It’s divine.

My hand clasps over his at my clit. My legs tremble and I know I’m getting close. So close. Like climbing a mountain and realizing the peak is just mere steps away.

Our breaths come in deep open-mouth pants with each drive of Drew’s hips.

“Yes . . . yes . . . yes . . .”

Men’s orgasms are ninety percent physical. It’s easy for them to get off, regardless of where their thoughts are. Women have it harder. Our orgasms usually hinge on our mental state. Which means if you guys want to get us there? We can’t be thinking about that load of laundry in the next room, or the pile of papers waiting on our desks.

Which explains why it’s not Drew’s hand, or dick, that does me in.

It’s his voice.

With his forehead against my shoulder blade, he chants, “Oh God, oh God, oh God . . .”

It’s so unlike him.

he sounds open. Exposed.

Vulnerable.

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This infuriating man, who always wants to be in charge, calling the shots. Who doesn’t make a move without examining it from every angle, turning it around in his amazing mind—the pros, the perks, the ramifications.

he’s falling apart behind me.

And as he whispers a litany of profanities and prayers—I fall over the edge.

Into ecstasy.

My head snaps back and my eyes close. And stars burst behind my eyelids as I tense and scream, and wave after dizzying wave of pleasure wracks my body.

Drew’s movements become uneven and jerky, more forceful and uncontrolled.

And a moment later he pulls my hips back against him, holding me there, as one long, last guttural moan spills from his lips.

Afterward, we catch our breaths. Still connected and quaking with aftershocks. his hands smooth up my arms as he slips out of me.

he turns me around to face him. his hands caress my cheeks, and then he’s kissing me.

And it’s so sweet. Kind and loving. Such a stark contrast to our desperate movements moments before.

I don’t know why, but my eyes fill with tears.

Instantly, Drew’s gaze turns worried. “Are you okay? Did I . . .

did I hurt you?”

I smile through the tears, because they’re happy ones. Because in some weird, unexplainable way, I’ve never felt closer to him than I do right now.

“No. I’m wonderful. Feel free to be not nice to me anytime.”

Then he smiles too. Relieved and satisfied.

“Noted.”

Drew picks me up and carries me to the shower. We stand under the warm spray and wash each other worshipfully. Then Drew wraps us in thick, heated towels and bears me to bed.

he pulls the blanket up over both of us and holds me tight against him.

And it makes me feel precious.

He makes me feel that way. Always.

Cherished.

Adored.

Was I sore the next day? A little. But it wasn’t so bad.

Too much information?

Sorry. Just trying to be helpful.

In any case, the aches and pains of the following morning were more than worth it, as far as I was concerned.

But what’s the point of all this, you ask? Why am I sharing it with you?

Because good sex? Really, really good sex?

Doesn’t need alcohol. And it’s not about compatibility, or practice, or even being in love.

It’s about trust.

Letting your guard down. Putting yourself in another person’s hands and letting him lead you to places you’ve never been before.

And I trusted Drew. With my mind, my heart, my body. I trusted Drew with everything.

At least I did then.

Chapter 1

In high school, biology was my favorite subject. What fascinated me most were species that transform into a whole new being. Like pollywogs. Or butterflies. They start out as one thing, but end up something else entirely.

Unrecognizable.

Everyone always looks at butterflies and thinks, “how lovely.”

But no one ever thinks about what they had to go through to become what they are. When the caterpillar builds its cocoon, it doesn’t know what’s happening. It doesn’t understand that it’s changing.

It thinks it’s dying. That its world is ending.

The metamorphosis is painful. Terrifying and unknown. It’s only afterward that the caterpillar realizes it was all worth it.

Because now it gets to fly.

And that’s what I feel like right now. I’m more than I was before. Stronger.

Did you think I was tough before?

Fooled you. Some of it was just bravado. A façade.

Dealing with Drew Evans is like swimming into one of those rogue waves at the beach. he’s overwhelming. And either you kick hard to keep up, or he rolls over you and leaves you behind with a face full of sand.

So I had to pretend to be a hard ass.

I don’t need to pretend anymore, because now I’m granite.

Impenetrable, all the way through.

Ask anyone who’s survived an earthquake at midnight, or a house fire that wipes out everything that matters. Unexpected devastation changes you.

And I mourn the old me. And my old life. The one that I had planned to share with Drew forever.

You seem confused. Sorry—let’s start again.

See that woman over there? On the swing, in this empty playground?

That’s me—Kate Brooks.

But not really. Not the Kate you remember, anyway. Like I said, I’m different now.

You’re probably wondering why I’m here, back in Greenville, Ohio, all alone.

Technically speaking, I’m not alone.

But we’ll get to that later.

The reason I’m in Greenville is simple. I couldn’t bear to stay in New York. Not for another day. Not after everything.

Drew?

he’s still in New York. Probably nursing a vicious hangover. Or maybe he’s still drunk. Who knows? Let’s not concern ourselves with him too much. he has an attractive stripper to take care of him.

Yep—I said a stripper. At least I hope she was a stripper. She could’ve been a prostitute.

Did you think Drew and I were going to ride off into the sunset? Live happily ever after? Join the club. Apparently happily ever after only lasts two years.

Don’t check the title. You’re in the right place. This is still the Drew and Kate show. It’s just twisted around. Messed up. Welcome to Oz, Toto. It’s a f**ked-up place to be.

What’s that? You think I sound like Drew? That’s what Delores says—that he’s infected me with his profanity. She calls it Drewspeak. I guess after two years, it kind of rubs off.

So I can see that you’re wondering what happened. You were so in love. You were so perfect for each other. Tell me about it.