I had already finished work on the first 5th Avenue book, Avenge Me when I was approached about writing a possible prequel novella. I wasn’t sure what I would write, until one of the lovely editor suggested I take it back ten years, to where it all began.
That made Take Me different for me in a lot of ways. It was great to go back to the scene of the incident that ultimately kicks off the 5th Avenue books of decade later, and it was interesting to take on a pair of characters who were so young.
Travis and Sydney are in their early 20s, still in college, not yet out in the real world. But one night changes everything, when they are friend jumps to her death at an opulent Christmas party.
This is the first glimpse into the corruption that is at the core of this opulent world. The first bit of tarnish on an empire that will ultimately crumble as the series goes on.
But this is the beginning. And it isn’t only the beginning of the end for Jason Treffen’s kingdom, it’s the beginning of a change in Travis and Sydney’s relationship.
I'm a sucker for a friends to lovers romance. I can’t lie. So the idea of having a tragedy make two friends see each other in a different way was natural to me. Because it is a short story, Most of it takes place over one night, and the connection between Travis and Sydney is very intense.
There are a lot of emotions burning between them, and certainly for Travis, years of repressed desire now burning to the surface.
But when the night is over, and the sun rises, they both have to face what they’ve done. They have to face the loss of their friend, and the change in their friendship. And the fact that no matter how much they might want them to, things can never be the same again.
The question is, will they move forward without each other, or stronger than ever?
And I have included, a short teaser for you:
There was one thing he wanted. One thing he’d always wanted. And taking it now would be...it would be the worst kind of betrayal.
But he didn’t get up. He didn’t leave. Instead, he pulled her hard against him, wrapped his arms tightly around her body.
She buried her face in his neck, her tears falling onto his neck. He’d never seen Sydney cry. She was too tough. Too guarded. But she was crying now, weeping like she was trying to cleanse herself of everything that had happened tonight.
He wished he could do it too. But there were no tears for him. There was nothing but deep, yawning pain, and a need that he didn’t think could ever be entirely satisfied.
She shifted against him, turned her face to the side, her lips brushing against his jaw. The soft, sweet contact shocked him, burned him. His heart sped up, blood pumping hard and fast through him, heating up the cold places inside of him. Reminding him that he was alive.
She put her hand on his face, traced the line of his jaw with her finger. His breathing became labored, his heart raging so hard he thought he was having an attack.
“Not a good idea, Syd,” he said, giving her a chance. One last chance, because if she took it any further he didn’t know what he might do.
“No,” she said, “maybe not.”
He gritted his teeth, his blood pumping hot through his veins, his shaft aching, getting hard. This was not the time for that. Not the place for that, and dammit, he’d made the decision years ago, she was not the woman for this. But he couldn’t stop himself from responding. “Definitely not.” “What if there was nothing else, Travis?” she whispered, a temptation he couldn’t ignore. “What if this was all there was? Tonight? This room? You and me. What if it started and ended here?”
He closed his eyes, swallowed hard, his whole body on fire. “Then I know exactly what I would want to do. But the thing is, there’s more than this night, more than this room, and more than us. More than that...there’s a lot more to us than...this.” “There wasn’t more for Sarah,” she said, her words choked. “This was it, Trav. And I’m not going to...to jump off of a building, but what I saw tonight reminded me that...that we don’t necessarily have tomorrow. Unless we’re choosing to take tomorrow from ourselves, like she did, I think we all truly believe that tomorrow is going to be there, but we’re just making up stories.”
He closed his eyes. “Is that all?”
“Yes. Because until the sun rises we don’t really know if it will for us. It’s just...making fantasies for what we hope will happen when the only thing that’s actually real is...now.” “But tomorrow...”
“Screw tomorrow,” she said, her words fierce. “It’s not...I can’t...”
He angled his head and closed the distance between them, his lips pressing hard against hers. Cutting off her words, trying to cut off her thoughts, her pain, her desperation. And his own.
And just like she’d said it would, everything burned away. There was only this moment, this room, this kiss.
Take Me is available FREE for preorder in most ebook stores.