Authors: Emma Hillman
Back to Life
Sara knows she should regret having sex with Jared, her
former brother-in-law. But their erotic encounter is the best thing that’s
happened to her all year. Thanks to his heady kisses and clever fingers, he’s
made her feel alive again, and she can’t help but yearn for more.
Jared has been waiting for this moment for months. Finally
Sara sees him as more than a former in-law. He’s a man in love and not afraid
to show it, determined to give her everything she needs, in and out of the
Their blossoming relationship isn’t to everybody’s liking.
With insecurities rising and tempers igniting, Sara and Jared will have to
decide what’s more important, making everyone else happy…or making each other
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Back to Life
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Back to Life Copyright © 2011 Emma Hillman
Edited by Briana St. James
Cover design by Syneca
Photography: Sergey Sukhorukov, CURAphotography/Shutterstock.com
Electronic book publication November 2011
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Back to Life
Sara knew something was off as soon as she
woke up. Her limbs felt heavy, her eyelids even more so, but it was nothing
compared to the way her thighs cramped when she tried to move the duvet off
I shouldn’t have gone to the gym
, she groaned inwardly.
Hold on… I never go to the gym.
That’s when it hit her. This time she
groaned out loud. “Nooo!” She grabbed her head in both hands and winced.
What did I do?
Images flashed in front of her closed eyes. Her resolute walk
across the bar’s parking lot the night before, her hesitation when Jared had
called out her name and then…his lips on hers, his arms pulling her close, his
fingers digging into her flesh. “Oh God. I had sex with my brother-in-law!”
She forced herself to get up, and moments
later, stood under the shower spray, looking down at her body and the marks
Jared had left on it. She had whisker burns on her neck and chest.
She could also see the faint traces his
fingertips had left on her hips, when he’d pulled her down so hard she’d
clamped around his cock and hadn’t let go. She’d screamed his name and held on
to him as her orgasm roared through her, loving the way he’d cursed under his
breath and accelerated his movements.
“Jared…” she whispered his name. She might
still be shocked they’d had sex in his truck the night before, but she couldn’t
lie to herself. She’d loved it.
she even supposed to have enjoyed it? It was the first time she’d done
something like this since Mike’s death, and to do so with his own brother…
She grabbed the shower gel and started
lathering it over her wet skin, valiantly trying not to remember the way
Jared’s hands had felt on her. He’d been an amazing lover, making her come not
only once but twice. For someone who hadn’t had anything other than a
self-induced orgasm in more than a year, it had felt as if she’d hit the
No. No. No.
She had to forget about it. She was certain he was going to act today as if
nothing had happened, and that was fine with her. She didn’t need her life to
become even more complicated, and a relationship with Jared would be just that.
But damn, those eyes… That mouth… Those thighs… She turned the faucet and
yelped at the sudden burst of cold water.
She held on to her control for two more
hours. When the doorbell rang, however, she knew without a doubt who’d be
standing on her front porch. She opened the door and stared at the man who’d
become her best friend over the past few months. He stood at ease, with his
hands stuck in his jeans’ back pockets, a smile on his rugged face. She licked
her lips and finally said, “Hey.”
“Hey, hon. How are you feeling?”
She blinked. What was he asking exactly? If
she’d recovered from having sex with him in a rickety truck? Surely not? “Hmm,
I’m fine. You?”
“Great.” He bent down and pressed a quick
kiss on her cheek, his usual welcome gesture. Then he pushed past her and
walked to the kitchen, already sliding his coat off. Sara knew he’d go straight
for the coffeepot she always kept on. He’d been here so often lately she could
picture him perfectly even if she was in another room altogether.
She closed the door and stood there for a second
before taking a deep breath and going to join him. Silence greeted her arrival,
and as she watched him take a sip, she wondered what she was supposed to do
Minutes ticked by. She’d obviously been
right earlier. He wasn’t going to talk about last night. At all. And that irked
her, damn it! Sure, she’d decided to let it go, but faced with his apparent
nonchalance, she was slowly going crazy here.
She’d spent the past year crying herself to
sleep, but it was high time she pulled herself together. She was only in her
mid-thirties, after all. Life should be more than just going to work and seeing
her family on the weekends.
She’d decided she ought to go out there and
find herself another man, someone completely different from Mike, but who would
love her just as much. She shouldn’t have told Jared about her idea.
She should have guessed he’d come after
her. He’d said he wanted to stop her from making a big mistake, so how had she
ended up in his arms instead? He’d kissed her and lust had taken over and… She
felt her cheeks redden at the memories.
She frowned at the dishtowel slowly
becoming twisted in her hands, hoping he wouldn’t turn around right at that
moment. And because karma really was a bitch, he did just that. She sighed when
she heard him ask, “Are you okay, Sara?”
“You sure? You look kinda flushed.”
She looked up and stared at him over her
kitchen table. He was wearing his usual jeans and chambray shirt, hiking boots
topping off his outfit. His hair was windblown, his green eyes sparkling. Why
did he have to look so normal?
Couldn’t he see she wanted to talk about
what happened? Couldn’t he see she’d changed in the space of a few hours? It
was his damn fault too! He’d had sex with her in his truck, in the back of a
freaking parking lot, and it’d been amazing. But no, now he had to go and be
Mr. Perfect, as always.
She took a deep breath and replied, “I was
thinking of what happened last night.” His eyes widened and she nearly smiled
in triumph. Ha ha! Take that, Mr. Let’s-Forget-About-It.
“I don’t think we should talk about this.
It’s best if we—”
She cut him off, “I don’t think so. You
can’t just push it under the rug and act as if nothing’s happened. We had sex.
Good sex too, for that matter.”
“Let’s not have this conversation,” he
said, his voice stern.
She watched him grab his coat and tug it on
and she saw red. The damn man thought he could just leave? Well, she wouldn’t
accept that. Oh no. He’d made his bed and now he was damn well going to sleep
in it! “You started it,” she snapped. She sent the dishtowel flying toward his
head, but it merely bounced off his chest.
He didn’t react, simply kept on watching
her silently. She grabbed the neck of her top and lowered it. “See this? You
gave me this hickey, Jared!” His jaw twitched, but he still didn’t respond.
Exasperated beyond belief, she opened her shirt’s buttons and pointed to the
top of her breasts, laid bare by her black lace bra. “See that red skin? That’s
what your whiskers did to me when you were sucking on my nipple.” He rocked
back on his heels at her last word.
at least I’m getting
through to him
Of course, she was standing there
half-naked and the damn guy still hadn’t moved. “Look at me!” she snapped.
“What do you want, Sara?” he finally said,
his eyes now a darker green.
“I want you to acknowledge what happened
Instead, he said, “You’re not ready for a
She gasped. “Who says I want a
relationship? I need to start having fun again. You know that. You told me
“I have. I did. I didn’t think you’d go to
the nearest bar and proposition the first man you stumbled upon.”
“Oh for pity’s sake! I’m a grown woman,
Jared. You’re not my brother-in-law anymore. If I want to fuck nameless guys, I
have the right to! I need a new life, don’t you see?”
“I see perfectly well.” His eyes traced her
body, from her polished toes to her barely covered breasts.
She felt herself heat up at the lust
suddenly clearly displayed on his face. “Jared?”
“If we do this, baby, it won’t change anything. I don’t mind being your lover so you get this out of your system,
but then we’ll go back to normal. All right?”
What was he talking about? Had he really
just said he wanted to be her lover?
. She nearly liquefied at the
thought. She knew his reputation. He’d probably done every sex act under the
sun, and he wanted to do them to her now? Realizing she still hadn’t given him
an answer, she nodded. “Sure. Sex with no strings and then we go back to being
“Fine.” He made his knuckles crack. “In
that case, baby, come here. And remember, I’m in charge of this thing.”
She stopped thinking and did as ordered. She went to him.
This felt so weird. Last night it’d
happened so fast, she’d just hung on for the ride. Sure, she’d come a couple of
times, all thanks to his amazing fingers and cock… It suddenly hit her. The man
had to be a freaking genius. He’d made her come twice in his truck of all
places, during a quickie no less!
. How much better would he be when
they had all the time in the world?
She gulped and tried to relax in his
embrace. All they’d done so far was share a prolonged hug. It felt nice; that
wasn’t the problem. It just felt a tiny bit odd to be nearly naked in her
brother-in-law’s arms. “Stupid,” she muttered to herself, her face tucked
against his hard chest.
“What did you say, sweetheart?” He clasped
his hand around her ponytail and tugged, forcing her head up.
“Nothing,” she immediately replied. She
should have known better. He wasn’t a stranger; he could see when she was
“Try again.” His lips curved into a small
“Huh… I was just calling myself stupid.”
“Why?” His arms tightened around her,
trapping her against his powerful frame as if he didn’t want to let go.
“I… It’s just odd, that’s all.”
“What is odd? Us?” She nodded. “You wanted
“I know! I do, I do. That’s not it. It’s
just… Do you think we could move this elsewhere?”
She watched his face as he seemed to
realize where they were standing. “Your bedroom?” he finally asked.
Sara fought a frown. She hadn’t had a man
in there since Mike’s death a year ago. “Huh. Right.”
“The guest room?” he suggested, his gaze
Trust him to realize what was going on in
her head. “I don’t know. I… What do you think?”
“It’s your house, sweetheart. I don’t want
you to do something you don’t want to.”
His message was clear. She thought about it
some more, then squared her shoulders when her decision was made. Today would
mean a new chapter in her life. No more tears, no more regrets. She’d start
this with a bang…or die trying anyway. “My bedroom,” she announced before
detangling herself from him.
She led the way.
Jared watched his sister-in-law’s curvy ass
disappear down the hallway and fought the urge to run after her. He needed to
stay in control or else everything he’d carefully built over the past months
would crumble. He couldn’t believe she’d said she wanted to have sex with him.
He’d been so sure she’d try to forget
what’d happened the night before. It had been too good to be true. That’s what
he’d told himself when he’d woken up that morning, anyway. He might have bedded
a lot of women in his time, but nothing had ever felt that way.
They’d been in his favorite bar’s parking
lot, but he hadn’t once thought of stopping. He’d prayed for this, after all,
for that chance to have her in his arms, and as soon as they’d kissed, he’d let
She’d been so hot, so damn soft too. He’d
made her come a first time and hadn’t believed how amazing that had felt. His
cock had been ready to drill its way out of his pants, but he hadn’t cared, too
caught up in the way she’d felt, in the way she’d made him feel. She’d been his
fantasy, his perfect imaginary lover for months now, but things were different
Today, she would become his.
He’d make sure of it.
With that decided, he followed her and
found her standing in the middle of her bedroom, the one she used to share with
his brother. His heart pinched inside his chest, but he ignored it. He’d come
to terms with the fact he was in love with his sister-in-law months before,
when just the thought of spending a day with her had made him smile.
He’d always liked her, had gladly approved
when Mike had come to see him to say he’d asked her to be his wife. She was the
nicest person he knew. She was also the sexiest, he thought as he traced her
curves with his eyes.
“Take your bra off,” he said, his voice
She visibly jerked. “Now?”
He nodded and waited to see what she would
do. She didn’t disappoint.
She wouldn’t let him see how scared she
was. She hadn’t done this in so long. She just had to get used to it again,
right? She unclasped her bra and let it slide down her arms. She wasn’t some
young nubile thing. She wasn’t perky or cellulite-free. She had round hips and
an even rounder butt, and usually she didn’t mind them. His brother had loved
She shook her head, forcing the thoughts of
Mike away. She wouldn’t think of him, not now when she was about to do
something so revolutionary she still couldn’t quite believe Jared was really in
front of her. “Okay?” she found herself asking, her voice shaky.