Riley finally seems to have her life together, after years of uncertainty. Her boyfriend, Nate, came into her life when she needed him most, helping guide her into the type of woman she always aspired to be.
Strong. Confident. Unconditionally Loved.
Her past life almost forgotten; she catches a glimpse of the one person who could upset everything. All of the guilt she buried returns, threatening all she has worked toward.
Jon is still piecing things together after hitting the lowest point of his life. He’s had years to feel whole again. Except he’s missing one thing: his career in MMA. His love for fighting forces him to return to his hometown, where his best friend, Mase, runs a gym. The gym they always dreamed of starting together. Only she ruined that for him, shattering all of his dreams. Jon returns with the hope of keeping his distance from the one person he never wants to see again, Riley.
Can they live in the same town and have their past stay just that? Or will Riley’s guilt fester, tilting their world off of its already unsteady axis?
Fighting My Affections can be read as a standalone.
“I’m here to meet my boyfriend, Na…”
“Ah yes, ma’am. I’ve been expecting you, Ms. Riley. Please follow me,” the young girl says, as she walks from behind her booth to lead the way.
Soft instrumental music plays in the background and I can’t help but feel a touch out of place. This is the fanciest place I’ll have ever eaten at and couples with expensive clothing and snooty expressions litter this room. Men’s eyes follow me as their wives’ sneer at them.
I feel like a display. The cheap woman dressed in fancy clothes to meet a man who pays for the nice things she wears. He picked my dress. He picked my shoes. Hell, he even placed a beautiful set of earrings alongside side this dress on my bed.
I felt beautiful leaving the house, but these women are dressed in a more modest fashion. This dress Nate laid out for me, scoops low in the back and its fine fabric left me with no choice but to go sans undergarments. The peak of my nipples shows through for all to see, and I can either accept their stares and show confidence, or I can turn and leave this place, allowing these snobs to make me feel bad with their mean judgments of me.
Do I care if all of their husbands want to fuck me? No. In the past, I’d be more than happy to oblige, but tonight I’m only here for the man who draped me in these expensive garments.
During my massage today, I made a realization. The Riley I was when I started seeking help for my inability to choose my sexual partners wisely is weak. Things also took a turn for me when Jon came back to town. I became vulnerable. I need to find a good balance between the woman who showed confidence at every corner and took what she wanted, and the woman who has self-control and looks out for her best interest and that of her daughter.
I am a one-man woman, but I also like sex and the attention of men. I just need to control my reactions to their stares. Dropping my hands that were folded in front of me to my sides, I place my body on display, and I continue the rest of the way to our table with a sway to my hips that would drop any man to his knees.
“Here we are. I hope you both enjoy your meal,” the hostess says.
Nate stands from his seat, pulling out my chair for me. Leaning in, he places a kiss to my temple and whispers in my ear, “How will I behave myself during dinner with you looking like this?”
His breath caresses my skin, causing a delicious shiver to rake through my body. “Well, you sure have caught the attention of every other man in this restaurant, too, with your dress selection.”
He motions for me to sit. “They can look but not touch. Plus, I don’t mind them envying me for being the man who gets to touch you tonight.”
Taking my seat, I ignore his comment. Sometimes I wonder about his motive with me; am I just a prize to hang on his arm or is his love for me genuine?
“I’ve ordered for us. The appetizer should be out soon.” Reaching across the table, Nate takes my hand. “How was your afternoon off?”
It was everything I needed. My mind has been playing crazy games with me. One minute, I’m worried about Jon and everything from our past turning me into the fragile girl I was before having Kiley, and the next minute I worry about becoming that weak little girl. Then I push away all thoughts about who I was and focus on the woman I need to be, the one who belongs to the man sitting in front of me.
Nate’s Riley is strong, manages her problems, and takes her struggles head on, never shedding a tear or falling apart in front of an entire gym full of people.
“Riley?” Nate’s voice pulls me back to him.
“Thank you for spoiling me. I had time to sort through a few things in my head, and I feel much better,” I reply.
He lifts my left hand to his mouth, placing a kiss to it. “That’s my girl. I didn’t like seeing you so distant.”
“I’m sorry.” This is the longest I’ve gone without being intimate with Nate since we started sleeping together. For some reason, I know he’s talking about sex, even though I’ve been withdrawn in other ways, too.
“Don’t be sorry. We have tonight to make up for lost time. Looking at you in that dress all night will surely have me worked up by the time we finish our meal.” Nate smiles with a wicked gleam in his eye.
There’s something about him expecting sex that makes me want to refuse, but I know I won’t. I’ll do whatever he wants because I need to get my life back, even if I feel like I’m being bought.
Most women would love Nate’s money, and while it’s nice to do most everything you want, genuine love and time together is most important to me. I know that’s not in the cards for me. I’ve made too many mistakes and I’ve been a terrible person. I don’t deserve real love, so I’ll accept the superficial kind in its place.
Nate is a good man, even if I’m a display for him. He takes good care of me, in his own way, and he loves my daughter. She loves him in return and I can’t ask for more than that. Kiley is my world, and if she is happy then that’s all I need.
I hear Nate’s chair push back. He moves it around the table until he’s seated next to me. “I can’t keep looking at you and not be able to touch you.”
Our waiter arrives at our table, placing a beautiful display of seared tuna on the table in front of us. Nate did well; this is one of my favorites. He lifts a piece on the end of his fork and brings it to my lips. “Open that sweet mouth of yours.”
I obey. When the food touches my tongue I can’t help but let out a moan of appreciation. “That’s delicious.”
Nate’s lips press to the corner of my mouth. “So are you and I plan on having my fill tonight.”
We sit and we eat. Nate places gentle touches on me and kisses me throughout our meal. He’s ordered all of my favorites. It’s been a perfect end to my day, and I am thankful for all that he’s done.
“Would you like dessert?” Nate asks.
Leaning in, I place a soft kiss to his lips. He’s eager to leave and head home. I can see it in his eyes. He wants me and tonight I need to fulfill his needs. I want us back.
I think I’ll order the crème brûlée, and tease him for a bit. “Are you ordering something?”
I shiver as his lips brush across my neck, until they are next to my ear and he whispers just so I can here, “My dessert has been sitting in front of me, practically on display for every man in here, all night. Watching all of them want you, knowing I’m the one who gets to have you, drives me mad. I’m going to devour every inch of you, before driving into what I desire most.”
His words make my body respond in ways I’m afraid will leave evidence of my arousal on my dress. “I think I’ll have the crème brûlée.”
My journey started as a reader when I found the indie community after purchasing my first Kindle. Some of the first authors to catch my attention were K.A. Linde, Colleen Hoover, and S.C. Stephens. As time went on and more and more writers began to publish their work on their own, I grew to love and support the indie community. Inspiration struck during those days and I started writing my first book in 2014, releasing Fractured Affections a short year later. I have made friends and gained support from people around the world. It never ceases to amaze me how strong the indie community can be.
When I am not writing, I work a full-time job as an MRI Tech. I’ve worked in the field since 2005 and love what I do and the people I get to work with. I am also a wife to my high school sweetheart and we have two energetic boys together. When I say energetic that may be an understatement. Needless to say, we live a very busy life, but I find that I am more productive with less downtime.