Title: Collecting the Pieces
Author: L.A. Fiore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
At fifteen I fell in love. His name was Jake Stephens and he took the abandoned, lonely girl I had been and made me whole. His love was a pure and unconditional love that made every day better than the last…a fairy tale of my very own.
But this story isn’t about Jake. It’s about Abel Madden; the man I meet after the fairy tale goes to hell. A cocky, arrogant man who says what he wants, does as he pleases, and makes no excuses for it. He irritates me—downright pisses me off at times—but he also brings me back to life.
My name is Sidney Ellis and this is my story of finding love twice—the first when I needed it most and the second when I never saw it coming.
Text copyright © 2016, L.A. Fiore
My stomach felt all funny looking at Abel and since my brain was soaked in alcohol none of my mental roadblocks went up. The man really was something else even being rude and cocky. My fingers itched to touch his beard and to trace his lips.
“How’s the arm?”
“Jesus Christ.” That quickly his demeanor changed to one of incredulity and, I’m pretty sure, disgust. “You’re drunk.”
“What the fuck? You’re a doctor and you’re mixing pain meds and alcohol?”
I snorted, an unattractive sound yes, but it couldn’t be helped. “You’re an ass. You know that, right?”
Surprise, it was quick, but I definitely saw it rolling over his face. “And you’re an idiot. What kind of VMD are you?”
Even drunk, my blood boiled. Prick. “What makes you think I’m mixing drugs and alcohol?”
He glanced at my arm. “Ten stitches.”
“Not that it is any of your business, but I’m not on pain meds. Thank you so much for your concern though.”
It wasn’t surprise this time, but something else flashed in those unusual eyes before he said, “I’m just trying to figure you out.”
“You don’t need to do that, figure me out. Every time I’m near you I want to run away screaming.” Or jump you and kiss that damn smirk off your face. “I irritate you just as much, so focus your energies on the countless women in town who actually want your company.”
“See, now that just sounds like a challenge.”
“Seriously. Did you bang your head recently? You might be suffering from brain trauma.”
He had the oddest expression on his face and then that head dipped back and he roared with laughter. “You have a sense of humor too.”
“I wasn’t joking.”
This only made him laugh harder.
My phone buzzed. Rylee was out front. “I’ve got to go.”
“See you around, Doc.”
“Is that threat?”
“No, babe, a promise.”
He was still laughing when the door closed behind me.
L.A. Fiore is the author of several books including: Beautifully Damaged, Beautifully Forgotten, Beautifully Decadent, His Light in the Dark and A Glimpse of the Dream. She's also the social secretary for her two children, a tamer of ill-mannered cats, the companion to one awesome dog and married to her best friend. She likes her wine red, her shrimp chilled and her social gatherings small and intimate.