(One Night novellas, #5)
Publication date: January 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Ever since her former roommates deserted her, Meg has had to share an apartment with a lazy, obnoxious ass. He won’t pick up after himself, and he refuses to get a good job. Plus, he doesn’t always wear enough clothes—which is really a problem, because he’s hot.
Maybe he’s occasionally funny. And every now and then he can be sweet. But mostly he’s just annoying. It doesn’t matter how much he’s starting to flirt with her—Meg is going to resist. She’s way too smart to fall for a guy who never takes anything seriously.
But then everything changes in only one night…
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Excerpts from One Night with her Roommate by Noelle Adams
“What’s the matter?” East asked in a different tone. He was still studying her face, and he seemed to see a lot more than he should, despite his lazy insouciance.
“Nothing,” she snapped, annoyed mostly at herself for being bothered so much at the thought of moving out. Her eyes dipped down again to discover that he was a little more erect than he’d been before. In response to the hot flash she felt, she added, “Would you mind putting that thing away?” She waved in the general direction of his groin, carefully keeping her gaze from settling there again.
He glanced down, as if surprised. Then he gave her a hot grin. “Where would you like me to put it?”
“Put it behind a towel or something.”
“And have a little respect. He’s not an ‘it’, you know.”
She had to choke back a laugh at his exaggeratedly aggrieved tone. “It’s a ‘he,’ is it? Does he have a name?”
“Of course.” East glanced down at himself and then back up to her face. “His name is South.”
There was no way Meg could hide the ripple of laughter at this ironic tone. She could see that East was smiling, as if he was pleased he’d amused her so much.
“Well, would you please put South away? Normal people don’t parade around naked, you know.”
“You’re the one who barged in here.” He was still smiling, but he wrapped his towel around his waist, hiding the part in question.
“And I don’t even want to know what you were doing in here on your own with a hard-on.” To hide her embarrassment as it hit home that she was with East naked, she made her voice even dryer than normal.
He chuckled again. “I was thinking about you, of course. And then you came in wearing nothing but my t-shirt and messy hair, looking like a wet dream, so it’s like my fantasies came to life.”
She started to dig into her purse for her keys, but she looked up to check out his expression. He looked uncharacteristically quiet. And his tone was uncharacteristically gentle as he asked, “You okay?”
“Of course,” she replied, trying to sound natural and peppy. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I don’t know. You tell me.”
“I’ve got nothing to tell you,” she said with a frown, feeling a familiar impatience return, since he was acting like he knew something of what she was feeling. “I’m happy for them. It’s great news.”
“Of course, it is. But that doesn’t mean happy is all you feel at hearing the news.”
She frowned, but her heart was starting to beat quickly, as if something important was about to happen. “Why would I be anything but happy for them?”
He stepped into her in a way that pressed her back against the door to her car. He braced a hand on the car beside her shoulder so he was kind of trapping her in place. But his expression wasn’t sexy or flirtatious. It was knowing and intimate somehow. “Maybe you’re kind of disappointed it’s not you.”
She gasped. “I’ve never had the slightest interest in Jake. Not the slightest!”
“I know that,” he murmured with a smile, his eyes almost caressing her face. “I meant maybe you’re disappointed that the engagement, the wedding, the marriage, the whole rosy fairytale isn’t happening to you.”
“Well, I’m not. I’m perfectly happy not being married.” It was the truth, so she could say it with wide eyes and no dissemblance.
His expression shifted, got a little warmer in a way she was very familiar with. “So you don’t secretly have daydreams about settling down in domestic bliss with me?”
Her pulse was throbbing wildly from his closeness and from the continued intimacy of his gaze, but she couldn’t keep a giggle from bubbling up. “You’re the last guy I’d daydream about domestic bliss with.”
“Ah, it must be other kinds of bliss I’m giving you in your daydreams.”
She flushed hot as his eyes were suddenly all about sex. All. About. Sex.
It took a minute for her recover, but her voice was mostly even when she said, “You don’t star in any of my daydreams. That’s your overinflated ego talking.” She clutched at the strap of her purse with both hands, since she desperately wanted to touch East’s chest.
It was only a couple of inches away.
“I want to stay here.”
“Okay.” Meg tried very hard—and not very successfully—not to feel pleased by this decision. “Well, at least go to bed. You don’t look…good.”
He gave a huff of amusement. “Thanks a lot.”
“I just mean you look tired.” She reached up and pressed her palm against his rough jaw. “You look tired.”
“I am tired.” He leaned his face into her hand.
“Do you have a headache?” she asked, trying to make sense of the pained tension she saw on his face.
“So go to bed.” She felt deep and tender and protective, as if he were hers to take care of.
“I want you to come to bed with me.” His voice was slightly hoarse, and his eyes suddenly blazed with something that looked like need, like hunger, something far deeper than lust.
It thrilled her and terrified her both. She dropped her hand. “East, I can’t—“
He reached up and took her face in both of his hands. “I want you tonight.”
God help her, she wanted him too. So much. So deeply. So desperately. The emotions ran through her so powerfully she swayed on her feet.
But she’d been smart for too many years, and she couldn’t throw it all away now. She took a step back with a hitch in her breath. “I can’t.”
East’s shoulders slumped slightly. “Yeah,” he murmured, turning away and opening the refrigerator to pull out a beer. “That’s probably right.”
He popped the cap and then took his beer to sit on the couch. He kind of collapsed there, sprawled out over all three cushions. He looked so weary—almost wounded—that Meg simply couldn’t leave him alone.
She might wish that he didn’t come onto her at inappropriate times—in inappropriate ways—but she couldn’t seem to resent him.
Her brain told her that she should, but in this her brain had to be ignored.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.