Coe learned early on that life never goes according to plan. His dreams of hitting it big vanished when Miranda all but invited her father to take the only thing of value he ever had. But now the once-pampered princess is holed up in a condemned trailer on the edge of town...and everything he thought he knew about her—and about what happened between them back then—seems completely wrong.
“I hate you.” The softly spoken words stopped him cold, because there was something threaded through them that punched him in the gut with all the heft of a brass-knuckled fist. He was so stunned it took him a moment to identify that something as fervent, bone-deep truth. “I was taught to never say that word, but I mean it. I hate you with everything in me. First you accuse me of being in Garden Court out of some small-minded need to mock you. Now you’ve decided I’m some attention-seeking poser out to prove something to you. In both scenarios, you think you’re the all-important center around which my universe should be revolving. I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you, Coe—you’re not. All I care about is righting a wrong and returning your valve to you. Beyond that, I refuse to even think about you. Do you understand? You. Are. Irrelevant.” That getting-punched feeling worsened.
“Yeah, I get it.”
“Somehow I doubt that. I’m here in Garden Court because I need temporary housing, and it’s what I can afford while still holding on to my apartment up north. Maybe I can understand why you think you’re the focus of my world, because once upon a time that’s what you were. I loved you so much, I really did see you as my everything. But you took care of that a long, long time ago. I don’t love you anymore. I loathe you, just as much as you loathe me, so let me assure you that while you clearly are the center of your universe, you’ll never again be the center of mine.”
“Good to hear.” Grimly he gave himself a pat on the back at how normal he sounded, when the raw impact of her emotions had all but knocked him flat on his ass. Because she was right—he had assumed she was as fixated on him as he was on her. What an idiot he was to be disappointed that ultimately she couldn’t care less about him. “Nice to know we can both hate with gusto.”
A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.