Trick - By Lori Garrett Page 0,1

the way his fingers curled over my shoulders and he moaned hard against me, I was going to win him over. I was going to change his mind.

Then he pulled back. “I love you, Harlow. Forever, no matter what, I love you and only you. Now get the fuck away from me before I hurt you.”

I reached for him one more time, but he’d turned on his heel, stalked to the fence, and jumped over while I fell to my knees, the tears turning into sobs and then wails.

I never saw Gunner Hunt again.

“Hello!” Daisy waves a hand in front of my face, her eyebrows pressed low with worry. “Girl, you need to snap out of it. This is your big chance. You look like you’re gonna faint. What’s up?”

“I...just...did you notice his wrist? Did he have the tattoo?” My palms are covered in sweat, I’m so nervous.

She sighs. “For the thousandth time, he was wearing those leather cuffs on his wrists, so I couldn’t see. But six foot three? Check. Hair dark as the devil’s?” I smile and she goes on. “Check. The sexiest damn green eyes I’ve ever seen? Mmm...hell, honey, you better get your ass to that bar before I scoop him up myself! Don’t forget, you did tell me all the dirty details about your nights of passion before you turned into a big ol’ prude on me, so I know what that boy can do. Graphically.”

“Daisy!” I feel my cheeks go fire hot, but my best friend just laughs.

“It’s him! It’s him, him him, and you need to get your fine little ass to that bar and shake what your mama gave you in his face, because, sweetie, you were cute as pie at seventeen, but you’ve turned into a goddamn fox in the last three and a half years. That boy is going to have you naked and panting in the bar restroom—”

“Daisy!” I yank her by the arm and lead her to my little red Jeep, hoping she doesn’t trip on her stilettos and knock me on the gravel before we get to the bar where Gunner is supposed to be.

“Watch the road,” Daisy warns as I swerve. I can’t help it. My heart is racing, my hands are shaking.

I’m thinking about what it was like last time we made love. The way his body moved over mine. For a while after he left, I promised myself I’d never be with anyone else. But, eventually, the hole in my heart got too damn big and empty, and I wanted to fill it. I found a nice guy my dad loved, and, after a few months together, we had sex.

Yep. Had sex is all we did.

Cause it sure as hell wasn’t making love. It was nothing like what it had been with Gunner.

After that guy and I broke up, I didn’t bother again. What was the point? I knew my heart was with Gunner, and I knew no one else could make me happy.

I guess I hoped I’d see him again, but to have it be so real? So close? I couldn’t stop the tremors that shook my body.

“What if he has a girlfriend?” I ask Daisy, as we get in her car. My voice coming out in a rush because I’m scared to say the words.

“Then he dumps that slut for you,” Daisy says, flipping through songs on her iPod until she finds something she likes. She’s belting out an Adele song, so I have to ask my next question twice.

“What if he doesn’t want to be with me?” I repeat, putting the music lower. “What if I made it this whole thing in my head and it really wasn’t? It’s been three years. He’s never attempted to email, call, drop by when I was in town...nothing. Am I being pathetic? You’d tell me, right?”

Daisy reaches a hand over and squeezes. “Hon, you are a smart, beautiful, sweet person. And Gunner was madly in love with you. Back then, him leaving may have made sense. But you had your time to do what you needed to do, you knocked out so much school, you traveled the world—and you still want him. I figure he’s gonna be pretty much happy as hell to hear that. I saw him at the bar, and he wasn’t flirting or checking out any girls.”

I nod.

“And if he, um, wants to, uh...”

It’s terrible that I’m thinking about making love to him again, but Daisy just puts her head back