Two weeks after wedding day…



“Talk, short stuff.” I’m pissed and slightly inebriated and can’t fucking deal with her OCD ass any longer. Taylor, my wife, has her shield up all the damn time. Not once does she lower it for even half a second. And I’m sick of it. I want to know what makes her such a bitch every second of every day.

Her shoulders are tense as she stares at her laptop screen. The moment she realizes I’m behind her, she jerks in surprise and slams it shut. But I already saw what she was looking at.

New York City Criminal Court Records.

“You need to tell me what’s going on with you,” I implore, my tone softer. I can’t get this woman to hardly look at me, certainly not touch me, but I’d like her to at least talk to me.

“Nothing. Everything is fine,” she lies and plasters on one of the fake smiles she awards America with every morning. That smile is bullshit and I see right through it.

Sometimes I wish I could just yank her right out of the spotlight and into my arms. Drag her into a dark corner and force her to spill her worries.

I’m her husband, goddammit.

I should be the one to console her when she’s upset.

So do it…

Normally I respect her space, but not today. She’s visibly shaken about something and I intend on discovering what it is. Taylor may act like she hates me, which I’m convinced is for ratings, but I’ll be damned if I quit trying to put a chink in her armor. I don’t miss the times when her eyes sometimes linger on my bare chest. Or the times she smirks at my jokes but tries to hide her amusement. There’s someone worth finding in there—I just have to dig a little harder to get her out.

“Come on,” I growl as I seize her wrist.

She’s so tiny, I’m able to easily wrap my fingers around her skin and bones. At first she yelps out in surprise, but when I start hauling her behind me toward the huge walk-in pantry in the kitchen, she attempts to put on the brakes.

“Let go of me you grizzly bear!”

I wince knowing the cameras are getting quite the show. I’ll probably get an email from the producers urging more shit like this. But I don’t give a rat’s ass about them right now. Taylor—my wife—is upset about something and I want to figure out what it is. I’m tired of tiptoeing around each other aside from the occasional nasty bitch-out we have each day.

Ignoring her slew of curse words behind me, I pull her into the pantry and yank the door shut. I grip her biceps and lean into her so that she has nowhere to go. She’s pinned between me and the shelves behind her. The ever-present fire in her eyes flickers as sadness fights for front and center. Her glittering green eyes shimmer with unshed emotion.

“Talk,” I urge, my voice low and demanding. There aren’t any cameras in her pantry, thank fucking God. “It’s just us.”

She softens for a brief moment and her shoulders hunch. My hands remain on her arms because if I let go, I fear they may go wandering. Like to her silky, strawberry-blonde hair. Or to her perky tits I’ve thought a lot about.

“Taylor,” I urge, my eyebrow lifting up. “Talk to me.”

She licks her lips and drops her gaze to my own mouth before lifting her chin to look up at me with watery eyes.

“I just got some bad news,” she whispers and a single tear rolls down her cheek. Guilt and shame shine in her eyes.

Sliding my palm up to her throat, I cup her jaw and swipe the wetness away with my thumb. I can feel her pulse under my fingers and it’s erratically thumping away. Our eyes are locked in a heated stare, both of us too stubborn to look away. Her breath hitches slightly, as if she’s stealing a tiny inhalation of my cologne. I lean impossibly closer to give the dear girl what she wants. The fire raging inside me begs to consume every creamy inch of her sweet flesh. To burn away the ice princess on the outside and give me that lovely woman who hides deep inside. Pretty green eyes darken with each passing moment. She can’t hide her desire. Those eyes don’t lie.

“Do you want to talk about it?” I urge, my thumb now rubbing a circle on her soft flesh. A small tremble rattles through her. I can’t help but bring my mouth near her ear. She smells like vanilla and something sweet, like cherries, and I wonder if it’s her natural scent or her perfume. Either way, I’m a huge fan.

Her eyes flutter closed for a second and she lets out a ragged breath. “Not with you.” The words that fall from her mouth are cold, but they don’t have the bite I know she intended.

“Are we not husband and wife?” I growl against her ear. She lets out a whimper of need when I lean my hips against hers. “We’re supposed to tell each other everything.”

“I don’t even know you,” she murmurs, her voice shaky. “I don’t trust you.” Then, she places a hand on my heaving chest and pushes me slightly away from her so we’re back to staring laser beams of lust at one another. “At least not yet.”

Understanding washes over through me. I know all about trust issues. I’m carrying a huge fucking suitcase full of them. Thanks, Barb. “Promise me something,” I utter in a whisper, my mouth dangerously close to hers. “Promise me you’ll try and give me a chance one day. And when you see that I’m worthy of your trust, I want you to remember this day. I want you to tell me all about it.”

Her bottom lip wobbles and I swear to God, I’m going to kiss it.

“O-Okay,” she assures me with a small smile and bites on her quivering lip for a moment to calm it. “If I feel I can trust you one day, I promise to tell you right away.” She swallows and motions around her. “Despite this fancy life and awesome career, I’m still just a scared little girl bouncing around from one pair of unsafe arms to another.” That’s the most she’s given me. Ever.

“These arms are safe,” I assure her as I hug her to me.

She inhales and relaxes in my hug. I’m just stroking her soft hair when her phone starts blaring some pop song. The spell is broken and she’s back to business.

“It’s Dec,” she says in a breathless manner. “Hi Dec!” The perkiness in her voice sounds strained. She babbles on with him about God only knows what as she slips out of my arms and out of the pantry.

One day I’m going to get that girl to trust me. Once she lets me inside, I’m never going to leave. My momma didn’t raise a quitter.

Tonight is the night I’m going to break my wife down and get her to admit she feels something for me. Despite her bitchfits over my mess, I don’t miss the way her eyes follow me everywhere. She hides behind her curtain of hair as she texts with her producer, but her eyes are on me. So me, being the dick I am, give the girl a show. I do what I can to please my lady.

With a smirk, I peel off my shirt and toss it on the couch as I saunter down the hallway to her bedroom where I know she’s hiding from me. I don’t knock but instead push my way in. She’s sitting primly on the bed tapping away on her laptop. My gaze rakes over her pale, bare thighs and I crave to mark them up with my teeth. I don’t get how I can be so goddamned attracted to a woman that drives me batshit crazy. Sometimes, I wish we could hop in the sack and give it a go. I bet there’d be a lot less bickering and a whole lot more fucking after that.

“Have you seen my black Metallica T-shirt?” I question as I run my fingers through my messy dark hair.

She lifts her gaze from the computer, a glare already affixed on her pretty face, but her words don’t come out. Her green eyes bug nearly out of her head as she gapes at my bare chest. I flex for her benefit and lift an amused brow.

“I suppose I don’t have to wear a shirt if you’re enjoying the view,” I tease with a chuckle.

She shakes her head as if to get rid of all the dirty thoughts that are no doubt plaguing her mind and she scrambles to her feet. Her tits jiggle beneath her tight tank top and I can see her hardened nipples through the fabric which makes my cock too fucking hard. “Try knocking, first,” she huffs. “I could have been naked.” The mention of the word naked has her cheeks blazing crimson. She steals another glance at my chest but plays it off.

I see you looking at me, little girl.

“And I wouldn’t have complained,” I reply with a wolfish grin.

Her eyes roll and she shoves past me. That sweet, Taylor perfumed scent swirls around me causing me to groan with need. I’m dying to know if she tastes as good as she smells. I get a great view of her cute little jiggling ass in her booty shorts as she stalks out of her room.

“Maybe if you’d clean up after yourself, you’d know these things,” she hollers over her shoulder. I follow her into the living room as she yanks my shirt up from the couch. “See! Here! Right where you left it!” She tosses it at my head, but I snatch it out of the air.

When I prowl over to her and pin her against the back of the couch with my muscular thighs pressed against her soft body, she lets out a strangled sound. Her cheeks and throat are still burning bright red. For a moment, I wonder if she’s embarrassed. I’m hoping she’s turned on. My dick is hard between us and I know she can feel what she does to me.

“I want to take you out to dinner,” I tell her softly, so low the cameras will never pick up on my words.

Her lashes flutter against her cheeks, but then she tenses. “I’m busy.” When she pushes against my bare chest, I allow her to push me away. A look of regret flashes in her eyes and she peeks once more at my colorful flesh. Despite her words, I can see she’d like to relieve some sexual tension under the ruse of “dinner.”

I want it too, babe. Trust me.

“We could be good together,” I murmur as I capture her jaw in my gentle grip. Her eyes flutter closed when I tilt her head up. Those pretty pink lips part open as if she’s expecting a kiss. Sweetness, I’ll give you a motherfucking kiss. I’m just leaning in to taste her perfect mouth when her goddamned phone starts blaring the stupid pop song I have come to hate. A song that seems to interrupt all the moments I’ve managed to steal for us. One day, she’ll lose that phone, and she’ll find me.

I call out after her as she all but runs back to her room. “I’m going to wear your skinny ass down one of these days!”

The door slams, cutting off my words. With a growl, I stalk into the kitchen and make myself a sandwich. Then, I let my gaze flit up to a camera. “Mark my words, that girl is going to let me in one day.”