Devoured - Cathryn Fox Page 0,1

underwhelmed. I’ve pretty much blocked it from my mind and have been flying solo since.

There is, however, one thing—one man—I wish I could exorcise from my brain. But no, the kiss I shared with Roman Bianchi, my brother’s best friend, still pings around inside my head like a runaway pinball, and that, my friends, is something I wish I could change. I try. Believe me, I try. But when I’m alone in my bed, my body stubbornly aware of how excruciatingly delicious it was to have his lips pressed against mine, a possessive claiming of my mouth that left me shaken and overly stimulated, I can’t help but think back... Then he broke it off abruptly and laughed as he walked away. If his goal was to get me to hate him, he succeeded. He also succeeded in ripping my pride to shreds and reminding me I’m not lovable.

Stupid jerk.

“I need to call Cason,” I say. “I pray my brother has a backup plan just in case the guy gets cold feet.”

“I love that color lipstick on you, by the way,” Carly says. “It goes nice with your auburn hair.”

I grin. “Londyn gave it to me the night Cason proposed to her. She said it has aphrodisiac powers.” A snicker full of disbelief rises up in my throat. “I seriously doubt that.”

She glances at me over the top of her wineglass. “Hmm...”


“You say you don’t believe it, yet here you are applying a generous amount to your lips, anyway.” Her grin is slow. “I wonder what Freud would say.”


Could I subconsciously be hoping it works? Subconsciously hoping to entice my pretend husband, because I’d like to have one good sexual experience in my life?


“You’re a psychologist.” I recap the lipstick, toss it into my purse and fish out my phone. “You think everything is a Freudian slip.”

She reaches for the remote. “Probably because it is.”

I laugh at that, and just as I’m about to call my brother, someone raps on the door. My heart jumps into my throat and I spin.

“He’s here.”

Why the heck am I suddenly so nervous? I give myself a once-over in the mirror and smooth my hand over my long auburn curls. Should I have put my hair up? Maybe spent a little more time styling it? God, what am I doing? This isn’t a real date. This is just two people who are going to be spending time together, pretending to be married, getting the first meeting out of the way. During our flight tomorrow, we’ll have lots of time to work out the kinks... I mean details. Yeah, details. That’s what I mean, and kink was not a ridiculous Freudian slip. Not at all.

I don’t think.

“Are you going to answer the door?” Carly asks, and I take in her grin. I have no idea why she thinks this is anything more than an arrangement. It’s not.

I drop my phone back into my purse, and with a big smile on my face, I swing the door open. But as soon as I see the tall figure invading my front stoop, my jaw falls open, all pretense of happiness dissolving as I set eyes on none other than the big stupid jerk himself.

“What...what are you doing here, Roman?” I ask and try to glance around him, to see if my pretend husband is on his way, but his big, dumb body and impressive height fill my doorway and block everything else out—even the gigantic full moon.

“Well, hello to you, too, Peyton.”

I take a fast breath, but my lungs are tight, constricted. “Why are you here?” I ask, and hate that I sound like a damn chipmunk jacked up on Red Bull.

His dark gaze moves over my face and slips lower to take in my dress, and goddammit, my traitorous body warms in all the wrong places. This is the man who kissed me and then laughed in my face. Sure, we were at Sebastian and Rylee’s wedding, and the champagne had been flowing, but who does something like that? Who stares at me all night, turning my blood to molten lava, then plants the hottest, sexiest kiss on my lips, and walks away laughing?

A stupid jerk, that’s who.

I give him a once-over. It’s been a year since I set eyes on him, and I’m not sure how it’s possible but this updated version of the man I hate is filling me with unwanted images—of him slipping between my thighs and bringing me to orgasm. My sex