Ben and Selene’s relationship is complicated. Related by marriage, family by choice and luck. They were more than friends, but less than lovers.
Selene was everything pure and good in the world. She was love and light. She was his best friend, his only friend. She was the one woman he couldn’t have. So he kept his distance from her, but now he needed her.
When Ben showed up in her life again, Selene was hit with feelings she wasn’t supposed to have. She wanted to memorize the angles of his face, travel the length of his body with her hands, get drunk with lust on his taste again. She wanted to do so many things with him that weren’t allowed.
Now she’s working for him and living with him. Can they keep their feelings hidden from each other? Or is their love too strong to resist?
I am putting It Was Always You in Kindle Unlimited for the first three months. Then I may expand to wide distribution.
Selene watched over her shoulder and when she was sure he mom wasn’t looking she ran for the front door. She opened the door and stared him. She ran her eyes over him, hungrily, trying to memorize every detail in a moment. She realized she was staring and opened her mouth to say hello. The words stuck in her mouth and she did a weird fish move.
“Hi, kitten.” He gave her a crooked smile and she launched herself at him. He caught her into his arms and held her tight.
“Ben,” she whispered, pressing her face into the wool of his coat. “You’re here.”
He eased his grip on her but she held fast. “I am here. No more Uncle Ben?”
She let go of him and stepped back. She gave him a shy smile and shake of her head. Self-consciousness stole her words.
He patted her shoulder. “I guess you’re too old for that.”
He tipped his head to the side and raised his eyebrow. She realized she was frowning at him. She nodded, biting her bottom lip. “I missed you.”
“I missed you too, kitten.”
She wanted to snuggle back into his arms, to revel in his nickname for her. She wanted to sit with him and study his face until she had it memorized again. His eyes were exactly as she remembered. Soft, brown, full of kindness. He wore his hair longer and he wasn’t clean shaven, a stubble covered his chin and cheeks. She wanted to reach out and touch it.
Her hand moved up to do so, but she caught herself and played with her chain. She watched him as he took off his coat and shoes and put them in the closet. “You’re all grown up. A woman now.” He looked over his shoulder at her.
Blood rushed to her cheeks, but she couldn’t look away. She clasped her hands behind her back. “Thank-you.” Did he see her as a woman when he looked at her? As an equal? What did it mean for their relationship if he no longer saw her as a girl?
“Where are Kim and Danny?”
“Mom is in the kitchen. Dad is watching hockey.”
“You’d think one of them would come greet his only sibling.”
“I wanted to see you.” She couldn’t help the little pout sneak into her voice. She wanted him all to herself. Want was too weak a word. She longed for him, needed him.
“Me too.” They stared at each other. “I should go say hi to Dan.”
“I had better return to the kitchen so I can finish cooking before I have to pick up Kent.”
He gave her one last smile then disappeared. She sighed and rubbed her hands over her face. She was wrong earlier when she told herself her feelings for him were more platonic. She loved him, capital L love. She would have to work on her imagination telling her he wanted her as well.
She could hope anyway.
He kissed her cheek and her heart twirled until it got dizzy and fell to its knees. She was pathetic. She didn’t care. Ben was here. He left his suitcase in the entryway and went into the house. She followed but took a right for the kitchen, instead of left for the living room.
After I wrote Just Say Uncle the characters would not leave me alone. The story felt unfinished. So I decided to add some scenes and emotions to satisfy myself, but it grew to 70, 000 words. And I knew a re-release was necessary. And then I found the picture. I had actually used a picture by the same photographer for Justin in Good Sisters Share.
When I saw this picture. I saw Ben sitting in his condo, looking out on the city, thinking about Selene.
And this photograph where he’s staring at her. Tormented by his feelings for her, afraid he’ll corrupt her.
I deleted 10, 000 words from the final book, but I plan to sell them as a freebie in exchange for emails. It’s about Ben being forced to confront his trauma, and Selene struggling to support him.
So the book became It Was Always You. And I love it. I love Ben and Selene. My favorite characters to date.