by Casey Bond
What is your greatest fear? For Aislin, it is the fear of being alone. She grew up in and out of foster care along with her brother, Declan. When he is killed by an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan, she leans on her brother’s best friend, Gabriel. The two become inseparable.
When she catches her fiancée in bed with another girl? She isn’t even that upset. Mad as hell? Yes. As angry as she should be? No. That’s the moment she realizes that she isn’t in love with her fiancée. She is in love with her best friend, Gabriel. The only problem is that Gabe doesn’t think he should cross the boundary between friend and lover with his dead best friend’s sister. He wants her. He just doesn’t want to want her. And, therein lies the problem.
After Aislin is attacked by a man she tried to love with her head in an attempt to heal her heart from rejection, she and Gabriel have one night of bliss together. Only one though. Gabriel gets spooked and runs. He is afraid. Afraid that Aislin will hate him for taking advantage of her vulnerability. Three years and nine months later, Gabe comes home to find Aislin with a dark-haired wanna-be rock star and a three year old little girl with familiar blue eyes. Seeing her with Jude, makes his blood boil. But does Gabriel deserve her? No. Does he want her? With every fiber of his being. He will do anything it takes to win her heart. He wants a place in her life and in the life of her daughter. What is in the cards for Gabriel and Aislin? Can love survive without trust? Welcome to Devil Creek.
Gabe drives to what appears, from the outside, to be a huge, modern-looking white metal barn, trimmed in hunter green. But, its outward appearance is deceiving. It is a massive bar in the form of an enormous barn, complete with a loft. The metal of the outside cannot be seen within. The walls, loft and ceiling are made with beautifully hand-stained dark wooden planks giving the place a rustic and authentic feel. High-top tables are set up around a wooden dance floor, even hay bales line the perimeter. A large wooden bar topped with marbled black granite with slices and slits of tan slashing through the exquisite rock, sits across from the expanse of dance floor and tables, opposite the entrance under the small loft area. The bar itself is well-lit and well-stocked. Aislin swallows nervously, suddenly aware of the extremely short skirt she is wearing. Glancing around, people seem already well on their way to intoxication. Thank goodness.
A lean shirtless guy clad in a huge white cowboy hat, boots and jeans smiles and moans loudly as he staggers by humping a stuffed-animal goat as he passes. Holy crap. What have I gotten myself into? She nervously looks over at Gabe, who is cracking up laughing at the apparent horrified expression on her face. He pushes his fake thick black glasses frames, taped in the middle, up onto his nose and grins. His hair is greased down as flat as his short haircut will allow. His khaki pants are hiked up way too high and fastened with a belt over his button-down white shirt, which is buttoned all the way to the collar. With his pants hiked up, you can see his mismatched socks and penny loafers. His pocket protector, filled with pens and his armful of books completes the look they’ve deemed “nerdy student.”
A pregnant nun waddles dramatically by next, dragging her priestly baby-daddy behind her. OMG. Gabe snaps the back strap of Aislin’s garter and that peeks from the too-tiny black skirt suit that she had borrowed from Ella. The differences between Ella’s height and Aislin’s means that Ella’s skirts ridiculously short on her taller frame. Smacking Gabe’s arm and giving him a stern look, Aislin makes a mental note not to bend over at any point tonight. Aislin’s outfit is rounded out with a silky pink shirt, unbuttoned to the point that her black lace bra peeks out and black suit jacket. Her long auburn hair is sleeked back into a bun, two number two pencils duel through its center. The six-inch black patent leather heels are already making her feet ache.
And, thus, Aislin is dubbed “the naughty professor.” A red pen is tucked behind one ear. Ella made Aislin promise to wear a smoky-eye and, as she described it, “whore-red” lipstick to complete the look. Aislin had complied with her friend’s request. And truthfully, she knows she looks hot. Slutty, but hot nonetheless. Gabe seems to have approved. He’s given Aislin the once over a few times and is giving anyone else who checks her out death stares. Knowing that his intentions are honorable and purely brotherly, she just hopes he loosens up and lets her have some fun. She wants to drink and dance and relax and attempt to have fun and forget about Ty. Maybe it will be possible. Maybe.
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Casey resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband (high-school sweetheart and love of her life) and two beautiful daughters. She loves God, her awesome family, her crazy friends, writing and reading! Her favorite color is teal! Casey is a wanna-be Italian and loves all Italian food. She loves the fall, but a piece of her heart is always at the ocean. She loves the beauty and majesty of the hills and mountains of her home state of West Virginia. Marshall University is her alma mater, and if you cut her, she will bleed Kelly Green!!! Go Herd!!! She graduated Magna Cum Laude from MU in 2003 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies.
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