Impossible You~A scintillating tale of cat and mouse…
Impossible You (Players to Men)
A Contemporary Romance
COVER ARTIST: Montana Jade
I’m in trouble…
Two impossible males—the rich as sin Jack Griffin and Wilbur, the cranky feline—have latched onto me and won’t let go. One is eating me out of my dorm, the other ruins my carefully organized one-night stand for the elusive O.
As tempting as Jack is with his wicked smile and sexy body, my plans for the future don’t include the notorious former player. Then, with a single, smoking kiss, he storms his way into my life with promises of pleasure. But I’m not the woman for him…even if I want to be. Our worlds are just too far apart.
One kiss was all it took for me to fall…
And the woman who knocks me off my axis is annoyingly dismissive of me. Because in Rayen Logan’s world, I don’t exist, a fact I damn-well intend to change. Her plan to attain her first O has my name on it, and she will be mine in every other way too…as soon as I can convince the difficult woman to let me prove that my player days are done.
Nothing will stand in my way of getting what I want, not even Ray herself.
Just when I think maybe we have a chance at a relationship, a life-long nemesis intrudes, determined to destroy the tenuous bonds forming between us…
Looking for an enemies-to-lovers romance that isn’t all about the hate? Look no further! Impossible you is a scintillating tale of cat and mouse, with a mouthwatering alpha hero who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get it... Chelle~Literal Addiction
“Omg, this book blew me away, but somehow I missed the first book so I just went and bought it. Love loved it.” ~ Jen Miller- Reviewer
The seas roiled, the massive waves crashing on the shore in welcome. Rain drummed down furiously on every surface, including me. A light mist obscured everything in a wet shroud, giving a sense of isolation.
It suited my dark mood perfectly.
“Jack! Have you lost your freakin’ mind?” Max roared from behind me.
Or damn near perfect, except for him.
“Those waves will suck you under in a heartbeat!”
Perhaps. But I didn’t care, I needed the liberation it offered. I glanced over my shoulder at my best friend, blinking away the rain as I shrugged. With babysitters on my ass, concessions had to be made. A decade ago, the three of us had taken a pledge that, when life sucked—and it did most times—we would call the other. Max and War turned up.
“I’ve done this before. I’ll be fine.”
“Don’t feed me that fucking line!” he yelled over the roar of the ocean. “I was there when we pulled you from the wipeout in Hawaii with near-fatal injuries! What the hell happened?”
Yeah, I remembered that. I’d been nineteen and fucked in the head. Still was.
“Nothing. All’s good.” I refocused my attention on the tumultuous ocean and zipped up my wetsuit, the slashing rain doing little to temper the anger churning within. I’d come to the beach to escape another nightmare. Thoughts of what had occurred earlier today still made me want to put my fist through something. I tugged on my flippers instead.
Max grabbed my arm, his wetsuit folded around his waist, revealing inked pecs and arms. His green eyes burned with ire. “What did she say this time?”
Oh, he’d sympathize for sure once he heard. Unlike War, who stood a short distance from us, surfboard at his feet, wetsuit on, watching us with a smirk. When I’d given him a brief rundown of the explosion with my family this morning, the bastard had offered his condolences.
“Just tell him, man,” War drawled. “Maybe Max has a suggestion.”
“What? Find some woman to fuck?” I growled. “Been there, done that crap for a long time. Not interested.” I cut Max a flat look. “Seems I’m in the running for a merger.”
His brow creased. “But that’s good, right?”
“Not when I am the merger.”
Max stared for a second, then he cursed. “Hell.”
“Exactly,” I muttered. “But I can deal with this…”
“Yeah. You refused, and she threw shit at you again,” Max said, his quiet words a detonation in the pummeling rain.
Bad blood will always show—
Christ. The words reverberated inside my churning head, dredging up a past I could never shut out. I shoved back my water-drenched hair. Max knew some of my clusterfuck, but not the one causing a deepening abyss inside me. A dark chasm I could never escape.
At times, I was sure it would swallow me whole. My stomach heaved, the numbness in my chest the only thing holding me together.
War walked up to us. “Guess the rich will never be rich enough.”
My jaw clenched. War had no idea of the ugly truth. He might be heading toward the category of the mega-wealthy, too, but it was through his own hard work, sweat, and broken bones, playing hockey. Yeah, he rammed his opponent to the ice, pounded them when in the game—the guy had a shit temper—but he didn’t destroy lives.
I was heir to the Griffin Blackstone Group—a mega-billion-dollar holding company—half of which had been built on the pain of others. And now, I had to deal with this latest fiasco.
“Let’s hit the damn waves.”
“Jack—” Max raked back his drenched blond hair, rivulets of water running down his concerned features. “Look, man, I’m the last one to tell you that things will be okay, and I ought to know, but you can’t ride the waves in this rain. Let’s wait it out—”
“This little shower?” I drawled as the deluge continued to batter us, causing Max to scowl. I picked up my board. “You coming, or you gonna hang here and nag like a girlfriend?”
“Asshole,” Max growled, eyes flashing in annoyance. He shoved his arms into his rubber suit and zipped up. “Hell, let’s go to a gym and pound the shit out of each other,” he said as if in a last-ditch attempt to save me. But no one could. Didn’t Max see that? My path had been set in stone the day I was born.
I lost the cockiness and shook my head. The thought of being confined within walls again clawed at my mind as more coldness seeped into me. “I can’t. I need this.”
War nodded instantly.
After several seconds, Max’s exhaled a rough breath. “Fine. I’m in. Can’t have your stubborn ass yanked under by the currents.”
Shutting him out and ignoring the No Swimming sign, I sprinted toward the violent waves colliding with the shoreline, blood pumping through my veins. With my body primed for action, needing the outlet provided by the rigorous—and dangerous, especially during this weather—sport, I threw myself on my board and swam out into the turbulent waters of Ocean Beach.
Yeah, I would need every canny instinct I possessed to work this and not fall into its perilous rip current trap. A sure way to take my mind off the new shitstorm I now faced.
The muted noise from the bar did little to block my frustrated thoughts as I sat in the cramped staff room during my ten-minute break, flexing my tired feet.
I needed a full-time summer job and new lodgings—in that order—within the next two weeks. Because if nothing panned out with the positions I applied for soon, I would have to ask Jude, Mulligan’s owner, to take me on full-time. I needed to earn enough to afford my first term fees when school started in the fall.
Sighing, I slipped on my shoes again, tucked back the pesky tendril of hair escaping my pigtails, and made my way back to the front.
I slowed as War, the god of hockey and my friend, strode my way. One of the groupies that always hung around glided toward him, but he waved her off. The guy was an amazing and brutal player on the ice, but sadly, a player outside of the rink, as well. With his good looks, muscular build, and striking, dark blue eyes offset by sun-kissed brown hair, women swarmed toward him when they saw him like bees to pollen, ducks to water—
“Another round for us, Ray,” he said as he drew closer.
At his not-too-happy stare, I kept my expression firm and smoothed my short black skirt. Nope, he wasn’t pleased that I’d refused to budge from the plans I had for later tonight. Heck, I’d even taken the early shift to make sure my mission O happened. He sighed but didn’t attempt to change my mind again.
“You’re worse than a brother, you know that?” I grumbled.
“If I truly were your blood, I’d lock you in a room,” he grumbled before disappearing down the corridor to the restroom.
Man, you’d think I was the first woman to initiate these plans, break some kind of guy code. I scrunched my face at his overprotective stance and headed to the bar.
Petra, my friend and bartender, lifted an eyebrow as I gave her the order.
“You okay?” she asked, drawing a beer on tap for a customer.
“I’ve been here for five hours. It’s a given I’d be dog-tired after that amount of time on my feet. Though, I wonder if dog-tired is the correct word,” I mused, leaning my elbows on the scarred wooden counter. “Sure, dogs get tired—but dog-tired? I mean, their tongues hang out, and they slurp water. It doesn’t relate, but…”
At her laugh, I broke off the sporadic rambling my over-weary brain sometimes drifted toward. It usually drove my sister crazy. I cast a quick look around the rowdy place, the tables mostly packed with men, their drunken laughter filling the air. The TV on the wall blared, adding to the noise
“What’s going on?” Petra asked.
“The usual.” I sighed. “Hunting for a summer job, new lodgings. I have to check out of the dorm in two weeks.”
“Why don’t you stay with Ila and her fiancé?”
“Great. Be the third wheel. My life’s ambition.” I rolled my eyes.
“Hmm, you do have a point…” She readied a couple of tequila shots for the customer seated at the counter.
At the new voice, I pivoted as Denise, my best friend since high school, flung her arms around me in a quick hug. She was tiny, and just about reached my shoulders. At my five-eight height, I felt like a giant next to her at times. “I haven’t seen you for a while.”
“Been busy. What are you doing here?”
“Besides checking up on you? I’m meeting Chris. We’re having dinner with his folks in some restaurant in a little while. So, how goes the O quest?” She waggled her brows as if I didn’t know what she meant.
“That’s still on.”
“Someone here caught your fancy?” she asked a little too eagerly, smoothing back curly hair she’d scraped into a ponytail. Her solitaire engagement ring sparkled in the dim bar lights.
She was a year older than my twenty-one, and she’d already made the commitment. Me? I couldn’t even get past my phobia of being in a relationship with anyone, let alone get married. But it didn’t mean I didn’t want certain things from life. Hence my current dilemma.
“Hell, no. Not these drunks.” I grimaced, the noise behind me ricocheting. Howls of laughter followed. “I’m meeting Calum Moore later tonight.”
Her eyes bugged out. “You are? Wow… He’s good-looking, for sure, but he’s-he’s—”
“A player?” I snorted. “I’m not looking for a husband, Den.”
“True.” She laughed. “Ah, Chris is here—” She waved to the dark-haired guy waiting near the entrance then patted my arm. “I’ll call you. Let me know how it goes, okay?” Before I could utter a word, she scurried off, disappearing outside with her fiancé.
I glanced around, my attention settling on the back table, lorded over by the biggest players this side of San Francisco.
I liked them most times, when they weren’t irritating the life out of me—or whoring the nights away. Before the evening was over, they’d all head off with a woman to wet their wicks with—well, except for the tall, gorgeous, tattooed blond.
Max Sinclair, a reformed player, wore an intense expression as he leaned his forearms on the blemished wooden table—the array of tonal ink on his skin compelling even in the dim lighting—listening to whatever War said.
The entrance door swished open again, letting in a noisy crowd. A petite girl, dressed in a retro, sleeveless black-and-white top and a charcoal-gray skirt, followed. As if a cord connected them, Max glanced back.
How he sensed her, I had no idea. Pleasure lit his face. Yup. Only for my sister did he smile that way—like she existed for him alone. He rose as Ila hurried over, and then he kissed her. She slid her arms around his neck, her engagement ring glittering in the subdued lighting. They were getting married mid-July—in a month’s time.
My sister deserved happiness after what her dirtbag ex-fiancé had done, nearly destroying her in the process. It had taken Max to bring her back to life.
If I ever changed my mind about the male species, I wanted the same thing. Someone to go gaga, to go all-out and love me with the same intensity that Max loved Ila. But that seemed unlikely. Especially if this lot here was what humanity had to offer currently. Hence my plan to get my O-card filled.
“Here you go.” Petra set my order on the tray.
I picked it up and headed for the players’ table.
They were done with university and had ventured out into the big, dangerous world of work a few years ago. Max had joined the family’s banking business. War played professional hockey for the SF Cheetahs. And Jack? He’d gone into the family business, too. Something about hotels. Max had mentioned it once. Probably personally testing out the flexibility of every mattress in all the hotels worldwide.
I hadn’t seen him in several months—since last fall, if I wasn’t mistaken—not even in this place, his favorite watering hole. And…boom, he suddenly arrived for Max’s big announcement several weeks ago.
A frown tugged at my brow, a teeny bit of concern filtering through me. He appeared…withdrawn. Tired. He tunneled his fingers through his trendily cut inky hair, the sides shorter than the top, tousling its normally immaculate look. Those ice-gray eyes abruptly looked up and met mine. And then he winked. The urge to punch him grew. The jerk hadn’t changed at all.
Jack Griffin had been born with the morals of an alley cat, always on the prowl for his next tail. Now in his mid-twenties, one would think he’d start to reevaluate his life. Nope, not the king of players. Why would he when life not only handed him a silver spoon but also put women on a platter?
As I passed a table of suits, a hand slid over my backside and had me gritting my teeth—damn horny assholes. I glared over my shoulder, and the clean-shaven shithead threw me a tipsy smirk. If only Jude hadn’t added the no-punching-customers clause to the workforce rules recently. I did it twice—twice! And the ridiculous notice went up in the staff’s poky kitchen.
Clamping down on my molars, I continued to the back table. Jack leaned forward on his chair, forearms resting on the wooden table, staring sideways in my direction. He wasn’t looking at me, but right past me—eh. Whatevs.
Ignoring Jack’s cold glower and whatever bug had bitten his butt, I set down the drinks. Those startling pale eyes flickered back to me. Heck, add that to his perfectly chiseled features, the slight cleft in his chin, and it left little doubt as to why all the women lined up to add more notches to his bedpost. He was irritatingly handsome and a pain in my ass.
But this part always gave me the greatest pleasure. I set the bill for the night near his elbow.
Max was engaged to my sister. War, I liked. Jack could pick up the damn check. Which he did. But it barely made a dent in his deep pockets. What I hated more was that he always left a two-hundred-dollar tip for me, no matter how small the tab.
A pale-skin brunette in a low-cut top, sidled to his side, lowered her head and whispered something in his ear. She dropped her napkin, and it floated to his lap. Now, she’d go fishing down south with an open invitation.
Barely suppressing my snort, I dispensed the drinks, ignoring the sharp look Jack cut me. Who knew he could hear me with so much estrogen enclosing him?
“You’re finishing your shift now, right?” my sister asked as I passed her a vodka tonic.
“Yep, I’m done.”
“Then you’re coming over to the loft?”
Damn. “No…” Instinctively, I cut War a furtive look. “I have plans tonight.”
“Really?” she asked, lifting a skeptical eyebrow.
“If you must know, it’s a date.” A hookup. A one-night stand. Who the heck cared what it was called? My sexual encounters left me staring at the ceiling, waiting for it to be over. And for once, I wanted someone to knock me off my feet, blow my mind to the next state. An experienced guy to introduce me to the carnal side of life I’d only read about, convinced me it was the way to go, and without the ties or any of the awkward morning-after convo.
Yup, it was a great present to myself. I’d wanted to hire an escort, but War had protested vehemently. Just as well since I couldn’t afford one on my budget.
War only knew about this because I needed a guy’s input. I couldn’t ask Max, he’d simply veto my plans, going all big brother on me. And him? I wouldn’t even share the same air space with the killjoy. So, War it was.
“Who?” Ila demanded.
Ugh. “It’s er, umm…in the early stages. Until I’m sure, then I’ll tell you.” Hopefully, it would be over and done with before that happened.
“Ray.” Ila cut me a gimlet glare. “I know you. Whatever you’re planning, it’s not good.”
“You’re forever on my back, telling me to date.” I sniffed innocently, stroking my beaten silver thumb ring with my index finger. “Now I am, and you’re still not happy.”
“Yes, because you won’t say who.”
I wiped my guilt-damp palms on my skirt, suddenly aware that the king of players was no longer interested in queen slutty’s banter. Those pale eyes were pinned on me like lasers.
“I will soon,” I evaded, collecting the empties, ignoring Jack’s penetrating stare. My sister could be so tenaciously persistent.
“It’s with me,” War said.
“Dammit, War!” A growl breaking free, I snatched the tray and escaped to sign off for the evening. Let him handle the heat since he’d let the cat out of the bag. If he breathed one word of the truth to either Max or Ila, so help me, War was so dead.
Read Chapter 2 HERE