Salvation by Robin Covington
Nashville Nights Book 2
Letting go never felt so good.
Carlisle Queen is dying and no one knows it.
Burying the pain of losing her friends and her professional swimming career in a terrorist attack, America’s former sweetheart dulls her pain with drugs, pills and parties. The bomb left her with more than nightmares; shrapnel is lodged in her back and inching closer to her spinal cord. When the doctors tell her paralysis is inevitable, she decides to take her own life rather than face a lifetime in a wheelchair.
Mateo Butler isn’t anyone’s hero.
Reeling from the death of his little sister and his own cowardice, he spends his nights partying and his days ignoring the medical school acceptance letters and his parents’ concerned phone calls. Just a couple of months from graduation, he’s facing a future filled with shame and regret. The last thing he needs is to meet the woman who compels him to be a better man.
Can they save each other?
When Carlisle and Mateo meet, the chemistry between them is combustible. They play, party and hide their true selves until one night turns their lust into something more…something real. As secrets are revealed and walls collapse, what they were and what they might become doesn’t matter as much as who they are together. When the choice comes down to life or death, can love be their salvation?
He’s A Nice Guy – Excerpt from Salvation by Robin Covington
Mateo Butler is fun and sexy, loves his mother and fixes cars with his dad. He is a guy who helps his grandpa cheat at cornhole and loves his sister so much that her photo displayed on a banner puts tears in his eyes that he doesn’t even try to brush away. And then in the ultimate “fuck you” from the universe he’s the lover who makes me wet with a heated look and shatters me into a million pieces with his body. He has access to a part of me that’s only been touched by one other person; a part I truly thought I’d buried with Aaron.
I’d been wrong.
I consider going to New York to visit Olivia for a week or so. Long enough for things to cool off between us. Long enough for me to forget how it feels to have his weight on top of me, the slide of his rough palm along my body, over my arms, his fingers sliding perfectly into alignment with my own. I knew that staying overnight was a risk. My Achilles Heel was morning sex and when you add to the equation the fact that Mateo is such a great guy, it all adds up to the cost of a plane ticket to JFK.
Am I running? Fuck yeah, I’m running. Because the only direction my inner compass is pointing me towards at this moment is wherever Mateo Butler was. And I just can’t go there. Not anymore.
I open a new tab on my laptop and begin my search for flights. I can leave as early as tomorrow morning if I stick to non-stop in first class. Perfect. I reach for my phone to call Olivia and make sure I can crash at her place. It barely gets to the second ring when she picks up.
“HRH! What’s up?”
I smile at her voice, happy to hear the joy across the line. She’s loving New York, loving her new job, and head-over-heels for Sarah.
“You sound happy so I guess this means you’re not coming back to me.”
“Sorry babe, you’ve got all the right equipment but my heart belongs to another.”
I laugh, settling back against the couch, suddenly so glad that I called her. I miss her. She’s my best friend and I send up a silent thank you to the heavens that she answered my ad for a roommate all those months ago. She was strange, hard to impress, and even harder to love. We were a perfect match.
“If I didn’t love you so much, I’d write bad things about you on the bathroom wall.”
“That’s not really a threat since they’d all be true.”
“I’ll tell them you like dick,” I tease.
“Oh, that’s low even for you,” she chuckles on her end of the phone and I can hear the sounds of the city in the background. “I’m late for work so I gotta cut this foreplay short princess. What’s up?”
“Can I come hang out with you and Sarah for a little while? A few days? A week, tops.” They are still in the honeymoon phase of finally living together again after two long years apart and I don’t want to cramp their style for too long.
“Sure. Stay as long as you want.” She does something on her end that makes her voice fade a little but I hear her question. “When will you be here?”
“I was thinking of flying out tomorrow morning.”
She stops. I can’t see it but I know she has by the swift inhale that travels over the line.
“Carlisle, are you okay?”
I kick myself for putting the fear in her voice. If she’s using my real name, I know she’s freaking out. “I’m fine. I’m still going to set off every metal detector I get near at the airport but I’m fine.”
“No. You’re not.”
I sigh and throw her as much of the bone as I want to send over the line. “It’s nothing physical. I need to see my best friend, eat pounds of frozen cookie dough, and watch an Avengers marathon.”
She sighs. “Fuck. It’s Mateo Butler isn’t it?” And then all traces of nice leaves her voice and the chill in her tone makes me shiver. “Did he hurt you?”
“No. No, it’s not that.”
“But this is about him. I’m right. Yes?” When I don’t answer she demands, “What’s going on?”
“He’s a nice guy, Livvie.”
Her pause is filled with horns honking and the bustle created by millions of people crammed on an island and I count off the seconds until she responds, her voice low and a little shocked.
“Well, that fucking sucks.”
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