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Wicked Angel by Jaine Diamond


Wicked Angel

by Jaine Diamond

Self-Published

Book 3 in the Vancity Villians series


A sinfully hot enemies to lovers romance, about a seductive, a-hole (anti)hero on the brink of self-destruction and the quirky, kind-hearted heroine who discovers his darkest secret—and his heart.


I knew it was a mistake to kiss my best friend’s brother—especially behind my boyfriend’s back.

In my defense, I had a crush on Johnny for years .

But that was before I realized how much I hated him. Now, thanks to the object of my hate crush, I’ve lost my relationship, my dream job, and my home.

Johnny has no idea it’s mostly his fault that my life has imploded, but the man is a dumpster fire of depravity and I really should’ve known better.

He’s an arrogant rock star, with the body of Adonis and the soul of Hades.

A coldhearted jerk who doesn’t seem to care who he hurts on his climb to the top. But he’s also on the verge of career meltdown. When his dirty deeds start catching up with him—and threatening his precious career—he offers me a job that I literally can’t afford to turn down.

As it turns out, it’s not so easy to hate on someone who walks around half-naked all the time looking like my hottest fantasy.

Worse, the more time we spend together… I realize there’s a lot more to my best friend’s brother than meets the eye. Including a terrible, heartrending secret. Despite everything, my heart aches for him.

I know I might be his last chance to make amends for the pain he’s caused.

I know we could help each other get our lives back on track.

But Johnny’s hurt me, too. How can I trust him not to do it again?

Genre:


Triggers:

Alcohol, drug use, PTSD resulting from a childhood trauma involving a car jacking and shooting, dom/sub sex play

 

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny.

I've been looking forward to this book.

Johnny is ... infamous in Jaine Diamond's Dirty and Players series'.

Always in the background, involved in the most scandalous stories, never painted in a good light.

So when Jaine Diamond announced that Johnny was going to be the next "Villian" book, I was immediately intrigued, and excited.

Especially with Jaine's updates throughout the writing process, bringing up the emotions of it.

When I tell you I downloaded this book SO FAST.


Wicked Angel is the best book so far in the Vancity Villians series.

BY FAR!

The story is great. It always is with Jaine's work. The story immediately grips you and keeps you hooked to the very last page.

It's the characters and the growth that are the strongest in this book.

Without spoiling anything, we have two characters who silently suffer with different types of trauma, and ones not often explored in contemporary romance. That instantly had my interest peeked, but what I really appreciated was Jaine not ending the book with these two characters magically healed.

It's not realistic for love to heal all.

It's more realistic to fall in love, and continue working on healing.

Johnny's trauma is not something that can ever be truly "healed", but his never ending work on himself not only painted all those infamous stories of him in a new light, but made him interesting for a whole new reason. No longer was he the morally gray bad boy. Nor did Jaine dismiss the bad things he has done using the often used over-exaggerated by the press storyline.

He did bad things.

He can only ask for forgiveness and work on himself with the knowledge and insight he has gained from a trusted professional.

I love this.

Jaine write's Johnny beautifully. He will never be perfect, but he is getting help. He is opening himself up to something that terrifies him. That makes his story beautiful.

Then there is Angeline, who faces a more common trauma, but not often explored in romance: the forgotten child trauma. Probably similar to the trauma many people feel if there is a favorite, or more demanding of attention, sibling. Not something I ever really think about, but non-famous siblings of successful, famous celebrities have it hard. Angeline - the younger sister of Elle from Dirty - struggles.

She doesn't feel like she can, or will, ever live up to Elle's success.

Logically she knows her parents love her, but she doesn't feel like enough in their eyes.

She begins every day thinking and feeling this. On a good day.

We don't start this book on one of her good days.

Her boyfriend of almost four years, and someone who she will still see around because he is the head of her sisters security, breaks up with her. Admittedly, she knows they are not right for one another, but there is still pain there.

She loses her home, because she moved in with said boyfriend.

On the same day she loses the job she was sure she was going to get.

That is a shitty day.

So while Johnny is constantly hurting and closed off, Angeline's feelings of inadequacy, on top of the shit storm of her life, has her in a dark spot.

It makes sense that these two souls would be drawn together.

The chemistry between these two is intense.

The banter is fun, but can also lead to deep, emotional dialogues.

The sex. This is one of Jaine's steamiest books in this series.

Angeline and Johnny are HOT.

The dirty talk is chef's kiss.

Seriously, this book has it all. A beautifully written story, of two different people, coming together and being truly vulnerable with on another for the first time in their lives. Gripping, emotional, but also entertaining and sexy, Wicked Angel is a book you don't want to miss!





I sucked in a breath. I knew he was about to kiss me.

I didn’t move.

My core lit on sweet, heavenly fire as his lips met mine.

And yes, I kissed him back.

Because you know what? Life isn’t easy.

We don’t always get what we want.

We don’t always want what we get.

Inside, we are nothing like what others think we are when they look at us.

We are deeply misunderstood. And we are complicated. We are so many things; more things than we are not. Courteney: “Since when do you care what your brother says about your love life anyway?”

Courteney inquired, stirring the pot.

Larissa: “Since he threatened to stop paying for Netflix if she didn’t stop making out with his lead singer,” Shayla: “I was halfway through The Walking Dead! That’s like, a billion seasons! You can’t just stop in the middle!” Shayla: “This is your bedroom,”

I gasped at her when I came up for air,

Angeline: thankgodthankgodthankgod.”

Then I fell over on the bed.

Shayla: “Whose bedroom did you think it was?”

She looked at her brother again, realization dawning.

Shayla: “Ew.”

Then she went to dig some fresh undies out of a drawer.

Shayla: “What are you doing here? You just gave my girl a heart attack, thinking she woke up after the most disappointing one-nighter of her life, with you.”

Johnny: “The horror,”

Johnny drawled, unamused. Angeline: “Shayla sometimes admits how much she loves you and stuff, okay? So I know you must have a shred of humanity somewhere in that cold, empty cavern.”

He paused at the bottom of the stairs.

Johnny: “Cavern?”

Angeline: “You know. Your empty chest cavern.”

My voice faltered as he stared me down.

Angeline: “Where your… heart would be.”

Johnny: “Would be?”

Angeline: “Like, if you actually had one.”

I cleared my throat.

Johnny: “You know, you’re really winning me over, Angeline.” Fuck. Adulting sucked. Lex: “Let’s get back on track again. We’re unpacking Johnny’s career issues. I don’t have all night.”

Shane: “I thought we were unpacking his issues with women.”

Lex: “Let’s not get crazy. I definitely don’t have all month.” Angeline: "I’m flying a bit blind and I’m pretty desperate to make it work.”

Shayla: “Determined. You’re determined to make it work. Change your language, babe. Stop shitting on yourself. And believe me, you’ll see, things will start to change for you.” Shayla: "There are different kinds of cute. You’re cute like… an adorable kitten.”

I rolled my eyes.

Shayla: “What? It’s true, okay? Dylan Cope would carry you around in his pocket if he could. The guys all love you.”

Angeline: “I know.”

This kind of “love” was not the kind I was looking for, unfortunately.

Angeline: “Elle’s friends all think I’m a cartoon character.”

She laughed.

Shayla: “You do give off Pikachu vibes now and then.”

Angeline: “I truly dislike you sometimes.” Angeline: “Great. So, no other affairs?”

Johnny: “Has anyone ever told you that you talk too much?”

Angeline: “I talk when I have something to say.”

I took a sip of my water, giving him a moment, but he still didn’t answer the question.

Angeline: “Oh, I’m sorry. Do you prefer women who just sit around looking pretty and saying nothing at all?”

Johnny: “Yeah,”

he muttered, taking a sip of his water.

Johnny: “Maybe.”

Angeline: “Well, there’s a word for that. It’s called furniture. I’m a sentient being with a mouth. Get used to it.” I cringed when I saw the big purple dildo, remembering how I’d told Flynn when we moved in together that I’d named it Dylan.

Major mistake. What made me think a guy would ever want to hear that?

He asked! Mean Me whispered.

I lifted the purple dildo out of the box.

Angeline: “Welp. Goodbye, dear Dylan. We had some good times, didn’t we?”

Then I tossed him—it—out. It made a sad, dejected thud in the bathroom wastebasket. Angeline: “There is no scandal in my life. Unless any paparazzi were stalking me at the mall today. ‘Sister of rock star Elle Delacroix buys a vibrator.’ Major headlines.”

I looked up again as the wok sizzled angrily. Johnny, who was staring at me, righted it just before it upended and all the vegetables slid off.

Angeline: “Did you just almost drop your dinner because I said vibrator?”

Johnny: “I thought your personal life was none of my business.”

Angeline: “It was a joke.”

Johnny: “So you did buy a vibrator, or you didn’t?”

Angeline: “Really not answering that.”

I fixed a typo on my document.

Angeline: “Yes, I bought a vibrator. Why is this newsworthy? No one saw me.”

Johnny: “I didn’t say it was newsworthy.”

Angeline: “Now you’re just creeping.”

He laughed shortly.

Johnny: “You offered up the information. I’m not supposed to get a mental image?”

Angeline: “Of me taking a vibe to the cashier and pulling out my sad, low-limit credit card?”

Johnny: “Yeah. That’s exactly what a guy pictures when you say you bought a vibrator.”

He eyed me briefly.

Johnny: “How naïve are you?” Johnny: “My date cancelled.”

Shayla: “So? She’s a ho.”

Johnny: “Uh-huh. The S&M dungeon called. They want their wardrobe back.”

Shayla tossed me a dirty look from where she was bent over her hall table, applying a thick veneer of lipgloss in the mirror.

Shayla: “She’s a cuntwaffle. Just forget her.”

Johnny: “You think every woman I date is a ‘cuntwaffle.’”

My phone buzzed and I glanced at it.

Shayla: “Maybe you should stop dating cuntwaffles.”

Angeline: “Guys,”

Angeline said half-heartedly, like she knew how ineffectual her attempts to get my sister to shut up would be. I slipped my phone into my pocket.

Johnny: “And what exactly makes a woman a cuntwaffle, in your estimation?”

Shayla: “Let’s see. She called me Sheila. She expected me to wait on her like I was your freakin’ serving staff. And she told me, unsolicited, that I’d really benefit from a nose job.”

Oh.

Johnny: “Why the hell didn’t you tell me that?”

Shayla: “As if it would make a diff? You wanted to fuck her. I know how it goes.”

My sister turned to me.

Shayla: “I can handle that shit. But the last one you brought home, you know, Brianna

—she said the name with exaggerated distaste—

Shayla: “was a total bitch to my girl.”

She looped her arm through Angeline’s and Angeline suddenly found the ceiling light fixture incredibly interesting. She wouldn’t meet my eyes. But obviously, she’d filled Shayla in on her little run-in with Brianna in my kitchen.

Shayla: “And seriously, who fucks a member of their boyfriend’s band behind his back? Cunt. Waffle.”

Angeline: “Let’s just head out, shall we?”

Angeline drew the front door open.

Johnny: “This wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you have a thing for JC?”

Shayla: “Had. If you don’t know that you can do better than Brianna MacMillan and all that love triangle drama, dear brother, I’m here to tell you. You can do better.”

Angeline: “The limo’s waiting,”

Angeline tried again, gesturing out at the driveway.

Johnny: “You guys have fun.”

I headed for the door.

Shayla: “Aren’t you coming with us?”

Shayla sighed impatiently and I paused.

Shayla: “I’m sorry I called your date a cuntwaffle, okay?” Angeline: “Just come with us, Johnny.”

Johnny: “Us?”

Her eyes darted away.

Johnny: “You’re asking me on a date now?”

Angeline: “No.”

She seemed to force herself to look at me. Her cheeks looked suddenly flushed.

Angeline: “We can go as friends. That is a thing, you know.”

Johnny: “I didn’t know we were friends.”

Angeline: “We’re not. But we can make nice in public. It’s a skill set you could use some practice with, actually. So, practice taking me, your pretend friend, to a party.”

Johnny: “I don’t do that, either.”

Angeline: “What, go with a friend to a party?”

Johnny: “Go with a female friend to a party.”

Angeline: “For a rock star, you have a lot of rules.”

Johnny: “Yeah, maybe I do.”

Angeline: “Stupid ones.”

Johnny: “That’s subjective.”

Angeline: “Well, maybe it’s time to break your subjectively stupid rules. What you’ve been doing hasn’t been working so well, remember?”

Yeah. I remembered.

Johnny: “Look, maybe you don’t realize this, Angeline. But showing up to this kind of high-profile event with a female friend is lame. It means either you couldn’t get a date, or you want to fuck your friend but she’s friend-zoned you and you’re still hoping there’s a chance.”

Angeline: “Really. Those are the only two options?”

Johnny: “Yes. In summary, it’s what losers do.”

Angeline: “Then I guess tonight you’re a loser who’s going to this party with me. Better than a loser who sits at home watching TV because he’s too stubborn to show up at a party where someone might get more attention than him. That doesn’t sound like a loser to me. It sounds like a big giant baby. And we are not friends. I’m your publicist. Now put your man pants on and take me to the goddamn party.”

Huh. Maybe I was wrong about her. That was fairly stern.

Johnny: “My pants are on.”

She’d stalked into the front hall and now picked up my keys, tossing them at me.

Angeline: “Then grab your keys and let’s go.”

I twirled my finger at the area in front of me, where she’d just reamed me out.

Johnny: “Where’d all that come from?”

She blew out a breath.

Angeline: “Mean Angie. I need to go change my bra, it’s digging into me and making me squizzy. Meet us outside in five minutes.” I had no idea why I’d invited her into my life. Did I really need a publicist / social calendar organizer / cheerleader person / pain in my ass, any more than I just needed a new band and to keep moving forward?

Johnny: “I find our relationship confusing. When are you my publicist and when are you my sister’s annoying friend?”

And when are you that girl I can’t stop thinking about, the one who needed me that night?

Angeline: “Well, that depends.”

She gave me a fake smile.

Angeline: “If whatever just came out of my mouth is about to get me fired as your publicist, then I’m your sister’s friend. And when I’m telling you what to do, I’m your publicist.”

Johnny: “So, basically, you say and do whatever you want, you tell me what to do, I swallow it and shut up?”

She pretended to consider that carefully.

Angeline: “Uh-huh. Yeah… that sounds real good to me.” I couldn’t even stop the roll of my eyes. The woman was a living Care Bear. I was not like her. Angeline: “I’m going over there. You go over there,”

I growled, slow and deliberate, so she heard every word,

Johnny: “I’m going with you. You go on a date with him, I’m going with you. He tries to touch you, I break something on his body.”

Her mouth tumbled open.

Angeline: “Are you kidding me?”

Johnny: “I’m not kidding.”

Shayla: “Ugh. He’s not.”

Shayla actually didn’t fight me on this, which was rare.

Shayla: “He’s cockblocked my dates before. Don’t tempt him.”

Angeline gaped at me.

Angeline: “You have no right to stalk me. I’m a grown woman and I’m not your baby sister.”

Johnny: “And yet, I’ll do it. Easiest way to ensure it never happens is to promise me, right now, that you’ll never go near Dean Slater or his dirty disease dick.”

Shayla: “Ew,”

Angeline made a disgusted face.

Angeline: “Fine. I promise. You just ruined it, anyway.”

Shayla: “I will never not hear ‘dirty disease dick’ when I look at him now,”

Shayla agreed sadly. I smiled. For the first time tonight, I actually full-on smiled.

Johnny: “Let’s go.” She looked me up and down.

Angeline: “Well, don’t just stand there like a hungry puppy on the door step. Go home, for God’s sake.”

Johnny: “I will.”

Her face twisted with annoyance.

Angeline: “What are you doing, Johnny?”

Johnny: “I’m waiting until you’re safely home.”

Angeline: “I’m home.”

Johnny: “The door’s still open.”

Angeline: “So, I’ll close it.”

Johnny: “Okay.”

Angeline: “Good night.”

Johnny: “Good night, Angel.”

She huffed quietly, holding the door open.

Angeline: “Why do you call me Angel?”

Johnny: “Because it suits you.”

Angeline: “Because I’m innocent and holy? I’m not that good.”

Johnny: “Because you’re miraculous and I don’t have a better word for you.”

She stared at me.

Angeline: “I’m… miraculous?”

The door slipped open a bit more.

Johnny: “You’re a divine phenomenon. I’ve never met a woman like you.”

Angeline: “Like… what?”

There were a lot of things I could’ve said to explain what I meant. Someone who makes me think about things the way you do. Someone who makes me feel the way you do. Someone who makes me feel. Instead I said,

Johnny: “Like someone who’s willing to put up with me long enough to try to help me. Also, it’s the first five letters of your first name.”

Her face had softened.

Angeline: “Why do you do that? Why are you such a massive jerk, and then you’re so kind? And then just when you’re kind, you’re dismissive about it.”

Johnny: “Am I?”

She looked away.

Angeline: “I’m really closing the door now.”

Johnny: “Angeline?”

She met my eyes like she’d rather not. Like she was bracing herself for however I was about to ruin her night next.

Johnny: “You told me the other night, when you were wasted, that I was your hero.”

Angeline: “I did not.”

Johnny: "You really did.”

Angeline: “Door’s closing.”

The door started to slide and she disappeared from view.

Angeline: “In three, two, one—”

The door settled into place.

Johnny: “Actually,”

I said to the slab of smoked glass,

Johnny: “you told me you had a crush on me for four years." Johnny: “Uh, Angeline?”

Angeline: “Hmm?”

Johnny: “Where’d you go there?”

Angeline: “Oh. Um, I was picturing myself as a pastel superhero.”

His eyebrow crept up.

Angeline: “Never mind. Angeline: “It’s just a dinner. It’s not a date. My body is not available. And neither is my… uh… my heart,”

I whispered. I suddenly felt parched. I needed water or something. Then he said the most unexpected thing.

Johnny: “I wouldn’t know what to do with it if it was, Angeline.” Her name popped up as my phone rang and I answered casually.

Johnny: “Ms. Delacroix. What can I do for you this evening?”

Angeline: “Where are you?”

Johnny: “On the patio off my bedroom. Naked and slightly high.”

Angeline: “That emoji thing was stupid. Were you saying I was drooling because I saw you naked, or were you drooling because I saw you naked?”

Johnny: “Does it matter?”

Angeline: “Yes.”

Johnny: “Can’t it be both?”

Angeline: “No. Maybe. I don’t know.” His eyes seemed to darken with knowing as they met mine again and held.

Johnny: “Are you a bad girl, Angeline?”

When I didn’t speak, he touched a finger to my chin and tipped my face up, making me hold his gaze.

Johnny: “No,”

he said, his voice like warm, heated silk.

Johnny: “You’re a good girl. My naughty, sweet, good girl.”

My. I kind of whimpered my agreement. Johnny: “It wasn’t a mistake, Angeline. You wanted it. So did I. It doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Angeline: “That’s the thing, Johnny. What if it is complicated?”

I considered that.

Johnny: “Then it’s complicated. Deal with it.” Johnny: “It makes you uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to.”

Angeline: “What, that we had sex? I’m a big girl. I chose to have sex with you. There’s nothing to be uncomfortable about.”

Johnny: “Then you’re not uncomfortable that I now know you’re a super freak?”

She laughed abruptly.

Angeline: “Stop it.”

Johnny: “You’re a penile enthusiast, Angeline. Just embrace it. Nothing to be embarrassed about.”

I actually heard her jaw drop open. She made a sputtery, flabbergasted sound.

Johnny: “It’s a beautiful thing, really.”

Angeline: “Stop it!”

She smacked my arm, but I could hear her trying not to laugh.

Johnny: “It’s inspiring to meet a woman who’s so into cock.” Johnny: “I’m not gonna fuck you. I’m gonna take you to this house party…”

I slid my mouth across her jaw to her ear, and let my lips tease her lobe as I whispered in her ear.

Johnny: “I’m gonna make you wait, Angel. I’m gonna find someplace to get you alone. And then I’m gonna savor your pussy like it’s my last meal. When you come for me, I’m going to watch you tremble and shake and gush for me.”

I kissed her lips again, and when our eyes met, I told her,

Johnny: “I’m going to make you beg for it, and I’m going to savor that, too. ” Angeline: “Oh, he’s impressed with his own talents.”

He licked his bottom lip slowly.

Johnny: “Not nearly as impressed as you are.” Angeline: “Are you human?”

Johnny: “Unfortunately. Being your personal sex robot would be a good gig.” Johnny: “The only party here, is in my pants, and you’re the only one invited.”

Angeline: “You’re not wearing any pants,”

I said innocently.

Angeline: “But thank you. I appreciate you calling off the orgies.”

Johnny: “How would I have an orgy?”

He shut off the shower, then started walking me backwards out of the room, predatory, his body steering mine where he wanted it.

Johnny: “You’re so hungry for my cock, none of the other girls would get any.”

Angeline: “Poor girls,” Yup. She was gonna murder me.

Angeline: “Well,”

I told him as we got out of the pool and he started toweling me off,

Angeline: “it’s been nice knowing you. Occasionally.”

Johnny gave me a faint, charming smile. Lights were coming on in Shayla’s house and I grabbed the towel, cinching it tight around myself.

Angeline: “Don’t be surprised if you never see me alive again,”

I squeaked out.

Angeline: “Sorry I might have to miss that meeting with Yash tomorrow. Please ask Harry Styles to come sing ‘Sign of the Times’ at my funeral. I’m sure if you and my sister chipped in, you could afford it.” Johnny: “Angeline. Where the hell have you been all my life?”

A sweet smile spread across her face.

Angeline: “Right in front of you, I think.”

Johnny: “Then I must be a damn idiot.” Angeline: “I’m scared,”

she said softly, looking deep into my eyes. I wondered what it was that she saw there.

Johnny: “I know, Angel. Me, too.” Johnny: “You need to come again, Angel?”

I laughed shakily.

Angeline: “All night, baby. I could come for you all night.”

Truth. He groaned.

Johnny: “We’re gonna kill each other.”

I grinned and kissed his temple as he buried his face in my neck again. He kissed me there with a hot, ardent suck. Then he smoothed my hair back from my sweaty face. He nuzzled my neck, brushing his stubbled jaw lightly against my skin. He rasped in my ear,

Johnny: “No one else. No one else gets to have you this way.”

He was still buried to the root in me, keeping me spread wide with his weight.

Johnny: “It would kill me.”

I knew, somehow, that he meant that quite literally. Angeline: “I’m tired of this shit, Court. I’ve cried so many tears over guys who didn’t even know how I felt about them, because I never told them. Am I doing that again?”

Courteney: “You did that because you put those guys on pedestals and worshipped them,”

I knew she understood. She’d done the same thing. With Xander, in the early days.

Courteney: “Take it from me. You’ve got to let this one down off the pedestal if it’s going to work. Even if that means you’ve got to take a step back and let him fall.”

Angeline: “I know. You’re right.”

I still had him on that pedestal, didn’t I? Somewhere deep inside, I still wondered if I was good enough for him—and if he was right to kick me to the curb. But that was bullshit. I deserved better than that.

Courteney: “But Angie, after you do that?”

Courteney looked me dead in the eyes.

Courteney: “No matter what happens, promise me you’ll burn that fucking pedestal to ashes. I don’t care how hot or talented or special he is. No man should ever be above you.” Angeline: “You’re an angel, too, Johnny O’Reilly,”

I told him, stroking the soft hair at his temple as he slept.

Angeline: “You just don’t realize it.” Rory: “Do you hear things, beyond the wall? Sense things?”

I shook my head, battling the uneven feeling.

Johnny: “My friends are there. Sometimes. Sometimes I hear their voices. Sometimes they speak to me from outside.”

Rory: “Do they try to come in?”

Johnny: “No.”

Rory: “Why not?”

Johnny: “Because they don’t know the fortress is there.”

Rory: “Why?”

Johnny: “Because… I think it’s invisible to them. Because I hide it from them.”

Rory: “But they see you.”

Johnny: “They see… what they think is me.” Johnny: "I want a whole person, even if he’s broken. I can handle that. I can’t handle only getting pieces of you when it suits you.” Angeline: “The most important thing about you, to me,”

I said in a whisper,

Angeline: “is that I’m falling in love with you, Johnny O’Reilly.”

He met my eyes, and his shone wetly.

Angeline: “And that means, that nothing you could say would change that on a dime.”

Johnny: “You might not love me,”

he said in almost a whisper,

Johnny: “when you learn.”

I reached to take his hands.

Angeline: “Then teach me. And trust me that I can love you through anything, because that seed has already been planted and it has room to grow. Well… anything except that road littered with empty bottles and other women, and empty promises. Because I won’t put myself through that, even for you. And even if I still love you.” Angeline: “And you’ve carried that secret for a long time. And you thought… it would change how I feel about you if I knew?”

His eyes held mine, looking both scared and guarded. There were tears in them now.

Johnny: “Doesn’t it?”

I considered that carefully.

Angeline: “Johnny… The fact that you trust me enough to tell me the hardest thing you ever went through… that only makes me love you more.” Amber: “Do you have a few minutes?”

Then she picked up her camera. I was momentarily stunned. She wanted to photograph me?

Johnny: “Right now?”

Amber: “Yes.”

Her keen photographer’s eyes slid over my face.

Amber: “Right now.”

Then she smiled at me, genuinely, for the first time since I’d broken her heart.

Amber: “Why, you have something better to do than be photographed by your ex-wife?” Xavier: “Later, Angeline. Have a nice night.”

He gave me a fist bump which I returned half-heartedly.

Angeline: “Good thing you’re married. You are incredibly unsmooth with women.”

Courteney: “Hey.”

Courteney curled herself around his waist.

Courteney: “You hurt the little geek boy inside him when you say that,” Johnny: “Don’t move an inch. Even when you come.”

She sighed.

Angeline: “Okay, Johnny.”

Johnny: “If you move, then I can’t make you come. Then you’ll have to go about your day knowing you could’ve started the day coming on my face, and instead, you were naughty and got nothing.”

She giggled softly.

Angeline: “That’s okay. Then I’ll just wait until you go to your meeting, and then I’ll put on one of your shirts and lay in your bed playing with my pussy and I’ll make myself come. Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll take a picture of it and send it to you.”

Damn. Girl was impossible to top. Even when I was topping her. I stirred, my hard dick digging into the bed.

Johnny: “Then I’m afraid I’m gonna have to come home and tie you down, naked, with your legs spread, and jerk off on you.”

Her eyes glazed over as, hopefully, she pictured that scene. My dick throbbed against the bed. I wasn’t sure who I was torturing more.

Johnny: “And I won’t make you come, no matter how much you beg me.”

Angeline: “Bullshit. You love it when I beg.”

Johnny: “I do. That’s how you’ll know how upset with you I am.”

Angeline: “So upset… you’ll come all over me.”

Johnny: “Yup.”

Angeline: “What a terrible punishment. Please, don’t,”

she said sarcastically.

Johnny: “Shush now and keep still.”

I drifted the tip of my tongue over her clit, then wriggled it around. She inhaled sharply, and I could feel her straining not to move.

Johnny: “Good girl. Do you want your morning orgasm or not?”

Angeline: “Yes, please.”

Johnny: “That’s more like it. Johnny: “I’m not enjoying, that you just turned around and fucked me up the ass with my own argument.”

Angeline: “It’s what I do,” Angeline: “I think you need to tell more people the things you’ve told me. Take down the wall of that fortress you built.”

Johnny: “I really don’t know how to, Angel.”

Angeline: “Same way you built it. Brick by brick.” Angeline: “Johnny… you make me feel better than happy. You make me feel so much more me than I am without you. You tap into all the best parts of me and draw them out, and you fucking cherish them.” Angeline: “So, if you can’t say it… then why don’t you put it in a song?”

Johnny: “Sure. I’ll just write a jingle.” Angeline: “Write your songs, Johnny. And go to therapy. Tell your friends and family what you’re going through. Everything is screaming at you that you can’t build your future anymore unless you take care of the damage caused by your past.”

She pressed her hand gently to my chest.

Angeline: “Think of it as a bullet that’s still lodged in your heart, encapsulated in layers of scar tissue. It takes painstaking surgery to unearth it and repair the damage.” Angeline: “Actually, don’t say yes at all. Don’t say anything. Your actions have always told me far more about where your heart is at. So show me. Show me who you really are, Johnny O’Reilly. Because you’re much more than my best friend’s brother. You’re much more than a rock star. And you’re much more than that boy who was left to fend for himself in that terrible moment in that car. You’re all of those things, and so much more.” Angeline: “Good. I’m glad you stayed. If you took off to L.A. or something, to pull together a band and record an album… who knows when we would’ve crossed paths again. I mean, maybe I would’ve hooked up with Dean Slater, and the rest would be history. I’d be having his juicy-lipped babies by now—”

Johnny: “Jesus. Stop.”

Johnny pulled me up against his body.

Johnny: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

I shrugged.

Johnny: “Dean Slater has juicy lips.”

Angeline: “I meant…”

He slid a hand up my throat and grasped my jaw.

Johnny: “What the hell are you smoking thinking I’d let you hook up with Dickhead Dean Slater?”

Angeline: “Baby, I like rock stars. It was time I ended up with one.”

Johnny: “Me. It was time you ended up with me.”

Angeline: “Who knows?”

Johnny: “Are you torturing me on purpose?”

Angeline: “Yes. So you jealousy-fuck me later. I love it when you get possessive.”

My heart was beating faster already. I could feel it thumping in my throat under the grasp of his hand. He growled again and kissed me… deep, possessive strokes of his tongue, basically fucking my face.

Johnny: “Do not,”

he breathed, after pausing to lightly bite my lower lip,

Johnny: “ever talk to me about ending up with another man.”

Angeline: “Mmmmm. Jealousy.”

Johnny: “You’re mine.”

Angeline: “Say it again.”

Johnny: “Mine.”

Angeline: “I mean, you really need to wife me up if you’re gonna talk like that.”

I was goading him, only because it was fun, and because every time he got possessive—when we weren’t in bed—I liked to tease him about putting a ring on it. Mostly because I knew he would, one day. And I loved fantasizing about how it would happen. He pressed his forehead to mine and took a deep breath, like he was either sucking in my scent and relishing it, or trying to restrain himself from putting me over his knee and spanking me raw. Maybe if I pushed just a little harder…

Angeline: “Dean’s got a nice ass, too. I really think he’d—”

Johnny: “Angeline Delacroix, will you marry me?”

Angeline: “What?!”

I yanked back to look in his eyes.

Angeline: “I thought we were kidding. Did you just pop the question?”

He didn’t even need to answer that. He just got down on one knee, magicked a ring out of somewhere, and presented it to me.

Johnny: “If you’ll stop rambling about another man’s body parts… please allow me to ask you to be my wife.”

Angeline: “Oh my God! You did not let me just ruin this glorious moment by acting like a sassy brat!”

Johnny: “I did, actually.”

Angeline: “Why!?”

Johnny: “Because.”

His lips curved in a fond smile.

Johnny: “You were being you.”

 

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