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True

Souls

The Soulmates Series Prequel



Michele Gantz



Copyright © 2017 Michele Gantz

This book is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, or incidents are the product of the author’s mind. Any resemblance to real people, events, or locales, living or dead, is a coincidence.

Cover Photo: Adobe Stock Cover Design: Michele Gantz
Cover Copyright: Michele Gantz

The scanning, uploading, and/or distributing of this book without the author’s permission is theft of the author’s intellectual property.

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 978-1539660880

ISBN-13: 1539660885

NOTE TO READER

Though the Soulmates Series is a series of paranormal romances, True Souls contains no paranormal elements as the story revolves around the two humans in the series. Also, know that True Souls is a prequel to Entwined Souls.







Dedication

To everyone who knows that being in love never means not being in lust.







Sometimes true love has a naughty side explore yours.


Jax:

She's my everything, my true soul. My entire world was rocked by Belle. So young, so dumb, I didn't realize until that night…

Three years later and she's finally all mine. Not just my girlfriend - no so much more.


Belle:

I wasn't supposed to fall in love with my best friend’s brother, but when you meet your true love, nothing can stop the fall.

That's what happened with Jax and me.

He's the one who holds my soul. And nothing can ever change that.


Jax:

God, I hope she's right.

Chapter One
Belle

Present Day

I shut down my camera and lighting. The million or so people who watch my makeup tutorials on YouTube would love to see the mess I make when filming. Makeup and hair stuff, all a mess, all over my pristine white desk. Shaking my head, I look down at the stretchy, black yoga pants, totally a mismatch with my full-glam makeup and dressy top. But that’s my life. Usually.

Tonight, will be different.

Jax Grace and I’ve been dating since I was sixteen. Almost three years later, my best friend’s brother and I are beyond in love. Our connection was instantaneous, undeniably strong, and unbreakable.

I waited for him to make a move or advance, then when he finally did, it was indescribable. In fact, I’m pretty sure that he was made for me. Before things went too far, I made sure Amia was okay with us being together. Thankfully, she couldn’t have been happier.

I have no doubt he’s the one. Tonight is the first night that Jax and I will be living together. I mean, we’ve spent the night together … we’ve made love. We are probably closer than most couples ever will be. We’ve surpassed finishing each other’s sentences. I can tell his mood by the set of his eyes, by the tone of his voice. He knows what I need without words, sometimes before I even do. Yet, we’ve never truly shared a home—but that ends tonight.

My word. To think that I’ll get to wake up every morning next to that stunning lopsided smile with one dimple, messy chocolate hair … and his eyes.

Sigh.

Knowing that he’ll be here soon I glance at the packed boxes—my entire life is packed in about fifteen or so moving boxes. I know that tonight he has plans for us, since it’s the only night his sister won’t live with us, but I have something I want to do for him before then.

Jax and Amia, my best friend in the whole world, inherited an amazing house just outside Ethridge, the small town in Tennessee we grew up in. Their aunt recently passed. Neither of them really knew her, but as soon as Amia graduated high school, a lawyer showed and told them both that they’d inherited the house. It’s huge. Way too much space for even the three of us, but we’ve renovated a few rooms to work better for us.

At first, though I’d hoped to, I wasn’t sure they were going to want me to live with them. The night Jax asked me … I was so happy.


Kneel for me, princess.” Jax’s dominant voice struck every cord in my body. I submitted, kneeling before him … wearing nothing. He dressed only in tight Wrangler jeans, hugging every fucking perfect inch of his muscular legs. I watched as he swallowed deeply staring through me. My pulse stammered hard in my ears, making me squirm with anticipation.

Such a good girl,” he murmured, removing his jeans while I nuzzled against his leg. He stepped out from his pants, fully erect. I impatiently awaited his command. My heart pounding, blood racing through my veins, my entire body tensing waiting for him to take over, control me. As he stood there, his dominance filling the room, stealing the very breath as it escaped my parted lips, my mind began to clear, the constant stress and worry melting away under his stern eyes. The lightness filling my body and mind, everything focusing on my love standing before me, I exhaled a deep breath, and watched as Jax began to act on his desires.

Suck,” he commanded.

I instantly complied, licking my soft lips before sliding his smooth, hard shaft over them, running my tongue over the head, relishing it momentarily. Then I sucked hard, hollowing my cheeks, taking his cock as far down my throat as possible, relaxing while I loved the feel of him taking control at the last moment … and slamming his cock down my throat.

It was at that moment, while he was fucking my mouth hard, hands in my hair that he said, “Belle ... Michelle, move in with me.”


I shut down the memory, needing to focus. I have something I really wanna do before tonight, before Jax shows up, otherwise, I’ll get nowhere. I glance at the clock knowing that his ten-a.m. class is just about over. I pick up my phone and text Amia.


Belle: Bitch! You still hiding out writing that story? Wanna go shopping with me?


Then … I wait. Amia has a terrible habit of disappearing on us. She’s working hard to become a writer, and she uses her current book as an excuse to find these silly little places to hide away and write. Amia stays forever buried in what she calls a work in progress. Of course, Jax worries, especially when she disappears for a long time. Since I hate watching him worry, I installed a tracker on her phone so that I can at least know where she is. It may seem creepy, but when you are with someone like Jax, as protective as he is between her and me, you try to make his life a little easier. Well, sometimes.

It has helped a little bit, but since we graduated Amia has been disappearing more and more so I’ve had to resort to stalking her more often.

Plus, I love to randomly show up and scare her, to be honest.  

It’s a fun little game we play, or at least I think it’s fun!

Waiting for her response, I change into some skinny jeans and riding boots, completing my look. I check myself out, starting with my hair. It’s perfectly curly, a beautiful shade of pale platinum blonde. I’ve let it get long enough to tickle past my butt. Jax loves it long; he says it makes my blue-gray eyes pop. My outfit accentuates my curves. I don’t have a perfect body, but Jax has made me learn to love the fullness of my chest, the hourglass curve of my waist, the generous nature of my ass, and the shortness of my legs. I’m not shallow, though, because of my job I get accused of it a lot. Instead, I’m super confident—which, according to Jax, makes me hot.

Snatching my phone from where I threw it down, I realize it’s been ten minutes and still no answer from Mia.

That bitch!

I cyber search her location, and she’s at that damn bookstore.

As I collect my items to leave and find my best friend, my mind wanders as I remember how I met Amia.



Chapter Two
Belle

Three Years Ago

It’s my first day in a new school. I wouldn’t typically be nervous, but it’s high school. I haven’t been in school in two years, my parents allowed me to be homeschooled after I was bullied.

Kids—no, girls can be so mean. I posted videos that went viral, and for that reason girls hated me. I didn’t plan on getting pseudo-famous. I never thought that it would happen to me. I mean, come on, they are videos where I put on makeup. Who’d known that YouTube would become what it did? Shoot, I did it because I was bored. I didn’t know they’d hate me, ridicule me. Torment me. After the day the girls in my school cut all my hair off to my shoulders, I refused to go back.

I refused to do a lot.

If my daddy hadn’t walked into my room when he did…

Not today, Michelle. Not today.

I wanted to stay home and finish my high school online, but Mom and Daddy insisted I needed better socialization than sitting behind a keyboard all day; especially since we just moved here. A tiny little map dot in Tennessee. This place is so off the map, I even refused to drive my new truck here today. I’ll have enough attention being the new girl.

Whatever.

I just plan on keeping my head down and getting through the next few years.

Breathing in deeply, I push open the doors.

Here goes nothing.

I walk down the bland, beige hallway lined with blue lockers and tons of students who I only see as shoes as I walk by. I stop before locker 202, right at the end of a row, and spin the dial to open my assigned locker. I notice that it seems like no one even cares that I’m here.

Thank goodness.

I gently close my locker door, mentally reviewing the map that I memorized to get to English without having to ask for help.

“Daaayuuummm,” I hear a squeaky, cracked voice come from down the hall. I immediately tense up, being a sixteen-year-old girl who developed early, I’m unfortunately used to assholes saying improper things to me. However, there are probably thirty other girls in this hallway, so I pray silently that the voice is talking about them.

“Psst … hey, new girl.” I hear a deeper voice beckon from right behind me. Close enough that I can feel the warm breath move my blonde hair.

I lift my head while turning towards the voice, locking eyes with the shit-colored eyes of a pimply-baby-fat-filled face of a tall boy in a letterman’s jacket. So, here’s the popular guy. I can tell just by looking at him for one moment that he’s gonna be a problem.

“Well, aren’t you just freakin’ smokin’,” his puberty-laced voice just cracks as he says smokin’, drawing me back to the present. Making me realize that I’m no longer associating with professionals who are older than me. No, instead I’m in high school.

Ugh.

“Thank you,” I summon my manners and look him in the eyes with the most innocent smile I can paint on my face. “Can I get past? I have to be in English.” I throw as much sweet southern belle into my voice as possible, desperate to move on from this.

“Damn, you hear the sweet little voice, J.R.?” he calls over his friend, a shorter boy, who has his arm around a pretty girl in a cheerleader uniform. Her overly made up face, with a foundation that is clearly four shades too dark and a pathetic attempt to recreate a smoky eye smeared across it, scrunches up in disgust as she assesses me from head to toe.

“Doesn’t sound so special to me,” the cheerleader snaps her gum dismissing me and turning in to pay her boyfriend attention, desperate for him to look at her and not me.

“Don’t be a bitch, Mandi. And as for you two, move the fuck on. She’s new, not a piece of meat.” A sweet, almost musical voice comes from behind me. It’s odd, hearing such a sweetly southern voice laced with beautiful musical tones calling out these jerks and cursing at them. I don’t dare turn to see my savior. Instead, I stay locked on the boys before me, gauging their reaction.

“Fuck you, Amia. Get a fucking life you weirdo.” Both boys leave with Mandi, the cranky cheerleader, in tow.

I turn on my heel to thank my savior, but I’m shocked when I’m face-to-face with her. Since finding a tiny sliver of fame, I really have become used to my peers being younger looking than me and less mature. Yet, before me stands an honest-to-God awesome-looking chick.

This Amia is rocking a full on messy bun, we are talking the kind that typically is only rocked by busy moms and professional hairdressers. It’s that kind of messy that professionals slave over while moms get it just by living life. She has hazel eyes that are unlike anything I’ve seen before, greens and gold melding together in swirls, all behind black frames and thick lenses. However, it’s her personality, shining through her like a light, bringing to the room a sense of wholeness, completion, that is complicated to comprehend. It’s that feeling of walking into your home after a vacation, a sense of rightness, just like home.

“I’m Amia, Amia Grace. Don’t let jackass one and two scare ya off. They are straight dicks. You're probably the hottest girl they’ll ever meet so …” she trails off. She stares off, almost like she’s imagining something, seeing something no one else can see.

“Michelle Jameson, and thanks. I mean, ya know?” I sigh, shutting my mouth. The hallway has emptied, and I know I’m late.

“Okay, Michelle. What class do you have right now? I’m on my way to English, but Tinker won’t care that I’m late.” I can’t help but notice the ease with which Amia carries herself.

It’s odd. Most people my age have that fake confidence that the cheerleader had; the confidence that comes off her is as high, but really just masks insecurity and fear. Not Amia, though; she has a grace and ease to her. The way she appears to float through life, which honestly makes you think she has it all together.  

“I actually have English too,” I say.

“Cool, let’s go. Oh, and you’re coming over after school. We’re going to be best friends,” she says, linking her arm in mine and leading me to class.



Chapter Three
Jax

Present Day

As I sit in my last class of the day, the thought of my princess, Belle, and our first night together in our new home, causes my dick to twitch uncontrollably.

The woman is a goddess and she owns me—heart, mind, body, and soul. She fucking knows it too.

And the way she fucks.

Damn.

I wasn’t sure how to even approach it.

She was my first.

My only.

My friends gave me shit for not having sex with her sooner.

Fuck them!

I waited for her.

I’d always wait for her.

I’d wait ‘till my last breath.

For Belle, waiting was worth every second.

Yet, even then … there was a latent dominance within me, a desire to control her, to spank her. I’d felt it with the other girls I dated briefly throughout high school, but nothing like when I was touching Michelle Jameson.

I didn’t know what these feelings meant then; I just knew that when I was kissing her sweet fucking mouth and I’d slide my hand around her soft throat and lightly squeeze, the hitch in her breath, the whimper in her chest, all made my cock harden to a painful point.

That first night …

God, it was damn near perfect.

Gentle, slow. I fought the need to tear through her, to pound into her like my inner-beast demanded. Instead, I made love to my precious little princess, and her purring made it all fucking worth it.

It was over the next few weeks that I began embracing my dominance … and she accepted her submissive side.

Slowly, you know?

Testing the limits, a spanking here, a command there. Belle relished it, flourished, became even more fucking beautiful under my hand. She was the one who encouraged it, igniting my need.

Watching Belle on her knees, looking up at me through her long lashes, with those full pouty lips, makes me feel like a king.

Shit.

Thinking about her has made me miss the announcement about the final. I lean over to the overly made-up girl who sits next to me.

She wants my cock, bad.

I’ve seen her on campus, being passed around, constantly looking for her next guy to screw. However, when she’s in here, she’s pawing at any chance to get my attention.

Desperate.

“Psst,” I whisper, leaning towards her, throwing a lazy smile on my face. Belle tells me that only having one dimple is panty melting. Of course, I use it to my advantage. Through my hazel eyes, I watch as her nipples harden against the constraint of her white shirt.

“Did you catch what he just said about the final?” I whisper, working my southern gentleman accent hard.

“Of course,” she leans closer, all I can smell is … gummy bears?

Odd.

She rambles off what I need and I stand, turning to leave—until a hand on my shoulder halts me.

“Hey, wanna grab a cup of coffee?” Her voice is more of a whine, grating against my eardrums. She’s coming on hard, pressing her breasts together. Ugh. Belle is a makeup artist and wears a lot of makeup I’m sure in some people’s minds, but this girl standing before me is the definition of cakeface.

“I can’t,” I say, trying to suppress the smile that crosses my face when I think of Belle. “I need to get to my girl.”

“Lucky bitch,” she says as I walk away.


Chapter Four
Jax

Three Years Ago

I grab my vibrating phone from the table in front of me. Snatching it quick to stop my study partners from staring me down.


Amia: Hey, I’m bringing the new girl from school home with me. Make sure Dad’s not in the living room.


Me: Not home. Make sure yourself.


Amia: But, Jax, please? She’s awesome and cool and seems to like me. I thought you wanted me to make friends? Please? Please.


Fuck, how can she be so annoying? Even in text. She needs her mother. Of course, that’s not an option. Not after she disappeared twelve years ago.


Me: Fine, but she leaves after dinner. I’ll order pizza.


Amia: Yeah!! Thanks! Love.


Me: Love.


Putting my phone back in my pocket, I start packing everything up, wondering how anyone can ever want to have kids … since I’ve had to raise my sister since she was four. My lame-ass excuse for a father has been drunk for the last twelve years. Useless because the love of his life left him. Fucker. Sometimes I hate my life.

I’ve been desperate to find a girlfriend, a friend, any fucking one. Someone, something to take my mind away from this place. But it's hard. I have dated, but I have these urges.

Shaking my head, refusing to think about it. Pulling up in front of our house, I sigh as I step out of my Jeep.

It’s my favorite thing in the world. Two years ago, on my sixteenth birthday, I got a gift in the mail from an uncle I didn’t even know we had. It was the title and keys to a Jeep. Brand new. Paid off. I tracked it as far as I could and everything seemed legal, so I accepted it. It’s the nicest thing I have. The same uncle sent Amia a Jeep on her sixteenth birthday a few months back.

I should be more suspicious, but honestly the little gifts throughout our childhood like that have been the only things that have kept me going. Otherwise, I probably would have given up. Yet, every time I’m close to giving up, something shows up and brings me back.

Though if I don’t find a way to save enough money soon to get us out of here, I may not be able to stay sane. Amia has no clue, but Dad is getting worse. I lack proof, but I’m pretty sure his abuse has fallen into drugs as well as alcohol, but I can’t be sure.

Fuck, man. I need to get in there and clean him up before she brings a little teenage brat here.

“Come on, old man. Mia’s bringing over friends, don’t need ya embarrassing her,” I drag our father’s limp body to bed and toss him down on it. He grunts nastily when I say Mia, my nickname for Amia, and that its. There is no exchange, nothing. He hasn’t spoken to me in months. Honestly, I’m not sure he’s even alive, since he’s become a shell of a person. He weighs less than I can even guess anymore. When I lift him, I can feel every bone in his body and his dirty clothes loosely hang off him. He’s lost almost all his hair, and I couldn’t tell you the last time he showered.

I can’t imagine ever loving anyone as much as he claims he loved our mother. My parents had been together since they were in middle school.

Forever.

‘Till she was gone.

Forever.

Lace Grace (oh, yeah, she was so perfect even her damn name rhymed) was beautiful.

Perfect.

She was the best mother, always making dinner and cookies, and she’d play with me at the park, making sure I was happy, loved. I remember her as loving, beautiful, and caring. My sister is the spitting image of my mother, especially now that she’s growing into herself.

Which is why I think our father is drinking more. Looking at Amia is like staring at my mother.

When Lace went missing, there was a search. The whole town looked for her, but there was never a trace. No one even suspected that dad had killed her.

No.

They just assumed she ran off.

Lace Grace was having an affair, then ran off to the big city. She was sick and tired of our small-town life, and burnt out on tending to me, Amia, and our dad.

I remember the night she came back. The three days or so she spent with Amia. Hiding in my sister’s room, our mother held her, never letting her go. I’d never seen my sister so happy. Until the night when the strange, dark man came to the house and took our mother back.

I never told anyone.

I couldn’t.

They were … vampires. Or, at least, that’s what the man said. I never really believed them. As I aged, learned of addiction, drugs, and the like, I can only assume that my mother was involved in something that I wouldn’t even begin to understand.

“Ooohhh, JAX!” Amia singsongs while swinging open the door. This new girl must be influencing her, because she’s never this enthusiastic. She’s a happy girl, but introverted. I encouraged her to make more friends, since the stupid school counselor worried us ‘cause Amia had none. Doesn’t really bother me. My sister has plans, and I imagine one day she’ll be a famous writer hiding in a cabin in the woods from all her adoring fans.

“In here, babygirl,” I answer her, as I see the late-spring sun close behind the door, encapsulating us in the darkness that is our dungeon-like home. I hate this house, but since it’s paid for and someone has always brought us groceries or money every week, I’ve never had to work and dad hasn’t ever either. This allowed me to graduate high school and get into a really great college to study architecture. I should question all this, but I never really have. It’s just how things have always been.

Over time, I assumed it was my mother.

“Come on, he’s a big ol’ teddy bear,” I hear Amia whispering, dragging a poor girl through the house. “Jax, this is Michelle Jameson. Today was her first day, Mandi was being a total bitch ‘cause she’s prettier than her.”

Amia’s words are hollow, bouncing around in my head but not really setting in.

My heart stops, totally ceases its beating as the most fucking beautiful girl I have ever seen in my entire life stands before me.

Michelle has this platinum blonde hair, long … so long.

While I take her in, I can’t find the breath for words. Her skin is clear, porcelain, almost translucent in the clearness. Yet it's her eyes that cause my skin to heat, my heart to race—everything to come alive. Rimmed with black and framed with perfectly spaced dark lashes, her eyes are a stunning shade of blue sky that are clouded with a darkening storm, like a dusty gray that shines beautifully with life.

Fuck.

“Earth to Jax,” Amia says, interrupting my staring. Michelle hasn’t reacted, and has stayed rooted in place.

“Oh, fuck sorry. Tired. Pizza is on its way. I gotta shit ton of homework so …” I don’t finish, my eyes dancing back to Michelle’s.

“Hi, Michelle, nice to meet ya.” I hear my voice change; it’s stronger while talking to her, steady. I don’t offer my hand, since I’m fearful that her skin will be as soft as it looks. If I touch her …

“Hey, Jax. Nice to meet you too … um,” her words are low, but her voice is pulling on my soul. I have never heard a voice that sounds so sexy without trying; it’s breathy but strong, and has a whimsical sense that calls to my very core.

Who the fuck is this girl?

I don’t say anything else, just turn and leave. When I enter my room, I fight the urge to slam my door.

“What the fuck?” I groan, raking my hands through my hair. She can’t be more than sixteen—and my sister’s new friend.

Fuck, I’m no saint that’s for sure, but Michelle already makes me wanna worship her body in ways that I can’t even explain.

I shake my head, forcing my focus on studying versus the goddess in the room down the hall.

“Can you drive Michelle home, please?” Amia bounces on her toes. She doesn’t like the attention her jeep brings at the school, so she tends to walk instead. Being as it’s dark now, she would rather not drive somewhere she doesn’t know. Yet, more so, I wouldn’t let her, and she knows this.

“Yes,” I try to force some annoyance in my voice, but honestly, I’m happy to. Michelle should never walk out there.

If she was mine, I would protect her.

An unbidden thought dances through my mind.

Can’t think that way.

She’s too young.

“Thank you!” Amia wraps her arms around my neck giving me a quick hug then spinning out of my room.

“Let’s go!” I shout, grabbing my keys.

I watch as Michelle comes into the room, and there’s no denying my entire body is reacting to her. Coming alive when she walks into a room, it’s as though a light has been turned on. The dark, depressing house cheers around her.

Fuck, she’s gonna ruin me.

“Let’s go,” she whispers, looking up at me through her lashes. Watching as she walks out the door, I’m fighting being hypnotized by the gentle sway of her hips, the bounce in her step, the need to worship the ground she walks on. As she approaches the Jeep, I open the door for her, then I catch a breath of her scent as she climbs in. Damn, she smells of strawberries and cream.

Delicious.

As I climb in my side, I white knuckle the steering wheel. It takes everything I have not to jump across and kiss her lips. I quietly pray that her and Amia didn’t get along, because I don’t know how long I can resist Michelle Jameson.

“You live here?” I ask, pulling up in front of a goddamn mansion. Michelle clearly has money, her clothes speak of that, perfectly tailored to fit her, not the cheap clothes often sported by the girls in this area. Having shopped with Amia, I know that she must shop online or head up to Nashville.

“Yeah …” she draws out the word, confusion coloring her beautiful face. I’m parked, finally. The whole ride here, though short, I kept trying to steal glances of her, but she was always staring out the window.

“Wow.” I whistle low.

“Listen, Amia doesn’t know. I didn’t even drive to school this morning because I … well—” She drops her hands in her lap, staring up at me with an open face. I can see the desperation dancing in her eyes for me to understand.

“Is that your truck?” I look over and see a brand-new Chevy extended-cab, customized to the hilt with kick ass rims. Yeah, this shit stands out in this town.

“Uh-huh … I just bought it the week before we moved here.” I notice she seems to rush through her statement.

You bought it?” I ask, sensing there’s a story here. Her eyes widen in response, I can tell she wishes I hadn’t noticed.

“Wanna come in? My parents won’t mind.” Her eyes beg, but her voice breaks, leaving me questioning if she’s feeling this too.

Fuck, yes, I do.

“Um … yeah,” I choke out, trying not to let her see how badly I want to go with her.

I swallow my eagerness and watch her eyes follow my Adam’s apple bobbing in my throat. “Okay.” Her small voice fills the silence. As much as I shouldn’t be doing this, I don’t want to leave her, not yet.

She exits my truck, and like a desperate puppy dog, I follow her. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this.

“Mom—Daddy?” she shouts when she steps through the door.

“In here, Chelle,” I hear a gruff, distinctly not southern voice from the room to my right.

I watch Michelle walk into a well-decorated dining room, completed with a huge farmhouse table.

“Hey, Daddy,” Michelle walks over to her dad, who’s seated at the head of the table, and plants a soft kiss on his cheek. I notice his eyes lock on me though, not his daughter. The gentle look he reserved for Michelle is gone, rather a hardness settling in his eyes.

“Hey, sweetie,” he mumbles.

“Daddy, this is Jax, he’s Amia’s brother. He drove me home cause it got dark out.” She slides onto the bench next to his chair while I remain in the doorway.

“Jax, thank you for bringing Michelle home. If she’d driven her new truck to school, you wouldn’t’ve had to.” He teases her, and I see her pale cheeks flush crimson. She’s so beautiful …

Oh, fuck. Jax do NOT get a hard on while meeting her father.

“It’s not a problem, sir.” I enter the dining room, walk up to him, and extend my hand to him. “Jax Grace, sir. My sister, Amia, goes to school with Michelle. I do apologize for her getting home so late.” I try to hold my shit together with Michelle blushing beside me and looking delectable.

“Well, thanks again,” he dismisses me, turning all his attention to his daughter.

“Your mother and I went out to dinner, did you eat?” He clearly loves Michelle, they appear very close.

“Yep, Jax and Amia ordered pizza.”

“Good, well I’m off to bed. See you in the morning. And thanks again, Jax.” He stands and hugs Michelle while staring me down. I can read his face, clearly saying take care of my baby. I suspect him to tell me to leave, but rather he releases Michelle and leaves us … alone.

Hmm, there’s something about this that all seems so odd. I’ve been in girls’ houses, with their fathers home. Now, there’s no reason not to trust me, I don’t look like a bad guy, but I’m clearly older than Michelle. For him to just leave us … I don’t know. I get the sense that there is more going on here than meets the eye.

“Come on,” Michelle rises from the bench and grasps my hands. The instant her skin comes in contact with mine—I feel my heart skip. Damn, her skin is so soft and all I want to do is hold her tighter, pull her into me. I don’t say anything and just follow her up the stairs.

I watch her round, full ass while she climbs the steps. I swear this girl was designed in a lab to tease my every sense—and she’s only sixteen. I can’t have thoughts like this about someone the same age as my sister.

“This one’s mine.” She pulls me into what I’m assuming is her room.

“Wow.” I let out a low whistle, looking around. Her room is the size of our entire house.

“Listen, okay. Let me explain …” Her eyes are pleading with me and her face is a book, spelling out every emotion like it’s written on her. It’s insightful, yet beautiful. Making me feel as though I know her better.

“Explain what?” I mumble, not really sure what’s going on.

She settles down on her bed, a fluffy looking thing that is decorated in blue-and-orange flowery shit. It looks comfy though.

What would she look like naked, entangled in those sheets? The contrast of the bedding would be so bright against her paleness.

No—stop that!

“Come here,” she beckons me with one hand.

“Are you sure … you’re only sixteen?” I ask, walking towards her, or more like stalking. I’m in pursuit of her, since I’m not sure how much longer I can keep my hands off her … or my lips.

She’s calling to everything within me.

“Yes,” she laughs, sliding further back on the bed, wrapping herself around a pillow while I regretfully take a spot on the edge.

“So, this is my first year in high school. But yeah, I’m only sixteen.” She’s not looking at me, rather staring at her hands, her tiny fingers entwining in the blanket … over and over again.

“Homeschooled?” I question.

“Yeah, girls can be mean.” Again, her voice shrinks. I turn towards to her, drinking her in. “I developed early, obviously.” Her laugh is musical and light and fills me with a sense of home. “Anyways … they were mean and then when everything happened, my parents let me be homeschooled. Now, with what I do …  I usually only interact with adults.”

“What you do?” I must know what she’s talking about.

“Well, damn. Okay. I hate explainin’ this!” The way she gets all flustered and embarrassed makes me wanna laugh. “Whatever … here ya go. I’m a YouTube personality.”

I raise my eyebrows in confusion. What the fuck is she talking about?

“Basically, I make videos and post them on the Internet—”

Since I was confused about what type of videos she meant, I interrupt her and ask, “What type of …”

“Stop that! No, I do makeup tutorials and stuff like that, get your mind outta the gutter Jax!”

I watch as her skin turns bright red and highly flushed.

She’s so beautiful, more than I could ever deserve.

“And …” I prompt her to go on.

“Basically, it made me like … known. These girls in my old school didn’t like it. They bullied me … bad.” Her voice and face shrink, as everything about her speaks volumes about her past. She’s vulnerable and has been hurt.

“Never again. It won’t happen here.” I step closer to the side of her bed, standing by her head. She’s staring at her hands, tracing a faint line on her left wrist.

I recognize that scar, since I’ve seen them before … in people who have attempted suicide. I have to stop her sadness and make her smile again. I need to protect her. Instinctually, I place my index finger and middle finger under her chin, tilting it with slight pressure, lowering my face within inches of hers.

At this distance, her beauty is shining, as are the tears in her eyes. I don’t know why she’s chosen to reveal this to me, but I’m honored. I want to kiss her, but instead, I comfort her another way.

“Michelle, never again. You hear me? I will be there for you. You are not alone. Ever.” Her tears are flowing, making her skin shimmer. I have to leave, but I can’t. Rather, I press a strong kiss to her forehead and inhale her scent.


Chapter Five
Belle

Present Day

“Bitch,” I shout, snatching Amia up from her spot.

“Why are you here?” she asks, looking confused as she emerges from her all-consuming writing fog.

“I need to do something before your brother finds me, and I need you to come with me!” I bounce up and down, knowing that I am about to let her in on a little secret, but oh well.

“What could y’all possibly need for tonight? We all know you and Jax are just gonna be holed up in his room. God, please only fuck in his room, at least once I get there!” She shakes her head.

One could only hope.

“But I wanna do something … extra special for him. He’s given me so much.”

Being a romance writer, Amia understands love; however, she’s never truly been in love. She doesn’t see how beautiful she truly is.

Amia stands at barely five-foot tall, and her hair literally is to her ass. If she only knew how gorgeous she is … she’d be unstoppable. One day, I imagine soon, she’ll have an epic love story - like the ones from her books. She’s the greatest friend I could’ve ever hoped for, especially since I totally ditched her for her brother. More than that though, she’s always been meant for more, greatness. It shines within her and you can see that one day she will change the world.

I need her to come with me, since I don’t want to go alone.

“Does that mean we have to go all the way to Nashville? Your idea of special isn’t typically around here. If so, do we have time? I mean, it’s an hour-and-a-half there and back.” She has no idea that it’s still only noon and that Jax is moving all my stuff this afternoon.

“Yep, we have plenty of time,” I stand, walking off to grab a coffee, “so pack up.”

“Why are we at a tattoo parlor?” Amia looks at me with eyes full of confusion.

“I’m getting a tattoo!” I squeal as excitement takes over.

“Of …?” Her voice is laden with concern. She’s not a fan of getting spur-of-the-moment anything, and thinks everything out ‘till she talks herself out of it.

“Mia, I want a J on my hip—” I lift up my shirt and point to my left hip. “Right here, for Jax.”

“He’s gonna love it! You know it’ll make him insane that you hid this from him!” She hugs me.

See, most people would talk you out of a tattoo for your boyfriend, or cite the old saying that it’s bad luck. Not Amia, she knows, well at least some of it, about Jax and me. We may not be married, shit not even engaged, but we are it for each other.

“Well, let’s go before you chicken out!” We hop out of my truck and walk into the parlor.

Two hours later, we are riding in a comfortable silence home. I’ve been trying to work up the courage to tell her about Jax and I, but honestly, I’m nervous. It’s not every day you tell your best friend and your boyfriend’s sister that her brother is into kinky, rough sex.

“So, I have something to tell you. Jax doesn’t really want you to know this, but soon we will be living together, and I don’t like hiding things from you.” I break the silence when Amia and I are almost back home.

“Okay,” she chews her lip, worrying about what I could possibly be hiding from her. We usually tell each other everything.

“Well, Jax and I are crazy about each other. Ya know that, right?” She nods, her face clearly showing her confusion as to where I’m heading with this. What I’m saying is far from a surprise. “I guess, what you don’t know is that Jax is … well, I don’t know, we don’t really define it. He’s dominant, and … I guess I’m his submissive of sorts. Though he refers to me as his princess, I don’t really call him sir or anything.” I finish my confession in a rush. Just having it out there makes me feel better. I’m not even really sure any of what I’m saying makes sense.

Wow.” She exhales, just as we pull up in her driveway. “So, y’all built a red room of pain in the house? If so I ain’t movin’ in.” She shakes her head at me, laughing. Honestly, I’m glad she’s taking it so well. Amia is crazy accepting, and has an outlandish idea that people cannot help what life made them. So she accepts it, without any questions asked.

“I can’t believe y’all have hidden this!” Amia shouts as we exit my car. She’s spending the last night in her childhood home. “I mean, I understand him, but you? Come on, bitch,” she tosses her hair over her shoulder.

“It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell you, but Jax.” She just shakes her head in agreement, understanding instantly. While she may not have had his attraction to dominance, she was raised by him. She knows that he is super protective. So, it didn’t surprise her that he wouldn’t want her to know about this.

“So, did Jax add a secret sex dungeon in the basement?” I laugh at her, dismissing her with a head shake. Glancing down at my phone, I see two missed calls and one text from Jax.


Jax: Princess, you didn’t tell me you were leaving. You know how that makes me feel.


I smile knowing that I’ve upset him—now tonight will be even more fun.

“Not that I know of,” I answer Amia finally, smiling at her easy acceptance.

“Well, I’m just so glad you’re moving in with us! Jax is happier when you’re around,” she says as we walk into the house.

“I know, I know.” I answer her nonchalantly.

There was a moment in time when we were unhappy. A few months ago, I didn’t know what was going on with Jax. He was mad at me, Amia, everyone … it was like the entire world pissed him off. We weren’t on the same page about anything. He would get angry at the drop of a hat. I struggled with his outbursts and shutting me out, never having experienced it from him. Then one night, out of the blue, he showed up at my house. He was drunk as a skunk, but just held me in my bed and cried.

We never spoke of that night, but since then we’ve been perfect.

“You should head to your house, you know that he’s waiting for you, when I talked to him this morning he said he had surprises for you.” Amia giggles like a schoolgirl. She knows she shouldn’t have told me that.

“Ohh, then I better go.”



Chapter Six
Belle

Three Years Ago

The bell rings and we are finally released from the hell that is PE class.

I truly hate that class.

Give me yoga or running any day, but being forced to pretend to play volleyball is torture.

I rush through changing into my clothes, then walk towards the parking lot. I decided to ride with Amia today, which ended up being a mistake because she’s disappeared, and has a tendency to do that.

Not that I noticed, but Jax is getting pissed about it too.  

“Michelle, wait up,” Will, a boy who I have a few classes with, calls out while I’m walking towards the parking lot.

“What’s up?” I turn, seeing what he wants. We’ve never really talked before.

“How are you,” he assesses me from head-to-toe right before he throws an arm around my shoulders.

“Um, fine.” I turn my head in disgust, hiding the look on my face.

“Got a ride, Mia left?” Almost everyone in this small school has noticed that her and I switch off on driving. We tend to stick out, since we have nicer trucks.

I don’t answer him. Instead, we keep walking with his arm still draped over me. Then we get within seeing distance of … him.

Jax.

We’ve been spending a lot of time together.

Alone.

With his sister.

Alone.

We’re just friends.

Right?

Right!

Just shut your face!

I want to be more than friends with him, but there’s hesitation on his end. Not that the two-year age difference really matters to me, or well anyone else. But I think it does to him, because he’s always hinting at how I am only sixteen.

Plus, I’m not sure he’s actually interested in me or just being friendly. There are times when I feel as though he wants me, and moments when I think he is fighting his very nature to not grab me and kiss me—but then there are instances where he seems disinterested.

I’m probably crazy. I mean, I haven’t even kissed a guy … yet.

I know. I know.

Yet, he’s here now, which means he knew Amia left and I was stuck all alone. My knight in a shiny chromed out Jeep.

“So, want a ride?” Will asks again, interrupting my thoughts, bringing me back to reality. Well, since he’s here, I decide to use Will and tease Jax a bit.

I turn, leaning slightly into Will, and bat my eyelashes at him. From my peripheral vision, I see Jax step from his truck the moment I press against Will and walk around to stand on the passenger side facing us. He’s dressed hot as hell, long legs covered in dark denim, a flannel shirt left open over a black shirt all topped with a black leather jacket. The way he casually leans against the truck’s bed, staring at me … I almost feel as though he’s claiming me. Right there, in the parking lot, he’s making everyone know I’m his, even though he’s never acted on it. I can feel his eyes boring into me as another boy’s arm is around me. There’s an unspoken command in his eyes, telling me to stop teasing him and get Will off me.

“No, but thanks.” I giggle, turning to press a hug to him.

“Michelle.” Jax’s gruff voice booms across the parking lot. His tone striking every chord within, demanding my attention. I could fight the call, the allure of the tone of his voice, but I don’t want to. I want him to command me, tell me I’m his, claim me. I immediately leave the boy in my wake and walk to Jax.

My legs carry me to him at a measured pace as my body fights the need to run to him as he pushes himself away from the truck and meets me halfway. Instantly, he places his right hand on the small of my back and begins leading me to his truck. Even through my thin jacket and shirt, I can feel the heat of his skin against mine—and all my nerve endings fire at once. He opens the door and offers his hand to help me inside, then he closes the door. He has yet to say a word, but I can sense a turmoil within him.

A beautiful storm brews in his eyes, like an unrestrained frustration beating against his inner walls.

It’s hard to explain, but since the moment I met Jax, I’ve been connected to him, as if we were made to find each other in this crazy world. I’ve never felt as if I didn’t know him; I even went as far as to tell him everything about myself the night we met. The night he vowed to protect me, we spent six hours in my bed, talking, laughing, getting to know each other.

It’s the only other time he’s touched me first.

Amia still doesn’t know about that.

Shut up! I know, I’m a horrible friend.

I settle into the comfortable leather seat of Jax’s Jeep while attempting to control the desire to inhale his scent overwhelming the cab.

“Why would you let him touch you?” Jax revs the engine throwing the truck in drive. His voice strong, but angry.

“Why wouldn’t I? He was just offering me a ride home?” Bewilderment laces my voice.

Why would he care?

“He shouldn’t have touched you,” he whispers. With the hand closest to me, he runs his fingers through his hair, further mussing the messy look that he favors. Once his fingers begin to free themselves from his soft locks, I watch as his hand descends and crosses the distance to meet mine, which rests on the center console. I have to fight the sigh that threatens to spill from my lips when our skin touches.

He’s willingly touching me, skin to skin. We’ve touched … held hands, even hugged. The hug. Ugh, the feeling of my body pressed against his, it’s utterly unremarkable.

However, I’ve always been the one to initiate it … never him.

Yet, now, he’s touching me—and it’s amazing. My entire body breaks out in goosebumps as my skin tingles all over. What he causes within me is new and exciting.

No one should ever touch you,” he repeats. His hand encloses on mine, entwining our fingers, squeezing our hands together. His warm, strong hands wrapping around mine, the perfect pressure point that grounds me while my heart soars.

“What’re you talking about, Jax?” My voice shakes, unsure of what I’m feeling.

“Michelle, do you have any clue how fucking beautiful you really are?” He turns and fully faces me. I should fear him driving while not looking at the road. Yet, I know he would never put me in danger.

“No, I mean …” I don’t really know how to respond.

“Michelle, fuck.” He immediately locks his eyes on the road, scanning. Suddenly, the truck is pulling to the side of the road. The moment the truck stops, I have to lock every muscle in my body to not jump across the truck. The atmosphere has changed, it’s now charged with an energy that is threatening to choke me.

He can’t not feel this.

Jax turns his whole body towards me, fully facing me and I watch as he unlaces our fingers and brings his large hands to my cheeks. He traps my small face in between them and holds me.

His stormy hazel-green eyes, so perfectly speckled with brown and beauty captured within their depths, bore into me. He brushes a stray hair from my face and I watch as his luscious lips cock into a half smile.

“You only have one dimple,” I whisper in wonderment.

“Yeah, and?” His face inches closer to mine.

“I … I like it,” I stammer, his handsomeness, so close to me, is stealing the very breath from my lungs and words.

“I don’t,” he murmurs.

“Imperfection is beauty,” I ramble part of the Marilyn Monroe quote that has often inspired me.

“You’re gonna be my undoing.” His lips are within kissing distance, closing the gap with every breath.

“Jax …” I whisper, so low.

Michelle, ma belle ...” his quiet voice trails off. My entire life I’ve had that Beatles’ song sung to me, but hearing those words—from his mouth—I never want to ever be called anything except Belle again.

His Belle.

I close the distance between us, bringing my lips to his, pressing them together for the first time. I’m highly unsure of what to do, as this is my first kiss, so I just press my lips against his … until the moment he takes over.

Growling against my lips, he presses deeper against my mouth, using his hands to angle me slightly while he nibbles and licks my lips. I gasp against his mouth, so confused as to how one person can awaken so much within me. He uses the moment to slide his tongue into my mouth; and it dances, tangling with mine in a wet, slick rhythmical swirl of passion. His mouth is so hot and dominating ... He tugs my bottom lip into his mouth and sucks softly before breaking away and pressing his forehead to mine.

I pant, leaning against him.

“Well, that was a hell of a first kiss.” I smile while he laughs against me.




Chapter Seven
Jax

Three Years Ago


Jax: It’s been two weeks, Michelle. I can’t do this anymore. I need to be with you.


Belle: I know. I’m sorry. I’m talking to Amia tonight, I swear. And what did I say about calling me that?


Jax: I don’t fucking care about your name. I need to kiss you again. You tell her tonight or I will. This being apart shit ends now.


Throwing my phone down, I turn back to my laptop and the blueprints I’ve been working on for my final. It’s my dream home, with Belle. She’s been torturing me for two weeks.

We kissed, fuck did we kiss. On the side of the highway, for over an hour, I caressed her lips with mine, tasting her, teasing her, drinking her in. It was in that first moment that our lips met that I knew my life was over. Michelle Jameson was my end. At that exact moment, I gave her everything I was.

And she ignored me for three fucking days.

Then she showed up in the pouring rain and tackled me on the couch in my living room. After another blissfully blinding makeout session, she started bawling in my arms. I remember the conversation so acutely.


Michelle … what is this?” I’m fighting the urge to scream at her, shake her. This kind of crying was not normal.

C-can you c-call me Belle from now on?” Her voice cracks several times, the sadness pouring through it breaking my heart.

Whatever you want, princess. But why are you crying,” I grab her face in between my hands and force her to look at me. Staring her down, I see every emotion play across her face, and I watch as the realization that she can trust me settles in. She takes in a deep breath, and begins…

Jax, I can’t stop thinking about you. Being with you, kissing you, it’s … oh my god. It’s everything. But Amia is my best friend, my only fucking friend. She needs to know. B-but what if she says n-n-no? What if she doesn’t want us together?” Her beautiful stormy gray eyes, swirling with pain, start shimmering with tears again.

Listen to me, never again. Do you hear me? Never again do you ignore me and let it get to this do you hear me? You ALWAYS come to me. I’m always here for you. No. Matter. What. Tell me you understand.” I pause, waiting for her to respond. Rather than words, she nods simply.

Now, I agree. Amia needs to know. But to be honest with you, Belle,” I say her nickname for the first time, loving how it sounds. “I don’t give a fuck what she says. You are mine, now and forever, princess.”

And honestly? I thought that was the end of it. But here we are. There’s no more waiting. It’s now or never.

“So, when?” I throw down my Chinese food, and stare Belle down. She’s been at our house for three long hours and still hasn’t said anything. I’m dying here. I want to touch her, taste her.

“I’m gonna tell her soon, we were gonna watch something, I figured I’d bring it up. She’s gonna hate me.” Belle hangs her head, ashamed. That’s not acceptable. Placing my index finger under her chin, I tilt her face up, bringing my face within a hairsbreadth of hers, so close to kissing her.

“No one will hate you, princess. You are perfection. Do not ever question that. You can tell her with me, if you’d like. Or by yourself, but remember no matter what I’m right here for you. Always,” I whisper as I close the distance, pressing my lips gently to hers.

“Fucking finally,” Amia squeals as we jump apart. Belle instantly starts begging her to forgive her while I stand there with arms crossed. I’ve seen this look on Amia’s face before. She knew. She always knows.

“You knew?” I laugh, crossing the distance to wrap my arms around Belle’s quivering frame.

“Of course she didn’t know, Jax. Quit. Amia, I’m so sorry! I never meant to … it’s just …” Belle’s voice is shaking with unshed tears. I squeeze her a little tighter, trying to calm her.

“It’s just that you and Jax are fucking perfect for each other? Just that you two can’t keep your eyes off each other?” Amia speaks the words from my mind. She’s absolutely right.

“Y-you are okay with this?” Belle asks, and even Amia has to pick up the desperation in her voice.

“Um, yeah. Just please, if you break up, don’t make me chose between you two. I love and need you both.” Amia walks over to Belle and wraps her in a tight hug and Belle begins crying again.

“If you keep crying, I’m gonna think you’re not happy,” I whisper in her ear.

“I’m so happy,” Belle shouts, spinning out of Amia’s arms and into mine, wrapping her arms around my neck. Reaching up on her tiptoes she presses a kiss to my lips and all's right with the world.




Chapter Eight
Jax

Present Day


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