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Authors: Ella Ardent

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Forever Bound

BOOK: Forever Bound
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Forever Bound

By Ella Ardent

 

 

You are invited to a
wedding...

 

• where a mysterious lover fulfills a secret
fantasy - and finds his own dream come true.

• where a disappointed woman finds true love - in
the most unlikely of places.

• where the bride and groom have second thoughts -
but discover a happy-ever-after beyond their wildest dreams.

 

* * *

 

 

Jessica and Ryan's engagement seems like a match made
in heaven and their island wedding a dream come true. But will Jess's desire
for the perfect wedding - and the stress of everything going wrong - drive them
apart? Or can Ryan's determination to marry the woman he loves save the day?

 

 

 

 

Books by Ella Ardent

 

The Wedding Trilogy

The Best Man

Always a Bridesmaid

Forever Bound

 

The Plume Series

Submission

Surrender

Seduction

Deception

Exhibition

Exposure

Flashback

 

* * *

 

 

Forever Bound

By Ella Ardent

 

Copyright 2012 Ella Ardent

All Rights Reserved.

 

Digital Edition

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright preserved above,
no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, (electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written
permission of both the copyright holder and the publisher of this book.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and
incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business
establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via
the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is
illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic
editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of
copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

* * *

 

 

Forever Bound

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

 

* * *

 

 

Forever Bound

By

Ella Ardent

 

* * *

 

Chapter One

 

The
street outside the apartment Jess and Ryan shared was so quiet that Jess knew
without opening her eyes that it had to be early. She lingered on the verge of
sleep, happy and warm. She was spooned with Ryan, his heat and strength wrapped
around her back, his arm thrown over her waist, his breath on her shoulder. He
was still sound asleep and she didn’t want to wake him up.

It
was Sunday and they had nowhere to go, nothing to do. Jess nestled more deeply
into her pillow. There was nowhere else she wanted to be. Ryan had proposed and
she’d accepted and everything was going to be perfect from here through
forever. It was like a fairy tale - two people from different worlds, a chance
meeting, a whirlwind romance.

And
now happily ever after.

Jess
smiled, remembering how passionately they had made love the night before - and
well into the morning. Ryan deserved his rest, but maybe later...

His
lips touched her shoulder in a lazy kiss and his hand moved to her waist. She
felt his erection against her butt and began to turn to face him.

“Good
morning.”

“It
is,” he agreed, his voice deep and rough as it tended to be in the morning. His
eyes twinkled with familiar mischief and her heart clenched with love. She was
going to be waking up like this every day for the rest of her life. Jess
couldn’t believe her luck.

But
then, Ryan had always been the one to make her realize how lucky she was.

His
hand moved to cup her breast, and he caressed her nipple. “You smell so good in
the morning,” he murmured, kissing her neck and nuzzling her.

Jess
laughed. “I smell like I had lots of sex last night.”

“And
how is that not a good smell when you had it with me?” He licked her earlobe,
tickling her, and Jess rolled to her back beside him. She pushed her fingers
through his dark hair, feeling sexy because of the way he looked at her. “I
like the smell of your skin, and your perfume.”

“The
one you bought me?”

He
nodded. “But the way it mingles with your scent makes it all your own. I could
find you anywhere. In the dark.” He bent and took her nipple in his mouth,
sucked it until it was taut, then flicked his tongue across it. Jess sighed
contentment even as she became more aroused. His hand slid down her stomach and
between her thighs, his fingertip finding her clitoris with familiar ease. She
caught her breath and met his sparkling gaze as he grinned. “I like how this
smells, too,” he murmured. “And how it tastes.”

He
moved with surprising speed, lowering his weight between her thighs and closing
his mouth over her. Jess gasped in pleasure as he began to eat her. He always
did it so slowly, as if they had all the time in the world, and she knew that
leisurely speed made her come bigger. She felt her sex swell and parted her
legs to give him better access. She kicked off the sheets and arched her back,
moaning as he tormented her and not caring if the neighbors heard or not. Jess
surrendered to pleasure, a corner of her mind plotting an erotic revenge.

She’d
get him in the shower. He loved that. She’d back him into the corner and fall
to her knees, the water pouring down over them as she sucked him dry.

Then
maybe they’d do it in the kitchen. The toast had burned last time, but it could
burn again as far as Jess was concerned.

She
was exquisitely happy. She and Ryan were going to be married.

They
were going to make love like this for the rest of their lives.

Everything
would be perfect.

 

* * *

 

Four
months later, the alarm clock rang shrilly, making Jess jump.

For
a moment, she was disoriented because the room was so dark. It had to be the
middle of the night.

Then
she remembered the early charter flight they had to catch. She and Ryan were
flying south to a resort to get married, with all their nearest and dearest
gathered around to watch. She’d felt as if this day would never arrive. Yet
here it was and she still had things to do. A wedding on a distant beach was
proving to be complicated and stressful.

But
two weeks, she and Ryan would be back in this bed, man and wife. That would be
the reward. All the anxiety and arrangements would be behind them.

She
hoped it would prove to be worth it. As a wedding consultant, Jess had planned
a thousand weddings successfully. Her own had to be the best of the best, the
culmination of her own dreams, and she’d set out to make it so.

Ryan’s
innocent comment that her own wedding could be great marketing for her business
had been brilliant. Even when she’d sent out the press releases, Jess hadn’t
imagined the coverage she’d get. Having a society reporter blog weekly about
the upcoming ceremonies had been stressful—how did that woman manage to
discover every little thing that wasn’t working out perfectly?

Jess
couldn’t wait to have it all behind her, to have Ryan as her husband, and to
return to something like normal life. She reached across the mattress to awaken
him—he could sleep through the ringing of any alarm clock, but always
awakened with a single touch from her, a sure sign of destined love—only
to find that the bed was cold.

He
wasn’t there.

He
hadn’t come home.

She
had time to feel sick before she heard the key turned in the lock of the door
to the apartment. Jess arrived in the foyer, just as Ryan let himself in. He
looked like he hadn’t slept at all.

“You’re
just getting home?” she said in alarm. “We have to go to the airport and you’re
not even packed!”

He
turned to look at her, his eyes narrowed. His expression was wary, as it had
often been lately. “The ball and chain does not approve,” he said, his words
slurring.

No,
no, no. Not a fight now. Jess shoved her hands through her hair, struggling to
keep calm.

It
worked until she smelled the booze on him. “You’re drunk!”

Ryan
shut the door carefully. “It was my stag. I was supposed to get drunk.” He
stepped past her and Jess caught her breath.

“You
smell like perfume, too.”

He
paused to look her in the eye, both inches and miles away from her. “There are
also supposed to be strippers at a stag,” he said. “There were four.”

“Mark
arranged this, didn’t he? He’s trying to make sure you don’t get married...”

“Mark
is an old friend,” Ryan interrupted, his tone annoyed. “Just because you don’t
like him, doesn’t mean I’m going to forget I know him.” He lifted a brow and
she felt something shift between them. “I didn’t know that the stag
arrangements had to be confirmed with Bridezilla. Should I have run it past the
journalist, too?”

Jess
was shocked, as much by Ryan’s tone as his words. “They didn’t!” she said,
keeping her voice down with an effort. “There’s just so much to do...”

“Of
course,” Ryan said, interrupting her. “Because it’s all a fabulous
extravaganza.” He had some troubles with those last two words. “Tell me, am I
just a prop for the wedding of the century? Would any guy in a tux have done?”

“You
know that’s not what it’s about...”

“I
used to, Jess.” He sounded tired, forlorn and a bit lost.

Exactly
how she felt.

He
looked at her hard, clearly expecting her to say something. Jess had nothing to
say. She looked back at him, and he probably saw her doubts. Jess had never
thought about the differences in their backgrounds and their lives. She’d been
too much in love to worry about it.

But
now, she was afraid she was making a mistake.

When
she didn’t say anything more, Ryan turned away and headed toward the bathroom.
No kiss, no hug, no kind words, no anticipation. Jess ran her hand over her
forehead. It would be one thing if this was the first time, but he’d come home
late and drunk repeatedly this past month.

Maybe
it was just nerves.

Maybe
she could fix this, just like she fixed everything else.

She
followed him to the bathroom, forcing her voice to be light and cheerful. “The
cab comes in half an hour to take us to the airport. Are you going to be
ready?”

He
met her gaze in the mirror over the sink, amusement in his eyes. “You mean I
get to pack all by myself? I can choose my own clothes for the trip?”

“Don’t
be mean. You said yourself that this was a golden opportunity to promote my
business...”

“You
don’t seem to think I can do anything, so why would you imagine I could dress
myself?”

BOOK: Forever Bound
13.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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