When Stars Collide (Light in the Dark #2) - Micalea Smeltzer

Holy mother of all hangovers.

I’d succumbed to the lure of Vegas and gotten completely wasted. Granted, that’s what everyone did in Las Vegas but I like to think I usually have more sense than the social norm.

I rub my eyes and blink them open. The hotel room comes into formation around me. The walls are a warm golden color and the flat screen on the wall plays some home improvement show. I can see the bathroom from the bed, the tiled walls and large soaking tub.

I roll over onto my side, hoping I can sleep off the hangover, and reel back.

“Oh my God,” I cry, flailing in bed.

My legs kick the sleeping guy beside me.

Not just any sleeping guy.

Oh no.

Xander Kincaid, my brother’s best friend, lays in the bed beside me.

His dark hair tumbles over his forehead and his cheeks are covered with several days worth of scruff. His chest is bare and…holy shit. He’s naked.

I look down.

Oh God, I’m naked too.

“What’s wrong?” He asks, reaching his left hand out to pull me closer to him. That’s when I see it.

“Is that a wedding band?” I scream shrilly.

His eyes narrow. “You don’t fucking remember?”

I shake my head and look at my own hand. A thin silver band rests on my finger. “What did we do?”

He sits up in bed and I try to ignore how adorably rumpled he looks with his hair sticking up.

Everything begins flooding back to me in quick bursts.




Confessions of love and desire.

A wedding chapel.



A contract.

“We’re married,” I whisper. “Holy shit.” It’s all I’ve ever wanted—to be with Xander, but not like this. Never like this. “My brother is going to kill us.”

Xander’s face contorts with…is that irritation?

“Why does it matter what your brother thinks?”

I scoff. “Because he’s my brother and your best friend.”

Xander clenches his jaw and looks away.

I tumble from the bed and scour the floor for my clothes. I can feel his eyes on me but I don’t dare look at him for fear of turning into a tomato. I find my dress and slip it over my head. Fuck a bra, I just need some clothes on.

I hold my hands out in front of me in a gesture of I have this under control when I definitely don’t have this under control.

“I’m sure we can just go back to the chapel and undo this. I mean, this is Vegas. If you can get married in a drive-thru you can get divorced too, right?”

“Divorced?” He looks appalled that I’d suggest such a thing.

I laugh, but there’s no humor in the tone. “We can’t stay married.”

He shakes his head roughly and bunches the sheets in his hands. I nearly groan. His hands…his hands had felt like the best kind of sin when he touched me last night.

“Why not?” He asks, and I know him well enough to see that he’s straining to stay calm.

“Because it would be wrong.” Doesn’t he know that? “My brother—”

“Dammit, Thea,” he snaps and anger pulses in his dark gaze. “Leave your brother out of it. I’m talking about you and me.” He flicks a finger between the two of us and his wedding band reflects the light pouring in from the open window. I can’t believe this is happening. This is the kind of thing you read about celebrities doing, not normal people like Xander and me, but shit happens. His voice softens and he looks at me tenderly. My stomach flips. It’s the same one he’s given me for years, the one that makes me yearn and ache for more, and now that I have it I’m trying to throw it away. “There’s always been something between us. Don’t deny it.”

I swallow thickly, my pulse racing. “I know,” I sigh heavily. “But it’s not like you asked me on a date to see where things might go—we got married. Marriage is a big deal.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” He stands and I avert my gaze to the ceiling, even though I want nothing more than to check out his perfectly toned body from years of playing football. I can remember running my hands over his abs and grabbing his ass, crying out— “Thea?”

Suddenly he’s right in front of me and I can see every amber fleck in his brown eyes.

He takes my face between his hands and I know I shouldn’t let him touch me—my brain turns to mush any time he does—but I’m frozen to the ground. His intense gaze alone is enough to hold me captive.

“Why are