Will Baker was a jerk.
A chiseled, green-eyed, hypnotizingly delicious jerk.
And like a bad penny, he just kept showing up.
Crashed my bike? There he was.
Flat tire? One more time.
And yet he thought I was the one stalking him.
Seriously. How paranoid do you have to be?
But the more I got know my intense new neighbor, the more his hard shell cracked, revealing a soulful man starved for affection.
A man whose secrets were eating him alive.
Just like mine.
He was broken. I was broken.
But together we seemed whole.
Maybe, just maybe, we could fix each other.
If our secrets didn't break us first.
Hollywood Secret was originally published as Discreet. A few small changes have been made to improve the flow of the story, but it's still the delicious enemies-to-lovers, secret celebrity romance you remember.
“You make me feel…” Will started. “Out of control.”
I couldn’t move. “Oh?”
“Like I actually have to care about what someone else thinks. Like I’m not alone anymore.” He paused. His eyes opened wide, following the path of his fingers as they took hold of a strand of hair in my ponytail and twirled. “And for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I don’t want to be.”
He tugged lightly on the strand, and I felt the slight pinch like an arrow shooting down my arms and legs and coming to throb in that place no man had been for so, so long. I bit my lip. Will’s eyes dilated.
“Tell the truth. What do you want?”
You. The word echoed distantly, like a bell tolling from miles away. I didn’t understand it. I was broken. A mess. What should I want with this man? We had a connection, sure, but overall, he was nothing but trouble. He was grouchy. A loner. Clearly had serious social and emotional control issues.
And yet. There was no denying that something was here. Since we met, it certainly felt at times as if the universe itself was tilting on its axis, trying to knock me into him. Breakdown after breakdown. Meeting after meeting. And now…
I tipped my chin up so I could look directly at him, drawn like one of the moths circling the porch light. Winging through the dark, ready to dive into his golden inferno.
“I don’t want anyone else,” I said quietly, drifting my gaze up and down his naked torso.
A sheen of sweat glimmered in the moonlight, which also made the shadows of his muscles—the square pectorals, the solid rack of abs, the lickable V that dipped beneath his shorts—that much more evident.
Will followed my gaze, and his hand dropped. He stepped between my legs, and his unique scents engulfed me. Working all afternoon only made them that much stronger—the scent of pine trees, lake water, and man swallowed me with a heady rush that made me shake slightly. And it was then, only then, that he finally touched me. My waist was encircled by his wide palms, so broad that his fingers nearly touched on either side. It was relatively innocent, but the intent was clear. Just like last night, he held me still; I couldn’t move unless he wanted me to. For that moment, I was his.
When I looked back up, his eyes were fixed on my lips. Unconsciously, I licked the lower one. His pupils dilated even more.
“Maggie,” he whispered as he leaned a little closer.
“What are you waiting for?” I murmured.
I panted. Will swore.
“Screw it,” he growled. “I have no idea.”