Title: The Fourth Time Charm
Series: Fulton U #4
Author: Maya Hughes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Najla Qamber
Release Date: January 7, 2021
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“Are you sleeping with my daughter?”
Not the question I wanted to hear from my coach. The man holding my pro future in the palm of his hand.
The answer: No, sir.
The real answer: I’d sure as hell like to be.
Marisa’s been my best friend since third grade. And now she needs my help–and a place to stay. Senior year was supposed to be the year to keep some distance until the season finished and my draft prospects were safe.
But resisting her is becoming impossible. Movie Thursdays under the blankets. Study sessions on my bed. Wild party nights where I kept any guy interested at bay with a single glare.
Her dad can bench my ass for the entire season, so she’s off limits–for now.
She’s the only woman I’ve ever loved. And one heated night, I can’t stop fighting every cell in my body and can’t stop myself from sampling her sexy smile, her sweet smell, and her sultry curves.
We’re walking a tightrope with my future on the line. Let’s just make sure Coach doesn’t find out…
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“My toes are freezing.” She wiggled them against the hard, dark concrete.
I glanced down at her bare feet. If I offered to carry her inside, she’d probably punch me in the balls, so I bit the inside of my cheek, watching for glass or splintered wood on the porch steps.
Inside, I got her straight to my room and handed her a t-shirt and some boxers before I sent her to shower.
Her quietness told me just how much she needed to get under the covers—for once she didn’t have a quip or a biting comment.
The stench of smoke hung heavy in my room, more noticeable now that we were away from the fire. I sniffed my shirt and jerked away from the burning smell. The last thing I wanted was for her to walk in here and be hit with the stink of char.
I took off my smoke-soaked clothes and grabbed my towel off the back of the door, wrapping it around my waist. I dumped the clothes outside my door and grabbed fresh ones.
The water in the bathroom shut off and the door opened, the hot, humid air billowing into the hallway.
She stumbled back in and spotted me, freezing mid-hair-drying.
Dammit, maybe I should’ve waited to take my clothes off until I’d gotten to the bathroom, but it wasn’t like she hadn’t seen me in just swim trunks before. At least I’d gotten the towel on and she hadn’t walked in on me totally naked like she had last summer after our water balloon battle.
“My clothes smelled like smoke too. I’m hopping in the shower.”
Seeing her in my clothes did something to me—something that couldn’t be contained by a towel. I clutched my sweats and t-shirt in front of my now-straining erection. My blood pounded in my veins and I didn’t know how I was supposed to spend the night lying beside her. Maybe I should take the couch. I rushed out the doorway, poking my head back in.
“Get into the bed. I’ll be back in a few.” I flicked off the light, blanketing the room in darkness aside from the glow from the hallway.
The shower was quick and efficient and I kept myself from relieving the pressure that had built up when I saw her in my clothes. I cranked it to cold until my cock deflated and I could end my freezing torture.
Climbing out, I picked up her clothes from the floor and dropped them outside my bedroom door. I’d wash them in the morning and see if a gallon of detergent got the smell out.
If it didn’t, I wasn’t opposed to her wearing more of my clothes until we got her some new ones or she got to go back to her place to see what could be salvaged.
There was no sound in my room. For a second, I thought she might’ve gone downstairs to get something to eat, but then I heard her soft, gentle breaths coming from my bed.
I hung my towel up and crossed the room.
Marisa was spread out like a starfish, taking up most of the bed.
Chuckling, I took her arm and put my hand on her waist, rolling her toward the wall. She grumbled, but let me move her, shifting her pillow and clutching it to her chest.
If I weren’t a glutton for punishment, I’d have taken a pillow and blanket and gone downstairs to the couch of torture, or I’d have nudged her even further toward the wall and put my back against hers. But I couldn’t help myself.
Sliding into the bed, I curled my body around hers, wrapping my arm around her. Just for tonight. Just because of how close I’d come to losing her. Just because I couldn’t help myself.
Her hair smelled like me. As much as I loved that, I’d have to pick up some of her shampoo and soap when I got a chance.
“Night, Marisa.” Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply, matching my breaths to hers.
Tonight, I’d hold her in my arms.
Tomorrow, I’d figure out how to deal with being in love with the coach’s daughter.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE FULTON U SERIES
#1 The Perfect First, #2 The Second We Met & #3 The Third Best Thing
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Maya Hughes, that’s me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe, traveling with my family and Jeff Goldblum.
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