking. He shakes his head, closes his eyes for a heartbeat, and opens them again, with whatever feeling he just had gone. I feel a bit disappointed, I kind of liked that look.
“So, ethics, huh?” he casually asks.
“Yeah. It was my last class. I graduate this coming up weekend. I plan on becoming a Physician Assistant.” I tell him.
“What is your GPA?” Donovan asks as he starts on his beer.
“Uh..a 4.0,” I reply, sheepishly. I don’t like bragging, but I am extremely proud of my hard work.
Donovan almost spits out his beer and chokes. “Holy fuck, a 4.0? That’s insane!” he blurts out as he wipes his chin.
“I studied really hard. I want to pursue my dreams.” I mumble, a bit hurt by his reaction. Is he surprised that I’m smart?
“Wow, I am impressed! I graduated college at Emory with a 3.7, and I busted my ass for that. It even got me into medical school. A 4.0 in college is pretty damn good.” Donovan exclaims. Oh, Dr. Donovan, is he?
“I didn’t know you were a doctor,” I say, as my green eyes mock his reaction, raised in surprise.
“Well, how could you know? We’ve known each other five minutes,” he jokes, as he pokes my side. His expression suddenly changes as he touches me to something that seems almost sexual. He steps closer to me and touches my face. My breathing is rapid already. “Of course, I would like to know you better. Much better,” he whispers hoarsely, and before I have a chance to react, his lips are on mine, possessing them as his own. I am in shock, but it just feels too damn good to stop him. I part my mouth for him to invade me, and he does just that. His kiss deepens with his tongue swirling around mine. I kiss him back with a passion I have never felt before. My hands reach for his hair, and I entangle my fingers in it, pulling and tugging. It feels like I imagined, like pure silk. His hands move from my cheek to my back, pulling me in close.
I cannot believe this is happening so fast. He pulls his mouth from mine, and I feel a tug of disappointment; I flash my eyes to his.
“Wow! What was that?” I ask, breathless.
Donovan runs his hands through his hair. “Shit, I’m sorry. I just lost control. It won’t happen again,” he apologizes. Well, I want it to happen again. Donovan glances back at the angry linebacker, giving him a look that says “she’s with me, punk.”
“Come on, let’s go,“ Donovan wraps his arm around my waist and leads me back to our table. I see that my friends are sitting there, gawking at me as we walk up.
“Hi,” I say with a small wave. All of them turn towards Donovan at the same time. I introduce Livey, Cindy, and Jasmine. “Hi ladies,” Donovan says politely.
“Well, whatcha waitin’ for? Have a seat and join us…” Livey offered, obviously fishing for a name.
“Donovan. Donovan Callahan. Thank you,” he says, holding out a chair for me. I sit and look at my friends, each with a little pink in her face. Good grief, does he have this effect on everyone?
Then I realize I just learned his last name, and I know exactly who he is.

“Oh my God!” Livey blurts out, her eyes like a deer in the headlights. “You’re Donovan Callahan!
That’s crazy!”
“Well, yeah. We already established that,” Donovan says, that cocky ass smirk creeps across his full lips. My mouth hangs open, mindlessly gawking at him.
“You dated that reality star, Claire Dubois!” Livey exclaims. My best friend keeps up to date on the stars of her favorite reality show, Atlanta Society. I remember Donovan from her gossip magazines. Holy crap.
I remember that day. I was on the floor trying to do my Biology homework, and Livey was avoiding hers. She was reading one of her magazines and told me to take a look at the article she was reading. I rolled my eyes, but decided to humor her. Livey handed me the magazine and said, “Check out this hottie! He’s dating that bitch, Claire Dubois.” Claire Dubois was “the queen bitch” on the show. She would dig her claws into every woman she met, and Livey would tell me about the cat fights these “ladies” got into. I took a look at the picture and saw a very attractive couple. The caption read, “Claire Dubois steps out with a handsome medical student, Donovan Callahan. When questioned how they met, the couple kept mum on the subject. Claire told us, ‘I get what I want, end of story.’ She sure is feisty! Lets hope her boy toy can handle her!”
The picture was taken on the red carpet in Hollywood, something about a premier of a new movie, I don’t remember. I do remember Donovan and Claire. Claire wore a form fitting floor length red dress. The neckline plunged almost to her navel with a slit up the side, exposing her toned legs. Her hair was cut into a platinum blonde bob, and her makeup was perfect. Her eyes were a fierce shade of brown. She looked as if everyone’s head would turn when she walked in a room. Donovan was wearing a black tux and a silver tie. His hair was shorter back then. He was downright sexy.
I continued to read that article. “Claire Dubois and boy toy, Donovan Callahan, stepped out as a couple last month. That in itself would be fine, but Claire’s husband, Frank Dubois, the successful TV producer, was found dead in their Atlanta home just two months ago. The cause of death is still being determined by the medical examiner’s office. Many people think that it is too soon for Claire to start dating, especially a man who is ten years younger than she is. The rumors continue to swirl around Claire, asking if she had something to do with Frank Dubois’ death. Only time will tell.”
Donovan shifts in his seat, obviously uncomfortable. “Yeah, that was a long time ago. I was young, stupid, and blinded by a little bit of fame.”
“I read they convicted her of killing her husband, like, almost three years ago,” Livey continues on her rambling. I wish she would stop, because this is becoming a very tense conversation.
I see Donovan’s face turning red, and he’s shaking his foot on the ground. Still, Livey carries on. “The prosecutors said the evidence pointed to her. I read that they even got the guy who sold her the arsenic to testify! And the medical examiner got paid a million dollars to “lose the findings of the autopsy.” I heard he got his license taken away and is still sitting in jail.” I shoot her a look, and she finally gets the point. I love that girl, but sometimes she doesn’t know when to stop.
I hear Donovan sigh. “Yes, I know what happened in the trial. I was there, too.” He runs his hand through his hair.
“Donovan, I’m sorry. That was rude of me. I shouldn’t have brought it up,” Livey says, with her eyes downcast, like she was being punished. She knows she crossed the line with him, and apparently, it’s a very touchy subject for him to hear, let alone discuss.
Donovan looks at me, his gaze impassive. “I’m going to get another beer, would you ladies like another drink?” he asks.
“No thanks. I still have half of my drink left,” I tell him. My friends just shake their heads, “No,” the moment being too awkward to speak. He nods, stands, and makes his way back to the bar, hopefully not to the busty redhead. My eyes follow him until he’s lost in the crowd of people.
I turn toward Livey, who is still embarrassed about her little episode. “I’m so sorry, Allie. I’m pretty buzzed, and I just kept rambling. I hope he’s not too mad at me,” Livey gives me her puppy dog eyes.
My anger fades; I know she didn’t meant it. “Please, Livey, don’t bring up Claire’s name again.”
Livey crosses her heart and says, “I promise.”
“Good, thank you,” I reach for my drink and pound it down my throat. I have to admit that I’m kind of drunk, too. I’m a much quieter drunk than Livey is. She will talk to almost anyone, where as I sit back and watch people. My friend scoots over to the chair where Donovan was sitting and hugs me. I squeeze her back. She tells me, “You know, he is the hottest guy in this place tonight, and you got to kiss him!”
I giggle. “Yeah, he’s really hot, and he is a pretty great kisser,” I say as I lean my head on top of her head. Cindy and Jasmine see some more of their friends and leave the table to speak to them. They both touch my shoulder as they walk by, letting me know they feel sorry for me. Livey gives me a kiss on the check and stands. “I’ll leave you two alone for a little while.
Besides, I wanna find the guy I was dancing with earlier. He’s the second hottest guy in this place tonight.” She winks at me as she turns on her heel. I let out a heavy sigh. I really hope that doesn’t deter Donovan from getting to know me better.
My mind is reeling by the time Donovan comes back to the table. He’s carrying his bottle of beer and a plate of nachos. “I figured you might want something to eat; hope you like lots of fattening cheese and chili.” He grins at me. I notice his foul mood is gone. Maybe it’s because Livey isn’t at the table.
I beam back at him, “Yes, I love nachos! Good choice!”
He sits in the chair beside me and puts the plate down. “Dig in!” He picks up a tortilla chip, dripping with cheese and pops it in his mouth. How can he make something simple like eating, into something so damn sexy. I realize I’m famished, so I help myself. We sit, stuffing our faces, and I find myself enjoying this comfortable silence with Donovan. Even though the music is still blaring all around us, it’s like we are in our own private bubble made for two.
“You know, I totally get why your friend brought up Claire. A lot of people still do. It’s just that I get really irritated by even her name,” Donovan says as he picks up another chip.
“Livey is really great. It’s just that sometimes her brain doesn’t filter what comes out of her mouth,” I blush, still embarrassed about the whole conversation. “I’m sure it’s a touchy subject.”
I remember reading on Access Atlanta about the trial and how dramatized it was. There were stories of affairs, payoffs, and then of course, there was Donovan. The prosecution tried to blame him for the murder of Frank Dubois, but they had absolutely no evidence against him.
The poor guy. There were no cameras allowed in the courtroom, so the court had sketch artists come in. They did an amazing job capturing Claire Dubois’ pretty face, contorted by anger and guilt. I watched Atlanta Society one time, and I was not impressed by her acting skills.
I remember seeing the pictures of Donovan, his baby blue eyes red rimmed from tears. His expression was filled with sadness as he spoke of the relationship with his much older mistress.
That look haunted me for a few days. My heart broke for him then, like it does now.
I watch this sexy man, sitting here with me and wonder what it’s like inside his head. Does he think about Claire often or not at all? Part of me wants to know the answer, but the reasonable side says I should wait to question him about that. I haven’t known him long enough to ask.
Donovan stops eating and shifts his eyes towards me. “Enjoying yourself?” He curls his lips into a sideways grin. He looks so carefree at the moment. I want to keep that going. I pucker my lips at him, and it makes his smile widen.
“So, you’re a doctor, huh? Is that why you were at school today?” I ask, with my chin in my hands, gazing at him.
Donovan smiles, “Well, I’m a second year resident. I’m doing my residency in family medicine at the Emory Clinic. I was there to speak to one of my old professors about a case I’m working on.”
He takes a swig of his beer. “What about you? What do you want to do?”
The question sounds so innocent, but if I’m not mistaken, there are sexual undertones to it. I squirm in my seat. I glance at this beautiful man and notice his eyes are burning, the blue taking on an almost dangerous look to them. Damn, that’s hot. I recover and answer, “I want to work with heart patients. It’s a passion of mine. The heart is so complicated, and it also hits home,” I trail off, thinking of my dad.
Donovan’s look softens. “I think that’s great. You know, I can help you study. I’ve already done the medical school thing. I might have a few tricks under my belt that could help you.” My heart flutters at the thought. This man, who is the epitome of sexiness, wants to be my study partner?
Oh, good Lord, help me.
“Sure, that would be great,” I squeak, as I try to maintain my composure. “I could really use the advice.”
He smirks, surely noticing the ridiculous grin on my face. “Here’s my cell phone number,” He writes the digits on the back of a napkin. “Sorry, I don’t have anything else to write on,” he comments, with a delicious smile on his lips. My breath stops for a second. He radiates sex appeal. How I wish those lips were on me, everywhere. Donovan hands me his number. When I go to take it from him, he grabs the back of my head gently and pulls me in so we are nose to nose. “May I?” he asks in a whisper that’s so deep and low, it immediately excites me. Before I have time to even think about it, I press my lips to his. This time I possess his mouth as my own, greedily taking what I want to be mine.
I forget where I am. I am so completely lost in Donovan’s presence. As our kiss intensifies, the world seems to fall away. I feel nothing but him. His hands grasp my face as we slide our tongues back and forth between our mouths. All of these feelings are alien to me, but I love it.
Donovan pulls away slightly and breathes, “I am losing complete control of myself around you. I can’t help it.”
“Then don’t,” I whisper as I open my eyes. He stares at me, blue eyes seductive through long, dark lashes.
“You forget where we are. I know, I did too,” Donovan says as he sits back. “There’s a time and place for things like that.”
My whole body tingles, and I can’t help but feel joyful at the thought. I’ve never thought about a guy this way, so fast. It’s so sudden, but it feels so damn right. “But don’t become a one night stand,” I tell myself.
“Look, I’d like to take you out, but not somewhere like this,” Donovan waves his hand around the bar. I look and see most of the people here are drunk college kids, screaming and laughing way too loud.
“You mean, right now?” I ask, feeling hopeful. Even though it’s stifling in this bar, chills run through me and the goosebumps return.
“Well, it’s late right now, baby doll. We can’t go out to eat, but maybe we could go get some coffee or something?” Donovan asks, hinting with his eyes and voice.
Baby doll? I like it. Only a Southern man could get away with that term of endearment, especially if that Southern man is Donovan. “Whatever the good doctor thinks is okay with me,” I beam at him. Wow, I went from feeling like a complete idiot by knocking Donovan down to completely mesmerized by him.
Donovan stands and holds his hand out for me. “You should at least tell your friends we are leaving. I’ll wait here for you.” I place my hand into his, and he helps me up. Donovan pulls his hand to his lips and kisses my knuckles lightly. I relish his touch. It’s quickly becoming a drug that I could become addicted to. It makes my heart race and my blood boil. I stand and turn to find my friends.
As I spot Lively, the angry linebacker steps in front of me. My heart drops to my stomach and my eyes widen in alarm. I instantly take a step backwards. “Hello there, sugar,” he slurs, his horrible breath reeks of beer. He steps closer to me and grabs my arm. I try to jerk away, but he is way too strong. “You’ve been prancing around here, showing your sweet ass all night to me.” Oh, shit, he’s delusional. “Now I want what’s mine, and you’re going to give it to me.” The linebacker tries to hike up my dress and exposes my panties. I scream, “Get the fuck off me!!”
My words make it worse.
“Oh, baby. That makes me so horny when you struggle.” The vile man starts to slobber on my neck and move his other hand up my thigh. I have enough strength to push his hand away. As I haul my hand up to slap him, I see Donovan out of the corner of my eye. It happens so fast.
Donovan clenches his fist and makes direct contact with his nose. The linebacker releases me and screeches. His huge hands are now holding back spewing blood from his broken nose. My eyes are huge and tears start to pool in them as I feel Donovan grab my shoulders.
“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” Donovan asks with urgency. I shake my head and bury my face into his chest. Then the sobs start to come, and I can’t control them. Donovan holds me and strokes my hair on the back of my head. “It’s alright. I’m here,” he says as he soothingly rocks me back and forth.
Livey comes out of nowhere and spins me out of Donovan’s arms. “Did he touch you? What the hell happened?” she asks, her voice laced with concern and anger. A crowd has formed around us. I look over towards the linebacker, who being forcefully directed out by the bouncers, blood covering his face and hands.
“That asshole came on to me, but Donovan punched him out of nowhere,” I gasp for breaths in between sobs. Donovan wraps his toned arm around my shoulder. My body is racked with the crying. He strokes his hand down my arm, and I suddenly feel safe again. I wrap my arms around his waist and lean my forehead against his chest. I feel his rapid heartbeat on my temple.
“Do you want us to call the police, ma’am?” the manager says as she walks up to us. “That asshole is always causing problems.” The stocky brunette looks at me with pity. Her Peachtree Tavern t-shirt is untucked, and she has on khaki cargo pants. Her face looks sullen, like a woman you wouldn’t want to mess with. She looks so gruff, but her voice is sincere.
“No, I just want to leave,” I mumble, mortified that this has caused such a scene. Donovan still has his protective grip on me while Livey, Cindy, and Jasmine crowd around me.
“Ma’am, I hope you are okay. Look, if you change your mind, you can call me. I’ll give the cops my statement.” The manager, whose nametag says Jessie, takes my hand and pats it. “Thank you,” is all I can muster at this point. My sobs have stopped, but they have left me spent. Livey grabs my purse off the ground and hands it to me while the manager breaks up the crowd.
“Baby girl, we should get you home,’ Livey says. I glance up at Donovan, whose anger is still palpable on his lovely face. He runs his free hand through his hair while the other still rests on my shoulder. His grey shirt is sweat stained, and he looks so angry.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right, Livey,” my voice barely a whisper. I don’t want to end my evening with Donovan, but it looks like I may have to take a rain check on the coffee.
“Did you want me to drive you home?” Donovan asks. “I brought my car. I really don’t mind. In fact, I want to.”
I glance towards my friends. “Yeah, I’m going to let Donovan drive me home. Please don’t let me ruin your night. Stay. Have a good time.” In all honesty, I want some more time with Donovan. I enjoy his presence. It surrounds me and overwhelms me, and right now, that’s all I want.
Livey contemplates this idea. I think she knows that I want to hang out with Donovan, but she wants to be the one that’s there for me. Livey sighs and gives in. “Okay, sweetie, but we are going to leave too. We are heading to grab a bite at Wendy’s, you want anything?” she offers.
“No, I’m okay, really. Just call me when you’re on the way home.” I tell her. We say our goodbyes to my girls and head out the door. My eyes scan the parking lot, looking for the linebacker. When I don’t see him, I breathe a sigh of relief. Donovan keeps his hold on me as we walk to his car. We reach the same BMW I had seen earlier this morning. Donovan releases me and opens the passenger side door for me. I slide in, and he shuts it. Donovan stops and looks around for my attacker. When he is completely satisfied, he slips into the driver’s side with ease. I admire the car’s beauty. It’s clean, and the black leather looks as though it’s been well taken care of. There is black tint on the windows. The stereo is custom made with lots of knobs and lights. Donovan’s iPod is laying on the cup holder. Donovan turns the key and roars the engine. Instead of shifting into reverse, he turns to me.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t stop that jerk sooner. I only turned to finish my beer, only took my eyes off of you for a second. By the time I turned to look for you, the guy was grabbing you and trying to assault you,” Donovan clenches his teeth, his brow furrowed.
“Please don’t blame yourself. It is not your fault,” I plead as I shift in my seat to face him, my eyes trained on his.
“But it did happen and it fucking pisses me off!” Donovan bellows as he slams both his fists on the steering wheel, making me jump.
I place my hand on his thigh. “Please don’t do this to yourself. You can’t beat yourself up over what some crazy guy did.” Donovan grabs my hand and whips around to face me, his eyes showing his fear.
“I was terrified. I really thought he would hurt you,” Donovan’s voice trails off.
My heart sinks. I don’t want him to feel tortured and helpless. “I’m fine, really. I was scared, too.
But somehow, I knew you would…protect me. I am grateful that you were there. Thank you.” I keep my eyes locked on his baby blues as I knot my fingers in my lap. Donovan’s bright eyes are full of emotion. My heart skips a beat, maybe two. It’s like he puts me in a trance. He takes me to a place where I feel calm and safe, like nothing can touch me. And the feeling scares me to death. I feel like it’s too fast. I’ve only met him and already feel this connection with him. I can’t think straight with Donovan around me. At the same time, I already crave more of him.
“Allie, I…” Before he can say another word, I grab his face and slam my mouth to his. I hear his gasp of surprise, and it turns me on more. I don’t know if it’s the alcohol making me braver, since I’ve never acted this way, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s Donovan. Either way, I don’t care right now. I grab his hair with my hands and kiss him fiercely, trying to convey all the attraction I feel towards him all in this one kiss. He moans into my mouth as my tongue slides around his. I inhale his wonderful scent of body wash and cologne. They should bottle this stuff, it’s absolutely intoxicating.
Donovan puts his hands on the sides of my neck, holding on to me for dear life. He returns the forcefulness of my kiss, and I realize he feels this way, too. He takes his hands off my neck, then pulls me onto his lap so I am straddling him. I don’t care if we are in the middle of a parking lot, I want this sexy man right now. The magnetism between us is completely primal lust, and it excites me in ways I didn’t know were possible.
As we sit here, entangled in each others arms, all touches and tongues, the desire builds up inside my belly. I’m on fire and the only thing that can put me out is Donovan.

“Allie, please,” Donovan begs me. His voice is husky and deep. His skilled fingers run up and down my back, learning the curves of my body. “God, you are so sexy. You drive me crazy,” he says as our mouths pull apart. He starts to trail feather like kisses down my jaw and neck. His hands move down to my thighs and raise my dress slightly, showing the lace of my boy short panties. I roll my head back and close my eyes. My back arches so my breasts are pushed up towards Donovan. He takes advantage and cups my breasts with his palms. My nipples pucker from the touch. Donovan’s lips have moved to my collar bone, lightly nipping and sucking as he goes. I softly groan and shiver as his touch makes me wet. Donovan plants kisses on the tops of my breast that peek out from the neckline of my dress.
“My God, I want to touch every part of you,” Donovan breathes as he pulls down the top of my dress, exposing my lacy bra. “Oh, this is nice,” he grins and proceeds to gently pull my bra under my breasts, pushing them higher. He rolls his tongue around one of my nipples, and my body reacts, quivering from this intimate pleasure. Donovan licks me and uses his teeth, lightly grazing. He takes great pleasure in turning me on. The proof is the rock hard erection I can feel through my underwear. I instinctively rock my hips back and forth, my body begging him to thrust inside me.
He stops abruptly. We are both panting and fogging up the windows of his BMW. Donovan stares at me, his eyes wide. “Oh, shit. We are still in the parking lot. People might see us!”
He lifts me off of him. I sit back in my seat and put myself back together. I’m stunned by the abruption because I wanted more, and I thought he did too.
“But your windows are tinted.” I frown.
Donovan smirks at me. “Well, baby doll, I don’t want to take that chance. I’m a doctor, and you want into the P.A. program, so I don’t think either one of us wants to be arrested for indecent exposure.” My cheeks redden at the thought. He’s right. I did get caught up in the heat of the moment.
“You’re right. We should be more careful,” I mumble, still hot and bothered for this beautiful man. I notice his hair is tousled and sexy. Donovan’s cheeks are also a bit flushed. It’s nice to know he is just as affected by me as I am by him.
Donovan puts the car in reverse, and we turn out of the Peachtree Tavern parking lot. I instruct him to turn left, then right. I sit and listen to the music coming from the stereo. It’s some top 40’s station, and it’s playing Adele. I let her sultry voice rush over me. I notice Donovan’s hand has stayed on my knee the entire time. The gesture is sweet and protective, not sexual, and I beam to myself. As we drive further down the road, I take a minute to study his features. His jaw is square and looks as if it was chiseled by a sculptor. His nose is straight, and his lips are full and a bit swollen from my earlier assault on them. Donovan suddenly cuts his eyes to me. I feel like I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar. He smiles a sideways grin at me and asks, “You like?” He then licks his bottom lip. God, I want those lips back on me.
“I should ask you the same thing, doctor,” I bat my eyelashes at him.
“Oh, you have no idea how much I like it,” Donovan slides his hand farther up my thigh. “Oh, by the way, those panties you have on? Very nice.” My mouth pops open. I can’t believe how much this man can turn me on with only a few words. I don’t understand how I can feel this much this fast. I think that I must be cautious about my feelings and try to hold back. I don’t want to get hurt again. I silently pray that this works out for us. Maybe we should slow things down a bit.
The only problem is being around him makes the lust impossible to ignore. The looks Donovan gives, the way he kisses me, and those incredible bedroom eyes. Heaven help me!
“Where do I turn?” Donovan asks as we pull into my apartment complex, snapping me out of my dirty thoughts.
“Turn left. I live in A2,” I tell him. The apartments where Livey and I live are modest but have a whimsical Southern charm to them. White dogwood trees line the sidewalks. The trees have bloomed already, but they still remind me of my home in Virginia. The building itself is red brick with white trim around the windows. Vintage lamp posts are set up in the parking lot. The landscape is freshly manicured and up kept. Donovan pulls beside my Mustang and shuts off the engine. He sits for a minute before he looks at me. His blue eyes seem to expose my soul, and the feeling is overwhelming, but it excites me as well.
“I’ll walk you to your door,” Donovan says as he takes my hand into his and kisses my knuckles.
“Yes, please,” I whimper, dreading this night coming to an end. He winks at me as he opens his car door. He walks with a smooth grace to my side. He opens the door and offers his hand, which I gladly accept. I use my other hand to grab my purse. He bends his elbow so I can loop my arm through. We slowly walk down the sidewalk to my apartment.
“You know, you can hang out here for a little while, if you want,” I say impassively, but inside I want to beg him to stay. I muster up the most alluring look I can and blink my eyes at him.
Donovan grins. “Well, I have to work in the morning at the clinic.” My disappointment must be pronounced because he quickly adds, “But I can stay for a few minutes. I would like to see your apartment.” My mood instantly brightens. I turn to the door and unlock it. I am really glad Donovan is here with me as we walk in. I’m still frightened from the linebacker blitz on me. I shudder as the thought comes unwelcome in my mind. I quickly flip on the light.
“Nice place you got here,” Donovan says politely.
“Yes, it is cozy. Livey and I have lived here for almost four years. She has all the interior design skills, not me,” I smile.
Donovan laughs, “I’m sure there are a few touches of yours around here.”
I toss my purse and keys onto the table. “Make yourself at home. I’m going to go change.” I offer for Donovan to have a seat. “I won’t be long.” I head down the hallway to my room and shut the door.
My heart is racing. Oh my, Donovan Callahan is in my living room! I beam at the very thought. I debate whether or not I should put on something sexy. I rummage through my dresser drawers and realize I don’t even own something sexy. I decide on cute instead and put on my gray shorts and black tank top. I throw my hair up in a bun and look in the mirror. “Good enough,” I say to myself. Now to wash this damn makeup off my face. I open my door and see Donovan looking at my family picture.
“This your family?” he asks.
“No, those are some random people I decided to take a picture of and hang in my home,” I tease him.
“You’re a smartass!” he jokes back.
I laugh. He is so cute right now. So far, I’ve known him one night, and I’ve seen sexy, angry, frustrated, and playful Donovan. I like the sexy and playful side of him.
“Yes, that’s me, my parents, and my brother, Jon,” I look at the picture with him, “They live back in Lynchburg.”
“Lynchburg? Tennessee?” Donovan questions, eyebrows raised.
“No, Virginia. It’s a small college town with nothing to do, but I call it home.”
“Well, I have to say, you look adorable in your flowered dress, and your mom is kind of hot.”
Donovan wisely ducks as I swat at him. “Hey, come on. You two look alot alike. I was paying you a compliment, too.” I swat at him again and catch his arm. “Ow, that hurt, you brute,” he says. He rubs his arm like he’s in pain. I kiss his arm, just like my mom used to do when I skinned my knees. “Thank you, much better,” he winks at me.
Donovan turns back to the picture. “So, do you have any other siblings?”
“No, it’s just Jon and me. But my brother does have twin boys who light up my world. Their names are Jamie and Henry.” I beam at the sound of their names. God, I love those boys.
“Bet their auntie Allie spoils them rotten.”
“They have me wrapped around their fingers, for sure,” I smile warmly. I really need to get a picture of those two on my wall.
“So, are your parents still together?” Donovan asks casually as he glances at the other pictures in the hallway.
I let out a sigh and say, “Sort of.”
Donovan turns his head and cocks an eyebrow at me. “Well, that’s an odd answer. What does that mean? Are they separated, but not divorced?”
“No, my dad died of heart disease two years ago. He was only fifty. He missed his fifty-first birthday by three weeks. My mom vowed to never get married again after he passed, and she still wears her wedding ring,” I choke up on the last two words, and I feel the burn of the unshed tears in my eyes. “He died while I was here in Atlanta. I didn’t get the chance to say good-bye.
The heart attack was so sudden, and it killed him almost instantly.” My tears are unleashed, and they start to trickle down my face. “I miss him dearly. He is the whole reason I want to get into healthcare. I want to help other people manage their diseases and not die so young,”
Donovan is standing in front of me. He wipes my tears away with his thumbs as he cups my face. “Please don’t cry, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure he’s very proud of you and who you are.” I wrap my arms around his neck.
“Please don’t leave me here alone with my thoughts. I just…just need you here with me,” I sob into his neck, tears coming unchecked. Donovan strokes my hair, and I find it very soothing.
“Okay, okay, I’ll stay. I keep an extra pair of scrubs in my locker at the clinic.” He keeps running his fingers through my hair.
I instantly start to feel better just knowing he is staying. I wipe the rest of my tears with the back of my hand. “Thank you so much. That means a lot,” I whisper as he gently rocks me back and forth. It feels so good to be held like this.
I sniffle, then ask Donovan if he wants anything to eat. “Actually, yes. I’m pretty hungry. We didn’t get to finish our nachos. Want to get a pizza? I think everything else is closed right now.”
“Sure, works for me. I like sausage on mine,” I tell him as I go to get my wallet. I pull out some money and turn to give it to Donovan, who is already on the phone with Papa John’s. He shakes his head and mouths “No.”
“I don’t mind paying. You bought me drinks tonight,” I try to hand him the money again, and he refuses it. He hangs up the phone.
“Oh, no you don’t. I was raised to not let a girl pay for dinner. My father might backhand me if I let you pay.”
I’m defeated, so I reluctantly put the money back in my wallet. Donovan seems too good to be true. He’s all I ever wanted in a guy. He’s sweet, polite, willing to defend me, and sexy as hell.
I wonder what he sees in me. “It’s probably your body,” comes into my mind. I shake my head and push the thought back down.
Donovan plops on the couch. “What time do you think Livey will be home? I don’t want her to freak out when she sees me here. I may want to hide in your closet,” he chuckles
“Oh, shit! Livey! I better text her!” I snatch my cell out of my purse and write:
*At home, when r u coming?*
Thirty seconds later a reply:
*At Wendy’s. DC there?*
I type:
*Yes, he’s staying over tonight*
Her response is:
*Don’t do anything dumb. I’ll sleep at Cindy’s. Love you*
I have a smile from ear to ear, knowing my best friend worries about me and loves me. She is also doing me a huge favor by staying at Cindy’s. “Livey is staying at our friend Cindy’s house.”
I sit down beside him on the couch.
Donovan’s lips curl into a wicked smile, showing those perfectly straight white teeth. “Isn’t she a good friend?”
I swallow. That look brings out the sexy Donovan. A look like this could set off all the fire alarms in this building.

Donovan lunges at me before I can jump on him myself. He must be a mind reader. The electricity between us is amazing. I feel such a pull towards him and I can’t stop it.
He lays on top of me, hands placed on both sides of my head with his arms stretched up so he can look down on me. “You really are beautiful, you know that?” Donovan lowers onto his elbows, bringing his face to mine. His blue eyes are scorching with pure desire for me. Shit, that’s so hot. He kisses me first with a closed mouth then gently tugs on my bottom lip. I moan, unable to control it.
“Now, where did we leave off? Oh, yes, I remember,” Donovan whispers in my ear, his voice deep and husky. He plunges his tongue into my mouth, kissing me with such intensity and passion. I run my fingers through his brown hair and tug, urging him to kiss me deeper. He obliges and runs his tongue over and under mine. He shifts his weight to one arm and uses his other hand to palm one of my breasts. He pulls my tank top down so my chest lifts up. His lips leave mine and take one my protruding nipples into his mouth slowly.
“Damn, you have the most amazing body,” Donovan growls as he swirls his tongue around my left breast. I whimper in response. He flicks his magic tongue and gently tugs. Fuck me, this is so sexy. He switches breasts and starts the sensual torture again. I tilt my pelvis up, unable to ignore the wetness between my legs.
“Let’s lose this shirt, shall we?” Donovan pulls my tank top off over my head. I’m not wearing a bra, so I’m naked from the waist up. “This is like unwrapping a birthday present,” he says as he throws my shirt on the floor. He licks me in my cleavage, and my backs bows off the couch. I bite my lip, trying to stifle my moans. “No, baby, let me hear you,” Donovan releases my lip.
“Please, Donovan,” I can’t control this feeling building up inside me, waiting to combust.
“Patience, baby. We are still waiting on the pizza guy to get here.”
Crap, I forgot. I’m not hungry, at least not for food. Donovan says, “Don’t worry, it’ll still be another forty-five minutes.”
“Or, what? It’s free?”
Donovan cocks his eyebrow at me and laughs. He looks breathtaking this way, on top of me, hair hanging down off his forehead. He doesn’t say another word. He just starts his sweet punishment again, this time kissing me on my navel, running his tongue down my belly. “I think you should lose these shorts, too.” He slowly pulls the shorts down and slides them off. Now I’m in nothing but my panties, completely exposed to him.
“It’s not exactly fair that I’m almost naked and you’re not.” I grab the hem of his shirt and pull it up. Donovan sits up and slides it over his head. His chest is so toned and smooth. He has six pack abs and muscular biceps. I want to touch every part of him. I go for the zipper on his pants next and pull it down. “Now these too. It’s only fair,” I smirk at him as I put my hands just below his waist line. I feel the trail of hair that leads to where I want to go. Donovan’s breath hitches as I slip off his jeans down to his knees. He struggles out of them and kicks them on the floor. He’s wearing navy blue boxer briefs, and his erection is poking through. Oh, my, how the hell is that going to fit in me?
“Don’t worry, it’ll fit,” Donovan must see the terrified expression on my face. “But I’m not ready for that just yet. I still want to have some fun with you.” With that being said, he returns to my stomach, leaving light kisses all over. He slides his fingers beneath the top of my panties and I squirm beneath him. He surprises me by yanking them down and leaving me naked, Donovan kisses me on my inner thigh and I grab his hair. I know where he’s going with this, and I can’t wait for it. I try pushing his head, urging him to go down on me. I feel the smile against my leg, Oh, this is torture.
Donovan finally gives in to my selfish desires and kisses me on the apex of my thighs. I jump at the alien feeling of a man being so close to my private area. Its embarrassing in a way but sexy as hell, too. He uses his hands to spread my legs further. He licks from top to bottom and back again. I feel the stubble that has appeared on his jaw line. I clench his hair and arch my back. He repeats this motion over and over again, each time pushing me closer and closer to my orgasm. I thrash my head and loudly moan his name.
“Come for me, baby. Let it go,” and with those words, I find my release. My first climax ever and it has to be the best orgasm known to woman. It feels like I had an out of body experience.
It rocks me to my core and makes my head swim. My heart is beating out of my chest, and the blood is pounding in my ears. Holy shit, that was almost too much.
Donovan lifts his head up to look at me, his blue eyes hooded. I pant while I stare at him, the evidence of my arousal on his lips. He moves up my body till he’s face to face with me.
“My God, that was amazing,” I breathe as he continues to stare at me with those blue eyes smoldering.
“I’m still not done,” he slips his boxer briefs off and stands to get something out of his pants.
“Are you on any birth control?”
I blush. “Yes,” I mutter, embarrassed by the question. I take it to regulate my periods, but I’m not bringing that up right now.
“Good, but I am still going to use this,” he tells me as he pulls a silver wrapper from his jeans.
Damn, does he always carry those on him? I frown at the thought.
He rolls the condom down his shaft and turns back to me. I stare, wide-eyed, at the considerable size of his erection. I’m still not sure this is going to fit in me.
Donovan lays back on top of me and kisses me deeply. I taste myself in that kiss. That’s so….weirdly hot. As his tongue commands my mouth, he takes one hand, wraps it around his length and uses the tip to tease my swollen clit. That alone could get me off if he did it long enough. He rubs it around, teasing me until I can’t take it anymore. “Please, Donovan.” I beg him, digging my fingers into the flesh of his back.
My plea works, and he slowly thrusts the length of his shaft all the way in me. I grimace, the feeling is painful at first, since I haven’t had sex in years. He looks down at me, concerned.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just not used to this.” I grab his shoulders and throw my head back, completely turned on now at the feeling of his fullness. He doesn’t move for a minute, letting me get used to how big he is. Then he slowly pulls out. “Again?” he growls in my ear, a deep sexy sound from the back of his throat. I nod, unable to think about anything else except that I want more of him. He thrusts again, a little harder this time. I whimper. The feeling is wonderful now the pain is gone. Then Donovan sets into a rhythm, getting faster and harder with each time.
I wrap my legs around his waist and meet his thrusts with my hips. That feeling of combustion has returned, and I welcome it, knowing what pleasure will come of it.
“Oh, fuck,” Donovan moans. I grab his tight ass and make him go deeper. I feel the flex of his muscles, and it turns me on more. I want this; I need this. I scratch my nails down his back, and he pants as I keep up with his pounding. Finally, when my body can tolerate no more, I explode around him, loudly swearing as I find my sweet relief. My body is spent, and it feels great. This is what sex is supposed to feel like? Wow.
Donovan thrusts one more time and holds onto my hips. I feel him throbbing and pulsating, and I realize he also finds his release. He collapses on top of me. “Holy shit,” is all he can say as we both come down from our high. Our heartbeats slow together, and I hug him tightly. He pushes my hair out of my face and tucks it behind my ear. We are both damp with sweat and the smell of sex fills the room. He plants a swift, sweet kiss on my lips and pulls out of me, I cringe at the feeling. He heads to the bathroom still gloriously naked, and I hear a flush a minute later. I giggle, realizing I wouldn’t want Livey finding a used condom in our trash can. I take the blanket off the back of the couch and lay it on top of me. Donovan walks back and pulls on his boxers. I lay on my side, admiring the man that just thoroughly fucked my brains out. He sees me staring at him and grins. He sits on the couch in front of me.
“Wow, that was really amazing,” Donovan says as he grazes my cheek with the back of his hand. His bright eyes are glowing, and it makes me smile.
“Right back at ya, Dr. Callahan,” I relish the sweet touch of his hand on my face. I reach up to grab his fingers and kiss the pads on each of his fingertips.
The heart warming moment is interrupted by the doorbell. I’m still naked, so I jump up with my blanket wrapped around me and race to my room. I hear Donovan yell, “Just a minute!” as he is pulling up his jeans. I throw on my flannel pajama pants and another black tank top. I look in the mirror, and the “just fucked look” doesn’t suit me. I brush my hair out and tie it into a ponytail. I step out of the room just as Donovan shuts the front door. “Pizza’s here!”
I realize my appetite has returned with a vengeance, and I’m starving. It must be the workout I just had. I walk to the kitchen and grab two plates and two cans of soda. “Do you like Coke?” I ask Donovan. With that question, I realize I know almost nothing about the man I just let make love to me. I vow to myself to learn more about him tonight.
“Yeah, Coke is fine with me,” Donovan says as he opens the pizza box on the dining room table. I walk in to see his back towards me as he has yet to put on his shirt. I stand there for a minute, studying the toned muscles in his back. He is so fit, he has to work out almost every day. Donovan must feel my eyes on him, because he turns around.
“You like?” he asks me with his hands on his hips, his voice taking on that deep huskiness that sends shivers down my spine.
“I like it even more now that I’ve gotten to see all of you,” I flirt back. I put the plates and Coke on the table. I walk up to him and put my arms around his waist. He returns my hug, his hands sliding down my back. I hadn’t pictured us standing here, locked in an embrace, when I knocked him down this morning. I turn my head up to look at him. God, he’s beautiful.
Donovan lets out a sigh. “I really like being with you. Tonight has been eye opening.”
I’m puzzled. What does “eye opening” mean? What an odd thing to say. I furrow my brow and he seems to know what I’m silently asking.
“When I say eye opening, I mean I didn’t have to try to be someone I’m not. I can be myself with you, and unfortunately, that’s a hard thing for me to do. I know it should come easily, but when you come from wealth, you have to act the part.” I stare at him, not quite understanding. He shrugs his shoulders. “You know, like you’re better than everyone else, and you should look down your nose at the people who don’t have as much as you do. I hated growing up like that, but when your father is a millionaire, it comes with the territory.”
I gaze at him with curious green eyes. So, Donovan comes from wealth? Not that it makes any difference to me. Money has never been something that I felt like I had to have. It helps, of course, but my family always got by. We had what we needed, and we were happy for awhile, until my dad passed away. What little money I have left from my paycheck at the golf club I send to my mom to help with whatever she needs, like groceries or bills. It’s not much, but she is always grateful.
Donovan continues, “My dad owns Callahan Vineyard and Winery. It’s been in the family for four generations, so I come from old money. I had no interest in taking over the business, so my younger sister is learning the ropes. I never wanted to be anything but a doctor” He shakes his head. “ Don’t get me wrong, my dad is ecstatic about me pursuing that dream, but he really wanted his only son to inherit the business.” He shrugs his shoulders and looks a little sad.
I’ve heard of Callahan Vineyard and Winery. It’s in Savannah, and going on the pictures I have seen, it’s absolutely gorgeous. The Callahan home is large and stately. It’s a massive white mansion with two story tall columns, black trim, and shutters around the many windows. The porch wraps around the whole front of the house. The lawn is professionally landscaped and has scores of roses, tulips, and lilies in the flower beds. Directly down the middle of the lawn is a stone driveway that loops. Gone with the Wind comes to mind.
“You have a sister? What’s her name? What are your parents names?” I have so many questions for him, so I figure we can start with something simple like family.
“My sister is Megan. My parents’ names are Evelyn and Robert. I’m actually driving up there next weekend to see them, would you like to come?” Donovan asks. The question is so casual, but it shocks me. Meet his family already? The butterflies start to whirl around in my stomach.
“Uh, sure, why not?” I beam at him. “I have to make sure I’m off work,” I secretly hope I’m working, I’m not sure if I’m ready to meet his parents yet. The more I think about it, the more nervous I become.
“I’ll leave on Friday and come back Sunday, just a weekend trip. By the way, where do you work?” Donovan must have realized I never told him I had a job.
“Bayside Golf Club. I rent the golf clubs out to the members.”
“I’ve been there before. I stink at golf, but I think it’s some unwritten law that if you’re a doctor, you have to play,” He takes a bite out of his pizza. I grab my slice and tear into it.
“So, why did you want to become a doctor?”
“Well, I guess I wanted to help people, just like most doctors do. I’m not doing it for the money, that’s for sure. We residents make around minimum wage, and it’s tough, having to work eighty hours a week and being awake for thirty hours on end.” He rolls his eyes, then smiles. “But at the end of the day, if I’ve helped save even one life, it makes all of it worth it. My job isn‘t so bad now though. I work in a clinic with business hours for the most part. I do have to take home call after hours when a patient needs advice or is concerned with something. I still do rotations at the hospital, but it’s not as bad as it used to be.”
That statement warms my heart. That’s the exact reason I want to become a P.A. If I can save someone from an early death, then it’s worth the rest. I just wish someone could have saved my father. He left us far too soon.
“So why family practice? Any reason?” I question as I lift my soda to my lips and take a sip.
“Well, I see all sorts of patients, from the pregnant moms and newborns to the elderly. I feel that I will learn more and understand a wide range of patients and their medical problems this way.”
My heart swells. This man has to be perfect, there’s no way he’s not. Then the thought occurs to me, if he’s so perfect, then why isn’t he taken? I frown and swallow as I ask this next question.
“You don’t have a girlfriend, do you?” I say shyly. I’m scared of what the answer might be. I don’t want to think of Donovan in another woman’s arms. The thought sickens me.
Donovan’s mouth drops open, and he whips his head around to glare at me. Oh shit, did I cross the line? Does he have a girlfriend? I hate myself for asking, but I need to know before I open myself up for another heartache.
“What the hell kind of question is that to ask?” Donovan’s voice is low and angry, his hands clenched and face red. Wow, he really is mad. I don’t like mad Donovan. “You think I would fuck you the way I just did if I was in a relationship?”
“That’s not what I meant…” I start. His icy stare stops me cold.
“If you think for one minute I’m seeing someone, you are mistaken. I’ve had one night stands before, but I was never seeing anyone else at the time.”
His words sting. One night stand? That’s what he thinks this is? Tears start to fill my eyes, and I stare at him. “So, is that what I am? A one time fuck? For a good time, call Allie? Like a damn notch in your belt?” My voice starts to crack. “Well, you are the one mistaken. I’m nobody’s slut,” and the tears start flowing unwelcome down my cheeks. I begin to feel used for my body, and I never wanted that, ever. I especially don’t want to feel like that with Donovan. I turn away from him, not wanting to look at his face.
“Oh, God. I’m sorry. Don’t cry. That’s not what I meant,” Donovan steps toward me. I don’t move, but I don’t look at him either. He gently turns me around to face him and takes my face into his hands. “It’s just that…I don’t like not being trusted. I’m an honest person. Yes, I’ve done bad things I’m not proud of, and it’s fucked me up.” He lets out a sigh. He strokes the back of his hand down my cheek. “I am a one woman man, and I always will be. But you have no way of knowing that, and I shouldn’t have gotten so upset. I‘m so sorry.” His words sound honest, but I can’t be sure.
I finally look up at Donovan, his eyes filled with raw emotion, and I know he is telling the truth.
He does want to give this a try and not throw me to the curb like I’m garbage. He wipes away my tears for the second time tonight. Why the hell am I such a crier? I blink a few times so I can see clearly. I stand on my tip toes and wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him hard, forcing my tongue into his mouth. Maybe we will do some things backwards, like have sex first, then go on a date, but that’s alright. I feel as though he is someone my dad would be proud of; a man that I feel such a strong connection with. The intensity between us is phenomenal. It’s like fate put us together by that chance meeting this morning. And to know that Donovan feels the exact same way about me makes me melt. He makes me feel alive and so happy. Not to mention, he makes me so crazy with desire that I may very well lose my mind.
Donovan kisses me back with such passion it makes my insides deliciously clench tight. We start pulling the clothes off each other as we make our way down the hall to my room, leaving a trail behind us.

Donovan lays me down on the bed and stands in front of me, gloriously naked. I push my weight on my elbows so I can get a better view. His tousled hair is so sexy, his blue eyes burning with lust, his body in such great shape. What’s not to love about this man? I lick my top lip, ready for round two.
Donovan’s lips curl up into a half smile as he takes in my body. I smirk back at him. “You like what you see, doc?”
“Oh, baby doll, the things I have planned for us,” he breathes as he lowers himself onto me.
The feeling of his skin against mine is purely erotic and sensual. He wraps his arms around me, pinning my arms down. He stares into my eyes, then kisses my nose gently. Donovan closes his eyes as he leans down to kiss me again. There’s a sweetness to his kiss this time; it’s slow and soft, not hard and passionate like before but just as good. His tongue caresses mine softly.
I run my fingers along his jawline, enjoying the feeling of his stubble, and find it so arousing. Of course, everything about this man arouses me.
He starts nibbling on my earlobe and works his way down my jaw. The kisses sear my skin and make me feel ablaze. I squirm underneath him. All of a sudden, Donovan rolls me over so that I’m laying on top of him. I look at him, surprised. “It’s your turn, baby. You take the wheel.”
Oh, wow. Free rein to do whatever I want to the sexiest man alive? I’m game. I sit up so I’m straddling him and gaze down, absolutely amazed by him. I lean forward and run the tips of my fingers down his chest, admiring the feel of his muscles and how hard they are. Donovan closes his eyes and takes in a deep breath. I enjoy seeing him like this, under me and relinquishing control over to me. I lean down so I’m laying on top of him. I start kissing his neck while sliding one hand down his pecks and back up again. Donovan must like that because he grabs my hips and digs his fingers in my flesh. My lips find his, and I bite his bottom lip slightly. I hear a low growl from his throat. I slide down beside him. I work my way down his body, kissing from his chest down to his naval. I feel Donovan shudder, and I see his erection grow even larger.
Hmmm. I’ve never gone down on a guy.
I grab onto his hard shaft and work my hand back and forth. “Oh, fuck!” Donovan lifts his head to watch me. I lick my top lip and eye him. He is panting and can’t take his eyes off me. I lower my head and swirl the tip with my tongue, and I feel him slam his head back. He claws at the sheets. Wow, this is turning us both on, big time. I put my teeth behind my lips and take all of him into my mouth. I hold it there for a second and come back up. I taste the saltiness of his pre-cum, so I repeat it, licking and sucking him. Donovan grabs my hair and moans my name loudly. I suck him harder and faster until he can’t take anymore. He pulls my head up and rolls me over onto my back.
“Damn, baby. If I didn’t stop you, I was going to cum,” Donovan growls. He possesses my mouth with his tongue. As he kisses me, he slides his hand down my curves. He reaches in between my legs and plunges one finger in me. I cry out with pleasure. He then pushes another finger inside and pulls in and out, over and over again. I close my legs together to try to absorb the pressure of his hand, becoming increasingly turned on.
Donovan stops and brings his fingers to his mouth. “Do you know how good you taste?” He sticks his fingers in his mouth and licks off my arousal. I gasp, shocked, yet it’s so hot I can’t help but groan. He reaches over to his jeans that lay on my floor and pulls out another condom.
He wastes no time in rolling it on himself. The moment it’s on, he slides in between my legs so they push apart. He rams inside me, making me scream and dig my nails into his back.
“God, you are so tight,” Donovan breathes as he pumps harder and faster with each thrust. I wrap my legs around his waist and push him farther in. I feel the muscles in my belly clench, and I start to build up again.
“Oh, fuck!” I moan as I explode around him. It is a mind blowing orgasm the kind where you feel nothing else but intense pleasure as your body releases the buildup of tension. Unable to hold it any longer, Donovan comes with me. I can feel him throb with each burst. When he releases all he has to give, he looks into my eyes and kisses me swiftly.
“You are so amazing. You seem to blow my mind at every turn.” Donovan wipes the beads of sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
“I’m no expert. I’ve only been with one guy.” I cringe at the memory, it disgusts me.
Donovan raises his eyebrows at me. “Only one? Good, I like it that way.“ We both smell of sweat and sex, but the scent is erotic. I grab a tissue from the box on my dresser and wipe my face. “Come on, baby doll. It’s getting really late, and we both need to wash up.” Donovan holds his hand out for me, and we walk to the bathroom.
I turn the shower on and let the warm water run. Donovan and I both slip into the shower, and I let him stand under the water first. He holds his head back and rinses his hair. I admire his body as the water runs down it. He is so defined and beautiful. His abs are a perfect six pack, and he has the inverted triangle on his hips. Wow, he is quite impressive. I hand him the shampoo, and he washes his hair. I just stare at him, watching him lather his hair, while I’m still trying to process the events this evening. We went from strangers to lovers in the matter of less than twenty-four hours. It takes everything in me not to jump up and down like a giddy schoolgirl.
He reaches for the washcloth and soaps it up. “Turn around,” Donovan orders softly. I obey, and turn my back towards him. He starts to rub the cloth all around my back. The gesture is so sweet, and I close my eyes and enjoy this tender moment. He soaps up my shoulders, my hips, and my rear, as well as in between my legs. I’m still sensitive to the touch from all the sex. I turn to face him, and he proceeds to wash my breasts and my abdomen, then bends down to wash my legs and feet. Then we switch places, and I stand under the water. Donovan then grabs the shampoo and starts to wash my hair. The feeling is so comforting, and I turn my back to him once again. He runs his fingers through my hair and rubs my scalp. I could fall asleep like this.
He turns me around so the water can rinse out the shampoo. While I let the water rinse my hair, he washes himself. Damn, I wanted to do that.
Once we are both washed and rinsed, I turn off the water. I grab us some towels from the rack.
I dry my legs and step out, and Donovan does the same. I wrap my towel around me and grab another to wrap my hair. Donovan wraps his towel around his waist, just low enough for me to see the triangle at his hips. Wow, he looks amazing like this.
“We should really get to bed, baby doll. I have to get up at 6:30 tomorrow morning,” Donovan says as he dries his hair in front of the mirror. He leaves his hair slightly damp, hanging on his forehead. The stubble on his jaw gives him a rugged appearance. I am floored by how perfect he is. He catches me staring at him in the mirror. My cheeks redden.
“You know, you don’t have to be embarrassed to check me out. I mean, we have seen each other completely naked.” Donovan winks at me. He’s right. He’s seen me at my best and my worst in just a night. I step behind him and wrap my arms around his waist, spreading my fingers out over his abs. I suddenly feel exhausted, and I yawn.
“Come on, baby. Let’s go to bed,” Donovan says as we walk back to my room.
“I have to get our clothes from the living room floor. I don’t really want Livey seeing that if she comes home early tomorrow.” I walk back to the living room and scoop up our clothes. Donovan walks back to the dining room to put the pizza in the refrigerator. I grin to myself. It looks like we both are a bit OCD and can’t leave a mess behind.
I take our clothes back to my room and hand Donovan his boxers when he walks in the room. I slip a t-shirt over my head and rummage in my drawers for a pair of underwear. I crawl into bed next to this breathtaking man and turn on my side to face him. I cock up my elbow to hold up my head to look at him. He mirrors me as we just look at each other in the dim light of my room.
Donovan strokes his knuckles down my face, and I lean into his touch.
“Allie, you don’t think we are moving too fast, do you?” Donovan questions, a look of concern etched on his face. Oh, no. Donovan, please don’t think that.
“Well, maybe we did move a little on the fast side, but I don’t regret anything we have done tonight. I feel the same about you. I like you so much, so soon. If you feel like we are moving really fast, we can slow down.” I don’t want to slow down, but I don’t want this to be the last time I see Donovan either. My heart pounds out of my chest as I hear him sigh.
“I want this more than you know. I just…I just want a normal relationship, that’s all. I don’t want to screw up. I still feel so whacked out by Claire, and all I want is to be normal, to feel normal. Yeah, I’ll probably fuck up here and there. All I ask of you is your patience with me.”
His blue eyes close tightly as if he’s reliving some nightmare. “I don’t know how to have a normal relationship. It’s only ever been Claire and one night stands. Nothing more.” Donovan’s confession is hard to hear. My heart breaks for him, and I want to hold him.
“Then, what is it about me? Why do you like me so much?” I ask the question that is really pressing on my mind. I want to know why a man like Donovan, perfect in beauty and heart, wants a girl like me. Why am I so special?
Donovan’s eyes burn into mine. “I felt like a bolt of lightning hit me when you ran into me this morning. Somehow I knew that I needed to meet you and see if you felt something as well. I asked a few students this morning if they knew who you were.” I cock my eyebrows at him and he grins. “I had to describe you in pretty good detail since I didn’t know your name. I just couldn’t stop thinking about you. You were on my mind all day long, in my car, at my office, at my house. I have never been to the Peachtree Tavern until tonight. I went by myself to grab a beer, and I saw you.” He lets out a sigh. “Somehow I knew it was fate. I can’t describe it any other way.” He rolls onto his back and stares at the ceiling. His words hang in the air as I take it all in.
Donovan’s admission stuns me. I try to blink my tears away, my eyes burning. This is exactly how I feel about him, and he had the courage to tell me first. I take in a deep breath and begin my own confession.
“That’s crazy to hear because I feel the same way. I tried all day to not think of you, that you were out of my league.” Donovan grins and starts to speak, but I hold up my finger, and I continue. “But it’s all I did today. I saw your face everywhere I looked. It drove me insane. I even went to the bar tonight to try to get you off my mind, and it didn’t work. And all of a sudden, you were there.” I have bared my heart and soul to this man I have known for a day, and I wouldn’t take back a word of it. Tears start down my cheeks, and I wipe them away with the back of my hand.
“Can I ask you a question?” he asks.
“Yes, of course you can,” I say, wondering what is pressing on his mind.
“Can I take you out tomorrow? Like I said, not to a bar or a bed,” he smirks. “I’d like to take you to a nice restaurant, anywhere you would like. Money is not an issue.” Donovan’s blue eyes plead with me to say yes, as if I would say no to this man about anything.
“Well, I have to work at the club at ten, but I get off 6:30, so it would be after then, if that’s ok?”
My mind reels, a date with Donovan!
“Oh, yeah. That’s perfect. I get off work at around 6:00, so I can come pick you up. But, please, let me know the place beforehand. I don’t want to be under dressed,” Donovan gives me a mischievous grin.
I roll my eyes at him. He’s silly, but I love it. “I’ll text you, ok? But right now, it’s 2 a.m., and we both need to get up in the morning. So, go to sleep.”
“Good night, baby doll,” Donovan already starts to drift off, his right hand draped over my side. I plant a sweet kiss on his forehead and touch his face.
“Good night.”

I stretch my arms above my head and yawn. I roll over to look at the alarm clock and see that’s it’s just after 7:30. I roll over to the side of the bed where Donovan slept and frown when I find it empty. Then I remember that Donovan had to get up at 6:30 and go to the clinic. I decide to wake up and get my day started. I sit up on the edge of the bed and rub my sleepy eyes. Last night was so mind blowing, but it has left me exhausted. I stand up and stretch some more. I see something out of the corner of my eye, and I glance over to see what it is. There is a piece of paper with my name on it sitting on my dresser. I smile. Donovan left me something to wake up to. I unfold the letter and it reads:
Allie,
I can’t wait to see you tonight. I will count down the minutes untill I see your angelic face again.
Call me when you wake up.
XOXO
Donovan
My heart skips a beat. He will count the minutes untill he sees me again? Wow, he’s so sweet! I walk out of my room to grab my phone. I search for the napkin that has Donovan’s number on it and find it in the bottom of my purse. My pulse races as I dial his number.
“Dr. Callahan here.” His greeting is a bit brash. I breathe before speaking. I haven’t heard Donovan speak like that before.
“Hi, Dr. Callahan, it’s Allie.”
“Good morning, doll. How are you?” Donovan’s voice softens once he realizes it’s me. I smile from ear to ear. Geez, I’m like a fourteen-year-old with her first boyfriend.
“Fine, thank you. A bit tired and sore, though. Someone kept me up all night.”
Donovan chuckles. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” He’s being playful. I like playful.
“I’m sure you have an inkling as to why I was up so late, Dr. Callahan.”
“Baby doll, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again,” he sounds serious all of a sudden.
“Donovan, I’m kidding! Last night was amazing.” I blush as I think of us naked and tangled in the sheets. My belly tightens up. He’s not even here, and he turns me on.
“Oh, I think it would rate last night much higher than just amazing,” Donovan says, his voice taking on that deep husky tone. God, he’s good.
“I just can’t put last night into words. Anyway, I wanted to ask you, I don’t know many restaurants around Atlanta.”
Donovan snorts, “That’s not a question.”
“Haha, I was getting to that. I was wondering if you could pick the place and let me know so I won’t be underdressed.” I laugh as I repeat what he said to me last night.
“I think I prefer you undressed. Just my opinion.” Oh, my. I hope no one is around to hear him.
“Pervert. Just let me know, okay?” I giggle a little too loudly.
“Okay, baby, I’ll let you know. Right now, I have to go. We are starting to see patients, and the waiting room is filled to capacity.”
“Sure thing. Have a nice day,” I tell him, excited about seeing him this evening.
“I’ll pick you up at 7:30 this evening. See you then, babe.” Donovan whispers into the phone.
“I can’t wait,” I say as I hang up. I hug the phone to my chest. He makes me so incredibly joyful. I hope it’s not too good to be true. I try to suppress the thought. I’ve only had one other boyfriend in my life, and it ended in such heartache. I was a complete mess when Matt screwed me over. I close my eyes, trying not to think of the jerk, but the memory comes unwelcome into my mind.
I was a junior in high school. Matt was a senior. I had noticed him the year before and thought he was so gorgeous. He was dating Holly Saunders, the girl who had been homecoming queen three years in a row, so I only admired him from a distance. I would watch him in our Spanish class, at lunch, and in the hallways, but that was it. I figured I didn’t have a chance to date him. But one day, Matt and Holly had a huge argument at school, and they broke up. It was something about Holly seeing another guy at our rival school, but I don’t really remember too much detail. I just remember everyone talking about what a scene it was. Matt had punched a locker and called her horrible names.
The following night, one of my friends was throwing a field party. There was a bonfire, something we Lynchburgers enjoy on a cold autumn night, and lots of beer. I was with my friends Michelle and Chloe. We were all sitting around drinking and relaxing by the fire on the ground. I had heard through our mutual friends that Matt was coming to the bonfire.
At the party I scanned the faces, hoping I would spot Matt. Finally, he showed up with Chloe’s boyfriend Scott. He was wearing jeans and a red hooded sweatshirt. He was so cute. He had jet black hair and beautiful brown eyes. His hair was cut really short, and he always wore a hat.
He was on the football and basketball teams, so he was always fit. Scott walked over to us, and Matt followed suit. My heart was beating so fast when Matt sat down next to me. It was in my throat when Matt actually spoke to me.
“Hey, I’ve seen you around school. You’re in my Spanish class. Allison, right?”
“Yeah, most people call me Allie. And you’re Matt Bowman.” I said, like the guy didn’t know his own name.
Matt chuckles. “Nice to see you, Allie.”
Our conversation lasted until the sun was peeking over the horizon. We were both really drunk and having a good time. I gave him my number, and he said he would give me a call.
Three days later, Matt did call me. He wanted to ask me out for the next Friday. I was so giddy with excitement and couldn’t wait until that night. When he came by to pick me up from my house that Friday night, I had put on my favorite blue sweater, my skinny jeans, and my silver flats. I did my makeup for an hour just to get it right. Matt was wearing his letterman jacket and khakis. He even met my parents and told them he would have me home at eleven. With that, we walked to his truck and drove off.
We grabbed some pizza and decided to watch a movie. It was nothing special, but to me it was the most wonderful night of my teenage life. He held my hand through the entire movie and didn’t even try to make out. I thought he was the sweetest, most fantastic guy I had ever met.
After that date, we were inseparable. We talked about our future, told each other secrets, and made out all of the time. We would get into his parent’s liquor cabinet and get drunk as we sat by Matt’s pond in his backyard. I smoked my first and only joint on his back porch. I thought he was so perfect for me. Too bad I was wrong about him.
Livey opens the door and drags me from my flashback. “Hey, Allie! I brought us some breakfast!
You hungry?”
“Actually, I’m starving! But I should hurry because I have to be at work at ten.” I was so glad to see my best friend. I missed her. Livey sets the bag of bagels and fruit on the counter in the kitchen.
“So, how did last night go?” Livey turns to face me. I immediately turn red, and she knows something’s up. “Oh my God, did you sleep with him?” I nod, eyes downcast, embarrassed.
“Allie, I don’t believe it! You had a one night stand?” Livey’s hazel eyes widen in surprise. “Did you at least use protection?”
“Yeah, of course we did!”
“Really? Aren’t you two do things backwards? Shouldn’t he take you out first, then try to get in your pants?” Livey shakes her head, disappointment written all over her face. I frown at her look.
“He is taking me out tonight. I mean, maybe we did move fast, but it’s not just about sex. I mean, yeah, it’s great, but there is something about Donovan, something I really like.” I grin from ear to ear. “I mean, he’s wicked smart, incredibly handsome, and out of this world in bed. All those are good things, but there is something about him that draws me to him, like a magnet.” I did not want my friend getting it twisted and thinking it was just a screw and that’s it. I also don’t want her to think I’m some sort of tramp.
“Well, I have never seen you even go on a date with a guy since you’ve been down here. Guess this means you’re not gay,” Livey bursts out laughing, and I can’t help but to chime in. We don’t stay mad at each other long. She hands me a cream cheese bagel and a banana. “I guess you will need your energy. Daddy said there are lots of tee times today.”
“Then I guess I better get dressed and head out the door. I don’t think your dad will mind if I come in a bit early. I can use the extra money.” I take a bite of my bagel and realize how famished I really am. I start to peel my banana as I stand to go get ready for work.
“Oh, by the way, can I do your makeup for your date tonight?” Livey asks. “I’m going to make you look so hot that Donovan won’t be able to keep his hands off of you.”
I don’t think that will be a problem, makeup or not, but I humor her. “Of course you can! I’ll let you gussy me up.” I walk down the hall to my bedroom.
I open up my closet to get dressed. I choose my Peachtree Golf Course baby blue polo shirt.
The color makes me think of Donovan’s eyes, and I grin. I slip on my khaki pant and brush my hair into a ponytail. Since I don’t have to leave just yet I try to decide what to wear tonight. I choose three outfits, depending on where Donovan wants to go. One is a flowered sundress that is a bit on the conservative side. The next outfit is a pair of black fitted slacks and a pink wrap-around top. The last one is a simple low cut black dress that falls to my knees and fits every curve I have. I think I might just choose that one anyway because I know Donovan will like it. I smile to myself as I shut my bedroom door and head out to go to work.
I ride down the road, listening to my favorite song, the one that was playing when I saw Donovan for the first time. “We’re always better when we’re together…” I sing along with Jack Johnson. I liked this song before, but now it has more meaning for me. Everything is already better with Donovan. I’m still humming the tune as I reach the golf club.
I head to the front desk to clock in when I see Mr. Trent. “Hi, Mr. Trent! How are you today?”
The old man smiles at me and walks up to give me a hug. “Hello, Allison. I’m doing great! How about you? Are you excited about graduating this weekend?”
Wow, did I really forget about graduating? Donovan affects me so much that it completely slipped my mind that I will be receiving my Bachelors of Science this weekend. “More than ready, Mr. Trent. I am really looking forward to it.” I manage a huge grin, and Mr. Trent returns it.
“I have a graduation present for you, but you won’t find out what it is until Friday,” Mr. Trent says, his lips curled up into a smirk. A graduation present? For me?
“Oh, Mr. Trent, you didn’t have to get me anything. I appreciate it, however,” I blush.
“Nonsense, I won’t take no for an answer, so you have to accept it,” laughs Mr. Trent. “I must go now, I have a business meeting at 10:30. See you later, Allison.”
I sit there, thinking what in the world would Mr. Trent get me for graduation? He’s already given me plenty by keeping up the rent for our place, and he always buys me gifts at Christmas time.
I know I’m like his second daughter, but I was brought up to be polite and grateful for everything I get. I always send a thank you card or at least call. I scratch my head as I get to work. Maybe it’s a new outfit? Maybe it’s a vacation from the club? I have no idea, but I’m excited to find out! I only have to wait two more days, so I try not to think about it again.
A few hours in, my cell phone buzzes in my pocket. I pull it out and see it’s a text. Oh, I hope it’s Donovan. It’s Livey. I frown, I was hoping Donovan would have gotten in touch with me by now.
It’s going on 2:00. Livey text says:
*hey want me to bring you some lunch?*
I write:
*sure, one of ur famous sandwiches would be good*
Livey says:
*LOL sure thing. Want to talk when I get there*
I tell her:
*K see you then. Thank you!*
I wonder what Livey wants to talk about. She didn’t say anything when I left. I always get a bad feeling when someone says, “we need to talk.” It never seems to end well. It’s probably nothing, so I start sorting out the clubs, waiting for more members to rent them.
At 2:30, my phone buzzes again. I figure it’s Livey letting me know she’s on her way. I glance at my phone. Thank goodness, it’s Donovan! I’ve been waiting all day to hear from him. My spirits lift immediately, and I read the text.
*Hey baby doll, sorry it took me so long to get in touch. It’s been crazy around here today. *
I write back:
*It’s ok. I’ve been busy myself. Lot’s of tee times today. Did you decide on where to go tonight?*
Donovan replies:
*The Sun Dial, if that’s ok*
I gasp. The Sun Dial? That outrageously expensive restaurant with the beautiful view of Atlanta? I think my heart stops, and I might faint. I own absolutely nothing to wear to a place like that. My panic heightens as I realize I won’t have the time to shop before I meet him. I finally write back:
*That sounds really nice, but I don’t have anything to wear. Literally*
Donovan decides to just call instead of the back and forth texting. I hold my breath as I answer the phone. “Hello?” I almost whisper.
“Allie, don’t worry about having something to wear, ok?” Donovan says.
My face turns beet red. “ Seriously, I don’t have anything nice enough to wear to a place like that.”
“Baby, I said don’t worry about it, ok?” Donovan’s voice is so smooth like velvet, I could just melt. How in the world am I ever supposed to say no to him when he can make me weak in the knees every time he speaks?
I grin from ear to ear. “Ok, whatever you say.”
I feel his smile through the phone. “Now you’re catching on. I am actually going to leave a bit early. Any way you could do the same? I can meet you at your place, if you like.”
“I’ll ask my manager if I can leave a bit early. I never do, so I don’t think it will be a problem.” I cross my fingers in hopes that the new boss, Ryan, is in a good mood. He really has been busy since one of the caddies called in sick today.
“Great, baby doll. I’ll meet you at your house at 6:00 sharp. Can’t wait to see you again.”
“See you later,” I practically squeal into the phone. I take off to the greens to see if I can find Ryan. I see him on Hole One with a member’s bag over his shoulders. Honestly, I couldn’t miss him. He stands at over six feet tall with shoulder length red hair pulled into a ponytail and big green eyes. He has on his red polo manager shirt with khaki pants, and he’s wearing horrible golf shoes. He doesn’t look happy, but I stroll right up to him. “Ryan, I have a huge favor to ask you.”
Ryan looks up from the golfer and gazes at me impassively. “Yes, Allison?” Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good. He doesn’t look like he’s in a mood to be messed with. Ryan likes me more than I would care for him to, but right now I will use it to my advantage.
I give him my best puppy dog look and bat my eyelashes. I see him give me a sideways grin. “I really hate to ask, but I have to leave two hours early. I have something important that I have to do, and there is no way I can get around it.” It’s not exactly a lie.
“What? What’s so important that you have to leave early? We are busy, Allison,” Ryan stares at me, seriously checking me out. I shiver on the inside; it really creeps me out. Ryan is not a bad looking guy, but definitely not my type. My type is Donovan, extremely sweet, oozing with sexiness, and exceptional intelligence.
“Well, it’s a personal matter, Ryan, and I have to take care of it. Besides, I came in early.” That part is true. The only thing that can take care of the fire in my belly that has been a constant since last night is Donovan.
“Allison, you owe me, big time. You know that right?” Ryan eyes me through his lashes. I see him look me up and down, and it makes me very self conscious. I don’t owe him anything that he has in mind, but maybe I’ll buy him a soda one day.
“Thank you, Ryan! I really mean it!” I almost jump with giddiness as I run back to the shop. As I get there, I see Livey waiting for me. She turns her head to me and smiles.
“Looks like you’re in a good mood, baby girl,” she wraps her arms around me. Livey hugs are always nice.
I grin stupidly at my best friend. “Livey, I’m beyond excited. Ryan is letting me leave early so I can go on a date with Donovan tonight. He’s taking me to the Sun Dial.”
Livey’s mouth hangs open. “Are you kidding me? The Sun Dial! A meal there would take my whole paycheck!” She closes her mouth and then gives me her brightest beam. “I can’t believe you are going there! Let me do your makeup! Please?” she pleads with me.
“Of course, Livey. Come on, we’ll go talk in the break room while I eat this fab sandwich you brought me.” I take my lunch, and we walk together to the back. As we sit at the round table, I turn the television off so we can have some girl talk. “So, what did you want to talk about?”
Livey looks at me and frowns. “I saw that guy from the bar last night. I was at the mall, and he was working at that Chinese restaurant. I didn’t know it was him until I saw the bruise Donovan left on his face. His name tag said Jeremy. He looked really angry, and I heard him say that he was jumped at the bar and was going to press charges.”
I stare at her wide-eyed and shocked. Jumped? Press charges? Shouldn’t I be the one that is pressing charges against him? He is the one who attacked me; Donovan was only protecting me. “I don’t see how he could possibly try to press charges on Donovan. He was only coming to my rescue when that jerk put his hands on me.”
“I know, girl, I just wanted to tell you. He looked really pissed off, and he seems like the type to get revenge. Just be careful. I don’t want anything to happen to you or to Donovan.”
My palms sweat, and I feel like my heart is going to explode. “Livey, thank you for telling me.
I don’t really think anything will come of it. I mean, it was only last night, and maybe he was saying that because he had to explain away his busted up nose to his buddies.” I sincerely hope I’m right. My stomach drops just thinking about that maniac and what he is capable of. I certainly don’t want anything to happen to Donovan. I feel nauseous at the thought of any harm coming to him.
“So, anyways, let’s talk about you and your date tonight!” Livey squeals. Good, I’m glad to get my mind off the linebacker. So for a full thirty minutes, Livey and I discuss Donovan’s plans for the evening, and I’m grateful for it. My heart leaps in excitement for this man, who makes my heart soar, and for the night he has in mind for us.

I rush back to my apartment after work. My mind is racing. Donovan went out to buy me a dress, and he’s going to take me to one of the best restaurants Atlanta has to offer. I worry that I won’t fit in there, but I know Donovan will feel right at home. He grew up with money and knows about the finer things in life. I, however, don’t have a clue. I suppose I could fake it, but that’s not my style. I figure if people don’t like me for who I am, then they are not worth my time. I put my car in park and look at the clock. 5:37. I lock my car and head into the apartment. Livey is in the living room, waiting on me to get home.
“Go take a shower! I can’t wait to do your makeup for this evening. You are going to look so freaking hot!” Livey jumps off the couch and ushers me into the bathroom.
“Hello, Livey. Nice to see you too,” I laugh as she shuts the door.
“Hurry up! Donovan will be here soon!” she hollers from behind the door. I smile and chuckle to myself. Livey gets so wound up; it’s hysterical. What would I do without her?
I turn the water on in the shower and slip off my clothes. I glance at the mirror. I am still trying to see what Donovan sees in me. I shrug and sigh. I don’t see it, but as long as he does, that’s what counts. I step into the shower and rinse myself off. As I start to shampoo my hair, I hear the doorbell ring. It’s him! Donovan is here! I start scrubbing fast and furiously so I can get out to see him. I finally finish, turn the water off, and grab a towel. Livey knocks on the door. “Donovan is here! So hurry your ass up!”
I open the door, and Livey is standing there with her arms across her chest. “Geez, did you take long enough? And I’m glad you wax because we don’t have all night for you to shave your legs!
Your bedroom, now!”
I laugh and say, “Yes, Mom!” Livey sticks out her tongue at me and points to my room. I yell down the hall, “Hi, Donovan! I’ll only be a minute!”
“Of course, take all the time you need.” Even though I can’t see him, his voice is enough to make me hot and bothered. It’s amazing what this man can do to me, and it’s a bit terrifying as well. No one has ever had this much of an effect on me so fast, not even Matt, the one and only other guy I have ever had sex with. I refuse to let the ugly thought of Matt put a damper on my evening with this amazingly delicious man. I walk into my room with Livey on my heels. My eyes fly open, surprised by my gift from Donovan. Laying on my light blue comforter is the most beautiful dress I have ever seen. It’s a deep purple halter dress that seems like it’s made of silk.
The neckline dips low, and it looks as though it will fit my curves. I pick up the dress and hold against my form. The color is perfect, and it feels wonderful. I turn to Livey, and she’s grinning like an idiot at me. “Donovan bought it for you. He has great taste, Allie. That’s a Sue Wong dress!”
Oh my goodness, Sue Wong? Is he kidding me? This dress had to have cost a fortune! The price tag is not on it, thank God. I might have fainted if I saw it. I can’t believe he bought me this.
I undress in my closet. I slide the dress over my head, and to my surprise, it’s fits perfectly. The gown is floor length, the neck dips down to my cleavage, and the material feels cool on my skin.
I step out, and Livey stares at me with her hazel eyes wide.
“Oh my goodness! You look amazing!” Livey puts both of her hands to her mouth. I blush at my friend’s sweet words. “Okay, Cinderella. Let’s get your hair and makeup done quickly, so you can go on your date with Prince Charming.”
Twenty minutes later, I don’t even recognize myself. The person that looks at me from the mirror should be walking the red carpet in Hollywood right now. Livey has done an outstanding job on my makeup and hair. She has swept my hair into a half ponytail with cascades of curls down my back. It’s very simple, but it’s very beautiful. She decided to pull my hair back to make my dress “pop,” whatever that means. My makeup is perfection. Livey lightly dusted my face with translucent mineral powder. She then applied a black eyeliner around my eyelids and used different eye shadows to give me smoky eyes. Then she put on some mascara, swept my cheekbones with a rose colored blush and put on an apricot color on my lips. I put on my silver bangle bracelets and my silver pumps. I turn to Livey, hold my hands out, and ask, “Well, how do I look?”
“Allie, you look…breathtaking,” Livey whispers. She has never seen me like this. Actually, I’ve never seen me like this, but I like it. I hug my friend and thank her for her handiwork. I walk out of my bedroom and down the hall. Before I get to the living room, I take in a deep breath and hold my head high. I step into the living room, and Donovan stands. His eyes are hooded, and he gives me a crooked smile. He walks to me and takes my hands into his.
“Wow. You are stunning. Absolutely stunning,” Donovan says as he pulls my hands to his lips and kisses my knuckles.
“I can say the same for you,” I whisper. Donovan looks amazing. He’s wearing a black suit, a crisp white linen shirt with the first two buttons undone, and smart black shoes. His face is cleanly shaven, and I reach my hand to touch his jaw line. His face leans into my touch, and Donovan closes his eyes. When he opens them, his blue eyes are burning with desire. I feel that electricity between us again, and my insides clench. “I can’t believe you bought this for me.
Thank you, it’s beautiful!”
“I’m just glad my sister was there to help me.” He plants a swift kiss on my lips, and it takes everything in me not to jump on him right here, right now. I hear him gasp lightly, and I know he’s feeling the same way. He holds his arm out for me to take, and I slip my hand through. I look back at Livey and smile. She gives me the biggest grin she can and tells us, “Have fun, you two. Enjoy your night.” I’m pretty sure Livey knows that either Donovan is coming home with me tonight, or I’m going home with him. I wave to her as Donovan opens the front door. We walk arm and arm towards his BMW, and he opens the passenger door for me. I slide into the car, being extra careful about my dress, not wanting to get it dirty. Once I’m in he shuts the door and strolls over to his side. He gets in with such grace, I have to envy him. I’m just hoping to get through the night without tripping on my dress.
Donovan starts the engine and turns to look at me. He gives me that sideways grin again, and I return it. My Greek god takes my face into his hands and leans in to kiss me. I have been looking forward to this all day, and I feel my pulse start to race. The effect Donovan has on me is insane. He completely overwhelms me, and I love it. When he’s around, all I see is him, and when he’s not there, I want him to be. As his lips take mine, I sigh into his mouth. I have missed those lips, even though they were all over me just last night. I hope they are on me after dinner. Our tongues caress each other, and Donovan lets out a groan. He pulls away first and says, “At this rate, we will never get to the Sun Dial.” I pout, and he kisses my nose. “Don’t worry, baby doll, dinner is not all I had in mind for the night.” Donovan winks as he puts his car in reverse, and we take off down the road to the restaurant. As we ride down the street, he puts his hand on my thigh. In response, I place my hand on top of his.
“You look absolutely beautiful,” Donovan says with a sideways smile on his face. I flush at his compliment.
“This really is such a gorgeous dress. You said your sister helped you pick it out?” I ask, still astonished by his thoughtfulness.
“Yes, Megan actually picked it out. I sat in the chair meant for the guys that have to come with their wives. My little sister adores fashion. When she was little, she used to draw all kinds of outfits for her dolls and then try to sew them. She wasn’t very good at sewing,” Donovan chuckles at his memory.
“Does Megan live in Atlanta, or is she visiting from Savannah?”
“She’s actually visiting her boyfriend in Macon. But she brought him to Atlanta today to shop.
They are heading back to Macon in the next hour or so.” Donovan rolls his eyes. I wonder if he’s annoyed with his sister shopping or her boyfriend. I assume it’s the latter. “Megan goes to school for advertising in Savannah. That was our dad’s choice. The vineyard already makes around ten million a year, but my father insists that she have a degree, especially if it will benefit the business.”
“Ten million dollars from making wine?” I sit, amazed that someone could make so much money off of grapes.
Donovan laughs. “Well, yes, a lot of the money is on wine. But there are also weddings, tours, and wine tasting. There is a lot of money to be made from those things alone. I can’t wait for you to see the property. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. Hence, the reason people like to get married there almost every weekend.”
“I can’t wait to see it, Donovan,” I am suddenly excited to go with Donovan to see his family next weekend.
Donovan takes my hand to his mouth again and kisses my fingertips. I swoon over him. My pulse picks up a beat when I realize we are in the parking lot of the Westin. “The restaurant’s in here?” I say, looking at the huge hotel.
Donovan covers his mouth to try and hide his smirk. “Yes baby. Come. I’ll show you.” He steps out the car and comes to open my door. I take his hand, hoping I don’t fall flat on my face in these heels. Donovan then pulls me close, so our bodies are touching, and kisses me gently.
His proximity alone is enough to make me want him, now. He pulls away far too quickly. “Let’s get inside before I decide to take you on the hood of my car.”
I inhale sharply, taken aback by his words, as well as extremely turned on. I run my finger along his jawline and feel his smooth skin. “You know, we can skip dinner.” I need him, more than I need the air in my lungs.
Donovan gazes at me through his long dark lashes, his expression lustful. “Don’t tempt me, Allison Marshall, or I might take you up on the offer.” I feel my muscles pull inside my belly.
Donovan takes my hands and locks his fingers around mine. “But first, we need to eat. Come.”
He takes me through the glass doors of the Westin.
I have never been in a place like this before. The lobby itself is sleek and modern. There are huge white columns from the floor to the ceiling with grey leather seats wrapped around the bottom of them. The floor is a glossy granite, and there are lots of welcome desks with friendly people smiling at us. I’m almost sure the women are enjoying the sight of Donovan in his suit.
My man smiles and nods politely to the staff, and I think every one of them blushes, including one of the men.
Donovan walks past the lobby to the elevators. He presses the up button and turns to face me.
I look into his blue eyes, and I see some unknown emotion. I cock my head to the side and look at him, puzzled. Donovan gazes into my eyes, and the blue seems to sparkle, but he looks scared at the same time. How odd. “What are you thinking about?” I ask.
“Just how it’s been forever since I’ve been on a date. I’m actually pretty nervous, to be honest.
But…it’s weird, but I feel so comfortable with you. I guess it’s a mix of emotions, really.”
An unpleasant thought crosses my mind and before I can stop myself, I ask,” Did you bring Claire here?”
Donovan’s brilliant smile turns into a hard line. “Yes, but only once. She brought me here actually, a really long time ago. I’m really not trying to think about her. She’s history to me.”
I look down at my shoes. Me and my big mouth. I don’t want to ruin this evening. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you, but you do know I will have questions at some point in time about her.” I don’t want to lie to him and say I will never mention her name again, because there are questions that I want answered, maybe not tonight, but someday.
The door to the elevator opens, and we are the only ones in when the doors close. Donovan presses the 73rd button. The elevator is made of glass, and as we ascend, we can see the skyline of Atlanta start to appear. It’s awe inspiring. The skyscrapers are lit up against the twilight sky as the sun begins to make it’s journey down. I hear Donovan sigh, and we turn to look at each other at the same time. He has a tortured look on his handsome face. My heart twists, knowing I am responsible for it.
“I know you will have questions, and I will eventually answer them, but right now, I am concentrating on you and you alone. Allie, you consume my mind. You are the only thing I have thought about all day long, and I don’t want memories of Claire to taint our evening.”
I give Donovan a tight lipped smile. I know he’s right. We’ve only begun seeing each other, and I want him to tell me his past when he is ready. Right now, however, isn’t the time. The evening is about us, not Claire. My worry is that I am so damn stubborn sometimes, I have to question everything. I don’t want to pry into his business, but will I be able to stop myself? Everything that Matt did, I questioned, but he gave me good reason. Weird numbers on his phone, texts from girls, and staying out all night were some of the ways he made me feel insecure Then after we had sex, I found out that he was still fucking Holly. I inwardly sigh. Donovan must feel my tension because he stands behind me and starts to rub my bare shoulders with his skilled fingers. We stand there silently, watching the skyline of Georgia’s biggest city. He places a kiss on my neck under my ear. “Let’s let tonight just be about us, okay?” he whispers into my ear.
“Okay. I’m good with that,” I murmur to him. Yes, tonight is about us and our budding relationship. I grab one of his hands with my own and run my fingers along his knuckles. Before I know it, the door opens, and another couple gets on the elevator. We nod to each other but stay quiet the rest of the way to the 73rd floor. The doors open to the swankiest restaurant I have ever seen. There are three levels to this heavenly place known as the Sun Dial. The lower level has beautifully laid out tables with fresh white linen and empty wine glasses. The entire wall is made of glass, giving the patrons a magnificent view of the skyline. It also occurs to me that the restaurant is slowly rotating. The bar is on the second level, and it’s stocked with many fine liquors and wines. The top level is an observatory where you can look through telescopes.
I hear a smooth jazz melody throughout the restaurant. The entire place is a brilliant piece of artwork with golds and blues and reds.
Donovan takes me by the waist and leads me to the hostess stand. The young girl behind the stand raises her eyebrows at Donovan and gawks at him. Her blonde hair being pulled back in a ponytail gives a full view of the redness in her cheeks. Donovan seems unimpressed.
“Reservations for Callahan,” he says curtly.
“Uh, of course, Dr. Callahan. Welcome to the Sun Dial. Let me show you to your table.” She steps from behind the stand with two menus and walks us to a private table for two. Donovan holds my chair out for me, and I sit. Donovan sits, scoots his chair close to me, and waves the hostess off. “If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. My name is Heather.” The hostess stalks back to the stand, obviously hurt that the man of her dreams has a girl on his arm. I smirk at the thought.
Our server is prompt and is also male. Thank goodness! I don’t have to worry about another woman falling all over herself trying to get Donovan to notice her. The waiter’s black hair is slicked back, and he is a bit on the short side, but his face looks friendly. “Good evening, My name is Maxwell. I’ll be serving you tonight. Shall I start you with a bottle of our favorite local wines, Callahan’s Pinot Noir?”
Donovan and I look at each other and grin. “Yes, that sounds fantastic, Maxwell. Please bring us a bottle.” Maxwell nods and walks swiftly to the bar to fetch our wine.
Donovan takes my hands. “I have plans for after dinner, if you are free.”
My heart skips its normal beat, and I smile shyly at this dashing man. “The only plans I have are with you, so whatever you have in mind, I’m up for it.”
Donovan leans to kiss me, but Maxwell interrupts us by turning our wine glasses over. He removes the cork and begins to pour the red alcohol into our glasses. Our server puts the bottle on the table and asks if we are ready to order. Donovan tells him that we need a few minutes.
Maxwell leaves, off to serve his next table.
“I do believe our waiter was checking you out,” Donovan narrows his eyes in the direction of Maxwell.
“Oh, whatever,” I blush at the thought. I think to myself, he was probably checking out my date and not me.
Donovan shakes his head and rolls his eyes. “Now, where were we?” Donovan gives me a sly smile and leans back towards me. “Oh, yes, right here.” His lips are on mine, filled with passion and underlying lust. I’m shocked he would kiss me this way in such a posh place, but after two seconds, I don’t care where we are. I reach up to touch his face and hold his lips to mine.
This time I pull away first, breathless and embarrassed, hoping no one saw us. The restaurant is dimly lit, so no one seems to notice us. I shake my head to compose myself, and I notice that Donovan looks cool and collected. Damn him for being so beautiful. He cuts his eyes to me and playfully sticks his tongue out at me. I giggle, unable to stay mad at him for anything.
I pick up my menu and grab my wine glass, tipping the wine to my lips. The Pinot Noir from Donovan’s family is delicious. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but this is exquisite. I see now why Donovan’s family makes so much money; I would buy a case of this myself.
Donovan takes his glass of wine and hold it out in front of him. “To tonight, and to us.”
I give him my best mega watt smile and say, “To us.” We clink our glasses together and take a sip. “We should probably figure out what we want to eat.” We pick up our menus, and my eyes widen as I look at the prices of the food. I glance over to Donovan, and he looks calm. Livey was right; it would take an entire paycheck to pay for this meal! Donovan must see the anxiety written on my face because he sets his menu down and takes my hand. “Don’t worry about the price. I’m not.” He gives me a sincere smile. I look back at my menu and try not to look at the prices.
By the time Maxwell returns, we are ready to place our order. Donovan, always the gentleman, lets me go first. I order the seared sea scallops. Donovan grins and orders the vincotta glazed salmon. Maxwell seems pleased and walks away to give our order to the chefs in the kitchen.
Donovan sets his elbows on the table and places his chin in his hands. He stares at me with those soul burning blue eyes, I squirm under his gaze and feel the burn in my cheeks. Thank goodness the restaurant is so dark. “What are you looking at, Dr. Callahan?” I flirt with him, licking my top lip.
“I’m just admiring this creature of beauty in front of me,” Donovan says with a low, sexy voice that give me goose bumps over my entire body. His hooded eyes say he wants me just as badly as I want him.
“So, you like then?” I tease, batting my eyelashes at him.
“Baby, I more than like. I’m completely in awe,” Donovan’s flirty side disappears, and his face becomes suddenly serious. “Look, Allie, I want to be honest with you. If this scares you, don’t worry, it scares me, too.” I swallow, terrified of what’s going on in his head. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. Never. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me because of how new this is to me. Everything about you is…amazing. I know we don’t know each other that well, but I feel like I’ve been waiting my entire life for you. I just had to have you, and I needed to know if there was something between us. And now that I know that…” Donovan takes a deep breath and exhales loudly. “Maybe it was fate or God or whatever that made that chance meeting between us happen. I’ve told you before, it’s only ever been casual sex and Claire. That’s it, but with you, my feelings are entirely different. I want to protect you, to be with you every spare minute I have, to be your all. I can be myself around you, not the spoiled little rich boy I’ve had to be my whole life. You make me feel…free.”
I sit, shell shocked. I look into Donovan’s eyes, which are so full of raw emotion and confessions. I don’t know what to say. My mouth hangs open. My heart is screaming from the rooftops, “Me too! Me too!” and my head says, “Whoa, slow down. Don’t get hurt again.” Deep down; however, I know I feel the exact same way. I just have to wait for my brain to catch up to what my heart is feeling. I want him so badly, it hurts. It also scares me to death because we have only just met, but I guess when you feel something so intensely, it’s hard to stop all of these emotions.
I gather my thoughts as Donovan looks expectantly, awaiting my response. “Donovan,” I start, my heart racing, “I want to know something first.” Donovan looks at me, his heart wide open and soul exposed to me. “I want to know why me? Why am I different from Claire or any other woman? Why am I so special?”
Donovan takes my hands with both of his. “I know you are a good person inside and out. That’s so easy to see. I see the way you talk about your family and your friend Livey. Obviously, you have brains, or you wouldn’t be going into the P.A. program. You have been honest with me so far, and it doesn’t hurt that you’re incredibly sexy.” Donovan winks at me. My heart smiles with jubilation. Then once again, my brain to mouth filter malfunctions and out comes, “Well, why Claire?”
Donovan’s brow furrows and makes a V in the middle of his forehead. He releases my hands and runs one of his through his soft brown hair, while his eyes stay locked on mine. “Claire was a bitch, but she was into me. I was into her too but not nearly as much. She was an older woman that showed me attention and got my hormones going. I liked the fame that came along with her. But, of course, the fame didn’t happen until after Frank was murdered. You see, Claire and I had an affair.”

My mind can’t process this. It’s completely overwhelming me. I stare blankly at Donovan as he looks at me, his beautiful features contorted by emotional pain. “I…I don’t remember ever hearing about that in the papers or anything,” is all I can manage to say.
Donovan runs his hand through his hair again, and I realize this is a nervous habit for him. “I didn’t want to talk about Claire, but you insisted on bringing her up.” His voice is tense and quiet. “ I know it wasn’t in the paper or even the trial. I was seventeen at the time, technically a minor, and I didn’t want to get her in trouble for that as well.” He exhales deeply. “She should be spending the rest of her life in jail for the murder of her husband. I also didn’t want my family humiliated by my actions. My dad would have killed me if he knew I was sleeping with a married woman.”
Okay, I can understand that, but can I handle this? Tears prick in my eyes as I look at Donovan.
I have a terrible feeling about something. “Did she kill Frank because of you?” I whisper as tears start to flow from my eyes.
Donovan breaks our eye contact and stares down. “Honestly, I don‘t know. She never came out and said it. I mean, she acted the part of the grieving widow in public, but with me, it was like she was a different woman. I didn’t know she had actually killed him until she was arrested. We had been screwing around for years, but I saw her with Frank, and there was never any malice towards him from her. Allie, I really don’t want to talk about this now, please,” his voice sounds quiet. anguished and on the borderline of rage. I see him shaking with anger, and I shudder. I excuse myself to go to the restroom and stand. Donovan stands as well. I don’t know if it’s from his Southern politeness or if he’s trying to stop me from taking off. “I’m fine, I just need to go to the bathroom,” I say as I turn away from him. I glance back towards Donovan and see he’s almost crying. God, that’s hard seeing him so tortured. I just need a few minutes to process this.
I don’t want to run, but this is a lot of baggage to take on. A famous woman may have killed her husband to be with Donovan, and he screwed her while she was married? I’m so confused. I find the restroom after a minute of roaming around the restaurant.
I step in, and the bathroom is just as stunning as the rest of the place. It’s clean, with giant vanities and smooth leather couches. I walk into one of the stalls and grab some toilet paper to dab my eyes. Should I let this deter me from Donovan? It’s not like he is the one that cheated; he just couldn’t resist the attention Claire Dubois gave him. But do I want to take on a man that has such a past? Can I tolerate knowing a man might have been murdered over Donovan? I know that Donovan is being honest with me when he tells me she is history, and I’m sure he feels a tremendous amount of guilt. But he is not responsible for Claire’s actions. She acted alone without Donovan’s help. He didn’t know she was going to do what she did.
I compose myself and go to wash my hands. I look at my reflection in the mirror and sigh. No, I’m not as beautiful as Claire, but I’m also not as crazy. If I want to be with Donovan, I will have to take on his past. Is he worth it? Yes, I know he is. I just have to get over Claire. She’s not going to mess with our lives. She’s in prison for God’s sake. I smile, knowing my decision is the right one, and I walk back to our table with my head held high.
Donovan jumps up as soon as he sees me come back. My eyes are downcast when I sit, and my hands are twisted in my lap. He scoots closer to me and slips his hands on mine. In response, I look up at him. His eyes are a bit red, and I think he has shed a few tears. It rips my heart out seeing him that upset. I give him a tight lipped smile and run my fingertips along his smooth face. My Adonis takes my hand and kisses my palm. I start to speak just as Maxwell comes back with our food. He sets our plates in front of us, refills our wine, and asks if we need anything else. Donovan politely says no, and our server is gone again.
I start again, “Donovan, I don’t want you to think I will run from you. I know you have some skeletons in your closet, but I will wait around and listen to them when you want to speak of them. I can’t condone an affair with a married woman, but I do know you were young and wild.
Who wasn’t? You have your head on straight now. We all make mistakes, God knows I have.
So, I can move past this. Just know that it may take some time for me to adjust to it.”
I take Donovan’s sculpted face into my hands and kiss him, just to let him know I’m in this for the long haul, regardless of either one of our pasts. I hear Donovan moan into my mouth, and all of a sudden, it’s just us again. No Claire, no trials, not anything. It’s just Donovan and me in our own bubble, where nothing else matters. I pull back and kiss just the corner of his mouth. “Now, we should probably eat if you still have plans for us after dinner.”
Donovan and I savor our meal. My scallops are delicious and melt-in-your-mouth good.
Donovan really seems to enjoy his salmon. We order some coffee and just talk. We talk about our families, our favorite books, movies that we like, and our careers. We are just two people on a date getting to know each other, and it’s so comfortable with him. Even with the drama we have endured in the last 48 hours, we enjoy each others’ company. We laugh, joke, and flirt. As Maxwell brings the check, a woman walks over to us with a bouquet of white and pink roses.
She hands them to me with a smile and says nothing as she walks away. Donovan looks at me shyly, shrugs his shoulders and says, “I didn’t know what kind of flowers you like, so I hope these will do.”
“Donovan, they are so beautiful! Thank you so much!” Donovan leans in to kiss my cheek, and I turn so my lips are his target instead. With my free hand, I grab his hair and tug as our tongues ll roll his eyes as Donovan takes the check. He throws his credit card down, without so much as looking at the bill, and hands it back to our waiter.
“So, what are your plans for us after dinner?” I ask. I have been trying to think get reacquainted.
Maxwell clears his throat, as he is still standing there with the check. We stop, and I giggle. I think I see Maxwell roll his eyes. I try to think about what it could be, but I haven’t the slightest.
“You will find out soon enough, baby doll,” Donovan smiles slyly at me. I rub my legs together.
I wonder if I make him hot for me by just saying a sentence. I don’t understand it, but I like it.
Maxwell returns with our check and places it in front of Donovan. Donovan signs the credit card slip, and hands it to our waiter. Maxwell’s brown eyes get huge as he looks at it. By the looks of it, our waiter just got a huge tip. Wow, Donovan is over the top when it comes to tipping. I bet that just made Maxwell’s night. Our server tells us to have a wonderful night, and Donovan smirks at him and says, “I fully intend to.” I put my fingers over my mouth as I try to cover a smile. Donovan stands and pulls my chair back so I can get up. I grab my purse and flowers.
He rests his hand on my upper back, and we walk back to the elevators. As we are waiting, we hear someone call Donovan’s name. He turns as the camera flash goes off.
“What the hell, man?” Donovan yells at the mystery photographer. Again, he snaps another picture. “Get away from us!” Donovan tries to push the guy out of the way, but he’s too blinded by the flash to really see where the photographer is.
“Dr. Callahan, I see you have found love again after Claire Dubois. What’s her name?” The jerk turns his camera back at me and snaps another picture. I try to block my face from the light flooding my eyes. Donovan grabs the man by his shirt collar with both hands and launches him across the room. The guy is small compared to Donovan, about six inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter, so he looks as if he’s flying until he lands on his rear with a loud thud. The door to the elevator opens, and we rush in before the photographer can get to his feet. Donovan hits the close button just as the man takes another picture. The door finally closes, and I sigh with relief.
“Damn it!” Donovan hisses through his teeth and runs his hands through his hair. He has broken a sweat, and his fists are clenched so tight his knuckles are white.
I stand there, pale and confused. “Donovan, what the hell was that about?”
Donovan growls deep in his throat. “When Claire and I were together for the public to see, we were followed everywhere by cameras and reporters. She ate that shit up. In fact, I think she called the buzzards ahead of time just so her picture would be in the magazines.” He rolls his eyes. “For a while after the trial, I was swarmed by the paparazzi. They wanted to know my feelings about the trial, about Claire, about anything! I never talked to them, and they made up a bunch of bullshit to get a story.” He shakes his head in disgust. “All they ever got from me were the photos they took of me. It stopped around a year ago, but apparently I’m a hot topic again now that I have a new girlfriend.” He throws both hands into his hair. “Damnit! How did he even know about us?”
I cock my head to the side and gaze at Donovan, overwhelmed by his anger. I feel for this man, with all the drama he has gone through for most of his adult life. I remember seeing some of those photos in the magazines a few years back. I never paid much attention to them, just saw it as trash since it was always in Livey’s magazines. I do remember wishing they would leave him alone and let him be. I place my hand on his shoulder to show him I’m here for him, to be a shoulder for him to lean on. I feel him tense, then relax under my touch. Donovan looks at me, and his lips form a tight smile. “I’m sorry, but I think we are going to be in the gossip column tomorrow morning, and I may be sued for assault.”
“I’ll be your witness that that ass had it coming, and you were trying to protect me,” I smile shyly.
Donovan takes me in his arms and hugs me tightly. I lean my head on his chest, close my eyes, and wrap my arms around his waist. Donovan kisses me on the top of my head.
We hold each other like this for the entire ride down in the elevator, not caring who sees us.
For the eighty five second trip, we stay locked in our embrace and stay trapped in our bubble for two. Right now, there is no one here but us. As the doors open up to the lobby, we make our way outside, and awaiting us is about a dozen or so photographers and reporters. I hear Donovan gasp, then he grips me tightly around my waist. I use my flowers to cover my face so I’m not blinded by all the cameras flashing. Donovan does the same with his free hand. I hear tons of questions being thrown at us. “Dr. Callahan, who is your new girlfriend?” “Dr. Callahan, have you spoken to Claire since she’s been in prison?” “How serious are you two?” “How do you think this will affect Claire? We all know she’s still pining away for you in jail!” The last question made Donovan whip his head around and glare in the direction of a stocky African American man with a bald head and glasses. If looks could kill, the man would have died right then and there.
“I have one comment to make and that’s it,” Donovan shouts above the flock of blood thirsty animals. “I am very happy right now, more than I’ve ever been. I am done with Claire Dubois.
No more comments Now, if you’ll excuse us.” And with that, we race to his BMW so fast that the reporters are left in our dust. I still see the photos being taken of us, and I dread what the magazines will say. Now they are going to dig deeply into my background if they ever find out my name. I shudder as I slide into the car. Donovan slams his door, and we bolt out of the parking lot, nearly running down one of the photographers who was chasing us. The car’s tires screech as we turn right.
I am panting and trying to catch my breath as we weave in and out of traffic. Donovan grips the steering wheel and slams on the gas to get around a tractor trailer. I turn my head to look at him. His handsome face is distorted by the furrow in his brow, and his mouth is formed in a tight, hard line. Even when he is this angry, he is still impossible to resist. “Donovan, are you ok?” I whisper.
Donovan’s breathing is erratic, and I see his chest heaving in and out. “I wish they weren’t there.
I wish they didn’t see us. I wanted tonight to be about us and us alone. I’m sorry they ruined our evening.”
“Donovan, they didn’t ruin my evening. Yeah, maybe they put a damper on it, but I’m still with you, so I’m having a good time,” I try to reassure him. The paparazzi issue makes me nervous, though. I don’t want them finding out about my past. That’s the last thing Donovan needs right now. I put my hand on his thigh, and I see him relax a little. I also see the speed on the odometer come down.
“So, I still have those plans, that is, if you still want to go,” Donovan cuts his eyes over to me, and I grin.
“Of course I want to go, as long as I’m with you, I don’t care where it is,” I beam at him brightly.
He grasps my hand and kisses the back of it.
“It’s at my house in Sandy Springs, so it’s not far from here.” Donovan smiles as we take the 285 exit. I grin from ear to ear. I’m excited enough just to go to Donovan’s place, let alone whatever surprise he has in store for me. I lean my seat back and close my eyes, listening to Maroon 5 play their catchy song. I text Livey:
*Heading to Donovan’s. C U tomorrow *
I stick the phone back in my purse and close my eyes. I just need to rest my eyes for a second…
I must have dozed off because Donovan is lightly shaking my shoulder. “Baby doll, wake up; we’re here.” I sleepily open my eyes and stretch out my arms. I sit up and swing my legs over to get out of the car. When I step out, my eyes widen with surprise. Donovan called this a house?
It looks more like a mansion. The walkway is made of cobblestone and is lined with small path lights all the way up to the house. The place is made of grey stone with an open front porch, complete with white rocking chairs. Donovan takes my arm and leads me to the double doors on the porch.
“Do you just live here, or do other people live here with you?” There has to be other people living here. This is too much space for one man alone.
Donovan chuckles as he thumbs my lower lip. “This is all mine, baby. Only reason I have such a big house is because my family comes to visit, and we do Christmas and Thanksgiving here sometimes.”
I quiver at his touch, just now realizing how much I had missed it since the elevator, which now seems ages ago. He smirks at me, damn well knowing the effect he has on me. He tilts my chin up so I’m looking straight into his fierce blue eyes. “Come, I want to show you your surprise.”
Donovan unlocks the door and escorts me inside.
The inside is just as magnificent as the outside. The doors open to a grand foyer with shades of light and dark grey tile. The walls are painted a charcoal grey with white trim along the edges of the floor. A beautiful painting of a woman dressed in a silver ball gown is the lone piece of artwork on the walls. She looks a lot like Donovan. She has the same intense blue eyes and brown hair, the same lips and cheekbones. Donovan looks at the painting with me. “That’s my mother,” he says, answering my silent question. “She left when I was six.”
Hwith a jaw dropping grin of his own.is answer stuns me. “I thought your parents were still together.”
“Well, you asked me what my parents’ names were, and I told you. Robert and Evelyn. My real mother is Evelyn, but my stepmother is Donna.” A look of disgust forms on Donovan’s face.
Judging by the scowl, he doesn’t get along with Donna.
“Can I ask why your mom left?” I ask cautiously. I look at my man with wary eyes. How could anyone possibly leave him?
“Evelyn was an alcoholic, and when your family owns a winery, it’s not a good combo. She stayed drunk all day long. It got to the point where Megan and I were cared for solely by our nanny, Miss Chandler.” Donovan trails off. I can’t imagine the pain of watching your own mother drink her life away.
To my surprise, Donovan keeps talking. “When my dad found out she was beating us during her drunken stupors, he couldn’t take it anymore. He loved her, but he loved us more.” He looks up at the picture of his mother. “He gave her a choice, leave or go to rehab. So…she left.”
Thinking of a young Donovan being beaten and scared, of the tears he must have shed. My heart sinks, and I feel a hard lump in my throat. I don’t want to cry again, but I feel the tears stinging my eyes.
“Baby, don’t. It happened a long time ago. Let’s not think of that now.” Donovan takes me in his arms and holds me close. “The only reason I have that painting is because that’s all she left behind that was worth anything to me. It was painted long before she started drinking, and that’s how I want to remember her.” He strokes my hair, and once again, I feel safe. I raise my chin to look into those baby blue eyes, and I see him looking down at me. I smile, and he returns it, The living area is sleek and modern. The walls are painted the same charcoal grey as the foyer.
A large flat screen TV mounts the wall, and a white leather U-shaped couch with black and red pillows is seated in front of it. The floor is a slate grey, and a stark white area rug spans the floor in front of the couch. A large bay window with a bench is at the end of the living room. Beside it is a very large black bookcase, filled with medical textbooks and classic novels. I can picture Donovan seated there on the bench, staring out of the window on a rainy day.
Donovan keeps walking me toward the kitchen. I look at it in awe. It is one of the biggest kitchens I have ever laid eyes on, including the ones in Southern Living magazine. The tiles on the wall are a sky blue, almost matching Donovan’s eyes, and the glass cabinets are a brilliant white. There is a double oven and an electric and gas stovetops. The island in the middle has a single vase of yellow tulips. Wow, I could get used to having a kitchen like this to cook in. How cool would it be to make Thanksgiving dinner in here?
Donovan lets me go and walks to the fridge. He pulls out a bottle of his family’s Chardonnay and grabs two long stemmed wine glasses from the cabinet. He pulls the cork with ease and begins to pour. “I hope you like your surprise,” he says as he hands me my glass.
“I’m certain I will.” I eye Donovan as I swirl my wine around in my glass. I’m still buzzed from the bottle of wine at dinner, so I take a small sip. The wine is cool, crisp, and sweet, and it slides down smoothly.
Donovan picks up the bottle and his glass. “Come.” Donovan beams at me as he heads to the back door. “It’s out here, but first, close your eyes.”
I cock my head to the side and raise my eyebrows at him.
“Please,” Donovan begs and gives me the biggest puppy dog eyes. Oh, how can I possibly say no to this enchanting man? I humor him and close my eyes.
“Good girl,” Donovan says sweetly. He takes my hand, and I feel the warm spring breeze hit me as he opens the door. We are on a back porch or deck. He walks me a bit further and lets go of my hand. “Stay here, and keep those beautiful eyes closed.” He plants a swift kiss on my bare shoulder as he sweeps my hair back. A delicious shiver runs through me. Donovan walks a few steps and stops. I hear the flip of a switch.
“Now, baby doll, open your eyes.”

“Oh my God! How did you manage this?” I gasp as I stare at the wonder before me. His deck is lit up with little white Christmas lights everywhere. It’s so bright and whimsical. There is a table with white linen, and it’s set for two. There are another dozen pink roses laid on the table, alongside a small gift box and a plate of decadent chocolate covered strawberries. I gape at the sheer sight of it all. Donovan presses a button on the outside wall, and a sweet, slow melody pours out from speakers I can’t see. My man walks back over to me and places one hand around my waist and takes my other hand in his.
“I have a very helpful sister. Now, may I have this dance?” he asks in that voice that makes me want to combust. I beam at him, and Donovan starts to move to the song, starting a slow, sensual rhythm and taking me with him. Eric Clapton sings about how his woman looks wonderful tonight and the love light in her eyes. Donovan spins me around the deck with such grace and ease. For once, I didn’t fall on my face and even kept up with him.
The song ends, and Donovan doesn’t let me go. We stare at eachother for a moment, then he plants a kiss on my forehead. “That was so amazingly sweet. Thank you,” I breathe, my heart swelling inside my chest. “That has to be one of the most romantic things anyone has ever done for me. Well, actually, it’s the only romantic thing anyone has done for me.” I frown at the thought. I suppose I figured I wasn’t worth the effort.
Donovan rubs my cheek and says, “Baby doll, I’m just getting started spoiling you.” He tilts up my chin and kisses my nose. The gesture makes me giggle. “Let’s have some dessert.”
Donovan steps over to the table and holds out my chair for me. “I’m just glad you like roses.” He shrugs his shoulders as he pushes my seat in.
“Donovan, I love roses, especially ones from you.” I pucker my lips and wink at him.
Donovan grabs the bottle of wine and refills our glasses. “Oh, I almost forgot!” He reaches for the small box and hands it to me. “I hope you like this, too.”
I look at the tiny gift, and I have a small panic attack. What kind of money has this man spent on me in the last two days? I nervously pick up the present and carefully rip off the paper. I glance up at Donovan, who is apparently as crazy about me as I am about him. The look on his face reminds me of a child on Christmas morning, so excited to see what my reaction will be. As I reveal the box, I see it’s from Nordstrom’s.
“Another purchase on your excursion with your sister?” I run my fingertips along the black velvet box.
“Yes.” He is abrupt, and I know it’s because he is anxious for me to open it. I flip the lid, and I inhale sharply. I lift out a beautiful gold necklace with Donovan’s initials.
“So I’ll be with you, wherever you go,” Donovan says quietly, and I think I see him blushing a bit.
I jump out of my chair and nearly knock the table over trying to hug him, and Donovan almost falls out of his chair trying to catch me. I kiss him with such force it stings my lips. I straddle him, grab his hair, and feel his growing erection between my legs. That only heightens my arousal, and I start to unbutton his jacket. He groans my name and tugs on my bottom lip, making me quiver. Donovan stands and picks me up so my legs wrap around his waist.
“I really don’t want my neighbors to have a peep show, so let’s take this upstairs.” Donovan grabs my ass and gives it a squeeze, causing me to yelp. I wrap my legs tighter around him as he opens the back door. He slams the door shut with his foot, and his lips never leave mine. He walks back to the foyer and climbs the staircase, never having trouble holding me up. We reach the top of the stairs, and he turns left, still possessing my mouth with his tongue. He releases me as we reach the entrance to his bedroom and turns the knob on the heavy, cherry wood door.
The door opens to a massive master bedroom. The walls are a deep burgundy and have gold trim, such a stunning contrast. The entire wall that is directly in front of me is a huge window with golden curtains to offer us some privacy. Japanese characters painted in red, which match the décor of the room hang on the walls. They must say “sex god.” Then I see the bed. It’s larger than a king and looks ultra comfortable with a stark white comforter.
Donovan turns the dimmer down, and it gives the room a soft, romantic glow. He then comes up behind me, pulls my hair up on top of my head, and brushes his lips on the back of my neck.
My spine tingles as I lean my head to the side to give him better access, which he takes full advantage of. He works his way up to my earlobe, then back down, leaving trails of kisses that light my body on fire. Donovan tugs at the neck strap of my dress, and with one pull, it slides off my breasts. He smiles wickedly, places his hands on my sides, and slowly pulls the dress off so it pools at my ankles. I’m in nothing but my black thong.
“My God, you’re so beautiful,” he growls as he starts kissing me from the bottom up. His skilled fingers follow the path of his lips, touching my skin gently. I toss my head back and whimper.
Oh, he’s so good at this. As he reaches my shoulders, he slowly turns me around so I’m facing him. He seems to drink me in as I bite my lower lip. “Your turn, baby,” Donovan whispers. His eyes seem so dark and intense, his body very obviously responding to me from behind his slacks.
I lick my lips, excited about seeing him so turned on by me. I slip his blazer off his shoulders, and it falls to the floor. I fumble with the buttons on his linen shirt next. When I finally get them all undone, his shirt falls to the sides, giving me a great view of his hairless chest and hard abs.
I trace my fingertips along his stomach, and I feel him inhale. I tell him to take off his shoes, and he complies. I unfasten his leather belt and start to unzip his fly. I pull his pants down, and his erection springs free through his grey boxer briefs.
“Well, somebody’s happy to see me.” I give Donovan bedroom eyes as I wrap my hand around his shaft. He hisses through clenched teeth, “Shit!”
I move my hand up and down his impressive erection, and Donovan’s head tilts back as he grabs onto my hips, digging his fingers into my skin.
“Enough!” he growls and steps out of his pants. He slips his socks off, then helps me step out of my crumpled dress. I start to take off my silver pumps when he says, “No, keep them on.” His eyes are filled with primal, raw desire, all for me. I keep the shoes on as he stands me in front of the bed. He instructs me to sit down and then lay back, with my legs off the bed and feet on the floor. I look up at the ceiling, and I’m shocked to see it’s mirrored! I’m looking at myself, almost completely naked, and Donovan glances up and winks at me. I blush crimson and cover my face. I hear him chuckle at me.
“Relax, baby. It’s not like I’m recording this, unless you want me to.”
“Oh, no! Don’t do that!” I panic. No, please, anything but that.
“Silly girl. I wouldn’t do that to you, now, hold still.” He leans over me and tugs at my ear with his teeth. His mouth on me gets my blood pumping, and my back arches towards him. Donovan’s tongue swirls deliciously down my neck and collarbone. I start feeling the familiar ache in my loins, and my pelvis instinctively bucks up.
“Impatient, aren’t you?” He slowly swirls his tongue around my nipple, causing me to groan.
My back bows, begging him with my body to make love to me. I feel his erection rub against my leg, making me instantly wet. Donovan continues with his tongue on my nipples, his hands holding them up. “You have perfect breasts. The right size for my hands.” I moan and hold onto his hair.
“Baby, I want to take my time with you. Let me enjoy you.” Donovan moves his amazing lips down to my belly and around my navel. He leaves kisses all over me, making me incredibly hot and bothered. He stands up, grabs the sides of my panties and yanks them down to my knees.
I lift my feet off the floor, so he can slide them all the way off. Then Donovan kneels on the floor and pushed my thighs apart. I pant, waiting with anticipation. He nips the inside of my thighs, working his way back north. I claw at the sheets and throw my head back, going insane with want and desire. “Oh, fuck!” I breathe.
Donovan takes one of my legs and lifts it onto his shoulders. Then, slowly, he slides one of his fingers inside me. I gasp and grip the sheets tighter. He takes his thumb and rubs my now aching clit, causing me to squirm. The feeling is incredible, and it makes me want him inside me, right now. He continues for a minute before he replaces his finger with that magic tongue of his. I say his name, unable to hold back. Donovan takes his hands and pushes the backs of my thighs up, giving him better access.
That wonderful pressure starts building up inside me as his tongue flicks up and down, slow, then fast. I glance at the mirror above me, and it’s so…hot. The sight of him between my legs pushes me over the edge, and I climax, grabbing his hair, shaking and moaning, “Oh, God!”
I lift up on my elbows, and Mr. Sex sits up to look at me. He licks his lips, my arousal glistening on them. He stands, and I see his huge dick bulging out of his boxer briefs. He’s so sexy, I almost can’t stand it. My breathing starts to slow as I come down from my sexual high.
Donovan lies beside me on the bed, on his side so he can face me. “You ready for me now?”
I nod, unable to speak any words. He gives me a half smile, and in a swift movement, grabs me and pulls me on top of him. “Grab a condom out of the nightstand.”
I lean over and get a small foil packet and open it. “Put it on me,” he orders softly as he runs his hands over my body.
“Uhh…” I stutter. I’ve never put a condom on a guy before. “I don’t know how.” My face feels hot, and I become overwhelmingly embarrassed.
“Just put it on and roll it down, all the way.” His eyes are a dark blue, and his lashes are long.
I’ve never noticed how sexy lashes can be until this moment.
I do as I’m told and find it’s not that hard. After I finish, Donovan pulls me down, so we are face to face. “Now, baby doll, show me you want me.”
At those words, I kiss him fiercely, forcing his mouth open with my tongue. I straddle his waist and feel the swell of his own arousal under me. I take my hand, grab a hold of him and sink onto him. Donovan lets out a sexy low growl and says, “Now, move.”
I sit up, lay my hands on his stomach and start slowly. He completely fills me to my brim, and the pleasure of having him in me bites of pleasure and pain. As I get used to the feeling, my rhythm becomes just slightly faster. Donovan grabs my hips and rolls his eyes back in his head.
To see him come so undone under me excites the hell out of me, so I take charge and begin sliding up and down on him even harder.
Donovan suddenly sits up so we are nose to nose again. He wraps his arms around my back, and I put mine around his neck. His thrusts meet mine, and I feel myself start to quiver, and seconds later, another mind blowing orgasm. Three more thrusts and he says, “Oh, fuck!” and finds his release as well.
We sit there facing each other for a while, Donovan still inside me, throbbing. I try to gasp for air and slow my rapid heartbeat. I feel his pulse doing the same. He lays back and takes me with him, his strong arms hugging me tightly, his sweet lips kissing my forehead. I look down on this beautiful man and wonder what I did to deserve him? I think of Matt and I frown. Why does he have to enter my mind at the worst moments?
“What’s wrong?” Donovan whispers, concern etching his handsome face.
“Nothing really. I just don’t know if I deserve you, that’s all,” I say quietly. Do I really deserve this man? He is so good, so perfect, and well, I’m not.
“How can you honestly say that to me?” Donovan’s brow furrows. “You are completely worthy.
I’m the one that is not deserving of you.”
“I have a past. It’s not a good one, either. When those reporters find out who I am and start digging up dirt on me, you will be humiliated.” Unwelcome tears sting my eyes as I roll off Donovan and lay on my back with my arm over my face. He rolls over on his side, takes his hand, and rubs my arm.
“Allie, you forget who you are talking to here.” He rests his head on my shoulder. “I have enough drama to last a lifetime.”
I roll onto my side and gaze into my man’s blue eyes. I feel as though he can look straight into my soul. He runs his fingers along my cheek to catch a stray tear. I sigh loudly; I know he’s right. I want to confess my heart to this man, but it seems so soon. I don’t want to hold back, but I don’t know if I can let my walls down completely yet. I am going to try.
“Do you remember when I told you I have only had sex with one guy?“
“Yes…I remember.” He cocks his eyebrow up at me, with a look of where the hell are you going with this?
I take a deep breath and continue. “It was with my boyfriend from high school, Matt Bowman.
He was one of the popular guys. He played football and baseball, SCA, all that shit. He was a year ahead of me. We started dating when I was a junior.” I shake my head. “There was no sex or anything at first. We took things slow at my request, and he seemed to be okay with it." I roll my eyes. "Of course I found out later he was fucking his ex girlfriend the entire time. People tried to tell me, but I didn't want to hear it." I rub my temples, trying to fight the headache I feel coming on.
Donovan cocks his head on his hand, intently listening to every word I’m saying. It’s so nice to have someone listen to me.
“When we got together, he had just broken up with a girl named Holly. I mean, like a day later.
That’s the girl he was screwing behind my back. I had a crush on him since middle school, so I didn’t even care if I was a rebound relationship.” I fight back the hatred I feel toward him. “He took me out the next weekend to a movie and pizza, and we really seemed to hit it off. Do you want to hear this?” I eye him to make sure he wants me to continue.
Donovan nods, his blue eyes boring into me, and it makes my heart flutter. I turn my head back over and stare at the ceiling, my reflection staring back at me.
“We did a lot of bad shit. The first time I got drunk and high was with him, but it was fun at the time.” I giggle, which is totally inappropriate at the moment. “After he graduated that June, we were still going out. I was going into my senior year, applying to colleges and studying. I had my shit together, you know? He was going to a local community college for mechanics.” I breathe in deeply, trying to recount the memories that stain my mind.
“He started hanging out with some guys from his classes during the summer. They were wanna-be thugs, I guess, the type of people that you get a bad vibe around, that give you the creeps.”
I shiver at the thought of that crew. “Their names were, get this, T-Dogg and Cleatus. I’m pretty sure those were nicknames.” My voice is dripping with sarcasm and disgust.
Donovan rubs his hand along my belly, giving me goose bumps. “You don’t have to continue, if you don’t want to.”
“I know, but I want to be open and honest with you, and I want you to hear it from me and not from someone else.” I look at this angel that God has sent to me, and my heart sinks. I know he will be upset or disappointed in me. Will he want to see me anymore after I tell him this? I decide to try to keep going.
“Well, Matt became really close to these guys, and I hardly saw him anymore. I went by his house one night in July, completely fed up with him not returning my texts or calls. He still lived at his parents’ house. When I pulled up, I saw his parents were gone, but his buddies were there.” A surge of anger rolls through me as I relive the memory of that night. Donovan’s hand stays on me.
“I banged on the door, and Matt answered, stoned and drunk. He dragged me in and started yelling at me. He was just screaming, saying I never gave him any, and he had blue balls.” The tears start to build up in my eyes.
“All of a sudden, he knocks me to the ground, and in front of his friends. They just sat there, doing nothing but laughing at me. It was so embarrassing,” I trail off. I take a deep breath and exhale. “He had never laid his hands on me before.”
I hear him suck in air through his teeth, and I can tell he’s pissed off. It breaks my heart, knowing I’m the one that made him so angry.
“I think I’m done talking about it for now.” I rolled back on my side to face him. I don’t really want to talk about it anymore. Donovan is still clinging to my words, and he strokes my hair.
“I’m so sorry he hurt you, baby, and I know you will tell me, when you’re ready. I won’t push you.” He kisses me on my nose. “And just so you, I really don’t think anything you tell me about your past will ever drive me away from you.”
I snuggle up to him, and he envelopes me with his arms, again making me feel safe. The skin to skin contact makes me tingle, and I start to plant small kisses on his chest. He must be feeling the tingling too, because we soon become hands and lips. We begin again, having mind blowing sex. It’s a cure all for me.

I wake up and stretch. I look over, and Donovan is cuddled up to me, his face in my back and his hands on my breasts. “Good morning, baby doll,” Donovan almost purrs in my ear.
“Good morning to you too, love,” I say sleepily.
“You know, I really like when you call me ‘love.’” Donovan nuzzles my neck. “It’s adorable.”
“I think it’s pretty cute too but maybe not as cute as you,” I nudge him with my elbow.
Donovan playfully swats my butt, and I yelp. He’s so fun to be around. I enjoy his company so much. I need to tell him what happened in my past, but it’s a little too heavy this early in the morning.
“What do you want to do today?” Donovan stands and stretches, making all the muscles in his back flex. “Do you have any plans, or can I be assured you will be with me?”
“So, you’re off work today?” I sit up on my elbow and drink in the view of his perfect body. His muscles are so toned and incredibly sexy. Will I ever tire of this man in all his glory?
“Yeah, I took the day off.”
“Well, I need to go home to get some clothes. I didn’t think to grab any. Unless you want me to wear the dress out today?”
“I’d prefer you wear nothing at all.” Donovan turns around quickly and pounces on me, making me lose my balance, and we fall back. He wraps his arms around me so my hands are pinned by my sides. I can’t help but to giggle and try to break free. “Struggling is pointless, baby.” He kisses me passionately, digging his morning erection into my thigh.
“Well, that was unexpected.” I say as Donovan releases me, too quickly for my taste. He gives me a wickedly delicious grin.
“I love waking up to you. It’s has definite advantages,” he says with a megawatt grin.
“Waking up next to you has one really big advantage.” I look down at his waist and notice his morning wood hasn’t gone away. I bring my eyes back to his face, and his blue eyes have a look saying ‘Oh yeah I’m fucking you now.’ And before I know it, we are tangled in the sheets again, our bodies sliding against each other.
“God, you are an animal,“ Donovan says in between licks and kisses.
“Make love to me, then fuck me until I can‘t see straight.” I can’t believe I just said that, but at this point, that’s exactly what I need. I need Donovan to show me love then give me white hot sex.
Donovan cups my breasts and tugs at my nipples. “Is that what you want, baby? Because that is exactly what you’re going to get.” My pelvis starts moving up and down, wishing he would put himself inside. As if he can read my thoughts, he leans over to the nightstand and grabs a condom. I snatch it from him, rip it open, and slide it on him.
“Whoa, baby. You really do need to be fucked.” His eyes are wide as he watches me roll it down his shaft.
He doesn’t waste time and slowly sinks inside me, making me gasp. The full feeling is so amazing. The way he stretches me is indescribable, and I scratch my nails down his back.
He lets me get used to the feeling of him expanding me, then he starts to pull out and back in again, slowly. I wrap my legs around his back so he can go even deeper. Soon he’s pumping harder and faster. I groan his name and suddenly explode all around him, unable to contain my orgasm.
Donovan waits until my body stops quivering, then says, “Roll over, baby, because now it’s time to fuck you until you can‘t see straight.”
Wow, holy shit. I comply and roll onto my stomach.
“Ass up, face down,” Donovan orders.
I jut out my backside and lay with my chest and face on the bed. Donovan grabs my hips and slams into me.
“Fuck!” I scream. He goes even deeper this way, and it is almost painful. Donovan is more gentle with the second thrust, letting me get used to him again. He keeps a hold of my hips and thrusts into me again and again. I feel that pressure again, so wound up with the need to release.
“Come for me.” Donovan commands, and like a slave to his body, I do as I’m told. I feel myself tighten around him and unable to control my body from shaking. Donovan thrusts one more time, then comes, pulsating deep inside me. Donovan pulls out, leaving me empty, and falls on the bed beside me. “You know, you are going to make me totally addicted to you. You’re my drug, and I can’t get enough,” he says, breathlessly.
I pull my long brown hair out of my face and stare at him, completely and happily spent. “I think the feeling is mutual, Dr. Callahan. I might need rehab.”
“Now that we are both good and thoroughly fucked, let’s go take a shower.” Donovan stands and unrolls the condom. He offers his hand to me. I scoot to the edge of the bed, and I start to feel sore from all the sex we have had. I winch as I get up, and I see Donovan smirk. “Now, you will remember all day that I’ve laid claim there, that you are mine.”
We walk to the bathroom and into the double shower, but Donovan only turns one on. He pulls me close under the warm water and nuzzles my hair, inhaling the smell of sex that comes off of me. I wrap my arms around his waist and interlock my hands at his back. We let the water rain down on us. We stand there in our embrace for what seems like a long time. My head rests on his chest, and I listen to his heart. Donovan’s chin rests on top of my head. It’s so relaxing just being together like this. I never want that feeling to go away.
“Are you ready to graduate this Saturday?” Donovan breaks the silence.
“I guess so. In all honesty, I haven’t thought about it. I’ve been kind of preoccupied with something.”
“Hmm. I wonder with what?” Donovan chuckles, and it makes my head vibrate.
“I haven’t the slightest, Doc.” I move my index finger in circles across his chest.
“Well, it is two days away. I’m taking you out and buying you a dress to wear for the big day.”
“But, Donovan…” I start, looking at him through the running water. He puts his index finger on my lips.
“Absolutely no but’s. It’s a graduation present. Deal with it,” Donovan says in an authoritative manner, one not to be questioned. I’m defeated, so I just say, “Thank you,” and stand on my toes to kiss him.
“That’s more like it. Now let’s wash. The water is going to get cold.” We take turns using his Issey Miyake body wash. God, it smells so good, so Donovan. Watching him washing me is so freaking erotic. Actually, everything he does is sexy: the way he walks, the way he says my name, the way he looks at me. He lathers his hands again and rubs the body wash all over me. The touch of his hands light me on fire. “Just want to make sure you’re clean, baby doll.”
Donovan grins, showing me his perfect smile.
“Yes, because apparently, I am a very dirty girl.” I wink at him as I start squeezing the soap into my hands. I lather, working the soap into a foam, and rub my hands over his chest and sculpted abdomen.
“You know, if we keep this up, we’re going to go at it again.” Donovan’s voice is low and husky, giving me those familiar goose bumps, even under the warm water.
“I think I’m okay with that.” I bite my bottom lip, getting turned on by the very thought of him taking me in the shower. Since I have almost no experience with guys, everything we do is like a first to me, and this is something I’ve always wanted to try.
Donovan takes his thumb and pulls my lip from my teeth. “I think you are still a bit sore. Besides, I don‘t keep condoms in the shower.” He frowns. “Maybe I should from now on.”
My mouth is on his within seconds, and I wrap my arms around his neck. I feel his sharp intake of breath, and I know I took him by surprise. Donovan doesn’t miss a beat and lifts me up with his strong arms under my backside. I wrap my legs around his waist, and he puts my back against the wall of the shower, all while we kiss. He tugs on my lip. I grab his shoulder and moan into his mouth. Yes, I’m pretty sore still, but damn it, I want him.
Donovan lets me down and says, “Turn around.” I do as I’m told and turn towards the wall. He takes my hands and places them above my head. He slips his arm around my waist and puts his other on my pubic area, making my ass stick out. He thrusts two fingers in and out of me, and I hiss through clenched teeth. I tilt my head back and feel myself tighten. Again I cum, violently with no holds barred.
I stand there, panting like an animal, trying unsuccessfully to catch my breath. Donovan turns me around and just stares at me. “I love watching you cum.”
I look into those blue eyes, and my heart melts inside my chest. My mind tells me it’s too soon to love him, but my heart is unable to hold back. I don’t want to get hurt, but my feelings for Donovan are so intense and passionate. It would break me into a million pieces if I ever lost him. I wrap my arms around him, not ever wanting to let go. I’m going to hold my feelings back from him. I don’t want to scare him off. Donovan kisses my forehead and runs his fingers through my wet, tangled hair. “We should finish washing, baby doll.” So, we do.
“My sister has a room here. I didn’t think of it before, but she has tons of clothes here. She wouldn’t mind if you borrowed some. It’s the second room on the left,” Donovan calls from the bathroom.
“Okay, thanks.” I tighten my towel and pad down the hallway in my bare feet. I open the door to Megan’s room, and I’m given a glimpse into Donovan’s sister’s life.
“Wow,” I mutter. Her room is beautiful. The walls are lilac, and the floor is hardwood. There’s a huge walk-in closet, along with three dressers. Her bed is about the size of a queen with a canopy hanging above it with sheer lilac curtains streaming down. The comforter looks like it’s made of down feathers, and it’s also the same color as the walls. “No wonder my dress was purple,” I giggle to myself. I walk over to the closet and switch on the light. “Oh, my!” I can’t believe the size of it! It’s bigger than my bedroom, and it’s wall to wall clothes. There are dresses, sweaters, shirts, belts, scarves. Everything. I don’t even know where to start.
I feel guilty looking through Megan’s clothes, being that I’ve never even met her. Donovan said she wouldn’t mind, and she obviously knows about me since she helped set up last night’s beautiful evening. I decide on a light pink sundress with capped sleeves. I slide it over my head, and I’m shocked that it fits perfectly. Well, Donovan did say we were the same size. I look down, and I see tons of shoes. I wonder if we are the same shoe size. I pick out a pair of white wedge sandals and become excited that they fit. I look into the antique mirror Megan has in her closet, and I’m satisfied. “Good enough,” I mutter as I head back down the hallway towards Donovan’s room.
I walk in, and he’s dressed as well. He is wearing khakis that hang off his hips with a white linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His hair is still damp, and it hangs on his forehead and just over his ears. Wow, he’s so hot.
“You look stunning.” Donovan saunters over to me, his blue eyes sparkling. He wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me close. I inhale his scent and sigh.
“You ready, baby?”
“Yeah, let me grab my purse.” I stop dead in my tracks. “Shit, Livey! I forgot to call her!” I run to the kitchen. I had set my purse down when Donovan grabbed our wine last night. I search for my cell phone and see two missed calls. I groan.
I dial her number, and she answers on the third ring. “Well, damn it, it’s about time! I was worried about you.” Her tone is chipped. Uh oh, she’s mad.
“Livey, I’m sorry! I have so much to tell you. We got swamped by photographers coming out of the Sun Dial.” I try to distract her from her annoyance with me.
“Oh, that I already know. It’s on the front page of the society pages, and there are pictures floating all over the internet.” My mouth drops open. “But don’t worry, they didn’t get a good shot of you, but I knew Donovan and of course, the dress.”
“Oh. My. God.” is all I could say. What the hell? We’re all over the society pages and the internet? How the hell could I let this happen?
“Look, we will talk when you get here. I’m off today, so I have to run a few errands for Daddy.
By the way, he wants to do dinner tonight. You able to come? He wants to meet at 6:00, is that ok?”
“Yes, that sounds good. I’m not sure what time I’ll be home. I’ll call you in a little while. Bye.”
“Bye, sweetie.”
I put my phone back in my purse as Donovan comes around the corner. “Everything alright, baby?”
“Yeah, I guess. We are in the papers this morning, as well as the internet.” I look up at his beautiful face, and it’s crazy how his presence alone can make me feel so protected.
“Oh, well. It will be okay. I’m not ashamed to be seen with you, so don’t think that. I got a hot babe on my arm.” His statement makes me laugh, and I smack his arm.
“Before we go, we should probably eat. A late breakfast sounds good to me,” I say, realizing that I am famished. Must have been all the sex and the energy I have exerted in the last few days.
“I think you have really good ideas.” Donovan walks over to the refrigerator and looks in. “Uh, what do you like?” It occurs to me he doesn’t know what food I like other than nachos, pizza, and sea scallops. I giggle. We have much to learn about each other, and I can’t wait.
“Let me see what you have to work with.” I walk up and stand beside him. His fridge is so nice and neat and fully stocked. I pull out a carton of eggs, cheese, sausage links, and orange juice,
“How does scrambled eggs sound to you?”
“Sounds great, but this is my house, and I want to make it for you.” Donovan bends down and pulls out a pan from a bottom cabinet.
“Well, why don’t we make it together?” I ask as I look for the non-stick spray in the pantry.
“Okay, deal,” Donovan says with a breathtaking smile. He pulls out a mixing bowl and a fork.
He lights the stove and lets the pan heat up. Then he turns to help me crack the eggs. He grabs the salt and pepper, while I mix in the cheese. It’s really nice, doing something so normal like making breakfast together. He pours half the mixture in the pan and puts the links in the other pan that’s heated. In the meantime, I grab the glasses for the juice.
“It smells great. I didn’t realize I was so hungry.” My mouth is practically watering. “Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.”
“Mine too, baby doll.” Donovan folds the eggs over. I sit at the kitchen island, watching him. I’m just surprised he is so at ease in a kitchen. Not like my brother, for sure. Jon couldn’t make toast when we were growing up. I guess his wife Jodi is the cook in the family. I chuckle to myself.
Donovan finishes our breakfast and sets a hot plate in front of me. I grab my fork and start to dig in. It tastes so good, I eat half of it before I know it.
“I’m not such a bad cook, huh?” Donovan winks at me as he eats. He picks up his glass and holds it out towards me. I grab mine, and we clink them together. “Here’s to breakfast with an incredibly wonderful woman. You know, I haven‘t done this in a long time.”
I look at him and a smart ass smirk comes to my lips. “What? Eat breakfast?”
Donovan throws his head back in laughter, and I frown. “No, baby. Making breakfast with a girl and eating together. I can’t remember the last time I did it. Well, other than family and Claire.”
He stops and has an ‘oh shit’ look on his face.
I silently smolder at the mention of Claire‘s name. I lose my appetite and set my fork down.
Donovan looks at me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.“ He rubs his head like it hurts. “Like I told you before, it was only Claire and one night stands in my past. So, I really don’t have anything else to compare us to.”
I stare at him for a moment. All of time is suspended when I look into those blue eyes. I know it’s true, and I have to get over my jealousy of the past. We have only known each other for a few days, I have to remind myself. How in the world am I going to stop myself from getting so jealous where Donovan is concerned?
Donovan closes his eyes for a beat and continues. “I don’t know if I can control myself around you. It really scares me.” He lets out a heavy sigh. “There’s something about you that intrigues me and excites me. You are like no one I have ever met. Do you feel the same about me?” He hangs his head a bit.
I swallow, and I try to form the words in my head. Soon, they are flowing out, uncontrolled. “Yes.
I do feel the same way. I have a hard time expressing myself verbally. Physically, there is no problem showing you how I feel.” I play with my napkin, unable to look at him, but my words don’t stop. “But, you must understand. I have been hurt more than you know. My heart was shattered by Matt and what he did to me.” I cringe at the mention of that name. “I am just hoping you are the one that will pick up the pieces and make me whole again. It’s not going to be an easy job, but I hope you are up to it.”
“Allie, I have to know. What did Matt do to you? Why did he make you so shattered?” Donovan looks up, his blue eyes intense, his brow furrowed.
Well, it’s now or never. I put my hands into my lap and start to talk about the horrible things that happened.

“When Matt had pushed me to the ground,” I start where I left off, “I was humiliated and embarrassed. His stupid friends sat back and even laughed at me. Matt stood over me. I was crying so hard.” The lump starts to build in my throat. I try to swallow it down.
“I was so scared to even move. Then all of a sudden, he pulled me off the ground and took me to his bedroom. He slammed the door and started kissing me.” I put my head in my hands.
“I tried to push him off me, he tasted like beer and smelled like pot. He wouldn’t stop. He started to take off my shirt...“ A shudder runs through me as I picture his face. “He threw me down on the bed and said, ‘I want you right now, I’m ready for us to do it.’ He told me he loved me, and this is what people did when they loved each other. So I gave in, and I let him have sex with me. I did it more out of fear of losing him than anything.” I shake my head, ashamed of my actions. "I thought by having sex with him, he wouldn’t leave me. But it hurt so bad, since I was a virgin, and Matt wasn’t very affectionate. He just laid on top of me and pounded away.”
Donovan stares at me, wide-eyed, his mouth open. I see his fists clenched on the table and his face turning red. Oh no, he’s so angry. At me? No, he couldn’t be. Or is he so disgusted with me, he can’t put it into words?
“Well, once it was over, he zipped himself up, and I saw the door was cracked. I tried to cover myself because I knew his friends were there. They were laughing so hard.” The tears start to burn my eyes.
“I slammed the door and got dressed. When I walked out to leave, T-Dogg held his phone up and showed a picture of me, naked as Matt was on top of me. I was so mortified. I ran out, screaming and crying.” My voice gets quieter as I bare my soul to Donovan. It’s getting so hard to finish.
“I went home and told my dad about it. He took me down to the hospital. I begged him not to, but he did it anyway. They did exams on me, and the police came to talk to me. They said because I was a minor, it was considered statutory rape, since Matt was over eighteen. My dad really wanted to press charges. They took notes and said they would call me.” I close my eyes as my tears travel down my cheeks. “We went home, I got on Facebook. When I signed in, T-Dogg had posted that picture to my page…oh God.”
I break down; the crying starts. My body is racking with out of control, gut wrenching sobs. I wail and throw my head into my hands. Donovan sits on the stool next to me and grabs me. He pulls me into his lap. He rocks me like a child, holding me tightly. “Oh, God. I am so sorry. I had no idea that was what you were going to tell me. I’m so sorry.” As he rocks me back and forth, the sobs start to calm down. My tears have stopped, and my head starts to hurt. I wrap my arms around Donovan’s neck. We sit there like this for a while, until I am completely okay. Donovan pulls me back and looks at my face. “That’s why I didn’t tell you before,” I say quietly.
“I’m so sorry that I pushed you to tell me that,” Donovan has tears in his eyes.
“I would have told you. I wanted to tell you. It’s just so hard to talk about.” I wipe my face with my napkin. “The picture got taken down after fifteen minutes, but it was long enough to do the damage. Which sixteen or seventeen-year-old do you know who’s not on Facebook constantly?”
My voice cracks, hoarse from the breakdown. “People called me names. I'm almost sure Holly had a big hand in that. That’s all I heard at school. ‘Whore.’ ‘Slut.’ Things like that.” My sadness is replaced by anger. “My last year was horrible. My parents pressed charges against him, and he was found guilty, as well as his friends taking a pornographic picture of a minor.“ I give a tight lipped smile, at least there was some sort of victory for me. “But that’s not the worst part.” I swallow back the lump in my throat and get ready to drop this bomb on Donovan. This is the one thing Livey doesn’t even know about me. This will make or break us, when he will decide whether he wants me or not. “I ended up getting pregnant by Matt. All it took was that one time. I gave birth to a baby boy in April of my senior year. I wasn’t ready to be a mother, so I gave the baby up for adoption.” I fight the tears back as I speak of the son I’ve only seen a handful times. “I know he is with a good family. They let me see him every time I go home.”
Donovan sits back, shell shocked. “So, you have a son?”
“Yes, I do. His name is Jackson.” I smile at the mention of his name. “He is a beautiful child, with my green eyes and Matt’s dark hair. He knows I’m his birth mommy, and the Andersons’ who adopted him are his real mommy and daddy.” I glance towards Donovan to gauge his reaction. “I know it’s a lot to take in, but this is what I am worried the reporters will find out about me. They will know that I had a kid and gave him away. It’s not like that. I just couldn’t take care of him. I was a kid myself, and I gave him to a family I knew would love him.”
Donovan ran his hand through his hair. “Well, you really dropped a bomb on me. But, I can’t blame you. It’s hard taking care of a child, and you did the selfless thing. You gave your son a good life, and at least you get to see Jackson.” He smiles back warmly. “You are really an amazing person, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of doing that.” He cocks his head at me.
“Trust me when I say, I will never judge you by your past.”
I can’t believe he is so accepting of this, but I am forever grateful. “Thank you for understanding. It really means alot to me.” I close my eyes tightly and squeeze the tears from my eyes. “Matt even wrote me a letter later, saying how sorry he was, that he didn‘t know what had come over him, that he loved me still. He wanted to be a family with Jackson and me.
Whatever.”
“What happened to him?”
“I know he got probation, and his picture was put on the sexual offenders page. I made sure he was never going to see Jackson. After that, I don’t know.”
“If I ever see him, I’ll kill him myself." Donovan’s voice is laced with hatred and anger. It makes me shudder. He holds me tighter. We sit there for a long time. He holds me in his lap and rocks me back and forth. He finally says to me “We don’t have to go out if you don’t want to. We can stay here if you like.”
“No, we can go. Just let me check my face. I don’t want to look like I’ve been crying.” I crawl off his lap and go to the downstairs bathroom. I look into the mirror and let out a sigh. My face is red and blotchy, and my eyes are bloodshot. I look for some eye drops in hopes that it will clear my red eyes. I open the medicine cabinet and find some. I put two drops in each eye and blink.
At least they feel better. I turn the light off as I hear Donovan’s phone ring. I walk back into the kitchen quietly, hoping I don’t disturb him.
“Look, Regina, I don’t want to talk to you. I have nothing to say!” Donovan is shouting into the phone. What the hell did I walk in on? I step back into the hallway. I don’t want to eavesdrop, but I can’t seem to help myself.
“Well, you be sure to tell her this, too! I am done with her; I have been for a LONG time. I have moved on, and I’m very happy.” He pauses for the other person to speak. “I really don’t give a shit what you think. She is amazing in every way possible.” Another pause. “You know what?
I’m done with this conversation.” He hangs up the phone and slams it on the counter. “Fuck!”
I come around the corner and look at him warily. “Are you okay?” I whisper, hoping not to catch the same wrath Regina just felt.
His anger melts away when he sees me. He runs his hands through his brown hair and says,
“Yeah, baby. I’m okay. Just someone from my past coming back to haunt me.”
“Please explain.”
He sighs. “That was Regina, Claire’s sister. She is actually still on that show and keeps Claire’s name out there for the public to hear.” His tone chills when he speaks of her. “She’s always name dropping her on the stupid show and saying she’s going to get out of jail soon. She called to tell me that Claire wants me to visit her.” My eye grow huge. What the hell? “I told her no, that I didn’t want to see her. Regina saw us in the paper, and Claire called her, apparently pissed off and crying. Claire was extremely possessive over me. She used to try to fight girls that tried to talk to me.”
“You aren’t going to visit her, right?” Panic starts to overwhelm me, and I feel myself starting to pant. Oh, God. What if he does?
“Calm down. I already said I wasn’t. Don’t worry.” Donovan walks over to me and kisses me swiftly. “Now, were you ready to go or did you want to just stay here? I’m fine with either one.”
“Well, I do need to get a dress for graduation. Too bad your sister isn’t here to help me choose.
I don’t have the best fashion sense.” I try to lighten the mood because right now, it’s way too heavy. Donovan smiles.
“Grab your purse, and let’s go.” I pick up my purse off the island, and Donovan grabs his keys.
We walk hand in hand out the front door. I start towards the BMW, and Donovan walks toward a huge black Dodge pickup truck.
I look at Donovan, puzzled. “What? I’m a Georgia boy too, you know.” He walks around to the passenger side and opens my door. “Make sure you use the step to get in.” I laugh, truly shocked that Donovan has a pickup truck. I didn’t notice it last night. I hoist myself up as Donovan holds on to my waist. I put on my seatbelt as Donovan shuts the door, always the gentleman. Of course, the truck is fully loaded with a sunroof, a nice stereo system and a rearview mirror camera. I chuckle to myself and think, ‘You might be a Georgia boy, but you are still rich.’
Donovan gets in and slams the heavy door. He grins like a school boy, and it’s dazzling. He must really love this truck. He roars the engine, and the noise is so deafening, I jump. Donovan laughs at my reaction, and I stick out my tongue at him. His foul mood has lifted, and I’m so glad. He grabs my hand and raises it to his lips. He kisses my knuckles. His touch never fails to make me tingle all over. It’s like he has a direct line to my hormones!
“So, where are we going?” I try to at least distract myself. I am curious; however, to where he is taking me. I’m not too much of a shopper. Honestly, I’m pretty happy going to a thrift store, but something tells me that we are not going to Goodwill.
“It’s a surprise. It’s somewhere Megan always shops while she visits.” Donovan smiles slyly at me. He knows I have no idea where his sister shops, and he’s not dropping anymore hints. His perfect grin is contagious, and I return it with a smile of my own. I love playful Donovan.
I take a moment to study his features as he drives. I don’t think I will ever get over his sheer sexiness. His lashes are long and dark. His lips are extremely sexy and full. His cheekbones are set high, and I think he’s part Native American. His beautiful brown hair hangs just over the tops of his ears. He really is amazingly handsome.
Donovan cuts his eyes over to me and smirks. I cast my eyes down and blush a little. Why do I get so embarrassed by looking at him? I mean, honestly! I’ve seen him completely naked, and I still feel silly just watching him.
Donovan grips my hand tighter. We pull into the Lenox Square Mall. He drives around to Bloomingdale’s. Oh my, Bloomingdale’s? He’s kidding, right? Why does he pick the most ridiculously expensive stores? He pulls into a parking space and puts the truck in park. “Now, before you say anything, as we discussed, I can buy you whatever I want. So, I don’t want any complaining about the price.” Donovan jokingly warns.
I shrug my shoulders, knowing I shouldn’t argue with him. Donovan steps out of his door, and I watch him walk over to my side. This guy is so over the top. I never expected him to spend so much money on me. I hope he doesn’t think I’m some sort of gold digger. I frown at the thought as Donovan opens my door. He cocks his head at me curiously. I flash a wide grin as he helps me down. He shuts my door, and we walk hand in hand into Bloomingdale’s.
The store looks huge from the outside. I gulp, a bit nervous. I don’t know how to shop in a place like this. Donovan holds the door for me. As I walk in, I take in the size of the store. Wow. We don’t have anything like this back in Lynchburg. I see beautiful clothes on mannequins that are better built that I am. I see people walking around with Coach handbags and sky high heels.
Back home, I used to shop at American Eagle and Aeropostale. I’m usually a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I have a feeling that Donovan isn’t taking a detour through Bloomingdale’s to get there, either.
We walk up to the counter, and the woman behind it is on the phone and points up her manicured index finger to let us know she’ll be just a minute. Donovan fits in around here.
He’s a beautiful person, and well, I’m not. I feel so awkward standing here waiting for the salesperson, or judging by her name tag, Abigail, to help us. I knot my hands together as I look around the store. You can tell by looking at these women that their husbands are rich. Their faces are made smooth by Botox, their dresses are obviously expensive, and their shoes cost more than my rent for the year. Will I ever fit into Donovan’s world?
As we wait for Abigail to get off the phone, Donovan says that I should look around. “I’m going to get a personal shopper for you.” I start to say not to do that, that’s too much money and a waste of time. But he added, “Oh, don’t worry, it’s complimentary.”
I nod and smile as I start off to the ladies department that’s right in front of me. I start thumbing through the racks of dresses, and my heart stops as I see some of the price tags. “Holy shit,” I mutter to myself. Seriously, three hundred dollars for a dress? Okay, I know it’s made by a top name designer or whatever, but that’s ridiculous. I shake my head in disapproval and look over Donovan’s way. He’s speaking to Abigail, and she is so blatantly flirting with him, batting her fake eyelashes and biting her lip. I feel the blood rush to my head, and I start to fume. Oh, hell no! I make my way back over to the two of them.
When I reach them, Donovan’s face is impassive, not flirting back with her. Abigail straightens as soon as she realizes I’m standing next to Donovan, and I narrow my eyes at her. She clears her throat and says, “Of course, sir, I’ll get that personal shopper right out for you. Just wait here.”
“Thank you,” Donovan says curtly. He turns his attention back to me and smiles. “So, did you find anything that you like?” Donovan wraps his arms around my shoulders. See, he’s mine, Abigail.
“Well, I know I don’t like Miss Everything About Me Is Fake.” I cross my arms and sneer. “She was hitting on you, wasn’t she?”
Donovan laughs, and I arch my eyebrows up. “Sorry, baby. I don’t mean to laugh. You are just so cute when you’re angry.” He chuckles a little more. “Yes, she was flirting, but I didn’t really pay much attention, just asked her for a shopper.”
“Well, I noticed.”
“It’s not a big deal, really.”
“Is this something I’m going to have to get used to? Women throwing themselves at you?” I narrow my eyes at him.
Donovan hold his palms up at me. “Whoa, baby. First, she certainly did not throw herself at me.
Second, I’m not interested in her.”
I snort. “Well, I just don’t like it. I’m a very jealous person.”
“Then we are one in the same.” He smirks at me. Bastard. Stop looking so sexy.
I keep my arms crossed across my chest.
“Are you gonna throw a fit, Miss Marshall?” Donovan eyes me warily.
“No!” I almost stomp my foot, but I refrain. “Look, I’ll get used to it. Never mind.” I play with the C
on my new necklace.
Donovan rolls his eyes and chuckles. “Whatever you say, baby. Oh, that must be our personal…” He stops short. I hear him groan and see him put his hand on his brow like he has a headache.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“It’s a…girl from my past,” he mutters.
“Oh, fantastic! This should be loads of fun.” I put my hands on my hips. The personal shopper stops a few feet in front of us. And of course, she is drop dead gorgeous. Her hair is ash blonde, and it frames her face. Her hazel eyes are bright, and they have flecks of gold in them. She is slim, and her black pant suit fits her perfectly. Her lips are painted red, and they curve up when they see Donovan.
“Oh, wow! Donovan! How wonderful to see you!” The “ex” walks up to him and puts her arms around his neck as she kisses his cheek. He looks at me, and he seems to be extremely uncomfortable with this situation. He doesn’t hug her back. The anger starts to boil inside of me.
“Uh, hi, Jennifer,” Donovan stammers.
“Why haven’t you called me back? I’ve been calling you for weeks now. Did I do something wrong?” Jennifer tries to rub the red lipstick mark off his face with her fingers. Am I completely invisible?
I can’t stand it anymore. “Because he’s seeing me, that’s why he hasn’t called you back!” I nearly shout at her, causing several customers to look in our direction. I know my face is red with fury, and I’m ready to rip her hair out. Obviously, I take Jennifer by surprise, and she instantly backs away from Donovan. Her face is beet red.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” At least she has the decency to apologize. She casts her eyes down and says, “Maybe I should go get someone else to be your personal shopper.” Jennifer shoots Donovan a hateful glance and then practically runs away.
Donovan stares at me like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Whoa, I didn’t know you had that in you.”
“I just finished telling you I’m a very jealous person.” My eyes dart to watch Jennifer slip into the door she came out of.
“Yeah, I know, but still. That was surprising.” His eyes are still wide, but he looks amused by my reaction.
“Do we have to shop here? I really don’t need a personal shopper, and I can just wear one of my own dresses for graduation.” My voice is louder than I expected. I really want to leave this store before another one of Donovan’s flings will show up.
“No, we don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Donovan is quiet, unsure of how to take me right now. I am trying to calm my breathing before I send myself into a panic attack. “We can go wherever you like.”
I start walking toward the corridor of the mall. Donovan follows behind me. I just need to blow off some steam. I know it’s not his fault that Jennifer works here, and he didn‘t know it. He also told me that he’s done the one night stand thing. But I have to know one thing. I stop and turn to him. “When did you sleep with Jennifer?”
Donovan stops short, and his face falls. I frown at him. He looks uncomfortable again, his body tense, a grim line forming on his lips. I start tapping my foot and cross my arms across my chest, waiting for his answer. As the seconds tick by, we standoff. Stubborn blue eyes against fierce green. I am using all of my self control not to walk away from him, from this.
Donovan sighs as he gives in. “It’s been a few weeks, maybe a month.” He shoves his hands in his pockets, and his eyes stay on mine. Okay, I get that he had all these one night stands and friends with benefits, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. “I met her at a bar. We got drunk. She invited me back to her place, and . . . you kind of know the rest.”
Fury builds inside me. “So, was that what I was supposed to be? A girl you met at a bar and wanted to fuck?” It comes out louder than I expected, but I am so angry. I’m not sure who I’m mad at, myself, Donovan, or all the women he has taken to bed. I know he’s told me differently, but Matt has caused me to have so much self doubt. He was screwing his ex, coerced me into sex, and knocked me up.
Donovan moves a step closer. “No, No, not at all. I knew you weren‘t like the rest of the chicks I slept with.” He takes another step, closing the distance between us. “I told you this before.
Yes, I have a past, just like you-” I shoot him a look. “Okay, not just like yours, but nonetheless, a past that is full of ugly skeletons. The point is, we both have to understand this, and if you want us to work, like I do, then we really have to put a lot of effort into it. It’s just not going to be easy.”
I hang my head. I am ashamed, yet I can’t control the urge to be angry. I want to trust him, but can I? Will he break my heart in ways I didn’t think possible? This relationship just started, and I’m already exhausted. Now that I have Donovan, every fiber in my being wants to hang on to him. My soul is torn in two. One half says stay and see where this goes. The other half says run far away and don’t look back, that he will only hurt you. The hard lump in my throat makes my breath hitch. I don’t want to cry again. His past is either something I have to accept or turn my back on. Looking at Donovan, I make the decision to try to make this relationship to work. I close my eyes and find the resolve to speak again.
When I open my eyes, Donovan is standing right in front of me. I manage not to spill any tears.
He reaches up to my face and traces my jawline with his fingertips. I lean into his touch. “Don’t fight it, Allie. You want me as badly as I want you.” I nod my head, agreeing wholeheartedly.
The only thing is my insane jealousy. If Jennifer is any indication of how pretty his “conquests”
are, then I’m going to have a hard time getting over this issue.
“I want to work for this, more than anything. It’s just…I have to get over the fact that you have such an ‘interesting’ past. But you also have to understand my past and how affected I am by it.”
My eyes cast downward.
Donovan nodded as he put some stray hair behind my ear. “I understand, baby doll. We both need to have patience with each other.” He slides his fingers over my lips and down my throat, sending shivers throughout my body. “Just promise me that you won’t run if it gets hard. I have to know that you aren’t going to take off when there’s a bump in the road,” he whispers. My hand reaches up to touch his.
“I know, babe. I know.” I slip my arms around his waist. Donovan caresses me with his strong arms. I nuzzle into his neck, inhaling the scent of the body wash we shared this morning. I tighten my grip on him. “I promise.” What I don’t say is that I’m falling insanely fast for him. My mind reels, wondering how many women Donovan has been with. Do I even want to know?
Shit, does he even know? Will there be more outbursts from me if we run into another one of his past girls? I push all the nasty thoughts into the back of my brain. Donovan puts his fingers through my hair and pulls me in to kiss my forehead. “Now, where do you want to go?”
I look at him with big green eyes. “Let’s just walk until I find something I like.” Donovan smiles, his eyes sparkling. He looks like a weight has been lifted off his chest, and he even seems like he is standing a little taller. He drapes his arm around my shoulders and brushes his lips on my temple. I wrap my arm around his waist, and we walk to see what stores the mall has.
The mall is huge, and Donovan stays patient with me as I still can’t find a store that seems to suit me. I finally spot an American Eagle, and I pull Donovan in the store. I feel so much more comfortable in here. This is my style, not Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom’s. I look through the summer dresses, and I find a perfect bright red cross back dress. It’s not a graduation dress, but nonetheless it’s cute. I hold it up for Donovan to see, and he grins. I see an open dressing room and make sure no one is in it. I close the door behind me and undress. I slip the red dress over my head. I see Donovan’s feet in front of the door. The dress fits perfectly and hangs to my mid thigh. It’s so bright, and the color looks good against my pale skin. I open the door to find Donovan standing directly in front of me. His mouth parts, and I hear him inhale.
“So, do you like?” I spin around for him to get a good view. I feel almost giddy, and to have Donovan’s gaze sliding over me makes me giggle out loud. All of a sudden, Donovan gently pushes me back in the dressing room and shuts the door.
He doesn’t say a word. He runs his hands over my ass and pulls up the hem of the dress, exposing my panties. I gasp at his boldness and his need for me. His lips seal around mine. I throw my hands into his chocolate colored hair and push myself closer to him. His tongue flicks over mine, and it makes me whimper. His hands slide from my backside to my hip, then further down. He grabs my thigh and hikes it up. I rest my foot on the bench. I can’t believe how turned on I am right now, how intensely hot this is. Donovan’s fingers push my panties to the side, and he slides two inside me while he palms my clit. I dig my fingers into his shoulders and bite my lip to stifle my moan. Donovan continues his sweet pleasurable torment, making me breathless and insane. His able fingers start to cause the delicious pressure again, and I start curling my toes.
As I get closer to the edge of my release, Donovan increases his speed, and his mouth trails kisses down my throat. “Cum for me, Allie,” he whispers in my ear. Just like that, as if his words command my actions, I have a completely mind blowing orgasm. I lean into him, biting into his shoulder in order not to scream his name in this very public place.
Donovan smiles as he pulls his fingers out of me and slides my dress down back over my hips.
“Yes, I like it a lot.” He opens the door and winks at me as he runs the fingers he just used to make me cum across his lips. My insides tighten, still hungry for more Donovan. He shuts the door behind him.
What in the world just happened? I just spiraled out of control in a dressing room, and it was so amazingly hot. What is this man doing to me? I have no idea yet, but it’s going to be one hell of a ride. I shake my head and try to regain my composure. I put my clothes back on and take the red dress with me. Regardless if I like it or not, I am buying it because the sight of it now turns me on. I push the door open and find Donovan still standing there, leaning against the wall with his ankles crossed. He runs his hand through his hair to move it to the side. His blue eyes playfully flash at me. I am always stunned by his beauty.
“Are you ready, baby, or do you want to try on anything else?” His lips curve into a wicked smile, and it takes my breath away.
“No, I’m good for now. Let’s get this and go.” I want to get him home and rip his clothes off.
Even though Donovan got me off, I am still frustrated. I want him inside me again. Donovan takes my hand, and we walk to the counter. ‘Thank goodness there is no one in the store right now,’ I think as I look around. The sole person in here is at the register. The cashier flashes us a smile and takes the dress from Donovan. He has light brown skin with short black dreads, and he is eyeing me through his dark lashes. I feel the familiar burn in my cheeks and keep my eyes on Donovan. He hands the cashier his credit card. I feel so embarrassed, surely the guy saw Donovan step out of my dressing room. Donovan puts his arm around my waist as the guy swipes the card. Donovan signs the slip, hands it back, and gives the guy a hateful look. As we walk about of the store, I ask, “Maybe I missed something, but why did you give the cashier a dirty look?”
“Because he was mind fucking you.” Donovan’s lips curl into a sneer. Wow, jealous Donovan.
What a sexy sight to see him all worked up over a guy checking me out.
“I’m sure he was just trying to figure out what we did in the dressing room,” I whisper, not wanting anyone to hear me.
“No, he wasn’t even up front when I came in or when I left the dressing room. He had no way of knowing. I’m a guy, and I know how guys think when they see a girl like you.”
“A girl like me?” I repeat his words in the form of a question.
“Yes, a girl like you. You are drop dead gorgeous. You can’t see that?” Donovan rests his hand on the small of my back, guiding us back toward Bloomingdale’s. “I can’t keep my eyes off of you, or my hands for that matter. And I really don’t want to.” Donovan half closes his eyes and looks at me. That look alone makes the aching in my loins worse. I see him smirk. He knows damn well what he does to me. “How about we grab lunch and head back to my place?”
“I’m not hungry.” Not for food, anyways.
Donovan eyes me through his long, dark lashes. “Baby, we gotta eat. We’re going to work it all off later.”
That promise makes me quickly change my mind. “Okay, what did you have in mind?”
“How about Chinese? There’s one here in the mall.”
Oh no! I forgot to tell Donovan about that linebacker, Jeremy, and what he said in front of Livey.
“Uh, no. Let’s leave and pick up something on the way. We can eat back at your house. I just have to be back at my place at around 5:30 or so.”
Donovan pouts, sticking out his bottom lip. “Why?” Wow, that’s so incredibly cute. I bet he got away with everything when he was a kid.
I smile and use my index finger to poke his lip back in. “Because Livey’s dad wants to do dinner tonight. Do you want to come?” I know I shouldn’t just invite Donovan without asking Livey first, but the thought of being away from him actually hurts.
“Well, I actually do have a stupid resident meeting at the clinic at 6:30. I’m actually supposed to be speaking for all the residents there. There is a lot that needs to be addressed.”
I feel a pang of disappointment, but I don’t want him to think I’m too clingy. I’m hoping to see him later tonight. “Okay, well, let’s go eat.” I smile shyly. As we get ready to walk back into Bloomingdale’s, I see the angry linebacker Jeremy walking toward us. My heart drops to my stomach. I can’t let him see me or Donovan, so my first instinct is to stop and stand in front of him. I grab his face with both hands and smash my lips to his. I feel him gasp, then moan as he wraps his arms around my waist. I open one eye toward that crazy son of a bitch to see if he notices us. He doesn’t seem to be paying any attention, just looking straight ahead. I continue to kiss Donovan, refusing to let him come up for air until I know that Jeremy is gone. I finally see him round the corner, and I pull apart from Donovan. People are watching and saying to get a room. I start to feel the heat in my cheeks.
“Whoa, where did that come from?” Donovan leans his forehead against mine and pants. He’s pressed so closely to me that I feel his erection through his slacks. I really don’t want to go get lunch at this point. I just want to get him home and watch him come undone because of me.
“Just like you said, can’t keep my hands, or mouth, off of you.” I kiss him softly. “But I saw that guy that you punched in the bar the other night. I didn’t want him to see us. Livey heard him say he was going to sue you.“
“I’m not worried about that pussy. Let him try,“ he hisses.
“Well, let’s go. I’m trying to get in your pants already!“ I curl my lips up at him. With that being said, Donovan grabs my hand and practically drags me through the store. As we make our way to the exit, I see Jennifer again, staring me down like she wants to rip my throat out. I smile sweetly at her and wave bye, just to be a spiteful bitch. I giggle as her face turns red with anger.
Donovan opens the door for me. As I walk by him, he swats my backside. Oh, I hope Jennifer saw that one.

“Oh, God!” I scream as Donovan gives me yet another amazing, body shaking orgasm.
“That’s right, baby. Let me hear you.” He holds my hands above my head as he thrusts into me deep and hard. I squeeze my legs together, trying to absorb the onslaught of pleasure. I tighten around his shaft as my toes curl. “Take all of me, every inch,” he hisses as I feel him ram into me.
“Fuck me!”
“Keep talking, baby.” Beads of sweat form on his brow and drip down on me. His hair hangs in my face, and it tickles. I repeat my request, and it’s the cause of his undoing. He cums as he screams my name. He collapses on top of me, our breathing matching each others. I feel his heart almost beat out of his chest. “How am I ever going to keep up with you?” he breathes into my neck.
“I’m sure you will find a way.” I wipe his face with my hand.
Donovan looks up at me and kisses the corner of my mouth. “You’re crazy about me, huh?”
“Maybe.”
“Ah, so coy, Miss Marshall. I know you are at least crazy about one thing.” Donovan plants a chaste kiss on my lips as he pushes up and rolls over. He sits at the edge of the bed, and I gaze at his muscular back.
“You just want me for my body.” I say jokingly.
I see his muscles tense. “Please don’t say that again.“ His voice is low and quiet. It makes my hair stand on end. He quickly stands. He unrolls the condom and walks to the bathroom. I’m shocked. I’ve never heard him take that tone with me before. I get out of bed and put on my underwear and new dress, wanting to cover myself now that I’m self conscious. I hear the flush of the toilet and the sink cuts on. I sit back on Donovan’s huge bed where we just had mind blowing sex. I curl my knees to my chest, trying to figure out what I did wrong.
Donovan returns to the bedroom. He’s still naked. He passes me to get to his dresser. He pulls out a pair of black boxer briefs and a white t-shirt. He doesn’t even look my way as he walks into his huge closet. I follow him in and see many suits, linen shirts, and name brand clothes. I’m in awe of his wardrobe. I didn’t know guys had so many clothes, or maybe it’s just Donovan who does. I glance over to him, and he is putting on a pair of black slacks. His eyes lock on to mine, and they are iced over. It sends chills through me. Did I really make him that upset?
“Donovan, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.” My voice cracks as I come close to tears again. I cast my eyes downward, feeling like a child who’s in trouble. It’s crazy, those blue eyes can make me so hot and bothered, then break my heart within an hour.
Donovan zips up his pants and turns to face me. I look up, and I see his face has softened from just a few seconds ago. He certainly is mercurial. He slips his thumbs through his belt loops and stands there, looking at me. His baby blue eyes seem to see right through me, and I squirm underneath his gaze. He saunters over to me with a smooth grace like he’s walking on air. Donovan cups my chin in his hand and says, “I’m sorry. It’s just that…I said the exact same thing to Claire one time, and she slapped the shit out of me. She told me that it was rude of me to say, and if I did it again, she would tell her husband about us. Please don’t take it personally.” Donovan runs his thumb across my cheek.
“Okay. I understand.” What did that stupid bitch do to him?
“Baby, I know you do.“ My heart hurts for him. Donovan holds me in his arms and runs his fingers through my hair. I close my eyes, feeling relaxed just by his presence. It’s so strange how Donovan can make me feel protected, seduced, and completely overwhelmed in one embrace. He breaks our hug so he can finish getting dressed. “My meeting should only be about an hour. Do you think I could see you after you have dinner with Livey and her dad?”
I grin and nod my head. At least I have something to look forward to afterwards. Sitting through dinner is going to be a hard task. Then I think of Livey. I really am looking forward to being with my best friend; I feel like I haven’t seen her much since Donovan came into my life.
He slips on a light grey button up shirt and pulls out a black tie. Damn, he looks good enough to eat right now. There is something about a man in a suit that sets my blood on fire, especially when that man is Donovan. I watch him slip on a black blazer. Wow. It’s almost as much fun watching him get dressed as it is to watch him getting undressed. Almost. He slips on black socks and his smart black shoes. My pulse starts racing, thinking about how much pleasure it would give me if I was taking that suit off of him. Donovan must know I’m having impure thoughts because he smirks and says, “Be patient, baby, all good things come to those who wait.”
“I don’t like waiting,” I pout, sticking my bottom lip out like I used to when I wanted my way as a child. It usually worked.
“Allie, do you know how cute you are when you pout at me? With a look like that, I’d let you have whatever you wanted.” Donovan runs his thumb across my lower lip.
“Then forget the meeting and go to dinner with me.” I flash my green eyes at him, giving the best damn puppy eyes I can muster.
“You know I would, but I have to go to this meeting.”
“Yeah, I know. It was worth a shot though.”
“We better get you home. It’s almost 5:00. I hope traffic isn’t bad.” He grabs my hand, and we walk to the foyer.
I grab my purse and shoes while Donovan grabs his keys and wallet off the small black table under his mother’s picture. I walk out barefoot because as sexy as those heels are, they kill my feet. I soon regret that decision because the Georgia sun is still blazing, and the pavement seems to scorch my toes. I hop from foot to foot, trying to balance myself so I don’t fall.
Donovan laughs, then in a swift movement, he scoops me into his arms like a groom would carry a bride. I squeal, taken completely by surprise. I giggle and wrap my arms around his neck. I swoon over how chivalrous this knight in shining armor is. Donovan never ceases to amaze me with his thoughtfulness. He walks me over to the BMW and hits the unlock button on the keyless remote. He sets me down gently while he opens my door. I climb in and rub my still burning feet. He hops in the driver’s side, starts the engine, and pulls away from the house.
“That was quite a noble act, saving a damsel in distress.” I put the back of my hand on my forehead and tilt my head back.
Donovan throws his head back and bursts into laughter. “You’re a hot mess.”
“At least you think I’m hot.” I stick my tongue out at him. I enjoy his playful moods. He is young and carefree. I forget he is a few years older than me. Then I realize that I don’t know his birthday. “Uh, random question, when is your birthday?”
“Why? You going to get me something?” Donovan says with a small curve of his lips.
“Maybe.”
“There you go being coy again, Miss Marshall. I may have to straighten out your attitude.”
Donovan’s eyes darken as he slides his hand up my thigh. Oh, shit. Why does everything he says have such a profound effect on me? I don’t understand why his words have a direct connection to my hormones and make me act like a horny teenager. I cross my legs in response. Donovan’s smile gets wider because he knows what he does to me. He continues to run his hand on my thigh, outside to inside and back again. His touch on my bare skin is driving me insane, and I can’t do anything about it. I glare at him, annoyed that he has a meeting, and I have dinner plans. Since that means no physical contact for several hours, I may have withdrawls. How am I going to survive that? “By the way, it’s July 22.” He smirks at me while I make a mental note of that day.
Before I know it, Donovan is pulling into my apartment complex. He pulls in right next to my Mustang, and I see Livey’s truck. I really don’t want to get out of the car.
“Don’t worry, baby. We’ll see each other tonight. I know. I’ll miss you too.” Donovan takes my hand and kisses the back of it. “Just call me when you’re done.”
I fiddle with the DC on my necklace and look into his eyes. “I will, I just don’t know what time it will be.” Not soon enough.
“Don’t worry. I don’t care about time, just a promise I’m going to see you.”
“Of course, you’ll see me.” My green eyes stay locked on his blue ones. “I promise. I don’t think I could make it through the night not seeing you.”
Donovan gives me this sideways smile with his eyes hooded, and my breath hitches in my throat. In that one look, I know I’ll be naked in either my bed or his tonight. The thought excites me, but it also frustrates me that I will have to wait so long.
Donovan leans in to kiss me, and driven by my primal desire for the man, I crush my lips into his and grab his hair. This kiss has to convey to him how much I want him and how much I will miss his touch. I kiss him with such passion and intensity, my lips sting. Donovan gives in to me and run his hands over my breasts. “I want you, too,” he mutters into my mouth.
I pull apart from him, knowing if we keep this up, we will end up getting it on in the parking lot.
“Till tonight.” I kiss him swiftly and get out of the car, leaving him longing for me.
He jumps out and says, “Ah, fuck it.” He pounces on me, pinning my body with his hips against the car door. His mouth presses hard against mine, and I feel his need, his want for me. I grab the lapels of his jacket and smash his chest to mine. His hands grab my face as his tongue part my lips and takes control of mine. He makes it impossible to think about anything but him. His stubble tickles my chin; I love when he doesn’t shave. He takes one of his hands and runs it up the back of my thigh, all the way up to my panties. I gasp for air as Donovan’s fingers move to the heat that is radiating from between my legs.
“Oh my God, Donovan. We’re in my parking lot!” I breathe but do nothing to stop him.
“Then let’s go inside.” He nips on my earlobe, making me whimper.
“Don’t you have a meeting to get to?”
“Yeah, but…” he stutters.
“Then go! Trust me, we will make up for lost time tonight.” I push Donovan away, as hard as that is, and kiss his lips softly. “You will not be disappointed.”
Donovan sighs and runs his hands through his hair, moving it to the side. “You’re right. Yeah, you’re right. It’s just with you…I can’t stop myself sometimes. You’re going to get me in trouble one day.” He winks at me with a delicious sideways grin on his lips.
“I know the feeling. Now, go before you are late! “ I step in to kiss his lips one more time before he turns to go. “And I’ll be sure to call you the minute I’m done.”
“You better. I’m going to have a hard time getting through this meeting if my dick stays like this.”
Donovan uses his hands to showcase his erection that’s bulging through his pants.
I try to cover my smile with my index finger. “Don’t worry about that either. I will make sure you are taken care of tonight. Now, bye!” I nudge him so he will get going. I really don’t want him to be late and get in trouble, but damn, I want him on top of me right now.
He shrugs his shoulders and exhales. “You know, I hate when you’re right. I’ll talk to you later.
Miss me while I’m gone.” He blows a kiss to me as he slides into the driver’s side.
He has no idea how much I’ll miss him. I wave bye to him as he backs out of the space. I watch his car until I can’t see him anymore and turn to go inside my apartment.

I walk in the front door, and Livey is staring at me with her big hazel eyes and her mouth gaped open. I feel the burning sensation in my cheeks.
“I can’t believe you almost fucked him in the parking lot!”
“I guess you saw us, huh?” I give my best friend a shy, tight lipped smile, my face crimson red.
“Uh, yeah! I hope the neighbors didn’t see you and the hornball!.” She tries to act like she’s pissed, but her lips start to curve into a smile. “You guys are really into each other, huh?”
“Oh, Livey, you have no idea. I mean, he’s sexy, smart as hell, and a real gentleman. He’s just too perfect.” The grin on my face goes from ear to ear. Just the thought of Donovan speeds up my heart.
“Well, sweetie, I’m very happy for you. Just be careful. I don’t want you to get hurt. You don’t wanna get too deep too fast,” Livey warns.
“I know, but I can’t help myself. It’s like, when I’m with Donovan, nothing else matters. He makes me feel so…alive.”
“I’m sure he does. I saw that in the parking lot!” Livey laughs and nudges my arm. “I have never seen you this way. You were a happy person before, but damn!” She shakes her head and grins. “It’s like you are on cloud nine. It’s so refreshing to see you this way.” My best friend beams at me, a smile so genuine it makes me wrap my arms around her.
“Thanks, girl. He’s amazing.”
“And so are you.” She grips me tightly, then pulls me back at arm’s length. “You are such an awesome person, and Donovan better treat you right, or he will have to answer to me. I may be little, but I can still kick some ass!”
“You’re a hot mess, girl.” I can’t help but laugh at her. Yeah, Livey is all of five feet tall and ninety-five pounds, but she’s a black belt in karate, and I would have her on my side rather than the Hulk any day.
“So, anyways. What did your dad want to do for dinner? Any ideas?”
“Oh, I think he wanted to do Applebee’s. We can both get a mucho margarita! He has a surprise for you too, but I’m not supposed to tell you what it is.” Her eyes light up, and I know it’s killing her not to tell me.
“He really didn’t have to do that for me. I mean, it’s not like I’m graduating for good. I still have like another three years.
“I know, I know. But you know how daddy is. He thinks of you as one of his own.”
I smile warmly at Livey. Yes, I think of Mr. Trent as a father figure to me, especially
}”:since my dad passed away. He has always seen to it that I was well cared for and didn’t have to want for anything. He has bought all the food for us and taken care of the rent for years, making it easier to send some money to my family. “Yeah, I know. Your dad is really great.”
“Now, go get dressed. Daddy is picking us up in thirty minutes.”
I walk back to my room, and I hear my phone in my purse. I pull it out and grin because it’s Donovan texting me.
*Meeting is canceled. Can I still come to dinner?*
I refrain from shrieking and run out of the room to ask Livey if it’s okay. She smiles and says it‘s fine, but I’m not sure she was expecting Donovan to tag along. I mouth “I love you” to her as I call Donovan. She shakes her head and grins at me. He picks up on the first ring,
“Hi, babe.”
“Hi, long time, no see,” I giggle.
I sense his smile through the phone. “Yeah, way too long. So, is it still cool if I come with you guys tonight? The medical director had some emergency come up last minute, so he called off the meeting, Good thing too because I still have a hard on from earlier.”
“How crude! And yes, you can come to dinner with us, as long as you promise to keep your dick in your pants until we get home.“
“Being around you makes that extremely difficult, since you always seem to want to coax it out of my pants.”
I blush fiercely. I’m still not used to talking like this, but it seriously turns me on. I shake my head to regain my composure. “Livey’s dad is picking us up in about a half hour. Want to meet us at Applebee’s?”
“Which one?”
“The one on Cascade Road. Know where that is?”
“Yep, sure do. Think I’m overdressed?” He chuckles under his breath, using my line from the other night.
“Just take the blazer off, and you’ll be fine. Keep the tie on, though. I like it.”
“Only for you, baby. I’ll see you in a bit.” I grin from ear to ear.
“Bye. Be careful.”
I hang up the phone and hurry to get changed. I figure I should wear capris instead of a dress.
Donovan may try to fondle me under the table, which is pretty hot, but not in front of Livey and Mr. Trent. I opt for a pair of khaki capris and a black fitted tank top, paired with my Old Navy black flip flops. I brush out my hair and decide to wear it in a messy French braid. My mother taught me how to braid my own hair, which I have to say, comes in handy when my hair is frizzy from the humidity. I put some light makeup on, just some powder and blush. Then, I pack an overnight bag, just in case. I throw in some pajamas and the sexiest pair of underwear I own.
Oh, my man will love these. The bra and panties are black lace. They make me feel sexy, so I hope Donovan thinks the same. I walk to the bathroom and brush my teeth. I grab an extra toothbrush to toss in my bag. I’m not going to be unprepared this time. I smile at myself as I turn off the light to the bathroom.
Mr. Trent is right on time at 6:00. We all ride over to Applebee’s in Livey’s Explorer. Mr. Trent sits in the front seat, and I sit in the back. He turns his head around to look at me. “I know I said I would give you your graduation present tomorrow, but you will get it tonight.”
“Mr. Trent, I really appreciate it…”
He holds up his hand and says, “Not another word. I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Besides, you are really going to like it.” His hazel eyes light up.
“I’m sure I will. By the way, Mr. Trent, I invited Donovan along. Is that okay?” I tense up, hoping he doesn’t say no.
“Is this the guy you’ve been seeing? The one Livey told me about?”
I blush. “Yes, that’s him.”
“Hmmm. I need to give my seal of approval first.” His face is serious. I gulp. The meeting between these two is making me a little nervous.
We finally pull up to Applebee’s, and I see Donovan’s BMW parked in a front spot. I hop out to meet him. He smiles as he sees me and opens his arms up. I grip him tightly as he twirls me around. I can’t suppress my laughter. Livey and Mr. Trent walk up to us. Donovan puts me down and holds out his hand to Mr. Trent. “You must be Livey’s father, Mr. Trent. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
My second dad sizes up Donovan and shakes his hand firmly. “So, what do you do for a living?
Other than date reality stars?”
Livey and I both gasp, and my face reddens. I can’t believe he just said that. If it bothered Donovan, he didn’t show it. “Actually, sir, I’m a doctor.”
Mr. Trent’s eyes widen. “I see. Well, you have good taste. Allison is a gem.” He winks at me, but I still haven’t recovered from his harsh statement about Claire.
“How right you are. Shall we go inside?” Donovan wraps his arm around my waist, probably to hold me up so I don’t pass out from embarrassment. Livey just shakes her head and glances at us. She whispers, “Sorry about my dad. He can be a prick sometimes.”
Donovan smiles. “No worries. I deal with all kinds of people during my day. Nothing I can’t handle.”
We walk inside, and my jaw drops to the floor. Standing in front of me is my mom and my brother Jon.
“Surprise!” Mr. Trent exclaims. “This is your graduation present!”
“Allie! Oh my goodness! Look at you!” My mom wraps her arms around me as I let out a sob.
She softly pats my back and rocks me, just like she used to do when I had nightmares.
“I can’t believe you’re here,” I cry. Jon smiles at me and wraps his arms around both my mom and me.
“Thank Mr. Trent for this. He made the arrangements for us. I am so grateful I will be able to see you graduate.” My mom has tears streaming down her face. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you, sweetheart.”
“I know, Mom, and I’m sorry. I’m just glad you’re here.” I don’t want to let her go, I feel like a child again. She looks beautiful in a light blue sleeveless dress and nude heels. My mom looks so young for her age. Her hair is in a cute pixie cut and highlighted with blonde streaks against her brown hair.
I hear Donovan clear his throat behind me. I straighten up. “Mom, Jon, this is Donovan Callahan. Donovan, this is my mom Julie and my brother Jon.”
My brother glares at Donovan from under his Redskins hat, and I see him shift on his feet. He wasn’t expecting to meet my family tonight. He grins and flashes my brother a warm smile.
“Very nice to meet you, Jon. Allie has told me about you.” Donovan goes to shake his hand, and Jon reluctantly returns the gesture. “Are you Allie’s boyfriend?” I notice the contrast between my brother and my man. Jon is wearing his favorite Redskins t-shirt and a pair of worn out jeans, whereas Donovan is still in his clothes from earlier. I gulp and pray they have something in common.
I look up at Donovan and see the smirk on his face. “Yes, I am.”
Jon looks at me with the same blue eyes as our dad. “You didn’t tell me you had a boyfriend.”
“Sorry,” I shrug my shoulders, aware that the tension in the air is palpable.
“Hi, Donovan. It’s very nice to meet you.” My mom is always the ice breaker. She was the referee in our house when Jon and I would fight. She has a wonderful demeanor and a warm heart. Donovan smiles shyly and holds his hand out to her. My mom ignores it and wraps her arms around him, taking him completely off guard. “A friend of Allie’s is a friend of mine.”
Donovan grins as he hugs her back. “It’s really wonderful to meet you too, Mrs. Marshall.”
“Nonsense, call me Julie.” My mom playfully swats him. I smile at the interaction between them.
I was so not expecting my family to be here, but Donovan is taking it like a champ. I walk over to Mr. Trent and give him a big hug.
“Thank you so much,” I whisper. He smiles warmly. He’s not a man of many words, but he has a huge heart.
The hostess has already set up our tables, and she leads the way. She needed to add a chair for Donovan. He holds out a chair for my mom, and I see her a smile. “Such a gentleman,” she gushes. Donovan smirks as he holds out my chair for me. He bends down to whisper in my ear, “How am I doing?”
I giggle and whisper back, “Amazingly, considering this was just thrown on you at the last second.”
We all sit and look at the menus. Donovan lets Jon have the seat next to me, so he is sitting directly across the table in front of me. I flash my eyes to him and see him looking from my mother to me. He pipes up, “I can see the resemblance in you two. It’s uncanny.”
My mother flushes easily, just like myself. She hits my thigh under the table. I glance at her and grin. I can tell she likes him, and it makes my heart soar. I needed my mother’s approval. Jon is going to be a little tougher to win over. He is just too protective over me, especially since Matt happened.
“Hey, Allie, do you still want one of those mucho margaritas?” Livey calls from down the table.
The waitress has started taking drink orders from the other end of the table.
“I think I might pass on that tonight. I’ll just have water for now.” I don’t really feel comfortable drinking in front of my mother.
Our waitress, Kristen, is very attentive and friendly, not to mention extremely cute with her super blonde hair and blue eyes. I always liked this Applebee’s because of the service. Once she reaches Donovan though, she starts to stutter. Oh, good grief. Again? Donovan rolls his eyes at me and orders sweet tea. My mom speaks softly, “Sweetheart, if you are going to date a man like him, then you better get used to the stares. He’s gorgeous!”
I narrow my eyes a bit at the waitress and realize my mother is right. Donovan is going to get hit on no matter where we go. My only fear is that he will reciprocate the flirtation when I’m not around. What if I wasn’t there in Bloomingdale’s with him? Would he have let Jennifer hang on him? I feel sick at the thought. My own insecurities are going to be my downfall. I just wonder if I’m not setting myself up for a heartbreak.
I try as hard as I can to push the nasty thoughts down, but they keep coming back.We order our food after our waitress brings the drinks. I order the first thing that catches my eye, but I’m not hungry now. My stomach is in knots, and I actually feel sick. Donovan eyes me from across the table, concern and worry in his blue eyes. I flash the biggest grin I can manage to let him know everything is alright, when it isn’t.
Our server eventually brings out our food and lingers too long around Donovan, brushing her arm against his.I stare down at the Cajun pasta I had ordered, but I can’t even think about food right now. My mind is in turmoil. I am vaguely aware of the conversations going on around me.
Mom and Mr. Trent are chatting about her trip down here with Jon chiming in every now and then. Livey and Donovan are talking about god knows what. I stand to excuse myself to the bathroom.
Donovan stands with me, as if to follow. I wave him off. “I’ll be right back. I’m just going to the bathroom.” Donovan, looking dejected, sits back down, and I feel his eyes on me as I walk away. I just need to calm down before I vomit.
I lock myself in a small stall, trying to hold back my emotions. I can’t go out there, my face blotchy and red from crying. Maybe it’s just all in my head. I’m sure that Donovan can be faithful. Or can he? Fuck, I’ve only met him this week. How can I be so sure he won’t put his dick in the next pretty girl he sees? I shudder at the thought. How can I possibly say he’s mine?
Because of the things he’s done for me already, I think to myself. He has obviously shown that he cares about me. He planned the sweet night at his house. He protected me from that scary son of a bitch, Jeremy. He held and rocked me as I spilled my guts to him. He has shaken off all advances that girls have made on him when he’s with me.
But is that enough? What if it’s just because I’m a good lay? He says it was only sex with those girls, except for Claire. But how do I know that? How do I know he didn’t do the same sweet things for them before he got in their pants and dipped out? What if I’m the best fuck he’s had in a while, and he just wants to get his kicks a few more times?
I’m completely at war with myself. My heart is torn, and I can only blame myself. I let my guard down and allowed Donovan in. I know I should have kept my heart in check. What the fuck am I doing? Donovan is going to get bored with me and my crying fits. Though this is a lot of effort just to get a girl in the sack.
My thoughts are all over the place. I need to pull myself together and go back out there. I cannot let my family nor Donovan see my heartache. I need some time to think about this, but I can’t do it with him around. I decide to not stay the night at Donovan’s tonight and let my mom and Jon stay at my apartment.
I go to the sink and splash some water on my face. I stare at myself in the mirror, and I look awful. There are dark circles under my eyes, and I have to pinch my cheeks to get some color back to my pale skin. I hold my head high and walk back to the table, resolving to not let Donovan take advantage of me. I take my seat as Donovan looks up at me with his brows furrowed. “Are you okay?” he asks.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I left it short and sweet. I try not to make eye contact with him; it’s just too painful right now. I look at Mr. Trent instead. “Thank you again for flying my family in for my graduation.”
“Think nothing of it. I’m very happy to do it.” He waves it off.
I didn’t see much of anything through the rest of dinner. My mom takes my hand under the table and squeezes it. I hold back the tears that are threatening to come down any second. I know she’s concerned about the change in my attitude. I can’t explain it myself. I feel like my heart is pulling me in two directions. I have to figure out which direction I will take.
Donovan has been quiet as well. He knows something is wrong, but he doesn’t want to call me out in front of my friends and family. He steals glances at me. There is a horrible, sad look to his eyes that I haven’t seen before. I look away before I can be caught in his stare.
We finish dinner, and Mr. Trent pays for the whole thing, with much arguing from my mom and Donovan. He is a stubborn man, and Livey takes after him in that way. I grin at the thought.
We stand to leave, and I say to mom, “You and Jon should come stay at my apartment. There’s not much room, but you are more than welcome.”
“Honey, that’s okay. Jon and I are gonna go find a hotel close by to you.” She pats my shoulder, and I start to argue back when Donovan speaks up.
“You two are more than welcome to stay at my place. I have more than enough room, and there‘s a bathroom in each bedroom.”
I stand there, shocked that he has offered his house to my family. My mouth parts open, and I realize how stupid I’ve been. How can I not see how sweet and generous this man is? The nasty thoughts from before slip away, and I walk to him. He looks down at me, then back to my mom. “I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, either, Julie.” He winks at the woman that birthed me, and she blushes.
“Okay, Donovan, you win, as long as it’s not an inconvenience for you.”
“Absolutely not! I would love to have you two come stay at my house.” Donovan slowly puts his arm around my shoulder. I think he’s trying to gauge my mood. I lean into him, and I hear him exhale with relief. I snake my arms around his waist. Jon eyes us, and he smiles at me.
“Okay, Donovan. I want to see what your city boy pad looks like anyway.” My brother slaps Donovan on the shoulder, surprising him. I chuckle because I know that’s Jon’s way of showing he likes you. He’s such a country boy.
Everyone sticks around in the restaurant to say their goodbyes. Donovan takes my hand and leads me outside. The warm breeze of Georgia hits my face as he holds the door open for me. He stands there, looking at me. I feel his blue eyes searching my soul for answers to my personality change earlier. I smile shyly at him and run my fingers along his stubble. I take in a deep breath. “I’m sorry for the way I acted at dinner. I just had some stuff on my mind.”
“What stuff?” Donovan says curtly. His tone throws me a bit.
“Real heavy shit that I don’t want to talk about right now.” I narrow my eyes.
“Heavy shit about me?” he says quietly. That same sad look creeps into his face, and it’s heartbreaking.
“Well, yes. I just want to know if I’m good enough for you. You can have your pick of women.
I just don’t want to be crushed again.” I hang my head, partly in shame and partly because I’m telling him a hard truth.
“Damn it, Allie. I don’t know what else to say or do to get my point across!” He runs his hands through his hair. I’ve learned he does this when he’s either pissed off or anxious. He looks a little bit of both right now.
“Look, it’s all good now, okay? I know I have some shit I have to work on, like my self esteem and the jealousy factor. I’m just scared that…” I trail off, unable to speak my biggest fear.
“You’re scared that what?” He cocks his head to the side and narrows his eyes.
“Scared that you will leave and find someone better, okay?” I throw my hands up in the air in frustration. “Look at you for goodness sake!”
A smirk curls on Donovan’s lips. “You really think that I’m that great of a prize?”
My brow furrows at his reaction to my pain. Before I can say another word, he grabs my face and kisses me, deeply. He takes my mouth as his prisoner, ravaging my tongue with his. I sigh. This is what I need, some reassurance. I let my walls down again and welcome my man back with open arms.

Donovan helps Jon grab the luggage from the rental car my mom drove. I watch them through the window in the living room, hoping and praying this is a good idea for them to stay. My mom is busy giving herself a tour of the kitchen. My mom loves to cook, and I have a feeling she will insist on making all the meals for us during their stay. My heart is so happy my family is here with me. I walk into the kitchen to see what she is up to.
“Hi, honey! This place is beautiful! I can’t get over how modern it is,” my mom exclaims, obviously impressed. “So anyway, how did you meet Donovan? He seems like such a great guy.”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I smile at her, recalling that fateful morning. I giggle and my mom grins back at me.
“Try me.”
“I was on the way to my last final, and I knocked him over while racing to class. We ended up being at the same bar that evening, and we really hit it off.” I glance at my mother, and she laughs. “Yeah, it is kinda funny,” I smirk at her.
“That’s not why I’m laughing. I’m laughing because your father and I met in a similar way.” I cock my eyebrows up at her. “You did?”
“Yes, we did. I was in the office at my high school running an errand for a teacher. When I came out, your father almost barreled me over, knocking my books out of my hand.” She closes her eyes as she relives the memory in her mind. “He stopped to help me, and our hands touched. We just stared at each other, and that was it. We knew we were meant for each other at that exact moment.”
I can’t believe I have never heard the story of how my parents meet. Tears start to prick my eyes as I think about my daddy. Mom steps around the island and comes to my rescue. “Now, there will be no crying this weekend. Jon and I are only here until Sunday, and we are going to enjoy every minute of our time together.” She kisses my forehead, just like Donovan does.
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Good, now, let’s go help your brother and boyfriend with the bags.” She winks at me and takes my hand, and we walk into in the living room.
Donovan and Jon are walking in as we come around the corner. “Here, let me help you boys with that.” I grin and reach to help take a bag. Jon throws it at me, being the butthead that he is, and laughs. “Here, sis. That’s mine, and it has my underwear in it. Don’t make me put it on your head like I did when you were little.”
“You’re so dumb. Jon.”
“Yeah, but you love me.” Jon winks at me and punches my arm.
“Ow, jerk!” I rub my arm, then punch him back. “I missed you, too.”
All the while, Donovan is laughing hysterically at our sibling banter. Jon and I both smile at each other and join in the laughter. “You two are so funny,” Donovan says.
“Yeah, Jon’s a riot,” I stick my tongue out at him. I really have missed my big brother. Jon takes the bags and walks upstairs. My mom has walked back into the kitchen, leaving Donovan and I alone. He walks over to me and tilts my chin up, so I’m looking into his eyes. He plants his lips softly on mine. It’s such a sweet kiss, and I of course want more.
“I’m really glad that your family can stay here. They seem so nice.”
“Oh, they are. My mom is such a beautiful, strong woman. And my brother is, well, you saw him.” I giggle. Donovan wraps his arms around me. “By the way, my mom is probably going to want to cook for us all the time in that fancy kitchen of yours,” I say.
He chuckles. “If that’s what she wants to do, who am I to stop her?”
I lean my head on his chest and slide my arms around his waist. I could stand like this forever.
Then I think of the story my mom just told me about her and daddy. I can’t help but wonder if that’s going to be Donovan and me. I beam just thinking about it. My man runs his fingers through my hair and rests his chin on top of my head. “I could stand like this forever,” he says softly. My heart swoons as I look up at his sweet face. He says, “I really enjoy being around, baby. I feel. . .well, happy.”
I stand on my tiptoes and kiss his lips swiftly. “I feel the same way.”
My brother comes down the stairs at that moment and ruins it by saying, “Jesus, get a room!”
We pull apart, both blushing. “Dude, I’m kidding. My sister is a grown ass woman.”
Donovan laughs and shakes his head. “Hey, Jon. I have a basketball goal outside. You play?”
“Dude, it’s 9:00. It’s dark outside.”
“Dude, I have lights out there, unless you’re scared you will lose.”
Jon loves a challenge. “Oh, it’s on. Let’s go!”
“Let me go change. I’ll be right back.” Donovan takes off upstairs.
Jon walks over to me and hugs me, which catches me off guard. “Allie Cat, are you happy?”
“Well, yeah. I am happy.” A huge grin comes across my smile. “I’m actually the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”
“Well, he seems like a good guy. And if you are happy, then I am.” Jon kisses my head, and the sentimental moment brings tears to my eyes. I knew my brother cared about me, but for him to say that warms my heart. “But, hey. If he hurts you, I’m kicking his ass, and that’s a promise.”
I laugh and shake my head. “I think we’ll be fine, bro.”
Donovan comes bounding down the stairs dressed in black basketball shorts, a white wifebeater, and Nike basketball shoes. Holy crap he looks seriously hot right now. His arms are well defined and strong. I should know. My brother smirks and says, “Lets go, Callahan.
Ready to get your ass whipped?”
“Bring it on, Marshall.”
They head into the kitchen and out the back door. I follow their trail and look out the window.
The basketball goal is more like a court with two goals on each end and bright outdoor lamps. I didn’t see it the other night, but of course, I wasn’t looking for a court either. I laugh as I watch my man and my brother start to battle it out. Donovan tries to school Jon, but it looks like my bro is standing his ground. I smile at the two of them, then turn to my mom, who is quietly standing beside me.
“Sweetie, I think you have yourself a keeper.” She puts her hand on my shoulder, and I reach up to touch it. My mom always knows the right things to say, but she also doesn’t sugarcoat things. So I know she’s telling me like it is. “I see the way you two look at each other. I used to look at your daddy the same way. Just keep your mind and heart open.”
I sigh. “I think you’re right, Mom. He is so awesome. I even told him about Jackson.”
My mom’s jaw drops. “You did? What did he say?”
“He was actually really accepting of it. I told him that I see Jackson from time to time. He said it was a selfless act to give Jackson up for adoption.”
“Then I know he’s a keeper. Most guys would run or at least feel uncomfortable with the situation. If Donovan knows, and he is still around, then there is something very special about him.” My mom’s green eyes twinkle, and she wraps her arm around my shoulder. “I’m very happy for you.”
“Thank you, mom. I love you.”
“I love you too, sweetie. Now, enough of this sappy stuff. Let’s find us a nighttime snack.” She rubs her hands together and it makes me giggle.
“Sounds like a plan.” I grin at my mother as we walk over to the pantry.

My graduation weekend goes off without a hitch. In fact, it is fantastic. My mom and Jon really enjoy their stay at Donovan’s. He makes sure their every need is attended to, like making sure Jon has Coke and my mom has her Folgers coffee in the morning. The more time my family spends with Donovan, the more they like him.
Graduation is nothing special. We all just wait to get our diplomas and get the hell out of there because it is insanely hot outside. Everyone comes to see me walk across the stage. Of course my mom, Jon, and Donovan come. Livey, Mr. Trent, Jasmine, and Cindy also come to cheer me on. As I am handed my diploma, I hear my name being chanted over in their section.
I turn my tassel and give a huge smile to my cheerleaders. That same evening, I receive my acceptance letter from Emory’s P.A. program, and we all celebrate with bottles of Donovan’s family wine.
Now, I stand at the airport. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I am saying my goodbyes to my family.
I hug my brother tightly. “Now, it’s your turn to come home for a visit. Don’t forget to bring the city boy with you.” Jon lets me go and gives Donovan a bro-hug. “Thanks, man. And dude, take care of my sister.”
My man looks my way. “I promise.” I smile through my tears.
I wrap my arms around my mom’s neck, and we both sob. “I miss you already, Mom,” I choke out, bound and determined not to let her get on that plane.
“I know, dear. I miss you, too. Don’t worry, we will see each other soon.” She rubs my back as she struggles to let me go. We finally pull apart, and she wipes my tears away with her thumb.
“I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you as soon as we land.” I nod in response. My mom walks over to Donovan and pulls him in for a hug. “Now, you be sure to look after my Allie. She’s my baby.”
Donovan grins, “She’s my baby, too.” He gives her a tight squeeze and grins at me. I laugh in spite of my sadness. He has a knack for making me smile. My mother gives him a swift kiss on the cheek, and she and my brother both head toward the terminal.
Donovan holds me as we wave goodbye to my family. When I can’t see them anymore, I break down, “I really miss them.”
I feel myself being rocked gently back and forth. It soothes my frazzled nerves. My tears stop, and I catch of a glimpse of Donovan’s face. He has a single tear on his cheek. I’m not sure if it’s from my family leaving or from my crying. Either way, it shows he cares about me. I hug him tighter.
We watch the plane take off, then we walk to the parking lot hand in hand. “So, you like my family, huh? They seem to like you, especially Jon.”
“Yeah, they’re awesome people. Jon and I even like the same football team.” I know Jon will talk about the Redskins for hours if you let him. Those two sat in the living room and had a heated discussion about Washington’s best quarterback. Mom and I just rolled our eyes and went back to our gossiping.
“You know, I see a lot of your mom in you, now that I’ve met her,” he says with a grin.
I giggle. “A lot of people say that. I don’t see it, neither does she.”
“Well, I have something to look forward to when you’re forty-five.”
I gasp and take a swat at him. He bobs and weaves, then takes off. He’s too fast for me as I chase him through the airport. We are both laughing and looking like two idiots. He’s too much sometimes! He slows down so I can catch up to him. “You know, you’re an ass,” I pant, with my hands on my knees.
“That I am, and you like it.” Donovan hasn’t even broken a sweat. Bastard. I smack his arm, making contact this time. “Ow, you hurt me!” he says as he rubs his arm. It makes me think of the first night we spent together, when I smacked him for the same reason.
“Take it like a man!” I joke back and stick out my tongue at him. It’s hard to believe that just five minutes ago, I was crying my eyes out. He brings out the best in me. He suddenly wraps his arms around my waist and lifts me up. I squeak as he starts to carry me out the front door.
“Donovan! Put me down!” I laugh. He is really trying to cheer me up, and it’s working.
“Play nicely, and I will.” He keeps a tight hold on me as we walk through the sliding glass doors.
People are staring at us and shaking their heads. He doesn’t notice or doesn’t care because he still doesn’t let me down.
“Fine, I’ll play your way!” I can’t stop my laughter. Donovan drops me and gives me a smart ass grin. “You suck, you know that?”
“So do you, and you’re better at it,” he quips.
“Oh my God! You ass!” I gape at him, not believing he said that out loud, in public no less.
“Didn’t we already make that part clear?” Donovan gives me his sexiest smile, and just like that, I want him. Right here on the sidewalk would be fine. Our playfulness turns to desire in a second.
He must feel the electricity change between us, too. He says nothing as he grabs my hand and takes off to his car. He fumbles with his keys to try to open the door. It’s so fun to watch him get out of sorts because he can’t have me right this second.
He finally gets the door open for me, and I slide in. Even though it’s about ninety degrees out here, I feel my nipples harden, and they poke through my white tank top. He looks down as he shuts the door, and I hear him say, “Holy shit.” He races to get in on his side, and he bangs his head against the door.
“Don’t worry, baby. I’m not going anywhere.” I purr as he struggles to get the car started. I rub my hand over his crotch, and I feel that his dick is already hard. He breathes in sharply, then lets out a small moan.
“I can’t get you home fast enough.” He puts the car in drive and skids out toward the exit.
“Fuck, it’s going to take over half an hour!”
I giggle at his frustration. He really wants to get me in bed now, so I decide to tease him once we leave the parking lot. I continue to rub on his bulge and moan in his ear. “Oh, Jesus, don’t do this to me,” he begs.
I start to unbutton his jeans and pull his zipper down. He tenses up as he cuts his eyes over to me. I lick my lips, giving him a hint of what I’m about to do to him. “Oh, fuck me,” he whispers.
“Are you really getting ready to…” I stop him short as I pull his erection out of his pants. His Ipod starts playing Saving Abel’s “Addicted,” and that’s all it takes for me to lower my head and start to lick his tip. “Oh, shit!” he moans. I feel his foot hit the gas harder. I take my hand and start moving up and down. His breathing is erratic, and he’s trying his best to keep his hands on the steering wheel.
I start moving my mouth down his erection, squeezing my lips tighter as I come up. He hisses through his teeth. I rub my legs together, getting hot and bothered by my man’s reaction to my spontaneous oral pleasure. I swirl my tongue around him, and his hips buck in response.
Then I start to really fuck him with my mouth, using my hand to jerk him off at the same time.
Donovan groans my name. Holy shit, this is crazy and so fucking hot! I slide my lips up and down while I cup his balls with my other hand. I feel them tighten, and I know he’s almost ready to explode. This excites me so much, I feel like I’m going to cum, too.
“I’m gonna cum, baby!’ Donovan moans. He places his hand on my head to keep me down on him as he floods my mouth with his release. There is so much that it runs out the sides of my lips. I’m so turned on that I feel myself let go, too. I groan as the shivers take control of my body. As the last aftershock rolls through me, I lift my head up and smack my lips. I glance over at him, and he exhales deeply. “What the hell was that about?”
“I wanted to please my man, simple as that.” I wipe the corners of my lips with my thumb and index finger. “And anyways, I got off too.”
He looks shocked. “You came because you gave me head? Wow, that’s definitely a first for me.”
“Well, me too. I’ve never gone down on a guy who was driving before.” I pick up the Ipod and look through the play list.
“I thought I was the only one you ever sucked off.” He narrows his eyes slightly.
“Well, you know what I mean. And that’s rude to say ‘sucked off.’ It sounds so…vulgar.” I roll my eyes at him.
“Okay, fine. Is ‘gone down on’ a better phase for you?” He snickers at me.
“Actually, yes. I like it much better than sucked off.” I can’t hide my giggle. I turn my attention back to the playlist. I find a song I haven’t heard in awhile. I hit play, and Lifehouse comes through the speakers. “I’m fallin’ even more in love with you, letting go of all I held on to. I‘m standing here until you make me move. Hangin‘ by a moment here with you.” This is the story of my life right now.
Donovan takes my hand. He brings my hand to his lips and kisses each knuckle. “You like that song?” he asks absentmindedly.
“Yeah, I do. I haven’t heard it in a while.” I stare out of the window, seeing the Sandy Springs exit.
“I have a better one.” He takes the IPod and slides through the song lists while managing to keep his eyes on the road. He finds it and taps the screen. A soft guitar plays, then Jason Mraz’s voice starts to sing. “I won’t give up.” I smile as I listen to the words. “I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough. I’m giving you all my love.” His voice is mellow and sweet, then he belts out another verse, singing about having a lot to learn. I look at Donovan, and he’s smiling. “That’s how I feel about us.”
Wow. How sweet can he possibly be? I lean over in my seat so I can rest my head on his shoulder. He wraps his arm around my head and kisses the top of it.
“Oh, don’t forget. Next weekend we meet my family,” he says.
“Great, I can’t wait to meet them, especially Megan.” I smile as I think about the trip for next week. As we ride back to his place, I feel more hopeful than I ever have.

“What the fuck do you mean he doesn’t want to see me?” Claire shouts into the phone. She is so livid with Regina. “I ask you to do one thing, and you screw it up!” She stares at her sister through the plexi-glass window. Claire is dressed in an orange jumpsuit, her blonde hair gone, replaced by her naturally light brown hair. Her eyes are still as dark as ever. She has seen better days, but once her lawyer gets her out of prison, that is going to change. She is going to demand that Donovan see her, and she will do everything in her power to make that happen.
“I’m sorry, sis. That’s what he says. He’s seeing some young bitch. He won’t tell me anything about her.” Regina grips the phone tightly to her ear, bracing herself for her sister’s wrath. “He didn’t give me a chance to tell him about your parole hearing.”
“It’s probably just one of his casual fucks. I’m not really that worried about the tramp. My hearing is in a month, and I‘ll be out.” Claire twirls a strand of hair around her finger.
“Uh, I don’t think so. He told me he was the happiest he had ever been. He wanted to make sure you knew that.” She fiddles with her pearl earrings, not looking at her sister as she speaks the words.
Claire’s face tenses and turns red. “Argh!” she screams, making the guard behind her jump.
“Sorry, Stan.” She flashes her award winning smile at the man, and he nods. Claire puts her acting skills to use whenever she gets a chance.
“I want everything you can find out about this slut. She will not keep Donovan from me. He will always be mine.” Her fury is raging, radiating out of every pore of her body.
“Claire, why don’t you forget him?” Regina pleads with her. “He has moved on now; why can’t you?”
“Shut your damn mouth! Donovan is my soulmate, and he knows it. I will get him back!” She slams her fists on the booth in front of her. “Like I said, get all the shit you can on her. I want to make her life a living hell.”

First, I’d like to thank my readers. You guys are the reason I write! Thank you!
To Dan, I love you. Thank you for being my rock and my shoulder to lean on. You are the best husband and father I could ever ask for.
To JB McGee, girl, without your help, this would still be just a dream. You’ve helped me with everything from the cover to the publishing. Thank you! I love you!
To Kristen, Patty, Shelly, Jodi, Janice, Julie, Paul, Jami, and Jamie M, thank you for being my first beta readers!
To my beta readers, Stacey Bentley, Kimberly Knight, Robin Harper, Karen Anderson, Kim Person Box, Holly Magieri, Nichele Reese, and Christa Calvone, thank you for catching my mistakes and helping me to make this book better!
To Kristen Said, thank you for being my editor and friend! I love you!
To my parents, Sandy and Wilson, and Ray, thank you for believing in me! I love you all!
To the girls at the PTC and SBWM, thanks for making me laugh and listening to my bitching!

To my husband Dan. You are MY DC. I love you! and To the SBWM and PTC, you girls rock!

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