Entangled (A Tryst Novel)

BOOK: Entangled (A Tryst Novel)
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Also by Alex Rosa

Tryst

Entangled

Alex Rosa

INTERMIX BOOKS, NEW YORK

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

ENTANGLED

An InterMix Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2016 by Alex Rosa.

Excerpt from
Tryst
copyright © 2015 by Alex Rosa.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

INTERMIX and the “IM” design are trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information about The Berkley Publishing Group, visit
penguin.com
.

eBook ISBN: 9781101989500

PUBLISHING HISTORY

InterMix eBook edition / June 2016

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

Chapter 1

Skyler

“Are you nervous?”

Blake adjusts the gray vest that fits flawlessly over his toned build. “No, I just want this to be perfect. Is that so wrong?”

I can’t help but wrinkle my nose as I watch him bob on his heels in a very un-Blakelike way as we wait for the elevator. I smooth out my petite, sleeveless black dress before walking through the open elevator doors.

The moment we step inside the private elevator he releases a pent-up breath and reaches for my hand. I tug him toward me.

“Blake,
 
you’re
 
perfect. That’s enough for me.”

And then some.

He grins and presses his forehead against mine. “Stop having so much faith in me, will you?”

I roll my eyes. “Never.”

His satisfied expression has my lips twitching with a familiar need for his, and, as if rewarding the addict with her drug, he drops a sweet kiss on my mouth.

Blake and I have only been official months since we switched from our friends with benefits trysts to permanent lovers. I guess I should have known it was coming when this addiction started the moment I laid eyes on him, and only amplified when he finally became my boyfriend, regardless of his manwhore past and my brother’s disdain for it. Our journey wasn’t easy, but what relationship is?

Before I can coax his lips open for more the elevator doors open again. Blake jerks back and tightens his grip on my hand before leading me out into the foyer. I’m always at his whim, stuck in his sexual thrall.

My mouth falls agape. I feel blanketed by the stars in the sky. The floor-to-ceiling windows reveal a startling midnight-blue skyscape with the city of Los Angeles glittering below. I feel swallowed by the sky itself and the grand size of the room with its windows. I blink a few times before noticing the occupied tables around the perimeter of the room, and the large chandelier hanging above the dinner guests that’s almost as mesmerizing as the stars outside.

Blake tugs at my hand once more, causing me to approach the hostess podium as he whispers, “What do you think?”

My eyes go wide; I’m feeling slightly starstruck and mildly out of place, but I can’t deny my words. “It’s beautiful, Blake.”

“Beautiful, like you.”

I raise a brow. “You’re just pulling out all the stops, now, aren’t you?”

“C’mon, it’s our first REAL date. I want to do this right. Let me spoil you. Don’t fight me on this. I had to do some very questionable things just to get a table here on such short notice.”

I purse my lips into a smile. “Questionable, eh? I am sure it was all within your scope of practice.”

“Yes, of course, good doctor.” He offers a wink and kisses me gently on the cheek before we follow the hostess to our table.

He lets go of my hand to pull out my chair. Our table against the window has a flawless view of the sky and the city below.

“Who knew you were such a gentleman?”

He chuckles as he takes a seat opposite me, and runs a hand through his old-Hollywood-style slicked-back hair. “You’d be surprised what I’m capable of.”

Oh, I have some ideas.

I giggle, loving this side of Blake, but knowing his wry, antagonistic side is my favorite. It’s what had me weirdly intrigued when we first met. It didn’t take long for me to like instigating arguments just so I could witness it. So to see us transition from angsty rendezvous into a relationship, I guess I kind of cherish these stupid simplicities our connection was built on; Playful and ridiculous.

As I peer around the room, I notice blatant glances from the tables around us, and I gulp because surely they aren’t staring at me,
 
the lowly college student.

“When do you start filming, Blake?” I ask absentmindedly as I move to place my napkin over my lap.

His silence has my eyes soon flickering up, and his knowing expression has my lip twitching in annoyance that he can read me so well. Is it that obvious this topic makes me uneasy?

“In a little less than a month, but for now let’s not think about that.”

He mentioned only days ago that the press releases announcing his casting in next year’s big movie blockbuster went out. I secretly made it a point to read them and remembered them describing him as “Hollywood’s undiscovered leading man.” I squirm at the thought, not sure if I really understand what it means to be an actor, let alone that particular description, at all.

He smiles impishly as he reaches for the menu. “Wine?”

I nod my agreement, trusting Blake in anything he might choose, though I can’t help but wonder if he knows anything about wine.

As the waiter approaches Blake smiles. “Hi, can we get a bottle of the Léoville-Barton
?”

“Absolutely, sir.”

I chew my lip as I open the menu to see that the bottle he requested has a $150 price tag to match its fancy name.

“I never pegged you as a wine person.”

He chuckles and blushes slightly. “I might have asked your brother to help with the wine selection.”

I laugh, but my shoulders tense at the outburst, feeling uncomfortable by its loud sound in this restaurant.

“Funny. My brother approved, then?” I ask more quietly.

He grins, running a nervous hand through his hair again. It starts to look like he feels just as tense as I feel, and I start to become anxious as I watch him speak. “He might have recommended the restaurant, too.”

My brow furrows as I place the menu back onto the table and eye him suspiciously. “Blake, please tell me my brother didn’t tell you to take me here.”

Dammit, Josh.

Blake’s handsome face twists into concern at hearing my tone, but before he can speak the waiter is quick to reappear, pouring a small taste in a crystal wineglass for Blake to try. For a moment his intense jade stare is glued to me, devouring my own expression as he absentmindedly reaches for the glass for a sip.

I don’t know what it is, but I like that even just his glance overwhelms me, like the peak heat of the summer, and it has me forgetting about the LA winter chill just outside these windows.

Blake’s wicked stare silently speaks of mischief and love, my most favorite combination.

He gestures that he approves, and the waiter pours each of us a glass before asking, “Would you like to order?”

Blake waves a hand, but his searing expression doesn’t leave mine. “Give us a moment.”

The waiter leaves.

“What are you saying, Skyler? That you think your brother made me take you here?”

I smile, finding that his transition into apprehensive intensity teeters on adorable, though I know that’s not how he intends it.

“No, Blake. Not at all. This place is wonderful. I just worry who you’re trying to please. My brother will have to accept us no matter what. I’m just saying that my perfect date with you doesn’t have to be at a fancy restaurant. Frankly, I like spontaneous Blake best, not necessarily fancy-dinner-Ken-doll-Blake. I’m a low-key girl. All I really need is you . . . Plus, I know you’re more of a beer guy.”

Finally, his tense expression disappears. “Did you just compare me to a Ken doll?”

I nod.

He abruptly rises from the table, causing me to gasp, and suddenly he extends his hand to me.

I just sit, bemused but smiling. “Blake, what are you doing?”

“You’re right.”

I chew my lip, finding humor nearly everywhere now. “Can I get that in writing?”

“Skyler, get up. Let’s go.”

“We just bought a bottle of wine. We should at least enjoy it.”

Blake huffs as he turns to the table, blatantly getting impatient. He reaches for his wallet in his back pocket, and pulls out a crisp one-hundred-dollar bill and three twenties, placing them on the table. I always had a feeling Blake wasn’t hurting for money, but I guess now it’s pretty obvious he isn’t.

He grabs for the cork, and pauses to look at me with a serious look. “I would finish off that glass of wine if I were you.”

I go wide-eyed as I do as I’m told, bringing the freshly filled glass to my lips. It tastes bitter, but the warmth that follows as it runs down my throat helps the flavor. The heat of the wine bottoms out in my stomach and courses through my insides like a rising tide.

Blake watches me take my first gulp before continuing his mission as he pushes the cork back into the fancy bottle of wine and grabs it by the neck.

He waits for me to take my final sip, smugly smiling until the last drop is gone.

My nerves are bunched up tight in anxiety about what the hell is going on. I place the glass on the table and shamefully wipe at the corners of my mouth, knowing in that instant that being a lady is not my forte, and that this restaurant doesn’t suit me, or us, at all.

Blake extends his hand to me again. “Ready?”

I rise from the table, noting he still has the bottle in his other hand. His firm grip around mine shoots a thrum of electricity up my bare arm.

“What are we doing?” I ask, confused but thrilled.

“You said you prefer spontaneous.”

“You want to be spontaneous right now?” I don’t try to hide my sarcasm.

“You were right about this place. It’s not our style.” The word
our
rings wonderfully in my ears as he says it. “I say we take this night out onto the streets.”

I laugh, covering my mouth, definitely taking note that we are garnering stares. “What are we? Some run-of-the-mill LA hooligans now?”

He grins. “Well, we can at least enjoy this bottle of wine.”

Without letting me respond he’s already trotting back in the direction of the elevator with me in tow, and my giggles are relentless.

As we reach the shiny metal doors once again, he pulls me into a far-too-brief kiss. “I love you.”

I lick my lips, staring up at the wondrous boy who managed to steal my heart. “I love you, too.”

The
ding
signaling the opening doors has us swiftly moving inside, and I can’t help but think I witness a flash of a camera before we enter the elevator that will soon descend onto the streets of LA to bring a first date I never expected.

If love were down the proverbial rabbit hole, I’d follow it forever.

BOOK: Entangled (A Tryst Novel)
12.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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