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Authors: Lauren Hawkeye

Three Little Words

BOOK: Three Little Words
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Three Little Words BONUS EDITION (Steamy New Adult Rock Star Romance)

Lauren Hawkeye and Kate Laurens

Published by Calluna Vulgaris Books, 2014.



This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.


First edition. February 10, 2014.

Copyright © 2014 Lauren Hawkeye and Kate Laurens.

ISBN: 978-0991916665

Written by Lauren Hawkeye and Kate Laurens.

For the ladies of Unraveled- Sara Fawkes, Julia Kent, Cathryn Fox, Sarah Castille, Opal Carew, Daire St. Denis and Vivi Anna. Long live NYT!

 Chapter One-Two Years Ago

            She was back.

            I leaned back in the uncomfortable library chair in what I hoped was a casual manner. I stretched, something I actually needed to do after five hours hunched over my textbooks, but I was really just using the movement as an excuse to stare.

            An excuse to stare at

            After weeks of studying her in quick looks and hidden glances, there shouldn’t have been anything new to see, yet I found my gaze dragged to her anyway.

            Her hair was long, a riot of silky waves that made my fingers itch to touch. Those waves were so red that they couldn’t have been natural, but it still suited her.

            In contrast, her skin was pale, a creamy white that looked like it never saw the sun. Lots of it was visible, since she wore tight, low slung jeans and some skimpy little top with straps no wider than a piece of spaghetti. Yep, wide expanses of skin open to my hungry eyes.

            Even more than the skin, I was fascinated by the ink that was etched onto it.

            Brightly colored flowers sleeved her arms. I didn’t have a clue what kinds they were, but I knew that they suited her.

            I wanted to run my fingers over them, to trace the brilliant, gem colored petals and stems. It was an urge that didn’t sit comfortably. No matter how hot she was, girls with tattoos weren’t my type.

            I’d had ‘my type’ carved out for me since birth.

            Tugging my stare away, I looked back at my textbook. The black print and yellow highlighter swam in front of my eyes. I blinked once, hard, and snuck another quick glance at her.

            This time she was looking back. The expression on her face, in those insanely blue eyes was slightly mocking, daring me to say something, or even to just smile.

            A jolt rocketed through me as I felt myself pulled into the intensity of that stare. I tried to open my mouth, to say something, but the words stuck in my throat.

            Finally I tore my stare away, mortified. I felt my cheeks flush, not such a manly look for a dude.

            I seriously had to get this... obsession, or whatever it was... under control, or I was going to have to find a new place to study. Though I still didn’t understand why she hung out here, in the law library.

            She could have been prelaw, I supposed, but I’d certainly never seen her in any of my classes. I would have noticed. Not to mention that... well... she just didn’t
like law school was her big calling.

            There were exceptions, true enough, but most of the people that I crammed into those massive lecture theatres with were a bit more on the conservative side than the redheaded goddess seated down the table.

            More conservative... more like me.

, I told myself, trying to shake her from my mind. It didn’t matter how much she fascinated me, nothing was ever going to happen in that direction. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted it to.

            She was hot. I wanted her. But I couldn’t imagine us together. I had a preconceived notion of my life, a five year plan, and a sexy redhead with tattoos didn’t fit into it.

            The scent hit me first. Wild and sweet, the perfume teased the insides of my nose, heated my gut.

            I swallowed thickly, bracing myself, then looked up to find the gorgeous creature from my most prurient daydreams, sitting across the table from me.

            “Hey,” she said, and her voice was exactly like I’d pictured it, smoky and full of sex.

            “Hi.” My own voice sounded strangled. I took a deep breath, exhaled through my nose, and tried to calm the fuck down.

            “Don’t you ever take a break?” She leaned over and drummed her fingers on the open page of my textbook. Those ropes of red hair brushed over the tops of her breasts as she did, and I had a sudden mental picture of that vivid scarlet against the heat of my cock.

Bad Mal. Focus.

            “Well?” She repeated her question, and I blinked, struck dumb by the twilight zone of having the object of my affection actually talking to me.

            And now that she was, she was going to think I was a total dumb ass.

            “I have a lot of studying to do.” Man, that sounded lame. I settled back in my chair and raked a hand through my chestnut colored hair, which was likely sticking straight up after so many hours in the library. “Prelaw. You know.”

            “I don’t, actually. I’m in nursing.” She tossed that long hair over her shoulder, and I watched, mesmerized, as the breasts revealed by that skimpy top jiggled with the movement. “I just like to study here.”

            Pinning me with a look that I couldn’t tear myself away from, she grinned and sank her teeth into her lower lip. “It’s got a great view.”

Holy hell.
 Did that mean what I thought it meant?

            “Don’t you have to study in nursing? Isn’t that why you’re here?”
Way to go, Mal
. I flinched inwardly as the most boring words ever poured out of my mouth.

            But that was me—studious. Driven. Headed for an Ivy League law school, ideally the one my father had attended so many years ago.

            In a word... boring.

            I thought she’d make a face, one of those ones that girls do when they suddenly realize that the guy they’ve been talking to is a complete dud. Instead she surprised me by tilting her chair back and laughing. I didn’t get the impression that she was laughing at me.

            “Yes, I have to study.” She grinned and let the chair fall flat again, the resultant
 echoing through the silence of the library. “But I believe in taking breaks from time to time.”

            I had no idea what to say to that, so I just nodded my head like an idiot.

            Leaning forward like she was about to share a deep, dark secret with me, she pointed to the front of the library. The entire wall and doors were made of glass, with a clear view of the street and campus beyond.

            “See that building across the street? The shit brown one?” She pointed; I squinted. I didn’t see as well with my contacts in as I did when I wore my glasses, but the guys in my fraternity poked fun at me when I wore the thick plastic frames.

            I nodded again, warily, not sure where she was going with this.

            “I live there. I have coffee. And I’m heading there right now.” She stood, the neon lights of the library illuminating those floral tattoos.

            Why was I so drawn to those tattoos?

            When I tore my gaze from the ink to look at her face, I found that she was watching me with amusement. “Interested?”

            “I—” I sputtered a bit, wishing so hard to be cooler than I was. At first I thought she was calling me on my bullshit, asking me if I was interested in her.

            I didn’t lie. I was crazy interested, even if I didn’t want to be. She was like a bright butterfly flitting through the black and white television show that was my life.

            She quirked an eyebrow at me when she caught my quizzical look, and I realized she was referring to the coffee she’d offered. She cast another grin my way, then started to gather up her stuff. I stood, reaching out and catching her around the waist before she walked away.

            The thin cotton of her tank top stood between my fingers and her skin, but the flash of heat that passed between us burned me.

            “Wait. What’s your name?” Slowly I let my fingers fall. It was hard to break the contact.

            She watched my hand fall, then studied me for a moment, as if trying to see inside my head.

            “I’m Adele.” She cocked her head to one side, clearly waiting for me to reciprocate.

            “Malachi. Mal. Malachi Hunter.” Man, why did I feel like I was trying to speak a different language around her? I tried to phrase my next sentence in my head before blurting it out, but she winked at me and turned to saunter across the library floor, heading towards that front door.

            “See you if I see you, Mal.”

            I sat back down in my seat and watched her walk away. She had one of the sexiest asses I’d ever seen, and my mouth watered.

            Why had she invited me over? Was it really for coffee? Or was it for something more?

            I had no business going to find out, and yet I barely had time to wonder before my body found itself slamming my textbook closed and throwing my things into my backpack.

            I could tell myself that she wasn’t my type all I wanted, but the fact remained that I couldn’t wait to find out.


            My breath hitched in my throat when I heard the knock on my door.

            Sucking in a breath through my nose, I studied the cheap, plain doorknob before slowly reaching out, turning it in my hand.

            I hadn’t thought he would actually come. Yet the tiny possibility that he might had set my nerves to a low level hum.

            I didn’t know what it was about him that drew me the way it did. Apart from the geek chic thing he had going on, or maybe because of it, he was one of the sexiest men I’d ever seen in my life, and I wanted to devour him whole.

            But there was something else... something that made me want to wrap my arms around him, to tell him why I was the perplexing person that I was, why I’d run from the mother who’d put her husband first and a stepdaddy who’d wanted complete control.

            But Malachi Hunter would freeze like a deer in the headlights if I did embrace him. Guys like him didn’t get involved with girls who had tattoos along their arms, who dyed their hair bright red and wore leather jackets. No, guys like him dated girls who wore khaki skirts and sweater sets and who smiled all the time.

            He’d surprised me by actually showing up.

            Those fluttering nerves flared to life when I slowly opened the door and found that he was indeed standing there. He looked liked a freaking Abercrombie and Fitch model in his pricey jeans and polo shirt, his leather book bag slung casually over his shoulder.

            Well... it looked casual, but I noted the way his fingers dug into the canvas. He was nervous.

            So was I. I’d been watching him, wanting him, for weeks. I liked the fact that he was nervous too, but I wondered if he was scared of girls in general or me in particular. Either way, I covered it up with a smirk and leaned against the door jamb with my hip.

            “Nice guess, Abercrombie.” My heart stuttered a bit when he cocked his head at me and the cords in his neck stood out.

            “The knocker was my first clue.” He gestured to the vintage frame that I’d spray painted hot pink, doused liberally with glitter, and hung on the ugly ass grey of the entrance to my apartment. In a one floor building with only ten units, it stood out, just the way I wanted it to.

            Never again would I try to fit into the mold that others carved out for me. It only ever brought me pain.

            Reaching out, I hooked a finger in the canvas strap that was digging into that broad shoulder of his and tugged gently. Fuck, but he was built. From some of the friends that had stopped by the library to see him while he was studying, I assumed he played on one of the school’s athletic teams.

            The physicality of whatever sport it was had served him well, and I looked him over thoroughly and obviously as I gestured for him to come inside. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he followed me into the small, dingy apartment I called home.

            “So,” I started, gesturing for him to take his shoes off and leave them in the front entryway. “Why are you here?”

            I enjoyed the confusion that washed over his too gorgeous to be believed face—I got a perverse pleasure out of perplexing people. I had ever since the mom I’d once loved stopped noticing me, even when I was screaming for help.

BOOK: Three Little Words
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