Love Crushed by Toshia Slade

Love Crushed by Toshia Slade

Love Crushed

by Toshia Slade

Ebook ISBN: B00XLHOTNI
Print ISBN: 978-1514122464

[ New Adult Contemporary Romance, MF ]

Josh’s life is mapped out. Twenty-five and co-owner of a construction company. His next goal: A wife by his side and babies to fill his house. Tiffany wants to fly through life and can’t even decide a major. How can she mange a relationship? One drunk night changes everything.

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Chapter One

*Josh*

I feel as if I’ve just been charged by a six-hundred-pound bull. I suck in a sharp breath and fight to take another. The woman I’ve been chasing for the past four years—the same one who’s hot one minute and cold the next—is currently standing in my kitchen, setting out cups and snacks and wearing the sexiest fuckin’ outfit I’ve ever seen.

Her navy-blue suit is tight, showing the small curves of her body, and it cuts right below her ass cheeks, making my cock tingle and tent the front of my black dress pants. Her long hair is in a wavy mess, flowing down her back and topped with a police hat. A silver gleam at her waist catches my eye, and I know it’s the cuffs she and Gabby picked up at the party store last week when we came across them.

Yeah, Tiffany Johnson rocks the cop costume, and the thought of getting her alone looking like that has my eyebrows dropping low and a lust-filled smirk overtaking my lips.

Fuck me. I swallow the rumble in my chest, preventing the growl from escaping. Tonight’s definitely going to be a long night, and my dick is already hating me.

I’m starting to think the Halloween party is a bad idea. And I know I’m going to be miserable all night, walking around with a hard-on for a girl who looks at me like she wants to eat me alive one minute and like I disgust her the next. She’s the most complicated female I’ve ever met.

Gabby, my younger sister, has been in love with my best friend, Cam, for as long as I can remember. She thinks she hides her feelings, but everyone knows she’s an open book. Tiffany Johnson, also known as Fire and Ice. Nada. Not one clue what runs through that girl’s head.

Tiffany is my little sister’s best friend, and she’s always been around. Growing up, Cam, Gabby, Tiffany, and I spent most weekends together—and summers—playing in the creeks, riding around and finding mud holes, and seeing how muddy we could get our trucks. Nights were spent scaring the girls or curled up on a stupid blanket out in our backyard because Gabby wanted to sleep under the stars. I would cut off my balls before I admitted it to anyone, but I lived for those nights with Tiffany scared and pressed up against my side. She was too young for me to do anything about it, and she’s always been too wild to settle down, but I’m sick of waiting.

She’s my complete opposite. Sure, I like to have fun, just like everyone else, but I also like to have things planned. I’ve always been the responsible one of the group, and most of the time, I’m the only one who thinks anything through. At twenty-five, I own my own construction company with Cam, and a year ago, we went in together and bought a nice three-bedroom house in the country. I like stability, control, and consistency. Most guys my age are worried about getting laid, but me? I’m more worried about having my shit together so I don’t have to bust my ass my whole life.

I want to be able to spend time with my wife and kids and enjoy life, not worrying about how I’m going to put food on the table. I want to provide a life where my wife can do whatever she wants, like staying home and raising the kids. And I’ve always pictured Tiffany by my side.

I run my eyes up and down her body and notice the fuck-me black boots squeezing her calves and making her ass look even better. I’ve stopped thinking it can’t look any better, because it’s just like her to prove me wrong.

Distraction. I need to get my mind off any and all things Tiffany Johnson.

I spot Cam, frozen to the floor, eyes locked on my baby sister.

Perfect. I take the two steps to him and smack him on the back of the head. “Stop eye-fucking my sister,” I growl. Stopping beside him, I shoot him a glare. I may have accepted the fact they’ll end up together, but I don’t like the way he’s looking at her. Not to mention, she has a boyfriend, and Cam’s been screwing anything with legs trying to forget Gabby’s with someone else. Hopefully, after our talk the other day, he’ll keep his head out of his ass and do right by her. I would hate to beat my best friend’s ass, but when it comes to Gabby, I will.

“Dude, did you see that? How can I not?”

“Easy, fucker,” I spit out between clenched teeth. I know what he’s saying. I’m currently fighting the need to drag Tiffany back to my room and demand she change before every other asshole sees her, but Gabby—that’s my little sister. He needs to watch it.

“Okay.” He holds up his hands, a guilty look plastered on his face.

We’re going to have a fun night fighting back all the idiots who want to undress our girls. Is it too late to cancel the whole thing?

We finally catch the girls’ attention, and they turn. My eyes immediately go to the zipper that’s sitting low between Tiffany’s small tits. The urge to throw her over my shoulder and carry her away burns through every muscle in my body. She’s not mine. I hope to change that one day, but until then, I have to fight back the possessive beast inside.

The silver gleam of the handcuffs draws my attention to Tiffany’s hip, where they’re clipped to the belt around her tiny waist. Visions of using them to cuff her to my bed flash through my mind, and I’m at my breaking point. A man can handle only so much.

“I’ll be right back. I forgot something,” Cam mumbles and practically runs out of the room.

Pussy. I’m not sure whether I want to punch him or laugh. Then my eyes roam Tiffany’s body again, and I know we’re screwed.

“Let’s do a shot to start the night off!” Tiff starts pulling out the plastic shot glasses we picked up while out getting ice.

“Just one, and then I’m sticking to hooch. I don’t want to be sick.” Gabby scrunches up her nose and looks a little green for a minute.

Wanting to push it and playing with fire, I say, “Hey, Tiff, if I’m bad tonight… will you arrest me?” I wiggle my eyebrows and bite back a groan.

“I don’t know… if I’m good, will you dance for me, Magic?” She raises a brow and cocks her hip, throwing her hand on it.

Fiery Tiffany. Time to have some fun. The thrill of our cat and mouse game runs through me.

“What do you want me to dance to, Kitten?” I stalk over in my Magic Mike costume. I know it’s one of Tiffany’s favorite movies, and she’s always going on about it. Figure I’ll try my luck and show her what Magic Josh is all about.

“First of all, I’m not your kitten. Second, you can’t pull off moves like Channing.” She shoves a shot glass in my hands and passes one to Gabby. And now the ice. Maybe I’ve read her wrong all this time, and she really isn’t interested in me.

Cam comes into the room, walking a bit stiff. I would laugh if it wasn’t my sister putting him in the state of discomfort.

Tiff hands him his shot. “A toast.” She shoots me a devilish smirk, and I know I’m in trouble, afraid of what’s going to come out of those kissable red lips. Fear and lust swirl deep in my gut.

“May the girls with itty bitties let you pet their pretty kitties!” She winks at me and tips her head back, swallowing the shot.

Gabby giggles, and I’m rooted to the spot, speechless, not knowing what to think of that. I slam my mouth shut, pissed I let her affect me. Was that a dig or an invitation?

Cam takes his shot and sets the glass down. “Did I miss something? What the hell’s so funny about that?”

“Ol’ Magic over here called me Kitten.” She slaps me on the chest, grabs a glass, and walks off to get ice.

“I really don’t know about you sometimes.” I shake my head and throw back the shot, welcoming the burn. Understatement of the year. This girl is almost more work than she’s worth. She’s always got my head spinning, and I never know what’s going to come next.

But it’ll be worth it when I have her under me, with her pale blue eyes looking up at me and clouded with lust.

One day, I’ll tame my hellcat. What if she really doesn’t want anything to do with me? Impossible. I can’t be that far off.

*Tiffany*

Josh’s black dress pants hang dangerously low on his hips, and along with his white cuffs and black bow tie, they’re doing a number on my panties. He’s standing so close, his wintergreen and spice smell invading my senses, that he’s putting me in sensory overload.

His legs are planted wide, his arms are crossed over his chest, and a beer dangles from his fingers. I’ve never in my life seen anything sexier. His Celtic tattoo is on full display, the flaming lines covering part of his pec and flowing over his shoulder and down his arm to his elbow. Each time I see it, it’s harder to keep my hands and tongue to myself.

Sitting up on the counter beside Gabby, I find it easier to devour him with my eyes. Never in my life have I wanted something so bad yet been so fucking terrified. His eyes can be so warm and inviting, then they change in an instant. Gone is the light, and in rolls the dark sea green, shadowed with something so deep and scary that I want to run for the hills.

When he prowled over earlier, his bright green eyes shining with mischief, I had to fight for my next breath. It’s not very often I get to see this side of Josh. He’s always so serious and intense. I wish he would just cut loose and have fun, acting his age instead of like a forty-year-old man. It’s nice to see a guy be mature, but shit, sometimes you just gotta let your hair down and have some fun.

I love living my life young, wild, and free. One day, I’ll be tied down with a husband and kids, but that day isn’t today. When that day comes, I hope I find a love like my mom and dad have, a love so true that everyone in town talks about them as a couple. A love so strong that everyone envies them. It was sickening catching them in a stolen moment when I was growing up, but now I’ve come to realize what their love means. They’re real, and what they share is something beautiful and rare. Yeah, one day I want that, just not right now. My only concern is getting through school and figuring out what I’m going to do with my life. First, I thought I wanted to be a child psychologist, but then I realized I couldn’t handle the classes. Jeezus, who knew there was so much to the brain? Then for about five minutes, I thought about being a nurse, but I knew I wouldn’t have the stomach for that. Then I realized I’m young and don’t have to make any decisions right now, so I stopped stressing and just lived my life.

Now’s my chance to be crazy, make stupid decisions, and live wild and free. So, that’s what I do. All that aside, what I wouldn’t give to have a go at Josh just once. I know the man would be killer in bed, and I have to admit, he’s hot as hell. That easy smile of his sets me on fire every time he aims one my way, and I could easily spend hours worshiping the rippling muscles down his arms, chest, and the six-pack abs. I’m just not sure what it would do to our relationship.

He’s not just some random stranger. He’s someone I care deeply about, and I could easily fall in love with him. He’s a good man, and I would never have to worry about being treated right. I’m just not too sure if I’m ready for anything that deep right now. Josh isn’t someone I would ever want to hurt or screw up by making a stupid mistake, and it’s bound to happen.

Lost in thought, I didn’t notice that Josh sidestepped and bent to my ear.

“Keep looking at me like that, and I’ll be needing those handcuffs.” His breath is hot against my neck, sending chills racing down my spine.

Shit. Fuck. Shit. Think fast, Johnson! My heart pounds, and a new pulse point has taken residence between my legs. What I wouldn’t give to squeeze my legs together to ease the burning ache.

I walk my fingers up his chest, feeling the hard muscles beneath them and sucking down the moan begging for release. Laying my hand flat between his pecs, I give him a shove back, schooling my features and hoping like hell the lust isn’t shining through in my eyes.

“Keep dreaming, Magic. I was lost in Channing’s “Pony” dance. Learn moves like that…” I lean forward and get eye to eye with him. I know I’m playing with fire, but he pushes all of my buttons, and I can’t stop myself. “You can do more than use the handcuffs.”

He leans down, brushing his lips against the shell of my ear. “Oh, Kitten. You have no idea what moves I’ve got.” A shiver races through my body, and moisture pools between my legs.

Mayday, mayday. Retreat. Time to put the brakes on and pull out the bitch.

“What did I tell you about calling me Kitten? Keep it up, and I’ll forget the handcuffs and go straight to using this club.” I pick up the fake police club and smack it against my hand a few times. “And trust me, you won’t enjoy what I do with it, stud.” I raise my eyebrow in challenge.

What the hell has gotten into him? With his little display earlier and now this, my best bet is to get drunk and avoid. I need to stay as far away from him as possible and get the hell out of here tomorrow and take a breather. A weekend locked up in the same house with him has taken its toll on my body and mind. I’ve never been so hot and turned-on in my life. Even the dirty books Gabby always has me reading don’t have this effect on me.

Get drunk and avoid. Good plan.

“How do you know I won’t like it? Why don’t you try it and find out?” He challenges back, and for once, I’m at a loss about what to say next.

Something tells me he isn’t joking. That backfired.

Florida Georgia Line’s “Dayum, Baby” comes on, and now I have a plan. Saved by the music. Josh doesn’t dance, let alone go anywhere near the dance floor. I throw my head back and laugh, hoping to hide how turned-on I am by his words.

“Keep dreaming, Joshy-poo. It’ll never happen.” I hop down from the counter, squeal, and turn to Gabby. While I’m at it, I might as well get her away from Brandon. I’m not sure what happened, but I know Gabby isn’t too happy with him, and she seems uncomfortable. It’s not real noticeable, but I see the tension in her body each time Brandon brushes his hand up her side or leans down for a kiss.

I’ll have to ask her about it later, but right now, I need to get the hell away from the sex-on-legs that’s turning me into a quivering mess.

“Come on. This is our favorite song. We gotta dance.” I grab her hand and tug.

Mission in progress. Now if I can only stay away from all that is Magic Josh.

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Read #excerpt of Love Crushed by @ToshiaSlade #newadult #contemporaryrom Click To Tweet