Private Research releases Tuesday 10/29 in ebook and 11/26 in print. You can pre-order today:
In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from the book!
“January,” he repeated.
“Yeah. I leave in two weeks.”
He looked as if he was going to say something else about it, but with one vodka martini under my figurative belt and another dangerously close to sloshing over the rim in my unsteady grip, I didn’t want to talk about the research anymore. As usually happened when the alcohol took hold, I had a decidedly oral fixation. And I was studying Sebastian with a new appreciation for his features, the slight shadow under his cheekbones, the generous length of his thin lips. It would take me days to fully explore his body with my mouth, with my tongue. Kissing him would be—
“Not very much time at all.” I met his eyes, startled that he’d read my thoughts. “Did you find your link?” I inched closer to him. His eyes narrowed in something that maybe was confusion. Which made me stop. Rethink.
Then I laughed, at myself, at the conversation, at how close I’d come to jumping the gun on this.
He raised an eyebrow, and I put my drink down. Searched for an excuse.
“Maybe we’d better order some food,” I said with an apologetic shrug.
“Americans don’t know how to drink,” he said, shaking his head.
“Or maybe we do.” I stared into my glass, finger running along the rim. “In any event, I haven’t found it yet. The link. Proof.”
At Sebastian’s beckoning gesture, the waitress came by and we ordered.
“And what if you don’t find it?”
I looked back up at him again. Found him watching me attentively.
“Then I adjust, adapt. Simply because I want something to be one way doesn’t mean it is.” Only, I wasn’t talking about the work. I was talking about Sebastian and the way I’d felt about him. About my romantic ideals, my dreams of love and even an ephemeral thought of white dresses and babies, which had been shattered so easily, first casually by him and then ruthlessly by me.
Was my plan for the evening another ruthless attack on myself, or was it really the right thing to do? Healing in a twisted way?
“That’s an excellent perspective to have,” he said, clearly missing the subtext. “Adaptability is the key to success.”
I laughed. “I’d bet you haven’t had to adapt to failure ever.”
“Ah, but I have.”
“Sebastian Graham, you seem like the type to have what you want fall into your lap.” Even as I spoke, I knew it was the alcohol that made me so forward, so flirtatious. The alcohol and the fact that I had liked him once upon a time.
I froze for a moment, and then smiled, reaching for my drink. I held it up as if I were about to make a toast.
“We could remedy that.”