by Becca Lee
Genre: New Adult Romance
“When life threatens perfect, it’s time to step up and kick life in the balls.”
Ella's perfect moment was taken from her in the worst possible way. Humiliated, heartbroken and absolutely determined not to allow her heart be destroyed for a second time, she builds an ice wall around her heart.
Preston has known that he was in love with his big sister's best friend since the age of fifteen. Over ten years on, and an opportunity to be her knight in shining armour is too good to miss. Putting his heart on the line, he's on a mission to show Ella that the perfect moment is possible.
Ella's instinct is to run when she realises her feelings for her bestie's little brother may just run a little bit deeper than just friends. But if she can't run, she'll try every trick in the book to shake off his affection and realign his feelings.
She’s already had her perfect moment, and there is no chance she'll let her heart thaw for Preston. No matter how good he looks in the firefighter's Christmas calendar.
He remained still, just a few short inches from my face. His eyes searched mine, and then looked at my mouth before making eye contact once again. I released a shaky breath, only just realising that I’d been holding it. I then reacted. It was almost as though my body was on autopilot. There was no grand thought processing, or gesture, or even an amazing epiphany. My head moved forward of its own volition, as if there was a hot, sizzling magnetic pull between us. My mouth touched his tentatively, so unlike our previous kisses. His lips were smooth against mine. My lips took control and continued to gently press and nibble against his. My tongue slipped out and lightly licked his lower lip, before it slowly entered his mouth and touched his. As soon as our tongues met, our mouths pressed down harder, and our kisses became more frantic. After what I assumed was just a few more seconds, our mouths parted, with just a few more light kisses between us. With our heads close, Preston gave me a small smile, one that warmed my heart. He was so bloody hot.
“So … erm … El?” Zoe’s voice was like a bucket of cold water over me.
Shit, Zoe. I forgot about Zoe. This was definitely not good.
Forcing a smile on my face, I looked away from Preston, who now had a small frown set between his eyebrows. “Hi Zoe, fancy seeing you here,” I rushed out, silently talking to her with my wide eyes, hoping to God that she understood my silent, freaked-out version of facial expression.
She raised her eyebrow quizzically and remained standing next to our table. “Er, okay. Yes, fancy. I was just meeting someone here, but apparently I’ve been stood-up.”
I smile-grimaced at her. My heart pounded in my chest. I had no freakin’ idea what to do. Here was Zoe, looking her usual self, potentially an ideal match for Preston, yet I’d just kissed him. Me. I’d initiated it this time. I had no idea what I wanted.
I took a sneaky look at Preston from the corner of my eye, half-expecting him to be drooling over Zoe. Hell, I was almost drooling. She was smoking hot, but instead, his eyes were fixed firmly on my face, trying to work out what exactly I was up to. I gave him a quick smile and looked back at Zoe.
Could I bear to see them together? Preston with anyone? Everything was so crazy confusing. Just four days ago, Preston was my friend and my bestie’s little bro, but now … shit. Now, I officially fancied the ass off him and desperately wanted to explore us. Geez, I just thought ‘us’. Cue freak out, in three, two, one … But it never happened. There was no panic. No screaming at the top of lungs and running away in horror at the thought of another man potentially breaking my heart. He was my friend, so of course I trusted him, but hell, trusting him with my heart should be making me break out the brown paper bag. Instead, a little flicker of something else sparked in my heart, something akin to hope. It felt warm and tingly, and right.
Deciding a course of action was required to get me out of the potential mess before me. I didn’t think Preston would be too impressed knowing I’d tried to set him up, so I used my stealth-like silent facial code and forcefully and repeatedly moved my eyes to the right, in between pointed looks. Zoe’s eyes tightened for a moment; she was clearly wondering if she needed to call for medical help. Finally, the light bulb flickered on and her mouth formed a large O. “Okay—”
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She can still be found regularly on the beach with her family. Becca tends to leave the surfing to her boys; she's far too busy immersed in her own writing or, of course, with her head still buried in a new read.
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