Synopsis: Worth It by Nicki DeStasi
Anna lives every day the best she can while struggling against the demons that threaten to consume her and drag her back into the darkness of her troubled past. The last thing she needs right now is a guy, especially one as sweet and sexy as Jed.
When the attraction becomes too strong to resist, she gives into it. Even when she knows it’ll only end in disaster and leave her more her scared and broken than she was before.
Jed wants to find the right woman and he’s drawn to Anna by carnal magnetism, but she also brings out an alpha side of him that he’s never known. When his alpha rears its head, it triggers memories in Anna and her carefully crafted wall of protection begins to show cracks.
When fate and misunderstandings threaten their already delicate relationship, can they survive? When Anna’s demons threaten to be unearthed and Jed’s inner alpha only seem to make them worse, can they overcome?
Is it even worth it?
After I close up shop with the spare key because Asshole Alex never came back, I make my way out of the pizza shop and to my car. As I drive the green beast to Jed’s, I’m half-tempted to call and tell him I’ll catch him tomorrow. I’m fucking exhausted from my nightmare last night, and since I’ve been spreading myself so thin with school, work, and Jed, I’m dead on my feet. Of course, the stress from Sam isn’t helping either. But my need to see my sexy man overrides my exhaustion.
Despite trying to guard my heart, I know I care about him more than I should. I want to find love and a happily ever after in theory, but in practice, it’s terrifying. I want his heart to beat for me and mine for him, but the further I fall, the more panic grips my lungs.
My thinking is warped.
My thoughts are interrupted when my cell rings. When I pick it up and look at the ID, I roll my eyes. It’s Sam. This is getting ridiculous. After tossing the phone back into my purse, I pull into the parking lot of Jed’s apartment and take a deep breath once I shut off my car. Ever since we watched that stupid movie, I need to prep myself for the walk from the car to his front door. Fucking super zombies. Those things scare the fucking piss out of me, and I know it’s stupid. Give me a crazy serial killer or stalker movie, and I’m fine, but anything with creatures that don’t exist, I turn into a sniveling crybaby. Even the brief visual snippets I did actually see are going to take a while to purge from my head.
After I step out of my car, I sprint to the door of the apartment, like a…well, like a girl being chased by man-eating fucking zombies. When I reach the door, I take a minute to catch my breath and calm my heart before I knock, but suddenly, the door swings open to reveal a laughing Jed.
“What?” I ask even though I’m pretty sure I know what he is laughing about.
He moves aside to let me in, and after I set my coat and purse down on the table, he sweeps me into his arms.
“Why were you running to the door like a crazed woman?” he asks.
I blush and duck my head, but he puts his finger under my chin to make me look up at him. Two weeks ago, that action made me wince, but the more I get to know him and the more he does it, the less I associate the action with pain. He raises his eyebrow, willing me to respond to his question.
I sigh. “The images from the zombie movie we saw a couple of weeks ago are seared into my brain, and the parking lot is surrounded by trees. It’s a prime spot for a zombie ambush.”
He steps away from me and laughs like that was the funniest thing he’s ever heard. “You were running away from the scary zombies in the trees?” He continues to roar with laughter.
I try to give him an angry glare, but that only makes him laugh harder. I forgot about my cute angry face. Seriously, how am I supposed to give him my fuck-you glare if he thinks it’s adorable?
“Come here.” He grins and wraps me in his arms, and then he leans down to kiss me deeply. He opens his mouth and slides his tongue against mine.
My breathing picks up, and I feel the familiar pulse start to grow between my legs. As our tongues dance, he grabs me by the back of the neck and deepens the kiss. I fist one hand in his hair, and with the other, I clutch his hard bicep. My heart rate speeds up, and my breathing turns ragged. When his thumb skims my hip bone, my blood begins to boil.
He devours me with his lips. I love being devoured by him.
He breaks the kiss abruptly and leans his forehead against mine. Both of us are breathing heavily.
He groans, “God, you’re amazing.”
He smiles down at me, and I smile back. I feel a blush creep across my cheeks. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to him complimenting me. He steps back, and I fight my pout. I liked him where he was.
“Do you want something to drink?” he asks.
“Water would be great, thanks.”
“Sure. Go ahead and have a seat, and I’ll get it for you.” He steps away from me. “Hope you don’t mind football,” he calls from the kitchen.
He’s back quickly, and I respond, “Actually, I love football. I’m a big Packers fan.”
“Cheesehead, huh?” Grinning, he plops down next to me and curls me against him.
“A proud one, too.” I smirk up at him.
He smiles and dips his head to kiss me. “At least you’re not a Pats fan.”
“You’re not?” I ask, a little shocked. “That’s almost as bad as being a Yankees fan around here.”
Now, his grin turns teasing. “Do I have a Sox fan in my presence?”
Oh, hells no. “I sure hope I don’t have a Yankees fan in my presence.”
He bursts out laughing.
Oh right, the cute angry face. That’s going to get old quick.
He composes himself. “Not exactly. I’m just not a fan of Sox fans—present company excluded, of course. They’re douche bags.”
I huff and cross my arms as I turn my attention toward the TV. I know I’m pouting like a child, but seriously, the Yankees are evil. “We might be a little crazy with our team pride, but the Yankees suck.”
“They don’t suck. They have twenty-seven World Series wins. That’s almost three times more wins than the Sox, who have eleven.”
“Technicalities.” I roll my eyes. “They still suck.”
He chuckles and pulls me closer to kiss the top of my head. “Baby, your angry face is so damn cute.”
“Whatever.” I roll my eyes again.
He laughs softly. “And no, I’m not a Pats fan. I’m a Bledsoe fan.”
“Ah, so you must hate my Packers because of 1996, huh?”
He looks at me, surprised. “What were you then? Nine?”
I smirk and shrug.
His lips twitch. “That was a long time ago, but I can’t say they’re my favorite team.”
“At least we both hate the Pats.” I grin.
“This is true. As much as we have in common, there was bound to be something, right?” He leans forward to place a soft, sweet kiss on my lips.
“Right,” I mumble against his mouth.
He slips his tongue past my lips to tangle with mine. He cradles my head gently as our tongues move in a slow waltz. My breathing picks up when he slides his free hand under my shirt and up my side. His fingers trace the underside of my bra, and goose bumps erupt over my skin. His lips move with more urgency as he lowers me onto the couch, and then he moves his hips between my parted legs. I pant loudly when his mouth move across my jawline and to my earlobe.
“God, you’re so beautiful, Anna,” he breathes into my ear.
Nicki DeStasi was raised in a small town in Massachusetts. She attended Fitchburg State College and studied Early Childhood Education. As a child, she enjoyed reading, but only recently began doing it again. She has always had an inventive imagination and finally decided to put those ideas on paper for others to enjoy. Worth It will be Nicki’s first self-published book. A few personal facts: Sloth from The Goonies is her third cousin, she acted and stared in several plays throughout high school and college, and she can play four different instruments. Nicki’s philosophy is to appreciate the good things in life. If we didn’t make mistakes and have bad things happen then we wouldn’t know how truly wonderful the good things are. No matter how difficult life is sometimes, if we look to the people that love us, then we can get through them and on to the good stuff.