With one look, I’m his . . .
With one touch, he’s mine . . .
With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .
I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.
When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.
But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.
Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.
Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.
Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.
I drop the blackberry into his hand, and then reach for another one. I pop it into my mouth, and the sweet tartness of the berry floods my taste buds.
Caleb still hasn’t eaten his.
I raise an eyebrow. “Not eating yours?”
“No, it’s . . .” He takes a deep breath, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “It’s just, you have something right there.”
Great. Just great. I’m dribbling blackberry juice in front of a guy I find really attractive, sexy, irresistible, but totally shouldn’t. God, what is wrong with me?
I lick my mouth. “All gone?”
“Still there,” he says, his voice gruffer than before.
I do another pass at my mouth, then wipe it.
“No, you’re missing it.” Then he steps closer to me, and I suddenly can’t find my breath. “Here. Let me.”
His thumb dabs at the corner of my mouth, his every touch sending sparks through my body. His dark, dark green eyes fly to mine. “I think I got it all.”
But his thumb stays near my lips, and I don’t move.
Every point in my body is tuned to this, awareness shooting through me like a lightning bolt striking water. I feel more alive in this moment than I’ve ever felt before.
I don’t do anything but stay exactly where I am.
Caleb takes another step toward me. His legs touch mine, his body brushing lightly against mine.
I notice the blackberry is still in his hand. “You still haven’t eaten yours.”
“I haven’t.” He places it against my mouth. “Bite.”
I take a small taste and feel the juice stain my lips.
His thumb swipes over my lips, smearing the juice onto them even more. He presses the rest of the blackberry against me but doesn’t say a word. I take the fruit in my mouth, my lips catching over the tip of his index finger as I do so. The taste of him is all I can savor—male, the salt from his skin, and the sweet bitterness of the fruit. His gaze locks onto mine, and I swallow heavily.
“You’ve got berry on you,” he says.
I try to be arch, but my voice comes out soft and wanting. “That’s becauseyou did it.”
“I did,” he admits. “I should take if off then.”
My breath hitches in my chest as his other arm slides around my waist and pulls me away from the island right to him.
“This might take a while,” he says.
I heaved out an exaggerated sigh of boredom that’s soon ruined when I shiver with delight as his fingers gather in the material of the t-shirt. “I guess I’ll just have to close my eyes and suffer through it.”
“No suffering,” he promises.
His hand slides up my back, and my muscles, already tightened with awareness, start to ache from wanting. His fingers skate up my neck, and my nerves jangle.
I’m suddenly wondering if he’s ever going to kiss me.
I stretch my hand over his chest, knotting his shirt in my grasp, and yank him to me. “Caleb.”
He lowers his head to me, and my eyelids flutter closed. I lean toward him, waiting—just waiting—for when he touches me. I tighten my hold on him, trying to urge him to do it now, but no, he doesn’t heed my unspoken demands. He doesn’t hurry. He doesn’t rush. It’s like he has all the time in the world until he kisses me.
His finger gently swipes over my mouth, tracing it softly, like he’s memorizing the shape of me. Like he’s trying to get all the details of my mouth down before he claims me. He presses lightly against my lower lip, dipping into the soft plumpness there.
I smooth my hands out on his chest. I’m pressed against him so tight that I can’t do more than reach up and grasp his shoulders. I want to slide my fingers through his hair.
But more than that, I want to feel him against me.
Almost as if he’s heard my thoughts, Caleb’s lips lightly press against the corner of my mouth, where he removed the berry stain only a few moments ago. I still, and his hand leaves my neck to slide down to rest at the small of my back before moving back up in a slow movement that has pleasure coursing through my body. I gasp, and his mouth flutters another kiss at the corner. Brief, these flutter kisses—never quite landing fully on my lips or staying too long.
I make a sound of want. I press even closer, as if I’m inking myself on his skin, in his blood, urging this patient, sexy man to take my mouth—to take it now.
His mouth finally touches mine, but it’s not a kiss that claims or declares intent.
His lips give kisses upon mine, like rain watering parched land. His mouth moves against mine, gentle, strong, and it makes me cling to him, to give more to him, to open up in ways I never have with any man before.
His teeth catch on my lower lip, lightly tugging, as if asking a question, one that I answer by opening my mouth and letting him in. His tongue slides against me, tasting, seeking. He’s all I know, all I want to know, and I want him to know me in every possible way.
This might just be lust, but it doesn’t feel like it—not with this assured gentleness, this giving of a kiss, like he’s waited all his life for this—for me—and now that I’m here, he’s not going to do anything to mess it up.
He doesn’t make me feel weak in his kiss. I feel strong, treasured . . . desired.
His kiss turns hotter, as if he’s losing control of himself.
Oh yes, I think. Lose control, Caleb. Lose it with me
I love coming of age stories. I am a big ole sap for them. So I was thrilled to read Stay with Me. And what I really loved about this book is that although there were some angsty moments. It didn’t leave me feeling….ugh!!! This was a great love story. I smiled and laughed and understood their reasoning for actions. I wasn’t left screaming at the heroine and telling her to get a clue! The guy was not this jerk off who was in love with the girl but had all these major faults. This is was just the breath of fresh air I needed this week, after a week of angst and tenseness.
This is the first in a series of books about the delish Caleb and all of his roommates, friends. I cannot wait for the next book in the series and I think that Ms. Patrick has a fabulous future!
Elyssa Patrick writes sexy, emotional contemporary romances and New Adult. She is currently working on her next novel.
Facts about Caleb Fox:
Birthday: May 6th
Astrological sign: Taurus
Hair color: Inky black, a little on the longish side.
Eye color: Dark green
Body type: Athletic, toned, built.
Likes: Kissing Hailey, sports, hanging out with friends and family, and his dog Goliath.
Dislikes: People who break trusts and hurt those who should be loved.
Values: Loyalty, honesty, trust, family, friendship, and love.
Facts about Hailey Bloom:
Birthday: December 11th
Astrological sign: Sagittarius
Hair color: Dark brown that’s long and wavy.
Eye color: Blue, the color of the Caribbean ocean.
Body type: Thin, but has curves.
Likes: Kissing Caleb, hanging out with Caleb and his friends, hanging out with Daphne, Katelyn, and Steph, just being a normal girl, and creative arts.
Dislikes: Her mother, disloyalty, people who sell stories and betray trust.
Values: Loyalty, honesty, trust, love, family, and friendship.